The Staves: “You cut my roots and now my leaves are dead. They tumble down in pools of all the blood I bled” – The Great American Music Hall in in SF (Feb 20, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

About a year an a half ago when I moved back to California and was jobless, homeless, and “sleeping in a car” (crazy coincidence that their newest EP has this title) – the Stave’s album, ‘If I Was,’ was one of the only things keeping me afloat in a sea of frustration, anxiety, and despair. It was so freaking surreal to FINALLY see them live (after nearly 4 years of waiting) and watch them loop and layer their angelic vocals into a musical masterpiece – one that makes you STOP DEAD IN YOUR TRACKS. Steady, Damn It All, Sleeping in a Car, Sadness Don’t Own Me, No Me No Yo No More, and Let Me Down nearly had me shedding some tears. It’s no wonder the musical GOD that is Justin Vernon has invited them in his studio to test the limits of their innate talent and indescribable vocals. Once their harmonies hit, you are done. Just DONE. Warning: STAVES THAT SLAY.
 ❤
And, although I first discovered the Staves back in 2010, it wasn’t until watching them in the ‘Austin to Boston‘ music documentary (filmed alongside Bear’s Dean, Ben Howard, Nathanial Rateliff, and Gil Landry of Old Crow Medicine Show during their pre-SXSW tour from Austin to Boston) that I really fell hard for these sister sirens. I do love to to see that their fondness for touring in America and recording with Justin Vernon in Iowa (Ex Claire) has convinced them to move here and plant some temporary roots in Minneapolis. These “tired as fuck” “outlaws” know how to “make it holy” anytime, anywhere, and their singing about Mexico has us wanting “to see the colors of another sky.” It’s no wonder then that the Communion Music is trying to temp them back to London with a headlining slot for London’s Bushstock festival this summer. I sure hope to catch as much of them as I can while they’re still here. No staving off when it comes to the Staves!
 ❤

I also wanna give mad props to Dave Powers, the man responsible for keeping The Staves “STEADY STEADY STEADY” with this proficient percussion and damn-good drumming. It’s actually pretty surreal that I first discovered him at the same venue a year back when drumming for Aero Flynn. Crazy how things come full circle!

And at BottleRock Napa in May…

 

 

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats- “Don’t You Weep, Don’t You Worry”: The Filmore (Jan 27, 2016)

The Filmore, San Francisco
Written by Erica Andreozzi

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Happy to have gotten Mark and Luke to sign my poster!

How lucky was I to have seen THIS Britney Spears IN THE FLESH last night at The Fillmore in SF?!! It’s a shame he didn’t shake those lovely locks loose, but at least we saw Nathaniel Rateliff SHAKE THOSE BOOTS quicker than Britney could (seriously). “HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME.”  😛

It’s been a RECORD YEAR for Nathaniel, and to have witnessed his evolution from a somber (but still SUPERB), seasoned singer/songwriter playing at tiny bars in London to a budding blues/rock/folk band playing at smallish chapels in San Francisco to a BREAKTHROUGH ACT (critically acclaimed record and hit song on the radio charts) SELLING OUT at the FAMOUS FILMORE, has been SUPER SATISFYING and DELIGHTFUL, to say the least. I always knew Nathaniel had a special something something that separated him from the rest (check him out in the music documentary, Austin to Boston), and I’m SO GLAD that he didn’t “throw the towel in” (his words) after some disappointment with his solo career and some frustration with record labels. He found his SWEET SPOT in the Night Sweats, and we have been craving that sweet goodness ever since!

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“I NEED NEVER GET OLD!” Eternal youth. Get it. I honestly believe that making the heart play and the soul sing is INDEED what keeps us from from getting old. that being said, a daily dose of Nights Sweats would DEFINITELY do the trick.   🙂

Look it here baby I’m coming out, On my knees begging please yeah…” (Trust me, we are ON OUR KNEES begging more for you, Nate!)

When all else had been failing me, THIS SONG hadn’t.
“I said don’t you weep and don’t you worry
Don’t you weep and don’t you worry…” (instant strength)

I’ve surely shouted this chorus OUT LOUD down the freeway LIKE THE GOSPEL. Might as well be my Hail Mary.

This one starts out all sweet with a bit of a Motown beat, but then turns all NAAAAAASTY (in the best way imaginable) with Nate breaking it down HARD for us on guitar half-way through.

“Come on and just
Shake baby
I love it when you
Shake baby

NEVER GONNA STOP…FEEL WHEN IT’S HOT…No more…” (yaaaas)

Impossible to NOT SHAKE to this one, especially with Nate and Luke’s gnarly guitar jam sesh towards the end. I even got to shake a bit harder cause I had the front railing to hold on to… Always helps!

“I just want to thank you…Sweet baby for getting me through.” I just to THANK YOU, Nate and the Night Sweats, cause swaying to this sweet ditty has definitely helped with “getting me through.”

“Think of all the hours I spent in constant reflection
Well it gets you down but it don’t make it right
…..(love the perfectly timed “f*ck yeah! holler in the background)
I made it my personal intervention
What a waste of time time time time time.”

