Tag Archive for 'blitzen-trapper'

22
Apr

Blitzen Trapper live on KALX

bt-and-me

bt-and-me-2

BT was kind enough to stop by my show on KALX in Berkeley last week and get their peace & quiet on. You know I was stoked since their latest record was my number one for 2008. We got three tunes peppered through some banter I’ll try and get up as soon as I get it edited so I don’t come off a dufus. Standing in the cramped air studio while they did “Sleepy Time…” a capella was just amazing. Check ‘em out:

Sleepy Time In The Western World

Lady On The Water

Stolen Shoes + A Rifle

Here’s a bonus from their show at The Independent back in December:

The Gambler/The Last Thing On My Mind

An hilarious stab at Kenny Rogers and a gorgeous Tom Paxton cover. The whole show is up at the Internet Archive.

13
Dec

NHT’s Best of 2008

Every blogger’s gotta have one so here’s my list for the best of a pretty strong year. Click on the album covers for band websites.

#1 Blitzen Trapper – Furr (Sub Pop)

The finest 6 piece band in Portland delivers an adventurous stunner on their fourth record. There’s so much going in every song I feel like I’ve heard a whole record’s worth of ideas after two or three tracks. Where do I start? It’s the Kinks meets Of Montreal, early Dylan meets Wilco, After The Gold Rush era Neil Young meets Beck.  And I’m diggin’ the 80’s hair metal logo!  Suffice to say that if my boys sing along to every tune then it’s been in pretty heavy rotation around the NHT house.  I do skip “Black River Killer” when the kids are around; hard to explain that one to a nine year old…

God + Suicide

Black River Killer

That last one is downright chilling live.

#2 Crooked Fingers – Forfeit/Fortune (CAI/Red Pig)

CF’s latest sheds the freak folky Americana leanings of their past efforts in favor of a Blitzen Trapper type rock infused with Arcade Fire’s sense of drama (without their tiresome aura of self-importance) and tasteful doses of Latin and Eastern European flavor. Guests include Brian Kotzur (Silver Jews), Tom Hagerman (DeVotchKa) and Neko Case. This may be Eric Bachmann and his shifting brood’s best yet. Unfortunately I can’t bring myself to include the cover art (hey, we’re kid friendly ’round here)

¡No Me Lo Des!

Luisas Bones

The Crooked Fingers released this one all by their lonesome. Buy it here: http://www.crookedfingers.com/

The Golden Hour

#3 Firewater – The Golden Hour (Bloodshot)

Original review here.  Tod A can still bring it after 10+ years out of Cop Shoot Cop. A brilliant travelogue about Tod’s 3 year sojourn through India, Pakistan, Israel & Turkey, bringing a solid rock foundation to showcase music from halfway around the world.

Some Kind Of Kindness

Weird To Be Back

Leeds me to believe Tod’s happier living out of a suitcase…

#4 Buena Vista Social Club – At Carnegie Hall (World Circuit)

Original review here. Finally a magical night of Cuban music sees the light of day. Music that was a revelation in 1998 on the studio record is nothing short of incendiary in this live setting. The sheer joy and exuberance of these incredible musicians, many playing the US for the first time, pours out of the speakers.

Chan Chan

El Cuarto de Tula

#5 Paul Weller – 22 Dreams (Yep Roc)

The Modfather takes a bold, audacious step outside the comfort zone that dulled his last couple of albums and succeeds in spades. Solo record #9 is his most varied yet, touching on Brit folk, blue eyed soul, jazz, crunching rock, driving psychedelia, Middle Earstern grooves and piano ballads. So inspiring to see an artist still able challenge himself after 30+ years. Guests include Robert Wyatt, Noel Gallagher, Graham Coxon (on drums, only Weller could bring together the Hatfield & McCoy of Brit rock), Gem Archer and Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Cradock is all over this (he also gets a production credit).

All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)

Push It Along

#6 The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age Of The Understatement (Domino)

Review of “Standing Next to Me” single here. A collaboration between Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and Miles Kane (Little Flames, Rascals). It’s early Bowie’s 60’s symphonic-pop meets Love meets The Yardbirds with Enio Morricone and John Barry flourishes. Delicious.

