Newport Folk Fest 2017: Highlights


Newport Folk and its now-veteran booker Jay Sweet has proven itself to fans year after year. This year, the festival asked us to trust. Read More

August + September 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month


After a month long hiatus we are back with 75 fresh ones from Covey, Mondo Cozmo, Mr Jukes, Ted Leo, Dwight & Nicole, Grizzly Read More

October 2017 Spotify Playlist of the Month


After a slightly bizarre Indian summer the weather has started to cool off and the leaves have finally started to turn in the Northeast. Read More

Friday Passes Still Available for Newport Folk Festival

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

With Newport Folk Festival’s staggered announcement of this year’s lineup, one can tend to forget how incredible the overall lineup already is. After the most recent announcement of Tallest Man on Earth, I revisited the lineup page and had to rub my eyes a bit after staring at the screen since I had clearly missed some of the individual announcements.  Sufjan Stevens. The Decemberists. Lord Huron. The Lone Bellow. J freakin Mascis. And that’s only about 10% of the portion of the lineup that has been announced to this point.

What struck me as curious though is that how in the hell are there still tickets available for Friday? One of the things that makes Newport Folk Festival so special is the collaboration between artists on the lineup and Friday is primed for plenty of that. Some of the scheduled acts are already collaborations of sorts (i.e. Watkins Family Hour, Iron & Wine + Ben Bridwell, Wildwood Revival) and plenty of other artists have common ties. Remember that beautiful EP that Calexico and Iron & Wine made together? How about when Blake Mills (Sunday performer) and Fiona Apple (part of Watkins Family Hour) were all over each other’s recordings and tours? The list goes on and so we hope the on-stage collaborations go as well.

Check out the full lineup as it stands at the moment, and make sure to grab your tickets for Friday at the link below before they announce another monster addition.

NFF Friday Tickets

May Spotify Playlist of the Month

Posted on by Eric in Playlists | Leave a comment

May 2015 Spotify Playlist

With temperatures up over 70 degrees here in Brooklyn today, it’s fair to say that spring has arrived. Maybe it’s because we’re so excited about the weather, but once again we’ve got a playlist loaded with bonus tracks this month. Instead of our normal 20 songs we’ve created our longest playlist to date with 50 fresh jams for you to check out during the month of May. Highlights include new tunes from Blur, Titus Andronicus, The Barr Brothers, The Ballroom Thieves, Only RealMiniboone, and even X-Files star David Duchovny. Yea, he made a record, and it’s surprisingly good. Not to mention a beautiful new track from our friends in The Western Den, who are also in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign to fund their upcoming tour. Check out the full 50-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for new tuneage every month.

Tall Heights Ready New Tracks, Set To Play Boston and NYC

Posted on by Eric in Concert Preview | Leave a comment

Tall Heights

Boston’s Tall Heights have come quite a long way from their humble beginnings busking at Faneuil Hall. Since the release of their first EP, Rafters, back in 2011 the duo of Paul Wright and Tim Harrington have performed alongside acts like Laura Marling and Wild Child, released their full-length debut, a second EP, and a 2-song collaboration with another local hero, Ryan Montbleau. Though they made a name for themselves on cello and acoustic guitar, Harrington and Wright will be making a departure from their signature sound with the release of two live singles, “Spirit Cold” and “Horse to Water.”

With piano and electronic drum sounds now in the mix, the duo have injected their sweeping arrangements with a refreshing backdrop that seems like it has always had a home in their music. The one constant that continues to make Tall Heights so special though are the beautiful vocal harmonies delivered by Harrington and Wright. Clearly the focal point throughout previous releases, the harmonies still cut through on the two new tracks and are what keep you coming back over and over.

Lucky for all you readers out there, you don’t have to take our word for it since you can go out and see these new songs for yourself. Click the links below to grab tickets for upcoming shows at Brighton Music Hall in Boston on 4/25 and Mercury Lounge in New York City on 4/30, the latter of which will feature our pals in The Ballroom Thieves as well. Check out the full “Spirit Cold” video below, captured at the beautiful Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA.

Brighton Music Hall Tickets  Mercury Lounge Tickets

April Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Maimed & Tamed Spotify Playlist of the Month April 2015To say that March was a big month for new releases would be quite the understatement. Over the past month we saw full-length releases from bands in the upper echelon of indie rock like Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, and The Cribs, along with M&T favorites such as Houndmouth, Lady Lamb (no longer a beekeeper I guess…), Twin Shadow and more. Not to mention fresh singles from our favorite new band, Great Caesar, and our favorite band of all-time, My Morning Jacket. As you might have guessed, this influx of incredible new tunes in March means an inflated playlist in April. Check out the full 40-track playlist below and remember to subscribe for fresh jams every month.

