Blitzen Trapper is one of the Pacific Northwest's more eclectic indie roots-rock bands. Instead of honing a single vision like Fleet Foxes, the Portland outfit hops from genre to genre, all the while maintaining their twin loves: arty bombast and sharp, power-pop hooks. It's an aesthetic that immediately calls to mind the classic Move-E.L.O.-Wizzard axis: With each successive album, singer and songwriter Eric Earley's tunesmithing grows more varied and confident, a modern-day Roy Wood in terms of rapid transformation. Though a sextet, Blitzen Trapper's artistic core is more or less Earley, who reportedly began playing music at the age of three. After the group formed in 2000, it self-released its first three records: Blitzen Trapper, Field Rexx and Wild Mountain Nation. The band signed to Sub Pop in 2007 and subsequently released its best album to date, 2008's Furr. The group's fanbase has definitely expanded over time, yet it has never blown up like many of its Sub Pop peers. While this could change, there just might be something about Earley's style that's always going to be a little too rich for mass acceptance.
Blitzen Trapper Concert Films
Live at The Mercury Lounge
Runtime: 29 minBlitzen Trapper's music went through various genres with each record, bouncing from indie folk to art rock to experimental folk before settling into a rich, dusty brand of Neil Young-inspired alt country. The band formed in 2000 in Portland, Oregon, with songwriter Eric Earley leading a lineup that also included Erik Menteer (guitar, keyboard), Brian Adrian Koch (drums, vocals), Michael Van Pelt (bass), Drew Laughery (keyboard), and Marty Marquis (keyboard, vocals). Before signing a record contract in 2007, the band released three albums on its own dime: an eponymous effort in 2003, Field Rexx in 2005, and the highly acclaimed Wild Mountain Nation in 2007. The latter album landed the group a record deal with Sub Pop.
Blitzen Trapper Top Tracks
At The Fader Sideshow
Runtime: 19 minThe jam indie rock trio White Denim hail from Austin, Texas, where bandmates Josh Block (drums), Steve Terebecki (bass), and James Petralli (guitars, vocals) first set up shop in 2005. All three members were veterans of the Austin scene; Block and Petralli had previously played together in the alt-rock band Parque Torche, while Terebecki was a member of Peach Train. Drawing from a number of punk and garage rock influences, the group fashioned a hard-hitting sound with crunchy guitar riffs and frantic energy.
Live at Soundstage
Runtime: 53 minChicago-based Wilco take the stage with their blend of idiosyncratic pop sounds from their most recent album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Highlights include "War on War" and "Jesus, Etc." The critically acclaimed group reveals not only inimitable musicianship, but also a wide range of music with hints of country, rock, punk and, perhaps most of all, experimentalism.
Live at the Lincoln Theater
The Milk Carton Kids
Runtime: 1 hr 13 minIn the past year The Milk Carton Kids have been nominated for a Grammy, appeared on Austin City Limits and Prairie Home Companion multiple times, performed at the Americana Music Awards, and appeared at T-Bone Burnett and the Coen Bros triumphant Inside Llewyn Davis concert at New York's Town Hall, later televised in a Showtime special. As the thousands of fans who have seen the band can attest, their live performance and between-song banter add a charming counterpoint to the music. Preserving the band's unique show for posterity, Live From Lincoln Theatre will appeal to both fans who have seen the band and want to relive the experience and the thousands of new fans encountering them on NPR and elsewhere who have yet to see them. live.
One Big Holiday
My Morning Jacket
Runtime: 31 minOne Big Holiday is a short documentary film about My Morning Jacket and their relationship with their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Shot over a period of one week in October 2010, it chronicles the preparations of the band as they readied for a homecoming concert in the newly constructed downtown arena.
Live at Hangout Music Fest 2014
The Avett Brothers
Runtime: 1 hr 15 minThe Avett Brothers are an American folk rock band from North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers, Scott Avett and Seth Avett, as well as Bob Crawford (double bass) and Joe Kwon (cello). Mike Marsh (drums), Tania Elizabeth (violin) and Paul Defiglia (keyboard) are touring members of the band, with Kwon featured on recordings from 2007's Emotionalism and later. In this full-length music feature the band takes up the stage at the Hangout Music Fest in 2014 to perform their most beloved hits such as “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise,” “Down with the Shine, ”Pretty Girl from Chile,” “I and Love and You,” and many more.
A Backyard Session with Deer Tick
Runtime: 15 minFollowing their weekend residency as Newport Folk Festival's house band, Deer Tick shot down to Manhattan to perform for the Baeble crew in our backyard. The Providence locals hosted and headlined the festival's three consecutive after parties at the Newport Blues Cafe, and on the third evening, the group performed their forthcoming studio record Negativity in its entirety. The following day, frontman John McCauley told us that he couldn't wait until September 23rd, which would be the eve of the album's release. Fast forward a month and a half, and here we all are today, session video in tow, with the impending release of their superb, fifth record less than 24 hours away.
Live at M Studio
Runtime: 17 minLos Angeles rock quartet Dawes are conformed by a great, American musical tradition. Lurking in the folds of their amplified crunch of guitars, road ready rhythms, and soulful blasts of organ lay stories that are weary and lonesome...the product of a life lived out of a suitcase, traveling between far flung places. Laurel Canyon, Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury... You know these places, you know their significance. What started with bands like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and The Band lives on in Dawes' snarly riffs and stories. Rock and roll's past colliding with the present in the best way possible
That's Dawes, that's their live show, that's their latest release Nothing Is Wrong. Here though, in our latest session vid, the band try on something different...something a bit more informal and intimate. With nothing more than their mighty harmonies and an acoustic guitar, the band gives a glimpse into their most private world with three cuts from Nothing Is Wrong, emulating those moments when guitars are pulled out on tour buses, in hotel rooms, or quiet backstage retreats. After all, Dawes are a traveling band, the kind of group that can't go without that pounding pavement rumbling under their tires. The road, after all, is the greatest musical tradition.
Black Ice Vérité
Drive By Truckers
Runtime: 1 hr 5 min"This truly is Armageddon." said the local Athens, GA meteorologist on the seemingly sub-zero night last winter that the Drive-By Truckers were scheduled to play live at the 40 Watt. Luckily no snow, ice or hail could stop the band from firing up the room as they performed their critically acclaimed 12th LP, English Oceans, in full. Titled Black Ice Verite, fans will be able to re-live this concert experience as a live film. As the final track on English Oceans,"Grand Canyon" brings together both the record and the band's 40 Watt performance, as it is an emotionally overwhelming elegy for Craig Lieske. Lieske was a longtime member of DBT's touring family, a former manager of the 40 Watt Club and a key player in the city's experimental music scene. Lieske died suddenly of a heart attack in January 2013 following the first night of the band's three-night homecoming stand in Athens. English Oceans is dedicated to him.