Monday, March 19, 2012

Fareveller Music Fest: Memphis, TN 2012 looking forward

I'm planning on checking out this year's Fareveller Music Festival in Memphis, TN this weekend.  I'll be taking the MegaBus from Nashville to Memphis to spend some time with my little brother and see some great shows!
This is just the 2nd year for Fareveller Fest and I've loved the line up other years so far.  I describe it as Memphis in May (a somewhat more mainstream collection of performers that caters to the general public) for indie kids.  Fareveller does a good job of filling in the void of amazing, medium-sized regional and national acts that is so often neglected by big promoters.

Here are some of the bands I'm looking forward to:
Thursday 3/22
Young Ave Deli 11pm
Maps & Atlases

I've been a fan for years and saw them once about a year ago in Indiana.  They ended the show by an acoustic performance within the crowd.  To be honest... I got a little misty eyed. It was unreal.  I'm very excited about experiencing them again.

Friday 3/23
Otherlands Coffee Bar 8pm
David Ramirez

Young Avenue Deli:
10 pm – The Rocketboys
This is one of my brother's favorite bands. Ambient/post-rock with still some pop rock structure and hooks.  As honest and earnest as any Texan could be. Also check out Brandon's solo project "Wealthy West"

11 pm – The Black Belles
If Jack White likes them so much, they should be worth checking out.

12 am – Eliot Lipp
I just discovered this guy last night, but some pretty cool electro. Should make for a good cool down after party.

Saturday 3/24
Otherlands Coffee Bar
7:30 pm – The Underhill Family Orchestra
I spent a month in an un-air-conditioned van with these 6 musicians last summer and loved every second.   These guys are going places; I'm glad to be a distant cousin of the family.
ps. Brian looks like the Ultimate Warrior in this video.

9 pm – Water Liars
A combination of 2 of my favorite songwriters (See previous blog post for all the details)

10 pm – Jessica Lea Mayfield (solo acoustic)
Similarly... if Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys is so supportive, might be worth a listen.

Young Avenue Deli
10 pm – Arma Secreta
11 pm – Youniverse
Arma Secreta and Youniverse and two Memphis locals holding down the fort, always a great show.

12 am – Those Darlins
A local Nashville/Murfreesboro band that always escapes me. Maybe this time I'll finally get a chance to see these garage babes and make Wanda Jackson proud. This song is really catchy.

1 am – The Hood Internet
Mash-Up DJ keeping in crunk all night long. I've heard good things, I hope the live show is as impressive as the tracks.

And the best part, a wrist band for the entire weekend of music with all these bands and more only cost $25!
Check out these links. Let me know what you love. And look forward to a recap of my wild weekend.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Phantom Limb by Water Liars

Last Thursday night, I just happened to end up in Bloomington, IN the same night that my friend Andrew Bryant, ½ of Water Liars, was performing at The Bishop Bar.  I was familiar with Andrew’s previous southern croons as a solo songwriter from the great state of Mississippi, but Water Liars was a different monster entirely.
In Water Liars Bryant plays drums, rigid but fierce; his boots stomp pedals and arms hammer down like he was busting cinderblocks.  His signature gruff, vocal bellow is a harmony undertone, reinforcing the lead voice of Justin Kinkel-Schuster, who takes on front-man responsibilities also playing guitar. No stranger to the stage, Justin’s musical experiences include those with St. Louis, Mo Americana outfit Theodore (check out my very favorite song “Back from the War” on
It may be a bit of a stretch to call the duo by the cliché label of “super-group”, but the history of songwriting from each lends a maturing chemistry allowing for Phantom Limb to become the clear next step in each of their catalogs.
The live show started with the gained out crunch of a hollow-body guitar riff, blasting the audience's attention from their locally brewed Upland Beers and small talk.  The song titled “$100” does a good job of characterizing the band in a single shot.  Folk influenced, reverb dampened, rock and roll, that’s still a little rough around the edges.
Phantom Limb ends on the opposite foot, leaning towards the roots or the members with the slow, heartbreaking ballad “Low & Long."   The 12 bar blues rocker “Short Hair” pulls the tempo back up and adds a little grime.   “Dog Eaten” cleans up the sound with a simple guitar/vocal pairing, the sonic juxtaposition on this track may be crisp and pure, but beneath there is still skeleton-dust from memories lamented through lyrics. 
The most memorable moment of the live show was the eye-widening delivery of “Fresh Hell-It is Well”.  The latter half, “…It is Well,” is a classic hymn that I grew up singing in church, but now delivered as an a’cappella cry by Kinkel-Schuster, with ghastly response echo by Bryant.  The recorded version dims the lights even lower on the already haunting aesthetic of the song by sampling a poem read by early 20th century British occultist Aleister Crowley.

In a day where music has become scarcely more than the passing glance of a 99cent iTunes single, Water Liars’ Phantom Limb is to be commended as a complete intact work, with 9 different chapters, possessing dynamic characteristics of conflict and resolve, rather than 9 separate novellas.  

Water Liars is currently on tour making their way to SXSW, where NPR has included the band in its 100 artist to check out at this years fesitival:
You can keep up with Water Liars at their label home:
Their song “$100” is available for free download at:
And you can download the entire Phantom Limb album on iTunes: