Entries tagged with: The Decemberists
Playing before The Decemberists is no easy task, but Merge duo Wye Oak was up for the challenge.
"Good evening. We're a couple of kids from Baltimore, Maryland... hot dog!" declared vocalist/guitarist Jenn Wasner with cool excitement. In light of Wasner's endearing banter and sweet demeanor, the duo's rocking sound is a nice contrast. This is not the stuff of wispy, sugar-coated singer-songwriters. Wasner's voice is surprisingly full bodied, and for two people, there's a lot going on musically. Andy Stack's ability to manage both the keyboard and the drums simultaneously is no small feat.
Wye Oak showcased some new material, including a selection of songs from their upcoming album, which drops on 3/8. "I wrote this song in a sweaty attic in Baltimore," Jenn said at one point. "Now I get to play it in a Broadway theatre. Life is strange."
Following Wye Oak's brief set (and nearly the entirety of a Mumford and Sons album courtesy of the sound guy), the lights dimmed, and a mysterious but congenial disembodied voice boomed through the darkness. "Good evening. Welcome to the show." No, it wasn't The Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy. It was a scripted pre-recorded intro of sorts, allegedly from Sam Adams, the mayor of Portland. Robo-Adams led the crowd in introductions and then began to set the scene for what promised to be a picturesque evening. "I'd like you to imagine you're standing on a windswept coastal rainforest somewhere in the deep Pacific northwest.'" Cue the chirping birds and flowing water.
"OK here we go," said Meloy as the band readied to play. "Night number two." Befitting the strange introduction, the backdrop of the stage was decorated with the silhouettes of pine trees against the sky - much like the artwork on the cover of the band's latest album which just hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
For Monday night's show (night 1 or 3), the band had kicked off their set with a number of new songs, but at last night's show, they began with a ten-plus minute song from deep within their discography: "California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade."
It's hard to believe that nearly 9 years have passed since The Decemberists released Castaways and Cutouts. After the direction the band assumed for their last two albums, I was eager to hear what their latest would be like, and I didn't have to wait long.
"We have a new record out called The King is Dead, and we're going to play some songs off of that... among other things," Meloy stated after the chords of the first song had died out. "We have a long night together." What followed was a cascade of new songs, interrupted only briefly for the crowd-pleasing ballad "Red Right Ankle."
With The King is Dead, The Decemberists seem to have exchanged the slowly unfolding and meandering prog rock featured on their recent few albums, and turned back to tight songwriting in the more conventional 3-5 minute format. The new material is less frenzied and overblown than say, nearly anything on Hazards of Love. Absent are long-winded instrumental interludes and evidence of roll playing, strange characters, and period pieces. The King is Dead is far more immediate, which is good, considering just how much of the band's set was lifted from the album (only two of the new songs went unplayed). Much of the material may have been new, but it also felt somehow familiar - like a throwback to some of the band's earlier work. Fiddle player and vocalist Sara Watkins (of Nickel Creek) was a pleasant addition to the mix - especially as the widow in "The Chimbley Sweep."
Of course, we still got a taste of that gothic storybook rock. "Alright, we're going to go down the rabbit hole here a little," Meloy said by way of introducing the Crane Wife suite.
Spirits were high throughout the evening. Meloy and the band succeeded in engaging the audience with their dramatic antics and candid banter. At one point, Meloy turned the mic on the audience and pitted the orchestra against the balcony for what turned into an impressively compliant and enthusiastic sing-a-long for the 'la-di-da's' of "16 Military Wives."
The Decemberists followed up their regular set with quite an energetic and theatrical first encore. "The Chimbley Sweep" devolved into a play-off - Colin Meloy vs. Chris Funk. Then as the song continued, both men handed off their guitars to a random audience member, and Meloy proceeded to take a walk around the room, climbing over chairs and steadying himself by reaching out and grasping shoulders and heads as he made his way through the crowd. For the accordion-laden shanty "The Mariner's Revenge Song," the audience assumed an important role. At Funk's hand signal (no more prop whale), the whole room broke out in screams and laments as if being swallowed by a whale. Back onstage, the band fell to the ground and began to writhe around the floor. From their new position, they played with increased fervor until the song eventually spun out of control and ended.
