Typhoon: “But if there’s nothing, then what’s that song that keeps hounding me? .. this is not your loss, this is your offering” – The Independent (Feb 13, 2018)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Having waited over SEVEN YEARS to see Typhoon live, this night at The Independent seemed all a bit surreal. What pacified me in the interim was catching the mindblowingly-talented mult-instrumentalist and visionary behind this 9-person indie/folk rock, Kyle Morton, live in concert at The Swedish American Hall back in Jan 2016. Although this was only second night on tour in support of first solo album, ‘What Will Destroy You,’ Kyle received a standing ovation from his SF crowd. New tracks like ‘Sickness Until Death,’ ‘Water Torture,’ and ‘Survivalist Fantasy,’ found new homes in our hearts, despite old gems like ‘Claws, Part II,’ ‘Common Sentiments,’ ‘Honest Truth,’ and ‘Morton’s Folk,’ having been rooted there for years. (see below for videos) It was Kyle’s emotional rendition of ‘My Little Darling Knows My Nature‘ that hammered on my heart-strings the most, especially after raising his hand to show his wedding ring, saying he “did all right” (for his little darling is now his wife): 

“Now my little darlin I’ll sing you a love song
One you can hang your hat on every night
I will be your witness if you be mine
I will be your witness if you be mine
I will be your witness if you be my wife.”

The allure of Typhoon lies in their pensive, visual narratives and its capricious, temperamental nature (just as the tropical storm would suggest). The songs that truly TAKE US BY STORM (Artificial Light, Young Fathers, CRP/ Claws Part 2, The Lake, Summer House, Hunger and Thirst, Common Sentiments) are those that sweep us off our feet with ease and move us on a suspense-ridden journey laced with sharp twists and turns. In fact, I thought ‘CRP/ Claws Part 2‘ was 2 songs when I first heard it, for there was a distinct, abrupt change in the rhythm and instrumental arrangement halfway through. The same goes for ‘Common sentiments.’ I adore the juxtaposition of Kyle’s harder guitar and deeper voice with Shannon’s softer strings (violin) and higher-pitched vocals.

We all had been waiting nearly 5 years for Typhoon to return with a new album, for their last one (‘White Lighter‘) was released back in 2013. This newest album, ‘Offerings‘ (the fourth in their collection) stood out to me as the most ominous and most mysterious, for many of the lyrics (and associated voice recordings) have you furrowing your eyebrow (especially mine!) and questioning the intent. ‘Offerings‘ opens with a thought-provoking prologue (“Listen — of all the things that you are about to lose, this will be the most painful“) before launching into a song (‘Wake‘) about about a man “preoccupied with memory, losing memory, and trying to recapture memory.” Kyle mentioned wanting to explore “the dual theme of (1) what it means to be a person stripped of all memory and (2) what happens to a world that loses all sense of history (read: modern America).” YAAAAS. ‘Wake‘ was certainly the perfect wake-up call for the album, and the startling, unexpected uproar of violins and guitar shredding together (2:30 min) immediately following this plea was absolutely PERFECT: “But if there’s nothing, if there’s nothing Then what’s that song that keeps hounding me? …. this is not your loss, this is your offering”. I love how it’s then followed by Kyle shouting “Asa nisi masa” as if an SOS cry for help.

Wake‘, ‘Rorchscah‘ and ‘Empiracist,’ are my three favorite songs on the album, and just happen to be back-to-back. Other favorites include ‘Remembering‘ and ‘Unusual‘.

Rorchscah‘ highlights Kyle’s concern of people losing all sense of history, describing the navigation of our world solely via tv, computers, and Iphones (“Eyes on the screen, We have all the information now, but what does it mean?”), which, despite “all our (technological) progress,” leaves us wondering “what happened to the life we lost, that got lost in the living?” (I love the call-and-response between Kyle and Shannon’s vocals). “All this fiction make me nervous,” Kyle mutters, as if to call out those who have so easily forgotten our history, the “sacrificial violence” (bloodshed, bombs), and who “edit” the “film in their brain.” TRUTH BE TOLD.

Empiricist‘ also has some intriguing lyrics, my favorite being “But you can’t help wonder, who is this person you celebrate?… It’s still your birthday, so blow out your past lives like they’re candles on the cake.” Wow. That certainly stings. Kyle dishes out even more cynicism in ‘Unusual:’  “This brave new world— It’s gonna take some getting used to… Yeah, it’s cruel and unusual, Can’t tell the punishment apart from the crime.” Nevertheless, my favorite lyrics from this album are in the song, ‘Remember,’ for it emphasizes urgency (“Just make your move before you have no move to make”) and constant curiosity (“How long can it take?”)  HECK YES.

