Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Live Review: Bowerbirds, Megafaun @ The Earl 8/17/09

[Phil Moore of Bowerbirds]

Wow, I really need to either get a better camera or stop taking show photography. This is verging on blasphemous.

For Atlanta Music Guide:

[Mark Paulson of Bowerbirds]

Live Review: Bowerbirds, Megafaun @ The Earl, August 17

If there had been wires running from the instruments Megafaun and Bowerbirds played onstage, from their faces and hands to the eyes and ears of everyone in the crowd, you would’ve seen bursts of green light, energy snapping and crackling along the lines all night. That’s how electric the show was. Both acts couldn’t have given more.

[Beth Tacular of Bowerbirds]

Megafaun, up first, just didn’t want to stay plugged in. Rather than pulling his banjo’s cord out gently, Phil Cook would rip free of his restraint and bound in one stride to the front of the stage or out into the audience. All three — Phil, his brother Brad, and drummer Joe Westerlund — walked around singing joyously among the crowd members. Standouts included “Kaufman’s Ballad,” “Columns” and “The Fade” as they meshed Americana with noisy electronic feedback and experimental sound collages. The last song of Megafaun’s all-too-short set was an unplugged number where they perched at the very front of the stage and sang straight to the audience, who watched them with awe-struck, upturned faces...[Read more]


Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Fiery Furnaces burn down the sound barrier

My first piece for Atlanta's Creative Loafing went up on their website today! Check it out:

The Fiery Furnaces burn down the sound barrier
Sibling duo transcends old-fashioned "with-audio" album-making

“They’ve been saying the album is dead for a long time,” says the Fiery Furnaces’ Matt Friedberger. “I don’t know why they want to kill the album.”

To the New York brother/sister duo, it seems alive and well. Famous for spectacular, keyboard-heavy live performances and eccentric, virtuosic recordings, Fiery Furnaces released their eighth record I’m Going Away July 21 via Thrill Jockey Records. But they didn’t stop there. In reaction to the supposed demise, Matt and his sister Eleanor are putting together a “silent album” — a songbook that will be made up of sheet music, instructions and other visual representations of songs that fans (or non-fans, Friedberger makes sure to point out) can use to recreate musically on their own...[Read more]

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FOAVOD: The Music Tapes - "For The Planet Pluto"

Today's FOA Video of the Day is simply adorable. Trust me. Guest appearances by lots of the Elephant 6, incl. Kevin Barnes.

The Music Tapes - For the Planet Pluto from Merge Records on Vimeo.

Record Review: Julian Plenti - Julian Plenti is...Skyscraper

It's my first record review for Flagpole Magzine!! I read Flagpole straight through college--their reviews and features were probably what planted the idea of writing for music magazines in my head in the first place...though at the time I never thought I'd be capable of it. (Look at me now!) Super excited to do more for them. Check it:

Julian Plenti
Julian Plenti is...Skyscraper


With Julian Plenti is…Skyscraper, Interpol frontman Paul Banks has joined the likes of Garth Brooks and My Morning Jacket’s Jim James in creating an arguably unnecessary—not to mention transparent—musical alter-ego. What purpose is served by even Julian Plenti band biographies neglecting to mention that Plenti is Banks or that his performing “sabbatical” coincides with years of success as a member of Interpol is a mystery. Regardless, Banks’ outing as Plenti offers a modest departure from Interpol releases. He’s approached it with a sense of humor (the press photos “accidentally” feature a banner that reads “Julian Plenti is…crap”), and seized the opportunity to side-step the watering-down of creative ideas by compositional collaboration...[Read more]

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Live Review: Akron/Family @ The Earl 8/13/09

For Stomp and Stammer's Tales From The Moshpit:

Akron/Family @ The EARL, 8/13/09

I wish Akron/Family were my family. I wish my family screamed and wailed, but also crooned and hushed and harmonized. I wish they played guitar, bass and drums but also chains of bells around their necks and egg-shaped shakers and sampling boards and recorders and penny whistles. I wish they drew a crowd that filled the room at The EARL, half of whom were rapt with attention and danced with flailing arms, and the other half of whom chatted obnoxiously and spilled drinks on people's (my) feet, requiring their noisiness to be addressed from stage. Wait, I don't actually wish that last one.

Well, it's official. Akron/Family is cooler than my family, unnecessary tie-dyed American flag backdrop and all. And they put on one of the most stunning shows I've ever seen, using just three members — Seth Olinsky, Miles Seaton and Dana Janssen — to perform what on their recordings sounds like it required small armies to produce.

Consisting probably 80 percent of material from their May release Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free, the band rocketed through the set, rarely letting the audience have one of those certain breaks after songs in which to applaud. Sometimes, between loud jam-outs, the band would get so quiet that some dude in the back would start clapping erroneously. For that matter, the audience was a bit more of a character in this play that I would have liked — and bassist Seaton seemed to share that opinion. He repeatedly talked to the crowd, toward the beginning wryly remarking "We've got stompers," (people have no rhythm!) and during the encore goading us to dance and singling out one poor sap in front of me who flatly refused...[Read more]

[MP3] Akron/Family - "River"

Record Review: The Antlers - Hospice

For Atlanta Music Guide:

The Antlers
Frenchkiss Records

Pete Silberman’s warbling voice exposes a beautiful but deep-rooted anger throughout Hospice, the breakthrough full-length from Brooklyn’s The Antlers. After a wildly successful self-release earlier in the year, the record is getting a proper reissue August 18 via Frenchkiss Records, home of other heavyweights like Les Savy Fav, Passion Pit, The Hold Steady and The Dodos.

It’ll give a wider audience the chance to experience the band’s exploration of the idea of having an abusive loved one in hospice care — of having to be kind at the end of their life, but being beaten down emotionally by them all the same. Silberman speaks of screaming and cursing and apologizing, of fictions, of pushing someone to wake them up, very literally of hospitals (“Epilogue”). His voice cracks with intensity from whispering in a lower register into tortured, strained falsetto at various points; instrumentation ranges from simple four-chord acoustic guitar to huge, piano-driven anthems to electronic ambient swaths that shimmer against each other, all dissonant and pretty...[Read more]

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Here We Go Magic - "Fangela"

This may be the best song I've heard all year. Thoughts?

Friday, August 7, 2009

FOAVOD: Fiery Furnaces - promo video for I'm Going Away

These guys are so freakin' charming. It makes me wish I had a brother to bicker with about song composition and album titling. The Fiery Furnaces released I'm Going Away July 21 on Thrill Jockey Records.

The Fiery Furnaces - promo video 1 from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

The Furnaces will be at the Variety Playhouse Aug. 20 with White Rabbits.