Rebound (Playlist: May 18, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

May 18, 2018

FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (Spotify link below) inspired by awesome bands I saw in Austin at SXSW 2018 (Kid Queen, Magic Bronson, Caught a Ghost, The Lagoons, The Wild Now, Dawg Yawp, Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, Black Pistol Fire, Dr. Joe, Abhi the Nomad) and others I saw in San Francisco/Los Angeles/San Diego (The War on Drugs, EasyFriend, Ramonda Hammer, SLUGS, Rival Cavves, Little Monarch, Penguin Prison, The Oh Hellos, Holy Wars, Ibeyi, Overcoats, Mt. Joy, The Drums, Alvvays, Planet Booty, Escort, Sal’s Greenhouse, Wild Child, Stelth Ulvang, Frenship, Yoke Lore, George Ezra, Noah Kahan, HAIM, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Zach Winters, Horse Feathers, and Dead Horses).  Playlist also includes new releases from (Geographer, Meg Myers, Leon Bridges, Ryley Walker, Trevor Powers (of Youth Lagoon), DonCat, The Colour Coast, Bishop Briggs, Charlotte Cardin, Courtney Barnett, Harrison Storm, GIVERS, the French Cassettes, Black Pistol Fire, Florence + the Machine, Matt and Kim, Derek Ted, Christof Van der Ven (of Bear’s Den), Brenda Carsey, Youth in a Roman Field (of San Fermin), Goodnight Texas, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Lord Huron, Betty Who, Wye Oak, Two Door Cinema Club, Wildling, Johnnyswim, Riley Geare (formerly of Unknown Mortal Orchestra), Milo Greene and Mastersystem, the newest project of Scott Hutchinson (Frightened Rabbit, Owl John), an irreplaceable LEGEND that we painstakingly lost to suicide on May 10. See below for my brief ‘Tribute to Scott’. A more in-depth one is in the works.

I chose kid QUEEN’s ‘Rebound’ for this playlist’s title track because I was INSTANTLY HOOKED to this song the first time I heard it at kid QUEEN‘s set at SXSW (videos on my Facebook music page), and I especially LOVE growling along to the part, “I don’t gotta alot of work to define my wealth, but I’m poor motherfucker with a wide array of shit to sell.” RAWR. “Call me crazy call me the rebound-er, I’ve been watching this city and I’m confounded.” YAAAAS. ❤ kid QUEEN was my FAVORITE new discovery of SXSW 2018, and I was so happy to find that they are based in backyard of SF, It was also cool to learn that their frontwoman, Shannon Harney, was formerly of Be Calm Honcho and played shows back at UC Davis at the same time I was there. This SEXY SASSAFRASS has sultry pipes that will STUN YOU at first hit and stop you DEAD in your tracks. I knew all the tracks after just one set and was already singing along the second time around. That’s at sign of a SUPER SOLID band. Every track was a hit and I can’t wait for more releases.

Tribute to Scott:

My heart is broken and is going to take some time to mend. Scott Hutchinson (Frightened Rabbit, Owl John, Mastersystem) was one of the most naturally-gifted songwriters of our generation with powerful, palpable lyrics that will stand the test of time. Fearless and transparent about his struggle with depression, he would often shroud his dark thoughts (“With my head in my hands I resolve to die alone”) with comedic charisma (one of the funniest dudes on the planet) and hopeful resilience (“oh how she plunges a knife into my suicide”). Songs POURED out of him, bursting open emotional floodgates that fed streams our of consciousness and clarity. Everyone knew his lyrics by heart, belting them out from their core in a catharsis that can only be realized firsthand. He had given away enumerable gifts (music, poetry, art, humor) to the world, and his generosity and loyalty to fans was like nothing else I had ever seen. Even after my tenth show, he still remembered the first time we met at The Belfast Empire. He always made time to meet and greet fans, even after sold out shows. If only he knew how much light he radiated into everyone around him.  But, the stark reality is that the “brightest lights cast the darkest shadows,” and it FUCKING SUCKS. His immense, intense imagination was both a blessing and a curse, and it’s devastating that he couldn’t dampen the demons. Scott, I am so grateful for you and your music, and the constant it’s been in my life when nothing else could. “When my blood stops, Someone else’s will nod… And while I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth.” Our ❤ will always bleed for you and the infinite “tiny changes” you made to earth.

What’s even more painful and ironic and that Scott recorded with the Fruit Tree Foundation, a Scottish supergroup of founded by Idlewilds Rod Jones and the DelgadosEmma Pollock to “raise awareness of mental health and challenge perceptions of mental health problems by creating great art.” Here’s a song he recorded with James Graham (another favorite frontman) of The Twilight Sad:

Scott helped others fight the same battle he could no longer fight in himself. Heavy heart.

Depression is an alarmingly dangerous devil and we must arm ourselves against it. We must learn from this tragedy and develop a stronger strategies for suicide awareness and prevention. My heart hurts so much to think about Scott’s family and band mates and all of the people around the globe who loved him. It’s just so incomprehensible. He gave so much for others but couldn’t give to himself. I have been listening to Mastersystem‘s ‘Dance Music album on repeat (it’s SOOOOO GOOD) and there are harbingers of suicide in at least half of the songs, especially A Waste of Daylight‘ and ‘Bird is Bored of Flying‘ (and I don’t it’s a coincidence that this put this as the very last track on the album):

Proper home‘: “I used to want to fly but now I don’t… And if the curtain drops tomorrow, I would not mind”

Peaks and Troughs‘: “It’s all peaks and troughs on the way to the grave”

A Waste of Daylight‘: “The world is far too big, and I’m too tired to conquer it… I missed the summer, but didn’t care… there will always be another if I make it to next year… I’m not sure what happening, but I’m trying to find an answer… At some point I’m just gonna give the fuck up.”

