Friday Link Session

  • Some recommended listening over at Daytrotter coming from: former Soul Coughing lead man Mike Doughty, the Builders and the Butchers, Wildlife – a live recording from the Barnstormer 5 tour, and one of my favorite live bands (and Barnstormer 5 alumni) Hacienda
  • There’s an interesting interview with Joe Strummer at Dangerous Minds that makes a nice companion to our Latino Rockabilly War post.
  • Someone has posted the entirety of Faith No More’s 1990 concert film Live at Brixton Academy, which your friendly blogger had a on VHS about 20 years ago.
  • While you’re out strolling the internet, check out the facelift given to our friend Nate Burrell’s site, Before the Blink. There are great shots of everyone from Pokey LaFarge and The South City Three to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a lot of favorites in between like the Black Keys, Patrick Sweany, mr. Gnome, and Shivering Timbers. (Yes, those last four artists are all Ohioans. Shush.)

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

Exploding Lies/Hacienda/The Greenhornes at the Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH, 4.1.11

Exploding Lies


Exploding Lies


The night kicked off (and that is the appropriate way to describe it – this night did not do something meek like “begin” or “start”) with Cleveland’s own Exploding Lies, a blues-inflected rock band with emphasis on low and heavy vibes. So dedicated to that low and heavy end are this band that they sometimes step into the Black Sabbath end of the spectrum with impressive results. While the band seems a little hesitant on stage, there is a lot of potential there, and once they are comfortable enough to own the stage, they will move from good to great.

(And they already have one of the most entertaining-to-watch drummers I’ve seen.)






My second time seeing this south Texas foursome was even better than the first. Perhaps it’s the family dynamic – the band being made up of the brothers Villanueva (Abraham on keys, Rene on bass and Jaime on drums) and cousin Dante Schwebel on guitar – but this band is tight. And it’s that tightness in musicianship that allows them to throw out perfectly loose grooves. So in sync are they that they can go all out, shake-the-rafters rockin’ without ever going off the rails. Mixing up a set list of tracks from their two albums (a third will be recorded in Nashville this summer), kept up a feel-good energy throughout their set until they closed it up with a blow-the-roof-off, if-you-don’t-dance-to-this-you-might-be-dead jam on “Mama’s Cookin'”.

I can’t say enough good things about this band. As a whole and individually, these guys are impressive. They all play far above baseline expectations, always showing audacious skill but never being flashy for flashiness’ sake, always serving the groove. And you can hear their south Texas home in their music. This is the music of warm nights, barefoot girls and barbecue-chomping boys, relaxing with beers and friends. And no band I’ve ever seen live has made me dance more than Hacienda. (And they rival the Gories for best soundcheck around.)

Speaking between songs, Dante said Ohio has become like a second home to the band (no doubt bolstered through their continued relationship with Dan Auerbach), and I, for one, would be happy to claim these guys as our own.




The Greenhornes


The Greenhornes


Speaking of Ohio’s own… I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the Greenhornes, coming late to the Cincinnati band’s material and being ambivalent about what I’d heard around the internet.

That ambivalence lasted about two seconds into Friday night’s set. From Jack Lawrence’s lead-in to the final blast of their nearly-11-minute cover of James Brown’s “I’ll Go Crazy”, I was rooting for the home team. The Greenhornes know just where to hit on the body to render maximum devastation, pumping adrenaline-soaked bullets into the audience’s major arteries from beginning to end. By the end, I was hooting and hollering just as loudly as those who were smart enough to get on board with the Greenhornes long before I did.

It’s easy to see why Jack White keeps tapping Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler to fill his rhythm section needs with their strong sense of rock rhythm and groove, adding just enough funk to get you hustling. And while I had seen complaints about singer/guitarist Craig Fox’s stage demeanor in the lead-up to the show from people taken aback by his mostly stock-still posture, Fox didn’t need to bounce around with all the energy he generated from his Gibson SG.


Video by AdamBionic22.


So, call me a convert. The Greenhornes were deadly and made this show a pretty-much-perfect night of rock and roll. And by the end, you could almost hear buttons popping off of shirt fronts as our collective Ohio chest swelled with pride.


Jack Lawrence


A Post Wherein I Drop the Ball

I have no post today. I’ve got plenty of great music coming in, and it will be featured soon… but nothing is ready quite yet. So, I’m just going to let you enjoy one of the reasons I’m excited to be seeing Hacienda again when they open for the Greenhornes at the Beachland Ballroom tomorrow night, the band playing an instrumental cover of “Day Tripper”.

