Live Review: St. Vincent with Matthew E White @ Vinyl Music Hall, 10/8/14
Every once in a while, there is an artist that comes along and is heavily on the rise. Well-established, having already released more than enough material to play a no covers show, that is finally getting the recognition from the public to play big shows. Some of these artists still play the small clubs between festival sets, giving an intimate setting for perhaps the final time anyone could see that artist in such an environment.
So if you didn’t go out and see St. Vincent at Vinyl Music Hall last Wednesday, you blew it. It wasn’t even that it was probably the last time that you’d have a chance to see her play in such an intimate place like a club that sells around 450 tickets to shows. No, it was that on top of all of that, it was the show of the year. She played Vinyl like she would anywhere else; with a fire that she brings to every show, whether she’s playing to 450 or 4,500. She played an unbelievable set, focusing mostly on her amazing excellent self-titled release that she put out in 2013, with highlights from her 3 previous releases, Marry Me, Actor, and Strange Mercy. If you don’t like her music on record, it is worth going to see her perform to watch her shred on the guitar like a demi-God for an hour and 45 minutes, and to hear her talk about setting the whole neighborhood on fire with a magnifying glass, or the thought of flying only to fall and then get up again, because in the sanctuary that is a St. Vincent concert, we all have a few things in common.
St. Vincent is what brings a bunch of people together. She is rock and roll, just ask Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear, when they got her do “Lithium” with them at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction for Nirvana. She an indie darling. She’s a guitar virtuoso. She’s a poet. She’s such an amazing artist that cuts across a whole bunch of genres, and toned her skills with The Polyphonic Spree and Sulfjan Stevens. She rocked the roof off of Vinyl Wednesday night. Talking with some of the people who were there to witness it, they were in awe of what they were seeing. They also knew that things like this will most likely come only once or twice more. St. Vincent is blowing up right now. And she and her band (who is also fantastic, by the way) still put all their heart and effort into entertaining us, the people of the Gulf Coast, to a really amazing, personal performance.
And for the lucky ones who got to see it, that’s something we all now have in common. Let’s just hope that it happens again, very, very soon somehow.
Also on the bill was an great opening and rare solo effort performance from self described “psychedelic motown” artist Matthew E. White. He did an excellent version of “Are You Ready for the Country?” by Neil Young and did a masterful job at stripping his typical rambunctious recordings into a intimate setting for everyone, including a Randy Newman cover as well. Fantastic set.
Photos by Robbie Leggett.
Mind blogging explosiveness hits airwaves, record players, compact disc drives, computer speakers and discontinued iPod Classics everywhere today. Let’s take a look at 4 new releases that get released or are available for streaming today:
Prince – ART OFFICIAL AGE
Oh, Prince. Only you can make make breakfast sound sexy. Prince’s solo effort on this double Prince day, ART OFFICIAL AGE, complies some of the songs we’ve heard leading up to it’s release, including “BREAKFAST CAN WAIT” and “THIS COULD BE US”. The album as a whole is typical Prince; soul, R&B, and pop mixed with a sampling of love and getting down. Prince is as funky and soulful as he ever was. No, this isn’t an instant classic like 1999 or Purple Rain, but come on; it’s freaking Prince.
Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL – PLECTRUMELECTRUM
Oh, Prince, part 2. From the opening guitar licks on “WOW”, I knew this was gonna be a wild ride, maybe even more than ART OFFICIAL AGE. PLECTRUMELECTRUM is the first album from Prince with his new backing band, the all female 3RDEYEGIRL. The band has been sampling this tracks on their European tour. Prince’s guitar chops come to light on this album, throughout the entire duration. This album seems really complete, and there’s a lot of attention to detail in the production. A fantastic opening effort indeed.
Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright in the End
Dare I call this the best album by Weezer since Pinkerton? No, probably not, but this is definitely an amazing new release from our good buddies in Weezer, the band no one can really hate. We’ve heard a ton of cuts from the album leading up to today’s streaming on iTunes, including the single “Back to the Shack” and “Go Away” (featuring my future ex-wife, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino). For fans hoping that we were getting The Blue Album or Pinkerton, I’m sorry to say we aren’t. But what we do get in a great band doing their thing, being Weezer. We all love Weezer, whether you want to admit it or not.
