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Live Review: Sylvan Esso with Dana Buoy at Club Congress, Tucson, AZ – 19th August 2014

 
By on Friday, 22nd August 2014 at 2:00 pm
 

Header photo by DL Anderson

This past Tuesday night, I continued my foray into the Arizona music scene with a trip to Tucson’s Club Congress to see North Carolina electro-pop duo Sylvan Esso. The venue itself is situated in the historic Hotel Congress, which has a lovely restaurant and separate bar area in addition to the club itself. Since I was running a bit late, I didn’t spend too much time exploring, choosing instead to head straight to the stage area. The room was sparsely populated at that point, about 30 minutes before the show was set to begin, but it gradually filled in, and there were clearly some fans there who had come to see the opening act, Portland-based band Dana Buoy.

Dana Buoy at Club Congress 19 Aug 2014

Headed by frontman Dana Janssen, formerly of experimental rock band Akron/Family, Dana Buoy is an indie-rock act that mixes hints of warm West Coast sunshine in with their heavily psychedelic leanings. They opened the show with the expansive ‘Let Go Awhile’, which boded well for the rest of their set, but during their second number, ironically called ‘So Lucky’, things began to fall apart a bit. Janssen broke a guitar string (the low E, for those of you who care to know), and though he finished the song, he had to ask his bandmates, bass/keys man Justin Miller and drummer Logan Corcoran, to do an extended instrumental vamp while he changed it for a new one. The relatively sparse ‘Isla Mujeres’ was plagued a bit by the hastily tuned string, and Corcoran had some issues throughout the set with a rickety snare and cymbal, but he band were able to find a placid groove by the middle of their surprisingly lengthy opening set. They played a mix of brand new tracks and older favorites, including a nifty cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’, which features on recent EP ‘Preacher’, before closing with ‘Satellite Ozone’, from 2012 album ‘Summer Bodies’.

At the end of Dana Buoy’s set, the crowd in the small venue tangibly swelled, pushing toward the front of the room for the eagerly awaited entrance of the headline act. With no live instruments other than singer Amelia Meath’s velvety voice, Sylvan Esso’s stage arrangement is almost ridiculously simple; it took more time for Dana Buoy to clear off the stage than it did for Sylvan Esso to set up.

Sylvan Esso at Club Congress 19 Aug 2014

Is there still any debate as to whether the computer is a musical instrument? Producer Nick Sanborn put the question to rest right away, using only a rather spare looking electronic array to put down the rhythm tracks and sonic effects behind Meath’s lyrical stylings on the hot popular hit ‘Hey Mami’. Throughout the set, Sanborn turned knobs and manipulated sounds with an amazing degree of precision and technical skill, especially considering the rhythmic complexity of some of the duo’s tracks.

Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso

Sanborn’s previous experience in electronic music was fairly obvious (his solo project, Made of Oak, is pure electro), but Meath’s background in a cappella folk music seemed much farther removed from Sylvan Esso as I watched her onstage. Her sensual vocals and and saucy dance moves played to the visceral sensibilities of the crowd, who had come to get their groove on despite the tight space. Meath not only sang the liquid lyrical lines, but also displayed impressive physical prowess as she very gracefully gyrated and undulated through the dance beats in a pair of 4-inch platform soled boots. Sanborn’s dance moves, performed as he hunched over his computer, were markedly more rigid, but rather in keeping with the pair’s constant juxtaposition of organic and electronic elements.

Meath and Sanborn played through almost the entirety of their debut self-titled album, which was only released in the spring of this year on Partisan Records. Despite the relative newness of their songs, the punters in the crowd were clearly familiar with the tunes, singing along with Meath’s sexy rendering of the borrowed line “my baby does the hanky panky” in the addictive single ‘Coffee’ and her crooning “oohs” in hypnotic track ‘Wolf’.

Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso

Sylvan Esso closed the night with the track that started their collaboration, ‘Play It Right’, which was originally written for Meath’s folk trio, Mountain Man. Recontextualized by Sanborn, the song takes flight in live performance, and it left the crowd chanting for more. Unfortunately, the duo didn’t have more to give; being a new band with only one album to play from, they had by that point exhausted their repertoire. Sylvan Esso’s free trading collaboration has been abundantly fruitful in a short amount of time, and if the response at Club Congress is any indication, their audience would clearly love to hear it continue.

Sylvan Esso will tour the UK and Ireland beginning this September. Stay tuned to TGTF for a full list of tour dates.

After the cut: Dana Buoy and Sylvan Esso’s set lists.
Continue reading Live Review: Sylvan Esso with Dana Buoy at Club Congress, Tucson, AZ – 19th August 2014

 

Bands to Watch #305: Southern

 
By on Thursday, 21st August 2014 at 12:00 pm
 

When I first heard about this band, I couldn’t help but wonder why a Northern Irish band situated in Liverpool would call itself Southern. As it turns out, the moniker is the surname of two of the band’s members, brother and sister Thom and Lucy Southern. Accompanied on drums by Eoghan Clifford, the sibling pair saw the band’s edgy new single ‘Where I Want to Be’ released by Marathon Artists earlier this week. Following up on their previous single, ‘Where the Wild Are’, the new track has already received airplay on BBC Radio 1, where it was recently featured by Fearne Cotton.


