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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Gracie and Rachel: “I am getting so very comfortable, and I don’t want to get that way, no, I don’t want to get that way… Oh no… Comfortable, comfortable, comfortable, uncomfortable” – Cafe Du Nord (Sept 15, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

I have seen a least a thousand shows and NEVER BEFORE have seen this unique, over-the-shoulder piano duet that hugs your heart just as much as it drops your jaw. Cheers to this talented orchestral pop piano-violin duo (Gracie and Rachel) who were born and bred in Berkeley but have since moved to Brooklyn to spread love (it’s the Brooklyn way) with their beautiful baroque-pop music. Very impressed by their headliner show with Henry Jamison at Cafe Du Nord. The song ‘(un)comfortable‘ was one of the my favorites, and the lyrics certainly resonated with me.

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

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Nick Mulvey: “Cause you got lost in comparison Always pretending you knew When everything you were looking for Was already looking at you… This moment is a mountain to move…Wake up now” – Swedish American Hall (Nov 17, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

I couldn’t believe when Nick Mulvey said “I’ve seen you before!” after his Swedish American Hall show on Nov 17. He musta remembered the puppet face! I was hooked ever since that first night at Barfly and just kept showing up everywhere he played, from Green Man Festival to Shepards Bush empire (opening for Laura Marling) to O2 Brixton Academy (opening for London Grammar) to XOYO (where he played with the talented Fiona Bevan). His song ‘Fever to the Form‘ was legitimately my LIFE ANTHEM for most of 2013-2014, and that first verse “So whether music or madness, We live by one of the two… So Go on an fill your heart with gladness, not a moment too soon” will forever be my GUIDING LIGHT. It is a TIMELESS TRACK that I know will still bring me the same peace of mind and clarity (“cause the very thing you’re afraid, afraid of, It keeps you clean but unclear”) 20 years from now as it did back in 2013. ‘Fever to the Form’ was released alongside other tops tracks (First Mind, I Don’t Want to Go Home, Meet Me There, Juramidam, Cucurucu) on his debut album, First Mind, which was nominated for a Mercury Prize (well deserved!) in 2014. Nick has become a dad since the release of that album, and he considers this step to have had a positive influence on his music writing: “Putting music as a secondary priority to that (the challenge of making new music) was a really healthy thing for me.” Well, we are glad to reap the benefits of that positive influence, for his newest (sophomore) album, Wake Up Now, is freaking AWESOME. Standout tracks for me are: Mountain to Move, Remembering, In Your Hands, Transform Your Game, and Unconditional. In fact, Nick has a really cool story to go along with ‘Mountain to Move’ and I hope he continues to share it during his live performances. Cheers to the super talented British musician who studied music in Cuba and who continues to weave styles from all over the world into his musical quilt. ❤

 

More Nick Mulvey videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/eandreoz/search?query=nick+mulvey

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

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Henry Jamison: “Well if all is fair in love and war then I don’t know what we are fighting for; So if we don’t care to fight no more let’s go upstairs and let’s shut the door” – Live at Cafe Du Nord (Sept 15, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

 

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This talented New England troubadour (Henry Jamison) wears his heart out on his sleeve with this “ode to delirium” about a girl he was after but who still had feeling for someone else (gets real good at 1:50 in!). He is quite the visual lyricist, and his witty, melancholy style reminds me of a hybrid between Gregory Alan Isakov, Nathaniel Rateliff, and Scott Hutchinson (of Frightened Rabbit). I was mad impressed to find out that he writes, records, and arranges everything himself, including all of the album’s gorgeous string arrangements (which Rachel of Gracie and Rachel performed with him in SF). I have a feeling he will blow up within the next year.

“God-God-God damn that girl was fine
and I was glad to call her mine
She weren’t mine and I weren’t hers
I lost her at the five and dime
She was talking to a six-five-x marine
He was living out his truck
She said he was very fragile
I said I don’t give a fuck.”   YAAAAAAAS.


