Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Festival Preview | Meg Myers' Top 5 Acts To See At Lollapalooza

Photo by Catie Laffoon

Lollapalooza kicks off Friday at Chicago's Grant Park, and we'll be attending the three-day festival featuring Eminem, Kings of Leon, OutKast, Arctic Monkeys, and more. And actually, the "more" is what we're excited about as it includes artists like Meg Myers, who will be performing on Saturday at 2:50 PM on The Grove stage (she'll also be appearing at an official aftershow with Kate Nash at City Winery on Friday at 11 PM; purchase tickets here).

We became familiar with Myers' music via her provocative video for "Desire," a song that can be found on her Make A Shadow EP. Let's have a view/listen.

As you know, a music festival presents many choices. So, we asked Meg Myers to name her "Top 5 Acts To See at Lollapalooza." Good choices, Meg. Let's get to them, shall we?

1. Me, because I will never be able to see myself perform. (Saturday, 2:50-3:30, The Grove)

2. Spoon, because my drummer worships them and my drummer's pretty cool. (Saturday, 6:45-8:00, Bud Light)

3. Blood Orange. I love Cupid Deluxe and Coastal Grooves so much. I think he's just incredible and his music means a lot to me. (Friday, 4:45-5:30, The Grove)

4. Courtney Barnett, because she's a badass, a clever lyricist, and my guitar player told me to say that because he loves her. (Friday, 2:15-3:00, The Grove)

5. Iggy Azalea. I saw some videos of her like a year ago and they were fucking awesome. She's a badass. (Friday, 4:30-5:30, Perry's)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jam of the Day | Landlady - The Globe

Constant SIC readers know we like to coin new music genres from time to time. And outside of electrofunkaroots, they've for the most part gone on to become worldwide descriptors when describing music to your friends over a beer or five. It's a knack we have, and we're happy to share.

So when listening to "The Globe," we couldn't help but think that, gun to our head if asked to categorize it, we'd say it was indienewmangazeoperaesque. Listen below and see if you agree.

Maybe you feel something different. Let us know what that something is.

Regardless, we'll be catching them at this year's Hopscotch Music Festival. And you should too.  Tickets are available right here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Photos | The Shilohs at Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC

All photos by Agatha Donkar

While most of the Triangle (and a good portion of the rest of the world) was at the Cradle on Friday night for Merge 25, I was at the 506 watching a really, really great indie pop show. Vancouver's the Shilohs absolutely blew me away with their harmonies, their guitar, the sounds like my beloved Big Star (more indie pop inspired by Big Star, please, but the Shilohs do Big Star-style hooks and licks damn well enough for me). I bopped around taking photos and jumping up and down like a goof, and it was so much fun, I want to do it again this Friday.

You can check out the Shilohs' sound with last Friday's JOTD for "Student of Nature", and find more photos, including Winston-Salem natives and friends of Speakers Estangers as well as headliners the Fresh and Onlys, are over on Flickr.

10 to Spin | Will Dailey

Photo by Paul Janovitz

"There is no DIY, there is only Do It Together."

Will Dailey believes that, and why shouldn't he? His upcoming album, due on 8/26, is titled National Throat, and it's being released independently, despite interest  from the "largest record label in the world." Doing it together means doing it with you, the fans. You can feel this approach in the first single, "Sunken Ship," especially when he sings, “I’m jumping overboard /And I’m swimming back to shore." Let's have a listen.

Our latest 10 to Spin playlist is from Dailey, and the theme is "Getting Free." Enjoy his commentary for each song below, and subscribe to the playlist here!

For Free - Joni Mitchell

If there is a list to be made she should always be on it. Even if it's a grocery list. Isle 7 get a box of Joni. There is a lifetime of exquisiteness to aspire to within her songs and recordings.

I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free - Nina Simone

I remember the first time a friend played me Nina. I can still smell the room we were in and the see the dust floating in the air. She is otherworldly to me. She also found artistic refuge in France to which I can relate.

Radio Free Europe - REM

I sincerely love all of REM.  The lyrical and musical adventurism are lessons in being free at all times. I heard Sunken Ship on the radio and in Whole Foods in the same day. While that has nothing to do with the subject of this song, it somehow echoes in my mind after the trials it took to get to this album.

Free Girl Now - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

You ever stuck in one of those days when it feels people are talking about music more than listening to it? That they are talking about the music business more than getting busy playing or listening to it? Then turn it all off and turn on some Tom Petty loud. It clears the system. I am a free girl now.

Everything Is Free - Gillian Welch

Ouch. It is, I suppose.  But maybe it was supposed to be! This one has bummed me out and but it has also felt like a companion. I'm fortunate enough that there are people out there that buy enough of my records to make the record. Ever since I released Goodbye Red Bullet the business has been "falling apart" yet I have National Throat. Art does not exist without help.

I'm Free Now - Morphine

I have refused to leave Boston though friends have gone and the music business tries to convince me to move. The spirit of Morphine is alive in the streets here. It is now part of the folk lore here. You can't beat that.

