Tag Archives: Jackson Browne

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Sam Evian and Uni Ika Ai Keep It Local at Rough Trade NYC Saturday

May 3rd, 2017

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sam Owens is known for fronting Brooklyn trio Celestial Shore, but he does the solo thing as Sam Evian (above, the video for “Sleep Easy”). And to that end, his debut long-player, Premium (stream it below), inspired by the likes of Shuggie Otis, Jackson Browne and Cass McCombs, came out last summer. AllMusic said it’s a “seductive listen that’s equally suited for early morning hangovers and late, late nights.” While No Depression added: “Premium is a spaced-out gem of trippy, layered instrumental arrangements and Evian’s smooth, creamy harmonies. And it is the perfect soundtrack for you last days of summer, with its beachy, bright coolness.”

Brooklyn dream-pop act Uni Ika AiMaia Friedman (vocals, synths and guitar), Peter Lalish (guitar and synths), Tom Deis (keys, bass and vocals) and Dan Drohan (drums and percussion)—also put out a first LP, Keeping a Golden Bullseye in the Corner of My Mind (stream it above), last year. In dubbing it a “stunning debut album,” the Wild Honey Pie went on to say, “The songs are dreamy without becoming cloudy—they exist within a comfortable haze and tempo, but don’t succumb to feeling lethargic or apathetic. The vocals and instrumentals push forward with ease, creating tracks that feel steady but triumphant, relaxed but purposeful.” Uni Ika Ai (below, doing “Mexico” for Sofar Sounds) have teamed up with Sam Evian for a few shows this week, and you can catch them both on Saturday night at Rough Trade NYC. A third Brooklyn act, Wilder Maker, opens.

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Lucius – SummerStage – September 23, 2016

September 26th, 2016

Lucius - SummerStage - September 23, 2016

Photos courtesy of Nick Delisi | www.nickdelisi.com

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Five Questions with Holly Laessig of Lucius

September 21st, 2016

Lucius return to New York City to play SummerStage in Central Park on Friday night, and Holly Laessig, one half of the band’s lead-vocals tandem, rang up The House List, from Oklahoma where she and Jess Wolfe were rehearsing for singing background for Roger Waters at Desert Trip, to answer Five Questions.

Plenty of musicians change their sound from album to album. Was that a clear intention in moving from the folkier Wildewoman to the poppier Good Grief? Or was that just how your sound evolved? It’s funny. People comment on how different the two are. But Wildewoman was recorded over a few years, and we were in no rush at the beginning because we didn’t have anything to be rushing for—we were just starting out. And we took our time and made it right. We came out with Wildewoman and we had kind of put the band together throughout and after making that record. So when we toured on it, things started to change, and the sound started to change. And the show got a lot more energetic, and the audience was reacting a lot more to the show than the record. People commented a lot how the live show and the record sounded so different, and that the live shows were so much more energetic. I think by the time we got to the end of that cycle, it was where Good Grief was picking up naturally, but from just listening from a record standpoint, there does seem to be a bigger difference than it felt like.

How was recording Good Grief different than recording Wildewoman? We took a different approach to it. We got off the road—we had been touring for, like, a year-and-a-half straight. And we were exhausted, and we decided to go to L.A. to kind of decompress and start writing. So Jess and I took a few months to write, just the two of us. And we would send the guys rough demos and then they would do their own versions of the same song—and kind of build arrangements around them. So when we went into the studio, we had at least two versions of everything. And we worked with Shawn Everett—he did the Alabama Shakes record with Blake Mills—he’s like this crazy alien angel person [laughing]. He’s one of our really closest friends, and he’s always got these wild ideas. So we were really excited to get into the studio with him. He had an idea to make communication easier with five very strong personalities in the studio. To kind of smooth things over and to get everyone’s voice heard, he thought it would be helpful to come up with a bunch of reference tracks: “For each track that we’re gonna work on, think of a song that you think could influence this.” So it could be “I like the sound of the tone on this Rolling Stones track.” Or “I like the way these vocals were recorded on this West African tune.” And we would all pick one or two songs and put ’em in a box, and he would pick them out one by one—it was all anonymous. And we would listen to everything, like 10 to 15 songs, and write down on a dry erase board everything we like about each one. It could be very specific, as far as a recording technique, or it could be more vague, like a feeling. And once we had this dry erase board of notes, we would then start working on the song. So it was a really interesting way of going about it, and I think we got a lot of good stuff we would’ve normally not even considered.

