Entries tagged with: Bon Iver
Justin Vernon & My Morning Jacket before the Grammys (by dariusjagjag)
Someone from Jagjaguwar tweeted the above picture not long before Justin Vernon shouted out "Jagjaguwar" to end his acceptance speech at the Grammys pre-show this evening (2/12).
Bon Iver won "Best Alternative Music Album", beating out Radiohead, My Morning Jacket, Foster the People & Death Cab Cab For Cutie. Other pre-telecast winners include Adele, Foo Fighters (who beat Mastodon, The Decemberists and TV on the Radio), Skrillex (who won three already and beat Cut Copy, Robyn, Deadmau5 and others), Kanye West (who also won three already), The Civil Wars (who won two already and beat Fleet Foxes), Levon Helm, Alison Krauss, Tinariwen, Louis CK, Cee-Lo, and Booker T Jones who won "Best Pop Instrumental Album" for the 2nd time, and nervously thanked Biz Markie, Questlove, Gabriel Roth (of Daptone Records), Matt Berninger (of the National), and Lou Reed.
Arcade Fire also won another Grammy already (for Best Recording Package).
And that was just all the stuff they don't show on TV. The regular show with all the big awards (and possibly more for Bon Iver) starts at 8pm EST, Whitney Houston tribute included.
* Jack Black makes "indie cred" joke that includes "Bon Iver" while introducing Foo Fighters
* Denise from PS22 in Adele commercial
a handsome-looking Justin Vernon on Saturday Night Live
Though we won't see him/them performing at the Grammys ("We wanted to play our music, but were told that we couldn't play. We had to do a collaboration with someone else," Justin said), Bon Iver played two songs off their latest album on Saturday Night Live last night (2/4). Watch both songs below.
Earlier the same day, Wisconsin's WEAU profiled the Grammy-nominated artist on the evening news, interviews with Justin's parents and his co-manager Kyle Frenette included.
"Music was always around the house, we made all the kids take piano lessons," says Justine. "With Justin, he didn't really like the piano all that much, especially when I was teaching him for a while. That did not work out, but he asked if he could quit piano if he went to guitar. From that point on it was him and his guitar always."Watch "At Home With the Vernons" and and both performances from Saturday Night Live, below...
Gil says he did what he can to make sure Justin had a place to practice.
"We actually partitioned a room in the basement right below us with sound proof in the wall, so we could actually sit in the room where we're speaking now and watch TV and have a full conversation in spite of the fact that we had nine kids down there with trombones, trumpet, two saxophones, three guitars and a keyboard all plugged in," he says.
Today, Bon Iver is also made up of nine musicians, but the Vernons didn't always know their now 30-year-old son and his band would make is this far.
"We always thought that he had talent but we're his parents, you have to take that with a grain of salt," says Justine.
"Following last year's 10th anniversary, which crushed previous attendance records and set a new mark for the speed with which tickets sold out, the Sasquatch! Music Festival unveils its 2012 lineup which once again features 4 days of music. The festival, hailed as "a model of well-paced programming...in a four-day schedule as efficient and natural feeling as an expertly built algorithm" by NPR Music while Wired notes, "leave the landscape out of it and Sasquatch! has a lineup to kill for," runs May 25-28 (Memorial Day Weekend) at The Gorge, the internationally acclaimed concert venue carved in the basalt cliffs high above the Columbia River Gorge in Quincy, WA."The Sasquatch! Music Festival takes place, as usual, at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington over Memorial Day weekend (May 25-28). And this year's lineup is:
Brooklyn's guitar-less rock band Miracles of Modern Science released their debut LP Dog Year towards the end of last year and played a sold out record release show for it at Pianos in December. You can stream and purchase the album (name your price) at bandcamp.
Miracles of Modern Science have another NYC show coming up which will take place at Mercury Lounge on February 3 with Quintus, Ambassadors, and The Break Mission. Tickets are on sale.
In other news, Miracles of Modern Science made a video called "Bon Joviver," in case you ever wondered what it would sound like to combine Bon Jovi (who are playing Bamboozle) and Bon Iver (who are playing SNL) past the point of making a portmanteau of their names. Check it out below.
