The Men are everything that's great about rock and roll. There, I said it, and I don't regret it either. It's been a while since a new honest-to-god rock and roll band has managed to get it, and The Men definitely get it. Their newest album Open Your Heart, released on Sacred Bones, is loud, raucous, and full of youthful energy. It's FUN, something new bands often overlook in their quest to please the critics. Fortunately, Open Your Heart manages to please on all levels. Not only is it a party every time you put it on, it demonstrates both incredible knowledge and execution of pretty much all of the major rock motifs from the past forty odd years. Zeppelin? It's in there. Replacements? Yup. Shoegaze thick? Punk thin? The Men have done it all, and have done it well. This one's definitely worth checking out.
Already feeling that summer buzz-kill from missing out on Coachella and Sasquatch this year? Don’t worry, there are still plenty of festivals fixing to satisfy that music-hungry appetite at a much lower price than Bonnaroo or Lollapalooza. Check out these upcoming music festivals that will tune your ears in to some audio bliss.
What: Pitchfork Music Festival
Where: Chicago, IL
When: June 15-17
Who: Animal Collective, Fleet Foxes, Cut Copy, TV on the Radio, Neko Case, Thurston Moore, No Age, Gang Gang Dance, Deerhunter, Superchunk, Ariel Pink, Curren$y + more!
Thursday, October 7th
- Livingston Taylor w/ Jake Snider @ World Café Live, 7 pm, $34-44
- Built to Spill w/ Love as Laughter, Revolt Revolt @ The Trocadero, 7:30 pm, $23
- Closer Still w/ Screwjack @ Triumph Brewing Co., 8 pm, $5
- Ryan Cabrera w/ Michele Karmin, Laura Cheadle @ Tin Angel, 8 pm, $15
- Octopus Project w/ Starfucker @ Kungfu Necktie, 8 pm, $10
- Big Crowd Popular w/ Ruby & The Hatchet, Only Living Boy, The Sixty Six, Polar Ice Cap @ North Star Bar, 8 pm, $8
- Scout Niblett w/ Holy Sons, Ladies Auxiliary @ The M Room, 9 pm, $10
- DJ Sammy Slice and DJ Cool Hand Luke @ Silk City, 10 pm, $5
- DJ Ian. St. Laurent & DJ Wolf.fang @ Kungfu Necktie, 11 pm, $5
So, there you are in the back seat of friend's car. Looking out a half rolled down window at the giant off white Wintec Energy windmills that seem to pepper the entire valley. It's dusk and the temperature is dropping drastically. When you first started this voyage it was around 90 degrees and now the crisp cool 73 degree wind is caressing your face. You're excited yet still nervous, excited about having called your boss with some lame-duck excuse about your family being in town or that you have a doctor's appointment and somehow you actually got the day off. Yet, nervous about the hourly you're missing and the $270.00 plus buck hit your bank account just took. With all that behind you, you look forward to the 3 day, 90 plus acts and countless memories you're about to experience. Wait, there are over 90 acts performing? Sure you have your favorites, but what about the other 80 or so bands that will be performing on rotating stages in various spots across a five and half mile radius field, for three days and three nights? Where and how to begin?
Buffalos graze in the horizon, a moose lifts its snout to the ripe air and lion cubs playfully paw at each other on the gorge. It would seem as though the petrified animals of the Natural History Museum come to life as tUnE-YaRdS, the clever stage moniker of performer Merill Garbus, approaches the stage confidently. She unleashes an a capella string of chants and yodels, her energy immersing the audience immediately as bodies begin to sway with a natural rhythm and feet stomp to the beat of the drums. The first song, "Hatari" is comprised mostly of animalistic sounds and unintelligible words, making it even more powerful when she cries out towards the end of the song, "There is a natural sound that wild things make when they're bound." The energetic opening song sets the tone, and the rest of her 45-minute performance does not disappoint. She has assembled a backing band that is as nontraditional and quirky as her music: two women share one set of drums and one male plays bass while tUnE-YaRdS, a jovial woman with wild hair, clutches the microphone with both hands, leaning into it eagerly as she releases powerful sounds that seem to infuse classic folk with pure noise.