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52 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Chikita Violenta
event::about Mexican indie rock outfit Chikita Violenta have signed with Arts & Crafts ahead of the release of their new album, TRE3S, the culmination of a long-standing friendship with the label and former Broken Social Scene producer Dave Newfeld. Newfeld produced Chikita Violenta’s 2007 release, The Stars & Suns Sessions, as well as TRE3S, which was recorded over three trips to his Ontario-based studio/church compound in 2008 and 2009. The album will be released in Mexico August 17 and will roll out across the rest of the globe in early 2011. Chikita Violenta continues to display a unique sound, intensely crafted and expanded in the spirit of North American and British alt college lo-fi rock. Where once the band’s bold English-language approach was unheard of in Mexico, Chikita Violenta has become one of Mexico’s biggest indie acts, praised simultaneously for their compelling songwriting and all-consuming live performances. Chikita headed out on a North American tour starting in August with Built To Spill before joining Ra Ra Riot in late September. The band will close out that run at the Corona Capital Festival in their hometown of Mexico City on October 16, sharing the stage with the likes of Interpol, Pixies, Metric, Temper Trap, amongst others. Ahead of TRE3S’ North American release, the band is eagerly making available the album tracks, “Tired” and “All I Need’s A Little More”. You can grab them at the band's site www.chikitaviolenta.com Chikita Violenta is: Luis Arce – bass, vocals Armando David – keyboards, bass Cheech – guitar, bass Andrés Velasco – guitar, vocals
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69 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
event::about MONA BIOG Devotion. Faith. Abandonment. The ecstasy of salvation, the salvation of ecstasy… There’s a thin line between rock’n’roll and religion, and nowhere thinner than in the intense, sharp, sweat-drenched, duelling-guitar euphoria of Mona. The four-piece Nashville-based band – or family, or gang, or band of brothers – are young, charismatic punk preachers. They’ll testify to the thrill they get from hunkering down in a Nashville, Tennessee basement, writing and recording the best debut album of 2011. They’ll hymn the praises of visceral rock with heavenly fireworks in its soul. They want to convert everyone they come across. This, by the way, isn’t the old God-and-the-devil schticky music-biz hyperbole. Three-quarters of Mona did learn their music – how to play, how to perform, how to work a crowd – in church: frontman/guitarist Nick Brown and drummer Vince Gard in a Pentecostal Charismatic congregation, bass player Zach Lindsey in a Southern Baptist congregation. For all three, while they were growing up, secular music was frowned upon, and transporting an audience – the congregation – was paramount. For all four – guitarist Jordan Young completes the line-up – imbuing secular music with honest passion and true grit is what Mona are all about. Mona keep the faith, “but it’s definitely our own brand, We’ve had to walk away from a lot of the bullshit of church,” says Nick, as verbally forthright offstage as he is forcefully charismatic onstage. We’re all family people. We’re all mamas’ boys. We all try to be good brothers, to be good sons. The same thing with the band – we’re a family. But obviously with the band we’re more like a family in the Mafia sense. We’re a fucking gang as well. It’s all hugs and kisses on the cheek – but if you fuck with us, we’re vicious,” adds the singer who dispensed with the services of his previous lead guitarist by “breaking my fist on his face”. With in-band fraternalism this zealous little wonder, perhaps, that “Mona’s never lost a bar fight.” Mona are Sun Studio’s Million Dollar Quartet (Presley, Perkins, Lewis, Cash) rebooted 54 years on. They’re rock revivalists, in the sense that they like, as Nick puts it, “the golden age of the United States – the James Dean, Marilyn Monroe type stuff.” This iconography and idealism, he says, informed the writing of Listen To Your Love – and the reasons why it became their first single. “It felt kinda reminiscent of some of the old stuff,” he says of the song, released on already-rare and already-pricey seven-inch vinyl only. “Even Roy Orbison-type melodies. But still, a little bit of a punk thing in there. It just felt like a good first introduction, a first impression.” Nick and Vince grew up in Dayton, Ohio. They met via their church musical group. Says Nick, “I needed a drummer and Vince needed an outlet. We didn’t even get along as people, as friends, at all, it was more of a musical connection at first. The friendship thing developed much later. But at first, growing up in church and having a little bit of a chip on your shoulder, you want someone that’s gonna play aggressively and have fun with it. And both of us were very zealous, even in the church, very passionate people. He beat the shit out of the drums and I used to break pianos.” As musical “support act” to the pastor, they learnt how to improvise, and jam, to follow the flow of the service. “That’s kinda how we view rock’n’roll now. I know there’s a lot of stuff that’s about scheduling – with radio and TV and the market now, they want you to fit in to a thing. But we’ve always prided ourselves on the timelessness of the experience. Just let it happen. Even when we write we don’t book writing sessions or schedule time to write. We just get together and whatever happens, happens.” Zach Lindsey is from Bowling Green, located in a dry (booze-free) country in Kentucky. Whereas for Nick and Vince non-religious music was banned (Vince: “but my mom would play me Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Police and tell me not to tell my dad…”), in the bassist’s church non-religious music was tolerated. “I was born listening to The Beatles.” With musical options dead in the water in Dayton, Nick and Vince moved to Nashville. Why? Nick: “It was five hours’ drive away as opposed to 14 hours to New York or 26 hours to LA. And way cheaper. We’re a bunch of poor kids.” Once relocated to America’s Music City, they ran into Zach on the local gig scene. He in turn introduced them to Jordan Young, an old Kentucky friend who had grown up in the farm town of Breeding. Having gone through serial line-up upheaval – including the bust-up with the unfortunate guitarist with the broken face – Mona was complete. “Now we’re four horses pulling the carriage,” says Nick, who’s worked on the “idea” for Mona for years – not least because the band is named after his grandmother. “There’s a lot of people that wanted to be in this band. There’s a lot of people that locally support this band. But as far as having people that understand their roles, and being happy with their roles, it’s chemistry, man. It’s just like a relationship. It’s a marriage.” Nick’s top-to-bottom vision for Mona encompasses everything from the archive pictures picked to feature on the largely monochromatic design of their Myspace; to only making the odd song available, and briefly (“too many people have artistic bulimia,” he spits, “eat and puke it up and they’re onto the next thing. So we made people saviour it”); to creating their own label Zion Noiz; to hammering out a major record company deal that, unusually, stacks things in the band’s favour. In 2011, Mona won’t be hard to find. They’ve already caused a rumpus in the UK this autumn, with the buzzed-about release of Listen To Your Love and two crushing-room-only London shows at Rough Trade East in Brick Lane and at The Flowerpot in Kentish Town. Their next release is the aggressively melodic Trouble On The Way. Nick: “It’s pretty self-explanatory – there’s a sound on the horizon and the volume’s gonna grow. And even though we are full of ambition and very grandiose, at the end of the day it’s about having our own voice and our own career. And we wanna do this for the rest of our lives. And at the end of the day, despite that huge, dramatic claim,” he says with a grin, “we’re just four dudes making some noise in a garage and just having fun.” After that, Teenager is scheduled to be their first fully commercially-available single. Nick: “It’s the song that sums up being a chump, dealing with love and hate and very basic human emotions.” The only thing slick about Mona is their hair. The rest is arm-pumping, vein-throbbing, knee-jittering, raw-throated, singalong rock’n’roll. Thank God they’ve come.
