Monday, October 31, 2011

Tommorrow: Blitzen Trapper @ Beachland & Music Saves!

A big show tomorrow, with Blitzen Trapper, Dawes and The Belle Brigade over at the Beachland Ballroom tomorrow night…  I guess it's a co-headliner with Dawes, but I think you can see where my alliances lie… and The Belle Brigade is nothing to sneeze at.  Also an AMAZING pre-show / in-store performance for Blitzen Trapper at Music Saves (@ 6:30pm)!!!!!

Check out a recent performance by Blitzen Trapper on Jimmy Fallon (not seriously, that's just the lingo)

Also on NPR:

Blitzen Trapper: At Home On The Highway : NPR

"October 20, 2011 Blitzen Trapper is duly renowned for its sense of adventure. The Portland, Ore., group is nominally a country or folk band, complete with the requisite drawl from singer Eric Earley, pedal-steel guitar and golden harmonies. But that twang is accompanied by spacey keyboards, prog-rock guitar solos and a healthy dose of experimentation. Since 2007's breakthrough Wild Mountain Nation, each Blitzen Trapper album has been exciting and surprising, even as the group has toned down some of its past eccentricities."

(Continued... Blitzen Trapper: At Home On The Highway : NPR)

More on Painted Palms

I knew I liked these guys for a reason.

Shows This Week!

Trying to break-up the once-a-month Month Highlights piece into weekly segments, in order to receive a better consistency of completion.  We'll see.  This week is an easy one…

Tuesday: Blitzen Trapper
The Beachland Ballroom /  $14 ~ $17
Looking forward to these guys coming back again.  Blitzen Trapper has a well reviewed new album with American Goldwing, and will put on a  great show, with the likes of Dawes and The Belle Brigade just confirming you should go early.

Fletcher by subpop

Wednesday: Dr. Dog
Beachland Ballroom / $16 ~ $18
Philadephia's "oddball pop" darlings, Dr. Dog will be performing with Quite Life and Wax Fang.  All these bands should make for a great indie pop-rock night.

Dr. Dog - Stranger by Dr Dog

Thursday: Cold War Kids (SOLD OUT)
Beachland Ballroom / sorry about your luck

Friday: Holy Ghost!
Grog Shop /  $12 ~ $14
Holy Ghost! is a great electronic duo out of NYC, making a name with some great remixes and went on to release a great full-length album.  Jessica 6 and their slick version of "nu-disco" should be a great elctro-dance warm-up act.

Holy Ghost! - Hold My Breath (Cosmic Kids Remix) by CosmicKidsHo

Saturday: The War on Drugs
Beachland Tavern / $10 ~ $12
The War on Drugs is a notable pop/rock band out of Philadelphia. You may remember them as the former home of Kurt Vile, but their new stuff is good and this should be a great show.  Purling Hiss & Carter Tanton are opening.

The War on Drugs - Baby Missiles by edin2sun

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Future Islands / Javelin (10/27/11)

The Beachland has really been rocking the end of this October, with yet another great show. This time I was seeing Javelin & Future Islands, both are bands that I have seen before.  But opening first was Ed Schrader's Music Beat.  I know I've seen these guys before, probably as an opener I didn't write about.  However, they're worthy of a mention here, especially watching both guys from Future Islands and Javelin in the audience rocking' out to them.  Not sure how quite to describe them, other than experimental.  I'd totally see them again.

Javelin was next and they were SUPERB.  As good of a show as I've seen them perform (and I've seen them twice).  Super high energy, and the electronic drumming was just exhausting and thrilling to watch, all at the same time.  I'm a little pissed I didn't catch video of these guys, but definitely one of the best shows I've seen in a while.  (seriously low light and lots of movement on these pics)

Javelin (10/27/11)

Javelin (10/27/11)

Future Islands were just what I was expecting, again.  An incredibly intense, but enjoyable show.

