First Avenue, Majestic, and Etix present SXSW 2013 DAY PARTY
Also presented by MailChimp, 89.3 The Current, Gimme Noise, WORT FM, Jonk Music, and Crispin
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Field Report is the creation of Chris Porterfield, who cut his musical teeth with Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and the members of Megafaun in the now-legendary band DeYarmond Edison. After their breakup in 2006, Bon Iver and Megafaun went on to success while Chris hung back in Wisconsin, thinking his career in music was over. It was really just beginning. For the first time in his life, he began writing his own songs, which he spent the following five years carefully divining, killing off, revising, and honing. In December 2011, the record was created at Vernon's studio in Fall Creek, WI.
Porterfield explains, “We began to feel like it was time to make a record in the fall of 2011. Around that time, Bon Iver was touring, and came through Milwaukee. I was talking with Justin, and he said that he had heard through the grapevine that I finally had found the right people to play with. He invited us to use his space. We were particularly interested in recording at his studio (April Base) because of the large live room. We wanted to capture the sound of a band in a moment. We specifically brought Beau [Sorenson] in for this reason, and for his love of later Talk Talk.”
The result is a haunting set of songs that’s crafty, lyrical, and poignant. After sending a few unfinished tracks to select people, the response was immediate and impactful: producer Paul Kolderie (Radiohead, Warren Zevon, The Pixies, Uncle Tupelo) fell in love with them and offered to mix the record, which he did in February 2012. The songs were also met with acclaim from many SXSW presenters, resulting in invitations to play at several high-profile showcases. This momentum continued into the spring, as Rolling Stone’s feature on the band championed them as “poised to break out in 2012.” Much of Porterfield’s early praise has focused on his poetic prowess: admired Pitchfork, “[Porterfield] lifts parables and history lessons wholesale to apply them to his own conflicts.” SPIN loved the band’s “quiet, Will Oldham-like fire,” while the San Francisco Bay-Guardian noted that Porterfield’s “retrospection and emotionality…will make you want to melt into his world.” Aquarian Drunkard was awed by the “honey and gravel vocals,” while NYLON deemed the music “pure stripped-down gorgeousness.”
Field Report is:
- Christopher Porterfield (Guitar, Vocals)
- Ben Lester (Pedal Steel)
- Damian Strigens (Drums)
- Jeff Mitchell (Guitar)
- Nick Berg (Piano, Keyboards, Synths)
- Travis Whitty (Bass)
From its first track, Dessa’s new full-length Parts of Speech (out June 25, 2013) announces itself as something different. The Doomtree veteran and inveterate wordsmith — having proved her mettle in the fields of creative non-fiction, spoken-word and hip-hop — jettisons all genre expectations on “The Man I Knew” and croons a heartbreaking lament to a disintegrating relationship at an explosively-building clip. From this moment on Dessa — oft–described as “Mos Def plus Dorothy Parker” for the wit and flow shown off on previous solo albums A Badly Broken Code and Castor, The Twin — proves she has truly coalesced as an artist, transcending the restrictions of genre to reveal an astonishing multi-platform voice.
Parts of Speech owes much of its impact to its diverse production. Dessa got her start as a member of Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree — eventually going on to help manage the group’s business affairs as they launched their own label — and members Lazerbeak and Paper Tiger lend their production to several tracks. The players in Dessa’s live ensemble all contributed to the record, as did several top-flight Minneapolis musicians working in rock, folk, and opera.
Dessa, born and raised in Minneapolis after her parents met at a Duluth music store, was valedictorian of her high school, eventually skipping a year of college and graduating with honors before she could legally drink. Armed with a philosophy degree, the intrepid Midwesterner spent her nights as a waitress and days writing reference manuals used by doctors in the implantation of pacemakers. “Language and verbal communication were important in my family. If I could argue my way into a later curfew, that argument was entertained. My parents may have regretted that policy later but it was a great motivator to help me develop a facility with words.”
Parts of Speech could be made by no one but Dessa, but in its evolution and awareness it is the perfect culmination of the journey started with 2010’s A Badly Broken Code. Middle album Castor, The Twin was in many ways a blueprint for Speech. The earlier albums were praised widely for their focus and depth, but Speech shows a fantastic breadth. By uniting a wealth of different tones and narratives under Dessa’s unmistakable poeticism, Parts of Speech greatly resembles Sherwood Anderson’s modernist fiction classic Winesburg, Ohio. Dessa creates a new world, populating it with complex characters, beautiful sonic landscapes and refreshing, assertive production. An album that can boom out of a car window after its summer release, or soundtrack a November night in, Parts of Speech marks a highpoint in Dessa’s career and demonstrates the crossover power of the rising star’s burgeoning arsenal.
