Entries tagged with: Strand Of Oaks
Tallest Man on Earth in the Moog Sound Lab
The Moog Sound Lab is a video series where bands and artists are invited to perform in the Moog Music factory in Asheville, North Carolina. With an arsenal of Moog equipment at their disposal, the musicians offer radically new takes on their material.
Most of the artists this series are already in the electronic world (like Toro Y Moi, Diamond Rings, Zola Jesus, and Washed Out), but here's a case where it's a truly radical rework. Swedish folk artist The Tallest Man on Earth (aka Kristian Matsson) usually keeps it unplugged, but offers up a new look on his song "There's No Leaving Now" with help from 2012 tourmates Strand of Oaks. The original is a spare piano number; here Matsson uses the Moog Guitar to great, ethereal effect. Strand of Oaks' Timothy Showalter and Chris Ward fill out the sound with, respectively, a Minimoog Voyager and Trap-Kit midi percussion.
You can watch video of their performance and check out a few more pictures from Moog Sound Lab, below.
photos by David Andrako
Yellow Ostrich's Jon Natchez at Bowery Ballroom - 11/14/12
Yellow Ostrich returned to NYC last night (11/14) for the last club date on their fall tour (they play Bard College tonight (11/15)) at Bowery Ballroom. The tour started in October just a few days after member Jon Natchez returned from his trip around the country with David Byrne and St. Vincent (he plays saxophone, flute, clarinet, and flugelhorn in their band).
Yellow Ostrich's setlist at Bowery was pretty modest in length compared to the amount of material they've released in the three years they've been in a band, but they included material off most of their releases, not sticking to one album in particular. Opener Strand of Oaks (aka Tim Showalter) joined them for "Ghost," the title track on their new EP, and Darby Cicci of The Antlers came out for "Won't Fade Away," off that same EP (Peter from the Antlers will join Sharon Van Etten on stage at Town Hall tonight).
In addition to an opening set by Strand of Oaks, who we also saw opening for The Tallest Man On Earth this year, and whose new self-released album, Dark Shores, has gone undeservedly overlooked, Glass Ghost (who have opened for Sharon Van Etten at the same venue) provided support at the show. More pictures of all three bands and Yellow Ostrich's setlist are below.
Wanda Jackson at Newport Folk Fest 2011 (more by Jim Brueckner)
As mentioned, queen of rockabilly Wanda Jackson is releasing a new album, Unfinished Business, this year and supporting it with a tour which brings her to NYC for a show on October 12 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets for that show are still available.
She's since expanded her tour and it now includes another date in the NYC area even sooner, which happens at Maxwell's on August 17. Tickets for that show are on sale now. The Maxwell's show is one day before Wanda heads to Philly for the Philadelphia Folk Festival which goes down from August 17-19 with sets from Steve Earle and the Dukes, Lucinda Williams, Deno Band, Pokey LaFarge, Strand of Oaks, Arborea and others. The full lineup is listed below. Tickets for the fest are on sale now.
A list of updates dates, Philadelphia Folk Fest lineup, and an album teaser for Unfinished Business are below.
words and photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
The Tallest Man on Earth at Town Hall - 6/20/12
In December of 2008 I ventured to Town Hall to cover Bon Iver. At the time, For Emma... had blown up over the summer and Justin Vernon and company were holding down two dates a stone's throw from Times Square. Opening for them was Kristian Matsson, The Tallest Man on Earth.
When you cover show after show the opening acts tend to run together. A great deal are forgettable, a bunch impress and you feel they're on to something but not quite there. And then there are those few that stay with you. Lykke Li opening for El Perro Del Mar, Fleet Foxes opening for Blitzen Trapper and Tune-Yards opening for Dirty Projectors are the easiest ones for me.
And then there's Kristian Matsson.
His opening set to a half-filled Town Hall had me riveted. He owned every piece of that stage, his energy and musicianship caught the attention of everyone who had the good sense to arrive early.
On June 19th and 20th, Matsson returned to Town Hall but this time as the headliner. Not so much a triumphant return as a deserved one for arguably the most talented singer-songwriter to come along in the past five years. Nobody performing today can match his output of three flawless full lengths and an EP in that time.
Matsson was flanked by a line of guitars to his right and a grand piano to his left, but everything else was very much the same as that winter night a few years back. And the sold out crowds were his. Shunning the static singer-songwriter schtick, Matsson was at ease as he stalked the stage, buzzing from one end to the other, leaning out over the crowd or staring up into the balcony as he strummed his guitar in between verses. The crowd clapped rhythmically along at the start of "King of Spain" and gave an appreciative applause as the opening strains of "Where Do My Bluebird Fly?" echoed out into the hall.
