Friday Link Session

  • The Kickstarter for Danny Says, the documentary about Danny Fields mentioned here a few weeks ago, has 15 days left as of this posting.
  • Fiachna Ó Braonáin of Hothouse Flowers has been cultivating a television and radio career the past few years, and he’s currently hosting a great weekly program on Irish radio station 100-102 Today FM called Poetic Champions Compose. Each program focuses on a classic Irish album and includes interview clips and background stories as well as music. Featured artists include the Pogues, the Boomtown Rats, Thin Lizzy, My Bloody Valentine, and more. You can listen via the web every Sunday through December 2, and past programs are being posted to the site.
  • The Dad Horse Experience recorded a Daytrotter session! I’m so excited to see one of my favorite NTSIB discoveries getting coverage in the wider world.
  • Check out a great NPR Tiny Desk Concert from Dirty Three. Beautiful sounds! Warren Ellis standing on someone’s desk! Thanks to friend and guest blogger Brucini at the Black Keys Fan Lounge for bringing it to my attention.

The Ridges on Daytrotter


Musically, one of my favorite things about 2011 was getting into Ohio’s own beautiful chamber folk rock group, the Ridges. Their evocative music still makes me happy when I hear it, and I’m even happier that this talented crew was able to realize a great ambition when they travelled to Rock Island, Illinois to record at the Horseshack, home of titanic music site Daytrotter.

Their Daytrotter session debuted yesterday, and it is gorgeous. Everything that made me love their EP is present, fine-tuned and featured gloriously, from the sometimes winsome, sometimes seasick strings to Victor Rasgaitis’ plaintive vocals. The cast for this recording consisted of: Victor Rasgaitis (Vocals and Guitar), Johnny Barton (Percussion and Vocals), Talor Smith (Cello and Vocals), Allie Levin (Cello), Sarah Edgerton (Viola and Violin), Lauretta Werner (Violin), Chris Damm (Accordion) and Nathan Zangmeister (Bass and Vocals).

To get this gorgeous session, head here very quickly and download swiftly, then listen slowly. Then when you are so enamored by what you hear that you want more, make way to the Ridges’ Bandcamp site and grab their EP.

Heartfelt kudos and congratulations to Vic and the band. You done good, kids.



The Ridges @ Daytrotter

The Ridges @ Bandcamp

The Ridges @ Facebook

Daytrotter Barnstormer 5, Akron, OH, 8.31.11

“We’re in a barn. Shit.” – Dean Povinsky, Wildlife

Having grown up in the country (not too far from the site where the Daytrotter Barnstormer 5 tour set down in Akron), I’m not unfamiliar with hearing live music in barns – though in my childhood experiences, the bands were usually a sidenote to a pig roasting on a spit or people getting drunk at a company picnic. Don’t get me wrong: there were people getting drunk at the beautiful Conrad Botzum Farmstead Barn Wednesday night, but the main event was clearly the music.

The show started promptly at 6:30 PM, the sun still out, shining in through the open barn door and windows. A group of photogenic young men dressed all in black with matching teal armbands (“We chose black for our uniforms,” keyboard player Tim Daugulis commented later. “What a great idea.” “Oh yeah: daylight,” singer/guitarist Dean Povinsky added) drew people into the barn from the deck and surrounding grounds with their energetic set. This was Wildlife. Belting out passionate vocals and rocking hard, half the band’s black uniforms were sweat-soaked by the third song. I liked Wildlife immediately and even got goosebumps during an a cappella break toward the end of the last song of their set.

Next up was Princeton, an L.A. band led by twin brothers Matt and Jesse Kivel. Their synth-heavy mellow dance music was not my thing, but they had a friendly presence, and the woman in striped jeans to my right danced ecstatically through most of the set.

Doug Paisley was probably the artist on the bill who most fit people’s idea of music you might usually hear emanating from a barn. Looking like the lovechild of Thurston Moore and John Doe, Paisley is a sweet guitarist with a comfortable, weathered voice. In his songs, he is a storyteller, but he joked about trying to keep quiet between songs because stage banter didn’t seem to work for him. “I don’t like telling the same jokes every night,” he said. “I think you should keep things fresh. That may be my problem.” Either way, he had a barnful of people quietly transfixed by the end of his set.

(In a slightly mistimed moment of serendipity, a bat flew high over Paisley’s head a couple of songs after he played “Bat Song”.)

For the seventh inning stretch, White Rabbits brought their spirited Brit-style pop-rock to make the barn bounce. They brought out a crop of new songs that still managed to engage the crowd, though it was with their last couple of songs, more familiar tunes, that really brought punch to their set.