Free Until They Cut Me Down - Iron & Wine

Another artists that I became a life long fan of after hearing the first note. Not many artists make it feel like their whole catalogue is one long piece that feels like one whole. Like every drop of a painting coming to life. When I get pulled outside a dream Iron & Wine pulls me right back in.

Free - Cat Power

You Are Free is the kind of album I am checking myself with for National Throat. The variation and adventure from track to track. Anything can happen and I love that. For me, there is no need to make an album unless it's gonna cover a lot of territory and stretch out the artist. I don't want to passively listen to an album. You Are Free has that, Pearl Jam's VS and Vitology have that, Sticky Fingers by the Stones... You know what I'm saying.

Freedom! '90 - George Michael

Yes. Because sometimes I have to put on tight jeans when I'm walking away and into a better place. I actually comb my hair, put the top down anyway and unbutton two extra buttons. Drive down the main drag and smile at everyone while lip syncing this song. I'm gonna go-pro that shit next time.

I Feel Free - Cream

My father loved any band that had dynamic drummers. So there was a lot of Bonham, Moon and Ginger Baker around I had to get off a major label to feel safe and free to make the music I wanted to make. That music is National Throat. It exists because of the life, career and experiences I've had. It also exists because of all the magical songs that accompanied me to now. Of which the above are a small but significant fraction.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Festival Review | 10 Things I Learned at Forecastle

All photos by Jason Gonulsen

2014 was my first Forecastle Festival, which was also happened to be my first music festival of the year. There are a few more on the agenda, but they're all gonna have a hard time measuring up to my time spent in Louisville with Jack White, Jenny Lewis, Jason Isbell, Reignwolf, OutKast, and more.

Here are 10 things I learned at Forecastle.

1. Environment is everything. It can also be misleading at a place like Forecastle. One minute you're under a highway overpass, the next you're seeing the most beautiful sunset ever along the Ohio River. The contrast works as long as you soak it all in. There isn't an overwhelming amount of ground at Forecastle, but here's the thing: you absolutely need to cover all of it to get the full effect.

2. Jack White was loud, but Reignwolf was louder. I like White's music because it is raw, and because it doesn't conform, but aren't those reasons why it shouldn't appeal to a large audience? Doesn't matter -- people love them some Jack White. I figured it would be the loudest set of the weekend, but that belonged to Reignwolf, who absolutely exploded with "Lonely Sunday." It's surprising sets like these that keep festivals interesting. A+ for Reignwolf.


3. We're all in this together. I'm a pretty introverted -- love my alone time and all of that shit. But that's just not going to happen at a festival, even one like Forecastle that's not absolutely massive. You're going to bump into a sweaty dude at 3 PM and you're just going to have to deal with it. And you know what? Not once did I hear a person complain at Forecastle. About anything.

4. Bourbon Lodges work at a festival. And I had my doubts. Would I really want to be sipping on bourbon at a music the afternoon? Oh, but the Forecastle Bourbon Lodge is air conditioned and provides an escape, sort of like the movie tent at Bonnaroo. Again, environment is key.

5. Slow songs have their place at Forecastle. You can even begin your set with them. Sharon Van Etten opened with "Afraid of Nothing." Jill Andrews opened with "I'm Not Okay." Band of Horses opened with three acoustic songs, including "St. Augustine."  Lucius opened with "Go Home." And this all worked.

6. Jason Isbell's "Flying Over Water" was made for a festival. My favorite opening song of any set at Forecastle. I've written plenty about my love for his last album, Southeastern (it was our favorite album of 2013), and I've seen him 4 times in the last year, but still, STILL, somehow all these songs feel fresh, especially "Flying Over Water." "Did we leave our love behind," Isbell sang before ripping into a solo. I'll never forget it.

Jenny Lewis

7. Jenny Lewis is back. She was smiling as she pranced out on stage in her rainbow suit. "Welcome to the voyager," she told us. Of course, that's the name of her upcoming album (out Tuesday), and it features "She's Not Me," "Just One Of The Guys," and my favorite, "Head Underwater." Go see Jenny Lewis this year.

8. Sun Kil Moon is a religious experience. I love slow, sad songs, and Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon takes that to extremes on the latest album, Benji. When "Carissa," quite possibly the saddest song of the year, was performed at Forecastle, I sat down in the photo pit, let the sun hit my face, closed my eyes, and just enjoyed the damn moment.

9. Matrimony and Lucius work well together on early Sunday afternoons. They played back-to-back on the main stage, and Matrimony was having such a great time that they tried to go past their allotted time. That didn't work, but it was great to see two up-and-coming bands kickstart the last day of Forecastle. Because the last day of any festival needs some juice to get going.

10. All festivals are not the same. I hear it all the time: all festivals are uncomfortable, not worth it, etc. And I'm here to tell you that there is no reason why anyone couldn't have a great time at Forecastle. There is plenty of shade, places to sit, and for every headlining act, you could get a decent spot no matter what time you showed up. Kudos to Forecastle for being thoughtful, organized, and well-run. I'll be back soon.