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Nor’easter Festival 2011

Nor’Easter Festival 2011: River City Extension

Posted on by Trevor in Nor'easter Festival 2011 | Leave a comment

Hey, I feel like I wrote about this band before. Oh wait. I did. River City Extension will performing at this year’s Nor’Easter Festival and just like the run up to Newport Folk Festival I expect this band to bring A LOT of energy to their performance. It will certainly be unforgettable and you should make sure you catch this band before they really get big. Check out my past articles and an interview with some of the band members to get a little heads up for what’s about to come.

Nor’easter Festival 2011: Apollo Run

Posted on by Caroline in Nor'easter Festival 2011 | Leave a comment

 

The Nor’easter Festival has got a lot going for it.  We’re looking forward to the waterfront entertainment, some outdoorsy sporting action, a cornucopia of food and drink, and lyrical compositions by the one and only Mr. Charlie Sheen.  Wait, what?  You heard us right.  Just when you stopped caring about Charlie, the Nor’easter-bound trio Apollo Run have made the ultimate celebrity car crash relevant once more.   “Charlie Sheen’s Got Tiger Blood, Man” is a tune written and performed by Apollo Run, but technically, it’s lyrically composed by Charlie Sheen and his magnificently disturbed tweets.  Apollo Run snagged choice lines from Charlie (such as, “I was bangin’ 7-gram rocks and finishing them ‘cause that’s how I roll”) and effortlessly wove them into the lyrics of their charming piano/ukulele arrangement.  Brilliant and hilarious? Quite.  The end of Apollo Run’s potential? Not even close.

If your introduction to Apollo Run was “Tiger Blood,” you should be elated to hear that the band offers up fierce musicality beyond the Charlie Sheen opus.  Their first two albums Here Be Dragons Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 suggest influences that vary from the orchestral rock of Jeff Buckley to horn-heavy Beirut.  In their single “Stars,” the trio’s voices, led by John McGrew’s lofty falsetto, melt together to create a powerful vocal symphony. While a song like “Stars” is somber and serious in its beauty, the band holds a lively on-stage presence.  And most importantly, regardless of the tone with which they play, Apollo Run consistently displays an intense technical musicianship that isn’t quite done justice on their recordings.  We can’t wait to see Apollo Run maintain this high standard at Nor’easter, all while sprinting between piano ballads, stomp-driven pop songs, and celebrity parodies. So yeah, as clichéd as it’s become… I’m thinking Apollo Run’s upcoming show should merit a #winning.

Nor’easter Festival 2011: An Interview with Producer Pete Ward

Posted on by Eric in Nor'easter Festival 2011 | Leave a comment

“Everybody already knows the biggest names out there. Where’s the art in booking what everyone already knows?”

Those are the words of one Mr. Pete Ward, a passionate outdoorsman and avid music fan. That is not all that Pete is known for though, he is also the Co-Founder of NE2C Productions which as some of you may know is responsible for the Nor’easter Festival that will be taking place in Burlington, Vermont from September 23-25. Earlier this week we were able to chat with Pete about the festival and how he has been able to combine his two passions into one amazing weekend that can be shared with other like-minded individuals.

Read on below for the full interview with Pete and click here if you haven’t already grabbed your tickets for Nor’easter 2011.

Maimed & Tamed: What were some of your goals when you first started NE2C Productions?

Pete Ward: Actually, I’m not really sure that we were smart enough to have goals. My partner Jason and I both just liked to run rock-climbing competitions, and then we realized that there wasn’t a good existing pro tour for climbing. So we made one.

M&T: Where did the idea for a festival that blends music and outdoor sports come from?

PW: It was a natural extension of our work in the outdoor community. Obviously hanging out outside and having a great party is fun, but how can you have a party without good music? If you have some good music, why wouldn’t you want MORE good music? If you book a venue for one day, why not three? Oh look, it’s an Outdoor Sports & Music festival. Sweet! Maybe it was a little more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it.

M&T: In your opinion, what kind of role does music play in the world of outdoor sports?

PW: I think that music defines culture. So I’d call music a pretty fundamental part of any community. But in a community as energetic and creative as the outdoor community, it’s even more so.

M&T: Why the change in location from Loon Mountain last year to Burlington this year? Will the festival try to use a different venue each year?

