Finally something good about the massive over-saturation of Super Bowl coverage. Or do I need to refer to it is The Big Game, because RARA’s Farm is not yet the Official Rock Blog of the NFL? In any case, under the super-catchy name, “The Night Before” Metallica will be playing a concert, which will be streamed live in HD for free!
“We try to cultivate a culture of positivity at our shows” – Colin Dieden
The Mowgli’s are a blossoming Alt-rock band, touring across the country on the strength of their excellent second album Kids In Love, making new friends everywhere they play, and making a difference all over the world. They are just the type of band the world needs to hear more of, and we were able to steal a few minutes of their time backstage before they hit stage in Orlando a few weeks ago.
House of Blues in Orlando was buzzing Wednesday night as three hot, talented acts took the stage for a night of excellent new pop rock. We were there to see The Mowgli’s who put on another fantastic set, sandwiched between two blossoming female-fronted acts Phases and Lights.
The Mowgli’s exploded onto the Alt-Rock scene a few years ago with the exceptionally likeable and addictive “San Francisco.” Since then, they’ve released two full-length albums crammed full of upbeat, positive vibes and exceptional harmonies.
The Dodos Album Review
The Dodos – Carrier Album Review by BrokenBirdie
When we packed up the car to head off to Bonnaroo 2010 I had two tickets in my bag and a long list of bands that I wanted to see scribbled on a paper. At the top of that list for opening night were The Dodos, the San Francisco 2-piece (sometimes three) that first caught my ear with 2008’s Visiter. Excited for three days and three nights of non-stop musical heaven my heart sank as we began to see signs for the Manchester, TN exit. The line of cars stretched for as far as the eye could see. The noon sun baked us in our cars as we waited for seven hours to get into the camping area. It was about 9:30 by the time we left our camp-site and ventured to the stage areas. I approached the stage as the last minute of “Jodi” was being played and by the time I could see Meric and Logan on the stage, they were bidding the audience goodnight. Strike one, Bonnaroo.
Carrier is The Dodos’ 5th full length album and their 1st for Polyvinyl. After some research it appears to be a state secret as to why they split with Frenchkiss, but the good news is that it appears to have had no effect on the music.
Singer/guitarist Meric Long has a voice that is thoughtful and comforting. His lyrics are often enigmatic, though clearly very personal to him, and it leaves you free to take from the song what you want. As much or as little as you need. The boys brought friends and a few new guitars with them this time. No longer purely acoustic, there are clean sounding electric guitars layered all over this album, occasionally bordering on distorted, most noticeably on “Confidence”. Paired with Long’s sometimes serene, sometimes frantic , always felicitous strumming and Logan Kroeber’s immaculate drumming, it’s a welcome new dimension that detracts nothing, and adds so much more.
Download on iTunes: Confidence – Single – The Dodos
The acoustic guitar, as always, has that jangly bright sound to it that can only come from a fresh pair of strings. The syncopated drumming still shows up once in a while, but just often enough to reassure you that it is a genuine Dodos effort, and the trombone makes an appearance for good measure. The last track on the album, the luscious and bitter-sweet “The Ocean,” should have been the first track. It features a gorgeous string section and I would not be mad one bit if they chose to include strings more in the future. The song is beautiful and the line “I want to be where I want you to be,” repeated over and over gives such a feeling of sad, desperation that it leaves a deep imprint on the psyche for several minutes after the record ends.
The Dodos’ Wikipedia page states that Kroeber plays his drum set without the use of bass drum. I’ll have to be sure to catch their live show the next time around to see how he plays the intro to track #2, “Substance.” “Relief” is, the album’s most reminiscent track, and is also a good showcase of exactly which direction they came from and where they are now. Starting with a fluttering guitar, Long croons until the other two pieces of the puzzle arrive and it turns into a stomper that was quite common on earlier albums. With the addition of the electric guitar it falls into a short jam until it comes full circle and ends with the softly fluttering acoustic.
It’s been a while since I’ve listened to a record and loved every song. The music is still moderately inaccessible to the masses, but I don’t think that it has ever been The Dodos’ ambition to churn out top-40 hits. If you’re a newcomer to The Dodos it doesn’t matter if you start with Carrier and work your way backwards through their catalog, or vice versa. These guys seem to know that the way to keep writing satisfying records is to not try to fix what is not broken. A little bit of tweaking never hurt anybody, though. Thumbs up.
– Broken Birdie –
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Interested in their earlier albums? Check out iTunes for the band’s full library: The Dodos
The Mowgli’s Waiting For the Dawn Album Review
Fresh on the heels of their absolutely addictive single “San Francisco,” Los Angeles based The Mowgli’s have released their first full-length album Waiting For the Dawn, giving us a chance to see whether they’re a one-hit wonder, or a band built to stand the test of time. Without a doubt, it’s the latter. This album is a masterpiece, and clearly one of the highlights of 2013 thus far. It’s a cool summer groove just overflowing with sweet summer rock ‘n roll gems.
In a refreshing change from much of the music dominating today’s airwaves, The Mowgli’s offer up a host of tracks about love, hope and unity. They’re an octet comprised of five LA childhood friends and three more recent acquaintances from the Midwest. It’s a marriage that works very well.
Waiting For the Dawn is an uplifting collection of lyrics accompanied by fantastic music. Many of the tracks feature Boy/Girl lead vocal trade-offs or animated group gang vocals. It’s one of the reasons the band reminds me of an arranged marriage between Grouplove and Of Monsters and Men; heady stuff as those bands each finished in our Top 5 albums of the year in 2011 and 2102 respectively.
By now you’ve surely heard the zippy “San Francisco.” It’s a clever catchy song that just oozes the essence of summertime (featured in our Songs of Summer 2013). The rest of the album offers up similar sonic pleasures. “The Great Divide” is actually a more hit-worthy selection than “San Francisco.” It’s a more upbeat song with a catchy riff and better lyrics. “Clean Light” is another strong cut; this one dominated by shouts and whistles that will surely leave you reminiscing about the fine music of the aforementioned bands.
There are a few tracks out of their typical comfort zone that work with varied degrees of success, including my favorite track “Time.” It’s the most stripped down song, just a few acoustic guitars and captivating vocals. It starts as a song of desperation, but weaves into a hopeful paean. “I get so down about this world some times. I cannot understand people, no not at all. But I hope to see a change in man, I hope to see us love one another, and I know we can.” Good, good stuff.
The band is comprised of eight members, which lends nicely to their propensity to offer sensational harmonies, the fun gang vocals, and lots of slick musical vignettes. “Leave It Up To Me” features a few nicely placed guitar solos and some sweet melodica. “Emily” is another gift, it’s a subtle musical orgy with so many intricate instrument switches weaving in and out. The album offers up a bit of perfectly placed cello, stand-up bass, mandolin and trombone, and who knows what kinds of percussion. It’s truly a creative masterpiece, and one that is immaculately produced.
Pick it up and give it a listen (linked below), as this one is going to be one of the albums that defines the year.
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