sunshine love and fun
guitar powered poetry
fuzzy poppy rock
Mikal Cronin-MCII RIYL: Ty Segall, Jay Reatard, Black Lips, Kurt Vile Pseudo Genre: Garage Pop Rock Intended for: Stairwell Babies
Mikal Cronin was one of the acts that most impressed us at SXSW 2012. We have been waiting over a year for a new album from the guitar virtuoso since. MCII does not disappoint. Cronin has created an album full of catchy rock music. When rock songs converge with pop tunes it often results in bland schmaltz. The sentimentality never feels false despite the fact that MCII is full of songs about love, introspection, and emotions. There are acoustic tracks mixed in among fuzzy rock songs to create an album that manages to feel both too short and just right at 37 minutes.
MCII is barely over a half an hour long, and seems even shorter when you are listening to it. Cronin has created one of our favorite albums of 2013 and we hope all our readers listen to it. If you want to see if Mikal is your cup of tea you should listen to “Shout It Out”, a track that manages to blur the line between pop and rock and get stuck in your head. You can also listen to Cronin as a vulnerable crooner accompanied only by his guitar on “Don’t Let Me Go”.
Video/music stream links:
You can and listen to “Shout It Out” here:
Here is “Don’t Let Me Go”
You can stream the whole album for free on a Mac or PC with an ad supported Spotify account:
Ritzy not Glam Rock
arena sound for the clubs
in your face and ears
The Joy Formidable-Wolf’s Law RIYL: White Stripes, Frightened Rabbit, Sleater-Kinney, Sleigh Bells Pseudo Genre: Indie Rock Intended for: Stairwell Babies
Prior to attending a recent concert by The Joy Formidable, we had only listened to a handful of songs by the band. We had heard of their blistering live shows, and wanted to experience one ourselves. After almost 2 hours of high energy and tightly played rock, Ritzy and the boys had won us over. Wolf’s Law is an album full of the type of rock tunes that 40 year olds claim are no longer being made. Instead of merely stealing from the past, The Joy Formidable build a truly modern rock sound that is lacking from commercial radio. It is surprising to discover that the album is composed by a three piece band. Even live, you find yourself looking around for other two members that just HAVE to be there filling in all that sound.
The starting album track “This Ladder is Ours” is a great introduction to the Joy Formidable sound, and one of the songs we caught live and posted on our website. We are always a fan of tempo changes and “Silent Treatment” is the track that provides a tempo change from the rest of the album. The simple song structure and sparse production provide a perfect interlude in the middle of an otherwise rocking album. The “Maw Maw Song” contains multiple tempo shifts within the track, and is a track memorable for a chorus that is as much guitar as it is words. From start to finish, Wolf’s Law will not disappoint fans of rock music.
Video/music stream links:
You can see the video we shot and listen to “This Ladder is Ours”:
Here is a live performance of “Silent Treatment”
Via Spotify you can listen to the “Maw Maw Song”:
Below are a few pictures from the show we went to:
The ACL line up is posted on the website HERE. The tickets go on sale later this morning (5/7/13) at 10 AM CST (11 AM EST). This year the festival is emulating Coachella and is occurring over 2 weekends with identical line ups. The first weekend is October 4-6 and the second is the 11-13. The line up is quite solid with a great middle of the bill line up. The headliners/sub-headliners have a strong “First Wave” flavor with Depeche Mode and The Cure. Other interesting choices include Kings of Leon (who haven’t done anything in about 2 years), Atoms for Peace (with Thom Yorke, Flea, and others), and Lionel Richie. Overall the line up is solid and includes some SWB faves such as Vampire Weekend, The National, Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala, Local Natives,Phosphorescent, The Joy Formidable, Haim, Thao & The Get Down Stay Down, Little Green Cars, and Dan Croll.
The weather is usually a perfect temperature at that time of year in Texas. If you can make it, we highly recommend you attend one of the ACL weekends.
Even though the festival is 6 weeks away, Bonnaroo has already posted this year’s SCHEDULE. That gives you plenty of time to think and re-think your plans during those times of scheduling conflict. There definitely are some crowded time periods with similar genre groups playing head to head. If the musical choices are not enough for you, there is also the comedy tent (Headlined by Daniel Tosh) and the movie tent (including The National documentary, introduced by The National). Tickets are still available and can be purchased HERE.
Bonnaroo is the largest on-site camping festival in the United States. The line up is indie music laden, but it covers nearly all genre of music. ‘Roo has artists playing from around noon until about 4 AM Friday and Saturday. There are full days of music on Thursday and Sunday also. For 4 days 90,000 people forego air conditioning, most electronics, and good hygiene to have the most immersive music experience in North America. If you are a huge music fan, at least once, you have to go to Bonnaroo.
For those not interested in camping, tickets which allow you to stay in Nashville and shuttle to ‘Roo go on sale tomorrow, 5/3/13, at noon EST. You can read more about the shuttle option HERE
Here are two videos that we shot of The Joy Formidable during their show on 4/29/13 in Dallas, Tx at Trees. Both are songs from their new album, Wolf’s Law. We have a bunch of pictures that we will be posting later today (Tuesday). You can see a few pictures on our Twitter feed.
Here is a video that we shot of Io Echo performing the title track from their album Ministry of Love. This was during their show at Trees in Dallas on 4/29/13. We will be posting some photos later today (Tuesday). You can see a few pictures on our Twitter feed.
Vampire Weekend will have a live webstream tomorrow night, Sunday April, 28th. It is directed by Steve Buscemi (Of Boardwalk Empire and Reservoir Dog fame). It is at 9 PM Eastern/8 Central/6 Pacific. You will be able to watch it HERE There are some previews up on the site, including one with Grimes.
Vampire Weekend-Modern Vampires of the City RIYL: Paul Simon’s Graceland, MGMT, Arctic Monkeys, fun. Pseudo Genre: Afro Punk Pop