Shows of Note – Never Gonna Stop the Funk

20130304_March_Fourth_D3C1700_flat_2000px

We have to admit that funky, jazzy marching band music isn’t necessarily what we regularly play here at The ‘Burg, but MarchFourth Marching Band is so awesome we just have to promote their show.

MarchFourth Marching Band

MarchFourth Marching Band

MarchFourth Marching Band’s name does a pretty good job of describing them. The 20 + member group includes a 5-piece percussion section, 7-part brass section and elaborate marching band themed costumes. Although their music is almost too funky to bear, it’s their choreographed dance moves and energetic live shows that make the band really worth watching.

The influence of traditional marching band music is very apparent in MarchFourth Marching Band’s sound but they definitely aren’t close to traditional. Their sound is anchored by a funky electric bass and they draw influences from rock, jazz and even African tribal music.

Originally from Portland, Ore, the band has released two studio albums along with a live album. Their most recent work Magnificent Beast was released in 2011 and they have since produced one single, “Shindig.”

“Shindig” is nothing short of wonderful. The song features an early flute solo, driving brass and appropriate drum solo. A circus themed music video accompanies the song. Anyone who was ever in any sort of jazz, marching or concert band will appreciate MarchFourth Marching Band’s excellent style and desire to keep marching band music cool.

MarchFourth Marching Band will be in Leavenworth at Leisure Games,  Feb 15, The Showbox in Seattle on Feb. 28, Admiral Theatre in Bremerton, March 3, Wild Buffalo in Bellingham on March 2, and the Crystal Ballroom in Portland on March 4. Tune-in to News Central tomorrow between noon and 1 p.m. for a chance to see one of the most entertaining musical acts in America.

Share

Shows of Note – Lets Talk Politics

New+Politics+NP

Call it rock, call it rap rock, call it indie, whatever you want to call their style, New Politics is an awesome band. Out of Copenhagen, Denmark, the trio made up David Boyd, Soren Hansen and Louis Vecchio has made their mark on the American college music scene. The band’s hit songs “Harlem,” “Dignity,” and “Tonight You’re Perfect” haven’t gotten old yet and the tunes frequent our airwaves as well as student run stations all over the country.

New Politics has two albums to their name, but the most recent A Bad Girl in Harlem dropped in May of last year. The album has received pretty solid reviews and the band is currently on tour promoting the record. Thefirenote.com said this about A Bad Girl in Harlem:

New Politics

New Politics

“With their sophomore album, New Politics breaks away from their gritty, indie roots, trading it in for a pop rock, punk sound.”

With a different sound in their sophomore album New Politics has shown they aren’t a one-trick pony and can evolve their sound over time.

New Politcis will be performing in the northwest in Portland on Feb. 25 at Aladdin Theater and Feb. 26 in Seattle at Neumos. Don’t miss out on seeing this awesome foreign powerhouse rock Seattle!

 

 

 

Share

Fresh Tunes – Something Old, Something New

the-crystal-method-4e4d3a4153c72

Electronic music has never done anything but change. What began in the ’70s as a sort of novelty has now become a pervasive force with scores of subcultures, styles, and the ability to infiltrate most any musical genre. Daft Punk released their carefully crafted (and divisive) record last year, and now The Crystal Method, another welterweight duo from the nineties, is taking their turn to re-image themselves in this new and incredibly diverse landscape of electronica with their recent, self-titled release.
crystalmethod

Aptly named “Emulator”, the first track on The Crystal Method’s new album is an undeniable throwback to their Vegas days, erecting simmering sonic slides and bumps around spoken vocal samples that build to towering grooves. The true trademark of TCM comes from their vast spectrum of synth textures and percussion. Like a circus with a dozen different acts being performed at once, there is always some new sound, some new melody or pattern to turn your ear to pay attention to. On track six, “Jupiter Shift”, it becomes almost a game trying to follow any one melody or texture as a dozen others crash, rumble, shriek, and buzz all around. It would be exhausting were it not for Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland’s ability to inject vitality and energy into most everything they craft.

And it’s that energy- that visceral how-do-you-like-me-now attitude balanced with slow, fresh moments of sonic space that makes this album special. A surge of adrenaline only lasts for a few moments before the crash, and likewise Jordan and Kirkland have smartly paced this album to not be completely exhausting to listen to. That being said, only thumping these tracks through a pair of headphones, alone, is a lot like hammering a nail with the blunt end of a knife, that’s not what the tool is for and you are going to hurt yourself. Truly, this album belongs in a place where just as much energy can be expended as what it was constructed with. And that place is a dance floor.

thumpers_galore_album-500x500There’s a powerful sort of magic in the bright memories from childhood, and Thumpers are well aware of it. Friends since the age of 11, the musical duo seem to have harnessed their rose-colored past and crafted something full of smiley, giddy energy in their debit album Galore.

The first track, “Marvel,” acts as a thematic overture for the rest of the album; creative and powerful drum beats, hazy vocals, and synth textures that add fullness to the band’s sound. Even its very first lyric, “stay young”, is an idea this whole album appears to be focused on- almost obsessed with, actually. Throughout Galore the lyrics, “I wish you were sixteen,” “bed jumping, him and her are full of passions tonight,” “we’re tired but ripe,” and, “two beating hearts,” makes the impression Thumpers is aching for you to make your sunny summer memories, which is funny since this album is being released in the middle of February.

Though this is their debut as Thumpers, Marcus Pepperell and John Hamson Jr. are not new to indie music. Collectively they have been a part of the bands Antihero, Pull Tiger Tail, Noah and the Whale, and Friendly Fires. Their experience certainly shows. Galore is full of enough energy to send it bouncing off every wall in the room, but is seems to be done purposely. The sound of each track is similar, but never feels overworked or tired. Through their experience, Pepperell and Hamson have learned control over the atmosphere of each track and the atmosphere of the album as a whole.

Making music while doing a thousand-yard-stare into the past is not new. What’s special about Thumpers is they have managed to craft something without any eye roll-inducing cliché that usually comes with nostalgia. Galore is creative and lively, and most importantly, it’s just fun.

Share