Pensacola and the surrounding area finally has an avenue for people to listen to some good music. And the local talent has a way to get their music out to the listening public. Radio Free Pensacola. It is online through Facebook and it has not officially launched (hopefully sometime in Jan.) but it is gathering a significant following already. We have a show on the station every Wednesday night from 8 to 10 pm and we would love for you to join us. You definitely want to check out some of the other shows as well. There is a little bit of everything on there.
Check out this new video from Norway’s HighasaKite. Really want to see these guys live. I have heard nothing but great things. Maybe they can pass through here on their way to SXSW this year. We will be playing this tune and more on tonights episode of the Lost Sandal on Radio Free Pensacola. Please come on over and listen, it starts at 8 PM!
Live Review: Kurt Vile and the Violators with Beach Fossils and V B A @ Alabama Music Box – 11/04/13
Live Review: Kurt Vile and the Violators with Beach Fossils and V B A @ Alabama Music Box – 11/04/13
BY: Canaan Lamp
Concerts on Monday nights are tricky. Everyone’s back to work and not everyone is up for a night downtown seeing some bands in a club. People are last minute. People show up late. It’s hard to predict exactly what will or won’t happen at a Monday night club show.
But what happens when you book two of music’s biggest rising stars on a Monday night, put them in an intimate venue and surround them with a dedicated Monday night crowd? I found that out last Monday night at the Alabama Music Box in downtown Mobile when I saw one of rock’s biggest rising stars, Kurt Vile (along with backing band and fellow incredible musicians, The Violators) with two of the best supporting acts I’ve seen to date on the bill, fellow fast risers Beach Fossils and V B A.
The AMB, still decked out in Halloween fair from the last major holiday, was full of positive vibes that Monday night; it was a very relaxed and laid back atmosphere as the concert patrons filed into the building. The crowd was super chill and it made everything really cool and laid back for the madness that was about to occur.
First up was V B A, a three-piece noise/garage rock act consisting of drummer/vocalist Vince Nudo (who is also a member of The Violators as well as the band Priestess), guitarist Bentley Anderson and bassist Ashley Math. They are self-described as “a three piece that make music like a blind poet’s lucid dream of pagan black candles over a deathonic dim sea.” I don’t know about all of that but I do know they know how to melt faces and rock like no tomorrow. Loud, noisy, real sludgy stuff. There’s no pop mixed in here; this was pure noise at it’s finest. Rock and roll, man. Rock and roll.
Second was Beach Fossils. I had heard Beach Fossils before and was anxious to see their live show. They did not disappoint, led by a high energy performance fronted by Dustin Payseur. The rest of the band (Tommy Gardner (the drummer, who looked like he could have also easily fit in Weezer), Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson) followed right in suit and I was surprised to see all the folks who had come out just to see them and knew a lot of their songs. They, like headliner Vile, are one of the fastest rising groups of the indie rock scene and they showed why, from the time they came on stage to the end when Payseur was screaming thru the chaotic noise of “Twelve Rose”. Definitively must-see.
Closing the stage with the ruckus he brings every night was Kurt Vile, touring off of his new album, Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze. Vile gave a nice mix of all of his single titles, and a highlight was the 2nd song, and the album’s sort-of title track, ”Wakin’ on a Pretty Day”. The band scorched thru heavy numbers and some softer ones too (like “Peeping Tomboy”, a song which Kurt played by himself with just him and the guitar, a real highlight). There’s no flashiness or anything that is overly done or too over the top with the stage performance itself (unless you count the massive setup of pedals at all the guitarists feet that left some in awe). The sax was a nice touch.
What I learned is that with Kurt Vile, you don’t need special lights or videos to make it a show; the music is the show. The way I saw he and the band operate was mesmerizing. From the start until the seemingly never ending distortion fest after set closer “Freak Train”, was pure bliss. If you like major league rock and roll with major crafty songwriting and lots of noise, Kurt Vile is the man and the show for you. It was an absolutely wonderful night and I hope the AMB keeps bringing these stars in….even on Monday nights.
By Kerry Reid
It’s hard to find a band with a bigger rise to fame than the Lumineers. In just a few months, the indie folk group went from opening festivals to headlining them, received two Grammy nominations, were named VH1’s a “You Oughta Know” band and hit number one on both the Independent and Folk Album Charts.
They had little opportunity, then, to play years of endless club shows that most bands get under their belts before making it big. So it wasn’t surprising the Lumineers went to great lengths to make their performance last week at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater decidedly intimate. Everything from the set decorations, to their demeanor, to their requests for no cell phones told me that while the Lumineers are relishing their success, they long for a connection with their fans and the intimacy of small club shows, ones they didn’t get to play for long. Even their music videos aim at a close-knit experience, with one filmed in a tight hallway and the other inside a bus.
