I happen to come across Philadelphia duo Lockets while searching for records online at Rough Trade. I always laugh when I discover American bands on British sites, but that’s exactly what happened the other day. All I had to read from Rough Trade’s description was, “stunning dream pop which aches with bittersweetness”, and I was instantly hooked. Lockets are vocalist Dani Mari and multi-instrumentalist Todd Mendelsohn and yes, comparisons to Cocteau Twins and Beach House are inevitable, but I still can’t stop listening. You can listen to and download their album Camera Shy on their website and pre-order the very limited vinyl (only 500 made) that comes out in the US on Dec. 4, 2012 on Beautiful Strange.
If you happen to be in or around the Philadelphia area, tickets are still available via Ticketfly for their show on Dec. 6, 2012 at the Barbary opening up for St. Lucia who I recently caught this past summer at the Echo in Los Angeles and loved! Check out the their latest video for Winter Light and pre-order their debut record here.
Tamaryn performing on Friday Nov. 23, 2012 at the Echo in Los Angeles.
Just before 11:30pm, I walked into a darkened Echo to find a very packed house waiting for Tamaryn to take the stage. Within moments, the swirling guitar sound of Rex John Shelverton and the soft voice of Tamaryn had me in a trance. They of course played new songs from their recently released record, Tender New Signs out on Mexican Summer which sounded amazing live. The set was short, but sweet with nary a word uttered from Tamaryn except at the beginning when she asked to turn the lights up a bit on stage complaining it was too dark. Hmmmm, not very “shoegazey”, but hey if you can’t see…
Their North American tour just ended on Saturday with a show at the Independent in San Francisco, but you should definitely pick up a copy of their new record and check out the video for The Garden below directed by Miko Revereza. Beautiful music!
If you happen to be in or around Amsterdam next week, Le Guess Who? festival in Utrecht (only 30 minutes away) should be on your must do list. The DIY festival has only been around since 2007, but has grown each year with some of the hottest indie acts around. The festival takes place in various indoor venues around the city which I recently experienced at the Iceland Airwaves festival in Reykjavik and loved it!
Their fourth album, Adventures in Your Own Backyard was released earlier this year on Domino Records and now they are back to play the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles this Wednesday, November 21st. I recently saw Lost in the Trees there and let me tell you it’s a wonderful place to see live music. Tickets are still available via Ticketfly and apparently if you bring some canned goods or non perishables to the show you’ll get a nifty Patrick Watson poster. Check out the video for Into Giants and I’ll see you at the show!
Everyone’s favorite alt-bluegrass band Punch Brothers are back on the road to support their new EP, Ahoy! just released on Nonesuch Records. Chris Thile and company have been riding a wave of success since they released Who’s Feeling Young Now? earlier this year including a highly regarded appearance on Austin City Limits with the Civil Wars. LA’s own Luckman Fine Arts Complex will be hosting the show on December 1st, 2012. Tickets are still available from Ticketmaster for what’s sure to be a hand clapping, foot stomping good time. Check out their video for ”Movement and Location” from their episode of Austin City Limits after the jump and get your tickets to an upcoming show.
Rachael Yamagata has been busy lately, she’s just about to release her new Heavyweight EP and has just embarked on a Fall Tour which will bring her back to Los Angeles next Tuesday, November 20th at the El Rey Theatre. I was lucky enough to talk with her briefly as she made her way to Vancouver for the first show of the tour.
“Sorry it’s so noisy, I’m sitting in the back of a van on the road.” Laughing, I said that I’m in an art gallery with construction going on… we make quite a pair (more laughter). She then asked me if we had met because my name sounded so familiar (oh how I wish I had the guts and split second timing to joke around and say that we had once dated). I told her that we had met at one of her past Hotel Cafe shows, but was also one of her Pledge Music supporters for Chesapeake (her last release). “That’s it! I even remember writing you a note – once I write a name down, it’s hard to forget.” Yup, she pretty much made my day. Moving on, she was excited that the first thing I brought up was the cover art for her new record. All her previous releases have photos of her, so I asked how she found the painting.
“I was just searching online and came across this artist named Jan Zoya. Her work had this feeling of sadness, nostalgia, and passion that I could relate to.” Her artist statement also made an impression. She told me it wasn’t easy though, apparently the artist didn’t believe who she was so it took a bit of going back and forth, “I finally just had to tweet at her saying, look this really is me and I’m trying to contact you.” That finally worked and now one of her paintings graces the cover with even more collaborations possible in the future. As for returning to Los Angeles, I had to mention that I always felt that she belonged to us. “I feel the same way.” She said she still has so many friends here and that it was really hard for her to move to Woodstock. As for the show, “I’m really excited to play the El Rey, I’m touring with strings this time around and really wanted to have seats to keep it intimate.” If you’re familiar with the El Rey, you know it’s usually standing room only.
If you’ve never seen her before, do yourself a favor and go to one of her upcoming shows. Her onstage banter and incredible voice makes her one of my favorite singer/songwriters. Tickets are still available for the El Rey show via Ticketmaster and you can also download a free mixtape from NoiseTrade. Also, don’t forget to buy her new EP, Heavyweight from her website. Thanks again to Rachael for taking the time to speak with me, it was a real pleasure.
Watch the video to her single Even If I Don’t after the jump.
The Faint who recently headlined the FYF Fest are going back on the road to celebrate the re-release of their record, Danse Macabre (Deluxe Edition) out on Saddle Creek, November 19th. The remastered limited edition will also include a DVD with tons of cool things from the archives of the band. I’m guessing since the record is only 35 minutes long, they will also perform a ton of other songs from their past and present. They’ll be in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 18th at the Fonda Theatre and at New York’s Terminal 5 in December with plenty of dates in between and after. As an added bonus, Trust will be opening all shows on this outing. Check out the video for Agenda Suicide and get your tickets to an upcoming show.
Sigur Rós performing on the final night of Iceland Airwaves 2012
I’ve been back for a few days now from Reykjavik and still find it difficult to put into words how Iceland Airwaves 2012 was… amazing, cold, epic, windy, sleepless, beautiful? All of the above! It’s still a bit hazy to me what actually went down. Did Sigur Rós perform a new song? Did Útidúr actually play six shows? Did I fall in love with Sóley? Did the Blue Lagoon turn into the Ice Lagoon thanks to Hurricane Sandy? All of these things happened, but it still feels like a dream. So many musical highlights that it’s hard to name just a few, but when Sigur Rós took the stage at Laugardalshöllin Arena on the final night of the festival, I knew that there was no other place in the world I’d rather be. While I missed seeing Björk around town and a rather brief appearance by the Aurora Borealis, I did manage to make some new friends, eat a ton of Pylsur (Icelandic hot dogs), and discover EXITMUSIC who took my breath away at Harpa. Early bird tickets to next year’s festival go on sale December 1st and like every year, it’s gonna be sold out before you know it.