Friday, March 26, 2010

SASQUATCH! Music: Drive-By Truckers - The Righteous Path



[WATCH THE VIDEO]

A real life alt-country band. The Drive-By Truckers have been touring for12 years now, based out of the deep south. Their first live album was called Alabama Ass Whuppin'.

I saw their show at the All Good Music Festival a couple of years ago, the centerpiece of the performance was a bottle of Jack they passed all the way around the band in-between and sometimes during each song.

Early influences are said to be Sam Phillips, John Henry and of course Lynyrd Skynyrd; traces of The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and Neil Young can be heard on the newer stuff.

Mostly Midwestern tour and more songs are at myspace.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

SASQUATCH! Music: Portugal. The Man - The Sun



I have to be honest, I picked this one for the video, which is the first time I've felt compelled to do such a thing. The music is pretty good, mostly indie rock/pop with a whole lota high and layered vocals.

Portugal. The Man is based out of the Northwest, however most of the current and former members are from Alaska. There have been attempts to explain the band name, which is awkward because of the period in the middle, but they seem to abstract too repeat here.

They've released six full albums since the first one in 2006, the most recent being American Ghetto, which the Post reviewed here.

A student newspaper recently did an interview with the band, and you can find their national tour schedule on myspace.

Monday, March 22, 2010

SASQUATCH! Music: Phantogram - Mouthful of Diamonds



Upstate New York's own, named after an optical illusion in which you can make a 2-d object look three dimensional; perhaps (guessing here) some kind of comment on the fact that the duo synthetically fill out a pretty full sound with just two members. They just finished a week's worth of show at SXSW. "Local" website -ist chain the Austinist named them one of the 5 bands you have to see:
Their psychedelic synth pop has earned them opening spots with bands like Minus The Bear, Zero 7, Ra Ra Riot, Yeasayer, Brazilian Girls and The Slip. In 2009, they signed to Barsuk, and their latest release, Eyelid Movies, is a pop gem...
The mostly West and Midwest tour dates are at their myspace page.

The Gorge, The Lesser-Known View

Friday, March 19, 2010

SASQUATCH! Music: Freelance Whales - Generator ^ First Floor



My first reaction to this band after sampling on LaLa was that they sound too synthetic. But after seeing this subway clip, they actually seem to be organically making the sounds and not just using made-up midi voices. The harmonies are especially interesting when live.

This is the first band I’ve looked up that doesn’t have a wiki page, which speaks to their status I guess. However they were bioed as a “band to watch” by Steriogum last fall:

[W]e sorta figured this band would fall squarely into the prevailing washed out/hypnagogic fuzzbucket hazed-pop thing before having heard a note. After seeing ‘em at a loft party and spending some time with their self-released debut, it’s really nice to hear that they don’t fall there at all.

Reviews talk in absolutes in order to be interesting, so I won’t blame them, but I'm not sure "they don't fall there at all" is really accurate.

So while they do still capture that now-falling Sufjan Stevens sound, it’s mostly because of recording style. If they didn’t clean up their studio sound so much it would sound a lot more like the live clips, which I think are more interesting.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SASQUATCH! Music: She & Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?



This is an interesting one: Zooey Deschanel, lead actress from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the more recent (500) Days of Summer, teams up with musician M Ward to from a band called She & Him.

They met on the set of The Go-Getter,sang together, and the ball kind of rolled from there. Deschanel writes and sings, Ward plays guitar and does the production.

All of the songs I've heard have that well constructed, layered sound from a typical M Ward song, but the bright vocals of Deschanel are a pretty sharp contrast from a typical M Ward vocal.

You can check out a live version of the song here; it looks like they tour with a well-versed backup band that helps with a lot of the harmonies heard on the record. Here's a slower tune on something called MTV Canada, which I didn't know existed.

They are playing an impressive set of festivals: South by Southwest, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Sasquatch. Merge Records has the rest of the tour.