Between now and the festival, the only thing we have to talk about is the pending schedule, lineup adjustments, and the lineup itself. Rather than saying, "I like this band a lot," why not dive in depth into each band? Tonight starts the weekly feature, "Quadros," where I will tell you what I know about four bands, and give you a couple songs (or albums) to get you started if you are unfamiliar. Yes, I made up the word "Quadros." I'm not going to be suggesting obscure and rare tracks trying to prove an elitist grasp of music, just the better or catchier tunes. I'll be spending three plus hours listening to each act on the lineup, if I haven't already, so I'm not guessing here.
Not everyone visiting this site is an Internet nerd with hours a day available for listening to music, so this should help some of you get familiar with the lineup. I'll also tell you my experiences seeing these bands live, or the opinions of trusted friends if I haven't seen them. I'm not a youtuber, nor do I promote illegally downloading music, so I'll leave the research of my suggestions up to you. Feel free to agree, disagree, or provide additional song/album suggestions in the comments section, as well as providing your live experiences and opinions.
It took me a while to get into Wilco too. I even skipped most of their set at Sasquatch 2005 for relaxation and shade (it was 98 degrees that year). I'm still kicking myself for that, because I have since become a huge Wilco fan, and seeing them live for the first (second) time in 2008 sold me. Nels Cline shreds on the guitar, and Tweedy is such a comedian addressing the crowd. They were number 13 on my top 20 shows of 2010. Most of why I like Wilco live is addressed there, so read it if you are curious.
If you are new to the band, you should start with the album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which is generally accepted as their best. Personally, Summerteeth is my favorite. If you are going to Monday's show, check out both of those albums. My suggested tracks below are by no means the best Wilco songs, and will likely be ridiculed by devoted Wilco fans, but I feel it is a diverse start. They have a ton of material after all. "Wilco will love you baby."
1. War On War (their catchiest tune)
2. A Shot In The Arm
3. Casino Queen (a fun song)
4. Spiders (Kidsmoke) (the stoner jam)
5. Impossible Germany (listen to the guitar solo(s) at the end)
6. Passenger Side (you like road sodas?)
7. Hate It Here (a fun sad song about no longer having your lady around).
Yeasayer is experimental rock with extensive harmonies. Truth be told, I think All Hour Cymbals was an outstanding album, and I think Odd Blood was way too much. It sounds like a completely different band. I tried really hard to add a couple Odd Blood track selections below, but my real top six would all be All Hours Cymbals songs. I saw Yeasayer live a couple years ago, and I thought it was a below average performance. The bass player mostly sang with a bass around his neck, and when he did play, I couldn't hear it (like it wasn't plugged in). The main lead singer appeared to be mimicking Avey Tare (of Animal Collective), so he didn't grab my attention either. Anand Wilder, the guitar/electronics dude, stole the show. I kept thinking, "he needs to form his own band." Their light show was minimal, and they had cheesy white bulbs placed ten feet off the ground throughout the stage which occasionally changed colors (very unoriginal).
To be fair, I've heard outstanding things about Yeasayer live, and I've been looking forward to seeing them a second time. Maybe I was having a bad day when I saw them the first time? They've been known to have visuals projected on a screen behind the band, which they didn't have when I saw them, so that would've created a much better experience. It appears they will be playing an evening set Sunday on the Bigfoot stage, so hopefully they bring their best, including those visuals.
1. Wait For The Wintertime
3. Rome (grooooovy beat)
4. Red Cave
5. Ambling Alp
Alberta Cross' 2007 debut EP, Thief and Heartbreaker, has five songs that could have made my top 20 for the year. Their lead singer looks and acts like a rock star, even if he sounds a bit like a choir girl. Their bluesy rock sound landed them on the Dave Matthews Band fall 2010 tour, opening with Ben Harper, so it's obvious some people like them. One would think that break would vault them to popularity, but that remains to be seen.
I spent so much time listening to the Thief and Hearbreaker, I actually had to force myself to quit listening to it. I can't think of another album/EP I can say this about, I was that obsessed. It still has their greatest songs, a couple of which appeared on their first full length album, Broken Side of Time. Having seen them live a couple times, I can say they are very tight. They sound pretty much like their albums, which is a compliment in this case, but they do put a spin on a couple of their bigger songs. "Old Man Chicago" is classic.
1. Old Man Chicago (great great song, I prefer the EP version)
2. The Thief & The Heartbreaker
3. I've Known For Long
4. Rise From The Shadows (they typically end their shows with this chant-a-long)
5. Devil's All You've Ever Had
6. Low Man
7. Atx (much more rockin' than their EP)
I mistakenly assumed Twin Shadow was a dance act when I first read about him last fall. There are some good beats on his album Forget, but it doesn't make me want to dance. It's more like 80's new wave music than dance music. If 80's new wave makes you dance, that's cool. I keep thinking of Depeche Mode whenever I listen to Twin Shadow. Depeche Mode doesn't make me dance though. I've heard very few testimonies on what his live shows are like, so listen to the suggested tracks, and see if he fits your likings.
1. For Now (by far the best)
2. When We're Dancing
4. Shooting Holes At The Moon