Tag Archives: Owl Pellets +

Happy (belated) Birthday to Owl Pellets

Four days ago Owl Pellets turned four years old. Wow.

To help you celebrate this momentous occasion, check out the video:

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Best Month Since October.


Cookie the Little Penguin

Make sure you watch until the end – Cookie the Penguin is awesome. As Gawker puts it, “this is what happens when you tickle a baby penguin.” And a big thank you to my friend and reader of Owl Pellets for sending me the link.


Owl Pellets Returns!

It’s been about a year and six months since Owl Pellets went into semi-retirement. But, we’re back and under new management (just in time for OP’s 4th birthday!!!). But remember, please keep heading over to Mangold’s blog MBITAC (also found on the Owl Pellets’ blogroll) — He’s got some great stuff going on over there.

So tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell your dog. Owl Pellets is back. This is a BFD.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY(!!!), Owl Pellets

Just over one year ago Owl Pellets was created. We’ve come a long way – more writers and a lot more readers. With the summer movie season approaching and festival season on its way, expect more posts and more reviews.

Happy Birthday, Owl Pellets!


She & Him’s VOLUME ONE

 

Given that this wonderful blog called Owl Pellets is about all things cultural and entertaining, including music and film, I thought it wildly appropriate to SHOUT FROM MY FINGERTIPS a small word about new band, She & Him. (And I’m sure now you realize the title of this thread is not, as you initially thought, a horrible display of grammar.) You may recognize the two good-lookin’s in the photo above as M.Ward and Zooey Deschanel.

Matt Ward – M.Ward – is a singer/songwriter based out of Portland, Oregon and has released six records, his most recent, Post-War. He has collaborated with the likes of Neko Case, Conor Oberst, Jim James, Nels Cline, and Jenny Lewis.

Zooey Deschanel is an actress (and now songstress) based out of Los Angeles, California. Her resume spans over thirty-six television and film appearances, notably Almost Famous, Elf, Winter Passing, The Good Girl, Eulogy, Failure to Launch, Bridge to Terabithia, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, “Weeds”, “Frasier”, “Veronica’s Closet”, and the list, wonderfully, goes on.

I’m usually a bit weary of actors and actresses -turned musicians, but Deschanel has definitely proven she has the passion and style, really, for such an undertaking.

The duo’s MySpace page had this to say about their getting-together-ed-ness:

She & Him made their debut record as a love letter to the musicians who inspired it. Volume One (Merge Records) introduces a boy and girl choir hell-bent on making music the old-fashioned way: by hand – and with as few machines as humanly possible.

The She & Him story begins when in 2006 , renowned one man band M. Ward, recorded a duet with a girl named Zooey Deschanel. A delightful recording session, the experience lead to a dialogue between the two about collaborating further. This, in turn, led to Deschanel admitting to secretly making dozens and dozens of home demos and hoarding them like acorns for the winter. Sick and tired of being stingy and secretive about music, Deschanel realized that if songs were acorns then this was indeed her wintertime: she sent the recordings to Ward and these demos became the basis for their first record, entitled Volume One.

Ward’s unique arrangements and virtuostic guitar playing paired with Deschanel’s affinity for vocal harmony give Volume One its characteristic sound . Ward and Deschanel share a mutual affection for the songs they grew up hearing on Los Angeles radio stations – and keep in their hearts the records that most DJ’s aren’t playing anymore: Les Paul and Mary Ford, The Ronettes, Nina Simone, Chet Atkins, Linda Ronstadt, the Carter Family and about a hundred others. Aiming to achieve the warmth and charm of pop and country records from the early and mid part of the twentieth century, Ward, who also produced the record, and Deschanel, who wrote most of the music, called upon the help of a number of extraordinary musicians including: Rachel Blumberg, Adam Selzer, Mike Coykendall, Tom Hagerman, Peter Broderick, Mike Mogis, and Paul Brainerd. Without whom this record would just be two people with no drums, bass, strings or pedal steel.

Though I basically gave you all/most of what they present on the site, I’d recommend hitting it up anyway, if only to hear their full sample of “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” Deschanel has a very cabaret goes modern sound, and Ward’s style is very apparent, though I kind of wish his vocals were more present.