I have gushed about Hacienda on this blog before, and this is going to be more of the same. I tell everyone that they are one of my favorite live bands for a very good reason. These guys always serve up a loose soul groove while still being a very tight unit, and there aren’t many bands who make me dance more at shows. The Villanueva brothers and cousin Dante brought out a bunch of new songs from their third album, recently recorded at Dan Auerbach’s relocated Easy Eye Studio in Nashville, my favorite being “You Just Don’t Know” with its superior soul groove. And while the new songs were great, it was in the more familiar tunes where they really laid it down. They ended their set with a spectacular version of their Everly Brothers cover “You’re My Girl” that featured an extended groove-jam intro and left the crowd hollering for more. They proceeded to top themselves with an encore of “Mama’s Cookin'” that could have set the barn aflame had it gotten any hotter.

All in all, a great evening in a great setting. I’d like to extend my personal thanks to Sean Moeller and the Daytrotter crew for bringing this great tour to Ohio this time around.


Barnstormer 5 is coming to Akron!


There are still music-loving, internet-connected people in the world who don’t know about Daytrotter. That’s amazing to me. Since 2006, Sean Moeller and crew have been recording sessions by touring bands and throwing the results of those sessions up on the internet for anyone and everyone to download and enjoy for free, and since I learned about the site a few years ago, I have felt it a wonderful example of what the internet can be used for. The Horseshack – the studio in Rock Island, Illinois, that sees most of the recording activity you find at Daytrotter – has welcomed everyone from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Dinosaur Jr. to Kris Kristofferson to Andrew W.K. to Charlie Louvin to that new indie band you keep hearing people talk about. NTSIB favorites A.A. Bondy, the Felice Brothers and Local Natives all have sessions up, and the amazing Mr. Patrick Sweany has a session forthcoming. And those good Daytrotter people post at least one of these free sessions every day, sometimes posting two sessions in one day.

In addition to all that goodness, since the summer of 2009, the Daytrotter crew have been putting together the Barnstormer tours. These tours gather a gang of Daytrotter alumni and send them out to play at various barns around the midwestern United States. Real barns. Past Barnstormer artists have included Justin Townes Earle, Dawes, Local Natives, Suckers, the Walkmen, Ra Ra Riot, Delta Spirit… you get the idea. Good stuff.

This year, Barnstormer will be hitting Ohio for the first time, and we’re freaking excited. On August 31, the Conrad Botzum Farmstead Barn in Akron will be the place to see White Rabbits, Doug Paisley, Wildlife, Princeton, and, one of my favorite live bands, Hacienda (who just recorded their third album in Nashville with their old friend Dan Auerbach). All of that for just $20.

We highly recommend buying your tickets now. No, now. Right now. Because not only does that ticket price kick up five dollars on the day of the show, but if you purchase your tickets by August 20, you get a Barnstormer poster and 40% off Daytrotter merch. Plus, you help the Daytrotter crew relax, knowing they can actually fund this fantastic undertaking.

And if you’re not in travelling distance of Akron, Ohio, don’t feel left out. Barnstormer 5 is also stopping at North Hampton, NH, Ghent, NY (UPDATE: the Ghent show has been moved to the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY), Charlotte, VT, New York, NY, New Wilmington, PA, Dexter, MI, Monticello, IL, and Maquoketa, IA. (Band line-ups vary between cities, so check Daytrotter for your local bill.)

Akron details:
Wednesday, August 31, doors at 5:30 PM, show at 6:30 PM.
White Rabbits, Doug Paisley, Wildlife, Princeton, and Hacienda
Conrad Botzum Farmstead Barn (3486 Riverview Rd., Akron, OH 44333)
$20 advance / $25 day of show



White Rabbits @ Daytrotter

Doug Paisley @ Daytrotter

Princeton @ Daytrotter

Hacienda @ Daytrotter

Bits: Ray Charles, Barnstormer 4, Dinosaur Jr, Robert Johnson, Justin Townes Earle, Americana Rock Mix

  • A to Z: The Riverfront Times Music Blog has exclusive streams of some never-heard-before recordings of Ray Charles, recorded by Charles’ cohort Marci Soto.
  • Tickets are on sale for Daytrotter‘s Barnstormer 4 concert series. This years line-up includes Sondre Lerche, Guards, The Romany Rye, Hellogoodbye, Keegan DeWitt and the ever popular “special guests”.
  • Dinosaur Jr will be playing their album Bug in its entirety on tour this summer. Additionally, different dates will have different friends along, including OFF!, Thurston Moore and Henry Rollins.
  • The city of Greenwood, Mississippi, will be celebrating 100 years of Robert Johnson May 5-8. The celebration will include exhibits, tours, panels and, of course, music. The musical roster includes Bobby Rush, Honeyboy Edwards, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Keb’ Mo’ and more.
  • Justin Townes Earle guested on A Prairie Home Companion, and you can listen to the show here.
  • Our new friends at Americana Rock Mix are raising funds for surgery for their canine companion, Boris. If you donate to help Boris, you’ll get some goodies like a download grab bag, an exclusive podcast and a thank you in the next podcast.

Bits: The Famous, Daytrotter show, Maximum Balloon, Alan Moore, Suckers, Flaming Lips, the Black Keys, Devo, Big Boi

Big Boi puts the boom-boom in your CPU with a video for “General Patton”.