I like surprises. Well, good ones at least. Without question, Yeasayer’s playing at Spring Weekend was a good surprise. Due to contract negotiations, Yeasayer was announced after the initial release of the Spring Weekend’s lineup — but if one name had to be announced late, this was the one to pick. The addition of Yeasayer to the existing lineup of What Cheer? Brigade, Waka Flocka Flame, and Hudson Mohawke injected some much-needed rock(ish) to Friday night. At least one former BlogDH writer/semi-professional flogger would have been very pleased. The concert really has something for everybody now.
But Yeasayer’s presence in the Spring Weekend lineup represents much more than a simple filler designed to check the box of something-resembling-a-rock-band on some fictional list of Spring Weekend artist requirements. The Brooklyn-based band, which formed in 2006, has constantly pushed the boundaries of genre — they once described themselves as “Middle Eastern-psych-snap-gospel;” Pitchfork calls them “art-pop,” but I’m not sure anyone knows what that is besides a thoroughly mediocre Lady Gaga album. Their songs range from this out-of-left field cover of Seal’s “Crazy” to the more radio-friendly “O.N.E.” of FIFA ’11 fame.
The quartet of Chris Keating, Ira Wolf Tuton, Anand Wilder, and Cale Parks delivers a unique sound that will get you dancing without delivering bass so heavy that you think you’re having a heart attack. Basically, they’re the anti-Brick Squad.
The headliners of Spring Weekend get a lot of attention. Diplo is cool and all, but there are those who have been by our side for years on this weekend, and they deserve to be appreciated. No—sorry for the confusion, but we are not talking about Binder. We’re talking about What Cheer? Brigade, who will be returning this year to play early Friday evening on Spring Weekend. Check out their music here.
What Cheer? is a Providence-based 19-piece brass band—in their words, they “require no amplification, proving that great parties need no electricity.” THEY’RE ECO-FRIENDLY! What Cheer? is also the only act to not take the stage. Instead, they gather around Sayles Hall in a blob, and the audience surrounds them. Their sound is really high energy, so be prepared to break a sweat jumping up and getting down. (And breaking a sweat is probably just what we need considering the unclear weather forecast for April 11th.)
Originally formed in 2006, The Glitch Mob got its start as a five-member electro group based in the city of Los Angeles. As part of L.A.’s burgeoning bass-driven ‘beat’ scene, the group quickly gained notoriety for its incredible live performances and use of multi-touch sound devices to remix popular songs on stage. Though they spent much of their early days touring up and down the West Coast, the group now performs at electronic music festivals around the world and will be touring all across the country later this year. Their first album, Drink the Sea, debuted on the iTunes electronic music chart at #5, and their single “Drive It Like You Stole It” was listed as number two on XLR8R magazine’s list of top downloads of 2010.
Since debuting in 2000 in New York City, the indie rock band known as The Walkmen has always lived up to the hype. Even before they went to high school together at St. Albans in D.C., Ham, Paul, Walt, Pete and Matt were playing on vintage musical instruments. When their debut album came out in 2002, critics were overwhelmingly positive: the band’s “popular” style was somehow “rare, […] like U2 or the Cure,” according to Pitchfork. Five albums later, the compliments keep coming, despite the band’s move to sadder, darker songs. With their seventh album coming out June 4 and their first album hitting its 10-year anniversary, the group is touring Europe and North America this summer, with several dates in conjunction with Florence + The Machine.
Hailing from North Carolina, Lee Fields has been an important figure in the world of funk since the 60s. Beginning as a solo act, he entered the music industry as a singer in multiple fundamental bands in the funk genre, such as Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, and Little Royal. After a hiatus in the 80s, Lee Fields came back strong in the 1990s with a surprise album release, titled “Enough is Enough”. Not a stranger to funk and soul, he has released six albums since his return to the music industry, brining the soul into the 21st century.
Here’s where The Expressions come in. Back in 2004, the owners of the funk music label Truth & Soul wanted to experiment with the genre and create a record modeled after seasoned bands such as The Moments, The Delfonics, and The Stylistics. They called in Lee Fields to provide the vocals for the single “Do You Love Me”, and the rest is funktastic, soulful history. Continue Reading