My Mistakes Were Made For You

Separate And Ever Deadly


#7 The Dodos – Visiter (FrenchKiss)

One of my favorite local bands I haven’t seen live yet. ‘Course I don’t get out much… Their second album is smile inducing from start to finish. Another guitar-drums duo (I was hoping bands without bass players was a passing fad) fills so much space with so little. Here’s a couple tracks from Visiter live from The Doug Fir Lounge, Portland recorded in October of last year:

It’s That Time Again > Paint The Rust

And my fave tune from Visiter: Fools

#8 David Byrne/Brian Eno – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today (Todomundo)

Original review here.  If Nonesuch hadn’t reissued their first collaboration My LIfe In The Bush Of Ghosts this new record may never have happened. Getting back in touch for the reissue, Eno mentioned he had a large cache of tracks and Byrnne offered to compose lyrics. Sheer beauty ensued.

Life Is Long

One Fine Day

Available only on their website it here.

#9 Foals – Antidotes (Trasgressive)

This post-new wave Oxford, UK 5 piece sounds like Gang Of Four for a post Arctic Monkeys world. So catchy, so much fun. Here’s a live version of one of my favorite tracks of their full length debut:

Red Socks Pugie

Thanks to Indie Boy for the recording. Ther’s more live and rare Foals than you can shake a stick at here. Here’s another fave of NHT:

Cassius

#10 Raconteurs – Consolers Of The Lonely (Warner Bros.)

One of the best shows I saw all year. Jack White is a straight up rock star, Brendon Benson is an underrated genius, great songwriting,  driving guitars, killer hooks, what’s not to like?.

Carolina Drama

Salute Your Solution

When they played “Carolina Drama” at Slim’s White stepped to the front of the stage to deliver the last couple of versus without the aid of amplification. You could have heard a pin drop as his voice reached every corner of that room. Gave me the chicken skin…

And the best of the rest, hopefully to be fleshed out in the near future:

#11 Alejandro Escovedo – Real Animal (Back Porch)
#12 The Botticellis – Old Home Movies (Antenna Farm)
#13 Los Campesinos – Hold On Now, Youngster (Arts & Crafts)
#14 Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (New West)
#15 Antony and the Johnsons – Another World (Secretly Canadian)
#16 The Zydepunks – Finisterre (Nine Mile)
#17 Jesca Hoop – Kismet (Columbia)
#18 Aimee Mann – @#%&*! Smilers (Super Ego)
#19 Calexico – Carried to Dust (Quarterstick)
#20 Lucinda Williams – Little Honey (Lost Highway)

05
Dec

Blitzen Trapper Independent setlist & video

Tuesday night at the Independent Portland’s Blitzen Trapper graced our fair corner of the world with the best live performance of the year in these parts for a mere $12. They did over two thirds of my favorite album of the year so the rest was gravy, and what gravy! “Country Caravan”, about their hometown of Portland, was delivered with the kind of emotion only homesick fellas near the end of a grueling tour can muster. “Last Thing On My Mind” brought tears, “Black River Killer” was haunting as hell. The whole night was just amazing, and the hospitality of drummer Brian behind the merch booth was icing on top of gravy. Enjoy a couple of videos from that night (with many thanks to atomjack). I must of been ten feet to his right tops.

Furr

and Wild Mountain Nation

The setlist (also thanks to atomjack):

Sleepytime in the Western World
Fire & Fast Bullets
God and Suicide
Saturday Nite
Black River Killer
Furr
Country Caravan
Gold For Bread
Jericho
Love U
Echo/Always On/Easy Con
Summer Town
Wild Mountain Nation
Not Your Lover
Devil’s a-go-go
The Gambler (a hillarious partial cover of the Kenny Rogers song)
Last Thing On My Mind
Miss Spiritual Tramp

01
Dec

Blitzen Trapper @ The Independent tomorrow

Now that I’m finally done with turkey sandos it’s time to get excited about some live music. I know it’s a Tuesday night but I must take Bay Area music fans to task for not selling out Blitzen Trapper’s show at the Independent over in San Francisco yet. Barring some sea change in my current listening habits there’s nothing out there to challenge BT’s latest from the top spot in my Best of ’08 list. I’ve already waxed adoring about Furr and I doubt I’ll get much sleep tonight imagining how that collection of tunes will go down live.

