Skyway Theatre Opener: Purple Apple Minneapolis, MN November 30, 2013 Photos and review by Joe Stadele for The Way That He Sings on December 2, 2013. “Lissie! Lissie! Lissie!,” the crowd chanted as the singer-songwriter playfully danced upon reclaiming the stage during the encore. Though the chant
Concert review: Fitz and the Tantrums and Capital Cities at Stephens Auditorium in Ames, IA – November 19, 2013
Published by JB on November 21, 2013 Fitz and the Tantrums with Beat Club and Capital Cities Stephens Auditorium Ames, IA. This past summer, while driving back to my little corner of Iowa, I heard Capital Cities “Safe & Sound” come on my favorite
Published by JB on November 3, 2013 My Bloody Valentine Roy Wilkins Auditorium St. Paul, MN. Close my eyes Feel me how I don’t know maybe you could not hurt me now from ‘Sometimes’ off My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless The mere fact that this
Electric Fetus Minneapolis, MN October 21, 2013 Photos and review by Joe Stadele for The Way That He Sings on October 23, 2013. The Electric Fetus In-Store Record Release Performance “Minnesota Nice!” as one audience member shouted and then repeated by Poliça vocalist Channey Leaneagh may
Cosentino and Bruno go back to 2010 and just turn up the amps a little.Published by JB on December 7, 2013 Release date: October 22, 2013
They call this a mini-album. I call it an EP. The head scratcher here is why Best Coast chose to not just add two more tracks and call it an ALBUM. Either way, the comparisons to Fade Away‘s two predecessors is the first prerequisite. For me this album is nothing like the outstanding guitar-pop masterpiece they released in May of 2012. That album (Only Place) was filled with jangly hooks and melodies and featured a sequence of tracks in the middle of the album that will carry Best Coast forward for another half decade. The Only Place had both a bigger pop sound and a far more studio-savvy hi-fi recording than their ultra lo-fi debut album Crazy For You. Where Crazy For You featured what is still the best Best Coast track in their catalog (the sublime “Our Deal”), The Only Place was a dramatic leap forward that alienated only a tiny handful of critics who preferred the lo-fi vibe of their debut. If you want lo-fi, go play The Only Place on a transistor radio.
Fade Away is a louder version of the lo-fi feel from 2010, and slightly more catchy – but nowhere in the category of The Only Place. It’s more guitar oriented than both of its predecessors but with a lot of the same reverb studio vocals of their debut album. Nearly every track is heavy with Bruno’s guitar work yet still has the girl-next-door melodies and vocals from Cosentino. The ace in the hole for Best Coast continues to be Cosentino’s singing. From a girl that has a google-search record of partying like a real rock star her vocals are typically outstanding, carrying each track without wearing thin on the microphone. That coupled with the wonderful Bruno has setup Best Coast for more modestly-anticipated releases in the future. But at some point in the near future this style will begin to show wear and tear on its tires. Best Coast has about one more album of songs like this in their holster, and then the obvious question will become, “Can they do anything else other than this?”. We’ll see.
See our review of Best Coast – live in Minneapolis, 2013
The most prolific man of indie returns with a live studio band and more new words to learn
“Everything is conceptual and
Published by JB on December 1, 2013
Release date: October 8, 2013
All is rhetorical
You can feel so powerful” from ‘Obsidian Currents’
As 2013 rolled around the thought of yet another quick of Montreal record would typically be met with a tiny headshake and a rubbing of one’s temples. I mean, how much do we need? How much can my tiny brain consume? It would probably be yet another album of studio glossed tracks – some almost great, a classic or two, and a bunch of others with long titles that make no sense – and all of it just a mere 18 months from its predecessor. Another predictable, stackable addition to what is now a catalog that at times makes the Flaming Lips look lethargic. But, beware! Kevin Barnes, the ultra prolific songwriter has pulled out the ace hiding in his sleeve – making one of the few moves that would be both different, and successful. A live album cut in 3 weeks with an actual band and no studio gimmicks. Nothing slick, nothing polished, nothing multi-tracked with excess. Brilliant? Almost. The perfect move for Barnes? Absolutely.
Sure, Barnes could have went many directions (acoustic, soul, blues, pure P-funk) but this time he crafts songs in the mode of the early Beatles and Stones. Live in-studio recordings done right with Barnes’ Prince-like ability to find a hook and melody to make it catchy enough – beginning with the beautiful ‘Obsidian Currents’ and it’s drop-dead perfect (yet strange), sing-a-long chorus. A smooth flowing combination of tracks that work wonderfully and provide that sigh of relief for of Montreal fans that have been drowning for years with the machine gun style work from Barnes. One of the pleasant surprises of 2013, without question.
- Skyway Theatre
- Opener: Purple Apple
- Minneapolis, MN
- November 30, 2013
- Photos and review by Joe Stadele for The Way That He Sings on December 2, 2013.
“Lissie! Lissie! Lissie!,” the crowd chanted as the singer-songwriter playfully danced upon reclaiming the stage during the encore. Though the chant was prompted by some backstage joking Lissie shared with the audience, it was one of those little moments which makes a Lissie performance so much fun. With her fun-loving stage presence, a powerful husky voice (reminiscent of Stevie Nick) that feels effortless along her repertoire of Americana rock sing-along’s, as well as a knack for reworking songs from all genres into something all her own (listen to her covers of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” and Kid Kudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness”), Lissie is one of the strongest and versatile rock artists on the road in 2013.
Though Lissie and her band mates are touring in promotion of her new album, Back To Forever, the show was an even mix of old and new. She kicked off the show at the Skyway Theatre in downtown Minneapolis with the slow brewing “Bully” and “Record Collector” off of 2010’s Catching A Tiger before swinging into the more upbeat atmosphere of “Sleepwalking” off the new album. The show picked up during the rocking “The Habit” and sing-a-long “When I’m Alone”. Before breaking into “Love In The City”, Lissie shared her day with audience, which included a blue-grass filled meal at local eatery Hell’s Kitchen and an in store performance/signing at The Electric Fetus. All along, she expressed how impressed she has been with Minneapolis’ character, a trait she feels is lacking in many larger cities.
Perhaps the funniest moment of the night was reserved for Lissie’s self proclaimed sassy track, “Shameless”. “Now I’m going to be a little bit shameless,” Lissie jokingly said as she put on one of her own t-shirts, “…I’m going to get this shirt nice and sweaty for someone.” The shirt features a large image of Lissie’s face across the front with the lyrics to “Shameless” written inside the back of the reversible shirt. Adding to the fun, lead guitarist Eric Sullivan taped a life-size “Lissie head” to his guitar’s headstock. “Ok, this is our sassy song” Lissie said as Sullivan stepped on the distortion pedal before ripping into a blazing “Shameless”. After finishing the song, Lissie took off the medium sized woman’s shirt off and threw it to the crowd, only for a guy in the audience to jump and catch it.
Lissie’s love for live covers wasn’t lost either. Though many in the audience continually shouted for her cover of Kid Kudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” (the song was crossed out on the setlist in exchange for a simply listed “Drake”), during the encore, Lissie aptly sent the crowd off with a rocking cover of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home”.
Though all of the members of Lissie’s band held their own, Eric Sullivan’s guitar work throughout the night was notably impressive. During the closing song of the main set, Sullivan took off on a Jimi Hendrix-style guitar solo that recalled his cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower”. Towards the end of “Shameless” b-side, “Shroud” the song took a turn into The Pixies “Where Is My Mind”. Though these may not have been intentional moves, they sounded great and was fun to witness.
After expressing thanks to the crowd, Skyway Theatre staff and her band, Lissie took a moment to thank the talented openers Purple Apple, in which she claimed, “I wish I were that cool at the age of 16!” To which the crowd exclaimed, “Sixteen!?!?!” The young Chicago ladies (in-and-around the age of 16, with the exception of drummer Devin Ullery whom is 10 years their senior) put on a fast moving set of power pop rock which felt beyond their years. The girls pulled double and triple duty exchanging time on keys and vocals. Guitarist Nonie Andersen was all over the stage as she barefoot stomped across the stage around bassist Madi O’Brien and lead vocalist Olivia Eigel. Purple Apple won over the audience with catchy songs such as “My Head My Heart” and what felt like an aptly titled song “Runaways”.
