Omissions of older fan favorites like “Keep Your Head Up” and “I Forget Where We Were” surely disappointed longtime fans, but those that were here for the new Ben Howard were in for one of the most sublime performances to grace The Anthem.
Over twelve years and six albums, Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack have proven time and again that their talents know no boundaries. Their new LP The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs, finds the experimentation that the duo has been pursuing over the past few years - both within the constraints of Wye Oak and through various solo projects (Flock of Dimes, El Vey, Dungeonesse) - coalescing into a real evolution of the band that isn't just their strongest release to date, but one of the best albums of 2018. Join us as we try to suppress our fanaticism and explore what makes this record so singular, and such a milestone for one of indie rocks greatest bands.
PLUS! Phil Cook is BACK and here to help you through this life with the first track off of his upcoming LP, People Are My Drug.
Jenn Wasner has spent the better part of the past decade slaying as one half of indie powerhouse Wye Oak. Earlier this year, she released her long-in-the-works solo project, If You See Me, Say Yes, under the name Flock Of Dimes.
Predictably, it TOO, slayed.
Before a recent tour stop in the nation's capital, Wasner joined us to talk about how Flock Of Dimes came about, creating versus destroying, relocation, and the power of small actions on the world around you.
Did we mention how much Jenn Wasner slays?
The next great battle in the streaming wars may have just been started by Pandora with the announcement of their "half-price" streaming service. Is $4.99 a month the future of the music industry, or the beginning the end of it as we know it?
After a career conquering the indie airwaves as one half of Wye Oak, Jenn Wasner is breaking out on her own under the name Flock Of Dimes.
Washington, DC's Aaron "Ab" Abernathy has spent the past few years acting as music director for hip-hop artist Black Milk and perfecting his performing chops with his band Nat Turner. Now Ab is about to break out on his own with a new LP, Monologue, and we've got a taste of what's in store with his latest, Prince-tastic single, "I See You".
It's been ten mother-effing years!" said Jenn Wasner to the sold-out crowd at Rock & Roll Hotel. Formed in mid-2006 in Maryland and continuing to earn the praise of music critics everywhere, Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner’s two-piece indie rock band surprised fans on June 9th by releasing their new album, Tween, at the same moment it was announced.
Hot on the heels of their latest release, The End Of Everything, DC's very own TYPEFIGHTER stops by the basement to talk about the new album, offer up some choice ideas for band names and the pros and cons of metal gods, Extreme. PLUS! Quinn joins Paul and Kevin in reviewing Shriek, the fourth album from Baltimore's Wye Oak, and Wasted Years, the latest 24 minutes of fury from hardcore super-group, OFF!
Yesterday in Baltimore, ScapeScape, the area’s largest celebration of local music, kicked off and will be spreading its goodness over the streets of Baltimore for the next 3 days. The festival is, of course, Baltimore-centric , and these days you can’t spell Baltimore without Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner. But Wye Oak’s set won’t be the only chance you’ll get to see Wasner over the weekend.
Besides rumors that she’ll be performing in a “bee thousand” GBV cover band at some point, she’ll also be taking the stage under the moniker Flock Of Dimes. What began last year as an outlet for Wasner’s seemingly endless creativity, the project has continued to grow and mature. There have been several tracks posted on Soundcloud, and Wasner has played a few shows to test out the material, but September 25th will see one of the first proper releases of her new songs as Merge Records puts out a new 7-inch of Flock of Dimes.
“Curtain” is the A-side for this release, and it’s about as far away from Wye Oak’s sound as you could get. Ethereal, eerie and synth driven, the track is new territory for Wasner, but not entirely unfamiliar as her powerful unmistakable manages to keeps it tied to the sounds we’ve grown to love.
Here's a breakdown of all of the goodness you may have missed this week on ChunkyGlasses.
I've heard a metric f@#@-ton of music this year. More bands than I can even remember have gone in one earhole and out the other. I'm sure in the process of checking out absolutely everything I could get my hands on a few bands might have slipped through the cracks, and to them I can only hope to catch up with them again at a later date. These next 10 bands are the ones that didn't slip through the cracks though. They're the groups/individuals who managed to make their magnificent noise rise up above the rest, and in the process make 2011 a quite exceptional year for music.
