Chicago art rockers Maps & Atlases will kick off an extensive spring/summer tour with a show at The Bishop in Bloomington on March 8th. The band will be touring in support of their forthcoming LP, Beware and Be Grateful, due out on April 17th via British label Fat Cat Records. Listen to the debut single “Winter” and check out their full list of tour dates below.
3/8 Bloomington, IN – The Bishop
3/9 Nashville, TN – The Mercy
3/10 New Orleans, LA – Foburg Festival
3/14 – 3/17 Austin, TX – SXSW 2012
3/18 Dallas, TX – Bro Fest
3/19 Hot Springs, AR – Valley Of The Vapors Festival
3/22 Memphis, TN – Fareveller Festival
3/31 Bethelem, PA – NOWADAYS Festival
5/11 Chicago, IL – Metro
5/12 St Louis, MO – Firebird
5/14 Columbus, OH – The Basement
5/15 Akron, OH – Musica
5/16 Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
5/17 Ithaca, NY – The Haunt
5/18 Boston, MA – Middle East
5/19 Brooklyn, NY – Glasslands
5/21 New York, NY – The Studio
5/22 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
5/23 Washington, DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
5/24 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506
5/25 Atlanta, GA – The Earl
5/26 Tampa, FL – Crowbar
5/27 Orlando, FL – The Plaza
5/29 Birmingham, AL – Bottletree
5/31 Dallas, TX – Sons Of Herman Hall
6/1 Austin, TX – The Parish
6/2 Houston, TX – Free Press SummerFest
6/4 El Paso, TX – Lowbro Palace
6/5 Phoenix, AZ – TBA
6/6 San Diego, CA – Casbah
6/7 Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
6/8 Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
6/9 San Francisco, CA – Bottom Of The Hill
6/11 Portland, OR – Bunk Bar
6/12 Vancouver, BC – Media Club
6/13 Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe
6/15 Boise, ID – Neurolux
6/16 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
6/17 Denver, CO – Hi Dive
6/18 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
6/19 St Paul, MN – Amsterdam Hall
Written by Rob Peoni
The dream is over. Winter is here. Not the moderately enjoyable, holiday laden, over imbibing happy days of winter. The fuck me, it’s frigid why the fuck am I driving to work in the dark winter. That special time of year when your back clenches up like the spring of a Chinatown wristwatch, ticking closer to dysfunction with each passing second.
If you’re me, this is not the time to dust off The Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffet, as if the mere strum of the ukulele will teleport your spirit to the beach. No thanks. I would rather listen to a band or artist that articulates the bitter, harsh – often lonely winter months. It should be stark. Fragile. Haunting at times. It should sound like Mountain Man’s Made the Harbor.
Everyone always talks about spring fever, but winter is where the real yearning for love originates. Life is easy in warmth. Navigating a week without sunlight proves tough. It just so happens that spring lies at the end of winter and suddenly the thin, invitation of an April dress is enough to knock a man over. Words like wind chill and frost bite make an intimate evening beneath the covers feel like a necessity more than a want. The outdoors are a lover all their own, it’s the emptiness of a drafty living room or a frosty mattress feels like an unwarranted punishment.
“Boots of Spanish Leather” could never have been written without the jarring winds of a New York City winter. The heartbreak proves more palatable picturing Dylan shuffling through snowy streets while his love sails toward sunny Spain. “My spirit is in shambles and my feet are cold. Send some boots you soulless, selfish hell cat.”
In the same way, Van Morrison seems unlikely to ever have penned the incomparable “And it Stoned Me” without the warmth of summer, when a brief rain proves more opportunity than hassle – a welcome relief and healing. The bouncy piano line and floating acoustic guitar sound destined for nights where mosquitoes swarm the solitary light outside a screen door. Love is less essential on days like this, when an icy beverage can be as satisfying as a lengthy embrace.
Weather constrains and shapes an artist as much as any influence imaginable. The claustrophobic aspect of winter forces us to create for ourselves. The beauty of the outdoors has vanished and the artist is left with a blank, snowy canvas. I’m excited to see what songs winter inspires this year. What will the winds blow our way this time?
Written by Rob Peoni
Winter in the Midwest. It’s bleak. It will rain for days and then it will turn around and snow. The sun hasn’t risen when you get to work and it’s setting when you leave. And let’s not forget, it’s bitterly cold the whole while. But despite all this, I actually like winter. I read more. The beer is darker. Saturday Night Live is on. It’s a time to recharge your batteries after a summer and autumn spent out and about. These are all good things.
But just as California beach pop like Dirty Gold fits a summer drive with the windows down and Cut Copy the club on a Saturday night, we need music for relaxing with in the winter…something that fits the mood of the season. I’ve been listening to a lot of Atlas Sound’s Parallax recently, and now I have a new album to put in my winter rotation, Caveman’s debut LP CoCo Beware.
Caveman is a five-piece band hailing from none other than (surprise!) Brooklyn, NYC. Its members consist of Matthew Iwanusa (Lead Singer/Guitar), Jimmy Carbonetti (guitar), Stefan Marolachakis (drums), Sam Hopkins (guitar) and Jeff Berrall (bass).
On your first listen, you’ll notice the record is incredibly easy listening from beginning to end. The songs are slow paced and methodical, flowing so well from one to the next that you’ll be thinking you are still on track 3 when you’ve already reached the end. But don’t let the mellowness to take away from the beauty of this record, because this is a talented band making some great music. Peaceful vibes, crisp harmonies, and lyrical repetition make this a perfect listen when in search of some R&R.
“Old Friend” is probably the best known track on the album due to its airplay on Sirius XMU; however my personal favorite is Decide. The drum beat and vocals on Decide bring about the nervousness of waiting that builds throughout as the chorus is repeated over and over.
I know the feeling though is make me feel so mean / In time we don’t know exactly what you need / I can’t believe it’s just another year to go so I / I hold…it seems right this come for me
When I hear this song I can’t help but picture someone sitting with their hands together tapping their foot, and just waiting…for something, anything, to come their way. Other highlights on the album include “Thankful” and “A Country’s King of Dreams.” Listen to “Decide” below:
If you are a fan of Fleet Foxes or Cass McCombs, this album is definitely worth a spin as I think you’ll get that same sort of feeling from listening to it. CoCo Beware is out now and available for purchase.
Written by Greg Dahman