This being Lissie’s second stop in Minneapolis in 2013, the musician promises to be back soon as she continues to tour in support of Back To Forever well into 2014.
- Record Collector
- Love in the City
- The Habit
- When I’m Alone
- They All Want You
- I Don’t Want To Work
- Little Lovin’
- Everywhere I Go
- Shroud (Shameless b-side)
- Further Away (Romance Police)
- In Sleep
- Oh Mississippi
- Hold On, We’re Going Home (Drake cover)
Their ‘Achtung Baby‘ arrives and thus, let the historical comparisons beginPublished by JB on November 30, 2013 Release date: October 28, 2013
Under Coldplay lead-man Chris Martin’s breath (the world’s most sensitive rock-star) he must secretly hate Arcade Fire much like the Beach Boys probably hated the Beatles. While Radiohead has twisted its fans into a myriad of strangeness and disarray (King of Limbs, Atoms for Peace) Arcade Fire has by default, with 3 superb albums out of 4 in their catalog, become the greatest rock band in the world. No more U2. No more Coldplay. No more Radiohead. Everyone else, including the Black Keys, has to sit back and admire the Canadian onslaught that Win Butler and crew deliver like clockwork every three years. They simply hold the invisible trophy of being the band with the most anticipated new music. Amazingly, Reflektor doesn’t even represent Arcade Fire’s finest work to date – but it’s so far ahead of the curve that they’re lapping the competition. Which takes us back to Chris Martin and Coldplay. Arcade Fire simply represents the artistic reputation that Martin so diligently tries to make his band have. But where Martin seems to want to walk old ladies across the street, Butler isn’t afraid to trip them and steal their groceries. Sometimes nice guys do finish last. Reflektor is everything Martin probably hoped the rather dumb Mylo Xyloto would be. Not even a duet with Rhianna could save that rubbish and it’s nothing more than a welcome mat compared to the dynamic, unpredictable quality of Arcade Fire’s newest mini-masterpiece.
Reflektor is the obvious Achtung Baby album of their catalog. It represents that slight change in direction (dance music, quite frankly) coming off of a Grammy album winner (2010′s sublime The Suburbs) – just as U2 did after The Joshua Tree dominated 1987. The Suburbs will always be Arcade Fire’s Sign O’ the Times (Prince’s magnum opus) – which is simply the best thing they ever make. And the obvious parallel to U2 is nothing new, however pulling it off is remarkable in this age where the album concept is going through cardiac arrest. Arcade Fire is on the verge of pulling off the comparison that once so greatly illustrated the Beatles dominance; quite simply, Arcade Fire is making music that looks like an aquarium and the rest of the world is holding blue construction paper. So true.
Concert review: Fitz and the Tantrums and Capital Cities at Stephens Auditorium in Ames, IA – November 19, 2013
- Fitz and the Tantrums with Beat Club and Capital Cities
- Stephens Auditorium
- Ames, IA.
This past summer, while driving back to my little corner of Iowa, I heard Capital Cities “Safe & Sound” come on my favorite college radio station. There aren’t many songs that make me reach for the shazzam app on my phone, but this one did. Tuesday night sealed the deal, this is a new band to love. I didn’t head to Ames expecting an all night dance party, but that’s what I got. Capital Cities have an infectious indie pop sound and an equally entertaining live show. Sebu Simonian & Ryan Merchant both sounded excellent on stage, and trumpet player Spencer Ludwig was absolutely captivating to watch. Capital Cities reminds me of Passion Pit, if Passion Pit wrote purely happy songs. Bright Futures was an excellent name for this tour, because that’s exactly what’s ahead for this duo.
Rounding out the night was Fitz & The Tantrums, who sounded true to their records. While Michael Fitzpatrick has a great voice, it’s Noelle Scaggs that stole the show with her energy. I’ve seen some amazing women perform over the past few years and each has their signature move. Emily Haines (Metric) bounces across stage, Shirley Manson (Garbage) struts like she’s stalking prey, Annie Clark (St. Vincent) rock poses like no one I’ve seen, and Noelle Scaggs…she grooves. I almost felt bad for Fitzpatrick as he was clearly out grooved by Scaggs. Fitz & The Tantrums are a bright spot in the current music landscape, bringing soul to a new generation.