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BOWIE/OLDMAN 2016! Plus concerts, (music) news, a new Lauryn Hill song and an Elephant Six album sampler for your ears! [Tom Stillwagon]

So this week, I had the privilege of seeing concerts from two different bands who named their band after a city they did not reside in. In two back-to-back nights!

Why is this relevant, you may ask? It’s not. I just found it interesting. The world is a psychedelic place, yo.

Both shows were great, by the way.

On Wednesday I caught Akron/Family, who are not from Ohio, but from Brooklyn.

The band has come a long way in their ten years. Taking the experimental release Meek Warrior and its follow-up Love Is Simple as starting points (I know they have earlier albums, you hipster), the band has now gone off the rails beautifully on the new Sub Verses, adding aggressive and often droning extended jams and deeper sonic soundscapes into their sound.  Spacey stuff.

The tiny Echo, capacity 350, housed the event. The show was definitely not sold out, as there was ample room to move around. The light attendance did not seem to bother the band. The quartet gave a mind-blowing 70 minute set.

Permission to speak freely? Large, positive vibes came off this stage, man. Magic happened. I tripped awhile. I waved my hands in the air to break the bright white light that bathed the crowd. I silently thanked the muses for the lovely sounds, and then my lady friend and I slow danced under a glimmering disco ball and it was beautiful. Thanks, Akrons.

These guys do amazing things with sound. Not a lot of Love Is Simple style hooks or sing alongs, just pure transcendent sound. So recommended.

On Thursday, I caught Of Montreal, from Athens Georgia. This was at the slightly larger (650 capacity) Echoplex downstairs. The event was hosted by KCRWNow, this shit was sold out.

Of Montreal started off as the bratty kid brother in the family that formed the Elephant Six Recording Company. Fast forward to 2013, where Kevin Barnes and his band sound more polished on stage than any of their peers ever have. Barnes voice commands attention from his audience, and the stage show had the venue bouncing. Lots and lots of fun, people. Take note.

In fact, let’s dedicate this weeks playlist to the Elephant Six. Below, find the link to check out tracks from a couple of amazing (vital?) albums from the collective. Let’s say, first four songs from each album, enough to (hopefully) encourage you to check out the one that speaks to you most (post results below, if you dare!)

I figure, if you haven’t heard these now classic albums, then you should. If you’re already familiar, then you probably haven’t heard them in awhile, so now is a good time to refresh your head. If neither of these people is you, then that must mean you still listen to Elephant Six Recording artists regularly. If that’s the case, while I’m sure that you’ve no use for my playlist, you are surely in support of my spreading the word. So get off my lawn, eh.  Playlist links at the bottom.

Dear Lauryn Hill:

For ten years you’ve remained relatively silent. You did not release any records, and short of a couple of weird music festival performances, you barely toured. No movie appearances. Almost no Fugees reunion appearances. And certainly no attempts to pay your taxes.

Of course, since your recent return to the limelight coincides with my first months as music-blog-writer-guy, I am grateful, and must thank you for all the glorious material you’re providing me.

I didn’t research the Lauryn Hill thing this week. I’m tired of reading about it already. It bores me. All I care about is her putting out NEW MUSIC.

You can read about it here. Or here.

Whichever you like.  Same thing.

Anywho. Water cooler talk, that’s all I got.  Take it or leave it.

What I heard was that the judge ordered Ms. Hill to start making money STAT.

After deciding that getting a regular job-type-job simply wouldn’t suffice, Lauryn gave us THIS.

Compulsory mix, indeed.  The song sounds unfinished.  It also sounds pretty bloody awesome.

Oh. The judge also ordered her to serve three months in prison. So there’s that.

David Bowie. Ah, David Bowie, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Ziggy Stardust, one. Aladdin Sane, two. Diamond Dogs, three. I could go on and on and on, and I should. But I won’t. In exchange, I don’t want you throwing that whole Labrynth thing in my face.

Let’s just cut directly to the present, when the 66 year old art punker drops this on our lucky, lucky heads. Thanks, David. (Oh. NSFW, btw. Word.)


I’d like to propose that David Bowie run for president, and that Gary Oldman be his running mate. This is one candidate that can count on my vote.

I say we band together in the coming weeks and months to try and make this worthwhile dream a reality. Bowie/Oldman 2016.

Rock over London. Rock on Chicago.

ELEPHANT 6 sampler playlist:

internets — F&N 05/13/13 – Elephant 6 Recording Company

spotify — F&N 05/13/13 – Elephant 6 Recording Company

Feature Image Credit: Showbiz 411