Henry Jamison dedicated this song to a fan in the audience (Andrea) whose husband came up to him beforehand with this request. Very cute. Cheers to some charmers that are still out there. Icelandic buddy Ari Hlynur Guðmundsson Yates first introduced me to Henry’s music back in June and I was immediately captivated by ‘Real Peach’ and the vivid lyrics on the woman he is pining for. I am so glad I got to see this performed live from the talented troubadour himself.

“Well if all is fair in love and war
then I don’t know what we are fighting for
So if we don’t care
to fight no more
let’s go upstairs and let’s shut the door

Cuz my baby she’s a real peach.. .. yeah GOD DAMN.”

 

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

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Emily Scott Robinson: “So raise a glass to my good long life, don’t dress in black, don’t let me see you cry, I’m not afraid, I’m just headed home. It’s time to let me go’ – Swedish American Hall (Dec 8, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

SUCH A TREAT to have discovered the sweet, sassy, SUPER-TALENTED Southern singer/songwriter from NC (Emily Scott Robinson) who now lives on the road with her husband in their RV, writing and performing across the country and touring with bluegrass/grassroots powerhouses like Ben Sollee and the Kentucky Natives (Swedish American Hall). Equipped with an angelic voice and natural knack for storytelling, Emily gives us a glimpse into her wanderlust window, exposing us to the “traveling mercies” of life on the road and missing community and a home base. One of my favorite tracks from her set was ‘Better with Time,’ inspired by “the first place you live with someone you love” (which for her was a tiny one bedroom house in Colorado with a beautiful view). Another track that had my was a brand new one (finished only a few days ago) called ‘Ghost in Every Town.’ It was inspired by the monotony, desperation, and loneliness that she witnessed living for a short while in a small RV park in Oregon. The lyrics SLAY, and I could not help but get chills when she sang “The kinda desperate that forces you to kneel… The kinda howling you can only do alone.” WOW. But overall, it had to be ‘Overalls’ (her inaugural Patreon song) that stole the show. Written about her dear friend’s father who served in WWII and passed away this year, ‘Overalls‘ will touch your ❤️ and leave you in a puddle of tears/joy. It’s just so refreshing to hear stories veterans who were so grateful to be alive when they returned from war and who measured their wealth by their experiences and family/community (“I know I don’t have much to show, but I’m the richest man that I know”). I can’t help but smile to imagine this grateful fella who grasped every day as a gift and now looks back on his good long life with pride and appreciation: “So raise a glass to my good long life, don’t dress in black, don’t let me see you cry, I’m not afraid, I’m just headed home. It’s time to let me go.” Having released her debut album, “Magnolia Queen” just last year, Emily has started a Patreon page and will be releasing songs periodically while on the road. I sure hope her RV makes a very long pit stop in NorCal so I can see her again soon!

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

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Allan Rayman: “God is a Woman, Can she hear me now” – The Rickshaw Stop (March 29, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Meet Allan Rayman , a multi-talented MYSTERIOUS MUSE (recently dubbed “the most mysterious man in music”) who DOES it all (writer/producer/singer/after/filmmaker) without needing to ADVERTISE it all. An R&B soul singer with raspy, soul-spearing vocals that singer child down the spine, Allan proves that you don’t need marketing or active social media accounts reel in fans. Without interviews or videos online, he has already rallied 500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. For fans of Alex Vargas, Jack Garratt , SOHN , RY X , Caught A Ghost , Chet Faker, let this RAYman shine his ray down on you. The emotionally-charged, elusive storyteller that is Mr. Roadhouse himself was extra animated at The Rickshaw Stop last night. A much more uninhibited, intimate experience on the tiny stage of the Rickshaw Stop compared to his earlier appearance at The UC Theater when opening for James Vincent McMorrow. I will definitely be keeping Allan on my radar.

