About 100,000 of the silliest people in the world are gonna crowd Grant Park today to see a bunch of bands play half-sets while they slowly sweat to death. Suckers. Be better than all of them and watch Lollapalooza from the comfort of your home (or work, if you’re like me). They won’t be showing EVERY set from the festival, but there are a ton that will be available to you. Below, find my picks for what to watch:
4:15 St. Paul And The Broken Bones channel 2
5:00 Hot Chip channel 1
6:00 The War On Drugs channel 1
7:15 alt-J channel 2
8:30 The Weeknd channel 1
2:15 Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas channel 3
3:00 Django Django channel 1
4:45 Death From Above 1979 channel 1
6:00 Delta Spirit channel 2
8:15 Metallica channel 1
2:05 Night Terrors of 1927 channel 1
3:45 Moon Taxi channel 1
4:30 Marina & The Diamonds channel 2
5:30 Lord Huron channel 2
6:45 LOGIC channel 3
7:30 Paul McCartney highlights channel 1
8:30 A$AP Rocky channel 2
9:30 Bassnectar channel 2
Find the stream here.
Yesterday Fort Frances released the second single from the 5-song EP No One Needs To Know Our Name(the first is called “Anonymous”). “These Are The Mountains Moving” is a slow-moving, heavily combustible rock song that feels like it could explode at any second. The piano interlude after the first verse and chorus is like a little breather before the guitars and synth come in with a vengeance.
When I saw Ezra Furman play live a couple weeks ago, he brought out a couple new tracks and they sounded great. It’s no surprise that “Lousy Connection” is fantastic as well. He’s gone full-on with the 50’s-style doo wop sound that Day Of The Dog sometimes hinted at. This is also the second single from Ezra’s new record, Perpetual Motion People, and it’s pretty different from the sunny “Restless Year.” The track features some great sax work by Tim Sandusky toward the end.
Steve Slagg has been paying his dues as a musician for a while now. I, along with many others, know him best as the keyboard player/vocalist in Chicago rock band Mooner, but he also has his own project, Youngest Son. They are wildly different as far as style and sound (though they do have one thing in common-they’re very good). I had no knowledge of Youngest Son before I got an email with their latest release, the EP All Soul’s Day attached.
There’s a lot to like in the short 25 minute collection of songs, including two covers of songs from Slagg’s full-length All Saint’s Day (“Hole In The Sky” by Allison Van Liere and “Long Year” by Lee Ketch), of which the new release is a companion piece. The compositions are all really beautifully done here, with the emphasis on piano and vocals. The masterful craftsmanship, coupled with the choice of instrumentation, brings to mind Ben Folds and Elliott Smith (though Randy Newman seems to be Steve’s preference).
The atmosphere of the record grabs you right away as “Blank Face” opens with soft and sweet piano strokes. Joined after the first verse by strings and drums, the song picks up in the middle of verse two and slows down again just as slowly providing some great dynamics that draw you in even deeper.
I think that rather than a companion piece, you could think of All Soul’s Day as a kind of sampler or mixtape. There isn’t really a narrative through it, because two of the songs are from the other record and one is an old gospel song. It doesn’t take away from the quality of work on display. In fact, I like that you get little tastes of different aspects of Youngest Son here because it makes you want to go check out the other releases.
You can stream All Soul’s Day on The Youngest Son’s website.
Sorry I’ve been a little spotty with posts lately-I’ve been busy doing some other stuff that has drawn my attention away from writing. I want to give you something though, so I thought I’d hit you with a double shot of Lawrence Arabia.
I’ve been digging New Zealand’s James Milne since someone thought to forward me his new album, The Sparrow. It reminds me a little of Patrick Wolf and a lot of Beirut, which is a good thing. The first song I’m posting is “The Listening Times,” which comes via the official video:
The second, and the one I personally like better, is called “Traveling Shoes.”
If you enjoy these, you can get Lawrence Arabia’s The Sparrow here. Coming up on Saturday November 3rd at The Empty Bottle, you can see Lawrence Arabia live, so please come out and support original artists.
UPDATE: I’ve had a chance to listen to The Sparrow a few more times since I posted this, and it’s a great record. The comparisons to Beirut and Patrick Wolf hold up, but you can add Andrew Bird’s musical ability and John Vanderslice’s creative lyricism.