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#201: Jeremy Ivey, “The Dream and the Dreamer”

With “The Dream and the Dreamer”, Jeremy Ivey ceases being just Margo Price’s husband and sidekick, and establishes himself as a songwriter worth following. It’s hard to believe this is Ivey’s debut album, and we hope it’s not the last. Some of the best americana we’ve heard this year. Plus: new tracks by Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Tindersticks, The Orphan Brigade, Daniel Martin Moore, Christopher Paul Stelling, Alasdair Roberts, Richard Dawson, Matt Dorrien, Lola Kirke, Okey Dokey, Olivia Jean, Dry Cleaning, Pip Blom, Long Beard, (Sandy) Alex G, Angel Olsen, Jenny Hval, DJ Firmeza, Murs, JPEGMAFIA, Yves Tumor, Tørsö, and Swans.

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NOS Primavera Sound 2017: what not to miss

Shellac.

Ok, ok, let’s get a little bit deeper than this.

First, the playlist:

THURSDAY, JUNE 8

We know it’s hard to go to the festival this early, especially when the only artist playing that early is a Portuguese singer-songwriter singing in a language you probably don’t understand. But really, give him a shot: Samuel Úria (17:00, Super Bock stage) is probably our favorite dude-with-a-guitar-singing-in-Portuguese. This should have been Grandaddy’s night, but misfortune knocked at their door and we’ll get Arab Strap instead (21:10, Super Bock). Recently reunited after a 10-year hiatus, the Scottish influent duo might look oddly placed between Miguel’s adventurous R&B (20:00, NOS) and Run the Jewels’ (22:20, NOS) raucous hip hop set, but hey, this is Primavera.


FRIDAY, JUNE 9

Painful decisions are to be made early in the day, with Whitney **(18:50, Super Bock) and **Royal Trux (19:00, Palco., or “the stage formerly known as ATP”) fighting for your attention. Last year’s _Light Upon the Lake _and their recent new single “You’ve Got a Woman” brought Whitney to the spotlight and were one of our highlights at last years’ Vodafone Paredes de Coura Festival. If they bring the full band to Porto it will be difficult to not see at least part of their show, but the prospect of witnessing Royal Trux’s reunion show swings the pendulum on the other direction. Last year, Neil Hagerty walked all over whoever was seeing him at the same stage, and this year he brings his lifelong partner Jennifer Herrema along. Well, at least **Angel Olsen **(19:50, NOS), who needs no introduction (seriously, she doesn’t – this is usually what people say when they’re too lazy to write anything substantial about an artist, but she really doesn’t) has no opposition, so I guess we’ll all be there, right?

Same with the first 30min of Sleaford Mods (20:30, Palco.), we’re guessing. Their music is definitely not for everyone, but then again most music isn’t. Just one day after the British election, expect the Nottingham working class heroes to be extra angry while spitting their verses. We were similarly angry when we realized two of our favorite acts in the whole festival, Nikki Lane (21:00, Pitchfork) and Teenage Fanclub (21:00, Super Bock) are clashing. Life isn’t fair. Country darling Nikki Lane has just released her third solo album, Highway Queen, and has a mountain to climb trying to win over a crowd that usually disregards country music as food for hillbillies’ ears. Teenage Fanclub, lords of British indie rock, have been touring relentlessly after releasing one of the finest albums of their almost 3 decades long career, Here. The toughest choice of the year.

And here’s to hoping we can hear Julien Baker (22:30, Pitchfork) during Swans’ set a few metres away (22:00, Palco.). The young songwriter from Memphis is set for indie stardom, releasing her sophomore record later this year on Matador, and faces fierce opposition, not only from Swans (on their last tour, at least with this lineup) but from bearded-folky-guy-turned-glitchy-weirdo Bon Iver. Later on, Hamilton Leithauser (00:00, Pitchfork) returns to Primavera without his Walkmen and the party goes on with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard (01:00, Palco.) and Nicolas Jaar (01:00, NOS) splitting the audience in half: rockers to the left, dancers to the right.


