Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Confirmed to Play: You Won't

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

Confirmed to Our Lineup

OPENING SET AT THE OUTLAW ROADSHOW - Indie musicians Josh Arnoudse and Raky Sastri have been working with each other on theater, film and now music projects for the better part of the last 12 years. The Massachusetts natives formed You Won’t in late 2010, locking themselves in the woods of Littleton, MA during recording of songs Josh had written. Since then, the band has made quite a bit of noise. In February they released their debut, "Skeptic Goodbye on Old Flame Records (Dead Confederate, Mean Creek, Twin Tigers, Alcoholic Faith Mission.

When looking for an opener for the show we wanted something light and uplifting but at the same time capable of really getting people's attention. This is a pretty remarkable effort. We are happy to have them with us - RSVP to The Outlaw Roadshow today. Find out all 19 bands we have on St. Patrick's Day in Austin - and make the plan to attend!

You Won't
Album / Web / Fb / Bc / Tw
on Old Flame Records

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

At the Movies: BULLHEAD

Our Film Review
by Chris Fullerton

Official US Opener
Last Week in Austin, TX
- now in select theatres

Imagine The Godfather was set in Belgium and was about cattle farmers. That’s how I would describe 2012 Oscar-nominated film, Bullhead. It’s a simplistic analogy, I suppose, but if it’s enough to motivate someone to see a film they have to read, (the film is in French and Dutch, but is subtitled), then I’ll accept that.

PLOT OF THE FILM - At the heart of the movie is Limburg cattle farmer, Jacky Vanmarsenille, a behemoth of a man, fueled by testosterone and a buried rage. Jacky is enticed into a deal with a notorious beef trader by a veterinarian who is peddling illegal bovine hormones. Through sheer coincidence, the deal also involves a figure from Jacky’s past, police informant Diederik Maes. The appearance of Diederik triggers memories from Jacky’s childhood that lead him down a path of self-destruction.

The murder of a federal policeman makes Jacky hesitant to follow through with the proposed deal with the so-called “hormone mafia,” so he struggles to extricate himself and his family from the situation while also chasing down his inner demons. Diederik, who feels he owes a debt to Jacky, tries to shield the Vanmarsenille family from the police scrutiny that they’ve fallen under. Throw into the mix Jacky’s growing obsession with a beautiful woman connected to the trauma from his childhood and you have the perfect recipe for a complex thriller.

SPELLBINDING - It’s hard to talk about Bullhead without giving away the details that make the movie so riveting the first time you watch it. It is both a crime-drama and an emotionally-intense character study. It offers a glimpse into a world I never knew existed, the illegal hormone trade, which is set up much like our idea of the mafia. I’m not sure if, at first glance, it would be appealing to the mass-American audience, as many people seem skeptical of foreign films, but anyone who truly loves the medium of film should see this movie. There are no big name stars, (Well, they might be huge stars in Europe, I have no idea, but not here in the US.), but the performances are commanding and powerful. Matthias Schoenaerts turn as Jacky is a career-defining performance. The film is beautifully shot and directed by first-time filmmaker Michael R. Roskam, with a never-ending thread of tension that runs throughout.

I can only anticipate a watered-down American version at some point, as it’s just too powerful a story not to be exploited by Hollywood. Do yourself a favor, find a theater that’s showing it and settle in for one of the best films of the year.

They're in: Kasey Anderson and the Honkies

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

Confirmed to Our Lineup

Always jamming, working, recording and tweaking, Kasey Anderson and the Honkies could be one of America's hardest working bands. Over the last three years the Portland songwriting outfit have created a series of live recordings + cover albums and two of the countries best efforts: Heart of A Dog (RSL Best of 2011 list * my #2 record of the year) and Nowhere Nights (RSL Best of 2010 list). Turns out, people were listening..

A run of shows last year with their friends in Counting Crows, some high-end recordings and the whole world's taking note of these shack shakers. One of my very favorite acts in the USA right now. We are delighted to bring them back to an Austin stage in front of hundreds of their new best friends. Won't you join us? This is going to be really big fun.

Albums / Web / My / Fb / Tw

Monday, February 27, 2012

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Confirmed to Play:
The Outlaw Roadshow
Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

We add the Chicago Soul Kings!

"JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound describe themselves as a post-punk soul band, but their sound is so much more expansive than that. Uptown Sound is on par with soul musicians from the heyday of the genre’s popularity." --Paste Magazine

Born in the great melting pot of Chicagoʼs Uptown neighborhood in 2007, guitarist Billy Bungeroth, drummer Kevin Marks, and bassist Ben Taylor (Beat Down Sound/September Sessions soundtrack) joined forces with the Lowdown Horns to lay a ferocious foundation for the soulful shouts of Mr. JC Brooks. The son of a Jersey funk diva set adrift by the disco era, heʼs renowned for his take-no-prisoners stage style, giving you no other option than to get up and move!

