feeling

The Grownup Noise Announce Summer Tour

Four years and five national tours since the release of their last album, The Grownup Noise’s latest record, This Time With Feeling, has definitely proven itself to be worth the wait. Carefully blending elements of pop, folk and rock, the band bridges the gap between indie and Americana. The record was mixed in North Carolina by studio master Scott Solter (Spoon, Okkervil River). Fusing tranquil lyrics and harmonies with an assortment of orchestrated flourishes including cellos, pianos and accordions, all five members of The Grownup Noise are multi-instrumentalists.

The album opens with “Strawmen,” a lush arrangement that evokes feelings of peace and clarity. The playful “Six Foot Solemn Oath” immediately launches into a duet lead by intertwining piano and strings. “Carnival” lifts the tempo with a powerful folk-rock hook and lyrics that tell the tale of a magical love. Sorrowful lead single “The Artist Type” boasts an irresistible melody, expertly uniting gentle string arrangements and booming piano.

Check out “The Artist Type” MP3 HERE.

The Grownup Noise will kick off a national summer tour in support of This Time With Feeling. Described by the Portland Press Herald as combining “smart lyrics with keen vocals” and adding that “its songs are doses of melodic sunshine,” the Boston-based quintet offer a kinetic, emotional warmth. Catch them live in your city!

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The Grownup Noise Tour Dates

8/3: Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger Gallery
8/4: Washington, DC @ Velvet Lounge
8/5: Columbus, OH @ Kafe Kerouac
8/6: Louisville, KY @ Uncle Slayton's
8/7: Dayton, OH @ South Park Tavern
8/8: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
8/9: Nashville, TN @ Five Spot
8/11: Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
8/16: Santa Cruz, CA - Daytime show
8/18: San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
8/19: Sacramento, CA @ Distillery
8/23: Portland, OR @ Solar Panel Company - Daytime show
8/23: Portland, OR @ Knife Shop
8/24: Seattle, WA @ Hi-Dive