Years and Years at Royale 3/30/15

Posted on by Woody Black in Concert Preview | Leave a comment

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Fresh off their prestigious appointment of “BBC Sound of 2015”, Years and Years have hit the ground running this winter. The electro-pop trio – hailing from London by way of Australia and Turkey – has swiftly snuck into everyone’s go-to party playlists. With Disclosure type jams, “King” and “Desire”, dispersed around other down-tempo 90s R&B influenced feelers, “Memo” and “Real”, Years and Years are clearing crowds on their way to the top.

On March 30th, lucky Boston will host the trio at Royale at 8pm. Having already moved venues in order to support massive demand, the show is a must-see and, consequently, we couldn’t be more excited to offer two free tickets. When you sign up for our newsletter you’ll automatically be entered to win.

Enter To Win Tickets

The hype is real, take a listen below.

 

Dwight Ritcher Trio at the Lizard Lounge 3/27 & 3/28

Posted on by Woody Black in Concert Preview, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

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Our friend Dwight Ritchter of Dwight & Nicole is making his triumphant return to The Lizard Lounge with The Dwight Ritcher Trio. If you’ve never seen his live show before you are in for some groovin’ vibes and face-melting guitars. Lucky for you we’ll also be giving away a pair of tickets to one winner who signs up for our newsletter through the link below. Check out Dwight and his trio shredding at Lizard back in ’13 in the video below and make sure you sign up for our newsletter now for your chance to win a pair of tickets to one of this weekend’s shows.

Enter To Win Tickets

The Western Den, Kevin William, and Billington Sea at Great Scott 3/23/15

Posted on by Woody Black in Concert Preview, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

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If you’ve heard the whispers, they’re right – The Western Den, Kevin William, and Billington Sea are folking up Great Scott on Monday, March 23rd.

After a year and a half stunning listeners with the spellbound folk tunes from their debut EP, Battle Hymns, The Western Den have returned with their highly anticipated new EP, All The Birds. In fact, March 23rd will be the first time to hear the haunting harmonies in the flesh and we’re shaking in our bones to get our hands and ears on it.

And although last summer’s shadow seems a world away, the stark romance of Kevin William’s Current Fears EP still remains. With the initial flicker and flame at its release in May 2014, Current Fears has now slipped into the go-to queue for late night feels and the singer/songwriter looks as though everything is ahead of him at the moment.

And, finally, fresh off the release of their self-titled debut album Billington Sea appears to be building steam. After a steady stream of shows up the east coast over the past month – specifically a killer set at Sofar Sounds Boston in February – the charming duo have set their sights on March 23rd to bring their playful tunes back to the stage.

On top of all that – Maimed & Tamed will be giving one lucky winner a pair of tickets to the show. All you have to do is sign up for our newsletter below and we’ll select a random winner who will get all sorts of folked up on March 23.

Enter To Win Tickets

Flight Facilities at The Sinclair 3/10/15

Posted on by Woody Black in Concert Preview, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

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It’s perhaps no surprise Flight Facilities are headlining The Sinclair tonight in Cambridge. They are, after all, the OG’s of that sunny electro-goodness to which Boston seems to finally be graced with – in more ways than one.

After a rather lengthy spell since their initial touchdown, the Aussie production duo returned in October to release their first full-length, Down To Earth. Pulsating with the same airy catch-tunes that we’ve come to expect from the duo, Down To Earth represents somewhat of a compilation of pre-released hits (“Stand Still”, “Claire de Lune”, “Two Bodies”, “Crave You”) while still offering a healthy dose of surprises. After all, everyone knows it’s impossible to talk Flight Facilities without including “Crave You” – an absolute gem that still makes summer feel like summer.

The ever-perceptive LA via Sydney based DJ, Touch Sensitive, will preface the Aussies with his electro-drenched 80s disco jams. Despite the bill’s lack of consideration for cold weather and snow, I think they’ve lined this one up for a winner. I might even stretch to say that the club is, in fact, set to go up on a Tuesday.

