STREAM: LIFE - “Take Off With You”

Keep your eye on this band.

Posted 4 days ago

STREAM: Viet Cong - “Continental Shelf”

The self-titled debut is out 1.20.15 via Jagjaguwar.

Posted 4 days ago

INTERVIEW: Chris Porterfield of Field Report, Tonight at Varsity Theater 10/14

Chris Porterfield never seems to be far from the road. At the time of our interview, Field Report’s newest album, Marigolden, had yet to be released, and the guys were just getting ready for the current leg of their latest tour. Chris took take a break from tuning some guitars and getting ready to help a friend record, to catch-up with us here at MFR about the new album, how it feels to be going back on the road again, and what Marigolden means to him.

With this sophomore album, Field Report are no longer a band who’ve just jumped in feet first. Marigolden is a steadier record compared to the self titled debut. A bit more weary, but somehow the tiredness doesn’t wear on any of the intensity, and instead acts as the glue that holds it together. Chris mentioned that a friend listening to the record could tell, “that the last record was written at home, and this record was written in the back of the van.” In previous interviews with us he’d talked about not listening to the Field Report masters once they got them back due to “not wanting to second-guess anything,” so I brought the subject up again and asked if he’d given Marigolden a shot yet. “Yeah, when I listened to the record this time around I wasn’t totally bummed out!,” he said with a chuckle. “It’s been a good process.”

In a last minute turn of events, when it came to “process,” the guys opted for wilderness instead of familiarity. Chris explained that they, “…actually had another studio booked, somewhere we had worked before, but I thought that we might actually be too comfortable there and ended up switching the booking kind of last minute.” Choosing to go with Unicorn Ranch located in Ontario, the band spent a long cold winter locked away with Robbie Lackritz,(Feist’s Manager/Producer/Engineer) and hammered out the songs they’d been playing from all those stages the last few years. Chris didn’t have enough good things to say about Lackritz. “He was great. He’s super knowledgeable and was a good guy to work with. Some of the songs I brought in at first were way too long. Sometimes I have a problem with saying too much, and he really helped me refine what I was trying to put down. It brought that much more clarity to the record.” When asked if he thought the new space and seclusion of the ranch helped with the recording overall, he agreed. “I think it was the right decision… It was great to go in and start with that kind of nervous energy. I think it lent itself to the whole experience.”

Moving from process to concept, I asked about how he came up with the title of the album. He thought for a moment and replied, “…it was just kind of something that came to me.” He elaborated on how he views the album’s namesake. “Marigolds are these kind of ugly flowers… They’re small, kind of smell bad, aren’t very pretty, but they stay around.” When explaining the added suffix he continued, “… and then there’s Golden, this ethereal… kind of concept. And together they kind of fit together, but feel a little opposite of one another.” He said because the word had snuck itself into a few of the songs throughout the record, “…it just kind of felt right. It’s a little about something ugly and something sacred meeting. And that’s how it felt a lot when I was writing this record.”

Catch Chris with the rest of Field Report on tour tonight at the Varsity Theater. It’s also The Varsity’s last stint of Communion before it moves to the Turf Club next month.

Interview by Brittany Wallman
Communion Minneapolis
Field Report, The Whigs, Water Liars, American Scarecrows
Tuesday, October 14 2014
7p // 18+ // $9.50 adv $15 door
Varsity Theater

Posted 5 days ago

REVIEW: Lower and Merchandise at the Triple Rock Social Club

Lower has been picking up steam while touring with friends, Iceage and recently releasing their debut record, Seek Higher Climes on indie giant, Matador Records. I have not seen this many people in a while gathered for an opener band. Spit firing “Bastard Tactics,” you can see Adrian Toubro is a storyteller and feverishly exudes each songs plot as he surveys the crowd locking them in for the set. Lower’s single “Lost Weight, Perfect Skin” was recognized by many giving its listeners a head rush of quivering dissonant chords, urgent vocals, and stage energy constantly driving us forward. They even pulled out some tracks from their older 7” releases including, “But There has To Be More.

