tUnE-yArDs: “Giving me a heart attack don’t let me lose my soul” – Live at the Mystic Theater in Petaluma (Dec 1, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

It’s too hard to truly convey how much love and admiration I have for Merrill Garbus, creator and curator of tune-yards. Her live performances evoke a visceral vortex of mixed emotions (aggression, desire, laughter, pain) that words can simply not describe. I still recall how feverishly my body was overcome with curiosity and vitality the first time I saw her perform at Outside Lands Music Festival in 2011. Since then, I had seen her a total of 5 or 6 more times (SASQUATCH! Music Festival, The Regency Ballroom, Fox Theater – Oakland, Electric Brixton, Live for Contemporary Colors), and I am STILL electrified by her power, a “powa” that “gives me thrills I can’t describe.” Yes, ‘Powa‘ (in addition to favorites like ‘Bizness,’ ‘Water Fountain,’ and ‘Gangsta‘), were some of the old gems that Merrill, Nate (bassist), and her new badass drummer (forgot his name!) treated us to last night at Mystic Theatre in Petaluma. I of course got a bit OUT OF CONTROL for ‘Bizness‘ and nearly lost my voice trying to shout along. That song gave the world a serious taste of such MUSICAL MASTERPIECES that can manifest from creative, clever experimentation with loops pedals, saxophones, and an untamed vocal chords (the way Merrill distorts her vocals to create a variety of sounds is simply something else). Merrill is simply MESMERIZING to watch, and last night was no exception. We were all glad to watch her perform new songs from her highly anticipated new album, ‘I can feel you creep into my private life‘ (thank gosh she has), scheduled to be released on Jan 19. Standout tracks for me were ‘Heart Attack,’ ‘Honesty,’ and ‘Colonizer,’ (although all were pretty freaking awesome), and most of these showcased Merrill on synths and drum kit, in addition to her notable ukulele. Merrill is a FEMALE FE-LION, and and I cannot be more inspired/empowered by the femininity, strength, and intolerance that she radiates out to her fans. I’m grateful for artists like her that are not afraid to share their passion with the world and believe they deserve a chance of changing it. She could not be more SPOT ONT when describing the vision of her music: “altering the way the music industry functions to positively and responsibly impact our communities and our people, to act not only as soothing pacifiers with music but also activators, inspiring innovators, and revolutionary booty-shakers.” I have so much love for this woman and cannot WAIT to see her again at Noise Pop in February.

Videos of entire set on my YouTube page (see below):

 

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

 

 

Tash Sultana: “But you keep on rolling, Like a rolling stone… And you fight until the finish line, Carries you home” – Live at the Fillmore in SF (Oct 21, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

My heart begins to race as I recall the night that Tash Sultana put San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore under a spell. This gorgeous, gifted goddess — standing just 5 feet tall (my size!) — had everyone’s jaw on the floor as she flawlessly looped her hauntingly beautiful vocals with a menagerie of instruments (guitar, mandolin, keys, percussion, trumpet, pan flute, etc.) with swift execution. I caught myself grabbing my head several times (hoping it wouldn’t explode), asking myself, “HOW IN THE HELL?…” Tash first wrapped her hands around a guitar at the age of 3 years old, and I can only imagine that she clung to it for safety as others would their blankie. It’s apparent from her live performances that she plays music not just out of love, but out of necessity.  She grips her guitar like she is gripping for dear life, and watching her slay her inner demons (she mentioned struggling with mental illness) one instrument at a time (I counted at least 10) was one of the most touching, euphoric musical experiences… Pure joy for one of the most pure, self taught music makers of our generation. She’s a comet of positivity that’s set on a trajectory to change the world for the better. 😀
I first stumbled upon Tash on my Facebook feed about a year ago, only to find out later she used busk on Bourke Street in Melbourne around the same time(Winter/Spring 2015) that I lived there. In fact, my friend Megan said that she was lured out of H&M by Tash’s spine-tingling vocals, and was in a deadlock watching her magic manifest on the streets. The song that reeled her in was ‘Harvest Love,’ a track that Tash described as one “for anyone who’s having a hard time at the moment… keep on rolling.” It was therefore pretty heart-wrenching to learn later, when Megan and I saw Tash together at the Swedish American Hall back in February, that it was written about a good friend who she had recently lost: “We came to the states a while back, but I had to turn around and come back home because we lost someone very important to us a couple days later, and it kind just taught me this thing about impermanence, and how everything in your life is actually impermanent; and it’s kinda like, you know, there are two things in your like that are inevitable: you are born, and then you die… In between that gap of life and death, wherever it’s gonna take you, it’s gonna take you, and at the end of the day at some point, there is a space that you get to fill with the best vibes that you possibly can feel… We come in peace. We just ask everybody to love the FUCK out of everybody… This song goes out to anyone that has lost anyone recently. It’s called Harvest Love.” Megan and I looked at each other with tears welling up in our eyes, and we knew this one would never leave our hearts. You could tell that the intense reach of this song comes from a place of intense pain, and Tash does not hold back as she wails the first verse:

