Tag Archives: Gabriel Mathews

LIVE: Sharon Van Etten, The Neptune, Seattle, WA

By Gabriel Mathews

Walking into The Neptune, I decided it was Seattle’s answer to LA’s Fonda. Bizarre murals and really good sound, and expensive beer. Between sets, the entire place was bathed in green light.

I’ve been really into Jana Hunter’s band, Lower Dens, for a while now. For this tour, she was billed as “Jana Hunter (of Lower Dens),” implying that she wouldn’t be doing a the standard solo set one might expect from someone who once was a solo artist. And she didn’t, instead playing a bunch of new tracks from Lower Dens’ forthcoming third records. I can’t say I was thrilled by the material—it’s going in a significantly synthier direction than even 2012’s Nootropics, and many of the songs were reverbed to hell so I couldn’t even make out the notes. What’s more, she performed these tracks sitting down, with the backing tracks pumping out of a computer, making quite the testament to the power of a live band. Hunter closed her set with a cover of Hall & Oates’ “She’s A Maneater,” which was creepily groovy, but overall this set was pretty dull.

Not as dull, however, as Courtney Barnett’s set. I don’t know, maybe I’m just really not Barnett’s intended audience, but I could not for the life of me get into this music. I’ve only ever heard her excellent hit single “Avant Gardener,” which was the only song of the set I actually enjoyed. Other than that, Barnett and her band ran through about forty minutes of songs that all sounded exactly the same with their garagey shuffle. At least the girl three rows in front of me dancing like she was on acid seemed to be enjoying herself.

Sharon Van Etten and her five-piece band took the stage clad all in black, and I was super excited. Van Etten’s Tramp is by now a certifiable broken-hearted classic, and her preceding record, Epic, is also mind-blowing. Her brand new record, Are We There, is also good, but just doesn’t have the songs— you know, the “Love Mores” and “Give Outs” and “Asks” and “One Days” and “I’m Wrongs.” It’s a perfectly good record, but nothing on it sticks for me the way most of Tramp does.

In recent interviews, Van Etten has expressed an interest in distancing herself from that record, which she feels was a team effort that got attention for its many collaborators (Aaron Dessner, Matt Barrick, Julianna Barwick, Jenn Wasner) more than for her songs. I think she’s dead wrong, but apparently the self-produced Are We There is something of an attempt to reclaim her own music. So the night’s big question was really about the ratio of new songs to old ones. Sadly for me (and I think a lot of people) the scales were tipped severely in the “new” direction.

While Are We There highlights like “Break Me,” “Every Time The Sun Comes Up,” and “You Know Me Well” were all really quite good, the only Tramp cut we got was a rushed “Serpents,” and the only Epic cut was “Don’t Do It.” (This was actually, I think, the highlight of the set for me; I’d never paid a lot of attention to this song on record, but the live rendition was easily the most rocking and interestingly arranged track of the bunch, with post-rock guitars layered over a looped vocal from the keyboardist.) I was severely disappointed. Tramp put Van Etten on the map, it’s filled with incredible songs, and we really wanted to hear them.

That said, I can understand not wanting to play those songs. Artists get asked all the time what it’s like to play songs about their personal tragedies night after night, and the question applies better to Sharon Van Etten than to most, as she bleeds herself dry in every song. Maybe she just can’t bring herself to play “Give Out” anymore. Maybe “Love More” hurts too much. I wouldn’t be surprised. This set really raised the question, though, of the degree to which musicians are beholden to their audiences. Is there an obligation to play your hits? How do you balance that with the desire to stick to your artistic guns, or just to move on?

Also, I have to acknowledge Van Etten’s fantastic stage presence. Like her buddies in The National, she balances the sadness of her music with a wacky, dry sense of humor that you really wouldn’t expect. She spent the entire night joking with the audience, calling out her band mates, and using the breaks between songs to excellent effect. When one guy called out “You’re weird!” Van Etten responded, “I am weird,” then proceeded to pantomime picking her nose and wiping it on her butt. During the utterly heartrending “Your Love Is Killing Me,” she pantomimed the chorus—“Break my legs so I can’t run 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.” It didn’t undercut the song nearly as much as it enhanced it.

On top of being a real funny lady, Van Etten has incredible pipes. Even though I don’t love the songs she played as much as the ones she didn’t, I found myself getting the shivers several times just due to the sheer beauty of her voice. And for that I’m grateful.

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Episode 86: The Scene

Thanks to Gabriel Mathews for joining us! You can listen to the episode above, and download it right here.

Topic:

  • What does a music “scene” look like?
  • How does Portland’s scene compared to that of LA?
  • How do scenes get started?
  • Can one be started, or does it have to grow organically?
  • What makes Portland’s scene different from those elsewhere in the country?
  • What about scenes throughout history? Or based around a specific venue, or a record label?

Songs:

  • ibid. – “Hum”
  • Les Savy Fav – “Sleepless in Silverlake”
  • Death From Above 1979 – “Turn It Out”
  • Death Grips – “Up My Sleeves”

Continue reading

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LIVE: Mount Eerie, Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR

By Gabriel Mathews

Phil Elverum spent the back end of the 90’s making hushed, secretive records as The Microphones, a project defined more by it’s sonic particulars than anything else. The act’s name was as much a clue as the actual music that Elverum valued the process of producing music in a studio almost more than that of, say, writing the songs themselves. Or, more relevantly, of playing live. Microphones shows were legendarily unpredictable— would Elverum be alone, or have some of his K Records compatriots in tow? Would anything be amplified? Would he be playing in costume, or underneath a blanket? Elverum’s live act was always even less stable than his spritely recorded one, where close-­mic’d finger­picking would give way to drum blasts and organ drones with no warning.

In 2003, The Microphones put out its last record, Mount Eerie, a five-­part saga in which Elverum’s character essentially leaves the his body and the universe by climbing the titular mountain. What this means about his continuation in music under the moniker Mount Eerie is unclear, but aside from a new interest in black metal, it seems Elverum is just continuing on the same path of impeccable sonics he started down as The Microphones.