I think it’s safe to say that these TyphoonOfferings‘ (in the form of their fourth album), offered more reflection, self introspection, and confusion than any before, all in all reminding me of a quote from Salvador Dali (who I thank my fellow music buddy Alex for mentioning): “What is important is to spread confusion, not to eliminate it.” AMEN. Can’t WAIT to see Typhoon again at Sasquatch Music festival at the end of May. 🙂

 

Kyle Morton (solo tour) at Swedish American Hall

 

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Caroline Smith: “If you gotta guy like mine then read the signs don’t lose your mind make the drive to Jefferson”” – Live at the Independent in SF (Dec 9, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi


I had no idea that walking into the Independent early to check out the opener for Overcoats would have me walking out with a new favorite artist: Caroline Smith, a neo-soul, R&B singer with indie-folk roots who formerly released two albums with her band Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps before putting out a solo debut album back in 2013 called ‘Half About Being a Woman.

What hooked me right away with Caroline, beside her stunning vocals, was her radical candor and sassy songwriting, eminent in the first new track she played (video below) which unfortunately  I did not catch the name of:

“I will not pretend, I will not put on a smile, I will say I’m alright for you, when all I wanted was to be good, to do everything in truth…
You bloody mother fucking asshole
You bloody mother fucking asshole
You bloody mother fucking asshole
You bloody mother fucking asshole”

I thoroughly enjoyed this super-cathartic, super-sassy “ode to asshole” and could not stop smiling at the thought of this petite, innocent-looking lil’ lady shocking an ex-lover with her spunky, sassafras anthems. I couldn’t get enough of her spitfire lyrics and was super excited when she continued to breathe fire with a track called ‘Jefferson‘ (video below) — one that definitely puts fire under the ass!

“Chewing on some gum walking home and feeling dumb for giving into him another night
God damn it’s the way he stays just far enough away to waste my time   
I coulda told you I was only setting up the deck against myself, again.
If you gotta guy like mine then read the signs don’t lose your mind make the drive to Jefferson”

Such a sassy, witty, FEEL GOOD JAM that I could listen to OVER AND OVER. Sooooo good.

Caroline then treated us to a few new tracks (videos below),  ‘Animal‘ (“You’re an animal, you’re an animal, you’re an animal I’m the CRIMINAL… cause I’m one too”) and ‘Bad habit‘ (“I gotta bad habit of living rich on minimum wage .. I gotta bad habit for loving you… is the worst one.. the worst one”), both of which I can’t wait to be released.

Check out her track ‘Bloodstyle‘ — also so freaking good!
Tagline: MISTER SISTER // MINNEAPOLIS OUTLAW // WOMAN IN THE INDUSTRY

 

 

 

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

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Wake Up (Playlist: May 3, 2017)

Wake Up

Compiled by Erica Andreozzi
(photo courtesy of Ashley Hirst)

A WAY OVERDUE playlist that I CANNOT WAIT TO SHARE. For anyone that needs a WAKE UP call, this ONE’S FOR YOU! The title track (‘Wake Up‘) features an LA-based band (Magic Bronson) that was one of my FAVORITE new discoveries at SXSW this year. They have such a unique, eclectic sound that I can’t seem to bin into a certain genre, and I LOVE THAT. Elements of electronic, rock, hip-hop come alive with their emotionally-charged lyrics and unpredictable beats and tempos. Their songs truly are roller coaster rides that have you jumping up and down with bulging carotids (at least mine were) at every shocking twist and turn. Other new discoveries at SXSW include Giungla (on tour with Foals), LANY, DYAN, Charlotte Cardin, and KOLARS.  AND… after 2 years of waiting, I finally CAUGHT A GHOST at SXSW and have been smiling ever since: “HOLD YOUR HANDS UP HIGH, MY LOVE I’LL SEE YOU BY AND BY.” Yaaaaas. Can’t wait their new album to drop in a few months! This playlist also features artists from recent shows (San Fermin, The XX, Milky Chance, Bastille, Low Roar, Laura Marling, Joe Purdy, Mondo Cozmo, ARIZONA, Tow’rs) and those with recent album/song releases (Sylvan Esso, Lewis Del Mar, Highasakite, Day Wave, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Vok, Sam Airey, Cobi, Passport to Stockholm, Father John Misty, Beats Antique). Having first discovered San Fermin last year at BottleRock Napa, I was eager to check them again at The Independent with Low Roar (who I was already a big fan of) and I’m SO GLAD I DID (in fact I went both nights in a row!). San Fermin’s previously dubbed “chamber pop” has now exploded into looser, livelier full-force operation of 8 incredibly talented musicians OWNING their instruments and having THE TIME OF THEIR LIFE doing so. It is rare to see a collection of keys, guitar, drums, trumpet, sax, base, violin, and vocals complementing each other so perfectly in deliriously infectious arrangement that keeps your head bopping all night long. SO STOKED to see them again at Outside Lands in August! Now check out this killer 50-song playlist!

(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!)

