Beer Week starts on Friday — and you know what goes well with beer? The following shows!
[UPDATE: Lucinda Williams' shows have been moved to March due to a scheduling conflict. Please be advised.] Country icon Lucinda Williams refers to her songs as “heartbreaker songs,” and her latest album continues on that promise. Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone was inspired by Williams’ father, who recently passed away after a bout with Alzheimer’s. Simply put, it’s a riveting and unnerving piece of work. The New York Times summed up the collective response well, saying: “She’s pithy and penetrating, bruised but steadfast, proud of the grain and drawl of her voice.” See it and believe it and thank the music gods for Lucinda Williams:
Desperate Ground, the sixth full-length release for Portland pop rock trio the Thermals, represents a return to the thoughtful evocative passion of their early '00s breakthrough album The Body, The Blood, The Machine. We highly recommend the latter, and the former deserves the same steadfast, obsessive attention. Paste calls their latest entry a “confirmation of the power and enduring brilliance of the Thermals as they show no signs of slowing up--no signs of any erosion in their quality--and for that, we should be thankful.” Amen.
There are multi-talented artists and then there's G-Eazy. The Oakland native is 1) an accomplished rapper; 2) the face of Justin Timberlake’s clothing line, William Rast; and 3) a savage DIY producer. He’s blowing up the new-fashioned way, riding the wave formed by his hit single “Tumblr Girls,” and turning underground buzz into actual record purchases. Sales for These Things Happen, the 25-year-old's debut album, ran just a few thousand shy of Iggy Azalea's The New Classic. Which is beyond bonkers.
Forgive us for swooning every time Hannah Reid’s London Grammar comes to town, as if other reactions were possible. The irresistible indie R&B femme fatale first captured the imagination and undivided attention of the internet with the brilliant EP Metal and Dust, then the imagination/attention of actual human beings on a consistently celebrated 2014 world tour. Their full length debut album If You Wait served as one of the most universally revered albums of last year, and 2015 figures to hold more surprises and high-water marks.
Ariel Pink keeps winning where it counts. The critical kudos pile up with each addition to the Ariel Pink discography, to the point where it seems the LA-based psych rocker can do no harm. Last year’s weirdcore album pom pom climbed to the top of many year-end lists. Which is almost astonishing given that his songs almost sounds like children’s fare. But there’s so much more than meets the eye (or ear) at play. These are songs possessed by some alternate universe-muse, inspired by…we don’t even want to know.
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