Genesis performing on The Midnight special on December 12, 1973. Peter in full costume. Guitarist Steve Hackett says about the tune:
“I remember pushing the band to acquire a Mellotron back in the 70′s and, luckily, King Crimson had one to spare at the time – the ‘Black Bitch’ I think they called it on account of it always breaking down… This song alone was a strong reason for re-approaching the early material – from Phil’s inventive morse code rhythm to Tony’s momentous introduction which always sounded best in Italian Palasports – an aircraft hangar type of rumble ideally suited to spacecraft impersonation.”
Upon first hearing the jangly guitars that lead off the Mexican Summer debut from Boston psych rock band Quilt, I knew I was going to like it. But after digging in further, I realized that I was hearing one of the best albums of the year. The group dabbles in a wide range of sounds that channel everyone from the Airplane and other west coast 60s psych acts to CSN to Raga to British folk influences like The Pentangle and all sorts of other heady shit. Songs “Rabid Love” and “The Silver Stairs of Ketchikan” even recall a less eerie Woods, taking on a similar minimalist freak folk approach led by the choir-like vocals of Anna Fox Rochinski. The album, produced and engineered by Apollo Sunshine’s Jesse Gallagher, is the result of a series of extended experimental jams and free form songwriting. Many of the songs take on mantra-like form, with repetitive chants and Eastern melodies that guide the listener through dreamy, transcendent sound quests. Quilt are one of the most exciting upcoming psych rock bands hailing from the East Coast, so be sure to catch their live show when it comes through town. You can purchase their debut LP on Mexican Summer or stream the entire album below.
Real Estate announces more North American dates in January in addition to their already announced show at Terminal 5 opening for Girls. The band will also head to Australia and New Zealand in March. Real Estate wraps up their 2011 touring with a brief run of 10 European dates starting next week.
Real Estate 2012 Tour Dates
Wed-Nov-30 Barcelona, Spain KGB
Thu-Dec-01 Valencia, Spain Wah Wah
Fri-Dec-02 Madrid, Spain El Sol
Sat-Dec-03 Lisbon, Portugal LZB
Mon-Dec-05 Clermont Ferrand, France La Cooperative De Mai
Tue-Dec-06 London, England Scala
Fri-Dec-09 Copenhagen, Denmark Vega
Sat-Dec-10 Gothenberg, Sweden Henriksberg
Sun-Dec-11 Stockholm, Sweden Slussen
Mon-Dec-12 Oslo, Norway John Dee
Sat-Jan-14 New York, NY Terminal 5 #
Sun-Jan-15 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall
Mon-Jan-16 Providence, RI Met Cafe
Tue-Jan-17 Burlington, VT Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
Wed-Jan-18 Montreal, QC La Sala Rossa
Thu-Jan-19 Ottawa, ON Mavericks
Fri-Jan-20 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
Sat-Jan-21 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom
Sun-Jan-22 Washington, DC Black Cat
Fri-Mar-09 Sydney, AUS The Standard
Sat-Mar-10 Meredith, AUS Golden Plains Festival
Mon-Mar-12 Melbourne, AUS Corner Hotel
Tue-Mar-13 Brisbane, AUS The Zoo
Thu-Mar-15 Auckland, NZ Kings Arms
Fri-Mar-16 Wellington, NZ San Francisco Bath House
# = w/ Girls
[Photo by Colleen Barr]
The latest video from White Fence is for “Sticky Fruitman Has Faith” off their 2011 release Is Growing Faith on Woodsist. The footage captures the crowd scene during the band’s performance in Whittier, CA earlier this year, and is directed by Micheal Shifflett. Check it out below.
[Photo by Tamara Porras]
I just came across these clips of Kurt Vile’s performance at Webster Hall on 11.11.11 and thought I would share. This was one of my favorite shows of the year, and the two videos below capture two of KV’s stunning solo acoustic pieces from that evening.
After a long and highly successful tour, Real Estate make their big homecoming tonight with a sold-out show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. In honor of their return, we look back on this B-side track off their original lo fi 7″ for Underwater Peoples. If you haven’t already, be sure to pick up their “dope” new album Days.
MP3: “Old Folks“
Further Reading: Check out my interview with Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker about his theatrical collaboration with Woods tape-effects technician G. Lucas Crane.
Here’s the latest video from Bill Baird’s (of (((Sunset))) and SOUND Team) solo project. Directed by David Phillips, the video captures two of the mellow fingerpicked tunes off Baird’s recent Goodbye Vibrations LP, which you can purchase here. Also be sure to give a listen to the songwriter’s impressive Daytrotter session from 2007.
