Thursday, May 26, 2011

Columbus Record Stores

So things have been a little quite around here, as I've been in Columbus the last 4 days for work.  I was really hoping to catch some shows in town, but oddly enough there weren't any.  Well, except for Rock on the Range, which isn't quite my style (though I would still go if free).

I had a great time with friends, as well as being at the Thompson Library on the campus of Ohio State University.  I did however manage to sneak away and swing through a couple of the best Columbus Record Stores - and take some pics:


Magnolia Thunderpussy (5/24/11)

Magnolia Thunderpussy (5/24/11)

Magnolia Thunderpussy (5/24/11)

Used Kids Records:

Used Kids Records (5/24/11)

Used Kids Records (5/24/11)

Used Kids Records (5/24/11)

I was only able to get to these two before closing - unfortunately.  I *am* ready for an all day Columbus Record Store Road Trip - just like old times.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Great Lake Swimmers' Tony Dekker and the Canadian National Parks Project

Great Idea.  More details here:

Great Lake Swimmers' Tony Dekker Has 'Kitchen Party' for National Parks Project - Spinner

"The basic premise was to make a short film and soundtrack based on the experience of the landscape, as one of thirteen different groups traveling to a National Park in each of Canada's provinces and territories. There was also a parallel film crew documenting the creative process of the filmmakers and musicians, filming at all hours. Creatively, there was free reign to interpret the environment, and to use a collaborative spirit to weave the project into a cohesive whole."

(Continued... Great Lake Swimmers' Tony Dekker Has 'Kitchen Party' for National Parks Project - Spinner)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mike Mangione & The Union (5/18/11)

A great show at Wilberts... Mike Mangione & The Union took the stage looking good, almost looked a little too good for the crowd / venue that night (I can say that since I was part of it). Armed with 4 ideal instruments (acoustic guitar, bass, violin and upright bass) Mike and crew ran through some of their best songs.  I was even able to catch one of my new favorites:

I would totally see these guys again, and am kicking myself (harder) that I missed their Mechanic Street house concert...

Some other photos...

Mike Mangione & The Union (5/18/11)

Mike Mangione & The Union (5/18/11)

Oh, did I mention that kids eat free?  :-)

Wilberts (5/18/11)

Out This Week: Austra / Feel It Break

I first ran across Austra with the video I just posted on Video Tuesday.  I also discovered that she's coming to the Grog Shop (8/2/11) to open for Cold Cave - who I've already been planning on seeing.  Since then, I got Austra's album and it's quickly growing on me. (buy it on InSound)

Austra Feel It Break

As it should:

This is an album of increments. It may not seize you on first listen, simply because it is not overbearing, and it avoids cheap tricks. But gradually, as you fall ever further in love with Stelmanis’ voice, and as the intricacies of this record become clear, it will begin to envelop you until, eventually, you will find yourself completely lost in this strange, glacial world. A truly fantastic piece of work. (The Line of Best Fit)


Here's another great video...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tonight: Eternal Summers @ Beachland Tavern

Also tonight!  Check out Eternal Summers at the Beachland Tavern!  I may be swinging by this show after Mike Mangione if there's time...

Pitchfork : "The duo take the hazy, lazy beach vibe of summer and segue into autumn, with dreamy vocal lines floating over distorted guitar lines soaked in undulating reverb. This is for the changing leaves, the early dusks, the cool nights-- the last days of summer.”

GuerrillaGroup 1 Screenshot20101215at40736PM

Tonight: Mike Mangione & The Union @ Wilberts

If you were unfortunate enough to miss Mike Mangione & The Union at the Mechanic Street House Concert Series (as I was), then you're getting another chance to see them.  They'll be at Wilbert's tonight! Show is at 8, tickets are "pay what you want" and you should plan on grabbing a bite to eat.


Here's their full-length release for your listening pleasure:

I also wanted to share this older track, which I might be requesting tonight (if there's an opportunity).  :-)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Video Tuesday

More videos! Austra's new video for Lose It, who's coming to the Grog Shop (8/2, opening for Cold Cave). Starfucker's new video for Julius (who was just there in April), and finally an incredibly impressive new Mad Decent video for Rusko.


More CLE love from / for MGK.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rock & Roll Spring Benefit Concert: Women Who Rock (5/14/11)

Saturday night the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame held their Spring Benefit Concert honoring Women Who Rock, the new exhibit at the Museum.  While this was a big ticket fundraiser for people on the floor, they opened up this show for everyone at a $20 ticket price.  Quite a bargain for seeing some legends on stage. (note from the photos, I wasn't in the high-priced section)

Women Who Rock: Spring Benefit Concert

The show was a little hodge-podgey, but overall a great experience.  Opening was the venerable Wanda Jackson, who's most recent work was produced by Jack White of the White Stripes.  She was saucy and still sounded great after all these years.

