Lollapalooza 2014 OEB Spotlight: Anna Lunoe – “All Out”
Pairs Well With…Flume, DCUP, The Goodwill
Lollapalooza has had a nice track record of evenly booking rock, pop and dance acts, connecting the dots in these increasingly interlocking genre pillars. Anna Lunoe is a nice testament to that – a DJ whose 2014 singles range from airy pop jams (“All Out”) to furious, rhythmic beats (“Bass Drum Dealer”). It’s rare to see this mix of lounge and cerebral dance and makes one of Lunoe’s set pleasingly unpredictable. Her Lollapalooza set is sure to do the same for the early risers – Anna Lunoe opens up Perry’s on Saturday at noon.
2013 Review: Anna Lunoe has built up her reputation in her native Australia over the past couple years not only for her turntable technique, but also for her indie pop sensibility to what is normally a space reserved for booming bass and fist-pumping antics. Lunoe throws back to Chicago house throughout her singles, a laid-back approach meant to generate a hazy sweat. In fact, Lunoe is more a traditionalist than a futurist in the genre, a comforting palette for the 30+ crowd (i.e. me).
Newport Folk 2014 OEB Spotlight: Gregory Alan Isakov – “Amsterdam”
Pairs Well With…Ryan Adams, Bright Eyes, Bon Iver
The Weatherman, Gregory Alan Isakov’s fourth full-length starts off as one would expect. Soft, acoustic strumming and hushed atmospherics have acted as a calling card for the introspective songwriter and are the foundation for The Weatherman as well. While not of experimental ilk, Isakov’s understated vocals and lyrical strength are sure to make for a splendid Newport Folk set. Isakov takes the Quad Stage at 1:25 on Sunday afternoon.
2013 Review: I caught Gregory Alan Isakov as an opener years ago and I’ve been following his career ever since. Unfortunately, it has been too long since his last release The Empty Northern Hemisphere, but Isakov did post some pictures from the studio a month or so back. The most catching element of Isakov’s songbook is his voice, a rich instrument that carries Isakov’s quiet-folk based music. While Isakov never chooses to turn up the heat on his sound, the plaintive landscape he paints on suits the music wonderfully. I hope his new material pushes more on the orchestral moments throughout Hemisphere, but we shall see with what will hopefully be plentiful previews at this year’s SXSW.
Pairs Well With…Trippy Turtle, Flume, Cashmere Cat
Brooklyn electronic artist Obey City’s sound is dance music by form, but the details and layering demand a listen beyond a late night lounge. Funk-fueled rhythms are spliced and diced, falling off the beat unexpectedly. That anticipation pulls like a rubber band, tensely laying an undercurrent of mystery and grace. Hip hop and R&B both find homes in Obey City’s originals, down-tempo twists and turns with an artist’s precision. Above all, Obey City’s mostly wordless music has soul. For digital creations, the warmth is admirable and a quality that keeps me digging for more songs he has gotten his hands on. In addition to a handful of loose singles, Obey City has three EPs out, two solo and the latest, 2014’s Shochu Sounds, a collaboration with Japanese electronic artist Seiho.
Newport Folk 2014 OEB Spotlight: The Oh Hellos – “Like the Dawn”
Pairs Well With…The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men
The Oh Hellos are kind of what you think of when the term “folk rock” arises, ranging from gentle picking to orchestral grandeur through melodious waves of acoustic bliss. Their songs tend to build, rousing into rhythmic choruses. Need rootsy harmonies? They got that too, especially in the tender guy/girl vocals that dominate many of The Oh Hellos’ songs. The Texas band is careful to not get too poppy or melodramatic, hanging on the edge of both in a sturdy, forthright way. It’s been a bit since The Oh Hellos have shared originals (2012’s full-length Through the Deep, Dark Valley being the centerpiece of the band’s work), so expect new songs this summer – hopefully a sophomore follow-up will show up in the near future. The Oh Hellos’ naturalist, Americana roots should play splendidly at Newport Folk Festival this year – the band takes Quad Stage at 12:20 early Saturday afternoon.