Poet Tom Blood opened the show at Mississippi Studios, and while I was largely unimpressed at first with his florid poetry and accompanying hand gestures, a mid-­set recorder interlude promised exciting new things. After the recorders, Blood whipped out a projector to show us some of his “Extremely Experimental Poetry,” which included cloud- lists such as “Things Birds Should Have Figured Out By Now” (“window vs. sky”) and “What Jesus Did” (“walked,” “ate,” “prayed,” “carpentry”) and a list of all the haircuts he’s even had. These had the entire crowd laughing, including Elverum himself. Blood should really consider a career in comedy—even his weird interjections in the middle of the emotional poems were significantly better than the poems themselves.

Mount Eerie’s setup consisted of a nylon-­string guitar, a synth with some pedals, a mixer on a mail-­crate, and two huge gongs. Elverum played all of these himself, in an earth-toned t-­shirt and flip flops. The acoustic songs were generally pretty and reminiscent of the Zen koans he mentioned reading in the one called “Youth.” Elverum seems out of step with the rest of the world, and if I had to pick out a distinction between Mount Eerie and The Microphones based on this set, it would be that his lyrical concerns have shifted from the interpersonal relations detailed in Microphones classics like “I Felt Your Shape” to the more metaphysical concerns about existence and emptiness on display here.

The most interesting thing Elverum did that evening was to play the gongs in a way I’d never imagined gongs being played. He would trigger a note on his synthesizer, which got pumped out through a speaker sitting directly behind the gongs. They’d start vibrating, and the contact mikes he’d placed on them would turn these low vibrations into drones Elverum manipulated and played over. The drones were powerfully physical, in complete contrast with his airy, almost childlike vocal delivery. It was beautiful.

In the end, though, I have to say I was disappointed with the show. I knew I couldn’t expect any of my favorite Microphones songs, but it still would have been really nice. What’s more, I think that Elverum’s studio expertise is completely impossible to replicate in a live setting—his awesome faux-­strumming trick created by quickly panning from ear to ear, his massively distorted percussion, his use of field recordings—none of these are really possible live, and so a solo set of straight­forward songs that often felt like they were being played for the first time just couldn’t live up to, say, The Glow Pt. 2. Which obviously isn’t a fair metric, but… At least the girl orgasmically saying “Yes!” after every song was happy.

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LIVE: 13 Torches For A Burn, Los Globos, Los Angeles, CA

By Gabriel Mathews

What better way to wrap up my stint as an Angeleno than a two-­day Danish punk festival in an old church in the neighborhood I have the most ties to? This event, a grammatically dubbed 13 Torches for a Burn, was to be a once-­in-­a-­lifetime type of thing, an “Only in LA” type of thing, something I’d inevitably regret missing. And for only twenty bucks, there was no way I was turning it down. Danish label Posh Isolation had come together with The Church on York, as well as sponsors at Part Time Punks and E. 7th Street Punx to put on the show every Iceage fan has ever dreamed of—let’s get this whole crazy inbred Copenhagen scene to perform together, in one place, at one time, for a reasonable price. Let’s give the Americans what they want, so long as they’re in that desolate capital of cross­bred culture that is Los Angeles. It was such an excellent idea that my best friend and this show’s CGC flew out from New York basically just for it.

And then, as it had to, LA happened. We were all set to go into Day 1 at the Church, grabbing beers at a nearby bar when an acquaintance also attending drove past the window, saw us, and shouted, “CANCELED! SEE YOU TOMORROW AT LOS GLOBOS!” Upon investigation, we learned that, as we should have expected, the Church’s pretty­-much-­illegal doings had caught up to them (this kind of venue can’t exist in this kind of city) and the fire marshall had decided 13 Torches was a good time to crack down. The well-connected folks at the Church, though, had hit up their friends over at Los Globos and secured the club’s two upstairs rooms for an all­nighter the following evening. So what we had on our hands was the same show, all in one go, in a red-vinyl-and­-mirrors vampire den as opposed to the gloriously reverby rafters of an old Mexican worship­ house.

In an odd way, Los Globos seemed equally-­if­-differently appropriate to host this lineup. Iceage, Lower, Sexdrome, Lust For Youth, Puce Mary and the rest of the Posh Isolation crew only make sense in a few places, and the terrifyingly dark, low-­ceilinged Los Globos is one of them. When CGC and I showed up promptly at 5:00, we were blinded by the black, stultifying atmosphere of the place. That Sejr then immediately took the stage felt inevitable. With Iceage bassist Jakob Tvilling Pless on guitar, Iceage drummer Dan Kjær Nielsen, Communions’ guitarist on bass, and a dude from Redflesh screaming, Sejr set the bar high for cross­band pollination. Their black metal stylings were especially notable for not actually deviating much from the Iceage template aside from the extreme voice shredding of Redflesh guy and the unceasingly breakneck pace. Their quick set was an excellently evil way to start the evening.

Opening the smaller room was Deeplands, the first in a string of electronic acts that just failed to hold my attention the way the guitar bands in the other room were doing. Over the course of the night, we dropped into the small room for a few seconds of Age Coin and Croatian Amor, but nothing was interesting enough to make the heat bearable.

(Oh, that’s right, LA is really hot this time of year. Especially in crowded rooms full of sweaty punks who, as we soon discovered, were not allowed to leave the space for eight hours. I can’t say I’ve experienced a very different culture in Portland or anywhere else, but strict no-­ins-­and-­outs policies are a really Medieval form of torture. What is the venue gaining by holding their audiences captive? I suppose I felt an interesting sense of community build with this crowd of misfits in black, a feeling that can only come from being stuck in a room with the same group of people over the course of several hours, one reminiscent of high school grad night or a very long flight. And while we thought we were going to starve, it turns out Los Globos makes a serviceable-­if-­overpriced chicken sandwich. But, seriously, guys, this shit is not cool.)

Marching Church ended up being one of my favorite things to happen over the course of the night. True to the incestual nature of the scene, Marching Church featured members of Lower, Hand of Dust, Puce Mary, and, most importantly, Iceage frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt. Upon climbing onstage Rønnenfelt donned a silk dressing gown and proceeded to channel some rock­-god hybrid of Iggy Pop and Nick Cave for one of the least Iceage-­like performances I’ve ever seen. In his main band, Rønnenfelt tends to stalk the stage menacingly, one hand clenched behind his back. Marching Church apparently gives him an outlet for his more romantic tendencies, as he sang weepy love songs reminiscent of twisted 80s power ballads, made tear­-streak gestures down his face, and stretched his voice painfully into some high notes you’d never hear on an Iceage song. The result was transfixing, as Rønnenfelt sang about secret loves at the dark end of the street with a whole different kind of conviction than I’m used to seeing from him. He should wear that robe more often.

