Because I dread the thought of writing yet another album review where I spend hundreds of words trying to frame an album in the proper context, or where I try to find yet another way to write about chord progressions, I’m just going to take it one song at a time and share my first impressions. So here we go with the fourth studio album from Field Music, Plumb. I'm still really digging the new Van Halen album, so this is a pretty significant gear shift. But as loyal readers should know, Field Music is easily my favorite "modern" band out there, so I'm gonna make it happen. This is a good time to be a Field Music fan, as the Brewis brothers have kept a pretty busy schedule since their 2005 debut album was released. Unfortunately it seems as if the group will not be coming to America to
“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. Well, I have to admit. The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit got me this time. For our latest "Why the Hell Should I Like?" column, he didn't pick an artist or band I didn't like or wasn't interested in -- he picked a band I'd never even heard of! What the hell? After perusing the primer that Gray Flannel Suit had so thoughtfully prepared for me and after doing a little bit of my own research, I picked up a little more knowledge. The band's core consists of brothers David and Peter Brewis, along wit
For fans of Sunderland's indie pop masters Field Music, the two-plus years since their announced hiatus felt like anything but. Scarcely a year after the January 2007 release of Tones of Town, co-founder David Brewis released an album under the School of Language banner. That was followed up in August '08 by the self-titled debut of brother Peter's project, The Week That Was. To confuse matters even further both albums were only nominally solo efforts, as each brother contributed to the other one's disc. So while I greeted the news of Field Music's official resurrection as a musical concern with enthusiasm, it was hardly a shock. I'll just chalk the whole hiatus thing up to artists needing to be artists, and leave it at that. All of which brings us to the first proper Field Musi
Dear reader, in my travels to bring you reports of local performances by various musical acts, I have encountered some strange people. But over the weekend I encountered one of the strangest yet - the Brooklyn Hipster. For those not from the New York area, it's important to note that Brooklyn is to Hipsters as Mecca is to Muslims or Wal-Mart is to rednecks. It's the source of their strength and identity, which in this case means lots of bad haircuts, wool caps, and faux vintage clothing. They're harmless for the most part, but damn are they annoying in large groups. (more…)
One of the true bright spots of last year's bummer of a musical 2008, The Week That Was (the current solo project of Field Music's Peter Brewis) is in the midst of a brief jaunt across the Pond. In fact, the show was billed as "Field Music Presents The Week That Was". Last night brought them (and a trio of openers) to the rather intimate Mercury Lounge in New York City's Lower East Side. It's the first time a Field Music-related project has hit the States since School of Language was here early last year, so I jumped at the chance to see them. But first, let's talk opening acts. There were three of them, although I missed the first one (Monuments). The second, Philadelphia's own Arc in Round, put on a decent performance that was unfortunately partly sunk by lousy vocal acoustics.
A few months into this year I couldn't shake the feeling that 2008 just wasn't going to be the great year for new music that 2007 was. And so here I am, about a week away from 2009, and I still feel the same way. It wasn't a total wash mind you, as there was definitely some quality to be enjoyed. So here's my take on the 2008 music year - good, bad, and ugly. The Best of the Best (Albums) Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop) Yeah, this seems like an obvious choice, but it's also a damn good one. I'm always up for listening to good vocal harmonies, and this band has them in spades. The music is gorgeous to boot, and is a highly engaging blend of folk titans like CSNY, America, and early '70s Fleetwood Mac. The vocal round of "White Winter Hymnal" is worth the price of admission
A pair of new albums from both sides of the Atlantic have found their way into my rotation this week. From the good ol' U.S. of A comes Backyard Tire Fire's The Places We Lived (Hyena Records), the followup to last year's excellent Vagabonds and Hooligans. Stylistically, this album shares many traits with its predecessor but is definitely not a rehash. Checking in at just over the half-hour mark, frontman and guitarist Ed Anderson and company (brother Matt on bass, Tim Kramp on drums) get right down to business with the deceptively simple title track. It didn't make a strong impression on me when I first listened to it, but days later the main guitar riff was still rattling around my head, a tribute to Anderson's songwriting. The integration of synths and chimes (not to mention a br