Mumford & Sons end Railroad Revival Tour with a memorable set
On April 27th, fans crowded into New Orleans, Louisiana’s Woldenberg Park for a different kind of performance. After touring five cities in the U.S. in vintage railroad cars, Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show made their final stop in New Orleans for their last show of the Railroad Revival Tour.
The openers, Old Crow Medicine Show, are folk vets that started making music together in 1998. Their slot on this tour shows exactly how big Mumford and Edward Sharpe have grown in rock hierarchy since their relatively recent beginning, because these well-seasoned musicians played before them.
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros — known for their song “Home” — took the stage after for a short and sweet set where the animated frontman, Alex Ebert, spent most of his time singing on the barricade with the crowd (and clotheslining me with his mic cord).
Folk darlings, Mumford & Sons took the stage shortly after. Since their humble beginning in late 2007, they have been thrown into world renown fame for their simple and honest music that translates into a powerful stage presence and performances. This show was no different and had fans smiling and dancing all night.
For the encore, the entire crew of the Railroad Revival Tour crowded on-stage and sang a rendition of “This Train is Bound for Glory.” The show, overall, was intimate — which should be expected at a Mumford & Sons set. The level of comradery at their shows is astounding, as fans never leave the venue without feeling like they have made new friends. In case you missed out on this tour, you can catch up on their past events through their Tour Blog or purchase a ticket to one of Mumford’s summer U.S. dates.
May marks the release of two highly anticipated new albums by rising indie stars
Save your money indie music lovers because May is a great month for must have new releases.
Fleet Foxes are set to release the “Helplessness Blues” on May 3, their highly anticipated follow up to their self-titled release in 2008. The album uses a blend of traditional and novelty instruments, like tympanis and tibetan sing bowls, that helps to create a beautiful and the most immersive record and yet. Singer songwriter Robin Pecknold almost lost his long-term girlfriend in the process of recording since he was so intensely focused on working on the album until it was, “f**king awesome.” He achieved his goal and saved his relationship with the finished product (sorry fan girls). “Helplessness Blues” is available for pre-order on their label Sup-Pop’, website for $12.
The rising UK alt-disco-pop trio Friendly Fires are releasing “Pala” on May 24 and can be pre-ordered for $10.25 on Amazon. The sound is poppier than their 2008 self-titled release; the singer, Ed Macfarlane, even compared their latest music to the sounds of ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys in a BBC interview. After extensive world touring, Friendly Fires have been rapidly rising in the indie scene and, despite their strange musical counterparts, their new album is sure to please.
The White Stripes called it quits in February 2011 after their long and successful stint in the music scene
Meg and Jack white formed the White Stripes in 1997 but recently called it quits in February due to <a href=”http://www.thirdmanrecords.com/news3.html”>”artistic differences.”</a> Their accomplishments include six phenomenal albums, a couple of <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_awards_and_nominations_received_by_The_White_Stripes#Grammy_Awards”>Grammys</a> for Best Rock Song/Alternative Music Performance in 2004, Best Alternative Album in 2008 and Best Boxed or Special Limited Ed. Package in 2011 (to name a few). They were even the opening act for the Rolling Stones on more than one occasion.
Despite their notoriety, it came as no surprise to fans that the <a href=”http://www.time.com/time/sampler/article/0,8599,130930,00.html”>fake brother and sister/formerly married</a> duo decided to officially break up since Jack White’s immense amount of side projects (The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs) seemed to shift his focus away from the White Stripes.
The White Stripes legacy will survive long past their demise since their label, <a href=”http://modlife.com/thirdmanrecords/blog”>Third Man Records</a> <a href=”http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126388123″>(which is actually owned by Jack White)</a>,announced that they will release live recordings and unseen video footage. Even congresswoman Donna Edwards helped to reinforce their lasting legacy whenever she quoted “Cause and Effect” while protesting the impending governmental shut down.
<iframe title=”YouTube video player” width=”340″ height=”240″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/QyfSWO-wfUk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
The remaining message from the band can be found on Third Man Records <a href=”http://www.thirdmanrecords.com/news3.html”>website</a>: “The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvment will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful.”
If musical talent is judged by the amount of views a song gets on YouTube then the ridiculously annoying pre-teen anthem “Friday” will not make it difficult for music fans to decide which seat to take before driving off a cliff.
To put this a bit into perspective, “Friday” has racked in well more than seven million views since it was posted in February while Grammy winners, Arcade Fire, received more than 5.5 million views for their video “Wake Up,” posted in 2006.
