Sweden’s José González and Iceland’s Ólöf Arnalds are both accomplished guitarists. With González currently supporting his new record Vestiges & Claws (Mute) and Arnalds supporting her fourth album Palme (One Little Indian), their decision to tour together in Europe and in the US this past March and April allowed audiences to listen to these excellent musicians create uniquely magical sonics on the same night.
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Noel Gallagher is known to have a no-holds barred attitude in conversations. At one point during his show at Webster Hall on May 7th, he told the quiet, rapt and possible fearful audience, “For fuck’s sake, say something!” But perhaps it wasn’t that they were shy or afraid, though he had been smart with the crowd in Toronto apparently, it was that they were saving their voices to sing along with the frontman and his ace flock of “birds”, Tim Smith on lead guitar, Russ Pritchard on bass, Mikey Rowe on keyboards and Jeremy Stacey on drums, plus a three piece horn section. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have just released their second album Chasing Yesterday on Gallagher’s label Sour Mash Records. Their show is a powerful evening of rock that combines material from both NGHFB albums and some of the now-classic Oasis material into an awesome sounding show that I wished could have been longer. (The setlist appears to remain the same throughout the tour.)
Unfortunately, it is hard to find a webpage that lists all the performances coming up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York so I have missed many of them. Seeing live music at a museum is an exciting idea but seeing a performance within The Met’s Temple of Dendur is even more exciting. The Met’s April schedule listed jazz legend Charles Lloyd in the Temple of Dendur and the ‘Jazz & Colors’ series (held throughout various galleries) for example. But even in the inspiring and unique setting, you can’t presume an artist will be doing something to take advantage of the atmosphere. Interpol, Glen Hansard and others have performed there but simply drew from their regular repertoire. However, in March, Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, along with the choral ensemble Roomful of Teeth and the instrumental American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), created something unique within the Temple.
PopMatters writer Jordan Blum caught one of the first stops (in Philadelphia) of Sufjan Stevens tour in support of his 2015 release Carrie and Lowell and covered it for this site. The review from Philadelphia is up here, but we also caught Stevens and opener Cold Specks (supporting her new album Neuroplasticity in Hartford, his first performance in Connecticut, for the fourth night of his tour. Blum wrote, “Not only does his catalog contain some of the most personal, unique, varied, and overall magnificent music of the last 20 years, but the visual accompaniments within the live setting elevate the performance into grippingly tender yet colorful art.”, which should encourage you to go out and catch Stevens while you can. His upcoming tour dates, photos and a couple illicit videos from Hartford are below.
It seemed a bit surreal to think that it had been almost a year since Widespread Panic had concluded their 2014 spring tour with a pair of smokin’ shows at the Orpheum in downtown Los Angeles. Yet not but just over 50 weeks later, they were back at the Orpheum again, with this pair of shows preceding a tour closing weekend in Las Vegas and Phoenix. When things go well, there’s a natural tendency to stick with what’s working, and Widespread Panic at the Orpheum has proven a winning formula.