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Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea
121 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea
event::about “This is the record I’ve been wanting to make since I was 12,” says Nicole Atkins. “It has so many layers, it’s able to do whatever it wants without defining itself as one thing.” It’s been a tumultuous three years since the release of Atkins’ acclaimed 2007 debut, Neptune City, but the wait has proved worth it. Mondo Amore is a courageous, provocative work, fraught with dramatic tension, sweeping emotions, and musical ambition. With Atkins’ remarkable voice commanding attention at the forefront, songs like “My Baby Don’t Lie” and the searing “This Is For Love” capture the raw ache and self-reflective disillusionment of a love gone bad. Daytrotter described Atkins’ recent session as “a pretty soundtrack to violent waters,” which the New Jersey-born singer/songwriter sees as a spot-on portrayal of the album itself. “When you listen to it, it feels like a movie,” Atkins says. “From the beginning of it, the first song is ‘Vultures,’ which is a perfect intro song to what the actual record is about. And by the time you hear the end, with ‘The Tower,’ it’s almost like your stomach hurts, because you can feel the pain in it.” Mondo Amore has its genesis in a time of extreme turbulence for Atkins, a period which saw her parting ways with her former (major) label while also dealing with the painful termination of “a relationship that should’ve ended two years before it actually did.” As if all that weren’t enough, her former backing band, The Sea, abandoned ship just a week into the January 2010 start of recording the new album. “Things got kinda weird and dark,” she says. “Writing these songs was my way of trying to work out what was happening. I was breaking up with my boyfriend, my band, and my label, all at the same time.” Having spent the past few years living in her native Asbury Park, Atkins dealt with these seismic shifts by returning to her adopted home of Brooklyn. Despite limited resources, she rallied her many musical friends – including guitarists David Moltz and Irina Yalkowsky, bassist Jeremy Kay, and drummer Chris Donofrio – and set to work at The Seaside Lounge Recording Studio in Park Slope. Most significantly, producer Phil Palazzolo (A.C. Newman, Ted Leo & The Pharmacists) offered his services behind the glass. “Working with Phil has been one of the best experiences ever,” she says. “I’ll have an idea and he’ll say, ‘Okay, let’s try it.’ Whereas other producers would say, ‘Are you serious? That’ll never work.’ Working with Phil felt like hanging out with my best friend every day.” Atkins’ goal from the get-go was to create a more volatile sound than she had ever previously attempted, a sonic approach akin to such influences as Scott Walker and Nick Cave, while also touching on longtime inspirations like the blues and classic 60s psychedelic rock. “The production of the last record was a little bit too cheery for my taste,” Atkins says. “It was really lush and pretty and this time I wanted to deconstruct the sound a little bit. With everything that was going on, and because of the subject matter, I knew I needed something more aggressive.” Through it was undeniably painful, Atkins is strikingly pragmatic about her relationship’s end, describing the breakup as “dark and sad and sexy, rather than bitter and pissed.” As such, songs like “You Were The Devil” and “War Is Hell” (featuring counterpoint vocals from My Morning Jacket’s Jim James) display a deep range of emotional feedback, with Atkins bravely taking ownership of her own role in the scenario. “I don’t think any of these songs are mean,” she says. “I feel like they’re putting blame on both people, rather than just ‘You’re a jerk.’ It’s more of a passive/aggressive apology letter for me being crazy too.” As for her separation with her label, Atkins explains simply, “I knew where I was going with the record so I said, ‘Look, if you don’t hear it, I hear it, so just let me go.’” One happy by-product came from an A&R rep’s suggestion that Atkins team up with another songwriter in an effort to craft a mainstream hit. The idea, while misbegotten, struck a chord and Atkins entered into collaboration with one of her all-time favorite tunesmiths, Robert Harrison of Austin, Texas’ psych-pop legends Cotton Mather and Future Clouds & Radar. The two came together after Atkins waxed effusive about Harrison in an Austin Chronicle interview. Moved by what he’d read in his local paper, Harrison reached out to Atkins via MySpace and a fast friendship was formed, resulting in two of Mondo Amore’s standout tracks: “Cry, Cry, Cry” and “Hotel Plaster.” “Writing music by yourself can be a pretty lonely thing,” Atkins says. “Working with Robert was like having a musical friend to rant about your life with and then jam. He was almost living my life with me, helping me try to make sense of everything. It was cool for both of us because neither of us had ever written with somebody else before. I’m pretty sure I’m going to write songs with him until we’re both really old.” The loose collective of musicians who assisted Atkins on Mondo Amore has now morphed into a leaner, meaner backing combo, now dubbed The Black Sea. Comprising Yalkowsky, Kay and drummer Ezra Oklan, the band has given Atkins still more reason to be enthused about her future. “This is the best lineup I’ve ever played with,” she says. “It feels like a family, like a band of brothers and sisters. With that in mind, Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea is planning to do “a ridiculous amount of touring.” An inveterate road warrior, Atkins is eager to adapt the finely crafted songs of Mondo Amore for the in-your-face directness of live performance. “This band is really into it, almost as much as I am,” she says. “We’re trying to figure out how to work these songs for a trio, with me just singing. Trying to make the biggest sound possible with the least amount of people.” As its all-encompassing title suggests, Mondo Amore is a big, bold collection, a grandly romantic song cycle fraught with all the passion, anger, tenderness, and devotion of Atkins’ own extraordinary heart. “It’s so much love,” she agrees, “it’s borderline obsessive.”