Marching Church’s frontman took the mic for Hand Of Dust, who injected some much­ appreciated melodicism into the proceedings. They basically played some straight­ forward hard rock, but the chugging guitar followed a musical thread most of these bands opted not to pick up on. I would say keep an eye on this one, but Posh Isolation bands have such a habit of breaking up (Notably, Iceage/Sexdrome/Lust For Youth project Vår are no more after one critically­-lauded album) that I don’t know if it’s worth it.

Speaking of bands playing breaking up and playing their last shows ever, Sexdrome came across as the evening’s last­-gasp saviors. The super tall guy in the turtleneck and chains who’d been making bouncy electro earlier as Croatian Amor and whose name is Loke Rahbek and who actually runs Posh Isolation and who would take the stage a third time later as Lust For Youth stepped up, took off all his shirts, and adopted a permanent scowl so exaggerated as to be humorous. He then proceeded to lead his band through an incredibly badass set of straight-­up hardcore with a black metal edge so sharp it could saw bones. Sexdrome have a reputation for being a more violent Iceage, who have a reputation for leaving people bloody at most of their shows. While I didn’t see any blood, it wasn’t for lack of effort on Rahbek’s part. He hurled himself into the crowd, wrapped himself in the mic cord, grabbed at anyone near him, got my CGC in a headlock. This was incendiary stuff that seemed to make the lights black out all on its own (For future reference, moshing in the dark is a scary but amazing thing to do). It’s a shame Sexdrome will no longer be around, and I’m thrilled to have seen the end of it.

One of two small­ room acts I feel compelled to write about is Puce Mary, aka Frederikke Hoffmeier, a gorgeous Nordic woman who makes some of the most excruciating music I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. While I could only stand to be in the room for a total of about three minutes (the heat played a big part here), I was thoroughly impressed by the noises Hoffmeier was creating, which were sort of reminiscent of the three minutes I’ve ever been able to listen to of Pharmakon, but louder. She also wins best band name of the night by a landslide.

Back in the big room, the energy felt depleted. We’d already been locked in Los Globos for about six hours and it seemed unlikely that anyone would recover the fury they’d spent on Sexdrome. Luckily for us all, a little band called Communions were setting up. To see them, in their oh­-so­-Danish haircuts and 80s schoolboy outfits, these four really really young men looked like mini-­Iceage, and having never heard them before, CGC and I expected that’s what they’d be musically as well. Instead we got a vital injection of some of the most impressive guitar pop I’ve heard in a long time. These guys had to be like sixteen years old (with the exception of their sort of scary drummer, who was maybe nineteen) but they’ve clearly spent most of those years ingesting every single bit of excellent songwriting there is to be had in this world and practicing their guitars all the while. Seriously, think of any little songwriting trick in the book—the well­-timed drum fill, the perfect key change, the two­bar breakdown—Communions pulled it off perfectly. Their two guitarists are wizards, sometimes reminding me of a much less boring Martin Courtney/Matt Mondanile hydra. The singer, who looked even younger than the rest of them, had a beautiful Danish choirboy thing going on, hitting high notes but somehow still bellowing all the while. I should also note that it was during Communions’ set that I finally realized all these bands had brought one drum kit and maybe two basses and two guitars to share between them. I though that was awesome—if one thing was clear about the Copenhagen crew, it’s that they really all care about each other, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Waiting for the next act to go on, the drunk girl who’d been lying on the floor giggling came over and plopped herself down next to me. “Whenza next bandgo on?” “Um, soon, I think.” “Who is it?” “Lower.” “What kinda musicdthey make?” “… punk, I guess?” “Are we gonna dance?!” “I don’t know, I guess we’ll see.” She then flew off as fast as she’s arrived, only to return a minute later. “My friend says theydonwanus to dance. Are we gonna dance anyway?”

It turned out to be a relevant question. Lower were the big surprise of the night, for me, but not necessarily in a good way. After the skull­crushing force of their debut EP Walk On Heads, I was expecting another slaughterhouse. But the moshing for the set was limited to a handful of diehards who tried very earnestly to make music this slow work for slamming. The first sign of trouble was when pudgy frontman Adrian Toubro took the stage in an unbuttoned shirt and a bucket hat (“He’s easily the least glamorous person here,” said CGC). Lower then hit us with all new material, excluding their one semi­hit “Craver,” and it was kind of weird. While I basically enjoyed the music, which sounds like Walk On Heads filtered through both Unknown Pleasures and Power, Corruption, and Lies, it was Toubro’s stage presence that really threw me off. The bucket hat was only phase one of his borrowing from another Manchester icon, Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder, as he spent the whole set strutting stupidly around stage and making silly hand gestures. It almost felt like a bad hip hop performance thrown into the middle of a very white, very Danish punk fest. It also didn’t help that Toubro accompanied his literal finger­ wagging with a lot of lyrical remonstration as well. The snatches I could pick out generally seemed to be berating the fashion­-oriented and image-0-centric among us in really obvious, inelegant ways. Lower’s debut full-­length Seek Warmer Climes comes out next month and I don’t know if I’m excited anymore.

The other small­room band I feel compelled to mention is Girlseeker, which featured members of Sexdrome and Lower playing goofy synth/guitar jams with titles like “Lonesome and Handsome.” Maybe it was the heat, and maybe it was eight hours of very posh isolation, but I found myself bombarded by some of the most hysterically difficult music I’ve ever heard. Most of the set seemed to be everyone soloing at once over a synthetic beat, but this effect might have been created simply because the guitar and the keyboards were all made to sound almost identical. In my delirium, I couldn’t stop laughing.

Iceage, of course, are no laughing matter. The last time I saw them, at Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide®, their set was cut woefully short by some sort of problem with guitarist Johan Surballe Wieth’s pedalboard. This set was to be that one’s redemption, in my eyes. Plus, they were really the reason everyone was here, if we’re being honest. Iceage are about ten times bigger than any of the other bands in the lineup, and they know it. They were also capping off one of the most intense concert experiences I imagine most of this audience had ever been to, with only Lust For Youth playing after them, and you’d imagine this would hold them to some level of rigor and crowd­-pleasing.