Bon Iver at The Long Center in TX in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Justin Vernon is currently in NYC, possibly just to "curse the Giants" (who won), or maybe he came to check out SNL musical guest Lana Del Rey (who lost) so that he he can become familiar with the SNL setup because Justin will return to NY next month when Bon Iver is the musical guest on SNL on February 4. They'll be playing songs off of the Grammy-nominated Bon Iver, Bon Iver (which was one of our favorites of 2011).
In related news, Bon Iver were recently confirmed as one of the collaborators on The Flaming Lips' Record Store Day release, which also includes collaborations with Neon Indian, Lightning Bolt, and Prefuse 73, who they put out collaborative EPs with in 2011, in addition to Nick Cave, Death Cab for Cutie, Yoko Ono, Ghostland Observatory, Cloudland Canyon, and more TBA.
Bon Iver's most recent track from Bon Iver, Bon Iver to be chosen as a single is "Towers" and the single b/w "Bruise Orange (Chain of Sorrow)" (John Prine cover) comes out March 6 via Jagjaguwar. You can listen to both of those songs below.
All dates and streams below...
Radiohead @ Roseland Ballroom in 2011 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Coachella which is taking place over the course of two weekends this year (April 13-15 and 20-22) revealed their 2012 lineup. Last week, Azealia Banks was the first artist confirmed, and earlier today they confirmed The Weeknd (maybe he found a band?), and before that, Jimmy Cliff, Breakbot, and Housse De Racket. The reunited Pulp then announced itself. The full lineup also includes headliners The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, not to mention, as predicted, the reunited At the Drive In and the reunited Mazzy Star (!), and Madness and Refused (!) and Jeff Mangum and many, many more that you can see below...
I hate writing year-end lists, as might be obvious to many long-time BrooklynVegan readers. That said, I also like them. They help organize things, which is related to my problem though. I'm too unorganized and hectic to ever get around to making one! But this year a few of us (BrooklynVegan contributors) got together and decided to come up with a collective list of albums that we loved that we think most represented 2011 in BrooklynVegan land. Our indie rock-centric list purposely does not include metal (that's HERE) or hip hop (we should make a separate list). With that in mind, our top 26 albums of 2011, in alphabetical order, are listed (with some commentary and a list of honorable mentions too) below...
We already posted Pitchfork's and SPIN's, so... here's Rolling Stone's top 50 albums of 2011. It's got tons of big sellers and major label players taking high spots like Adele, Jay-Z and Kanye West, Paul Simon, and Lady Gaga, but then something unexpected like tUnE-yArDs places at #13. There are also some odd inclusions like Wavves' Life Sux EP and then some albums you could only find on a Rolling Stone list like SuperHeavy (the supergroup featuring Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Damian Marley, and others). They also give shots to Little Dragon, Josh T Pearson, Das Racist, Wild Flag, and many more. Check out the full list below...
by Andrew Sacher
Skream & Benga
Dubstep originator Skream recently talked to UK mag the Quietus:
Quietus: A lot of people would say with the Skrillex stuff, that it's damaging to dubstep, it's perverting the sound.Skream is a little more lenient with the Skrillex type stuff than James Blake who called it a "direct misrepresentation of the sound" and Rusko, who said, "brostep is sort of my fault but now I've started to hate it." Rusko told SPIN that his new album, due out in January, is "completely a reaction to the masculine, dance-floor orientated, distorted mess that is the current state of dubstep." Skream's collaborator Benga is also working on a new album that is "different to what's going on at the minute," but like Skream, he says, "I'm not bothered. I'm happy that a lot of people like the music." Skream does admit that the dubstep going on at the moment is a "fad" though, and wants to make sure that when it "dies out, he's still standing."
Skream: But what are we gonna do, form a united front against Skrillex? Honestly, it's pathetic, I think, it's ridiculous. Either listen to it or don't listen to it. There's still nights playing the stuff those people want to hear. It's just bitchiness, it really is. You haven't got to like his music, you don't particularly have to like him, but there's no reason you can't like what he's done - he's smashed it. He's up for five Grammys. He must be doing something right, you know what I mean?