“Harvest your love, harvest your love, for me
I’ll lay it down, I’ll lay it down, slowly
Put your love in the sand
As it makes no demands
I believe
But you keep on rolling
Like a rolling stone
And you fight until the finish line
Carries you home”

(I want to purchase ‘Harvest Love‘ but can’t find it anywhere online!)

What impresses me most is Tash’s ability to turn pain into beauty, and I was shocked to learn that both chart-topping hits ‘Jungle‘ and ‘Notion‘ were a “product of heartbreak.”Jungle‘ is the song that moved her bedroom recordings into SOLD OUT VENUES ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE – a true masterpiece from start to finish. It’s as if Tash uses music as a shield again negative thoughts (depression) and negative influences (drug addiction), and is excited for others to embrace this same musical armour. In fact, she gave a nod to her US audiences who are used to “growing up in such an awesome music culture that you go because you LOVE IT, whereas back at home in Australia, everyone just wants to get fucked up all the time.” I was really touched to learn that Tash has became a mental health ambassador for Australia’s BeyondBlue, an organization that provides information and support on mental health.

I still recall being lathered in chills when I read this post on her wall back in January: “Social reminder to anyone who is feeling the heat or wants to give up. DON’T. Every time you take a step up within yourself, you take a step up within the world. In the music world or any creative path is a sensitive path to tread. Some people are going to fall in love with what you do, some people aren’t going to get it and other people are just going to be literally complete ASSHOLES. So when you come across those assholes, which you will there is a new emoji that you can use which is this🖕and just remind yourself that you were in a perfectly happy mood before you knew they existed, so forget they do because they’re just a bunch of cunts. Put your head on your shoulders and kick some absolute fucking ass.  Tune it up to 11, shove it in their face and down their throats And DO NOT stop creating. Oh and also don’t forget to tell them to get fucked. Keep on going. The ones the matter are the ones who show love.” That last line hit me like a brick wall, and it’s simple but profound message will remain with me forever.
Tash kicked off her set at the Fillmore with some serious smoke (‘Big Smoke‘) and has some house rules to lay down before SETTING US ALL ABLAZE:
“This is to be followed or you can please GET THE F*CK OUT OF HERE…< span style=”color: #3366ff”>1) If you are racist, get the fuck out 2) If you are homophobic, get the fuck out3) If you are transphobic, GET THE FUCK OUT. < span style=”color: #3366ff”>Cause the world can be a bit of a harsh place but I’m trying to leave it in a nice scenario… Sweeet, just don’t be a dickhead and we’re all in sweet.”  ❤
HELL YES. I’m glad there were no dickheads that night. I wish more musicians were as outspoken as she is.

