Thursday, July 31, 2008

remixes: The Rosebuds

"I Know, It's Late"
I've been meaning to post these since early May but now that The Rosebuds have penciled in an October 7th release for their latest, Life Like, it seems like an appropriate time. Even more appropriate considering the album was co-produced by Portastatic’s Matthew McCaughan and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, who each contribute remixes to Sweet Beats, Troubled Sleep (Night of the Furies Remixed) . Matt's remix of "Silence By The Lakeside" is a mellow trip down bossanova lane, while Justin transforms "Get Up, Get Out" from an uptempo nu-disco cut into a slow burner complete with all the aching falsetto harmonies you'd expect from the man who crafted the insanely beautiful For Emma, Forever Ago. For those of you who forgot, Justin used to play in The Rosebuds, and also convinced them that they could record Night of the Furies by themselves. (Oh yeah, and we first discovered Bon Iver at the Rosebuds/Brooklyn Vegan showcase day 1 of CMJ 2007. Quite the family gig.)

Download Sweet Beats, Troubled Sleep (Night of the Furies Remixed) for FREE!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

we love: Sic Alps

"Sha La La La La La La"
Ok, I don't know if we love Sic Alps, but I sure as hell do. For the last few months the San Fran band's singles, EP's and rarities compilation A Long Way To Get Around To A Shortcut has been on high, high rotation on my iTunes. In fact, I love this disc so much that I've actually given 5 of the 26 songs on ALWTGATAS a 4-star rating on iTunes, a huge compliment considering the only other bands to make the list are the Beach Boys, Yo La Tengo, Animal Collective and Joy Division. Granted, Sic Alps aren't for everyone. If you don't like tape recordings, spatial hissing, fumbling psych freakouts, desperation or noize, stay away. If those things sound kind of enticing, continue reading.

While unabashed lo-fi-ness is their steez, the duo of Mike Donovan and Matt Hartman is absolutely relentless in their pursuit of the most beautiful, delapadated pop music. To me, Sic Alps are the musical equivalent of a marble statue of a Greek God holding his crotch, on top of a steaming mountain of garbage being towed on a barge to its final resting place, only to be burned by men in Dickie's and steel toed boots. Truth is, there is something down right dirty and "wrong" to the Sic Alps sound, as if everything pop/rock music is supposed to be has been broken, burnt, twisted, swallowed, regurgitated, swallowed again and shat out, only to be filtered through a dictaphone, which, for whatever reason, makes it beautiful. Jangly melodies, raucous freakouts, noize excursions, whorishly pretty pop, and instrumental wonders, it's all here for your enjoyment.

Rumor has it that Sic Alps are playing the Pool Sunday with Deerhunter, Black Lips, King Khan and the Shrines and Tall Firs. Can't confirm, but I'm definitely psyched, since I was out of town when they slayed Death By Audio (and Union Pool).

{Ed Note: Sic Alps ALWATGTAS ends with a tune called "Microcastle", which is also the name of the new album, and a song, by Deerhunter.}

Sic Alps- The News Today
Sic Alps- Untitled/Digital Booklet/Deep Fruit

Sic Alps "A Story Over There"

new: The Streets

"Somebody Else Will"

Just got the new Streets in the mail. Here is the first single, "The Escapist", a sort of mournful soul jam, which finds Skinner in a low-key, reflective mood, as if he really is retiring. Hopefully Everything is Borrowed will see the return of the classic storytelling Skinner brewed up on Original Pirate Material and A Grand Don't Come For Free.

The Streets- The Escapist[direct download]

Monday, July 28, 2008

we saw: Atlas Sound

"I'm Waiting To Be Changed"
One might not think South Street Seaport's outdoor Mall food court vibe would be the best place to see an Atlas Sound show. Truth is Bradford Cox's loopy lo-fi psych-pop is probably better suited for a black light lite basement, or on headphones in your bedroom high on Nyquil. However, somehow, Bradford was able to translate the warmth of Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel for a crowd of screwed up kids, post-work partiers, middle aged couples, khaki clad tourists, and, yep, a few hipsters. Maybe it was my spot in the crowd (upfront left), but the sound was impeccable, way better than at the No Age show. Bradford played a truly hypnotic, euphoric set of Let The Blind... gems like "Quarantined," "Cold As Ice," as well as new cut "Logos," which Bradford said would be the last song on his next album. Be sure to check out the video of "Logos."

