March 8, 2011

alone at the end of the day, i am just like the gathering fog


If you are somewhere that you can wrap something warm around you and drink something hot from a mug, you should probably do that for this gorgeous, translucent song. Robin Pecknold of the Fleet Foxes recorded three acoustic demo songs a few weeks ago in Los Angeles, one with Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear, and he released them into the world last night via twitter.

Their voices blend together more perfectly than almost any two I can think of. Haunting and beautiful.

I’m Losing Myself (with Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear) – Robin Pecknold

Also released from this session are Robin’s new solo song “Derwentwater Stones” and a cover of Chris Thompson’s “Where Is My Wild Rose.” Download all three songs here.

November 1, 2008

Joffrey Velvet


(The Socialist free song referenced in the interview is –hooray!!– a great version of that stunning duet of “I Shall Be Released” they were performing back in August in Oregon with the Fleet Foxes — I’ve only listened to the crappy YouTube-ripped version about twelve dozen times)

August 30, 2008

Wilco and Fleet Foxes live in Spokane :: “I Shall Be Released” (Dylan cover)

Knowing how excited the Fleet Foxes were to be touring with Wilco, I smile to watch them stand all crowded around one microphone in this video, shuffling their weight back and forth in what seems like “still flabbergasted” anticipation. Taken 8/21/08 at the Opera House in Spokane, this Dylan cover is just lovely, especially when Tweedy breaks into hearty and unabashed falsetto around the 2 minute mark.

I Shall Be Released (live in Spokane) – Wilco & Fleet Foxes

And hey, remember what my absolute favorite favorite cover of this song is? Yeah.

[thanks once again, Cusa!]

August 7, 2008

Sing along with the Fleet Foxes at the Hi-Dive

If you read my Fleet Foxes concert review from their show a few weeks ago at Denver’s Hi-Dive, you know how mightily impressed I was with their “gorgeous golden harmonies and near-ethereal shimmering songs, firmly rooted in a sort of Appalachian wilderness.” Luckily I’ve stumbled upon this bootleg of their set from a few months prior at the same venue, from when they played with Porlolo and Blitzen Trapper. For your distinct listening pleasure:

APRIL 14, 2008
Sun Giant
Sun It Rises
Drops In The River
English House
White Winter Hymnal
Your Protector
Oliver James
Blue Ridge Mountains


[photo by the radtastic Laurie Scavo]

July 23, 2008

Last night :: Fleet Foxes at the Hi-Dive

I’ve finagled, bargained, wheedled, and slunk my way into some pretty tough shows over the years, but let me tell you: Denver’s Hi-Dive was no country for procrastinators last night at the Fleet Foxes show.

I’d waited too long to secure a spot to review this scruffy Seattle quintet, shortsightedly not expecting a rare total sell-out crowd at the intimate Hi-Dive. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a crowd looking for spare tickets outside that venue, and it was only through a stroke of sheer last-minute luck, a guy named Kevin, and his Austrian exchange-student friend that I managed to get into this show. I was surprised but pleased at how hotly anticipated the Fleet Foxes’ Denver stop was last night — and how it lived up to the hype.

Once inside the humid oven of the club, the air was saturated with their gorgeous golden harmonies and near-ethereal shimmering songs, firmly rooted in a sort of Appalachian wilderness. I wish that they’d played longer, but with only one EP and a recently released full-length to pull from, they seemed to be climbing down off the stage way sooner than I would have liked. I was reminded of a sentiment in the Pitchfork review of their album when they wrote that “[the last song] doesn’t shoo you out the door. Instead, Fleet Foxes let you linger for a few more bars, leaning forward to catch Pecknold’s last syllable as it fades into the air. They don’t seem to want the record to end any more than you will.” I felt the same way at the end of this show.

The mood in the air was at once vibrating with a sort of CSNY-tinged nostalgia while also bringing to mind obvious contemporaries like Band of Horses. I’d rank their performance as nothing short of mesmerizing, the weight of it seeming to push back against the space in the room in almost palpable ways. Fleet Foxes also apparently liked Denver so much that they decided to stay with us an extra day today (sorry, SLC!).

OH! If you want to see some real-deal gorgeous pictures from last night, please check the fabulous Laurie Scavo’s shots. Even though I usually tend to think of Fleet Foxes’ music in shades of golden, all the reds and purples that she captures in her pictures seem so fitting to how it all felt last night.