#10 Caveman - Coco Beware
The simple act of discovery can color one's opinion of a band, and it certainly has in Caveman's case...for everyone that's ever heard them apparently. I "discovered" Caveman opening up for The War on Drugs at The Red Palace here in DC earlier this year, and from that instant I was hooked. This record is drenched in moody, dreamscape inspired Radiohead-esque harmonies and sounds, and yet plays like something only Caveman could create. I know, I know, that sounds circular, but when a band this early in their existence can so well define who and what they are as a band, borrowing liberally from everything around them and somehow managing to put forth those collective influences as something better is the sign of a great artist. They've already got the attention of the music-nerd set (including NPR) and in 2012 they're the band to keep an eye on, because with a debut this good, sooner or later everyone is going to catch on to Caveman's fire. (Yes, I just wrote that)
You gotta give it to Wye Oak, when they do a homecoming show, they do it in style. Playing at the completely sold out Ottobar Saturday, Jenn Wasner and Andy Stack ended what can be considered a remarkable year by anyone’s standards in the warm (really warm) embrace of their hometown fans.
This is the third time we’ve talked about the band this year, and so there’s really not that much more to say. You already know how the band began 2011 by releasing their latest album Civilian to widespread acclaim. You already know that they showcased those songs along with fellow Charm City musicians Lower Dens at The Black Cat for an NPR broadcast. You already know that the band has already had one homecoming show this year in throwing a pseudo release party at Baltimore’s 2640 Space, and abandoned church that has been converted into a performance venue for just such occasions. And all of that was before things got really crazy.
It would seem that the rest of the world has finally discovered our little hometown band. The potential was there a few years ago for this duo to take over the world with their music, and it would seem that 2011 is the year that that potential was realized. Whether it was touring the US nonstop in support of Civilian, recording not one but TWO songs for the A.V. Undercover series(Danzig’s “Mother” no less), or finding themselves opening for The National as they close out their year of awesome, it would seem that Wye Oak have, put simply, f@#ing arrived.
Welcome back to PART TWO of our countdown! The place where shit gets REAL, or something. Agree with our picks? Hated them? Why don't you wait until you've heard us out before you get to trashing/praising us in the comments. It's only fair. So we've only got 5 more to go, but before that why dont' we have a look at what ChunkyGlasses contributors Paul and Andre were feeling this year. While I will admit, we all share some similar tastes in music, what makes this whole thing work is that we all see music from very different from very different perspectives, and I think that's reflected in their picks. Of course, being the authority here, they are WRONG. But hey, it's entertaining to think your opinion matters, right? (Just kidding guys..just kidding)
First up have a gander at Paul's list..in order from best to not so much with the best thing...
Since we've seen fit to unleash our top 10 albums of the year (so far) upon the masses it seems only fitting that we start looking at the best SONGS of the year. A full list is going to come next week, but we'll tell you right now, that this one is at the top. When you think Wye Oak, the last thing you think is a pop breakdown, especially after a mess of discordant distorted guitar, but that's exactly what you get with this track off of Civilian.
Wasner and Stack's song writing skills have never been in question, but here, with this song, it's time to start questioning whether the pair in fact are not musical geniuses. The payoff in this song is so good, and so unexpected, that the only thing left to do after hearing it is pick your jaw up off of the floor, hit rewind, and do it all over again. It's a mother of a song from a mother of an album, from a mother of a band, and all we really can say about this year in Wye Oak is that we gladly bow before our new sonic overlords.
Wye Oak - Holy Holy
"This is really special for us"
Wye Oak returned to their hometown of Baltimore Saturday night to the welcoming arms of a sold-out crowd. Performing at a converted church otherwise known as 2640 Space, the above words were spoken more than a few times by guitarist/vocalist Jen Wasner over the course of the evening, and they capture the essence of what Saturday night was all about. It was special.
