Smart Flesh

Friday Mix Tape: Top 6 Of The First 6

With my turn in the Friday Mix Tape rotation serendipitously coinciding with me dropping my Top 6 Of The First 6 list yesterday, it seemed only appropriate that I use

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The B List: Top 6 Of The First 6

With the first six months of 2011 beginning to feel like a distant memory, I figured it was time to continue a tradition by taking a look at my favorite six albums of the first half of the year for the Top 6 Of The First 6…

6) The Head And The HeartThe Head And The Heart

I’ll admit it, I had it in my mind that I wasn’t going to like The Head And The Heart’s self-titled debut, solely based on Bob Boilen of All Songs Considered fame not really being into it. It wasn’t until I caught the band’s exuberant performance of Lost In My Mind on Conan that I was finally ready to embrace the band’s brand of folk-pop, which doesn’t fall too far from the Blind Pilot tree. The Seattle-based act’s album is full of extremely likeable songs that immediately get stuck in your head, bouncy rhythms and lush three-part harmonies that are anchored by lead singer Josiah Johnson and beautifully accompanied by on the high end by Jonathan Russell and Charity Rose Thielen’s sultry, smoky vocals.

READ ON for the rest of Jeff’s Top 6 Of The First 6…

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Video: The Low Anthem – A Shot In The Arm

Last year, The Onion’s A.V. Club invited 25 bands into their Chicago office’s to cover 25 different songs as part of their inaugural A.V. Undercover series. Once a song was picked it was crossed off the list till they were all done. The pop culture site is back at it again with another 25 bands and 25 songs that range from Prince to Huey Lewis & The News to Belle & Sebastian.

Earlier this week, The A.V. Club posted the fourth cover performance of the series as The Low Anthem put their indelible ramshackle folk-rock stamp on Wilco’s A Shot In The Arm. READ ON to see how it turned out…

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Review: The Low Anthem @ The Allen Room

Situated on the sixth floor of the Time Warner Center on Manhattan’s Upper Wide Side, lies arguably the city’s best kept secret of a music venue – Jazz At Lincoln Center’s Allen Room – a venue which typically caters to a more affluent audience, than its downtown rock club peers. Set up like an amphitheater, it boasts easily the most amazing views you’re ever going to get at a concert hall in an urban environment with its gigantic floor to ceiling glass windows, that directly overlooks the passing traffic going around Columbus Circle and a stretch of 59th Street that you can see clear all the way to the East Side.

Last night, the Allen Room played host to the kick off concert for Lincoln Center’s thirteenth season of its American Songbook Series, with a show from folk-rockers The Low Anthem. Dressed liked they had just stepped straight out of  Greenwich Village’s pass-the-hat folk circuit circa-1964, and surrounded by a mix of both familiar and slightly obscure, and long forgotten instruments, which included a gigantic church organ they had specially brought in just for this show, graciously paid for by the folks at Lincoln Center. The band took to the stage to a mesmerizing view of glowing head and tail lights, and flickering lights from the posh apartments that surround Central Park West.

The Providence-based act, fresh off their second appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman the night before, used nearly all of their hour and a half-long set to showcase the songs from their upcoming studio album Smart Flesh, which is due out on February 22. Ben Knox Miller & company set the tone for the night by opening with the hushed To The Ghosts Who Write History Books from their critically acclaimed sophomore album Oh My God Charlie Darwin, sung in Knox Miller’s striking falsetto vocals that conjures up comparisons to an odd mix between Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Tom Waits.

READ ON for more on The Low Anthem’s show…

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