SATURDAY, JUNE 10

The Growlers’ (19:50, NOS) make some of the catchiest songs of modern rock and roll, and their latest record, produced by the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, is filled to the brink with such tracks. Expect fun. Then, it’s time for the yearly pilgrimage to wherever Shellac are playing (20:30, Palco.). This year, they play unusually early, but maybe that’s a good thing – they’re back to the stage where they originally played every year. Steve Albini, Bob Weston and Todd Trainer will – of course – once again provide us with the best show of the festival. I’m pretty sure we wrote the same exact thing last year.

Mitski (21:00, Pitchfork) is not exactly a good kept secret anymore, with her Dead Oceans-released latest album, Puberty 2, making her reach new heights. She will be followed by another songwriter at the top of her career, **Weyes Blood **(22:30, Pitchfork). _Front Row Seat to Earth _was one of our favorite records of 2016. Like Julien Baker the night before, she’s playing simultaneously with two of the most popular artists in the festival, but will have no trouble catching the attention of whoever passes casually through that stage.

Towards the end of the festival we switch to full-on party mode, with Canadian garage rock duo Japandroids (23:20, Super Bock) warming up to Aphex Twin (00:30, NOS)’s clusterfuck of a set (preview here) and The Black Angels (01:00, Palco.)’s psychedelic rock. And while we’re still longing for another of those DJ Coco sets at closing time that (again) won’t happen this year, there’s still a lot of dance to be had until the sun comes up for the last time.

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live

Amplifest 2014: the preview

The happening of the Autumn, the weekend of the year. Amplifest is back for its fourth edition with the most ambitious and varied lineup ever. Where else can you find SwansMarissa NadlerBen FrostPeter BrötzmannWoven HandPharmakonAllhousseini Anivolla or Cult of Luna fit in the lineup of a small, indoor 2-day festival?

Amplifest.

In downtown Porto, European Best Destination 2014, lies the recently renewed and majestic venue Hard Club, in a centenary building where once operated one of the busiest markets of the city. Now it houses two concert rooms where most of the magic happens, plus a restaurant and the most pleasant mainfloor I’ve chilled in a music venue that will also hold a concert, talks, exhibitions, listening parties and a record fair. And don’t forget the film programme, which includes a really interesting screening of Raffaele Mosca’s March of the Gods: Botswana Metalheads, a film about, well, you know, Botswana’s exquisite metal scene.

But let’s not forget about what drives people to music festivals in the first place: s̶o̶c̶i̶a̶l̶ ̶n̶e̶t̶w̶o̶r̶k̶i̶n̶g̶* the concerts, of course. Here are our picks for this years’ edition of Amplifest. Be sure to check all the info, the complete lineup, buy your tickets in advance, etc at the festival’s website. Oh, we forgot. Not a festival, an experience.

SATURDAY

PETER BRÖTZMANN & STEVE NOBLE (Sala 2, 5:25 – 6:10)

“Free jazz from free jazz!” Steve Noble’s drumming skills will be pushed to the limit by German veteran saxophonist and free jazz luminary Peter Brötzmann. I chose to not listen by anything they’ve recorded together (spoilers!), but I sure expect a lot from this duo. While Brötzmann needs no introduction at all for the average music lover who dares to challenge himself every now and then, Noble is an experienced drummer who also plays in Æthenor and collaborated with the likes of Ikue Mori, Derek Bailey or Stephen O’Malley. This should be interesting. And produce a whole lot of noise.

MARISSA NADLER (Sala 1, 6:20 – 7:20)

The calm after the storm, except for the broken hearted. After releasing a myriad of lesser known albums, which includes the excellent Songs III: Bird on the Water (a true gem and one of the most breathtaking albums taken from the American psychedelic folk revival at the end of the 00s), singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler finally broke through this year with her not-major-but-certainly-not-minor-label debut, July (Sacred Bones/Bella Union). Playing in Portugal for the first time – despite having some of her official videos filmed by Portuguese video artist Joana Linda – this will most likely be the most intimate moment of the festival. If I could take my eyes off the stage, I’d sure see people crying.