Pre show, Wasner and her cohort drummer, Andy Stack, could be seen wandering around the venue almost indistinguishable from the crowd that had come to see them play. As they made their way around the room, hugs, and lots of them, could be seen being exchanged between the band members and the people that they passed by. It became clear that this really was a homecoming, and this really was an audience full of their friends and family. A condition made even more fitting by the fact that it was Wasner's 25th birthday. "Special" was in the air.
The first time I saw Wye Oak, they were opening for Blitzen Trapper at Ottobar in Baltimore. I can’t recall if it was the last night of their tour, or if it was just the first time the duo of Jen Wasner and Andy Stack had been home for a long while. But either way, they made it a point to let us know that this was a sort of homecoming show for them. The two musicians then proceeded to tear through a set that was as ferocious as it was joyful. Blitzen Trapper, as great a band as they are, quite literally ended up as sort of a happy afterthought to the night.
In the two years since that night, Wye Oak has not only managed to hang on to all of that power and all of that joy, they have managed focus it to the point that hearing them play now is akin to standing in the eye of a controlled hurricane.
So this week brings us couple of good (hopefully) releases, a couple of your typical weekly entries into the pop-o-sphere and one giant turd a new release from one of rocks most revered bands, R.E.M. (read the review here). I've heard a lot of good things about Kurt Vile's new album, Smoke Ring For My Halo, so excpect a review of that to show up shortly. Also be on the lookout for review of Wye Oak's latest effort, Civillians, which I am listening to RIGHT NOW! While I'm finding it a bit more refined than the bands previous efforts, I gotta say that I'm really digging it and I'm very much looking forward to seeing them Friday night at The Black Cat playing with fellow Baltimore natives, Lower Dens. So that's about it....except for a brand spanking new Charlie Pride record. Yep. That exists.
Until next week, get out there and put this stuff in your earholes.
Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata - The Hills Are Alive (Canal, March 8, 2011)
Buffalo Tom - Skins [MP3 Download] (Scrawny/The Orchard, March 8, 2011)
Exene Cervenka - The Excitement of Maybe (Bloodshot, March 8, 2011)
Bruce Cockburn - Small Source of Comfort (True North, March 8, 2011)
Dinosaur Bones - My Divider (Dine Alone, March 8, 2011)
Early Winters - Early Winters [MP3 Download] (Early Winters, March 8, 2011)
Riley Etheridge Jr. - Powder Keg (Rock Ridge Music, March 8, 2011)
Sara Evans - Stronger (RCA Nashville, March 8, 2011)
Aaron Gillespie - Anthem Song (Tooth & Nail/BEC Recordings, March 8, 2011)
Jag Panzer - The Scourge of the Light (SPV/Steamhammer, March 8, 2011)
Avril Lavigne - Goodbye Lullaby (RCA, March 8, 2011)
Matt Lowell - Swan Lake [MP3 Download] (Matt Lowell, March 8, 2011)
Lupe Fiasco - LASERS (1st & 15th/Atlantic, March 8, 2011)
Ian Moore and The Lossy Coils - El Sonido Nuevo (Spark & Shine/Burnside Distribution, March 8, 2011)
Morning Teleportation - Expanding Anyway (Glacial Pace Recordings, March 8, 2011)
Alex Murdoch - Towards the Sun (Zero Summer, March 8, 2011)
Charley Pride - Choices (Music City, March 8, 2011)
Raekwon - Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang (Ice H20, March 8, 2011)
R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now (Warner, March 8, 2011)
Ringo Deathstarr - Colour Trip [MP3 Download] (Sonic Unyon, March 8, 2011)
Rival Schools - Pedals (Photo Finish/Atlantic, March 8, 2011)
Lee Rocker - The Cover Sessions (leerocker.com, March 8, 2011)
Starfucker - Reptilians (Polyvinyl, March 8, 2011)
TRUSTcompany - Dreaming in Black and White (E1 Music, March 8, 2011)
Various artists - Glee: The Music, Season Two, Volume 5 (Columbia, March 8, 2011)
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo (Matador, March 8, 2011)
Wye Oak - Civilian (Merge, March 8, 2011)