04 November 2010

Jonsi. I wish he was my boyfriend.

photo by: Joshua Brasted

Last weekend Voodoo festival was held here in New Orleans. The lineup was pretty strange; Ozzy Osborn, Paul Van Dyke, Jonsi, and My Morning Jacket exemplify the randomness of the event. While I was not personally extremely excited about all the acts, Jonsi, in particular, intrigued me. I unfortunately missed him on a two night visit to London, so I was determined to catch him at Voodoo.
After some schedule confusion I determined he was set to play on one of the main stages at sunset which proved for a very ethereal ambiance to accompany his music. As he walked out the feeling in the crowd was one of amazement. His style cannot be described, but it is certainly like no one else I have seen. His stage was filled with all sorts of pianos, big and small; one was even hidden in an old suitcase.

photo by: Joshua Brasted

By the third song in his set the air was filled with the sounds of xylophones as he transitioned into my favorite song, "Tornado." The set built with emotion and energy as he continued with a slow but intense introduction into "Go Do" followed by "Boy Lilikoi" and "Animal Arithmetic."

In moments of passion Jonsi collapsed to the floor to play with the distortion and delay pedals as the music built to a peak. Only when I thought it could not get any better he slowly moved to his final song which was unknown to me. It consisted of mostly all instruments starting very soft and slowly becoming very loud and overwhelming in the best way possible, very reminisent of Sigur Ros.
As Jonsi left the stage I was speechless. It was truly all I had hoped for and more. Jonsi, for me, was one of the best contemporary musicians I have seen without question. If he plans to play anywhere near you....GO!

photo by: Joshua Brasted
For more pictures from the show,
check out Joshua's Flickr.

Who Knows Who Cares

Last month we had the privilege of a free Local Natives show here in New Orleans. It was wonderful! Be sure to check out the review + videos under the "Gig Reviews" section. Anyways, I feel like we could all use a day like this. Enjoy

02 November 2010

"Only in New Orleans"

small black

It's been a crazy busy week for us, but it's finally back to school and reality; I'm gonna start from the top of this exhausting last weekend. It kicked off last Thursday night at the Saint with a great performance by the Brooklyn boys, Small Black.
The female fronted openers Class Actress, who also reign from Brooklyn, were a delightful surprise to start the night. Though the band is typically a three piece, only two of the members were on tour this time around but they didn't disappoint.
I had a chance to ask the nice and talented guys from Small Black a few questions before they played. Most importantly, I was interested in knowing whether or not they actually claimed the hip genre they have been assigned, chill wave; turns out that isn't really the case. The keyboard player, Ryan, suggested that their music is much closer to something like dance synth-pop. The frontman, Josh, said that he thinks it's a "stupid title," but that it allows many people who may otherwise remain ignorant to Small Black to discover their music and that it gives the band freedom to sound like many different things.
It also turns out that the members of Small Black love our city almost as much as we do.  Last time around they opened for the chill wave genius from Georgia, Washed Out, and were also performing as his touring band. One member even admitted that NOLA is his favorite city in the states (besides New York of course).
The show itself was a dancing good time and extremely personal because of the small venue size. The turn out was absolutely great and the boys from the band seemed to be just as satisfied as the last time they passed through New Orleans. If I recall correctly, they played all the songs from their very recent album New Chain, and closed with the crowd pleaser, "Photojournalist."
Other interesting facts about the band include what they've been listening to these days: Josh admitted that he is a huge rap fan and even gave Waka Flocka a shout out during their performance. Other ear candies they have been feasting on include Ducktails, Bob Dylan, Das Racist, Best Coast, and Real Estate.

small black
Small Black

small black
Small Black

class actress
Class Actress
-Article and photos by Justen Cheney