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound (JCBUS) has always maintained the work ethic of never just ‘giving a concert’ but putting on a full-on extravaganza packed with theatricality, tons of heart, and buckets of sweat—they can’t help it: Guitarist Billy Bungeroth directs at the famed Second City theater, while Brooks has received accolades as an actor for his performances in “Ragtime,” and most recently, the Chicago production of the Tony-award winning musical, “Passing Strange” (where his band mates also served as the on-stage house band).

The Uptown Sound has shared stages and supported an eclectic array of artists, from legends like Robert Plant and Buddy Guy, to indie faves Peter Bjorn & John, Wilco and the Dismemberment Plan, and soul stirrers Fitz & the Tantrums, Lee Fields, and Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens—proving that no matter who they share the bill with, JCBUS can make any stage feel like home.

JCBU@ the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival

"Want More" (live)

JC Brooks has a few select appearances set in Austin during SxSW 2012. We couldn't be happier to bring one of this country's finest live acts to The Outlaw Roadshow on March 17th. They join a free, seven-hour lineup of bands. RSVP today! Plan to spend the day with us - the music never stops!

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound
Album / Web / Fb / Tw

Confirmed to Play: Runaway Dorothy

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

Confirmed to play our lineup!

pictured: Dave Parnell, lead singer of Runaway Dorothy

Runaway Dorothy is a band that wears its heart on its sleeve while proudly brandishing the foot-tapping, ear-pleasing sensibilities of its southern roots. Runaway Dorothy possesses both the assurance of seasoned performers as well as the charm of four boys genuinely excited to be doing the thing they truly love.

The origins of Runaway Dorothy can be traced back 5 years as a no name side project of another band. At the time, Dave Parnell was a keyboardist in a band that did not need or want another songwriter. It wasn’t until Dave met North Carolina’s own Ryan Adams of Whiskeytown by chance, that he garnered the confidence to quit the band and pursue his own music. Just like Bob Dylan’s life changing moment when gorgeous George Wagner told him “You’re making it come alive”, Dave Parnell got his life changing moment and he was finally able to make his music come alive.

After receiving much attention for their critically acclaimed debut album, THE ARC, Runaway Dorothy is set to release their sophomore album tilted THE WAIT on June 19, 2012.

Runaway Dorothy
Web / Fb / Tw

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ruth Moody

Thoughts on Shows

Review Notes: Jan 26, 2012
The Greystones Sheffield, UK

Ruth Moody of The Wailin' Jennys

Ruth Moody - Travellin' Shoes

Better known to most as one third of Winnipeg trio The Wailin’ Jennys, Australian-born, Canadian-raised Ruth Moody struck out on a solo tour of the UK last month. After a decade in the Jennys, preceded by a folk apprenticeship of sorts in Canadian/Celtic folk-rock band Scruj MacDuhk, Moody released her first full-length solo album The Garden in the summer of 2010. It’s a pleasing album with a few standout tracks, but I have long suspected that they’d benefit from being played live. With the Jennys on hiatus once more, the Ruth Moody Band could venture ‘cross the sea...

The Ruth Moody Band's UK & Ireland Tour

THE TOUR - Accompanied by three musicians she referred to as her “man-boys”, the Ruth Moody Band formed a compact but powerful ensemble. Appearing to revel in the novelty of touring with male company again (the Wailin’ Jennys being an all-female affair), there were countless moments of beautiful interaction. Moody’s irrepressible smile made it all the more enjoyable to watch. Each player pulled their weight and matched their leader in multi-instrumental virtuosity. Adam Dobres, nominally an electric guitarist, also played acoustic guitar and mandolin, fiddler Adrian Dolan also played viola, mandolin and accordion and Sam Howard moved from bowed to plucked upright bass to fit the mood and sang the lion’s share of the harmonies.

STRENGTH OF VOICE - Moody’s voice is a potent instrument, and it’s a pleasure to hear a singer who can translate to a tiny room like the Greystones and still sound fantastic. Up close and personal, her soprano is smooth, airy and effortless, and the sensation I got from The Garden of her being liberated by the solo setting was borne out live. She spent most of the night playing acoustic guitar in her usual elegant fashion, but moved occasionally to banjo when the song demanded it, picking up an accordion for one song. At one point in the second half she stepped back and allowed Adrian Dolan to take the lead while she picked up a bodhran to accompany him on a set of four jigs. Dolan’s ability to move from trad Irish to Cape Breton tunes without missing a beat was impressive, and Ruth looked like she loved every minute of Dolan’s moment in the spotlight.

THE GARDEN - We heard most of the songs from The Garden plus a few of her Jennys songs ("Glory Bound" and the ever-lovely "Heaven When We’re Home," certainly the only song I know of extolling the virtues of soaking in hotel bathtubs over searching for love) and a couple of choice covers. Standout album track "Travelin’ Shoes" gained a newly triumphal edge with this band; the elegant honesty of a band 4000 miles from home singing a song of the road drove it to new heights. Throughout, the band were sympathetic to the songs, with Dobres’ electric guitar particularly potent; he wrenched notes from a well-travelled Telecaster that I’d have sworn were coming from a pedal steel if I didn’t know better, glorious Jerry Donahue-like bends and lovely volume-pedal swells that blended with the bowed strings of Dolan and Howard to form an impromptu string section. They could move from the symphonic to the syncopated with apparent ease, swapping viola for mandolin and swinging an old-time groove behind Moody’s banjo.

If her cover of Richard Thompson’s “Waltzing’s for Dreamers” showed exquisite taste, her encore of the traditional sea shanty Bold Riley (in what one can only imagine was a somewhat more delicate manner than your average sailor) showed an uncommon understanding of the British folk scene that has so embraced her in recent weeks.

Moody and her band left a sold-out crowd at the Greystones amazed and sated by a perfectly weighted and good-humoured set. Catch her if you can.

Ruth Moody
Album / Web / Fb / Tw

Confirmed to Play: Hey Marseilles

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!


Hey Marseilles - To Travels & Trunks
photos by Haley Young

The Hey Marseilles sound is immediate, evocative, mostly acoustic, always emotive. It's classically-trained brothers Sam and Jacob Anderson on cello and viola, their strings grand and mournful on To Travels and Trunks' sweeping title track. It's the wheeze and moan of Philip Kobernik's accordion, simultaneously the gawkiest and most romantic of all instruments, opening the gorgeous "From a Terrace," and his kid-at-a-carnival Rhodes on the 6/8 spin of "Gasworks." It's Nick Ward's electric guitar on the epic "Calabasas," stretching into the distance like an open road. It's the Dixieland swagger of Patrick Brannon's trumpet on uptempo lead single "Rio”—recently Song of the Day at NPR,, and KEXP. It's a songwriter's urgent expression via vocalist Matt Bishop, expanded with huge singalong choruses, unraveled by a virtuoso band's sinuous arrangements. It's modern vintage, a folk-pop jam session at a vanished cabaret on the Seine, an indie rocker's fantasy of his grandparents' first kiss.

By developing this sound—a process captured on To Travels and Trunks—Hey Marseilles discovered that the band isn't any one of these things but all of them. And none of them, too: When Hey Marseilles headlined a holiday party at Neumo's in Seattle, nobody expected MC Thomas Grey of local party-hop outfit Champagne Chamgpagne to spit a few bars over a Christmas-song medley, but there he was, and somehow it made sense. Just like the inclusion of their cover of Daniel Johnston’sTrue Love Will Find You in the End” in the Starbucks-compiled Sweetheart 2010. Moments like that—and more, during Hey Marseilles' headlining slots at local clubs and winning appearances at major Northwest festivals like Bumbershoot, Capitol Hill Block Party, Doe Bay Fest—keep fans guessing while rendering them true believers.

THE OUTLAW ROADSHOW - We are so happy to have Hey Marseilles with us in Austin on March 17th. They join a lineup packed with talent both known and unknown to our readers. The goal here is to provide fans in Austin with an unparalleled free music experience. We have seven hours to deliver that show you to you on three stages. RSVP now at We are limited to legal capacity. Arrive at noon to guarantee access.

"Hey Marseilles are favorites of mine... Their music is just so beautiful and unexpectedly uplifting. So gifted, they make it all look so easy! An amazing live act - you do not want to miss this." - Ryan Spaulding

Hey Marseilles
Web / Myspace / Twitter / Acoustic

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Confirmed to Play: Foreign Fields

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

introducing... Foreign Fields

ELECTRO FOLK FROM WISCONSIN - Foreign Fields is an electronic folk duo that hails from the wintry plains of Wisconsin. New Years day of last year they met in their hometown, in an abandoned office building, to begin work on their first full length LP "Anywhere But Where I Am". Having no set plan or guide, the album grew naturally as they left their lives in Chicago for hot summer days, skipping stones in the rivers of Tennessee.

They self-released their album January first of this year and it has since gone on to receive considerable attention and praise without any outside help. In the upcoming months, Flights will be releasing a short film for each of the 13 tracks on their album as well as releasing a supplemental instrumental EP.

* Editor's post script - Shortly after playing our show in Austin, the band-formerly known as Flights, changed it's name to Foreign Fields.

Foreign Fields have a few, very select appearances set in Austin during SxSW. We couldn't be happier to add this most promising new act to The Outlaw Roadshow on March 17th. There they will join an amazing, free lineup of 19 bands. RSVP today! Plan to spend the full seven hours. The music never stops!

Foreign Fields
Album / Fb / Tw

Friday, February 24, 2012

Confirmed to Play: Filligar

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

Look at who we signed up!

FILLIGAR are set to play for us again! - Readers who have followed us and watched us grow the last few years will now what a strong relationship we have with this act, real Powerhouse of Chicago rock, who recently took Europe by storm. We've had the band play our last two big shows (last year in Austin and in NY) and we look forward to having "One of the Best Live Acts in America" back with us again. If you have never seen this band play, do not miss this set. If you have seen this band before, you already realize that missing their set really isn't an option. Highly Recommended fare - and for free, only at The Outlaw Roadshow!

One of the Best Live Acts in America today!

Filligar - "Knock Yourself Out" / "Dead Wrong"

Confirmed to Play: Jukebox the Ghost

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

SxSW photo taken 3/18/11 in Austin, TX

Another very early invitation for The Outlaw Roadshow went out to Jukebox the Ghost. The band with Philly/D.C. blood have been a perennial favorite of mine for years now. It's been great to see the band grow and become the band's band they are. The trio have influenced the direction of indie pop and rock on the East Coast for years now. When I put together the "From Behind These Keys" all-piano bands show in Boston in 2009 , I was really thinking about celebrating the Jukebox the Ghost sound.

Jukebox have two albums you need to add to your record collection right away; "Live and Let Ghosts" (2008) is an influential, important indie rock debut. "Everything Under the Sun" (2010) proved to me that the band was not only on the right track, but were filled with new ideas which spilled out in multimedia...

I guess this is where you find out my real motives for doing big festival shows - it allows me to do the show I want and to work with amazing talent that I would otherwise might not even encounter, let alone add to a live bill. Make sure you come early, catch the harmonies and keyboards - get hooked by the live show. Jukebox the Ghost are amazing and we are just delighted to have them with 18 other live acts on St. Patrick's Day. Don't arrive late, we can't guarantee entry once the venue fills. Keep coming back every day to see more confirmed bands get announced.

SxSW photo taken 3/20/10 in Austin, TX

Jukebox the Ghost
Web / My / Fb / Tw

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Confirmed to Play: Son of the Sun

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

Confirmed to Our Lineup

19 Bands, 19 Bands, 19 Bands. It sounds like so many but ultimately, when you are exposed to so much greatness and are blessed with first class, friendly access... It is with a huge smile on my face I announce we have invited Buffalo, NY's stellar Sun of the Sun to play The Outlaw Roadshow in Austin this St. Patrick's Day. Take a listen. I love what they do - that musical texture... it's place-setting, and they're exceedingly good at it. That's why this was the very first band to be accepted to play this party this year. "Truth." Get to know this band!

Son of the Sun
Web / My / Fb / Tw

Confirmed to Play: Brown Bird

Austin, TX - Saturday 3/17
19 Acts & Completely Free!

Confirmed to Our Lineup

BROWN BIRD's reputation proceeds them when it comes to New England folk music today. They've been stalwarts in the Portland, ME and Providence, RI scenes since David Lamb switched coasts in 2005, with a rotating cast of multi-instrumentalists. On 2009's The Devil Dancing, the songs shows off Lamb's deep, bluesy vocals and should be a prep for what they'll come up with next, as their recorded talent begins to match up with their energetic live performances. (They were simply outstanding at Newport Folk last year.) Salt for Salt, Brown Bird's latest - was released by Supply & Demand Music (home to Dark Dark Dark, Vandaveer, etc), and it showcases the band at their very best.

We couldn't be happier to have Brown Bird with us this year in Austin. If you are going to find yourself at SxSW, you simply catch them on The Outlaw Roadshow lineup on Saturday 3/17 amongst some really amazing company.

