Entries tagged with: Justin Vernon

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Bon Iver at The Long Center in TX in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
Bon Iver

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).

Later that month they'll head out on an Australian tour. The only North American dates scheduled for Bon Iver as of this post is the sold out Coachella. All dates are listed below.

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...

Continue reading "Bon Iver playing SNL too, and is one of many collaborating with the Flaming Lips"

Megafaun at Bowery Ballroom in 2011 (more by Ryan Barkan)
Megafaun

Megafaun are heading out on an extensive international tour this year, starting with a European run in February and then coming to the US in March and April. The tour hits NYC on March 17 at Highline Ballroom with support from William Tyler, who also opens a few of the other US dates. Tickets go on sale Friday (1/13) at noon. All dates are listed below.

Megafaun's Phil Cook is one of the guests, along with Justin Vernon and Norah Jones on Kathleen Edwards' Vernon-produced full length, Voyageur, which comes out this Tuesday (1/17). You can stream the entire album on NPR.

Phil and his brother/bandmate Brad Cook were in a pre-Megafaun band together called Amateur Love. Their album, It's All Aquatic, is being reissued on Justin Vernon's new label, Chigliak Records, which is an imprint of Jagjaguwar. According to a post on the label's website, which has since been removed, Chigliak will release albums that were "never commercially released" or "locally released and never put on vinyl," in addition to new recordings. So far the label is set to release the Amateur Love album, and albums by Sarah Siskind and 12 Rods. Check out an Amateur Love video below.

All dates and video below...

Continue reading "Megafaun announce tour dates; Justin Vernon starts label; Kathleen Edwards streaming new LP"

photos by Tim Griffin

Bon Iver
Kathleen Edwards

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...

Continue reading "Bon Iver & Kathleen Edwards collaborated on a 7" (listen), played The Long Center in TX (pics)"

"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)
Tyler

Bon Iver (Justin Vernon) has posted his thoughts on last night's VMAs. This is what he said:

"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?"
- JV
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....

Continue reading "Bon Iver's Justin Vernon discusses the MTV VMAs (where Odd Future won, Tyler's mom got excited, etc)"

by Andrew Sacher

James Blake

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...

Continue reading "listen to Bon Iver & James Blake - 'Fall Creek Boys Choir'"

written with assistance from Andrew Sacher

UPDATE: "Falls Creek Boys Choir" is a song. Listen HERE.

Justin Vernon

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...

Continue reading "Did Justin Vernon sing in the Fall Creek Boys Choir? (listen) --- Is James Blake now a member?"

by Andrew Sacher

WTT

Jay-Z & Kanye West aka The Throne's collaborative album Watch The Throne became available via iTunes this week (8/8) and will be out physically on Friday (8/12) via Def Jam.

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.

Speaking of Beyonce, she just announced 4 NYC shows. Tickets go on sale today (8/10).

Jay-Z & Kanye have two upcoming sold out shows at Izod Center and other dates too.

'Watch the Throne' tracklist and video below...

Continue reading "Jay-Z & Kanye West released 'Watch the Throne' (Justin Vernon, Frank Ocean, La Roux, Beyonce & more included)"

Sharon Van Etten at McCarren Park in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Sharon Van Etten

Brooklyn singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten has done a fair amount of impressive stuff since hitting the scene. She's released two amazing albums and contributed vocals to The Antlers' Hospice and to Beirut's upcoming LP The Rip Tide. Now she's working with Aaron Dessner of The National (who she recorded a track with for the movie Win Win) on her new album. We've just learned that album will be coming out in early 2012 on Jagjaguwar, home to Bon Iver, who covered Van Etten's "Love More" (congrats Sharon!).

Sharon has a few shows coming up in September including Bumbershoot and a September 23rd show in Philly. All dates and two recently posted videos: one of Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio talking about her, and another of her dueting with her labelmate Justin Vernon, below...

Continue reading "Sharon Van Etten signs to Jagjaguwar"

by Bill Pearis

DOWNLOAD: All Tiny Creatures - An Iris (feat. Justin Vernon) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: All Tiny Creatures - Glass Bubbles (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: All Tiny Creatures - An Iris Mixtape SIDE A (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: All Tiny Creatures - An Iris Mixtape SIDE B (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: All Tiny Creatures - Glass Bubbles Mixtape SIDE A (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: All Tiny Creatures - Glass Bubbles Mixtape SIDE B (MP3)

All Tiny Creatures

Wisconsin's All Tiny Creatures are touring in support of their new album Harbors, making two stops in New York: June 4 at The Sycamore and then June 5 at Mercury Lounge. Both shows are with Washington D.C.'s The Caribbean. All dates are listed below.