I had the chance to see the Lumineers before many had ever heard of them, but I blew what proved to be a narrow two-week opportunity before they became a household name. The Denver-based band had an early morning slot at Gulf Shores’ Hangout Music Fest in 2012, and I, having researched all of the bands before the festival in order to fully get my money’s worth, could find nothing of the Lumineers’ work except two grainy shows performed in a room the size of a closet. Yet even with only two Youtube videos from which to judge, I heard something in the song “Ho Hey,” — which would later become their breakout hit — that resonated with me. I shared the video with a few festival buddies, and it was set. The Lumineers would be our first show of the weekend. Only, we overslept by half an hour and missed them.
At the time, I was disappointed, but but not devastated. That is, until two weeks later when their self-titled debut album was released, and I found their brand of rootsy music both genuine and down to earth suspending me somewhere between my old-time gospel upbringing and my years listening to my grandparent’s classic country and bluegrass records. Within days everyone was talking about them, and their star quickly exploded—quickly for a band that plays a blend of indie folk, bluegrass, and rock. But there is something in the Lumineers’ blend of genres that is decidedly pop in its core which explains its mass appeal. So, when I saw they were headed to Tuscaloosa, I didn’t want to miss them a second time and quickly purchased tickets.
Prior to the show, a bevy of dimly lit, flickering chandeliers were slowly raised to the ceiling creating a comfortable, homey atmosphere, and what followed was a front porch, foot-stomping good time with the band playing nearly their entire catalogue, a few new songs, and a Bob Dylan cover of “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” The band was energetic and fun, kicking off with their new single “Submarines” and was in its element playing live, accompanied by a host of instruments ranging from the cello, piano, accordion, mandolin, drums and guitar which gave their songs more depth than on the album. Lead singer and guitarist, Wesley Schultz, seemed relaxed and at ease, at times tossing his fedora on the end of his guitar as he played. Although normally a trio which includes cellist and vocalist Neyla Pekarek and co-founder Jeremiah Fraites, who handles percussion, mandolin and backing vocals, the Lumineers employed the assistance of two other musicians, a bassist and pianist, for the tour.
The band had a decidedly nostalgic feel, with Fraites and Schultz sporting beards, suspenders, slicked back hair and fedoras reminiscent of Vaudevillian, old-timey traveling musicians.
Just past the half-way point entire band left the stage and emerged on a raised platform at the back of the amphitheater to sing a few of their more slow numbers which delighted fans and caused more than a few to disobey Schultz’s no cell phone rule.
The highlight of the night was “Stubborn Love,” a lyrically confessional song of loss underscored by Pekarek’s haunting cello and Schultz’s earnest, street performer voice that ratchets up in key moments so that when he sings, “it’s better to feel pain than nothing at all,” you believe him.
They closed the show, not with one of their hits, but rather, “The Big Parade,” a livelier and more loosened-up offering than the album version, lowering the chandeliers, employing hand claps, foot stomps, and gospel call and response that had even the barefoot piano player dancing atop his upright.
Album Review: The Avett Brothers - Magpie and the Dandelion
By: Canaan Lamp
8 studio albums, 4 EP’s, and 3 live albums. Sounds like quite a career, right? Now squeeze that into the time period of about 13 years. Even less likely, right? Well, that’s exactly what The Avett Brothers, Seth and Scott Avett, have put together along with their band, steadying forth a long and prosperous career and doing a lot of work in a short period of time, with their blend of folk, Americana, and alternative rock prowess. Studio album #8, Magpie and the Dandelion, comes right on the heels of its 2012 predecessor, The Carpenter, the band’s most successful outing in their career. Produced in 2012, recorded along with The Carpenter legendary producer Rick Rubin, the album should flow a lot like its brother record, right? You would be mistaken.
That’s where the similarities end between the two records. Magpie and the Dandelion is a heavier record than it’s predecessor, and that makes it it’s own album. While all the folk power is still there, but there is a sense of “Hey, let’s freaking rock” on this record that separates it from not only The Carpenter, but the entire Avett catalog all together. This record is possibly the best album the band has ever made. It’s really, really good.
No song on the record rings more true of the heavier-than-thou sense of the album than “Vanity”, the album’s penultimate track. Though opening with a soft piano opening, the band really starts feeling the ruckus with the chorus, bringing in some banging drums and a heavier piano sound. After the second chorus, the rockness really comes in, almost sounding like a heavy metal backdrop, highlighted by unbelievable guitar work that builds to a high point, only to fade out into the calmness of the verse and the dim close. It rocks.