Bird is Bored of Flying‘: “Do you wonder why a bird is born a flying… Here comes the ground again.. my concrete safety net… as I leave the sky for the earth, I shed, shed my feathers and my small net worth. i want less, I want less, I want less… I’ve seen all that I can see, become what I don’t want to be, bird is bored, bird is bored, bored of flying…”

Scott insinuated a drowning suicide (especially) in many of his songs, and it’s so sad that he finally followed through on his vision:

Floating in the Forth‘:

“And fully clothed, I float away
(I’ll float away)
Down the Forth, into the sea
I’ll steer myself
Through drunken waves
These manic gulls
Scream it’s okay
Take your life
Give it a shake
Gather up
All your loose change
I think I’ll save suicide for another year.”

Swim until you can’t see land’:

“And if I hadn’t come now to the coast to disappear

The sea has seen my like before, though it’s my first and perhaps last time
Let’s call me a baptist, call this a drowning of the past
She is there on the shoreline throwing stones at my back
….
All I have is a body adrift in water, salt and sky.”

“With my head in my hands, I resolved to die alone
Now I’ve finally found a good reason to grow old…

A Good Reason to Grow Old‘:

“I was ready to drown in the afterlife, Not anymore…That I’ve finally found a good reason to grow old”

Break‘:

“Nothing’s worse than realizing who you’ve hurt
I didn’t bend and now we eat the consequence

Over the edge I can’t stop myself
Off the ledge throwing punches
Over the edge I can’t steer myself
All over again, I don’t want this…”

Oh what we all would have given for Scott to throw a few more punches before stepping off that ledge. He had SO MANY PEOPLE who loved him more than he will ever know. In honor of mental health awareness week, please PLEASE stay vigilant about those who are hurting and in need someone to talk to. You are never alone. Let’s try and get in involved with organization like Sounds of Saving, which is dedicated to raising awareness about depression and healing through music. The do so by creating videos of artists in their chosen setting playing the music which saved their life. Spread the ❤

 

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Love Somebody (Playlist: March 13, 2018)

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (Spotify link and track listing below) inspired by recent shows in January and February (many of of which were part of SF’s NoisePop Festival) –  Josh Jacobson, Typhoon, Mimicking Birds, Emily Afton, Future Feats, Wild Child, Andrew St. James, Wildling, Crooked Colours, Dagmar, Ha Ha Tonka, Belle Game, Geographer, DonCat, Langhorne Slim, The Album Leaf, Vakoum, Field Medic, Waxahatchee, White Knuckles, Banzai Cliff, King Krule, Derek Ted (of Owl Paws), Lucy Rose, Charlie Cunningham, tUnE-yArDs, X-Ambassadors, Tall Heights, Black Pistol Fire, Billy Rafoul, ZZ Ward, The Wedding Presentand new releases from Frenship, Chvrches (including a track featuring Matt Berninger of The National), Jose Gonzalez, and Tallest Man in Earth (along with new tour dates!)

I chose Frenship’s ‘Love Somebody’ as the title track because, despite the song being so damn catchy (I couldn’t listen just once), I really liked the overarching message: “Get out and LOVE SOMEBODY, and GET LOST on the way.” You never know what hard times someone may be going through or how much they could use a simple smile or “Hello” from a stranger. Get out of your own head and look up at the beauty in your surroundings, savor all the amazing people around you and the lil’ miracles that might sweep you off your feet. I’ve recently encounter many young lives being snatched up way too early (including the super-talented, massively-loved LA-music photographer, Emery Becker who met last year at SXSW), and it absolutely crushes me. No matter what your circumstances and what miserable mood you may be in, strive to be kind. Remember that everyone’s days are numbered and that only WE have the power to make sure those numbers count – every hour, every min, ever second. The fleetingness of life will always remain one of our greatest mysteries, and we should never take anything for granted. Hug harder, smile wider, lend more hands. You never know what impact the tiniest act of kindness may have, or whose lives they may be saving. I hope this playlist will encourage you to open your heart to “love somebody” and to “make tiny changes to earth” (now quoting Frightened Rabbit). And as my friend Paige Parsons (met seeing The Twilight Sad (Official)) says so beautifully, music is the best medium to do so because “music cuts through out cynicism and breaks down the barriers that we erect between ourselves and the rest of the world.” Check out her talk on this:

Help me amplify this message by sharing my playlist with friends and posting about it on social media. AND, if you are an artist featured on this playlist, reposting this playlist will increase the odds of Google not filtering this out on the web and improving your visibility (from what I’ve been told by SEO experts), so please care to share! 😀

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!