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120 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists The Greenhornes
event::about The trio of Craig Fox, Patrick Keeler and ‘Little’ Jack Lawrence--heretofore known as The Greenhornes—have been churning out the highest quality rock n roll for well over a decade. Formed in the late 90s in Cincinatti, Ohio, The Greenhornes have toured the world over (and over and over) and released 3 full length albums, an ep and a boat load of singles across a multitude of record labels. After a five year break in which Keeler and Lawrence joined The Raconteurs and Lawrence subsequently joined the Dead Weather, The Greenhornes are back! What to say about the sound…pure, straight up Nuggets inspired rock and roll. And by straight-up we mean sans revisionist new wave of snotty garage rock posturing. These guys have been weened on a diet almost solely consisting of the finest r+b and rock innovators: The Kinks, The Who, The Zombies and The Easybeats are immediately recognizable in their sound. This isn't a hobby or something these guys are doing between projects--it's their life. Good, old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, plain and simple. Their most recognizable tune, ‘There Is An End’, was featured throughout Jim Jarmusch’s 2005 feature ‘Broken Flowers’. After a five year hiatus, The Greenhornes are very excited to have Jack White’s Third Man Records release their brand new full length album, the aptly titled ‘****’ in the fall of this year.
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29 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Stephen Kellogg
event::about Look no further than the title track of their new Vanguard debut album The Bear to understand Stephen Kellogg and The Sixers. As the band sings passionately, “Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you. Sometimes you’re gonna win, sometimes you’re gonna lose…but you know in the end – there's no apologies!” “SK6ERS,” as they’re also affectionately known, have carved a determined, inspiring path since forming in Western Massachusetts in 2003. An exceptional live act given to high-energy showmanship, The Sixers are closing in on their 1000th show with a newfound grit and gratitude. Stephen and core Sixers – Kit “Goose” Karlson (keys, bass, tuba, accordion) and Brian “Boots” Factor (drums, mandolin, banjo) -- are friends who act like brothers and switch off on their instruments to keep it fresh; much in the tradition of their collective heroes, The Band. “We’ve all opted to approach our life in the same way – trying to put integrity ahead of ambitions of fame and fortune, though we’d like that too... at least the fortune part,” Stephen says with a laugh. Many bands talk about “keeping it real,” but in The Sixers’ case, they mean it. “We’re not up there projecting a personality we can’t believe in. I think it’s important to go with the feel of each moment and take chances. If that means we get out of synch or sing out of key once in a while, so be it. The crags are cool because they’re interesting.” That explains why producer Tom Schick (Norah Jones, Ryan Adams, Rufus Wainwright) signed up for the new record. “Each person in The Sixers really adds a lot,” he says. “They’re so locked in with each other. Stephen is definitely the leader of the gang, but everybody has their say,” he adds of the roles played by Boots Factor and Kit Karlson. “They rise and fall together. It’s amazing to watch them work.” Schick now understands why the group has a growing legion of loyal fans. “They’re a ‘classic rock’ band in the best sense of the phrase,” he says. “You can hear Neil Young, Tom Petty and John Cougar in there. It brings back a lot of good feelings about growing up and listening to great people who can really play their instruments. It’s not pieced together on a computer. It’s very refreshing.” The Bear is their rawest and most collaborative album yet. With alternating tracks between producers Tom Schick and Sam Kassirer (Josh Ritter, Erin McKeown) the album was recorded in an apartment studio in NYC and a big old house in Maine respectively. The duality of these settings fits perfectly with Kellogg’s description of his family upbringing as, "aristocrats and farmers." Ditto the musical diet he was raised on, a strange bedfellow mix of his dad's 70's records and his sister's taking him to 80's metal concerts. Kellogg explains, "I'm as much a product of Whitesnake as I am of Jackson Browne. The beauty of The Sixers is that they don't have a problem with that." Out of that deep understanding of each other, several of the new songs were co-written by the group including "My Old Man," an aching personal track about an aging father; "Dying Wish of a Teenager," a song about wrestling hopelessness; "The Bear" and "Do," both brighter tracks about making it through life amidst the highs and lows that exist for everyone. It all builds up to the climactic "Born in the Spring," a song about rebirth from the “what-fors, flames and trap doors through which all of us fell.’’ The album is a heartfelt odyssey that also rocks with an explosive touch at times, as the band continues to push the boundaries of what they've done before. Of the recording process itself, Boots elaborates, "Most of the record was recorded in a room with us spilling all the guts we could muster into the mics. It wasn't always pretty but that's... well that's the bear." Other stand out collaborations comes in the form of those who lent their time and talents to the making of The Bear. Canadian stand out Serena Ryder on "See Yourself," Josh Ritter on "All Part of the Show."
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The SXSW Brit Rock Bender
177 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
event::about Live4ever presents A Two Finger Salute: The SXSW Brit Rock Bender. An afternoon of stellar British rock n roll at one of Austin's hottest venues. Open bar, swag and prizes. Come party hard with our line-up of critically acclaimed acts from the British Isles. Show your SXSW badge for entry. To view the lineup visit: http://www.live4ever.uk.com/2011/02/live4ever-media-announce-sxsw-official-day-party-line-up/
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56 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Abigail Washburn
event::about Profiled in Newsweek (2008) for creating a 'gorgeous, joyful new sound,' songwriter and clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn takes her bold and expansive musical vision to new heights on her third recording, City of Refuge (January 11, Rounder Records). Raw, ethereal and at times lushly orchestrated, the album melds the forces of renowned producer Tucker Martine (the Decemberists, Spoon, Sufjan Stevens) with Washburn's classic songwriting and old-time storytelling aesthetic. Abigail and Tucker along with songwriting collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Kai Welch amassed an impressive group of artists and friends including guitarist Bill Frisell, old-timey fiddler Rayna Gellert, string arrangements by Jeremy Kittel of the Turtle Island String Quartet and guzheng (the ancient Chinese zither) master Wu Fei. Chris Funk from the Decemeberists and Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket also appear on the record.
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63 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Reading Rainbow
event::about When we first saw Philadelphia’s Reading Rainbow at a house party in Texas earlier this year, their ultra-primitive live show was a bolt from the blue. Nothing short of beautiful bashing beats, mesmerizing melodies, and an overall crushing display of songwriting simplicity done right, when it seems so easy to do wrong. Just a two-piece boy and girl couple, utilizing a captivating and metronomic drum beat underneath a scaly and spidery, yet irresistible guitar crunch, it was impossible to resist then, and we still haven’t been able to shake off the shivers they induced to this day. One of a handful of new bands with an instantly unique and penetrating sound all their own, Reading Rainbow drive a deep groove down the center of each well-beaten track on the Prism Eyes LP, creating the addicting and awe-inspiring hum of fuzz-laden pop noise that will have your heart palpitating in seconds. The incredibly bright and sparkling hooks interlaced on each track of Prism Eyes, jaunt ecstatically between erotic and neurotic, with the wall of soaring vocals and stunning guitar/keyboard interplay knocking out hit after glorious hit. Scraping up equal parts scuzz-chug guitar and sugar beats never felt so good as it does here, further locking in Reading Rainbow’s solid reputation as the pop masters that they’ve truly become. It’s just track after track of chill-inducing, feverishly-angelic, heavenly dark pop hits that you couldn’t remove from your head without some serious brain surgery, obviously letting you know that it’s time to crack open that candy-coated skull of yours, and dump this record right in.
