Thursday, August 25, 2011

Moogfest 2011 Line Up

This year's Moogfest line up continues to expand with short YouTube videos announcing each additional group. With the latest list of 60+ I've counted up TWENTY bands that I consider a 'must see' with the pinnacle being The Flaming Lips, a group that's been on my concert bucket list for some time now. The festival will be held the weekend of October 28 - 30 in Asheville, North Carolina, a place I used to visit as a girl with my mother and grandmother to see the famous Biltmore Estate. Let's just say this is one funky town sitting in the Appalachian mountains... I knew nothing about it until I went there to review Moogfest 2010. Last year over 25,000 showed up to celebrate the innovative spirit of Bob Moog near the headquarters of Moog Music and the Bob Moog Foundation. The streets are full of a quirky mix of galleries, unique boutiques and interesting eateries plus there's plenty of people watching. You can walk everywhere, which makes it a great party town and the festival venues allow open access to catch a bit of a show or the whole thing. It's going to be hard to choose if I have to decide one act over another but here's my list for now -- in no particular order!

Brian Eno (77 Million Paintings, Illustrated Talk)
The Flaming Lips
Moby (full band)
Passion Pit
TV on the Radio
Special Disco Version featuring James Murphy & Pat Mahoney (DFA/LCD Soundsystem!)
Flying Lotus
St. Vincent
The Naked & Famous
Adrian Belew Power trio
Toro Y Moi
Atlas Sound
Gold Panda
Active Child
Little Dragon
The Antlers

Moogfest YouTube Videos:

Additions via MF Spaceman -- awesome dance moves on skates!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Interview with Red Hot Organization Founder John Carlin

Earlier this summer, a list of interview opportunities sent out to PopMatters writers included John Carlin, the founder of Red Hot Organization. Since 1990, this organization has released fifteen compilation albums, along with related events and television programs to raise funds for HIV/AIDS. The latest, Red Hot + Rio, is an extensive work featuring 33 tracks highlighting the Tropicália music of Brazil. I have owned many of them (even on cassette years ago) and would have been happy to purchase them just for the works of art that they are, with inspired musical collaborations and unique album artwork. Yet the spirit behind the creative forces was never forgotten -- it was a way to honor those lost and inspire those who are working for a cure. I remember the days when opening up The New York Times meant reading about another casualty to the disease. Then things hit close to home: two individuals taken from life way too soon and I morn them year after year. In honor of my family friend with the brilliant mind and my college dancer pal who choreographed one of my favorite performances ever, I offer up this interview. It also gave me a chance to personally thank the man who came up with the idea, raising millions of dollars towards the cause.

My PopMatters interview here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Interview with Daniel Blue of Motopony

The Motopony song "Seer" caught my ear earlier this year, with it's funky mix of indie pop and folk rock. There was something in the singer's delivery that seemed authentic, not the usual overly polished vocals which dominate the airwaves these days. I chose this song for my summer playlist and gave a good listen to their entire self-titled release. 

It was surprising to hear a variety of stylistic treatments in the band's first collection of songs, which revealed a confidence within the group. This music is clearly not created by guys still in college or younger -- frontman Daniel Blue had a career in fashion design before poetry and music took over. His story sounded interesting even before I was offered the opportunity to interview him last month. Over the phone he was very sweet, opening up with a very polite, laid-back, and accent-twinged voice about where he's been plus where the band is going on tour and beyond.
My PopMatters interview here.

Expanded/updated tour dates:
August 26 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR*

August 27 Rio Theatre Vancouver, BC*
September 5 Bumbershoot Festival Seattle,WA

September 8         Varsity Theater Minneapolis, MN

September9 Schuba’s Chicago, IL

September 12 Jammin’ Java Vienna,VA

September 14 Ninth Ward Buffalo, NY

September 15 Mercury Lounge New York, NY

September 16 The Brillobox Pittsburgh, PA

September 17 Lark Street Albany,NY

September 20 The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, ON

September 22 Musica Akron, OH

September 27 The Basement Columbus, OH

September 28 Southgate House Newport, KY

September 29 Cicero’s St. Louis, MO

October 13 The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto, ON†

October 14 Le Petit Campus Montreal, QC†

October 15 DeLuna Fest Pensacola Beach, FL

October 16 Johnny Brenda’s Philadelphia, PA†

October 17 The Middle East Cambridge, MA†

October 18 The Met Pawtucket, RI†

October 19 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY†

October 21 Rock and Roll Hotel Washington, DC†

October 22 The Club at Water Street Rochester, NY†

October 24 The Basement Columbus, OH†

October 25 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL†

October 26 Triple Rock Minneapolis, MN†
* with Daniel Johnston

† with Viva Brother

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Video for The Forms’ “Fire to the Ground” Featuring Matt Berninger Vocals

The Forms released an EP called Derealization back in February, which provides a fresh look at earlier material by the Brooklyn band with remixes and new vocalists. Their song, “Fire to the Ground,” is now helmed by the distinctive baritone of The National’s Matt Berninger. A video treatment was filmed recently on quaint Minetta Lane in New York City, yet it skewers the notion of a cheerful group dance with dizziness-inducing direction by Chunwoo Kae and Ryan Demier of Neue Films. The clean lines of choreography by Lily Baldwin (who has worked with David Byrne among others) belie the underpinning of danger inherent in the music. It all makes for compelling viewing while listening to this haunting tune. And FYI new release Chaos of Forms is due out August 16.

Vimeo link here.