Monday, February 11, 2013

Heavy And Light (Show) 2/8/2012

I figured I would go ahead and discuss  "Heavy and Light" and "To Write Love On Her Arms"  with you. I want it to be known, and TWLONHR wants it to be known that this was not a "come out for a good cause" type of show. Instead it was a night of inspirational music, spoken word, and conversation designed to let you know that your life matters, your story is important, and people need other people. Part of their mission is also to connect people to treatment and sources of help for those facing substance abuse, depression, and loss. I think this is a good thing.

 I came to the Cannery Ballroom mainly for the purpose of seeing Fiction Family without knowing the whole purpose behind this event. I left with a new found appreciation for the event in itself and a couple new favorite artists along with Fiction Family. The bill for the night included Noah Gundersen, Now,Now,  Bryce Avary, Aaron Gillespie, Anis Mojgani, and Jon Foreman & Fiction Family. I think I'm only going to elaborate on Noah Gundersen, Anis Mojgani, and Fiction Family because they were my favorites, and I don't really like trying to force a review for artists I wasn't all in for.

Noah Gundersen with his sister Abbey on fiddle and backup vocals kicked off the night for us. They made their way down from Seattle to bring their heartfelt folky tunes all the way to us in Nashville. On a side note, I think Seattle and the Pacific Northwest is the only other area in the States where I could be satisfied with the music scene besides Nashville and the Southeast. Also, I am a always a sucker for a good, deep folk tune with only an acoustic guitar, harmonica, and a fiddle. It was just one of those sets where you just stand there with a stupid awestruck grin on your face. The power of the two siblings collaborating was undeniably perfect. Throughout the set he tackled the impossibly tough issues of religion and love. One of my favorite lines was from the tune "Jesus, Jesus" when it concluded with "Jesus, Jesus could you call me if you have the time? And maybe we could drink some whiskey and work it out." I don't think some of the crowd could appreciate what the song really meant, but it made perfect sense to me. Throughout the night, he and his sister were repeatedly called back up on stage to play with everyone else. Noah will be back in Nashville at the 12th & Porter on April 4th. Go check him out if you dig his stuff below. I know I will be there if I am in town.

Cigarettes-Noah Gundersen

Jesus, Jesus - Noah Gundersen

Alright, next up is Anis Mojgani. What a gifted individual he is. I had become familiar with some of his material a while back through some sampling in some post-rock tracks. After seeing him perform live, I was completely blown away. His words and delivery are so powerful.  I am no expert in the spoken word movement, but I know he is among the best of the best as a two time winner of the National Individual Poetry Slam. He performed two of his best, at least my favorite, poems "Here Am I" and "Shake The Dust". Instead of me trying to elaborate more, just listen to his performance in the video below, and you will get it.

1. Direct Orders, 2. Here Am I, 3. Shake The Dust - Anis Mojgani

And for the finale, we have Jon Foreman & Fiction Family. I just refer to them as Fiction Family, but it was billed Jon Foreman & Fiction Family, whatever. Fiction Family's two key members are Jon Foreman, vocalist and guitarist of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins, former guitarist and vocalist of Nickel Creek. It seems like an odd combination, right? You would never question it after hearing them play together. I have been a huge fan of all their endeavors for many years now. I consider myself fortunate to have seen them as Fiction Family twice now because at the current rate they do these shows they're about 4 years apart. Jon opened up the set by himself playing his solo effort tune "Behind Your Eyes". Then he stood away from his mic, unplugged his guitar, and led the crowd in the Switchfoot song  "Dare You to Move". I don't care who you are, that is such a powerful, inspirational song especially with only the audience singing and Jon barely audible. He then brought out the rest of the band including Sean. I consider them to basically be a folk group with rock tendencies. Both Jon and Sean traded off lead vocals throughout the night, and their harmonies blended together very nicely. They hit several tunes from their newly released album "Fiction Family Reunion". Two of my favorites off the new album which were played that night are "Give Me Back My Girl" which is poppy and catchy and "Just Rob Me" which is a comical folk tune with Sean Watkins shredding a bluegrass guitar solo. They continued to hit songs from their first release and some of Jon's solo effort songs. At the end of the show, they brought everyone who had performed over the course of the night and played Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" which summed up the entire event. Below, I have both of Fiction Family's albums and Jon Foreman's solo album available for you to listen to via Spotify.