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129 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Yellow Ostrich
event::about Yellow Ostrich formed in a Wisconsin dorm room in early 2009 as the solo recording project of Alex Schaaf. Over the course of the next year, Schaaf released six albums and EPs, including three EPs in August, 2010: Fade Cave, The Morgan Freeman EP, and The Serious Kids EP. Alex relocated to New York City in the summer of 2010, recruited Michael Tapper (We Are Scientists/Bishop Allen) to play drums and Jon Natchez to play everything else, and began to play locally in New York City. The Mistress, Yellow Ostrich's debut LP, was released in October.
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Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
226 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
event::about Thao and the ever-versatile Get Down Stay Down (Adam Thompson on bass, keys and additional guitar, and Willis Thompson on drums and percussion) return with the follow up to their critically lauded and riotously applauded previous album, 'We Brave Bee Stings and All', the breakout success and best-selling record of 2008 for Kill Rock Stars. With super-producer and friend Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Bill Frisell, Spoon) again at the helm, Know Better Learn Faster perfectly captures the band as their more mature, tastefully raucous, tastefully subdued and musically adventurous selves. Honed, trimmed and tightened over the last year and a half of constant touring, the now-trio delivers Thao's cleverly crafted and emotionally evocative songs with vibrant, innovative instrumentation, incredible energy and a still-acutely-solid sense of what sounds good. The new batch of songs spans all genres and influences, all the while staying faithful to their distinct style, sharp wit, and the infectious and enamoring exuberance of their renowned live shows. But the band can be serious too. Know Better Learn Faster is in many ways a boisterous, frenzied, and resigned break-up record, and with that territory comes a few songs wherein Thao does not employ her trademark method of juxtaposing brighter melodies with melancholic content. 'A few of these are just straightforwardly sad. Sometimes there's not much room to mince words and music when you feel like shit,' she says. The diverse and wide-ranging songwriting only helps to showcase the trio's formidable musicianship: all members have stepped up and expanded their repertoires to fill out the trio's sound. To further help the cause, the band was thrilled and humbled to enlist album guests Andrew Bird, Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper, Laura Veirs, Horse Feathers, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists, and close friend and new 4AD artist Tune-Yards. Know Better Learn Faster is a deeply felt, honestly rendered audit of the end of one or any number of relationships. Thao says: 'We are thankful for the opportunity to have explored and then purged all crippling tensions and anxiety inherent in such dramas and hope you enjoy the scrappy by-product.' *** 'Packs a subtle punch, sweet but not sappy.' - Spin 'Elliptical lyrics, bright guitar work.' - The Wall Street Journal 'Worn down by the endless pitfalls of romance? Thao Nguyen most definitely is not.' Time Out New York "Like tea and honey spiked with a healthy shot of whiskey.' Elle
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450 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Okkervil River
event::about "The goal was to push my brain to places it didn't want to go. The idea was to not have any idea – to keep myself confused about what I was doing," frontman Will Sheff says about Okkervil River's newest album. "I produced it myself so that I could extend the songwriting process all the way through to the very last second of recording, so the songs would never really stop changing." The resulting record, 'I am Very Far,' is a startling break from anything this band has done before. By turns terrifying and joyous, violent and serene, grotesque and romantic, it's a celebration of forces beyond our control. When Okkervil River released their breakthrough 'Black Sheep Boy' in 2005, Uncut wrote that "Sheff's novelistic lyrics and the dexterous blend of country, folk and nervy indie-rock suggest a band approaching the peak of their powers." A New York Times piece on their 2007 follow-up 'The Stage Names' (and its companion album 'The Stand Ins') echoed, "Sheff writes like a novelist," and Pitchfork called him, "One