Future Islands (10/27/11)

Future Islands (10/27/11)

Jess Klein (10/26/11)

Seeing Jess Klein was coming to town really took me back, all the way back to 2005 when I saw her the first time.  Sounded like a perfect show for a Wednesday night in Cleveland.  I bellied up to the bar early and ordered a quite-delicious burger from the Beachland.  Jess Klein took the stage and was a talented as I remember (and I'm sure more-so).  Such a great range of style, effortlessly switching from country/bluegrass sound to a sultry blues number.  I really got a Patty Griffin meets EmmyLou Harris vibe.

Jess Klein (10/26/11)

Jess Klein (10/26/11)

Take a listen (entire show over at kingofthecastle7):

Tom Freund was actually the headliner this night.  Good performance, but this night was really about Jess for me.

The Sounds (10/24/11)

The Limousines first focused my attention for this show, but quickly got excited about seeing The Sounds as well.  Once again I was surprised by a band that Clevelanders are excited about, who's been around a while (2003) and who I haven't heard about.  Though I guess it shouldn't be, and I'm thankful that's the case actually. It was a nice crowed for a mid-week electronica / dance pop show at the Beachland Ballroom.

Walked in for the last couple songs by The Limousines.  Unfortunately, because I liked what I heard during our entry, and trip to the bar for a beer.  By the time we got settled and I went to grab my camera, they were done.  Shit. Good stuff though!

The Sounds (10/24/11)

The Sounds entered to the fanfare of a veteran band, that I guess they are.  Their performance kind of lent to that aesthetic as well though you could see it was worn.  Maja walked on stage, smoked a cigarette, and really tried to rile up the crowd.  Maybe it was late in the tour, or maybe it was just an off night for them, but it just kind of fell flat.  Their live show wasn't nearly as good as some of the gems on their recent release. I caught this little ditty and headed out soon after.

The Sounds (10/24/11)

The Sounds (10/24/11)

Out This Week: Deer Tick (LaundroMatinee)

Glad to be seeing some Deer Tick news, the most of exciting of which is their upcoming performance at The Happy Dog (seriously!?) on Saturday, December 3rd!  Also they have a new release Divine Providence that came out this past week (Oct. 25th.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Video Tuesday

Starting off with Future Islands' Give Us the Wind - WHO can see at the Beachland Ballroom on Thursday!  Next up is Lord Huron and their amazing collage of vintage video for Mighty.  Next up is a new track by Chairlift, where I have to agree with and have no words for it - but I like the song!

Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings (10/18/11)

Before this show, I would have really hesitated adding Dave Rawlings name to the title of this post.  Mostly because I've been such a fan of Gillian Welch over the years that I would hated to have her share co-billing with some guy who I didn't know.  But that's all changed.  While Gillian was great - David really stole the show for me, with his superb - and I mean like - middle of the song standing ovation, superb.

The sound was excellent. The new songs were excellent. My friend Tim pointed out that this were some of the best, pitch-perfect harmonies he's ever heard (and I would agree).  Throwing a mic on the ground to catch some stomping and body clapping on Six White Horses shows some of the dynamics they added to the relatively simple setup. The only drawbacks were that no photos could be taken, and the dumbasses who kept yelling out for a cover Long Black Veil (asses).  Gillian took it in stride with professionalism and humor, as a true performer with class would.  Overall = stunning.

Gillian Welch (10/18/11)

I did grab one crappy iPhone photo though (breakin' the law!)

Gillian Welch (10/18/11)

The Underground Railroad to Candyland (10/16/11)

The Underground Railroad to Candyland was not a band that I wasn't expecting to see on this night.  I was stopping up at the Beachland to grab some posters, knowing that the Screaming Females would be performing that night - but not quite sure if I would stay around to catch them (it was a Sunday night).  Well, I didn't - but I did stay long enough to really, really enjoy this band.  The hard-driving punk/pop sound of these guys were amazing.  Throw in some face paint, horns, and a cutie with butterfly wings and I'm sold.  I'd love to actually stay for a proper-show by them sometime.

The Underground Railroad to Candy (10/16/11)


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Video Tuesday

I have a good reason!  Anyway… Sin Fang's newest video for Slowlights from Summer Echoes - both a great song and video!  Next is a new video by Holy Ghost! for Hold My Breath, a nice trip down memory late (and who are coming to the Grog Shop on Friday, Nov. 4th!)>  And finally a great new video from Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, for Critical Drain.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Neon Indian (10/15/11)

So I ended up missing both shows from Thursday night, but it was nice having a 5 day break since my last show.  Actually, that's probably what allowed me time to prepare for the sold-out Neon Indian show at the Grog Shop. I didn't get tickets until the day-of, and glad I did.

