Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Lake Street Dive

[Editor's Note: Guest blog post by contributor Ryan Bach] Lake Street Dive released their second album earlier this year, and since has been gaining attention Read More

July Spotify Playlist of the Month

Christmas in July is almost upon us once again, so what better way to get amped up than M&T’s July playlist that just so Read More

Best of 2014... So Far

(Somehow) we're more than halfway through 2014 already, and over the past 6+ months we've had our headphones in ~85% of the time. Throughout Read More

5 Must- See Acts at Newport Folk Festival 2014

The best and worst thing about the Newport Folk Festival lineup each year is that it is always stacked with talent. The amazing abilities Read More

Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Ryan Adams

[Editor's note: Many thanks to our friend and guest contributor, Jamie McKillop, for writing this wonderful piece] Mixing the country twang of Gram Parson, the Read More

Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Ryan Adams

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | Leave a comment

[Editor's note: Many thanks to our friend and guest contributor, Jamie McKillop, for writing this wonderful piece]

Mixing the country twang of Gram Parson, the heartfelt lyrics of Neil Young and the brashness of Hüsker Dü, Ryan Adams began his solo career shortly after the dissolution of his band Whiskeytown in 2000 with the album Heartbreaker.  Powered by songs like “Winding Wheel”, “Oh My Sweet Carolina”, and “Come Pick Me Up” the album received critical acclaim and prompted major labels to come calling. Signing with Lost Highway Records, Adams released Gold in 2001. The album, by far the most “accessible” in his catalog, was also his most commercially successful and its lead single “New York, New York” quickly became a favorite on MTV and other outlets following the September 11 attacks.

After the release of Gold, Adams quickly recorded four albums worth of material within a year. In a sign of some mutual acrimony to follow, Lost Highway opted to whittle the robust output down to thirteen songs and release the collection as “Demolition” in 2002.  While his label chose not to release the entire collection, some of these “lost” albums are available online if you are willing to look hard enough.

For his proper follow up to “Gold”, Adams recorded a haunting, dark collection of songs entitled “Love is Hell” that many hardcore Adams fans believe to be his finest work. Not happy with the album and claiming it to be not “rock and roll” enough, Lost Highway refused to release the album and pressed Adams to return to the studio. He did, quickly recording a new album of jarring, punk infused songs entitled Rock’n’Roll which was released in 2003. While definitely the black sheep in Adams catalogue, the recording process for Rock’n’Roll seemed to be cathartic for the singer/songwriter and he has described it as being “fun as fuck”. Love is Hell was relegated to being released as two separate EPs although a full version of the record was released in 2004.

2005 proved to be the most prolific of Adams’ high-volume career, during which he released three albums. Two of the albums Cold Roses (a double album) and Jacksonville City Nights, were recorded with his new backing band, The Cardinals while the third, 29 was a solo record. While it might seem Adams could use work in the editorial department, many of the songs from these albums have become staples of his live sets, including “Let it Ride”, “If I am Stranger” and a collaboration with Norah Jones (another performer at this years festival) titled “Dear John”.

After battling and conquering some personal demons, Adams returned with 2007’s Easy Tiger. While billed as a solo record, the album was recorded with the latest iteration of the Cardinals and Adams has credited the band with being heavily involved in the creation of the albums material. Easy Tiger was more focused than his recent output and contains notable tracks like “Goodnight Rose”, “Everybody Knows” and “Oh My God, Whatever, Etc.” Adams and the Cardinals followed up with Cardinology in 2008.  Despite being tightly produced and the inclusion of solid tracks like “Cobwebs” and “Evergreen”, something about the album and the band seemed tired. Given this, it wasn’t surprising when Adams disbanded the Cardinals shortly after Cardinology and went into a self-imposed hiatus.

Adams returned to the musical fold in 2011 with a new outlook, a new label, new album, Ashes and Fire. During his time off, Adams moved from New York to LA and the relocation is evident in the albums relaxed, laid back material. Working with famed producer Glynn Johns, who also happens to be the father of frequent Adams collaborator Ethan Johns, Adams put together a solid collection of sparse, acoustic tracks, including, “Dirty Rain”, “Invisible Riverside” and the beautiful “Lucky Now”.

After taking another extended (at least by his standards) break, during which Adams helped produce material for Ethan Johns, Jenny Lewis (another festival performer) and Fall Out Boy, Adams dropped his latest single “Gimme Something Good” and announced that his latest, self-titled album will be released in September. “Gimme Something Good” is reminiscent of early 80’s Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers mixed with Adams usual flair for a chorus, leaving this author hotly anticipating his forthcoming album and his performance tomorrow night!

5 Must- See Acts at Newport Folk Festival 2014

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | Leave a comment

The best and worst thing about the Newport Folk Festival lineup each year is that it is always stacked with talent. The amazing abilities of the festival curators to bring unique lineups to Newport year after year is what keeps people coming back, but with only so much time in the weekend there are tough decisions that have to be made when it comes to scheduling. That’s why we’re here. If you’re debilitated by indecision to choose between all of the incredible artists performing this weekend then take our advice and make sure that, above all else, you check out these 5 acts.

Tall Tall Trees (Friday 12:45-1:25 @Harbor Stage) – Though Mike Savino aka Tall Tall Trees has not released an album since 2012′s Moment, he’s still certain to turn heads with his unconventional approach to the banjo, a style which has conjured words like ‘banjotron’ and ‘space banjo.’ Don’t act like you’re not intrigued.

Deer Tick (Saturday 3:15-4:15pm @ Fort Stage) – It’s clear to see that John McCauley and co. have become the kings of Newport Folk Festival, and you’d be silly to think they don’t have at least a few tricks up their sleeves as they hold court over the main stage for the first time ever.

Nickel Creek (Saturday 4:40-5:45pm @ Fort Stage) – This reunion tour was destined to make a stop at the hallowed grounds of Fort Adams and something tells us that the crowd’s energy at this set will be beyond infectious.

Conor Oberst (Sunday 3:20-4:20pm @ Fort Stage) – We know for sure that Dawes will be joining the Bright Eyes frontman on stage to perform tracks from his stellar solo release Upside Down Mountain, but we have a hunch that a few other Folk friends will be joining in on the fun as well.

Jeff Tweedy (Sunday 4:45-5:50pm @ Fort Stage) –  Or shall we say simply Tweedy…Regardless of the name that Jeff Tweedy is using to brand his solo debut, the man is a legend and we fully expect the Folk to pay their regards as he dazzles the festival’s main stage on Sunday afternoon.

Caroline Rose at Club Passim 7/24/2014

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After putting out one of our favorite tracks from 2013, the title track to America Religious, Caroline Rose is back out on the road with new jams. Last month Paste Magazine premiered “Tightrope Walker” which will be part of her forthcoming LP I Will Not Be Afraid, set for release August 19 via Little Hi! Records. It will be quite the task to follow up her 2013 debut, but something tells us that Rose has even more tricks up her sleeve. If you’re like us and are dying to hear the new songs then grab your tickets to her gig at Club Passim this Thursday by using the button below. We’ll proudly put a Maimed & Tamed guarantee on this show, you will not be disappointed.

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Best of 2014… So Far

Posted on by Caroline in Best of 2014, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

(Somehow) we’re more than halfway through 2014 already, and over the past 6+ months we’ve had our headphones in ~85% of the time. Throughout the year we’ve been compiling our monthly playlists featuring 20 new tracks each, but we wanted to share some of our early favorites in the running for the ‘Best of 2014′ designation. Eric and Caroline highlighted an album and a song each from this year’s ‘Best Of’ crop and compiled a playlist with those artists and more for your listening pleasure. Check out our favorites below and make sure to subscribe to the playlist  for continued fun throughout the year.

Caroline’s Picks

Kishi Bashi – “The Ballad of Mr. Steak”

Kishi Bashi’s work has been ambitious from the start, but his 2014 release Lightht offers next-level musical stunts, and pulls them all off. Most notably, “The Ballad of Mr. Steak” is an ode to a cut of red meat that’s equal parts classical, digital and disco. With a whimsical and absurdist storyline set to a whip-smart symphonic arrangement, “The Ballad of Mr. Steak” is the indie-pop groove of the year. But beyond its sonic offerings, the song has a magic, spellbinding effect. It’s simply impossible to be nonchalant when “Mr. Steak” comes on – even the Cool Kids will be cheesing like crazy and doing iPod-commercial-worthy spins down the street to this jam. The song’s blatant joy just cannot be ignored. For three blissful minutes,”The Ballad of Mr. Steak” forces us all to ditch our standard head-bobbing, arms-crossed power pose, and enjoy music as our truest selves. And that’s actually way cooler than being cool.

SKATERS – Manhattan

Hedonism runs rampant in music today, and SKATERS are doing it best in 2014. This delinquent crew of twenty-somethings are unapologetic in their party-sex-repeat lifestyle, and more importantly, in the indelicate way that they write about it. Learning from the example of musical forefathers like The Ramones, SKATERS’ songwriting is straightforward beyond compare. An example (eyeroll trigger warning): on an album called Manhattan, they’ve got a song called “To be Young in NYC,” and the chorus of the song is, “To be young in New York City / To be young in New York City.” So yep, SKATERS’ lyrics may come off as lazy at first, but the overall aftertaste of Manhattan is incredibly refreshing. When flocks of musicians are choosing to over-produce, distort, and mumble nonsense, SKATERS’ move to enunciate every shallow craving and indulgent party story (and then lay them over an incredibly polished punk soundtrack) truly stands out.

Eric’s Picks

Girls Guns and Glory – “Rockin’ Chair Money”

If you aren’t familiar with Girls Guns and Glory and their new album Good Luck you may assume upon first listen that its twangy vibes come straight from Nashville…or maybe Boston? Though our home city isn’t known for being a country music mecca, GGG have embraced Beantown and led the local charge in the recent revival of alt-country. Though Good Luck is certainly solid from front to back, the slow-burning “Rockin’ Chair Money” stands out above the rest. The track is nestled near the end of the record which seems fitting as it starts softly and unassuming, but quickly picks up the pace midway through. As the reverb laden guitar hits, the track immediately becomes reminiscent of A.M. era Wilco, a record that clearly inspired many of today’s artists who identify with the alt-country classification.

Grey Season – Time Will Tell You Well

I’m not trying to play favorites by writing about another local band here, this record deserves to be on any ‘Best Of’ list along with the nationally touring heavy hitters. Grey Season is a band who has been written about quite often on this blog and it’s for good reason. Their full-length debut, Time Will Tell You Well, was recorded primarily at Levon Helm’s iconic barn in Woodstock, NY and I think it’s something he would certainly be proud to be affiliated with. Though some may be quick to pigeonhole Grey Season as a bluegrass band, songs like “Good Friday”, “Satellites”, and “Look at Us Now” clearly show that there’s more to this band than fingerpicking and footstomping. TWTYW is the perfect record to play on your porch this summer, and every summer for a very long time.

Indie Rock Ranger Presents Sidewalk Driver, The Venetia Fair, Salita, and The Color and Sound at The Sinclair 7/19/2014

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Want to see an awesome lineup filled with killer local bands at one of our favorite venues in town? Well have we got a show for you. Our friend Rich Bouchard aka the Indie Rock Ranger has put together another fabulous bill of local artists that is guaranteed to delight at The Sinlcair on Saturday July 19. We had the distinct pleasure of chatting with each of the evening’s performers ahead of their show and we’ve compiled the choicest of nuggets from those conversations to share with you. Read on below to see what Sidewalk Driver, The Venetia Fair, Salita, and The Color and Sound had on their minds and also remember to click that shiny green button to get your tickets before it sells out!

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Maimed & Tamed: Aside from this incredible show at The Sinclair, what do you have coming up that our readers should know about?

Sidewalk Driver: We’re working on our first video and putting the finishing touches on our new record! Also, AJ’s little sister is preggo.

The Venetia Fair: Well for legal reasons I can’t give you all the info right now, but I can tell you that we are starting our own airline. It’s going to be called “No Rules Flying Things Airlines” and there will be no rules. No metal detectors, no boarding passes, no first class, no regular class, no bathrooms, kids can drink alcohol, anyone can fly the plane, anyone can fly the plane drunk, etc. We think it will be very successful.

M&T: What’s your favorite part about playing in Boston? What makes the music scene here so special?

Salita: All of us have played in Boston for years. Many of us over a decade now in different bands. I think the community is what makes Boston unique. It’s always been tight. Bands and fans alike have always supported one another and that keeps the scene here alive. This band wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the Boston music scene. We all know each other from playing in different bands and sharing bills over the years.

The Venetia Fair: Our favorite part about playing in Boston is that we always throw $5,000 in singles into the audience. The crowd goes WILD. We do that every single time we play in Boston. Everyone gets rich and EVERYONE gets laid. Or they just get rich.

M&T: Who is your favorite rock star that rose from the Boston music scene?

The Color and Sound: Aerosmith and only Aerosmith.

Salita: There are different kinds of “rock stars” in Boston, we’ve got the punk rock icons such as the Dropkicks, Bosstones, Slapshot and Sam Black Church, you’ve always got to pay respect to those entities. We love them all. With that said, you got to give it up for Steven Tyler. He’s a classic and he still uses tassels. If that’s not rock, what is?

M&T: Have you ever walked the Freedom Trail?

Sidewalk Driver: We walk the Freedom Trail together every Sunday.

Salita: We actually did this all together about a month ago… holding hands frolicking, it was quite the bonding experience.

M&T: Best spot to grab a pint in Boston?

The Color and Sound: There used to be a bar called Razzi’s in Somerville that will forever hold the title of greatest bar in the universe in our hearts, but sadly she closed her doors.

The Venetia Fair: The best spot to grab a pint in Boston is on the Red Line (outbound towards Braintree). For those of you who don’t know Boston, the Red LIne is a part of our subway system. They let you drink on the subway cars as long as you make sure not to spill. Sometimes you can spill. Bring a pint or two and just hop on! The trains are always acomin’ and agoin’. Don’t go towards Alewife though. It gets a little bit pretentious up there.

July Spotify Playlist of the Month

Posted on by Eric in Playlists | Leave a comment

Christmas in July is almost upon us once again, so what better way to get amped up than M&T’s July playlist that just so happens to contain new music from Newport Folk Fest acts past (First Aid Kit), present (Ryan Adams, PHOX), and hopefully future (Montaigne, The Rare Occasions). Our fearless photographer, Andrew Cleak (@sandmanmusic), has even provided the perfect image for our July playlist featuring Trombone Shorty from last year’s Newport festivities.

Take a listen to those artists and many more by clicking the button below and stay tuned for more Newport Folk Fest photos leading up to this year’s event!

July Playlist

Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Lake Street Dive

Posted on by Eric in Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | Leave a comment

[Editor's Note: Guest blog post by contributor Ryan Bach]

Lake Street Dive released their second album earlier this year, and since has been gaining attention from press and music lovers alike. Founded in Boston, MA in 2004, the band was formed while the members were enrolled in New England Conservatory of Music. LSD derives its unique sound from its various influences, which include country, bluegrass, jazz, and of course, The Beatles. The video that may have sparked all the buzz though was a cover of The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back,” filmed on a sidewalk in Brighton, MA.

The band’s original songs seem to pay homage to its influences by carrying the ’60s and ’70s sound to its newest and second official release Bad Self Portraits. LSD’s debut album In This Episode came out back in 2006; however, the band was temporarily unable to release any work with lead singer Rachel Price due to her restrictions with a previous record label contract. While the legal issues were being settled, the band used the time to tour and write extensively. As soon as the contract issues were resolved, the band was more than ready to get back into the studio to record their second album.

The time that the band put into Bad Self Portraits doesn’t disappoint, with highlights including the swinging tune “You Go Down Smooth” and the title track. Lake Street Dive did a great job of incorporating old-style tunes to a modern setting in their latest album, and the band’s summer plans will surely grab your attention. Highlights of their summer tour include:

7/25/14                      Newport Folk Festival                     Newport, RI

7/27/14                      Xponential Music Festival              Camden, NJ

9/7/14                         Boston Calling                                 Boston, MA

About the Author

Ryan Bach was raised in Glenview, Illinois before attending Boston University, where he studies business and competes for Boston University’s Men’s Swim Team. Currently he is working for a legal consulting firm in the Beacon Hill area of Boston, MA.

Nate Leavitt Releases New Album, Set To Play Plough & Stars June 14

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Earlier this year local singer-songwriter and guitar whiz, Nate Leavitt, released his debut solo album You, Me and the Silence. Though Leavitt has been performing locally for more than 20 years, this album marks his departure from recording work with other Boston powerhouses such as Oldjack and Parlour Bells. The sound that Leavitt has found on You, Me and the Silence strays from that of the previous bands he has worked with, and seems more to draw inspiration from contemporary country music in the vein of Jason Isbell. With the increasing popularity of the Newport Folk Festival and mainstream critical praise for artists like Isbell, Josh Ritter, Joe Fletcher and others, it seems that Leavitt picked the perfect time to make his solo debut.

You can purchase You, Me and the Silence now via bandcamp and stream the title track below. Click the button below for more info on Leavitt’s upcoming show at Plough & Stars in Cambridge on Saturday June 14.

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June Spotify Playlist of the Month

Posted on by Eric in Playlists | Leave a comment

June has just kicked off, but for some reason Mother Nature doesn’t think we deserve consistently sunny days quite yet. To help deter the depressing thoughts of a delayed summer we’ve put together an extra badass playlist for your listening enjoyment this month. The June 2014 edition of our monthly Spotify playlist features the perfect summer tune from The Griswolds, a long-anticipated fresh jam from M&T favorite Liam Finn, our new emo guilty pleasure from Foxing, and 17 other delectable tracks.

Take a listen to those artists and many more using the playlist widget below and make sure to subscribe for 20 new tracks every month!

The Parlor Sessions Tour at Club Passim June 8, 2014

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We haven’t been to Club Passim in a solid two months, which we understand is completely unacceptable, and that’s why we’re so thankful that The Parlor Sessions Tour is making a stop at the beloved Cambridge folk venue. The Parlor Sessions features four indie singer-songwriters collaborating through an in-the-round style performance that is guaranteed to blow your mind. Making up this four man crew is Brooklyn via Boston songwriter Jason Myles Goss, Nashville’s Dean Fields, DC based Andy Zipf, and Atlanta’s Eliot Bronson. Each of the artists has found success on their own, but with all four performing on stage together it is probably going to turn out something like this. To help promote the tour, which takes the quartet from Boston to Georgia and everywhere in between, they are giving away a 12-song sampler via the Parlor Sessions website.

Grab the sampler and get your hands on some tickets for the Club Passim show while they still last by clicking the button below. This is going to be a show you won’t want to miss.

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