Atlas Sound "Logos" @ South Street Seaport

classicks: Follow the Leader

Often labeled the greatest year in hip-hop, 1988 saw the release of some of the best albums in hip-hop's history. It's tough to pick a favorite from the class of '88, but Eric B & Rakim's sophomore album, Follow the Leader, is a top contender. Released twenty years ago last Friday, Follow the Leader was a blazing follow-up to their 1987 debut, Paid in Full, and set Rakim aside as one of the innovators and pioneers of early hip-hop.

class of '88 muxtape

Check out the video for the title track (below).

Eric B & Rakim - Follow the Leader

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pitchfork Day 2: The Hold Steady

"Gotta Stay Positive"

"I Knew That We'd Arrived At A Unified Scene"
God Bless The Hold Steady.

we saw: Akron/ Family

Love Is Simple
The Akron/Family show last night at Castle Clinton in Battery Park was a soul-bearing celebration of warmth, energy, liberal grooming habits and good vibes. Heady, right? Yeah, it was, and in the most sincere, down-to-earth, free-loving way. It wasn't nonsensical or obnoxiously Utopian, because you could physically hear the band invoking the sound of the natural world, as if they were mere vessels for some never ending song. The collective had Megafaun in tow, who added beautiful textures to complex layers of ambient noize and free-jazz psych outs. This is not a band to miss....ever.

Here's a little taste of Akron/Family's liberating live show.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

muxtape: Stormy Night in Brooklyn

"While You Wait For The Others"
Bored on a stormy night in Brooklyn, watching the sky light up and waiting to hear the new Grizzly Bear song on Letterman (which was sweeeet). Yep, that about sums it up. Here's the soundtrack to the evening.

Grizzly Bear - While You Wait For The Others
Yo La Tengo - You Can Have It All
Girls - Hellhole Ratrace
Galaxie 500 - Tell Me
Magnetic Fields - Abigail, Belle Of Kilronan
Sunset Rubdown - Us Ones In Between
The Rosebuds - Get Up Get Out - Justin Vernon of Bon Iver remix
(((Eagle Winged Palace))) - Hands of Doom
Blood on the Wall - Lightning Song
Atlas Sound - Marietta

Listen to the new

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pitchfork Day 3: Mahjongg

Tweaker Time
(This Great Photo by RobotClaw666)
Sunday afternoon kicked off with Mahjongg. We didn't know shit about them but figured we'd wander over to the B stage for its shade and ideal beer location. Not only did we find a nice spot to chill but Mahjongg played a killer set of hardcore experimental electro. Lots of knob tweaking, multiple percussive elements and super distorted vocals had the crowd bopping in a break neck sort of way. You could hear all the traditional elements of disparate experimental music, however, somehow Mahjongg made it enjoyable, even danceable, rather than say Health, who is more of a straight up noize band (not that there is anything wrong with that...If you were wondering, Health brought it hard.) Definitely keep an eye out for Mahjongg, who definitely have something going on.

Mahjongg Live at Pitchfork (audio is studio)

Pitchfork Day 3: King Khan and His Shrines

"Throw Some Mother Fucking Trash"
(This Great Photo by dde)
Day 3 of Pitchfork got off to a slow start, but that's just because we were still drained from having our heads warped by Animal Collective. While Mahjongg played one of the most unexpectedly enjoyable sets of the weekend, Sunday didn't really get started until King Khan and The Shrines brought their sex'd up punking psychedelic soul revue to the B stage. Needless to say, the dude did not disappoint, delivering a set that exceeded the hype and cemented Khan as the Indian love child of Iggy Pop and James Brown. We were also treated, although we didn't know it at the time, to a short set by King Khan, Bradford Cox and Jay Reatard later in the evening, but it was nothing like Khan's ridiculously raw powered afternoon show. Really excited to see him tear up McCarren Pool in a few weeks, when he comes to Brooklyn with Black Lips and Deerhunter (August 3rd).

King Khan killing Pitchfork

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pitchfork Day 2: Animal Collective

"Your Only All I See Sometimes"
What can I say about Animal Collective that hasn't already been said? Nothing. They absolutely destroyed Union Park on Saturday night. Anyone who was there will say the same thing. It was just outerwordly, like a space ship landed and we all willing got the anal probe....and it was good. Strawberry Jams like "Peacebone" and "Fireworks" were highlights, as was Panda Bear's "Comfy in Nautica", but the real madness came down on some of the new stuff. Not sure about exact names, but this bootleg from a May concert in Lisbon has a few of the new songs and they should not/will not be ignored. I can't recommend this live set enough. And now, for the next few weeks, I shall only think about two things: more Animal Collective and Radiohead. It's so on at All Points West. {Ed Note: GVB has some sick video of AC performing new jam "Lion In A Coma" from Pitchfork. Yes, you should check it out asap.)