Succumbing to the ravenous applause, The Decemberists concluded the evening with a brief second encore, this time favoring a song from their new album, "June Hymn."
After comparing the setlists from the last two nights, it definitely looks like the band is attempting to mix things up. I only wonder what they'll play to cap off their three-night run in the city tonight (1/26).
More pictures from last night (though none of Wye Oak unfortunately), the setlist and all of their upcoming tour dates below...
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
"It was pure geek chic last night at the Beacon Theatre, where The Decemberists played the first of a three-night engagement.To quote Dominick, "Wye Oak flat-out killed" last night at NYC's Beacon Theater, so get there early if you're going tonight (night two) or Wednesday (night three). Wye Oak go on at 8pm, but note: both remaining shows are sold out. More pictures and the Decemberists setlist from night one, below...
This indie folk-rock quintet from Portland, Ore., look like extras from "Revenge of the Nerds," but don't be fooled -- like their name, The Decemberists' music is wrapped and cool.
Live, the band's acoustic side blossoms, so they often sound like close kin to American music icons such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and R.E.M.
Yet their brand of Americana has a youthful contemporary angst that is essential to their hipster appeal. During this two-hour show, the set spanned the band's 10-year career, but wisely leaned heaviest on the just-released CD, "The King is Dead." Songs from that record made the best case for why the group should be superstars." [NY Post]
The Decemberists are gearing up for a busy few months that include three January shows at Beacon Theater with Wye Oak, a big tour, and the release of their new album The King Is Dead (out 1/18 via Capitol Records, deluxe box edition included). To get us excited, the band have started releasing a series of album trailers. Today we are premiering the third trailer which you can watch with the first and second one too, below...
Say Hi headlines Bowery Ballroom on March 7th. Tickets go on sale at noon.
Noah & the Whale headlines Bowery Ballroom on March 22nd. Tickets go on sale at noon.
The Decemberists play the Beacon on January 24th, 25th and 26th. BRYAN ADAMS plays there on the 27th and 28th. Have you ever really loved a woman? Tickets are on sale.
Speaking of sexy, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs and Donald Fagen are touring as "The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue." They play the Beacon on 12/6 and 12/7... one night after Hall & Oates who play one night after Hot Tuna finishes a two-night run.
Radio City shows currently on sale or presale include Robyn, Interpol, Bright Eyes, Cold War Kids... and John Mellencamp.
The Decemberists at Radio City (more by Tim Griffin)
January 25th is sold out and the 26th is getting there (tickets), but The Decemberists have now added a third show at the Beacon Theater on January 24th (also with Wye Oak). Tickets go on sale Fri 12/10 at 11AM - no AMEX presale information is currently available, but the show is currently on fan pre-sale.
The tour is in celebration of the new LP The King Is Dead, available for preorder in various incarnations including a super deluxe boxset with the vinyl, CDs, a DVD on the making of the record, a book, and much more.
"The Decemberists have partnered with The Impossible Project and photographer Autumn de Wilde to create a DELUXE BOX EDITION of The King Is Dead, their forthcoming Capitol Records album which will be released on January 18, 2011. Rough Trade Records will be releasing The King Is Dead in the UK and Europe on January 17. The preorder of the set has launched today exclusively at Decemberists.com.Order the new record now.
Each of the 2,500 limited edition box sets will be unique, with every one containing a one-of-a-kind original Polaroid photo by de Wilde. The linen-wrapped clamshell box will have a foil-stamped cover, and will also include the CD, 180-gram white vinyl with an exclusive cover design, the DVD Pendarvia (a 30-minute short film by Aaron Rose documenting the making of the album), a 72-page hardcover book featuring over 250 photos by de Wilde and illustrations by Carson Ellis, and a signed Giclée print of an exclusive illustration by Ellis. A sample of the DELUXE BOX EDITION can be viewed at Decemberists.com.
The project was made possible by Impossible, who provided de Wilde with the vintage Type 100 "peel-apart" Polaroid film necessary to capture the 2,500 individual photos that were taken during the album's recording sessions at Pendarvis Farm outside of Portland, Oregon, and in de Wilde's hometown of Los Angeles, California."
