Video Playback Error

The Adobe Flash Player is required to watch videos on this page

Tag: "Quinn Strassel"

home buzz rock pop urban country

The Earle of Newport

If you thought Steve Earle would be one of the few artists maintaining the acoustic tradition of the Newport Folk Festival, think again.

Though he did open the set with several traditional songs, all bets were off when he brought out a DJ to provide electronic beats. Though I preferred the acoustic stuff, it was cool to see him try something new. Notably, he ended the set with a hip-hop infused rendition of the theme song to The Wire (on which he played a recurring role as an AA group leader).

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

Young @ Heart @ Newport Folk

I’ve seen a lot of good shows this year. But I’m not sure if anything compares to the performance of the Young @ Heart Chorus at the Newport Folk Festival this morning. And it wasn’t just the novelty of watching a group of elderly people singing Sonic Youth’s Schizophrenia (though that was pretty incredible).

The fact is, the chorus displayed more musical range and emotional depth than any of the other performers at Newport. From a tear-jerking rendition of Radiohead’s “Fake Plastic Trees” to the uproarious take on James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” Y@H left no melodic or emotional stone unturned.

Other standout performances included a bittersweet version of “All We Have is Now” (Flaming Lips), a stunning medley based around “Walk on the Wild Side” (Lou Reed) and a mischeviously fun interpretation of “Heaven” (Talking Heads).

Stay tuned later this week for a video interview featuring members of the chorus and their fearless leader, Bob Cilman.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

Quinn Interviews St. Vincent (Annie Clark)

www.ourstage.com

St. Vincent = Annie Clark. It was great to get a chance to talk to Annie, one of my favorite singer/songwriters to pop up in the past couple years. As many of you know, she spent several years backing Sufjan and Polyphonic Spree. After winning “Female Artist of the Year” at the Plug Awards I suppose it’s too late to call her indie music’s best kept secret. But… Continue reading ‘Quinn Interviews St. Vincent (Annie Clark)’

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

Things Beck Left Behind: A review of Beck’s new album, Modern Guilt

Modern Guilt

Don’t let the throwaway album art fool you. Beck put a lot of thought and work into his new album, Modern Guilt.

With a stripped down sound co-produced with Danger Mouse (how does he find the time?) and apocalyptic lyrics reflecting our uncertain times, Modern Guilt is Beck’s best work in years and perhaps his most cohesive album to date.

But as the album’s “anti-cover” (two people’s feet) suggests, to really understand this album, it’s more revealing to examine what Beck chooses to leave out.

For starters, Modern Guilt is the first beat-driven album on which Beck forgoes rapping. Like Dylan, who alienated many by “going electric” on Highway 61 Revisited, Beck decides it’s time to leave behind those fans who still request “Beercan” at concerts. This is a welcome shift. Though he broke barriers years ago as an unlikely MC, attempts to rekindle his inner Chuck D. on recent albums (Guero and The Information) felt forced. Hearing him attack the sung verses of “Gamma Ray” with the same lucid drawl he applied to his early raps is refreshing.

This album also abandons the use of borrowed samples (with the exception of one obscure lift from a late ‘60s production music catalog on “Walls“). Thus listeners are reminded of Beck’s raw instrumental talent (he plays the marimba and flute (!)) while Danger Mouse enters Beatles-esque territory (see “Orphans”) without the pesky copyright litigation that followed his Grey Album.

Modern Guilt
is also startlingly bereft of humor. Irony? Of course (“I stand beside myself so I’m not alone”). Upbeat tempos? In spades (“Gamma Ray” and “Youthless”). But anyone looking to step into Beck’s Hyundai and get crazy with the cheese whiz is going to leave the party disappointed. “I’ve been drinking all these tears so long, all I have left is the taste of salt in my mouth,” he sings, reminding us he’s not in a joking mood.

The final thing left off this album is, well…finality. Almost every song ends abruptly, including the last track, “Volcano,” which even more shockingly doesn’t receive an encore of bonus noise (a Beck tradition dating back to his earliest masterwork, Stereopathetic Soulmanure).

It is this sense of deliberate absence that makes Modern Guilt so deliciously mysterious.

Is the lack of humor a reflection of a country at war or the subconscious confessions of Beck’s tortured soul? Are the abrupt song endings a simple musical choice or an apocalyptic reminder that “we’re just orphans in a tidal wave’s wake?” Is the bizarrely spare album artwork a hint for listeners to focus on the lyrics or an eleventh-hour middle finger to Interscope (this album is his last under contract with the industry giant)?

The only thing I know for sure is this: It’s nice to have a Beck album worth listening to repeatedly while decoding.


SOUNDS LIKE BECK:


Here are three artists I found on OurStage who display Beck-esque qualities in different ways. In the comment section below, tell me which artist on OurStage reminds you the most of Beck and why. Whoever makes the most compelling case over the next week will get a free copy of Modern Guilt!

1. “Celebrate” by Kings & Queens
Vintage sounding psychedelic rock echoes the feel of Beck’s album, Modern Guilt.


2. “Hipster” by Vancans
Quirky lyrics, harmonicas, and a slow driving beat encompass Beck’s earlier work, circa Odelay.


3. “September” by Sum Majere
A vintage beat that might cause Danger Mouse to look over his shoulder. Sum even breaks out a harmonica at the end. Beck would be proud.



www.ourstage.com

-written by Quinn Strassel

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

ROTHBURY Fan Diaries: Brandon Sabbag

** SPECIAL NOTE** To honor the fans who make OurStage great, we decided to give away three pairs of tickets to this year’s ROTHBURY music festival. We asked members of the three OurStage bands playing here to choose their biggest fans and give them the tickets.

