Posts Tagged ‘Folk’

LMTV interview with Opeth’s Fredrik Akesson

Lansingmusic.TV’s Sean Bradley talked with Opeth guitarist Fredrik Akesson before their show in Detroit at St. Andrew’s Hall on Saturday Oct. 29.

We talked about Heritage, his role in the band after 4 years in the band and more!

LMTV collaboration with Elm Street Studios on Lansing Public Access

Lansingmusic.TV’s collaboration with Lansing recording studio, Elm Street Recording, will be airing on Lansing public access Comcast channel 12 soon! We’ll let you know exactly what time of day the show will be on the schedule.

 

Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing

Lansingmusic.TV will soon be releasing its first compilation in tandem with our friends at Good Time Gang Records. It’s called Secret Identities: Lansing Covers Lansing. It features The Plurals, The Break Ups, Drinking Mercury, Fields of Industry, Cavalcade and more. I’m working on a release show for the CD. The CD’s Facebook page is here. Please stay up to date on the compilation via the website, Facebook and our Twitter page. Stay Tuned!

Small Houses “North” review

Small Houses‘ new full length, “North”, is a great record to listen to on a walk by yourself. It’s quietly beautiful and subtle, drawing on elements of classic country, top 40 country, indie rock and traditional folk music and even gospel music with a cover of “I and My Maker” by Jeremy Cassar. That’s not to say Jeremy Quentin, the man behind the Small Houses moniker, rehashes these styles. Quite the contrary. Songs like “Country Flowers”, with their whimsical banjo (courtesy of Frontier Ruckus’ Davey Jones) and mandolin (courtesy of Chris Bathgate) compliment Quentin’s choked up yet tuneful vocal delivery perfectly.
Less is more with “North”. A song like “Late July” with its subdued vocal by Quentin, quiet acoustic guitar melody, ringing piano chords and lap steel guitar, has more than a few musical elements but holistically they act as one quiet, emotionally subdued piece.
Even when more sounds are added, like on the title track, such as cymbal crashes, lap steel guitar or backing vocals on top of banjo, acoustic guitar and slide guitar, everything is mixed perfectly. The cymbal crashes sound off in the distance and the backing vocals are warm and soothing. Just because more musical layers are added, doesn’t mean the music can’t still be ethereal, quiet and beautiful.
The fastest track on the album, “In the Lawn”, draws on hoe down rhythms and a catchy violin melody alongside female backing vocals by Samantha Crain.
I had seen Small Houses perform in Brooklyn, NY in May by himself along with an acoustic guitar. I really enjoyed the intimacy of the performance and the album captures that atmosphere to a tee.

Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown: The Crane Wives and State Bird

Midwest Fest is coming up in about two weeks and we here at LMTV are extremely excited. Get your tickets here. More counting down with The Crane Wives and State Bird.

The Crane Wives

Photo Credit to Tom Valdez

Grand Rapids’ The Crane Wives are making waves with their infectious brand of indie-folk. Formed in August 2010, they released their debut album “Safe Ship Harbored” on May 12, 2011. Utilizing harmonies and multiple instruments like banjo (which the Grand Rapids press calls the “catchiest banjo you’ve ever heard”), they have been touring non-stop since their formation. Catch them Friday night Sept. 30 at Rubble’s with Bloomill, Empty Orchestra, Jetpack On! and The High Strung.

State Bird

Photo Credit to the State Bird Facebook Page

Hailing from Dover, OH the band relies on heavy and in-your-face guitars with ample feedback supplying the textures. The bass is also just as distorted, adding to the textural rock and roll. The drums are pounding and the vocals are distant yet catchy. Songs like “Ready to Die” are catchy and powerful. Check them out with Yoke, Lightning Love, Phantasmagoria and Stepdad on Thursday Sept. 29 at Rubble’s.

 

LMTV and Bigger Brush Media sessions with Small Houses and Gun Lake

Back in May, we filmed a night’s worth of sessions with Bigger Brush Media filming bands like Elliot Street Lunatic, Gun Lake, Small Houses and a lot more.

The first batch are from Small Houses and Gun Lake:

Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown: Phantasmagoria and Empty Orchestra

LMTV’s Midwest Fest 2011 coverage continues with profiles on Phantasmagoria and Empty Orchestra.

Photo Credit to Doug Coombe

Phantasmagoria are a indie/electronic band from Detroit that The Metro Times of Detroit says are “hard to pin down”. In preparation for Midwest Fest 2011, the band will be playing Rubble’s Bar in Mt. Pleasant on Aug. 25. They are making their first appearance at Midwest Fest.

Photo Credit to the Empty Orchestra Facebook page

Empty Orchestra, from Flint, are making their third appearance at Midwest Fest. Meaning (literally) “karaoke” in Japanese, the band brings a raw, Tom Waits-esque blues/indie mix to the Mt. Pleasant festival. The band recently completed a new 7″ record. Be on the lookout for these guys. They’ll impress you.

Electric Six headline The Loft on 9/16

I conducted a Q and A with Electric Six front man Dick Valentine in preparation for their headlining show at The Loft in Lansing on Sept. 16 with Kitten and Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers.