All Tiny Creatures is led by Thomas Wincek of Collection of Colonies of Bees and Volcano Choir. The latter's bandmate, Justin Vernon, contributes vocals to Harbors track "An Iris" which you can download above along with another cut from the album ("Glass Bubbles," which features vocals from 12 Rods' Ryan Olcot). Like his other two projects, All Tiny Creatures features meticulous performances -- weaving guitar loops together into a larger pattern -- but this band is more rhythmic based. There are definitely Krautrock elements here but it is also effervescent and melodic. It's a lovely record.

Justin Vernon was recently in town to perform a Bonnie Rait cover on Jimmy Fallon who also interviewed him on the Monday night show. If you missed it, we posted the videos.

Both of the tracks above were released as part of mixtapes All Tiny Creatures made that features non-LP music which you can also download above. All tour dates are below.

Continue reading "All Tiny Creatures released 'Harbors' (Justin Vernon vocals included), going on tour (dates & a bunch of MP3s)"

Justin Vernon

As promised, after a rare musical guest interview, Justin Vernon played a medley and cover (of covers?) on Late Nite With Jimmy Fallon last night. Accompanied by his best friend Phil Cook of Megafaun on piano, Justin didn't sing any news Bon Iver songs. He sang Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me," mixed with some "Nick of Time" and along with an intro of Donny Hathaway song "A Song For You" (which was written by Leon Russell). Check out both videos below...

Continue reading "Justin Vernon played a Bonnie Rait medley & was interviewed on Jimmy Fallon (videos)"

Bon Iver

Bon Iver, the musical project of Justin Vernon that emerged to international acclaim in 2008 with 'For Emma, Forever Ago,' has confirmed the June 21 release of new album 'Bon Iver' on Jagjaguwar. Featuring 10 new songs penned by Vernon, the album expands the group's sonic palette beyond the rustic acoustics of the debut into a lush landscape of silky electric guitars, beautifully intricate keys, and subtle horn and string sections while keeping the ghost choirs and densely layered vocals intact that Bon Iver has become so known for.

Painstakingly crafted over three years, the album was recorded and mixed at April Base Studios, a former veterinarian's clinic in Fall Creek, WI, converted into a recording studio by Vernon and his brother. Bon Iver regulars Sean Carey, Mike Noyce and Matt McCaughan contributed vocals, drums and production; Rob Moose (Antony and the Johnsons, The National) helped with arranging and strings; and Jim Schoenecker and Tom Wincek (who have previously collaborated with Vernon under the Volcano Choir moniker) provided processing. The album also features the pedal steel of Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Bill Frisell) and a horn section including Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Arcade Fire), Mike Lewis (Andrew Bird, Happy Apple), and C.J. Camerieri (Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens)." [press release]

Justin's most recent accomplishments include playing with Gayngs, the National and Kanye West at Coachella over the weekend. That's the "Bon Iver" cover above. The tracklist is below...

Continue reading "Bon Iver releasing 'Bon Iver' (cover art and tracklist)"

photos by David Andrako

DFA1979
Coachella

"While it was kind of a running joke that the gnarled dance-punk band was one of the biggest reunions at this year's Coachella (Death From Above 2005 jokes abounded), the band reasserted what made them such a strange and compelling commodity in the first place.

Lacerating bass, Grainger's falsetto wails and a relentless rhythmic urgency both hearkened back to the mid-'00 dance punk craze, yet reminded the audience that their palpable violence set them apart from their more trend-minded peers.

"Romantic Rights" and "Blood on Our Hands" rode slithery, distortion-tangled bass lines over the kind of four-on-the-floor that bassist Jesse F. Keeler would explore more thoroughly in his disco aegis MSTRKRFT.The audience seemed simultaneously enthralled and a bit confused."
[LA Times]

Death From Above 1979's performance on Sunday was the second time the reunited band graced a public stage since announcing their return. The first was a semi-surprise appearance at this year's SXSW at March that got much more attention than anyone even anticipated due to a bit of violence that made the late night news. In May the band does it again at Sasquach.

