First, a bit of full disclosure. I am a big fan of Josh Tillman’s music. Father John Misty, as he has called himself for four albums now, brought me out of a darn near twenty year funk of basically ignoring what passed for popular music during that time. When I first heard the otherworldly melodies in conjunction with intelligent, though sometimes strange, lyrics, that showed up on “Fear Fun”, I was hooked like a largemouth in a catch-and-release pond. These sounds took me back to my much younger days when true melody seemed to be everywhere on the FM dial.
Is there a tougher job in the music business than that of the opening act, or “warm-up band”? Probably not, especially when the main attraction is a highly popular act with an almost cult-like following.
Just such a task fell to Subpop artist King Tuff last Saturday night at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando, Florida. Assigned to eat up 45 minutes of stage time before Father John Misty made his appearance, King Tuff showed a years-of-touring level of skill that easily could have allowed the band to be the headliner just about anywhere, anytime.
Indie can be a difficult genre to pin down sometimes. I mean, is it even really a genre? For me, It’s about a sound but it’s also about an attitude, the indie spirit if you will. What a great feeling it is to find a band that effortlessly embodies both. Yes, it would be fair to say, that I have a pretty serious band crush on Brisbane’s The Goon Sax.
Heavy-metal, as a genre of music, is ripe with clichés, some of which were on full display Sunday night at the Cobra Lounge in Chicago. But considering the headliner that evening was Eyehategod, it was safe to say that regardless of whatever inevitable clichés were in store from the supporting bands on the bill, when it was time for the main event of the night, you could throw all that bullshit out the window and prepare for the real deal.
There’s always something a little wistful in the air on the third and final day of Riot Fest. Regardless of the bands on the bill you may be looking forward to seeing, it’s hard the shake the feeling of finality associated with Day 3. Like the reality that you’ll have to wait another 362 days for the festival to roll around again, and that the next day is Monday and most everyone will have to return back to their respective rat-races seemingly all too soon.
If there was ever a day that best represented the impressive variety on display at Riot Fest, it was Day 2, which featured the likes of Elvis Costello, Beck, Killing Joke, The Jesus Lizard, Gwar, and Jerry Lee Lewis (who was headlining the Radicals Stage just shy of his 83rd birthday no less)!
For the longest time, the arrival of Riot Fest seemed to also coincide with the unwelcome onset of chilly, rain-drenched September weather to the city of Chicago. But for the 2nd year in a row now, the festival was blessed (or cursed depending on your disposition for late summer heat) with three gorgeously toasty days of pure blue Chicago skies and wall-to-wall sunshine.
ILL might just be the perfect band for 2018. The Manchester bands eclectic mix of post-punk fire, politics and surreal humour providing the ideal soundtrack to Brexit, Trump and the feeling that we’re just one ill thought out Tweet away from further chaos. Just put the phone down Donald. But that’s enough apocalyptic talk for one day, it’s Friday and Wharf Chambers has a whole night of amazing acts lined-up for us.
After a great if not a little hot Saturday full of music, it looked for sure that Sunday was going to be a washout. With yet another chance to catch one of our favorite non-stop touring acts on Sunday, The Avett Brothers, there were a lot of long faces scanning our weather apps late Saturday and predicting doom. A wide forward slash of a front was sweeping West to East across the middle U.S. with Chattanooga dead in its sights.
- Mark Moody
Previously Memphis-based Moon River Festival, relocated to Chattanooga this year to the roomier but down-home feel of Coolidge Park on the banks of the Tennessee River. Similar to its younger Southern cousin the High Water Festival, taking place over two days and on two alternating stages Moon River also focuses on Americana, folk, and soul music. Fitting its rockier locale, the music maybe tended a bit more to the mountain music of its Appalachian neighbors, but allowing for many variations in style and some music fully off that grid.
- Mark Moody
Guitarist and chief screamer Marissa Paternoster and bassist Mike ‘King Mike’ Abbate were already playing music together back in high school. When Paternoster made the move to New Brunswick for University, they joined forces with drummer Jarrett Dougherty and a legend was born. Remember that band you were in back in high school? Remember how the band split up? Now imagine, in some cool alternate universe, that you stuck together. You stuck together and became New Jersey’s Screaming Females.
Nothing like a little Masseduction on an otherwise quiet Tuesday night. Playing the O2 in Leeds as one of only 3 UK headline shows, tonight’s St Vincent gig feels like something of an event before Annie Clark has even played a note. A lot has changed since she first appeared with 2007’s Marry Me LP, Clark’s music transforming and evolving with every new release. Last year’s Masseduction may just be her boldest statement yet; a day-glow apocalypse of suitably seductive, dangerously danceable future-pop.