Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Field Report Release "Marigolden"



Wisconsin bands have been in the spotlight for some time now with up and coming bands such as PHOX, Blessed Feathers and Field Report among others. In 2012 frontman Chris Porterfield found himself in the studio recording what was to become the debut self titled Field Report album. After a support tour in 2013, the quartet took a large batch of songs and retreated to Ontario to record their followup album Marigolden.

Marigolden starts with the acoustic driven ballad, “Decision Day”, described as a “sunrise”, ending full circle with the album's closing track “Enchantment,” which bring a sense of balance to the various themes throughout. The album deals with life on the road and what was left back home, which can be heard on pop esque single “Home.” The piano inspired “Ambrosia,” addresses Porterfield's relationship with alcohol (a reoccurring topic heard throughout), while “Wings,” widens the range within the genre sounding a bit more electronic, yet fiting within the album as a whole without exceeding its boundaries.

In the never ending Ontario blizzard, Field report built the songs up only to strip them down and rebuilt them “using only their essential elements,” breaking only to feed logs to the fire, which reflect upon the intimacy heard on Marigolden. Regardless of the themes, the album is arranged in a way that speaks to everyone, leaving the listener with distinct and familiar feeling.

Marigolden is out now, purchase the album on the Field Report Website where you can find more info on the band along with tour dates, videos, etc. You can catch them live at The Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, on October 22nd along with a list of dates seen below.




   
Upcoming Tour Dates:

10/7: The Bishop // Bloomington, IN
10/8: Zanzabar // Louisville, KY
10/9: Mercy Lounge (High Watt) // Nashville, TN
10/11: Hootenanny Harvest Festival // Hannibal, MO
10/12: Indie On Main // Kansas City, MO
10/14: The Varsity Theater // Minneapolis, MN
10/15: The Frequency // Madison, WI
10/17: Daytrotter @ Codfish Hollow // Maquoketa, IA
11/6: Meyer Theater // Green Bay, WI
11/7: House of Rock // Eau Claire, WI 
11/8: Schubas // Chicago, IL 
11/11: Hi-Dive // Denver, CO
11/13: The Satellite // Los Angeles, CA
11/15: The Crepe Place // Santa Cruz, CA
11/16: Brick & Mortar // San Francisco, CA
11/18: Bunk Bar // Portland, OR
11/19: Sunset Tavern // Seattle, WA

Visit www.fieldreportmusic.com/tour for more information on tickets and dates.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

LISTEN: New Track from Kendrick Lamar - "i"

The world is abuzz today, and two words (one man) are being said by many, many people today: Kendrick Lamar.

Perhaps the world's best hip hop artist currently, Kendrick released his new track "i" today, which was produced by Rakhi (sampling a song by The Isley Brothers) is streaming below. To say it's really good would be an understatement; listen to it today, and be ready to listen to the uplifting track many, many (many...many...many) times in days to come.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

CONCERT PREVIEW: Spoon w/ EMA at Riverside Theater, Milwaukee 9/17



It's concert season in the Milwaukee. No more festivals. We now get to huddle around each other in the warmth of the best theaters in the Midwest. Fall brings in tons of fantastic shows, and Wednesday, September 17th starts the beginning of a fantastic month and a half of shows, as Milwaukee brings in indie rock group Spoon with special guest EMA.

Erika M Anderson, or EMA as she's known in the music world, is a singer-songwriter from South Dakota (yes... South Dakota), who got her start in drone rock outfit Gowns. She's been heavily talked about since her debut solo album, "Past Life Martyred Saints" was released in 2011, gaining notoriety with tracks like "California" and rave reviews from Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and the like.

Her follow up "The Future's Void" is straddling the fine line between electronic and organic rock music, with heavy amounts of noise and even more heavy lyrics that provide dark, startling imagery, focusing on technology while not succumbing to stereotypical uses of electronics in music. EMA feeds off of improvisation, and that will typically give way to a fantastic live show. For a taste of the live goods, check out her recent network television debut, performing "Neuromancer" on Late Show w/ David Letterman.



EMA will provide a fine opening set for indie rockers Spoon, who dabble in experimentation on stage themselves.