How did your appearance on Roadies come about? And any chance you’ll be adding “Willin’” to your set list? I mean, I don’t think we could top singing that with Jackson Browne, so probably not. Fair. Rafe Spall, who is one of the actors on Roadies—so the story goes: Rafe’s friend Rafe, which is hilarious to me. The first Rafe I ever met, and I met two of them in one day. His friend recommended our music to him, and he was playing it one day on set. And Cameron was like, “Who’s this?” And Rafe said, “This band Lucius.” And he said, “Well, let’s get ’em in here. See if they want to do an episode.” So we met him, and he’s the nicest guy ever. And we said, “Yeah, absolutely, we’d love to do this.” It was a really cool experience. It was really inspiring to see Cameron Crowe as a director and a leader. Everybody who was there, from the actors to the makeup people to the crew people to catering—everybody—was like, “Yeah, we work really hard, sometimes we work late hours, but we’re happy to do it because Cameron’s the man.” And he really was. We had some lines, and I was incredibly nervous about it because it’s not what we do normally. So there was this one line, and I was like, “This isn’t how I’d normally phrase this.” And I was trying to get my head inside it so I could say it the right way. And I asked him, and he said, “Let’s go over it.” And he dropped everything and took me aside, and he would’ve gone over this, like, one line with me for as long as I wanted—very, very patient. It was great, and we got to sing with Jackson Browne, and Jim James was on the set. It was cool.

For some bands, live shows are like a theater piece in that the set doesn’t change much, but the performers are aware of the subtle nuances each night. And for others, every night’s show is different than the one before. Where do you land on that spectrum? Like as far as each night being different? Yeah, I mean, a band like U2, they play pretty much the same set most nights, but it’s not the same show obviously. But someone like Bruce Springsteen or Pearl Jam, they change their set every night. I guess for each leg of a tour, we tend to stick generally to the same set. Some songs we change a little bit, but it’s nice once you get into a groove to stick with it, the transitions go more easily. But every show’s different regardless, especially because of the audience—not to put it all on the audience—but the vibe and the venue and the city, everything can really make a break a show for the performer. If your audience is really giving back to you, and you’re bouncing off of that, sometimes we have funny banter or things can change, or we’ll decide let’s do this song instead because they’re liking the up-tempo ones. So occasionally, it’s just, like, fly by the seat of your pants. But it’s definitely nice to get into a groove.

What new music have you been listening to? We’ve been listening to the new Angel Olsen record a lot. It only came out a couple weeks ago, I think. We’re excited to be playing with Big Thief in Central Park. And I’m stoked to see them ’cause I love that record. I love Alabama Shakes. We went to see that show at the Greek, and it was so good. That’s a good one to groove to, for sure. Was that with Kurt Vile? Yeah, and I love that record too. And Kurt Vile’s on the bill for One Big Holiday in February. Oh, yeah. That’s gonna be so fun! —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Questions with … Anders Osborne

February 25th, 2016

With a new album, Spacedust & Oceanviews, due to arrive this spring, Anders Osborne (above, performing “Mind of a Junkie” for Jam in the Van) has embarked on a two-month North American tour, which brings him to the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., on Friday night—a pretty great way to kick off the weekend. And ahead of his arrival, the New Orleans guitar hero answered Five Questions for The House List.

