Seriously what happened to November? You blink and boom, poof… gone. Any way as we draw closer to the holiday season I start to think about home and getting homesick. I’m going to head home to the Boston area soon and before I do I always try and find some great local music to see while I’m there. I stumbled upon Willy Mason’s new EP this morning called “Don’t Stop Now” which will be released early next year. In the mean time he has released a video for the song “I Got Gold”. For those who are unfamiliar with Willy and his music he was born in New York and then transplanted to Martha’s Vineyard.
After being discovered and signed by Conor Oberst he has toured and played with some serious heavy hitters from Mumford and Sons to Radiohead. When I was at school in Boston he put out a record called “If The Ocean Gets Rough.” It’s one of my favorite albums of all time and after hearing “I Got Gold” for the first time I can’t wait to hear the rest of the EP and see Willy on tour this winter. Here are the tour dates, “I Got Gold” and my favorite track from “If The Ocean Gets Rough”… just because I want to hear it again.
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What’s up party people. I went to Austin City Limits this past weekend for work and here’s my story.
Thursday I flew into Austin, TX, landed and went straight to Franklin’s BBQ which was already sold out of the days food. Sadly I sauntered back to my hotel and slept. The festival grounds span the river side of Zilker Park across from downtown Austin. The festival boasts 130 acts, 8 stages, 3 days. The grass was green and the sun was out. I stayed behind my group as we left after testing for a minute to hear the Black Keys sound check for their headlining Friday set. Having been to many of the countries biggest music festivals this one is really special. After all Austin is the self proclaimed live music capitol of the USA.
As I said before I came to Austin to work, which limits the amount of bands to see, but I think I covered the big stuff.. Nursing a miserable hangover I taxied over to the grounds. Music had begun and LA locals He’s My Brother She’s My Sister was on the Barton Springs stage bringing their circus folk rock to a big crowd for a early band. Over the course of the day I was lucky to check out a couple acts and songs here and there. Standouts for me were Esperanza Spaulding who I have mentioned on this site before and Tegan and Sarah who I had missed when they opened for The Black Keys a week or so ago in LA. Using my All Access badge I tried my hardest to get close for The Alabama Shakes, but unlike Coachella there is no VIP viewing area, only free booze. I know, you feel real bad for me. I got up close to take this picture before getting booted. They are elusive for me and i need to see their full show soon or I’m going to lose it. We even stayed at the same hotel and despite my best drunken efforts they wouldn’t play “Hold On” for me at 3 am in the hotel lobby.
Saturday was a different day. Heavy rain clouds pretty much drained my “lets go stand in a massive smelly crowd for hours” I held back and watched most of the bands from the comfort of my production truck. I know that sounds insane to most people who would kill to be there, but between torrential downpours the mud it got a little unpleasant. Standouts for me however were Caveman, The Whigs, and Band of Skulls who started their set and had to stop due to rain. They came back out with limited time to play so they ripped through their biggest songs leaving the crowd wanting more. They are currently opening for the Chili Peppers (more on them later) and will be touring with Muse next year. Band of Skull is already big in my book, but those two acts alone will propel them to the next level of their career. As the day closed I stood in the far back just in time to hear the legendary Neil Young sing “Needle and The Damage Done”. It was an amazing way to finish off a crazy and hectic day. While walking to the shuttle Jack White was playing “We’re going to be Friends”. Having seen the most epic show from him in LA I resisted turning around to enjoy the rest of his set. Needed to get a nap in before hitting 6th street for some more amazing music.
Sunday. It was supposed to rain, hard. Sun was out and there was an excitement about Sunday you don’t commonly see at a festival. Usually people are really sleepy or drugged out and everyone takes it easy, but starting at 11:30 people were out in droves. Alt-J was on the Barton stage and the day was off and running. I made my way to the AMD stage to catch Gary Clark Jr. Please do yourself a favor and go see him. His bluesy guitar riffs were a great way to start my day. He’s playing 3 nights in November at the Troubadour and they are all really sold out so if anyone has an extra throw it my way.
After Gary Clark I sat in a tee pee and attempted to start drinking again only to try and calm my hangover from Saturday night. We made our way over to see the Lumineers who are “new” to the scene. Having played LA a lot the Colorado based group out drew the Austin Ventures Stage by about 3,000 people. It’s ridiculous what one hit song can do for a band and the good thing is they have a amazing record to back it up. The crowd was into it but i think the band enjoyed the show a lot more. After a few songs we made our way over to AMD stage again for my most anticipated set of the weekend, The Avett Brothers. I had never seen them before and they were top three bands to see for me.
We waited 45 minutes for them to take the stage, which was by far the longest I have waited for a band in a long time. Over the course of their hour and fifteen minute set they killed it. Do yourself a favor and listen to their entire catalog and become as obsessed as I am. You won’t be disappointed. They closed the show with “I and Love and You” with those lyrics sung back to the band by the crowd ending the show. It was incredible and it was easily the best set I saw the entire weekend. After the Avetts the weekend was drawing to a close and The Red Hot Chili Peppers were about to take the stage to close the Festival. One of my clients, know I’m a massive Chili Pepper’s fan gave me his crew credential so i could STAND ON THE FRIGGIN STAGE.
I crept up using my badge to get through the maze of headlining security and stood within 15 feet of Flea. As a bass player I pretty much lost it. Highlight of the entire weekend was getting to hear what they hear as a crowd of 70,000 people sing the lyrics of “Under The Bridge” at the top of their lungs back to them. What a way to close out a fest with a hits and classics packed set.