After ‘Big Smoke‘ came ‘Gemini‘ (sick percussion), ‘Notion‘ (SLAYED), ‘Murder to the Mind‘ (during which she whips out the trumpet and tantalizes us with tender toots!), ‘Synergy‘ (after she jams out furiously on mandolin and BEAT-BOXES A PAN FLUTE), a song (untitled video below) with a hauntingly beautiful keyboard intro that sounds like a symphony of strings (really wish I knew the name of it!), and ‘Jungle‘ (MASSIVE DANCE PARTY – duh!). THEN, as if Tash could not freaking BLOW MINDS EVEN MORE, she TAKES A SEAT for an experience that I simply cannot put into words. It just won’t do justice. Tash first graces the strings with one hand, getting us in the groove with melodic medleys that remind me of a cross between flamenco and post-rock. But just as we start getting in the groove, Tash switches it up and starts attacking the strings with the ferocity of a lion, smiling as she does so. It’s as if she enjoys the thrill of getting us going one way and then redirecting us to see if we are still on our toes (like what I used enjoy doing with my opponents in soccer, haha). She’s got extraordinary ease with her audience that can be attributed to years of hailing crowds on a busy streets and winning the hearts of strangers. This wicked 14 min guitar solo (titled ‘Blackbird‘) exemplifies the extensive breadth of her musical abilities and the eclectic influences that shape her unique, one-in-a-million kind of sound. Tash Sultana is not only a make of music, she is a maker of magic. I don’t know anyone who is not put under her spell. I’m just so glad the world has recognized this too; Not only has she racked up SOLD OUT TOURS in US, Europe, and Australian (and soon South America), but she has recieved multiple music nominations, including Triple J’s hottest artist of the year and ARIA’s (1) Best Independent Release (Notion), (2) Breakthrough Artist, (3) Best Blues & Roots Album (Notion), and (4) Best Australian Live Act. I’ve “GOT THIS NOTION” that Tash Sultana is going to change the world with her music. Well, let’s face it – she pretty much already has. ❤

*Check out my review for her opener, The Pierce Brothers. Glad to have discovered them!

And more from Tash’s performance at Swedish American music hall back in February!

<<
tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RVkFmyboCw

This show was one of my top 10 for 2017, alongside War On Drugs and many others.  Other reviews can be found here: She Keeps Bees, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Pierce Brothers, Silversun Pickups, Minus the Bear, and Public Service Broadcasting.< /span>< strong>Previous Playlists: Capsized, Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, I Want it All, Standing Rock, Jungle, When Things Fall Apart, and more…<<
heck out more videos on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreozFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beatsthatsetmypulse/Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse

Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy
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Up All Night (Playlist: Oct 29, 2017)

Up all Night

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi

FRESH NEW PLAYLIST (54 songs) inspired by recent shows/sets (The War on Drugs, Benjamin Booker, She Keeps Bees, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Jen Cloher, Tash Sultana, Pierce Brothers, Silversun Pickups, Father John Misty, Minus the Bear, Broken Social Science, The Belle Game, The National, Public Service Broadcasting, Skyscraper Mori, Maggie Rogers, Frendship, and Oh Wonder). There was additional influence from recent track/album releases by Charlotte Cardin, Walk the Moon, Overcoats Tune-Yards, Sharon Van Etten, and Outlines (side project of James Graham from The Twilight Sad). Although title track ‘Up All Night‘ was on my previous playlist (Capsized), I included it here since it was my ULTIMATE ANTHEM for Sept/Oct and FLIPPED MY LID when I saw this live at the Greek Theater Berkeley earlier this month.
“There’s no way, If I hold on
The shots may ring, Through a lonely hall
But the hole in my head, Emptied out into a love
Came pouring out into a life”

That show was one of my top 10 for 2017, and you can see why in my War On Drugs review. Other reviews can be found here: Benjamin Booker, She Keeps Bees, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Tash Sultana, Pierce Brothers, Silversun Pickups, Minus the Bear, Broken Social Science, and Public Service Broadcasting

