Posts Tagged ‘Patterson Hood’

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

"Darkness On The Edge Of Town"

Patterson Hood covers Bruce Springsteen

Photo via Nine BulletsSouthern ShelterThere’s not really a lot to covering Bruce Springsteen. Whether you’re fronting a big band or are just a guy with a guitar – and maybe a harmonica – all you really need is the ability and conviction to sing it the way Bruce intended it; the song really does the rest. Given that criteria, Patterson Hood has got it – if you’ll excuse the pun – covered.

The Drive-By Truckers frontman opened up for Sonic Youth at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Georgia in December 2007 and for this set, opted to do a set comprised entirely of Bruce covers. And not just any old set of Springsteen tunes, but only ones taken from The Boss’ 1978 album Darkness On The Edge Of Town. Hood explained his affection for that particular Springsteen record in a piece for Aquarium Drunkard and the full set is available to hear and download at Southern Shelter.

Springsteen is in town this coming Friday night, August 24, for a show at the Rogers Centre in support of his latest album Wrecking Ball. Drive-By Truckers’ last release was 2011’s Go-Go Boots, but Hood is releasing his third solo record in Heat Lightning Rumbles In The Distance on September 11. Charleston City Paper has an interview with Hood.

MP3: Patterson Hood – “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” (40 Watt Club, Athens, GA – Dec 1, 2007)
Video: Bruce Springsteen – “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” (Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ – September 19, 1978)

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Cool Yourself

Review of Thao With The Get Down Stay Down’s Know Better Learn Faster and giveaway

Photo By Tarina WestlundTarina WestlundWhen I wrote up Thao with The Get Down Stay Down’s last album We Brave Bee Stings And All back in August of last year, I gave it a net stamp of approval, with Thao Nguyen’s exuberant delivery and energy making up for my concerns about the tendency oof her voice to wander from pitch – certainly, that woozy enthusiasm was part of her charm, but I’m a bit of a stickler on that.

So I’m pleased to be able to report that the follow-up Know Better Learn Faster somehow manages to not set off those klaxons while not losing any of her distinctive character. No, it’s not that she’s discovered the joys of autotune but simply that the melodies on Know Better are less given to wander, the songs tighter and more focused and the album simply better. And amazingly, she’s done it while expanding the band’s sonic palette and without dialing down the enthusiasm. “Cool Yourself” is an upbeat, horn-driven pop gem while “When We Swam” is a coy and even slinky bit of doo-wop, and that only touches on the range of styles covered on the record, all delivered with the right balance of biting wit and sensitive underbelly. It’s be easy to miss out on the musical sophistication at work due to the raw and live production aesthetic and Nguyen’s strong presence up front, but repeated listens do bring those extra details and touches to the fore and enrich what’s already a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Thao with The Get Down Stay Down are at the El Mocambo on November 1 and I’m excited that after a year and a half of near misses both here and at SxSW, I’ll finally be able to catch their much-praised live show for myself. Tickets are $12 in advance, but courtesy of Kill Rock Stars, REMG and Toolshed, I have three pairs of passes to give away to the show and for those who can’t go, two autographed copies of Know Better Learn Faster on CD up for grabs. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to Get Down Stay Down” in the subject line and full name in the body. And note whether you’re gunning for the passes or the CD – the former are available to anyone who can get to the El Mocambo next Sunday night, the CD to residents of North America. Contest closes at midnight, October 28.

Paste and The Oregonian have interviews with Thao Nguyen.

MP3: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Know Better Learn Faster”
Video: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “When We Swam”
Video: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down – “Cool Yourself”
MySpace: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down

Pitchfork has details on the forthcoming third album from Beach House. Teen Dream, the duo’s first for SubPop, will be out on January 26 and come with a DVD featuring a video for each song on the record.

The Line Of Best Fit interviews The Anters while BrooklynVegan gets Peter Silberman of The Antlers and Sharon Van Etten of Sharon Van Etten to interview each other.

Boise Weekly chats themselves up some Dodos.

Death & Taxes discusses matters of cosmic and civic importance with Sufjan Stevens.

Paste catches up with Nels Cline of Wilco.

Philadelphia Weekly talks to St Vincent’s Annie Clark, who has diligently been adding to her tour videos collection on her blog.

NPR has a World Cafe session with Patterson Hood available to stream.

Grant Hart, ex of Husker Du, will be at the Horseshoe on December 14 in support of his new solo record Hot Wax, tickets $10.50.

NPR expresses their acronym solidarity by streaming the whole of R.E.M.’s new live record Live At The Olympia in advance of its release this coming Tuesday, October 27.

Stream: R.E.M. / Live At The Olympia

Uptown has a cover feature on Dan Mangan.

Pitchfork reports that The Week That Was and School Of Language have officially been backburnered as the Brewis brothers have reunited as Field Music, and will release a double-album entitled Measure on February 16.

MP3: Field Music – “Measure”

And to help maintain the cosmic balance of British bands in active duty, The Rakes have announced they’re calling it quits effective immediately, thus scuppering their North American tour which was due to stop at the Mod Club in Toronto on November 9. It might have sounded a little like this.

MP3: The Rakes – “That’s The Reason”

The Scotsman interviews Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of The Swell Season. They are at Massey Hall on November 2.

The Hollywood Reporter says that The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn is working on the film adaptation of Chuck Klosterman’s first novel, Fargo Rock City. It’s a pairing so perfect that when I first read it, I barely reacted – it was like, “well of course he is”.

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Quiet Houses

Fleet Foxes and Dungen at Massey Hall in Toronto

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWould Robin Pecknold have a guitar strap?

That was really the only burning question in my mind going into Tuesday night’s Fleet Foxes show at Massey Hall in Toronto. The initial one when this show was first announced back in April – could this band who didn’t even play to a full house at the El Mocambo last April in support of Blitzen Trapper now fill a venue as large and storied (to say nothing of expensive) as Massey Hall – was answered by the fact that the 2750-seat hall was completely and utterly sold out, their appeal apparently transcending demographic and generation and drawing young and old, hippies and hipsters, businessmen and alt.bros.

So really, whether or not the 23-year old frontman still preferred to perform seated or if he would deign to stand up and give his fans a good look at him was the only unknown. That, and would they be as good as everyone obviously expected they would be. Certainly, based on the adulation their 2008 self-titled debut received, topping numerous year-end lists, expectations were high. For myself, I didn’t love the record as much as many though it was impossible to not be impressed by the talent and craft that went into it – I just found it was a record I respected more than I adored. Still, the opportunity to see them return to town not as buzzy up-and-comers but bona fide stars was not one I wanted to pass up.

Support on this tour seemed a bit unusual to me, coming in the form of Swedish psychedelic merchants Dungen. My only previous encounter with them was their 2005 album Ta Det Lugnt and re-reading my review, I didn’t appear to be too taken with them. I suspect I’d have had a different opinion if I’d seen them live, however, as their set was a pretty impressive musical slap upside the head. It did start out as the sort of pastoral, folkish-psychedelia I’d remembered but as their set went on, it got more intense and jammed-out like a delayed-effect acid trip. By the end of their 40 minutes, I could fully understand why Fleet Foxes would later declare them to be their favourite band in the world. That was some heady stuff.

Playing a venue like Massey Hall is enough to unnerve any artist, but there was no sense of nervousness amongst Fleet Foxes when they finally ambled out to roaring applause that you’d normally expect for local heroes or the like. And it wasn’t due to a lack of appreciation for the history of the stage on which they stood – the Neil Young between-set mix and historical facts about the building rattled off by Pecknold (courtesy Wikipedia) were proof of that. It was simply confidence that not only did they belong on that stage, but that they’d own it.

And from the opening a capella of “Sun Giant”, they did just that. Their performance was nothing short of amazing, with their pristine four-part harmonies filling every nook and cranny of Massey’s beautiful acoustics. Hearing them sing, it wasn’t a question of whether they could play the room but whether they should ever be allowed to play anywhere else. Their set covered almost their entire recorded output as well as three new songs, one of which featured some unexpected but effective synth textures. Between songs, Pecknold – who was indeed performing upright – made casual and entertaining banter with the audience though it was drummer J Tillman who provided the most comic relief. Again, if these guys were at all nervous about the show, they were hiding it well.

Highlights were difficult to pick out – they pretty much dazzled for the full hour forty-five – but when Pecknold started the encore at the edge of the stage, unplugged and unmiked, to sing traditional folk song “Katie Cruel”, that was easily a moment for the ages. He doesn’t have the biggest voice, necessarily, but given the space and the dead silent audience, it sounded stunning. And while they surely intended to finish with “Blue Ridge Mountains”, as good a note as any to go out on, Toronto – who had waited a long time for them to return – refused to let go and a humbled and appreciative Pecknold came out again for a solo reading of “Meadowlark”. I still can’t say as though I love Fleet Foxes – the whys of that I’m not entirely clear on either – but I am awed by them and their abilities. These are some ungodly talented boys.

Chart, eye and NOW also have reviews of the show, and The Montreal Mirror and The Oakland Press have interviews. Daytrotter recently trotted out a session with Dungen.

Photos: Fleet Foxes, Dungen @ Massey Hall – August 4, 2009
MP3: Fleet Foxes – “Mykonos”
MP3: Fleet Foxes – “White Winter Hymnal”
MP3: Dungen – “Satt Att Se”
Video: Fleet Foxes – “Mykonos”
Video: Fleet Foxes – “He Doesn’t Know Why”
Video: Dungen – “Familj”
Video: Dungen – “Festival”
Video: Dungen – “Panda”
Video: Dungen – “Stadsvandringar”
Video: Dungen – “Solen stiger upp”
MySpace: Dungen

Blitzen Trapper have released an MP3 to go with the new video they rolled out from Furr a couple weeks ago. On Milwaukee has an interview.

MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Black River Killer”
Video: Blitzen Trapper – “Black River Killer”

NPR Wilco is streaming a World Cafe session with Wilco and American Songwriter has finished counting down their top twenty Jeff Tweedy compositions of all-time. Pre-sale for Wilco’s October 14 show at Massey Hall go on sale next Wednesday at 10AM via Front Gate (the show’s not listed yet) and public on-sale is next Friday at 10AM. Oh, and if you’re looking for Wilco and Wilco-related downloads a-plenty, Owl & Bear is your new best friend.

Austin360 talks to M Ward, who will be at Massey Hall on November 2 as part of the Monsters Of Folk. Their self-titled debut album is out September 22.

And fellow Monster Of Folk Jim James this week released his debut solo effort as Yim Yames, the George Harrison tribute EP Tribute To. Paste, The New York Times and The Courier-Journal have interviews with James/Yames and the EP is streaming at Spinner.

Stream: Yim Yames / Tribute To

JamBands talks to Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers. Hood is also featured solo in a Daytrotter session.

The Courier-Journal and Metromix talk to Josh Ritter.

NPR is streaming Neko Case’s set at the Newport Folk Festival last weekend. The Edmonton Journal and SEE also have interviews.

Pitchfork reports that Devendra Banhart’s major-label debut What We Will Be is due out in October.

Soundproof has a quick feature on Dog Day.

The Deadbolt has an interview with Tony Dekker of Great Lake Swimmers.

Black Cab Sessions takes Woodpigeon for a ride.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Just The Same But Brand New

St. Vincent sessions up and visits Letterman

Photo By Annabel MehranAnnabel MehranIt’s been a long week – I hope you’ll allow me to decompress with some much-needed link dumping.

And it’ll begin with St. Vincent, who wrap an extensive leg of North American touring tonight in Brooklyn before spending July in Europe in support of her second album Actor. Then come August, it’s back onto the highways of America for a short northeastern jaunt which will wrap with an August 8 show in Toronto at the Horseshoe, a gig which perplexingly isn’t yet sold out, so if you’ve been dithering about whether to go or not, the following should these video sessions with Ms Clark which surfaced over the past week should certainly nudge you off the fence, and if you’ve already got the date saved, they’ll serve to simultaneously whet and appease your appetite to see St Vincent live.

Her Lake Fever Sessions set sees her dazzling in a solo acoustic setting, while the inaugural “Cemetary Gates” series at Pitchfork TV sets Clark and her band in a Brooklyn graveyard (well, in a church in a graveyard), plugged in and presumably with a mandate to wake the dead. She was also on Letterman last night, performing “Marrow” – it’s probably too much to hope that the horn section is coming on tour with her – and You Ain’t No Picasso posted up an interview conducted a few weeks back in Kentucky.

Video: St Vincent – “Marrow” (live on Letterman)

Oregon Public Broadcasting welcomed Neko Case to their studios for a session and interview. Her tourmate Jason Lytle just released a new video. Both are at Massey Hall on July 14.

Video: Jason Lytle – “It’s The Weekend”

SpinEarth talks to Emily Haines of Metric.

Patterson Hood discusses his new solo record Murdering Oscar with Paste and The Washington Examiner. You can currently stream the whole thing at Spinner.

Stream: Patterson Hood / Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs)

Aquarium Drunkard and Paste talk to Jay Farrar about Son Volt’s new record American Central Dust, out July 7.

Acoustic Guitar asks Elvis Costello about his acoustic guitar (and other stuff). Costello is at Massey Hall on August 28.

Also at Massey Hall, this show on July 11, is Steve Earle. He has a Q&A with Magnet.

Interview talks to Swedish singer-songwriter Anna Ternheim. She has been added to the bill alongside Loney Dear and Asobi Seksu at the Horseshoe on October 13. Her new record Leaving On A Mayday will be out in North America on August 11.

MP3: Anna Ternheim – “To Be Gone”

eye talks to Casey Mecija of Ohbijou, who are playing the Opera House tonight.

Woods have a date at Sneaky Dee’s on August 8.

MP3: Woods – “To Clean”
Video: Woods – “To Clean”

Lemonade and Cale Parks will be at the El Mocambo on August 24.

MP3: Lemonade – “Big Weekend”
MP3: Cale Parks – “One At A Time”

Here’s a peculiar bill – The Happy Mondays and The Psychedelic Furs are teaming up for a North American tour this Fall, including a stop at the Kool Haus on October 14. I call it peculiar because the two acts were hardly contemporaries and probably wouldn’t have shared the same fanbase even if they were. But I guess they have the demographic now – nostalgic Anglophiles who wish they were twenty years younger.

