The Mid-Week Beat: Marco Collins Documentary, Bonnie Prince Billy, Cloud Cult, Shook Twins and more!Music >
I was perusing our music listings this week and was blown away by all the great shows we got coming up around the country this weekend. As a result, I thought it’d be wise to feature a little smattering of some of them.
The majority of these are celebrated singer/songwriters and that’s appropriate since today just happens to be some pretty legendary songwriters’ birthdays, namely John Lennon, who would have been 73 today and, strangely enough, his son Sean Lennon, who turns 38 today. Also, John Entwistle, songwriter and bass player for The Who would have been 69, PJ Harvey turns 44, Al Jourgensen of Ministry is 55 today, James Fearnley of The Pogues turns 59, Jackson Browne turns 65 and though not technically a songwriter, legendary 1960s French-pop singer France Gall turns 66 today.
So, in celebration of great songwriters and great music, check out these upcoming events:
Friday, October 11
The Glamour & The Squalor Benefit Concert – Seattle, Washington
Come enjoy an evening of Northwest music curated by legendary Seattle DJ, Marco Collins. Marco was a DJ for 107.7FM “The End” (KNDD) radio station here in Seattle during the grunge explosion of the early 90s and is responsible for catapulting the careers of many of the bands from that era. He is considered by many to be the last great commercial DJ and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Attendees will get an exclusive sneak peak of The Glamour & The Squalor, a documentary film about Marco. This will be the only opportunity to preview scenes from the film before it premieres in 2014.
The show will be hosted by El Vez, the Mexican Elvis and will feature live performances by Mary Lambert, The Young Evils, Sean Nelson (The Long Winters/Harvey Danger), Fences (feat. Jen Ghetto of Carissa’s Wierd), Nacho Picasso, Tilson XOXO, Ra Scion & Daniel Blue (motopony), IG88, Ruler and DJ Action Jackson (Fly Moon Royalty). There will also be an art exhibit by P Smoov (Fresh Espresso/Mad Rad) and Danny Bland will read from his new book In Case We Die.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy with special guest Arborea – Providence, Rhode Island
Will Oldham, otherwise known as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, is a singer-songwriter and actor who performed and recorded under variations of the Palace name, including the Palace Brothers, Palace Songs, and Palace Music from 1993 to 1997. After releasing material under his own name, he adopted the “Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy” moniker for the majority of his output since 1998.
Oldham is known for his DIY punk aesthetic and blunt honesty and his music has been likened to Americana, folk, roots, country, punk, and indie rock. He has been called an “Appalachian post-punk solipsist”, with a voice that has been described as “a fragile sort-of warble frittering around haunted melodies in the American folk or country tradition.” *
Cloud Cult – An Intimate Acoustic Set – St. Louis, Missouri
Cloud Cult developed in 1995 as a solo studio project of Craig Minowa. His first full length album, The Shade Project caught the interest of a few small independent labels who urged Minowa to consider performing the songs live. Craig worked the next four years on a new studio project which would be the first official Cloud Cult album, Who Killed Puck? Minowa’s early work earned Cloud Cult several offers from record labels, but all were rejected in favor of self-publishing and maintaining total control over the ethical aspects of the business practices.
In the year 2002, shortly after the unexpected death of his two year old son Kaidin, Minowa wrote over a hundred songs to deal with the loss. They Live on the Sun was finished in 2003 and went to #1 on college radio station charts across the country. Since that album, Cloud Cult’s music has been strongly inspired by the loss of Kaidin and the “big picture” issues of life: “who are we, why are we here, where did we come from, where do we go”. Minowa seems in constant pursuit of the light at the end of the tunnel. The success of the album convinced Craig to create a live band to perform the album’s songs. Since then they released seven more albums with 2006’s Advice from the Happy Hippopotamus being called “insane genius” by Pitchfork and 2007’s The Meaning of 8 being called one of the top ten albums of the decade by The Denver Post.
The band released their tenth full length album Love in April of 2013 and the Cloud Cult documentary, No One Said It Would Be Easy was also made available on iTunes and Google Play in early 2013.
