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.
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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!
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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…

 

 

Aero Flynn: “I Can Feel the Moonbeams”

Aero Flynn– The Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
*opening for Minus the Bear*  (November 22, 2015)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Glad I made it to the Great American Music Hall (GAMH) last night early enough to catch both openers — Aero Flynn and Murder By Death — for Minus the Bear‘s 10th Anniversary Menos El Oso tour. Although Aero Flynn‘s set was short (only 30 min), it was certainly SWEET and SEXY (yes, I went there). Led but Josh Scott, former front-man of Amateur Love, this talented trio (base/vocals, guitar/keys/vocals, drums) dishes up a satisfying mix of spine-tingling tunes that remind me of a cross between Radiohead, Radio Dept., Low Roar, Prefuse 73, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, and Volcano Choir. It also reminded me of a recent artist (Doe Paoro) that I saw open for Little May at the Independent earlier this month. I later learned (although could have guessed it considering her album producers) that Doe Paoro and Aero Flynn are good pals. Everyone’s connected!

The parallel to Volcano Choir makes perfect sense considering that Josh Scott and Justin Vernon (of Volcano Choir and Bon Iver) are close buddies that both hail from Eau Claire, Wisconsin and have been making music together off-and-on for over a decade. In fact, Justin produced Aero Flynn’s debut album, recently released in March 2015. I was lucky enough to get my hands on this treasure chest last night after the show and in doing so, got to meet Aero Flynn‘s friendly drummer, Dave Power. I quickly learned from Dave that Aero Flynn was in the UK twice this year — first to tour with big wig Ben Howard, and a second time for a headline tour of their own where the played at my former London stomping ground, the Lexington,  as well as the End of the Road music festival (which I heard was awesome but never made it to). When Dave asked who I’d seen play at the Lexington, the first band that came to mind was Wye Oak. Little did I know — until he pointed to his chest — that he was WEARING a Wye Oak t-shirt and we both laugh at the coincidence.

I then mentioned how I saw Sylvan Esso open for Wye Oak that Lexington show (right before Sylvan Esso BLEW UP), and he chimed in to say that he first met Jenn Wasner (of Wye Oak) when in Durham, NC to see Sylvan Esso. Small world! I then talked about Jenn touring with El Vy (Matt Berninger of The National and Brent Knopf of Menomena), and he said that his friend was actually managing that tour. Haha crazy odds.

BUT, even CRAZIER ODDS was that Aero Flynn’s recent US tour was with GIVERS, one of my FAVORITE southern bands that I was lucky enough to discover back in 2011 during their infancy stages (when they opened for Ra Ra Riot at Gundlach Bundschu winery). I’m sad I had to miss GIVERS when they played The Independent last month (I was out of town for an interview), but I’m at least glad I got to catch their amazing set (videos on my youtube) at Outside Lands music festival in August. Speaking of music festivals, Dave of Aero Flynn said that I should definitely come to the Eau Claire music festival this summer (started last year by Justin Vernon), and that if I do, I’ll should stop by and say hi. I will DEFINITELY follow up on this invitation, as I have wanted to go to this ever since I first heard about it, and I’ve got a few close friends dying to go as well. Hopefully we can get tickets!

Now GO CHECK OUT and get the electronic-tinged-folk-psych album that is Aero Flynn, (Ooh La La Records).  Dave and I agreed on this genre description of their “mystery sound,” although you’ll have to to listen for yourself to decide!

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