I had plans earlier, so I missed Purity Ring as the very first opener.  I was fine with it, as I would pretend I didn't even know about it (I was excited about Com Truise however).  Well, Melanie had to go on and tell me what a great show it was!  Ugh, oh well.  But I was over it pretty quickly once Com Truise started.  I had been enjoying their more adventurous and dynamic electronic / pop sounds.  Often not radio-friendly, but I found myself thinking how I found it exciting and even began wanting to see them more.

Com Truise (10/15/11)

I really enjoyed the Com Truise show.  I also liked Neon Indian, who I guess had been here not too long ago (that one eluded me).  I hear at that show some of the kids were really fucked up, but maybe that helps with the chillwave sounds.  I could see where tripping a bit might have helped the show, but I still found it quite enjoyable.  Here's one of my favorite tracks:

The lighting was terribly low this night, so here are the best of the photos that I could get.

Neon Indian (10/15/11)

Neon Indian (10/15/11)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tomorrow: Canon Logic @ Euclid Tavern

Wow, this is my first recommendation for a Euclid Tavern show!   One of my great Cleveland disappointments was not getting here in time to see a show in the old tavern.  Piss soaked floors?? Bring it on...  OK not really, but I would have loved to have gone to at least one show there.  Now's my chance to finally see a show in the new one...  The only hiccup is Those Darlins over at the Grog Shop.  I really want to see them, but I think the allure of the Euc is bringing me there.  Oh, and Canon Logic. They have a big rock sound, sorta like Killers or Snow Patrol.  It's not the easiest sound to pull off, but I think these guys do it well.  Check them out:

CanonLogicRapidEmpire by lightscamerawolfgang

N18516970771 549067 4777

Some comments about their sound from their recent full-length release:

In the Spring of 2010 Canon Logic released their first full-length effort, FM Arcade, an eclectic album of powerfully catchy pop songs. Converse’s Talk Blog said "FM Arcade is rife with slick musical structures and beautiful, clear vocals.” Achieving a growing popularity in their native NYC, supporting acts like Oh Land and the Lemonheads, and headlining Bowery Ballroom, they broadened their reach up and down the East Coast on tour, and the songs stretched even further, landing placements on CSI:NY, internet ad campaigns, and on Hollister Co. and affiliated stores’ playlists, nationwide.

Now, I have no idea what time these guys might go on.  I might need to call the venue.

Wild Flag (10/10/11)

There was a choice last night, between two equally compelling shows.  The Beachland had Bitch, who I've seen before, and is always a great performer.  I've never seen Wild Flag, but I did have a great experience seeing Sleeter Kinney back in Hot Rock days.  However, the great new self-titled Wild Flag album (buy it on InSound) had swung me in the way of the Grog.

Opening was YellowFever out of Austin.  This duo sounded good, were really talented, and I really enjoyed listening to them.  I did.

YellowFever (10/10/11)

Now I have to admit.  I think I'm feeling a little burned out... or something.  I went into the show last night with some excitement.  Saw some friends I hadn't seen in a while, and was overall pleased to be there.  But during my time there, I felt kid of distracted and unfocused.  So just as YellowFever was "good" - so was Wild Flag.  I preface this because I know this show was better than the creativity I can muster to do these ladies justice. Honestly, I was thoroughly pleased sitting back and the bar chatting with a friend while Carrie belted out from afar.

Wild Flag (10/10/11)

Wild Flag (10/10/11)

They did play my favorite song from the album (and of the night):

Random Photo Moment:

Wild Flag (10/10/11)

Video Tuesday

CANT believe I've missed his album (tee hee hee), but I'm catching up on this Grizzly Bear member's side project now - and here's the first video for She Found a Way Out (keep watching, it builds).  Next up is a new one from  Ryan Adams for Lucky Now.  I swear this man can just pick up a guitar and beautiful music just falls off him.  Finally, a fun little ditty from CSS that totally hit me like a rock.

