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by Kevin Mueller

14 Oct 2009

Calling Justin Vernon a nice guy is like saying the Rolling Stones are a good blues rock band.  They’re both whopping understatements.  Bon Iver’s frontman goes out of his way to make you feel welcome.  And the guy’s so polite that he apologizes for being so polite.  It’s this sincerity that made his performance Sunday night at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater such a treat.

Vernon’s tall tale, and now familiar, back-story has always threatened to eclipse his music (Raleigh folkie breaks up with girlfriend and band; moves back to northwestern Wisconsin hometown; locks himself in cabin for three months and composes beautiful debut album) 2007’s For Emma, Forever Ago.  But here in Milwaukee, a place where fans want to claim Bon Iver as their own, Vernon and company are calling it quits for “an indefinite amount of time.”  Not surprisingly, Vernon won’t stop thanking people.

The hiatus coincides with Vernon’s latest release with his side project, Volcano Choir, featuring the Milwaukee group Collection of Colonies of Bees.  There were murmurs of a possible invitation to the group to join him on stage, but nothing came of it.  The thought must have whirled around Vernon’s head, but it would’ve been an imposing, egotistical move.  Someone with his grace wouldn’t sideline his own band to introduce his new outfit, especially on the former’s final gig.

Vernon’s whinny falsetto has always defined Bon Iver’s sound, but it was his backing band that gave the group its ethereal beauty on Sunday.  Michael Noyce’s guitar creaked, evoking rusty, wooden doors; multi-instrumentalist Sean Carey’s quaint wind chimes opened “Lump Sum,” giving the song an eerily pastoral feel.  The two’s percussion, along with Matthew McCaughan, rang like thunder on “Skinny Love.”  During this tune, along with “Flume” and “Lump Sum,” Vernon, with unkempt hair and scraggly beard, transplanted the audience back to his solitary Eau Claire cabin.  He didn’t leave them there long, though, mixing his set with shredding solos on “Creature Fear” and “Blood Bank,” showing glimpses of his experimental side.

A staple of their live shows, Bon Iver covered The Outfield’s “Your Love,” bringing some ‘80s camp to the otherwise serene night.  “The Wolves (Part I And II)” transcendentally closed the set as the crowd repeated the line “what might have been lost,” crescendoing louder and louder into a full-out burst of energy.  As the seats rumbled it was obvious that, no matter how courteous, Justin Vernon still puts on a hell of a rock show.


The entire performance can be streamed here.

by Katharine Wray

14 Oct 2009

Capgun Coup
Maudlin
(Team Love)
Releasing: 3 November

In Capgun Coup’s song about bad bands, “Bad Bands”, they make a compelling argument: “Bad bands are my favorite bands because / bad bands are my favorite bands”. I’m sold.

SONG LIST
01 Computer Screens And TVs
02 Sitting On The Sidewalk
03 Ari Are We?
04 Got Alot of Gull
05 Only The Times Are Changing
06 Fishlip
07 Wish I Was A Fag
08 Now That I’m Home
09 Farnam Street ?
10 Pretty City
11 Bad Bands
12 For Fish
13 When I’m Gone
14 Breaks No Heart Of Mine

Capgun Coup
Bad Bands [MP3]     

by Katharine Wray

14 Oct 2009

Classify this mashup of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” and Biggie’s “Party and Bullshit” by Hathbanger under “guilty pleasure”. Somehow Biggie’s verses make singing along to Miley’s chorus okay.

by Tyler Gould

14 Oct 2009

If I were getting dumped (and also in a band), the chorus of this song, “Don’t get me wrong, I like you / but I don’t like your band”, would be the least comforting thing I could imagine hearing. Here I am in a perfectly fine, mutually affectionate relationship, and it all turns to garbage. For what, Annie? My band? I thought we had something.

Annie
I Don’t Like Your Band [MP3]     

by Tyler Gould

14 Oct 2009

Embryonic is out, and this is on it. The album version features Karen O—no such luck for the still-lovely Conan performance:

//Mixed media
//Blogs

The Moving Pixels Podcast Discusses 'Tales from the Borderlands Episode 2'

// Moving Pixels

"Our foray into the adventure-game-style version of the Borderlands continues.

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