September 11, 2012
The magical quality of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros is that the SoCal folk pop band always seems to be making it up as it goes along. Whether it’s the setlist – frontman Alex Ebert always seems to be asking a band member what should be played next – to his between-song banter, to the created-on-the-spot soloing of individual musicians including the local violinist stand-ins.
All were on display Friday night at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. Ebert, vocalist-guitarist Jade Castrinos and their large crew were in midseason form, as was their controlled ramshackle pop show, as they flawlessly mixed songs for their first two albums, and threw in a new up-tempo track, possibly called “Minding My Middle” and presumably to be on the band’s second album of 2012, to be released this year.
Interview: Edward Sharpe’s Nora Kirkpatrick discusses ‘Here,’ touring, and the album after the new one
April 27, 2012
A 1,500-foot-long vintage streamlined 1948 California Zephyr train. Two weeks. Three bands with their own unique sounds, riding the rails. Jamming, recording, playing a concert here and there.
That was the idea behind the Railroad Revival Tour. Last spring, Los Angeles indie collective Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, London folk group Mumford & Sons and Nashville bluegrass ensemble Old Crow Medicine Show embarked on a trek from Oakland through the Southwest and Texas, before coming to an end in New Orleans.
As the members of the three bands mingled, their bonding was recorded for a now-critically lauded documentary, Big Easy Express, which was first screened at this year’s South By Southwest music, film and technology festival. The bands were also inspired musically as they began work on new albums. The first of these is Edward Sharpe’s Here, which will be released May 29. Fans of the band will get a preview of the album at Wednesday’s show at the Fox Theater in Oakland.
“Getting to do what you love for 24 hours a day with amazing people – to have that be your job for two weeks – is such an experience,” Edward Sharpe accordionist and backup vocalist Nora Kirkpatrick said in a recent phone conversation from Los Angeles, where the band was in the midst of rehearsing for its tour. “We felt a sense of responsibility and thought, ‘We’d better be writing some music; we’d better be making the most of this so we could show it to people.’ It was probably the best time of my life.”
There is no Edward Sharpe in the Magnetic Zeros. The persona is the creation of vocalist and bandleader Alex Ebert. He formed the band after meeting vocalist Jade Castrinos in 2009 during a transitional phase in his life, after breaking up with a girlfriend. Kirkpatrick joined after meeting Ebert and Castrinos through mutual friends at Burning Man that year.
“I had just graduated from UCLA and figuring out what it was to be on my own in this world,” she said.
Photos: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Old Crow Medicine Show ‘Railroad Revival Tour’ on Oakland waterfront 4/21/11
April 22, 2011
Photos by Moses Namkung for The Bay Bridged
October 6, 2009
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Every month, we dedicate the first week’s podcast to highlighting some of the great local and out-of-town bands performing soon in the San Francisco Bay Area. We’ve got eleven great bands playing some excellent shows this month, so head out and see some live music!
About the bands:
Out today on True Panther, Gay Singles is a collection of recent 7″ singles from Hunx and his Punx (“U Don’t Like Rock N Roll”). Hunx is currently on the Shattered Records tour, which will stop at the Great American Music Hall on Monday, October 19th. You can also see him at The Eagle on Thursday, October 22nd.
The song we’ve included here is a sneak peek from Those Delicate Chemicals, the upcoming third album from San Francisco band The Dont’s (“The Pirate Song”). On Thursday, October 22, the group will be at the Hemlock Tavern, with Finn Riggins and Total Hound.
Kurt Vile (“Overnite Religion”)’s latest work, Childish Prodigy, is out today on Matador Records. He’ll be performing with his band The Violators at the Hemlock Tavern on Wednesday, October 21st. Wooden Shjips and Young Prisms support.
The Stone Foxes (“Beneath Mt. Sinai”) have a residency at the Hotel Utah for most of the Saturdays in October (the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 31st). Find out more about all of the different shows at The Deli SF.
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (“40 Day Dream”) are traversing the country in support of their breakthrough album Up From Below. They’ll be at the Treasure Island Music Festival on Sunday, October 18th.