As we try to survive these divided times, “Love Thine Enemy” from Cass McCombs’ 2011 release, Humor Risk, is a welcomed vibe compared to what exists outside our headphones. One that, whether intentionally or not, reminds us that no matter how much we’re surrounded my complete B.S. and hypocrisy, especially during this fierce and comical political battle, there is always “sincerity” and intention to balance things out.
Aside from annoying drum circles, drum-heavy songs and sounds, when done right, can take one to another place, back thousands of years to a time when the banging beats were first shot into our DNA. Chicago’s A Lull has the formula down, mixing up the skins sounds with lovely harmonies and understated instrumentation for a final affect that no doubt reigns on stage.
On November 1, 2011 the peeps over in Austin, the ones listening to thousands upon thousands of CDs from artists hopeful to play one or more SXSW Music 2012 Showcases, released the first batch of said confirmed artists set to perform starting Tuesday, March 13, and continuing through to Sunday, March 18.
For those that have been following the industrial, EBM genre for some time, VNV Nation hails with the other forefathers in one’s music collection, from KMFDM and Skinny Puppy, to Chemlab, 16 Volt, Apoptygma Berzerk, Nitzer Ebb, and others who have been on the Metropolis catalog at one point or another. Still going strong for the past 21 years, VNV returns in 2011 with Automatic (Anachron America) and a subsequent U.S. tour.
When we last featured Bear Hands it was in anticipation of the band’s appearance at the Underground Music Showcase (UMS) this past summer in July. The venue was packed as the four guys made their way through the crowd and up to the stage, where they more than made their presence known.
Most music tends to take the listener on an aural journey, sometimes to a lonely café as the rain floods the streets, or to another time, triggering memories from the past. Future Islands’ musical tapestries do indeed wrap one with a magical travel cloak, jetting from the open seas aboard a grand ship, to a dusty road, hitching a ride to the coast.
The vocal range of Cymbal Eat Guitars’ singer, Joseph D’Agostino, has always reached far and wide, pushing all cylinders to the limit (while earning him the moniker Ferocious) one second, and then flowing effortlessly to a subtle serenade the next. On the band’s 2011 album, Lenses Alien (Barsuk Records), this impressive style continues but with a refined sense from when Cymbals’ first debuted on Why We Are Mountains in 2009.
For years now, Frank Turner has garnered a bevy of beloved fans like a Pied Piper, rousing people to follow him from boisterous song to sing-along anthems that herald all the imperfections of the human condition, including his own, embracing instead of deflecting what makes us all annoying, inspiring, frustrating and beloved. Turner started his trek across these American lands in late September and arrives in Denver at the Marquis on Friday, October 7.