Animal Collective 5-28-08 Lisbon, Portugal
01- The Dancer
02- Daily Routine
03- House (Material Things)
04- Lion In A Coma (new song)
05- Peacebone
06- Fireworks > Essplode > Fireworks
07- Walk Alone With You
08- Leaf House
09- Chocolate Girl (new song)
10- Comfy In Nautica
11- Brother Sport / Encore
12- Who Could Win A Rabbit?
13- Grass

Animal Collective "Peacebone" at Pitchfork

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pitchfork Day 2: The Ruby Suns

"When I Wake Up I Get The Morning Sun"
After chilling out with the Fleet Foxes, we roamed over to the B-stage for KiWi-via-Cali summer melody makers The Ruby Suns. With El Guncho's set nixed, I knew we had to catch The Ruby Suns, who play a similar sort of island oriented, sample based dance pop. While their sound was a bit muddy, the group (a mere two-some) served up Sea Lion gems like "Tane Mahuta", the second part of "Morning Sun" and "Oh, Mojave." I think we might've gotten "Kenya Dig It?", but my memory is a bit shot. Not gonna lie, Sea Lion seems to get better and better as the summer gets hotter.

Pitchfork Day 2: Fleet Foxes

"What A Life I Lead"
(This Great Photo was taken by Kristiecat)
After Caribou it was time to get down on another set of Fleet Foxes. After seeing them in two small (Bowery Ballroom and Union Hall, respectively) venues, I figured this afternoon slot on the main stage at a sort-of large festival wouldn't be the Foxes best. I wasn't wrong, but I wasn't right either. After a few sketchy tech problems that made it sound like Fuck Buttons were playing alongside them, the Foxes settled into their unique brand of baroque sylvan pop. Harmonies were high and tight, which Dizzee Rascal's crew didn't appreciate (they were heckling from their trailer). While the band doesn't play potent festi rock, as say Boris or !!!, the swelling audience didn't seem to have a problem getting entranced by the Northwestern boys with the pipes of gold. Be sure to catch them at an intimate club show while you still can.

Pitchfork Day 2: Caribou

"Now Our Hearts Are Wrapped Up Tight Again"
We caught a little bit of Titus Andronicus and Jay Reatard, but Caribou really opened up Saturday's festivities for us. And what a way to open it. Dan Snaith and comrades absolutely tore threw a euphoric set of Caribou/Manitoba staples, including Andorra favorites "Melody Day" and "She's The One." While technical difficulties plagued their sound check and rain loomed over head, all was made good by "Crayons", which transported the audience to some place far, far away where drums feed the rhythm of the human heart. {Ed Note: This show kicked off a weekend full of drums, drums and more drums.}

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wu-Tang Clan Ain't NOTHIN To F*ck With

Pitchfork loves Ghostface. And so do we. We especially love him with his fellow Clanmen Raekwon the Chef.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Siren Festival 2008

"Open your eyes and look around you..."

While some of the other Bobkats went to a different festival, this one had the pleasure of attending the Village Voice sponsored Siren Festival in Coney Island. And while some public transportation issues made it a 3 hour journey from Brooklyn (fuckin' G train), making me miss The Dodos (ahhhhhh!!!), how could one stay bitter on a day filled with such great music? Highlights included Jaguar Love rockin' out, being front row for Steven Malkmus and the Jicks, and seeing Ra Ra Riot finally, but no one topped Islands, who turned a lukewarm sometime listener into a full-fledged fanboy by putting together one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Beginning with "benevolent dictator"/frontman Nick Thornburn singing half of the first song with a silver trashcan over his head, it only got better from there, combining a two-violin attack with hard rock passages, epic marching themes, and some good-time boogying, all of which have made me strongly reconsider their new album, which I had written off after only a few listens. Hmm, maybe I need to see Evil Urges played live to get it...

Enjoy the only good Islands I could find...while this video doesn't come close to the show they put on today, it does have some good antics from their aforementioned dictator. And who doesn't love antics?