Coachella 2011 concluded on Sunday with a big headlining set by Kanye West. I already posted some pictures from that one, but a more proper set is also in this post which also includes our full set of pictures from the California festival's final day (day one pics HERE, day two HERE).

Bon Iver's Justin Vernon who played Friday night with Gayngs, made two guest appearances on Sunday, first with the National earlier in the day and then with Kanye West during one of the most high profile sets of the weekend.

The other big set of Sunday was by the Strokes who weren't afraid to play the hits. Their full setlist is below.

The Strokes
Coachella

PJ Harvey (who arrives in NYC this week) played her headlining set on the "Outdoor Theatre." It overlapped with both The Strokes and Kanye...

"Backed by a nimble three piece band, Harvey, with the Strokes audible from the nearby main stage during the silences between songs, delivered the most emotionally intense performance I witnessed at this year's Coachella, singing songs of violence, war, love and lust (mostly from her harrowing new Let England Shake), before a crowd of rabid supporters...." [SPIN]
a rabid supporter... (this pic not by David Andrako)...PJ

More pictures from Sunday, below...

Continue reading "Coachella 2011 Day 3 in pics (The Strokes, DFA1979, PJ Harvey, The National, CSS, MEN, Nas, OFF! & more)"

Kanye makes his grand entrance (this photo by David Andrako)
Kanye

There were dancers, costume changes, Bon Iver...
Kanye
Kanye
Kanye

Kanye West closed out Coachella 2011 in the only way he knows how, in a grand fashion and dedicated to his mama. We'll have more pictures and recaps from Sunday later, but in the meantime, check out more of what Kanye brought to the Indio stage, and the 27 song setlist, below...

Continue reading "Kanye West closed out Coachella 2011 w/ help from Justin Vernon, dancers & Pusha T (pics & setlist)"

DOWNLOAD: Lia Ices (ft. Justin Vernon) - Daphne (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Lia Ices - Grown Unknown (MP3)

Lia Ices @ Bowery Ballroom for CMJ (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Lia Ices

As mentioned, and again, and again, Brooklyn's own folk siren Lia Ices will sing and play piano with her band at Mercury Lounge in NYC tonight (12/14). She shares a bill with her label-cousin Sun Airway (and Mike Wexler and Sebastian Blanck), and it will be her final show of the year and her first since CMJ when she suddenly started getting a lot of attention... which, in addition to her enormous talent, was partially related to the fact that she signed to Jagjaguwar who are putting out her LP, Grown Unknown, on January 25, 2011. "Daphne" off that album can be downloaded for the first time, above. You can also stream it below. Listen for Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver during the second half of the track.

The handclap-featuring "Grown Unknown" from the same album can be grabbed above also. All of her upcoming dates are below too...

Continue reading "a Lia Ices MP3 featuring Justin Vernon & upcoming shows (including Mercury Lounge tonight)"

save a turkey

today in NYC
* Keiku Matsui @ Blue Note
* Nicki Minaj @ Hammerstein Ballroom
* Arlo Guthrie, Gladys Knight, India Arie, Jimmy Fallon & The Roots, Kylie Minogue, Macy Gray, Kool Aid Man, Kanye West & more @ The Thanksgiving Day Parade

SuperVegan lists where to eat today.

Kanye West is supposedly playing a Justin Vernon song in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, but unfortunately, though Justin did come to town to play his parts at the Bowery show, he didn't stick around long enough to make an encore appearance.

UPDATE: A video of Kanye's "performance" in the parade, waving people dressed as the Statue of Liberty included, below...

What else?

Continue reading "What's going on Thursday? (Thanksgiving)"

"Great show. Though, totally unnecessary 3+ hour wait to get in." - Anonymous

Nicki Minaj & Kanye West @ Bowery Ballroom (photo by Questlove)
Kanye West

Kanye West played his entire new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy from start to finish, followed by a four song encore Tuesday night at the intimate Bowery Ballroom in NYC where Kanye literally brought in "all of the lights" (there were lots of lights). The show started with people who weren't Diddy (he walked right in) waiting on a long line. The show ended with Kanye going on a rant about racism, George Bush, Taylor Swift, the Today Show, etc. Audio of that final portion can be streamed below.

Album guest stars Kid Cudi, Raekwon, Jay-Z and RZA were nowhere to be found, but Terena Taylor, Bon Iver aka Justin Vernon (who might appear again with Kanye in the Thanksgiving Day Parade), Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj (who plays Hammerstein Ballroom on Thanksgiving), Pusha T, Prynce Cy Hi, Swizz Beatz, and John Legend (whose friend Questlove was in the balcony taking pictures) all performed at the show that started around 12:40am and was was over by around 2:15. Full setlist, videos and that audio below...

