For this week’s Intern Picks of the Week here at Lightning 100, we decided to highlight some of our favorite live music. Whether it be recorded from a show or in studio, these are some of our favorite pieces of music in its most magical state—live!
Parcels – “Redline / IknowhowIfeel / Elude (Live from Hansa Studios, Berlin)”
My pick this week is “Redline / IknowhowIfeel / Elude (Live from Hansa Studios, Berlin)” by one of my favorite bands, Parcels! Parcels is a Berlin-based quintet originally from Byron Bay, Australia, and includes members Jules Crommelin, Patrick Hetherington, Anatole Serret, Noah Hill, and Louie Swaine. Their sound is what I would describe as cinematic-disco-funk, often nodding to Euro-dance and rock classics while featuring beautiful Beach Boys-esque harmonies. They released a few EPs (including a collaboration with Daft Punk) before their self-titled debut LP in 2018. Live Vol. 1 is a mix of jams and songs from these releases.
“Redline / IknowhowIfeel / Elude” was released as part of their 2020 LP Live Vol. 1, recorded live at Hansa Studios in Berlin. This trio of songs seamlessly blends together to take you on an extended disco-jam journey! Live Vol. 1 is one of my favorite albums of all time and, in my opinion, puts Parcels on the list of the best live bands around today. The group is switching up their live sound quite a bit on this year’s tour, venturing from funk to test the waters of clubby remixes and dance music, while still using real instruments. Their latest release, last year’s Day/Night, is a mature sophomore studio LP that feels like a cinematic experience solely through sound.
Phoebe Bridgers – “Chinese Satellite (Live From Sound City)”
This past March, Phoebe Bridgers released a live version of her song “Chinese Satellite.” The track is originally from the indie artist’s 2020 album Punisher. The original track relies on heavy instrumentals to build the song. However, this acoustic rendition emphasizes the deep, meaningful lyrics that Bridgers is known for.
Bridgers’ stripped down performance was in LA’s Sound City Studios. All proceeds from the song will help people without housing in Bloomington, Indiana. Listen to Phoebe Bridgers’ “Chinese Satellite (Live From Sound City)” below!
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Last of My Kind (Live)” Live from the Ryman
Very few artists today command a stage the way Jason Isbell can. He can write songs better than anyone I have ever seen and every year, those songs echo throughout the hallowed halls of the Ryman Auditorium. He’s a mainstay at the historic venue for a reason: he takes that stage and transforms it into something otherworldly. He is, without question, one of the defining singer/songwriters of this generation. So for this week’s intern pick I went with his 2017 Ryman performance of “Last of My Kind”. The studio version of the track is beautiful, but the song is elevated on stage at the Mother Church. The 400 Unit backs Isbell with soaring instrumentalism. His wife and fiddle player Amanda Shires is an icon in her own right, and shines bright with a solo in the live performance.
Not to mention Isbell’s lyricism is second to none.
Isbell will be back with another Ryman residency this October. You can listen to “Last of my Kind” below.
The Avett Brothers – “Rejects in the Attic”
For this week’s intern pick, I chose a live cut from one of my favorite acts, The Avett Brothers. Coming off their 3rd live album simply titled Live Vol. 4, This is one of only two versions of the song that were released, the other being the studio version only available with the target exclusive version of their 2016 album True Sadness.
This is by far one of my favorites from the band, with its messages about moving on but knowing that those feelings of sadness can pop up any day. The energy the group gives in the recording is stellar as always and you can give it a listen below!
Shakey Graves – “Roll the Bones” – Audiotree Live
My intern pick this week is “Roll the Bones” from Shakey Graves’ 2013 Audiotree Live session. This session in its entirety is one worth watching, but the opening track, “Roll the Bones,” is an attention grabber from the very first note. Shakey Graves became known for his one-man band act he showcases in this session, but he has since expanded his project into a three-piece band.
In this live session, Alejandro Rose-Garcia shows the full extent of his impressive musicianship. Alongside mixing dynamic vocals with already difficult guitar picking patterns, Rose-Garcia takes it even further by simultaneously playing his own drums as well. With one foot, he plays a kick drum, and with the other, he plays the tambourine—both of which are attached to a modified suitcase. While it is an older session, the allure of it revolves around seeing Shakey Graves master what gained him so much attention in the first place. Not only is his playing enough to make your jaw drop, but he’s also incredibly fun to watch play, and highly charismatic in his banter in between songs.
Check out the whole Audiotree Live session here or watch “Roll the Bones” below!