PW: No, we’re excited about Burlington as a permanent home. Loon is a great place to host an event, but as far as being an active outdoors person goes, Burlington is really a unique city compared to anywhere else in the Northeast. When the opportunity came up, we couldn’t really let it pass.  A gorgeous day in Burlington is really unlike anywhere else. Mountains and water surrounding a psyched, creative community that’s not too big and not too small? Perfect.

M&T: Last year one of the bands who played the festival was Rubblebucket, who is a favorite of Maimed & Tamed. Did you get a chance to catch their set? What did you think?

PW: They were brilliant! We were psyched to have them and I wish it would have been possible to book them again this year. Just a great, great set and I completely recommend that everyone check them out when they come to your town. Super good times. (M&T Note- Rubblebucket will be playing at the Paradise on September 30)

M&T: What was it like working with Jay Sweet on the lineup for the festival this year?

PW: We’re really lucky to be working with Jay on The Nor’easter. Jay brings a wealth of experience and the credibility of many years of success at one of the most important festivals of its kind, the Newport Folk Festival. Plus Jay is just a good person and really, what more do you need to know than that?

M&T: Who are you most exited to see in this year’s lineup?

PW: Oh man… You gotta make me choose? I mean Jay and I booked it, how could I NOT be psyched on everyone? I would sincerely listen to any one of these bands live and consider it a great evening. I will say that the guys from Apollo Run wrote a song composed entirely from Charlie Sheen quotes called “I’ve got Tiger Blood. Man.” And while it’s unlikely to win any awards, I do think that accomplishment merits special mention. How’s that for a merciless question-dodge?

M&T: What bands are you listening to right now that aren’t appearing at this year’s festival?

PW: I’d say that the current top 2 are The Rural Alberta Advantage and Trampled by Turtles. Both bands are great live too.  And just recently I jumped in the Way Back Machine and queued up some Fairport Convention… whoa.

M&T: If you had an unlimited budget name 2 bands who you would want to headline Nor’easter.

PW: Man, that’s a tough one… Assuming that I don’t also have a time-machine to go with my unlimited budget so I could book 1974 Led Zeppelin or 2004 Death From Above 1979 (In a tiny, but packed room) or something… Honestly, I think it would be a quantity thing for me. I’d love to simply carry on in the spirit that we’ve booked the festival to this point and expand it to include more artists over more days at more venues.  All my favorite shows have been artists that I wasn’t totally aware of before I saw them and finding those great shows is the most fun part for me. If The Nor’easter was a 10 day festival with 100 bands that would take our indie music leanings and add soul (For example, I was really close to booking Raphael Saadiq this year), jazz, etc…  I think that’s the dream for me. Everybody already knows the biggest names out there. Where’s the art in booking what everyone already knows?

M&T: Looking forward, how does NE2C plan to incorporate indie music, if at all, into the work that you do with different brands?

PW: Excellent question. Commercial application of music that is sort of by nature is not created to be commercial is a fun thing to mess around with and I think that, done right, the results are actually pretty amazing. For example, I was screening some work from our friends at the Camp4 Collective that included some sweeping alpine climbing helicopter shots of this huge, grand mountain range with climbers perched on the edge of a HUUUGE precipice. The kind of thing that you’d expect to be scored with some soaring, cliché intended to give you goose bumps. But instead of that we were messing around with The Black Keys. I like the way that context completely changes art and I think that’s a powerful, fun thing to experiment with.

Nor’easter Festival 2011- Okkervil River

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Indie rock vets Okkervil River will be closing out this year’s festival with a 5pm set on the Main Stage following M&T fave Aunt Martha. The band that got their start in Austin with 2002’s Don’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See has recently released their sixth LP, I Am Very Far. NPR calls the record, “A bold departure from how the group has operated so far,” and Pitchfork gave it a 7.9 rating while calling it “A lyrically and musically feisty album.”

Will Sheff, the band’s frontman and its only consistent member since its inception, produced the record himself and anyone who is familiar with the band can tell that this is a far cry from 2008’s The Stand Ins. It is certainly more dark, but it is the added instrumentation that results in a truly enormous sound that will catch your ear on the first listen. On this album there seems to be a focus on layered vocals and making sure that the listener is attacked on all fronts with a wall of sound.

