On Lohio’s new five-song EP Family Tree, the Pittsburg-based band blend indie-folk and chamber pop, topped with male/female vocal dynamics, creating a sound packed with wholehearted rhythmic nuances and lush arrangements. Lohio—which consists of singer/songwriter Greg Dutton, bassist/vocalist Liz Adams, guitarist Erik Cirelli and drummer Dave Bubbenheim—says one of their goals on the EP was to paint a “portrait of the way a band can become your family”, and the end result is their most captivating work yet. On Lohio’s debut video for “Adelai”, which is the lead single for Family Tree, the group aims for an Arcade Fire-like grand statement—complete with a visual meditation on adolescent wistfulness and anxiety—and the effort pays off brilliantly. The band, which has shared the stage with the likes of Ra Ra Riot, the Avett Brothers and Tokyo Police Club, are set to hit the road next month (the dates are listed below). You can stream or download Family Tree over at Lohio’s Bandcamp website.
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Beyond the punk hype, the seminal Please Kill Me and other distinctly unique published works. Beyond the erudite caricature and inside track on the New York City underbelly, Legs McNeil is a friend.
Today is Legs MeNeil’s… well, it doesn’t really matter how old Legs is, because he’s perpetually however you want to think of him. In his character makeup is still the teenage hoodlum who co-founded Punk; the inquisitive rapscallion who turned a love of true crime and titillation into The Other Hollywood, an exploration of the two. He’s an historian, an elder statesman, a chain-smoking television celebrity and an absolute fucking riot. Today is Legs McNeil’s birthday, and if you’ve ever spent even one minute of your life flipping through one of his book at random and marveling at what you’ve found, you’ll raise a glass of whatever your particular fancy is and send him your kindest, filthiest regards. And go pick up a copy of Please Kill Me, and maybe a t-shirt or something from his website, www.pleasekillme.com. You’ll feel much cooler if you do.
France’s Emilie Simon has conquered her home country with hit records and three Victoires de la Musique wins, which is the akin to the Grammys. A restless soul, she’s moved to Brooklyn to begin the next stage of her musical adventures. Her latest album is The Big Machine and “Rainbow” is the new poppy single. Guests on the record include Kelly Pratt and Jeremy Gara from Arcade Fire, and Jon Natchez from Beirut. As a transplant to the Big Apple, Simon has an outsider’s fascination with the city and has described the intent of The Big Machine as “the transcription of the impression I had of New York, with both a black and white musical feel to it, urban, heavy on bass and drums and with explosions of colour and light from the synths.”
Berlin/London/Bristol-based Anika captures the fractured cultural decadence of the Weimar Republic and the musical wandering of the ‘80s post-punk era while miraculously sounding resolutely futuristic. It’s quite the hat trick and her music has been beguiling critics and audiences alike in growing numbers over the past year. This live performance of “I Go to Sleep” beautifully illustrates that simultaneously historic and timeless aesthetic. Anika released her self-titled debut this past December via Stones Throw and had none other than Geoff Barrow of Portishead / Beak> handling the production. She has a number of upcoming DJ gigs that will be happenings, so find your way to one of these listed below.
Charlie Louvin was never one to shy away from spiritual concerns. The Louvin Brothers’ best-known album, Satan Is Real, was released in 1959, and half a century later, Charlie released Ships to Heaven. Now those spiritual matters take on a new resonance, as Louvin died on Wednesday, January 26, of pancreatic cancer.
Louvin, born Charles Elzer Loudermilk, and his brother Ira, became popular country & western and gospel artists in the 1950s. Ira, an alcoholic, was himself killed by a drunk driver in 1965. After Ira’s death, Charlie struggled through the next decade as a solo artist. From 1982 until 2007, he did not release any new recordings. But as a couple generations of Americana artists discovered the Louvin Brothers and were influenced by their close harmonies, Charlie became something of a living legend. In 2001, the Louvin Brothers were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Charlie’s self-titled 2007 comeback album featured contributions from George Jones, Jeff Tweedy, and Will Oldham.