Monthly Archives: December 2011
Night Shining has released a stellar new DVD just in time for the holiday season. The DVD contains performance videos for What I’m Told and Faces. In addition, you will get studio versions for both singles with the DVD.
This DVD preview features a stripped down, live version of Faces. Mike Romeo’s talent is in full view during this candid performance in a makeshift apartment studio. The loops and synths are tuned way down and we’re left with a pleasant, almost chilling delivery. Very impressed how two very different versions of the same song can sound so good. Now I’m really interested to see how Night Shining translates in a live performance.
Be sure to pick up a copy of the DVD over at Etsy. This will make a great gift for any music enthusiast…or yourself.
Wow. What a year this has been for live music. I’ve seen so many incredible shows throughout DC, Northern VA and Richmond. It’s not going to be an easy task getting this down to five. Just to give you an idea of how great this year was, Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, among other great shows, didn’t make the cut. There have been a fair share of “damn, can’t believed I didn’t get tickets” and “shit, I missed them?” moments throughout the year. I only wish I could have seen every concert.
I have never rated anything like this before, so I don’t really know what I’m doing here. Just go with it, I guess. I’m such an amateur that I couldn’t narrow this thing down to my top five. So you get a bonus and we start at…
6. The Black Keys @ Merriweather Post / Free Fest
The Black Keys were the sole reason I trekked to the shitty state of Maryland and the techno vomit that was Free Fest. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of great bands there (Cut Copy, Okkervil River, Two Door Cinema Club) but it seemed like all everybody wanted to see were the “press play-button” artists. I was there for the Keys. And man, did they deliver. It doesn’t matter where you are, the energy oozing from The Black Keys is enough to impregnate all within earshot. Closing with I Got Mine was one of the musical highlights of my life.
5. Foals w/ The Naked And Famous @ 9:30 Club
I’m going to call #5 the upset of the year. I bought the tickets on a whim and went in with zero expectations. The Naked And Famous played the part of primer to perfection. Everyone was juiced, jazzed and ready to go by the time Foals came on. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough because I was very quickly gaping at the spectacle unfolding before me on 9:30 Club’s historic stage. Yannis Philippakis tore the rafters from the ceiling while leading a stage-diving, microphone-coptering, speaker-climbing all out rage. Once I finally got my mouth off the floor, I realized I was right in the middle of one hell of a show.
If you’re not listening to Youth Lagoon, you need to be. Right now. I know, I have generally positive words for most everything I post to this site. This band is part of the exception. Youth Lagoon has captured the essence of music and stapled it to my heart. It’s impossible to believe that the talent behind this band, Trevor Powers, is a 22-year-old indie rock start-up.
Powers applies expert precision while combining synths and loops with lighthearted, melodic keys and instrumentation. Everything comes together as a dreamy, rhythmic fusion that is absolutely addicting.
The songs crafted into The Year of Hibernation draw heavily from Powers’ childhood experiences. Every song touches on struggles from his not too distant past. There is a loneliness to the lyrics. 17 is rooted with poignant advice Powers received from his mother; “Don’t stop imagining. The day that you do is the day that you die”. Posters sums up the motif for this album perfectly. He talks deeply about dreams never realized and the emptiness felt as they fell beyond grasp (“My whole life is filled with posters / My whole life if filled with posters”). On July, we hear two sides to the story. Five years apart with two very different feelings.
Though, stealthily, and quite beautifully, The Year of Hibernation breaks out of the monstrous nightmares and talks of love lost. Clearly there is a shining light that drives Powers. Which, I think, adds incredible depth to Youth Lagoon. This isn’t your normal dreamy pop, chill-wave attitude. Powers has cultivated his voice to speak on his experiences as a whole. The result is one of the best albums of the year.
Youth Lagoon – Posters / Cannons / 17
This video is the ultimate “Wait for it”. What are you running from, Bros?
There is something about WU LYF and how their lyrics are delivered that demands your attention. The words are simple with a simple message; live life and always back your bros. That message is disseminated by Ellery Roberts’ assertive tone. I have no idea what to else to say about this song except, We Bros!
WU LYF – We Bros