The artist responsible for “Friday” is Rebecca Black, a thirteen-year-old girl who is signed to teeny-bopper ARK Music Factory and has been referenced by some sources as the “next” Justin Bieber due to her swift rise into internet stardom.
Tosh.0 blogger Mike Pomranz seems to have different expectations from the young singer, since his post, Songwriting Isn’t For Everyone,” recently featured “Friday.”
The backlash of “Friday” (and lack of substance) did not deter ARK Music from releasing the track on iTunes, which can be found here. Honestly, Rebecca Black has to be given a little credit for being so young and generating more coverage (even Ryan Seacrest has tweeted about her) in almost one month than most aspiring musicians can acquire in a lifetime – notoriety that she will hopefully use to redeem herself in the future. Until then, Black will most likely be the source of countless memes for the next few months.
SXSW celebrates 25 years with something for everyone
Austin’s eclectic music, film and culture festival, South by Southwest (SXSW) is celebrating its Twenty-fifth anniversary with a plethora movies, stand-up comedians, video games and most importantly, phenomenal musicians. The music aspect of the event spans more than five days and features hundreds of bands sprawled throughout bars and venues in Austin, Texas.
From March 15 to March 20, the headliners range from worldwide rising indie acts like James Blake, Das Racist, Bombay Bicycle Club, Givers and Yuck to hardcore sets with Whitechapel, EMMURE and Dance Gavin Dance. Even electronic, hip-hop and punk bands will be featured at SXSW with heavyweights like MSTRKRFT, B.o.B and Bad Brains. It’s honestly a bit terrifying how many amazing bands are going to be playing in such a short amount of time.
A positive side to the massive festival, besides its ability to book great bands, is a lot of free music. Even though most bars and venues have covers, bands like The Strokes and Bright Eyes are both playing free sets at the SXSW Auditorium Shores Stage. Waterloo Records is even joining with their free <a data-cke-saved-href=”http://www.mxdwn.com/2011/02/23/news/waterloo-records-announces-free-sxsw-parking-lot-shows/” href=”http://www.mxdwn.com/2011/02/23/news/waterloo-records-announces-free-sxsw-parking-lot-shows/” _blank”=””>Parking Lots Shows, which feature performances from Dum Dum Girls, Fitz & Tantrums, Neon Trees and many more. SXSW really seems to be too good to be true but fortunately it isn’t, so head to Austin as soon as possible!
Released on February 18 (a day ahead of schedule), Radiohead’s latest album is “The King of Limbs.”
The record is a brooding, ambient piece that revolves around a dreamy landscape filled with the pleasant musical chaos that these Oxford natives seem to effortlessly compose.
The album is not available on iTunes, but a digital download can be found on the band’s website for just $9. A “Newspaper Album” is also available for $49 and consists of more than 600 pieces of artwork (large and small), a CD, two 10″ vinyl records and a copy of the tracks to be downloaded at the time of purchase (since the package will not be shipped until June.)
In honor of the new release, Radiohead even released a video for the first single from “The King of Limbs,” “Lotus Flower,” which features singer andsongwriter Thom Yorke performing a strange interpretive dance developed by the notorious choreographer, Wayne McGregor.
Yorke is certainly no Natalie Portman, but his moves have already racked the video well over four million views on YouTube and I, for one, cannot wait to see it played after Rihanna’s “S&M” on MTV.
The Broken Social Scene 2011 tour shouldn’t be missed.
Tipitina’s, a large venue in Uptown, New Orleans, was packed full of fans from the balcony to the standing room floor, anxiously waiting to see Broken Social Scene.
The Canadian indie rock legends, currently consisting of (but not limited to) Kevin Drew, Lisa Lobsinger, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Andrew Whiteman, Charles Spearin, David French and Sam Goldberg, played a variety of songs from Forgiveness Rock Record (2010) to You Forgot It In People (2003).
The two-hour concert flew by and was actually a little difficult to keep up with as the talented band members continued to alternate on and off the stage. The show was engaging and interactive as Drew gave fans the option of a magical encore, marked by fans favorites from the past and present and Kevin Drew’s occasional barricade straddle.
Zeus, also signed to the Arts & Crafts record label, are Broken Social Scene’s current tour-mates. The fellow indie rock Canadian natives provided an energetic, opening set that fueled fan enthusiasm for the headliner. This band’s debut album, Say Us, is currently on sale for $1.99 on Gallery AC’s website – a steal that music fans should take advantage of as quickly as possible.
