Posts Tagged ‘Indie’

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: 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.

Lansingmusic.TV and Elm Street Recording Sessions

A few weeks ago, Lansingmusic.TV and Elm Street Recording filmed a slew of bands including Jason Alarm, The Hangers On, The Rival, Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers and more. Here are the first batch of videos, edited by Ryan Wert (Elm Street Recording) and filmed by Lansingmusic.TV. We will post the rest of the videos when they become available.

Jason Alarm – “Doppelganger”

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers -”We Are Everything”

The Hangers On – “Abuse Me, Use Me”

Philthy and Amature – “Nate’s Back in Town”

The Rival – “Speedy Gonzales”

Archana – “Getting Away With Faking a Friendship”

Frontier Ruckus Unplugged – “If the Summer”

Matt Milia and Davey Jones of Frontier Ruckus perform an acoustic set at MSU’s Landon Hall. This is one of the only performances with Matt playing the piano, so be sure to check it out.

If you missed our interview with Frontier Ruckus earlier this year, you can find it here.

For more info on Frontier Ruckus, check out their website, http://www.frontierruckus.com/

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