It looks like Vampire Weekend will be closing out this year’s Pitchfork Festival at Union Park in July. Pitchfork released its initial lineup of bands playing the annual three-day show in Chicago and the preppy boys are initially scheduled to headline Sunday, July 15. Feist is the top name Friday and Godspeed You! Black Emperor plays Saturday.
I’m a bit underwhelmed by the top of the bill but the list is far from being complete. I’ll be more excited to see Grimes and Cloud Nothings, artists who just released exciting new albums. Both play Saturday, July 14. Rounding out the Saturday schedule is Hot Chip and Liturgy. Sunday’s lineup also includes AraabMUZIK, Kendrick Lamar and the Field. The fest’s opening day, Friday July 13, features A$AP Rocky, Tim Hecker and Willis Earl Beal.
Tickets go on sale Friday, March 9 at this website.
Great news for fans of Phil Elverum, aka Mount Eerie. Elverum plans to release two new Mount Eerie albums this year, Clear Moon (out in May) and a follow, Ocean Roar (date TBA). Like all of Elverum’s albums, Clear Moon will be self released. He plans to tour Europe next month and the first of the two releases is scheduled to come out May 22.
According to reports out of Canada, Christopher Reimer, guitarist for the great band Women is dead. There aren’t a lot of details at this point. The band had been on hiatus.
Check out this new video for Strangers are Strange from Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Goodman this week gave us a glimpse of the album with the new song Break My Heart. Check it out below.
I just missed Sharon Van Etten’s short set when she kicked off the 2010 Pitchfork fest. On Thursday, she begins a two-night stand headlining at Lincoln Hall to promote her impressive breakthrough album Tramp. The excellent Shearwater opens.
Van Etten made a powerful, heartfelt album with the help of producer Aaron Dessner of The National. The album includes forlorn slow ballads with some diversions (Serpents is a rocker and a standout on the album, while Magic Chords is a cool, almost jazzy number). Tramp is recommended.
I can also recommend Shearwater’s just-released Animal Joy. The album is actually much livelier than 2010′s The Golden Archipelago. Dare I say parts of this album actually rock? (The song Immaculate is a good example.) Yet Animal Joy is still full of dramatic flourishes, making this a pretty exciting album. Shearwater is one of those highly original bands that doesn’t always fit into a neatly defined category. And that’s definitely a good thing.
Video from the show:
UPDATE: The Friday show is sold out.
Every Saturday morning, Chicago radio station WXRT features its Flashback program of four hours of music from one year. When I listen to the new album by Field Music, I feel like I’m listening to Flashback 1973 or ’74. It was in those years that adventurous FM radio stations (like XRT) played Genesis and other bands that ruled the euphemistically named progressive rock genre.
While prone to excess, one thing these progressive rock bands knew was how to build grand soundscapes.
What Field Music (Brit siblings Peter and David Brewis) successfully do on Plumb is harvest the best parts of that era’s musical style. The songs are short and the pace is brisk. The album clocks in at just under 36 minutes. Plumb wasn’t an immediately likable album for me (which is probably the opposite of anyone who likes this style of music). But for that reason, I think there’s more interesting things at work here. Plus these guys actually have something to say.
Barack Obama recently tweeted his campaign playlist on Spotify. It’s an interesting mix with ATYP faves like Wilco and Arcade Fire. U2, Springsteen and No Doubt make the list as do Earth Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin and Al Green. For the white boomers: James Taylor, REO Speedwagon and ELO! Ricky Martin makes an appearance. And here’s one I didn’t expect: Noah and the Whale. Check out the full list here.
Wilco should make the list. Jeff Tweedy has been an outspoken supporter of Obama. However, four years ago, he chided the president for not mentioning Wilco when Obama asked what was on his iPod.
Dana Janssen, percussionist for Akron/Family, plans to release his own album, Summer Bodies, in May under the name Dana Buoy.
Janssen (or Buoy?) just released a song off that album, Call to Be. Reminiscent of Animal Collective, Janseen draws on African beats mixed with synthesizer.
Check out the song below.
Diamond Rugs is a band made up of two guys from Deer Tick plus members of the Black Lips, Los Lobos, Six Finger Satellite and Dead Confederate.
The band plans a self-titled album in late April, and, according to its publicists, some of the songs on the release are being previewed at 50 strip clubs across the U.S. No reviews yet.
Here’s a video of the guys performing Gimme a Beer. The song can be downloaded at this website.
I’m still amazed at the Black Keys’ rise to superstar status. These guys are playing the freaking United Center in March! I do like the song Gold on the Ceiling off El Camino. (I have a feeling I’ll be sick of it soon enough, though.)
Here’s a collaboration I can really get excited about: Ty Segall and White Fence (aka Tim Presley) plan to release a new album, Hair, April 28. What’s more, these guys are heading out on the road together. The shows will feature separate sets and some songs played together. They hit Chicago’s Lincoln Hall May 10. That show also features Presley’s other band, the Strange Boys.
The Shins just premiered a new song on Record Store Day’s website. September will be the b-side of a 7-inch release for Simple Song out next week. Check it out below.
Simple Song and September will appear on the band’s new album Port of Morrow, which is expected out next month.
It’s a catchy song with a choogling beat. The release date is May 8.
It happened so quickly that I bet a lot of people missed it. But M.I.A. gave the finger to the Super Bowl crowd during her half-time performance with Madonna Sunday. It sounds to me like the word “shit” also got through the censors.