Headliners for the May 23-25 edition include Outkast, The National, Queens of the Stone Age, M.I.A., Foster the People, Kid Cudi and Haim.
Headliners for the July 4-6 edition are Soundgarden, Kraftwerk, New Order, Frank Ocean, Royksopp + Robyn, Neutral Milk Hotel, Spoon and Broken Bells.
This is significant for local music lovers because Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater often snags a Sasquatch band or three for a concert on their way to or from the festival. In the past, Sasquatch-related routing has brought bands like Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, Tenacious D and The Flaming Lips to Central Oregon.
Sure enough, this morning, the amphitheater announced that brooding indie rock band The National will make a stop in Bend on May 23. Tune-Yards will open. Tickets will cost $39 in advance (plus fees) and will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Schwab’s website or at The Ticket Mill, located next to Anthony’s restaurant in the Old Mill District.
Unfamiliar with The National? Well, they’re a great band from New York City (originally Cincinnati) that put out two of the best albums of the past 10 years, in my opinion: 2005’s “Alligator” and 2007’s “Boxer.” They’ve released two since then, too, and found increasingly sizable success.
Here’s my favorite song by The National, at least for today:
The National‘s “High Violet” isn’t out for two more months, but the Cincinnati-via-Brooklyn band stopped by Jimmy Fallon’s house last night to debut one of its tunes, called “Terrible Love.” In doing so, they pushed my level of excitement for this album through the roof. This is classic National: brooding vocals, killer drums, shards of guitar fluttering about, and a crescendo into a crest of noise. This band crescendos like no other I’ve ever heard. Have a listen, and sorry about the advertisement:
Pretty awesome stuff. If “High Violet” is in the same league as “Boxer” and “Alligator,” The National will cement their status as my favorite band.
I thought 2009 was a good, but not great, year for recorded music, and am hopeful that 2010 will top it. To be fair, at this time last year, I hadn’t even heard of nine of the artists that produced my top 25 albums of 2009. The point is, amazing music can come from anyone, anywhere, and that no year should be judged solely on the number of hotly anticipated albums by big-name artists that it promises.
That being said, the first half of 2010 is turning out to be an incredibly productive time for some of the most high-profile names in what we used to call underground rock ‘n’ roll, but now is more like highly marketable and bloggable rock ‘n’ roll.
Yesterday, Beach House’s “Teen Dream” was released, and it’s a tasty slice of dream-pop, and sure to top many year-end lists at the close of 2010. Also out yesterday: new music from The Magnetic Fields, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Four Tet.
Let’s get on to the big dogs, though, shall we? On Feb. 2, the subtly addictive Texas band Midlake will put out “The Courage of Others,” the follow-up to 2006’s “The Trials of Van Occupanther,” aka one of the best albums of the 2000s. “Trials” has aged amazingly well over the past few years, and I’m several listens into “Courage” and believe it can be equally enduring, if not as immediately accessible. Here’s a trailer for the album that surfaced this week:
How many rock ‘n’ roll trailers feature a flute sighting, huh? Wait … why is there a trailer for this album? Did I miss something?
Anyway, March 9 will see Scottish indie-pop wonders Frightened Rabbit drop “The Winter of Mixed Drinks,” their follow-up to “The Midnight Organ Fight,” which is not only my favorite album of 2008, but arguably my favorite of the entire decade. (Not sure about that. More thinking to do. But I will get back to it). The band has played a few songs here and there and released one excellent single, all of which points to a very promising third effort from the Rabbit. I cannot wait. (Also March 9: Broken Bells, aka James Mercer of The Shins and DJ Danger Mouse. Here is their new video.)
As if all that wasn’t enough, May is shaping up to be a scary-good release month, what with rumors of an Arcade Fire album, as well as the recent announcements of new albums by The New Pornographers (with Neko Case andDap-Kings horns!) and The National. The former had a ridiculously productive 2000s (three classic albums, one very good one) and the latter may be my favorite band going right now.
All of this, plus releases that I don’t necessarily feel strongly about, but lots of people do, like new Yeasayer (Feb. 9), Toro y Moi (Feb. 23), Ted Leo (March 9), Gorillaz (March 9), Drive-By Truckers (March 16), She & Him (March 23), Radiohead, MGMT, LCD Soundsystem, R.E.M., Coldplay and so on and so on.
It never stops. Thank goodness.
Now, I’ve obviously only covered a fairly narrow sliver of music here; it’s the one I tend to pay the most attention to. But I’d love to hear from y’all what you’re stoked about, whether it’s country, hip-hop, mainstream pop, reggae or whatever. (Paging Scott Halvorson. Please pick up the Heavy/Industrial/Punk/Metal Courtesy Telephone.)