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

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

Ben Sollee and the Kentucky Natives: “I thought I could change the world If I just held you high enough, Truth is, I couldn’t hold you up at all… And I sure ain’t gonna hold you down” – Live at the Swedish American Music Hall in SF (12-10-17)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

A bit numb standing next to one of the most INCREDIBLE CELLISTS and singer/songwriters (his vocals have the warmth of James Taylor and Paul Simon combined) that I’ve EVER SEEN. Even though Ben Sollee is classically trained, he plays the cello in a very eccentric, electrifying way that carves a niche of his own. He ambitiously strings together elements of Celtic, folk, Americana, gypsy jazz, and African percussion to create a grassroots medley that is nothing but generic. This most recent reflection of this has been in his badass “bluegrass without borders” (what I like to call it) project with 4 friends on banjo, violin, bass, and drums that he calls “Ben Sollee and the Kentucky Natives.” Last night at the Swedish American Hall Ben and his buddies broke all boundaries of what is possible and had everyone’s jaws on the floor for most of the set. The coy call-and-response banter back and forth between the different strings had me laughing and howling all at once. You could get a sense of everyone’s personality just by watching them play, and it was obvious that this quintet is bound by more than just strings. I am just so amazed to watch friends doing watch they love and making the world a happier, more patient, more conscientious place because of it.  The epic encore of Ben and the Kentucky Natives singing ‘Traveling Mercies with Emily Scott Robinson sure did leave me wanting more. Ben will cease to amaze me with his continued efforts to use music as a weapon against hate and injustice. It’s therefore not a surprise that he’s written songs called “It’s not impossible” and “A change is gonna come.” To Ben, anything can be done, even a tour across the states with a cello strapped to the back of a bicycle (yes, he did that back in 2012). You do not want to miss the chance to see him next time he rolls through town!

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

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

 

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!

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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.

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…
Check 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

Pierce Brothers: “Just keep in mind, I’ll be there for you, You’ll be next to my heart” – The Fillmore in SF (Oct 21, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

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STILL AMPED UP after the INSANELY AWESOME, INCREDIBLY INFECTIOUS performance by The Pierce Brothers opening for Tash Sultana at The Fillmore. These awesome Aussie twins (Jack and Pat) have been kicking up dust all over the world, wowing people with their high octane energy and pure joy for their craft. I was mad impressed by their unique DIY setup and their ingenious blend of dugeridoo, percussion (bongos/cans), tambourine, harmonica, and guitar, and at one point Jack even started tapping the stage equipment (light scaffolds) right in front of me to create new sounds. I couldn’t believe he was playing tambourine with his foot while banging on percussion and blowing into his dugeridoo. That’s some crazy coordination! But what impressed me the most was ability for Jack and Pat to deliver a boot-stomping, heart-throbbing, head-bopping performance despite their equipment breaking on stage. Their “one shot is all I got” attitude was greatly appreciated by everyone watching. I also really appreciated the message that Jack delivered before playing the song ‘Genevieve‘ that they wrote for their sister suffering from cancer: “There’s always love and support if you reach out, and that’s what we’re going to do right now.” I will DEFINITELY be seeing them again when they return to SF, and when they do, I  will have to bring sturdier boots! My heal actually broke off during their set! ❤

 

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

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

 

 

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile: “You can’t save the unsavably untogether” – Fox Theater in Oakland (Oct 18, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