Updated dates, and some videos of the band performing new songs, below...
Did you get tickets for the January 25th Decemberists show at Beacon Theatre which just sold out in 15 minutes? If not, hurry up and grab some for the January 26th show that was just added (at the same venue and also with Wye Oak opening).
Check out the cover of their new album, The King is Dead, above.
The Decemberists at Radio City Music Hall (more by Tim Griffin)
One week after The Decemberists welcome their new LP The King is Dead into this world (due 1/18/11) via Capitol Records, the band will hit the road for a string of US dates followed by European dates that will take them into middle March. The tour includes an NYC stop at Beacon Theater on January 25th. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday November 17th at 10am, and then general sale Friday November 19th at 11am. All seats are $39.50.
Wye Oak will open the first part of their US tour, including in NYC. The duo released their EP My Neighbor, My Creator earlier this year via Merge Records. Mountain Man, who just got done touring with Jonsi (they opened the NYC show at Hammerstein Ballroom) will take over as openers for the Decemberists in Milwaukee.
Mountain Man won't be on board for the NYC date of the Decemberists tour, but they will play 92Y Tribeca on 12/11 with John Shade, their only current US headlining date (the band will head to Australia in the new year). Tickets are on sale.
All tour dates and a video is below...
DOWNLOAD: Loch Lomond - Elephants & Little Girls (MP3)
The Decemberists have announced that their sixth full length album, The King Is Dead, will be released through Capitol Records on January 18. To accompany this announcement, they have also released the first single off the album, "Down by the Water" (which Colin Meloy played solo for KEXP during CMJ) featuring Gillian Welch singing duet vocals with Colin Meloy (Welch also just collaborated with Norah Jones on her new album). The single can be downloaded for free off of The Decemberists' website. The record will also feature guest musician Peter Buck of R.E.M., who The Decemberists have previously collaborated with in Buck's project, The Minus 5.
ABlack Prairie, a project featuring Chris Funk, Nate Query, and Jenny Conlee of the Decemberists, just played Mercury Lounge last week.
"Black Prairie is an impossible band to classify. They're billed in some circles as indie rock, but that's not quite accurate. That may be because it's the type of musical circles the members of the band normally travel in. The most well known members of Black Prairie spend most of their time in the folk rock band the Decemberists.How was the NYC show?
There are a few similarities to the Decemberists' work here and there, but anyone expecting that brand of folk rock/indie pop, should leave those expectations at the door. Black Prairie abandons any of those pop sensibilities for the most part, instead trading them in for an altogether distinct sound.
It would be a bit too simple to call them an alt-country band as they don't seem to share many of the same principles aside from sounding like a band that might interest people who have a leaning in that genre. The road they seem to travel is that of a bluegrass band."
In somewhat related news, friend of the Decemberists and fellow Portland band Loch Lomond have announced a new album as well. "Little Me Will Start A Storm" will be released via Tender Loving Empire on 2/22/11, and can be pre-ordered on CD and vinyl now. Sample a track from the record above.
Both new album tracklists below...
Colin Meloy @ Ace Hotel during CMJ (photo by Brittney Bush Bollay for KEXP)
"Like his performances with the Decemberists, Colin solo is fragile and intimate, accompanied by just his guitar and harmonica. From the brand new "Rise to Me," a beautiful ode that will bring tears to your eyes, to the epic story of "The Crane Wife," in three parts, he captures those heartfelt emotions that remind you why you first fell for his voice and music.YouTube videos of all four songs he played, below...
And KEXP congratulates Colin's wife, Carson Ellis, on her award this week from The Society of Illustrators for her book Dillweed's Revenge.
Memorial Day Weekend officially opened the summer, and for those in the Pacific Northwest it also brought Sasquatch Music Festival (pictures from all three days are coming soon). Now the lineup for its Labor Day cousin, Bumbershoot 2010, has been announced. That fest, happening at Seattle, WA's Seattle Center September 4th-6th, will include headliners Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Weezer, Hole, Rise Against, Neko Case, The Decemberists, J. Cole and "one more very special guest to be announced soon."