Matsson's voice was at its plaintive, pleading best on the gorgeous piano ballad (and title of his new record), "There's No Leaving Now," nearly cracking as he shouted the last refrain, "Your fear of the leading light / if they are with you and your heart won't fail." It was the night's most affecting moment. Despite his leanings toward the guitar, the man can write a stirring piano song and it would be great to hear more of them as he continues to evolve his sound, as he does on the new record.
During the encore Matsson played a piano rendition on the night's penultimate song "The Dreamer." And as the show reached its conclusion Amanda Bergman, Matsson's wife, came out to sing on "Thrown Right At Me," both of them inches away from each other as they sang. She departed before the song ended leaving Matsson to soak in the second standing ovation of the night.
Strand of Oaks opened both nights at Town Hall. We posted pictures from the first night HERE. More pictures from last night, the second, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"although each song is basically the same, The Tallest Man on Earth was blissful tonight @ Town Hall" - Christopher CJ Smith
DOWNLOAD: Strand of Oaks - "Maureen's (MP3)
The Tallest Man on Earth at Town Hall - 6/19/12
Halfway through his set at Town Hall last night, Kristian Matsson--also known as Tallest Man on Earth--set his acoustic guitar down and clumsily stumbled to the other side of the stage, sitting down at a grand piano. "I can't really play this thing over here; it's hard," he mused softly into the microphone. "But I like to sing." He carefully placed his hands on the keys, fluttering his fingers just enough to make the audience doubt what he had just said, and squeaked out the first words to the title track of his recently released LP There's No Leaving Now, a song about overcoming the fear of failure. The concertgoers watched as this man, solo among his five guitars and single piano, earnestly shared his demons--a recurring image throughout the night. [Village Voice]The Tallest Man On Earth brought his tour to NYC last night (6/19) for a sold out show at Town Hall with Strand of Oaks. He played most of the tracks off of his great new album, There's No Leaving Now and old favorites like "Love Is All," "Kind of Spain," "Where Do My Bluebirds Fly," and "The Gardener."
Opener Strand of Oaks (aka Timothy Showalter with drummer Chris Ward from Pattern is Movement) is set to release a new album this year titled Dark Shores. You can grab the first single from that album above and check out the lyrics to the track on bandcamp.
The Tallest Man on Earth and Strand of Oaks will play Town Hall again tonight (6/20) and tonight's show is also sold out.
More pictures and setlist from last night below...
The 2012 edition of MusicFestNW takes place in September 5 - 9 at 18 venues in Portland, OR and will feature performances from over 150 bands, including Passion Pit, Hot Snakes, Girl Talk, Danny Brown, Beirut Silversun Pickups, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, many more.
In addition to those previously announced artists, MFNW has just added The Hives, Flying Lotus, Wild Nothing, DIIV, Quasi, Moon Duo, My Goodness, DZ Deathrays, and Strand Of Oaks to the already impressive line-up. Wristbands, available various levels and packages, and tickets to individual shows are on sale now. Check out the complete MFNW lineup below.
Built to Spill at BV SXSW 2012 (more by Ryan Barkan)
The Hopscotch festival in Raleigh, North Carolina will celebrate its third year from Sept. 6-8, 2012 in downtown Raleigh, with 175 bands in 15 venues. The initial lineup, released today, runs the gamut from traditional indie favorites to punk to noise music to hip hop to noisy black metal and all stops in between, featuring performances from Built to Spill, sunn 0))), The Roots, The Jesus & Mary Chain (who played SXSW), Liars (who have a show coming up at Webster Hall), Baroness, Deerhoof, Death Grips (who play NYC soon and have new material on the way), Danny Brown (who was at Coachella and plays Prospect Park soon), Pallbearer (who play an exclusive East Coast Show soon), Screaming Females (who recently played NYC and are on tour now), Thee Oh Sees, The Spits (who just played NYC twice), Tenement, The Mountain Goats (two sets, one of which will be an all metal-covers set!) and so many more.
(and now we know the Jesus & Mary Chain are coming back soon)
Tickets are on sale. The full lineup and flyer (update: and a few more announced J&MC dates) are below...
Crooked Fingers at Nokia Theatre in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
Eric Bachmann's (of Archers of Loaf) other project, Crooked Fingers is set to release a new album, Breaks in the Armor on October 11 via Merge. You can check out a trailer video for the album below and pre-order the album at the Merge webstore.
Crooked Fingers will tour in support of the album this fall which kicks off shortly after the album's release. That tour hits Maxwell's on November 3 and Mercury Lounge on November 4. Singer/songwriter Strand of Oaks (aka Timothy Showalter) will provide support at the Mercury show. Tickets go on sale Friday (8/19) at noon for the Maxwell's show and the Mercury show. AmEx presale for the Mercury show starts Wednesday (8/17) at noon.
You can also catch Crooked Fingers at MusicfestNW in Portland, OR this September. All dates and album trailer below...
