Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:18 pm
Joel Thibodeau's music doesn't emanate from a single place: The singer who records under the name Death Vessel was born in Germany and raised in New England, and he recorded his new album Island Intervals in Reykjavik with the aid of producer Alex Somers and Sigur Rós singer Jónsi. That list of places provides context beyond mere biographical background, because Thibodeau's music reflects virtually every direction in which he's been pulled.
The Baltimore trio Future Islands recently returned to KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic with an extra member in tow. By adding Mike Lowry on drums, the synth-heavy band brings a new dynamic to its live performances of songs from the forthcoming album Singles. We love the new track "Seasons (Waiting on You)" — which you can watch here — but check out the full session for the premiere of a brand-new song.
The music of the psychedelic Seattle band Rose Windows mixes folk, blues, Persian and Eastern European influences, as well as '60s psych and prog; the group name-checks The Doors and even Black Sabbath along the way. Its lyrics address songwriter Chris Cheveyo's Christian background, singer Rabi Shaheen Qazi's Muslim influences and much more.
Rose Windows released a debut full-length called Sun Dogs last year, and we'll hear the band perform on stage during this episode of World Cafe.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 1:00 pm
Unlikely collaborations can unnerve and unwind heavy and extreme music in ways we'd never before imagined. There's Painkiller, the guts-spilling grind-jazz band featuring saxophonist John Zorn, bassist Bill Laswell and Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris.
If you try to watch this video for its plot, good luck. There's a mermaid, a sandstorm, a dude, a chase, sea creatures, close-up lips ... I tried, but gave up and simply gave in to the flow of the song and the images.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes Sweetheart 2014, a collection of handpicked covers from a group of modern musical dreamers who artfully grapple, in one way or another, with that most vexing of subject to ever befall mankind, L.O.V.E. Sweetheart 2014 (Hear Music/Concord Music Group) is available on CD at Starbucks and all digital outlets.
Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 12:09 pm
Phantogram plays spiky, dense and danceable pop-rock songs with an electronic pulse: Most of its songs have an insistent grind to them, with a percussive through-line snapping and jabbing and infusing virtually every moment with jumpy urgency. But singer/keyboardist Sarah Barthel and guitarist Josh Carter still let these songs breathe in surprising ways, so that the moments of quiet that slip through — like the spare and surprising piano which pops up at the end of "Black Out Days" — have that much more impact.