Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Shakey Graves


Armed with the loyal affection of fans from his hometown of Austin, TX, Shakey Graves is shipping his signature blues/rock fusion up north for Read More

Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Death Vessel


With the rolling lineup announcements for this year's Newport Folk Festival there's still plenty more to be unveiled, but already we've found ourselves completely Read More

Max Garcia Conover Kicks Off Crowd Funding Campaign


The last time we saw Portland's Max Garcia Conover he was putting on an inspiring performance for our friends at Sofar Boston and now Read More

Sofar Sounds Boston 3/26/2014


Another month means another Sofar Sounds show, and March’s offered a trinity of homegrown folk and bluegrass. First up was Tall Heights, a Boston-based Read More

April Spotify Playlist of the Month


Last September we had too many tunes worth sharing and ended up with a 40-track playlist instead of our normal 20. Well there must Read More

Exclusive Video Premiere: As The Sparrow – “Emily”

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Today we are beyond thrilled to premiere a brand new video from one of our favorite up and coming folk acts in the local scene- As The Sparrow. Their video for “Emily” was directed and edited by Elena Guy and features a storyline that follows a CLUE themed murder mystery. It’s got everything you would want in a music video– deception, drinking, Colonel Mustard…and of course, great music.

“Emily” will be part of As The Sparrow’s forthcoming In A Box EP, which will be released early next month. The band will be playing two EP releases shows, at The Hard Rock Cafe in Boston on May 15 and at Arlene’s Grocery in New York on May 16. If you can’t wait that long you can also catch the band at John Harvard’s Ale House on April 18th. Check out the video below for “Emily” and  be prepared for a suspenseful, yet playful re-imagining of your favorite childhood board game.

April Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Last September we had too many tunes worth sharing and ended up with a 40-track playlist instead of our normal 20. Well there must be something in the air now that all the snow has melted, because we’ve got another mega playlist chock full of fresh springtime jams. This month’s playlist features lots of local talent (Krill, Faces on Film, Art Decade, Spirit KidGirls Guns and Glory), a few early favorites for album of the year (Sisyphus and Big Scary), and loads of other bands that we are just flat out excited about (Thumpers, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes, Mt Warning, Saintseneca, et al).

Take a listen to those artists and many more using the playlist widget below and make sure to subscribe for 20 (possibly 40 if you’re lucky) new tracks every month!

Thomas John Cadrin at Gallery 263 April 10, 2014

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Vermont based Thomas John Cadrin has a very distinct storytelling style and one that will be on display at Gallery 263 in Cambridge on Thursday April 10. What will make this particular performance even more special is that Cadrin is performing a play he wrote to music that was inspired by the gallery itself and its art. With such a unique story and a unique space, this is a show that you won’t want to miss. Check out videos below of Cadrin’s original “Victory March” along with a cover of The Ballroom Thieves’ “Droves” with whom he will be performing on April 6 at Higher Ground in Burlington, VT.

Sofar Sounds Boston 3/26/2014

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Another month means another Sofar Sounds show, and March’s offered a trinity of homegrown folk and bluegrass. First up was Tall Heights, a Boston-based guitar and cello duo. Simply put, I’ve never met two voices more perfectly matched to one another. Singing seamlessly in unison or close harmony, the two presented vocals tight enough to rival Simon and Garfunkel… but thankfully without black turtlenecks or awkward power struggles.* Beyond their handwritten tunes, Tall Heights somehow managed to add new layers of meaning to an already moving song, with their cover of The Beatles’ “Yesterday.” Tall Heights’ short and sweet set at Sofar left us only wanting more, and luckily we’ll be catching them again soon at the Sinclair on April 10th.

Next to take the “stage” (which in this case was an oriental rug), was Darlingside, an indie-folk quartet out of Cambridge. Darlingside’s live performance is spirited, maybe even explosive, in a way that you may not expect from a spin of their record. The four Darlingside dudes rapidly jump in and out of the spotlight, both on vocals and their arsenal of string instruments, which creates a viewing experience not unlike watching a ping-pong match. Whimsical lyrics and lush harmonies evoke 1960s Laurel Canyon, which only makes sense considering Graham Nash’s recent endorsement of the band as nothing less than “delicious.” While Darlingside’s music is thoughtfully informed by the past, their inventive arrangements solidify their position as a forward-thinking, label-defying staple on the Boston music scene.

Last to play was Poor Old Shine, a five-man motley crew out of Connecticut. All stretched collars, wide eyes and boyish charm, the bluegrass outfit may lack a bit of, well, shine, but their rugged performance style only made them easier to love. PoS performs with a crazed energy and uninhibited joy, and that joy quickly became infectious in the crowd. And while their stage presence is youthful, their musicianship is first-class; they wielded instruments like banjos, mandolins, a pump organ, and even a singing saw to round out each track. Brimming with both talent and excitement, Poor Old Shine’s future is clearly bright.

*While we’re on the topic, THIS: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sKfosGec4Y.

Max Garcia Conover Kicks Off Crowd Funding Campaign

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The last time we saw Portland’s Max Garcia Conover he was putting on an inspiring performance for our friends at Sofar Boston and now he is embarking on a new project to fund his next record. Unlike other indie musicians who use a service like Kickstarter or PledgeMusic, Max is taking the DIY route and using his own website as a vehicle to fund his recording. We caught up with Max to talk about the campaign, his new album, and strategies for getting dressed in the morning. Read on for the full interview and click the button below to learn more about Max’s campaign and how you can contribute.

Max Garcia Conover Album Campaign

Maimed & Tamed: What made you choose to host your own campaign instead of using a crowd funding service?

Max Garcia Conover: I felt like there were things I wanted to do differently — weekly video demos, free copies of the album to everyone who supported the campaign — that I couldn’t easily do within the structure of one of the fan funding sites. Also a lot of those sites are all or nothing, which is a good idea, but one that seems pretty played out at this point. My fundraising goal is just a goal — I’m going to find a way to make the record regardless.
 
M&T: Tell us about the demo series and the songs that you’ve released thus far? What will the process be like for determining which songs will make it on the record?

MGC: I have twenty or so new songs that I like, but I only want a dozen for the album. So I started making these little homemade videos to see which songs people got excited about. This video for the campaign will be the sixth new song I’ve released. I’ve got a bunch more to go, but the process so far has been a lot of fun, trying to make each video interesting and appropriate to the song in a very limited amount of time.

M&T: Are there any supporter rewards that you are particularly excited about fulfilling (aside from making and sharing a killer record that is)?

MGCMan I’d love to do some international house concerts. And I think the blend of tea I make when I’m on tour is pretty awesome. Mostly I’m excited to get as many copies of the album out into the world as possible. I’m sending anyone who supports the campaign, even just by spreading the word, as many copies as they want.

M&T: The campaign video mentions fables and the impact that type of storytelling has had on your songwriting, did you have a favorite fable growing up or maybe something you discovered more recently that really grabbed you?

MGC: One of my college professors told me this one just before graduation: “There are these two young fish swimming along one morning, and they pass an old fish. The old fish says, “Good morning! Water’s great today isn’t it?” The young fish nod and continue along their way. A few minutes later one of them stops suddenly, turns to the other, and says, “Wait..what the fuck is water?!”

M&T: In 5 words or less, describe what fans can expect from the new album
MGC: Songs about home and belonging.
M&T: When you get dressed in the morning what do you put on first, your pants or your socks?
MGC: Pants. I save the the socks for last because they’re my favorite. I love socks.

Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Reignwolf

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Normally a band who is touring with Black Sabbath wouldn’t appear at the Newport Folk Festival in the same year…those things just don’t mix. As we’ve learned over the years though, Jay Sweet and his festival booking team understand that the term “folk” can be interpreted in many different ways. We saw Freelance Whales and Tegan & Sara in 2011, tUnE-yArDs in 2012, and now the Fort will welcome the gritty blues rock of Jordan Cook aka Reignwolf to its hallowed festival grounds. Armed with a guitar, a kick drum, and a helluva lot of distortion, Cook is guaranteed to turn some heads at Newport this summer. Check out a video of Reignwolf performing “In The Dark” for NPR at last year’s Sasquatch Music Festival, and make sure to grab tickets for Friday while they last!

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Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Death Vessel

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With the rolling lineup announcements for this year’s Newport Folk Festival there’s still plenty more to be unveiled, but already we’ve found ourselves completely smitten with the lineup. It wouldn’t be Newport without familiar faces like Dawes, and Conor Oberst, but it’s the newcomers that get us the most excited. Especially if that act is someone we had never heard before seeing them added to the lineup, which is exactly the case with Joel Thibodeau aka Death Vessel. After listening to Thibodeau’s debut album, Island Intervals, on repeat following its release, he has quickly become one of the acts we’re most looking forward to seeing at the Fort. Death Vessel’s music is deeply layered and eerily whimsical, yet still playful at times. Island Intervals immediately brings to mind the sounds of Sigur Ros so it’s no surprise that Sigur Rós frontman Jónsi makes a guest appearance on the track “Isla Drown.”

It will be interesting to see how Thibodeau recreates the sounds of Island Intervals in a live setting down at the Fort, but either way we will be there to witness it. Check out the official video for “Mercury Dime” below and grab your tickets for Friday’s festivities while they last. We guarantee they’ll be gone sooner than you think.

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Newport Folk Festival Spotlight: Shakey Graves

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Armed with the loyal affection of fans from his hometown of Austin, TX, Shakey Graves is shipping his signature blues/rock fusion up north for this year’s Newport Folk Festival. While Shakey Graves (known off-stage as Alejandro Rose-Garcia) is a solo act, it’s much more than a “man and his guitar” situation. His kick-drum and tambourine are jerry-rigged out of a suitcase which he plays by foot, all while laying vocals that are so gritty they could sand your floors. Rose-Garcia’s finger-picking on a distorted guitar completes the lo-fi feel. So don’t let his one-man status fool you — just because he’s not jumping on a piano (#tbt to Matt Vasquez at NFF 2012) doesn’t mean the show will lack in energy. Shakey Graves’ sound is impossibly larger and livelier than his busker-esque appearance, especially on commanding crowd-pleasers like “Roll the Bones.” And even on “Word of Mouth” and his more subdued tracks, a slow-burning vibrancy remains. Each song in Shakey’s catalog is connected to the next through his distinct songwriting style, which is heavily influenced by “the good ol’ days,” for lack of a more specific time period. His old-school lyrics are so authentic that I’m half-convinced his sole form of currency is gold nuggets, and maybe the occasional fur pelt. Shakey Graves’ stories of stargazing, moonshine-swilling and straight-shootin’ will sound just right within the timeworn walls of Fort Adams. And we’re willing to bet that come July, the resident golden boy of Austin will be embraced by yet another tight-knit music community, this time at Newport Folk Fest.

You can listen to and download Shakey Graves’ latest album here.

3 SXSW 2014 Acts You Need To Hear Now

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Although SXSW is turning into more of a corporate event year after year, there are still plenty of bands to be discovered and shared. If you’ve been reading this blog over the last week or so you’ll know that Maimed & Tamed sponsored a wonderful showcase focused on presenting Boston talent in Austin called SXNE. It was wonderful to have our own little slice of home while down in Texas, but we still had to carve out some time to see as many bands as we could throughout the week. After 5 straight days of music, here are 3 acts that you need to know about now if you don’t already.

THUMPERS

We were lucky enough to make it in early to a packed house at Latitude 30 for the BBC Introducing showcase and are we ever glad that we did. The London based group’s debut LP, Galore, only made it on our radar a few weeks back, but we immediately knew it was something special. Their live show certainly did not disappoint either, and since we’ve had a tough time tracking down a good live video from last week, the equally delicious track below will have to suffice.

the Soil & the Sun

With 7 people on the stage at once, you would think this group may have trouble maintaining their dynamic sound throughout a set, but you would be totally wrong. We caught tS&tS at the Sonicbids day party at Maggie Mae’s and from the first note to the last the whole crowd was entranced. Here is a clip of them performing at SXSW back in 2012, but we can assure you that this year’s performance was as epic, if not even more so than two years ago.

AgesandAges

We first wrote about them back in 2011 and put them on our wishlist for this year’s Newport Folk Festival, so we are sticking by our guns with this one. After seeing the Portland based group perform at Cheer Up Charlie’s last week it only affirmed our belief that this band is going to be big. Like real big. With a new record due out next week you better get on this bandwagon before it’s too late. Check out a video of their new single “Divisionary (Do The Right Thing)” (which can also be found on the M&T January 2014 Spotify Playlist) performed live at the very SXSW show we attended.

 

SXNE 2014 Feature: TODAY!

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The festivities for this year’s South by Northeast showcase kicks off TODAY at 12:15pm and the fun at The Big Bang Bar will continue until 1am. To get you prepared for today’s debauchery we asked some of the bands to give us two words that would describe their SXNE set. Here’s what we got–

Girls Guns and Glory (Ward Hayden)- Wild & Danceable.

OldJack (Dan Nicklin)- New and Old.

The Silks (Matt Donnelly)- Brazenly Uncouth.

The Ballroom Thieves (Martin Earley)- Contumacious and Amatory.

Cask Mouse- Stomping Party.

Ruby Rose Fox- Soulful and Present.

Spirit Kid (Emeen Zarookian)- PURE ENTHUSIASM!

Mean Creek (Chris Keene)- Loud and energetic.

Matt Sucich- Solo & New.

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