Matthew Houck likes to work. The Alabama native, now resident in Brooklyn has delivered five albums as Phosphorescent since his 2003 debut. Houck has a highly distinctive artistic voice and a refreshing, rolled-sleeves approach to his expression. 2007’s Pride – a delicate and haunting work of ragged country and bittersweet gospel – first caused ears to swivel in Phosphorescent’s direction. He followed it with To Willie, a tribute to Willie Nelson, then 2010’s Here’s To Taking It Easy, an enthusiastic plunge into country rock and Americana. Now, his sixth album Muchacho flashes yet another color in the subtly shifting Phosphorescent spectrum.
Muchacho reprises the understated melancholia and sensuous minimalism of Pride, while kicking up a little of Here’s To Taking It Easy’s dust, but it also strikes out into more adventurous waters via rhythm and electronic textures. It took shape partly as a result of events beyond Houck’s control. After spending the best part of 18 months touring his last record, Houck was, in his words “pretty fried.” He returned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard studio where he’d recorded his previous two albums, planning “on taking this whole thing down a few notches. I wanted to make music,” he explains, “but I was weary, so the spectre of putting anything out and getting back on the road was a bit of a block.” He bought a load of old analog gear and “just starting playing around with it, making these noises. They weren’t songs, they were just strange sound pieces. I’ve always had that element in my work, and one or two weird, ambient pieces seem to squeeze themselves onto every record, but suddenly I was doing a lot of those.”
Stevie Nicks w/ Dave Grohl – You Can’t Fix This (Sound City Real To Reel, Roswell/RCA) David Bowie – The Stars (Are Out Tonight) (The Next Day, ISO Records/Columbia) Devendra Banhart – Never Seen Such Good Things (Mala, Nonesuch) Robyn Hitchcock – Stupefied (Love From London, YepRoc) Adrian Younge & William Hart – Just Love (Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics, Wax Poetics) Lady – Get Ready (Lady, Truth & Soul) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – We No Who U R (Push The Sky Away, Bad Seeds Ltd) The Black Angels – Don’t Play With Guns (Indigo Meadow, Blue Horizon) Phosphorescent – Song For Zula (Muchacho, Dead Oceans) The Cave Singers – Shine (Naomi, Jagjaguwar) Caitlin Rose – When I’m Gone (The Stand-In, ATO) Hey Marseilles – Looking Back (Lines We Trace, Thirty Tigers)
Eminem – Arcade Fire – Widespread Panic – The Black Keys
Buffalo Springfield feat Richie Furay, Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Rick Rosas, Joe Vitale
My Morning Jacket – Ray LaMontagne – String Cheese Incident
Robert Plant & Band of Joy – Mumford & Sons – The Strokes
The Decemberists – Lil Wayne – Bassnectar – Iron & Wine – Girl Talk – Primus
Dr. John and The Original Meters performing Desitively Bonnaroo – Alison Krauss & Union Station Pretty Lights – Florence + the Machine – SuperJam with Dan Auerbach and Dr. John – Atomsphere Explosions In The Sky – Gogol Bordello – Beirut – Big Boi – Scissor Sisters – Gregg Allman Ratatat – Global Gypsy Punk Revue curated by Eugene Hütz – Robyn – Warren Haynes Band
Deerhunter – Opeth – STS9 – Old Crow Medicine Show – Bootsy Collins & the Funk University Wiz Khalifa – Matt & Kim – Grace Potter & The Nocturnals – Mavis Staples – Cold War Kids
The Del McCoury Band & the Preservation Hall Jazz Band – Wanda Jackson – The Walkmen
Justin Townes Earle – Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses – Béla Fleck and the Flecktones – !!!
Jovanotti – Bruce Hornsby – Loretta Lynn – Neon Trees – The Drums – Sleigh Bells – Amos Lee
Best Coast – Dãm-Funk & Master Blazter – The Sword – Portugal. The Man- The Black Angels
School of Seven Bells – J. Cole – Nicole Atkins & the Black Sea – Wavves – Chiddy Bang – Junip
Freelance Whales – Deer Tick – Band of Skulls – Sharon Van Etten – Abigail Washburn
Omar Souleyman – Twin Shadow – Kylesa – Man Man – The Low Anthem – Alberta Cross
Railroad Earth – Jessica Lea Mayfield – Smith Westerns – The Head and the Heart – Karen Elson
Beats Antique – 22-20s – Phosphorescent – Clare Maguire – Hayes Carll
The 2011 event marks the 10th year for the legendary festival, which began in 2002 as a remarkable idea to serve a passionate yet underappreciated and overlooked fanbase, and ended up becoming the premier multi-day concert destination of the summer whose dynamic and eclectic programming paved the way for the age of the great American music festival.