  1. Wake-  Typhoon
  2. Same Mistakes- FUTURE FEATS
  3. LOVE Somebody-  Frenship
  4. Get Out-  CHVRCHES
  5. Hummingbird- Wildling
  6. Rorschach- Typhoon
  7. Plymouth- Crooked Colours
  8. In the Morning!- Andrew St James
  9. I Want Nothing- The Belle Game
  10. Try to Be Someone-  DonCat
  11. Conversation- Owl Paws
  12. Lost- Emily Afton
  13. Suck-  The Wedding Present
  14. Gorgeous- X Ambassadors
  15. Home- White Knuckles
  16. Sparks Fly- Waxahatchee
  17. Don’t Ask Why- Black Pistol Fire
  18. Minimum- Charlie Cunningham
  19. Laura- Andrew St James
  20. Flow-  Crooked Colours
  21. backyard sorrow- derek ted
  22. Biscuit Town- King Krule
  23. Remember- Typhoon
  24. Little Lies-  Wildling
  25. Tumbleweed- Dagmar
  26. Expectations- Wild Child
  27. What Do You Want-  Dagmar
  28. Sorry Bout Tomorrow!- Andrew St James
  29. Foolish- Geographer
  30. Millennial Malaise-  Andrew St James
  31. Severing the Knot- Emily Afton
  32. Come Back To You- Crooked Colours
  33. The Way We Move
  34. Bloodlines-  Mimicking Birds
  35. Anyone Can Make A Mistake-  The Wedding Present
  36. Too Young To Die- Banzai Cliff
  37. Silver- Waxahatchee
  38. Bully- Black Pistol Fire
  39. poison poetry- derek ted
  40. Silver Screen- DonCat
  41. Foolish- Geographer
  42. Bully- Black Pistol Fire
  43. Koyo- Josh Jacobson
  44. Coast to Coast- tUnE-yArDs
  45. Changes- Langhorne Slim
  46. My Enemy (feat. Matt Berninger)-  CHVRCHES
  47. Think it Over- Wild Child
  48. An Opening- Charlie Cunningham
  49. Hipster Shakes- Black Pistol Fire
  50. Tethered- Josh Jacobson
  51. I Love to Dance- Langhorn Slim
  52. Danielle-  Banzai Cliff
  53. I Hope You Get It- Crooked Colours
  54. An Ocean- The Tallest Man on Earth
  55. Back & Forth- Wild Child
  56. Better Off- White Knuckles
  57. What Did Your Last Servant Die Of-  The Wedding Present
  58. Spirit Cold- Tall Heights
  59. Never Been Wrong-  Waxahatchee
  60. Poison Poetry- Derek Ted
  61. Let Me Go Alone- White Knuckles
  62. All With You- Ha Ha Tonka
  63. Owl Hoots- Mimicking Birds
  64. POWERFUL LOVE- Field Medic
  65. Ahead Of Myself-  X Ambassadors
  66. Be Set Free- Langhorn Slim
  67. Race To The Bottom- Ha Ha Tonka
  68. Still In Love- Thirdstory
  69. all i have- derek ted
  70. Driver- Billy Raffoul
  71. Sunlight Daze- Mimicking Birds
  72. Fade- Josh Jacobson
  73. uuu-  Field Medic
  74. With the Ink of a Ghost-  José González
  75. Twenty Two Fourteen- The Album Leaf
  76. Second Chance-  Lucy Rose
  77. ICE- Vákoum
  78. Movie Screen- Dagmar
  79. Blank Pages- The Album Leaf
  80. Ghost- ZZ Ward

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Capsized (Playlist: Sept 24, 2017)

Capsized

CREATED BY ERICA ANDREOZZI

FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (56 songs) inspired by recent shows/sets (Sylvan Esso, Flock of Dimes, Wild Cub, Future Feats, Maggie Rogers, Plini, Haim, Milky Chance, Manchester Orchestra, Tigers Jaw, Foxing, Henry Jamison, Gracie and Rachel, The Decemberists, Asgeir, Public Service Broadcasting). There was additional influence from recent track/album releases by The National and War on Drugs (Both are SO FREAKING GOOD), as well as Trevor Hall, Frightened Rabbit, The Head and the Heart, Fatherson, LCD Soundsystem, Good Old War, and my friend Alexa-J! I also included tracks by new discoveries: Future Feats (opened for Wild Cub), Sinkane, Vista Kicks (opened for Milky Chance), Foxing (opened for Manchester Orchestra), Tusks (opened for Asgeir), and Frenship (whose CAPSIZED TRACK I CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF and who I can’t wait to see next month in SF).

Check out my fb music page (https://www.facebook.com/Beatsthatsetmypulse/) and YouTube page (http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz) for pics/videos from these shows.

Previous Playlists: Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, and more…

(In order to access the playlist, you have to press the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner and select download. You can then cancel the download immediately and still have access to the playlist. If you are still having uses, let me know and I can send you a link to download the tracks!)

***

  1. Up All Night- The War On Drugs
  2. Alaska-  Maggie Rogers
  3. Just Past The Point Of Breaking- Fatherson
  4. Capsize- Frenship
  5. The Fruitful Darkness- Trevor Hall
  6. Somewhere- Wild Cub
  7. Birthplace- Flock Of Dimes
  8. Cities in Wonder- Future Feats
  9. Real Peach- Henry Jamison
  10. Right Now- Haim
  11. Day I Die- The National
  12. 1000 Nights- Frenship
  13. Always- Fatherson
  14. Semaphore – Flock Of Dimes
  15. Holding On- The War On Drugs
  16. Firebird- Milky Chance
  17. Gotta Get Away- Vista Kicks
  18. Don’t Dream It’s Over- The Head and the Heart
  19. Speak- Wild Cub
  20. Pain- The War On Drugs
  21. Nights like tonight- Future Feats
  22. Everything Is Happening Today- Flock Of Dimes
  23. Forest- Fatherson
  24. Through a Glass- Henry Jamison
  25. Fire- Wild Cub
  26. The Pit- Public Service Broadcasting
  27. What I Know- Trevor Hall
  28. Follows- Tigers Jaw
  29. Roadless- Frightened Rabbit
  30. The Joke- Flock Of Dimes
  31. The Moth- Manchester Orchestra
  32. Fires- Future Feats
  33. Oh Baby- LCD Soundsystem
  34. Cold Blue Rain- Milky Chance
  35. Sons & Daughters- The Decemberists
  36. Dog Years- Maggie Rogers
  37. June- Tigers Jaw
  38. The Medic- Foxing
  39. Turtleneck-  The National
  40. Knives- Matoma & Frenship
  41. The River- Good Old War
  42. Sleeping Over- Fatherson
  43. (Un)comfortable- Gracie and Rachel
  44. Walking Away- Haim
  45. Favorite Song- Sinkane
  46. My Heart, Your Heart- Trevor Hall
  47. Nobody Else Will Be There- The National
  48. The Grocery- Manchester Orchestra
  49. Toronto- Tusks
  50. Every Piece Matters-  Plini
  51. Down By The Water- The Decemberists
  52. All Out- Public Service Broadcasting
  53. Rewind-  Sylvan Esso
  54. Part of Me- Good Old War
  55. Electricity (feat. Alexa J)- Muzikm4n
  56. Dreaming- Asgeir

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When Things Fall Apart (Playlist: July 5, 2016)

When Things Fall Apart

Compiled Jul 5, 2016

***

SUPER STOKED to SHARE this BEAST OF A PLAYLIST (80 songs, 5 1/2 hrs, >35 artists) that I’ve been distilling for over 2 months now.

It features bands I’ve recently seen in SF/Bay Area — Frightened Rabbit, Idlewild, Day Wave, Harriet, Beat Connection, Radical Face, Ben Abraham, Damien Jurado, Zach Winters, Holly Arrowsmith, Givers, The Temper Trap, Explosions in the Sky, Matt Corby, Mac Demarco, Andrew Bird, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Covet, Little Tybee — as well as at BottleRock NapaCold War Kids, San Fermin, WATERS, The Joy Formidable, Robert DeLong, Misterwives, Ivan & Alyosha, Machineheart, Walk the Moon, Nothing But Thieves, Kaleo, Panic is Perfect.

It also features AWESOME NEW DISCOVERIES that I haven’t yet seen in the flesh (Fuente and Waterstrider), as well as NEW RELEASE from some of my FAVORITE BANDS: Highasakite, Max Frost, Ben Sollee, Mumford & Sons, DOPE LEMON (Angus Stone‘s new side project), I am Machi, Holy Fuck, and MOST OF ALL… Augustines!   😀
(It was almost two years ago that I poured my heart and soul into a blog post about this band and how their music changed my life: https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/augustines-to-rise-up-from-some-dirty-ashes/)

I could have chosen MANY songs to be the TITLE TRACK of this playlist, but I chose Augustine‘s ‘When Things Fall Apart (off their new album, This is Your Life) because of the hopeful message (“We go someplace, to get a new start, you gotta move on when things fall apart”) it radiates to those wandering  WANDERLUSTS this summer who are in search of a new inspiration and new sun in these summertime skies. It also –along with Mumford & Son‘s new album (Johannesburg) and new song, ‘There Will Be Time,’  — featured strong influences of African music, SETTING ME UP for my BIG TRIP TO AFRICA (Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa) this month!

Hopefully this new playlist will keep everyone FIRED UP from those 4th of July fireworks last night. Cheers to the SOUNDS OF SUMMER!

***

***

When Things Fall Apart- Augustines
My Name Is Liar- Highasakite
First- Cold War Kids     
Woke up Hurting- Frightened Rabbit 
American English- Idlewild
Jackrabbit- San Fermin   
Got to My Head- WATERS
The Water- Fuente
May You Keep Well (feat. Pape & Cheikh)- Augustines
Someone Who’ll Get It- Highasakite
Midnight Moon- Waterstrider
The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade- The Joy Formidable   
Death Dream- Frightened Rabbit   
Ceremony- Day Wave   
Never Going Back – Caveman
Mine Is Yours- Cold War Kids   
Running in Place (feat. Pape & Cheikh)- Augustines
El Capitan – Idlewild
Long Way Down- Robert DeLong    
Constellation- Waterstrider
Keep That Letter Safe- Highasakite
Mystery- Fuente
Life Or Just Living- Caveman
Forgotten- Ben Sollee   
Hold Me Loneliness- Augustines
Bring Me When You Go- Harriet
Emily- San Fermin   
Let Them Stare- Waterstrider
Human- Caveman
It’s All Just Pretend- Ivan & Alyosha   
Mexico- Fuente
Pretend- Ben Sollee   
Get Out- Frightened Rabbit   
In The City- Caveman
The Mute- Radical Face   
Shut Up and Dance- Walk The Moon  
Speak- Ben Abraham   
Ad Space- Beat Connection   
These Are the Days- Zach Winters   
Sure Thang- Givers
Diamonds- Holly Arrowsmith   
The Road To Nowhere- Radical Face   
Fall Together- The Temper Trap   
Break- Frightened Rabbit  
Disintegration Anxiety- Explosions In The Sky   
Come Home Now- Day Wave   
Summer Skeletons-  Radical Face   
Vagabond- Misterwives
Monday- Matt Corby   
Salad Days- Mac DeMarco   
Wolves and Moons- Holly Arrowsmith   
You Are Who You Are- Day Wave  
Alive- The Temper Trap   
Pulaski – Andrew Bird   
President- Max Frost   
Cholla- The Joy Formidable   
Itch- Nothing But Thieves   
Reflections- Misterwives
There Will Be Time (With Baaba Maal)-  Mumford & Sons  
Logic Of A Dream- Explosions In The Sky   
Capsized- Andrew Bird       
Maw Maw Song- The Joy Formidable  
Why Dream- Matt Corby    
More Like Jason- Little Tybee  
Wona (With Baaba Maal, The Very Best & Beatenberg)- Mumford & Sons   
Exit 353 – Damien Jurado   
Circles- Machineheart (& Vanic)
I’m Not Fooling Anyone (Bonus Track)- Ivan & Alyosha   
Sea Dragon- Covet  
I Can’t Go On Without You- Kaleo
Echo- Panic Is Perfect 
Shakedown Street – Unknown Mortal Orchestra   
Uptown Folks –  DOPE LEMON   (Angus Stone‘s new side project)
Are You Serious- Andrew Bird   
Hydra- Covet
Go Go Go- Panic Is Perfect     
Lon Bella- Damien Jurado   
Don’t Quit Your Day Job- Little Tybee   
Xed Eyes- Holy Fuck   
Jawbreaker- I Am Machi      

