Welcome to our first installment of ‘PLAYTIME!’ This has been an idea we’ve been toying around with for quite some time that we have finally launched. Let us explain to you what ‘Playtime!’ is. This will be a segment in which we film some of our favorite bands and artists. Think of it as a version of ‘Take Away Shows’ but on a playground in New York City. Bands will be performing stripped down performances of their songs as life goes on behind them. Sounds nice, huh? Expect a lot more these to come!
Up first is The Everyday Visuals!
Our first episode of Playtime! features Boston’s own, The Everyday Visuals. We took the band to the ABC Playground over the weekend where they performed two songs, ‘Heal Me’ and ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ off their new self titled record.
The Everyday Visuals Perform ‘Heal Me’
The Everyday Visuals Perform ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’
The Everyday Visuals also performed an amazing show at Piano’s that night. An acoustic set if you will. In any situation the band can perform beautifully. Singer/Guitarist Chris Pappas’ voice is haunting and sends chills down your spine even when performing the most upbeat of songs. You can tell he is a true songwriter and it just comes natural to him. The accompaniment and backing vocals of Joe Seiders, Kyle Fredrickson, and Eli Scheer complete the sound as they play like seasoned musicians with a great deal of soul to them.
See more photos from The Everyday Visuals at Piano’s after the JUMP
Just when we thought, or were promised really, that a new album by The Strokes was on the way, it was recently released that frontman Julian Casablancas is releasing a solo album of his own. I guess the big question here is, ‘What took so long?’ since nearly all of the other members have been working on other projects. With all of that aside, I have a feeling that this will possibly be the most popular of The Strokes’ side projects. The album will be titled ‘Phrazes For the Young’ and include songs such as ‘Brake Lights’ and ‘Ludlow’. It was produced by Jason Lader with additional work by Bright Eyes’ Mike Mogis (who oddly just produced the new Pete Yorn album. Guess he is settling in since Bright Eyes is only making one more record together before Conor goes solo for good). Casablancas will hit the road this year with a series of special show dates and then a mini solo tour to follow at the end of 2009. I’m going to take a longshot and say he will probably appear at CMJ. Will we finally get that new Strokes record this year? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. They said they were working on it. Sigh. Quite frankily, I just miss The Strokes.
Get a taste of Julian solo at www.juliancasablancas.com
In the past 24 hours, I have become completely obsessed with the Chicago five piece called The Bound Stems. A band that I have discovered on an itunes Podcast of all things. Its really easy to become increasingly interested in this band, which I hate to say, broke up last year after their second release ‘The Family Afloat.’ Sad to say the least, but the band played Lollapalooza, Daytrotter, and South by Southwest amongst other things. Disbanded or not, this is a band worth listening to. It reminds me a bit of Conor Oberst if he started writing really happy songs all the time.
Download the Bound Stems ‘Happens to Us All Otherwise’
Check out Bound Stems on their MYSPACE
This is something that is sure to please all diehard Bright Eyes and Oberst fans. …A Mystic Valley Band documentry. The film called ‘One of My Kind’ will debut online Monday, April 15th. The hour long film was recorded by their guitar tech, Paul Schaffart, during the past year and a half. Covering everything from live performances to backstage and touring antics, this film will surely have it all. Actually, I’m surprised Conor never made one sooner.
Watch the trailer for ‘One of My Kind’ HERE
Conor and the boys also recently added more dates to their tour:
04-09 Omaha, NE – The Slowdown
04-10 Denver, CO – Ogden Theater
04-11 Aspen, CO – Belly Up
04-12 El Paso, TX – Barnett Harley Davidson
04-13 Albuquerque, NM – The Sunshine Theater
04-14 Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
04-15 Pomona, CA – The Glasshouse
04-17 Indio, CA – Coachella
06-17 Colorado Springs, CO – Black Sheep
06-18 Telluride, CO – Telluride Bluegrass Festival
06-19 Moab, UT – Star Hall
06-20 Salt Lake City, UT – Library Square
06-21 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory
06-22 Missoula, MT – Wilma Theater
06-24 Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
06-25 Milwaukee, WI – Summer Fest
06-26 Omaha, NE – Anchor Inn
06-28 Kansas City, MO – Beaumont
06-29 Columbia, MO – Blue Note
06-30 Louisville, KY – Headliners Music Hall
07-01 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
07-02 Bearsville, NY – Bearsville Theater
07-03 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
Conor and the boys are back for a second time with their newest upcoming release Outer South due out next month on Merge. Yes, there has been a few complaints that the new Conor project isn’t really reflective of Bright Eyes, but who said it had to be? Oberst is more poetic and honest than ever…and not to mention there is a bit more ‘pep in his step’ if you will. The band just released a new single on their site titled ‘Slowly (Oh So Slowly)’ which continues with the spirit of their first record.
Listen to the stream of the new song at The Mystic Valley Band Website
On a Conor Oberst note, The Killers have just covered a version of Bright Eyes‘ Cassadega. Right now you can only view it on Youtube. Its a really interesting take on the song. It will appear on their Spaceman EP due out next month on Island.