Though originally from the same general geographic vicinity as the Wonder Villains, whose lineup also features a sibling pair, Southern’s bluesy guitar rock sound is probably best compared to another brother/sister act, Angus and Julia Stone. In fact, Southern covered the Australian duo’s ‘Big Jet Plane’ in Paris for the following video.

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Southern’s first self-titled EP was released back in December 2013 and included their best known track to date ‘World Don’t Shine’. In January of this year, they were tapped to perform for a Sofar Sounds session in Liverpool, where this acoustic version of ‘World Don’t Shine’ was recorded.

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‘Where I Want to Be’ is an ambitiously energetic track with a gritty guitar rhythm and sharp vocal harmonies highlighting the insistent lyrics “I’m where I want to be, in my life.” The song’s simple structure allows the bombastic chorus to build its raucous energy to the very end. In contrast, the single’s B-side ‘The Way You Breathe’ is a softly whispered ballad featuring Lucy Southern’s crooning lead vocals. Watch the live session video for ‘The Way You Breathe’ just below, and be sure to keep an eye on TGTF for more on this up and coming band.

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Live Gig Video: Liam Finn and his Dream Team band perform his song ‘Ocean Emmanuelle’ and other tracks

 
By on Friday, 15th August 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

When you’re an internationally known singer/songwriter like Liam Finn is, you can do whatever you want. Such as put together a bunch of your favourite artists and have them perform live with you on a rooftop in New York City. Which is exactly what Finn did with his Dream Team band, which included Connan Mockasin, Kirin J Callinan and EJ Barnes. We feature below the first of eight videos, a live rendition of ‘Ocean Emmanuelle’ from Finn’s latest album ‘The Nihilist’, which Carrie reviewed in May.

Of the other seven videos, six are live versions of other songs from the album, but the odd man out is a cover of – surprise! – Sinead O’Connor’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’. For the entire playlist, visit the Vevo site here.

 

Live Gig Video: Falls perform ‘Home’ at the Cathedral of Junk during SXSW 2014

 
By on Thursday, 14th August 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

August seems like a long time from March, but this new video of Aussie duo Falls performing live at SXSW 2014 reminds us that it’s not that long now until SXSW madness begins again. Watch as Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown, augmented by a lovely string section (probably different than the one I saw with them in Sydney 2 years ago, surely?), perform their track ‘Home’ in Austin at the (in)famous Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas.

TGTF coverage of Falls is all here.

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Live Gig Video: The Kooks reveal upcoming single ‘Forgive and Forget’

 
By on Wednesday, 13th August 2014 at 4:00 pm
 

Now this more like it. The Kooks have released this video of themselves performing their next single ‘Forgive and Forget’, which will be out on the 8th of September. On the same day, their fourth album ‘Listen’, featuring ‘Forgive and Forget’, will also be released on Virgin/EMI. Accompanied by booted up, dressed up Twiggy-like gals in spectacles, this video sure beats the stupidly violent one for ‘Around Town’ and goes back to the band’s more fun, poppier roots. Watch the video below.

All Kooks flavoured coverage on TGTF is this way.

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Kaiser Chiefs / January and February 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 12th August 2014 at 9:00 am
 

In the midst of a busy festival-filled summer including Glastonbury, T in the Park and this weekend’s V Festival, Kaiser Chiefs have announced a headline tour of the UK to start off 2015. The band will finish 2014 with tour dates in America, Europe and South Africa, which can be found on the band’s Web site. ‘My Life’, the third single from Kaiser Chiefs’ album ‘Education, Education, Education & War’ will drop the 22nd of September on Fiction / Caroline International.

Tickets for the following shows go on sale this Friday, the 15th of August, at 9 AM, except for Leeds and London, which are available now. Read all of our past coverage on the Kaisers here.

Saturday 31st January 2015 – Liverpool Echo Arena
Monday 2nd February 2015 – Dundee Caird Hall
Tuesday 3rd February 2015 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
Thursday 5th February 2015 – Newcastle Metro Arena
Friday 6th February 2015 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Saturday 7th February 2015 – Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Monday 9th February 2015 – Plymouth Pavilions
Tuesday 10th February 2015 – Bournemouth BIC
Wednesday 11th February 2015 – Brighton Centre
Friday 13th February 2015 – London O2
Saturday 14th February 2015 – Leeds First Direct Arena

 
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About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest tours, gigs, and music we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like idiots.

The blog is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington DC. She is joined by writers in the UK and America. It was started up by Phil Singer in Bristol, UK.

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