Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
With tight black pants to match his two long black braids, Aaron Behrens aggressively grabs the microphone on stage and yells out “Vibrate!”
The crowd obeys, entranced by his strong presence as he casually picks up his electric guitar to immerse himself in another song.
As lasers dominate the stage his musical partner, Thomas Turner, sings background vocals, plays the drums, and controls a synthesizer.
Ghostland Observatory combines techno beats with a harsh rock n’ roll dynamic that is hard to match. The two Texas natives are reminiscent of Daft Punk, The Clash, and a little bit of Prince. In my opinion, anyone can go to their show and leave a born-again Ghostland fan. I was absolutely mesmerized in the front row. The way Behrens takes the stage like a rockstar while Turner handles the beats makes it impossible not to dance all over the place at an alarming rate.
The combination of electronics inspires a liberating feeling that converges all the fondness of childhood with the perks of being an adult. With his confident attitude and vivacious dancing, Behrens reminds you that self-expression is the essence of living. There's the temptation to close your eyes to feel free with the music, but then you could miss the epic light show or a piece of the constant entertainment on stage. In my eyes, it's a win/win situation.
Check out this video of Aaron singing "Vibrate" while dancing his body off:
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
I recently had the chance to see Owen Ashworth of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone perform an intimate show. Watching the California-born keyboardist mix sounds on stage was absolutely a unique experience. His earnest singing combined with the complexity of his music was impossible to escape, as I watched him stand completely isolated on stage.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Justin Vernon of Bon Iver has decided to collaborate with his favorite Wisconsinites, Collections of Colonies of Bees, to form Volcano Choir. The new experimental LP, Unmap, is expected to arrive September 22. You can hear their one track they've released, "Island, IS" on the Jagjaguwar website:
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Although there are a handful of solid tracks throughout the film, Schwartzman's band Coconut Records contributes two tracks that were particularly striking to me. If you've ever known the feeling of walking away from a movie saying, "I have to get that soundtrack," Funny People will most likely be added to your archives. "Wires" and "I am Young" are worth looking up.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Due out Oct. 20, Stevens will release the production that took a couple of years to put together, rightfully so. Stevens' relentless pursuit for profound art and music is sure to be revealed in this highly anticipated package.
Check out a preview of the package on Asthmatic Kitty Records' website:
Monday, July 20, 2009
This past weekend the Pitchfork Music Festival graced Chicago and it did not disappoint.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
See the video here:
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
A week ago the 10 top-selling records understandably belonged to Michael Jackson. Who was number 11? Wilco, of course.
For the past 15 years, Jeff Tweedy has been notorious for his demanding visionary persona, expecting nothing less than perfection from every Wilco album. Throughout their seventh studio album, entitled Wilco (the album), it is clear that all six members were aware of Tweedy’s expectations.
The album was not laid down in the band's Chicago loft, but rather in New Zealand while they were traveling. It was the second consecutive album with all of the same members remaining in the group.
If you listen carefully enough, it is obvious that each track has been crafted meticulously, both lyrically and instrumentally, to convey a sound that that seems calculated, mathematical even. Tweedy flawlessly croons brilliant lyrics while the other members accompany him with their instrumental specialties--John Stirratt on the bass, Nels Cline handling the electric and lap steel guitar, Glenn Kotche working the drums and percussion, Pat Sansone on the electric and harpsichord, and Mikael Jorgenson handling the piano and organ. They synchronize to form a sound that is familiar to faithful Wilco fans, yet refreshingly reviving at the same time. It seems like Tweedy and co. created a culmination of the epic works 2002’s “Yankee Foxtrot Hotel” and of 2004’s “Ghost Is Born.”
Although it may seem unusual that a self-titled album would appear 15 years after the group’s formation, it is timely for Wilco (the band). By the time the eleventh track ends, it is overwhelmingly clear that they have cohesively established a mature sound, of both consistency and surprise.
Perhaps it is self-titled because the high contrast of light and dark throughout the album encapsulates Wilco as a band. Tweedy and his guys can get lost in a series of perpetual jamming and the next moment they are fading into a soft lullaby. That is the beauty of this album.
For instance, the track “Bull Black Nova,” a ballad filled with paranoia and dissonant organ and piano sounds, segues into “You and I,” a soft, romantic collaboration with Leslie Feist. The two tracks are juxtaposed as extremes, taking the listener on an emotionally charged ride, naturally Tweedy’s specialty.
The album kicks off with a sing-along track entitled “Wilco (the song),” which is said to be a love song written to Wilco’s fans. It is a sing-along that you will be happy to have in your head: "Are you under the impression/ This isn't your life?/Do you dabble in depression?/ Is someone sticking a knife in your back?/ Oh this is a fact/ That you need to know/ Oh, oh, oh, oh Wilco/ Wilco will love you baby."
My favorite track on the album slowly became "Solitaire." It's obvious that Jeff embarks on some serious self-reflection: "Once I thought the world was crazy/ Everyone was sad and chasing/ happiness and love/ and I was the only one above it." Another bonus to the track is Nels on the lap steel guitar. The way he collaborates with Jeff on the acoustic and even Pat on the vibraphone transcends the listener. Jeff adds in almost a whisper, "Took too long to see/ I was wrong to believe in me only." After a series of songs regarding his depression and dark drug addiction, it's comforting to hear something uplifting from a man who has boldly paved the incendiary path of Wilco.
There is a unique medley of tracks throughout the album that gives the listener a variety of moods to choose from. Anyone can extract a hook or lyric from a track that evokes a range of thought or emotion. It’s unconditionally guaranteed; as Tweedy says, “Wilco will love you baby.”
For more on wilco visit their site: http://www.wilcoworld.net/