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

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Low Roar – “I wanna feel something again… memorable”: The Independent in SF (April 24 & 25, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

 

It had been very long time since Ryan Karazija’s lovely “low roar” has been heard within his former stomping ground of San Francisco, and this SF Bay Area native had kept us longing for his return. We had all hoped that “once in a long long while” (ironically the name of his new album) he would be back, and that time came Mon/Tues night at The Independent . Just as I remembered, Ryan’s beautiful, mysterious melodies have a special way of seeping into the psyche and having you join him on very personal journey through perfect contradictions of fear/love and doubt/faith. His haunting howls will lather you in chills and make you feel the cold shock of his move from California to Iceland back in 2011 (one that sure takes immense strength). I was fortunate to have discovered Low Roar back in 2014 at Iceland Airwaves Music Festival (made me fall in love with Iceland even more), and was so hooked that I saw them a week later in London at The Lexington as part of their Ja Ja Ja Music festival. (I still have the free bag they gave and actually brought it along last night). I also brought with me a stage-layout paper that Ryan signed for me that night – can’t believe it held up through all my wanderlusting travels since then! It was surreal to be seeing Low Roar again last night and having Ryan give me a big hug after the show. It’s times like these where I feel strong melancholy for London music scene and exposure to more international music from Europe and Scandinavia (especially Iceland!). Although Low Roar won’t be playing Secret Solstice Festival in June, I know I will see them again the next time our paths intersect. Old gems like ‘I’ll Keep Coming’ and ‘Easy Way Out’ are timeless tracks that I revisit again and again when “I wanna feel something again … memorable.” Can’t wait to dive into the new album. More timeless tracks to unearth. #lowroar #sanfermintour #theindependentsf #icelandicmusicscene #onceinalonglongwhile #newalbumtour #longedforhisreturn 👌🏻

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A goofy montage with the talented Ryan Karazija of Low Roar. So glad to catch them at The Independent two night in a row. It had been almost 3 years since I saw them last in London. Too long of a wait! #lowroar #goofymontage #newalbumtour #onceinalonglongwhile

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

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San Fermin – “Oh I wish I kept myself a little better company… oh I try ot put a good face on … someone better come for me”: The Independent in SF (April 24 & 25, 2017)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

Having first discovered San Fermin last year at BottleRock Napa, I was eager to check them again at The Independent with Low Roar , who I was already a big fan (and whom they met at Iceland Airwaves Music Festival in 2013). I learned that their tour circuits led to play alongside some of my favorite artists (courtney barnett, alt-J, Sylvan Esso, Lewis Del Mar), and their close ties with Alt-J could possibly explain the sax/trumpet in their new track, ‘In Cold Blood.’ On tour to promote their new album, Belong, San Fermin’s previously dubbed “chamber pop” has exploded into looser, livelier full-force operation of 8 incredibly talented musicians OWNING their instruments and having THE TIME OF THEIR LIFE doing so. It is rare to see a collection of keys, guitar, drums, trumpet, sax, base, violin, and vocals complementing each other so perfectly in deliriously infectious arrangement that keeps your head bopping all night long. San Fermin’s energy and charisma were simply magnetic, and you couldn’t help but notice the entire audience sharing the same music buzz. It was refreshing to see the comfort and chemistry of all 8 musicians together on stage (as if best friends playing in their living room), and the dueling duets of vocals (Charlene Kaye and Allen Tate) and brass (John Brandon and Stephen Chen) had you grinning ear-to-ear. Also, the swirling strings and expressive of violinist/vocalist Claire Wellin (former Broadway actress) had me in awe. Allen’s baritone voice simply SLAYS, and I can’t help but be reminded of The National‘s Matt Berninger in his cadence, pitch, and smooth stage presence. After the show I learned that Allen (from Philly as well!) writes his own music and recently joined Kyle Morton of Typhoon (big fan). I also learned that Ellis Ludwig-Leone (creator of San Fermin) got his start by composing various projects with Nico Muhly (Sufjan Stevens, Dirty Projectors). Makes perfect sense! From BottleRock to Outside Lands, I cannot WAIT to see this Brooklyn-based band again. I hope that John Brandon, who surprised SF with his first ever crowd surf while playing trumpet, will pull crazier stunts in August. NOT TO BE MISSED! There is a REASON I saw them TWO NIGHTS IN A ROW!! 😀

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

 

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Ben Abraham – “You’re hiding like a memory… Calling to the weakness in my soul”: The Independent (May 19, 2016)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

I am very surprised that I never stumbled upon Ben Abraham when I was living in Melbourne last year (Jan – May), as I would have surely stopped in my tracks if I heard ‘Speak‘ as I passed by the usual buskers on Melbourne’s famous Bourke Street (wonder if he ever busked there). Speak is surely one of the standout tracks (in my opinion) on his debut album, Sirens (Secret Canadian).

A son of two Indonesian rockstars (both parents in a successful 70’s pop group called Pahama), Ben had music in his blood, and his relentless urge to “SPEAK” would eventually manifest into a musical masterpiece that would speak to more than Melbourne. “I never wanted to be a musician… I always wanted to be a filmmaker, and although I never quite made it down that path, that desire I had to tell stories still came with me,” Ben said to the crowd that night at The Independent as the opening act for the fantastic Damien Jurado (see review here). Ben’s desire to tell stories soon became a regular routine at his day job entertaining children in hospitals in Melbourne; Eight years later, he honed this craft into the beautiful album (Sirens) that has been sending SIRENS across international boundaries (esp. the UK, US and Canada). This album was recorded with a rotating cast of friends and collaborators including Gotye and Tim Shiel, as well as longtime friend Sara Bareilles (‘This is on Me‘).