Brown Bird - Bilgewater
Nina Mashurova photo

3/8 - Chapel Hill, NC - Pinhook^
3/9 - Savannah, GA - Savannah Stopover Fest
3/13-17 - SxSW
3/17 - The Outlaw Roadshow in Austin, TX
3/18 - San Antonio, TX - Big Spill Fest
3/29 - Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall*
3/30 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant*
3/31 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant*
4/1 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom*
4/2 - El Reno (Oklahoma City), OK - Centre Theater
4/4 - Oxford, MS - The Lyric*
4/5 - New Orleans, LA - House Of Blues*
4/6 - Austin, TX - Stubb's*
4/7 - Dallas, TX - House Of Blues*
4/10 - Flagstaff, AZ - Orpheum Theater*
4/11 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot*
4/12 - Stateline, NV - Montbleu Resort*
4/13 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore*
4/14 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore*
4/17 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's*
4/18 - Arcata, CA - Arcata Theater*
4/19 - Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater*
4/20 - Bend, OR - Midtown Ballroom*
4/21 - Seattle, WA - Showbox*
5/16 - Lawrence, KS - Granada**
5/19 - Salt Lake City, UT - The Depot**
5/21 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern**
5/22 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Music Box**
5/25 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ball Room**
5/26 - Vancouver, BC - Vogue**
^ w/ Phil Cook of Megafaun
* supporting Yonder Mountain String Band
** supporting Trampled By Turtles
*** supporting The Devil Makes Three

Brown Bird at Newport Folk

photos by Emma Dessau

Brown Bird
Albums / Web / Fb / My / Tw

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Heartless Bastards - Arrow

A Best of 2012 Selection
This One You Need to Own

"The Best New Album I've Heard in Six Months."

There is something fundamentally right with singer Erika Wennestrom's delivery. Sometimes the words bounce from her mouth playfully, but make no mistake - this is no pop band. "Fiery" is just as apt descriptive for her delivery and songwriting. Much of what we hear on the new one "Arrow" is a band's evolution into a state of excellence. Heartless Bastards have certainly released the best record of their lives to date, (Partisan Records, in stores now).

Long time fans will recall previous efforts were trumpeted for offering up hooky efforts mixed with bluesy-rock numbers. After about two dozen listens to this record, yes - this is my favorite record to have emerged in the last six months, those hooks and roots sounds are all one and the same. From start to finish this is a winning effort. A series of songs, better than those that preceded it - all meant to be played before live audiences.

Thoughts on a Few of these Remarkable Songs...

Parted Ways is the lead single and an instant classic. The band stirred up noise for "Arrow" by pre-releasing the track a few weeks back. It's classic HBs - emotional but restrained, ascending, visceral and sensitive. Like most Heartless Bastards songs, even the most wild frenetic ones, there's a restrained gentile quality. Think of it as southern hospitality, if you will, which keeps the thing in check. Not quite sure how to best qualify this character of their songs, but it's there.

One of my favorite tracks on "Arrow" is the fast-burner, Simple Feeling, a song that really lets Wennerstrom exercise her distinctive voice like an instrument on stage. It's not a complicated or involved track but perfect for driving in the car. (I know this, trust me.)

The album opener, Marathon, is a slow, staid celebration of the road that got the Bastards to where they find themselves with "Arrow." The song is so insightful and appropriate, I have to wonder if it was recorded near the end of the process and elected to the open the record for this reason.

The Americana fan in me has grown the last three years to the point where my passion for roots music allows us to champion all kinds of unexpected new acts. This is old hat, of course, to Heartless Bastards. On Low Low Low, Erika and the band return for a run at a low twangy original which is recorded so precisely (it's an amazing recording with exceptional production values) that I looked around to find the band the first few times this one played. You have to go back and look at Delta Spirit's "Ode to Sunshine" (2007, re-released in 2008) to find something quite as magical.

Probably the most unexpected songs for me (and pleasantly so) on "Arrow" was the Seventies Pop Soul sound I heard from the band on Only For You. This understated slice of sunshine is pure gold. Favorable comparisons to AM & Shawn Lee's "Celestial Electric" (2011) and AM's solo predecessor, "Future Sons & Daughters" (2009).

Down in the Canyon, is the record's champion to the dark and ethereal world of guitar. Ranging and emotive, Wennerstrom's howl matches the wail of the guitars. The ghosts of Sabbath and Zeppelin swirl in the skies above like smoke above a fire. This is rock bliss!

It's possible that after years of touring and preparing for this moment in time together, Heartless Bastards could be the best rock band in America today. You'll not hear an argument from me.