They’re here in a couple weeks on July 9 opening up for Beirut at the Phoenix, but since that gig is plum sold out, The Dodos have announced a full North American tour for this Fall in support of their new record Time To Die, out September 15. Their tourmates will be kiwis The Ruby Suns and the local stop will be October 17 at Lee’s Palace.

MP3: The Dodos – “Fools”
MP3: The Ruby Suns – “Tane Mahuta”

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

I Don't Wanna Go There

Guitar solo fetishists rejoice as Dinosaur Jr, Built To Spill and Sonic Youth return

Photo By Brantley GutierrezBrantley GutierrezIt’d be foolish to suggest that the guitar has fallen out of its place of supremacy in the indie rock universe – the six-string remains ubiquitous – but there’s a case to be made that the guitar solo is on the wane. And I’m not talking about the concise melodic instrumental break but the full-on, 32 bar, eye-closing, fuzz-spraying, fret-shredding SOLO. That, you don’t see as much of these days.

So for those of us for whom that’s not a positive development, the impending June 23 arrival of Farm, Dinosaur Jr’s new record and second since reforming the original lineup, is good news. Because where there’s Dinosaur Jr, there’s soloing. Lots and lots of soloing. Farm doesn’t stray far from the template J Mascis has worked from for pretty much his entire career – sleepy, croaked vocals over loud, hook-laden tunes and saturated with guitar – but definitely maintains the sense of rejuvenation that made their last album, Beyond, so much better than most expected.

I’ve still not seen Dinosaur Jr live in any of their incarnations – the 2006 Broken Mascis Scene benefit concert with Broken Social Scene was as close as I came – so I’m hoping that the rumours that they’ll be playing Pop Montreal implies a Toronto date come October. In the meantime, a session the band recorded for Daytrotter has been made available to download, featuring a couple of songs from their debut Dinosaur as well as Beyond. There’s also an interview with drummer Murph at Chart.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr – “I Want You To Know”
Video: Dinosaur Jr – “Over It”

Doug Martsch is another fellow who’s been known to take a guitar excursion or two, and there’s sure to be more than a few of them on the next Built To Spill album, which should be arriving this year. Martsch talked to both Pitchfork and Sterogum about how things are going on There Is No Enemy, due out in October. Denver Westword also has an interview, and there’s also rumours of a Toronto live date percolating… more on that when its available.

Sonic Youth are also no strangers to the abuse of six-stringed instruments. Their latest, The Eternal, leans towards the more conventional side of their oeuvre, but with Sonic Youth that’s a very relative statement. They’re the subject of an interview at Billboard and another on-camera two-parter at Pitchfork TV. PFTV also has another installment in their A>D>D video session with the band, who’re at Massey Hall on June 30.

Guitar heroics aren’t necessarily the first thing one thinks of when they think of Wilco, but with Nels Cline in the band, they shouldn’t be much further than the second or at most, third. CityBeat has a conversation with with Cline about his work both within and without Wilco, while Metromix caught up with Jeff Tweedy while the band was in Spain to discuss their new record Wilco (The Album), due out June 30.

Muzzle Of Bees asks five questions of Son Volt’s Jay Farrar. Their new album American Central Dust is in stores July 7.

JAM talks to Steve Earle. He’s playing Massey Hall solo on July 11.

Under The Radar has details on the forthcoming Drive-By Truckers rarities compilation The Fine Print (A Collection Of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008), out September 1. The band’s performance for Austin City Limits will also be released on CD and DVD on July 7, and Patterson Hood’s new solo record Murdering Oscar (and other love songs) is out June 23.

MP3: Patterson Hood – “I Understand Now”

Blurt has information on goings-on in Pernice Brothers-land. Joe’s first novel It Feels So Good When I Stop is set for an August 6 release and it will be accompanied by the release of a soundtrack album – essentially a cover album – which will be out August 4. There will also be string of live dates that seek to combine the book reading/concert performance mediums into, well, some combination of the two. Only a few of the dates have been announced yet, none in Pernice’s adopted hometown of Toronto. Come on, Joe. Do it.

Wheat are offering an MP3 from their forthcoming album White Ink Black Ink, which has pushed back May and June release dates and is now set to be out July 21. Any bets on August? PopMatters readies itself for the new record by revisiting the greatness of their first two, Medeiros and Hope & Adams, both recently reissued together.

MP3: Wheat – “H.O.T.T.”

MPR is streaming a session with Grizzly Bear.

Killabeez talks to Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, who’ve just released a new video.

Video: Chairlift – “Bruises”

Jet will be at the Mod Club on July 6, tickets $25.50.