Making their first foray into Florida on a three-night run and whether they knew it or not, Madrid based Hinds fittingly dropped into the heart of Tampa’s Spanish heritage in Ybor City. For a Tuesday night, the cozy confines of indie stalwart Crowbar filled in pretty well by the time our heroes took the stage. The crowd up front, in particular, was pretty frenzied after hanging with the band in the club’s courtyard.
The premise is simple, playing on the age-old showbiz strapline of the time limited offer, 'For One Night Only', Soft Cell return after 14 years for their apparent last stand. In the age of often justified cynicism, it's already been questioned whether this really is the last time, who knows, it certainly felt like a final celebration.
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.
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.