Heartless Bastards
Web / Fb / Tw / Photos

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The NEW Jack White

Modern Music Spectacle
Get Ready Folks It's Coming

New Album "Blunderbuss" is out April 23rd

1. Missing Pieces
2. Sixteen Saltines
3. Freedom At 21
4. Love Interruption
5. Blunderbuss
6. Hypocritical Kiss
7. Weep Themselves To Sleep
8. I'm Shakin'
9. Trash Tongue Talker
10. Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy
11. I Guess I Should Go To Sleep
12. On And On And On
13. Take Me With You When You Go

Jack White appears on Saturday Night Live on March 3rd

Jack White
Third Man / Fb / Tw

Sharon Van Etten

Sings from the Soul.
Someone You Should Know

Your Wake Up Call - A Sharon Van Etten song can begin as softly, as innocuously as a leaf tumbling down a grassy hill. I listen to her words this cool morning standing inside a window, peering out on a world that's just then waking up. I am not alone.. Van Etten has a chilling ability to seemingly be in the room with her listener. In so many ways her newest; "Tramp" (a record I only just recently found the time to sit down and listen to) is a beautiful reminder that truth and good company can be waiting for you after each bend in the road.

Words Fail Me - I could sling complimentary and ambiguous terms at Sharon's songs all day, "uplifting", "ethereal", "heartening", "soul-filled", "sensitive", but none of these can replace the magic that comes from self-discovery. Regardless of where you are reading this from there are some immediate ways to accomplish this...

This Week - In Boston, you can make plans to attend Van Etten's Thursday night show 2/13/12 at The Paradise. I can't imagine there are an abundance of tickets remaining. (Perhaps you should act soon?) Then there are the rest of you who must be content with the album but this is no consolation prize. You will find, as I have, that with Sharon's music, you will never be in solitary confinement. This experiment has been thoroughly proved out. You can thank me later..

photo by Kristianna Smith

Sharon Van Etten

Monday, February 20, 2012

Arcadian Kicks

Bands You Need to Know
by Tim Osbourne

UK SOUNDS - The Arcadian Kicks are a revelation in alternative music. The British-based outfit sit at the very cutting edge of indie-pop music with driving lyrics, haunting guitar riffs and an energetic live set. Led by lead-singer Rebecca Wilson, their sound is dark and yet catchy enough to be grabbing the attention of the mainstream in the UK.

Having signed to One Beat Records recently, the label owned by The Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes, they've been fortunate enough to earn stage-time at Wynchwood Festival as part of BBC Introducing in the past as well as playing Isle Of Wight Festival several times over the last five years.

Turning the Page - Having been on the British scene for the last few years, in 2011 The Kicks took the decision to stop gigging for six months to discover and develop a new sound that ended up bearing resemblance to early Fleetwood Mac mixed with the raw city sounds that have become a trademark in their hometown of Birmingham, UK.

This new material was produced by Mike Chapman (Blondie). The first track 'You Play The Girl', is atmospherically dark and catchy indie-pop crossover that marked their return to the scene with airplay on national radio across the country.

It's now being followed by The Arcadian Kicks' latest release, I Wanna Take You Home, which is as edgy as it is current with the band leaning more towards influences like The Horrors and Sonic Youth. The cranked reverb and echoing guitars make for a great new sound that aims to catch new ears.

The following video barely features the band, instead depicting the late night antics of British youth, with a 'girl meets guy' theme choc-full of one-night-stands, smoking and alcohol abuse. Nevertheless it's both sexually charged and very reflective of the sound that The Arcadian Kicks have become known for on the national scene.

One to Watch in 2012 - With multiple tour dates coming up in March the band look to be taking their new sound nationwide, but only time will tell whether their indie-pop sound will capture the imagination of the mainstream national stage.

The Arcadian Kicks
Web / Blog / Fb /Tw

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rick Berlin's trip to see the Degas Nudes

From the Mailbag
The World of Music & Art

So, here's the deal. I can't begin to listen to, digest or publish everything we receive. About once a week in 2012, I will be randomly opening new mail and so long as the stuff is potentially of interest to our music-crazed audiences, we'll publish it. This week, we share the public thoughts of Boston's pre-eminent creative black sheep singer-songwriter Rick Berlin. Berlin took in the Degas Nudes exhibit before it ended at the MFA Boston earlier this month. His thoughts, more poetic reflection really, were published this morning, appearing in our inbox...

