Home Valley Advocate Amourasaurus II: The Line-Up

Amourasaurus II: The Line-Up

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Oliver Scott Snure Photo

The Brooklyn-based Courtin may not be the only Juilliard-trained classical violinist and composer on hand this weekend, but she is definitely the most colorful, bending genres as exuberantly as she can switch between voice, violin, viola, and guitar. A session player and solo artist, as well as a member of the neo-classical NYC ensemble The Knights, Courtin gets around, scooping up strange and lovely sounds wherever she goes. Check out “Varsity,” “Lightfighter,” and “Foreign Country.”

Christina Courtin

CHRISTINA COURTIN

Saturday, 3:00 – 3:40

The Brooklyn-based Courtin may not be the only Juilliard-trained classical violinist and composer on hand this weekend, but she is definitely the most colorful, bending genres as exuberantly as she can switch between voice, violin, viola, and guitar. A session player and solo artist, as well as a member of the neo-classical NYC ensemble The Knights, Courtin gets around, scooping up strange and lovely sounds wherever she goes. Check out “Varsity,” “Lightfighter,” and “Foreign Country.” — HS

Former Fountains of Wayne frontman Chris Collingwood has left Stacy’s Mom miles behind by now, and his restlessly catchy new pop-rock project Look Park — sure to cause a bit of confusion to Valley ticket buyers now and again — finds him experimenting with rock arrangements and sweeping atmospherics while retaining the razor-sharp production and sense of flair that’s gotten him this far. Choice tracks: “Aeroplane,” “Breezy,” and “Stars of New York.”

Look Park

LOOK PARK

Saturday, 4:00 – 4:45

Former Fountains of Wayne frontman Chris Collingwood has left Stacy’s Mom miles behind by now, and his restlessly catchy new pop-rock project Look Park — sure to cause a bit of confusion to Valley ticket buyers now and again — finds him experimenting with rock arrangements and sweeping atmospherics while retaining the razor-sharp production and sense of flair that’s gotten him this far. Choice tracks: “Aeroplane,” “Breezy,” and “Stars of New York.”— HS

Born in L.A. to a preacher and a teacher, Aaron Livingston now makes his way in New York and Philly, collaborating with acts like The Roots and RJD2. His studio work, which is soulful and at times heart-burstingly good, wanders insomniac sonic landscapes shimmering with deep beats, banjos, keyboards, and croons. He describes it all as “a pointillist art piece made from junkyards and viewed from space.” Sold. Our fave tracks include “The River,” “Lay Down,” and “Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches.”

Son Little

SON LITTLE

Saturday, 5:05 – 6:05

Born in L.A. to a preacher and a teacher, Aaron Livingston now makes his way in New York and Philly, collaborating with acts like The Roots and RJD2. His studio work, which is soulful and at times heart-burstingly good, wanders insomniac sonic landscapes shimmering with deep beats, banjos, keyboards, and croons. He describes it all as “a pointillist art piece made from junkyards and viewed from space.” Sold. Our fave tracks include “The River,” “Lay Down,” and “Your Love Will Blow Me Away When My Heart Aches.”— HS

Staples is living, breathing history. Period, full stop. For six decades she has grown into, and shaped, the fabric of American music styles from gospel, soul, folk, and pop to R&B, blues, rock, and hip-hop. On her new album, Livin’ on a High Note, she performs songs written by stellar artists like Neko Case, Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Tune-Yards, Aloe Blacc, M. Ward, and Aaron Livingston (a.k.a. Son Little). She is still, as her father used to say in the 1950s, one of “God’s greatest hitmakers.”

Mavis Staples

MAVIS STAPLES

Saturday, 6:30 – 7:45

Staples is living, breathing history. Period, full stop. For six decades she has grown into, and shaped, the fabric of American music styles from gospel, soul, folk, and pop to R&B, blues, rock, and hip-hop. On her new album, Livin’ on a High Note, she performs songs written by stellar artists like Neko Case, Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Tune-Yards, Aloe Blacc, M. Ward, and Aaron Livingston (a.k.a. Son Little). She is still, as her father used to say in the 1950s, one of “God’s greatest hitmakers.”— HS

The host band of Amourasaurus is also the headlining act on both Saturday and Sunday nights. Asked about those two sets, lead singer Rachael Price tells us to expect live takes on songs from the new album Side Pony (we’re especially hoping they play “Call Off Your Dogs,” “I Don’t Care About You,” and “Mistakes”) as well as earlier material. That’s the spirit of this band: stay playful, be yourself, go back to the drawing board, cross-pollinate your tunes, and don’t be afraid to make your own dance party.