***

Lyrics on Lockdown:

“We go someplace, to get a new start, you gotta move on when things fall apart.”  -When Things Fall Apart

“You were looking at pictures in the distance
Hoping to see, the future in your pictures
Of the distance, hoping to see
The future looking at pictures in the distance.” -El Capitan

“You’ll find what you find, 
When you find there’s nothing.” -American English

“All we ever need is energy…We brighten up…we raise a cup…we wash the wounds that leave us numb.” -Constellationn

“It doesn’t make all cloudy days worthwhile
It doesn’t make much sense to walk that extra mile
To assign you properties that are not real.”  -Keep That Letter Safe

“At least half of what I’ve done
Maybe more of who I am
Will be forgotten
Won’t be remembered
Like all the stories never told
The digital lives scattered in code
All of the footsteps that will never be traced
The forgotten ways of an ancient race.” -Forgotten

“And if you find yourself somewhere between dark and belief

Remember, remember to think on your knees…
Never trust that man who’s been smiling on his life
His fears will catch up in the end.”  -It’s All Just Pretend
“Some people say money, and others say plans
but I’m hungry for freedom that never changes hand.” -These Are the Days
“No man can know the length of his days…
Not here by chance but purposefully made
Don’t you know that our debt has already been paid
…we don’t have to be slaves to a world that promises much.” -Diamonds

“Raise your voice cause it’s now or never… And if we have to fall then we’ll fall together.” -Fall Together

“People always say, “Get out of your head
You’ve been there too long
Pretty soon, you’ll be dead”
Then I thought, oh, I’ve been thinking too hard
I should come down now to get out of my head.” -Come Home Now

“Vagabond is you,
Ran the mile no shoes
If the sun goes down too soon
Embrace the starry-eyed moon

Vagabond is you,
Swam the sea at the darkest blue
You made it, made it through.” -Vagabond

“So open up my eyes to a new light
I wandered ’round your darkened land all night
But I lift up my eyes to a new high
And indeed there will be time.” -There Will Be Time

“If you’re looking for a diamond
You gotta sift through the gold
If you’re searching for a way out
you gotta take the new road
If you don’t keep the motion moving
it can all feel the same
In the heart of the city
where the streets are the veins.” -Circle

 

Owl John: “With my head in my hands I resolve to die alone, Now I’ve finally found a good reason to grow old.”

Owl John– Oslo, London

(Aug 6, 2014)

     Just this month, Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit was reincarnated as an “Owl”, Owl John that is. He hoots, “It’s been about ten years since I had the notion to add the word ‘Owl’ as a middle name. Scott Owl John Hutchison. I thought it had a really splendid flow to it. I suppose I enjoy owls as much as most people, admiring their weird neck thing and having read ‘Plop’ countless times as a wee one. I don’t buy the wisdom bit, but they are incredibly good at being owls and it would be nice to be as effective at being a human. Sadly, I’m not and it is from this croaking foible that songs come. The desperate crunch of failure sat right next to the fizzing, spumante spark of joy. They cackle and point at each other because they don’t understand their opponent. You will find me sitting between them, eating a bag of nuts (not Brazils, they make my mouth itch) and documenting the whole sorry episode.” On August 4th, Owl John took flight with the release of his self-titled debut album and landed in London (Oslo) two days later for the album launch. The album was produced by Andy Monaghan of Frightened Rabbit and Simon Liddell of Olympic Swimmers, but John only made space for one animal during this tour. Next time, we hope to see owls AND rabbits sharing the stage, hooting all sort of Scottish song. 

 

Just like with Frightened Rabbit, Owl John‘s honest, raw, and heartbreaking tunes is what make him stand out among other indie rock contenders. With only two days of listening to the album prior to the London gig (SOLD OUT), I had already known most of the songs by heart, and was already slayed by some of Scott’s more heartfelt confessionals: A Good Reason to Grow OldLos Angeles Be KindTen Tons of Silence and Stupid Boy. By the time the Twilight Sad (always a pleasure) came on stage to open, Oslo was already jam-packed with FRabbit fans and the room was already at full capacity. This was to be expected though since Frightened Rabbit nearly sold out the O2 Brixton Academy back in February, the O2 Brixton being TEN TIMES the size of Oslo. I wouldn’t be surprised if the tickets sold out in a matter of hours

 

   The first song of the night (Hate Music) was one of my favorites off the Owl John album, and although I love the growling guitar in this one (see video below), but I would have really enjoyed Billy or Andy’s base chasing up this growling like it does on the record. I really do hope Frightened Rabbit plays some Owl John songs on their next tour!

 

     Next came Modern Leper, and Scott told the crowd that he would alternate between new (Owl John) and old (Frightened Rabbit) songs, welcoming requests from the audience. Of course this stirred up all sorts of crowd competition, and fans were making a mad dash to the bar to get Scott drinks in exchange for their favorite song request. One guy even got him his favorite aged malt-whiskey with hopes that he would play Architect, which was my request too, but he said that he couldn’t because Andy (of Manchester Orchestra) wasn’t there; I still thought he would been able to do it without him…bit of a bummer! Next up was Los Angeles, Be Kind, another one of my favorites from Owl John. Scott dedicated this one to his girlfriend. “Some nights I can’t figure out quite where your heart is… Oh Los Angeles be kind… No more trouble or red lights, I can learn to love you in good time…Oh, Los Angeles be kind.”

