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

M&T Favorites

Exclusive Video Premiere: As The Sparrow – “Emily”

Posted on by Eric in M&T Favorites | 1 Comment

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.

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

Posted on by Eric in M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

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

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

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.

 

Dwight & Nicole Celebrate the Release of Shine On @ Scullers 02.28

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Dwight & Nicole - Boston Shine On Release Party - Scullers 02.28.14

Two months ago we hosted our first ever live streaming event with Redstar Union presents Behind The Album: Dwight & Nicole. Via a 45 minute interview with renowned 30-year Boston Globe music critic, Steve Morse, and a cover-to-cover live performance of Shine On, Dwight & Nicole introduced their forthcoming LP to an intimate studio audience while the rest of world watched at home.

At last, the roots duo will celebrate the Boston release of Shine On with two shows tomorrow night at the legendary Scullers Jazz Club in Allston. Show times are 8pm & 10pm and you can still grab tickets here before they sell out.

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For a preview of what to expect in both tomorrow night’s live celebration and their new record, check out one of the performances from the aforementioned Behind The Album below, a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and a Maimed & Tamed exclusive debut! You may recall that Nicole’s rendition of this song turned the chairs of Adam, Blake, Cee-Lo and Christina on the 3rd season of The Voice while also landing her a top 40 hit on iTunes. When asked about the decision to re-record “Hallelujah” for the record, Nicole had some pretty inspiring comments:

I’m changing all the time. And in every moment, I am a little bit different. And that song touches every emotion. So it doesn’t matter where you are at. You can sing that song from a sad place, from a joyful place, from a wretched place, from a powerful place, from all of those places, ideally! And that’s why I wanted to record that song. It touches everything.

Truer words have never been spoken. If you are familiar with Nicole’s performance from The Voice, you won’t believe how different the deliveries are – one clearly coming from a powerful place (The Voice), while the other from a much more introspective and melancholic place. The incredibly nuanced approach here is what will ultimately become the signature of the D&N interpretation, setting them apart from all the others.

Newport Folk Festival Lineup Predictions/Wishlist

Posted on by Eric in Concert Preview, M&T Favorites, Newport Folk Festival Spotlight | 6 Comments

With the recent passing of Newport Folk Festival legend Pete Seeger, this year is sure to be an emotional one down at the Fort. Seeger was an inspiration for every artist who performed and every fan in attendance, year in and year out. His onstage sing-alongs became something that we looked forward to every year, because you just knew that every artist on the lineup was begging to share the stage with Pete. To say he’ll be sorely missed would be an understatement, but we’re sure that the Folk Family will take the festival to a whole new level in Pete’s name this year.

With NFF only 6 months away (and a few acts already announced…) it’s about time we made our predictions and put together a wishlist for the 2014 edition of Christmas in July. Check out the full list and click the button below to buy tickets while you sill can, because it most definitely will sell out.

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Frightened Rabbit - Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and Deer Tick have all played Newport, why not my other favorite band this year?

Nickel Creek – Their reunion after eight years apart was  just announced this week, so we’re crossing our fingers that this bluegrass supergroup will celebrate their sweet, sweet return at Newport this year.

Johnny Flynn - Johnny Flynn is a wise-beyond-his-years songwriter, and his music channels the Americana roots that NFF knows and loves (despite his British heritage).

Ivan and Alyosha - This honest, feel-good folk-pop group toured with Lone  Bellow in 2013, and we think they’re long overdue for their own moment at the Fort.

Shakey Graves - Shakey Graves’ mysterious reputation fits his gritty blues to a t. If Shakey plays Newport this year, the Folk may not know his name coming in, but they’ll sure as hell know it when they leave.

Saintseneca - Their new album of jangly, upbeat folk drops this April, and we’re hooked on the tunes we’ve heard from Dark Arc so far.

Kishi Bashi - With one of the most transfixing live shows we’ve ever seen, Kishi Bashi’s violin-looping expertise would be a perfectly unexpected addition to the lineup.

Lake Street Dive - With the impending release of their LP Bad Self Portraits, they’re due for a big 2014 and we’d love nothing more than for them to rock the Fort.

Typhoon - Typhoon’s twelve-man band has their name all over the Quad Stage (and we can absolutely see them jumping into the crowd for a stripped-down version of “The Honest Truth“).

Ben Howard - If we had our way this year’s lineup would be heavy on the UK acts and following a huge 2013 who better to represent our folk friends from across the pond than Ben Howard?

Night Beds- “Ramona” was one of our favorite songs in 2013 plus new music is on the way in 2014.

Nick Waterhouse- This year’s J.D. McPherson.

Darlingside/The Ballroom Thieves/Tall Heights- We’d love to see any or all of these local Boston folk favorites to follow in the footsteps of Kingsley Flood this year.

AgesandAges- Surprising that they haven’t had a shot at the Newport stages yet, but with a new album due in 2014 the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

Damien Jurado- His new record, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, is way too good and way too buzzy to not be considered.

My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday – Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Posted on by Eric in Concert Review, M&T Favorites | Leave a comment

For four nights My Morning Jacket took over the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, Mexico for the inaugural edition of their One Big Holiday festival. When the event was first announced we weren’t sure we could make it work, between the cost and the scheduling, but man are we glad we did. As MMJ diehards, Neil and I have seen more than 20 MMJ sets each, dating back to 2003, and missing out on this event is a decision we probably would have regretted for a long time to come. Alas, our wallets and livers hate us, but we’ve just returned from one of the best weeks of our lives.

Once we arrived at the Hard Rock in Cancun the all-inclusive madness began as we were immediately greeted by drinks and food, both of which would have a constant presence throughout our trip. After settling ourselves in our room, conveniently located right outside the concert courtyard, we headed for some dinner and drinks. That first evening the whole resort was packed with strictly MMJ fans, and everyone was abuzz with what might be in store the next four nights. After eating way more than we should have (another theme for the week) the moment we had all been waiting for finally arrived- MMJ’s first set of the week.

It was as if everyone in the crowd knew that this would be the beginning of three very special sets and indeed it was (see below for all three setlists). They started the night off with “Circuital” and from there anything was fair game. Highlights included Bob Weir (who had completed a very similar festival with Furthur the week prior) joining the band for three songs, “Heartbreakin’ Man” and “Evelyn”, and of course “Steam Engine”, which in my opinion is one of the band’s best live songs. After MMJ wrapped up their set with “Mahgeetah”, the party continued at the late night terrace with a DJ set from Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza.

After night one we got into a bit of a routine—wake up around 11am, eat breakfast, hit the pool and/or beach and start drinking, shower up around 5pm, choose a resort restaurant for dinner, rock the fuck out. Rinse. Repeat. After a day of sun and booze it was time for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to kick things off with a good old-fashioned New Orleans dance party. All the members of PHJB were giddy and visibly happy to be involved in such an event, and that energy was clearly infectious throughout the crowd. After an hour of bayou jazz it came time for the stars of the week to rock their second set.

Following the set from night one we weren’t quite sure how things could get any better, but they most definitely did. MMJ crushed nearly three hours of originals and some of our favorite covers like Velvet Underground’s “Oh Sweet Nuthin” and Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.” Night two was also very heavy on cuts from The Tennessee Fire, with the band performing five tracks off their debut album. The next morning the pool bar had everyone talking about the set two opening run from the prior night of “Bermuda Highway”, “Old September Blues”, and “Picture of You”, likely one of my favorite three song runs from the whole week.

Although we wished MMJ could have performed all four nights, The Flaming Lips were certainly a worthy slot filler for night number three. Following a fitting opening set from Mariachi El Bronx, The FLips performed a 2+ hour set of their own. Highlights included covers’ of The Beatles’ “I Want You” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” along with David Bowie’s “Heroes.” I was also very pleasantly surprised to hear two of my favorite FLips songs, “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” and “A Spoonful Weighs A Ton”, along with live staples “She Don’t Use Jelly” and “Do You Realize??”

On the final day of the trip Neil and I discussed the two songs that had eluded us all these years, “O Is The One That Is Real” and “Strangulation”, and how desperately we needed MMJ to perform them during the final set of the week. When the band busted into “O” about halfway through their first set that night we were elated, and joked about how epic it would be to go straight into “Strangulation.” And wouldn’t you know that lightning struck twice. Neil and I both looked at each other, “Where can they go from here?” Well when they followed up that two song run with a 15+ minute version of “Dondante” (full video here) everyone in the crowd collectively felt exactly like this. The night ended fittingly with a rousing version of the band’s trademark set closer, and now festival namesake, “One Big Holiday.” Over the course of three nights My Morning Jacket had performed over 60 songs with no repeats, and we couldn’t have been happier with their song selection, both originals and covers. The band hinted at a return to Cancun for One Big Holiday Part II so it’s probably best that we start saving now.

Check out full setlists from all three nights below along with links to video clips for a handful of songs from each night.

Jan 26, 2014

CIRCUITAL
FIRST LIGHT
THE WAY THAT HE SINGS
HUNGRY HEART (Bruce Springsteen cover)
HEARTBREAKIN MAN
EVELYN
MASTERPLAN
STEAM ENGINE
SMOKIN FROM SHOOTIN
WHAT A WONDERFUL MAN
LAY LOW
—–
WONDERFUL
WELCOME HOME
SLOW SLOW TUNE
KNOCKIN ON HEAVEN’S DOOR (Bob Dylan cover w/Bob Weir)
I KNOW YOU RIDER (Grateful Dead cover w/BW)
BROWN EYED WOMEN (GD cover w/BW)
COBRA
TYRONE (Erykah Badu cover)
EASY MORNING REBEL
MAHGEETAH

Jan 27, 2014

THE DARK
OFF THE RECORD
XMAS CURTAIN
HONEST MAN
THE BEAR
ROCKET MAN (Elton John cover)
EVIL URGES
IT BEATS 4 U
I WILL SING YOU SONGS
WAR BEGUN
PHONE WENT WEST
—–
BERMUDA HIGHWAY
OLD SEPTEMBER BLUES
PICTURE OF YOU
OH SWEET NUTHIN (Velvet Underground cover)
BLACK METAL (w/Preservation Hall Jazz Band)
TOUCH ME PT. 2
DEAR PRUDENCE (Beatles cover w/Bob Weir)
YOU NEVER CAN TELL (Chuck Berry cover w/PHJB and BW)
CARNIVAL TIME (Al Johnson cover w/BW and PHJB)
MOVE ON UP (Curtis Mayfield cover w/PHJB)
GIDEON

Jan 29, 2014

VICTORY DANCE
OUTTA MY SYSTEM
LOWDOWN
I’M AMAZED
GOLDEN
HARVEST MOON (Neil Young cover)
CARRIED AWAY
O IS THE ONE
STRANGULATION
RUN THRU
DONDANTE
DON’T DO IT (The Band cover w/PHJB)
ANYTIME
—–
WORDLESS CHORUS
TOUCH ME PT. 1
DAY IS COMING
ISN’T IT A PITY (George Harrison cover w/Wayne Coyne)
CARELESS WHISPER
HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS (w/PHJB)
DANCEFLOORS (w/PHJB)
ALL NIGHT LONG (Lionel Richie cover)
ROCK THE CASBAH (The Clash cover)
—–
ONE BIG HOLIDAY

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