(Malkmus photo cred to Nick Scribner)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tonight in NYC

Today is a great, albeit challenging, day for New Yorkers. Why? Because there are sooo many good shows tonight it's impossible to see everything you'd like to check out. (Un)Fortunately, I've side stepped this problem by leaving town for the weekend, go figure. But seriously, there really is something for everyone tonight. Just check out this list:

Brian Wilson @ Coney Island (FREE)
The Spinto Band and Ra Ra Riot @ Union Hall
James Pants & Peanut Butter Wolf @ Studio B
The Dodo's @ Cake Shop (Shhh, it's a secret)
Brendan Canning (of Broken Social Scene) @ Mercury Lounge (SOLD OUT)
Girls(!!!) @ Market Hotel
Ted Leo @ Castle Clinton (Battery Park, FREE)
The Fiery Furnaces @ East River Park (FREE)
Demon Rum @ The East India Club
DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist @ McCarren Pool
Devlin, XXXchange and The Rapture (DJs) @ Santo's Party House
Yaz @ Terminal 5
DJ Spooky @ Music Hall of Williamsburg


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

new: Get Well Soon

"You Will Get Well Soon"
This popped in our inbox yesterday and I'm sort of taken by its message of optimism. There isn't much here in terms of traditional pop structure (you know, verse-chorus-verse), but Get Well Soon (25 year-old Berlin based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and Philosophy student, Konstantin Gropper) sure knows how to build a track from mellow bell orchestrations into a beautiful and grandiose mantra, "Rest Now, Weary Head, You Will Get Well Soon!" Get Well Soon keeps it short, simple and sweet. Keep an eye out for Get Well Soon's LP Rest Now, Weary Head! You Will Get Well Soon!, which has yet to be released in the States.

Get Well Soon- Prelude

"Witches! Witches!" from Rest Now, Weary Head! You Will Get Well Soon!

Monday, July 14, 2008

we saw: Amazing Baby

"I Can't Seem To Understand"

Hit up Music Hall of Williamsburg last night for the free post-Breeders Pool Party After Show featuring Amazing Baby and the Mobius Band. While the Mobius Band is a long time Bobka like, Amazing Baby only recently appeared on our radar after Bill at Sound Bites sung their praise a few months ago. Still in their infancy (played their first show 5/10/08), Amazing Baby have a sound that is way epic in a Bowie meets Pantera way. The bands psychedelic prog is fueled by schizophrenic sound manipulations, over indulgent/sex'd up lyrics and absolutely monstrous guitar riffs. Seriously, you gotta see these guys just to watch their lead guitar player, who is the quintessential Metal axe slayer, coax a violently angelic wall of rhythmic noise from his Gibson. We only caught the last few songs from Amazing Baby but the head bursting "Pump Your Brakes" was ill and set closer "The Narw hal" was definitely a climactic, hedonistic way to end (from what I saw) a damn good rock show. Cathartic in all the right ways. "Supreme Being" and "Head Dress" are also pretty unstoppable, and available for free download on their MySpace. You can also snag "Pump Your Brakes" courtesy of the Fader.

Amazing Baby- The Narw Hal

Amazing Baby- Pump Your Breaks

Friday, July 11, 2008

we saw: Fleet Foxes at Union Hall

"I'm Alive and Well"
Photo by Kyle Dean Reinford

Waking up at 4:30 a.m. occasionally has its advantages. Case in point, yesterday when I awoke to find that the Fleet Foxes announced a second show for this evening at Union Hall. While reports of Robin's health from last night weren't exactly positive, I was optimistic because when I saw them make their NYC debut in March, Robin was also under the weather. (Although that time it seemed to be the fluctuating weather, not the perils of the road.) Regardless, the late show at Union Hall tonight was a special affair. Robin definitely wasn't 100%, but the dude gave his God's honest all and everyone in the room was thankful. Not only were they thankful, but I have to give mad props to Brooklyn, as the audience at the late show was one of the most respectful, utterly entranced audiences I've had the pleasure to have been apart of in along time. (Probably since the last time I saw Fleet Foxes, or Joanna Newsome.)

Not gonna lie, even in a shitty situation the Fleet Foxes sound amazing. Their form is timeless, not some passing neon fad or Hype Machine fueled future top 40 act. "Blue Ridge Mountains", as expected, was an evening highlight, but I think the moment of most utter transcendence came during "Mykonos", where Josh Tillman's percussion lent a dark force to the best song on the Sun Giant EP. I heard someone mention that Tillman takes "Mykonos" to almost religious levels, and I can't do anything but agree.