Recently releasing their eighth studio album, They Want My Soul, Spoon is back on the road, trying to showcase new tricks, after releasing two of the best albums of the last ten years with Gimme Fiction in 2005, and following up with Ga Ga Ga Ga in 2007. Their following, self-produced album Transference, fell a little short but nevertheless still provided enough solid music to keep Spoon in listeners hearts. And, let's be honest, it was going to be difficult to follow up two of the most popular rock albums of the times.

They Want My Soul picks up where Transference left off, with plenty of electronic drum beats, keys, guitar riffs, and Britt Daniel's raspy, growling voice. I was pleasantly surprised by their latest album, going in to my first listen not expecting too much. But tracks like "Do You", "Rent I Pay" and "Inside Out" will fit right in to a Spoon live set next Wednesday.

Check out their full performance from KEXP below, and purchase your tickets for the show here.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

FESTIVAL COVERAGE: Hideout Block Party & The Onion A.V. Fest Preview | Chicago - Sept. 5-6

Ah yes, the Summer festival season is coming to an end here in the Midwest. Chicago plays host to a seemingly unending list of music festivals, from Lollapalooza to Pitchfork, Spring Awakening to Taste of Randolph, the festivals and events range from annoyingly large to ideally undersized.

Smack dab between North Coast and Riot Fest lies one of Chicago's hidden gems: The Hideout Block Party/ The Onion A.V. Fest, put on by local venue & bar, The Hideout and The Onion's entertainment partner A.V. Club.

Last year's Hideout/AV Fest featured Neko Case, The Walkmen, Young the Giant, The Hold Steady and other notable acts as the festival continues to grow, and this year shows the festival's growth even more clearly.

What makes this year so special? Well on the surface, headlining acts like Death Cab for Cutie and The War on Drugs are big enough to draw a sizable crowd, and undercards like Hamilton Leithauser (of The Walkmen), Mac DeMarco, Sylvan Esso and The Dismemberment Plan and others will provide entertainment throughout the two-day festival.

First, the big draw is Friday's headliner, and there's an extra, bittersweet bonus in play. Death Cab for Cutie has been one of my favorite bands since high school, (pre-Seth Cohen/The O.C. influence) and although their albums have decreased in overall quality over the years, that doesn't change my desire to hear their songs live, new and old.

The bittersweet lies within the band's guitarist/keyboards/production-extraordinaire Chris Walla, who announced last month that he would be leaving the band after the group's September shows. This means that Friday night will mark the last Chicago appearance for Walla as a member of DCFC. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff, and will probably become a little emotional as one of my favorite musicians in one of my all-time favorite bands steps away. It's like Derek Jeter retiring from The New York Yankees: the Yankees will still be there, but Jeter's iconic #2 won't be; Death Cab will still make music, but their most talented musician won't be with them.

Also with an O.C. tie-in, Hamilton Leithauser will take the stage before DCFC on Friday, and alright, fine The O.C. thing is a bit of a stretch (The Walkmen played the series' staple-venue The Bait Shop in its opening season). Although I've come on record as saying Hamilton's solo material is second-tier to former Walkmen member, Peter Matthew Bauer's Liberation!, his album Black Hours is very good and I look forward to watching the crooner's new material live. I just pray no one yells, "THE RAT!"



Saturday brings in one of my new favorite acts, Sylvan Esso. With some hometown (Milwaukee) ties, Sylvan Esso features former Decibully/Megafaun member Nick Sanborn, and singer Amelia Meath performing some sneaky-good electropop. Comparable to groups like the xx, Feist, The Blow, and CHVRCHES, Sylvan Esso is likely to overcome many of these comparisons in 2014 and move forward into the new year. Ambient structures paired with abrupt, heavy synths and bass, all while Meath's sparkling vocals win over any listeners in earshot.





Also on Saturday is one of indie rock's most spirited live acts, Mac DeMarco. I was blown away at Mac's performance last year at Pitchfork Music Festival, playing feel-good summery songs like "Cookin' Up Somethin' Good" and "Ode to Viceroy". But it's DeMarco's voice that can really turn heads, ranging between a deep growl to a stonery, laid-back smoker's buzz.

