Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Last Wednsesday (June 22nd), I had the chance to catch one of those once-in-a-lifetime concerts when Dinosaur Jr. performed their landmark album Bug in its entirety at Paradise Rock Club in Boston, MA. Dinosaur Jr. is certainly in the running for my favorite band and although Bug isn’t my favorite album of theirs, it is still an epic record to see performed live. To make things even more exciting, Henry Rollins was interviewing the band onstage beforehand and confrontational hardcore punks Off! were opening the gig. Henry Rollins is a personal hero of mine and one of the last true renaissance men so watching him interview one of my favorite bands was a special moment in my concert attending history.
Most are well versed in the back story of Justin Vernon and his musical vehicle Bon Iver. For those who aren’t, it goes like this: A man takes his quite, heartbroken voice to the woods and records an album that the whole world falls in love with. It’s inevitable that Justin Vernon can no longer be that man. After receiving notoriety and the attention of a certain boisterous hip-hop star, Vernon has undergone a metamorphosis of sorts. The question that plagues everyone who still hasn’t listened to Bon Iver, Bon Iver is “How has it affected his music?”
It’ been some time since I had a proper update. I figure the best way to go about things is to post a new track rundown that covers everything I have been really into during the month of June. This starts with one of my favorite songs of 2011. Every year since 2005, an album featuring Spencer Krug has made my top 10. I thought this would be the year to break the chain, but then Moonface released “Fast Peter”. The song embodies everything I love about the prolific indie songwriter. It harnesses a fast, steady beat accompanied by experienced storytelling and emotive delivery. As typical, it is a composition that immediately strikes the listener and is full of creativity. It comes from the brilliantly titled Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped. The album - the cover of which is above – will be out on August 2, 2011.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Sunday was to be my final day in Austin, TX. It was not an “official” day of the SXSW festival but there were still places with showcases the entire day. It was a calmer affair and the perfect way to send off an incredible week of music. I was unfamiliar with most of the bands so it was also an enjoyable day of discovery. There were some truly great acts that I was able to catch and I would recommend staying the extra day for anyone considering it next year.
Saturday is the last of “official” day of SXSW and mine turned out to be a disaster after starting out so strong. Some of the best, most memorable sets during the day were tainted by my infuriating night. This was a vastly different experience than the previous day. Again, I learned that SXSW is an unpredictable rollercoaster ride.
Friday was up there with Wednesday in terms of sheer awesomeness. All of the prior day’s mistakes were rectified. I saw so many great bands that are just now beginning to make noise in 2011. It was also one of the days where I participated in everyone’s favorite SXSW pastime: drinking. Before hitting up the first set, my friend and I fueled up on some delicious Texas BBQ at Iron Works which I can now highly recommend. While eating, we were able to spot Billy Gibbons and Devin the Dude. You know it’s good BBQ when those guys show up.