Tickets (including non-Mainstage 'economy' passes) are on sale now. The rest of the lineup (by day) for the seven-stage festival is posted below...
Shara Worden w/ The Decemberists @ Newport Folk Fest (more by Jim Brueckner)
Shara Worden (aka My Brightest Diamond) has been keeping busy. At some point she recorded a song with David Byrne for his new CD coming out. You may have caught her as part of The Long Count at BAM, and she spent much of 2009 touring with The Decemberists including their October 21st "Here Come the Waves: Hazards of Love Visualized" show at Royce Hall which was released on December 1st as a "full-length video album available exclusively through iTunes" (more info and trailer below).
She was also part of Dark Was the Night - the CD and the concert. That's all since her 2nd My Brightest Diamond album came out in mid 2008. Now, My Brightest Diamond is back for at least one NYC show: January 22, 2009 at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are on sale.
More Decemberists "Here Come the Waves" info below...
photos by Tim Griffin
"@colinmeloy just asked me to MC the Decemberists show tonight in NYC. Finally, something to dress up for! I know just what to wear...." - John Wesley Harding
"When the spotlight glared down on the tinsel-bedecked stage-left podium at Terminal 5 [Saturday] night, the crowd got very excited. It could only mean that The Decemberists were about to hit the stage and get their first set of randomly selected songs to perform in an unusual lottery concert.Feathers from Friday night's Of Montreal show could still be found on the ground at Terminal 5 one night later when the Decemberists took the stage for their special Saturday night lottery event.
For those in the audience who know Wesley Stace (better known to many by his stage name of John Wesley Harding), we recognized that we were in for a rare treat -- a collision of sharp wits. And although Wes said he got the call to play MC for last night's show just hours before he went on, giving him no time to put any material together, he managed to wing it just fine...
...song titles were pulled from a basket, bingo-style and the band had to play them right away, with no cheating...
It was a superb mix of songs old and new -- one so very new that the band's mastermind, Colin Meloy, wrote it on the spot, referencing NYC Miracle on the Hudson plane crash and ending with an admission that on his first visit to New York he stole something from the Empire State Building gift shop. We also got The Tain, all 20 minutes of it." [Will You Miss Me When You're Gone]
From Terminal 5, The Decemberists embarked on their latest tour which also brought them to The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ on Monday. Laura Veirs opened both NYC-area shows and is also on the tour. Terminal 5's lottery-generated setlist, and lots more pictures from the show, below...
Frank Black (w/ Grand Duchy) @ Siren Fest in July (more by Tim Griffin)
tonight in NYC
* Lucha VaVOOM @ Webster Hall
* Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest
* Allen Toussaint @ Joe's Pub
* The Dumps, Flaming Tusk, Descender @ Cake Shop
* Dead Stars, A Lull, The Tales & more @ Public Assembly
* Little Joy, Sean Walsh & The National Reserve @ Maxwell's
* Freelance Whales, Modern Medical Miracle, Austin Thomas @ The Cameo
* Ty Segall, Golden Triangle, The Mantles, DJ Thanksgiving Brown @ Mercury Lounge
* Vaz, Clan of the Cave Bear, Necking, Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk @ Death By Audio
* Thursday, Fall of Troy, Young Widows, Moving Mountains, Kiss Kiss @ Bowery
* Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy w/ Frank Black, David Berkley, Autumn Defense, more @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Rain Machine aka Kyp Malone plays the Bell House on Monday.
Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight will feature sets by Frank Black, David Berkley, Chris Harford & Ray Neal, Butterflies of Love, The Parkway Charlies, Winterpills and The Late B.P. Helium (from Of Montreal) plus "a Premiere of the Thom Yorke video 'All For The Best' and readings by graphic novelist Ben Katchor." That's just one of a few Pixies-related events coming up (not the least of which are actual Pixies shows). Joseph Arthur was originally on the MHOW bill, but he's not listed anymore.
Little Joy play, with Sean Walsh & The National Reserve, at Maxwell's tonight. On Oct 2nd, they headline Webster Hall.
Ty Segall, Golden Triangle and The Mantles play Mercury Lounge.
