Tag Archives: Midlake

Top 10 of 2010: Jaime’s list

9 Dec

Lord, it’s that time of year, where we all get together and argue constantly about what we liked, loved and kind of hated, and as usual all of our opinions are all over the place. So we’re each taking the time to make our own list of what we consider the top albums of the year. We hope you enjoy, agree, disagree, and most of all listen. Continue reading

Track of the Weekend: Midlake- Winter Dies

4 Jun

Backlash tends to be bullshit. More often than not it stems from people’s needs to attack something to set themselves apart from the pack, which felt like the case when many publications reacted so negatively to Midlake‘s Courage of Others when it came out this year. It was as if many were attacking the album just to attack it, as if they took it personally that someone dared to release something that didn’t feature 10 different samples per song, and was influenced not by a Wave, but by a long forgotten era.

With this in mind, I approached this weekend’s track not with an eye to what’s been said about it, but with what it makes me feel. After all, business, like backlash, is bullshit.

Midlake- Winter Dies

Verdict: Let us not go into the influences. Let us look at what the track evokes, namely a sense of loss, a feeling that things have passed, as the key line in the song has singer Tim Smith contemplating  how he “used to feel things around the earth,” as the song builds into a fuzzy guitar peak that soars until it cascades into an ending that features such solemn flute playing that one can’t help but pause to contemplate their surroundings.

The prevailing question in music is whether you give the people what they want or you make something that’s lasting. It feels as if Midlake chose to make something lasting, that they wanted.

Catch Midlake with John Grant tomorrow night at Hailey’s.

The never-ending NX35 track-by-track: Week 2

26 Feb

So here’s the deal: we’ve been fairly light on the NX35 coverage due mainly to, well, some “involvement” with the festival. In an effort to provide some level of “countdown” coverage, we are going to go through 20 tracks from 20 bands at a time every Friday until the weekend of the conferette. (For those of you who are a little slow, there are three weeks left until NX35, which means we will be sharing 60 tracks with you.) Let’s hope this helps all of you have a better understanding of the music that is quickly approaching. If you like any of the bands, check out when/where they’re playing and possibly find out more info at NX35.com.

Note: This week the newest addition to the DBB staff, Nina Chantanapumma (aka The Neener), joins in on the fun.

Continue reading

Breaking: Midlake announces tour with Matthew and The Arrogant Sea

31 Jan

Midlake announced the second leg of their US tour, an they’re taking Denton’s MATAS out with them. Dates are as follows.

Mar 1 2010 8:00P
Plush  Tucson, Arizona
Mar 2 2010 8:00P
Belly Up Tavern  Solana Beach, California
Mar 3 2010 8:00P
El Ray Theater  Los Angeles, California
Mar 4 2010 8:00P
Great American Music Hall  San Fransisco, California
Mar 5 2010 8:00P
Van Duzer Theater  Arcata, California
Mar 6 2010 8:00P
Wonder Ballroom  Portland, Oregon
Mar 7 2010 8:00P
Nightlight Lounge  Bellingham, Washington
Mar 8 2010 8:00P
Biltmore Cabaret  Vancouver
Mar 10 2010 8:00P
Burts Tiki Lounge  Albuqureque, New Mexico
Mar 11 2010 8:00P
The Bluebird Theater  Denver, Colorado
Mar 12 2010 8:00P
Jackpot Music Hall  Lawrence, Kansas

Religious Experience: Sarah Jaffe, Robert Gomez and Seryn at St. David’s in Denton

17 Jan


By Jesseca Bagherpour

I’ll begin this review on a personal note: When I walked into St. David’s Episcopal church on Friday night , I was insanely uncomfortable. It’s been about six years since I’ve intentionally walked into a church sanctuary (aside from weddings and functions at church daycares where I’ve worked, but that’s different). I was once a devout Christian and am now agnostic (for lack of a better term). Sitting in a pew, my back stiffening, and looking at the altar and the Jesus banners brought back a rush of emotions for me. Being in the church for four hours forced me to confront some feelings that I won’t go into here. But I felt it necessary to give an idea of my discomfort to illustrate just how breathtaking the show was. Despite the initial tension, the music put me completely at ease.

I’d never seen opening act Seryn before, and they thoroughly impressed me. They held their own with the more experienced Jaffe and Gomez and their performance was flawless. What stands out the most with Seryn is their striking vocal harmonies. They’re a group of phenomenally talented multi-instrumentalists, but their voices are their most finely-tuned instruments. Though at times I was momentarily distracted by the praise-band feel of the music (which is hard to ignore when you’re in a church), and although some of the songs were a bit less interesting than others, my focus inevitably went back to the band’s harmonies.

The start of Robert Gomez’s set was delayed a bit due to technical issues, but it was well worth the wait. I see Gomez every chance I get, in fact I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen him at this point, but I think this was my favorite Gomez performance to date. The venue’s perfect acoustics and the audience’s complete silence didn’t hurt, but Gomez was also in peak form. He’s played solo the last few times I’ve seen him and I was glad to see Heather Test (on French horn) and Jesse Chandler (on flute and omnichord) accompanying him. Though his music sounds good no matter the number of instruments involved, it sounds richer when he has at least a couple of people backing him.

The highlight of the set for me was probably “Chicken (Americauna pullet, beheaded in Alabama for Sunday dinner, 1958)”, a song from his in-progress album based on Severance: Stories, a book of stories about decapitation by Robert Olen Butler. As with all of Gomez’s tunes, the intricate narrative of the song completely drew me in. And the plucking of his taut guitar strings were evocative of a chicken’s pecking and clucking, making the story that much more relatable.

It’s hard not to fall in love with Sarah Jaffe. She has a completely captivating presence, an unmistakable voice and a sincerity that makes you feel every emotion her lyrics convey. Seryn joined Jaffe for her opener, an a capella rendition of the classic hymn “Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing” and, despite a few missed notes here and there, the song sent chills up my spine. And the set only got better from there. She played some of my favorite tunes, including “Stay With Me”, “Black Hoax Lie”, “Two Intangibles”, and “Even Born Again” (despite the decidedly anti-religious tone of the song, it felt in no way disrespectful in the religious setting but was even more poignant than usual).

With each song, one thought remained constant: Jaffe’s and Gomez’s voices were made to be together. (This also came up when Jaffe provided backing vocals on Gomez’s final song of the night.) Whichever vocalist is singing lead, the other’s harmonies are the perfect complement. Becki Howard (on violin) also provided great vocal support, but the combination of Gomez and Jaffe is transcendent.

The evening came to a climactic ending with Jaffe, Gomez and the male members of Seryn gathering on stage for “Perfect Plan”. The dominant bass drum (which was perhaps too dominant in this instance) and guitar riff get me every time with that song, and inevitably stick with me for hours after it’s over. Because of the sheer energy of the performers and song, the audience was drawn into clapping their hands and soon everyone present was contributing to the music in some way. Jaffe closed her set to uproarious applause and cheers, which is a reaction I’m sure she’ll be receiving for years to come (and for the next couple of months while she tours Europe with Midlake).

Note: Midlake’s Eric Pulido and The Hope Trust’s Andy Odom, both members of St. David’s congregation, arranged the show after realizing that the sanctuary would make for an incredible venue. They were right, and after Friday’s success we should see more shows there in the future.

Breaking: Flaming Lips and Midlake to play NX35

18 Dec

We’re happy to confirm that the The Flaming Lips & Midlake will play a tandem show for free as part of the NX35 festival on Saturday, March 13th. Check the NX35 website tomorrow for full details.

Midlake- The Courage of Others Album Art

27 Oct

 

Hat tip to the fine gorilla vs. bear.