But, no, Iceage are beholden to no one. Taking the stage, they launched into one new song after another. This isn’t a bad thing—the new songs show an evolving band, playing around with slower tempos, longer songs, and a fun Spaghetti Western/cow­punk feel. You’re Nothing was a bit step up from New Brigade, and these songs indicate that whatever comes next will continue the same trajectory. Plus, these songs were not unfriendly to moshing, and everyone went about as hard as they’d gone for Sexdrome, with Elias Bender Rønnenfelt carrying over some of the rock­god energy from his Marching Church set into a less-evil-but-no-less-violent-than-usual Iceage performance. The problem, though, with these songs is that there were only four of them. Towards the end of the final song, the guitar seemed to stop. The rest of the band finished the song, and everyone promptly left the stage. At Culture Collide when the guitar crapped out, there was at least some attempt to fix it, a few false re­starts, and a half­-apology from Rønnenfelt. No such luck this time, which is okay, I guess, but this time they were headlining the fest that was supposed to be representing the scene of which they are kings. You’d hope they’d sort of acknowledge that kind of thing and think of themselves as ambassadors.

That said, the four songs we got were incredible, and after the set I found myself tearing my sweat­-drenched shirt to pieces, downing an abandoned piña colada, and storming out of the venue, so it must have been a good time.

Though it wasn’t perfect, things like 13 Torches for a Burn are a huge check in the cons column of leaving LA. There’s something about this city, like most big cities, that makes entirely unique events possible. While my “only in LA” remark above was somewhat tongue-­in-­cheek, It’s also true that this would never have happened in Portland, where I’m from, or in Seattle, where I’m headed. LA is what allowed me to see Bon Iver in a cemetery at sunrise after being blessed by Buddhist monks and staying up all night watching Bottle Rocket and Planet Earth. LA allowed me to see Dirty Projectors perform the unperformable Getty Address, with a 10-­piece ensemble, with the LA Philharmonic opening, at the Disney Concert Hall. Something about this town attracts a degree of specialness, it ups the ante. Even a deeply flawed event like Culture Collide had positives that I can’t imagine happening elsewhere—other cities don’t have the clout or the outsized ambition to bring over a hundred bands from around the world to once stretch of road. I’m thrilled that 13 Torches, my final LA show, was such an LA show.

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LIVE: Hamilton Leithauser, Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA

By Gabriel Mathews

So here we are, The Walkmen, one of biggest deals of the past fifteen years of indie rock, seem to basically have called it quits with an “extreme hiatus.” Three of the band’s members are putting out solo material sometime soon, but there’s only one anyone is likely to care much about— that would be frontman Hamilton Leithauser. Leithauser’s nasal yawping was probably The Walkmen’s most defining characteristic. His furious shouting on early records (see: “The Rat”) gave way to a much more gentle, melodic croon over the course of the band’s six records, culminating in Heaven, the band’s ostensible final album, which was downright lush in a way no one would have expected back when Bows + Arrows came out (see: “We Can’t Be Beat”). Now Leithauser is on the verge of releasing his first solo album, Black Hours, next month, and he brought his band to town to air out some of these songs. Leithauser’s popping neck veins as he strains his voice have always been the most talked ­about element of Walkmen shows, so this was reason enough to try and catch him “solo.”

I was really glad to find that the show had been moved from the El Rey, probably my least favorite venue in Los Angeles, to the Hotel Cafe after the album’s release date got pushed back by a month. Hotel Cafe is an intimate venue trying for an East­-Village-­in­the­-Sixties feel, and mostly succeeding (if Inside Llewyn Davis is anything to judge by). The first ten feet out from the tiny stage are occupied by tables, the lighting set to “lounge.”

The less said about opener Alternate Routes, the better. Two dudes with two acoustic guitars and one porkpie hat, singing lines like “She was my stereo/I got lost in the audio” and “She didn’t get her momma’s hips/So she took her momma’s lipstick,” their spokesman/frontman spending more time talking about how he “tries to turn long run­-on sentences into poetry” and “hopes he pulled it off this time” than actually playing his unbelievably mediocre adult-­contemporary ballads. The most direct thing I can say about this band is that they apparently spent the last three weeks touring as part of Ingrid Michaelson’s band (no announcement has ever made more sense). Or, as my Concert­ Going Companion put it, “This is the music that rolls over the credits of bad romantic comedies.”

When Hamilton Leithauser and friends took the stage, I was worried they wouldn’t quite fit. Along with his core band, he brought with him a full five-­piece string section. The violist did actually sort of have to hang out in the wings, and bassist Kevin Baker spent much of the set sitting atop his amp. The rest of the band was culled from the impressive supporting cast Leithauser had when making the record—including Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, The Shins’ Richard Swift, and former-­Blood-­Brother/erstwhile­-Fleet-­Fox (WTF, right?) Morgan Henderson. Present last night were The Walkmen’s own Paul Maroon on guitar and piano, former French Kick Nick Stumpf on drums, and Stumpf’s sister Anna on backing vocals and piano.

(A word or two­ hundred about French Kicks—throughout high school, I was ridiculed for constantly asserting that French Kicks were a better band than The Walkmen. The two were compared constantly, not only because they were friends from school, but because they sounded quite similar. The Kicks got accused at every turn of “ripping off” their younger brothers, despite the fact that the two bands only sounded alike in the sense that two bands who come up together in the same scene probably will. I preferred the Kicks because the velvety croons of Stumpf and Josh Wise seemed like better singing than Leithauser’s adenoidal squawking. In retrospect, the two bands are hardly comparable, nor are their singing styles, but I still like the Kicks’ apparent swan song Swimming far better than any single Walkmen album. In any case, it was lovely to hear the equally­ super­tall Stumpf and Leithauser sing together last night, their voices work incredibly well together, and it was probably the closest I’ll ever get to a French Kicks show.)

Leithauser spent the evening in seemingly good spirits, joking often about his mopey recording personality, (“This one is called ‘Self Pity.’ This is the one where we all just wallow in it.” “Anna’s gonna help me sing this one about our marriage [fictional], it’s called ‘I Will Never Love Again.”) When not playing guitar, he maintained his signature onstage pose, towering above everyone with one hand in his pocket, the other on the mic, head angled upwards. I finally understood why Leithauser’s neck veins bulge so much when he sings—the guy has a baritone speaking voice, and should probably spend more time in that range if he wants to keep singing for much longer.