Sarabeth Tucek Streams New Album On AOL

Sarabeth Tucek is set to release her sophomore LP, Get Well Soon, on May 24th on Ungawa Records. It’s a stunning record that, although not a concept album as such, forms a narrative based around the death of Sarabeth’s father, or as she beautifully describes it “an impressionistic rendering of a time ruled by grief”. The 12 tracks were “sequenced and resequenced for weeks” in order for the story to emerge and the end result sees not one wasted word or unnecessary note; all we’re left with is “just pure feeling”.
Sarabeth was born to a psychiatrist and a psychologist in Miami, but grew up in New York. She was a latecomer to music, her first calling being acting. However, after a few years in Hollywood, her singing and songwriting was encouraged by people on the music scene she fell in with. She first made an impression singing backing vocals on Smog’s 2003 album Supper and then in the film ‘Dig!’, where she sings a song she had just written called "Something For You". The Brian Jonestown Massacre went on to cover the song (retitled "Seer"), but Sarabeth’s own version became her debut single, on Sonic Cathedral, back in February 2007.
This stark and simple song won her legions of fans and her self-titled debut album followed a few months later (on the Echo label) to rapturous reviews. Produced by Ethan Johns and Luther Russell, its understated style was an inspiration to a number of singer-songwriters who followed in Sarabeth’s wake, including Laura Marling, who approached Johns to produce I Speak Because I Can after hearing it.
However, despite everything seemingly going so right, at home everything was going wrong. “Some very bad things happened during the first record and after,” recalls Sarabeth. “It was as if all that had ever troubled me, hurt me, came back just as I was embarking on what should’ve been the happiest time of my life. It all came back and said, ‘Not so fast...’
“I don’t think my mind could handle all the good coming its way. It was unfamiliar terrain and I didn’t know how to traverse It. Predictably, my drinking got out of control and that led to a couple car accidents, jail and legal troubles.I wanted to leave LA anyway, but now I felt I sort of had to. I hoped that by coming back home to New York I would be able to forge some kind of redemptive break from the past. To forgive myself.”
The move has informed much of the music on Get Well Soon. The warmth of the West Coast has gone, replaced by a much rawer sound, all recorded over an intensive 15-day period in a basement in Southampton, Pennsylvania. “We recorded this record in a house where we also lived,” Sarabeth explains. “My friends Robert and Peter from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club recorded ‘Howl’ there. It’s owned by the Nicgorski family who are all very musical: Billy, who offered me the basement, and his brother have played in lots of bands, their sister Maria sings on ‘State I Am In’ and their father Wally spent his mornings on the front porch singing in his rocking chair. Making a record where I am singing to and about my father and seeing and hearing their dad out there every morning served up a pretty strong and bittersweet feeling for me.”
“I think we managed to capture a unique mood down in that basement,” adds producer Luther Russell. “As guests in someone’s home we got a feeling that might not have happened in a regular studio. Sarabeth wanted to be somewhere totally unfamiliar; the material was incredibly personal to her, so she had to feel right about where she did it. My job was to capture that feeling, and fast. The plan was to mix it in LA, but it turned out that all the magic was there in the rough mixes I did as we went along – so that is what you hear. I think that’s why it’s such an immediate record, because it really was completed in those two weeks... but with a lifetime of preparation, of course.”
The rawness of the recording reflects the subject matter and provides the perfect accompaniment to Sarabeth’s voice, which seems stronger, more confident and more crystalline than ever, like Karen Dalton or a less histrionic Cat Power, as she deftly conveys her grief with an eloquent, understated majesty. The musical reference points of the first album – Neil Young, Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Big Star – are still there, but somehow amplified, and Sarabeth is definitely not looking towards the current music scene for inspiration. “It’s odd how placid a lot of music seems now; so washed out in sound and feeling,” she says. “It’s like antidepressant music to take antidepressants to. I don’t really give a shit. I am more likely to buy a new book now than a new record.”
This would explain the number of literary references on Get Well Soon. The opening track "The Wound And The Bow" is named after a book of essays by Edmund Wilson, in which Sarabeth discovered and subsequently became obsessed with the myth of Philoctetes, a play by Sophocles in which the protagonist suffers a wound so grotesque that he is left alone on an island to live in a cave and tend to his injuries. The title of "Exit Ghost" was taken from the Philip Roth novel, but he appropriated it from ‘Hamlet’, where it is written as a stage direction. “The scene when Hamlet sees his father’s ghost became lodged in my head,” explains Sarabeth. “And his subsequent madness I understood in a more personal way.”
The narrative ends with the title track and a resolution of sorts. “I feel like I’m either the patient or the doctor, somebody always has an ache,” she says. “When I wrote the title track I had a friend of mine on my mind. She was so sad... just inconsolable and it was painful to see her like that. The title is a reminder to keep myself well. It’s hard to explain the ferocity of the grief I experienced when my father died. I really felt like it was going to kill me, so to be here... well, I just wanted to remind myself of what I survived.”

The Bluegrass Ball Plays Post-Phish in NV

The Bluegrass Ball is excited to announce the addition of a very special Phish after-show event with The Travelin McCoury's and Emmitt-Nershi Band on Tuesday, August 9th and Wednesday, August 10th at The Horizon Casino in Stateline, NV!  These shows will be the 6th & 7th installments of Bluegrass Balls whose goal is to bring the spirit of a bluegrass festival on the road and to venues across the countries.  Part of the excitement and success of the Bluegrass balls is due to the impromptu jams and unscheduled collaborations - that feeling that you never know what might happen, who might jam, and who might show up on stage.  Tickets are on-sale now and available at www.InTicketing.com - included with tickets is a FREE Pre Phish pool party on 8/10!

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The Travelin’ McCourys do not stand still. They are on the road–and online–entertaining audiences with live shows that include some of the best musicians and singers from all genres. It’s always different, always exciting, and always great music. No other band today has the same credentials for playing traditional and progressive music. As the sons of bluegrass legend Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury on mandolin and Rob McCoury on banjo continue their father’s work-a lifelong dedication to the power of bluegrass music to bring joy into people’s lives. And with fiddler Jason Carter and bassist Alan Bartram, the ensemble is loved and respected by the bluegrass faithful. But the band is now combining their sound with others to make something fresh and rejuvenated.

Agnes Obel Covers Elliot Smith's 'Between the Bars'

Play “Just So” to anyone in Germany and they’ll tell you it’s the music from the Deutsche Telekom television advertisement. Which it is. The kind of exposure many an artist would die for. Well not literally, obviously. Or the kind of publicity an independent spirit might agonize over, venturing into the commercial arena.