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: Capsized, Creature Comfort, I Know You Know, Feeling Electric, Wake Up, Oceans Away, I Want it All, Standing Rock, Jungle, When Things Fall Apart, 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. On + Off- Maggie Rogers
  2. Truth Is Heavy- Benjamin Booker
  3. Surrender-  Walk the Moon
  4. Gimmie- She Keeps Bees
  5. Up All Night- The War On Drugs
  6. Main Girl- Charlotte Cardin
  7. The Wild Kind- Silversun Pickups
  8. Keep In Mind- Pierce Brothers
  9. Protest Song- Broken Social Scene
  10. Continental Breakfast- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  11. High On Humans- Oh Wonder
  12. Believe- Benjamin Booker
  13. Friendly Fires- Silversun Pickups
  14. Spirit- The Belle Game
  15. Murder to the Mind- Tash Sultana
  16. Untogether- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  17. Split Stones- Maggie Rogers
  18. Invisible- Minus The Bear
  19. Breezy- She Keeps Bees
  20. Latchkey Kids- Silversun Pickups
  21. Up Again-  The Belle Game
  22. The Slow Drag Under-  Benjamin Booker
  23. Towers And Masons- Broken Social Scene
  24. Fear Is Like A Forest- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  25. Carpet- Frenship
  26. Take A Shot- Pierce Brothers
  27. Mystik- Tash Sultana
  28. Wait Up For You- The Belle Game
  29. Over Everything- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  30. Cherry Wine- Overcoats
  31. Strong Woman- Jen Cloher
  32. I’ll Still Destroy You-  The National
  33. Nightcrawling- Saint Raymond
  34. Nothing To Find- The War On Drugs
  35. Ultralife- Oh Wonder
  36. Genevieve- Pierce Brothers
  37. Our Beloved Dead- Out Lines
  38. Peepin’ Tom- Courtney Barnett And Kurt Vile
  39. Winter Dream- Skyscraper Mori
  40. Flying Home (Live)- Pierce Brothers
  41. Look at Your Hands- Tune-Yards
  42. Chippewa- Benjamin Booker
  43. There Is a Saved Place- Out Lines
  44. All Or None/Dark Horse- She Keeps Bees
  45. Please Take Me With You- Broken Social Scene
  46. Kai’s Song (Acoustic)-  Overcoats
  47. Thinking Of A Place- The War On Drugs
  48. Big Smoke, Pt. 2- Tash Sultana
  49. Strangest Thing- The War On Drugs
  50. Everest- Public Service Broadcasting
  51. Born To Beg- The National
  52. Measures & Locations- Skyscraper Mori
  53. I Wish I Knew- Sharon Van Etten
  54. Ballad Of The Dying Man- Father John Misty

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

Minus the Bear: “Hey, let’s cross the sea, and get some culture… Red wine with every meal, and absinthe after dinner” – The Fox Theater in Oakland (Oct 22, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Such a treat to have Minus the Bear and SilverSun Pickups share the same stage last Saturday at the Fox Theater Oakland. Two INCREDIBLE BANDS with two very different sound/style, and I’m glad to have been following them both since 2009. I love that Minus the bear played all of my favorites (especially the first!): Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse, My Time, Into the Mirror, and Last Kiss. Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES! It’s a perfect anthem for the wondrous wanderlust, and it always makes my heart flutter as it jogs my memories of past adventures.  Dave Knudson (lead guitar) was sitting in a chair for most of the set because he recently broke his leg, and Alex Rose (keys, backing vocals) laughed and said they — Jake Snider (vocals, guitar), Cory Murchy (bass guitar), and Joshua Sparks (drums) —  prefer it this way because it it reminds them of a casual jam session in someone’s living room. A short but tasty set by these highly seasoned musicians!

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

Silversun Pickups: “You’re not the type to stand aside… Let’s stay and fight for the wild kind” – The Fox Theater in Oakland (Oct 22, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Silversun Pickups PICKED ALL OF US UP at the Fox Theater Oakland last weekend! They made us laugh, weep, rage (the trifecta of emotions) will killer tracks like Royal We, Latchkey Kids, Friendly Fire, Wild Kind, and Lazy Eye (of course!). Not only is Brian Aubert is not only a phenomenal musician, pushing the limits with different soundscapes and emotion, but he is FREAKING HILARIOUS and super animated (always has his hands up in the air when telling stories). He also pays so much close attention to his fans through the entire show (more than most musicians I’ve seen), and will often point out people in the audience that he knows. Towards the end, he even bentr over the stage to fist pump my music buddy Nori Nakayama (#1 fan) who has been following Silversun Pickups since 2007 and has seen them >25 times. I have so much respect for Brian coming out to say hi (despite having probably been exhausted) and taking time to chat about tour life and music in general. I was laughing so hard when he and I were finishing each others sentences while geeking out on bands that we both love: The War On Drugs, Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile, Future Islands, Arcade Fire, and The National . He has a particular appreciation for Arcade Fire and their ability to consistently recreate themselves in new albums that bring forth new elements/ingenuity not present in their older material. I nearly DIED when we both cried out that ‘Creature Comfort‘ is by far the best song on their new album and proceeded to sing “God, make me famous, if you can’t, just make it painless” in unison. He also was excited to hear that Courtney and Kurt just played at the Fox a week prior and he told me stories of how he first met them both. He even had a CRAZY COOL story about how Courtney made his wife’s water break (a story she won’t let him live down, haha); Turns out Brian and his very pregnant wife saw Courtney for the first time 2 1/2 years ago and then his wife went into labor that same night. NUTS! He also said how Osheaga was his favorite North American festival and that he would love to keep going back there.  We ended up on that topics cause I mentioned having seen them both at Sasquatch (2012) and BottleRock Napa (2017). WHAT A NIGHT picking the brain of this SILVERSUN PICKUP! I will always look back on this with such a big goofy smile. 😀

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Some key videos of the night….