There’s other heavier tunes, too. Album opener “Open Ended Life” has all the sense of a lost The Band outtake, but given a major uplift and given that Avett touch. Single “Another is Waiting” has lots of nice twists and turns that make it flow more like a alternative rock song than a folk rock hero tune. There are plenty of softer songs too that fans of the band will feel familiar with like “Morning Song” and “Bring Your Love to Me”. It’s a nice mix that is easy on the ear, and not making yourself strain too much to get the flow of the music.
Overall, Magpie and the Dandelion is the Avetts at their best, and it makes me wonder why this album wasn’t released first over the somewhat overly poppy, bit-too-commercial The Carpenter. The Avetts have surely won me over here, and it comes highly recommended to check out, even if you’re not a folk fan.
The verdict? Magpie and the Dandelion gets an 8 out of 10.
Magpie and the Dandelion is released on October 15th, this Tuesday, via American Recordings. Pre-orders are ongoing. You can stream the entire album via NPR here.
See the band get funny and sing heavy metal on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon below, then click here to check out a performance of “Vanity” later on the show, as the band was joined on stage by Soundgarden/Audioslave frontman and rock icon Chris Cornell:
Album Review: Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt
By: Canaan Lamp
Legends. Heroes. Innovators. Geniuses.
Those are just a few words that have been used to describe Pearl Jam in the last 22 years, the lifespan of the band that emerged from the ashes of the Seattle legendary band Mother Love Bone, and grew into becoming one of the most popular and most beloved bands of all-time. While the band has had it’s fair share of scrutiny and and downs, the band has never died and has been lifted by one of the most dedicated fan bases in music. From 1991 debut Ten to 2009′s Backspacer, the band’s entire catalog has been beloved.
In comes the band’s 10th studio album, Lightning Bolt, being released on Tuesday (10/15). Lightning Bolt has all the makings of a Pearl Jam record: Mike McCready and Stone Gossard’s unbelievable guitar work, Jeff Ament and Matt Cameron’s smooth-to-scream rhythm section, and of course, frontman Eddie Vedder’s distinct vocals and creative lyric work. While Lightning Bolt doesn’t break any new ground for the band as far as its sound, it proves the band still has its staying power; it’s a creatively consistent record that provides just enough twists and turns to keep your casual Pearl Jam fan interested and your hardcore Pearl Jam fans wanting more.
Two of the more distinctive tracks on the record have already made their way on to scene as singles: the hard-throttling, balls-to-the-wall modern punk anthem “Mind Your Manners” and the smooth crooning, soft and sweet near ballad “Sirens”. “Mind Your Manners” flirts with the band’s old hardcore ways. While some find it more of a calling to 1994′s Vitalogy single, “Spin the Black Circle”, I find it to be also tracking towards 1996′s No Code punk track, “Lukin”. It’s loud, it’s short (longer than “Lukin” and nearly as long as “Spin the Black Circle”), and it’s pure aggression, a quintessential PJ track. “Sirens” is a soft, reflective tune that bottles up Pearl Jam’s softer side and releases it as a calm wash over that is both refreshing and allows Eddie and the rhythm section showcase their abilities. It’s a really beautiful song.
One other song that makes this album solid is the song that comes between these two songs on the album, “My Father’s Son”. “Can I get a reprieve? / This gene pool dark and deep” wails Vedder over the song’s chorus and what I think is one of the best bass performances by Ament in Pearl Jam history. It keeps the energy level high from “Mind Your Manners” and makes for a great segway into “Sirens”. A perfect track from the band.
Overall, the album is great and hardcore fans will be pleased with the effort the band has put into making it. There’s been a lot of criticism of the band since the 90′s but Lightning Bolt continues the band’s post-2000′s upward rise. Let’s just hope Pearl Jam makes their way back to our area for us to hear some of this stuff live.
The verdict: Lightning Bolt gets an 8 out of 10.
Lightning Bolt is available October 15th via Monkeywrench Records. Pre-orders are ongoing. You can stream the album right now for free on iTunes.
Check out the music videos for “Mind Your Manners” here:
Also check out Lightning Bolt, A Short Flim by Danny Clinch, featuring interviews of Pearl Jam from Sleater-Kinney and Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein, former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, director Judd Apatow, and professional surf boarder Mark Richards:
We wanted to share this announcement by our friends Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk:
Friends! We’re so EXCITED to announce new music! We have been writing and recording demos all year, and have come to a point where we need some help to get the final record together, so we are doing a fan funding project. I know lots of people don’t like them, but give us a chance, and watch our video/read our write up to see why we have decided to take this approach.
We took quite a few months to decide to go this route, so we hope you can partner with us on this project, and help us release our next record!
You can watch the campaign video here:
And check out the campaign it’s self here:
If any of you have any questions or input, please feel free to comment here and we’ll answer anything you’d like to know!
Thank you for your support!
Lauren, Zoltan, Jay, Jess, Josh and Hammer.