I think it hurts a lot of people over here because it's a UK sound, but it's been someone with influences outside the original sound that has made it a lot bigger. The bad side of that is that a lot of people will just say 'dubstep equals Skrillex'.
But in all honesty it genuinely doesn't bother me. I like the music he makes. People will fucking burn me for saying that [laughs]. There'll be effigies out in the fucking street! It just is what it is man, you've just got to keep yourself moving. The fact that dubstep, the word - you know I hate saying the word, I love what it is but I just hear it so much now. But even though it's so big now, that means that everybody else is earning a bit more money. Even if you're playing the deepest deepest sound, you're still earning that little bit more money because you're playing dubstep. Whether you want to admit it or not, you are.
Skream probably still will be standing, but until that fad dies out he'll be embracing it in NYC on February 4 at Terminal 5 when he and Benga open for Skrillex, along with Koan Sound and FlyLo associate Tokimonsta . Tickets will probably sell right out Thursday (12/22) at noon. They're on AmEx presale now.
(Speaking of Tokimonsta, she recently remixed Eight and a Half, the new project of Broken Social Scene's Justin Peroff and members of The Stills who play two NYC shows in February - both on sale this week.)
If the Terminal 5 show is exactly the kind of electronic show you don't want to be at (I wouldn't blame you), Tycho, Oneohtrix Point Never, and Beacon play the same day (2/4) at MHOW and tickets just went on sale.
Skrillex, who is also one of the many electro artists playing a cruise ship in January, also plays Roseland Ballroom on 2/3 (one day before Terminal 5) with Zane Lowe and Spank Rock who also recently toured with Ke$ha, Spank Rock has also opened for Bjork, and who toured with Big Freedia and friends this year too. From Iceland to Bushwick to mainstream pop to brostep, everyone loves Spank Rock. UPDATE: Skrillex plays Webster Hall while he's here too.
And speaking of James Blake, his new video for his cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" which stars Rebecca Hall is below.
Also best of luck to James Blake collaborator Bon Iver who is going up against Skrillex for "Best New Artist" in the Grammys (you know, because Bon Iver was a new artist this year), not that Justin Vernon will care if he loses anyway (as he shouldn't).
James Blake video and a ton of Rusko tour dates (including New Year's Eve in Chicago), below...
Mastodon fans (more by Greg Cristman)
Bon Iver was nominated for four high profile Grammys (though not "Album of the Year" which is what Arcade Fire won). Adele & Katy Perry nominated for a zillion, and other nominees include The Black Keys, Foster the Peepee, Cee Lo, Duck Sauce, Robyn, Cut Copy, Skrillex, Deadmau5, Coldplay, Radiohead, Mumford & Son, Mastodon, Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, My Morning Jacket, Jay-Z, Kanye West, The Civil Wars, Emmylou Harris, Levon Helm, Fleet Foxes, Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, Patton Oswalt, Louis CK, Weird Al, Danger Mouse, Memory Tapes, TV On the Radio, A Tribe Called Quest, etc...
UK music magazine Uncut weighs on this year's best albums. Like Rough Trade, they give Josh T Pearson serious placement. They put Tinariwen, who appeared on The Colbert Report last night (!) with Tunde and Kyp from TV on the Radio, at #18. Check out their whole list and video from Colbert, below...
Josh T Pearson @ BV-SXSW 2011 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Check out Rough Trade's list of the Top 100 Albums of 2011 (yay Josh T Pearson!), below...
photos by Tim Griffin
To complete this Gayngs trifecta (Polica HERE, Marijuana Deathsquads/Har Mar Superstar HERE), we though we'd report that Kathleen Edwards recently teamed with her tourmate (and Gayngs member) Bon Iver (aka Justin Vernon) for the new Wapusk 7" (out 9/27 via Zöe/Rounder). Justin produced the record and sings backup vocals on the new version of the title track which you can listen to at Pitchfork. The previous version of the song was recorded without Justin for the National Parks Project.
