After a decade spent excelling in hazy melodies, My Morning Jackets' recently released album, Circuital, has managed to catch the attention the attention of music lovers by putting them back on track after their "Evil Urges" detour. Circuital combines their experience with a rediscovered youthful zest.
Although the album was recorded in a makeshift studio carved out of the gymnasium of a local church...according to Rolling Stone, the new record features "trippy keyboards, twisted pop hooks and fuzzed-out guitar attacks," and "feels like the culmination of the sonic adventures the band began with 2005's 'Z' -- while also capturing the power and dynamics that have made MMJ one of the greatest live bands of their generation."
Check out this video of the band performing on Conan - the enjoyably daft Holding on to Black Metal suggests Evil Urges lurks in the band's DNA - but the addition of a teen choir and the horns creates an almost transcendental sound.
One of the things I love most about Madison is its great summer festivals..and now the first one has already come and gone! I had a blast at the Marquette Waterfront Festival, even though it was a little cloudier and windier than I had anticipated. Note to self: how hard is it to throw a sweatshirt in the car?
I'd never seen Robbie Fulks before and was very excited..but have to admit it was not what I expected at all. I missed probably the first half hour..but the songs I heard were not the twisted hard drinking alt-country songs I was expecting. And I certainly didn't think he would cover Michael Jackson (This Girl Is Mine). He did do "Let's Kill Saturday Night," so I had to let him off the hook.
I didn't really pay attention to the Campbell Brothers..although I could tell they were very talented musicians and singers. I guess I just wasn't in the mood for gospel.
The Bottle Rockets did not disappoint. Totally balls to the wall alt-country/rock and roll. They did most of the songs I was hoping for, including Radar Gun, I'll Be Comin' Around, and of course..Radar Gun.
I can't wait for the next summer neighborhood festival. I'll keep ya posted!
Arcade Fire captured the attention of the entire mass of 100,000+ people Friday night.
15 minutes before they took the stage, faces turned up to the sky as around 7 parachutists trailed what looked like pounds of glitter on top of the audience.Â Shouts of awe rang across the field as what we all thought was glitter started raining down in a random pattern across the sky.Â As it began to get closer, the mystery of the falling objects progressed into further confusion.Â It wasnât glitter â it was something else.Â As I managed to jump up and grab a package, I realized that it was a packet of several bands with different colored blinking lights on them.Â After people connected to lights to either their bodies or a piece of clothing, a gargantuan sea of flashing lights surrounded the main stage.Â
Better yet, Arcade Fireâs energized performance catered to the stereotypical Roo attendee by having a movie screen playing clips/short films behind them that coordinated with the theme of each individual song.Â There were repeating images of people dressed in strange, almost doll-like outfits, a short film of people riding bicycles that looked as if it had been produced in the 70s, & colorful or colorless patterns that was designed to induce a particular feeling as you listened to each individual songâs lyrics.Â You couldnât have walked away if you wanted to.Â It was absolutely magic.Â If you havenât seen Arcade Fire perform live â I would strongly suggest finding out where theyâre touring this summer and buying a ticket, today if not sooner.
*Photo by MusicAllies*
Yesterday at Bonnaroo, you couldnât get a free moment if you tried.Â The lineup was stacked with artists that couldnât be missed, performances that had to be heard.Â Everyone seemed to be enjoying stage hopping in order to hear the wide variety of artists whose performances exceedingly overlapped.Â Hereâs how my day wentâ¦
Ben Sollee 1-2pm
Belafleck & the Flecktones: The Original Line-Up 2-3:15pm
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals 3:15-4:30
Warren Haynes Band 4-5:30pm
The Decemberists 5:30-7
Ray LaMontagne 6:15-7:45pm
Florence + the Machine 6:45-8:15
Bobby Long 8-8:50
Arcade Fire 11-12:30
I had a hard time making decisions â who to see, how long to stay at which performances, & when to eat/sit.Â Straight from Vermont, Grace Potter proved that her music was ârockâ label worthy as thousands of people watched â her voice captured a tone that most singers could not pull off in a controlled manner as she masterfully does herself.Â She also impressed with her guitar skills & simultaneous head banging/luring electric piano playing.Â Â And the Nocturnals entertained with solos from their guitarists + the happiest face that you will ever see from any drummer out there.Â
Ray LaMontagne also mesmerized the crowd with his shy/humble demeanor and calming voice.Â His song choices included several songs off of his recently released album, âGod willinâ and the Creek Donât Rise.âÂ And believe me when I say they are as good live as they are recorded.Â You wouldnât have even been able to point out a discrepancy had he not sang as freely as he did.Â
The highlight of Friday night â the headliner. Arcade Fire, captured the attention of the entire mass of 100,000 people attending Bonnaroo.Â About 15 minutes before they took the stage, something that no one will forget happenedâ¦read on to the next post for the detailsâ¦
Listen to the Ray LaMontagne interview below!
Ray Lamontagne Int
*Pictures taken by MusicAllies and Bonnaroo 2011 Cams*
Itâs the 10th Anniversary of Bonnaroo and you can feel the excitement in the air as people are lining up at the main entrance from the campground.Â The vendors have fully prepped everything and await the arrival of those who forgot to bring the essentials with them â food, beer, sandalsÂ (yes, that happened).Â They know that since the fest itself sold out, theyâre bound to make a killing.Â And they will!Â
I took an hour or so to check out the various stands that were set up â handmade nomadic shoes, hammocks that you can fold into a pouch, hand-crafted jewelry and clothes, itâs all there, and itâs all unique in some fashion.Â Itâs basically the most amazing assortment of gift shops that youâve ever seen.Â
And the food â oh the food! You can find anything and everything there â as long as itâs fried or it doesnât need to be refrigerated.Â So, ya know, almost anything.Â The food ranges from corn dogs to Thai food and your taste buds can be satisfied in under 5 minutes if you so choose.Â Heaven in your mouth? The answer to that question is Yes, YES!
There are 5 large stages â THAT tent, THIS tent, WHAT stage, WHICH stage, & the OTHER tent.Â Last night, the Band of Skulls was the highlight of the 1st day of Bonnaroo.Â They pulled the crowd in with music that made you want to move along with the beat â even if youâre not the dancing kind.Â The crowd was up for anything and everything â they couldnât get enough of it.Â So much so that crowd surfing to the front of the stage became the âITâ thing to do because it was the easiest way to make it through the crowd, which fanned out far beyond the reach of the tent.Â Never having listened to them much myself, I found myself making a note to buy their CD once I left.
Thatâs the best part of this festival â there are so many bands that youâve never heard of but when you make an effort to go watch them perform you could find your new music love! What will today have in store?Â
The line-up is stacked with Triple M artists and Iâll have an update for everyone tomorrow morning â Arcade Fire, The Decemberists, Ray LaMontagne, Florence + the Machine â theyâre all here! Check in tomorrow for your ROO update!
Yes, that was THE best 3am quote of the car ride...here'swhy...
As we left on the car ride to Manchester, TN all I could think was, âonly 14 hours of hell crammed into a tiny car and youâre there!âÂ Thankfully that 14 hours magically turned into 10 at our driverâs refusal to stop for anything other than 1 â 1 single -Â pee/gas break.Â As my bladder screamed at him, my thoughts were only those of gratitude.Â We were that much closer, that much sooner.
After the miracle car ride, we finally made our arrival at the Bonnaroo campground at 3am. Our hearts sank as we realized that on the opposite side of the road there was a line of cars on the right shoulder that went on for at LEAST 15-20 miles.Â It was an endless sea of bright lights, tents littering the grass next to various cars, and people standing outside stretching their legs as they wait in anticipation to begin pitching their tent and actually getting settled in for the weekend.Â People were waiting for UP TO 7 HOURS!Â Either they seriously love music, or they seriously love to party.Â My guess is that it was a combo.Â
Getting set up was the least of our worries.Â It was quick, simple, but HOT.Â HOT HOT HOT.Â Iâm talking 90 degrees at 9am hot.Â Sweat dripping down your face as you empty the first item out of the back of your car.Â It may sound badâ¦but once youâre done itâs all friendly neighbors, smiling faces, beer & of course, music!Â
Read the next blog to hear about the highlights from Thursday!