Here’s the official announcement of ‘Every Eurovision Song’. As far as we’re concerned, the project is now public, so share, embed, retumblr, re-favourite, and go wild. Let’s get everyone…
‘Every Eurovision Song’ Commences
Operation Every Band has partly inspired another “Every Band” project as Friend of OEB Ewan Spence has tasked himself with quite a feat. As he puts it:
How’s this for an idea? One thousand three hundred and fifty six songs have been sung ‘in Contest’ at Eurovision. That’s a lot of music, but not so much that we can’t listen to them all. With a bit of dedication and community support, could we celebrate our Song Contest through those musical jewels?
Yes we can! Over the next year, in the run up to the 60th Edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, join us in our project to listen to every single song that has taken to the competitive stage at the Song Contest. From ‘De vogels van Holland’ opening up the 1956 Contest, through to the reprise of ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’, follow Ewan as he writes up his thoughts on each song at EveryEurovisionSong.com.
For any clueless Americans like I used to be when it comes to Eurovision, the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is an annual competition held amongst member countries within the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Each country can submit one song, yielding a continent-wide champion throughout one week every May. Every Eurovision Song (hosted on Tumblr) reads like a history lesson of European pop music and is ear opening for any level of musicologist. Good luck Ewan – looking forward to it!
These Guys Reviewed Every Band At SXSW 2014 So You Don’t Have To
Operation Every Band Spotlighted in Australia
All the more impressive considering Operation Every Band tackled the herculean task with a small and (obviously) super-dedicated team of four, compiling the results of the 2,285 artists they saw (that’s an average of over 570 gigs per reviewer) into a huge A-Z ratings compendium, simply called ‘The Spreadsheet‘, described as “an all-encompassing look at the SXSW roster with descriptions and micro-reviews along with our subjective rating.”
Take a look, it’s pretty inspiring. Think of it as the ultimate buzz band guide to your new favourite act.
Pairs Well With…Kurt Vile and the Violators, Real Estate, Spoon
When a new band really dents my radar, I tend to do a little digging to see if I’m not the only one buzzing about them across the interwebs. To my surprise, Milezo seems to be unknown on a national scale, criminally underrated considering their inventive 2013 full-length Pathways. The foundation of Milezo’s sound is focused, psychedelic rock, but this is more on the side of a singer-songwriter record than a blues-jam vehicle. Milezo takes a lot from the 70s forefathers (lots of Beatles and Jefferson Airplane here), but that’s countered in perfect harmony against the quartet’s youthful, passionate delivery. It isn’t just a couple songs that win over on Pathways, rather the whole record has something to offer. Diversely bouncing between deep space and punchy pop, Milezo is a complete package already. Milezo has a few festivals on the plate this month, but so far they’ve been mostly sticking to local Austin haunts. Hopefully Milezo is a band that builds some momentum over the years, so tell your friends if Pathways has you excited as well.
Hear the song from the Nashville rockers, which appears on their anticipated debut.
Forecastle 2014 OEB Spotlight: The Wans – “Never Win”
Pairs Well With…Jack White, Band of Skulls, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
A blues trio in overdrive, The Wans are sonically powerful, complimented by sharp songwriting and a knack for riffed hooks. Hard driving and molasses-thick, the Nashville band’s early material is satisfyingly raw and surprisingly soulful. Their heart-led approach is what makes The Wans stand out in a genre so centered on energy and punch. 2012’s self-titled EP is a rather diverse mix, from the countrified “Hey” to heavier metal influences on “Shoot For The Thrill” and “I Like To Party”. The Wans’ Forecastle set, opening up the WFPK Port Stage at 11:30 on Saturday, will most likely serve as a preview of the band’s upcoming full-length, He Said, She Said, due this September. Lead single “Never Win” premiered this week on USA Today and it’s a nice show of maturity, a grungy number that doubles as a breezy pop-rock track. The Wans are ones to definitely keep an eye on through the coming months.