Leaving Austin I though of two things. Austin is a special place for music so If you have never been there you should make the trip. The people don’t really give a crap what you do for a living. Most are more interested in how your day is going or if you are enjoying your stay or not. The food was incredible as well. They are expanding Austin City Limits as they did for Coachella to two weekends next year so book your travel now. As for me? I’ll be back without my blackberry to make sure I get the fullest festival experience in one of the best music cities in the USA, what a blast.
** all clips are from the webcast I helped manage over the weekend… pretty cool huh?
I’m late posting this, but I saw that the new Mumford track hasn’t made it into our MWL world yet. The song is called “I Will Wait” and it is the first release from the upcoming and highly anticipated new album from Mumford and Son’s called “Babel”. Mumford and Sons could have easily been an “it” band for a moment and faded away into oblivion, but instead they are taking full advantage of their popularity doing things their own way and playing the shows/ music they want. I have seen Mumford and Sons three times now.
The first was at Lollapalooza which was a waste of time because I didn’t get to the stage 4 hours early. It was packed for a mid day afternoon set and I wasn’t as familiar as I am now with the music so I continued to drink bottles of wine and tall boys ’till I dropped.
The second time I saw them was part of a radio station show here in LA. Not a full set by any means, but actually being able to see the band and hear the hits was an absolute treat.
Now for the third time the band has been booking US dates in between their Gentlemen Of The Road Stopover festivals in select states. I got to see them at a beautiful golden theater in Providence, Rhode Island. Over the course of two hours with lights strung out all over the venue the band played pretty much every song I knew and then some. The “and then some” was the best part. It was a deep look into the new record and the standout song which was shortly released after is called “I Will Wait”. Played with the same vigor and vitality as “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man” The Mumfords exuded confidence in their new music and in my opinion solidified their place as a must see live band for years to come. Do yourself a favor and go see them and literally pay whatever they ask. Closing the show with a awesome cover of Paul Simon’s “The Boxer” and completely destroying the place with a pitch perfect version of my favorite song “The Cave”, I think we are about to enter the year of Mumford and Sons. Here is the promo video for “I Will Wait”. The new record comes out in September and for lack of a better ending to this blog, I will wait.
What’s up music fans. I just got an e-mail from none other than Vacationer themselves with a new video for their tune called ‘Trip’. It’s by far my favorite song on the “Gone” EP they recently released. They recently played a private show at the Roxy in LA and it was sponsored by Belvedere Vodka so I don’t really have an accurate, well spoken, thoughtout review, but I can say that the music and the party was awesome and I had an absolute blast (that was an unintentional vodka pun… I’m a drunk). I haven’t seen a band win over a mixed crowd like that in a while. Looks like Vacationer will be back in LA in the fall supporting Bombay Bicycle Club so we should probably go see them together, yea? Check out my recent article about the “Gone” EP HERE and check out their cross country tour dates HERE.
Who’s ready for some sappy love songs? No one? Good. The Lumineers have released their first self titled offering featuring the runaway hit “Ho Hey”. I lied a little about the sappy love songs. There are lots of love songs on this record, however none of them are sappy. Let’s get “Ho Hey” out of the way and dive into the rest of this awesome record before it gets to over played because as a whole this record might be one of my new favorites of the year.
The song is simple and great. I don’t care. Great lyrics. Catchy melody. It’s short and sweet. This is a great example of the rest of the record as well. The Lumineers have released a series of songs that not only are coherent as an album, but each song stands out on it’s own. My favorite song on the album is called “Classy Girl”. It’s pretty much the story of my life. Get drunk at the bar only to find the love of your life even though she won’t smooch you in public because your a slop and shes a, wait for it, classy girl. Yep, sounds about right.
Hailing from Denver, The Lumineers consist of Wesley Shultz who sings and plays guitar with Jeremiah Fraites on percussion as well as Neyla Pekarek who plays cello, mandolin, piano and sings. Initial Billboard success proves that a simple song is sometimes the best way to go. Throughout the record there are short sweet little love songs with limited instrumentation and the outstanding vocal arrangements. This album is easy to listen to. Songs like “Charlie Boy” and :Big Parade” are standouts for me as well.
The Lumineers are on an extensive world tour and they will be here in LA on October 2nd. Mark your calendars. The show goes on sale on August 3rd and it will sell out VERY FAST. To see if The Lumineers are going to be in your town soon (or country for that matter) CLICK HERE. I’m going to be front row to see them at Austin City Limits in October and if you try to stand in my way I will scream like a little girl and although it will be embarrassing I will get my way. I’m excited about this band. It’s a simple folk outfit gaining success in a world of synths, autotune and EDM and I like it. Here is the last track from The Lumineers self titled debut.
By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC
Jerry Douglas has been a staple in American folk music and country for decades having playing with Allison Krauss and Union Station as well as releasing thirteen solo albums and sitting in on at least 1,600 other recordings. His collaboration list hastily taken from Wikipedia (sry…) is basically the music hall of fame. I’ll name a couple and you’ll get the point: Ray Charles, Clapton, Dolly Parton, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello and Del McCourey. So yea you get the point. In his newest release called “Traveler” where he plays with most of the people mentioned above as well as relative new comers to the scene such as Mumford and Sons who joined Douglas and Paul Simon on the SImon and Garfunkle classic, The Boxer. This is one of my favorite songs of all time and I really hate it when the classics are re-worked. Since Simon had his hand in it I had to give it a listen, the man is a genius. It’s incredible. Young meets old in a sweet and touching rendition of one of the greatest American songs. Here is Jerry Douglas on dobro with Paul Simon and Mumford and Sons singing “The Boxer”.