Previously having played at Holwer in Melbourne (where I last saw Harrison Storm and Daniel Champagne) and the Servants Jazz Quarters in London (where I last saw Samantha Crain, Ben was eager to announce that tonight was his “first time in San Fran, and actually the first ever tour in the states.” Sporting a right red Hawaiian shirt and big grin, Ben (who usually is “not a fan of doing covers”), was all amped up and feeling “beachy enough” to cover what he thinks is “one of the greatest songs ever written,”Hyper Ballad‘ by Bjork. (He should definitely apply to play Iceland Airwaves… it was one of my favorite festivals of all time!)

 

As if that didn’t raise enough hairs on our arms, he followed with a gorgeous track called  ‘Home‘, and then with the epic encore of ‘Speak.’ Speak is a gorgeous song that just builds and builds with awesome anticipation, and by the end you might find yourself wiping tears off your face. The honest, timid lyrics about ‘wanting to communicate with others but somehow being pushed away’ is definitely a shared struggle most of us face, especially with the recent explosion of social media, and I hope we can all take Ben’s song as a call to humanity for deeper human connection. If the emotive, echoing effects of his vocals in the mic towards the end don’t “SPEAK” to you, then I’m not sure what will. Be sure to grab a copy of the album!

Damien Jurado – “My name is Damien Jurado, not Damien “Jutebox”: The Independent in SF (May 19, 2016)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

A former pre-school teacher in the days before his budding music career, Damien Jurado (Secretly Canadian record label) was well equipped to handle the crazy “kids” (all grown adults that were probably “secretly Canadian”) that were shouting out requests for their favorite songs. “My name is Damien ‘Jurado’… not Damien ‘Jutebox’…I’ll play what I want to play at my show” (see video footage below) he says in response with a snarky smile and perfect wit. He followed that up with an antidote about how he just “doesn’t do covers,” and how he was asked both in Germany and in the UK (by a respectable musician name Benn Watt, nonetheless) to play some cover songs while on tour. He said that the only cover songs he probably would know are punk-rock songs from bands like Minor Threat that he listened to WAY BACK in the day. When the the crowd cheered in agreement, he laughs and says, “How do you go from listening to Minor Threat to ME?…haha…Maybe you drank more?..” He follows this by saying that he actually has influences from all “over the map” that he hopes to “funnel into one thing” and that he “doesn’t want to be put in a box” or be known for “just one genre.” He mentions that while he “used to the solo thing,” he enjoys evolving musically, aka …“My albums keep getting weirder and weirder.” Personally, I hear similarities to Mark Kozelek, Kurt Vile, and Jose Gonzalez, but was later told by Damien that he respects those artists but actually doesn’t draw from them musically. He mentioned someone obscure (a foreign name that I can’t recall), and I only smiled imaging how big this world is and how many incredibly diverse music style there are out there. 🙂

“You like to talk, don’t you? I feel like I’m having a conversation but I don’t know who with and where you are,” Damien belts out after the chatty crowd continues to shout comments his way. There was one fan in particular, “Mohammad from Egypt,” that Damien actually paused his song for because of Mohammad’s LOUD SIGH that indicated a potential “heart attack.” Damien was baffled by this fan’s adoration (waving his arms up in the air all goofy like a star-struck teenager), and implied being a bit overwhelmed with Mohammad yelling out that he would be “seeing him again in Minnesota” and “CAN’T WAIT.”

Although Damien seemed to be surprised by all of the attention, he surely showed his appreciation. He mentioned being super excited for the San Francisco show, recalling the exact moment (en route on a train from Barcelona to Amsterdam) when he has this very thought (“I love playing SF”). He said that he also loves playing Spain and Greece, possibly because the people there are very expressive, a stark contrast from the “Seattle-ites” that sport stolid facial expressions and movements even when the are excited (we all really enjoyed his demonstration of this on stage!). Haha.

He also joked that if anyone wanted to get married that evening, his bassist could marry them, as he just got done marrying a couple in the back.

 

If anything, I think we were all married to the fact that Damien is a  awesome, admirable musician who one should only be so lucky enough enough to have an intimate “show and tell” with, especially tracks performed from the ace new album, Visions of Us on Land. We look forward to your return, but we expect as least ONE COVER! 😛
(I tease, I tease…)  ❤

(see below for videos from the show)

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Are We Alive (playlist: March 6, 2016)

