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Joanna Newsom and the Magical Tour of 2004

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 21, 2014 04:20pm | Post a Comment
Joanna Newsom with Kevin Barker, Old Ironsides, Sacramento CA, July 10, 2004. Photo by Alissa Anderson. The Family Jams 2004 tour documentary devandra banhart vetiver new album 2014 harp freak folk nevada city california
Joanna Newsom with Kevin Barker at Old Ironsides, Sacramento CA, July 10, 2004. Photo by Alissa Anderson.

Once upon a time, or nearly ten years ago, a couple of bands combined their like-minded pursuit of music, travel, and kindred jamming and took to the road for what would later be known as the "Magical Tour of Two Thousand and Four" or The Family Jams, as revealed in Kevin Barker's tour documentary of the same name. Perhaps a more accurate description of the happening would be to say that it was an extended jaunt comprised of artists caught in Devendra Banhart's orbit at the time -- an Earthbound constellation of celestial talents that, for better or for worse, birthed the term Freak Folk. Though the documentary captures intimate performances and would-be private moments of many hearts and artists, the camera focuses mainly on Banhart, Vetiver, and Joanna Newsom.

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2014 Forecast: Music I'm fantasizing about / looking forward to this year

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 6, 2014 07:11pm | Post a Comment
Now that 2013 is over and done with it's time look forward to a new year and new music. Here are some future releases and dream pieces I'm particularly stoked for:

killed by deathrock vol volume 1 one sacred bones records
Various Artists - Killed by Deathrock, Vol. 1
(Sacred Bones) 

I. Love. Compilations! Especially when they are lovingly assembled over long periods of time by obsessive crate diggers. This is one such collection, compiled by the Sacred Bones Records founder Caleb Braaten, born of a love for exhuming rare tracks from barely-heard and in some cases "un-Googleable" Post-Punk, Deathrock, and Dark Punk ensembles. Began in 2007, this passionate piece of dedicated Deathrock devotion is finalized and finally seeing the light. Note: the LP is limited to 150 pressed on pink vinyl so, like, be ready to snatch yours up. Out January 21st.





cibo matto hotel valentine limited edition clear cream vinyl
Cibo Matto - Hotel Valentine
(Chimera

It'll be impossible for single party people to suffer a sad and lonely Valentine's Day in 2014 because Cibo Matto's first new album in fifteen years, Hotel Valentine, drops on February 14th! And they're making it an extra sexy release what with the limited first press made on clear/cream vinyl. The album itself is kind of of a concept centered around a of love hotel or something, but the usual zany grooves, random raps, funky breaks, Sci-Fi wasabi, jazzy interludes, island flava and extended dance jams make this album feel like their excellent last album, Stereo Type A, wasn't released as long ago as 1999. I mean, are the 90s back or does the Cibo Matto sound possess an infallible timelessness? Yes, and it's about time. 

Check out the vid for MFN:


Show Recap: Valerie June Live at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billy Gil, September 20, 2013 06:09pm | Post a Comment

valerie june amoeba hollywoodValerie June started her Sept. 19 set at Amoeba Hollywood with little fanfare, playing guitar steadily and humming hypnotically to a stripped-down version of the title track to Pushin' Against a Stone (on CD or LP), the title track to her fourth and breakthrough album. On record, it's a fuzz-guitar laden soul number; live, June appeared solo, strumming her guitar and allowing her voice to grow slowly over time, moving from low and earthy to high and keening like Joanna Newsom's. "I ain't fit to be no mother" she sang on "Workin' Woman Blues," the album's awesome opener. Though her playing style was rudimentary, she got her point across, playing rough blues riffs and strumming open notes for a droning effect.

valerie june pushin against a stone lpEven with a big name producer on her album like The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Valerie June isn't an artist who's been polished to a professional sheen. She still came off as an eccentric, saying little and hiding behind sunglasses. While she sometimes played furiously and sang her heart out, it seemed as though she was playing to herself, alone in a room—something that didn't hurt her performance, but rather made it all the more curious.

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Joanna Newsom covers Sandy Denny's "North Star Grassman and the Ravens" for Wren

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 15, 2013 04:42pm | Post a Comment
joanna newsom wren sandy denny north star grassman and the ravens nautical folk album fairport convention cover wren fashion video music new neo folk freak acid los angeles based clothing label line fall winter 2013 indie harp joanna newsom wren sandy denny north star grassman and the ravens nautical folk album fairport convention cover wren fashion video music new neo folk freak acid los angeles based clothing label line fall winter 2013 indie harp

We've caught neither peep nor lead regarding a follow up to Joanna Newsom's 2010 Have One On Me triple LP the future Mrs. Andy Samberg has been making news recently, case in point. Last year a couple of new songs, "Look and Despair" and "The Diver's Wife", were caught during two live different live performances in San Francisco and subsequently released into the wild, as happens more often that not in this increasingly borderless world of oversharing we live in (no complaints here). After dangling the carrot that was the announcement of a video shoot to showcase the jaunty, up-beat "Good Intentions Paving Company" music video in June of 2011 and later, in March 2012, the shaved vignette of a preview for the clip (as one comment sardonically pointed out, "this video is practically the indie Chinese Democracy") it feels good to finally see something new from Lady Jo, even if the newness is a "fashion video" for the Fall/Winter 2013 collection of Los Angeles based clothing line Wren, and the song is not new material but rather a Sandy Denny cover (again, no complaints whatsoever).

Concerning Hobbit Rock: Exploring A Beloved Micro-Genre

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 25, 2013 06:41pm | Post a Comment
Given all the hubbub this past holiday season surrounding the opening of Peter Jackson's newest venture into J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I think it's time to shift the spotlight onto a little known sub-subgenre tucked away, much like a hobbit hole snugly abutting a hillside, within Amoeba Music's extensive Rock Various Artists section: Hobbit Rock.

amoeba music genre subgenre rock various artists compilations fringe cult hobbit rock tolkien lost seventies classic mediaeval mediaval english j r r tolkein lord of the rings frodo bilbo baggins


Now, I have to admit the first time I clocked the Hobbit Rock bin card I was taken aback, gagging on the  question: what the heck is this? Browsing though the titles it began to make sense. Much like unfolding a map of Middle Earth to explore a visual representation of the diverse cultures and histories that Tolkien invented to people his fictional universe, browsing Hobbit Rock is to peruse a Led Zeppelin hobbit rock lord of the rings lyrics robert plant hippy hippie rock collection of music that either inspires sincere impressions of Middle Earth or is unequivocally informed by Tolkein's fantasy writings.

In other words, if an artist makes blatant Tolkien-esque references in lyric  (apparently Led Zeppelin couldn't resist slipping more than a little Middle Earthliness into practically every album) or otherwise artistic content (see my list below) then that, friends, is pure, gem mint ten Hobbit Rock.

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