So the Portuguese have this saying: saudade, a single word that summarizes an entire state of being, a lingering sense of longing for lost love and sepia-toned snapshots of yesterday. The way Solid Gold sees it, saudade might as well be the subtitle of their second album: Eat Your Young, a slow-burning set of skittish synths, glassy beats, ripple effect riffs, and melancholic melodies that leave you wondering what left a trail of scar tissue deep within the group’s core trio (frontman Zack Coulter and multi-instrumentalists Matthew Locher and Adam Hurlburt).
Eat Your Young creeps across your speakers like a quiet storm, ebbing and flowing at every turn, from the exorcised demons of “The Pendulum” to the bookending outbursts of “Shock Notice” and “In the Hollows.” All of which sounds incredibly confident despite the record’s shades of darkness. That’s because Solid Gold spent years developing their musical and lyrical concepts, beginning with their smoky club formation at the University of Wisconsin—Locher and Coulter were in the same architecture class—and becoming much more of a serious pursuit once the group moved to Minneapolis and tracked their 2008 debut, Bodies of Water.
“Our instrumentation ranges from crude to classic,” adds Locher. “All of us operate within those parameters. The best way to describe our songwriting process is ‘atomic’—electrons trying to rip themselves from a nucleus to recombine into new forms.” Maybe that’s why Eat Your Young brings to mind everything from the gleaming skyscrapers of Blade Runner to the dimly lit streets of a midnight drive. Or as Locher puts it, alluding to the band’s push and pull dynamics, “Dystopian futures, wrought with oppression and rich with struggle, just seem to fit our sound best.”
Count This Penny is from Madison, Wisconsin by way of East Tennessee and East Texas. They write shiny, bluegrass-tinged folk songs born of doggedly traveling to and from the hills of home. Since their first show at the Down Home's Open Hoot in 2009, CTP has appeared on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television's 30-Minute Music Hour, and WDVX's Blue Plate Special in Knoxville, Tennessee. Following their national radio debut in March, their EP hit the #6 spot on the iTunes singer-songwriter chart. The band's October 2012 release, Pitchman, was the final record produced at Madison's legendary Smart Studios, and features some of the band's favorite hometown musicians. After a whirlwind year of writing, recording, hitting the road, and supporting the likes of Joe Pug, Sarah Jarosz, and Kelly Hogan, they'll ring in 2013 with headlining shows around Wisconsin.
The 4onthefloor’s new album, Spirit Of Minneapolis, evokes the spirit of American rebellion. That same pioneering spirit that brought us everything from modern aviation to rock & roll. Harnessing that spirit, the band is using it to break down modern music’s barriers down to our basic musical traditions. That ageless sound of rock & roll isn’t what it used to be, but the rumble of stomping feet emanating from Minneapolis is an omen of great things on the horizon.
The 4/4 beating of the bass drums recalls the American ideal of onward and upward, turning our prevailing spirits to the sky after a reaching the end of the land. The 4-barreled onslaught can be a train building up steam right behind you, the king of the jungle chasing you down, or your wheels on the highway. It’s the soundtrack of America moving forward. Delta blues, classic rock, and a lifetime of attentive listening have produced a sound whose time has come. The energetic and powerful delivery of this band cannot be overstated. Their huge, soulful anthems leave nothing on the floor as Gabriel Douglas’ guttural howl soars through the ether. There’s a readiness to be found in listeners now. The fervor of discovery and innovation is coming back to the American masses and the excitement surrounding the birth of rock & roll is now roaring out of the doldrums with a fury. Let go. Take flight. Indulge in life’s pleasures and stomp with them.
When it comes to unpredictable, self-deprecating, beer-swigging, working class punk rock, you don’t have to look much further than Off With Their Heads. Whether they’re playing to a crowd of twelve at a dingy sh*thole in Iowa or in front of thousands on tour with bands like Against Me, one thing is always certain, OWTH deliver honest rip-roaring punk rock in it’s true form time and time again. And as the band readies the release of their second full length album, In Desolation, OWTH soldiers on in their busted up RV, playing to those who’ll listen and self-loathing every minute of it.