While the entire band was on extra point tonight (due to Robin Pecknold's illness), it was Pecknold himself who stole the show. No doubt he could've sat the show out, hell if I were him I would've cancelled it, or not even scheduled it. But even under the weather, Pecknold delivered a bold, wholehearted and genuine performance that both enraptured the audience and wrapped them in warm blankets. I only wish I'd given Robin a proper bear hug after the show to prove how much his performance meant to the entire crowd. Like the show in March, he repeatedly thanked the crowd in the most humble, Northwestern way possible. Needless to say, I had to thank him back and I'm pretty sure everyone at Union Hall tonight would've done the same. That said, the band admitted that the early show was, well, shit. And it didn't help that folks in the front row scribbling notes (Tillman joked about his performance receiving a 7.2). Regardless, the Late night crowd was so attentive, I almost forgot I was in a packed room full of awe-struck compadres, which is probably the greatest compliment I could ever give band. I literally lost myself, in place and time, in the Union Hall basement tonight. It was beautiful, in the realest way possible. God bless the Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes- White Winter Hymnal

Fleet Foxes "Tiger Mountain Song" Live in London

Thursday, July 10, 2008

the return: RANA

Already the biggest rock news of the year, NJ pseudo-cult-rockers RANA have gotten back together after unofficially breaking up nearly two years ago. The news broke late this afternoon with the announcement that RANA would play middle bill this Friday night at Revolution Hall in Troy, NY with mates Sam Champion and The Duo. A future NYC show was also part of the announcement.

In an email to the RANA listserv, Rana (and Sam Champion) drummer Ryan Thornton announced, "It is true. Albany anyone? We hit the stage at 9:00. Look for a New York City show mid August. Yes! -Ryan ." Their MySpace page merely reads:
"Four friends from New Jersey. Been all over the country together. Rana loves music, loves to play. What the hell."
In honor of RANA's Return, I share some killer tracks that cover some of the many faces of RANA, and one song that does it all: "I Waste It."

pop: RANA - Charm Bracelet [from What It Is]
hard-psych-rock: RANA - It's So Hard (Believe Me) [LIVE]
alt-country: RANA - Backstabbing World [from What It Is]
RANA - I Waste It [from 2005 RANA Sampler]

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

classic albums: The Millenium- Begin

"The Island Is Calling"
The brainchild of Curt Boettcher and Gary Usher, The Millenium were a California super studio group affiliated with the Association and Sagittarius. The band only recorded one record, Begin, and were immediately dropped by Columbia Records. Ironically, Begin had been the most expensive album Columbia ever produced at the time. Too pop for the psych kids and too psych for the pop kids, The Millenium had trouble finding an attentive, commercially viable audience. In retrospect, its this juxtaposition of accessible pop and far out psych that makes them so wonderful.

A warm, enlightening mix of sun washed harmonies, glockenspiels, sky high production and even a harpsichord pounding loopy beat that could easily be sampled (and I'm surprised it hasn't been) by any number of retro-leaning electro-hop producers, The Millenium sounds like the Beach Boys doing acid with Sufjan Stevens' band (wings et all), or Tower of Power killing some day-glo drenced, Aquarius living hippies with kindness. For instance, every time I hear "The Island" I literally drift off to a deserted island where seagulls poop mescaline on my head and transform me into an all seeing, all knowing, all nude shaman capable of healing tree's and understanding dolphin speak.

When they aren't tripping out the happiest harmonies I've heard in a long time, they craft poignant bossa-nova influenced pop like "5 AM", which is the quintessential song about not being able to sleep, realizing that it's 5 am and that the world is about to wake up. And just so you're not misled by the pop, peep "Karmic Dream Sequence #1", which sounds exactly like you'd think "Karmic Dream Sequence #1" should sound...siiiick. See for yourself, then head over to Sundazed and buy this immediatly and make sure you listen, constantly, for the rest of the summer (and beyond).

The Millenium- The Island

The Millenium- 5 am
The Millenium- Karmic Dream Sequence #1

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

we love: The Dodos

"We can do this on our own..."

Shame on the Bobka for not mentioning them earlier, but we just can't get enough of S.F. duo The Dodos. After having originally listened to their album, Visiter, a few months ago (without properly paying attention), I gave it another spin last week and haven't really stopped, sometimes listening to it thrice a day. And while at this pace I'll no doubt burn out on it too quickly, (hellloooo Yankee Hotel Foxtrot), I just can't help myself. The music itself, which combines pop melodies, furious percussion, and the occasional full band presence, will no doubt fall into the sadly broad "freak folk" category, so I propose we coin the term "fuck folk", as this album sounds like what I imagine having sex with folk music feels like. Who's with me? No one? Ok, bad idea.

