Saturday 26 Jul
CD reviews

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

SXSW: Crooks/Mother Falcon

Straight-up country and an orchestral phenomenon

By Stephen Carradini March 14th, 2012

Credits: Stephen Carradini

Sixth Street has an absurd number of bars and venues, which is why it's become the center of SXSW. Friends, which is host to Buffalo Lounge, is in the middle of the action on Sixth. As I was walking up Sixth to Friends, a sign at The Parish caught my eye: Mother Falcon, 12:30.  As Typhoon's 13-piece orchestra was one of my favorite performances of SXSW last year, I jumped at the chance to see Austin's contribution to the indie-folk orchestra genre.

But before the set was Crooks, a straight-up country band. They had a bit of speed to their tunes, and I think that comes from their background: The stand-up bassist wore a Jawbreaker t-shirt. But these tunes weren't folk-punk or any amalgam of genres. The country songs they performed had good melodies and kept people toe-tapping.

The four-piece quickly broke down their set and allowed Mother Falcon as much time as possible to set up their 17/18-person orchestra. The sheer number of people and intensity of organization were impressive before they even played a note. But once they did start performing, they were impressive on the strength of their compositions.

Mother Falcon, with bassoon.
Credits: Stephen Carradini

I was absolutely floored by the dynamic nature of their compositions. Many bands in the quickly-growing genre of indie-orchestral use the orchestral instruments in the same way as guitars would be used; to play riffs or build textures to a giant swell. Mother Falcon has an approach much more dictated by classical composition: the strings, bassoon, trumpets and more were woven into the mix. The strengths of the instruments were played to: trumpets got the blaring intros, violins the pensive outro, and all the strings got in the action to create a rhythm by tapping strings with their bows.

Built on this foundation, the tunes exploded into joyful melodies, booming vocal bursts, and humongous swells. Seeing Mother Falcon now must be like what seeing Arcade Fire pre-Pitchfork hype must have been like: It's an absolutely flooring experience. It's sensory overload: it transports the listener. Highly, highly recommend for fans of Beirut, Arcade Fire, Typhoon or the like.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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