 

      I LOVE the idea behind this song, addressing Los Angeles as if it were a person (and a jerk, at that). And, even though I find it hard to believe that Scott learned to “love” Los Angeles, he apparently DID. He told us last night that it was his one-year anniversary with his girlfriend who lives out there, and that he’s basically living there now too. “Having disliked Los Angeles a lot, it’s grown on me – and she’s the reason for that.” I’m shock and amazed all at the same time. She must be a very special lady!

 

      Red Hand was the next new song, and just like Hate Music, I love the guitar rhythms but yearn for the additional depth present on the album as a result from other instruments: keys, drums, and lead guitar. I always smirk when he sings, “There’s a boy in your pocket and a pig in your bed.” (soooo good) Sticking to his word, Scott played an old favorite (The Wrestle) before continuing on with a new one. The next new one was Good Reason to Grow Old, which I find to be the heaviest on the album. Scott prefaced this one as a song that was partially (one-third) written by their tech/producer Simon “in the back”, and that he deserves a big round of applause. He jokes, “It just so happens that I’m the egotistical maniac that wants to take all the credit. He’s too nice for that.” Brutal, fearless, sentimental, grateful, enlightening. It’s hard to thread all of those provocative emotions into one song, but Scott manages to do so, and you don’t know whether to smile or cry. By the end, you just want to go up and give Scott a big giant hug:   “I was ready to drown in the after-life….Not anymore. Now I’ve finally found a good reason to grow old. (his girl ♥)…Oh, how she murders my thought…(tears welling up)….Oh, how she plunges a knife into the suicide in my blood…(f*ck)…Oh, how she plunges a knife into the suicide and I AM BORN. (smile)

 

      I guess Scott hasn’t missed those Scottish winds very much since being in sunny California, because he prefaces this song by saying, “I don’t even live in Scotland anymore…Fuck it..I live in Los Angeles now.” (Still so hard to believe!) Scottish Winds is another top Frightened Rabbit track for me; I love all the metaphors and the personification of Scotland’s elements (winds, rain, smoke, blood), and my favorite verse has got to be the one about Scottish blood:
“Come burl around my body, Scottish blood
I’ll try not to spill a drop
Oh, I’m sure you’ve spilled enough
And the English fucking rule     (Rawr!)
Who mean nothing to these times
Ah, run forever in my veins Bold Scottish blood..”   (They do have some of the boldest blood out there!)

 

     Twist, Holy, and State Hospital were some  of the other oldie but goodies to surface next. A few songs earlier, Scott was talking about his “snake” (we can all know what that is), and so he when he got to the “state” hospital part, he stopped and laughed: “I was about to say “snake” hospital. Haha.”  We all enjoyed the EPIC performance of this Frightened Rabbit favorite, and could not help shout along with the lyrics. “Saturday’s uniform for the ‘Fuck-me’ parade…” is especially cathartic.

 

      Next up was Square 9. This heartfelt confessional of a LOVE SONG basically turned into a COMEDY HOUR when a group of drunk “lads” decided to obnoxiously chime in at the wrong time, and with the wrong rhythms. At first, Scott thought it was kinda funny and says, “You can do Billy’s part…It’s a fucking brilliant part…It’s as if Billy is with us now…” I was cracking up (ans you can hear it) at that last comment. But, at about 3:15, shit hits the fan and Scott starts shaking his head, looking REALLY pissed off: “You came in a bit early man..I’m assuming that happens to you quite often…You know seriously….When we first started playing this song to audiences, it was just heart-broken bearded guys…THEN, THE LADS start coming to the shows…Yes I’m telling you to maybe SHUT THE FUCK UP…It’s nice of you to interact, but you’re not sober, CLEARLY.” (Go Scott!) It was such a witty, amicable way to deal with what could have been a brutal situation. He was so good humored about it, and stayed really patient the entire way through. The last verse of this song slays me…so freaking adorable. Wearing his heart on his sleeve, but in the least “sappiest” of ways. It’s a fine art, but Scott’s surely got a handle on that canvas. “Forget about square two, There was no me and you…Just like square one, Where we fell in love, Under the tree, Forget about square three, Oh that wasn’t me. Like square one, Where we fell in love, Forget about square five, I was only half alive.”  xxx

 

      Ending the set with If You Were Me, Scott teases us as we anxiously await his return on stage for an encore. And what an EPIC ENCORE it was! Woodpile and Oil Slick are two of my Pedestrian Verse favorites, and it was truly a double-whammy that he kicked off the encore playing those back-to-back. The guitar part for Oil Slick was really fun to watch (a bit different from how he plays it with the full band), and wish I would have gotten that on video. Oh well. I was hoping desperately that Scott would play Stupid Boy, Song about Roses (reminds me of a song by the National), Cold Creeps from the new album, these songs have lots of percussion/keys/backing vocals, and it might be better to wait and hear them with the full band. The final FINAL song of the 30 min encore was Poke, and Scott encouraged vocal support from the audience during the chorus. “All we can ask is that you try your best…I can’t sing, I’ve just been TRYING MY BEST for the past 10 years,” he says. As if we couldn’t admire that humble Rabbit Owl even more…(too much). Scott’s last set of oooo–ooo–oooo’s make for a very happy ending. HOOT HOOT.  😉

 

**Set List**: 1) Hate Music 2) Modern Leper 3) Lose Angeles, Be Kind 4) Fuck This Place 5) Red Hand 6) The Wrestle 7) Good Reason to Grow Old 8) Scottish Winds 9) Unreleased OJ Song 10) Old Fashioned 11) Ten Tones of Silence 12) Footshooter 13) The Twist 14) Holy 15) State Hospital 16) Square 9 17) Floating In The Forth 18) If You Were Me (Encore) 19) The Woodpile 20) Oil Slick 21) The Loneliness And The Scream 22) Snake 23) Poke