Monday, October 10, 2011

BRAIDS & Pepper Rabbit (10/8/11)

What a fun night this turned out to be (as I hoped it would be, being the first October Featured Event).  As I've mentioned, I've never seen BRAIDS or Pepper Rabbit before, and was looking forward to it - but I have seen Painted Palms before and was really looking forward to seeing them again (and I don't use italics often).

I arrived way-early, eager to get a good spot and just camp out at the bar and settle in for the night.  While I arrived alone, I like that it's getting the point where I can reasonably assure I'll run into at least one person I know.  Or at least be identified - as I was by a new NEO music blogger for (that's always fun!) Check them out!

Painted Palms kicked the night of right, with these soaring pop songs that just sort of drift among the clouds, with great electronic beats to keep them movin' along.  I could have listened to these guys all night, by which to say, I can't wait to see these guys in a headlining gig.  I was also able to pick up a vinyl copy of their Canopy EP (in addition to the digital version I already purchased).

Painted Palms (10/8/11)

(I have more videos here, and kingofthecastle7 recorded the whole show)

Pepper Rabbit and their dueling keyboards were up next.  These guys stick a bit more to the ground than Painted Palms.  Still, there was some electro-pop goodness happening.  Their album is one that the more you listen, the more you like.  Here's on of my favorites: Allison

Pepper Rabbit (10/8/11)

Finally, the headliners.  BRAIDS...  back to the clouds, but this time with a feminine touch. I'd been checking out their Native Speaker LP for some time now, and almost made a trip to Columbus to see them.  I know now it would have been worth it. Really incredible layering & texturing.  They were a joy to see live, and I'll be really excite to hear more from these guys.

BRAIDS (10/8/11)

BRAIDS (10/8/11)

Plenty more photos too:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Battles (10/5/11)

The concert bonanza continues.  Having just seen The Drums two nights ago (and thankfully not seeing Trans Am the night before), I (wearily) arrived at the Grog Shop for the Battles show.  Truth be told, I'd been spending a bit more time with the Walls album (the opener) prior to arriving tonight.

I've really been enjoying this electronic / pop sound happening these days and Walls is one of the bands defining it right now.  Their set was more of a DJ gig, as it was just one long performance, no breaks and no applause.  But you know what, that's fine.  I think it would have interrupted the story.  You should really check these guys out and consider their new album, Coracle.

Walls (10/5/11)

Walls (10/5/11)

I mean, just check this track out - it's great!:

Heat Haze by walls_band

By the time Battles took the (packed) stage, the Grog Shop had to be near capacity.  It'd been a long week and the path to the bathroom was gone - so I decided I wouldn't be staying too long.  I enjoyed what I heard from Battles.  Great stage setup, loved the guest video vocal setup.  Here's a couple distance pics.

Battles (10/5/11)

Battles (10/5/11)

Battles (10/5/11)

So knowing I wasn't doing Battles justice with this review, I at least wanted to also share a La Blogotheque video - just so you can appreciate their sound.

The Drums (10/3/11)

I've been a little luke-warm on The Drums, but I knew right away this would be a great show to bring my friend Andrew too.  See, Andrew and I were old concert-going buddies back in the BG days (Bowling Green).  It's been *years* since we'd seen a concert together, and other than his immense help with the House Concert - this was our show.  Making the night even better, our friend Kat joined us!  (Unfortunately, the show was *really* dark, so not the best photos / video.)

Opening was Veronica Falls.  It's been such a crazy week and all, I just got a cursory exposure to them, but the sounded good live and I like what I've heard of their album.  Feels like a basic kind of 90's girl alt-rock sound.  Done well.

Veronica Falls (10/3/11)

The Drums took the stage and brought out the 80's with them.  They may be sick of that simple, categorization, but it really is the easiest (especially when you're speeding through reviews).  I thought they'd be a little more un-afffected onstage, but they were pleasant and appreciative.  Loved their sound... here's a sampling:

The Drums (10/3/11)

The Drums (10/3/11)

Stephanie Nilles (10/2/11)

This was my 3rd House Concert, which I'm calling the Princeton Road Sessions.  This went so well...  Everyone was in a great mood, despite it being like the 8 day of rain in a row.  But then maybe it could have been the keg of Great Lakes (that we killed before the end of the show!).