I can’t help feeling that Agnes Obel is not going to have her feathers ruffled by something, in the greater scheme of things, as inconsequential as a song placement in an ad. Yet is not intriguing how a few bars of music can seep into our consciousness and set us off wondering where they came from?

This facebookish world of ours offers us the illusion of getting to know people we don’t really know. Who their friends are and what they like. Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel likes Alfred Erik Lesley Satie and Sonic Youth. Debussy and Dylan. Hitchcock and PJ Harvey. But what people like is not necessarily the same as what he or she is like. Clues, perhaps, but as fans of Hitchcock well know, not every clue leads you where you think it might.

So we focus on the facts. Agnes Obel is from Copenhagen but she lives in Berlin. She studied at the University of Roskilde, a town renowned for a Glastonbury style music festival and home to a marvellous viking ship museum. She possesses the rare gift of a songbird’s voice and is about to release her debut album.

Then, like a good detective, we study the photograph. The owl and Agnes. Except their watchful gaze leaves you feeling its they who are looking at us, rather than the other way around. Did you know that an eagle owl’s eyes do not move, instead owls can move their heads almost three quarters around without moving their body? Agnes, meanwhile, seriously beautiful, looks a little like Liv Ullmann in Bergman’s “Persona,” or Tippi Hedren in self-assured Marnie guise rather than the catatonic figure in The Birds. She appears perfectly balanced alongside the eagle owl, both mutually protective of their proud serenity. A clue staring us in the face, yet conjuring up more questions than answers.

Listen to Anges Obel's beautiful cover of Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars"

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Agnes Obel Tour Dates:
6/4: SANTA MONICA, CA @ McCabe's
6/6: HOLLYWOOD, CA @ Hotel Cafe 8pm
6/7: SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ Rickshaw
6/9: PORTLAND, OR @ Alberta Rose Theatre
6/10: SEATTLE, WA @ Freemont Abbey Center
6/13: WASHINGTON, DC @ Sixth & I
6/14: NEW YORK, NY @ Joe's Pub
6/15: PHILADELPHIA, PA @ Tin Angel

Sheryl Crow @ Boulder Roots & Blues Summit

For Sheryl Crow, the title of her seventh album isn?t just a location; it's a state of mind. "I grew up in a small town 100 miles from Memphis, and that informed not only my musical taste, but how I look at life," she says. "The drive to Memphis is all farmland, and everyone is community-oriented, God-fearing people, connected to the earth. The music that came out of that part of the world is a part of who I am, and it's the biggest inspiration for what I do and why I do it."

So for the Kennett, Missouri native, calling the disc 100 Miles From Memphis is a statement of purpose, both musical and emotional. It also marks a long-awaited return by the nine-time Grammy winner to the sounds that first drew her to making music.

The results evoke a time when soul and passion filled the radio waves, when the sweat and joy of a recording session could be captured forever on wax. Sometimes the musical references?Al Green, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder?are made apparent, but the album?s eleven songs are characterized more by capturing a classic spirit than by imitating any specific style.

Crow explains that the way 100 Miles From Memphis was recorded is crucial to its slinky grooves and rolling rhythms. Produced by Doyle Bramhall II and Justin Stanley ("I knew they could get that old soul feeling with authenticity," she says), and cut mostly live with a regular crew of musicians, the album presented a new set of challenges for her as a singer and a songwriter.

With the musical direction already established, the album's messages crystallized in one night at Crow's farm, outside of Nashville. "Having a three year old, you don't get too much quiet time," she says, "but I sat up one night, and I worked all night long and came up with the better part of five lyrics."

What emerged was a set of songs that are unusually open and direct for someone often celebrated for the care and craft of her writing. "This music called for emotion, a place of sensuality and sexuality, and that's a little challenging for me," she says. "Sometimes it's easier for me to hide behind more intellectual lyrics. So it was a great stretching experience to show more vulnerability in my writing."

The songs on 100 Miles From Memphis display impressive range, in feeling and performance. First single "Summer Day" is a delightfully breezy slice of glory-days AM radio pop. "I wanted to experiment with writing something simple and positive," says Crow. "The feeling of a great, solid love, not just a new love, but something everlasting."

Crow, of course, first reached the spotlight as a back-up singer with Michael Jackson, and adds that "I Want You Back" was the first single she ever bought. "It wasn't a conscious choice to do an homage, but it wound up being a very bittersweet thing," she says. "Michael's death brought a lot of stuff back for me, so it was nice that we could include this."