Anyone would be forgiven for mistaking most of these songs for Walkmen songs—on top of Leithauser’s inimitable pipes, Maroon’s signature jangle has been a hallmark of just about every Walkmen track ever, and it’s all over these songs. That said, he did get the chance to break out of the rigid Walkmen structure a few times, like with his actually really tasty wah-­wah solos on highlight “I Don’t Need Anyone.” Stumpf got to really wail, too, on rocker “I Will Never Love Again,” but a lot of these songs really could’ve used the nervy drumming of The Walkmen’s Matt Barrick. (Then again, so could most Walkmen songs.) “11 O’Clock Friday Night” made for a great time early in the set, standing out from the rest of the Walkmen­-esque set by virtue of Maroon’s xylophone. But several songs harkened back to the mediocre Americana-­isms of Walkmen mis­step A Hundred Miles Off, a much less exciting touchstone, than, say, Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone.

While we weren’t treated to any actual Walkmen songs, I didn’t feel cheated. It wouldn’t have been fair to expect this from Leithauser (or Maroon, for that matter)—they’ve earned the right to do other things. I just wish they’d branch out even more.

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LIVE: The National, The Shrine, Los Angeles, CA

By Gabriel Mathews

The Shrine Auditorium is a large, Schintz-­like venue located on USC’s sprawling campus south of Downtown Los Angeles. This means I had to drop a twenty dollar “contribution” to use the University’s incredibly crowded parking structure. That was a letdown.

You know what wasn’t a letdown, though? Mistaken For Strangers, the now­ in­ theaters movie about the National made by frontman Matt Berninger’s little brother Tom, which was screened as the opener for this show. I’m no film critic, especially when it comes to documentaries, especially especially when it’s unclear how much of what’s documented was “real.” I will say, though, that the film was utterly hilarious, moving, and endlessly charming. Tom is a real winner of a character, or at least the version of himself he chooses to show us is, and the band comes off as a group of lovable goofballs. The main takeaway point here is that, for those of you who think of the National as a super self­ serious, dour, no-­fun0-­zone type of band, check out this movie (Not to mention their hilarious videos for “Conversation 16,” “Graceless,” “Sea Of Love,” Bob’s Burgers… I could go on.) Also, for those of you entirely unfamiliar with the National, check out this movie. And, like, all of their recorded output.

The band took stage about half ­an ­hour after the end of the film. Sitting in the I-­got-to-Ticketmaster­-a-little-­late seats, it was plain to see that the National really are a major band, in the sense that I was surrounded by middle-­aged moms, finance bros, and everyone in between, and they all knew the words. Six albums in, the Brooklyn-­by­-way-­of­-Cincinnati band is finally an American institution.

If there was previously any doubt, their opening run proved that they fully deserve the acclaim. Not many bands could pull off a run like “Don’t Swallow The Cap” followed by “I Should Live In Salt” followed by “Mistaken For Strangers” followed by “Sea Of Love” followed by “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and still play for another un­padded hour. It was clear the National realized this, resting on their laurels a bit with the pristine “Hard To Find” after that five­star streak.

I couldn’t really see a whole lot from my vantage point, but as far as I could tell, everyone in the band was in fine form. Bryce Dessner pulled a fun stunt during the otherwise sedate “I Need My Girl” by taking a second guitar by the butt and tapping it’s headstock on the ground for a nice clang every once in a while. His twin brother Aaron bounced back and forth between guitar and piano with ease. Matt Berninger’s voice has notably improved over the past few years as he’s quit smoking. His other favorite habit still remains something of a problem though—about halfway through the set, the band started up oldie “All The Wine” to great fanfare, only for Matt to mess up the meter two lines in, throwing a beat between “Big wet bottle in my fist / Big wet rose in my teeth” where this is none. They tried again, but he made the same mistake in the same place, and called the song off. “It wasn’t me, it was the six of them who fucked up, I’m pretty sure,” he quipped, right as the band launched into the triumphant Alligator cut “Abel”. Maybe try just half a bottle of wine per show, Matt?

One of the National’s greatest strengths is subtly upping the ante over the course of a song with slight tonal shifts. Live, it’s ever more clear that drummer Bryan Devendorf is the man most responsible for this trick, his endlessly impressive and expressive playing being as much a focal point as Matt’s singing. His skills shone most bright as he effectively led the band through extended outros on “Squalor Victoria” and “Humiliation.” As Matt wanders the stage moving his hands awkwardly during instrumental passages, you feel it’s Bryan who really takes the reins.

Early on, Matt dedicated “I Should Live In Salt” to his newly­-beloved brother — “He thinks this song is about salt. You should know it’s about you, Tom.” He later upped the cuteness factor by dedicating “I Need My Girl” to his wife, Carin Besser (Alligator‘s Karen, though it’s pronounced “Corinne,” who knew?), who helped Tom edit the movie and holds an executive producer credit along with both Berningers. Naturally, the band hit all of their LA references with “Humiliation,” “England,” and the stellar “Pink Rabbits” all eliciting major cheers.

While there are certain songs I would’ve loved to hear and didn’t (“Conversation 16,” guys?), and while their back catalog was criminally underrepresented (two songs from Alligator, four from Boxer, nothing from the first two or Cherry Tree), I can’t say there’s anything I wish they hadn’t played, which is yet another testament to the depth of this band’s oeuvre. The one thing I did really feel the lack of was multi-­instrumentalist Padma Newsome, whose violin shredding was the highlight of the show I caught at the Crystal back on the Boxer tour. That and front row seats.

Though the Dessner brothers kept trying to get the crowd clapping along to little avail (we just wanted to listen), the most thrilling bit of crowd interaction outside of Matt’s obligatory aisle ­walk during “Mr. November” was hinted at during “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” as the band dropped out for a bar or two and I could hear the entire auditorium singing “I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees.” The National emphasized this second voice on “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks,” which has replaced “About Today” as their standard set closer in recent years. This rendition found them totally unplugged, with minimal miking on two acoustic guitars, the horns, and some minimal percussion. I’ve never loved “Vanderlyle,” but this campfire singalong had me rapt. By the end, Matt had flailed too enthusiastically and knocked over his microphone, and all you could hear was the entire Shrine, explaining it all to the geeks.