Bon Iver & Kathleen Edwards have been touring and played a sold out show at the 2000+ capacity theater The Long Center in Austin, Texas on 9/14. Pictures are on this post. The tourmates have since parted ways on the road (Other Lives have joined Bon Iver), but will reunite for a set of European dates on October that will include Pitchfork in Paris.
All dates and more pictures from the Austin show, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Channy with Gayngs at Stubbs in March (more by Timothy Griffin)
Polica (pronounced po-lisa), the new project of Channy Casselle (formerly of Roma Di Luna and currently the lead female vocalist of Gayngs) are set to release their debut LP this year. The album was co-written and produced by fellow Gayngs member Ryan Olson (also of Marijuana Deathsquads), mixed by Jim Eno (of Spoon), and features guest vocals by Mike Noyce of Bon Iver on two songs. The album's got a sort of electro-R&B influenced indie rock feel and Channy belts out some incredible melodies which are aided by pretty tasteful voice manipulation. You can hear two tracks from the album at Polica's website now, including "Lay Your Cards Out," which features Mike Noyce. The album's tracklist is below.
Polica recently kicked off a short run of East Coast dates opening for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah on their tour which includes the sold out Bowery Ballroom show tonight (9/20). If you've got tickets, get there early to check out Polica's set.
If you weren't able to get tickets for tonight's show, you can catch Polica in NYC again at the last night of Gayngs member Ryan Olson's other group Marijuana Deathsquads' residency at Bowery Electric with Har Mar Superstar in October (tickets).
Polica tracklist and dates below...
"The VMAs unite us as a people, a shitty, shitty people. #VMAs" - Dave Hill
Tyler's mom & Wavves @ the Video Music Awards (via Hipster Runoff)
"there are great moments in awards shows. bruno mars sounded really good doing 'valerie' for amy winehouse. i don't think anyone is bummed that adele is killing everything. her voice was real and focused when i went thru and watched highlights from tonight. kanye and jay z are always murdering. beyonce is pregnant. yes this is awesome as shit, culturally speaking. but can i just ask, the reader, us, we ... as non-rhetorically as possible: don't we seem dumb? didn't MTV lose the fight against themselves? Didn't Rock'n'Roll STOP? Why are the lights so bright? isn't our talent as artists enough? Why do we try SO hard? Does a moonman mean what it did back then? Should we feel pumped when we get one? Should our mom's cry? I am not even thinking about it that hard. I will close my eyes in 90 seconds and have total peace... But, seriously. Why are we waving around so much? Why do we NEED this shit so bad? Why don't we just have MUSIC? DO music? soul? I don't know. I don't mean to criticize. Anyone. Actually. Except for MTV. You might have had a very large opportunity to be stabilize your self as a global presence of culture and art about 15 years ago and you fucked the dog. Sorry. Im with my girls on this one. Its becoming increasingly clear as I think about it more and more, that the dollars, if they ARE apart of why you are doing something... they are apart of why you are doing something. that's fucked to me. that's the absence of spirit, glue, fabric of what makes us a person. it distracts us from what we could be doing: WORK. on EARTH. Better say this: Forget what I say. If you even read this, you'll probably say to yourself, who is this ass saying shit? It doesn't matter what i say. it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter. But this one last thought: What would Bill Hicks say?"If you missed the show, or didn't read about it already, Odd Future's Tyler, The Creator won Best New Artist, Adele (as Justin points out) is a good singer, (so is) Beyonce (but more impotantly, she) is pregnant, Lady Gaga does a great Ralph Macchio, and Justin Bieber loves God and Jesus....