Are We Alive

Compiled on March 6, 2016

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Fresh new, VERY UPBEAT playlist inspired by my TOP DISCOVERIES at this year’s NoisePop festival in San Francisco: Day Wave, Harriet, and HEARTWATCH. These three bands are all local, and their catchy, vibrant tracks capture the essence of sunny California quite perfectly. The playlist was also influenced by other bands in town – Joe Purdy, Milo Greene (Jukely event), Penny and Sparrow (soon to write a review), Elle King, Jamie Lawson, and Soren Bryce (reminds me of Daughter) – as well as recent album releases from Ra Ra Riot and Hey Marseilles (who I’ll both be seeing in March) and a new single release from Augustines‘ HIGHLY ANTICIPATED new album. Not only is Augustines one of my FAVORITE BANDS OF ALL TIME, but this new song (Are We Alive) has FIRED ME UP moving into the new year (RISE: The Story of Augustines)- I can’t WAIT till they are back touring over here in the states – the UK has had them for long enough! Other inspiration comes from new discoveries – Funeral Advantage (thanks to my German roadtrippin’ buddies that I met at Penguin Prison last month), Tom Rosenthal (thanks to my London music guru buddy), Baby Brave and Joel Arthur Russel (NoiseTrade). ENJOY!

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Here’s the playlist on Spotify:

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

https://app.box.com/s/ll94qc196usoow6l315q9r2xtzh0qpej

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Irish Margaritas- Harriet  
Total Zombie- Day Wave      
Are We Alive- Augustines
Foreign Lovers- Ra Ra Riot   
Get Louder- Caught A Ghost   
Eyes On You- Hey Marseilles   
Nothing At All- Day Wave   
Inheritance- Harriet
Lie To Me- Milo Greene   
Faultlines- HEARTWATCH
Bread and Bleeding- Penny and Sparrow   
Ten Steps-  Harriet
Perfect Ok- Hey Marseilles   
Chariot- Soren Bryce   
Drag- Day Wave   
America’s Sweetheart- Elle King   
Burbank- Harriet
Broken Bones- HEARTWATCH
My Heart- Hey Marseilles   
Gardensong- Funeral Advantage  
Absolutely- Ra Ra Riot   
See You Around- Joel Adam Russell   
Sirens- Soren Bryce  
Wasn’t Expecting That- Jamie Lawson  
Never Let You Go- HEARTWATCH
Non-Verbal Communication- Tom Rosenthal   
Newport- Soren Bryce 
Plastic Skateboard- Brave Baby   

We Try But We Don’t Fit In- Day Wave   

Ode to Sad Clown- Joe Purdy

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Harriet:
https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/harriet-i-could-take-you-higher-but-i-cant-take-you-home-youre-a-tough-desire-you-may-be-all-i-needed-but-its-not-like-were-alone-the-rickshaw-stop-feb-25-2016/

Day Wave:
https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/day-wave-so-just-close-your-eyes-and-ill-close-mine-let-me-close-your-heart-it-just-takes-time-and-well-be-alright-rickshaw-stop-feb-25-2016/

HEARTWATCH:
https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/heartwatch-meet-me-in-the-middle-of-the-golden-gate-and-feel-my-heart-beat-the-independent-feb-24-2016/
Joe Purdy:
ttps://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/joe-purdy-treat-me-like-a-human-treat-you-like-the-same-maybe-well-all-get-along-some-day-the-independent-feb-20-2016/

Milo Greene: https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/milo-greene-even-if-your-heart-stops-ill-be-there-to-hold-you-up-brick-mortar-feb-17-2016/

Penguin Prison:
https://beatsthatsetmypulse.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/penguin-prison-just-a-little-more-cause-it-never-gets-old-mezzanine-feb-10-2016/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heartwatch- “Meet me in the middle of the golden gate and feel my heart beat”: The Independent (Feb 24, 2016)

The Independent, San Francisco
Written by Erica Andreozzi (with pics by Stefan Arosen)

Formerly known as The Tropics, the SF Bay Area band named HEARTWATCH recently released their self-title, debut record: http://heartwatch.bandcamp.com/. In fact, they did so the same day of their SOLD OUT NoisePop show at the Independent on Wednesday. After streaming the album on Itunes and Spotify the week earlier, I was stoked to finally hear their pulsating, high-energy, indie-pop tracks translated into a night of endless dancing (and IT WAS).

HEARTWATCH is definitely a band to WATCH OUT for, and their popular performances at Phono Del Sol and Outside Lands Music Festival last year quickly elevated their stature and solidified their status as “the Bay Area’s favorite new band.” Members include: Eric Silverman (guitar, keys), Rowan Peter (guitar, vocals), Nate Skelton (bass), Kern Sigala (drums), and Claire George (vocals). Surprisingly enough, Claire – whose voice reminds me of a cross between  Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir of Of Monsters and Men and Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches – is just a girl who been singing (her) whole life in cars to Mariah Carey and Fiona Apple” but had no prior vocal training. You would never have guessed that from the powerful pipes propelling these tracks! My favorites to sing along to are Fireproof, Sleepless, and Faultlines. I especially connect with the verse about meeting on the Golden Gate, as I do often visit this SF landmark (yes, even as a resident!): “Meet me in the middle of the golden gate and feel my heart beat.. meet me in the middle of the golden gate and our love will stay between the ocean and the bay.”

