Guest Post: Joy Goes to SXSW, pt. IV: Thursday, March 13

Our intrepid reporter goes to see some (more) live music. Also a mechanical bull. On Thursday, I woke up to more than a dozen text messages asking if I was okay. Until I saw a news story about the night’s fatal accident, I had no idea why so many people would be concerned and wondered if I’d been sleeping for more than one day. Once I read about what had happened, I debated skipping the day’s festivities out of respect, but eventually came to a conclusion: those who could party should get on with the partying in honor of all those who cannot party. I waited for the downtown bus with a spirit of gratitude. That spirit started to fade after three city buses, from two different routes, passed our stop with partygoers packed inside to legal capacity. Everyone who could party definitely seemed to be partying, and I found myself wishing they had timed things a little more conveniently for us old people. The bus ride, when I finally got one, was appropriately interesting. I made it downtown just in time to miss several shows. While trying not to miss the final Doe Paoro show of SXSW 2014, I … Continue reading

Guest Post: Joy Goes To SXSW, pt. 1

While I cannot be in Austin this year, NTSIB friend Joy is, and she has graciously agreed to be a roving reporter. Below is her first dispatch. If you want to follow her adventures live, you may do so on Twitter and Instagram. This year, I am pleased to be NTSIB’s correspondent-at-large in Austin. It’s my first South By Southwest, and I have thrown myself directly into the deep end. Swim along with me here on the blog, with live updates on Twitter! Since SXSW can be an impenetrably overwhelming mess of day parties, showcases, special sessions, and free shows, I’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff according to my own personal preferences. In reverse order, here are my most-anticipated acts of 2014. 7. Deap Vally They’re loud. They’re crass. They’re women. And they crochet. This Los Angeles duo has found success in the UK and is on the verge of making it big in America. NTSIB friend Geordie McElroy describes them as “two-thirds of a girl gang” who should be “basically every teen girl’s role models”, and I am inclined to agree. Enjoy a sample of their balls-to-the-wall sound with “Hobo Playa”, off their single End of the World. … Continue reading

Friday Link Session

  My favorite Cleveland band, mr. Gnome, have premiered their DIY video for “House of Circles” on NPR’s All Songs Considered blog. The song is rad, and the video is a tribute to the multiple talents of this band. West African musician Bombino is raising funds to build a community rehearsal space in Niamey, Niger. As the fundraising page states, “Following the end of the Second Tuareg Rebellion in 2008 (during which guitars were banned) the music scene in Niger has been blossoming. However, in Niamey fully equipped rehearsal spaces are virtually non-existent and certainly not accessible to most musicians and would-be young musicians.” The Elbo Room in San Francisco, California, will be hosting a Norton Records benefit concert on December 16. As many of you know, Norton’s warehouse was hit hard by Sandy and many rare recordings have been endangered. Stupefaction has a very worthy John Lurie two-fer: First, a full concert from Lurie’s wonderful “fake jazz” band the Lounge Lizards, recorded in Berlin, Germany, in 1991. Then, a playlist of Lurie’s top 20 songs. Steve Kilbey, most famously of Australian band the Church, has been guest editing Magnet Magazine. He’s covered everything from One Direction to the Gormenghast … Continue reading

(Guest) Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Nate Burrell’s Best of 2010

Regular Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog Jennifer is taking a well-deserved vacation, and NTSIB friend Nate Burrell was kind enough to contribute his favorite photos of 2010 from his own collection. In addition to being a hell of a nice guy, Nate is a great photographer, and we’re very pleased to feature him again. The Black Keys: To Summarize: this band kicks ass. They have since 2002, and they are finally getting their due respect on a wider scale in 2010. Their most recent release, Brothers, opened them up to popular outlets, due to its groove-thick gnarly sound and the hit single Tighten Up; but don’t be fooled- their catalogue prior to this year’s album is disgustingly good. Get learned if you haven’t already. Dan Auerbach stepping to the edge of the stage for the sold out crowd at the Pageant – St. Louis, MO. Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three: After successfully touring the US and the UK, as well as having been named Best New Discovery at 2010’s Newport Folk Festival, this St. Louis-based American Roots Music band is definitely a band to look for. Absolutely awesome to see live- energetic, tight on stage, and good musicians … Continue reading

Soft Speaker/HotChCha/mr. Gnome at the Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH, 12.18.1010

Somewhere between home and the Beachland, I managed to lose one of my camera batteries, but I did manage to attain a concert-going companion (NTSIB friend Joy) with a camera phone. We didn’t get any shots of Soft Speaker, but we do have some fittingly atmospheric pictures of HotChaCha and mr. Gnome. Soft Speaker This Chicago quartet, whom my brain persisted in thinking of as the Red Guitar Brigade due to the color of all their string instruments, weaves in and out of styles, sometimes moving from a more funked-up groove to treble-heavy indie rock within the same song. And it may just be my background playing up things that weren’t there, but it seemed at times that the vocals and lyrics were influenced by a dusting of late-’90s goth. While it is easy to hear how a track like “I Stand To Lose My Fortune, Easy” can grow quickly on the listener, Soft Speaker’s encompassing style is perhaps too much for a first-time listener to process at a live show, and they never seemed to spark with the audience. HotChaCha HotChaCha are swiftly becoming an NTSIB favorite, bolstered heavily by their energetic live shows. As most live reviews of … Continue reading

mr. Gnome Return Home

Now that the news of the Black Keys move to Nashville has been officially announced, I can christen mr. Gnome as my favorite-local-band-that-is-still-local*… though, as seems to be the way of things, this will probably precipitate Nicole Barille and Sam Meister’s move to distant lands. I’d like to apologize to all the other mr. Gnome fans in advance. But until then, we have the chance to enjoy them here at home this Saturday when they headline a show at the Beachland Ballroom with another band of local awesomeness, HotChaCha, and Soft Speaker from Chicago. Our friend Nate Burrell was kind enough to share some beautiful photos with us of mr. Gnome’s recent show in St. Louis, Missouri. And here’s some footage from their recent show in Tucson, Arizona: [youtube=] mr. Gnome Official WebsiteHotChaCha @ Exit Stencil RecordingsSoft Speaker Official WebsiteThe Beachland Ballroom *For the record, I begrudge the Black Keys not one bit for their move, am glad they stayed in Ohio as long as they did and am really happy for them and excited for all the opportunities they have now. photo copyright Nate Burrell – taken for KDHX Media

Bits: Cadillac Sky, Stephen Calt, The Magnetic Fields, mr. Gnome, Twain, The Low Anthem

Bryan Simpson has announced his departure from Cadillac Sky. An announcement about his replacement is forthcoming. We are grateful to Bryan for the great music he’s given us and wish him much happiness. Dust-to-Digital reports the passing of blues biographer Stephen Calt, author of King of the Delta Blues: The Life an Music of Charlie Patton and I’d Rather Be the Devil: Skip James and the Blues among other tomes. Now on to better news: the Magnetic Fields would like to bring their film Strange Powers to your town. Learn how you can help make it happen. mr. Gnome has almost completed it’s third album and has announced tour dates starting in November. Mat Davidson of the Low Anthem has released his second album with his project Twain. Interesting stuff. Check it out. Speaking of the Low Anthem, we’ve been slowly falling in love with them since seeing them open for the Avett Brothers last winter. Here’s a nice little docu-video on them. [youtube=]

Slackday: Better than porn.

mr. Gnome: best band to come out of Cleveland or best band to come out of Cleveland? Those sexy-ass kids played a little loft gig in Seattle on their recent tour. Here’s some footage from Jonathan Houser. Mr. Gnome 1 from Jonathan Houser on Vimeo. Mr. Gnome 2 from Jonathan Houser on Vimeo. Nicole and Sam are back home and working on their next album (or will be if Nicole can lure Sam back from going feral – it’s best not to ask). They’ve also added some massively cool shit to their already massively cool online store, like a spectacular vinyl “bag” set and the regenerated “Better than porn.” shirt.

Bits: mr. Gnome EP, Wayne Coyne is a model citizen, new Bonnie Prince Billy Daytrotter session, new Bob Pollard, Hell and Half of Georgia’s first show

Clearly Alarm has good taste as they have voted mr. Gnome’s Tastes Like Magic EP one of the best albums of the week. The Flaming Lips are always popping up in the most unexpected places. Model citizen Wayne Coyne could be seen last Sunday evening on Extreme Home Makeover as he donned hard hat and worked volunteer labor to help build a home. NTSIB is not choked up. We’re just clearing our throat. Daytrotter trotted out (Ha! Get it? …the time change is making us loopy…) a new session with Bonnie Prince Billy yesterday. They’re at SXSW right now taping more great sessions to share with us, by the likes of Phosphorescent and Blair and more. It feels like cheating to announce that Bob Pollard has a new album on the way since you could say that at any time of the year and have it be true. Still, it’s worth noting that you can preview a couple of tracks from the upcoming Circus Devils on Mr. Prolific’s website. They’re hot. Even though we weren’t able to be there, NTSIB is very excited that our friends Hell and Half of Georgia played their first show this past Saturday. Check out … Continue reading

Bits: The Black Keys apart & together, Carolina Chocolate Drops on Fresh Air, mr. Gnome 7″, various tour dates

While Dan is away, Patrick still plays. NPR has a piece on Drummer, the side project of Patrick Carney of the Black Keys. No fear for Black Keys fans though, as Patrick and Dan Auerbach will be releasing their sixth album, Brothers, on May 18th. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, who released Genuine Negro Jig last month and will be playing the Beachland Ballroom next week, get the Fresh Air treatment mr. Gnome’s new 7″, “Tastes Like Magic”, is now available for pre-order and download. The Flaming Lips get back on the road this month. The Builders and the Butchers are out and at it, as well. The Levon Helm Band/the Duke and the King show in New Jersey that was postponed last month has been rescheduled for March 12. Further to the Carolina Chocolate Drops new joint, watch them perform “Cornbread and Butterbeans” for WDVX’s Blue Plate Special: [youtube=]