today in NYC
* Mingus Mondays @ Jazz Standard
* ZZ Top @ NYCB Theatre at Westbury
* Rocco DeLuca @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Dickey Betts, Kristy Lee @ City Winery
* Male Bonding, Love Inks @ Mercury Lounge
* Safe, Gem Club, Evi Antonio @ Cameo Gallery
* Smoke DZA, Asap Rocky, Bun B, Va$htie @ SOB's
* Mick Barr, Kevin Hufnagel, Andrew Hock @ Zebulon
* Shaina Taub, The Superpower Horns @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Extra Arms, Panic Manor, Diehard, Sexy Neighbors @ The Rock Shop
* Steven Page (Barenaked Ladies), The Jay Baird Band @ Mercury Lounge
* Robbers On High Street, The Candles, Hurricane Bells @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Dustin Wong, Teen Dreams, Nelly Kate, Shams, Nonhorse @ Death By Audio
* Remember: the Music of Michael Jackson featuring Duwende @ Highline Ballroom
* We Are Augustines, Princeton, Guards, Cerebral Ballzy (Daytrotter Barnstormer) @ The Living Room
* The As-Is Ensemble, Tony Scherr Trio with Anton Fier and Rob Jost, Robbie Fulks @ The Living Room
* Teddy Kumpel Loopestra, Holidays In London, Elaine K, Lesley Roley, Ippazzi @ Rockwood Music Hall
The Stone is closed tonight.
ZZ Top were supposed to play Westbury on Sunday. It was postponed until tonight.
Breakfast at Sulimay's reviews Bon Iver. Video below...
The Rural Alberta Advantage's recently released video for "Muscle Relaxants", below...
by Andrew Sacher
After tons of speculation on what the James Blake & Bon Iver - "Fall Creek Boys Choir" would be, it aired on Zane Lowe's show (with host Huw Stevens sitting in) on BBC Radio 1 a few minutes ago, and we now know that the collaboration is a single song with the name "Fall Creek Boys Choir" (which we also know is a name Justin Vernon has used in the past). The collaboration features Justin on vocals and James on beats. Zane writes on his blog:
Hi, it's Huw in for Zane. Tonight's Hottest is from James Blake and Bon Iver. After a chance meeting at South by South West, the massive new music festival in Austin, Texas back in March, this collaboration came about after a mutual respect of each others music was displayed. Both incredibly special musicians, this track is as atmospheris, as low key and as stunning as you'd imagine from Blake, here on production duties, and Justin Vernon who sings on this song.According to James Blake's YouTube account, the song will be available on iTunes on Monday, August 29. The same post also says "Enough Thunder - Oct 2011." "Enough Thunder" is a new song that James has been playing live. Watch a live video of that and listen to "Fall Creek Boys Choir" below...
If you're wondering what James Blake meant when he tweeted "24th August 2011 - James Blake & Bon Iver "Fall Creek Boys Choir,"" it looks like we'll find out now. He just took to twitter again, saying, "James Blake & Bon Iver "Fall Creek Boys Choir" tonight BBC Radio 1. 7:30pm (ish)." If he means UK time (which he does), that's in less than 20 minutes (2:30pm EST). Listen HERE.
UPDATE: "Fall Creek Boys Choir" is the name of a song. They played it. Listen to it HERE.
Meanwhile also check out a new Bon Iver-approved unofficial video for "Holocene" to accompany the recently released official video, below...
Bon Iver at Prospect Park last week (more by Amanda Hatfield
Bon Iver has a video for the second single off his incredible self titled album, "Holocene." The video was directed by Nabil Elderkin (Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Common) and premiered today on National Geographic. Nabil spoke of the Icelandic countryside in which the video was shot:
That place is the most magical place in the world, it looked like Mars to me, so I always wanted to shoot there. When Bon Iver gave me the reigns on this video, I knew it had to be filmed there.Bon Iver is also releasing the track as a 12" single b/w a cover of Peter Gabriel's "Come Talk To Me." The 12" will be released September 6 via Jagjaguwar. Check out the single's artwork and the video below.
In related news, rumors continue to spread about the possible collaboration with James Blake following a very vague tweet from James that mentioned the "Fall Creek Boys Choir." Still no updates on what the collaboration is going to be, but the Fall Creek Boys Choir appears to be some a cappella recordings done by Justin Vernon a few years ago.
Video, artwork, and all dates below...
written with assistance from Andrew Sacher
UPDATE: "Falls Creek Boys Choir" is a song. Listen HERE.
