Tag Archive | "M. Ward"

Preview: Together The People 2016

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Preview: Together The People 2016

Posted on 23 August 2016 by Dorian

In less than two weeks Brighton holds the sophomore Together The people festival in Preston Park. The two-day event is similar to London’s Field Day, taking place in a city park without fields and campsites associated with most festivals.

Neon Filler attended the 2015 event, and the enjoyed range of music on offer from the fledgling festival, with Brakes, Public Service Broadcasting and the Super Furry Animals being amongst the highlights.

We’re even more excited about this year as a genuine musical legend, Brian Wilson, will be descending upon the park to play Pet Sounds in full! It is worth noting that the beach Boy’s legends other UK shows are either sold out (London) or cost as much for a ticket as the whole Saturday at the festival (Southend-On-Sea).

Together The People

Sunday brings another act that, although whippersnappers next to Wilson, have been around for 27 years; Suede. The band may officially hail from London but singer Brett Anderson and bassist Mat Osman hail from West Sussex making this something of a homecoming gig.

Across the weekend a wide range of interesting acts are set to play with Gaz Coombes, Songhoy Blues, M. Ward and local favourite Chris T-T being top of our must-see list. Another interesting act, albeit one we approach with some trepidation, is Peter Hook & The Light. The recent works by New Order have been a surprise success so we will see what the bearded bass-player brings to covers of his former bands back catalogues.

Families are well catered for (Lazytown Live is top of our list) and a range of food stalls and other attractions are promised across the site.

Visit the official website at http://www.togetherthepeople.co.uk/tickets/ to get day and weekend tickets.

By Dorian Rogers

 

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Neko Case – Man

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Neko Case – Man

Posted on 13 June 2013 by Dorian

Neko Case is a bit of a Neon Filler favorite whether that be with her role in the New Pornographers, playing wonderful live sets or on her own solo albums.  The last of these was Middle Cyclone which made it in to our top ten albums list when released in 2009.

So we are very excited that she is back after more than four years to release The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You via ANTI on the 2nd September. Case says of the album:

“My brain wilderness is more dense and dangerous than I thought,” says Case. “It was an embarrassing and hilarious march, but I now feel like a more streamlined being. It’s a good feeling. Four years of my life took ten years hostage, then gave me back twelve.”

The album was executive-produced by Case and recorded at Wavelab in Tuscon, as well as Portland, Los Angeles and with Phil Palazzolo in Brooklyn. Tucker Martine, Case and Darryl Neudorf mixed the album, with backing by guitarist Paul Rigby, bassist Tom V. Ray, vocalist Kelly Hogan and multi-instrumentalist Jon Rauhouse. Other guests include M. Ward, Steve Turner, Howe Gelb, and members of The New Pornographers, My Morning Jacket, Calexico, Los Lobos and Visqueen. In addition to eleven new songs written by Case, The Worse Things Get… features a cover of ‘Afraid’ by Nico.

The first song from the album. ‘Man’, featuring M.Ward on guitar, is available to view below and gives good reason to be excited about what is likely to be one of the best albums of 2013.

By Dorian Rogers

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Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Joe

Monsters of Folk is a proper old school supergroup, comprising four of the most respected names in modern American music: My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, singer songwriter M Ward, and Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes.

After five years in the pipeline their long awaited self-titled debut is certainly not a let down, showcasing a broad range of blues, folk and country with each of the quartet’s distinctive sound remaining intact.

Oberst explains on the band’s website that, “we only wanted the four of us to play on it, no hired guns. We took turns playing drums, bass, it was really fun. It reminded me a lot of when I was a teenager and I’d get together on the weekend with some of my friends and we’d have a four-track and a practice space full of whatever.”

It paints a rosy picture indeed and the end product shows there is clearly a lot of truth in this. There is a real warmth to the album as well as a sense of the quartet’s enthusiasm for the simple production process, at Mogis and Oberst’s Omaha studio and the Shangri-La studio in Malibu, which has been used by the likes of Neil Young and The Band.  If egos did collide then the music has clearly benefited.

It is important not to get carried away with the reputations of the quartet. Not all the 15 tracks are great but there is some real quality here. Of the four it initially sounds as if Oberst and M Ward may have had the most influence. ‘Man Named Truth’, has been part Oberst’s set for a while now. Also, many of the tracks have the same old-fashioned 1950s production feel that was used by M Ward for his most recent album Hold Time.

James, who goes by his solo name Yim Yames on the album, opens the album with ‘Dear God (sincerely M.O.F.)’, a very My Morning Jacket sounding track. It is a pleasant enough opener but it is his vocals on the spiritual end track ‘His Master’s Voice’ where he really comes alive. This simple, uplifting track is a song of genuine beauty and by a folk-country mile is the best on the album.

Other highlights when James, Ward and Oberst come together on vocals, such as on ‘Say Please’ and ‘Temazcal’. The upbeat, wah-wah peddled, ‘Losing Yo Head’ is another standout track. However, the turgid ‘Slow Down Jo’ is among the less effective.

Unsurprisingly, fans of Bright Eyes, M. Ward and My Morning Jacket will find a lot to like in Monsters of Folk. All three of their distinctive sounds are retained and their joy in the collaboration is clear for all to hear.

7/10

by Joe Lepper, Sept 2009

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M. Ward – Hold Time

Posted on 17 September 2010 by Joe

Oregon based singer songwriter M.Ward is well-known for his soft, lo-fi voice and timeless music, blending folk, Americana, blues and 50s rock and roll.

Hold Time has all these sides of M. Ward and is at its best when his subtle, lo-fi voice is given a chance to shine but at its worst when over production steers him more into Chris Rea territory than the likes of Giant Sand.

The first half contains the worst tracks, which masks some real gems later on. Second track ‘Never Had Nobody Like You’ has a misplaced 70s glam rock sound and is littered with lazy, banal lyrics. “Now it’s just like ABC, life’s just like 123, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, ah oh,” is hardly going to win him an Ivor Novello award for songwriting.

His version of Buddy Holly’s ‘Rave On’ manages to suck out all its 50s charm leaving a shell of a poor cover, and title track ‘Hold Time’ is a forgettable meander.

But it is worth sticking with the album. ‘One Hundred Million Years’ marks a turning point, allowing his finger picking guitar prowess and lo-fi voice to come to the fore. Then follows a run of good tracks including the excellent ‘Shrangri-La’ and the album’s centrepiece ‘Oh Lonesome Me’, which reunites M. Ward with the actress Zooey DeSchanel, who on their 2008 She & Him album garnered justified critical acclaim for their take on sunny, 60s pop.

Fans of M.Ward will not be disappointed by Hold Time, in many respects his most accomplished work yet and it is a fine starting point for those new to him. It is a pity though that Hold Time is too much of a mixed bag, with not enough space for his lo-fi brilliance to shine.

6.5/10

by Joe Lepper, Feb 2009

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