Guest Post: Joy Goes To SXSW, pt. 1

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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

Postcards from the Pit: The Felice Brothers / Yellowbirds / Mail the Horse, Mercury Lounge, 12/31/12

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And now, at long last, the promised pictures from the Felice Brothers’ New Years Eve show. Starting from the beginning, with Mail the Horse:               Yellowbirds were up next; they’re also from Brooklyn, and were an odd little burst of power-pop in the middle of a twangy, fuzzed-out evening:         And then, The Felice Brothers, who played a bunch of crowd favorites (ones I can remember: Frankie’s Gun, Cumberland Gap, Whiskey in my Whiskey, White Limousine, Run, Chicken, Run), surprised us with an appearance by Simone Felice, poured us into the New Year with Take This Bread, ceded their stage to a member of the audience for a (successful!) marriage proposal, and at the end shut the place down with back-to-back covers of Carry That Weight by The Beatles and Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Carry That Weight I sang along with out of . . . habit, for lack of a better term. It’s the Beatles, I’m not that keen on them but it’s a communal thing to do, rolling with the crowd-swell for the chorus, acknowledging that 2012 was rough and 2013 may not be much better but … Continue reading

The Felice Brothers / Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea / Diamond Doves, Webster Hall, 9/29/11

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It’s been almost approximately a year since I last saw the Diamond Doves (formerly the Dearland in Elvis Perkins and Dearland, now doing their own thing) and in that time they’ve changed: they’ve become tighter and more focused, and their drums are bigger and louder and roll like mighty waves.  They were good before, but they’re better now. I’m also pleased to report that they are still making the hipsters dance. Here they are in action:     Next up was Nicole Atkins and the Black Sea. I (once again) had never heard them before and had no idea what to expect. Ladies and gentlemen: this band rocks. Nicole Atkins has an amazing voice – powerful, flexible, commanding, and sultry at the same time – and she and the band bring some serious jams. If you haven’t experienced them yet, you should get on that right away.     And then there were The Felice Brothers, who are on tour right now. The crowd was a little bit flat at first – some of them perhaps hearing songs from Celebration, Florida live for the first time – but they perked right up and made the floor vibrate with their joy when … Continue reading

Bits: Cure for Pain, Rockhall Spring Benefit, SXSW, Record Store Day, Spinner

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Cure for Pain, the documentary about the much-missed Mark Sandman will see it’s U.S. debut on April 15 at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina. Tickets for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Museum annual spring benefit go on sale today. The May 14 concert will feature Mavis Staples, Wanda Jackson, Darlene Love and Cyndi Lauper, as well as Curt Smith (Tears for Fears) and Chuck Jackson. Just because you’re sick of hearing about SXSW and its aftermath, that’s no reason to miss out on the good stuff. You can hear and/or see a TV on the Radio performance here, a Jessica Lea Mayfield performance here and a Felice Brothers performance here. Record Store Day approacheth (April 16) and now the official RSD release list is available to help decide if you’ll have to go without food or gas for the next couple of months. Lots of good shit on Spinner’s Listening Party, including Radiohead, Dirty Beaches, Royal Bangs and Willie Nelson with Wynton Marsalis. Check it out.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Titus Andronicus/The Felice Brothers

NTSIB loves the Felice Brothers. NTSIB also loves boys in dresses. Now we can enjoy our two great loves together! Hurray for Halloween! Continuing my ongoing life-theme of music related traveling, last weekend NTSIB friend Joy and I drove up some twisty mountain roads to Poughkeepie to see Titus Andronicus and the Felice Brothers. Trivia: Joy first saw The Felice Brothers when they were playing on the subway platforms in Brooklyn; I only learned about them this past January, and for all of the times I’ve seen them this year, this show was the first one in an actual club. And it was wonderful. Titus Andronicus was once again amazing. The crowd was of course much smaller than the one at Webster Hall, and during the first song I thought they might be a little bit lukewarm. Oh, was I ever wrong. As soon as the second song started, they began moshing. And I do mean moshing; there was hair, beer and limbs flying everyehere, Joy almost got knocked over four times, there were dudes in tweed sport coats pummeling the bejsus out of each other in a circle pit during almost all fourteen minutes of Battle of Hampton Roads, … Continue reading

Bits: The Black Keys, Andrew Bird, Neil Young, Sweet By and By, the Felice Brothers

With the proceeds from a benefit concert played in Akron, Ohio, last autumn to honor Alfred McMoore – the artist who inadvertently named the band – the Black Keys Alfred McMoore Memorial Endowment Fund has been established to support community services for Akron residents like McMoore who suffered from schizophrenia. Andrew Bird will reprise his popular Gezelligheid concerts in December with dates in DC, Boston and Chicago. Neil Young’s highly-anticipated, Daniel Lanois-produced album Le Noise is up on NPR’s First Listen. A reminder for those in Northern California: The Yolo Throwdown Car and Music Festival is coming up this weekend, featuring the Sweet By and By, who are slated to hit the stage around 3:15 P.M. Our good friend Digger has been counting down the top ten Felice Brothers songs of their career so far, which includes the brilliant “Marie”. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izAAG1QEX_k?fs=1]