Merchandise first caught my attention with their seven minute fuzzed out jammer, “Anxiety’s Door” from their EP, Totale Nite. Their new record, After the End is out on 4AD complete with polish and a bit more rooted rock. Carson Cox (what an awesome name to have as a lead singer) comes on clad in a fluorescent orange letter jacket with the voice of a young Morrissey and the swaggering stage presence of Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos (minus the expressive eyebrows). Merchandise opens with “Enemy,” their lead guitarist goes mental with each power chord bouncing and kicking the air. Cox stops and shakes his tambourine in our direction exclaiming “I’m coming down from a cold so these high notes will be extra special.” Before going into “Green Lady,” he cracks a smile and shakes his tambourine furiously; “Uptown rockers…if I fuck this up, you can kick my ass.” The crowd laughed along as if we were in on some inside joke. “Looking Glass Waltz” has this dreamlike organ the filters in and out around swaying deep vocals. It’s the song that should have been played at your prom with your sweetheart. Then, the set ended on a low note when Cox didn’t finish his acoustic solo (possibly due to a tuning error) and said while laughing “I can’t believe I made it through this set,” then set down his guitar while the band proceed to close, “fuck it.” There was no encore due to Cox’s cold.

Review by Abbie Gobeli

Posted 1 week ago

STREAM: Springtime Carnivore - “Name On A Matchbook”

SC’s self-titled debut is out 11/4 via Autumn Tone Records. The band hits Minneapolis (7th Street Entry) on 11/2 with MFR faves Generationals.

Posted 1 week ago

TONIGHT: Lower plays Triple Rock Social Club

Copenhagen’s underground outfit, Lower plays the Triple Rock Social Club tonight along with Merchandise and local group, Condominium. Lower recently released their debut record, Seek Warmer Climes, out on Matador Records. They come thundering in with harmonic dissonance and echoes of Copenhagen’s underground rock scene where they play with bands such as Iceage, Var, and Lust for Youth. Adrian Toubro’s vocals have the unique capability of cutting through like a knife then evolving into a softer touch. “Every song on the record deals in some way with personal development, be it emotional or cosmetic,” says Toubro. “How to act in different social contexts, and to acclimatize oneself into a given situation without losing face.” Lower performs tonight at the Triple Rock Social Club. Doors open at 8pm.

Posted 1 week ago

INTERVIEW: Harrison Mills (CatacombKid) of ODESZA, Sunday At First Avenue

Photo credit: Marybeth Coghill

Seattle electronerds ODESZA (aka Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight aka CatacombKid and BeachesBeaches) hit Minneapolis this Sunday to sling tunes from their new album, In Return (out now on Counter Records). This show was originally booked at the Triple Rock but was moved to the First Avenue Mainroom because this duo is obviously badass. The fairly extensive tour appears to be selling out all over the place. Future Classic's Hayden James and the UK’s Ambassadeurs are along to kick off the party.

MFR spoke with Harrison Mills of ODESZA ahead of the show on Sunday. He talked about the evolving process of the duo making music, building special moments with an audience, and upping the production on the live show to blowingyourmind levels. Check it. Go party on Sunday.

Congrats on In Return. It’s awesome. How does it feel now that all of your hard work is public?
It’s nice to know that I can not work on those songs anymore. They’re never done in our heads.

Yes, very much so.

You guys haven’t been together for that long—a couple of years. How different does it feel releasing this second album with a bit of recognition as opposed to your first, Summer’s Gone?
It’s interesting because I think there is a huge contrast in people who are being introduced to what you make and people that have been listening to you and have seen your sound evolve. Some never want you to change and other people love that you’re trying new things. I think with it all we are just trying to grow and mature and get better as musicians and not necessarily flip a 360 and do a million different things. We’re hoping that people who hear the new album will feel like it is a step forward and not standing in one place or taking a step back.