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LIVE: St. Vincent, The Grammy Museum, Los Angeles, CA

By Gabriel Mathews

I feel like I start all of these reviews with some variant on “I didn’t know what to expect…” But I really didn’t know what to expect out of St. Vincent’s appearance at The Grammy Museum the other night. Having bought and then sold a crappy mezzanine ticket to her show at the Wiltern the following night, I was super excited to learn that she was doing something else in town, and snapped up a ticket right away, not knowing what I was getting myself into. It was only on the day of the show that I looked up the program for the evening—because what kind of show happens at The Grammy Museum?—and learned that her “performance” would be preceded by an interview with museum director Bob Santelli and a brief audience Q&A. As I pulled into L.A. Live (LA’s Times Square, but lame!) I wondered what this “performance” would consist of. Would Annie Clark have a band with her? Would she play more than three songs? Would this essentially just be promo for her new fourth record, St. Vincent? As I found out, the more salient question was: What would this interview be like?

The answer, in short, is “terrible.” Santelli seemed like a decent enough guy, who had listened to the music and really appreciated it, but goddamn, was he a shitty interviewer. Clark, her hair faded down to a basic platinum from the awesome purple gray adorning the new record’s cover, did her level best to answer his questions with honesty and humor, but the guy really didn’t give her much to work with. Here’s a paraphrased transcript of the kind of tripe I’m talking about:

Santelli: So, you’re a woman making music. That didn’t really happen much until the nineties, when you were an impressionable teenager. What’s up with that?
Clark: Umm… I mean, there were women making music for a long time before that. Like Nina Simone and Buddy Guy’s guitarists and so on. So, uh, yeah. Sleater- ­Kinney? Pass.
S: Sweet! As a consummate guitarist yourself, you must have some favorites, right? Who are they?
C: Um, I mean, yeah, there are a lot. Jimi Hendrix is pretty great.
S: He sure is! The song “Rattlesnake,” wow. Can you tell us where that came from? What are the lyrics about?
C: [Tells already ubiquitous “Rattlesnake” story, which Santelli has surely already heard.] Ha! So I just really didn’t even have to use my imagination for that one.
S: Gee whiz. You’re just so creative! As a music critic, who might hear things in records that the average fan might not be picking up on, I can really say that this album has a lot of, uh, “twists and turns” on it. Where does that come from?
C: I’m restless, I guess! I get bored easily [Hint hint.]
S: Wow. Yeah. Restless! For sure! So, what’s your creative process like?
C: [Blasé answer to blasé question.]
S: You grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and then Texas! How did that inform your work?
C: Well, I guess growing up there informed who I am as a person, and so, by the transitive property, my music, as well. Right?
S: Oh, man, for sure!

This went on for something like an hour. The one saving grace of the interview portion of the night, which I didn’t even realize until later when reviewing lyrics, was when Clark deliberately seemed to troll Santelli and the rest of us by explaining that “Huey Newton” was about an Ambien­-induced encounter with the deceased Black Panther founder, during which she learned that the two of them “really got each other, maaannnn.” In retrospect, this was even funnier than it was at the time (Check the lyrics, maaannnn). The Q&A was far more amusing, with the guy who’d been in line since 9 AM asking about some rare bootlegs Clark made at 20, and then spazzy dude who’d seen her in San Diego the night before and was seeing her the night after at the Wiltern geeking the fuck out about her guitar’s fuzz tone (It’s really complicated, guys). Then there was the dude asking, “So, uh, you’re a hard worker, obviously, but, uh, do you, uh, date ever? Cause, uh, I’m free later, ya know.” Poised as always, Clark staved the question off admirably, with “Yeah, I work hard but, I mean, I’m human.”

She then proceeded to demonstrate just how beyond human she can actually seem with a full­band set culled entirely from the new record. The weird corporate seminar ­oriented auditorium made for an odd venue, but it certainly aided the acoustics. And Clark’s shredding deserves it. I’ve seen her in three previous iterations, all very different from this one. Once, after the release of her first record Marry Me, she played solo opening for The National, and was transfixing. Next, with a large band at Sasquatch!, supporting Actor, again transfixing. The third time was at the Greek Bowl, with David Byrne in support of their collaborative record Love This Giant, which was also pretty transfixing, even from the cheap seats. This time around she was just as transfixing in close quarters, but in a whole different way. Clark’s onstage demeanor for this tour is entirely cold and affectless — she had the choreographer of the Love This Giant tour work out her dance moves, which are robotic and somewhat disturbing, but quite familiar to anyone who’s watched her recent TV performances or who caught LTG. The choreography is fun, with some very entertaining hand gestures, but unfortunately it keeps her from doing her signature duck walk. Her band is made up of consummate professionals, whose workmanlike efforts pay off on compositions this complex. But it’s not the rigidity of the dancing or the band that make the show here, it’s the freakishness of Clark’s guitar playing. This woman is a master­class virtuoso of the instrument, and her extended solos at the end of “Rattlesnake” and “Every Tear Disappears” were well­deserved and completely necessary. She treats her instrument like an animal or something, the sounds she produces are outside of anything else ever. The full band thrash sesh for the second half of “Huey Newton” was incredible, and “Bring Me Your Loves” made an excellent closer, with Clark’s dramatic vocals on the chorus being doubled beneath her at least two octaves down.

The set was not as long as I’d have liked, but it did cover most of the new record, if nothing else. I would have really loved some Strange Mercy material (my favorite of her albums, I’ve only seen a few of it’s songs performed live as part of LTG), but this was a pretty sweet deal for what could have been a shit promo event. If only she’d been given half of Santelli’s interview time to shred the fuck out, we’d have had ourselves a truly great time.

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LIVE: Perfect Pussy, The Bootleg, Los Angeles, CA

By Gabriel Mathews

Having already seen Perfect Pussy pretty recently, I needed to come up with reasons to do so again. It wasn’t hard: in the intervening months, the band’s profile has expanded exponentially. Their full-­length debut, Say Yes To Love, came out the day before this show. It would be an opportunity to see them at a real venue, on a stage, as opposed to the floor of a DIY garage space with no PA (It’s worth noting that they played that same garage venue again the night after the Bootleg show. Punks for life). And plus they’re just an awesome live act and so why the fuck not?