The Fall Creek Boys Choir, according to a MySpace page created in 2007, are "An amateur singing group from Fall Creek, WI that gets together twice a month and rehearses, drinks 7up and Cranberry juice mixers, and sometimes records at the Cricket Gym," Its members are "Jeff Carter, Bonnie Bennett, Tom Olson, Rich Valvey, Pam Triton, Cal 'Jacket' Teely, Jennifer Teely, Sam Teely, Ashley Gunderson, Pat Robbins, Ashley Pessup, Matt Forser, Cole Perry." We don't recognize any of those names, but you can head below to hear some pretty beautiful harmonies that they created and posted to myspace.com/fallcreekboyschoir (last login October 21, 2008).
The choir once had a proper website. It's gone now, but the URL is still listed on MySpace. It's aprilbase.com ("Justin's website" according to DeYarmond Edison's breakup message). It's obviously not a coincidence that April Base also happens to be the name of Justin Vernon's recording studio in the same small Wisconsin town that the Boys Choir is from. An ApriBase MySpace with the URL Myspace.com/jdvernon (last login October 21, 2008) only further ties it all together (Fall Creek Boys Choir in jdvernon's top friends included). Myspace.com/aprilbase in turn takes you to a page belonging to "Vern" (and it's where we got the above picture).
Back to the Fall Creek songs for a second... We're not totally sure who the voices (or voice) in the mix are, but listening to those harmonies definitely makes us feel like we're listening to harmonies from any of the Bon Iver albums. Let us know what you think.
Update: One of the tracks, "New York (ball point)," contains the same vocal lines used in "Cool Knowledge" from Justin's Volcano Choir project. Remember that nobody had also logged into the myspace containing these four songs since 2008.
We do know that Justin likes to revisit his older work, considering the acoustic guitar intro to his recent single "Holocene" almost mirrors that of "Hazleton" recorded earlier under his own name, pre-Bon Iver.
Last but not least (and really what got us started on all of this)... Earlier today, James Blake tweeted "24th August 2011 - James Blake & Bon Iver "Fall Creek Boys Choir."" Is James Blake joining the Fall Creek Boys Choir? Did Justin get the old gang back together for a collaboration with Mr. Blake? Is Justin just reusing an old name, sort of like he did with April Base? It's a mystery for now, though we were able to get confirmation that the date in the tweet does not refer to a live show.
August 24, 2011 is in a week so it won't be long until we hear whatever it is these two great minds have up their sleeves. Fall Creek Boys Choir songs below...
photos by Amanda M. Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Justin Vernon walked onto the dimly lit stage at the sold out Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park last night (8/10) with his 9-piece Bon Iver, picked up his guitar, and quietly began playing the guitar riff of album opener "Perth." The band slowly began building the song into its borderline-heavy metal ending, letting us know immediately that Bon Iver are not a 9-piece band for no reason. Justin's obviously a guy who has been part of a lot of collaborations (though he needs a break from all of that), but this new lineup is far more than another collab for the record books. I mean these guys sound huge. What started out as a folk-leaning, acoustic guitar based project with sparse accompaniment from other instruments, is almost entirely the opposite now. The band that was once backed mainly by a bass drum now has two drummers behind fully structured kits and an auxiliary percussionist. Fluttering horn lines that are often indiscernible on their own, come together to create deftly beautiful atmospheres throughout the songs. Justin also now has the freedom to make as much noise as he wants on his guitar, and he definitely uses it.
On the album's second track, "Minnesota, WI," Justin was joined by the crowd on the "never gonna break" refrains, before taking the song into the funk-edged middle section driven by Colin Stetson's bass sax and pounding drums from Matt McCaughan and Sean Carey. Skipping "Holocene," the band continued to play straight through the album for a couple more songs, touching on the country-tinged "Towers" and the eye-watering beauty of "Michicant." Justin and band then took a break from the new material to dive into some older stuff. They fleshed out the older songs to fit in with the new setup, adding textures and dynamics not heard on the original recording, and managed to not lose any of its delicacy. Lead by band member Reginald Pace on trombone, the band delivered a soulful soft-rock interpretation of For Emma, Forever Ago's "Creature Fear." By the song's building second chorus, when it would normally fade into the companion track "Team," they took the song in an entirely different direction with explosive post-rock crescendos and layers of noise guitar from Justin and Mike Noyce. The band amped the older material up even more later on when they went into "Blood Bank" off the 2009 EP of the same name. The members were soaked in red light as they propelled into a heavy distortion-ridden rendition of the track. They kicked things up even harder at the end when they took the song into a double time rock bit with more noise guitar from Justin.
