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Live Review: The Lumineers with Good Nights, States at Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD – 1st July 2012

 
By on Thursday, 12th July 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

The current roots rock revival that is sweeping music these days has made way for Denver, Colorado band the Lumineers to sell out venue after venue in America as they make a name for themselves with their brand of foot stomping joy.

Starting this night was Good Night, States, a four-piece hailing from Pittsburgh who happen to be good friends of the Lumineers. I see a lot of support acts that cause me to look hard to find something I like. This band, however, delighted me from the start. Calling themselves “analogue rock/synth folk”, I was expecting some interesting sounds. While the album exploits the use of their vintage analog synthesizers a bit more, the live show still managed to highlight that specialty. Keyboard player Megan Lindsey even showed off a bit of theremin-like hand waving over her keyboard. Good Night, States captivated the crowd with four part harmonies, rousing good music and smart, complex lyrics. After all where would you find the words “palliative” and “gerrymandering” in the same song? The crowd even got a bit of an early thrill as two of the members of the Lumineers joined them in stage for their final song. The band is rounded out by Steve Gretz (guitar/vocals), Trevor Baker (bass/vocals) and Dan Harding (drums).

From the first chanting response from the revel makers, the Lumineers proved that they were worthy of their “biggest sold out show EVER” in Baltimore, Maryland. What was started by the opener ‘Submarines’ really kicked into high gear with ‘Classy Girls’, a tribute to all the girls who don’t “put out the good china” on the first date. And if that wasn’t enough, the current single ‘Ho Hey’ split the ‘hollering’ part between the floor and the balcony with the “heys” and the “hos” continuing strongly throughout the entire song. The touching ‘Charlie Boy’ showed the strength of the three main members by bringing them alone to the front of the stage with just an acoustic guitar, cello, and mandolin. It still surprises me how much soaring, beautiful sound can come from just three simple instruments. The encore brought the band back for an off-mic song at the apron of the stage that found Stelth Ulvang playing accordion way up in the balcony. Often, this song ‘Darlene’ finds the band on the floor of the venue, but this was the biggest place they’d sold out as of yet, so the balcony it was.

The spate of folk/Americana rolling through the airwaves has seen many a band step up to the call and try to take the mantle from Mumford and Sons. Some bands have produced masterful albums, such as Of Monsters and Men, but have a gentle performance style. Others have albums that may present their genius in a quieter way, but their live shows are explosive and transformative. The Lumineers are definitely selling us their soul through their live shows. The three main members of the Lumineers, Wesley Schultz, Jeremiah Fraites and Neyla Peckarek, were joined on stage by Ben Wahoviaki and Ulvang to fill out their live sound.

But what sets them apart is that in addition to their infectious sound, the band brings their members front and center. Fraites is not hidden behind his drum kit all night, no, there was another kick drum right out front at which Fraites often stood, drum kicking and foot stomping and singing away. With Peckarek on cello and Fraites and Ulvang sharing mandolin duty, the Lumineers swarmed the stage and took us on a great journey. I do have a soft spot for fun drummers, and Fraites surely met all the qualification. Not content to sit at his drum kit, he switched between standing, wandering, playing the drum up front, and yes, plain sitting down drumming. He even pulled out a small blue glockenspiel near the end of the set. Yup, that’s a fun drummer.

Chatting with members of both bands afterwards, they just about fell over themselves to make sure I said something wonderful about the other band. So, not only were they delightful musicians they were nice people to boot. What a joy! After they finish up a summer’s worth of support tours the Lumineers hit the UK and Ireland playing with The Civil Wars in late October/early November. Having now seen both them and The Civil Wars, I can tell you, you won’t want to miss that!

After the cut: the Lumineers’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: The Lumineers with Good Nights, States at Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD – 1st July 2012

 

Live Gig Video: To Kill a King play ‘Family’ acoustically in guerrila-style gig on Regent’s Canal

 
By on Tuesday, 10th July 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

Last week To Kill a King were filmed during their guerrilla-style gig on Regent’s Canal last week, and we’ve got the track ‘Family’ in video form for you below. Enjoy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLOCjHOuHZE[/youtube]

 

Preview: Deer Shed Festival 2012

 
By on Tuesday, 10th July 2012 at 9:30 am
 

There’s no doubt that a decent music festival is, at its best, an enjoyably classy way of passing a long weekend, offering as it does equal parts high culture, great outdoors, and the occasional moment of face-melting hedonism. Even though there are and will forever be rough-and-ready, pills ‘n’ beats ‘n’ beer festivals (T In The Park, Reading/Leeds, even some bits of Glastonbury – I’m looking at you), recent years have seen the rise of a subtly different breed of music festival. All too often tagged with the infuriatingly smug epithet “Boutique” (who actually uses that word with a straight face?), what these events actually are is smaller, calmer, more dignified places, with the emphasis on quality, rather than quantity, of the music, refreshments, and punters alike. Inevitably appealing to the, er, more mature end of the festival-going public, which in reality simply means a welcome lack of arsonist teenagers and career crusties, these are places where the trials of festival going extend not to the risk of contracting trench foot, or being knocked unconscious by a flying bottle of piss, but maybe that the hummus has gone fizzy in the midday sun – in other words, rather a different set of priorities.

The demographic shift in audience introduces a physically small, but very important new factor – kids. The late 20s/early 30s discerning consumer of the new breed of posh alt-fest inevitably has dipped their toes into the water of family, and is the proud owner of one or more mewling mini-mes. How are they to be accommodated at events which are traditionally adult entertainment? Shrewdly, many events feature a distinct kids’ strand: a full catalogue of events to keep the children entertained whilst one parent (inevitably Dad) slopes off to catch Lanterns on the Lake‘s latest opus. Such is the demand for this sort of thing, that some festivals even go so far as to make the kids’ activities the raison d’etre of the whole shebang. Jealous much?

Deer Shed festival, held – where else? – in beautiful North Yorkshire, is one such event, even going so far as to give the weekend a natural climax on Saturday night, making Sunday a coffee-and-cake day, with only gentle entertainment to wind everyone back down to earth before the drudgery of Monday comes round again. Apparently, Friday last year was quite a relaxed affair, although this year it’s hotted up a bit, but still only optional, for those who don’t fancy more than one night camping with the little darlings.

The music needs to make no apologies; being a small but perfectly formed card, there are many gems on offer. Retro dreamy pop headlines the Friday in the form of Saint Etienne, a rare chance to see the fragile beauty of Villagers (pictured at top) tops the bill on Saturday, and wrapping up the whole event is the honest, heartfelt songwriting of Cherry Ghost on Sunday afternoon. A fine trio of headliners is lubricated with a handful of the usual suspects (Houghton, Uncles, Field Music). Personal recommendations include: brassbound Mancunians Janice Graham Band come highly recommended from those in the know in the North West, proper English eccentricity overflows from Leeds’ Moody Gowns, and purveyors of Glaswegian electronica Laki Mera apparently were a strong highlight of last year’s festival and are back for 2012. And there’s loads more good stuff.

Phew. And in a way, the music’s only at Deer Shed to distract the adults while the kids have fun. There’s a beach. There’s snakes, spiders, lizards, and massive toads. There’s a cardboard box playground, junk modelling, and as much jewellery making as they can handle. There’s graffiti, paintball art, and sock puppets. The theme this year is Monsters – all sorts of gribblies will be in attendance, with the opportunity to create even more with monster-making workshops. Not to mention the famous, home-made versions of That Game With a Tennis Ball on a String – surely the adults won’t be able to keep their hands off that?

On a serious note, with kids one has far more to worry about – safety, cleanliness, hunger… they’ve thought of all of that. With extra-size portaloos, a changing area, microwaves available for heating food, child-friendly stewards on the lookout for strays, breakfast deliveries to tents, and a campsite storyteller in the evening, all the little details have been taken care of to give all the family a fun, safe weekend. Tickets are selling out fast, and with just a couple of hundred left at the time of writing, anyone wanting to give their kids a great start to the summer holidays should head over to http://deershedfestival.com without further ado. And if you don’t have kids – well, one day, like it or not, you probably will…so don’t forget the name Deer Shed.

Deer Shed Festival takes place 20-22 July 2012 at Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, and we’ve been advised that a limited number of tickets are still available, so if you’re in the North East or fancy a trip to that part of blighty, act quickly. The prices can’t be beat: a full weekend adult tickets runs a mere £69 plus booking; comparatively, a child’s weekend ticket for children 6 and up is £20 plus booking (children 5 and under are free).

 

Live Gig Video: Blur play new song ‘Under the Westway’ in Damon Albarn’s West London studio

 
By on Monday, 9th July 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

I guess they want to strike when the iron’s hot. Blur have released this video recorded in the highly intimate space of Damon Albarn’s West London recording studio of them performing one of the two new tracks that premiered last week, ‘Under the Westway’. (For a discussion of this and ‘The Puritan’, read Braden’s piece on the double-A single here.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Uw1uD6lXs[/youtube]

 

Listen to the Official London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Playlist

 
By on Friday, 6th July 2012 at 3:30 pm
 

As reported a couple weeks ago on the Guardian, these 86 tracks were chosen to be the best of British music through the years and will be the soundtrack to official opening ceremony on 27 July. As should be expected, confirmed opening ceremony performers Duran Duran (pictured at top) appear on the list with ‘The Reflex’, and Muse, suppliers of the official London 2012 song, appear twice with ‘Map of the Problematique’ and ‘Uprising’. There are also appearances from the themes of both Coronation Street and Eastenders: little North vs. South action, eh? The Blur (‘Song 2’) vs. Oasis (‘Wonderwall’) argument has a second coming.

But there seem to be some glaring omissions (how are there no Beatles, Queen or Smiths songs?), and do we really need to remind the world of Frankie Goes to Hollywood‘s ‘Relax’? I guess the Sex Pistols‘ previous two fingers to the monarchy have been long since forgotten (they appear twice, with ‘God Save the Queen’ and ‘Pretty Vacant’), and I can’t be the only one who thinks OMD‘s ‘Enola Gay’ is a strange choice. My favourite addition? A tie between Soul II Soul‘s ‘Back to Life’ and Kaiser Chiefs‘ ‘I Predict a Riot’. Least favourites? Tinie Tempah‘s ‘Pass Out’ and Roll Deep‘s ‘Shake a Leg’. (Really?)

Have a look and listen below and then let us know what you think of the 86 song list in the comments. We’ll add the most entertaining ones to the body of this post. (Hints: you must have Spotify to play the tracks, and to activate the scrolling bar, run your mouse or finger on the right hand side of the player to reveal it.)

 

Live Gig Video: First Aid Kit perform ‘The Lion’s Roar’ while walking through Paris street for HibOO d’Live

 
By on Thursday, 5th July 2012 at 4:00 pm
 

The sisters Soderberg, aka First Aid Kit, recorded this stripped back version of ‘The Lion’s Roar’ just this past Tuesday in Paris for HiBOO d’Live. Here it is, in all its beauty below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTprH6jPXE[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours 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 no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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