Continue reading "Kanye West played Bowery Ballroom w/ many special guests (setlist, videos & audio of the show-ending rant)"

Justin Vernon & Kanye West @ Bowery Ballroom (photo by Ivanka Trump) (seriously)
Kanye West Bon Iver

UPDATE: more on the show & videos HERE

"Dear New York and Me, we won't forget this will we? Oh shit." - J Vern, 5pm EST

Justin Vernon @ MHOW in January (more by Paul Birman)
J Vern

This Thursday, while the rest of us are pounding down turkey, Mr. West will be performing on a float during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Parade reps tell MTV News that the rapper, whose new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was released on Monday, is set to perform "Lost in the World"--a somber track that features Bon Iver--during the parade. There's been no announcement as to whether falsetto-voiced Justin Vernon of Bon Iver will be joining West, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.

Kanye will travel along the parade route on the New York Daily News Big Apple float. "The Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and of course Macy's Herald Square, share the landscape with New York's signature taxi cabs and subway stations on the New York Daily News Big Apple float," the reps said. "With a giant, 30-foot inflatable apple at its core, the float perfectly represents the frenzied and bustling city." [MySpace]

Kanye West (and Justin Vernon?) play Bowery Ballroom tonight.

Kanye West

"...On Monday West, who is 33, will release his fifth album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam), and it's terrific -- of course it's terrific -- a startlingly maximalist take on East Coast rap traditionalism. And yet that doesn't matter nearly as much as it should, at least partly because of West's insistence on his own greatness. By not allowing for responses to his work other than awe, the value of the work itself is diminished; it becomes an object of admiration, not of study. Instead the focus is on the whole of West's persona and character, which is more fractured and subject to a far wider range of responses. The result is that West becomes a polarizing public figure who happens to be the most artful pop musician of the day, not the other way around.

Nevertheless, West seems virtually incapable of making a bad record. He's committed to pop, and he's savvy and talented enough to make it great, every time. What's more, for him to make something other than a universally accepted smash would be a thing that his ego couldn't bear. Every Kanye West album, until the cancer of the world around him begins to encroach on the parts of his cerebral cortex that control his musical ear, will be excellent and huge. He'll never have an idiosyncratic period.

Even at his most extreme, West isn't an experimenter. His music is ornate, ostentatious, curious and vivacious. But risky? No. All of his fiddling is within recognized formulas. A producer as well as a rapper, West controls all of the major elements of his songs, unlike other artists who have to rely on their taste (or their record label's taste) in outside producers or songwriters.

To work on this album he retreated to Hawaii, as he did during the making of his previous album. And West's gravitational pull is such that he can import talent. Rick Ross, Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Nicki Minaj -- they all made the trip to make music that will appear on the album. The spooky indie folky Justin Vernon from Bon Iver spoke of smoking marijuana with Rick Ross on one of his three sojourns to Hawaii to work with West, about as surreal a tableau as has been created in the making of any pop album this year." [JON CARAMANICA, Sunday New York Times]

"Runaway" video below...

Continue reading "Kanye West 'seems virtually incapable of making a bad album'"

DOWNLOAD: Megafaun - "Volunteers" (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Megafaun - "Carolina Days" (MP3)

Megafaun @ Bowery Ballroom in 2009 (more by Kurt Christensen)
Megafaun

Those looking for an excuse for a road trip this weekend:

Megafaun & Fight the Big Bull • 'Sounds of the South'
feat. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver & Sharon Van Etten

Friday, September 17, 2010 | 8:00 pm
Saturday, September 18, 2010 | 8:00 pm
Sunday, September 19, 2010 | 5:00 pm
Hayti Heritage Center
$26 • Duke & NCCU Students $5

The members of Megafaun moved from Wisconsin to Raleigh with Vernon as the band DeYarmond Edison. After Vernon went back north to record as Bon Iver, the Cook brothers and Joe Westerlund stayed on in the Piedmont, crafting a timeless folk-pop that "drinks deeply from the well of the past but could only have been made today" (Drowned in Sound)--an archive of rural America's ghosts.