You’ve obviously been living in New Orleans for quite some time now, but how did a kid from Southern Sweden originally get interested in the blues?
I was introduced to music by my mother and father—mostly classical and jazz. I discovered Robert Johnson, Snooks Eaglin, Earl King, Hound Dog Taylor and stuff like that in my teens growing up in New Orleans.

You’re currently in the midst of a big tour, but does performing in New York have any significance for you? And specifically playing the Capitol Theatre?
New York rocks! Some of my all time favorite shows have been in New York. I have a lot of friends from that area that I love seeing when I play there. It’s also one of the first places that gave me gigs as a touring artist back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Places like Manny’s Car Wash, Tramps, Wetlands. Love it.

What’s different about this tour compared to others that have brought you up here?
This band kicks ass. We will also explore my entire catalog, playing previously not performed tunes. And we have great support artists on the whole tour! Amy Helm [opening on Friday at the Capitol Theatre], American Babies [also opening on Friday], Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds. They are all amazing.

What music or song always makes you dance?
“Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley” with Robert Palmer backed by the Meters, produced by Allen Toussaint. Or anything by Allen Toussaint and Bob Marley.

At your after-party and there’s an endless jukebox, and we give you a buck. Which three songs are you playing?
“20 Million Things” by Lowell George, “These Days” by Jackson Browne and “So What” by Miles Davis. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

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Dawes and First Aid Kit Play SummerStage on Monday Night

July 24th, 2015

Since forming in Southern California six years ago, the guys in Dawes—Taylor Goldsmith (vocals and guitar), Wylie Gelber (bass), Griffin Goldsmith (drums) and Tay Strathairn (keys)—have won over fans across the land with their high-energy live shows and four albums—including this year’s All Your Favorite Bands (stream it below), which Rolling Stone called “their best LP” and American Songwriter labeled “an inspired record full of space, swagger and warm, analog glow”—filled with tightly written songs, quality harmonies and some good old-fashioned guitar love. But one of the most interesting things about Dawes (above, doing “Things Happen” on Late Show with David Letterman) is the vast array of bands and musicians with whom they’ve been associated. They’ve been compared to the Band, for their lyrics, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, for their harmonies. They’ve crisscrossed the country and teamed up with their musical brothers-in-arms, Deer Tick and Delta Spirit. And in the band’s infancy, they took part in jam sessions at Jonathan Wilson’s house with the likes of Chris Robinson, Benmont Tench and Conor Oberst. But after finding success, Dawes went on to back some of the biggest names in rock royalty, Robbie Robertson, Jackson Browne and John Fogerty.

Sisters Johanna Söderberg (vocals and synth) and Klara Söderberg (vocals and guitar) launched their harmonies-laden acoustic-folk band, First Aid Kit, eight years ago in Sweden, earning comparisons to Fleet Foxes and Joanna Newsom in the process. Now rounded out by Melvin Duffy (pedal-steel guitar) and Scott Simpson (drums), First Aid Kit (below, performing “Stay Gold” on Conan) put out their third studio album, Stay Gold (stream it below), which the New Yorker calls their “most mature and opulent work to date,” in 2014. They also provided backing vocals on Conor Oberst’s sixth solo album, Upside Down Mountain, last year, while Dawes backed Oberst when he performed the new material live. And now Dawes and First Aid Kit team up as a terrific double bill to play SummerStage in Central Park on Monday night.

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Conor Oberst and Dawes Play SummerStage Tomorrow Night

July 28th, 2014

He’s known for his trembling voice, fine acoustic-guitar playing and evocative storytelling, and on his sixth and most recent solo release, Upside Down Mountain (stream it below), Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst is in as fine form as ever. Perhaps thanks in part to coproducer Jonathan Wilson, the LP takes Oberst (above, doing “Time Forgot” for WFUV FM) in a newish direction, delving into that ’70s AM rock made most famous in Laurel Canyon. Per Rolling Stone’s David Fricke: “A sumptuous immersion in ’70s California folk pop, it is the most immediately charming album he has ever made,” further adding, “but Like Neil Young’s Harvest and Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky, this is dreaming stalked by despair, then charged with rebound.” Now out on the road in support of Upside Down Mountain, Oberst is playing live with Dawes, the modern California four-piece closely associated with that Laurel Canyon sound (perhaps unfairly). And tomorrow night at SummerStage, Dawes open the show and then perform a set with Conor Oberst.