Formed in 2002, Off With Their Heads went through a slew of musicians before finally cementing the lineup with Ryan Young on vocals/guitar, Justin Francis on drums, Zack Gontard on guitar and Robbie Swartwood on bass. Since their inception, the band has released an impressive catalog of music including seventeen 7”’s, one LP and a few comps, and has toured relentlessly in US, Europe, Canada and Japan for the past five years with bands like Against Me, Youth Brigade, The Bouncing Souls and Municipal Waste to name a few.
It was during Off With Their Heads’ 2009 tour with Against Me when the band got the call from Epitaph’s owner/president Brett Gurewitz saying that he was a fan of the band. “Off With Their Heads might be the best punk band going right now, Epitaph needs them; music needs them,” says Gurewitz.
“I remember the first time I'd heard of Epitaph,” Young adds. “It was when I was in junior high and Rancid had just released Let’s Go. I saw the video, and immediately went and bought the record. I got into the compilations, and that started me on the road to finding all these great aggressive catchy punk bands. Living in a small farm town, I had never been exposed to this kind of music before, and from there I learned about punk. I guess you could say Epitaph was my gateway into everything that I would wind up becoming. For that reason alone, I am ecstatic to be a part of one of the biggest influences on my life.” Off With Their Heads are well on their way to carving out their own punk rock story with their modern take on vintage punk fueled anthems. As the band begins the next chapter of their career they took the time to record their best album to date.
It has been an exciting and exhilarating year for hip-hop and spoken word artist F.Stokes. Theunique and ubiquitous MC released a new EP Love, Always., which features the hit single “My Simple.” He has toured the United States and Europe. He’s performed with Erykah Badu, Matt And Kim, Rev Run, Doomtree, Ledisi, Talib Kweli, MC Hammer and Slick Rick. This summer he will be performing with NAS, Black Star, DMX, Redman and Big Daddy Kane. F.Stokes isfeatured on UK band Bastille’s (Virgin/EMI) mixtape Other People’s Heartache and is currently recording a new project in the UK with Dan Smith (Bastille) and producer Mark Crew. This summer he will be performing at the Essence Music Festival, the Metropolis Festival in the Netherlands and the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Born on the south side of Chicago to a single mother household. At the age of 12, he and his family moved to Madison, WI – the city he grew to love and consider his hometown. In Madison, he lived in a one-room shelter with his mother and five siblings. Through his childhood and teenage years, F. began to create music, which would eventually become his ticket out of Madison and to the rest of the world. His poetry and music evolved simultaneously and became his escape, his place of solace. Of his music, Stokes says, “From the moment I was old enough to write it became my best friend.” At 19, F.Stokes made the move to New York with $30 in his pocket to pursue his dream and continue creating. He did anything he could to stay afloat in New York – worked as a bathroom attendant, waiter, busboy, dish washer, food runner, bar back, and doorman. Reflecting on his past and present, he continues to write. The negative (his father’s life prison sentence, childhood poverty, drug sales, guns) and the positive (the strong bond with his mother, his belief that we all have the ability to save someone’s life, and his motto “aspire to inspire”) fuel his art.
Today, F.Stokes is bringing his blend of hip-hop and poetry across the globe. His stage presence is simply captivating; attracting and engaging crowds of all demographics and backgrounds, by mixing provocatively cutting edge lyrics, with superb stage-presence and engaging his audience.Internationally, F. has make stops in France, England, Amsterdam, Berlin, Austria, Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland and Australia. In the United States F.Stokes has played venues such as Club Nokia (LA), Chene Park (MI), Bowery Ballroom (NYC), Gramercy Theatre (NYC), Union Transfer (Philadelphia, PA), The Middle East (Boston, MA) and packs The Majestic Theater in his hometown Madison, WI. He feels truly blessed to have made a stop in nearly every state. Stokes lets his experiences shape him, but they do not define him. He uses these experiences to create his art, to reach out to others, to grow. He possesses unparalleled passion and drive to keep pursuing his art. F.Stokes has a long list of musical influences ranging from Patti Smith to Kanye West, but none of these influences shape his music as much as his own life’s journey.