CHAOS! PANIC! DISORDER! DOOM!
Electric Wizard’s heavy hitting 8th studio album hits your local record store today. If you are already familiar with Electric Wizard’s brand of soul-thumping, ruckus-bringing, heavy-hitting music, you’d best pick up this newest release. If you aren’t familiar with Electric Wizard, think Black Sabbath meets Queens of the Stone Age meets the apocalypse. This newest release brings us nothing that we shouldn’t expect already from an Electric Wizard album; well-crafted, heavy songs backed up by grade A production. A definite solid album from the doomsayers.
Today’s New Music Tuesday is packed. Seriously. Tons of new music coming out today. There’s so much stuff to get to, so let’s dive right in!
Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
What can you say about Ryan Adams that hasn’t already been said. He’s one of the biggest modern day rock stars today, and he has shown so much versatility in his ability to switch from alternative country sounds and hard heavy rock and roll ruckus. So his newest release, Ryan Adams, shows us all of these things. He is, in my opinion, one of the best modern day songwriters and this record is packed full of excellent songwriting chops. He can croon out his sorrows (“My Wrecking Ball”) or give them the boot (“Gimme Something Good”). There has been a lot of comparisons of this work to that of the legendary Tom Petty, and while you can definitely hear some influence, Ryan Adams is a work that stands out on it’s own, and will be looked back on as one of the better albums released this year.
Interpol – El Pintor
Interpol have been indie darlings since their 2002 debut, Turn On the Bright Lights, hit the shelves. Now, they bring us their first album since 2010 self-titled effort. El Pintor has already garnered much praise from old fans of the band and many critics, and it’s quick and easy to see why: the album really harks back to the band’s early sound but gives it a modern twist. The lead single, “All The Rage Back Home”, is in the Top 5 Interpol tracks ever; a seriously rockin’ track that sets up the tone for the album, which sounds like a definite winner when it will translate to live audiences when they tour off of it.
Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World
One of the most anticipated albums of the last few years has been the 2nd full-length studio album from drum and bass duo Death From Above 1979. Their 2004 debut, You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine brought the band massive critical praise and a dedicated fan base; however the band split in 2006, only to reunite in 2011. The Physical World follows the general guidelines of it’s heavy hitter predecessor; the album brings a ruckus, it’s dancey, it’s an excellent rock and roll album from start to finish and solidifies the band’s reputation. Gene Simmons can say rock is dead all he wants; I won’t believe him whatsoever, not as long as DFA1979 is still out there kicking ass and taking names. \m/
Karen O – Crush Songs
The first solo album by Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O is a masterpiece. Totally, complete, masterpiece. Collected from demos between the YYY’s Fever to Tell and Show Your Bones, the album was actually recorded between 2006 and 2007. The album is a lo-fi piece of pure magic. Never bouncing too loud, always at the right pitch. The album really showcases O’s abilities as a songwriter; the songs branching out and touching everything related to love (and a song about Michael Jackson dying, which I have to assume was well after the rest of the album was recorded). The album tugs at your heart and at your ears. Album of the year material.
U2 – Songs of Innocence
So…. this was unexpected. Very. Very unexpected. But that seems to be the new thing though, right? Release music unexpectedly? And for free? Okay, maybe not free, but it’s not like Bono is hurting for cash either, but I digress….
U2 dropped this unexpected bomb of a new album on us just today. Songs of Innocence is the 13th studio album by U2, and it is available for FREE over on iTunes. It will see physical release on October 13th.
But wow, what a nice, powerful record from the band. The band says they were inspired by the 70’s and that is what led to the sound on the album, even referenced by the opening track, “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)”. The album is surprisingly modern, possibly from the contribution of producer Danger Mouse. It plays out like a U2 album and it’s got all the chops to prove it, from the typical excellent rhythm work of Clayton and Mullen to spirited riffs and jams from The Edge. Heck, this might be their best album since The Joshua Tree.