I find it SO FREAKING EERIE that I immediately compared Courtney Barnett to Kurt Vilenearly 4 years ago when I first saw her at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton and NOW, they are TOURING TOGETHER after the recent release of their collaborative album, Lotta Sea Lice. Kurt Vile was someone that I had been following since his ‘Smoke Ring for My Halo’ days thanks you his brother Paul Vile who directed me to his set at Sasquatch 2012 (arguably the best lineup of any US festival I’ve been to yet). Courtney and Kurt reminded me of one another in so many ways – stitching songs together with threads of rock, grunge, and folk, and doing so with a carefree, nonchalant charisma that plagues all who listen. I am in awe of their ability to whip up to witty narratives about obscure observations of the mundane. Their collaborative albums is a testament to the beauty of a creative, comfortable companionship between two eclectic music makers that complement each other’s chords finished each other’s sentences (literally). Their charming ‘Continental Breakfast‘ track has Courtney and Kurt singing back and forth about the frustration of maintaining their long-distance friendship (“I cherish my intercontinental friendships; We talk it over continental breakfast”) and the monotony of life on the road (“In a hotel in East Bumble-wherever; Somewhere on the sphere, around here.) I also really loved their song, ‘Fear is Like a Forest’ (“Fear is like a forest, The dark of the unknown; Love is like a promise, That you’ll never be alone”), which was actually written by Courtney’s wife, Jen Cloher (talented musician who opened the show). I also enjoyed the manifestation of Courtney and Kurt covering each other’s songs, with Courtney’s version of Kurt’s ‘Peepin Tomboy’ (‘Peepin’ Tom’ on this album) paralyzing me with the arresting apathy of her delivery. I also really enjoyed Kurt’s take on Courtney’s ‘Out of the Woodwork.’ But, the MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS OF THE NIGHT were when Courtney and Kurt covered Belly’s ‘Untogether’ (“You can’t save the unsavably untogether”) and Gillian Welch’s ‘Elvis Presley Blues’ (“I was thinking that night about Elvis, Day that he died, day that he died”). Courtney’s vocals absolutely SHINE on this on, and the bread and range of the vocals are more apparent than ever. My heart was gushing a bit with the beautiful harmonies between her and Kurt. I’m sure Mr. ELVIS PRESLEY himself would have definitely approve. It was so refreshing to watch the playful banter between such seasoned musicians and I kept smiling when I saw Kurt’s classic yelps (“Whoop!”) making Courtney laugh throughout the set. He then had the entire audience laugh when he said that “Lotta Sea Lice” is the “only sea lice you want to have.” A powerhouse performance by a powerhouse pair of proper pals.:D ❤

Check out full  videos from the show below:

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

Instagram: beatsthatsetmypulse
Twitter: @beatsthatsetmy

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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Sharon Van Etten- “We’ve been through better days, And you’ve tasted all my pain…Break my legs so I can’t walk to you…”

Sharon Van Etten– KOKO, London (June 5, 2014)

A review by Erica Andreozzi

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Getting to MEET SHARON the first time I ever saw her. It was at a tiny venue (Rickshaw Stop) in San Francisco, and was the night I passed my PhD defense. There’s no one else I’d rather spend me first night as a “Dr.” with! LOVE HER.

