The Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, taking place October 25-27 in Asheville, North Carolina, has announced an impressive initial lineup to include Neutral Milk Hotel’s first live performance in 15 years plus Nine Inch Nails, Bassnectar, Pretty Lights, Animal Collective, How to Destroy Angels, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Zola Jesus and JG Thirlwell, Gary Numan, Chromatics, Jessie Ware, Jacques Greene, Bosnian Rainbows, and Disclosure. The festival takes place in various venues throughout Asheville along with panel discussions and interactive art, with additional acts to be announced. Tickets go on sale May 2 for $150 and up.
BY GRIFFIN WATERMAN
Since moving away from his original sparse acoustic sound a few albums ago, Devendra Banhart’s music has recently become a game of spot-the-influence with bits of Gilberto Gil, Jim Morrison, T. Rex, and a diffuse world of global musical traits finding their way into his records. The results were frequently messy, with a disjointed quality that he’s worked hard to remedy. In an effort to get to a place where all of these disparate sounds could coexist within one artist, he’s finally arrived on newest album Mala. While Banhart mines familiar lyrical terrain from heartbreak to his own particular brand of absurdism, much of the sonic excess that overwhelmed his recent output is gone. Instead we’re left with a muted, low-stakes record in which Banhart sounds completely comfortable as a songwriter in his own skin…without the need for embellishment.
With a decades-deep catalog ranging from the hypnotic and irresistible drone of “Nietzsche” to the snarky and sarcastic “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth,” The Dandy Warhols have soldiered on as one of the most underrated bands of the indie music era. And they still refuse to care. It’s been a year since the release of their eighth LP This Machine, a kindred spirit of 2000’s fabled Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia, the groundbreaking album that their current tour is celebrating. A lot has changed in those 13 years, and frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor was able to expand on this as well as other aspects of his band’s career in a recent conversation with Chicago INNERVIEW.
BY GRIFFIN WATERMAN
There are a lot of indie pop bands out there, to say the least. There are probably so many that even the bands themselves struggle to distinguish themselves from each other. Some have gone the Elephant 6 route, aping the Beatles and The Kinks and other bands from the ‘60s, while even more have just tried to sound like Belle & Sebastian. In order to stand out from the pack, Camera Obscura has chosen the route less taken: relying on crack songwriting and catchy, beautiful sonic arrangements in order to make a distinguished impression. They also don’t shy away from embellishing their songs with horns and string arrangements that rarely become overbearing. Camera Obscura understands better than most bands that copying someone else or latching onto a current scene might work in the short term. But they’ve lasted for almost 20 years because they have continued to choose the more difficult option.