BEN FROST (Sala 1, 00:15 – 01:15)

Yes, I skipped Swans. Everyone and their mother/father has heard about them, at least if they own a Facebook account. Enough is enough and the music speaks for itself. Ben Frost is the real highlight on day 1. When I first listened to his masterpiece, 2009’s By the Throat, I certainly did not expect and was appalled by the massive layers of industrial noise (Jesus Christ, I was hoping for something more soft and mellow when I decided to download yet another Bedroom Community record) that were presented to me before its true beauty revealed itself: an album that even without using visual elements sets an entire scenery for us to glare. It could be a movie. It could be a nightmare. I know he’s presenting his – actually as wonderful – new album A U R O R A, but during an entire hour I’ll pretend I’ll be living that nightmare again.

SUNDAY

WOVENHAND (Sala 1, 7:30 – 9:00)

One of the best possible reasons for not watching the final minutes of a FC Porto home game is being blessed with the possibility of seeing Denver’s finest outfit Wovenhand. David Eugene Edwards’ brainchild is one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. I’ll never forget that rainy night at Casa da Música where I was repeatedly trampled by a Southern Gothic-inspired monster of a band, with Edwards preaching above all – and I liked it. This is the main reason everyone should be there and they’re worth every cent of your ticket. Shut up and praise the Lord.

CULT OF LUNA (Sala 1, 10:40 – 00:10)

Coimbra, 21st April 2007. Seven and a half years ago. That was one of the last times I listened to Cult of Luna. I was beginning to fall out of love with extreme music. I remember I didn’t even bother to pay attention to their next output, Eternal Kingdom, one year after, expect for that behemoth of a track that is “Ghost Trail”. Still, that night in a ruined monastery in Coimbra is forever carved in my mind – that was the most powerful concert I have ever seen in my life. That bunch of Swedes hit me like a sledgehammer even with all odds against them – only a couple hundred people showed up to a concert in a massive open room with the worst imaginable sound quality ever (poor Men Eater, who opened for them). Sometimes I felt my head was hitting hard against the inside of a bucket but ultimately I noticed it was free of pain and floating near some dense, dark clouds. 10/10, would experience that again.

ALHOUSSEINI ANIVOLLA (Mainfloor, 00:10 – 00:50)

Now this is risky. Listening to anything after a Cult of Luna show seems like a really bad idea, making it tempting to head home after a tough weekend. Not if you place the most exquisite proposal of the whole festival right after their concert in the mainfloor where everyone will be hanging out. Alhousseini Anivolla is a Nigerien guitarist who’s also the frontman of local band Etran Finatawa. If you follow the desert blues scene or spend your summer vacations in Sines, you probably already know about him. I don’t. And I won’t talk too much about something I know next to nothing about, but all it took for his concert to be featured here was this youtube link.

*The crossed out text is actually an ode to Amplifest’s mature and polite audience: I’ve never seen such a small amount of people talking or fucking around with their smartphones in a festival than in this one

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live

Optimus Primavera Sound 2013: Friday, day 2

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Optimus Primavera Sound. Hugo Lima/Optimus Primavera Sound

Optimus Primavera Sound’s second day of concerts was assuredly the big day of the festival, with major headliners Blur stepping up to play one of the most important concerts in Portuguese soil this year. But there was so much more to it.

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Optimus Primavera Sound 2013: the preview

Before we leave, we want you to know which acts you shouldn’t miss on this year’s Optimus Primavera Sound. Ok, everyone knows you’re supposed to go see Blur, Nick Cave, Swans or MBV, but there’s more to the festival than those big names everyone knows about. Not that we’re listing pretty much unknown bands below, but… here are our choices. Special guest this year is CC Name of White Fence and Fictional Boys. Go see them. See you tomorrow!

Guadalupe Plata. Thursday, 6pm, Super Bock stage Primavera Sound

2010, Barcelona. A few minutes earlier I had witnessed one of the most intense concerts I’ve ever seen in a festival by three dudes from Israel playing among the crowd. But what most surprised me that evening was a little band playing for some 40 people in the little stage right next to the press lounge. That band was Guadalupe Plata, three bluesmen from Andalucia that anyone who didn’t know who they were could think they came straight from the the American deep south. Their new album (selftitled, like all their other releases) has a song called John Fahey’s Funeral, so now you might know what to expect from them. – DSS

The Breeders. Thursday, 9pm, Optimus stage

In Primavera’s last year’s edition, I happened to choose a 90’s band for my preview of the festival in the “to watch” acts (The Afghan Whigs). This year, once again, I have to make that call to the past: The Breeders, side-project of Pixies’ bassist Kim Deal and her twin sister Kelley, plus Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses and Jim Macpherson. Playing their acclaimed LP, Last Splash, from start to finish – although I guess there’s enough time for other songs, since the album doesn’t even last 40 minutes – expect them to teach indie kids how it’s done. All in all, a must see. Well… it is Optimus Primavera Sound’s first day, meaning there’re no overlaps. Just remember not to dine at 9:00 pm (if you dine at all during the 3 days). – BSC

Neko Case. Friday, 6:50pm, Super Bock stage

I’ve got a personal rule while watching (too) many concerts at Primavera, and essentially every other busy scheduled festival: I prefer watching the endings rather than the beginnings. I’ll explain better, in a scenario where a band I like is starting while I’m watching another I also like, I’ll wait to the end of the current show, and then move to the other. But May 31st at 18:50 might be an exception to the rule, as Neko Case is starting her concert at Super Bock Stage, leaving me to only 20 minutes in for Om. The Sun still shining is one of the reasons for my switch (yeah, kinda breaks the spirit and all that mambo jambo for Om), Neko’s beauty is the other reason; you shouldn’t miss one of the best alt-country songwriters out there. At least the very ending of it. – BSC

OM, Friday, 18:30pm, ATP stage

It’s complicated to define Om music as metal or as heavy. At least, since Advaitic Songs, the songs are a lot spiritual, the sludge and drone emerge gracefully and there’s some kind of mysticism in their music. I can give you some kind of advice: If you’re not an expert of the genre (and I’m not), I suggest you to give it a try. They have consistent and mysterious melodies, demonic tones and all of that give them the density and meditative melodies. A lot of textures, a lot of hypnotic repetitive grooves and spaced drums that will make the concert a quite pleasant experience. – CMT

Daniel Johnston,  Friday, 8pm, ATP stage

The concert of the iconographic singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston is going to be one of the moments that I most expect. In a way, we can say that the tumultuous figure of the artist truly transcends the musical part. I’m not saying that his songs aren’t that important. They are heartbreaking and unabashed pieces of sincerity, they have the struggles and scars of a life marked by mental illness. In the concert, I suppose we are going to see innumerous affecting moments, devastating masterpieces with their own intentions and meanings, making the night a little bit more existential. We can see the show like a catharsis from the problems of his life and the lonely way how he has trying to fight them.  Life lessons you should not miss. – CMT

Shellac. Friday, 11pm, ATP stage

Seriously, do you need me to explain to y’all again why the fuck you should leave Grizzly Bear alone and watch the most exciting rock and roll show of the world instead? – DSS

Four Tet. Friday, 0:15 am, Super Bock

There are beats and bleeps, tweaks and loops. There are laptops and fancy set-ups. And beyond all that, there is Kieren Hebden. A pro in melody making, layering sounds is his specialty. His unpredictable set will belwilder and confound you, but you will want him to keep going just to see what he comes up next. And when the right moment strikes, close your eyes and just shake it. And by it, I mean everything. – SMF

Do Make Say Think. Friday, 1:25am, Pitchfork stage

You could argue we’re not in the mid-00s anymore and listening to post-rock bands that aren’t named “Godspeed You! Black Emperor” is useless nowadays. I’m like that, too: after listening to every single release starred on afterthepostrock back in 2005/06 by bands with more than 4 words in their names, they’re the only ones I come back too every now and then. But if nostalgia is the only reason bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, Pixies or Pavement are still playing shows in freakin’ 2013, why shouldn’t I be pumped to finally see a band whose three early 00s albums I listened way more often than I should? They play at the same time Blur goes on stage, so their show’s attendance will probably look like a Constellation Records fan meeting. – DSS

Glass Candy. Friday, 3am, Pitchfork stage

I saw them play in LA while I was in a duet writing period, and loved Ida No’s voice so much i named a song after her. Tim did a cover of it on 
White Fence’s “Family Perfume”. I really hope I can see Swans and Meat Puppets too. – CC Name (White Fence)