I remember as if it were yesterday. August 10, 2012. Not just the day I passed my thesis defense, but the day I got to see AND MEET one of my favorite female artists OF ALL TIME: Sharon Van Etten. Having started listening to her a year prior through an Irish buddy I met in Barcelona, I was immediately HOOKED by Epic and even later by the fierce grasp of their newer arrival, Tramp. A devout fan of the National since 2010, I was enamored by the thought of Aaron Dressner and Sharon sitting down together, mixing up some musical madness together in some Brooklyn studio. She speaks very highly of Aaron, and says it was he that taught her how to “communicate in the studio” and be “open to collaboration” (e.g. working with Beirut‘s Zach Condon and Wye Oak‘s Jenn Wassner) without “shying away from production.” “I feel like Aaron gave me a lot of tools and confidence to communicate with my band and it made me want to try something different sonically. I wanted to give the songs more space and not bury them in instrumentation. I really wanted to focus on the band and the space and the melodies.” You could definitely sense the extra dimension in Tramp, and even more so in her newest album, ‘Are We There‘ (released June 2014). For this album, Sharon rounded up a two more band members, Darren Jessee (of Ben Folds Five and Hotel Lights) and Brad Cook (from Megafaun), both joining alumni Heather Woods Broderick and Doug Keith. I remember Doug very well because I was standing RIGHT IN FRONT of him (arms reach away) at that Rickshaw Stop gig and was serenaded by his EPIC bowing of the guitar intro to ‘I’m Wrong’ (one of my favorites from their collection). CHILLS up and down my spine every time I hear that song, and the “tell my I’m worth all the miles you put on your car…” line always draws a tear. ‘I’m Wrong‘ and ‘Joke or a Lie,’ back-to-back ON REPEAT was instant therapy for me during the weeks leading up to my PhD defense, and am not sure I would have made it (in one piece) without these songs. That strong dependency on Sharon’s music was something I could not be more eager to share with her that night (after I passed)…AND I DID (hence the picture above). Normally I would have been nervous to approach her, but her down-to-earth spirit and bubbly, comedic banter throughout the set just instantly diffused those nerves and suddenly I felt like she was a good friend who I had known for years. I was shocked to find that someone who sings such devastating, heart-breaking songs could be so happy-go-lucky and utterly HILARIOUS…(so hilarious that I actually asked her if she was “a comedian before this,” to which she replied, ” I liked doing gags, like saran wrap on the toilet seat.”)…She also mentioned eating waaaaay too much chocolate cake that day, and when I mentioned that to her 6 months later at their December gig in London (The Forum), SHE REMEMBERED ME…literally pointed to me in a crowd of 1500 people and was like “HEY YOU!”…(I was DYING). It just goes to show you that no matter how big or famous some artists get, they will still remain the GENUINELY AWESOME PERSON that got them there in the first place. “I don’t want to be big,” Sharon said in a recent interview with Gigwise. “I don’t want to be bigger. I think that with the way I write and perform, I like where I am. I’m kind of scared to get any bigger because I just don’t think that’s the reason I do this. I soon as I don’t know who I’m connecting with or why then I want to stop and do something different. I’m not even like a festival kind of band – who wants to stop partying to come and listen to me? It doesn’t make sense to me, but I feel lucky to be here. I don’t have any ‘moves’.” She wants to still feel the impact (on a personal level) with her fans, and I very much admire her for that. Sharon is developing a fan base for all the right reasons, and we can only continue to LOVE MORE (pun intended) the many sides of this dynamic, lovable lady.  ❤ And this lovable lady is proving that her music can only get better with time, and her evolution as an artist is something we can only look forward to. Having added 2 new members to her touring WOLF PACK, some might be concerned that they additional instruments would drown out her sound on the new album, ‘Are We There,’  but they don’t. When asked about maintaining the intimacy and purity of her music while involving more people, Sharon replies: “The songs still originate from my bedroom, for the most part, and start from a really intimate place. I feel as long as the melody is supported and not covered you can hear that intimacy.” When discussing the inspiration for ‘Are We There,’ she says, “The whole album was written over the past two years while on the road, touring Tramp. And the songs are all about the struggle of trying to have a home life, relationship – and also trying to work and the frustration that comes with trying to balance it all when it is virtually impossible…In the end, I had to choose my work over having a relationship because the person I was with couldn’t handle it. It was someone that I loved very deeply, but it just plays on people’s insecurities when you’re in a place that they’re not. And that’s kinda what that song is about, what the whole record’s about.” I’m not a famous musician or anything (obviously), but I can definitely emphasize with that nomadic type lifestyle, and I can see how difficult it would be to maintain a healthy relationship (esp. with someone outside the business who might not understand). But what I (and most others) love about Sharon is how fearless she is in facing her subconscious and unleashing many of the deep-seated  affliction that most people would rather suppress. “I have a hard time not wearing my heart on my sleeve and answering people honestly. You know, my friends warn me that I should be more guarded ‘cause sometimes I am too honest and open, but it’s also just who I am. I don’t like to hold back. Especially with who I am and what I do, it’s all me, everything’s my name, it’s what I do, it’s how I feel, it’s what I think. Over the last two years, I’m beginning to think that what I do is kind of self-centered, you know? And I’ve been contemplating doing something else after a couple of years, ‘cause it’s all me. It’s almost like, why do people care about me?