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items tagged with Daytrotter

The Confidence to Explore: The Watson Twins, August 18 at The Speakeasy
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-08-03 11:31:41

The Watson Twins

When Jenny Lewis, the singer of the indie-pop outfit Rilo Kiley, released her 2006 solo debut Rabbit Fur Coat, she credited the album to Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins.

That small act of generosity is the primary reason that the Watson Twins -- who will perform a Daytrotter.com show at The Speakeasy on August 18 -- have their current visibility.


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Close the Gap: Dawes, at Daytrotter’s Barn on the Fourth of July
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-06-30 14:11:32

DawesThe California-based band Dawes has parlayed its debut album, last fall's North Hills, into slots at this year's Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza festivals, and if you've heard the sensitive and often lovely record, you know that's probably not an easy transition.

The group's warm, nakedly emotional songs recall the 1960s and '70s -- aggressively, one could say, if aggression weren't so antithetical to them; they seem built for intimate venues. AbsolutePunk.net wrote that the album is "a collection of 11 near-flawless roots-rock offerings that drip with such a defined sense of soul, grit, and harmony [that] it feels nearly criminal to label this album contemporary." Rolling Stone named the album's "That Western Skyline" one of the 25 best songs of 2009.

Guitarist, lead vocalist, and songwriter Taylor Goldsmith is only in his mid-20s, but North Hills is full of musical maturity, patience, and confidence -- a willingness to let the work overshadow the performers.


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Silly Sincerity: Fang Island, June 28 in Rock Island
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-06-25 16:47:15

Fang Island

The band Fang Island -- playing the former ComedySportz location in Rock Island on Monday -- is named after a place from a story in The Onion, but it would be a mistake to infer that the band is in any way a joke. There's certainly a silliness there -- guitarist Jason Bartell admitted that many songs start with "cheesy" riffs -- but it's also nakedly sincere.

Think the unapologetically adolescent approach of Weezer, or the id arena rock of Andrew W.K. as starting points. But Fang Island benefits from having few lyrics -- and because they're generally shouted by a group, they barely register. Fusing big, bright, loud guitars, strong melodies, and some prog-rock unpredictability and complexity, the band makes a joyful noise unfettered by angst. As Pitchfork noted: "What helps Fang Island steamroll past cynicism is how 'fun' isn't just an ornament for them; it's embedded in the band's musical DNA."

"I think the best way to make music is that middle line [between] ... not taking it seriously enough and taking it way too seriously ... ," Bartell said in a phone interview this week. "It comes down to honesty in some ways." The band needs to pursue its aims "in a very pure way," he added.


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Keeping Old-School Country Alive: Dale Watson, June 29 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-06-22 13:13:36

Dale Watson

On the day he's playing a Daytrotter.com show at RIBCO, singer/songwriter Dale Watson will release Carryin' on, and the album seems a natural fit for a guy who's been a country-music relic from the beginning. That's a compliment, by the way.

Since his 1995 debut Cheatin' Heart Attack, Watson has been writing and performing country songs in a style out of fashion for decades. But it wasn't until this new album that he was able to combine his own songs with musicians from the era he emulates.

His band for Carryin' on was assembled by steel guitarist Lloyd Green and included Hargus "Pig" Robbins on piano and Pete Wade on guitar -- all noted session players active in the 1960s and beyond.

While Watson's regular band -- with which he'll be performing in Rock Island -- is adept at old-school country, the 47-year-old said in a recent phone interview that people his age and younger simply can't beat the old-timers: "It's just something you have to have lived to play."


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Beautiful Suffering: Peter Wolf Crier, June 22 at RIBCO
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2010-05-27 15:53:47

Peter Wolf Crier

Roughly 100 seconds into "Down Down Down," the third track on Peter Wolf Crier's debut Inter-Be, the drums kick in. That's the duo in microcosm, as Peter Pisano's fully formed guitar-and-vocal songs are amplified by the drums and other accents Brian Moen added relatively late in the process.

The band will perform a Daytrotter.com show at RIBCO on Tuesday, June 22, and the moral of the Peter Wolf Crier story is to follow things where they lead.


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