In summary, this was an inspirational night full of positivity and hope. You are here for a reason, and your story has a purpose. Don't ever forget that. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read our blog! Also, a big shout out goes to my buddy Adam Tilson for letting me use his pictures.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reeve Oliver - "We're getting the band back together!"

Today, I found out the best month-old news ever. Reeve Oliver is getting back together!

This is almost funny to me because a couple weeks ago I was going to write a blog about them entitled "Reeve Oliver - The Best Band That Never Was". I'm sure all of you have those bands that you listened to back in high school that just hit you really hard and have stuck with you ever since. For Cory and me, one of those bands is Reeve Oliver. They are 3 piece indie-rock band from San Diego,CA and were raved about in the area. I never got a chance to see them live, but Cory caught one of their shows in Knoxville, TN back in the day. He gave me their ep "Endless Bummer", and I haven't been able to get enough them. I think the only album readily available is "Touchtone Inferno", released in 2007, which I have available for you to listen to. They quickly broke up after the release, and we haven't heard much from them until just now. Somehow I also managed to scrounge around and find the "Reeveoliver" album at a local record store a few years ago which is also awesome!

Like I just said, every once in a while a band comes along that just hits you in the chest and puts you in your place. Throughout the past 6-7 years, all of Reeve Oliver's songs have meant the world to me. I think the main reason they have stuck with me for so long is because since my junior year of high school to this present day they have helped me make transitions throughout life. For me, this means meeting new people and losing others, the beginning and ending of a relationship, leaving home and returning, and having no clue what I'm doing and slowly figuring it out. It's extremely comforting to know that someone has been in that exact place in their life before. It's a personal connection.

From what I know, Reeve Oliver has two shows lined up in February. One is on the 2nd at the Casbah in San Diego, CA, and the other is on the 23rd at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, CA. Unfortunately for me, I don't see myself making my way out of the Southeast in the next month, but hopefully they decide to get out this way. If you are a Cali boy or girl in that area, please go. Do it for them. They deserve it. And do it for me. If you (Reeve Oliver) read this, please know that a group of kids who grew up in Seymour, TN are anxiously waiting for a new album and a show reasonably close. For our audience, thanks for reading!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Bonnaroo Fever - Predictions, Wishes, Longshots

"Roomors" are flying around, and I love it! The first steps towards Bonnaroo 2013 are finally here. One of the best parts about Bonnaroo, at least for veterans, is speculating about the next year's lineup. Speaking for myself, I can be caught talking about anything and everything Bonnaroo anytime of the day, anytime of the year. With this being said, I have a sheet of notebook paper that's been in my desk since the Tuesday after Bonnaroo 2012, I believe. On this sheet of paper is all the artists I think could possibly make appearances at the festival this year. Take this with a grain of salt because it was made not even 24 hours from when I returned back to civilization. I know we can rule some of them out already, but it's still fun right?

Here it goes:

Kings of Leon, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes/ Father John Misty, The Killers, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, Some form of the Allman Brothers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Gaslight Anthem, The Apache Relay, Dawes, Manchester Orchestra, Some form of Jack White, Umphrey's McGee, Old Crow Medicine Show, Drive-By-Truckers, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Dr. Dog, Band of Horses, Band of Skulls, Dave Matthews Band, The Features, Wax Fang, Of Monsters and Men, River City Extension, A.A. Bondy, The Black Lillies, Some form of the Everybodyfields, Blues Traveler, Bob Dylan, Broken Social Scene, Cake, Chatham County Line, John Fogerty/ CCR, David Gray, Ray Lamontagne, Deathcab for Cutie, Howlin' Rain, Justin Townes Earle, Some form of Mars Volta/ Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Mumford and Sons, Mutemath, Phoenix, Jon Foreman, Royal Bangs, Moe., STS9, Widespread Panic, Spoon/ Divine Fits, The Swell Season/ Glen Hansard, Truth & Salvage Co., U2, Jakob Dylan/ Wallflowers, The Whigs,and Yuck

The lineup is supposed to drop here in about a month, usually Valentine's Day. If even 5-10 bands from my list are on the official lineup I'll be super stoked. Let us know who you think will be there, and I hope to see y'all there in about 5 months!