So I’ve decided to end my ROTHBURY blogging with this video diary from Brandon Sabbag. He was chosen by the guys from Adam Ezra Group to receive free ROTHBURY tickets from OurStage–just for being their biggest fan!

Here’s what he had to say:

www.ourstage.com
Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

ROTHBURY Fan Diaries: Tony Burns

** SPECIAL NOTE** To honor the fans who make OurStage great, we decided to give away three pairs of tickets to this year’s ROTHBURY music festival. We asked members of the three OurStage bands playing here to choose their biggest fans and give them the tickets.

Meet Tony Burns (Hint: he’s the guy on the right):

stretch-fan-tony-quinn.JPG

The Stretch decided he was their biggest fan and gave him the pair of free tickets to ROTHBURY. Here’s a pic with him and the band:

stretch-fan-tony-band.JPG

I asked him to guest blog by scribbling a few lines down about his experience. I forgot that he was camping in the woods with limited office supplies. But Tony came through, writing his blog on cardboard from a Budweiser case (typed text below picture):

adam-ezra-tony-testimonial.JPG

“Getting the opportunity to come to ROTHBURY to see my favorite indie band has been a beautiful experience. The atmosphere, people, and music far exceeded my initial expectations.

A big shout out to The Stretch, OurStage, and ROTHBURY for making this an amazing Fourth of July weekend!

-Tony Burns”

Congrats Tony! Stay in touch,

-Q

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

OurStage @ ROTHBURY: Dave Matthews Band

The biggest, most well-attended show at ROTHBURY was certainly the Dave Matthews Band set.

img_0696.JPG

Festival planners made sure that nothing else was going on for this one and everyone showed up. I realized I wasn’t going to be able to capture the hugeness of the event with my little digital camera…although I tried:

img_0713.JPG

dmb-scream.JPG

Luckily for me, I befriended a guy named Justin Calkins who walked past me with a gigantic camera. Turns out he’s a great photographer and even better guy. After an exchange of business cards, he sent these MUCH better pictures to me at 4am (a couple hours ago).

dmb-1.jpg

dmb-2.jpg

Justin assures me there’s more coming once he’s had a chance to edit them. Stay tuned. My god, it’s almost 6am.

Off to bed.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

OurStage @ ROTHBURY: Snoop gets hippie love

snoop-1.jpg

With Jam bands dominating the bill, my biggest question entering the ROTHBURY music festival was how outliers like Modest Mouse and Of Montreal would be received by the tens of thousands of fans.

But the biggest question mark clearly belonged to Snoop Dogg.

Remember, this is a festival built around the concept of sustainable energy and social responsibility. And Snoop is the same guy who proudly hawked Girls Gone Wild and said he’d “never hesitate to put a N***a on his back.”

Of course, I had nothing to worry about. As Snoop slowly pedaled his way on stage on a chrome, low-riding tricycle, he knew exactly how he was going to connect with this audience.

“Anybody here smokin’ some weed?” he shouted to deafening applause. They belonged to him.

www.ourstage.com

Even he seemed surprised by the crowd’s enthusiasm. “You guys are havin’ too much fuckin’ fun.”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • email

OurStage @ ROTHBURY: Kickin’ things off with The Wailers

wailers_quinn.jpg

Happy Fourth of July everyone! As you can see, it didn’t take long for me to make friends at ROTHBURY. After a continually delayed flight and a four hour drive, it was nice to arrive to the soothing sound of the Wailers.

wailers.jpg

This is lead singer Elan belting out his rendition of “Stir It Up” (startlingly similar to Bob Marley’s vocal timbre).

Snoop Dogg is up next. I’m off to get pics! Stay tuned…

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • email

Folk Rockers Fancy Trash Open for DeVotchKa

With raw, driving acoustic force, Fancy Trash serves as further evidence that Northampton, MA is a thriving hotbed of indie talent. After landing in the top 20 on the Acoustic charts for March, they established themselves as an OurStage band to watch. Gypsy/Folk/Indie Rockers DeVotchKa took notice and invited them to join them on four dates on their recent East Coast tour. I caught up with them at the final gig in NYC at Terminal 5:

www.ourstage.com

A few notes:

1) Dave and Josh are two of the nicest, most humble guys I’ve come across in the past couple years covering OurStage bands. After awhile I had to tell them to stop thanking me, OurStage, and the fans. I reminded them that they EARNED this opportunity. It was very cool to see them play to a big audience at Terminal 5.

2) They’re also friends with fellow OurStage great Matt Hebert, who many of you may know better as Haunt. After he won an appearance at Paste Party last year, he told the guys from Fancy Trash to check out OurStage. Clearly, it all worked out!

3) It’s also worth pointing out that Fancy Trash were our east coast representatives on the DeVotchKa tour. But we also had two other artists open for DeVotchKa in the Midwest. Make sure to check them out:

Chicago singer/songwriter (and much decorated OurStage artist) Alain De Courtenay (accompanied by violinist TJ Callanta) opened for DeVotchKa in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Indianapolis.

Alain De Courtenay

And Wisconsin native Cedarwell opened the show in Madison.

Cedarwell

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Reddit

 


Exclusive Interviews
Featured Artists
OurStage Updates
News
Features
Reviews and Playlists
Editors Pick

 

 




 

iAnEAqqqq