Kan Wakan played to a full room last night (11/4/2013) at the Troubadour. I wasn’t expecting such a large band — there were seven musicians on stage!
To begin their set, a sole violinist played as the other band members came out, and everyone wore all black (except the singer, who wore a white and red jacket over an all black outfit).
Kan Wakan played effects-laden music with a ton of influences — I heard some tropical/Hawaiian sounds, as well as smooth jazz, psychedelic, experimental, and at times folksy vibes. On the second song, the singer shook a tambourine and one guitarist shook an egg shaker — this percussion as well as the saxophone really added to the overall sound.
I also noticed that the electric guitar player used a slide and the drummer played with his snare drum turned off in a few of the long, jamming songs.
Kan Wakan finished off their set with “Midnight Moon Pt 1 & 11” — the song went on a pretty long time, but the two marimba players were the best part. People in the front of the crowd were really into the music and were moving around.
+ Check out KanWakan.com for more info. on the band.
Photo Credit: Brendan Pattengale
Last night I saw The Milk Carton Kids play the second of two consecutive shows at Largo in LA.
The Milk Carton Kids, the duo of Joey Ryan + Kenneth Pattengale, are touring in support of their new album The Ash & Clay, and they played new songs like “Honey, Honey” as well as older favorites (“New York,” “Charlie,” and “Girls, Gather ‘Round”).
The audience at Largo was really eclectic — people of all ages, and everyone seemed to really enjoy and appreciate the duo’s repartee between songs.
The crowd even (audibly) recognized “Michigan,” the penultimate song of the set, from the song’s very first guitar notes.
Joey focused more on strumming chords and was smoother in his presentation than Kenneth, who was slightly more spastic in demeanor and did more finger picking.
See upcoming tour dates at The Milk Carton Kids website for San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, NY, and Australia dates!
The Henry Millers opened for Hey Ocean! last night at the Studio at Webster Hall…and I’m so happy I saw their set.
The Henry Millers is led by John MacCallum and Katie Schecter, both on guitars and vocals. The band performed songs from their album Daisies, like the second song they played, “Diamonds,” as well as “Predator.”
I loved that they played “Treehouse” too — the female vocals that come in at the end take the song to another level.
I wish the album/studio versions sounded as full, powerful, and clear as the live versions.
The band finished their set strong with “Mr. Flash Gordon.” The echo in the choruses of “Gordon, Mr. Flash Gordon” and the interplay between both vocals sounds amazing (it’s more muddled and harder to hear on the recorded version).
+Check out TheHenryMillers.com and on Facebook
Mainland was the first band that played at the Sucre show at Webster Hall (presented by Nylon Magazine) on Saturday night.
Mainland managed to draw in a sizeable crowd, and their best songs were “Margot” (the chorus of which is really catchy) and their penultimate song “The Stroll” (music video below).
+Mainland on Facebook and Twitter
Christy & Emily opened for Lavender Diamond last night at NY’s Mercury Lounge.
The duo was joined by a drummer, bassist, and (on a few songs) background singer. The band started with the older “Firefly” and continued with their distinctive piano-driven songs.
I could really hear the influence of classical piano parts seeping into the songs, and the band was strongest when the emphasis was on Emily’s voice and piano.
Highlight: “Little World” was amazing live, with building drums that matched perfectly with accented guitar strums. It sounded like a completely different song than the album version, which lacks drums and tension/resolve.
Lowlight: Not enough people came early to catch Christy & Emily’s set.
Check out “Bells” and “Lovers Talk” from the latest album Tic-Tac-Toe:
Christy & Emily’s official website
Friday at The Echo, I caught Foxygen opening for La Sera.
Foxygen (rhymes with oxygen) consists of Sam France and Jonathan Rado, who had three musicians playing with them. Foxygen’s songs are complex and different than most current indie music — they straddle genres within songs and include elements of spoken word.
Take the Kids Off Broadway is Foxygen’s seven-song LP. “Teenage Alien Blues” is over ten minutes and “Abandon My Toys” clocks in at just over six minutes.
I preferred hearing Foxygen live, though, because the songs really came alive at the Echo — their music was much more energetic and accessible in person. Their youth also comes across more clearly live.
Photos from the show below:
La Sera playing “I Promise You”: