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Posts Tagged ‘The Walkmen’
16 Sep
2012


By Ace Ubas

Without question, The Walkmen have had an impressive spanning over a decade. Within that decade, they’ve released seven full-length albums and played almost half a thousand shows. Even for most of 2012 which saw the release of their latest album, Heaven, they’ve been relentlessly touring, opening for Florence + the Machine and playing numerous festivals across the world. On Wednesday night, the New York/D.C.-based quintet returned to Los Angeles to finish off the second half of their tour at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater.

Joining The Walkmen for a string dates and opening the night was Los Angeles five-piece Milo Greene. Many music blogs and publications have put the band near the top of their list as one of the bands to watch in 2012, backed by the release of their debut self-titled album. It also helps that they have been making a run at the late night circuit, having played on Conan O’Brien and David Letterman’s shows to broaden their mainstream exposure. And their performance in front of a hometown crowd proved why they are on a rapid rise. What those televised performances don’t show, however, is each band member’s impressive musicianship as throughout their 44 minute set, switching instruments numerous times.

They opened their set with “Don’t You Give Up On Me” and followed with a new unknown-titled song that featured post-rock-like guitar melodies (ala Explosions in the Sky), which sounded perfect in the open-air venue. On the slower, repetitive number “Silent Way,” guitarist Andrew Heringer picked up a banjo to add a more folk quality to their set. Electronic percussion added a new dynamic to the Marlana Sheetz-led “Perfectly Aligned,” where the rest of the band provided Fleet Foxes-esque vocal melodies.

While nearly every band member took their turns taking over lead vocal duties (minus drummer Curtis Marrero), Graham Fink sang lead on “Cutty Love” and showed that he is more than capable of being a lead. They closed the set with their single “1957,” which on record sounds like a Local Native track with the lingering guitar riff and percussive rim shots. But in a live setting, they’re definitely a lot more complex than that with multiple vocalists singing different verses and interweaving vocal melodies that transcend into the night sky. But before they exited the stage, things got a bit surreal and majestic during “What’s the Matter” where a few deer poked their heads and walked through the brush atop the hillside that provided the backdrop for the stage. As my friend whispered over to me after their set, it’s not often that you see a band draw out wildlife through their music, but Milo Greene’s folk-tinged rock certainly has that ability.

Going to the venue for the first time, I questioned for a minute or two whether a seated venue is appropriate to see a band like The Walkmen. But at the end of the night, they proved that they are perfect for any venue of any size. Guitarist Paul Maroon was the first to come out on the dimmed stage, playing a few guitar lines to open “Line by Line” as the rest of the band came out afterwards to a chorus of cheers. They opened their set with a couple of slower numbers from their latest album, following up the first song with “We Can’t Be Beat.” Frontman Hamilton Leithauser displayed his uncanny ability as a dynamic vocalist, howling the line “it’s been so long” with incredible range that saw his voice soar into the sky. The tempo picked up on the song “Heaven,” where the lyrics of maintaining a friendship resonated more vividly and emotionally in a live setting.

A brass quartet came out on stage for a trio of endearing songs – “Red Moon,” a stunning rendition of the lonely-themed “Stranded,” and “I Lost You.” The horns added a whole new dynamic to their songs that emphasized highly emotional themes embedded within. In a seated venue, it is a bit difficult to get up and move along to the music without hindering the view of others, especially with the songs played in the first half of the set and addition of a brass section. But that changed as drummer Matt Barrick played the opening beats to “Angela Surf City,” drawing nearly everyone out of their seats to jump up and down. At this point everyone stood standing for the rest of the night.

What’s most impressive about Leihauser is his stage presence, commanding attention through his sheer and raw vocal deliver while displaying his versatility. His unique vocal style easily brings to mind 60s rockabilly icon Roy Orbison, and that showed on “On the Water.” But it’s not only through the use of his powerful voice or by making his performance look effortless in a suave suit. He also does it through his charm and wit, jokingly saying “I expect half the people to leave after I say this, but Dave Matthews is right across the street” (who was playing at the Hollywood Bowl) and later when a helicopter flew over, “Matthews is taking off right now,” which drew laughs from the crowd.

For their surprising five-song encore, The Walkmen played a handful of older songs beginning with “All Hands and the Cook.” While they didn’t throw in “The Rat” (a song that most in the crowd kept shouting out) they did play another fan-favorite in “We’ve Been Had.” As soon as multi-instrumentalist Peter Bauer played the opening melodies on the piano-led song, nearly everyone standing was singing along to Leithauser.

Seeing a band like The Walkmen play in an open-aired venue surrounded by a natural environment was almost ethereal. You can’t helped but be drawn into the performance backed by a clear night sky that created a near-indescribable experience.

