LIVE: Lo-Fang at The Troubadour (4/2/14)

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It’s not often that you come across an artist and know right off the bat that you’ve just found your new favorite band. Maybe you’ve grown obsessed with one particular song, but to find an entire album that’s damn near flawless… Now, that’s rare.

Before discovering Lo-Fang, this had only happened to me once before, with Local Natives in 2009. I’ve stood by their music knowing that they were doing something different. Something entirely unique and important. These days, I’m exposed to more new music than I can keep up with and while there are plenty of good bands out there, they’re usually comparable to something I’ve heard before.

Then I met Lo-Fang and I swear to you my life will never be the same.

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Music Monday – Junip

It’s not Monday, but because of holiday weekend, we’re behind schedule anyways. So just pretend with me, won’t you?…

Ever since I watched “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, I’ve been drooling over Junip. The Sweden-based trio comprised more than half of the film’s soundtrack, creating the perfect aural setting for the scenery surrounding Walter Mitty. Fronted by José González and featuring the talents of Elias Araya and Tobias Winterkorn, the band formed in the late ’90s as more of a hobby for the childhood friends and was González’s initial claim to musical fame.

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Music Monday – Augustines

I have a tendency to go back and re-listen to older bands/albums. I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired of the redundancy of everything “new” or if it’s because I lack motivation to actively search for bands that actually cater to my personal music taste…which is pretty unlikely because I spend at least three days a week reviewing bands I’ve never heard of and I’m bound to like something that’s thrown in that mix…

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So This Is The New Year

And in familiar fashion, I’ve been putting off wrapping up this post. New year, new you? Maybe not quite. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to break my habit of procrastinating. But it can’t hurt to try…again? Right?

Anyway, it’s 2014 (WHAT THE HECK?) and I can honestly admit that I was so relieved to end last year. It was whirlwind of big events and milestones and while a handful of them were pretty exciting, I’m very happy to have them as memories and memories alone.

Let’s recap, shall we?:

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Music Monday – Horse Feathers

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Horse Feathers profiles a rotating cast of musicians strewn together by Justin Ringle, who provides lead vocals as well as guitar and percussion to the outfit. With a backbone of backwoods folk heavily laden with strings, Horse Feathers turned from a solo project into a troupe when Ringle teamed up with Peter Broderick (Norfolk & Western) around 2005. After spending the greater part of a year writing and playing shows in Portland, the team recorded and released their debut Words Are Dead in 2006.

For Horse Feathers’s fourth album, Ringle scouted local musicians to add piano, reeds, banjo, and steel to Cynic’s New Year, adding multiple layers to the band’s generally solemn tone. The album feels a lot like floating down a lazy river, easing you into the meat of the tracks, then carefully escorting you back to shore. Described as having “androgynous sounding” vocals, Ringle’s loftiness is a complementary pairing to the somber sound of his music. Horse Feathers are simple in the simplest terms. Its rawness sometimes leaves that masochistic part of you craving something jagged or sharp just to break from the flow of slow-jam folk rock, but that would completely defy what the band stands for.

They’re not here to blow you out of your pants nor feed you cryptic verses that leave you questioning what you just listened to. Horse Feathers are rugged in their own way and that little bit of an edge is enough for me.

Music Monday – Tom Odell

Back at it! Or trying… Here’s a new Music Monday, only minutes after the clock struck 12!

I don’t know about you, but I get annoyed with ads on Spotify or Songza or whatever other music streaming outlet I’ve chosen to use that day. I rarely ever click on the banners and I nearly always turn down the volume while an ad is playing. So I’d say it’s nothing short of a miracle that I stumbled upon Tom Odell last week while opening up a Spotify playlist. It was at the top of the “Discover” page with a tag that said something along the lines of “You listened the The 1975. Check out Tom Odell.” So I did. And boy, am I happy I noticed that link that day.

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Tipping a Hat to the Post-Graduation Unknown

“What they did not want you to ever find out is that your generation, the generation born between 1980-1995, actually outnumbers the baby boomers. They knew that if you ever turned your eye towards political reform, you could change the world.

They tried to keep you sated on vapid television shows and vapid music. They cut off your education and fed you brain candy. They took away your music and gave you top ten pop stations. They cut off your art and replaced it with endless reality shows for you to plug into, hoping you would sit quietly by as they ran the world. I think they thought you were too dumb to notice.

Indeed, I thought they had won.

But I watched you occupy the capital of Wisconsin. I see you today as you occupy Wall Street. And I see a spark, a glimmer of the glorious new age that is yours. A changing of the guard, a guard that has stood for entirely too long and needs your young legs to take his place.

I watch you turn away from what is easy and stand up for what is right. I see you understand we as a society are only as strong as our weakest link. I see you wise beyond your years. And I am proud. Give ‘em hell, kids. You are beautiful.

Together we are strong.”

 

I recently re-stumbled upon this quote that surfaced during the Wall Street protests in 2011. It really struck me the first time I read it and it rings even truer now.

[I’ve failed to find an accurate original source, so if you know who it belongs to, please let me know.]

Music Monday – Rogue Wave (Nightingale Floors)

Okay, I confess, I’m no newbie to Rogue Wave. I’ve loved them since they opened for Death Cab for Cutie at the SDSU Open Air Theatre in 2007. Their California-indie-rock sound is just really catchy and they quickly snagged a spot in my Top 20 Favorite Artists.

Anyways, their fifth album dropped today and I really  just wanted everyone to know about it. What I love about RW is how consistent they are with their sound. They haven’t bought into the over-produced, electronic mumbo-jumbo that many indie bands have recently fallen victim too. Not to say that’s bad… but it just doesn’t fit what Rogue Wave is all about. This album mimics their older tracks, but shows off a bit of maturity that can certainly be attributed to the four year break they took before releasing a new LP.

I’ll let you be your own judge, but it may very well be their best yet. I definitely encourage you to have a listen.

[Also, my favorite track is ‘When You Walk Away’, but there’s no audio for it on YouTube yet. So be sure to snag that one on iTunes!]