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Postcards from Disparate Voyage

The theme for my concert-going this summer seemed to be “voyages” and in particular water voyages, both to the water, or at least a couple of different beaches, and also on the water, specifically, the East River. As the temperature cools and the fall rainy season drifts in, I bring you some postcards from my last couple of trips: Willie Nelson, Circus Maximus Theater, Ceaser’s Atlantic City: The show was a little bit more subdued than I was expecting, perhaps a concession to the venue, the age of the audience (there were people in the front row celebrating their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary), or a reflection of Willie Nelson also getting up there (77 and still touring!), or some combination of those things. But it was still a great show. It was, in many ways, something of a relief to be able to just sit down and listen to someone sing familiar songs, undistracted by festival crowds or complicated stage business. He did, among others, Good Hearted Woman, All the Girls I’ve Loved Before and City of New Orleans, and I left refreshed, as if I had been visiting with old friends. Local Natives/We Barbarians/Young Man, The Beach at Governor’s Island: … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Newport Folk Festival, Part II

And here’s part two of Jennifer’s Newport odyssey. Day 2 I had kind of had my fill of the festival crowd the day before, so on Sunday I was a terrible musical correspondent and spent the morning wandering around Newport looking at historic homes. The Mansions, as they are called, are the former vacation “cottages” of various 19th century robber barons. This is the back yard of the one called The Elms, and Louis XIV would feel right at home, not least because they have some of his wifes’ pillows in a case in their upstairs hallway: In the afternoon I hopped a water taxi (can I tell you how much I LOVE water taxis? A lot!!) and went back out to the Festival for the Felice Brothers: James Felice, Ian Felice, and Christmas They played an oddly dirge-heavy set, though they did do funky music-hall versions of both Greatest Show on Earth and Frankie’s Gun. When they were finished it was time for me to leave and wind my weary way back up to Providence to catch the train home. Daffodils outside the train station in Providence. Final thoughts: I didn’t see enough of the acts to comment on … Continue reading

The Felice Brothers at Lebowski Fest in Louisville, KY, 7.16.10

The recounting of the NTSIB roadtrip to points south will begin with the end. We are, as regular readers have surely noticed, a little fannish about the Felice Brothers, so when the opportunity presented itself to cap off our roadtrip by seeing the Brothers play Lebowski Fest, we couldn’t pass it up. It was the fourth Felice show for me, the third for Jennifer and our first show together. All very exciting, I assure you. And it was, for me, the most fun of the Felice shows I’ve experienced. We set off from the hotel a little late and, sadly, missed “The Greatest Show on Earth” (a favorite of mine), but we sang along to “White Limo” as we crossed the parking lot and weaved our way as close to the stage as we could. The Brothers kept it upbeat for the drunken party crowd and Lebowski-ized a couple of songs, transforming “Where’d You Get Your Liquor?” to “Where’d You Get Your Caucasian?” and “Roll On, Arte” to “Roll On, Donny”. Other highlights included a guest spoon-player on “Whiskey in My Whiskey” and a cover of The Big Lebowski end credits tune “Dead Flowers”, which James introduced as a song … Continue reading

Cassette & the Felice Brothers at the Beachland Tavern in Cleveland, OH, 5.10.10

Cassette (I’m not very familiar with their songs, so I wasn’t able to construct a playlist.) Cassette has a violinist and a cellist. These are good things. Cassette also has a keyboardist who seems to enjoy the hell out of himself and a singer whose voice really shines from time to time. These are also good things. Their songs are of the softer, more subtle variety, which A) doesn’t seem like the best fit for a Felice Brothers opener and B) is not my favorite kind of music, to be honest. Perhaps it was because they were on their last night of their tour with the Felice Brothers, but Cassette’s music lacked oomph and many songs seemed not so much to end as peter out. Their set ended, however, on a highlight as the band, especially the cellist and keyboardist, let go and played their hearts into a burning crescendo. More fire like that throughout Cassette’s set would serve them well. The Felice Brothers Playlist(?)Greatest Show on EarthLove Me TenderlyKatie DearMurder By MistletoeStepdadRiver JordanFuck the NewsRun Chicken RunGoddamn You, JimWhiskey in My WhiskeyHonda CivicWhite LimoEndless NightTake This BreadFrankie’s Gun!Two Nickels (? – Farley song)Ballad of Lou the WelterweightTwo Hands-encore-St. Stephen’s … Continue reading