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Monthly Archives: August 2011

A Spiritual Journey With Michael Garfield : A Million Anniversaries

It’s not often that you come across an artist so gifted that they can connect with people through more than one medium.  Michael Garfield is one of those artists. A guitarist, visual/live artist, and part-time social issues orator (he has talks scheduled all this week at Burning Man) originally from Boulder, CO, Garfields’ artistic expression holds no boundaries.

After one listen to Michael Garfield’s recently released genre-defying album, A Million Anniversaries, I was completely hooked.  The album is a 25-song series of unprocessed acoustic guitar loops added onto one another to create textural patterns and beautiful soundscapes.  The style of music varies greatly from song to song, and even within songs, ranging from blues and folk to shoegaze and head-nodding instrumental rock.  Garfield has a dynamic ability to express himself on the acoustic guitar and to allow the listener to climb inside of his head and connect with him on a deep level.

Below is a video of one of my favorite songs on the album, “Extinct”.  You can see the process that Garfield goes through of adding loop onto loop in order to create a full song.


Having the pleasure of meeting Michael earlier this year at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park, I found him to be bursting with talent, yet he remained completely humble and gracious.  He is a truly a visionary artist that is producing works that the world has not seen before.  You can download his new album here for any price you choose.

Find a quiet spot, turn on A Million Anniversaries, and take a journey in the mind of Michael Garfield.

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in album review, Artist Spotlight

 

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Coolest Guy in Music: Edward Sharpe, NYC’s Folk Hero

I am using the power vested in me to nominate Alex Ebert, leader of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, for Coolest Guy in Music.  Ebert is the guy in the center in the picture below. As you can see, he would not look out of place sitting in the subway station and singing for money.  As a bandleader, he is a huge inspiration. He heads a band of ten great musicians and from how they act onstage and off, they cannot be happier playing music with him.

This Sunday, I was fortunate enough to be in attendance of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on the rooftop of the Mondrian Hotel in Soho.  The setting was beautiful; we could see all of Manhattan and some of New Jersey and Brooklyn. What made me laugh was that there could not have been a bigger disparity between the swanky penthouse venue and the ten-piece band who looked and smelled like they had been in a van for the last five days. But on this night, the oddball crew made it work. The group played their magical indie folk in an acoustic set and had the hipster crowd singing and dancing along with them.

I don’t know Ebert’s full backstory, but I know that he had addiction problems which he seems to have overcome through his passion in music.  Before the set, he sat down on the ground in a yoga pose to collect himself amid the crowded roof and sat in silence for a few minutes. After the show, he and his entire band were seen mingling with the crowd and enjoying themselves on the roof.

Not much else can be said about this modern-day shaman that will do him justice. See him in action yourself and watch a video of him with his band:

Thanks for reading!

 
 

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BREAKING NEWS: New York City Has Great Live Music

This just in: New York City has great live music.

New York is renowned for its live music; we all know that. But it hasn’t been as apparent to me ever since I’ve moved to the city as it is now that live music here rules. Period. No other city in the world offers you a chance to see an awesome show in any given genre or scene on any given night or day (or morning, for that matter). There is so much quantity and variety in the performances that you could see live music every night of the summer, and you wouldn’t even overlap genres or even travel to the same part of the city twice.

Don’t know what to do tonight? Check out Oh My Rockness for a thorough list of all the Indie shows in the city that night. Want to lay low and see a free show? Go to Prospect Park for the Celebrate Brooklyn! free summer concert series and relax with the jazzheads. In a festival mood? You could go to Governor’s Ball, Seaport Music Festival, Electric Daisy, or CMJ. Feelin’ upscale? Lincoln Center is putting on a festival of performing arts until August 14.

With all the options available, sometimes it’s hard to decide where to allocate your time. Fortunately, regardless of what band you decide to see, you will rarely be disappointed (unless you are in Williamsburg). Recently, I have been to two concerts that have blown my mind.

The first one of those was Phantogram on July 22nd at Terminal 5 in the Upper West Side. They played in front of packed house and shared the bill with RJD2 and The Glitch Mob.

Phantogram

Phantogram performed as a trio, with super-cutie frontwoman Sarah Barthel on synth, co-frontman (not as cute) Josh Carter on guitar, and a live drummer in the house who played the hell out of the set.  As they gain experience on tour, they also have gained knowledge of how to make their sound bigger and more epic.  Their live songs blew their recorded material completely out of the water.  They performed “Bloody Palms” amazingly and the song transcended to a haunting jam with their meshing voices growing louder and more core-shaking with each chant.

Phantogram has a new record coming out in the fall, so keep an eye out for it, as this band is hitting their stride at the right time.

The next show that blew my mind was Zeds Dead at the Mad Decent Block Party this Saturday at Southside Seaport.  The crowd came out for the free festival and was there solely to party and have the best time possible.  We bumped and grinded in close quarters while Zeds brought their sweet, sweet dubstep/electro. Beer was spilled, sunburns were had, and dance music was laid down with force.  Where else in the world could you go on a Saturday afternoon to a downtown port and enjoy a free rave by a major DJ act like Zeds Dead? New York, for all of its woes, kicks ass in the live music department, and events like Mad Decent prove that.

I will close out this post with a video of the performance. Notice the amazing setting with the ships all around and the beautiful day. On top of that, notice the great time being had by all! Gotta love New York!!

Have a good day, thanks for reading! As always feedback is appreciated.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Event Review

 

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