"This is the most amazing lineup in a festival I've ever been a part of," said St. Vincent's Annie Clark (above right) a few songs into her closing-day set at Knoxville, Tennessee's Big Ears festival Sunday night.
Agreed. There's nothing else quite like this three-day event: Forward-thinking and experimental without being alienating, and pop-friendly while not being pop-dumb. Where else can you see Terry Riley and Vampire Weekend with the same laminate?
This year, Big Ears welcomed the National's Bryce Dessner as co-curator with festival founder Ashley Capps. And the collaboration brought music fans many joys, including Andrew W.K. (above left) playing modern classical music with chamber outfit the Calder Quartet; Dubstep explorer DJ/Rupture laying down classic cuts over chest-shaking bass; the xx turning a restored old Knoxville theater into a fogged-up dance palace; and Ben Frost creating some of the most dangerous electronic drones this side of a jet engine on Hell's official airline. -- Gallery written by Michael Byrne
Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld have given no formal interviews about their brawny new collaborative album, Never were the way she was, which is mostly comprised of a continual throb from his saxophones’ (both bass and tenor) howls and honks, as well as hoary scratches and wails from her violin. But they gave readers and… More »