Tag Archives: bon iver

Jam of the Day – Justin Vernon Plays The New Yorker Festival

Saturday night Justin Vernon of Bon Iver sat down and talked with New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones at Stage 37. The event, part of this year’s New Yorker Festival, basically consisted of Sasha interviewing Justin about the singer’s home state of Wisconsin where he recorded For Emma, Forever Ago in 2007, followed by a brief four song acoustic set. It was a really tender, intimate performance, and given that Vernon confirmed at the show multiple times that Bon Iver was taking a hiatus for an undetermined amount of time, a certain cathartic overtone prevailed throughout the evening.

I can’t be sure, but at the show he said this song was called “Michican’t,” although I can’t seem to find any reference to that title online. Oh well. He boldly pronounced that he “will never play this song again,” so luckily someone in the audience was taping and has put it up on YouTube.

Justin Vernon – Michican’t (Live):


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Jam of the Day – Islands of Sound Erupt from Volcano Choir

With the release of his first album, For Emma, Forever Ago, Justin Vernon, the lead singer of Bon Iver, solidified himself as one of those singers whose soft haunting vocals are hard to forget. Since then, his music has become increasingly experimental.

On the Blood Bank EP, released earlier this year, his sound had a more ambient, boundless quality and he is taking it even further on his collaboration with post-rock band Collections of Colonies of Bees. Together, Wisconsinites Jon Mueller, Chris Rosenau, Jim Schoenecker, Daniel Spack, Justin Vernon, and Thomas Wincek, form Volcano Choir and they just released a short album of experimental pop, Unmap, in late September. On the album, Vernon’s voice is the most distinct, but it is one of many, both falsetto and full, that are harmonized and layered on top of one another. The music on Unmap is infused with a sense of limitless possibility partly because these tracks aren’t really traditional songs, composed of verses and choruses, and words tied to meanings. The music is more about the harmonies, layers, and textures of sound that they are creating. This makes sense for a collaboration between Vernon and the members of Collections of Colonies of Bees, who were described by Pitchfork as having “proven to be the rare instrumental rock band with ideas about how to keep things both surprising and musical …” For more evidence of that listen to “Flocks IV.”

Today’s jam, “Island, IS”, the first single off the album, which they have available for download today through their label Jagjaguwar records, is probably the most conventional song, on the album but, in my opinion, it’s the best.

Volcano Choir – Island, IS:


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Jam of the Day – Who’s Gonna Love You, General?

The top story for most of the major papers this morning was the news from yesterday that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has given the boot to Gen. David D. McKiernan as the top military commander in Afghanistan. According to the Times article, Gates acknowledges very matter of factly that this will “probably” end McKiernan’s career in the military.

Sad day for the General, but this shouldn’t be a surprise given that his boss – Gen. Petraeus (read a nice profile of him in The New Yorker here) – rose through the ranks past McKiernan byway of his successful implementation of counterinsurgency tactics in Iraq and various other non-traditional methods of warfare, which apparently are not within McKiernan’s areas of expertise. Still, it’s tough to lose your job.

So to help with the healing and the soul searching, today’s jam is a sad but beautiful one from Bon Iver. Who’s holding all the tickets now, huh Gates? I don’t even know what the means!

But in all honesty this song is really great. Bring a tissue.

Bon Iver – Skinny Love (live at Bowery Ballroom):


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