Austra @ BrooklynVegan Day Party @ Swan Dive
A few days have passed since I got back from Austin, and I'm still struggling to process the week. Yes, it was my first time at SXSW. Thanks to the never-ending supply of free tacos, music, beer, fellow music-devotees, and sunshine, I managed to retain that little-kid-like wonder throughout the week - even when severe sleep deprivation set in. (And I thought CMJ was a rush. Ha.)
By the time I left Austin on Sunday morning, I managed to see some 54 bands (no counting impromptu street performances) play in 20 different venues. Some were of course flops, but on the whole, I was impressed by the showcase of new and emerging artists. CMJ is great, but let's be honest. So many of the bands that play there play nearly every week in New York or Brooklyn anyway. Austin, on the other hand, seemed to get a much wider variety of acts, and I made it my goal to see as many unfamiliar and/or international artists as I could (in addition to of course scouting out some of my favorites like Sam Amidon, The Loom, tUnE-yArDs, and Papercuts).
Instead of potentially boring you with a lengthy play-by-play (which you can catch on my personal blog if you're interested), I'll try to succinctly present the highlights from my week. (Though to be fair, this is something of an impossible task.)
Since I flew into Houston and drove over (waaay cheaper), I didn't get to see a ton of music on Wednesday, but what I did catch was excellent. My first band of the festival, Still Corners (who recently signed to Sub Pop along with Memoryhouse), turned out to be one of my favorites all week. The British group's well-executed, dreamy sound was the perfect accompaniment to the beautiful outdoor setting on the lawn of the French Legation Museum for the the Bella Union/Yours day party. My two other favorite finds of the day were BOBBY (a Mountain Man side project that later played at one of the BV showcases) and the delightful Cali singer-songwriter Sea of Bees, whose eerily beautiful song "Gnomes" played on repeat in my head all week and prompted me to seek her out a second time the following day.
With the exception of the NPR Showcase, which featured the likes of Wild Flag, The Joy Formidable, and The Antlers (more on that later), the majority of Thursday left me lukewarm... that is until I stumbled upon Austra at the Domino showcase. (Austra also later performed at the BV show at Swan Dive on Saturday - pictures in this post.)
Wow. Zola Jesus may drive me a bit crazy at times due to Nika Roza Danilova's overly dramatic performance, but Austra seemed to strike exactly the right balance - theatrical and eye-catching without coming across as disingenuous or too over-the-top. Their beat was addictive, their appearance and dance moves, arresting. No question about it. Austra is definitely an artist to watch - and probably my favorite live act all week. Many of the sets I caught were only partial - I was constantly arriving late and leaving early in order to scamper off to another venue, but Austra held my attention (understatement of the year?), and I stuck around for the entirety of the set (Bill did too).
photos by Chris La Putt
"Neo-folk and it's many reinterpretations predominated the line-up, which included Headless Horseman, Bentley Addison Wood, Strand of Oaks, Matt Bauer, The Loom and more (we left before Death in it's many forms arrived). This is also just to say that the urban-woodsman look--plaid with hair on your head and/or on your chinny-chin chin--is still in, plus instruments that you probably haven't seen played since that brief stint in your middle school band (and a few odd balls): pots and pans, banjo, soprano/baritone ukulele, upright bass, French horn and trumpet. Watching Timothy Showalter of Strand of Oaks shimmy with his guitar, Matt Bauer plucking his banjo singing "Daddy was a spider and Momma was a fly," and The Loom in all their polyphonic glory, I was keenly reminded of how awesome house parties of the non-college-Milwaukee's-Beast breed really can be." [Dirty Art Smock]Though he didn't stay until the end (much like the above reviewer), Chris La Putt stopped by our loft party that took place on Friday, October 22nd. His pictures are in this post. He left after The Loom which means he missed Alcoholic Faith Mission, Dan Mangan, and O'Death.
The Loom left on a tour not long after the party. They're in Philly tonight (11/12) and the tour ends this Saturday night, 11/13, at Bowery Ballroom. They and Anais Mitchell are both opening for Horse Feathers. Tickets are still on sale, and I have a couple pairs you can win. Details at the end of the loft pictures, below...
Local Natives playing the loft in 2009 (more by Chris La Putt)
BrooklynVegan presents: The Whisk & Ladle Loft Show IIListen to some tracks from these artists HERE. RSVP if you're looking for a unique low key option away from the rat race tonight. See you there! And today at Public Assembly!
Date: Friday, October 22rd
Time: Doors @ 8pm
Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. RSVP for specific location
*** RSVP to email@example.com ***
9:00 - Headless Horseman (Brooklyn, NY)
9:45 - Strand of Oaks (Wilkes-Barre/Philadelphia, PA) -
10:30 - The Loom (Brooklyn, NY)
11:30 - Dan Mangan (Vancouver, CA) -
12:15 - O'Death (Brooklyn, NY) -