In this exclusive live recording event, the rustic avant-gardists team with Fight the Big Bull, the "thrilling" (NPR) 9-piece jazz collective from Richmond, VA, along with Vernon and the blisteringly talented Van Etten. Together in Durham for three shows only, they'll cut a live album based on Alan Lomax's collection of shape-note songs and dirt-floor hymns, Sounds of the South, gathered during a two-year trek through the American southeast (1959-1961).

Tickets for the three shows appear to still be available. I would go if I could, but knowing a live album will come of it is nice too.

Sharon Van Etten plays two NYC shows and then tours in October.

Meanwhile, Megafaun's fine new mini-LP Heretofore is out today (9/14). Check out two free songs from that above. Grab a remix the band did for The Acron @ My Old Kentucky Blog. And a video of Megafaun covering Gillian Welch with The Tallest Man on Earth, below...

Continue reading "Megafaun LP out now (MP3s), 'Sounds of the South' shows w/ Justin Vernon & Sharon Van Etten this weekend "

My Morning Jacket

As previously mentioned, My Morning Jacket landed some opening slots on the current Tom Petty tour including August 24th in NJ (though not MSG). Tickets for the tour are currently on sale (some with no service fee).

My Morning Jacket now has new dates that include Canandaigua, NY (outside Rochester) on August 28th (tickets on sale Friday at noon) and Philly on August 29th. On those headlining dates "the guys will be donating $1 from each ticket to a local charity." All dates and the list of charities are below.

Before those, Jim James will be a part of the Appalachain Voices tour with Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore in July. That includes a July 30th show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets are on sale Friday.

You can also catch Yim Yames on May 26th performing with John Prine on Letterman. MMJ is among those who contributed to a new Prine tribute album entitled Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Gayngs, Deer Tick, Josh Ritter, Conor Oberst, Drive By Truckers, Those Darlins and others have tracks on the CD too.

The full tribute tracklist, a video of J Vernon covering Prine at the Haiti benefit @ MHOW, and all MMJ tour dates, below...

Continue reading "My Morning Jacket announce more tour dates, contribute to John Prine tribute CD"

live photos by Drew Kaiser

DOWNLOAD: Gayngs - The Gaudy Side of Town (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Gayngs - Faded High (MP3)

Channy Moon Casselle, Justin Vernon & Dessa (Gayngs) @ First Avenue on Friday
gayngs

Who are Gayngs? A druggy-disco supergroup comprised of the following...

Ryan Olson (Digitata), Zach Coulter (Solid Gold), Adam Hurlburt (Solid Gold), Joe Westerlund, Phil Cook (Megafaun), Brad Cook (Megafaun), Michael Lewis (Happy Apple), Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Ivan Rosebud (The Rosebuds), Stefon LeRon Alexander (POS), Mike Noyce (Bon Iver), Jake Luck (Leisure Birds), James Buckley (James Bukley Trio, Mystery Palace), Nick Ryan (Leisure Birds), Shön Troth (Solid Gold), Danny Krzykowski, Chaney Moon Cassell (Roma di Luna), Katy Morley, Maggie Wander, Maggie Morrison (Lookbook, Digitata), Joe Mabbott (Passions), Grant Cutler (Lookbook), Xander.
Their debut album, Relayted, came out May 11th on Jagjaguwar. Two songs from it are posted above. Start with the blissed out funk of "Faded High" or just stream the whole thing at 89.3 The Current.

Gayngs played their first ever show on Friday, May 14th at First Avenue in Minneapolis. The show was in Minneapolis, so naturally Prince showed up, and actually almost joined them onstage (there is even photo evidence of the funky one with guitar in hand). Gayngs all wore tuxedos in line with the night's theme, The Last Prom On Earth. The set of pictures in this post are from that show. They continue below with some videos.

The band will play their next live shows this September and October. Those include the just-announced ACL Festival, and a pair of NYC dates. They play Webster Hall on October 3rd and Music Hall of Williamsburg on October 4th. Tickets should be on sale this week. All dates below.

A video of the group at work/play, the video for their cover of Godley & Creme's "Cry," some porny teaser trailers (nothing says sexy like a clarinet), more pictures and some videos from their first gig, all dates, and much more, below...

