Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Music - Part 26 - Kevin Devine

Kevin Devine is probably little known, at least to most of us here in the UK. He has used crowd-funding to produce two albums, one acoustic and the other not, that will be released shortly and simultaneously (and that is an interesting concept in itself).
Here is a track, For Eugene, from one of them.

The oh-so-subtle, that you might hardly even notice, backing vocal is courtesy of Isobel Campbell. It is a far cry from her three albums (and an EP) with Mark Lanegan, but equally an extremely interesting call to arms.

I have only become to know of this in the last hour. I'm always really pleased to hear about things like this. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Music - Part 25 - Nepenthe - Julianna Barwick

Well, you can say what you want but UK festivals will always bring surprises! Here is another artist who is to play at End of the Road Festival and, at the moment of writing and in my local time, Julianna Barwick's LP 'Nepenthe' was released in the UK today and will be released in the US tomorrow!
Born in Louisiana, raised in Missouri and now resident in Brooklyn, the album was in large part recorded in Iceland with Alex Somers - Sigur Rós and others - on production duties.
This, I think, says a great deal about the new order in music marketing - and it certainly is not a major label release. Independent US label Dead Oceans is responsible for this and good for them.

The album is available on vinyl of course. If you can wait then you can stream it here.
She is performing at End of The Road too, on the Tipi Stage on Friday evening. This is something that I'm not planning to miss.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer madness - and why it makes sense.

So I haven't written much these last couple of months. That is true. What is certainly not true is that I haven't been both listening to and reading about music! Indeed the fact that I have been doing so is in part the reason for the lack of writing. That is likely to remain the case until early September but for a variety of reasons.
It is less than a fortnight until my last outdoor festival of this summer. It is going to take some planning to maximize those acts that I wish to see and hear. I wouldn't want it to be any other way...

I haven't really thought about the detail and, more than likely I will not do so until I am there on the Thursday afternoon: there is a distinct boundary between general preparation and detailed battle-planning.
Here, as a slant on my current thinking, is an (alphabetical) list of just five of the acts that I have never before seen live but really want to:
  • Daughter
  • Deptford Goth
  • Golden Fable
  • Warpaint
  • Widowspeak
The other thing about this time of year is that I become focussed on the music, live and recorded, that I have already heard and that which I anticipate to do so during the next four months. More about that soon. I am also thinking about the many festivals that might warrant my attention in 2014...
EOTR (almost certainly), No Dirction Home (if it happens), Maverick, Wilderness, Truck... who knows?
I have a far better knowledge base on which to draw than I did when I first embarked on this in the early summer of 2007. This, most importantly, is not only based on the festivals that I have attended in the last six years but also those that I have been given first hand reviews of from others in the festival community which, although it sounds like some hippy cliché, is on occasion as blunt an object as it needs to be.
So eight months without live music, then?
Not likely! Here is an example...

The events at the Cheese & Grain, and many more too, are taking place while the venue is early in the throes of a £500k overhaul to make it not only more fit-for-current-purpose, with better public facilities - toilets, café, and box-office all included - but also the artist-facing facilities that are sorely needed in order to propel it to the status of a major player in the league of regional arts and community venues.
These are exciting times indeed.