God Is An Astronaut (Photo by Brian Meade)
Reigning as one of the most well-known and highly critically acclaimed experimental instrumental groups out there with a respected musical legacy spanning nearly 20 years, Irish four-piece God Is An Astronaut will reach a career benchmark upon the release of their 10th studio album, Ghost Tapes #10 (out Feb. 12, 2021 via Napalm Records).
Along with an artful black and white music video (by Chariot Of Black Moth), the hypnotizing first offering “Burial” captivates with atmospheric yet melancholic, bewitching instrumental lines, and God Is An Astronaut’s full extent of power.
Vast Robot Armies album cover for Paper Crown Parade (Artwork by Victor Malang)
Vast Robot Armies describe themselves as “three cities, two countries, one band.” John Agee (guitar, bass, and vocals) and Joe Wells (guitar, bass, synth, and backing vocals) hail from Kansas City, Missouri. Jason Thomson (guitars, piano, synths, and vocals) lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The band recently released a new full-length album titled Paper Crown Parade. I caught up with Jason to ask him about standout song “Little Detroit.”
Martin Barre performs at The Birchmere, April 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Editor’s Note: This year, we asked our bloggers to name their Top 10 shows of 2019 or choose their Top 10 photos of the year. We will run them over the course of mid-December as our Best of the Year posts.
How am I going to do this?! Pick 10 favorites shots, moments, concerts, etc., from a year that was packed with them. Of course, the year had its fill of frustrations and challenges, as well, but those quickly fade from memory to be replaced by the realization that I am, indeed, very fortunate to combine two loves of my life, music and photography, into something I can share.
These moments, documented in the following images, all taught me something… about photography, about the power of music, and, ultimately, about myself; what I value, what moves me, and what’s important.
Russian Circles performs at Union Stage on Oct. 29, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
Russian Circles, the Chicago-based and internationally known post-metal power trio, brought its muscular brand of “multi-dimensional dramatic instrumental narratives” (as noted on the band’s website) to Union Stage recenlty. The band is now back on the road supporting its most recent release, Blood Year (Sargent House Records).
God Is an Astronaut performs at Rock and Roll Hotel on Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Marc Caicedo)
“Buying records cheers me up…whenever I feel low, I buy some new records.” Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz
The ability of music to lift us from pain born of tragedy is one of its enduring qualities. Recently, God Is an Astronaut (GIAA) showed us how despair and grief can be relieved — if only temporarily — with soaring melodies, a huge backbeat, and the sort of musical intimacy between player and listener that gives solace at the Rock and Roll Hotel.
Emma Ruth Rundle performs at Union Stage on May 23, 2019. (Photo by Paivi Salonen)
Emma Ruth Rundle dropped by Union Stage recently to perform songs from her last two albums, focusing heavily on 2018’s On Dark Horses, released by Sargent House.
Emma Ruth Rundle (Photo by Geert Braekers)
American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and visual artist Emma Ruth Rundle, touring with post-rock titans MONO, performs at Union Stage on Thursday, May 23.
Talos performs at the Lincoln Theatre on March 10, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)
Eoin French, the man behind the Talos, is onto something. Eoin, who studied music in the City of Cork in Ireland where he grew up, created fascinating pieces of music that ebbed and flowed, seemingly built layer upon layer of emotional energy at the Lincoln Theatre recently. Continue Reading
Bradford Cox fronts Deerhunter at Ottobar on March 3, 2019. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Deerhunter hit 9:30 Club and then Ottobar over the weekend, and Jason Nicholson took in both shows! Here, he shares some photos of Deerhunter at the band’s recent show at Ottobar.
Talos (Photo by Niall O’Brien)
Ireland’s very own Talos, born Eoin French, will perform at Lincoln Theatre as opener for Aurora on Sunday, March 10. Following a run with Peter, Bjorn, and John late last year, Talos released his sophomore album, Far Out Dust, via BMG on Feb. 8.