*Check out full videos from the night on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Public Service Broadcasting: “It’s tiring, always stretching for something just out of reach… But I’ll get it. After all, what I want isn’t as easy as all that” – Swedish American Hall in SF (Sept 24, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

The last time I saw PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING was at a 2,00 capacity venue in London about 3 years ago, and so it was pretty surreal to watch them perform only a foot in front of me in an intimate venue like Swedish American Hall AND to meet them afterwards (very nice guys!). I had a friend joining me for the shows and struggled in trying to describe their sound, as they really are in a category of their own. PBS’s J. Willgoose Esq. (guitar, banjo, samples), Wrigglesworth (drums, piano), and J F Abraham (flugelhorn, bass guitar, drums) together play live instruments in combination with samples from old public information films, archive footage and propaganda material that attempt to “teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future.” With a passion to “inform, education, and entertain” (listed to their song called ‘Theme from PSB’), PSB have consistently put out albums that do just that, and their recent albums (released July 2017) depicts the history of the mining industry in Wales. J Willgoose, Esq., described the album’s premise as an allegory for today’s “abandoned and neglected communities across the western world”, which have led to a “malignant, cynical and calculating brand of politics.” They also included a track (‘They Gave Me a Lamp’) to raise political awareness of a generation where women “seemed to realize, suddenly, the power and the potential that they had… It’s a song of gender barriers being broken down, of a group of people finding their voice, of the power of protest and its importance in a democratic society. Given what we’ve seen on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years, I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be making such a strong case in defense of those ideas.” HELL YES. The last verse with collaborative vocals by the super-talented UK female trio, Haiku Salut (who coincidentally I discovered the same year as PSB at Green Man Festival), gives me chills every time: “I’ve been in front, I have never give in, I have never sat back, and I have never refused anybody, and I am very proud of it, and I’ll be proud to look back on it.” Cheers to a band pushing the envelope on both creativity and awareness. My favorite PBS tracks are: Spitefire, ROYGBIV, Theme from PBS, The Pit, They Gave me a Lamp, If War Should Come, and New Dimensions in Sound (exactly what they are creating!) ❤

*Check out more videos on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

She Keeps Bees: “Basic right we must defend, To choose whether and when… Our bodies are our home” – the Independent in SF (Sept 25, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Jessica of She Keeps Bees is SO FREAKING AWESOME. I am SO GLAD I got to catch her opening for Benjamin Booker earlier this week at The Independent. First off, she is HILARIOUS (a legit comedian), making us roar with laughter the entire set as she made fun of herself on stage (“I never wear heels so if I trip on stage, please send it in to funniest home videos and win some money”) and belted out whatever the hell was on her mind (I freaking LOVE THAT). Secondly, she SLAYS INJUSTICE (politics, healthcare, discrimination, etc.) with powerful messages that she wails ferociously on stage. With vocals that remind me a bit of Florence and the Machine and a style that reminds me of Sharon Van Etten (who I found out later she is good friends with and used to jam with in Brooklyn), she certainly captured everyone’s full attention. Highlights included tracks like ‘Our Bodies’ and ‘Head of Steak’ that reflect her frustrations with the government and civil rights. She dedicated ‘Our Bodies’ to “healthy vaginas,” shedding light on issues with the US healthcare system and plans to cut funding for Planned Parenthood (for which all proceeds of this song are donated to). She said she wrote this song “as I watched my mother’s fight become my own” and she hopes it will instigate people fight for their rights of basic healthcare. When chatting with Jessica after the set (she’s just as vibrant off stage as she is on), she was excited to hear that I was working on developing therapies for neurodegenerative disorders because her uncle (who she was close with) suffered with motor and cognitive dysfunction. Sooner or later we got to talking about music and memory. The nerd in me can only stay hostage for so long! Can’t wait to see her again! ❤

*Check out more videos on my YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy