Harmonic Convergence: Fleet Foxes @ The Fillmore


Blitzen Trapper joins Fleet Foxes on stage for the final encore.

It was a lovely evening of music this Tuesday at The Fillmore with Blitzen Trapper and Fleet Foxes. Truth be told, Robin Pecknold’s new haircut threw me a bit and I spent much of the night coming to terms with it.  (Grow it back, I say!) The band pulled out some new songs throughout the night, showcasing Robin’s amazing pipes.  Musically, it was a bit ‘more of the same’ though.  And I couldn’t help question, with so much talent in that band, why some of the other members aren’t showcased? Drummer J. Tillman is an amazing artist and a force in his own right. I know the Fleet Foxes have ‘a sound’, which is incredible, but it is a lot of the same tempos and rhythms. So I couldn’t help wondering, are they missing an opportunity by not letting other band members come to the forefont?  It would certainly mix things up a bit and make for a more dynamic band – perhaps helping their longevity and fan engagement in the long run. What do you think?

Listen to “Sun It Rises”

Best Songs of 2008 – Indie Rock


Every year I host a music swap with my music geek friends where we share our top albums of the year.  This year we spiced it up a bit by adding a new component – a mix of your favorite songs of 2008 by artists not represented in our Best Albums of 2008 list. (Ryan’s rules, not mine.) So here it is, my mix of some of my favorite indie rock tunes for 2008. I was struck by a lot of San Francisco local music this year and have noted those artists with an asterisk (**).  I enjoyed the emergence of such good music from my hometown and hope you will too. Enjoy!

  1. ** Pigeonhold by Port O’Brien
  2. Testify by Carney
  3. ** The Drag by Ty Segall
  4. Pot Kettle Black by Tilly and the Wall
  5. Operation by Deerhunter
  6. There Are Birds by The Ruby Suns
  7. The Dazzled by Crystal Stilts
  8. The Shedding Path by The Lord Bird Dog
  9. Chemtrails by Beck
  10. Oppressions Each by Brightblack Morning Light
  11. The Columbia by Lackthereof
  12. ** Hellhole Ratrace by Girls
  13. ** New York Through York by Lady Genius
  14. Charlyn, Angel of Kensington by Jason Collett
  15. My Baby by Juliana Hatfield
  16. Furr by Blitzen Trapper
  17. ** Peg by Cryptacize
  18. Lady Luck by Richard Swift
  19. Don’t You Worry by Jim Noir

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Blitzen Trapper @ The Indpendent


I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Blitzen Trapper last night at The Independent. (And was equally amused when I realized I was standing next to The Morning Benders while watching it.  Cool.)  Although I felt like I was seeing an entirely new band.  I saw them a couple of times in the past year supporting Wild Mountain Nation, but this was a wholly different performance.  They stuck to Furr almost exclusively. And lead singer Eric Earley was clearly channeling Bob Dylan. I think the only song from the vault they pulled out was in fact ‘Wild Mountain Nation’.  The music was tight, the harmonies were beautiful.  Much more subdued than their usual blitzkrieg. And I must say my favorite song of the night, while not necessarily one of my favorites on the album, was ‘Love U‘.  They took me someplace else during that song. Awesome.

Onward and upward, Blitzen Trapper!

Listen to ‘Black River Killer’

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Blitzen Trapper – Furr


Artist: Blitzen Trapper
Album: Furr
File Under: Americana
Recommended if You Like: Dr. Dog, Pavement, Band of Horses, Bob Dylan
Featured Track: Furr

Portland’s Blitzen Trapper has been stirring up quite the buzz for the past year.  Their last album, Wild Mountain Nation, made my ‘Best of’ list last year and was a darling in the indie music blogosphere.  While some people didn’t take to that album’s lack of focus, I adored their schizophrenic romp through musical genres.  It was very reminiscent of Pavement to me – weird and whimsical, which is a good thing.

The sound from their fourth album, Furr, is much more refined, honed in and mature.  They seem to have grown up and figured out what works for them. And it works very well.  Furr is like Bob Dylan meets Dr. Dog.  They’ve taken the folk/Americana genre and played it out beautifully. No longer does the group sound like a bunch of teenagers trying every passing trend on for size. This album is cohesive and exudes a kind of confidence and talent that comes with maturity.  It’s the real deal.

Blitzen Trapper plays tonight at The Independent in San Francisco.

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