Blitzen Trapper, the five piece from Portland, Oregon, has been going strong for well over 15 years now, but it’s their 2008 album, Furr, where most fans got their start with its experimental Americana and vivid lyrical imagery. Blizten Trapper celebrated the 10th anniversary of that album at Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday.
As the story goes, Joseph Arthur and Peter Buck (REM, Filthy Friends, The Minus 5) met up through a mutual friend in Mexico and put together what would become the new debut for their new project, Arthur Buck — but if you think about it, this was something preordained for some time. For years, the two have traveled in similar circles, Joseph even opened for R.E.M. back in the early 2000s. They melded together in their love for rock ‘n’ roll at Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday.
To say that that Will Toledo is prolific is an understatement. Just before his band, Car Seat Headrest, was picked up by Matador Records in 2015, Mr. Toledo had already released eight albums of material on his own, including the original version of the newly rerecorded Twin Fantasy. Since those earlier years, Car Seat Headrest has grown from primarily a one-man creative outlet to a four piece with Will on guitar to its current stage configuration. And that new sound really packed a punch at 9:30 Club on Thursday!
Nothing, the Philadelphia-born band led by Domenic “Nicky” Palermo (former hardcore punk vocalist for Horror Show), is the story of a band and a man who has gone through a constant string of adversity but who perseveres in spite of (or perhaps because of) it. That perseverance was evident at the Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday.
Have you ever listened to a song and you swear to yourself you had to see this band to see if they are real? I came to the Wolf Parade party a little late. I had heard their second album, At Mount Zoomer, from a friend who had made a copy for me and I liked it, but for some reason it wasn’t until the follow up, Expo 86, that I really came around to see what amazing musicians and songwriters Wolf Parade are. The band reminded me of that at Ottobar on Aug. 29.
Father John Misty by now needs little introduction. After four critically acclaimed albums in just under six years, Josh Tillman, whose stage moniker is known just as much for his off-stage words as his sarcastic and often self-deprecating lyrics, has made a name for himself. But with his latest album, God’s Favorite Customer, he focused on more personal matters. Delivered in that great Harry Nilsson meets Randy Newman style, the bite was still there, but it was more focused at The Anthem on Thursday.
There’s a magic that Amelia Meath (vocals) and Nick Sanborn (producer/sound engineer) create. It’s an infectious feeling generated by Amelia’s compelling voice and energetic dance moves — itself buoyed by the soundscapes formed and molded by Nick’s panel of sounds. Over the past two LPs (2014’s self-titled Sylvan Esso and last year’s What Now), the North Carolina-based Sylvan Esso created beat-soaked tunes that stick in your head. But it’s their live show that’s a force to behold.
On Thursday night at The Anthem, the duo pulled no punches.