For listening, I particularly love both of these songs:

Sun Giant – Fleet Foxes
White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes are currently on tour (catch them! do it! buy in advance!), including some shows with Wilco. Their MySpace page adds a wonderful bit of their inner-monologue detail to these dates:

June 13, 2008

Black Dominoes remix Fleet Foxes

Normally if you called someone a bedroom knob-tweaker they might punch you (in the neck) but for Georgia-based mixmaster Kellen Crosby –aka Black Dominoes– it would probably garner you a hug. Mr. Crosby has a knack for pushing the constraints and possibilities in songs, and does mysterious things to them. Last time we heard a Black Dominoes cut it was that Vampire Weekend remix, which eventually went from here in blogland all the way up to the BBC. Cool.

Here’s the description of his newest remix, of a song originally by those shimmery SubPop signees Fleet Foxes:

Black Dominoes lets the soft echoes of the fivesome outside to play; the throttling back of some of the original drums only creates more space for soft whirrs and 909 whispers. The added hand drums in the beginning and end of the track interweave with the electronic elements of the song; the juxtaposition is not unlike eating a piece of foreign-grown organic produce on a busy street corner. Give it a shot if you would relish the idea of Feist or Animal Collective having a campout underneath the Brooklyn Bridge with the members of ESG or Cybotron.

Got that?

White Winter Hymnal (Black Dominoes remix) – Fleet Foxes

April 14, 2008

Monday Music Roundup

I’m back from my aforementioned 20-hour dash through Wyoming, Nebraska, and back into Colorado. It was a spur of the moment thing, leaving me at the ranch/hostel place on the remote Wyoming border with nary a toothbrush at 10pm on a Sunday night. It was exhilarating to get out and see a part of the country I’ve never seen, simply because I wanted to see where the freeway took me on a full tank of gas. While on the jaunt, I listened mostly to my two Fuel For The Open Road mixes, and the twangy overtones fit perfectly on the county highways and prairies.

Here’s what else I might have listened to if I hadn’t left my iPod on the charger at home.

Future Rock
The Muslims

I’d seen a flurry of short posts about The Muslims in the blog world a few weeks ago, but they truly won me over when I read this great quote from the band that Bruce cited over on Some Velvet Blog: “We don’t know what the fuck we’re doing. And that’s why it sounds like The Velvet Underground. Because it has chords and my guitar is trebly. We like the E chord. It’s simple. None of us listen to math-rock. We tried it, but it didn’t work out that well. We’re not bad, we’re just not really good.” And AMEN, ain’t that humbling. This song is young and dirty and fast — what more could you want? The Muslims play Denver’s Larimer Lounge on May 2, with lots of other shows coming up as well.

Silver Lining
Rilo Kiley

This song is in no way new music, but it has risen to the tip-top of my playlists in recent weeks. I somehow glossed unfairly over Rilo Kiley‘s 2007 release Under The Blacklight after reading a few lukewarm reviews, and never realized the genius of this track until recently. Lame! I know. Well, it finally hit me, all handclaps and disco beats, and I was instantly won over by the stark confessionals from Jenny Lewis and sentiments I can appreciate. If perchance you also missed it like I did, for the love of Pete, take a listen and try not to love it, all the way down to those mellifluous closing gospel chorus notes. My song of the month (a perfect video too).

Sun Giant
Fleet Foxes

As I crested hill after hill of winter-bleached prairie grassland early this morning as the rising sun splintered across it, I listened to a bit of My Morning Jacket. One of the things I enjoy the most about their music is the way it feels golden and expansive, all sundrenched reverb and eerie harmonies. It’s easy to see why that same vibe would draw me effortlessly into this opening album track from Seattle’s Fleet Foxes. As you delve into the rest of their songs you do hear a bit more of the classic rock influences, but gorgeous vocal tracks like this sound like a perfectly-crafted hymn (“Our Prayer” by the Beach Boys, anyone?). Their Sun Giant EP is out now on Sub Pop/Bella.

Tick of Time
The Kooks

I’m liking where the Kooks are going on their second album Konk, out tomorrow on Astralwerks. They’ve tuned down a bit of the herky-jerky swagger of their first album an lapsed a bit more into the acoustic harmony vibe, and they sound terrific. Konk was recorded at Ray Davies’ studio of the same name, and was produced by Tony Hoffer who has worked with The Thrills, Beck and Supergrass. This is the last track on the album and they sound like they’re having fun.

Glad It’s Over

I’m confused about this “musical companion album” to the excellent TV series Heroes, which is a show that messed with my brain. When watched in large doses, Heroes gave me the kind of vivid dreams I haven’t had since Alias when I dreamt that Rambaldi was trying to send me encrypted messages through run-of-the-mill neighborhood night noises. In any case, I don’t remember hearing Wilco on Heroes. Nor Bob Dylan, MMJ, or even Nada Surf. But look! Here’s a brand new Wilco track from that collection, catchy as all get out. The selections on this soundtrack are “inspired by the characters” in the show, and are pretty bulletproof in terms of the quality tunes & artists here.

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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