"went to the MFA yesterday to see the degas nude exhibit. hurtled through. became weary of looking at women's backs and bath tubs. did become aware, however, that i was scoping out the boys. those alone, with girlfriends, moms and dads. they would be lost or pretending to be lost in a painting as i was lost in them. museums are weird...

the sweat of the artist hung convincingly although dryly it seemed on careful walls when i would prefer to live with them in my house - an impossibility given the price tag on the long dead. thus the turmoil and joy of the artist winds up on perfect walls for all of us to visit. a good thing of course, even if still not cheap. $20 a pop for a senior. how reverently quiet the slow moving line was around the exhibit. tense eyebrows, flickering looks, attempts at 'getting' what they see.

like myself, i presume they imagine the painter zeroing in on the whore in the tub, a boner boning out of his flouncy drawers, many thoughts zinging around in his brain as he cuts sharp dark lines on the edge of a calf, a torso, a tit. staring at her with respect and desire. he must be, right? as i stare with equal respect at the boy, slightly behind his father, who is partly bored, elsewhere in his head, or strangely aware of the stranger nearby who is staring at him with the intensity of a bird dog."

unexpected poetry // Rick Berlin

I definitely appreciate Berlin's uniqueness. It's an odd compliment, I realize, so I'll clarify the statement. Consider that he has a beautiful mind but there's also something to be celebrated in how particularly different the individual is in light of the sameness in our society. Berlin certainly stands out among his peers here in the Boston Arts community.

Berlin released "Paper Airplane" a couple of years back and we put it on our Best of 2010 List. I actually think it was the best album to come out of Boston that year and some of you paid the proper attention. For those who are being exposed today for the very first time, I encourage you to listen..

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tijuana Sweetheart - Under the Gun

New Music this Week
the Boston Rock Report

Boston has seen its music scene thrive and then die off only to be revived like some Dr. Frankenstein experiment. It's seen the volume up loud for rock acts and then over the course of the last five years, the scene has rapidly changed from a rock-centric scene where punk's legacy roamed in our veins to an alt-country and folk hotbed. Here and there sprinklings of experimental indie bands and keyboard bands have emerged to change our sonic landscape. Rock is hard to kill off and this is after all, Boston. If nothing else, an all-girl punk rock band could help re-ignite our collective spirits.

There's much to like on Tijuana Sweetheart's "Under the Gun" (self-released today 2/18) - the band buck the trend of acts going lighter and provide a powerful and creative model for a new generation of girl bands (is there such a thing anymore?) I find I'm drawn to both their creative, sexual energy and their indomitable will to make the record they want and, well, fuck off if you don't like it. We live in a far too PC world these days. I'm just glad I'm in a place in which such efforts can be celebrated at full volume and with stage makeup to match.

Tonight at Great Scott - Tijuana Sweetheart unleash this fierce record. They'll find themselves in the midst of a volume-friendly, hard rockin' set with The Ducky Boys (also have a new album!), Hudson Falcons, and Energy. FACEBOOK RSVP (21+ $12, omg a Rush reference?) Maybe there is hope for rock's future. Tonight, we go out with a bang with Tijuana Sweetheart! Bring a few bucks and walk away with the record.

Tijuana Sweetheart
Albums / Web / Fb / Bc / Tw

Langhorne Slim - Beautiful Freaks

This Just Floated In...
Uploaded Just Hours Ago!


Langhorne Slim
Web / Fb / Tw / My

Friday, February 17, 2012

One to Watch - BABESHADOW

Bands You Need to Know
by Tim Osbourne

INTRODUCING - Babeshadow are renegades; an anti-modernist calypso-pop outfit that fits perfectly into the London indie scene… they're letting the music speak for itself.

This means, shocking as it is given the current state of the music industry, no Twitter updates to let fans know what they're eating for breakfast, no synths or even guitar effects peddles feature in their Buddy Holly inspired music.

But despite shrugging off new media technologies and being relatively new to the scene, the Babeshadow duo of Tom Cawte and David Thornley have already signed with LuvLuvLuv Records, toured with Florence and the Machine and played live at Maida Vale as part of BBC Introducing.

Cawte, lead singer, is almost always wearing a vest or suit jacket that looks as though it may have been reformed from your nan's curtains, whilst guitarist Thornley has an obvious penchant for Pete Doherty-style headgear. Their fresh, laid-back style of guitar plucking and rudimentary accordion backings makes their new EP fresh enough to stand-out from the crowd without becoming part of the 'trying-to-hard' London gimmick-band crowd.

RECOMMENDED MATERIAL - The full-length "Days of Old / For Me" [iTunes] as well as the "Sea Serpants" four-track EP (named after its lead track) [iTunes] demonstrate Babeshadow's propensity to create carefully sculpted summer anthems, neo-love songs filled with harmonies and up-tempo plucky guitar thrashing. The EP is also available, unsurprisingly, on 10" vinyl on the band's website.