Fuck Buttons,  Friday, 3:25am, ATP stage

Fuck Buttons music is truly original. They have some kind of visceral power, corrosive swats and some euphoric rhythms. Tarot Sports gave them the credibility of a second album full of climaxes, fuzzy synthesizers and noise, lot’s of noise. The distortion and the vibrations give to their music a gorgeously sonic experience. On stage, we are expecting strong beats and a mesmerizing event. The hard dynamic and craft elements will make the bodies sway and the excitement will be infectious. The abrasive and post-apocalyptical tones will make us dance until our muscles hurt. – CMT

The Drones. Saturday, 7:05pm, Super Bock stage

If Primavera Sound was some sort of worldwide indie Eurovision Contest, my 12 points would go straight to Australia and the festival hasn’t even begun. Arguably OZ’s best band to sprout after the Bad Seeds, the Drones will be playing their only shows in Europe this year at both Primaveras, in support of their new monolyth of an album, “I See Seaweed”. Their intense show at the 2009 edition was one of the highlights of the festival for me – they even made me travel to Madrid later in the year to see them again – and I won’t lie, this is the concert I’m expecting the most. If you’re not yet convinced to go and see this rock and roll monument, perhaps I should let you know that they were picked by Neil Young to support him on his latest Australian tour. Hope that validates my opinion and excitement. – DSS

Dinosaur Jr. Saturday, 8:20pm, Optimus stage

Go grab a couple of beers after the Drones show and proceed imediately to that big stage right next to where you were earlier. Mascis, Barlow & co are still rocking like teenagers some 25 years after they shook the pre-Nirvana American alternative rock scene. After failing to see their show at the Paredes de Coura festival back in 2007 (seriously, what the fuck was I thinking when I stood in the rain for most of the borefest that was the New York Dolls’ neverending gig while waiting for Dino to come on stage only to give up and listen to the concert in a flooded tent instead?) this is a show I can’t miss. – DSS

Dan Deacon. Saturday, 1:20 am, Pitchfork 

So you want to have fun at this year’s OPS? Worry no more. Dan Deacon brings with him drums, wires, lights and a myriad of buttons that produce the most danceable noises. But be aware, there’s no standing-with-your-arms-crossed-looking-serious-and-tapping-your-foot bullshit allowed. Hold on to your straw hats and ray-bans, pay attention to the choreo class and get ready to dance like you already had one too many sangrias! – SMF

Titus Andronicus. Saturday, 1:55am, ATP stage

This is the most uplifting concert you could see in this year’s edition of Optimus Primavera Sound and we think you could use a punk rock-infused shot of energy to help you make it through the night. Don’t forget there’s still a Fucked Up show not to miss at 3am. – DSS

Fucked Up. Saturday, 3am, Pitchfork stage

I’ll go straight to the point here, here’s a bunch of reasons for this being probably the best concert of Optimus Primavera Sound:

– It is preceded by Titus Andronicus, Dan Deacon and My Bloody Valentine. Whichever you choose, you’ll get a decent warm-up at least, either the inspirational rock of Titus Andronicus, the partying Dan Deacon OR YOU KNOW, THE GET-YOUR-EARS-RIGHT MY BALONEY VOLATILE (WHAT?! MY DARLING CLEMENTINE?!)

– It’s Saturday night, and only two concerts to go. Do you really want to play that “Man, I’m exhausted” card?

– And Fucked Up is set to be at the Pitchfork tent, ahahah this will end badly

So there you go. If you miss to be carried in the arms of Damian Abraham during the punkest of the hardcore punk song, you’re failing in life. – BSC

The Magician. Saturday, 4 am, Pitchfork 

It’s the final countdown to the end of the festival. Your last chance to buy an overpriced beer to that girl you’ve been chatting up. Or just to dance until your feet hurt. The Magician will definitely pull some of my favourite remixes out of the hat, and perhaps will have some italo disco, synth pop or new beat up his sleeve. Who knows? A good magician never reveals his secrets. But remember, "they‘re called illusionsMichael“. – SMF