Last time they were in town, Thursday (the band) played Terminal 5 and Nokia Theatre. Tonight they're at the much smaller Bowery Ballroom with tourmates Fall of Troy and openers Young Widows, Moving Mountains and Kiss Kiss.
Fanfarlo gets here Monday.
Colin Meloy wrote a song on the spot last night at the Decemberists show at Terminal 5. Video below...
DOWNLOAD: Portland Cello Project - Travel (feat. Justin Power) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Portland Cello Project - Tallymarks (feat. Thao) (MP3)
Thao With The Get Down Stay Down @ BV party - SXSW 09 (more by Leia Jospe)
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down will be playing a show at the Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday, November 4th. Tickets go on AmEx presale Wednesday, August 26th at noon. General sale starts Friday, August 28th at noon.
That show will include sets from David Schultz and the Portland Cello Project, the latter of which collaborated with Thao on their most recent album, The Thao and Justin Power Sessions, that came out on June 9th on Kill Rock Stars. Two tracks from that, one with Thao and one with Justin Power, are posted above.
"Portland Cello Project, in case you're unfamiliar, is an amazing group of cellists that, in the course of one of their epic 2-3 hour shows - (the format of which is always a one-time affair - the group writes almost entirely new arrangements for every performance cycle) - perform a crazy diverse array of everything from canonized and avant classical compositions to reconstructed pop covers of everything from Nintendo game themes to Britney Spears to Yoko Ono to R. Kelly--and they've accompanied The Builders and The Butchers, Laura Gibson, The Dandy Warhols, Mirah, Loch Lomond, Horse Feathers and tons of other indyish folks. At shows, you'll see hipsters too-cool-for-school mesmerized by Arvo Paert, members of the Decemberists playing late 19th century Russian compositions transcribed for Hammond Organ, a 40-piece choir, and all kinds of other craziness."Thao with the Get Down Stay Down will releasing a new album of their own, Know Better Learn Faster, also on Kill Rock Stars, on October 13th. Producing the record will be Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Bill Frisell, Jim James), and guests include Andrew Bird, Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper, Laura Veirs, Nathan Crockett of Horse Feathers and Tune-Yards.
The Thao-Bowery show is part of a soon-to-be-announced (we think) larger tour. Those dates with album info are below...
Decemberists @ Newport Folk Festival 8/1 (more by Jim Brueckner)
"The Decemberists have gotten muscular lately, too. The onetime bookish Smiths acolytes have lately discovered the wonders of prog. On [the first day of Lollapalooza 2009] they performed their concept record The Hazards of Love in order, frontman Colin Meloy decked out in a suit and suspenders and co-vocalist Becky Stark -- playing the role of Margaret -- donning a wedding dress. Their set felt more like a theater piece than a concert, each number composed of varying movements. Their compositions bore traces of familiar folk tropes, but time and time again the group upended them. And isn't that the spirit of Lollapalooza? It's like pop music, only different." [Rolling Stone]The Decemberists' "A Short Fazed Hovel" tour, which visited Radio City in June, will continue into the fall. As part of that, the band will play a show at NJ's Wellmont Theatre on September 21st. Tickets are still on sale.
While most of the shows on the tour, Wellmont included, feature a full performance of their latest record The Hazards of Love, the band has added a
"By Request" evening "special lottery show" to take place September 19th show at NYC's Terminal 5. "The evening's selist will be 'by request', as selected by Decemberists fans. Voting instructions will be sent out to ticketholders soon."
"In homage to that totally awesome scene in Dragon Slayer, we Decemberists will perform a set that will be entirely left to the hands of fate -- we will draw songs from a lottery and dutifully play them, regardless of their quality or presence in our memory. Decemberists songs, naturally, but you do never know what bizarre cover songs or strange commands may end up in the pile."Tickets for Terminal 5 are now on presale via MusicToday and go on AmEx presale today (Aug 19th) at 11am. General sale starts Friday, August 21st at noon.
Both shows, and many others on the tour, will feature special guest Laura Veirs & The Hall of Flames. All dates below...
photos by Jim Brueckner
"Half a century ago, Pete Seeger helped found the Newport Folk Festival, a weekend notorious for its dichotomies- Rhode Island high society and scrappy folk singers, old time traditions and new sounds, social rebellion and responsible activism. At this year's 50th anniversary, the festival came full circle for Seeger and other Newport regulars.While we were busy worrying about the weather and All Points West here in NYC, The Newport Folk Festival was turning 50 up in Newport, Rhode Island (Aug 1-2, 2009). NPR was there and has archived streams of many of the performances. We have more pictures (from the first day for now), and some videos (including one of the Bob Dylan reenactment), below...
In addition to appearing and performing for the umpteenth time, Seeger was honored with an all out stage show courtesy of indie rockers the Decemberists. With frontman Colin Meloy narrating and guitarist Chris Funk playing the part of Seeger, plus Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) as Bob Dylan, the crew reenacted an infamous scene from the 1965 festival: the moment when Bob Dylan "went electric." According to Rolling Stone, while Funk was miming a frazzled Seeger attempting to unplug Dylan's raucous reinvention, Meloy quipped, "This was back in the day when the PA system was fueled entirely by burning wood. Pete was back there cutting the wood, and he became so overwhelmed with emotion that his hatchet almost slipped and severed the power cables."
Seeger knew the sketch was all in good fun and soon joined the Decemberists on stage for a sing-a-long. Gillian Welch, Fleet Foxes, and even Seeger's grandson Tao joined in on the jam. The 90-year-old legend even cranked out a solo or two. After all, as festival promoter George Wein said Saturday, "Pete Seeger is the Newport Folk Festival."" [American Songwriter]
The Decemberists @ Radio City Music Hall (more by Tim Griffin)
"The Decemberists have announced Fall dates for their "A Short Fazed Hovel" 2009 tour. The tour, which features a full performance of their acclaimed new album The Hazards of Love, has been earning rave reviews as it crosses the United States from coast to coast, including sold-out performances at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the Edgefield Winery in their hometown of Portland, Oregon, and stand-out performances at major summer festivals including Sasquatch and Bonnaroo. The band will also be performing this year at the Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Music Festival and Treasure Island Music Festival."The new set of tour dates includes a September 21st show at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ with Laura Veirs. Tickets for all new dates are now on PRESALE.
On August 1st The Decemberists are playing a non-Hazards of Love-album set at the Newport Folk Festival (an alternative to All Points West). NPR Music, who also just had the band in the other day, will be live webcasting and broadcasting it.
All dates below...
photos by Tim Griffin
"The show was in two parts. The first consisted of the band, with the addition of two performers - Becky Stark and Shara Worden, playing the entirety of the Hazards of Love album without even a break between songs...
After the intermission, the second (and more whimsical) set consisted of...
Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle is opening for Neko Case on the summer leg of her Middle Cyclone-supporting tour. Lytle also has his own headlining shows planned. Those include NYC shows on July 10th at Union Hall and July 11th at Bowery Ballroom. Union Hall tickets are on sale now; tickets for the Bowery show go on sale Thursday (today) at noon.
Lytle released his solo debut, Yours Truly, the Commuter, in April on Anti (also Case's label). He'll be on NPR's Talk of the Nation this afternoon (6/11).
The Decemberists, who played Radio City June 10th, will also be on NPR today. They're broadcasting live at 2pm from the Greene Space in Manhattan for WNYC's Soundcheck. Tickets to watch the show "sold out" yesterday in 10 minutes after Colin Meloy announced the show on the air, however, Greene Space writes, "Doors will open at 1:15 and will close at 1:45. Any ticket not claimed by 1:45 p.m. will be released to the public."
All tour dates for Jason Lytle and Neko Case (who's playing APW, Bonnaroo, Newport Folk Festival and more) below...