Stephanie Nilles was superb, her performance just oozed talent.  The way she handled those keys, her dynamic "had a cold for years" voice.  She was just an all-around cool person. Of course for this show, I will be posting the entire performance online - as soon as I can.  In the meantime, here's a couple photos:

Stephanie Nilles (10/2/11)

Stephanie Nilles (10/2/11)

Fleet Foxes (10/28/11)

It's a little embarrassing, as a Cleveland music blogger, to be putting out a Fleet Foxes review so late.  It's no reflection on the band... the whole show was actually pretty amazing.  Well, the Walkmen were OK.  It was actually just a bit more fun to hang out in the Masonic Auditorium foyer and watch the people of Cleveland who actually attend a Fleet Foxes show.

Oh, there was one kick-in-the-pants thing about this night.  I tried getting a photo pass and was denied, so I didn't bring my camera.  What I didn't realize about these "Grog Shop presents" shows was that it's just the Grog Shop running it (SWEET!).  But damn, then I could have brought my real camera - instead you're left with an iPhone only show.

About the music?  Stunning as you'd expect.  The vocals, the sound, the presentation, everything was spot on for what you'd expect from this Seattle band.

Fleet Foxes (9/28/11)

Fleet Foxes (9/28/11)

tUne-yArDs (9/27/11)

(catching up...) I'm so glad I didn't end up missing the tUnE-yArDs because of a name-mistake.  It's also become apparent that I'm having a hard time keeping up with all these new bands, because I also just realized these guys were at Pitchfork this year - though thankfully I didn't actually see them there, because there wouldn't have been any excuse for the possible mix-up.

Anyway.  Pat Jordache opened... respectable.  Not bad.

Pat Jordache (9/27/11)

tUne-yArDs were awesome.  I love her voice.  I love the face paint.  I love the organic, percussive nature of their stuff.  Really different and it translated very well live.  Great energy.

tUnE-yArDs (9/27/11)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tonight: Braids & Pepper Rabbit @ Beachland

This is the first of two Featured Events in my October Highlights.  Check it out. There I shared a live video of Braids and an official Pepper Rabbit video and thought I'd swap it here. Here's the official video for Plath Heart...  The more you listen to this song, the more you'll love it.

I've also really been enjoying Pepper Rabbit with their rather accessible sound.  They have this kind of Noah & the Whale sound about them, which is a total compliment...  Here they are performing Red Wine on KEXP.

And of course, Painted Palms deserves their own video posted too, but I'll be putting that up directly on my FaceBook page.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Video Tuesday

We're starting this week with a trippy video from Walls, who I'm looking forward to seeing open for Battles at the Grog Shop tomorrow night.  Next is a video a track I've been enjoying for some time, Yellow Ostrich's WHALE.  Finally a brand new video for our own Ashley Brooke Toussant for Sweetheart, which is the first single from her brand new release.

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Highlights

So with the demise of Spangle Magazine, so was the end of my monthly review of shows.  While I took September off to recover, the monthly listing is back!  Take a look at what great shows October is giving us.

Featured Events

8th :: Braids (Pop / Electronic) /
Beachland Tavern / $12
Oh boy, there were a lot of shows this month vying for this spot. Braids is refreshing Canadian pop band who's not afraid to go a bit off into the atmosphere. But the clincher for this show are the amazing openers,the incredible Pepper Rabbit & Painted Palms who I've already seen and love (with of Montreal).

10th :: Wild Flag (Indie Rock) /
Grog Shop / $12 ~ $14
This new incarnation featuring the likes of Carrie Browerstein and Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinnney (and more...), this show is definitely one of the biggest acts this month. I mean, Sleater-Kinney, c'mon! These gals are hot right now, and it's not just me. A solid opener with Austin's Yellow Fever. Give them a listen too.

Best of the Rest

3rd :: The Drums (Pop/Rock) /
Grog Shop / $12 ~ $14
This 80's inspired bittersweet NYC pop band is touring on their second release, Portamento on Frenchkiss records.