Here's the first single off the album, "Fools", live on NPR. Totally killer.

Monday, July 7, 2008

summer classic: Amadou & Mariam

Worldbeat makes excellent summer music.

Afro-Cuban jazz - Afro-juju - Alpine New Wave - Bhangra-wine - Bhangragga - Bhangramuffin - Biguine moderne - Burger highlife - Calypso-style baila - Campursari - Canto livre - Canto nuevo - Chicha - Chutney-bhangra - Chutney-hip hop - Fuji - Hip life - Lambada - Latin jazz - Merenrap - Mor lam sing - Nueva cancion - Punta rock - Rai pop - Rapso - Reggae highlife - Salsa - Sevillana - Slack-key - Songo - Zam-rock - Zouk

Amadou & Mariam - Camions Suvages [from Dimanche a Bamako (2005)]

Sunday, July 6, 2008

sunday morning music: Chocolate USA

"I Gotta Get My Head On Straight"
An appropriate jam considering The Feelies just reunited, played Hoboken and New York and we didn't go. "I missed the Feelies Show/ I missed the Feelies Show/ I don't know how I missed the Feelies show." Sort of how I feel right now. Oh, well.

Chocolate USA- The Feelies Show

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July

"But I Feel Alright When You Smile"
I've been listening to this song a lot lately, and until yesterday afternoon I didn't even realize how timely my listening habits were. Needless to say, this is our requisite Fourth of July post. And yes, from Greenpoint the Empire State Building looks no bigger than a nickel.

Galaxie 500- Fourth of July

And for good measure, Animal Collective's festive "Fireworks", which appropriately debuted a year ago today.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

soundtracking: Alligator

"Sleepy Alligator In The Noon Day Sun"
Aimless walks through the neighborhood are sort of my specialty. I never know where I'm going or why, or what I'm doing, but regardless, I go and I explore and I get lost. Two days ago I did just that and wound up half conscious in McCarren park, laying under an old oak tree while one woman experimented with doing sit ups on a high wire and another young lady roamed around on stilts. The eleven minute "Alligator" from Anthem of the Sun couldn't have been a more perfect soundtrack.

Grateful Dead- Alligator

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

hot: (((Eagle Winged Palace)))

"Fall Helplessly"
Treat yourself to a J and a meandering walk through a radiant forest...or a nap under a tree in your neighborhood park. Wherever you're going, (((Eagle Winged Palace)))'s "Hands of Doom" should accompany you. It will follow you like an ancient shadow, a haunting dream and a lover from the great beyond. "Embrace the powers that be."

(((Eagle Winged Palace)))- Hands of Doom
**(highly rec'd)

we saw: Delta Spirit

"Wrapped Around My Neck Bone"

(photo by big sam thompson)

The photo above says a thousand things about Delta Spirit, but the one that immediately pops into my head is "timeless." If there weren't 6 million pixels, you could imagine it being an intimate tour portrait from one of the legendary Crazy Horse tours of the 70's, or a famed CSNY show in Laurel Canyon, or a basement recording session in Saugerties. Maybe its the chops (in fine form) or the plaid, but something about seeing Delta Spirit the other night for the third time in months has left me feeling that one day Ode to Sunshine will be framed on the wall of my hypothetical offspring.

Their show at Union Hall was another barn burner, providing a showcase for the bands ever evolving, yet still raw, Americana. Staples like "People Turn Around" and "House Built for Two" sounded at home with the jazz standard "St. James Infirmary", one of my favorite Louis Armstrong cuts. With their timeless American sound, it should come as no coincidence that Delta Spirit signed to Rounder Records (who released the essential Alan Lomax collection), who will be re-releasing Ode to Sunshine on August 26(CD/LP). Peep this video from Sasquatch for a little insight into the bands influences, tastes and why Rounder felt like home.

Setlist: People C'mon/ Strange Vine/ Streetwalker/ House Built for Two/ St. Francis/ Vivian/ Children/ Bleeding Bells/ Trashcan/ St. James Infirmary/ Tom G(?)/ People Turn Around

Matt and Jonathan of Delta Spirit at Sasquatch