EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROS
For so many musicians in this past half-century, genesis came from the electricity of picking up an instrument and plucking out the melody of a Beatles tune. Now, 50 years later, a hand-picked group of young artists pay homage to the batch of songs that introduced us all to four lads out of Liverpool. Last week marked the release of Beatles Reimagined, a landmark compilation of Beatles tracks covered by a slew of indie artists. Joonbug was there, dear reader, mimosa in hand.
First, a little background: Beatles Reimagined is a joint effort created by The Adage Group and Round Hill Music, executive-produced by Owen Husney and a twenty-something piece production team including Tim Anderson (ImaRobot, Solange) and Kevin Carvel (Atlantic Records, A&M/Octone, NBC’s “The Voice”). With the North American rights in hand, the team reached out to indie greats across the country in search of the most powerful covers for this fantastic venture. The release party took place at North Hollywood staple The Federal Bar. The establishment is a vision in brick-and-mortar, more reminiscent of an NYC studio than a Valley bar. For this event, part of The Federal's Mimosa Music Series, the upstairs lounge was decked out with Beatles paraphernalia, none more exciting than The Beatles cartoons looping across the monitors. The crowd was nothing if not eclectic. There were rockers, industry types, fans and family alike. This all-ages show offered something for everyone, and that extends far beyond bagels and champagne. It was the faces of the Beatle babies in the audience that intrigued this reporter most, illustrating that the melodies of Lennon and McCartney have a timeless quality that we will only understand more as we dance merrily on into the future. Host Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes ushered us into this special event with kind words for his collaborators. His hobo-chic look screamed indie rock star as his quiet, intelligent demeanor introduced the days' bands. First on the stage were Cali-native duo Doom & Gloom. Their take on "And I Love Her" is a haunting midnight-drive version of the original. "We didn't need to do much," frontman Nate Cole told Joonbug. "We brought out the piano and reworked the tune." Perhaps an understatement, their earnest take stood out as something young McCartney might be proud of. Austin favorite Mobley followed thereafter. Though without his usual band, the guitar-toting Texan in frontman Anthony Watkins II seemed more than comfortable on stage. The highlight of the day came as he plugged in the rest of the band via cassette player (you read that right) for the staccato-funk offering of "From Me to You." Not since his days with Teddy Ruxpin has this reporter seen someone nail that kind of duet. Color me impressed. The Well Pennies. Don't know them? GET TO KNOW THEM. This folksy couple brought a down-home legitimacy to the days' events. The release itself opens with their heartbreaking cover of "All My Loving," just one of the treats they offered up on stage. Their oaky harmonies were an excellent choice for the album and the day.
Closing the show was twosome Gypsy Death Star. An unusual fit to end the show, the collected wailings of Cesar Augusto and Wyatt Hull sounded more like Captain Kirk than it did Sgt. Pepper, but nevertheless, they brought new flavor to the Fab Four, mission directive #1. Whether the creators knew it upon conception or not, Beatles Reimagined is far beyond a gift to listeners. The real treat belongs to the musicians involved. As an artist, to be given the keys to the kingdom that Ringo built is something far beyond ordinary. Consider kids in a candy shop, or perhaps another of your favorite metaphors for sheer bliss. In the eyes of the beholder, the release was a complete success, for artist and audience alike.
As we previously reported, the album Beatles Reimagined was released on October 1st. Now, thanks to NYLON Magazine, there is a full album stream available for listeners. The album which features Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, among nine other emerging acts, is a fresh take on classic Beatles records from 1963-4. The commemorative album not only provides good, and fresh reworks, all the proceeds from the album sales will be donated to Rock n' Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles. Good music for a good cause, so be sure to listen to the stream here, and click the link to download the album via iTunes. Beatles Reimagined is out now on Community Projects.
The California Hollywood Forever Cemetery, which bares home to greats like Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, Bugsy Siegel, John Huston, Virginia Rappe and more, approached frontman Wayne Coyne and invited the Lips to create a two-day and night music experience within the burial grounds.
Coyne gladly accepted the offer and told the LA Times, "It's got a lot of appeal to it, especially for us, because we sing a lot about this idea of 'death' -- this idea of happiness and the realization of death, and what do we do with that? So there are a lot of great, powerful themes that you can play into as far as what it means to do all this stuff."
This April, Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and Old Crow Medicine Show will be conducting their very own Railroad Revival Tour. During the tour, the bands will be living, eating, recording, and more, all on a 1,500 foot-long train built from 1950's and 60's railroad parts.
Edward Sharpe made a quick statement about the tour and his feelings on it: “From hobos to the wild west, trains have always been a fascination of mine. This tour is going to be rad.”
Well Joonbuggers, it's that time again, Festie time! This time we are preparing for Austin City Limits. This is one of my favorite festivals of the year, not only because Austin is home, but also because it might be one of the most musically diverse. We are seeing some of our electronic, oldies, Texas country and pop favies this year. Here is what we were looking most forward to.
If you missed our ultimate preparation guide for a festival, please click here to get the scoop on how to get you and your group ready for a weekend of music.
The Sunday Snapshot:
The festival set-up, sound and acoustics, as well as operations were extremely professional. It's obvious they have done this before. I loved how they had two stages by each other with back-to-back shows. I parked it at the Budweiser/Playstation stages for most of the weekend due to the line up, but it was incredible to see 10,000 people stacked to see the headliners on the BMI stage. Kudos Lolla.
Sunday Musical Delights & Awards:
Chiddy Bang: Award for Band Best Listened on a CD. I was personally pumped to see Chiddy play. My friends produce their music videos and I have been rocking to their cool remixes/raps for a bit now. Think, Girl Talk meets Drake for their vibe. I was sadly disappointed in the live bit, but I still like them a lot. But the electronic Perry’s stage was a sick addition to the festival. We would be visiting again.
Here is what we loved most about Saturday at Lollapalooza 2010. I wish I was still there!
In addition to the green scene at Grant Park, there were some really cool sponsorship and brand presence situations in the mix. Toyota was giving away cold bandanas and headbands (much needed with the hot temperatures). They always had a line to their tent, which I’m sure got them some good exposure. Another great sponsor was the water filling stations; I know I spent a lot of time here. AOL provided free WiFi, for those of us working during the festival, this was clutch. A fun one was the Q101 Hammock Station, where you could actually take a break and lay in the hammocks for a bit. It’s always enjoyable to see brands and companies giving out products and services that are super beneficial to the festival goer. Giving a consumer something they can really use during the weekend is really going to stand out for marketing purposes.
Completely pumped for this festival, Lollapalooza managed to blow me away. Not only with the talent they had this year, but as an event planner, I was even more impressed with the set-up and operations they had in place. If you missed our live Tweets from the festival here are some tasty tidbits from the weekend. Catch us tomorrow for Saturday's recap:
We arrived in Chicago around 7am from New York, took a nap, and proceeded to the event around 4pm. Other than grabbing my media pass (which was like a mile away from the entrance) I was immediately impressed.
Here's a real mind-bender that will have you asking "how did they do that?" for days. It has a good song, too: "Home" by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. It's pretty cool sh!t.