This is a new installment on DGB which will hopefully point you toward some interesting new releases. Today, we recommend heading to your local record store and picking up Briarwood, the latest release from James Jackson Toth’s Wooden Wand project. Over the years, Toth has dabbled in a wide range of experimental genres—most notably his collaborations with fellow SUNY Purchase College classmates the Vanishing Voice (which later went on to become Woods)—but on this new release he rounds out an album of folksy Americana tunes that will have you humming the melodies for days. Briarwood was fan-funded through Kickstarter and recorded in Birmingham, AL in April of 2011 with a new backing band, The Briarwood Virgins. You can preview two of the album’s tracks below, both loaded with fuzzy guitar riffs and down-home vocal harmonies. Briarwood is out now via Fire Records.
MP3: “Big Mouth USA“
MP3: ”Motel Stationary“
Here’s some excellent videos from The War on Drugs’ show at Cameo Gallery this summer filmed by Jessica Amaya and Bleary Eyed Brooklyn. The Drugs are headed out on the road next week and have now announced a run of 2012 US dates, which you can check out below. The band will also put out a new 7″ on January 24 with “Come to the City” as the A Side, and a previously unreleased B Side titled “Don’t Fear the Ghost.”
This month’s mix. Stream/download below.
01. Neu! – Hallogallo
02. Peter Gabriel – Down The Dolce Vita
03. Psychic Ills – Incense Head
04. Kurt Vile – Puppet To The Man
05. Woodsman – Parallel Minds
06. Amen Dunes – Baba Yaga
07. Dead Meadow – At Her Open Door
08. Woods – Gypsy Hand
09. Jovontaes – Falcon
10. Tom Verlaine – Miss Emily (9.28.84)
11. Echo and The Bunnymen – Rescue
12. The Babies – Run Me Over
13. The Shaggs – Philosophy Of The World
14. Hotel Mexico – Dear Les Friends
15. Richard Hell – I’m Your Man
16. Sugarman Three – So Long Donkey
17. Righteous Acid – Casa Zimbabwe
We’re proud to announce our second event of 2011, taking place December 30 post-Phish at The Cakeshop in New York City’s Lower East Side. Over the past year, it’s likely you’ve heard us champion Superhuman Happiness as one of the best up and coming bands on the jam scene today. Many of you even got the chance to see their horn players with Phish in Atlantic City last year. Well, this is your chance to witness the full extent of their live performance at one of our favorite New York venues.
Just a quick subway ride downtown from MSG, The Cakeshop is one of few remaining DIY venues on the main island. So come join us on December 30 and celebrate the end of 2011 with the writers and friends of Dog Gone Blog. Superhuman Happiness will perform a unique set that evening with some very special guests expected to appear. DJ Unicorn Pudding will be spinning records between sets, there will be a visual light show as well as a poster designed by the talented Sean Metcalf.
Tickets are $10 at the door. E-mail doggoneblog-at-gmail.com for reserved spots and guest list.
[Poster designed by Sean Metcalf]
On Valentine’s Day, California psych rock outfit Howlin Rain will release their new long player The Russian Winds via American Recordings. The first track from that release, “Phantom In The Valley,” is now available for download via the band’s website. The nearly eight minute track shows the band paring down their sound, falling back under the label that frontman Ethan Miller gave the band in 2006—music to “sing along with while drinking whiskey in the bathtub, on a Saturday night, with your dog.” [via Jambands.com]
Just days after Crosby and Nash performed a set of unamplified acoustic tunes at Occupy Wall Street, I thought it fitting to revisit a cover of one of the tunes the legendary duo performed. Woods’ cover of “Military Madness,” the opening cut from Graham Nash’s often overlooked 1971 solo debut Songs for Beginners, is an example of a band breathing new life into an otherwise forgotten song, making it relevant and meaningful to a whole new generation. While the cover stays mostly true to the original, lead singer Jeremy Earl’s haunting falsetto croon brings new life to the song’s words with Woods’ trademark eeriness lurking in the shadows. Woods’ cover of “Military Madness” comes off their 2009 release Songs of Shame, which you can purchase via Woodsist.
Brooklyn psych rock outfit Woodsman sent over this new video for “Parallel Minds” off their recent Mystic Places EP. Watch as the interweaving VHS style visuals combine with Woodsman’s meditative drone to create this stunning display of color and sound. Mystic Places is available now via the band’s own Fire Talk Records.