5th :: Trans Am (Electronic / Alternative) /
Grog Shop / $12
Had fun watching these guys at the Summer in the City series at the Rock Hall... would totally see them again.

5th :: Battles (Rock / Electronic) /
Grog Shop / $16 ~ $18
These Pitchfork Festival alums are hitting Cleveland with the likes of a delicious electro-inspiried Walls. The first Featured Event contender.

6th :: Besnard Lakes (Pop/Rock) /
Beachland Tavern / $10 ~ $12
Soaring indie crooners are sure to be an intimate performance, in the best possible place, the Tavern.

8th:: ARBORETUM (Rock & Roll) /
Now That's Class / $7
It's a Thrill Jockey Records night at my favorite West Side venue.

10th :: Bitch (Alternative) /
Beachland Tavern / $12 ~ $14
If the indie-rock sound of Wild Flag doesn't do satisfy your need for feminine power, Bitch's folk/punk aesthetic is.

12th :: Those Darlins (Punk / Country) /
Grog Shop / $8 ~ $10
I hear these ladies put on a raucous live show. Sweet.

15th :: Neon Indian (Pop / Electronic) /
Grog Shop / $12 ~ $14
I have to admit I like the buzzwords for these guys "chillwave" or "glo-fi". How fun. Probably as much fun as Com Truise will be opening.

17th :: Dam-Funk (Disco / Funk) /
Grog Shop / $15 ~ $17
Seriously. Disco / Funk. How fun will that be? If they sound familiar, it's because they rocked it at this year's Summer Solstice party at CMA.

19th :: Duran Duran (Pop) /
Playhouse Square/ $45 ~ $150 (ouch)
The indelible Duran Duran continue their resurgence, touring on a new Mark Ronson produced album.

23rd :: Brett Dennen (Pop / Rock) /
House of Blues / $20 ~ $25
An HOB favorite. It's hard not to walk out of a Brett Dennen show with a big smile. The *superb* Ben Sollee is opening.

23rd :: Cymbals Eat Guitars (Rock & Roll) /
Beachland Tavern / $10 ~ $12
With a new album out, I think I'll like these guys better in the Tavern. Check out a TVD review from their show at the Black Cat (9/24).

24th :: The Sounds (Pop/Rock) /
Beachland Ballroom / $16 ~ $18
This show was the next Featured Event competitor. The pop licks of this Swedish band are just delicious. Two great openers with Natalia Kills & The Limousines.

26th :: Jess Klein (Folk / Pop/Rock) /
Beachland Tavern $8 ~ $10
OK. So Jess is only opening this show, but she and I go way back. For fans of Lucinda Williams or Patty Griffin. I'm sure Tom Freund will be great too.

27th :: Future Islands (Pop/Rock) /
Beachland Tavern / $12 ~ $14
Having seen (and loved) Future Islands & Javelin separately. I can't believe them together didn't make the cut for a featured event this month.

29th :: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (R&B / Soul) /
Beachland Ballroom / $30
This "queen of funk" is a Cleveland favorite and will probably sell out the Beachland. There's a reason for that.

30th :: Shelby Lynne (Alt-Country) /
Beachland Ballroom / $30
If Sharon is the Queen of Funk, then Shelby is the Queen of Alt-Country. Well, maybe not, but she is married to the King (Steve Earle). She and I go way back as well.

Notable Road Trips

13th :: Junior Boys (Dance / Electronic) /
Columbus, OH / The Basement / $12 ~ $14
Junior Boys are probably one of best electro-pop bands of the last couple years.

19th :: Little Dragon (Pop / Electronic) /
Pittsburgh, PA / Shadow Lounge / tbd
I called their performance "Slick, Spirited and Energetic" the last time I saw this Swedish band. With an excellent new album, this show is worth the trip!

27th :: Dar Williams (Folk) /
Kent, OH / Kent Stage / $25.50
Dar is one of the most charming and talented Singer / Songwriters that I've ever seen perform. Sucks this is the same night as the Future Islands / Javelin show.

P.S. // A big thanks to Brian for helping me hammer out this format, one that I will be continuing!