…I love who I work with, and I’m lucky, and I know that people would kill to be in the position that I’m in, but it’s fucking with my head a little bit. It’s all about me and my life and my hardships or whatever you want to call it, and I don’t know who I’m helping, I don’t know what I’m doing…I feel pretty selfish to be doing what I’m doing and not knowing who it’s affecting or who it’s helping.” But I wish I could tell her (shout it out) that she is HELPING ME!!  Without Sharon’s recent album  release and gig at KOKO, I am not sure I could have made it through last week without having complete meltdown. The one song that became my instant ailment (still is) was ‘Afraid of Nothing.’ It’s actually the title track to my recent playlist: https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/afraid-of-nothing/ The minute I hear those intro piano chords to this song, my fear/troubles/frustrations instantly dissipate off my chest, and suddenly I feel a thousand times lighter. This was the first song of Sharon’s set at KOKO, and I couldn’t help but choke up (at the first song, lame I know). I would have loved getting this on video, but the photographers were obstructing my view. These lyrics = therapy: “I can’t wait…Til we’re afraid…Of nothing. I can’t wait…Til we hide….From nothing…Nothing.” Next up in the set was ‘Taking Chances,’ one of my other favorites from the new album. The beat is so hypnotic and catchy, and the lyrics just flow behind like a perfect cascade: “When you love all of you, they know all of you..Be alone and take, and you break for your sake…Even I’ve taken my chances….Even I’ve taken my chances on you.” Then it was ‘Tarifa‘, a song that didn’t’ capture my initial interest the first time through, but now that I listen more and more I’ really drawn to it: “Tell me when…Tell me when is this over?…Chewed you out…Chew me out when I’m stupid.” After the first 3 songs (photographers booted, thank you), Sharon apologizes to the the audience, saying that she is a bit sick and will have to carry her tissues on stage..(she later jokes about about making a business with personalized tissues). Then she cracks a few jokes with her keyboardist/back up singer, Heather, who claimed at the red tambourine wasn’t “her color.” She soon interrupts the set with an oldie (but goodie), ‘Don’t Do It,’ and the crowd goes wild for the tune that we all know and love: “Look me in the eyes, say you can’t do it, but you will if you want to…I wish I could make you right.”  (fierce ending…wish I could give her a hug!) Next was another oldie, a song (‘Give Out‘) she introduces as the reason why she “moved to the city“: “What’s with the eyes…In the back of the room?…The only ones shining…The only ones I’d met in years…“I’m biting my lip…As confidence is speaking to me.”  (this continues to be one of my favorites of her older stuff) Just before she hits us with a new one, she giggles as she and Doug discuss how much they are enjoying the show during their “meeting minutes.” (haha)  Then someone in the crowd yells, “We love you Sharon!,” to which she replies (looking out with her hand over her forehead, ” DAD? Is that you?” Everyone laughs as she then explains how it’s not uncommon for her parents to randomly show up and surprise her at gigs in different cities, as they have in the past for both Dublin and Paris. (But then she says they would not be here because they are at home getting ready for her sister’s wedding). Next up was another new one, ‘Nothing will change,’ and I for sure felt the gravity in these lyrics; “It had been a while and I thought that you’d forgot about me I never could have forgotten you. (def have been there…) The next song (‘Break Me‘) seems to be a continueation of ‘Give out’, and I can’t help but draw a parallel between the two. She says, “This is a song about therapy, cause I need it.” (LOVE THE OMNICHORD IN THIS ONE) “He can make me..Move into a city on my knees…He can take in everything…Hoping he let’s me in..I, I let you in.” She then played one more old one (‘Serpents‘) before finishing off her collection of new gems, including ‘You Know Me Well‘: “Everyone is crazy with their own life…Lies in existential you ever want to find your way out…Turn into yourself again and reach on out….To become your true self…You know me well….You show me hell when I’m looking…And here you are…Looking.” I’m just not that broken any more,” Sharon says in a recent interview. “I feel like I’ve been hurt and I’m still hurt, but for different reasons. I know who I am more, I know what I want, I don’t take as much shit, I know what I don’t want, I know what I will not tolerate, I know when I’m making someone else happy and vice versa…I still get hurt and get sad, I’m still a romantic at heart, but I think that one thing about growing up is that you know what you want more.”  (YES.) Following this is the song, “Your Love is Killing Me,” which has drawn the attention of many and is “the heaviest thing she’s ever written.” In response to everyone’s concern and consideration, Sharon responds: “I am doing fine. It’s just this is what I do.” I call it “The Beast” because it is relentless.” She freaking lets all hell lose on this one. Emotional implosion. Her voice is on the verge of SHATTERING at the very end as if her heart were all the sudden in her throat. 