Tracks like “Show Yourself”, ” Hanging From a Hit” and ” The Rise” stand out as examples of Okkervil River’s penchant for creating tracks that start slow and build into swirling, epic compositions. Judging from recent setlists you can expect to see a healthy mix of I Am Very Far tracks mixed in with the old favorites at this year’s Nor’easter Festival.

 

Nor’easter Festival 2011 – The Toughcats

Posted on by Trevor in Nor'easter Festival 2011 | Leave a comment

I have to say that one of the perks of continually writing for a music blog is being forced to explore and interact with new bands on a daily basis. Of course there will be a lot of music that isn’t to my liking but every now and then you hit a vein of pure gold. My recent gold rush would have to be The Toughcats who will be appearing at the upcoming Nor’easter Festival where they will play at 11 AM Sunday morning on the Main Stage. The Toughcats is composed of three members- Jake Greenlaw on percussion, Colin Gulley on banjo and Joe Nelson on guitar; all picking up vocals at different times.

Now this is where I would write a bunch of adjectives to describe them as a band and what they would be like live. Luckily the Toughcats have already done that for me and I don’t think I could put it better any other way. “Energetic. Catchy. Fun. Exciting. Danceable. Memorable. Lovable. Beautiful. Amazing. At times, unabashedly hirsute. This is not The Toughcats ad on Matchmaker.com; these are just some of the words die-hard Toughcats fans mutter in their sleep after a performance.”

I don’t know about you but I literally cannot wait to see a bunch of hairy guys take their instruments and perform for me.

The release of their first album Piñata was well received critically and led them to a national tour with the likes of Deerhoof, Sam Bush & The Avett Brothers. Their sophomore album Run to the Mill will most likely be what is heard at this year’s Nor’easter Festival. This album has immense depth and you can find songs like “Dinah” that highlight their plucking abilities and then hear songs like “Harlet Marie” which reveal a softer side.

Check out their video “Somebody Old” to find a certain middle ground between these two sounds and if you can’t catch them at Nor’easter make sure to grab tickets to see The Toughcats open for Deerhoof at the Middle East Downstairs on September 29th.

Nor’easter Festival 2011- Kingsley Flood

Posted on by Eric in Nor'easter Festival 2011 | 1 Comment

 

Fresh off being voted Best Boston Roots Band by the Boston Phoenix in back to back years, Kingsley Flood is ready to take that momentum to the Nor’easter stage at the end of next month. One may not think Boston to be a roots music hotspot, but Kingsley Flood beat out M&T favorites David Wax Museum for the award this year and last year they faced stiff competition from the likes of Joy Kills Sorrow and Boston music scene vets Tim Gearan Band.

If that isn’t enough to convince you to give Kingsley Flood a listen how about the influences cited on their Facebook page? The Band, Pixies, Ennio Morricone, Steve Earle, Radiohead? Come on now, if that isn’t intriguing you need to get your head checked.

The band’s debut album Dust Windows may not immediately bring Thom Yorke or Levon Helm to mind, but the contrast between tracks may be as varied as the band’s influences. The perfect example of this is with tracks 8 and 9. The haunting and driving sounds of “Roll of the Dice” are immediately followed by the more subdued “Eventually” which features warm harmonies set to a much slower pace.

Kingsley Flood will be hitting the Main Stage at noon on Saturday the 24th for the Nor’easter Festival and you bet your asses the M&T crew will be there soaking in the jams.

Check out the band’s quirky new video below for “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” which was filmed on the streets of Cambridge and Malden and is expected to be on the band’s next release this winter.

Aunt Martha Set To Release Record For Free

Posted on by Eric in Music News, Nor'easter Festival 2011 | Leave a comment

Yes you did read that correctly, the New Hampshire band who is quickly becoming an M&T favorite will be releasing some tracks on September 6th free of charge on their website. The record Norway, ME was recorded in, yes you guessed it, Norway, Maine and was mainly (see what I did there?) the work of frontman Tim Noyes. On this record the band intends to take a step in a new direction, experimenting with vocal loops and a variety of effects that will contrast the tracks from the acoustic sound heard on previous releases.

Aunt Martha will be supporting Juliana Hatfield this weekend at Brighton Music Hall and will also be making an appearance at this year’s Nor’easter Festival in Burlington, Vermont along with M&T favorites River City Extension and many more great acts.

Check out the video for Norway, ME track “Starter” below as well as an inside look into the making of the album.