Hacienda Official Website
Beachland Ballroom

Hacienda at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, OH, 6.19.10

[No photos for this review as I was, sadly, too far back to get good shots. Which is a shame as Hacienda are handsome dudes.]

If there is a word that means loose and laid back, yet still full of great energy, Hacienda should be the illustrating photo for that word’s entry in the dictionary. From the moment the band came out and broke into their cover of the Everly Brothers’ “You’re My Girl” (a surprisingly dirty-minded song from the Everlys), the world just felt good. As they played great, dancing-required songs like “Who’s Heart Are You Breaking” and “She’s Got a Hold on Me”, I couldn’t help wishing I could see these guys play on their home turf of San Antonio, Texas, in some informal, small, outdoor venue with good beer, good people and barefoot dancing in the grass under the stars.

Speaking of good people, one of two complaints I could lodge about the evening was the audience (the other being the vocals mixed too low in the sound levels).* I did see people dotted through the crowd who were obviously enjoying Hacienda’s set as much as I was, but the majority of people seemed to be just waiting for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (whom I didn’t stay for), more interested in looking around at other people in the crowd than watching the band. (I don’t expect people to always be interested in the opening act, but if you’re not there for the opener, how about moving to the back and sides of the venue so the people who do like the opener can enjoy them more?) And what was with all the middle-aged-and-older people again? Was Grace Potter on NPR recently or something? Still, the audience did give Hacienda the cheers that their final, ripping number (the only song of their set I didn’t recognize, likely off their first album) deserved.

*This is likely my own fault for not getting to the Beachland early enough to be up front. You might notice I complain about the audience less when I’m front and center at a show.

Hacienda: It’s Time to Shake Ya

Hacienda will be playing the Beachland Ballroom on Saturday, June 19, opening for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. You should go see them.

What, you need more than that? My say-so isn’t good enough? Fine, how about this.


Hacienda have shown up on NTSIB a couple of times before, in association with Dan Auerbach, but they deserve a little spotlight of their own. The band is comprised of the three Villanueva brothers – Rene, Abraham and Jaime – and their cousin Dante Schwebel and have been getting good buzz from People With Good Taste (like Hear Ya and Aquarium Drunkard). Their work with Auerbach – he has produced for them and took them on the road as his band for his solo tour – has surely helped them get noticed, but it’s their own talent that’s getting them talked about. If you are familiar with Dan Auerbach’s solo album Keep It Hid, it only takes a moment of listening to understand why Hacienda was the perfect choice for Auerbach’s touring band. They are steeped in a ‘60s garage sound imbued with modern sensibilities and blossoming with energetic harmonies. Stand-out songs include She’s Got a Hold on Me (which I spent half a day listening to on repeat), Shake Ya and Who's Heart Are You Breaking

It promises to be a great show, and I’m personally looking forward to watching Rene exercise those bass-playing chops in person – he’s something else.

Hacienda Official Website
Hacienda HearYa Session
Hacienda Daytrotter Session

Obsess Much? : Dan Auerbach never stops

Okay, in terms of making this Cadillac Sky Week at NTSIB, this may be cheating a little, but since it’s my blog and you can’t stop me…

Dan Auerbach – of Akron, Ohio’s the Black Keys, if you don’t know by now – loves music. This may seem an obvious thing to say about a musician, but it’s more true of some than others. To quote the man himself from his Nonesuch feature page, “I’m pretty obsessed with making music and with recording, I’m always thinking about it. It drives my family crazy. But it’s what I do.” Auerbach likes being on both sides of the recording console and in his “spare” time, he lends his help, and his home studio, to a long list of bands. Here is a gathering of Auerbach-produced songs from bands ranging in vibe from bluegrass to blues to punk.

Cadillac Sky – Nashville, Tennessee

Obviously, we here at NTSIB love these guys and encourage you, again, to pick up their new album, Letters in the Deep, and catch them live if at all possible.

Buffalo Killers – Cincinnati, Ohio

Hacienda – San Antonio, Texas
You might also recognize these guys as the Fast Five, the name they used when touring as Auerbach’s support band on his solo tour. They’ll be in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Beachland Ballroom on June 19 when they open for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

SSM – Detroit, Michigan

Patrick Sweany – Nashville, Tennessee

The Ettes – Nashville, Tennessee

Radio Moscow – Story City, Iowa

Brimstone Howl – Omaha, Nebraska

Jessica Lea Mayfield – Kent, Ohio
Jessica is gearing up to release a third album, and the early word fro
m her brother David is that it is mind-blowing. She’ll be opening for the Black Keys when they play Nautica in Cleveland on July 24.