Last night, I had the great pleasure of catching my acoustic hometown hero—Doug Paisley—at one of Brooklyn’s most intimate and welcoming venues. Sharing the bill with Bela Fleck’s significant other, Abigail Washburn, at Brooklyn’s Bell House, Paisley paired well, offering his sparse set of wanderer’s tales and minimalist guitar work to a crowd of attentive listeners. The Toronto native even commented at one point that it was eerie to hear silence of that sort in New York City. And though I had my fancy new DSLR on hand and intended to take it for its maiden voyage into the world of concert photography, I realized quickly that I could only shoot between songs as the shutter sound could be heard across the entire room. Pin drop type silence.
This was my second time seeing Paisley perform in almost as many months, having caught him on his recent tour with freak folk outfit Megafaun. I also hold the rare feat of having seen the guitarist perform to a crowd of no more than eight in a basement pub in London, Ontario—the same night I became a lifelong fan of his. Whether it’s eight or fifty, Paisley performs a similar set, combining his troubadour-like persona with nimble guitar lines that nod to a gentler-handed Garcia and classic country pickers like Doc Watson.
But what draws the crowd in to a level of attentiveness rarely seen at concerts in this city, are the songs. His 2010 release Constant Companion, was named “one of the finest singer-songwriter driven LPs of 2010″ by Aquarium Drunkard and received high praise from countless others. The songs have a simple kind of sadness that tell of the journeys and hardships of the road, for example his cover of The Stanley Brother’s “The Fields Have Turned Brown,” which tells of a boy who leaves home to discover himself against his parent’s pleadings. Each song is delivered with Paisley’s authentic country-style vocal approach, sounding as though he was born to play this music for us. It makes us want to listen.
Living in New York, one has the ability to see great music almost every night of the year. So what is it about one man and a guitar that can make me travel half way across the city to hear him play? I asked myself that question while riding the F train over the Brooklyn Naval Yard, contemplating it until the moment the lights dimmed and that one man appeared on stage. It’s a realness we only find in the best and musicians who are truest to their craft. It’s a sense of integrity that makes an “opening slot” so much more and a life on the road a welcome reality for the performer. It’s a voice, a guitar, the right words and bringing them all together in a special way that very few can.
“Bat Song” (9/24/11)
You can download Doug Paisley’s recent performance opening for Megafaun at Mercury Lounge via NYC Taper.
This video for “Hall Ballet” is off of Sofa Pits’ debut cassette New Moments, out on Beer On The Rug sometime in the near future.
New Jersey outfit Real Estate recently launched a North American tour in support of their sophomore album, Days. Today, the band shares the first music video from the album, for the lead single “It’s Real.” The video, directed by Weird Days, was filmed in Livingston, NY and in Brooklyn, NY. Check it out and see below for a full list of tour dates with Big Troubles.
The other night, some friends and I were discussing the geography of the contemporary psych revival. It’s obvious that, while places like San Francisco and Bushwick will probably be on your radar, others such as Minneapolis or Kentucky are more likely to be left off. Jovonates, one of the latest additions to Woodsist’s Hello Sunshine subsidiary, hail from Lexington, KY, where they recorded their new LP Things Are Different Here in the back of a local skateshop. On the album, Jovonates journeys through stoned-out kraut grooves reminiscent of Neu! or Can, while laying atop space guitar riffs and cyclical psych trances in the vein of Ash Ra Tempel. The album drops October 11 on a limited 500-edition vinyl release, but until then you can watch the video for one of the songs below. Pre-order Things Are Different Here via Insound.
Before heading off to Europe on their fall tour, Austin’s Pure X released a new video for “Surface”—one of the highlights off this year’s Pleasure LP. The hauntingly eerie video is directed by Malcolm Elijah, who also plays in Silent Diane.
Check Sun Araw’s latest video for “Impluvium,” the 15-minute epic closer off this year’s Ancient Romans.
“Sparrows Gate’s music is cut from the same cord as John Steinbeck’s desolate western landscapes and the humble optimism of his characters hearts” reads the bands self descriptor. A fitting set of words to translate the sound of this promising new West Coast group formed by members of Oakland’s Port O’Brien. On their debut LP, Sparrow’s Gate delves into the sounds of contemporary alt-country with sheering lap steel and multi-part vocal harmonies reminiscent of Workingman’s Dead. In the past year, the band has shared the stage with the likes of Vetiver, The Mother Hips, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Sleepy Sun—so expect Sparrow’s Gate to make the leap to the next level in the near future. Listen to/download the incredibly catchy tune “Caught Me By Surprise” below, and then pick up their debut self-titled LP released via iTunes.
MP3: “Caught Me By Surprise“
RIYL: Dawes, Vetiver, Megafaun