NEW MUSIC TUESDAY: SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2014
By: Canaan Lamp
Okay guys, good stuff to get to this Tuesday!
The Kooks – Listen
The first new album from the UK’s The Kooks since 2011 hits the shelves today, and the album finds the band trying some experimental new sounds. The band’s sound has definitely evolved since they hit the scene back in 2006. The band steps away from their typical songwriting style and this new sound, driven more on a diverse mix of sound as opposed to catchy hooks, is welcoming and refreshing and shows a change of pace for the band. This may have come from working with hop hop producer Inflo on the record. The song “Bad Habit” is one of my favorites, as well as single “Down”.
Back in July, we lost legendary blues master Johnny Winter. Luckily for us, he left a masterful final work for us before his departure. Step Back is an excellent collection of blues standards, given the Johnny Winter rework, featuring some excellent guests, like Eric Clapton, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Joe Bonamassa, Ben Harper, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Mountain’s Leslie West, Dr. John and more. This version of “Long Tall Sally” he does with West is excellent, and you can tell he really fed off what the guests he brought in brought to the table. An fine final album from a legend that will definitely be missed.
GRADE: No grade out of respect. Just go check out the record.
Look for next week’s LOADED New Music Tuesday, where we will be looking in-depth at new albums from Ryan Adams, Karen O, Interpol, and more.
It’s Tuesday, which means lots of new releases have hit the stores today. Let’s take a look at some of the best new releases this week:
J Mascis – Tied to a Star
The new solo album from Dinosaur Jr. shredder J Mascis, Tied to a Star, is an excellent follow up to his previous solo effort, Several Shades of Why, released in 2011. The 10-track effort shows off Mascis’ excellent craftsmanship in writing excellent alt rock melodies that he’s become so famous for in Dinosaur Jr. However, this tone on Mascis’ solo efforts is slightly calmer, less frantic than what is typically rampant in Dino’s releases. The single “Every Morning” is a great example of this; a modern post-2000’s masterpiece of guitar and melody work. Add nine more of these plus an appearance from the lovely Chan Marshall on “Wide Awake”, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic record.
Ty Segall – Manipulator
Ty Segall is one of of today’s best guitar virtuosos; he can get heavy, soft, everywhere in between, and frequently puts out new releases thru a variety of outlets, whether they be thru his own solo output or the occasional collaborative album. Manipulator does an excellent job of bringing all of those sounds together; the 17-track double album almost works like a greatest hits record, just full of songs that have never seen the light of day until now. The problem with the album is while it is full of fantastic songs, the album starts to run long and the songs being the blend into one another. If you love Segall, great; pick up the record. But if you are a newcomer to Segall sound, this may not be the best place to start.
Shovels and Rope – Swimmin’ Time
The hottest band in the Americana scene right now is Shovels & Rope; the fantastic husband-wife duo of Cary Ann Hurst and Michael Trent. They’ve won numerous awards and the hearts and ears of many with their fantastic songwriting and energetic, fans-friendly live show that we here on the coast have been blessed to see a few times. Swimmin’ Time, the follow up to 2012’s breakout smash O’ Be Joyful, follows the suit of its predecessor, giving us the same rootsy feel that we come to know from the band. The sound here though still sounds fresh and exciting though, and there are always excellent stories to tell throughout every song. Great record, hope to see them again soon.
Check out more reviews next week!
Have you seen the lineup for this? If you are into indie and alternative music as much as we are, this is just sick! Some of our favorite bands are on there, Adventures, Big Shoals, Captain We’re Sinking, Cayetana, Descendents,Gnarwolves, Into it! Over it!, Kittyhawk, Places to Hide, Prawn, Less Than Jake, and Screaming Females! What the @$%&! Get your tickets now. This is an incredible weekend of music. Get tickets here!
Yep, thats right. St. Vincent is coming to Pensacola to play Vinyl Music Hall on October 8th. The buzz around today’s announcement has been electric! Click for event and ticket details. We will be spotlighting her and her incredible music over the next few weeks on our live radio show, The Lost Sandal on Radio Free Pensacola. Stay tuned!
This incredible photo was taken by Joshua Mellin