Operation Every Band

ZZ Ward kicking off OEB’s Coachella - killing it!

OEB’s Coachella Bottom Line – Goat

 

Pairs Well With…Melt Yourself Down, LCD Soundsystem, Tinariwen

 

Sweden’s Goat is an East-meets-West type of band, fusing rock, World and even EDM influences into experimental grooves.  African rhythms meld with Asian melodies, all through a prism of hard rock riffs.  Largely instrumental, Goat’s vocals take a form closer resembling chants than traditional rock attitude-driven melodies.  Their debut record, 2012’s World Music, is welcomingly loose, more jams than songs.  This works – trying to fit swirling psychedelia with anything close to a pop song-form would be disingenuous, taking away from the heart and soul that clearly underpins Goat’s playing.  This concept of groove is what gives Goat far-reaching appeal – fans passing on their way back from the Yuma Tent will surely be caught in Goat’s inventive and infectious percussion.  Goat has an early set at the Outdoor Theater Friday – another reason on top of Flatbush Zombies, Tom Odell and Wye Oak to get in the gates right on time for Coachella Weekend 2.

OEB’s Coachella Bottom Line – Saints of Valory

 

Pairs Well With…Bastille, OneRepublic, Arcade Fire

 

“Whooa-oooooa-oooooa!”  A few syllables make up a majority of Saints of Valory choruses, an emerging Austin rock band with immediate eyes towards grandeur on their debut EP Possibilities.  Simple, sure, but this lean punch of rhythmic victory song is what Saints of Valory stand out on Coachella’s lower card this year.  This is rock/pop with a heavy emphasis on the “pop”, hook-heavy melodies that don’t waste a second.  It’s telling how Saints of Valory already sound so much bigger than they are at this point, a place in their career where a grabbing Coachella set could uptick Saints of Valory into mainstream playlists.  All four tracks on Possibilities have the same anthemic nature, building into fist-pumpers with the upmost precision.  You’ll need to have your game-face on to catch Saints of Valory at Coachella Weekend Two – they take the stage at high noon at the Outdoor Theater.  Saints of Valory follow up Coachella with a full US club/theater tour opening up for Eric Hutchinson.

OEB’s Coachella Bottom Line – Scuba

 

Pairs Well With…Joy Orbison, Mount Kimbie, Benga

 

Our first Yuma Tent recommendation will undoubtedly be one of the most introspective hours within the dark confines of Coachella’s technological desert oasis.  Scuba’s method is minimal and precise, experimental and patient.  The Berlin-based producer, performer and Hotflush Recordings label head uses elements common to UK dubstep in his catalog of down- and mid-tempo dance tracks, notably through soft R&B hooks and pulsing builds & releases.  From there, most of Scuba’s sound traces back through deep trance history – dance beats for the heart and soul.  Scuba’s latest is the Phenix 1 EP (due next week) and is previewed by “Curious Paradox”, an inventive track that harmonizes percussion with industrial edges – solid and adventurous, proving growth within Scuba’s tastes and production.  Scuba takes the Yuma tent at 3:15 on Sunday for an hour-plus Coachella showcase.

SXSW/Coachella Crossover – Sunday Artists

Our Coachella coverage continues through this week and next as we ramp up to covering Weekend Two of Coachella 2014.  Here’s the last entry of the SXSW/Coachella crossover.  Thirteen artists from Sunday’s schedule, top to bottom, have garnered previous OEB accolades through their SXSW appearances the past few years.  Check them out:

Disclosure

Little Dragon

Chance the Rapper

The Naked and Famous

STRFKR

Frank Turner

Daughter

Poolside

Surfer Blood

James Vincent McMorrow

Ratking

Anna Lunoe

Bicep

OEB’s Coachella Bottom Line – Drowners

 

Pairs Well With…The Walkmen, Franz Ferdinand, The Cure

 

This is why I read festival rosters from the bottom up.  The last entry for Saturday’s Coachella lineup goes to Drowners, an exciting and emerging new-wave rock band from NYC.  Drowners take the base of their sound from twenty-years-back UK rock and roll, a mixture of alternative melancholy and post-punk revivalist traditions.  It’s definitely a throwback, but what hold up are how tight, focused and full Drowners’ self-titled debut sounds.  This isn’t limited to a single or two - “Luv, Hold Me Down” is just the tip of the iceberg.  It’s a tough genre to achieve this level of richness, a nice sign for a band that is primed for a Coachella springboard given their perfect placement between Bear Hands and Temples this Saturday afternoon in the Gobi Tent.  After Coachella, the road continues for Drowners for two full months, including a complete US and UK club/theater tour. 