The last time I saw a show at the Bootleg was four years ago, the first time I caught Titus Andronicus. That was a truly life­ changing experience, a night full of narrative ups and downs, and I went into this show hoping for something similar. The Bootleg has a few different rooms, however—when I caught TA, it was in the more traditional venue space, as opposed to this show, taking place in the theater, which is typically used by the multi­ purpose establishment for putting on plays.

After watching a bit of Big Trouble in Little China projected onto a wall, my Concert Going Companions and I moved into the other room. I wished I’d waited. Big Swamp Thunder are a perfect illustration of a really unfortunate phenomenon in music at the moment. Consisting of one shirtless dude flailing his fingers on a bass and one dude in a shirt triggering drum tracks and bellowing, BST are a noise act who seem to exist purely for shock value (and their own amusement). The problem is that nothing they did is shocking anymore. Yes, at one point, this vaguely ­structured noise, played so physically and violently was novel and thrilling. But that point was about thirty years ago. Back then, it wasn’t important whether the music was actually good or not, just that the conventions were being broken, the boundaries were being pushed. If you’re going to make this kind of music now, you have to do it well. You can’t simply coast on a wild stage presence and excessive volume. Watching these guys, I had to wonder who decided that they merited a slot on the bill, or any bill, and based on what criteria. When the only melodic element to your music is a guy who is basically doing what Flea does but with vastly less talent, you should really reconsider what it is you’re going for.

The second act fared significantly better. G. Green is a shaggy pop ­punk act from Sacramento, who played a fun set of pleasantly loose songs. I can’t say anything they did was super thrilling, but drummer Liz Liles anchored the band with some serious pummeling, and guitarist Mike Morales snuck in some of the weird funkiness of his other band, Baus, who I caught and loved a couple weeks ago at Pehr:space. Both of these bands are definitely worth checking out.

Stoic Violence, who opened for Perfect Pussy the last time they came through town, benefitted in an odd way from the theatrical setting: in a black box theater, their throwback leatherhead hardcore felt elevated to the level of performance art, in spite the utterly sincere 80’s meathead haircut of the frontman. This set wasn’t quite as fun as the last time I saw them, though, simply because said frontman didn’t spend half their set bleeding from the face.

One song in, Perfect Pussy frontwoman Meredith Graves made a half­ audible apology. “We’re trying so, so hard, really. I’m just so fucking sick.” Apparently afflicted by a bad sinus infection (I can relate), Graves was big less energetic this time around, and she seemed to be shouting a bit more quietly than usual. I say “seemed” because, contrary to my expectations, the existence of an actual PA and an actual soundman didn’t do much to improve Perfect Pussy’s live intelligibility. While guitarist Ray McAndrew didn’t sound like he was playing out of a cardboard box this time around, Graves’ vocals were perhaps even more buried than at their E. 7th Street show, when she sang through a guitar amp. Plus, layered atop the songs was so much feedback and deliberate noise generated by keyboardist Shaun Sutkus that even recognizing the fact that these were individual songs, as opposed to several distinct two­ minute blocks of noise, was difficult. The only songs I could actually pick out and point to as one I knew were “I,” off of last year’s amazing demo I have lost all desire for feeling, and “Interference Fits,” which should have been easy to spot due to it’s relatively subdued sound, but which I only recognized halfway through when the band dropped out for a split second and Graves shouted “SINCE WHEN DO WE SAY YES TO LOVE?”

I understand that it’s part of Perfect Pussy’s deal to be cloaked in earsplitting noise at all times, and that Graves’ lyrics are unintelligible by design. I understand that all of this is part of the thrill of seeing them live. But, having bought and listened to Say Yes To Love after the show, I feel these songs, their words, their melodic underpinnings, deserve better. One of the best and most interesting things about Perfect Pussy on record is the audible struggle between tunefulness and noise, between clarity and obfuscation. It’s this contrast that makes them stand out. At the Bootleg, the latter elements dominated so completely that anyone who hadn’t heard their records would leave with no real incentive to do so.

All of that being said, I had an excellent time for the 20­ (at ­most) minutes PP took the stage. The crowd wasn’t full of super stoked kids like at E. 7th, but the eight or so dudes in the pit were all fully committed to maintaining the exact right violence­to­pain ratio, and I left the show exhilarated. Walking out of the pit, I encountered one of my CGCs, who said “Well, that was dumb.” I agreed, grinning. Dumb, yes, sure. But also a fucking blast.

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LIVE: Mirah, The Satellite, Los Angeles, CA

By Gabriel Mathews

It’s always nice to get a little taste of the Northwest down here. It’s why I stop by Seattle­ export Caffe Vita every once in a while for a shot of homegrown espresso. It’s why I’m always excited when a customer’s phone number reveals their PDX roots. And it’s why I really like the Satellite, whose bookers have got to be Portland expats or something. The last time I was here, the DJ played most of Friend and Foe between sets by The Wild Ones and Typhoon. This time around, we’ve got AgesAndAges and Mirah, almost a more adorable lineup than the last one.

AgesAndAges are a decent band. I really don’t know much about them aside from the fact that they’re from Portland, that they’re pretty cute, and that their percussionist/vocalist Sarah Riddle very talented person I’ve known my whole life. These guys layer six­-part harmonies over most of their songs, throw in a variety of cute percussion flourishes, and generally seem to be having a really nice time up there on stage. Their banter was sweet and charming, and frontman Tim Perry can definitely write some nice melodies, and the always amazing soundwork at The Satellite did this band a lot of favors by keeping their sound as crisp as crisp could be. But if I’m being honest, I was rarely moved by their set. The songs blended together, and the overall mood was definitely not the anti­-establishment revolution Perry says their new album Divisionary is all about. I also felt that there was just too much of the harmonizing, too much of the percussion gimmicks. These songs would really benefit from some diversity and dynamic shifts. All partiality aside, Riddle might be the best reason to see this band, as her collection of shakers and tambourines is astounding and played with skill, and her voice stands out in the crowded field.

Then there was Mirah, who’s long been one of my favorite singer/songwriters. Whether she’s doing her cutesy K Records shtick on de facto debut You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This, sophisticatedly lamenting the impending doom of Mother Earth on 2009’s (a)spera, or collaborating with/dating Thao of and the Get Down Stay Down fame on 2011’s Thao + Mirah. No matter what she does, Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn does it with class and one of the most beguilingly beautiful voices of modern indie.