I love to see such SF pride shine through their music, and I respect their diehard devotion to the SF music scene regardless of the exponential increase in rent and the mass exodus of artists/musicians to Oakland and Portland. “People love to talk about how bands are leaving, everyone is leaving, San Francisco and getting priced out—and it’s true,” says Claire. “A lot of musicians have left. I have a lot of friends who are leaving, still. We’re hanging on, and it’s cool because we feel really supported by the community.”

That community support definitely showed up at the Independent on Wednesday , and I wouldn’t be surprised if they earned recognition one of the “Best acts at NoisePop.” Good thing they will be touring the West Coast in March and playing  BottleRock Napa Festival in May – people OUTSIDE the local community need to know about them! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya! 😉

 

Emilie & Ogden (amazing harpist!) had us “never going out of style” at The Independent (Jan 16, 2016)

The Independent in San Francisco
Written by Erica Andreozzi

Having recently come back from a UK tour with Half Moon Run, Emilie & Ogden was set open for them at The Independent last Saturday. The was the first trip to San Francisco for Emilie and her harp, Ogden, and she surely left her SF audience YEARNING FOR MORE that night.  This Montreal-based harpist STUNNED the crowd after only ONE SONG, dropping jaws and bringing the room to a complete silence. With vocals reminiscent of Emiliana Torrini (one of my favorite Icelandic/Italian singers) and harp healing powers of Joanna Newsom (love love love), Emilie surpassed any and ALL initial expectations. You better believe I purchased her CD (signed of course!) after the show. Looking forward to her return! 

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Emilie STOLE OUR HEARTS with this GORGEOUS COVER of Taylor Swift‘s popular hit, ‘Style.’ I don’t listen to the radio or to Taylor Swift, but I had heard this song before riding in the car with my friend Sarah who loves her. I definitely prefer THIS VERSION! ❤

Then she reeled us in with a beautiful gem called ‘What Happened‘ off her debut album, 10,000.

Although I was definitely tempted to capture all of her stunning songs on video, I pumped the brakes and instead just made sure to capture the title track (‘10,000‘)of her debut album. In a recent facebook post, Emilie had said that song was meant to evoke her inner hypochondriac and secret fear of one day waking up blind. Would never have guessed that but it’s super interesting!

 

 

West Coast (playlist: Dec 10, 2015)

West Coast

Compiled Dec 10, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Little May: “The Shine is Brighter at Night”

Little May– The Independent, San Francisco
(November 2, 2015)

Written by Erica Andreozzi

 

I first heard about Little May from a band called Passport to Stockholm around this same time last year when Passport was asked to open for Little May’s first London gig at The Waiting Room. Having seen Passport to Stockholm 5 times in 5 months (I became a loyal fan after first seeing them at Communion’s Bushstock festival in June) and having another commitment that night, I decided to pass on this gig. LATER, after listening to Little May’s self-titled debut EP, I nearly pulled my hair out in frustration for MISSING THEM. These Sydney-based Sirens had me hooked with every song on that EP, especially the track called Bones, which STILL remains to be my favorite (even after the recent release of their new album): “Do you feel it in your bones like I do?” they whisper with visceral rapture. YES, we certainly do.  🙂

Little May, comprised of long-time friends Annie Hamilton, Liz Drummond and Hannah Field, first had the idea to start playing together (“fooling around”) back in 2008 and didn’t become serious in this pursuit until 2012. They had no idea that their first song — Boardwalks — would be the SPARK that ignited an international fan base on sites like Spotify, Youtube, Hype Machine, and Itunes. This spark brought about significant attention from popular radio stations like Triple J in Australia and BBC Radio & XFM in the UK. Around the same time as their EP release (Oct 2014), Little May turned heads at NYC’s CMJ music festival and were selected as one of the “11 Breakout Acts of CMJ.” Continuing to ride this high wave (I wouldn’t even be surprised if one of them surfed), they sold out a string of shows across Europe (UK, Ireland, France) and played prominent festivals such as the Great Escape Festival (UK), Southside (Germany), Hurricane (Germany), and Best Kept Secret (the Netherlands). They also were asked by the powerhouse brother-sister folk-rock duo — Angus and Julia Stone — to join them a few months later on their Australian summer (Nov/Dec) tour. Having been a HUGE fan of Angus and Julia Stone for years, this raised my respect for Little May even more.

Realizing that they had a unique brand of dark-tinged folk-rock/pop with a trio of vocal harmonies alongside catchy guitars riffs and racy percussion, Little May reached out to Aaron Dessner to produce their album because they adore The National and attribute the legendary band as an inspiration to their sound. This bit of knowledge made me adore Little May just a LITTLE BIT more. ❤  It surely was a career-defining moment for them when Aaron agreed work with the band and produce their debut album in a 5-week recording stretch in upstate New York (Hudson). This collaboration has proved to be a successful one, for Little May’s debut album, ‘For the Company,’ is already receiving lots of buzz and avid fans like me are nodding with approval. What a treat it was to see the songs come to life this week at the Independent in San Francisco. These awesomely adorable Aussies immediately greeted the audience with a friendly “Hello,” emphasizing how excited they were to be here in Northern California and how appreciative they were of us to come out on a Monday night to see them. Liz said they were surprised to see the room almost full, but I in all honesty was expecting it to be busier (especially considering their sold out shows in Europe). At least that meant that I had more room to dance and sway to their hauntingly beautiful melodies and cinematic arrangements.