Colin Meloy in Ohio, June 1st '09 (unruly badger)
Ah, yes, young Meloy....Colin, isn't it? Yes, yes...jolly good. I must say he is a springy lad...most flexible...hewn of wands, you know...they splice them down by the river...he was part of a group that lost contact with the main tribe, and drifted to Montana. I found him in the bushes, whistling to a frog. He later said it was me, perhaps he was right. A majestic performer, at ease with himself, his audience and his material in away that makes me quite...envious. He is...well, he's not old, you know...still green of leaf and...always springy, did I mention? Oh yes, well, the thing is: he's young but he goes back a long way. That's right - he leads from the old path. The deeper your roots, the broader your branches, I always say. Especially if you're a tree. Colin has magnificent roots, he showed me them in a forest. What did you say? Prog Folk? Or Fog Polk? In San Francisco, probably, I know he was there...or was I there?...yes, we were both there, but not at the same time. I get confused with the other chap...not Dr Partridge...he's sitting over there, I think it's him...no, Colin is very...to me he's the ultimate British rock star...in a way that he couldn't be if he was from Britain, because he's have to come from some sector of society that the other sectors would resent him for....(Canon Morrisey, that's the fellow - or is he dean now?)...no Colin has it in perspective and can be it in a way that only an outsider can. So he has the brogues, and the lamps, and the canvas...the pavilion...the lashes and the brand...although he's most careful with them both...and most of all, he has the voice. With a little technological help, he could yet be duetting withThe Decemberists are still on the road, playing their new album Harzards of Love from start to finish -- they'll be touring North America (with some time off) till August. Updated dates are below. The band visits NYC's Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday, June 10th (TONIGHT). Tickets are still on sale.
- if he hasn't already. Hmmm? Did I say he was springy? Ah yes...young Meloy....
- Robyn Hitchcock [to Paste]
"Apropos, the stage backdrop was a silk screen draped with tumbling, gauzy cocoons and lit in blood and chlorophyll. Meloy, dressed like he wanted to borrow just a moment of your time to discuss the Good News, played the role of Narrator/William the Forest Prince. Becky Stark, as Margaret, wore a white sequined gown of the sort usually found in a giant trunk in the attic; I'd bet anything it originally came with a giant cone-shaped hat. Shara Worden, as The Forest Queen, dressed in a loose black dress and silver tights, leaving her free to steal the show with some body-rocking that was extemporaneous and silly and improbably sexy." [Washington City Paper]Becky Stark and Shara Worden are reprising their guest spots on Hazards of Love, and more, live. See a video of Stark, Worden and Meloy cover Heart's "Crazy On You" on tour, below.
Speaking of guests, Robyn Hitchcock, who played some guitar on Hazards, is opening select dates for the Decemberists with his band, the Venus 3. That group consists of Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows) and Bill Rieflin (Ministry). They'll open the Decemberists' Radio City gig.
The guys in that band -- McCaughey and Buck, specifically -- are also in The Minus 5. That group will release an album called Killingsworth on Yep Roc on July 7th. From that record, the song "Scott Walker's Fault" features Colin Meloy on lead vox. Meloy also sings on Robyn's newest disc.
Robyn Hitchcock has his own NYC headlining show on Thursday, June 11th (the night after the Decemberists gig) at the Bell House. Tickets are still on sale. The openers for that show will be Ken Stringfellow and Takka Takka.
Storefront Hitchcock, a 1998 concert film directed by Jonathan Demme and featuring Robyn Hitchcock, is now streaming online. See that video, and an exclusive interview with Hitchcock from SXSW earlier this year, with all Decemberists tour dates, below...
Pete Seeger, who is a cofounder of the Festival and who just celebrated his 90th birthday with a show at MSG, will be playing both nights. On Sunday, he'll be joined by Judy Collins, who is also performing a free Folks on the Island show Sunday, July 26th on NYC's Governors Island.
Saturday acts at the Fest include Billy Bragg and Tom Morello, who just shared a stage with Iggy Pop at NYC's Nokia Theatre, and the Decemberists, who have a big summer tour that's stopping at NYC's Radio City Music Hall on June 10th, Fleet Foxes, who have tour dates including All Points West, and the Avett Brothers, who are on tour and playing NYC's Irving Plaza on June 12th and 13th. Langhorne Slim will be there too (he's also at Lollapalooza this summer). Iron & Wine are playing both this, and ATP NY.
Sunday's show is heavy on big-name folkies with Collins (mentioned above), Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie all performing. Arlo Guthrie is also playing a free show at Castle Clinton in NYC this summer.