Masked Intruder is a four-piece pop punk band. Their label describes them as Descendents meets Jersey Boys; but what’s that supposed to mean, smart guy? We would probably include these influences as well: Bonnie and Clyde, Weezer, Leslie Gore, the Hamburglar, Buddy Holly, Ramones, etc. We got four masked men: Blue (self-described “hopeless romantic” and probably the brains behind the operation), Red (said to be a “loose cannon”, plays drums, the wheelman), Yellow (the “heart breaker” that plays bass, so you know he’s a goon), and Green (renowned “wild man” and extra nasty due to a short guy complex). Their identities are largely unknown, but the Feds claim to have quite a file on this quartet.
Judging by their accents, we think they’re from Atlantic City or maybe Queens, but nobody knows the true origin and hometown of Masked Intruder. It’s rumored that they’ve done time in Sing Sing, Joliet, Attica, and maybe even Gitmo. Yikes! You would think, like any self-respecting group of bandits, that they would have a hideout of some sort, and we’ve got reliable intel that puts them in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Allegedly. Or maybe their whereabouts are so murky because they’re part of the FBI’s Witness Protection Program? I dunno, it’s weird, and best not to ask too many questions. We think they may be on the lam, but we’ll give ‘em the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re on parole. Ummm, have we mentioned that they have color-coordinated guitars? Well, they do. I mean, “allegedly”.
There he was, this musically lucked child of a once-priest and a near-nun, 12 years old and piled high with a Radio Shack combo stereo, stacks of records, and pockets full of dubbed tapes. It was 1984 and Martin Dosh was orchestrating the soundtracks to his junior high school dances, playing only the choice cuts for the budding romantics and perspiring wallflowers: Run DMC, Prince, Devo, the Cars, New Order... At age 3, Marty had started harassing his folks to bone up for piano lessons (after three years of persistence, they gave in); that he'd developed considerable musical taste before hitting puberty should come as no real surprise.
Call him a one-man band, a virtuoso, a gifted collaborator or a family man, Martin, Marty, Dosh or Dad, our subject has gotten to now by what seems an uncanny path (perhaps call it fate). When they met, Dosh's father was a Catholic priest with pile of degrees, and his mother was living in a convent in Minneapolis preparing herself for nunhood. They left the fold for marriage; subsequently the elder Dosh found himself blacklisted from local employment, and so they left Minnesota as well. Martin was born in the greater Los Angeles area, but at age 2, his health problems and the city's endless sprawl delivered the family back into the musically nurturing arms of the Twin Cities.
Returning to the Midwest, Martin was enrolled in a Montessori school (and piano lessons). By comparison high school was, "academically, horseshit" so Dosh seized his destiny at 16 and moved east to study jazz and drums at Simon's Rock College of Bard in Massachusetts. What followed was a flurry of summer jobs, road trips to see the Grateful Dead, van living around various college outposts in Mass and NY, Zappa-esque noodling in his band Como Zoo, further schooling, the requisite amount of pot, and a little too much partying. But Dosh wanted more for his music and less for his student debt, so he swallowed his pride and returned (at 25) to his parents' in Minneapolis. He figured the move would be temporary -- he'd save up money and practice drums until he became a self-sustaining virtuoso --but Dosh was going to shows every night and meeting more and more people in the local music-rich scene (a collision of avant jazz, freewheeling rock and progressive hip-hop), quickly realizing that what he needed had been there all along. And throughout his dedicated solo drum-and-keyboard sessions in mom and dad's basement, he'd record, record, record, accumulating a massive library of sound. Soon he'd be a touring member of Andrew Broder's Fog, and full-time player in their instrumental counterpart Lateduster.
In 2003 Anticon proudly released Dosh's virtuoso debut, Dosh, a loop-building collage of shimmering Rhodes, atypical drumming grounded in groove, field recordings and spontaneous performance (much of the album was pieced together using the 100-plus hours of tape he'd recorded at his parents'). By then he'd developed his untouchable live one-man show (swiveling on his drum stool between a kit, his modified Rhodes piano, a few pots and pans, and a simple looping pedal with a 12-second recording limit), and took to the road. Back in Minneapolis, the city he'd finally recognized as home, Dosh had been teaching drum lessons to children and falling in love on the side. He formed a family with his wife Erin (who he'd wooed by handing her a copy a song called "I Think I'm Getting Married") and her 6-year-old son Tadhg. Soon he'd be composing a track titled "Building a Strange Child," and so they would. Dosh's second full-length, Pure Trash was inspired by his life's most pleasant turns, and though the album was instrumental (minus cameos by Erin, Tadhg, the newborn Naoise, and his students), it emoted all the warmth and anticipation, fear and relief that comes with building a family. Dosh's third album, The Lost Take, showcases the man's unique approach to sound with an expanded musicality and growing guest-list including Andrew Bird and members of Tapes 'N Tapes.
