Gotta say, it’s pretty damn fun to shoot photos at a concert. Gives me something to do and keeps me engaged. Last night I caught Yo La Tengo at the 930 Club to try out my brand new Canon 7D camera. Here you can see Yo La Tengo try out their new special concert format in which they spin a wheel to determine what their first set will be. We got “Sounds of Science Part 1,” an ambient instrumental score to a film (sadly they didn’t screen that). The second set was full of the hits. Solid show.
After some mishaps with camera settings, eventually got some decent shots for a first go at it.
Really loving this video for “Tiny Head” by The Luyas:
I just really dig how simple and clean it is, but still manages to be artful. Based around the singer Jessie Stein, The Luyas are another Montreal-based band with ties to Arcade Fire — former multi-instrumentalist, Pietro Amato, and current violinist, Sarah Neufeld make up two of the band’s four members.
This band’s new album Too Beautiful To Work is coming out soon (Feb. 22) on Dead Oceans, a label that’s part of that Secretly Canadian\Jagjaguwar\Dead Oceans trifecta. Whenever I get something in the mail from one of these three imprint, I know there’s a very good chance I’m going to like whatever record is inside. And for this record, the band enlisted Owen Pallett to compose string arrangements.
Also be sure to listen to their fantastic cover of Radiohead’s “Motion Picture Soundtrack,” which employs low brass in a really excellent way. It’s also got some very solid electronic-inspired poly-rhythmic percussion which helps make this amazing song their own.
Braids is one of those bands that’s getting considerable buzz right now for 2011 and after hearing the opening track from their album Native Speaker, “Lemonade,” it’s easy to hear why. The band seems to have just the right mix of ethereal, often Bjork-like vocals, minimal repeated electronics ala Animal Collective and melodies that are in the indie rock wheel house. This record is quite good and will surely catch on with some people this year.
As a bonus, here’s another stellar song, “Lammicken,” which is just a tad more challenging but just as inventive and transfixing.
I sure love a well executed cover song. Case in point: Holly Miranda‘s haunting rendition of Sparklehorse’s “Hundreds Of Sparrows.” Miranda, a member of the Detroit band Jealous Girlfriends, has been playing the song recently in her solo set. But on New Year’s Day, the singer-songwriter gave away a lo-fi recording of the song for free on her site.
What makes this song work so well is how she so skillfully paired away the late Mark Linkous’ trademark production, down to a lone finger-picked guitar, vocal harmonies and the building flourishes of a glockenspiel. It’s easy to load up a song with too many layers, but Miranda shows a lot of restraint. It’s a perfect and loving tribute that finds the both beauty and sadness in Linkous’ words.