Do it Obscura

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Female fronted indie pop has never been as sweet as Camera Obscura. The Scotland based band has been around since 1996 and although they have gone through changes in regards to membership, the band has remained a favorite for hipsters all around.

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Although they started out as three piece band, Camera Obscura now has five members. Tracyanne Campbell (vocals, guitar), Kenny McKeeve (guitar), Carey Lander (keyboards), Gavin Dunbar (bass) and Lee Thomson (drums). The band will release their first album since 2009’s My Maudlin Career on June 3rd of this year. The album name is Desire Lines and will feature the pre-released single “Do It Again.”

Camera Obscura’s new album was recorded in Portland, Oregon with Tucker Martine who has worked with Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists and R.E.M. Campbell called Desire Lines their “America album” in an interview with The List.

With the release of their new album, Camera Obscura has a busy summer tour lined up which includes opening slots for She & Him. They will be playing at the Showbox at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland on June 21 and the Showbox at the Market in Seattle on June 22. The ‘Burg will be giving away tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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That’s So Punk Rock

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What people often don’t realize about 88.1 The ‘Burg is that we aren’t just alternative or Top 40. We love us some punk rock as well. That’s why we’re pumped to be giving away tickets to veteran band, Alkaline Trio.

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The trio formed in late 1996 and consists of Matt Skiba on guitar and vocals, Dan Adriano on bass and Derek Grant on the drums. Known for their catchy hooks, upbeat tempo and darker lyrics, usually about drugs, depression and alcohol, Alkaline Trio’s most recent album took a slight step outside their norm.

My Shame is True dropped March 29 and is supposedly about Skiba’s recent breakup. His girlfriend even appears on the cover of the album. The album is receiving mixed review with Sputnik Music saying:

“On My Shame Is True he (Skiba) sounds much more open and vulnerable than on previous efforts which allows these well-worn themes to sound fresh and new.” 

The rating gave the album 3.5 stars out 5 and overall, thought the album better than previous efforts by the band. Amplified Magazine had more to say in their review of the album:

“All in all, this album won’t please everyone. Fans of the band’s early work will find very little on this album that is reminiscent of either Goddamnit! or Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, but that doesn’t mean this is a bad album.”

The wonderful thing about the album is that it gives a glimpse into the life of the artists. This isn’t a punk rock album produced with the sole intent of causing a ruckus and pissing your parents off. As Skiba told SPIN Magazine:

“I went through a lot since the last record and this one, like going straight out of a gnarly divorce into a really great, beautiful relationship that came to an end just as we started writing My Shame Is True,” he told SPIN. “I just wrote this one more as like a love letter to my ex-girlfriend or an apology note set to music.”

88.1 The ‘Burg wants you to decide whether Alkaline Trio’s new stuff is good or not. That’s why we’re giving away multiple tickets to their show at Showbox at the Market on June 7. If you can’t attend that show the trio will be performing at Hawthorne Theater in Portland, June 8. Be sure and checkout our Facebook and ‘Burg app for details on how you can win!

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Folk in the Northwest

We Washingtonians are lucky to have a music powerhouse city like Seattle as our hub for outstanding music in all genres. Macklemore, Alice in Chains, Damien Jurado, and The Postal Service are just a few of the artists to come from Washington.

The Cave Singers is an indie-folk band hoping to get into the ranks of Seattle greats. Described as folk for a rainy day, the group produces delightful Americana-type music to warm your soul and inspire you to trade in your pants for cut-off jeans shorts.

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The Cave Singers formed in 2007 and quickly after were signed with Matador records in June of the same year. Their first album Invitation Songs dropped in September of 2007. Back then they were a three-piece band and contactmusic.com said this about their first album:

“As alt-country records go; and to be fair it has become a much wider genre than was originally intended; ‘Invitation Songs’ is both ambitious and infectious and will undoubtedly provide a gateway to wider recognition in both a critical and (hopefully) commercial sense for its creators.”

Now four albums deep, up one member and signed to a different label, The Cave Singers released Naomi, March 1st of this year. This album is named after Naomi, a fictional muse who, according to MTV; guided the group to a somewhat more positive sound on the album.

While the band used to be rootsy, acoustic and pretty minimalist, they have gone more electric in the past couple years. Naomi is a little livelier and easy-flowing than past works. The album could almost fit as the soundtrack to a tiki bar on a Hawaiian beach. Skinny vocals, harmonica, flute, electric guitars and washboard sounds combine for a delightful springtime folk album.

The Cave Singers will be performing in the northwest on April 29th at Cozmic Pizza in Eugene, May 2nd at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, Canada, May 3rd at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, May 4th at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle and June 7th at Elk Fest in Spokane.

Listen to The Umbrella Boat Show next Monday between 1 and 3 p.m. or Electronic Intentions the same day between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Not Too Close

As Alex Clare’s website points out, you can tell a lot about someone by asking them what the greatest album ever made is. What is Clare’s answer? The album that first comes to his mind is Radiohead’s OK Computer. But upon further thought, Clare admits that OK Computer may be the best album ever made based simply on production, but musically, it isn’t his top selection. After musing over a couple different choices Clare decides In The Key of Life by Stevie Wonder is the greatest album ever made.

Agree or disagree, it’s clear that Clare has great tastes regardless and it’s no wonder he has exploded all over the electronic, alternative and pop music scene.

Alex+Clare+AC04Alex Clare first caught the attention of the masses when his smash single “Too Close” was used in an Internet Explorer commercial. That commercial may have single handedly saved his career and any musical aspirations he had.

A strict Orthodox Jew, refusing to perform on the Sabbath and high holy days, Clare was originally signed with Universal Island Records. After the label discovered how truly devoted to his faith Clare was, (he had to decline an opening slot for Adele because it was at Passover) the label dropped him. A lack of significant album sales and radio play also contributed.

It wasn’t much later that Clare received the call from Microsoft and his career did a 180. The success of the commercial and single lead to Island Records “groveling” for Clare to return to the label.

Alex exclusively told BANG Showbiz: ”They were groveling and very apologetic, it was brilliant!”

Originally from London, the hometown of dubstep, Clare is known for his infusion of dubstep and electronic sound into alternative music. Fun fact: Clare dated Amy Winehouseamy-e-alex in his early days as a musician after meeting her at a performance in North London.

Clare grew up with guitar-based songwriting and perhaps the electronic influences in his music can be explained by the production team of Clare’s first and only album The Lateness of the Hour which consisted of Diplo and Switch.

Alex Clare will be playing in the northwest April 25th at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland, April 28th at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, Canada, April 29th at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle and April 30thth at The Knitting Factory in Boise.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg this Thursday between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Bob Dylan Noticed

If you’ve been keeping up with our blog, (and we know you all have) you’re familiar with Dr. Dog. The ‘Burg is giving away tickets, they’re awesome, blah blah blah. Well, if you’ve been paying attention you know that Dr. Dog is co-headlining with a pretty cool band named Dawes. Let us tell you about the indie-folk band that landed a tour with Bob Dylan.

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Dawes is an American rock band out of L.A. made up of two brothers, Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith along with Wylie Gelber and Tay Strathairn. The band was originally named Simon Dawes, but things were adjusted when Blake Mills left the group.

Dawes released its first album, North Hills in 2009 and its third album Stories Don’t End will drop April 9th of this year. The album was recorded in the Blue Mountains of North Carolina and the folk-rock sound is that of The Avett Brothers and Delta Spirit.

New York Daily News gave Stories Don’t End four out of five stars and reviewer Jim Farber said about the album:

“Goldsmith’s melodies, and the band’s playing, have the plucky touch and melodic rapture of ’70s L.A. folk-rock. From the spry beat in ‘From a Window Seat’ to the doleful tune in ‘Just My Luck,’ there’s a sure sense of composition that both recalls a classic era and speaks to any.”

This relatively young band is getting bigger and bigger and is opening for Bob Dylan at a series of concerts across the country.

Dawes is co-headlining with Dr. Dog at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle on April 26th and again in Portland at the Crystal Ballroom on April 28th.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg for two chances to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Who is Dr. Dog?

Indie music has a place at every college radio station and that is why Dr. Dog is welcome at 88.1 The ‘Burg. The Philadelphia based group formed in 1999 had as many as 20 “honorary members” and their wide range of influences can be heard in their two EPs, one live album and seven studio albums.

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The most recent Dr. Dog album Be The Void was released February 3rd 2012 and was followed up by the Wild Race EP in August of the same year. Album reviews for Be The Void were solid with consequenceofsound.net stating that “Like a fine wine, Dr. Dog gets better with age.” and Paste Magazine rated the album a 7.5.

Though sometimes categorized as “psychedelic rock” you can also hear folk, blues, soul, and bluegrass in their sound. We recommend checking out “Lonesome,” “How Long Must I Wait” and “Over Here, Over There” off the Be The Void album.

Dr. Dog will be co-headlining shows with Dawes on April 26th at Showbox at the Market in Seattle and April 28th at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland.

Listen to The Umbrella Boat Show on 88.1 The ‘Burg this Monday between 1 and 3 p.m. for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

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Wub Wub

Although dubstep has become immensely popular in the U.S., let’s not forget where the genre originated. In the late 1990s, dubstep was born in South London, England. The term “dubstep” was first coined in 2002 in Croydon, London but its actual roots are a little tough to pinpoint. Dubstep is the merge of dozens electronic music genres and its origins can be traced back to the growth of the Jamaican sound system party scene in the early 1980s.

Because of its London roots, it’s no surprise that some of the top dubstep acts in the world come from England. This includes North London based 4-piece act Modestep. The band includes brothers Josh and Tony Friend who cover vocals, keyboards, turntables and guitar between the two of them. Matthew Curtis is on drums and other percussion while Nick Tsang rocks the guitar.

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The quartet debuted in February 2011 with “Feel Good,” which reached the Top Ten of the U.K. dance chart and crossed into the Top 40 of the main pop chart. Although they had previously released singles and remix EP’s the band’s debut album Evolution Theory wasn’t released until February 12th, 2013.

In an interview with contactmusic.com, Modestep guitarist Nick Tsang had some insightful things to say about the dubstep genre and electronic music scene. When asked whether he thought the relatively young genre of dubstep would survive and thrive, or slowly go out of style, guitarist Tsang responded:

“I think it’s been around longer than people think, it’s just been lurking underground until recently when pop artists have started taking influence from that kind of sound. We’re trying to put a live twist on the traditional sound of dubstep, we’re trying to make it more rocky and I can see more genres spawning out of this frankly, in the same kind of way we’ve done. A lot of the genre seems to have become more dance-orientated so I don’t know where it will go next, we might even see a jazz take on things soon, who knows. But I definitely think its influence will go on and it will be here for a while to come.”

Wherever dubstep goes next, it’s clear it will be around for a while and its loyal fans around the world will attest to that.

Modestep will be playing with Mimosa on April 15th at the Showbox at the Market in Seattle and April 16th at Roseland Theater in Portland on April 16th.

Listen to Electropolis on 88.1 The ‘Burg this Friday between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook and mobile app for details and updates on how you can win.

 

 

 

 

 

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Metalcore Remains

A War You Cannot Win dropped on November 6th, 2012 and is the sixth release by melodic metalcore band All That Remains since 1998 when the group formed. The album has received mixed reviews. Some fans claim the band has sold out because the new album is more “radio friendly metal” with only the slightest hint of core. Previous albums have been more metalcore so hardcore metal fans may be disappointed.

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All That Remains guitarist Mike Martin says the newest album is a step of maturity.

“I just think when you do something for 10, 12, 15 years you can’t help but learn a little bit along the way and I think that’s one thing this band continues to get better at with every album,” Martin says. “It’s not a physical thing where everybody has to get a 100 times better at their specific instrument – I think collectively the songwriting gets better with each one.”

Old fans should be able to appreciate the steps All That Remains has taken in their newest album. While perhaps softer than previous albums, A War You Cannot Win is still an illustration of the great songwriting All That Remains is capable of. A War You Cannot Win is especially great for those just becoming interested in the metalcore genre and the band itself.

Now on tour promoting the album All That Remains is playing in the northwest on March 24th at The Knitting Factory in Boise, March 30th at The Knitting Factory in Spokane, March 31st at Roseland Center in Portland and April 1st at Showbox at the Market in Seattle.

Listen to 88.1 The ‘Burg tonight for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. Check out our Facebook for details and updates on how you can win.

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