A cool, fun band at the Bottle for free? Seems like a no brainer.
Phosphorescent is Alabama native Matthew Houck, a singer-songwriter who draws comparisons as varied as Bonnie “Prince” Billy to Fleet Foxes. Houck, who now resides in Brooklyn, just made a fascinating album, Muchacho. The release is getting a lot of well-deserved buzz, which explains why he sold out a Saturday night show at Lincoln Hall.
If you snagged a ticket, consider yourself lucky to be able to see a rising artist. Strand of Oaks opens.
Lollapalooza single-day tickets reportedly sold out within an hour of going on sale this week. Since three-day passes were already gone, that left only some overpriced travel packages.
What’s stunning is that this mad rush for Lolla tickets was achieved with the stellar headliner lineup of Mumford & Sons, the Killers and the Cure. I’m still floored that Mumford is a headliner at Lolla.
But think of the possibility for next year? Taylor Swift? Adele? Any finalists from American Idol? Gotta get Dave Matthews, John Mayer or Jack Johnson, eh?
Bradley, a former James Brown impersonator now in his 60s, is a true soul man with a painful past who has only made two albums. I suppose these records could be dismissed as revivalist gimmicks but there’s an honesty to Bradley’s songs. I can’t embrace every track on Victim but when he’s on, Bradley is taking me back to another era — the ’60s and ’70s soul heyday — and it’s a very cool experience.
Aside from Strictly Reserved for You, the other highlights include Let Love Stand a Chance and Confusion. I also like the ultra-groovy Where Do We Go from Here?
Following his impressive 2011 debut, No Time for Dreaming, Bradley is more on than off on Victim.
If you’re going to Lollapalooza, check him out on Saturday (August 3).
The Lollapalooza lineup was officially announced Monday and, yes, Mumford & Sons is a headliner. Granted, the big fest hasn’t been cutting edge for years but can we agree that Saturday’s headliner, Mumford & Sons, is a new low? The other top acts are Friday’s headliner the Killers and Sunday’s top act, the Cure. I’m sorry. I just nodded off thinking about it.
Nine Inch Nails, the Postal Service and Phoenix are also listed near the top of the bill. No doubt at least two of the days will feature competing headline acts. Others with prime slots include New Order, Queens of the Stone Age, the National, the Lumineers and Vampire Weekend. I’m happy for the National, which appear to have a late show for Saturday night.
With an event as big as Lolla, there are certainly some shows to get excited about. New Order could be a highlight. Grizzly Bear probably will play a number of songs from its excellent 2012 album Shields. Hot Chip was a blast at Pitchfork last year. I’m sure it will be just as fun this year at Lolla. I’m curious how Father John Misty comes off live. I’d love to see soul man Charles Bradley. There are several early day acts worth catching, including Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Tickets are reportedly selling fast and all three-day passes are gone. Single-day passes go on sale Wednesday, April 3. See the lineup for the August 2-4 fest here.
The National is a bright spot among an otherwise disappointing list of acts at this year’s Lolla.
Though his roots are in lo-fi, Nathan Williams’ latest album as Wavves, Afraid of Heights, is a well-polished, slickly produced offering. Stylistically, it doesn’t stray that far from 2010′s King of the Beach, though it is a step forward. I’m blown away by the first two songs on the album, Sail to the Sun and Demon to Lean On. If only Williams would have kept that momentum through the rest of the album, Afraid of Heights would be a contender for one of the best releases of the year. There are plenty of other fine moments on Afraid and overall it’s good.
Wavves plays a sold-out show at Subterranean Monday night. Fidlar opens.
Pitchfork rounded out the lineup for its annual three-day Chicago festival and there’s a lot to like this year. I’ve said that this is one of the most interesting music festivals regardless of headliners. The up-and-coming early acts are often a highlight for me.
The biggest name added to the fest is M.I.A., who will play Sunday night before R. Kelly (at least that’s how the schedule appears now). Also joining the lineup are indie vets Yo La Tengo (Sunday) and the punk legends of Wire (Friday).
What really excites me are the additions of Woods, Frankie Rose and Mikal Cronin Friday; Parquet Courts and Metz Saturday; and Waxahatchee and Glass Candy Sunday. But there are a number of other highlights. See the full schedule here. The festival runs July 19-21.
Monomania, the new album from Deerhunter, is scheduled for release May 7. That’s something to get excited about. We haven’t seen a new Deerhunter album since Halcyon Digest in 2010. The press release announcing the new album is pretty funny. Monomania is a “mystery disc of nocturnal garage,” the statement reads. “New format is avant-garde (?) but only in context not form.”