The track 'Sea Serpents' has won national airplay here in England and, for reasons that are somewhat unclear, seems to be a hit on many shop playlists in supermarkets and beauty treatment outlets as well. 'For Me' follows suit introducing us to a buzzing accordion sound that compliments the high-pitched electric guitar plucking perfectly, whilst 'Darling' and 'Heart' show a laid-back and more introspective side to the band.

One to Watch in 2012

Web / Fb / Tw

Thursday, February 16, 2012

VIDEO: Baby Baby - Haters

New Music Video
Red Hot from Atlanta

THEY'REEE BACKKK! - Easily the most fun band I have worked with the last two years, Atlanta's Baby Baby are a frenzy of action and movement on stage, their smiles are as contagious as the plague. On tour last year - a journey that would bring BABY BABY to Boston, we learned that the four of them were in the outskirts of Detroit and nearly got busted for stealing a chicken from a farmer there. They intended, evidently, to keep the bird in the van as a pet on tour. (The chicken landed back in the hands of it's rightful owner and no charges were pressed but I can't help but feel the bird missed out.) Baby Baby made it to Boston for the show and just demolished our audiences.

Then we partied for hours in a hotel without the police being called. Good times. Things don't slow down - at least we hope they don't - when you are this good. Tall Tales aside, this is somebody you need to know. I really wish they had been able to be in Texas for our show at SxSW because they would have most definitely been invited on to the bill.

ABOUT THE VIDEO - Today's masterpiece was directed by Terence RUSHin (the same talented filmmaker who gave us "Kidz" (Watch It!) and production team Chasing Squirrelz.
* No Children were harmed in the making of this video! Enjoy.

Baby Baby
Fb / Rn / My / Tw

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

New Movie Trailer

COMING ATTRACTION - Abraham Lincoln is one of those legendary presidents, the kind future leaders compare themselves to, assuming they want to be epic. After all, the guy’s face is on the side of a goddamn mountain. That’s pretty much as good as it gets. Known for his solid values and high moral ground, earning him the nickname “Honest Abe.” He led our nation through one of its most challenging times - the American Civil War, as brother was turned against brother... And apparently in Lincoln's spare time, he kicked the shit out of vampires.

STAKING OUT THE FILM - At least that’s the theory of Tim Burton’s newest project, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”Based on the 2010 mashup novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, this film tells the heretofore unknown tale of the 16th president of the United States and his quest for vengeance after vampires murdered his grandfather and his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln... Having been driven out of Europe, the bloodsuckers now eye the United States as their new smorgasbord, and only one man and his axe can save the day.

Benjamin Walker stars as the axe-wielding vampire-killing protagonist

SINKING OUR TEETH INTO THIS ONE - Directed by Timur Bekmambetov and starring Benjamin Walker as Honest Abe himself, the trailer for this film (which I’ve watched about a hundred times) begins with a Johnny Cash song over a heavy, moody background and music. We see the tombstone of Abe’s beloved mother, and a few scenes of him dueling with the undead. Lincoln displays some ninja-like skills with his trademark axe, and from what I’ve seen, his quest for revenge has taken its toll on him.

Oh, and there’s a scene with him running across a burning train and cutting down a tree in one swing. Yes sir, this film stays true to history. The trailer for this just launched this week, but you’ll need to wait until June 22 to catch the whole movie. Look for me in the front row.

Opens on June 22nd.

imdb / rotten tomatoes

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hopeful Romantics Show in Boston

Going Out Tonight
Valentine's Day Edition!

Tonight in the City

The Dig's Ms. Hilary Hughes will be reading audience love notes, live on stage. To send your sweetheart / spouse / secret crush / friend / drinking buddy and/or date of the hour a Valentine's message, please email a short note (less than a minute to read) to Please include the 'to' and 'from' that should be read with the note - pet names and secret admirers are encouraged! We'll also be accepting hand-written love notes at the event, so be prepared to write your heart out.

Eva Walsh - Excuse Me

Magen Tracy - Everytime She Leaves

Steph Barrak- Painted Face

8:30pm: Steph Barrak & Eva Walsh
9:30pm: Laura DiStasi (Brooklyn, of the band Measure)
10:30pm: kayln rock (Upstate New York, full band)
11:30pm: Magen Tracy & The Missed Connections

hosted by Hilary Hughes of DigBoston

O'Brien's Pub
3 Harvard Avenue Allston-Rock-City, MA

$7 cover, 21+