Thursday, August 23, 2007

Concert Review: Modest Mouse and Band of Horses

Well, I unfortunately was denied a pass for my camera to the concert at Coyote's in Louisville, so don't be looking here for any sweet pics. I can, however, provide you with a run-down of some of the highlights from the concert.

Band of Horses

In the midst of many a "Nature Boy" Rick Flair "WHOOOO," Bridwell won over a crowd who mostly showed up for Modest Mouse. They opened with a new song, one that I didn't catch the name of, and followed that up with "The Great Salt Lake," my favorite BOH song. They also played "Ode to the LRC," with a full band. After a few songs, "Our Swords," "Weed Party," "Monsters," and a few others, the band closed with "The Funeral." The crowd loved it enough that Bridwell decided to play a new song from the new album. It was a rather lively song, with lots of honky-tonk piano, and it has me quite excited for the release. Band of Horses has really put together what seems like a solid sound with this new album, and has broadened out their tour roster it seems.

Modest Mouse

Opening up at 9:40 with "Invisible," Modest Mouse had an incredible two hour setlist, the entirety of which I could not keep up with. Highlights included "Bukowski," "Satin In A Coffin," and an (incredible) extended "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes." I had some trouble placing some of the songs, as they played from their entire catalog. I did hear "Trailer Trash" in the midst of some of the newer songs. Off the new CD, my favorite was most definitely "Missed the Boat," and Brock let loose on "Fire It Up." In fact, he kept his techs ridiculously busy keeping his gear straight (especially his mics; I think those fell/were thrown into the crowd multiple times). Brock is a great frontman, and his energy can be near-intimidating at times. Of course, the crowd (and I) loved both "Dashboard" and "Float On" near the end of the set. For the encore, they pulled out a near fifteen minute version of "Spitting Venom" that didn't seem overkill to the crowd at all.

I was rather disappointed in the venue change. Sure, Coyote's has a great atmosphere, and alcohol, but it ironically keeps the crowd separated from the bands with terrible visibility, and a dance floor front and center (with only 500 persons allowed). They had projection screens set up, but a place that small needing projectors should clue you into the problems they have.

UPDATE: Band of Horses has actually released one of the songs from their new album. It's one they played at the concert and I mentioned. It's called "Is There A Ghost".

[mp3] Band of Horses - Is There A Ghost

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hillbilly Hijinks and Hoodwinks

It's that time again. People are filling vacant apartments in Lexington by the hundreds, in preparation for the coming semester. There are even a few people moving into my house, which is great. I've been putting off some updates for far too long, so today brings some wonderful, mostly uncategorizable music. Ranging from true bluegrass, to Americana, to blues and Southern, these bands pull influences from all the great American genres.

The Hackensaw Boys

The Hackensaw Boys are a bluegrass band from Charlottesville, Virginia. Their name is a portmanteau of styles of playing the mandolin and fiddle("Hack" and "Saw"), which in itself is enough to earn them an A in my book. The world can always use more portmanteaus (or is it portmanteaux?). Regardless, the Boys have the old school bluegrass "twang" most newer bands lack. I picked up their most recent album, Look Out, from CD Central, and really couldn't be happier. Most of their music is up-tempo, and their cover of the traditional "Gospel Plow" has some ridiculously fast picking. They are getting ready to stage a European tour this winter, so bluegrass lovers across the way should keep their eyes peeled.

[mp3] The Hackensaw Boys - Jonah

Death By Banjo

Death By Banjo is a collective of learned musicians from Columbus, Ohio, that features prominently in the local scene. Harry over at ThaBombShelter tipped me onto these guys when he uploaded some videos of them playing ComFest '07. They haven't put out any albums or EPs, but they do provide some truly impressive mp3s at their website. Both the quality of the recordings as well as the skill evidenced on them has me eager to see/hear more from these guys. "White Freight Liner" has some great harmonica on it, and comes highly recommended.

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[mp3] Death By Banjo - White Freight Liner

Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band

Dodge over at MOKB has once again unearthed a gem of the local Indianapolis music scene. In continuing the metaphor, Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band would probably be considered "in the rough," but that's the way they should stay. Lo-fi and raw, RPBDB creates a truly unique brand of blues. Commanded by Rev. Peyton's powerful voice, they create a sound that should be impossible from a three piece (I honestly didn't believe there were only three of them). Slide guitar, washboards, and drums combine to create a truly big damn sound. The opening to "That Train Song" creates an almost tactile atmosphere. Of note is their live performance on MOKB's Blog Radio.

[mp3] Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band - That Train Song

The Mountain Firework Company

I have alt-gramma, over at Speed of Dark, to thank for introducing me to The Mountain Firework Company (thanks alt-gramma!). In an ironic twist, these guys play music inspired by Appalachian music, which itself was inspired by the music from their native United Kingdom. You can hear the blending of Irish and Scottish accents on their recordings, and I have to say they fit quite well with a mandolin and banjo. I've got two mp3s of songs off of their CD, and if they were on cassette, they'd be worn out by now. I can't believe these guys haven't been signed yet, so best of luck to them. You can buy their CD at their website (mine should be here soon).

[mp3] The Mountain Firework Company - Down In Love

Thursday, August 2, 2007

It's A Nice Day For An Indie Wedding

This week I am in two weddings: my best friend's, and my brother's. It has me in a rather festive mood, and I'm quite happy for them (and their brides), so to celebrate, I made a list of great wedding songs. If you are at the reception, you might get to hear some of them.

  1. Alexi Murdoch - All My Days
  2. Bright Eyes - First Day Of My Life
  3. The Beatles - In My Life
  4. Jack Johnson - Do You Remember
  5. Aimee Mann & Michael Penn - Two Of Us
  6. Coldplay - Til Kingdom Come
  7. Ben Folds - The Luckiest
  8. Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats
  9. Smashing Pumpkins - Landslide
  10. Ian Love - The Only Night
  11. Rolling Stones - Wild Horses (acoustic)
  12. The Beatles - I Will
  13. David Gray - The One I Love
  14. Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into the Dark
  15. Faces - Ooh La La
  16. The Kinks - This Time Tomorrow
  17. Johnny Cash - Gentle On My Mind
  18. Matt Costa - Sunshine
  19. Nick Drake - Pink Moon

Alternatively, you can download the entire zip file, with playlist, right here.