fridays are always a little tough at work this time of year, with it being so nice out and so close to the weekend, so what better way to help pass the day than a lunchtime concert? we snuck out today at noon, hopped in the car and made the quick drive over to WXPN for the local natives free at noon show – something the station does every friday at world café live. we were instantly transported from work mode to music mode as we took our seats up in the mezzanine level (thanks xpn!) and let the tunes take over. this band blows me away- they sound better live than on the album and the songs “airplanes” and “who knows who cares” gave me chills. i knew “sun hands” would be amazing live as well and it sure was- they put everything into that song no matter how many times they have played it. this was my first time seeing them live and it definitely will not be the last- i have already got tickets to see them at first unitarian church in philly this august!
in case you couldn’t tell, we here at free people love music festivals. we saw a ton of free people girls at coachella and it definitely got us thinking about ways we can be more involved with festivals in the future. up next is sasquatch, set in a stunningly beautiful gorge in washington state that might have the prettiest stage backdrop i’ve seen yet.
there are always a few select bands making the festival rounds too. this year the XX, the national, phoenix, local natives and black keys seem to be hitting up quite a few. read more for a brief look at what’s coming up this summer and some of the top acts you’ll catch at each festival (although there are really too many to list)!
also make sure you check out our picks for festival fashion right here!
broken social scene is one of those bands that i’ve always respected but haven’t listened to that often – but with their new album, forgiveness rock record, that could be about to change. since the group was founded by members kevin drew and brendan canning (who never left) in 1999, they’ve had over a dozen members at certain points, and the best description of the group that i’ve read is that each of their records is like a snapshot of the band at that moment in time. with forgiveness rock record, the snapshot is of a band that has gradually refined its sound and is older, wiser and better than ever – the arrangements, the vocals, the instruments all mesh together perfectly and it sounds as though they’ve really found their rhythm. the album opener, “world sick” slowly creeps up on you and draws you in, and the rest of the album does not disappoint… you won’t want to stop listening.
marit larsen is a norwegian singer/songwriter about to embark on her initial solo US tour, but first she will be stopping by free people’s backyard in brooklyn to play a little show on friday may 14! back in norway she’s a big star, having been one half of the late 90’s duo M2M, and now having a rather solid solo career over there. she’s adorable and we’re stoked to have her come play for us – stay tuned, we’ll have an interview with marit and more info on the show coming up!
of all the albums coming out this year one of the ones i am most excited about is the national’s high violet. as far as i’m concerned this band can do no wrong – especially led by frontman matt berninger, who’s deep baritone and blue-eyed, sandy-haired good looks are enough to make any girl swoon. i’ve always been fascinated by him, because he’s very private and actually terrified of being on stage, but you’d never know it when you see him perform. their music is slightly melancholy and a good listen when you’re feeling down – and the lyrics are sometimes deeply personal – but i’ve seen them play live and they can rock out and get you dancing during songs like “secret meeting.” their new album comes out may 11th but you can actually stream the entire thing now at nytimes.com. i just listened and now i am itching to get my hands on a copy – it sounds amazing.
i also definitely recommend checking out the documentary about them filmed by vincent moon of la blogotheque, called “a skin, a night.” it’s really beautifully done. in fact, the first music video moon ever filmed was the national’s “daughters of the soho riots,” one of my favorite songs. check it out:
now listen to a couple of their new songs that i’m really digging…
yes, some of you are probably still recovering from the madness of coachella but this weekend another huge music festival begins – the new orleans jazz festival! this isn’t your typical festival though — it spans 9 days and is all about celebrating the incredibly rich musical heritage and culture of new orleans. there are some pretty impressive musicians playing this year- including dr. john, the black crowes, the funky meters, simon & garfunkel, my morning jacket, the allman brothers, widespread panic, aretha franklin, pearl jam, jeff beck, van morrison, b.b. king and richie havens…just to name a few :) in addition, there will be arts and crafts galore, and all of this is on top of the mysterious, voodoo tinged atmosphere that already exists in one of the most fascinating cities of the united states.
a new rolling stones song??? it must be christmas! i had heard about the reissue of one of the greatest albums of all time, exile on main street, but i completely forgot the release was approaching. as i was driving home yesterday i turned on the radio to hear the familiar sound of the stones singing a song i had never heard- very weird, since i know every single one of their songs by heart! it is called “plundered my soul” and i loved it right off the bat- it’s very catchy and has that raw, grainy sound that permeates the whole exile album (recorded mostly in the basement of a house in the south of france – pictured above). the new/old song was released in celebration of record store day this past saturday, and the reissue of exile will have three other previously unheard tracks along with alternate versions of classics like “soul survivor” and “lovin cup.” i can’t wait! take a listen and let me know what you think!
i picked the photos above specifically because i think they give you a little bit of the feeling of caribou’s music… like a watercolor painting of greens, purples, pinks and blues swirling around in a pool of sunlight. his first album, andorra, was recommended by a staff member at amoeba in san francisco and the second i pressed play i was mesmerized by the soaring melodies and daniel snaith’s dreamy, angelic voice. it’s hard to believe he created all the beauty of the album on his own (although he does perform with a live band on tour). the new album, swim, was recorded while snaith was learning to swim, which influenced him to experiment with different sounds to create the feeling of being under water. the music has a more electronic feel and i actually think it sort of loses a little bit of the atmospheric dreaminess that made the last album so relaxing, but it still has some standouts, like the first song “odessa.” check out the playlist for a few songs from the new album, along with some of my favorite tracks from andorra (“eli”, “melody day”, “she’s the one”). let me know what you think!
we’re so glad you all enjoyed the coachella coverage on the blog this weekend! for tunesday i wanted to share a few videos of some of the festival highlights, including performances by muse, jay-z and my love, thom yorke. he is a genius.
the absence of the rest of radiohead is almost made up for by the presence of flea. almost.
were any of you at coachella? what was your favorite performance of the weekend?