Elvis Perkins in Dearland will be there. Perkins and Co. played the Bowery in March, and their summer tour includes a May 20th show at the Bell House in Brooklyn (tickets), and the Clearwater Festival (another project founded by Seeger) on June 20th and 21st in Croton-on Hudson, NY.
Also on Sunday is Deer Tick, whose big summer includes opening for Jenny Lewis at MHoW on June 9th, headlining the Bowery on July 24th (tickets go on sale Friday, May 8th at noon), and playing a free Celebrate Brooklyn show at Prospect Park on August 7th.
Full Newport Fork Festival info below...
Mogwai @ MHOW (more by Ryan Muir)
tonight in NYC
* Tribeca Film Festival
* The Dead @ IZOD Center
* The Roots @ Highline Ballroom
* Del the Funky Homosapien @ BB King Blues Club
* El Ten Eleven, The Sway Machinery @ Mercury Lounge
* Mogwai, The Twilight Sad @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Spectrum, Psychic Ills, Cheval Sombre @ Death By Audio
* Peter Bjorn and John, Chairlift, Luke Top @ Webster Hall
* pow wow!, Eula, Elizabeth Harper and the Matinee @ Crash Mansion
* The Fugs, Golden Triangle, White Williams, Acrylics, Further Reductions, Mount Olympus @ The Bell House
Lots of people showed up to the Knitting Factory to be Spiderman.
pow wow! are a 2009 L Band to Watch.
Video of the Decemberists on The Colbert Report the other night, below...
!!! is playing ACL 2009 (more by Chris Graham)
"The 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival will showcase a diverse blend of acts both fresh and familiar at the eighth edition of the event in Zilker Park October 2-4. Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, and Beastie Boys are performing for the first time at the Festival, with Kings of Leon, Ben Harper and Relentless7, and Thievery Corporation returning to Zilker Park once again. John Legend, The Dead Weather, and The Levon Helm Band will also make their ACL Festival debut, while Austin's own Ghostland Observatory will no doubt deliver another memorable set for festival goers.The entire 2009 lineup is below...
With over 130 artists on this year's bill, the list of acts awes at each note with the likes of Sonic Youth, Mos Def, Toadies, Flogging Molly, The B-52s, Lily Allen, Citizen Cope, Arctic Monkeys, The Decemberists, Coheed and Cambria, Andrew Bird, Girl Talk, and many more.
In the tradition of the TV show from which it was born, the Festival has always aimed to offer musical discovery for the fans. The 2009 lineup is rich with pop, country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, indie rock, hip-hop, and gospel, to name a few, spanning cultures and countries from New Orleans to Venezuela to France."
Bowerbirds @ MHOW (more by Ryan Muir)
tonight in NYC
* Les Paul @ Iridium
* Chevy Chase @ UCB
* Tribeca Film Festival
* Sarah Siskind & Jim Campilongo @ Living Room
* Russian Circles, Sweet Cobra, Lichens @ Maxwell's
* Mogwai, The Twilight Sad @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Bowerbirds, Bell, La Strada, Lost in Trees @ Mercury Lounge
* Todd Barry, Wyatt Cenac, Anthony Jeselnik & other comedy @ Pianos (free)
* Apollo Heights, DJ JG Thirlwell & more - a benefit @ Santos Party House
The Decemberists are on the Colbert Report tonight (again).
Box Elders played 2 (or 3? Did they ever show up at Silent Barn?) shows in NYC over the weekend. Video from the Bruar Falls show below...
"Though promoters around the country report strong early ticket sales for festivals and summer tours, the recession is causing jitters. This year Coachella, which has the most glamorous reputation of all American festivals, began selling tickets on layaway, and 18 percent of its customers took that option, Mr. Tollett said.With all the leaks of bands playing Lollapalooza this year, there are almost no surprises in the official lineup announcement, except maybe the Animal Collective DJ set... The whole thing below...
The proliferation of big festivals, like Bonnaroo near Nashville and Lollapalooza in Chicago, has not been without casualties. This year Langerado in Miami shut down, citing the economy. The Pemberton Festival in British Columbia is on hiatus after only one year, although its promoter, Live Nation, said the problem was permit delays." [NY Times]