Sleepover Shows is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Kelly and Rob Ribera (with emeritus member Aviv Rubenstein). The site is dedicated to filming musicians as they pass through Boston in my home state of Massachusetts. The results are impressive, covering a wide range of styles and settings in much the same vein as They Shoot Music or La Blogothèque. Here’s how Sleepover Shows describes its mission:
Sleepover Shows are three song sets of acoustic or stripped down versions performed by bands that we love as they make their way through Boston. Though it started as something we did when bands needed a place to crash on the night of their shows, we now mostly film the sessions before or after a show and let the bands find their own ways home (though the offer still stands).
Basically, we try to use our spaces as creatively as we can. We’ve filmed in the back seats of cars, on top of playground equipment, in doorways and alleys, in bathtubs and stairwells. We try our best to get the bands to take their music outside of the confines of the studio and have some fun.
And that’s the point: to capture some great music that maybe isn’t always as polished, but shows these artists having a good time doing what they love. We’re doing what we love too, and hope you enjoy the videos!
Gathered here are some of my favorite sessions from the site, but I strongly encourage you to head over and browse for yourself!
Among other things, Lissie produces a truly prodigious amount of excellent music covers. Out this week is the video for her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way,” which featured on her most recent EP: Covered Up With Flowers. The video is actually a live recording, featuring a somewhat more “slick” visual style than the sessions that brought us her previous releases of “Bad Romance” and “Nothing Else Matters.”
Even so, it’s a lovely way to start a Friday morning. Check it out:
And if you really want to blow your mind… watch Lissie violate the “No Stairway” rule here.
Thanks to Pitchfork, we’ve got our first taste of Sun Kil Moon’s Among the Leaves(out 5/29 on Caldo Verde). The track – “Sunshine in Chicago” is a wistful look back on time spent touring in the ’90s. At first listen, the track feels more personal and direct than some of the recent work on Admiral Fell Promises and April, and seems to deliver on the claim that we’d get to hear Kozelek “singing playfully.” But that’s me… what do you think?
The Magnetic Fields have released the video for “Andrew in Drag” from their forthcoming Love at the Bottom of the Sea. The (NSFW) video features the return of the synth and acoustic sound that marked the band’s work in the ’90s, as well as the comic wit that we’ve come to expect over the years. Of the freshness that can be found in a return to this method of writing and arranging for synth and guitar, singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt says: “Most of the synthesizers on the record didn’t exist when we were last using synthesizers.”
The album is also the band’s first release on Merge since 1999’s epic 69 Love Songs, and is sure to be one of the most highly-anticipated records of the year (especially in my house!).
Until its release on March 6th, you can enjoy “Andrew in Drag” by listening to the track, or watching the video, below. Find out more about the album, as well as some upcoming tour dates, over on Merge.
Earlier this week, M. Ward posted the first single – “Primitive Girl” – off of his forthcoming album A Wasteland Companion. The album, which is out April 10th on Merge and marks M. Ward’s first album since 2009’s Hold Time, entered the public sphere earlier this year with the release of the beautiful video for “The First Time I Ran Away” (seen below).
In contrast to that song, “Primitive Girl” seems to carry forward the fuller sound of Hold Time, eschewing the sparseness that characterized so many of Ward’s earlier records. Just the same, at only 2:20 the track is classic, compact M. Ward, and arrives like a cheery, energetic bolt from the blue.
Taken together, “The First Time I Ran Away” and “Primitive Girl” suggest an album that will run a range of styles – each of which are beautiful. For A Wasteland Companion, Ward worked with eighteen different musicians in studios from Omaha to Portland, and Los Angeles to Bristol (U.K.). All of this movement and collaboration produces songs that feel very much “of the moment,” and the result is something that feels truer to M. Ward’s experience.
You can read a bit more about the album here, and see some upcoming tour dates here. A Wasteland Companion is available for pre-order on Merge, and “Primitive Girl” is available on iTunes.