Friday, August 1, 2014

Some Music I Liked This Week

Isbell Photo: Scott Newton

Live: Jason Isbell and Fitz and the Tantrums

This was a good week to be in Sioux Falls. Tuesday night, the highly-acclaimed Jason Isbell* brought the house down at the Orpheum Theater. And the next night, Fitz and the Tantrums delivered in grand fashion at The District. Music aside, I was proud of everyone who attended both shows. Both artists were greeted with a warm welcome and the crowds gave each artist so much love to feed off of. As we're accustomed to in Sioux Falls, after each artist finished their first songs, they exclaimed to the crowd, "This is our first time in Sioux Falls," to which everyone hollered, desperate to show them just how much we appreciate being a stop on their tours. And both acts rewarded us with memorable sets.

Isbell had the crowd in the palm of his hands and people in tears (in a beautiful way) throughout his two-hour set. Two hours! Isbell's wife, musician Amanda Shires, flew up for the show from Little Rock, Arkansas where she had her own set the night before. According to Isbell, the two musicians had only seen each other for a grand total of a week in the past three months, only to reunite in Sioux Falls for one of my most memorable musical moments Sioux Falls. What I'll remember most from Tuesday night is how Isbell's incredibly resonant voice carried throughout the house, making you pay special attention to every detail of his lyrics.

As for Fitz, or Michael Fitzpatrick, he delivered in a different way on Wednesday night. If Isbell was the main event, Fitz and the Tantrums were the raucous after party. Along with Noelle Scaggs, Fitzpatrick oozed soul as they brought neo-Motown to Sioux Falls. The crowd sang and swayed on command, putting bright smiles across the faces of everyone in the band. It was impossible not to dance along throughout the entire set. This week provided an indication that Sioux Falls has an audience who is ready to embrace acts beyond '80s hair metal and pop country. I look forward to watching the market continue to grow.

* Thanks again to Andy Howes for booking the gig!

"Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell

"MoneyGrabber" by Fitz and the Tantrums

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FREEMAN

It's Gene Ween, man! It's been two years since Ween broke up and another seven since we've heard new music from Aaron Freeman (unless you count his 2012 interpretation of 20th Century poet Rod McKuen). Freeman took a break from songwriting for a while to put himself through a six-month rehab, but he came out on the other side with what I'd consider to be an awfully compelling record that will satisfy any Ween fan. His solo record, FREEMAN, was released last week and I suggest you give a stream.

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Foxygen

Remember when Foxygen started feuding on the road and then their lead singer broke his leg on stage in Minneapolis and then two of their members struck out and produced their own records and we thought that we'd surely heard the end of Foxygen? Well, it's all good now, because they recently announced their next record, ...And Star Power, and shared its first single, "How Can You Really." If you're not satisfied with the track (I don't know why you wouldn't be), at least you can watch Sam France dance his butt off (no really, he may have actually danced his butt off).

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Some Other Stuff

STREAM // Twin Peaks: Wild Onion (P4K) ... Seriously, I love these guys so much. "Making Breakfast" on repeat.

STREAM // Spoon: They Want My Soul (iTunes) ... Eight albums later and they still deliver.

DANCE // Murphy Dance (Spotify) ... My friend's Hunter and Hannah got married. I DJ'd. This is the mix.

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