Hot off a tour with Appalachian vocal trio Mountain Man (including a stop at this years Newport Folk Festival), Alexandra Sauser-Monnig didn’t waste any time hitting the road again, but this time in support of debut album as Daughter of Swords.
Dawnbreaker (out now on Polyvinyl Record Co.) an acoustic folk album about how we end relationships (and the end of her and her partners) and was produced by Sylvan Esso's Nick Sanborn. Sauser-Monnig's endearing sense of humor nearly eclipsed her musical sensibilities as she waxed poetic about life on the road (and smoothies left in her car's drink holder for days). She's got a great sense of humor that kept things light while her often “heavy” songs tackle the human desire to feel liberated, purposeful, and strong in the face of adversity.
For their 15th album (and 2nd this year), Australia’s King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard take yet another musical turn, this time into THRASH METAL. Infest The Rat’s Nest has everything: HUGE CRUSHING RIFFS! THUNDERING DRUMS! SCI-FI ECO-DIMENSIONAL HORROR! It even has SATAN!
But it’s that second-to-last point that’s so important. Somehow, impossibly, King Gizzard has made a metal album that not only sounds timeless but speaks to the horrors we’re all going to face as man-made climate change runs its course. Metal enthusiast Casey Rae (William Burroughs and The Cult Of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Dead To Me) joins us as we follow King Gizzard down the highway towards oblivion on an all-new episode of Discologist!
On their seventh album (and first in five years) The Hold Steady isn’t so much “We’re BACK mother****ers!” as they are “Alright. Alright. Alllllright”-ing their way back into our hearts.
Thrashing Thru The Passion finds the band sporting a slightly looser and expanded sound (horns!) and songwriter Craig Finn’s druggy, party-filled universe, a little older, a little beat down, but no less full of life. Join us as we dig into all of the good, bad, and magical highs found on the “return” of one of America’s most celebrated bands.
Sleepwalkers 2014 LP Greenwood Shade was, and remains, one of our favorites of the past few years. Finally five years later their follow up, Ages, is here and it was well worth the wait. While Shade wore its shagginess on its sleeve, Ages sees brothers Michael and Austin York and co-conspirator Alex DeJong polishing up the edges and delivering the power-pop masterpiece we deserve just when we need it the most. Get ready to experience a record that surprises at every turn as Kevin and Eduardo go IN on this instant classic.
PLUS! LA supergroup Grand Canyon has a new EP out, and fans of Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, and [checks notes] Guns N’ Roses (?) are going to want to check them out. We’ve got their latest single “Yesterday’s News” to get you acquainted.
By all accounts, Bruce Hornsby is having a hell of a year. But if you've been paying attention at all, that's been pretty much every year for the legendary pianist. In the 33 years since fame first found him on 1986's The Way It Is, Hornsby has been a pop star, jazz titan, Grateful Dead member, bluegrass provocateur and more. Suffice to say, this Virginia boy "done good."
Bringing all of that history to the stage is no small feat, but at his recent stop at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee with his band The Noisemakers, Hornsby delivered a dream setlist that spanned from his latest LP Absolute Zero all the way back to his first album and back again with some Hornsby penned (but not recorded) hits thrown in for good measure.
SOUNDS LIKE: Sun drenched pop; EP-era Fiery Furnaces WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Because this is what you want to listen to this summer...and because you can see her live tonight!
As one half of The Fiery Furnaces, Eleanor Friedberger (along with her brother Matthew), trafficked in a unique brand of cerebral art-pop in which 10-minute songs about old ships and entire albums incorporating narration from the duo's grandmother were the de rigeur. Even when they released more traditional pop (see EP),the songs were frequently opaque or drenched in irony, encouraging analysis over emotional response. However, since striking out on her own with 2011's Last Summer, Eleanor has followed a different path, peeling away the layers of complexity to reveal at last the emotions which were only hinted at in most of the Furnaces catalog (author's note: I love the Fiery Furnaces and I hope their hiatus is not permanent).
"Cause when I'm with you, everything's treasure I forget what its like to be gone I'm far from the town, in the suburbs of your pleasure I've been in exile so long"
Lyrics like that would have had no place in Ms. Friedberger's old work but they and their ilk form the bulk of her new album, the tellingly titled Personal Record. In the hands of another artist, sentiments of this sort, delivered so directly could (and have) come across as trite...but on this record they just sound true.
Eleanor Friedberger plays at U St.. Music Hall tonight. Tickets are still available.
Indie songstress Eleanor Friedberger, the female half of brother-sister duo Fiery Furnaces, has been exploring in recent years what it is like to be a solo artist. Soon after announcing Fiery Furnaces’ hiatus in 2011, Eleanor released Last Summer, the solo album that proclaimed her ability to write, record, and perform successfully independent of her brother Matthew. Earlier this month, nearly two years after Last Summer, Friedberger released her sophomore solo album Personal Record, which has reaffirmed the poppy songbird’s penchant for creative, observant storytelling.
With Personal Record in tow, Friedberger makes her way across the country, with a stop nearby at U Street Music Hall, before departing for the United Kingdom. Playing in support of Friedberger are up-and-coming indie-psych band TEEN, who have been releasing music through DC's own Carpark Records.
For your chance to see Eleanor Friedberger and TEEN on Thursday, June 27 at U Street Music Hall, please do one of the following:
1. Leave a comment below, using a valid email address and the name you'd ilke your tickets to be held under should you win, telling us your favorite band of siblings.
When you’re half of a band as well known as The Fiery Furnaces, people, right or wrong, are going to have expectations. Eleanor Friedbergers’s first victory over those expectations this week was the release of her excellent new solo album, Last Summer. Breezy, poppy and loud when it’s gotta be, Last Summer is an unmitigated hit, as well as being one of our favorite records of the year so far. Her second victory over those expectations this week was the performance that she delivered to a welcoming crowd assembled in the Back Room of the Black Cat on Tuesday, the night of that records release.
My expectation for the show was that it would be somewhat reserved, but perfectly serviceable. I also (wrongly) assumed that Eleanor might be the type who is solely focused on the music, acknowledging the crowd once in a while, but for the most part just performing her material to the people who paid to see it.