Saturday's weather is supposed to be ideal in Chicago, and there couldn't be a better soundtrack than Mac DeMarco. Keep your eyes and ears open for a surprise cover or two from Mac, and make sure to watch him shred his makeshift guitar.

Saturday night will belong to The War on Drugs. Their latest album, Lost in the Dream is a heavy contender for 2014 Album of the Year, and for good reason. Its sound is epic, and true to the times its released in, yet is undeniably timeless. To further prove that 2014 belongs to The War on Drugs, the group performed a buzzworthy rendition of single "Red Eyes" for The Late Show With David Letterman (second only in buzz to the indescribable Future Islands). Check out that performance below, and get your asses to Chicago to catch one of the most mind-blowing live rock acts of our time.



Hideout Fest promises to be one of the best festival experiences of the summer. Is it packed with hundreds of acts, from 10am-10pm for three days? No. But along with that come many benefits: less neon attire (your retinas will thank you), less drugged-out frat/sorority parties, no VIP access passes for $1000+, accessible lines to food and drink, and the best thing of all - elbow room.

Single Day and Two-Day Tickets are available here: http://ticketf.ly/1qA8ACu //
// Check out my Instagram Feed for up-to-the-minute photo updates here // 
// Photo Uploads will be available at Stage Right Photo //

Friday, August 15, 2014

WATCH: Ty Segall Performs "Feel" Live on Conan

Indie Garage-rock staple Ty Segall is well on his way to making his name known throughout the country as one of the genre's best. With performances like last night's take on "Feel" from Conan O'Brien, it's not going to take very long.

Segall comes out dressed like some sort of sci-fi warlock, but mid-way through the song, the magic is shown in Ty's guitar play. Alongside longtime collaborator, Mikal Cronin, Ty Segall gives a performance that needs to be seen to be believed.

Be on the lookout for Ty Segall's seventh (yes SEVENTH) studio album, Manipulator, due out later this month.

Friday, July 25, 2014

FESTIVAL RECAP - Best of Pitchfork Festival 2014 - Twin Peaks


Cadien Lake James of Twin Peaks

Gonna switch gears here... the first day was great, sure, but over the course of the next two days of the festival, I was blown away by the amazingness lined up before me.

Saturday's lineup began with Twin Peaks at 1pm, a Chicago-native band I've been tracking silently for the last few months. I made sure to bring my group of friends to check out their set on Saturday, hoping they wouldn't disappoint, as I'd never seen them perform live before, not to mention the group doesn't even have a full-length album under their belts (the group released an EP, Sunken, last year).

Clay Frankel of Twin Peaks
And they did everything but disappoint. The guys were incredibly entertaining, and made the most of the exciting opportunity that was placed before them, even noting the fact that they could see themselves on the giant screens throughout the park.

Three of the four members do a fair amount of singing, with each member bringing an undeniable amount of character to their parts of each song. The track "Making Breakfast" perfectly highlighted the group's strongpoints, with frontman Cadien Lake James (seen in the picture at the top of this article, who was wheelchair-bound until the last song of their set, which he played his last chords from his knees) howling with a gritty and caustic vocal tone in between shaking his head back and forth or sticking his tongue out.

Meanwhile, bassist Jack Dolan and guitarist Clay Frankel bounced around stage, smiling, at one point, Frankel stepped off stage towards the crowd onto a piece of the enormous sound system, performed some riffs
there, and later, smashed the guitar in frustration. It shattered into two separate pieces, both of which Frankel hurled into the crowd, something I can't say I've ever seen done before.

Clay ensured everyone was okay after the hilarity, making sure he wasn't going to be sued, as of course he "...ain't got no moneyyyy..."

Overall, their entire set was one of the best of the weekend. Even without knowing many of the songs, it was a spectacular glimpse into their upcoming album, Wild Onion, which is due out on August 5. The band played incredibly well together, all bringing their own undeniable charm and style to the stage, and proved to be one of the best acts we'd see during the festival.

I'll be looking to pick up one of their 'Chicago Bulls Mascot Smoking A J' t-shirts when they come back through the midwest as part of their headlining tour this fall.

UPDATE: The group's forthcoming album, Wild Onion, is available for stream courtesy of Pitchfork Advance here. I highly suggest you check it out.