of the best lyric-writers in indie rock." But on 'I am Very Far,' Sheff emerges not only as a songwriter of the highest caliber, but a producer and arranger of singular vision. Abandoning the tidy conceptual arcs of Okkervil River's previous albums, 'I am Very Far' is a monolithic, darkly ambiguous work, one that doesn't readily offer up its secrets. Work on 'I am Very Far' started in early 2009, after a year spent on the music of others. Sheff contributed vocals to The New Pornographer's album 'Together,' wrote a song for Norah Jones' 'The Fall,' produced an upcoming album for Brooklyn-based Bird of Youth, and helmed the Roky Erickson record 'True Love Cast Out All Evil,' for which his album notes received a GRAMMY nomination. "I'd never worked with Roky before and never produced someone else's record before. It was a life-changing experience," Sheff recalls, "When it was over I felt both completely drained and completely inspired." Immediately upon wrapping up work and leaving Erickson's company, Sheff drove to his home state of New Hampshire for lengthy isolated writing sessions. "I wanted to go back home and re-start writing again, like I'd never written a song previously," he says, "and I wanted the music and lyrics to be both completely wedded together and a little bit beyond my control. I kept trying to write from the state of mind of someone who had just been born, that feeling of being very young and being aware of not existing before a certain moment, which is a feeling I remember having as a kid." Sheff emerged from the writing process with 30 or so songs, which he narrowed down to 18. In contrast to Okkervil River's usual practice of holing up in one studio for months on end, he opted for a series of short, high-intensity sessions, each in a different location, each employing completely different methods than the one before it. For songs like "Rider" and "Wake and Be Fine," Sheff gathered together a massive version of Okkervil River – two drummers, two pianists, two bassists, and seven guitarists, all playing live in one room – and led them on a week of live-in-the-studio marathon session, performing a single song obsessively over and over for as many as 12 hours to capture just the right take. Songs like "Show Yourself" and "Hanging from a Hit" were worked out in improvisational sessions with the core band, minimally recorded to 8-track tape, and then re-structured and re-written in the editing process. For the strange science-fiction parable "White Shadow Waltz," Sheff self-recorded the entire song and then had Okkervil River re-record every instrumental track on top of that. After basic-tracking was done, Sheff overdubbed the songs with the band's largest instrumental palette to date – not only choral elements and orchestral colors like strings, tympani, tuba and bassoon, but also file cabinets thrown across the room, unreeled rolls of duct tape, and, on "Piratess," a solo created out of a fast-forwarding and rewinding boombox. Finishing the record from home, Sheff constantly edited and reworked the album, reinventing the song structures, re-recording vocals, re-writing until the very last minute, reshaping even the tiniest of details, ultimately creating an album that plays not only as a lush, seamless epic, but also as the most deeply personal effort of his career. What can listeners expect? Richer and weirder than 'The Stage Names' and deeper and moodier than even 'Black Sheep Boy,' 'I am Very Far' is dense, fragmented, opaque. A reverie of uncertainty, it feels at once disorienting and oddly familiar, threatening and friendly. Okkervil River have thrown away all maps and compasses but they continue to chart their way, unblinking, toward destinations unknown.
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Sons of Bill
19 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Sons of Bill
event::about Bill Wilson is from central Virginia. He is a professor of philisophical theology, a songwriter, an expert on the southern agrarian movement, and a father of six. His three eldest sons returned to Virginia to start a rock band in 2006 with long-time musical compadres Seth Green and Todd Wellons. As a tribute to the man who taught them how to play guitar, write songs, drive a stick-shift, and back up a trailer, the band decided to name themselves Sons of Bill. With two independently released albums, and a live show known to evolve from acoustic ballads into sweaty stage dives, Sons of Bill are quickly establishing themselves as one of the hardest working andmost promising rock bands in the country.
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22 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
Artists Carolyn Wonderland
event::about A musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray, Carolyn Wonderland reaches into the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with unmatched presence, a true legend in her time. 'She'd grown up the child of a singer in a band and began playing her mother's vintage Martin guitar when other girls were dressing dolls. She'd gone from being the teenage toast of her hometown Houston to sleeping in her van in Austin amid heaps of critical acclaim for fine recordings Alcohol & Salvation, Bloodless Revolution, and most recently, Miss Understood. Along with the guitar and the multitude of other instruments she learned to play trumpet, accordion, piano, mandolin, lap steel Wonderland's ability to whistle remains most unusual. Whistling is a uniquely vocal art seldom invoked in modern music, yet it's among the most spectacular talents the human voice possesses. That vocal proficiency was well-established in the singer's midteens, landing her gigs at Fitzgerald's by age 15. She absorbed Houston influences like Little Screamin' Kenny and soaked up the Mad Hatter of Texas music, Doug Sahm. The Lone Star State was as credible and fertile a proving ground for blues in the 1980s as existed, especially in Austin with Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Angela Strehli, Omar & the Howlers, and Lou Ann Barton all in their prime. By the following decade, Austin's blues luster thinned, but Houston, always a bastion of soul and R&B, boasted the Imperial Monkeys with the effervescent Carolyn Wonderland as ruler of the jungle. In the early 1990s Wonderland & the Imperial Monkeys were invited to the Guadalupe Street Antone's in Austin. There, they were treated like royalty with the singer as the queen of hearts in the club's post-Stevie Ray Vaughan stable, which included Toni Price, Johnny and Jay Moeller, Sue Foley, Mike and Corey Keller, and the Ugly Americans. It was a good bar for the Monkeys to hang, and Austin felt so comfortable that when the band called it quits a few years later, she set her sights on Austin at the start of the millennium. Living in Austin renewed Carolyn Wonderland's focus on her multiple talents, underlining luxurious vocals with fine guitar work, trumpet, and piano, as well as that remarkable ability to whistle on key. A series of each-better-than-the-next discs began with Alcohol & Salvation in 2003 ("songs about booze and God; records are a time capsule of what happened that year"). Her music played in television series such as Time of Your Life and Homicide. Her circle of musician friends and admirers broadened to include not only Ray [Benson, who produced Miss Understood] but also the late Eddy Shaver, Shelley King, and yes, Bob Dylan, who likened her composition "Bloodless Revolution" to "a mystery movie theme." She began co-writing with locals Sarah Brown, Ruthie Foster, Cindy Cashdollar, and Guy Forsyth; sat in with Los Lobos, Robert Earl Keen, and Ray Wylie Hubbard; recorded with Jerry Lightfoot; and toured with Buddy Guy and Johnny Winter. She also claims membership in the all-girl Sis Deville, the gospel-infused Imperial Crown Golden Harmonizers, and takes aw-shucks credit for inspiring Amsterdam's annual WonderJam. It was magic in the studio, too, as Miss Understood came to life, a canny mix of Benson's production, Wonderland's compositions, and select covers of Terri Hendrix, J.J. Cale, and Rick Derringer that punched her sound up a notch. As soon as the album roared to life, it was clear the singer-songwriter-guitarist-whistler had delivered on her long-awaited promise.'
to 12:00 AM
to 1:30 AM
130 schedule::attendeesLocation Antone's
event::about Native sons of Tulsa, Oklahoma, HANSON has been making music together for nearly two decades. Thirteen years ago, their out-of-the-blue, soul-inspired brand of American pop-rock‘n’roll was introduced to the world. Unaffected by charts or fads, they’ve spent more than a decade building a community of fans connected to one another and fueled by the energy and craftsmanship of three brothers and their music. Their fifth studio album, Shout It Out, was released on June 8th 2010 on their label 3CG Records. They deliver a powerful group of soulful, melodic tunes that will leave you with a contagious sense of optimism for the future and welcomed reminiscence for American rock ‘n’ roll.