When I was preparing for this interview I listened to the first album, the EP, and the second album in sequential order. It feels like some sort of crescendo into the unknown.
I think we feel the same way. If I could explain it this way: Summer’s Gone is literally me and Clay meeting. We met and made an album. It was us learning and experimenting with each other on how music works and how each of our styles work. The My Friends Never Die EP is us playing shows together and wanting to make heavier stuff to play live. In Return is us feeling like we’ve learned a lot and we want to use what we’ve learned in meeting all of these other musicians and working on music together, wanting to make real songs. Wanting to make things we’re proud of. I think this next one is going to be us experimenting and trying something completely new. Going out of our comfort zone. I think that is what we always want to do. A new process.

You have quite a few collaborations on In Return, were those planned or happenstance?
That was definitely planned. We wanted to do something we hadn’t done before and that was to focus a little less on the samples and work with vocalists. That was the biggest thing we ever sampled. We would take the vocal and make a whole song out of it. With this we did the opposite. We built a song, got a vocalist that we thought was right for it, and worked with them for a while. Once we thought we had the pieces that we needed we messed with them, chopped them up, restructured them, and built a whole new song around it.

Did vocalists ever come to you or did you two always seek them out?
I think it was a little of both. There were definitely people we approached because we thought that a song was meant for them. That happened with the Shy Girls song [“All We Need”]. Then about two years ago we put up on social media “hey if you sing please email us here”. That’s how “Sun Models” was made. “Sun Models” was probably the first song we made after Summer’s Gone, it’s actually a really old song. There was this girl [Madelyn Grant] we went to college with who was in choir and she sang in to her MacBook, we chopped it up, and put it into a track. That’s the first thing we did without any samples.

Do you/will you ever bring anyone (vocalists) out on tour with you?
I would love to eventually. I think that when we finished up the album we were working more on making sure everything was right—that was priority over building a live band. We would love to bring a vocalist out. We’ve been working really hard on upping our live show so much that we have a whole production, a whole light show, a visuals guy, we’re just trying to up ourselves first before bringing anyone else into it.

How does it feel to be selling out shows?
It’s pretty crazy. I don’t really know how this all works. I think me and Clay just work our hardest and hope for the best and when it works out well we’re happy.

Do you have a favorite type of show? Festival, club, etc.
You know, it really doesn’t matter to me. The two things that probably affect me the most are 1: the audience, if they’re into it, you can tell pretty quick if you’re going to win over a crowd or not. 2: if I can’t hear myself through the monitors I have a bad time because I hope it sounds good out there. Those are the biggest two things that I feed off of during a show.

What do you get most excited about when preparing for a tour?
I really enjoy being able to do something new every single day. That is definitely a blessing. I would say with the show we try to build in special moments. We’ve done that by going back to songs that we know people like and redoing them in a way that makes them more heavy and cinematic. We put building points in and when it resonates with the audience that is the biggest connection with them that we could have and it’s pretty awesome when it works.

Do you and Clay have any pre show rituals?
Not really. Most of the people that work with us (the visuals guy, merch guy, etc), we’re all best friends so it’s more like a big group of friends having a drink. It’s pretty casual.

So with all that, what is your idea of the “perfect day off” on the road?
I really like when we can rent bikes in the city and go to a bunch of different parts of the city. Hang out. It’s relaxing.

Well, Minneapolis is the right place for you. Final question, are you sure you’re not Australian?
(laughs) We’re definitely highly influenced by the style that’s coming out over there. There’s something in the water there. They are making magnificent music. I keep finding fifteen year olds on Soundcloud that are better than us.

When I first heard you I pegged you for part of the Future Classic [Australia] realm.
That’s something that has kind of been the big difference for us. Some people have said we are “this or that of the US”. We love and are influenced by a lot of overseas musicians. We’re really diverse in the music we listen to so it’s sort of all over the place.

Interview by Laura Yurich
ODESZA w/Ambassadeurs & Hayden James
Sunday, October 12 2014
8p // 18+ // $13 adv $15 door
First Avenue Mainroom (moved from Triple Rock)

Posted 1 week ago