Wanda Jackson (5/14/11)

A couple guys took the stage as well, Curt Smith from Tears for Fears and Chuck Jackson.  However, this night was really about the women.  Mavis Staples followed up with an electric performance.  Her most recent album was produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, so these women are really enjoying a little resurgence - and rightfully sow.  Here she is joined on stage by Cyndi Lauper covering The Band's The Weight:

Then Darlene Love took the stage, once again sounding great.  Props for the "Rock Hall House Band" made up of band members from some great bands, including Billy Joel, Joan Osborne and others.

The night ended with an energetic Cyndi Lauper commanding the stage.  She ran through some of her hits, but as with all performances, was a little abbreviated.

Overall the night was a success, though peppered with a few sound problems and some required fundraising.  Another star of the night was Cleveland's Public Autiorium.  I can't believe I've been in this town and seeing shows for 10+ years and this is my first time in that place.  They need to bust the doors open on that place.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Out This Week: Ben Sollee / Inclusions

I think Ben Sollee is one of the sweetest, smartest, and most aware individuals in music.  His new album, Inclusions was just released this week and is definitely worth listening (and buying). Click on the album cover below to buy from Insound.  An article from No Depression and his new video are below.

Inclusions art

HEARING EVERYONE'S STORY: Ben Sollee's stunning new album INCLUSIONS builds community

Ben Sollee believes that community is all about inclusion. And music is about inclusions. So it’s no wonder his new album bears that title.

INCLUSIONS, Sollee's second solo record, released May 10 by Thirty Tigers, is a sort of folk-urban stroll through all that is being gained—and lost—in modern society. "From an arts standpoint, there’s more mixing, melding collaboration than ever before,” Sollee says. “The idea behind the album is that some of them are intentional, some are incidental but they happen and they help define who we are now."

Sollee is the epitome of those different influences. His grandfather was a fiddler from the lush, dark heart of Appalachia and Sollee grew up hearing his father playing R&B on the guitar. He also grew up hearing of his family's heritage in the hills while he experienced a whole different way of life in the maintained urban landscape of Lexington, Kentucky, a sprawling metropolitan area struggling to become a big city.

(Continued... HEARING EVERYONE'S STORY: Ben Sollee's stunning new album INCLUSIONS builds community - Americana and roots music - No Depression)

He's also touring right now. Not in Cleveland, but he'll be in Pittsburgh on 5/18 and Detroit on 5/19.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Vandaveer (5/10/11)

I listen to a lot of music, and sometimes I wish I had more time to listen. Shortly before this show I started spending time with the new Vandaveer album, and went back to some of their older ones.  I quickly realized how great these albums were and tried to squeeze in as much time with them as possible for this performance.

With Ferraby Lionheart and Lowly, The Tree Ghost opening, we got there early to grab a seat and nestle in for the night.  Lowly, The Tree Ghost is a local Cleveland band that has some nice elements to their sound.

Lowly, The Tree Ghost (5/10/11)

Then Ferraby took the stage and charmed us with his sweet songs and demeanor.

Ferraby Lionheart (5/10/11)

But I was axniously waiting for Vandaveer.  These guys were everything that I was hoping they would be.  They just had an amazing energy about them, they were sweet, extremely talented and sounded amazing.  The harmonies were spot-on, and the songwriting is superb.  I could have sat and listened to them perform all night long.  Here's one of my favorite songs from the new album.

And another...

Some photos:

Vandaveer (5/10/11)

Vandaveer (5/10/11)

After this show, I have to say I had one of the best experiences ever.  I mentioned to the band that I was taking some photos and would be posting them.  They asked if I was The Zender Agenda, to which I confirmed.  They were very thankful for doing some promotion, but then a guy standing next to me re-confirmed that, and told me and the band that it was my blog that pushed him over the edge to come out and see them.  That just put me on cloud 9 and I was beaming the whole way home.  That's all the motivation I need to keep this blog going for another 6 years.  :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Google's Music Beta Service Announced

Just announced... Request a Beta invite here:

First Amazon, now Google.  Apple better come out with something pretty compelling.

Video Tuesday

Some great new videos... The Cave Singers' Black Leaf (Coming: 6/14/11 @ Grog Shop) / Com Truise's glitchy FairLight (Coming: 7/31/11 @ Grog Shop) / Tennis' Take Me Somewhere (Hopefully coming sometime soon)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tomorrow: Vandaveer @ Beachland Tavern

This is going to be an amazing night of music at the Beachland Tavern tomorrow night.  I'm gonna be there - for sure.  You should be too.