We’ve been through better days And you’ve tasted all my pain

Break my legs so I won’t walk to you Cut my tongue so I can’t talk to you Burn my skin so I can’t feel you Stab my eyes so I can’t see You like it when I let you walk over me You tell me that you like it Your love is killing me

There he let it go, his temper, standing there See her with his gun and he, steals love so he can feel alive   (This line SLAYS ME) Everyone’s knees knockin’ at the fear of love Taste blood Everybody needs to feel.”

Following “The Beast” is a song (‘Every time The Sun Comes up‘) that Sharon introduces as “literal in every way,” and one that her band tricked her with: “People say I’m a one-hit wonder But what happens when I have two? I washed your dishes, but I shitted in your bathroom..’ (hahah) She follows with another hit from the new album, ‘I Love You But I’m Lost“: “Come in here and be yourself again I love you but I’m not somebody who take shots See me after I recoil I’m better than I know There’s room to grow .. Let’s turn it into something we can change I love you but I’m lost Between the pain and cost I hold myself alive.” After thanking TONS of people, including her old drummer (now manager), Zeke, Sharon says that she can either play a song or tell a story (for the encore). Riding on gut and intuition, Sharon dismisses (as nice as possible) the many song suggestions from the audience and instead says, “But I sorta had a plan, guys…‘  before she dazzles us with her last track on the album, “I Know.” “And then you push me out I know, I know And then you disappear because you can’t fight fear I know, I know ..I all ever wanted as YOU.”   (she warned us that it was going to be a sad one) Every time I write, it is for therapeutic purposes. I write when I am going through a really hard time. I hit record and sing stream of conscious. I usually let it out for about ten or twenty minutes and then wait a day or two then listen back a day or two later so I have some perspective on what I was going through. Nine times out of ten I don’t share those “songs” with anyone because they are too personal. The ones I choose to share are the ideas that are more relatable and universal so I don’t alienate the listener – and hopefully they can connect with it on their own personal level.”  YES, yes they do! We love you, “SHIZZLE.” (what she called herself on the set) xxx And to leave YOU on a personal level, here are a few interesting comments I read about Sharon in a recent interview: CP- What do you hope for? SVE—I hope to one day find balance in my life.   (my biggest struggle too!) CP—What motivates you to make music? SVE—Healing myself, helping others heal, and helping others feel not so alone. CP—What makes you smile? SVE—A dad with their kid, a stranger helping someone, someone else smiling (it’s contagious!) CP—When are you most at peace? SVE—At the beach. CP—What are you most scared of? SVE—Never settling down.     (ME TOO)

MORE PICTURES:

IMG_9271 IMG_9304 IMG_9294 IMG_9293 IMG_9292 IMG_9291 IMG_9290 IMG_9288 IMG_9287 IMG_9285 IMG_9285-001 IMG_9284 IMG_9283 IMG_9280 IMG_9272IMG_9276IMG_9274 IMG_9273 Recent interviews with Sharon: http://www.gigwise.com/news/91564/sharon-van-etten-im-not-broken-any-more http://thelabmagazine.com/2014/06/02/sharon-van-etten/ http://www.vulture.com/2014/05/fred-armisen-interviews-sharon-van-etten-new-album-are-we-there.html