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Jonathan Wilson Wallops Music Hall of Williamsburg

February 18th, 2014

Jonathan Wilson – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 14, 2014


For some, Valentine’s Day is about love and romance, while for others it’s nothing more than a contrivance. And for those in the latter group, Music Hall of Williamsburg was the place to be on Friday night. The tone was immediately set as Jonathan Wilson and his band—Jason Borger on keys, Richard Gowen on drums, Dan Horne on bass and Omar Velasco on guitar—took the stage and launched into the opening (and title) track of Wilson’s second full-length, last year’s excellent Fanfare. It was nearly four minutes of simmering instrumentals before Wilson sang the night’s first words, and it was a signpost of what was to come.

Wilson and Co. performed 16 songs over the course of two and a half hours, putting on an impressive display of ability—while Wilson is supremely talented (as a producer, singer, songwriter and guitarist), his four skilled companions equally matched him. It was like everything that could go right onstage did. Of course, this wasn’t for everyone: Some lose attention when songs are any longer than, say, four minutes, and there were very few, if any, only twice as long as that. However the jamming was never indulgent, rather it was exploratory, as if the songs were trying to figure out where to go next. But none of the tunes ever lingered; instead, it was like that was just how long it took to tell each tale.

If you’re familiar with Wilson and his albums, Fanfare (which features appearances by Jackson Browne, David Crosby and Graham Nash) and Gentle Spirit, you’re no doubt aware of his ’70s influences. And in less capable hands, those influences would be all you’d notice, but his music builds on what came before, like the next logical step in the evolution of that ’70s-rock sound. Highlights included an upbeat “Love to Love” and “Moses Pain”—with many, eyes closed, smilingly singing, “Keep on riding”—Wilson and Velasco, face to face, waging a guitar battle during “Dear Friend” beneath a turning disco ball, “Can We Really Party Today?” with the crowd singing along, “Angel” accompanied by Pearl Charles (drummer for the night’s opening act, the Blank Tapes) on percussion and backing vocals, and an extended, slow-burning “Valley of the Silver Moon”—almost a suite of jamming—with those remaining hooting and hollering in response.

The performance could have easily ended right there, at 15 songs in two hours and twenty minutes. The house lights even came on, but then the band suddenly returned. “Here’s a Madonna song,” said Wilson, and they launched into a 10-minute guitar-shredding “La Isla Bonita.” Sure, it was only the middle of February, but by year’s end, it’s certain to remain one of the top shows of 2014. —R. Zizmor

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com

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Five Questions with … Jonathan Wilson

February 11th, 2014

Jonathan Wilson is a talented guy. He’s done production work for musicians like Father John Misty, Dawes and Chris Robinson. Plus he’s put out his own excellent albums filled with a unique mix of folk, psychedelic rock and R&B, including last year’s Fanfare (stream it below). Wilson has also performed with big-time names like Robbie Robertson, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Jackson Browne—while he and his band have won over audiences across the globe, touring on their own and alongside Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Jonathan Wilson (above, performing “Trials of Jonathan”) plays The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow night with Laraaji and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday with the Blank Tapes. And ahead of those shows, he answered Five Questions for The House List.

Which New York City musician—past or present—would you most like to play with?
Laraaji, and on February 12th we will be doing just that. It’s a dream come true, as I listen to his music almost every day.