Line by Line
We Can’t Be Beat
Heaven
The Love You Love
Blue As Your Blood
Juveniles
Red Moon
Stranded
I Lost You
Heartbreaker
Love Is Luck
Angela Surf City
Louisiana
On the Water
In the New Year

Encore:
All Hands and the Cook
The Blue Route
Donde Esta La Playa
We’ve Been Had

22 Aug
2012

The Walkmen performed “Heartbreaker” on the Late Show with David Letterman.

Watch the video below, catch the band on tour this fall (dates below) and pick up their album Heaven on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD

9/12 – Anson Ford Amphitheater – Los Angeles, CA
9/14 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
9/15 – The Conservatory – Santa Ana, CA
9/16 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
9/18 – University of Oklahoma – Norman, OK
9/19 – Granada Theater – Dallas, TX
9/20 – Stubbs – Austin, TX
9/21 – Warehouse Live – Houston, TX
9/22 – Tipitinas – New Orleans, LA
9/26 – Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA
9/27 – Cannery – Nashville, TN
9/28 – Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
9/29 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
9/30 – Mr. Smalls – Pittsburgh, PA
10/04 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC #
10/06 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA #
10/18 – Terminal 5 – New York, NY
10/19 – Royale – Boston, MA

# – w/ The War on Drugs

21 Aug
2012

It’s hard to believe but it’s almost already time for CMJ. Returning this October 16th through the 20th, the festival has revealed its first round of artists.

The Presets
The Walkmen
The Mountain Goats
Kimbra
GZA
OFF!
King Tuff
Killer Mike
Com Truise
DIIV
Pig Destroyer
The Jezabels
Electric Guest
Poolside
Daughn Gibson
Robert DeLong
Icona Pop
Emma Louise
Mac DeMarco
Prince Rama
Young Magic
The Stepkids (these guys are great, we booked them last year)
MS MR
Sundress
The Soul Rebels
Twerps

06 Jun
2012

The Walkmen performed “Heaven” and “The Love You Love” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Catch them on tour this summer (dates below) and pick up their album Heaven on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD

6/6 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
6/27 – WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays – Louisville, KY
6/28 – Plush – St. Louis, MO
6/29 – Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI
6/30 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
7/5 – Pioneer Park – Salt Lake City, UT
7/20 – Deer Lake Park – Burnaby, BC %
7/21 – White River Amphitheatre – Auburn, WA %
7/22 – Edgefield – Troutdale, OR %
7/25 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO %
7/29 – The Lawn @ White River State Park – Indianapolis, IN
7/30 – Jacobs Pavilion – Cleveland, OH %
7/31 – Fox Theatre – Detroit, MI %
8/2 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON %
8/3 – Osheaga Festival – Montreal, QC
8/5 – Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL
8/10-12 – Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA
9/12 – Anson Ford Amphitheater – Los Angeles, CA
9/14 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
9/15 – The Conservatory – Santa Ana, CA
9/16 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ
9/18 – University of Oklahoma – Norman, OK
9/19 – Granada Theater – Dallas, TX
9/20 – Stubbs – Austin, TX
9/21 – Warehouse Live – Houston, TX
9/22 – Tipitinas – New Orleans, LA
9/26 – Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA
9/27 – Cannery – Nashville, TN
9/28 – Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
9/29 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
9/30 – Mr. Smalls – Pittsburgh, PA
10/04 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC #
10/06 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA #
10/18 – Terminal 5 – New York, NY
10/19 – Royale – Boston, MA

% – w/ Florence & The Machine
# – w/ The War on Drugs

29 May
2012

Fat Possum Records is excited to release the Walkmen’s latest album Heaven today, May 29. To celebrate the release, the Walkmen will play a rare, intimate hometown show at the Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday, June 6th at 9pm EST. The band has partnered with Spotify to provide a worldwide live stream of the concert, filmed by La Blogotheque, creators of the much-lauded “Take Away Show.” Starting today, New York City’s independent music retailer Other Music will exclusively provide the first 150 purchasers of Heaven with a ticket to the Bowery Ballroom performance. The remaining tickets will be made available for sale to the public via Bowery Presents on Friday, June 1st. Prior to the Bowery show, The Walkmen will perform on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday, June 5th.

Last week, NPR chose Heaven to be included in its much sought-after First Listen program. For one week, the album was streamed in its entirety via NPR.org, and the producers there remarked that Heaven finds the band “[continuing] to refine and mature its increasingly stately, deliberately paced sound.” Stereogum praised the record listing it as the #2 ‘Album Of The Year So Far’ and noting “Heaven is the elegant, understated, utterly gorgeous new album from the Walkmen, and it may well be their best.”

Heaven is the band’s sixth and was produced by Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Shins, Band of Horses) in Seattle. The Walkmen just celebrated their 10th anniversary and are still comprised of the same members that started the group in 2001 – drummer Matt Barrick, multi-instrumentalist Pete Bauer, singer Hamilton Leithauser, guitarist Paul Maroon and bassist Walter Martin. The Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold sings harmonies on two songs on the record.

When describing Heaven, Leithauser portrays a band hitting maturity, comfortable in its mastery, after a decade together. “The detachment you can feel throughout our younger records is gone. We felt like it was time to make a bigger, more generous statement.”

It’s been 10 years since the Walkmen made their debut album, Everybody Who Pretended To Like Me Is Gone. Ten years since they mixed the lovingly recorded analogue tapes down to the cheapest CD burner they could find. Ten years since Leithauser snapped Maroon’s arm in a celebratory wrestling match. Ten years since critics attached them to a New York scene they never wanted any part of. In the spring of 2011, the band played a series of 10th anniversary shows that demonstrated how far they have outstripped their peers: two sets over two hours, no filler, rapturously received. In contrast, fellow graduates from New York’s celebrated rock revival class of ’02 have burned out or faded from view.

Heaven is a definitive statement of purpose and commitment, from a band at the peak of its powers that is finally winning the recognition it deserves.

The Walkmen Tour Dates:

6/6 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
6/27 – WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays – Louisville, KY
6/28 – Plush – St. Louis, MO
6/29 – Summerfest – Milwaukee, WI
6/30 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
7/5 – Pioneer Park – Salt Lake City, UT
7/20 – Deer Lake Park – Burnaby, BC %
7/21 – White River Amphitheatre – Auburn, WA %
7/22 – Edgefield – Troutdale, OR %
7/25 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO %
7/29 – The Lawn @ White River State Park – Indianapolis, IN
7/30 – Jacobs Pavilion – Cleveland, OH %
7/31 – Fox Theatre – Detroit, MI %
8/2 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON %
8/3 – Osheaga Festival – Montreal, QC
8/5 – Lollapalooza – Chicago, IL
8/10-12 – Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA

% – w/ Florence & The Machine

07 Nov
2011


The Walkmen
head into the studio this month with producer Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, The Shins) to record their sixth studio album, the much anticipated follow-up to 2010’s acclaimed Lisbon. The as-yet untitled LP is set for a summer 2012 release on Fat Possum/Bella Union.

2012 marks the band’s ten-year anniversary. In celebration a handful of career-spanning “Evening with the Walkmen” shows have been scheduled including January 14 in Chicago (as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows Festival) and January 20 & 21 in San Francisco. Tickets for San Francisco go on sale to the general public November 11 and tickets for Chicago go on sale November 12. American Express presales for both begin November 7.

Also in commemoration the band will issue its 2002 debut LP, Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me Is Gone, on vinyl for the first time. Lauded by Pitchfork as “magnificent…a visceral recording with a large soundscape,” a limited number of vinyl copies of this landmark debut will be made available via the band’s website (thewalkmen.com) and at the above mentioned shows.

Having just returned from successful European and North American tours, the Walkmen recently appeared on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.” The group’s most recent LP, Lisbon, received critical acclaim from NPR Music, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, GQ, SPIN, Pitchfork, The Fader, New York Magazine and many more.

“AN EVENING WITH THE WALKMEN”

January 14 The Metro Chicago, IL*
January 20 The Independent San Francisco, CA
January 21 The Independent San Francisco, CA

* part of Tomorrow Never Knows Festival

21 Jun
2011

The Walkmen will hit the road this fall with Fleet Foxes in support of their critically acclaimed album Lisbon, available now on Fat Possum Records.

The tour builds on successful North American runs and appearances on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.” The band has received critical acclaim from NPR Music, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, GQ, SPIN, Pitchfork, The Fader, New York Magazine and many more.

Having grown up playing together in various bands since the fifth grade including New York’s Jonathan Fire*Eater and Boston’s The Recoys, the Walkmen broke through in 2002 with their debut album Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone. 2004’s Bows & Arrows featured indie rock anthem “The Rat,” which Pitchfork recently named the #20 song of the decade. In 2006 the band recorded a song-by-song cover of Harry Nilsson and John Lennon’s 1974 classic Pussy Cats as a farewell to their Harlem studio space Marcata.