Here's a free download Vandaveer's of Concerning Past & Future Conquests off their new release Dig Down Deep (out April 26th).  I've been listening to their album alot recently (in preparation), but now I'm bummed I didn't start listening more intently sooner.  I might have made this show a featured May performance.  Ferraby Lionheart & Lowly, The Tree Ghost opening ($8)


Here's a new video for Dig Down Deep, then another one of these one-take, "perform in an usual" location videos.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Oberlin Folk Festival (5/6/11)

Oberlin is my kinda town.  Well, it's a little small for my taste, but I love how quaint, pretty and liberal it is.  Having a free Folk Music Festival is just icing on the cake.  We booked it to Oberlin as quick as possible after work on Friday - getting there in plenty of time to grab a bite at The Feve. It was then a gorgeous walk through the main park in town...

Oberlin (5/6/11)

A quick glimpse at an amazing venue - Finney Chapel (where I've seen Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls AND Dar Williams - swoon).

Finney Chapel (5/6/11)

Finally we found our way to the Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse.  Not quite what I was expecting...

Oberlin (5/6/11)

We arrived for the Dust Busters - great bluegrass sound... essential to any Folk Festival.

Dust Busters (5/6/11)

Holcombe Waller took the stage, but unfortunately for a brief set... still, he played some great tunes and I'm really glad I got to see him.  I'm definitely going to keep my eye on him.

Finally, Chris Pureka took the stage, surprisingly with some supporting musicians (nice addition).  I've gotten away from her songwriting as of late, but she went back and played some of her older songs as well.  Here's one of my favorites:

Chris Pureka (5/6/11)

More photos here:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tonight: Chris Pureka @ Oberlin Folk Festival

Well, the Oberlin Folk Festival is going on all weekend, but tonight is going to be really great.  I've been following Chis Pureka for some time now, though I've rarely had the chance to see her (just once at the Barking Spider back in 2006!!).  So this is going to be treat.  Even more so because performing before her is this guy I just started listening to:  Holcombe Waller.  I love his kind of 70's folk sound, and his album Into the Dark Unknown is quickly grabbing me.

And here's some Chris.

of Montreal (5/4/11)

I'll admit that this show didn't excite me when I first heard they were coming to town.  But after listening to some Painted Palms (the opener) and seeing some photos from their live show, I knew I at least wanted to go for the photos.

Painted Palms were excellent.  With a mild(er) stage presence, these boys laid down the kind of electro-pop/disco sound that I've just been loving lately.  Their new Canopy EP is out now.  I highly recommend you check it out (below).

Painted Palms (5/4/11)

Painted Palms (5/4/11)

Then of course, the circus began when of Montreal took the stage...

of Montreal (5/4/11)

of Montreal (5/4/11)

of Montreal (5/4/11)

Here are some clips... including the raucous ending.

I was entertained for about the first 4-5 songs, but then I almost became a little over-stimulated with all the antics and found myself just pulling away from the show.  I think being under an influence would have really helped - as it seemed like many were.  But there's no doubt that of Montreal really puts on a spectacle.

(Lots) More Photos:

New Find: Emil & Friends

Check these guys out...

Somewhere inside the glowing rectangles, Emil found album worthy tinkerings of nylon strings, waterfalls of voices, flutterings of bells whistles and synths. So goes descriptions of danceable weirdpop act Emil & Friends. As a boy Emil would show up to guitar lesson with a produced track on a cd, with no guitar. Heads were scratched. Emil would show up to a dj gig with only a guitar. Brows were lifted. Years passed. Attics were changed into bass drum batcaves...


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TONIGHT: of Montreal @ House of Blues

If you haven't yet seen my list of shows to see in May... well, get on it.  The first featured performance this month is of Montreal, TONIGHT at the House of Blues ($18).

Opening is Painted Palms who I think will be awesome, so get there early!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Video Tuesday

A great new Lykke Li video for Sadness is a Blessing.  See some hip Dad's in the new Holy Ghost! video for Wait & See (these are actually their Dad's).  See the real New Jersey with Titus Andronicus in their new video for No Future Part Three: Escape from No Future.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Does anybody really listen to music anymore?

Headphones 01

Valid question. I even feel at fault sometimes...

Does anybody really listen to music anymore? | The Audiophiliac - CNET News
by Steve Guttenberg

Music is all around us, it's just that very few people actually listen to it. Sure, you have music in your car, iPod, or computer, but is the music just a soundtrack to other activities? If music, a la carte, can't hold your attention from time to time you're definitely not an audiophile. Worse yet, you're missing a lot.

Think about it: the people who made the music sweated the details, agonized over the sound, the mix, and the performance for weeks or months. The composer tweaked the work to the nth degree, and still, very, very few 'listeners' ever give music their undivided attention. They only hear the surface, the most obvious elements of the music. Multitask all you want, but can you just focus on the music? Let it really get to you."

(Continued...Does anybody really listen to music anymore? | The Audiophiliac - CNET News)