After "Blood Bank," they calmed things down with the much-anticipated "Holocene" that was skipped earlier on. The audience piped in on, "And at once I knew I was not magnificent," and "I could see for miles, miles, miles." Then the entire band except Justin left the stage, and with no more than an electric guitar he played the For Emma, Forever Ago closing track, "re: stacks." As a musician whose romanticized backstory is centered around lonesomeness, taking relief from the now-large band to perform with the vulnerability that his first album was written with made as large of an impact as the orchestrations of the rest of the set did. After the song, Justin was again joined by his band for "Flume" and "Calgary" before an audible count-in lead into the new album's closing track "Beth/Rest." Say what you will about this song and its '80s lite.fm-leaning tendencies, the performance was absolutely beautiful. The band played with far too much confidence to call it "ironic" and too much genuine emotion to call it "cheesy." About halfway through, Justin stretched the song a bit with some reverb-laden vocal scat before going into the guitar/sax solos that take up the ending. He then thanked the crowd, took a bow with the band and left the stage.
The stage crew wasted no time preparing the set for 9-piece Bon Iver's rendering of "Skinny Love." Once that preparation was complete, the guys walked back out on stage to tremendous applause, Justin sat down with his resonator guitar, Matt McCaughan and Sean Carey sat behind their drum kits, and the other six members took to microphones for backup vocals, stomps and claps. The song comes off as something the band knows they can just have a ton of fun with, and that's totally fine, because with an hour and a half of really heady melancholic music, nothing is wrong with three minutes of fun. The band members then all returned to their instruments and covered Bjork's "Who Is It," like they'd been doing on tour. Reginald Pace handled the blips and clicks with some pretty impressive beat-boxing and the horn and string players interpreted Bjork's electronic textures, as Justin strongly delivered Bjork's vocal parts. The band ended the encore with the crowd sing-along "The Wolves (Act I and II)" and again bowed and left the stage. Though the "Skinny Love" setup assured us of the first encore, much to my surprise, the band returned for a second encore to play one last song -- "For Emma." The song, which is already the fullest of all the For Emma, Forever Ago tracks, fit so perfectly with the new material, that it would have convincingly been a b-side to the new album if the song had never been heard before.
The show began with a great opening set by The Rosebuds. They were joined by Justin Vernon on guitar and backup vocals for the song "Leaves Do Fall" off 2005's Birds Make Good Neighbors. Justin's bandmate Mike Noyce also came out towards the end of the song to help out with more backing vocals. Bon Iver bassist Mike Lewis also joined the band later on for a song. Their set wasn't too long, but every song was solid and the guest appearances were the perfect way to warm the crowd up for Bon Iver's headlining set.
More pictures and the setlist from the show below...
Back in June, The Awl compiled a long list of the adjectives (and a few adverbs) used by music journalists to describe the new self-titled Bon Iver album. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the words chosen seemed more apt for describing a coat or a lumberjack than music: plaid-clad, wintry, warm, pretty, layered, rustic, wooly, enveloping. It was an Onion article waiting to be written. (Oh wait, that kind of already happened.)
When the origin story of an artist is as pronounced as Vernon's was with his debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, figuring out the next step can be challenging--especially when the reception was so warm the first time around. Would Vernon continue in a similar vein or break free from the web of adjectives that had carefully been sculpted by publicists and journalists? Even after The Blood Bank EP came out, the question loomed.
Vernon may not have shaved the beard, but judging from last night's show at the United Palace Theatre and the far-flung locales of the song titles on the new album, he has ventured out of that cabin in the Wisconsin woods. Though his music still has a hushed, intimate air about it, it is definitely no longer the work of one man.
