Archive for the ‘Local Natives’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: LOCAL NATIVES-“Fountain of Youth” (Field Recordings, October 5, 2016). 

I know and like Local Natives, although I didn’t know this song.

In 2010, Local Natives came clattering into the indie firmament with the U.S. release of Gorilla Manor, an irresistible blend of in-vogue sonic signifiers like Afropop guitars, rich harmonies and the hint of a folk sensibility. In 2016, the band’s run has continued with the synth-heavy Sunlit Youth.

For their Field Recording, Local Natives played one of the singles off that album, “Fountain of Youth.” Though the recorded version is lush and electronic, Local Natives stripped the song to a driving core. The band played, and then it was off again — guitars in hand, headed for the evening’s show elsewhere in Brooklyn.

They sound great stripped to just two guitars and a tambourine standing on the water’s edge. [Local Natives Strips Down Its Sound For A Riverside Show].  I love this introduction:

The East River Ferry is a very fast boat. Local Natives came hurtling toward our crew up the river one overcast evening this summer, shouting three-part harmonies over roaring engines for a surprised clutch of fans. When the ferry docked, three of the band’s members hurried over to our pier off WNYC Transmitter Park to play this Field Recording.

I’m not sure which of the five Natives these are, but they harmonize wonderfully. And I really like that the main singer is playing his guitar while the second guitar is silent until later in the song when his higher notes are used as an excellent accent.

[READ: January 15, 2018] “Kinderscenen”

This was a fascinating story because of how much detail was given and how little plot there was.

This is the story of a boy, Toby.  It is written in a kind of childish third person, almost by a benevolent guardian.

Sentences like:

What he does know is how Daddy’s cigarette looks in the evening when sitting on a wicker chair with the other grown-ups softly talking in a row, he flips it away its red star tracing lopsided loops before shattering into sparks on the bricks.

In his heart he knows that this is the best town in the world.

In the story, Toby helps his mother garden (by lifting the prickery bushes “holding up the bushes’ skirts” which has a naughty sound that nevertheless doesn’t make it fun. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: LOpercy1CAL NATIVES-Tiny Desk Concert #113 (February 21, 2011).

localI’ve decided to cherry pick some Tiny Desk shows for the end of the year–order be damned.

Local Natives are from L.A.  They play (in this Tiny Desk Concert anyway), a folkie alt rock which really emphasizes the band’s gorgeous harmonies.

For this set there are two acoustic guitars, an acoustic bass, a drummer and some cool extra percussion.  It also makes me laugh to see them all packed so tightly in that little space.

The first song “Wide Eyes” has lovely harmony vocals by the guitarist and the percussionist.  But when the backing vocals kick in, the sound really soars.

“Cards & Quarters” has a lovely guitar intro and fantastic three part harmonies.  I love the way the songs builds and builds to the end–it’s very dramatic.

For the final song, “Airplanes,” the percussionist switches to guitar (and sings lead vocals) and one of the guitarists plays the mandolin.  This song is very personal, with lots of details about the singer’s grandfather.  Again, the harmonies are gorgeous.

I’ve heard a lot about Local Natives and now I need to check them out more closely.

[READ: May 23, 2015] The Lightning Thief

I have seen the Percy Jackson movie and now I’ve read the comic book, but I have yet to read the actual novel (or series).  I figure I will some day.  But for now I’ve had this cool graphic novel to flesh out the movie.

It’s interesting how the movie and graphic novel (with art by Attila Futaki) emphasize different things.  It felt to me like the movie spent more time on introducing the characters once they got to “camp,” while the graphic novel seemed to gloss that.  But there were some other adventures that the group went on which were different between the book and movie (which may have just been for expenses).

Okay, so the brief summary of the book is that Percy Jackson is a boy in school.  He has trouble reading and his teacher gives him a hard time.  As we open, the class is learning about ancient Greek myths and the teacher is emphasizing how important they will be for Percy.  On the next page, one of Percy’s teachers turns into a demon and attacks him.   But no one else is aware of it.  Except maybe his best friend, Grover.

When school ends, Percy heads home to his mother’s house.  His mother is living with a totally awful guy (there was more about this in the movie) and explains that Percy’s father left before he was born.  But just as they settle in, Grover shows up and tells them they have to go.  Now. (more…)

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