 

Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges and Claws

Posted on by Woody Black in Album Review, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment
Photo: Malin Johansson

Photo: Malin Johansson

Adrift in the milieu – José González emerges once again a teacher and student of his own craft on his third LP: Vestiges and Claws.

Almost ten years removed from Veneer – González’s debut LP – the Swede remains more or less unscathed. While a decade typically leaves its mark on a folk singer – usually a few more mediocre tattoos or perpetual whiskey-breath – González has emerged the same whispery apparition that he entered as. And for it Vestiges and Claws picks up from the last chord strummed on the 2007 release In Our Nature and wanders on.

Laced with the intimacy and intricacy of an ex-lover, the work almost breathes familiarity. As the nylon-stringed arpeggios dance and drape the bedroom environment on the opener, “With The Ink Of A Ghost”, a kind of confession is made. González seems to say; I’ve returned, I’m the same, take it or leave it. For a natural recluse, a non-verbal statement of the like is about the closest González will ever get to combative, yet this statement seems more about communication than confrontation. González seems to express his true desires, or better yet true self, in this message to the folk community through his decision to remain sonically consistent once again. Although remaining unchanged seems, at times, stemmed from a lack of artistic direction, it can be a very thoughtful and active choice all the same. González appears to have made attentive decision and, still regardless of its similarities – Vestiges and Claws remains a somewhat novelty to the folk community.

As the record ambles on, the essence of the work begins to take shape. Sheparded at times by González’s punctual vocal and then at others by assemblies of claps, snaps, and shakers, “Let It Carry You” serves as the lone up-tempo track visited by Vestiges and Claws. While many, undoubtedly, will recall the briskness that gave Veneer its charm with this track, “Let It Carry You” seems to solve a different riddle. It’s freshness and resolve allows the track to exist not only as nostalgia for González’s previous work in Veneer, but also as a composition in and of itself too – a piece that can stand on it’s own two feet. The ability to remain interesting while remaining homogenous; thus is the brilliance of José González. While many folk singers fall victim to the tides of criticism and critique – González seems to live outside it and remains attentive to his self and his craft.

It can be argued that the development of craft is not always synonymous with the achievement of stardom in pop music. However – in the folk community – craft most of the time precedes even stardom and José González is no exception. Having been born in Sweden to Argentine parents, González was introduced to Latin and Caribbean folk music in his early years while learning to speak (and sing) in English too. This exposure to the broader folk communities proved effective in González’s return to the classical guitar after several hardcore-punk trials in the early 2000s (Rajagopalan). When the singer returned, though, he returned with the dexterity of a proficient guitarist.

In many of the same ways Nick Drake became well known for his unity and ability with a guitar in the 1960s, José González attracted acclaim for his fingerpicking style and proficiency after the release of Veneer in 2003. After the subsequent release of In Our Nature in 2007, the evolution of González’s craft was – as somewhat expected – very gradual. Besides the introduction of multi-tracking guitars and vocal doubling, the sound of In Our Nature did not fall too far from the tree of Veneer. The result, however, was a more refined, more deliberate sound that brought the Swede’s craft closer to the resonance featured on Vestiges and Claws.

Intertwining soft-spoken phrases with long drawn-out vowels, the vocals rise and fall throughout Vestiges and Claws. Without an alarm or place to be it’s easy to disappear into the music and lose track of time. While most of the time Jose González’s consistent craft serves as his strong suit, there are moments through the interior of the album that it also flirts along the line of a downfall. “The Forest”, in particular, feels more like a watercolor painting than a consequential character study. Yet, the deliberateness of his work remains all the while and compels attentiveness rather than analysis. It becomes clear eventually that González’s outward charm has been discovered by the folk-singer himself, and that his work is a direct result of that discovery. González, it seems, understands the relationship between steadiness of character and consistency of craft in creating a legacy. And a legacy he’s made.

March Spotify Playlist of the Month

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Maimed & Tamed Spotify Playlist of the Month March 2015

March means the flowers are starting to bloom, the birds are starting to sing, and there’s still 6 feet of snow on the ground…Can’t win ’em all right? Good thing for you though is that we here at Maimed & Tamed aren’t going to let a little snow keep us from delivering you some brand new jams this month. We’ve even added an additional 10 bonus tracks to our normal 20 song playlist because we love you all that much. This month features the return of various M&T favorites including Two Gallants, Built to Spill, Alabama Shakes, Krill, and more. Check out the full playlist below and remember to subscribe for 20 new tracks every month.