But before Vernon and his band assumed their positions, The Rosebuds came out to showcase a handful of songs from their recent release on Merge, Loud Planes Fly Low, in addition to a few old favorites (like "Leaves Do Fall" and "Boxcar" from 2005's Birds Make Good Neighbors). Laced with boisterous choruses, pleasant duets, and anthemic guitar riffs, their set was lively, if not a bit out of place.
After a lengthy set-up (or maybe it just felt like forever), Bon Iver kicked off their set with "Perth," the opening track on the new album. Nine white spotlights cut through the darkness on stage, casting magnified shadows of each of the nine men against the backdrop. But it wasn't long before the lights began to flash rapidly and the colors came streaming in, as if to mirror the unfolding intensity of the song.
Here, of course we have the same earnest falsetto and mysterious lyrics. But the sound is boisterous and the tone, hopeful. I don't think it's an accident that Bon Iver came out, not during the cold, dark months of winter like its predecessors (including the Blood Bank EP), but on the first official day of summer, long after all the residual ice had melted. The hefty brass section (trumpet, trombone, bass sax, French horn), and the crashing percussion quickly revealed that this would be no sleeper of a set.
Justin Vernon and his talented cast of musicians (which included Colin Stetson, Rob Moose, Sean Carey, and others) played through the first four songs of the album before switching it up a bit with some cuts from Blood Bank and a cover by Björk ("Who Is It") to help mix things up. The older songs came later, including a beautiful solo rendition of "Re: Stacks.".
Between songs, Vernon addressed the crowd warmly, though not often. He didn't have to. Old and new songs alike brought thunderous applause from the undiscriminating crowd.
After wrapping up the initial leg of the set with "For Emma," Vernon and the band returned for a gorgeous three-song encore. Before launching into "Wolves," Vernon stopped to give a pep talk. This would be more than your typical sing-a-long. "When we come back on that down beat, that's when you have to just start screaming. Just no more singing words, no more thinking thoughts [...] You just start screaming," he instructed the audience.
After the mad fervor of "Wolves" died away, Vernon finished with a stripped down version of "Skinny Love" that included just a single guitar and percussion, leaving the remaining musicians to leave their instruments behind and gather around a couple of microphones to sing backing vocals. Then after a generous standing ovation, they were gone.
If you missed last night's show, you can check out the band tonight at Prospect Park's Celebrate Brooklyn or stream last week's gorgeous show at the 9:30 Club, courtesy of NPR Music.
The full setlist, a video of the Bjork cover from the Boston show, and more picures from NYC, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Although Kanye produced most of the album, they also brought an impressive cast of outside producers incuding Q-Tip, 88-Keys, The Neptunes, The RZA, and Swizz Beatz. Kanye and his collaborators create a wide range of sounds touching on everything from classic soul to dubstep-infused electronica. The guest vocal spots are especially grabbing too. Jay-Z and Kanye, who have been two of the biggest names in hip hop for at least the last decade, bring in newcomer Frank Ocean of Odd Future on two of the tracks. Jay's wife, Beyonce, who also has Frank Ocean and Kanye on her new album, sings the chorus to "Lift Off." The album samples the vocals of legendary singers Otis Redding and Curtis Mayfield, and also features guest vocals by Mr. Hudson of Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music. You can stream "Otis" at Jay-Z's Life + Times website and listen to "H.A.M" below.
Justin Vernon also wrote a hook for "That's My Bitch" and according to the album's liner notes, he also sings the part. Elly Jackson of La Roux sings the song's chorus and Q-Tip handled some production duties. Check the song out on grooveshark. Justin comes in at 1:45.
Speaking of Justin Vernon, he and his 9-piece version of Bon Iver played their first of two NYC shows with The Rosebuds at United Palace Theatre last night (8/9). They also play Prospect Park tonight (8/10). Both shows are/were sold out. More on last night in a bit.
Jay-Z & Kanye have two upcoming sold out shows at Izod Center and other dates too.
'Watch the Throne' tracklist and video below...