I took a peek at Merge Records’ site, too, and their album is available for both purchase and sample. Her country style is dominating, but not too much so. I think Ward can put Deschanel up there with Neko Case in collaborations, as well, for her vocals are so distinctly her own, yet draw from strong influences, like Linda Ronstadt. Merge agrees with me there, too:

Embracing the warm sound of early analog recordings, Volume One is more than just a showcase for Zooey’s rich and endearing voice; it’s a distinctive and endlessly charming album. The songs themselves give a respectful nod to the likes of Dusty Springfield, Linda Ronstadt and The Zombies while Matt’s production gives them just the right amount of golden era sheen. Whether Zooey’s channeling Ronnie Spector as on “I Was Made For You” or joining Matt in turning The Beatles “I Should Have Known Better” into a seductive hula guitar duet, the results are always captivating.

 

 

With just listening to the samples, I can say that this is a strong album and strong collaboration. Worth my recommendation and a listen.

Merge Records’ Website, She & Him: http://www.mergerecords.com/store/store_detail.php?catalog_id=530

MySpace, She & Him: http://www.myspace.com/sheandhim

EDIT: The more I listen to these two, the more I fall in love with their style, which is so obviously retro, it’s endearing.

EDIT, Part II: Since I have the full album now, I thought I might as well give VOLUME ONE a rating, if that means anything:

Back to the classics. 8/10.

Pitchfork agrees! 7.4/10. : http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/record_review/49188-volume-one


Awaiting Festival Season

The title of this post is a bit misleading, only due to the fact that “Festival Season” is, in reality, all year ’round. Festival Season, as I’ve come to call it, is the period between March and September-ish when the world’s largest music festivals take place annually, drawing thousands to singular locations around the world and uniting hundreds of music acts normally separated by fan bases, genres, and distance. Let this post be an introduction to a few of these festivals, while individual postings for each festival will be created as artist line-ups, dates, and other exciting news is made available. Here, I’ll post festival names, dates, and links to individual websites, where you, if you’re interested, can go to get a more detailed description of what each festival is all about.

 

The Gorge, WA

 

Searching the interweb for upcoming events, I’ve sorted through many different tiers of festivals and have decided to focus on more widely-known and more commercially-based national festivals in the U.S. (This isn’t to say discussion or recommendation of other, more smaller, lesser-known and/or international festivals isn’t appreciated.) I’ve grouped them into categories based on general music genre; take note that some festivals, though only noted in one category, may present bands in others.

JAM BAND / BLUEGRASS – BASED FESTIVALS

10,000 Lakes Music Festival – Detroit Lakes, MN (The Soo Pass Ranch): http://www.10klf.com/

All Good Music Festival – Masontown, WV (Marvin’s Mountaintop): http://www.allgoodfestival.com/

Bonnaroo Music Festival – Manchester, TN: http://www.bonnaroo.com/default.aspx

Langerado Music Festival – Broward County, Florida (Big Cypress Indian Reservation): http://www.langerado.com/home2.php

Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival – Lawrence, KS: http://www.wakarusa.com/

Captain Morgan’s Jam on the River – Philadelphia, PA (Penn’s Landing): http://www.electricfactory.com/jam_on_the_river.htm

Vegoose – Las Vegas, NV (Sam Boyd Stadium): http://www.vegoose.com/index3.htm

MODERN ROCK – BASED FESTIVALS

Austin City Limits Music Festival – Austin, TX (Zilker Park): http://www.aclfestival.com/default.aspx

Bumbershoot – Seattle, WA (Seattle Center): http://www.bumbershoot.org/

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – Indio, CA (Empire Polo Fields): http://www.coachella.com/

Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL (Grant Park): http://www.lollapalooza.com/default.asp?fd=1

Pitchfork Music Festival – Chicago, IL (Union Park): http://pitchforkmusicfestival.com/

Sasquatch! Music Festival – George, WA (The Gorge Ampitheatre): http://www.sasquatchfestival.com/

Voodoo – New Orleans, LA (City Park): http://www.voodoomusicfest.com/2007/index.html

Keep in touch with Owl Pellets for festival updates and postings!