For Sheryl Crow, 100 Miles From Memphis is the right album at the right moment. "My last record (2008's Detours) was pretty political, extremely personal, and more lyric-driven," she says, "so it seemed like a great time to do something soulful and sexy and more driven by the music." It took a lot of years, but with this set of songs, she finally made it back home.

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More Info / Buy Tickets

Juan-Carlos Formell @ Zinc Bar | NYC

Grammy-nominated Cuban guitarist/composer/vocalist Juan-Carlos Formell re-ignites the connections between Cuban music and jazz with his explosive new project "Johnny's Dream Club". Named for a legendary Havana jazz cabaret, "Johnny's Dream Club" represents a place outside time - the vortex between New Orleans and Havana, where the parallel lines of Cuban music and American jazz converge. It's a new dimension of latin jazz --intense, lyrical, dangerously dream-like. Formell and his all-star quartet map this territory in a delirious sequence of juxtapositions: "Ciudad" ("City"), evoking the nightmare of an urban apocalypse, flows into a  jazz ballad about an elusive love ("Siempre que te vas"); songs about being lost at sea ("Las islas son malvadas", "Cuando hable de la noche") and the bloody history of the Caribbean ("Yanbando") are set against haunting, mystical love songs ("Sotavento", "Fuego de Amor") inspired by Havana's "Feeling" movement.

A precursor to - and influence upon - bossa nova, Feeling emerged from the Bohemian enclaves of Centro Habana in the late 1940s. Feeling's free-style guitar, with progressive harmonies, diminished chords and bittersweet texts of disillusioned love reflected the sophisticated after-hours atmosphere of Havana's bohemian AfroCuban musicians: composer/guitarists Jose Antonio Mendez and Cesar Portillo de la Luz; singers Elena Burke and Omara Portuondo; pianists Bebo Valdes and Peruchin.

Feeling was also the starting point of Juan-Carlos Formell's biography. Born in Havana in 1964, a fourth generation Cuban musician, he learned the technique of the Feeling guitar from the creators of the genre: Mendez, Froilan, Guyun.  He began composing in his teens, and studied bass with Andres Escalona, the first bassist of the Havana Symphony Orchestra. After completing his studies Juan-Carlos became the bassist for the jazz pianist Emiliano Salvador.

As a classically trained bassist, virtuoso guitarist, and composer gifted with a groundbreaking and powerful writing style, Juan-Carlos had all the elements to become a voice of his generation - but instead, was prevented from performing or recording his own work by Cuba's government-controlled music industry because his music didn't fit into any official category. In 1993, after touring Mexico as a replacement for bassist Cachaito Lopez, Juan-Carlos fled to the United State to realize his mission of creating a new wave of Cuban music. He settled in New York City and soon started his own band. His years of struggle were vindicated when he was signed to a major record label in 1999 and his debut album, "Songs from a Little Blue House" was nominated for a Grammy. Part prophet, part poet, in exile Juan-Carlos has forged a post-modern identity for AfroCuban music that has been hailed as "musical magic realism". His five albums constitute an epic poem of Antillean mytho-history, with songs ranging from a paen to the flora and fauna of his native country, a personal invocation to an AfroCuban deity, an ode to a sacred river or a hymn to the "divine light" that brings us to a union with our higher selves. Juan-Carlos describes his new project as "a reflection of our culture today -- in the post-modern landscape, we are all refugees from the broken city, haunted, adrift at sea, in danger of losing our true reference points and losing our way forever. I keep returning to New Orleans for inspiration because I believe that there, at the crossroads of the Caribbean, it's possible to create music that embraces the past while gazing at the future -- a new music without genres and categories."

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Juan-Carlos Formell @ Zinc Bar | NYC  -- November 10th, 2010

ZINC BAR 82 West 3rd St (btw Sullivan & Thompson)
sets: 9:30 PM, 11:30 PM & 1:00 AM

Great American Taxi - May 2010 News!

Great American Taxi is hitting the highway again tomorrow (seems like we just got back from North Carolina...we had a blast in the Midwest, Rust Belt and Southeast last month, thanks everybody!) and heading for a week in Texas.  We hope to see a bunch of the new friends we made last time down there with Todd Snider.  We will end the Texas run on Saturday May 8th in Tyler, TX at the Southbound Sound Music Festival where Taxi plays there own set at 3 pm and then backs up Todd at 5:30 pm.  Old 97s and Joe Ely among others are on the bill.  We'll also be heading to Amarillo, Dallas, Austin and Bryan.

After that it's full festival mode with stops in Lincoln, NE on May 20th, Festy Fest in Lawrence, KS on May 21st and a one day festival on May 22nd at the always wild and fun Mishawaka Amphitheater with Motorhome, Dead Floyd, Patti Fiasco and the Wirefaces.  We are also making a one day stop at the Nelsonville Music Festival in Ohio with Todd om May 16th and then on to Memorial Festival Weekend at Schwagstock in Salem, MO for two days and Festi Di Bella Vida at beautiful Harmony Park in Geneva, MN (this one is almost sold out folks, 200 hundred tickets left).  We are also lining up a possible Memorial Day afternoon celebration in La Crosse, WI.

Lots of fun stuff lining up for the Summer and beyond.  We're feeling blessed and excited for Spring and Summer here in Taxi land.  Hope all is well in your world.  Don't forget to get your copy of "Reckless Habits" if you haven't already.  We are also helping the campaign for the miners' families who lost men in the Upper Big Branch Mine.  You can download "Appalachian Soul" from our debut record "Streets of Gold" (which will be available again for purchase in two weeks) for free if you promise to make a donation to the miners.  You can find more information out about that at www.greatamericantaxi.com as well as see our first music video and also watch a trailer to the upcoming documentary release "Coul Counrty".  All the very best to all of you.  Hope to see you all soon!

UPCOMING SHOWS

Golden Light Cantina
Amarillo, TX Tue May 04 10 08:00 PM Tickets
Granada Theater
Dallas, TX Wed May 05 10 08:00 PM
Saxon Pub
Austin, TX Thu May 06 10 12:00 PM
Lakeside Icehouse
Bryan, TX Fri May 07 10 07:00 PM Tickets
Nelsonville Music Festival
Nelsonville, OH Sun May 16 10 08:00 PM Tickets
Bourbon Theatre
Lincoln, NE Thu May 20 10 08:00 PM Tickets
Festy Fest
Lawrence, KS Fri May 21 10 08:00 PM
Mishawaka Amphitheater
Bellvue, CO Sat May 22 10 08:00 PM
Camp Zoe
Salem, MO Fri May 28 10 08:00 PM
Camp Zoe
Salem, MO Sat May 29 10 01:00 PM Tickets
Harmony Park
Geneva, MN Sun May 30 10 08:30 PM
The High Life
Springfield, MO Wed Jun 02 10 08:00 PM
Wakarusa Music Festival
Ozark, AK Thu Jun 03 10 08:00 AM Tickets
Revolution Music Room (The Rev Room)
Little Rock, AR Fri Jun 04 10 08:30 PM Tickets
Blue Plum Festival
Johnson City, TN Sat Jun 05 10 08:00 PM
The Abbey Theater
Durango, CO Thu Jun 10 10 08:00 PM
Sheridan Opera House
Telluride, CO Fri Jun 11 10 08:00 PM
Old South Pearl Street BrewGrass Festival
Denver, CO Sat Jun 12 10 01:00 PM
The Filling Station
Bozeman, MT Wed Jun 23 10 08:00 PM
Downtown ToNight-Caras Park
Missoula, MT Thu Jun 24 10 05:30 PM
Groovefest
Cedar City, UT Fri Jun 25 10 08:00 PM
Red Butte Garden Ampitheatre
Salt Lake City, UT Mon Jun 28 10 08:00 PM Tickets
Elko Convention Center
Elko, NV Tue Jun 29 10 07:00 PM
Crystal Bay Club - Red Room
Crystal Bay, NV Wed Jun 30 10 09:00 PM Tickets
High Sierra Music Festival
Quincy, CA Thu Jul 01 10 11:45 PM Tickets
High Sierra Music Festival
Quincy, CA Fri Jul 02 10 01:00 PM Tickets
The Realm of Music Festival
Bond, CO Sat Jul 03 10 01:00 PM Tickets
Northwest String Summit
North Plains, OR Fri Jul 16 10 07:45 PM Tickets
Les Scwab Amphlitheater
Bend, OR Sun Jul 25 10 02:00 PM Tickets
Dead on the Creek
Willits, CA Sat Aug 07 10 08:00 PM