Aside from hauling my hips to this hooky beat, I couldn’t NOT join Nate in belting out my favorite verse:
“You’re filling it up just to turn out on empty
God damn I know just how it feels
I’m gonna tear out all that’s inside me
Look away from here
Cause nobody cares
And they’re trying so hard not to know…”

We ALL KNEW what was coming up next, and the eager anticipation pervading the crowd nearly gave my heart an arrhythmia! Words just can’t describe the ENDLESS EUPHORIA that transpired in each and ever person in the audience that night. I don’t think there was ONE PERSON that did not join Nate as he vehemently vented, “SON OF A BITCH!” after his this powerful preacher goodness:

“I’m gonna need someone to help me
I’m gonna need somebodies hand
I’m gonna need someone to hold me down
I’m gonna need someone to care…”

The steady stream of hand-clapping, combined with the catchy cadency of the continual “Whoa-oa-ooo…Whoa-oa-ooo…Whoa-oa-ooo-ooo’s” had the WHOLE VENUE beating to the same powerful pulse. I instantly felt a connection with EVERYONE IN THE ROOM, including those echoes reverberating off the back wall. It was at that very moment that I remembered why I find music to be such an addiction, and why I make it an essential NECESSITY in my life. It’s my fuel when energy levels are low, and it’s my meditation when my mind is muddled. No matter what baggage people (myself included!) may have been carrying with them through the door that night, you better believe it was been dumped by the doorstep upon leaving. Music IS the ultimate medicine, especially when its side effects include NIGHT SWEATS like the ones you feel with Nate and his Seven, SUPER-talented Sweats. ❤

And OF COURSE they teased us (made us think they were finished) before they quickly resumed the song for Part 2.

Mark plays a meeeeeeeeean organ (don’t be fooled by that gitty grin) and I loved being right in front of him to embrace the madness. Glad the sax and trumpet player also got in on some of the solo action!

What a CUTE and CLEVER way to end this EPIC EVENING…
Within only a few minutes of the crowd unanimously uniting for “Whoa-oa-ooo…Whoa-oa-ooo…Whoa-oa-ooo-ooo’s” to get the band back on stage, Nate and the Sweats successively slip back on stage, one by one, each breathing life back into their instruments as they do. The procession started with Mark (the organ), then Patrick (the drums), then Wes (the trumpet), then Luke (lead guitar) and then eventually the NUCLEUS, Mr. Rateliff. I can’t think of a better way to make us feel loved and “a part of their family,” which was Nate’s ONE WISH from the beginning. 🙂

West Coast (playlist: Dec 10, 2015)

West Coast

Compiled Dec 10, 2015

Following up on my previous playlist — ‘Coming Home — I’ve launched a new playlist called ‘West Coast,’ as this title track by the Seattle-based band, Hey Marseilles, embodies the essence of WHY I moved back to California. This song reminded me of WHY it was ALL WORTH IT, and I can’t help but RAWR along with the catchy chorus, “Meet me on the west coast… We’ll make it our own.” I was lucky enough to see Hey Marseilles live for the first time in September, and I look forward to seeing them again at The Independent in March for their new album launch.

Aside from Hey Marseilles, other bands I’ve recently seen that inspired this playlist are Nathaniel Rateliffe and the Nightsweats, City and Colour, Boy & Bear, Doe Paoro, Little May (who’s song ‘Bow and Arrow‘ was another track I had on CONSTANT REPEAT),  Aero Flynn (as an opener for Minus the Bear), Of Monsters and Men, Youth Lagoon, and Penny and Sparrow.

New discoveries that I have yet to see live and are very much on my radar, are Tow’rs, King Charles (recently on tour with Mumford & Sons), Julien Baker, El Vy (I LOVE Matt Berninger from The National), Max Frost, Seoul (opener for We Were Promised Jetpacks at The Great American Music Hall last month), and This is Koa (recently featured on Noisetrade).

Although the Staves are not a new discovery — as I have LOVED THEM ever since watching Communion’s Austin to Boston music documentary —I have YET to be SEDUCED by these SOOTHING SIREN SISTERS in the flesh, and I can’t wait till they come back for another US tour (hopefully for US summer festivals!). Having been produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Volcano Choir, their new album — If I was — is a MAGICAL MASTERPIECE and was one of the only things keeping my sane during recent rough times. ‘No me, no you, no more,’ was a standout track for me, and was one I frequently sang to in order to calm my nerves and soothe the soul. Finally, I’m excited to see one of my FAVORITE ICELANDIC BANDS — Kaleo — again this spring after first discovering them at Iceland Airwaves last year. It’s SUPER EXCITING to see them breaking new ground with their new songs and becoming quite a INTERNATIONAL HIT, just as I thought they would. Now, if you shall MEET ME ON THE WEST COAST… 🙂

Here’s a Spotify playlist with most of the songs (some still missing):

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You can download all of the songs (out of order) from my link on Box.com

https://app.box.com/s/fccew2dnpyvacio4xfrps8d2fpj3qhhv

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No Me, No You, No More-  The Staves
Wasted Love- City And Colour
Helm- Tow’rs   
West Coast- Hey Marseilles   
Where’d You Go- Boy & Bear  
Bow & Arrow- Little May   
Return To The Moon- El Vy  
Hypotheticals- Doe Padro   
I Need Never Get Old- Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats   
Killing Time- City And Colour   
Dk/Pi- Aero Flynn   
No Good-  Kaleo
Hollow Ground- Boy & Bear   
Northern Blues- City And Colour  
Love Lust- King Charles   
Home- Little May   
I’ve Been Failing – Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats   
Walking Backwards- Doe Padro   
Just Dumb- Boy & Bear   
White Lies- Max Frost   
Everybody Does- Julien Baker   
Woman- City And Colour   
LoveBlood- King Charles   
Paul Is Alive- El Vy   
Trying So Hard Not To Know- Nathaniel Rateliff And The Night Sweats Twist- Aero Flynn
Breakdown Slow- Boy & Bear  
The Brightest Lights- King Charles  
Damn It All- The Staves
Highway Patrol Stun Gun- Youth Lagoon  
What Now- This is Koa
Stay With Us- Seoul
Wolves Without Teeth- Of Monsters And Men  
Duet (Feat. Stephanie Briggs)- Penny And Sparrow