VIDEOS:

Hate Music:

Los Angeles, Be Kind:

Red Hand:

A Good Reason to Grow Old:

Scottish Winds:

State Hospital:

Square 9:

Poke:

PICTURES:

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The Twilight Sad (REVIEW): “We Danced to Save Them All…” – Live at the Lexington in London (July 26, 2014)

The Twilight Sad– The Lexington, London

(July 26, 2014)

Some meat is harder to chew, but when you do, it’s a MUCH MORE satisfying MEAL. That’s how I feel about the music of The Twilight Sad, as well as of some of my other favorite bands: tUnE-yArDsThe Dirty ProjectorsManchester Orchestra, etc. Even the size of The Twilight Sad fan-base  (# of facebook “likes”) is pretty low considering their talent/potential, the dedication and loyalty of this fab base is unparalleled in comparison to that of most other bands (another example of this is Augustines). Having seen The Twilight Sad three times in the past three months (1 twilight per month, yes please!), I’ve already become friends with a few other fans (the “regulars”) that I’ve recognized at these same gigs. One of these fans in particular had actually traveled up to Scotland a few times just to see them when they weren’t gigging as frequently in London (which fortunately, they are now). She was even recognized by James’ dad last night at their SOLD OUT Lexington gig. Diehard fans = family, but it’s only a matter of time before The Twilight Sad builds up their numbers (hopefully with the release of their next album). Every one needs to experience the satisfaction of that meat which initially might be harder to chew. x

I first heard of The Twilight Sad from an Irish buddy back in 2010 who had seen them at The Cluny in Newcastle and was BLOWN AWAY. They were on my radar ever since, and it just so happened that they were playing at my favorite music venue (The Independent) in San Francisco the spring (March 2012) before I was set to graduate. That gig was a COMPLETE EYE-OPENER, and I was just as blown way by The Twilight Sad then, as my buddy was a few years back. Right before SLAYING US with his performance of Cold Days from the Birdhouse, James toasted crowd and mentioned that it was a particularly special night because his DAD was in town, COMING ALL THE WAY FROM SCOTLAND for the show. He was overflowing with gratitude, claiming that the last time the band played the Independent back in 2007, only one person showed up. I found out later that it was more like 15 people, but thing definitely have changed…

I was almost moved to tears during the intro of Cold Days from the Birdhouse, with James’ powerful pipes (and full Scottish brogue) pulsing over the euphoric ringing of Andy’s guitar. My INSIDES were basically doing JUMPING JACKS the entire time…Jaw dropped, eyes stunned, heart pounding. Mad “cheers” to the gut-wrenching punch of The Twilight Sad (see video below).

“And so you make it your own
But this is where your arm can’t go (James KILLS IT here)
You make it your own
But this is where your arm can’t go

And your red sky at night won’t –follow me
It won’t follow me now.
I won’t wear your shoes,
I won’t clip your wings.”

Aside from Reflection of a TelevisionI Became a Prostitute, and That Summer, I had Become the Invisible Boy, and Alphabet, the other song that killed it for me was And She Will Daken the Memory.  James has a eeire way of gettin gunder your skin with his emotionally-charged lyrics that seem to emerge from a dark, curious place: “And head up dear, you’re shallow and blind…And head up dear, the rabbit might die…Because I’m putting up with your constant whine…And that won’t last too long.” A fantastic frontman indeed, and the passion/power behind his pipes are something I would have expected from the legendary  James Morrison back in the day. When vocals are your main contribution to a band, you have to OWN THEM in every way, shape, and form to make them your own, unique instrument. You are responsible for carrying the melodies and entertaining the masses, and James clearly DOES THIS when he twirls around stage with his hands clenched and his body thrown into fits, letting the music take FULL CONTROL. At one point, I clearly remember him kneeling on stage with his head thrown back and eyes rolled back, ROARING into the mic like a madman. Yep, that’s the kinda passion that sticks. x

Right after the gig, I started chatting with the woman who was standing next to me the entire time, and it turns out she’s pretty famous music photographer (lots of her stuff is in Rolling Stone magazine and in art galleries) by the name of Paige Parsons. She mentioned to me that had taken portraits of James the year before (2011) when they were on tour with Frightened Rabbit. That night, James told Paige that one of her portraits of him was his Dad’s favorite, and that it is hanging up on the mantle inside their house. A mother herself, Paige was SO MOVED by this that she asked to get a photo with James’ Dad, and I couldn’t help but grin at the magical moment unfolding before my eyes. I went on to telling James how much I enjoyed the gig, and later started suggesting places (Redwood forests!) for them to see while on tour in Northern California. I also asked to grab a pic (yes, it’s cheesy but I don’t care) with James, as well as with Martin (“Doc”) Doherty who was handling keyboards/percussion. Crazy thing is, I remember Martin telling me that night about his itch to pursue his own solo project, one with a more electronic focus. WELL, turns out this ITCH later ESCALATED into something HUGE: formation of the Scottish electro/pop band, CHVRCHES, who BLEW UP in 2013, topping all radio charts and headlining major festivals. There’s a prime example of why you should never stop following your heart, even when your mind tells you otherwise. Related to this, Sarah Barthel (of Phantogram) claims that the secret to making it in the 21st century music industry is to “Just work your ass off and believe in your music.”  (Love that)  ❤