Like many of us, I was introduced to lots of new music from my older sister. She received the very first Bob Dylan album for her Sweet 16. Considering he only sold about 2500 copies of his first album I came in on the ground floor of his career.
One of the first concerts I ever attended was a Dylan show in 1965! It was in October at Carnegie Hall. My birthday was ten days later and I asked my parents for tickets to the concert instead of a party. I took my kid brother Michael and my cousin Michelle. I was so excited to see him I could hardly contain myself! We had seats in the very back of the orchestra. The first set was acoustic and the crowd loved it. However, when he plugged in for the second set, people left in droves. This was just a few months after he got booed at the Newport Folk Festival for doing the same thing. Well, their loss was our gain and we ended up moving to about the 10th row for the remainder of the show. I remember it as if it were yesterday.
As a birthday present my cousin gave me 3 Dylan albums, where I proceeded to put a check mark next to each song he had sung that night. I still have the albums.
Here's what he sounded like at the Newport Folk Festival!
James Hunter with special guest Jesse DeeThe Majestic Theater, Triple M Skybox Series, Feb. 9th
Our Skybox Series Grand Prize Winner, Kyna G., shared her experience with us...
The Jesse Dee and James Hunter show at the Majestic Theatre was a special treat (even better in the Skybox)! Jesse Dee is a very talented musician, who definitely had the chops to impress the crowd, even all by his lonesome. His emotive voice and beautifully sounding hollow-body guitar work was a sight to be seen. After he finished we were left wondering if the headliner could top him! Well, sure enough, James Hunter and his band surely did! My friend said, âThat band is best thing to come out of England since America!â Although, it was plenty cold that night, his stellar performance sure got things heated up quickly. James Hunter is the whole package, crooning voice (even despite a cold), great guitar skills, and even some crazy dance moves! Thanks much, Triple M! It was a great night!
Fitz And The TantrumsHigh Noon Saloon
January 30th, 2011
Fitz And The Tantrums is a band you must see live. Â The 6-group band came to Madison and brought enough energy for everyone in the crowd at the High Noon Saloon (and it was full of people). Â They have the art of showmanship down. Â It's amazing. Â Lead singers Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs are so complementary to each other. Â If you haven't heard of the band before, you probably have heard of the song "MoneyGrabber." Â Here it is below:
The High Noon Saloon is the perfect venue for this group and the crowd was an eclectic mix of ages. Â It's nice to go to a show where a wide variety of people like the music. Â They played through a variety of their songs off their album "Pickin' Up The Pieces" and a few new hits, most notably the songs "Wake Up" and "6 AM."
I think the beauty of this band is that they have a great sound that is both entrenched in the past and enterprising in the present. Â They have a nice mix of indie and Motown. Â Their songs are, for the most part, irresistibly good. Â They have a foot-stomping storming sound that gravitates towards the drum and the beat. Â Scaggs and Fitzpatrick have a great stage presence and seem to feed off of one another. Â The physical and lyrical interplay between them is kinetic. Â I also have to give credit to the others members of the band. Â James King is incredible onÂ saxophoneÂ and flute. Â Joseph Karnes is forceful on bass. Â Jeremy Ruzumka was energizing on the keyboards. Â And the drummer John Wicks was great. Â Wicks came on just before the encore and talked about how Clyde Stubblefield, the famous drummer from Madison, was an inspiration for him and he hoped everyone at the show would donate some money for Stubblefield's kidney transplant.
The Best Moment of the Show:
At the very end of the show, right before the grand finale of "MoneyGrabber," Fitzpatrick and Scaggs had everyone get as low as they could go to the floor and had everyone dance up as the song got louder. Â It was so much fun.
This was aÂ phenomenalÂ show that featured a great band playing some cool songs. Â I still think this band has a lot more in them creatively and it will be great to see them get bigger and bigger. Â I highly recommend that people go see them live.
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