They kicked off their set with Home, and as an avid “jet-setter,” one really HITS home, especially with the lyrics, “I don’t think we’ll ever know till we get home.”

Then came the gorgeous 7 Hours track, followed by the catchy dark ditty titled Sinks.

Following this was my new FAVORITE off their album, Bow & Arrow, which I’ve had on constant REPEAT over the past few days. This seductive standout (yes, that heavy baseline oozes all sorts of sexiness) was followed by Hide, one of my top tracks from Little May. I especially love how the prominent percussion adds ferocity and fury to those already powerful (RAWR) lyrics:

“I feel so haunted in your bed.
Is it me or is it her that’s in your head?
And you found it,
And you drowned it,
And you washed it clean.
Feed me words while you had her between your sheets,
Bet she likes that.”   (can’t help but throw my fist in the air and shake my hips!)

Little May introduced this one — Boardwalks — as the song that STARTED IT ALL for them — their very FIRST song and one that reminds them of what it’s like to be back home in Australia. I found out later from Liz that this is the song they are probably least proud of even though it’s is one of the most highly requested from fans. I love the buildup and anticipation around the last verse and the intensity that follows the last line.
 
“Cause we are not afraid of who we are but of what we have become
And we are not afraid of what’s to be when this road has just begun
So we will turn our backs and close the doors for the last time…
Give me back what’s mine.” (YES.)

From the very moment I heard this song (The Shine is Brighter at Night), I thought it reminded me of a song from the National’s recent album (almost like a slow version of Graceless). When I mentioned that to Liz after the show, she agreed and said that it makes perfect sense because the album was produced by Aaron Dessner of The National.

This was one of the songs I fell “knee deep in the dust” for when first hearing Little May’s EP last November. Upon seeing this live for the first time last night, I realized that it’s Liz’s vocals set the hauntingly beautiful intro. But the beauty of Little May is that they are three stunning Sydney sirens and their harmonies at about 1:40 min in when the drums let loose is really something special. I especially love the vocal arrangements with this climatic chorus:

“When we were young
You watched me come undone
I watched you shake
I watched you break
I watched this place take away all we had
And I’m sinking into something that I wish I hadn’t found…”

I only predict BIG things for LITTLE May, and I look forward to seeing them again when they come back this summer for festival season in the states. We’d love to have them here with us in SF’s glorious Golden Gate park for Outside Lands Music festival 2016. Buuuuuut, my ONE REQUEST is that they PLAY MY FAVORITE SONG — Bones! 😛
To all of my Australian pals, keep a heads up for when they stop through town this Nov/Dec on tour with the amazing City & Colour.

p.s. Check out their recent cover of “Skeletons” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (requested by TripleJ,the famous Aussie radio station)

Record label: Capitol Records (US), Island Records (UK), Dew Process/Universal (Australia)

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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Ben Howard: “So happy hearted in the warmth…Free as a bird that flies.”

Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard, one of my FAVORITE singer/songwriters of all time who I discovered waaaaay before (from my buddy in the UK) he was known in the states (now a global icon). So glad I got to see him twice (Sasquatch music festival and The Independent) before he blew up in the states. His story is very much a Cinderella one, and it’s cool to think the he was a hard-core surfer (Cornwall’s coast) that never thought his campfire guitar sessions with friends at the beach could ever lead to global RockSTARDOM. We have London’s independent record label, Communion, for scooping him up early and helping him develop international success. He’s now already headlined many major festivals (Bestival, Latitude, Green Man, GLASTONBURY…) and has won many critically acclaimed awards all over the world. His fan base has grown IMMENSELY since seeing him back in the states (May 2012), and so seeing him a year later at Summer Stampede (London) and Green Man (Brecon Beacon, Wales) was a much different experience. In fact, I met two girls up at Sumer Stampede who came all the way from SWEDEN to see Ben (since their Peace and Love festival was cancelled). People from ALL OVER THE WORLD to become “so happy hearted in the warmth….free as a bird that flies.”

VIDEOS:

Only Love:

Promise:

Black Flies:

Old Pine:

PICTURES:

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Ben Howard– The Independent (May 31, 2013)

Ben Howard had been on my radar for over a year and so to see him TWICE IN ONE WEEK at Sasquatch and The Independent was absolutely SURREAL. He is seriously one of the most TALENTED and unbelievably HUMBLE musicians I’ve seen. Last night was even further confirmation that I am in love with his music, and everything he represents. And better yet that I got to share it with Jen!  🙂

He opened the show with Depth Over Distance, an unreleased song that showcases his lap top percussion-style guitar skills. (SO GOOD, and wish I got a video!)….Another unreleased song that I love of his is called Soldier. MAGICAL, just magical…

VIDEOS:

Old Pine:

Only Love:

“Untitled”:

The Wolves:

Everything:

Black Flies:

Keep Your Head Up (Part 1):

Keep Your Head Up (Part 2):

Promise:

The Fear:

PICTURES:

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Geographer- “Said this life was made for the LIVING…if this is life AT ALL.”

