eventseekr Shuffle: Punch It or Hug It? A Playlist of Lovely Assault

“For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks … Love is like the measles. The older you get it, the worse the attack.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

Love and War are two words that change lives. Sweethearts swoon and entire countries are swept up by the ravishment of warfare. My choice of the word Love over Peace is quite intentional, as I’m a firm believer in the notion that the latter is in no way the antonym to the despair that is War. Peace is merely the middle ground: safety. Creation and community are needed in order to properly balance out the scale, therefore Love fits the bill quite nicely. But I advise all to be careful with quickly labeling Love and War as two entities working in opposition. The famous Hellenic War delineates otherwise, showing how love may beget war. In contrast, one can only hope that the converse is just as likely.

I aimed to create a playlist which highlights both of these aspects of human nature while also making room for the grey areas that lie between anger and adoration. There is a certain tension involved in love – a push and pull that can turn into frustration or worse. Some of these songs come purely from the heart while others were written with an antagonistic slant; some are literal in their relevance while others are more abstract, and nearly all of them convey a sense of anxiety. That being said, let’s leave the boggy waters of semantics behind and let the playlist speak its case.

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Concert Preview: Kings of Convenience – The Fillmore 10/28/2011

Artist: KINGS OF CONVENIENCE

Venue: THE FILLMORE, 10/28/2011

Doors: 9pm

Erlend Øye and Eirik Glambek Bøe have been playing their distinctive brand of Scandinavian folk-pop for over 12 years but, despite amassing a passionate cult following, Kings of Convenience continues to fly somewhat under the radar. Maybe it’s because they’ve only released three studio albums in total (plus one album of remixes). Maybe it’s because they tour sporadically. Maybe it’s because they’ve been dogged with rumors of a split, or Øye’s solo projects have kept him otherwise occupied.

Photo by Quique Lopéz, CC BY 2.0

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Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2011 [Preview]

San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is in its 11th year, and with such a consistently impressive 3-day lineup, it’s truly amazing that this festival is still completely free. Even folks who can’t dig bluegrass tunes will find something at HSB to get excited about. Just as the name suggests, the festival offers an armful of great bluegrass bands, as well as a good amount of folk, rock and country music. The festival kicks off at Speedway Meadows in Golden Gate Park on Thursday, September 29th with MC Hammer’s Children’s Program. I wonder if he’ll be sporting those famous pants.

On Friday, the festival introduces indie sensation Conor Oberst, who performed at last year’s HSB. This year, Oberst is in charge of Friday’s Rooster stage, bringing some friends along with him like his band, Bright Eyes, which is sure to draw a flurry of dedicated fans. I was fortunate enough to see Bright Eyes play at Coachella this spring and let’s just say that their streak of artistic genius was showing. Oberst also brings M. Ward of Monsters of Folk and the “him” of She & Him, as well as Kurt Vile & the Violators, among others.  Other incredible acts on Friday include Chris Isaak (Wicked Game, anyone?), Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, and Robert Plant & the Band of Joy. Starting to forget that this festival is FREE of charge? Yeah, me too.

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Luke Temple – Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care [Album Review]

The eventseekr team had some awesome interns that regularly contributed to the blog this summer, but we also had awesome interns all throughout the office working in the other departments. We asked those who didn’t get a chance to contribute to write reviews of recent albums that struck their fancy. First was indie-rock group A Lull‘s Confetti, written up by Janelle Gleason, then Sharon Kim’s review of Cloud Control‘s Bliss Release, and most recently Lauren Espina’s review of Trap Gold‘s The Chooser EP. The fourth and final of these album reviews is Christina Galarnaeu’s review of Luke Temple‘s Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care.

Luke Temple originally made a splash in the indie-folk scene in 2004 when he was signed to Mill Pond Records, based in Seattle. His first full length album off Mill Pond, Hold a Match to a Gasoline World, was in line with the Northwestern indie scene, which was filled with sensitive and emotional youngsters with tattoos and piercings. In 2009 Temple decided to change his sound and released a full length album with his band, Here We Go Magic. His collaborative work has a much edgier and poppier sound than Temple’s soulful, soft solo work. Here We Go Magic’s Pigeons showcased a new side of Temple’s creative ability while he explored and expanded his musical portfolio. However, Temple kept to his folksy roots for his newly released solo album, Don’t Act Like You Don’t Care.

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David Bazan

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone even vaguely familiar with David Bazan’s career to learn he’s still penning songs full of religious imagery and narrators struggling with their faith. What will definitely catch fans of his early work off-guard, however, is the 180 degree turn he’s taken in his personal life from strictly devout Christianity to his current status as a doubting agnostic recovering from alcoholism. It’s rare to hear a musician’s struggles, questions and changes laid-out so openly from album-to-album, and it’s this stark honesty that has made Bazan one of the more underrated songwriters working today.

(Photo by Håkan Henriksson CC BY 3.0)

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Y La Bamba

BY NATHAN CRANFORD

What’s in a name? If one contemplates the name of Portland, Oregon-based Y La Bamba, one might subconsciously or otherwise, experience twangs of nostalgia, wonder and perhaps even confusion.

First, the name might evoke a sense of generational nostalgia for many familiar with the music of 1950s Chicano rock and roll superstar Ritchie Valens. His life, though tragically cut short, provided the world with a new-found mainstream awareness of Mexican-Americans and their contributions to contemporary American culture. His work also revealed to us the infinite possibilities that are borne from fusing the popular musical styles of two rather disparate sub-cultures in American society.

Y La Bamba. Photo by Alicia J. Rose.

Others might come to the band’s elliptical name with a sense of wonder. To those familiar with the Spanish language, the name might conjure a vast, unexplored semantic space, like a piano prelude by Claude Debussy, that ends with the words “…and La Bamba.”

Yet some might react with confusion, repeating the name in their head: “Why La Bamba?” ‘Y’ La Bamba, indeed.

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