Friday
Jul092010

Preview: Green River Music Festival



There's something special about local music festivals - while Coachella and Bonnaroo are great, some of my favorite festival memories are from the more intimate local festivals.  And there's no better setting for live music, in my opinion, than outdoors in the clean air of the Berkshires.  Therefore, you can understand my excitement for next weekend's Green River Music Festival.  The festival, now in its 24th year (!), features an electic mix of music -- ranging from bluegrass to folk to R&B -- and both local and national artists.  Things kick-off Friday night with a free show headlined by Hi-Country Lo-Fi (Jeffrey Foucault and Kris Delmhorst) and extends through Sunday evening with sets from Allen Toussaint, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Low Anthem, Calexico, The Felice Brothers, David Wax Museum and many more.

Tickets are a very reasonable $60 for a weekend pass - available here

Enjoy a few free tracks from some of our Green River artists and watch visible voice for full post-festival coverage:

Allen Toussaint - Southern Nights
Calexico - Sunken Waltz
The Felice Brothers - Frankie's Gun
The David Wax Museum - Persimmon Tree


Full Green River lineup:

Friday July 16: High Country Lo-fi / Joy Kills Sorrow / Academy Freightshakers

Saturday July 17
Old Crow Medicine Show / Allen Toussaint / Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars / Sweetback Sisters / Chatham County Line / Joy Kills Sorrow / Brooks Williams / Donna The Buffalo / Red Stick Ramblers / Rubblebucket / Primate Fiasco / Gandalf Murphy / Fancy Trash

Sunday July 18
Cake / Calexico / The Felice Brothers / The Low Anthem / David Wax Museum / Lake Street Dive / Unit7 / Rusty Belle / Anais Mitchell

Wednesday
Jul072010

New music: Blake Mills "Break Mirrors"

    

Blake Mills has a pretty healthy résumé.  He has toured with Band of Horses, Jenny Lewis, Julian Casablancas, and many more.  He is a highly sought studio musician, and has been featured on records from Bruce Hornsby, Jakob Dylan, Jenny Lewis, Weezer, etc.  He scores movies.  He consults for Apple (computers).  All this, and the dude is only 23.

Mills' solo debut, Break Mirrors is a deep record of introspective, organic folk-tinged songs.  Musically, the songs vary from whispered acoustic and pedal steel-tinged lullabies (Cheers, Like It's Something) to raucous stomps (Under the Underground, Wintersong).  Running through the entire album is an undeniable sense of melody and songcraft - it's apparent that Mills has honed his chops working with other luminaries, and is certainly ready to step into the spotlight.  It'll All Work Out, one of many standout tracks from Break Mirrors is available for stream/download:

Blake Mills - It'll All Work Out

Break Mirrors is currently available for less than $5 on Amie Street.  Also, free EP is available here.

FYI: Mills was a founding member of the band Simon Dawes, now known as just Dawes.  Watch them cover Hey Lover:

 

Tuesday
Jul062010

New music: Electric Sunset - Soda

  

Desolation Wilderness have put out some fantastic records over the past few years - hypnotic slices of lo-fi, reverb-drenched pop that I highly recommend checking out.  While putting together my July mixtape, which features Desolation Wilderness' excellent Venice Beach as the opening track, I discovered that the band had split up.  However, my mood instantly changed from bummed to excited when I found that guitarist/singer Nic Zwart has a new project Electric Sunset.  Nic was kind enough to share a track from the upcoming self-titled debut.  Soda is a layered and dizzyingly beautiful track.  Reverby guitars, dream-like vocals and drum machine backbeat form the core, atop which a blanket of hazy, atmospheric sounds and samples are added.  Perfect music for a heatwave.

Electric Sunset - Soda

The self-titled debut is out in September on K Records.  Until then, do yourself a favor and check out the Desolation Wilderness catalogue.

 

Thursday
Jul012010

A Long Road Ahead: Delta Spirit @ The Middle East 6.28.10

Delta Spirit's sold out show at the Middle East Downstairs in Cambridge this past Monday was a sweaty and cathartic affair.  It's getting hard for anyone to deny what I've felt for a couple years now - Delta Spirit is one of the best live bands on the road today.  Touring behind History From Below, the fantastic follow-up to 2008's Ode To Sunshine, the band played a non-stop 90-minute set of gritty indie-folk-rock anthems to a packed and adoring crowd.

The band and their management were gracious enough to allow visible voice to grab a soundboard patch, but unfortunately the recording was marred by distorted vocals.  Fortunately I was able to capture some photos to document the night.  Check out the photos here

Thursday
Jul012010

July mixtape: Vacationing People

When I started visible voice four months ago I intended on publishing a monthly mixtape.  You may have noticed that hasn't happened.  Until now.  The July mixtape, aptly titled "Vacationing People", is now available for stream below - these are the kind of hazy, reverby jams that are perfect for a summer BBQ or roadtrip.  Enjoy!

Tracklist:
1. Desolation Wilderness - Venice Beach
2. Beach Fossils - Daydream
3. Best Coast - Far Away
4. Buffalo Moon - Beach Boy
5. Surfer Blood - Catholic Pagans
6. Brenda - Across The Bay
7. Broken Social Scene - Texico Bitches
8. Holiday Shores - Days Drag
9. Delta Spirit - Gimme Some Motivation
10. Foreign Born - Vacationing People

Tuesday
Jun292010

New music: Department of Eagles "While We're Young"

  

Department of Eagles, the side project of Grizzly Bear's Daniel Rossen and college roomate Fred Nicolaus, is set to release their follow-up to 2008's fantastic In Ear Park.  Unsurprising given the name of the record, Archive 2003-2006 is a collection of outtakes from recording sessions and rehearsals.  Listen to While We're Young below; a great song that stands up against anything of of In Ear Park.

Department of Eagles - While We're Young

Saturday
Jun262010

Festival Express: New England summer music festivals

As June rolls into July the temperatures are warming up and it's finally festival season in New England.  There's no massive festival to rival Bonnaroo or Coachella, but that doesn't mean there aren't world class festivals in our neck of the woods.  Below is a roundup of just a few that we're looking forward to - check back throughout the summer for full coverage of each, including previews (with free downloads) and post-festival recaps with photos, video and - in some cases - live audio.

Nateva Music & Camping Festival
When:  July 2-4
Where:  Oxford, ME
Tickets:  $89 / $229  BUY HERE
Bands:  FURTHER, THE FLAMING LIPS, SHE & HIM, PASSION PIT, GRIZZLY BEAR, DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS, GEORGE CLINTON, THE FELICE BROTHERS, YOU CAN BE A WESLEY, BRENDA, MAGIC MAGIC and more

Free track:  Magic Magic - Jellyfish

 

 

Green River Festival
When:  July 17-18
Where:  Greenfield, MA
Tickets:  $39.95 / $59.95  BUY HERE
Bands: CALEXICO, OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW, ALLEN TOUSSAINT, CAKE, THE FELICE BROTHERS, THE LOW ANTHEM, DAVID WAX MUSEUM, RED STICK RAMBLERS, CHATHAM COUNTY LINE, JOY KILLS SORROW and more

Free track:  The David Wax Museum - Colas

 

 

Newport Folk Festival
When:  July 30-August 1
Where:  Newport, RI
Tickets:  $69 / $125  BUY HERE
Bands:  LEVON HELM, JOHN PRINE, THE AVETT BROTHERS, ANDREW BIRD, THE SWELL SEASON, SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS, YIM YAMES, THE LOW ANTHEM, JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, DAWES, BLITZEN TRAPPER and more

Free track:  The Low Anthem - Home I'll Never Be (Live in Boston)



Solid Sound Festival (curated by Wilco)
When:  August 13-15
Tickets:  $91  BUY HERE
Bands:  WILCO, JEFF TWEEDY (SOLO), THE NELS CLINE SINGERS, ON FILLMORE, AUTUMN DEFENSE, VETIVER, MAVIS STAPLES, AVI BUFFALO, MOUNTAIN MAN, BRENDA, TODD BARRY, KRISTEN SCHAAL and more

Free track:  Jeff Tweedy - Bob Dylan's 49th Beard (Live in Northampton)

 

Monday
Jun212010

New music: Soft Pyramids

  

Soft Pyramids hail from our neighbor to the north, Cambridge MA.  Not a hard sell here - they make catchy garage-pop, and they're giving away their demo for free here.  If you're still not convinced, check out a free track below:

Soft Pyramids - Howling at the Moon

Monday
Jun212010

Vote for David Wax Museum to play the Newport Folk Festival!

For those of you who have daydreamed about curating your own music festival - here's your chance (kind of).  Magic Hat has teamed up with the Newport Folk Festival for a contest that lets fans select one of the bands that will play at the festival later this summer.  From over 150 submissions, three bands were selected as finalists - and it just so happens that visible voice favorite The David Wax Museum are one of the three!

The David Wax Museum's organic Mexo-Americana sound suits the festival perfectly, and they put on one of the most energetic and fun live shows I have ever seen - they will undoubtedly win over many new fans if given the chance to play Newport.  Check out a free track from their fantastic record Carpenter Bird:

David Wax Museum - Colas

Of course, feel free to vote for whoever you like - but my vote and full support goes to DWM.  It takes only a minute to vote, let your voice be heard:  http://magichat.net/opener/voting

Then, once you've voted, make sure you have tickets to the festival.  Avett Brothers, Swell Season, Levon Helm, Yim Yames, John Prine, Justin Townes Earle, Dawes, and many more.  Get tickets here

 

While we're on the topic of David Wax Museum, check out this fantastic video from a house show a couple months ago, courtesy of kitchensessions.net

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