Geographer– The Independent (March 3, 2012)

Geographer is an American indie rock/pop/electronic band based in San Francisco (BEST CITY in the states) that consists of Mike Deni (vocals, guitars, synthesizers), Nate Blaz (cello, synthesizers) and Brian Ostreicher (drums, vocals). Band members have described their sound as being “soulful music from outer space.’ This space sound is conceived from a mix of analog, electronic and acoustic elements to craft dense layers and unique sound textures. (The whole time I thought it was “MAGIC,” haha)

Initially from New Jersey, Mike moved to San Francisco to escape family strife and learned that he could quiet those demons/suffering/pain by making noise with a synthesizer he found on the street (only in SF). He began to channel his experiences into the songs that would become their first EP, Innocent Ghosts, and mixed/recorded these tracks with Nate and Brian (who originally met while attending the Berklee College of Music, in Boston before moving to San Francisco).

Having listened to Geographer’s EP (Animal Shapes) and first CD (Innocent Ghosts) NON-STOP ever since I found out about them in November (from Tanyawan Norachit at the WU LYF show), I was so AMPED that they had just come out with a second album, Myth, and that they would soon be touring. And, there was NO BETTER PLACE to FIRST SEE Geographer than in their current home base (San Francisco), and at The Independent, my favorite venue in the city. With only ~350 capacity, this venue is till quite tiny, and you best believe I was going to take the opportunity to be right up against the stage (FRONT & CENTER) for their performance. I was so absolutely BLOWN AWAY by the whole experience, and I loved watching how all the different layers of sounds were whisked into melodies that perfectly complimented Mike’s lovely vocals. Geographer = Bubbly synths, pulsating cello, and hauntingly whimsical falsetto. I am STILL disoriented from the magic. They are by far one of my favorite bands, and the fact that they lie in SF makes me hope to run into them at some point when I move back from Europe.

Waiting for Geographer to come on, I met two awesome chicks (Cori Freeland and Lissette Herzel) that were also up front with me.  They both had mentioned that their work (SAY media) had a private party with Geographer and Bombay Bicycle Club a week earlier. WHAT?! I need to CRASH those kinds of parties!! Although, I probably would have a better chance of running into them on the streets of SF…since they live there and are posting photographs on facebook of them in the city. In fact, I was told that Mike, Nate, and Brian they often frequent the SF t-shirt store, San Franpsycho, and are good buddies with the owners. Aside from Cori and Lissette, I also met Kevin Michael Ramos at this gig and later ran into him AGAIN when I saw Geographer at Outside Lands music fest in August 2012 (see pics below). Small world! I love the scene of Mike crowd surfing in the sea of his SF locals and the sign, “This is a Good Sign” right behind him. Paige Parsons, and epic music photographer who I met at The Twilight Sad gig a month earlier, has a really awesome picture of this scene as well. x

I was SO STOKED when Geographer came out and OPENED WITH Life of a Crime, which was not only one of my favorites, but my THEME SONG for the months of February/March. Could have not been more EPIC! The lyrics were on constant replay in my mind:

“But there is nothing here to hold on to, except the possibilities
When I was young, I had a vision…
Said this life was made for the LIVING…if this is life AT ALL.”      (in sync with my current mindset)

They alternated back and forth with old songs and new songs, playing VeronaKaleidoscopeKites, The Myth of Youth…and then Cori and I started jumping up and down when we first heard the intro of Original Sin!!! We were talking about how that was one of our favorites…and she mentioned how disappointed she was when they didn’t play it at her work party. Both of us were in a crazy lil’ trance for that song- hands planted on stage, heads bobbing up-and-down/side-to-side like bobble heads. ROCK ON.

Love the intro line of Kaleidoscope:

“Now it’s gone. Turn the page…In a year we won’t remember what we meant to say.
So fill mine…Tell me why. We’re looking through kaleidoscopes at each other trying to see inside.”

I was a little upset that they didn’t play Night WindsAtmosphereRushing In, Rushing OutUnderneath My HeartCaught a Fire, and In the Morning (I really LOVE that album!). However, they did play one song: Can’t you wait, which was a nice unexpected treat. Mike asked the crowd about the Innocent Ghosts album and was surprised that anyone even knew about it. I do! It’s one of my favorite albums of my time in California (2007-2012), and it’s drawing me back! (Def left my heart there…)

Listening to these lyrics from Underneath my Heart were what got me through my bold experiment of moving to London in Nov 2012:  “Go, you’re on your way, The hardest part, is counting days..”

I’m so glad I got the EPIC ENCORE of ‘Paris‘ on video. Check it out!  :)

 

VIDEOS:

Paris:

Kaleidoscope:

PICTURES:

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Geographer– Outside Lands, San Francisco (August 12-14, 2012)

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