Lake Street Dive

LAKE STREET DIVE Saturday, 8:15 – 9:30 // Sunday, 8:00 – 9:30

The host band of Amourasaurus is also the headlining act on both Saturday and Sunday nights. Asked about those two sets, lead singer Rachael Price tells us to expect live takes on songs from the new album Side Pony (we’re especially hoping they play “Call Off Your Dogs,” “I Don’t Care About You,” and “Mistakes”) as well as earlier material. That’s the spirit of this band: stay playful, be yourself, go back to the drawing board, cross-pollinate your tunes, and don’t be afraid to make your own dance party.— HS

On her latest album, According to Us, McKeown blends hip hop, gospel, and jazz influences in six songs as quirky and clever as they are strikingly different from one another. The opener, “Once a Bomb, Always a Bomb” is tender and sullen, while “Where Did I Go” has the feel of a schoolyard jump rope song. “The Queer Gospel” closes out the album, blending gospel and blues guitar. We also recommend checking out “Proof” on 2013’s Manifestra, or “Blackbirds” off Distillation, from way back in 2002.

Erin McKeown

ERIN MCKEOWN

Sunday, 3:05 – 3:35

On her latest album, According to Us, McKeown blends hip hop, gospel, and jazz influences in six songs as quirky and clever as they are strikingly different from one another. The opener, “Once a Bomb, Always a Bomb” is tender and sullen, while “Where Did I Go” has the feel of a schoolyard jump rope song. “The Queer Gospel” closes out the album, blending gospel and blues guitar. We also recommend checking out “Proof” on 2013’s Manifestra, or “Blackbirds” off Distillation, from way back in 2002.— PV

I was fortunate enough to walk into a particular bar in Springfield on a cold winter evening almost two years ago to find Matt Lorenz, the man behind The Suitcase Junket, playing a beat-up guitar, kick drum, and a cymbal. He let flow a rare, genuine kind of blues rock straight from the soul, something that just can’t be faked. It remains one of the most memorable sets I’ve ever seen from any musician. Lorenz could be a rare kind of talent even if he was just singing and playing guitar, but to see him perform is something that you need to experience to believe.

The Suitcase Junket

THE SUITCASE JUNKET

Sunday, 3:55 – 4:40

I was fortunate enough to walk into a particular bar in Springfield on a cold winter evening almost two years ago to find Matt Lorenz, the man behind The Suitcase Junket, playing a beat-up guitar, kick drum, and a cymbal. He let flow a rare, genuine kind of blues rock straight from the soul, something that just can’t be faked. It remains one of the most memorable sets I’ve ever seen from any musician. Lorenz could be a rare kind of talent even if he was just singing and playing guitar, but to see him perform is something that you need to experience to believe.— PV

On her latest, A Man Alive, Thao Nguyen creates knockout pop rock punch. The songs are catchy and melodic, and “Astonished Man” and “Nobody Dies” are pop music gold. In the past, the Virginia-raised Nguyen’s music has had a noticeable folk-country influence, but now she leaves it behind in favor of a decidedly more urban sound, with more electronics and thumping basslines. I’m pretty sure Nguyen didn’t even take the banjo — an instrument she’s used to great effect on previous albums — out of the case for this go-round.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down

THAO AND THE GET DOWN STAY DOWN Sunday, 5:00 – 5:50

On her latest, A Man Alive, Thao Nguyen creates knockout pop rock punch. The songs are catchy and melodic, and “Astonished Man” and “Nobody Dies” are pop music gold. In the past, the Virginia-raised Nguyen’s music has had a noticeable folk-country influence, but now she leaves it behind in favor of a decidedly more urban sound, with more electronics and thumping basslines. I’m pretty sure Nguyen didn’t even take the banjo — an instrument she’s used to great effect on previous albums — out of the case for this go-round.— PV

On his new Sermon on the Rocks, Ritter sounds like he’s on a great American road trip. “Birds of the Meadow,” is a dark, melodic attention grabber. “Where the Night Goes” is another standout: a Springsteen-esque slice of life and love in middle America. Ritter sings: “Only the lonely know the way I’m feelin’ / Only the living go to the graveyard grieving / Still we’re alive and you’re astounding / Feel the pulse of the world pounding / Feel the pull of the American darkness / The mountains the rivers, the fields at harvest / It’s all we have and that’s a lot / Come on honey let’s get lost.” Ritter’s always been a tremendously talented lyricist and Sermon on the Rocks is no exception.

Josh Ritter & the Royal City Band

JOSH RITTER AND THE ROYAL CITY BAND Sunday, 6:15 – 7:30

On his new Sermon on the Rocks, Ritter sounds like he’s on a great American road trip. “Birds of the Meadow,” is a dark, melodic attention grabber. “Where the Night Goes” is another standout: a Springsteen-esque slice of life and love in middle America. Ritter sings: “Only the lonely know the way I’m feelin’ / Only the living go to the graveyard grieving / Still we’re alive and you’re astounding / Feel the pulse of the world pounding / Feel the pull of the American darkness / The mountains the rivers, the fields at harvest / It’s all we have and that’s a lot / Come on honey let’s get lost.” Ritter’s always been a tremendously talented lyricist and Sermon on the Rocks is no exception.— PV