His Fourth record, Wolves And Wishes, adds to the ever-impressing oeuvre with the explorative wonderment of a debut album. To date Dosh has recorded with Bonnie 'Prince' Billie, Fog, Jel, Odd Nosdam, Neotropic, Andrew Bird, Redstart, Vicious Vicious, Poor Line Condition, Lateduster, Why?, the Interferents, members of Tapes 'N Tapes, and just about any Twin Cities band with a collective ear for good taste and experimentation. He has shared the stage with Andrew Bird, Wilco, Why?, Damo Suzuki, Gary Wilson, Golden Smog, Sole, My Morning Jacket, Tapes 'n Tapes, cLOUDDEAD, Sage Francis, Devendra Banhart, Kid Dakota, Alias, Themselves, Peanut Butter Wolf, P.O.S., Happy Apple, Joseph Arthur, Pizza Boys, the Bad Plus, The Jayhawks, Atmosphere, DJ Vadim and many more.
Take a pinch of mountain gypsy, a dash of psych-folk and a combine it with an ocean of split-open-and-melt lyricism, intricately delivered by one of the most unique voices in music, and you have Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles. Since bursting onto the Twin Cities music scene in 2008, the fiery sextet have blossomed into one of the most celebrated and cherished young talents to emerge from Minnesota in recent history.
Lucy Michelle and The Velvet Lapelles’ incredibly polished, yet wholly organic, sound can be directly attributed to an interweaving familial-like chemistry that has created an airtight bond among the six players. The band formed in 2007 as a result of casual jam sessions that were led by Lucy with friends Geoff Freeman (drums), Ashley Boman (accordion, bells) and Jesse Schuster (bass), at Lucy and Geoff’s University of Minnesota college flop house in NE Minneapolis. Loosely arranged social gatherings, where music was played, eventually turned into full-blown band practices and writing sessions with the additions of Eamonn Mclain (cello) and Chris Graham (guitar).
Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles have performed to sold-out audiences at legendary venues like First Avenue, Cedar Cultural Center and the Fitzgerald Theatre. Having the Twin Cities official stamp of approval firmly in hand, Lucy Michelle and company have toured the United States from coast-to-coast, performing alongside the likes of Thao & Mirah, Titus Andronicus, The Head and the Heart and Trampled by Turtles. Riding the ever-swelling wave of creative energy and recent success, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles have released their fourth full length release, Heat, recorded at Vacation Island Recording Studios in Brooklyn with acclaimed producer/engineer Matt Boynton (MGMT, Beirut, Bat for Lashes). The new record is comprised of all original material written predominantly by Lucy Michelle during the bone-chilling Minnesota winter of 2010/2011. Many of the songs center around the feeling of being trapped and isolated while yearning to be somewhere else; physically or psychologically. Heat showcases the artistic growth and sonic evolution of the band’s sound which translates into a magnificent record laced with scorching lyricism, hauntingly beautiful melodies and gorgeous harmonies that create an expansive, yet highly focused and cohesive body of work.
Madison, Wisconsin’s Brandon Beebe has waited a long time for his debut album, In This Place, to come to fruition. Luckily, the wait was worth it. The self-produced, self-financed collection is meticulously crafted, and the blood, sweat and tears that went into its creation can be both heard and felt. Lyrically, it is often raw and direct, while at other times it is allusive and poetic.
Beebe’s rich vocals are delivered with both confidence and vulnerability, reminiscent of Cat Stevens, Elliot Smith, Ben Harper, and Ray Lamontagne, but at once all his own. Sonically, its textures range broadly: from acoustic guitars surrounded by cello and violins, to swelling tones from electric guitars and keyboards, to haunting, layered harmonies to afro-funk beats with Brazilian percussion. Songs like “Ghost” provide the perfect soundtrack for a cold winter’s evening, while “She’s the Moon” recalls summer’s sweat and excitement. The album’s diverse stylistic range and depth make it apparent that In This Place is no ordinary singer-songwriter album, and Beebe is no ordinary performer.