Continue reading "Gayngs (starring Justin Vernon) played a show - sort of with Prince (pics), announced more dates (w/ ACL, 2 in NYC)"

photos by Kyle Dean Reinford

Vernon & Shade

John Shade

John Shade, who made his live debut at the BV/BP Haiti benefit at Music Hall of Williamsburg that Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) also played, recorded his debut album at Bon Iver's studio in Wisconsin late last year. Early this year, Shade recorded another version of the record (with string quartet) - it was produced by Paul Kolderie (Pixies, Radiohead, Hole, Dinosaur Jr, Warron Zevon, etc). Paul offered to make the record after coming to a John Shade gig in Boston. We posted an MP3 from that session in our announcement of John Shade's next (and 2nd) NYC show which happens (with string quartet) at Mercury Lounge tonight (Monday, 4/12). John also plays Lizard Lounge in Cambridge on Wednesday (4/14).

Justin Vernon and John Shade sat down (in front of their respective computers) and had an IM chat about various topics including John's new record, movies, books, and sometimes I'm not sure what. That conversation, and more (never-before-seen) pictures from the Haiti benefit, below...

Continue reading "John Shade in conversation with Justin Vernon"

DOWNLOAD: Anais Mitchell - Flowers (Eurydice's Song) (mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Anais Mitchell - Wait For Me w/ Justin Vernon (mp3)
DOWNLOAD: Anais Mitchell - Cosmic American (MP3)

Anais Mitchell

Speaking of The Low Anthem, The Low Anthem's Ben Knox Miller recently joined Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), Greg Brown, Ani DiFranco, and Petra, Rachel, and Tanya Haden to play on the new record by Anais Mitchell, Hadestown, which is due out March 9th on Righteous Babe. The record is a concept album about the Greek myth of Orpheus & Euridice, and each of those singers plays a role...

Hadestown began its existence in 2006 as a live "folk opera" that the Vermont-based singer/songwriter created in collaboration with director Ben t. Matchstick (Bread & Puppet Theater) and arranger/orchestrator Michael Chorney. After loading the sets and the 22-member cast of Vermont performers into a former circus bus and touring New England during "full-on winter," it was time to rework a few songs. Next, Mitchell called upon a few fellow musicians to lend their voices to a recorded version--not a cast album, but a stand-alone, self-contained song cycle. The result is a veritable Who's Who of modern indie folk/rock: Justin Vernon of Bon Iver plays Orpheus; Greg Brown is Hades, Lord of the Underworld ("king of the kingdom of dirt"); and Ani DiFranco plays Hades' strong-willed, subversive wife, Persephone. Also on hand in smaller roles are the Haden Triplets (Petra, Rachel, and Tanya) as the Greek-chorus-like Fates and Ben Knox Miller of The Low Anthem as the messenger Hermes. Mitchell herself sings the part of Eurydice, the character whose (metaphoric) death propels Orpheus into "Hadestown."
The album's cover art is above along with two songs from the new album, one of which features Justin. Full tracklist below.

In other Justin Vernon collaboration news, he recently performed live with St. Vincent two times (one, two) in NYC, and one of his Bon Iver songs is covered on the new Peter Gabriel album.

Anais's upcoming shows include an April 23rd show at Joe's Pub billed as "Anais Mitchell & the Hadestown Orchestra". Tickets are on sale. All dates and a video of Anais performing with Justin, below...

Continue reading "Anais Mitchell playing shows, releasing 'Hadestown' - concept album w/ Justin Vernon, Greg Brown, Hadens, more (MP3s)"

photos by Chris La Putt

"St Vincent brought out David freaking Byrne!!" - Kari

St. Vincent
St. Vincent

For the second week in a row, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) performed together at a NYC show. Last week it was the Haiti benefit. Last night it was St Vincent's headlining show at Lincoln Center's Allen Room. Last week included a bunch of covers. Last night included the Twilight song. Shara Worden, saxophonist Colin Stetson and a member of Megafaun were surprise guests last week. David Byrne, Budos Band horns, and a member of The National (and Justin) were surprise guests last night.

St Vincent appears on David Byrne's new album, as does Nicole Atkins who shares a bill with David at Bowery Ballroom on February 3rd. Bon Iver and St Vincent are both playing MusicNOW fest in March. The National just announced a new album and a tour that includes Radio City Music Hall, and the Big Ears Festival that St. Vincent is also playing.

St. Vincent heads out on tour with Wildbirds & Peacedrums on February 3rd. More pictures and the setlist from the Allen Room, below...

Continue reading "St. Vincent (and David Byrne, Justin Vernon, Bryce Dessner & more) played Lincoln Center's Allen Room - pics & setlist"