Bon Iver Live at AIR Studios

Late last week, Bon Iver released a video featuring five songs he recorded at AIR Studio’s Lyndurst Hall.  Accompanied only by drummer Sean Carey, who plays the second piano in this video, the set is a stripped-down run through songs from the Blood Bank EP, Bon Iver, and a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”  The result is an exquisitely intimate session that truly captivates and reminds us why Bon Iver came to be celebrated in the first place.  Have a listen below:

(Via NPR)

Happy New Year! – Albums I Loved in 2011

Hi, Everyone!  Well, it’s that time of year again!  The time when I get to pontificate about the top releases of the year.  However, as usual, I have a really difficult time ranking things.  This is something that carries over from my work as a professor.  After all, what is the difference between a 93 and a 94?  I know it when I see it, but just how to explain?  So, I’m just going to wimp out present some of the albums I loved in no particular order.  For those of you looking for a more ordered (and possibly comprehensive) list, I would recommend checking in with Pitchfork, Slowcoustic, or NPR Music.  All right, let’s get on with the show!

Continue reading “Happy New Year! – Albums I Loved in 2011”

First Listen: Bon Iver, Marissa Nadler

Thanks to NPR, we’ve got two great albums this week!  First up is one of the most highly-anticipated releases of the year: Bon Iver’s Bon Iver.  It’s certainly a change in tone from 2008’s For Emma, Forever Ago, featuring a more complicated, textured set of musical arrangements.  I’ve been looking forward to this all year, and I encourage you to join me in visiting NPR to hear Bon Iver.

Also, this week, we get to hear another eponymous album: Marissa Nadler’s kickstarter-funder Marissa Nadler.  Marissa is definitely one of the most exciting artists to come out of Boston in a while – drawing comparisons to Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, and Kate Bush (how’s that for a mix?) – I encourage you to have a listen here.