One of the things that I love about new music is when you find something that comes out of nowhere and truly captivates you. Not because someone told you it was great or it’s something all the cool kids are listening to, but rather because it spoke to you in a time and circumstance. These are the albums and artists that endure.
So when my girlfriend and I headed to Kansas City, we made sure to have some fresh tunes loaded for the 7 hour haul. Blind Pilot had recently popped up on her Pandora and taking note of it, she bought the album and and said “hey, check out this band Blind Pilot.” She proceeded to press play as we merged on to I-35 and I think we listened to their album 3 Rounds and a Sound 4 times through before we changed our soundtrack. Though we revisited Blind Pilot again and again throughout the trip and on the way back.
The album came out in 2008, which this kind of ‘retro-active discovery’ always makes me wonder what the hell I was listening to at the time and why it took 5 years to come across this band. They have a new album, We are the Tide, which was released in 2011, which again begs the question, where have I been? I guess this is the ultimate beauty and tragedy of ‘music discovery.’ It takes years to percolate and you know there’s more out there that you’re missing.
Anyway, Blind Pilot crafts vibrant folk/pop (I’m not exactly sure what the term means, but it’s the best I could attach to it) that’s oddly moody and uplifting at the same time. The songs are meant for staring out windows and deep contemplation, but you find your spirit lifted, not depressed after each listen. My personal favorite is “One Red Thread,” but you can’t go wrong with this great band.
So as the day slowly ticks on and the 3rd cup of coffee is poured, do yourself a favor and take Sunday morning easy with multiple listens of Blind Pilot’s 3 Rounds and a Sound!
Sunday Morning Over Easy~New music & Other gems to sip coffee to…
I recently got back from my first SXSW in the great city of Austin, TX. The event is pure musical gluttony with seemingly every band in the world coming to town to play anywhere that can possibly fit musicians. I wasn’t there representing team Vandalay, but rather was there for work… ”Work.” After the first few hours of wandering the streets from bar to bar and room to room I began to wonder how anyone could possibly bubble up over the stew of musicians who descend on Austin. So when I did actually hear someone slip through the cracks in the wall of sound, it makes the whole experience worth it.
I was hanging out at a coffee shop called Flipnotics and just happened to catch a singer/songwriter named John Craigie who stopped me in my tracks. His songs are honest, down to Earth, humorous, yet not depressing. He doesn’t whine or mumble into the mic (a trend that seems to be strangely popular these days) but truly performs his songs with an easy rapport with the audience that draws you in.
I gave John some gas money in exchange for his lovely CD October is the Kindest Month and fell in love with it at first strum. It’s been living in my player for 3 weeks and will continue to dwell there for the next 6 months. Start to finish, it’s a pure gem. You’ll make your life better by getting this CD.
So, the Art Vandalay Sunday Morning Over Easy (it was morning when I started this post) recommendation is John Craigie, October is the Kindest Month. Sip your coffee and enjoy!
We recently played a gig at The Aster Cafe, one of my favorite venues in town to both hear music and to play. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout of fine folks who came out to see both us and good friend/musician Jaspar Lepak. Adding to the shear pleasure of this gig was the debut of the “Chicago Typewriter.” The name comes from what mobsters used to call the Tommy-gun, but this version is a non-violent, smooth Tremolo pedal handcrafted in Cincinnati, OH by El Rey Effects.
I decided to go electric with this gig because… well, I felt like it and the last time my Tele had an outing, it was a less than successful performance. Let’s just say it was a character building/learning experience in on-stage sound.
Lugging my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp into The Aster I was bound and determined to focus on a less-is more mentality when it came to volume and crunch. It’s pretty easy to strap on an electric, turn up the distortion and live out your fantasies as rock deity! A little wiser, I held back, careful to sculpt the sound so it fit OUR laid-back Americana/folk style. Added with some tasty tremolo (only on songs that surf waves helped… again less is more) I think we put on one of our best shows in a while. With an audience that may have seen and heard you on a numerous occasions, it’s important to make sure you’re spicing up the usual audio dishes. I think we served up a tasty menu!
Looking forward to another show and hopefully a return to Minneapolis’ finest music venue!