Ohio native Jessica Lea Mayfield recently stopped by Charlottesville, VA’s WNRN. While there she sported dark locks and darker subject matter, performing “Somewhere in Your Heart” from her February release Tell Me. Watch the video below. Read our review of Tell Me.
Written by Rob Peoni
Over the last month, I have been thrilled by my discovery of The Coasts, a two man band comprised of college buddies Ike Peters and Eric Mount. The two financed the album themselves for $400 with the help of Little Rock producer Isaac Alexander. Their work resulted in a lo-fi, low budget joy ride that I have hardly been able to put down.
The album immediately resonated with me. Peters’ vocals sound alarmingly similar to Dr. Dog lead singer Scott McMicken. However, The Coasts are much less dressed up than Dr. Dog, exchanging four part harmonies for stripped down, roots rock appeal. The first time I heard their self-titled debut, it sounded as if McMicken were singing an album of lost Black Keys covers.
Like The Keys’ Rubber Factory or The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., the tight quarters and sweat drenched setting of their makeshift recording studio bleed into the music. This album is old school rock n’ roll at its finest: addictive melodies, fuzzy guitars and the occasional horn flourish.
Crack open a frosty beer, light a cigarette and give this album a spin. Quite simply, if you can’t get down with The Coasts, we probably should not hang out on the weekends. The duo has some work to do before they carve out a truly unique sound. As stated earlier, their influences are apparent at every turn. That being said, I will sacrifice originality for quality songwriting and good, old-fashioned rock n’ roll any day of the week.
Written by Rob Peoni
Observing a band that you have watched grow from infancy get embraced by the masses can be a strange experience. The feeling is similar to purchasing a new t-shirt, only to be later informed that you must share it with all of your friends. It can be disconcerting, to say the least.
It seems like just yesterday that The Black Keys were playing at The Vogue for $20 a head. Watching the ticket prices to a sold-out show at The Lawn at White River soar to above $80 on Stubhub was rather surreal. These guys have made it. Much to my own surprise, I am happy about it.
Rather than harbor resentment for the yuppies that only know The Keys from their most recent work Brothers, I choose instead to embrace it. This is the music that I want America to listen to. This is the music that I want the radio stations to play. Not Gaga, Young Jeezy or Coldplay. This. Shit. Right. Here. Mannnnn.
I arrived at The Lawn to Booker T Jones and the MG’s performing their version of Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign.” For the next several tracks, Booker T hopped out from behind his Hammond B-3 organ to riff on rhythm guitars. Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” went missing halfway through the song when the drummer doubled as hype man/freestyle rapper. For me, the highlight of the set was the closer “Time is Tight,” a song I’ll forever associate with The Blues Brothers film.
Here come the boys.
The Black Keys came on stage around 9:30 to a packed house undeterred by a lousy weather forecast. “Thickfreakness” kicked things off. I am beginning to wonder whether they ever open with anything else. They continued to shower the crowd with older songs, with five tracks from The Big Come Up and my personal favorite, Rubber Factory.
As far as I’m concerned, the night could have ended six songs deep with The Keys’ rendition of The Kinks classic “Act Nice and Gentle.” I would have left satisfied with a permagrin til Tuesday. Then, the giant disco ball dropped and a bassist and keyboard player joined the boys for a slew of cuts from Brothers.
Hardly my first Keys show, I still find myself fascinated by drummer Patrick Carney’s play. This gangly goof of a man wails away like some psychotic, spewing sweat on everyone in the first six rows. Magic! Carney’s play reaffirms what bandmate Dan Auerbach must have known ten years ago when the duo began jamming in that Akron, Ohio basement: this is all I need.
Though the set only lasted for an hour and ten minutes, no one left short changed. The Keys rifled through 18 songs, playing a sensational mix of new and old. “Strange Times” from the Danger Mouse produced Attack and Release served as one of the show’s second half highlights.
Booker T came back on stage for a solid version of “I’ll be Your Man.” I was bummed that The Keys missed out on an opportunity to let the legend solo. If there was a chance for an extended jam, this was it.
Chanting fans brought The Keys back on stage for a two-song encore: “Sinister Kid” followed by “Your Touch.” I wouldn’t have traded places with anyone last night. I am happy that everyone is finally on board, now go brush up on some of their older shit.