Having moved from California to England in Nov 2012, I’ve been lucky enough to see The Twilight Sad three times in London since that gig at the Independent. One of those three was a rare and unique acoustic performance by James and Andy as part of a Bandstand Busking event (all videos are posted below). They opened the set with Cold Days From the Birdhouse, the gem that SLAYED US the first time we heard Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters. God damn. Then, they surprised us with a new song, Last January, that really struck a deep chord with me and is likely to be one of my favorites on the new album: “It’s your eyes, touching my eyes…” (SO GOOD) The next song, I Became  Prostitute, is one of my favorites, and although it’s got a heavy title, James assured us that the the title really has no relevance to the song. Haha. And that’s why we love them even more… (The unexpected airplane flying over the gazebo at 2 min in made for a pretty funny moment)

I Became  Prostitute followed with a hilarious intro to the second new song, one that James couldn’t quite remember the name of at first. He jokes about how he thought it was his Dad sitting there, saying: “Open your eyes, James! You can’t see anything!” (“shut the f*ck up, Dad!”)  His dad surely DOES know him well, because James DOESN’T EVER open his eyes. Haha. He’s just concentrating too hard! James soon remembers the name of the song as It Never Was the Same, and later tells me that they only just named the songs a week ago. Plus they all have different names for them, and the names one their set-lists don’t ever match the actual names on the album (see picture below). It Never Was the Same was such a STUNNING TRACK, and I very much Looking forward to hearing it again with a full band:  “We danced to save them all…” (YES)

After being spoiled by the new tracks, James and Andy finished off the set with two of our favorites from Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen WintersAnd She Would Darken the Memory and That Summer, at Home I Had Become the Invisible Boy. It was really cool to hear the stripped down, raw version of the louder, bolder originals. These songs definitely hit a soft spot for many Twilight Sad fans, and I noticed a few tears coming from the person (a full grown man) standing next to me. Oh, those musical triggers! It’s crazy how they sneak up on us and re-awake different moments of our lives. I guess that’s the beauty in it all: “I’m 14, and you know, That I’ve learned the easy way…The stupid decisions…And with a broken heart…The kids are on fire in the bedroom.”

About a month after this beautiful acoustic performance through Bandstand Busking was The Twilight Sad’s sold out Lexington gig, and we were all a bit SAD to hear that they could only play ONE of their new songs because some JERK stole their equipment last week. Who does that?! James dedicated I Became a Prostitute to that BAD BAD person, and all of their channeled RAGE made for one hell of a performance. Mark was a beast on drums (as always), and Andy was shoegazing with all sorts of new tricks tonight. The noise generated from Andy’s guitar is MASSIVE, so massive that his guitar vibrations alone were causing the empty beer glasses in front of me to glide across the stage. James was his usual ‘two-headed boy’– nice and humble in between songs, but a stormy savage on stage. He even yanked at the microphone so hard during Cold Days from the Birdhouse intro that he temporarily broke it..SILENCE…right at the buildup to “And your red sky at night won’t follow me.” He then laughs, “Well that kinda ruined the moment.” The whole set was epic (I don’t think I EVER stopped swaying), including the full-band version of their new gem, Last January“It’s your eyes….touching my eyes.” I can’t wait for more TWILIGHT ON TUESDAY when they play a benefit gig with Mogwai! I also can’t wait for the NEW ALBUM, which James confirmed would be released in the Autumn. From the songs I’ve heard so far, this album might be their BEST (James thinks so too). It might just be the right place/right time for others (non-diehards) to catch on. I’ll make sure my buddies in California see them when they fly through in Nov with the Jetpacks (We Were Promised Jetpacks). 🙂

PICTURES:

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***

The Twilight Sad– bandstand Busking, London

(June 21, 2014)

VIDEOS:

Cold Days from the Birdhouse:

Last January:

I Became a Prostitute:

It Never Was the Same:

And She Would Darken the Memory:

That Summer, At Home I had Become the Invisible Boy:

PICTURES:

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***

The Twilight Sad– Hoxton Square Bar & Grill, London

(April 30, 2014)

PICTURES:

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The Twilight Sad– The Independent

(March 3, 2012)

VIDEOS:

Cold Days From the Birdhouse:

And She Would Darken the Memory:

PICTURES:

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Fatherson- “So go home, sober up, Take the weight off your feet and just chill.”

Fatherson– The Social, London

(July 8, 2014)

Was very impressed by Fatherson‘s performance at the Social this week as part of a FREE Huw Stephens Presents night. Fatherson are a four piece alternative/indie rock band from Glasgow who have built quite a Scottish following since their beginning in 2011, and have breaking into the Scottish music scene with support slots for Frightened Rabbit and Twin Atlantic. This year they are playing the King Tuts stage (big leagues!) at T in the Park, which is much bigger stage than the BBC introducing stage they played 2 years back. I am so glad they swung through London to practice last night before their festival circuit (T in the Park and Wakestock). What a treat! I was so hooked on all the songs that I made sure to snag their debut album (I am an Island) right after. My favorites are: An Island, Hometown, I Like Not Knowing, James, Cat Stevens, Half the Things, and Mine for Me. Another favorite (see video below) from their set was ‘First Born,’ which unfortunately is not on the album. Guess I’ll just have to pick up their EP the next time they’re in town to support We Were Promised Jetpacks at the Lexington (August 8). Stoked!

The whole band seemed to be having SUCH A BLAST (especially the bassist who kept smiling and mouthing all of the lyrics) the whole time while playing to the intimate London crowd, which, aside from me and an older mad music chick (me in 30 years), was dominated by a Glasgow group who knew all of their songs and could sing along to almost every one. This was especially obvious towards the end of the encore (James) when they all began to let go of their instruments (one-by-one), and remained on stage singing the chorus WITH THE CROWD before walking off:

“So go home,
sober up,
Take the weight off your feet
and just chill.”    (YES.)

Wish I would have got that one on video. NEXT TIME. xxx

VIDEOS:

Cat Stevens:

Half The Things:

First Born:

Dust:

PICTURES:

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