Saturday, October 12
GENIASS PRESENTS: Shook Twins w/ The Moon and You @ Jack of the Wood – Asheville, North Carolina
Identical twins Laurie Shook (vocals, banjo, percussion and beatboxing) and Katelyn Shook (vocals, guitar and mandolin) are at the heart of the “quirky” folk group, Shook Twins. A revolving cast of musicians round out the band and include Kyle Volkman (bass), Niko Daoussis (bass, mandolin, guitar) Anna Tivel (fiddle) & Russ Kleiner (percussion). The Shook Twins intertwine gorgeous “twin” harmonies with an eclectic and eccentric blend of folk, roots, pop and fun. But don’t be fooled. The Shook Twins are not your average folk group. They have a few tricks up their sleeves. Laurie may drop a beatbox in the middle of a song, while Katelyn plays the guitar, glockenspiel, mandolin, and sings into a telephone and bocks like a chicken. Laurie plays wah-wah banjo and loops various melodies and beats to make it sound like more than just two identical twin sisters
For the past year Shook Twins have been touring throughout the western states behind their 2011 release Window. Shook Twins recently opened for Langhorne Slim, Blitzen Trapper, Elephant Revival, Sara Jarosz, David Grisman, Carolina Chocolate Drops. Their song “Rose” was featured in NPR’s Muse Mix, and an exclusive audio track was debuted on MTV Hive. Shook Twins have shared the stage with many prominent artists including Ryan Adams, Mason Jennings, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Laura Veirs, The Fruit Bats, JJ Grey and MoFro, Crooked Still, Scott Law, Darol Anger, Jason Webley, Elephant Revival, The Head and The Heart and many more amazing artists and bands.
Vieux Farka Touré – Arden, Delaware
Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Toure was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. He is the son of legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Toure, who died in 2006. Vieux was initially a drummer / calabash player at Mali’s Institut National des Arts, but began playing guitar in 2001. Ali Farka Touré was weakened with cancer when Vieux announced that he was going to record an album. Ali recorded a couple of tracks with him, and these recordings, which can be heard on Vieux’s debut CD, were amongst his final ones. It has been said that the senior Touré played rough mixes of these songs when people visited him in his final days, proud of his son’s talent as a musician.
In 2005, Eric Herman (still Vieux’s manager today) of Modiba Productions expressed an interest in producing an album for Vieux; this led to Vieux’s self-titled debut album, released by World Village in 2007. On this first album, Vieux pays homage to his father and follows Ali’s musical tradition, giving new versions of the West African music that is echoed in the American blues. The album features Toumani Diabaté, as well as his late father. On his second record, Fondo on Six Degrees (2009), Vieux branched out and presented his own sound: while remaining true to the roots of his father’s music he uses elements of rock, Latin music, and other African influences. The album received a great deal of critical acclaim from across the globe, and Vieux was clearly moving out of his father’s shadow.
In April 2012, Vieux released The Tel Aviv Session (Cumbancha), a collaborative project with Israeli superstar Idan Raichel dubbed ‘The Toure-Raichel Collective’ that has been hailed by fans and critics alike as a masterpiece and one of the best collaborative albums in the history of international music, drawing comparisons to Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder’s legendary Talking Timbuktu album. With each new project, Vieux expands his horizons, embraces new challenges and further entrenches his reputation as one of the world’s most talented and innovative musicians.
Sunday, October 13
VIKESH KAPOOR (DEBUT ALBUM RELEASE SHOW) – Portland, Oregon
Vikesh Kapoor celebrates the release of his debut album The Ballad Of Willy Robbins at the Portland Playhouse with special guests The Deslondes and Los Dos Amigos.
Following a spur-of-the-moment cross-country trip with a pair of fiery European girls, Vikesh Kapoor left school for a brief yet inspiring stint as a mason’s apprentice. The America he had previously known resided narrowly between his childhood home in rural Pennsylvania and the New England university he left home for. Alongside his parents’ own immigrant struggles, these experiences quickly witnessed Kapoor to the scope of the American dream.
A few years later, Kapoor performed at Howard Zinn’s memorial service in Boston, in front of Zinn’s family and colleagues (including Noam Chomsky). Roused by Zinn’s lifelong battle against class/race injustice, Kapoor spent the next two years in Portland, Oregon working on his full-length debut record. The Ballad Of Willy Robbins, a concept album loosely based on a newspaper article, chronicles the brutal but hopeful story of a working class man who slowly loses everything: ambitions, health, family and shelter. It’s a worker’s tale, less specific to the blue-collar life as it is about anyone struggling to make something of themselves.
* Biographical information from Wikipedia.