OEB’s Coachella Bottom Line – Caravan Palace

 

Pairs Well With…Kormac, Gogol Bordello, Daft Punk

 

Our first Coachella spotlight is heading to the California desert today in what I can only imagine is some sort of steam-punk time machine, built from remnants of jazz-age Paris and some city in the future we haven’t imagine yet.  Caravan Palace is pure fusion, melding mid-tempo electronic beats and melodies with barroom jazz and swing with roots almost a century old.  The intersection is seamless, creative and fun.  Caravan Palace is unpredictable as well, twisting harmonically and rhythmically with serpent-like appeal.  The old-new pairing lends itself instinctively to down-tempo explorations, but Caravan Palace instead find moments of relentlessness and intensity throughout their two-record catalog.  After a few videos, its clear Caravan Palace is meant to see live – they hit the stage shortly before 11:00, a sweet ramp-up on the way to Outkast’s anticipated reunion.

SXSW/Coachella Crossover – Saturday Artists

Our Coachella coverage continues through this week and next as we ramp up to covering Weekend Two of Coachella 2014.  Here’s a continuation of the SXSW/Coachella crossover to transition to the big stages and tents of Indio.  Saturday features a bunch of great highlights proving the strength of Coachella’s mid- and lower-card. 

Foster the People

Nas

The Head and the Heart

City and Colour

Temples

Warpaint

Washed Out

Banks

Foxygen

Laura Mvula

Blood Orange

Young & Sick

Syd Arthur

SXSW/Coachella Crossover – Friday Artists

It should be no surprise that there is plenty of SXSW/Coachella crossover, so we’ll begin our Coachella coverage linking out the most recent OEB SXSW reviews by day to get your planning started.  Here are all of our Friday artists that we’ve highlighted as Top Recs over the past couple of years.

Ellie Goulding

Chromeo

HAIM

Bastille

Flume

Aloe Blacc

Grouplove

MS MR

ZZ Ward

Waxahatchee

Tom Odell

Wye Oak

The Preatures

OEB Is Going to Coachella!

This week, we’ll be starting our Coachella coverage culminating in full, onsite coverage in conjunction with Tumblr and Coachella’s Social Journal (keep an eye out for more on that front from Tumblr Music) for Weekend 2.  We figure there will be plenty on the first weekend, so we’ll look to step up our coverage to keep repping the little guys at the mammoth festival.
For the first time, we’ll have professional photography, in addition to my phone quick-snaps, so we’re treating this as the start of Operation Every Band 2.0.
While we’ll be reviewing ‘every band’ in the background for this one, the hope is to spotlight some artists lower on the roster with OEB’s Bottom Line, a series that’ll cover the next two weeks.  We’re brewing up some other goodies, but if any friends of OEB are heading to Coachella Weekend 2, send a note at operationeveryband at gmail dot com to say hi!

OEB Is Going to Coachella!

This week, we’ll be starting our Coachella coverage culminating in full, onsite coverage in conjunction with Tumblr and Coachella’s Social Journal (keep an eye out for more on that front from Tumblr Music) for Weekend 2.  We figure there will be plenty on the first weekend, so we’ll look to step up our coverage to keep repping the little guys at the mammoth festival.

For the first time, we’ll have professional photography, in addition to my phone quick-snaps, so we’re treating this as the start of Operation Every Band 2.0.

While we’ll be reviewing ‘every band’ in the background for this one, the hope is to spotlight some artists lower on the roster with OEB’s Bottom Line, a series that’ll cover the next two weeks.  We’re brewing up some other goodies, but if any friends of OEB are heading to Coachella Weekend 2, send a note at operationeveryband at gmail dot com to say hi!

OEB SXSW Favorite Set – Aloe Blacc

 

Operation Every Band is taking this week to share thoughts on our 10 favorite SXSW sets chronologically.  Enjoy!

 

Aloe Blacc may have been one of the busiest performers at this year’s SXSW. The OEB team caught up with Blacc for his fourteenth set of the conference at the Universal Music Group’s SXSW Showcase, Thursday afternoon at the Palm Door on 6th. Even after thirteen shows earlier in the week Blacc gave one of the most lively and engaged performances we caught. Blacc had the audience singing along with recent hits The Man and Wake Me Up as well as I Need a Dollar from his previous album. Rounding out Aloe’s soulful sound was the polished full band supporting him. He encouraged audience participation throughout the set having fans hug each other during You Make Me Smile and ended the set encouraging anyone in the crowd with the urge to dance to shake it on a Soul Train dance line down the middle of the crowded tent. The positive energy the band put out made the set one of the most enjoyable acts of the week. Catch Aloe Blacc at this year’s Coachella over the next two weekends or on his nationwide tour this summer, it will be one of the most fun shows you see all year, guaranteed.

OEB SXSW Favorite Set – Cody ChesnuTT


Operation Every Band is taking this week to share thoughts on our 10 favorite SXSW sets chronologically.  Enjoy!


Prior to SXSW Cody ChesnuTT was one of the artists I was most excited about seeing live. The Operation Every Band team caught him Thursday night at the Filter+Tumblr on Rainey St. showcase at Clive Bar.