From the Facebook event page

Q: Electric Six are going on tour in Sept. to support the Oct. release of the new album, “Heartbeats and Brainwaves”. You’ll be playing Lansing on Sept. 16. The band originated in Detroit in the mid-90s. Is this the first time you’ve played in Lansing? What is Electric Six’s history with Lansing and mid-Michigan.

– Well, the original lineup of Electric Six played Mac’s a couple times in like ’97 and ’98. I remember thinking that I was “on tour” because I was finally playing a show that wasn’t in Detroit. And once we got going as a professional touring outfit, we’ve played several shows over the last 7 years or show either at Temple Club or at Small Planet. Lansing’s always been good to us.

Q: The new songs like “Hello! I See You” and “It Gets Hot” show a lot going on musically. The drums are really dance-able, the guitars are heavy and rocking and the synths add a disco-like texture to the songs. What was the goal, musically, for this album?

– We set out to make a much more synth-heavy album and that was really the only idea we had going into it. This is the first album we’ve ever done where every single song was written as we recorded it. Every other album had at least one song that was written before the recording started. So this one was really just a fun process of throwing a bunch of stuff out there and seeing what stuck.

Q: How did the songs come about this time around? Was the songwriting a collaborative effort?

— Everyone in the band submits demos and I go through them and see what I gravitate towards lyrically. That’s one way of doing it. Other songs come about by just fusing ideas between two or more band members. The song “Eye Contact” was a total collaboration between me and Johnny Nashinal that basically just happened out of the blue and within 15 minutes we had a song.

Q: What inspired the lyrics this time around? Were there any particular events in between albums that inspired the lyrics?

– Inspiration for lyrics is completely random and unfocused. For Psychic Visions, I just happened to be walking by a shop with a bright purple neon sign that said “Psychic Visions”. And the lyrics were written within 10 minutes. Songs like French Bacon and Food Dog were written because I said to myself, “I’m gonna write a song called Food Dog. Then I’m going to write a song called French Bacon.” And then “Hello! I See You!” is a song about realizing the ecstasy of accepting Satan as your master. Which for the record, I don’t. But it’s written from the perspective of someone who has.

Q: In 2003, your song “Gay Bar” became a hit. It’s been about 8 years since then. Have fans and journalists moved past Electric Six being a supposed “One Hit Wonder”? Or do you think people are more receptive to the band than ever before? How do you look back on the song and how it helped you?

– Well anytime we pick up the local rag in the town we are playing, more often than not they reference us as disco sleaze lords or something clearly based on our perception from the first album. But that’s just how it goes. And there are more and more people coming to the shows who are very familiar with our last 6 albums post-Fire, so I would say we are slowly growing out of that perception. Two steps forward, one Gay Bar back.

Q: Your band member John Nash produced the new album. How did he influence the production here? Did you all know what you were looking to create and having a band member producer, only eased that process?

– John’s written the music to some of my favorite songs over the years….Slices Of You, Randy’s Hot Tonight, Table and Chairs. And lately his demos were starting to show that his recording/producing chops were growing exponentially. It was just the right time and right album to give him the reins.

Q: Some of the song titles are bizarre, like “French Bacon” and “Interchangeable Knife” along with the title track. You’ve previously commented that, in most cases, your songs are about nothing. Is this the case here? Do any of the songs have any particular meaning?

Again, the only song really about anything concrete is “Hello! I See You!”. It’s about the ecstasy of accepting Satan as the master. The rest of the songs are loose sketches symbolizing sound and fury and being nothing.

Q: Your live shows are characteristically wild; a big dance party. Do you always try to bring a “party” atmosphere to your shows or does that atmosphere happen to follow you?

– That atmosphere happens to follow us. We don’t bring shit.

Q: The record will be released on Oct. 11 with a world tour starting in Sept. in Lansing, MI. What’s it like to play in smaller, more local venues than you’re accustomed to after all these years of touring the world?

– We’ve played venues of all sizes this whole time. Even when were playing festivals and crowds in the tens of thousands in Europe, we’d still find time to play a 200-capacity toilet and “keep it real”. But sometimes we end up keeping it real too many shows in a row and at these times I resume working on my time machine.


Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown: Lightning Love and Nathan K.

LMTV is back with another Midwest Fest 2011 Countdown, here with Lightning Love and Nathan K., both of whom are making their first appearances at the festival.

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathankmusic

Having seen Nathan K. earlier this year for the first time at Middle of  the Mitten 2011, I was immediately awestruck by him. I loved the live sampling, where his instruments (including a floor tom, tambourine and other instruments) were strewn about, resembling the sprawling chaos that became Nathan’s set that night. Not a bad chaos, however, but a chaos of melody, instrument layering and an eventual noise that engulfed the room. Expect the same kind of visceral excitement at Midwest Fest 2011.

Courtesy of the Lightning Love Facebook page

Lightning Love, out of Ypsilanti, are a three piece indie pop band. Earlier this year, they were selected by Billboard to participate in Billboard’s Battle of the Bands in Las Vegas. The band has been playing gigs all year and hitting up the Midwest. Be sure to check them out at Midwest Fest 2011.

Frontier Ruckus “Springterror” on LMTV

Davey Jones and Matt Milia of Frontier Ruckus play “Springterror” for LMTV back in March.

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