Just take a load of this and tell me if I’m wrong:

If you want some tunes on the take out side these Portland music masters have authored no less than three seperate Daytrotter sessions. Here’s a stripped down version of the title track from their latest to get you hooked. If my kids know all the words you can bet that not only has it been in very heavy rotation around the Now Hear This house but that it straight up kills it too. Trust me, those boys know.

Furr (live on Daytrotter)

You can get the rest of the session right here, their first session here and number two here.

So come on down to the Independent tomorrow night. The opening act, Seattle’s Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, has been gettin’ some buzz lately and LA’s psych folkers The Parson Red Heads play the middle slot. Buy tickets for tomorrow night’s show right here, RIGHT NOW!

18
Sep

New music

Paul Weller – 22 Dreams

The first lock for my Best Of The Year list. The Modfather takes a bold, audacious step outside the comfort zone that dulled his last couple of albums and succeeds in spades. Solo record #9 is his most varied yet, touching on Brit folk, blue eyed soul, jazz, crunching rock, driving psychedelia, Middle Earstern grooves and piano ballads. So inspiring to see an artist still able challenge himself after 30+ years. Guests include Robert Wyatt, Noel Gallagher, Graham Coxon (on drums, only Weller could bring together the Hatfield & McCoy of Brit rock), Gem Archer and Ocean Colour Scene’s Steve Cradock is all over this (he also gets a production credit).

Buy it at Yep Roc records.

22 Dreams

Cold Moments

Blitzen Trapper – Furr

Another record that’s definitely made my Best Of The Year short list. The finest 6 piece band in Portland delivers an adventurous stunner on their fourth record. There’s so much going in every song I feel like I’ve heard a whole record’s worth of ideas after two or three tracks. Where do I start? It’s the Kinks meets Of Montreal, early Dylan meets Wilco, After The Gold Rush era Neil Young meets Beck.  And I’m diggin’ the 80′s hair metal logo!

Fire + Fast Bullets

Gold For Bread

Furr is out this Tuesday on Sub Pop.  BT will be playing at the Independent in SF with Parson Red Heads December 2nd. Click on the cover or head over to their myspace page for more tunes plus videos & tour dates.

All Girl Summer Fun Band – Looking Into It

Speaking of bands from Portland with records coming out Tuesday (am I the king of the segue or what?), The All Girl Summer Fun Band has been making the same playfully punky pop we’ve come to love for almost ten years. Think the grittier side of Stereo Total meets the Shangri-La’s and you’re close. I am utterly unable to stop smiling, tapping my toes & bopping my head from side  when these ladies come skipping out of my speakers. Their 3rd record  will be on their own AGSFB label.

Something New

This Will Never End




Catch me on KALX in Berkeley

I host the Cuppa Joe show on KALX in Berkeley every other Wednesday from 6 to 9 PM. You can tune at 90.7 or online by clicking HERE ------------------------------------------- NEXT SHOW: October 28 FUNDRAISER SHOW!! ------------------------------------------- Check out past playlists HERE
Got something I HAVE TO HEAR? Wanna send me free stuff? Email me at mike@nowhearthismusic.com

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Quick note about the tunes

The mp3s on this blog are to give folks a little taste. Imagine they're those little pouches on the bag your Sunday paper comes in. You know, the one's with a packet containing just enough toothpaste to brush your teeth once or twice. They are left up for a limited time. If you find something you like support the artists by dragging your friends to their shows and/or buying their CDs/records/schwag. If you are the artist (or their label/representative) and don't want an mp3 on here, please email me (mike@nowhearthismusic.com) and I'll remove it posthaste.
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