THE WALKMEN TOUR

September 6 Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA*
September 7 Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA*
September 9 Grand Sierra Theatre Reno, NV*
September 10 Greek Theatre Berkeley, CA*
September 11 Henry Miller Library Big Sur, CA*
September 13 Santa Barbara Bowl Santa Barbara, CA*
September 14 Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA*
September 17 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, OK*
September 18 Austin City Limits Austin, TX*
September 20 Florida Theatre Jacksonville, FL*
September 21 Raleigh Amphitheatre Raleigh, NC*
September 23 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD*
September 24 Williamsburg Waterfront Brooklyn, NY*
September 25 Mountain Park Holyoke, MA*
September 29 Hill Auditorium Ann Arbor, MI*

* with Fleet Foxes

01 Mar
2011

The Walkmen recently premiered music videos for “While I Shovel the Snow,” a track off the band’s crtically acclaimed Fat Possum Records release Lisbon, and album b-side “Orange Sunday.” The video for “While I Shovel the Snow” was directed by Jake Davis while the “Orange Sunday” video was directed by Bruno Levy who previously directed the band’s “Four Provinces” video. Both are available for viewing/sharing at www.thewalkmen.com along with free downloads of both tracks. These videos build on a successful North American run and appearances on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and “Last Call with Carson Daly.” The band has received critical acclaim from NPR Music, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, GQ, SPIN, Pitchfork, The Fader, New York Magazine and many more.

The Walkmen will play in select U.S. markets this spring in support of their Fat Possum Records debut Lisbon including a run of co-headlining dates with The New Pornographers. Full dates as well as the news videos are below:

THE WALKMEN TOUR

March 2 One Eyed Jack’s New Orleans, LA
March 3 Fitzgerald’s Houston, TX

March 4 Stubb’s Bar-B-Que Austin, TX

March 5 Granada Theater Dallas, TX

April 22 The Vogue Indianapolis, IN*

April 23 House of Blues Cleveland, OH*

April 25 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY*

April 26 Bogarts Cincinnati, OH*

April 27 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA*

April 28 Canopy Club Champagne, IL*

April 29 Blue Note Columbia, MO*

April 30 Norman Music Festival Norman, OK

June 9-12 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival Manchester, TN

* with The New Pornographers

01 Feb
2011

Critically acclaimed rock band The Walkmen are set to play in select U.S. markets this spring in support of their Fat Possum Records debut Lisbon, including a run of co-headlining dates with The New Pornographers. Along with a successful North American run and appearances on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” “Last Call with Carson Daly” and PBS’ “Sun Studios Sessions,” the Walkmen capped 2010 with performances in New York City at Terminal 5 and Washington, DC at the 9:30 Club. Please see below for a complete list of dates.

Lisbon continues to garner critical acclaim, topping many year-end best-of lists. Named the #2 album of 2010 by The Onion, Lisbon is amongst the top records of 2010 according to outlets including NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” Pitchfork, SPIN, Filter, Under the Radar, Aquarium Drunkard and Gorilla vs. Bear. Scanning over 13,000 units in its first week of release, Lisbon entered the chart at #27 making it the band’s highest debut on the Billboard Top 200.

The Walkmen’s fifth album, Lisbon was recorded over a two-year period in Philadelphia and Brooklyn. A few songs that helped establish the record’s tone were written during several inspiring and successful trips to Lisbon, Portugal. You & Me engineer Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Les Savy Fav, Tokyo Police Club) worked with the band from August to February, and then in March of 2010 the band traveled to south Dallas to finish the album with John Congleton (St. Vincent, Explosions in the Sky).

Having grown up playing together in various bands since the fifth grade including New York’s Jonathan Fire*Eater and Boston’s The Recoys, the Walkmen broke through in 2002 with their debut album Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone. 2004’s Bows & Arrows featured indie rock anthem “The Rat” which Pitchfork recently named the #20 song of the decade. In 2006 the band recorded a song-by-song cover of Harry Nilsson and John Lennon’s 1974 classic Pussy Cats as a farewell to their Harlem studio space Marcata.

THE WALKMEN TOUR

March 2 One Eyed Jack’s New Orleans, LA
March 3 Fitzgerald’s Houston, TX

March 4 Stubb’s Bar-B-Que Austin, TX

March 5 Granada Theater Dallas, TX

April 22 The Vogue Indianapolis, IN*

April 23 House of Blues Cleveland, OH*

April 25 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY*

April 26 Bogarts Cincinnati, OH*

April 27 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA*

April 28 Canopy Club Champagne, IL*

April 29 Blue Note Columbia, MO*

* with The New Pornographers

07 Jan
2011

The Walkmen performed “Juveniles” on the Late Show with David Letterman. Check it out and pick up their album Lisbon on iTunes, Amazon MP3, CD, Vinyl