The show opened with the beautiful pop singer-songwriter Jetta, followed by a quiet, intimate acoustic set courtesy of Kurt Vile. As ChesnuTT took the stage, it was evident from the first note of That’s Still Mama, he and his talented band were going to treat us to a special show. Even in the packed venue it felt like he made a connection with each member of the audience. The powerful vibe created by the band, reverberated through the dancing crowd as ChesnuTT bounced around the stage with his guitar, and leaned into the lyrics of his soulful songs. The performance was non-stop energy with the band hitting the highlights of the new album Landing On a Hundred, as well as songs from the recently released B-sides, including Gunpowder on the Letter (by the body of my best friend), which he wrote with Austin native Gary Clark Jr. In a truly stellar set, ‘Til I Met Thee, which OEB highlighted earlier in the year, stood out as a personal favorite.

It was a remarkable performance, which felt how I imagine seeing Sam Cooke in his prime must have felt.

For fans of soul music, I recommend making it a priority to go out and see Cody ChesnuTT and his band when they swing through your town. I know I won’t miss him if he comes to Dallas. 

OEB SXSW Favorite Set – Until the Ribbon Breaks

 

Operation Every Band is taking this week to share thoughts on our 10 favorite SXSW sets chronologically.  Enjoy!

 

After catching a few songs from current hit-makers American Authors, we moved to the indoor stage of Palm Door on 6th to one of the sparser crowds of the week, but so it goes with the relevant competitive atmosphere that naturally plays out at SXSW.  The opening notes of “Perspective” rang out, a recent discovery and a late OEB favorite, prompting us to front-of-stage, immediately locking into Until the Ribbon Breaks’ dark and introspective sound.  Their whole performance reflected this inward nature, the trio staring at a series of synths and pads like musical surgeons rather than turning their electronic beats to fist-raising bangers.  In fact, Until the Ribbon Breaks was the most percussive set of the week, less through drum solos and more in terms of electronic prompts.  By programming sounds into button-driven equipment, it allowed Until the Ribbon Breaks to achieve a highly organic sound, transforming equipment into instruments. 

This is how you do electronic music live.  The warmth of sound, from the instrumental breakdown that replaced Homeboy Sandman’s verse in “Perspective” through set highlight “Goldfish” (from the just released The Other Ones EP), was so unique and elevated Until the Ribbon Breaks up towards the top of our SXSW highlights.  By the end of their set, the place was packed (I assume the masses shifted after American Authors wrapped up), nice timing as the energy had subtly built to a peak in Until the Ribbon Breaks most recognized track “Pressure”.  If the band’s recorded material peaks your ears at all, take note of when Until the Ribbon Breaks hits your town this year – an electronic band that needs to heard in-person to truly experience what these guys are up to.  Hopefully some new dates are forthcoming…

OEB SXSW Favorite Set – Jeremy Messersmith

 

Operation Every Band is taking this week to share thoughts on our 10 favorite SXSW sets chronologically.  Enjoy!

 

Our SXSW this year seemed focused on diversity and experimentation, genre-hopping at will to artists that had an intriguing and special draw through our research.  Jeremy Messersmith’s set at Palm Door on Sixth Thursday afternoon was actually quite the opposite, aurally refreshing and a chance to be immersed full-on into a stunning singer-songwriter set.  Messersmith’s band was spot-on, bringing a real performance vibe to the whole affair, a step up from jamming a couple of songs as expected at a quickie SXSW day party.  It was the most lyrical showcase we caught at SXSW, coming across as a storytelling roundtable above all.  Messersmith spent the majority of the set within his 2014 release Heart Murmurs including standouts “Tourniquet”, “Ghost” and the tongue-in-cheek gem “I Want To Be Your One Night Stand”.  While the full-band tracks were the highlight of the set, they served as bookends for a solo acoustic showcase that stripped Messersmith’s music to a pure lyrical vehicle, some of the most tender and honest sounds amongst our whole SXSW journey.  Jeremy Messersmith is ready for a larger audience and a brighter spotlight, so hop on board his extensive international tour scheduled in full thorough this summer.

Bob Schneider – “Swimming in the Sea”

 

When you hear ‘veteran singer-songwriter’, it’s easy to imagine a laid-back, acoustic troubadour, so that makes Bob Schneider’s authentic rock tone hit that much harder.  While there probably isn’t a Bob Schneider metal album in our future (oh, but how there should be), the songs throughout his entire catalog, including 2013’s Burden Proof, seem to draw a consistent punch, even when the pace slows down introspectively.  Schneider is consistently evolving too – check the auto-tuned vocals and electronic beat that backs the inventive “John Lennon”.  I put all of this first because it’s a given for most Austinites and SXSW visitors are already well aware that Schneider is a killer songwriter, consistently putting lyrical content first to rich and giving results.  Really like what you hear?  You can check out a marathon, 12-hour (!) Bob Schneider set on April 26 at the Saxon Pub.  That should do.