With only a few dates left in their U.S. tour, a brief conversation with drummer Justin Peroff confirmed that the band will most likely take a break from touring for a while, so catch their last few shows while you still can!
Tokyo Police Club draw an end to their U.S. 2011 Spring Tour
Canadian indie rockers, Tokyo Police Club, stopped at The Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for their 2011 Spring Tour. The show opened with New Orleans based ambient and harmonic indie kids Sun Hotel, who somehow managed to hash out a great set despite their technical difficulties. Someone Still Love You Boris Yeltsin followed and were not quite as entertaining. Their music is perfectly adequate pop rock, but after an hour, the most interesting thing that occurred on stage happened whenever the singer and drummer changed places.
Tokyo Police Club managed to wake their sleepy fans up whenever they took the stage and played old favorites like “Tessellate” and “Nature Of The Experiment,” as well as tracks from their latest album Champ. The show took a strange turn whenever singer/bassist David Monks asked the crowd to repeat extremely random things (like Daft Punk playing in his living room, for example), and only proceeded to escalate in this direction as the entire band filed the stage after a keyboard was knocked over during the encore.
Overall, TPC is a great live band whose quirks only add to the charm of its performances. With only a few dates left in the U.S., TPC are trading Boris Yeltsin in Kentucky for equally indie/pop Pomegranates and Walk the Moon, and call it quits in Connecticut with A Great Big Pile Of Leaves before they embark on a mainly Canadian tour throughout July. Unless you want to wait until Sasquatch, catch their set while you can!
Deadmau5 is turning out to be the next best thing to come from Canada, redeeming the county’s music credit after the invasion of Justin Bieber. Electronic house musician, Joel Zimmerman, has been entrancing crowds from Switzerland to San Francisco with his high-tech light system and L.E.D. mouse-head – a few gimmicks that cannot over shadow his awesome and unconventional electronic music played, of course, on his self written music software.
Project 56, self described as “random/idm/glitchy stuff” and released for free in 2005, seems to be Zimmerman’s first release under the title Deadmau5 but was certainly not his first music endeavor-or his last.
Zimmerman’s first steps towards electronic music began with the mixed “chip tunes” he experimented with at age 15, which led to a collaboration with Tommy Lee three years later. Since then, the latest and mathematically incorrect release, 4X4=12, is the follow up to a mix of about 50 singles, EP and full length releases.
Other acclaimed Deadmau5 albums that acted as a prelude to the development of his current style as a dance musician are Random Album Title (2008) and For Lack of a Better Name (2009) which combined, have supplied hits like “Ghosts N Stuff,” “Hi, Friend,” “I Remember,” and “Faxing Berlin.”
Attracting international attention, Zimmerman was the house musician at the MTV Video Music Awards, was nominated for a Grammy and won various Juno and International Dance Music awards.
Zimmerman not only has multiple awards and records under his belt, but tons of loyal fans. His shows are usually sold out and full of ravers ready to dance for hours in self made mouse-heads. Zimmerman even opened a P.O. box for mau5 lovers to send their mail; the address was listed on his Listen to: “Sofi Needs a Ladder,” “Raise Your Weapon”
With their latest album, Two Door Cinema Club are making a name for themselves
Two Door Cinema Club are proving exactly how far three boys from Northern Ireland and a drum machine can go in just three years.
Composed of school friends, guitarist/singer Alex Trimble and Sam Halliday along with bassist/singer Kevin Baird, Two Door Cinema Club have already headlined their own shows around the world and embarked on tours with notorious acts like Phoenix and Tokyo Police Club.
Signed to Glassnote in 2009 alongside other indie favorites Phoenix and Mumford & Sons, TDCC are breaking artists with just the right mixture of contemporary indie/electro/pop/rock and truly inspired originality. TDCC’s first and only full length,”Tourist History”, was produced by Elliott James(Bloc Party) and is an explosive mix of danceable and unabashedly pop tracks.
The greatest aspect of “Tourist History” is that it is never dull – even on tracks that start off slow, like ‘Eat That Up, It’s Good for You,” can quickly verve into an unexpectedly energetic and synth-infected direction. The album has already drawn attention from Nylon Magazine as 2010’s best album and is listed among the nominations of Ireland’s 2011 Choice Music Awards for Album of the Year since its recent release in April of 2010, a few accomplishments that will certainly expand throughout 2011.
For Fans of: Tokyo Police Club, Miike Snow. Listen to: “Something Good Can Work,” “Cigarettes In the Theatre”