Where do you like to hang out in NYC? And do you ever feel like you could live here?
I always like the East Village and the Lower East Side. I like going up to midtown for the nostalgic experience of when I used to visit NYC as a kid. I’ll try to catch a jazz show when I’m there. It’s the last place on earth with any jazz scene. I’d like to live in NYC again some day, sure.

Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you?
I’m not sure if a song is better if it really happened to the writer. Certain songs are. Like today in the world of rustic Americana banjo totin’, there seems to be a lot of hobo-centric songs about jumping trains to ol’ Virginny and the like. I doubt many young banjo frailers have ever done that, but they still can convince many a listener they have … or maybe it just inspires someone to dream or to ponder a yonder time. Nothing wrong with that. Music many times is fantastical and complete fiction, but everyone loves great fiction, right?

Behind Gentle Spirit, you played the early show at Mercury Lounge a couple of years ago. But following the release of Fanfare, this time you’re playing two shows in much bigger rooms. Is that just a local thing, or have you found you and your music are getting more recognition across the country?
Indeed, we are very excited to play these wonderful rooms. It is quite a jump since the last shows in NYC, but we have been touring pretty much nonstop since then, and the band has gained some great fans and support along the way. We are getting much more recognition across the globe, which is such an amazing feeling. The records are getting bigger, more complex, and the live show is as well. These are good times for us.

What goes into choosing a song to cover, like “Isn’t It a Pity,” “One More Cup of Coffee” or even “La Isla Bonita”? Does it have to do with liking those songs as a kid—or is it just about what moves you now?
In the case of “La Isla,” yes, there is certainly an affinity from childhood. Most of the others are just songs that have spoken to me, that I find a kinship with—songs I want to honor. Songs I want to bring back into someone’s day. —R. Zizmor

 

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Dawes Play Terminal 5 with Shovels & Rope Tomorrow Night

June 21st, 2013

Since forming in Southern California four years ago, the guys in Dawes—Taylor Goldsmith (vocals and guitar), Wylie Gelber (bass), Griffin Goldsmith (drums) and Tay Strathairn (keys)—have won over fans across the land with their high-energy live shows and three albums—North Hills, Nothing Is Wrong and this year’s Stories Don’t End (stream it below)—filled with tightly written songs, quality harmonies and some good old-fashioned guitar love. But one of the most interesting things about Dawes (above, doing “If I Wanted Someone” at last year’s Lollapalooza) is the vast array of bands and musicians with whom they’ve been associated. They’ve been compared to the Band, for their lyrics, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, for their harmonies. They’ve crisscrossed the country and teamed up with their musical brothers-in-arms, Deer Tick and Delta Spirit. And in the band’s infancy, they took part in jam sessions at Jonathan Wilson’s house with the likes of Chris Robinson, Benmont Tench and Conor Oberst. But after finding success, Dawes went on to back some of the biggest names in rock royalty, Robbie Robertson, Jackson Browne and John Fogerty. Plus, at the most epic night of music The House List has ever had the privilege to witness, they inspired one of the loudest sing-alongs Levon Helm’s Midnight Ramble had seen with their anthemic “When My Time Comes.” But, really, why are we telling you all this? So you don’t miss them with talented indie-folk duo Shovels & Rope tomorrow night at Terminal 5.

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Jackson Browne – The Wellmont Theatre – October 15, 2011

October 17th, 2011


Photos courtesy of Brian C. Reilly | www.briancreilly.com

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Jackson Browne on 10/15

October 11th, 2011

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Music legend Jackson Browne is coming to The Wellmont Theatre on Saturday night. And as you can imagine, the show is sold out. But not to fear because The House List is giving away two tickets. So if you’d like to go, try to Grow a Pair. Just fill out the form below, including your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Jackson Browne, 10/15) and a brief message explaining your favorite Jackson Browne song. Eddie Bruiser, whose favorite JB tune was recorded at Merriweather Post Pavilion, will notify the winner by Friday.

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