I’d never gotten the chance to see Mirah before this show, so I didn’t know what to expect —was she going to play a solo acoustic set? Would there be a string ensemble? Would someone show up to play that amazing harp thing on “Shells”? Would—my God—would Phil Elverum be there?! No, no, no, and no. Mirah was joined on stage by a wildly talented percussionist (who bounced effortlessly between drums and vibraphone), a wildly talented violinist/keyboardist/backing vocalist, and a dude on bass and guitar who I assume was wildly talented as well but just didn’t have a lot to do. Mirah herself stuck almost entirely to voice and guitar, which is perfectly fine by me.

While the set was by and large enchanting, and the sound quality remained amazing, with no unnecessary reverb cluttering Mirah’s stripped down beauty, the crowd generally seemed to disagree. Maybe I was standing too far back, but I often had trouble making out words to the songs off forthcoming album Changing Light (her first solo record since ’09!) over the whining of the girl behind me about how tired she was and when would the show be over and can I just fall asleep on your shoulder? The low­ level din of the crowd was not only obnoxious and distracting, but confounding—Mirah’s music demands reverential silence, what were these assholes doing here if they weren’t willing to give it?

Then there was the setlist—I suppose it makes sense to play mostly new material when your last real record is five years old, but this set was so dominated by new stuff that I couldn’t help but be sad about not hearing classics like, say, “Don’t Die In Me,” “Cold Cold Water,” “Education,” “The River,” “Look Up!” . . . I could go on. On top of the overall lack of older material, the selections from her back catalog that Mirah did play were a bit confounding, generally pulling what I consider to be the weaker songs from each of her older albums. (a)spera was represented by set­opener “Bones & Skin,” which is good, but not great, unlike pretty much all of the rest of that record. Her arguably best album, C’mon Miracle, got it’s arguably worst song with “The Dogs of B.A.” Advisory Committee managed to escape this fate when she closed the set with the amazing “Mt. St. Helens,” which she peppered with commentary about how beautiful it was that we were all bonding over lines such as “There’s no welcome in the end/There’s no reason to return again.” After a set characterized mainly by tasteful restraint, the distorted final third of “Mt. St. Helens” was a joyous release. Then there was adorably ’50s closer “Words Cannot Describe,” from You Think It’s Like This, which was fun and all, and featured Mirah prancing around the stage like a young Shirley Temple, but, I mean, come on. “Sweepstakes Prize”? “Person Person”? I dunno.

The other puzzling thing was that the album getting the most representation after Changing Light was Thao + Mirah. This is odd not just because I consider T+M to be generally kind of weak, but because Changing Light is a self­proclaimed breakup album, presumably about Thao. (“Presumably” because the album features collaborations with Greg Saunier, Mary Timony, Heather McEntire, Emily Wells, Jherek Bischoff, Eli Crews, and Mirah’s own sister Emily, but not Thao Nguyen.) That said, “Little Cup” was gorgeous, “Rubies & Rocks” was fun, and “Hallelujah” was heartbreaking. I should probably give that album another listen.

I should also say that I’m really not complaining about hearing all the Changing Light material, because it was all really good. Lead single “Oxen Hope” might be one of the most interesting compositions Mirah’s ever done, with a minimal, syncopated drumbeat, and, live, a shrieking distorted violin solo, which Mirah doubled on keyboard to awesome effect. The recorded version of the song even has some Autotune-­esque vocal manipulation, which was emulated by backing vocals live. As I don’t know the titles of the other songs I heard, I can’t say much about standouts, but it’s clear that we’re all in for a really, really sad treat when this album drops in May.

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Episode 66: ¡Caras en la Radio!

Many thanks to Luis Cacho for joining us for this episode! Check it out up top, or download here.

Topic:

  • Latin music!
  • The roots of Latin music, and the innovators of the genre
  • Latin music’s influence on other styles of music

Songs:

Bands:

  • Liars
  • The Expendables
  • Win Butler / Arcade Fire
  • Karen O
  • U2
  • Adam Brock
  • Blind Pilot
  • Starfucker
  • Typhoon
  • Nicole Perry
  • Dirty Mittens
  • Shaky Hands
  • Eskimo & Sons
  • Bustling Townships
  • Shivas
  • Chain & the Gang
  • Ian Svenonius / Nation of Ulysses
  • Depeche Mode
  • Drake
  • The Prids
  • Neutral Milk Hotel
  • The Knife
  • Celia Cruz
  • Carlos Santana
  • Zack de la Rocha / Rage Against the Machine
  • Shakira
  • Ricky Martin
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Selena Gomez
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Linda Ronstadt
  • Rihanna
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Big Pun
  • Hector Lavoe
  • Pitbull
  • Lil Jon
  • Eminem
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Cypress Hill
  • Audioslave
  • Morrissey / The Smiths
  • Tom Jones
  • Notorious BIG
  • Pusha T
  • Panda
  • Blink 182
  • Richie Valens
  • Simon & Garfunkel
  • David Byrne
  • Caetano Veloso
  • Desi Arnaz
  • Selena
  • Tito Puente
  • Jedi Mind Tricks
  • Willie Colon
  • Omar Rodriguez-Lopez / Cedric Bixler-Zavala / The Mars Volta
  • Larry Harlow
  • At the Drive-In
  • Bosnian Rainbows
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Andrés Segovia
  • Edna Vasquez
  • Papi Fimbres / Sun Angle
  • Magic Mouth
  • Ozomatli
  • The Doors
  • Bob Dylan
  • Gabriel Mathews / ibid.
  • Yuck
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra
  • Drenge
  • Foster the People
  • Val Bowers / The Hugs
  • Rosewood
  • Great Lake Islands
  • Cannon Riggs / Mr. Bones
  • Adventure Galley
  • Soft Skills
  • A Happy Death
  • No Kind of Rider
  • Mayhaw Hoons
  • Everclear
  • Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers
  • Sam Cooke
  • Al Green
  • Otis Redding
  • Sam & Dave
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Sly & the Family Stone
  • Aaliyah
  • TLC
  • Destiny’s Child
  • Lou Rawls
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