Archive for the ‘sherwood’ Category

Hanson/Hellogoodbye/Steel Train/Sherwood @ Club Nokia

November 9, 2009

Written By: Darwin Green
(Senior Editor)

Photos By:
Susana Capra

View More of Susana’s Hanson photos here, and her Hellogoodbye photos here.

11/7/09 – I can’t remember now which other artist the guy at the box office mentioned when asking if I was picking up tickets for her or Hanson, but I do remember leaning close to the window, and, careful so that nobody else would hear, I said, “Hanson.”

He pointed across the courtyard. “Just go to the escalators and go up to the third floor.”

Now, someone else knew I was picking up tickets for Hanson, one of the most estrogen-soaked bands of the nineties. Hanson, who made “Mmmbop.” Hanson, the band all my friends made fun of and still make fun of to this day.

I found my way into the venue. That whole area reminds one of something out of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, and sometimes, when it comes to architecture or design, looks don’t always equate to functionality or the ability to find places easily. Needless to say, the inside of the venue looked as futuristic as its outside.

Sherwood started the set with an amazing, pumped-up performance. They seemed ready to envelope the whole world and everybody in the room with their sweetness and gentle gratitude towards the fans, the record label, their friend who has cancer, and anyone willing to donate money to said friend. The music itself made one feel as though teenage pop could make one feel so happy that one would only need to listen to the music instead of taking any kind of drug for the same reaction. It was the equivalent of spending a half-hour in a hot, euphoric, saccharine infused bath, letting go of the whole world in the process. (Check out our review of Sherwood’s new album, QU ).

Steel Train rolled through like, well, a New Jersey locomotive, hearkening to a place of supreme confidence where Bruce Springsteen roamed the streets and smelled the steam in the air.

HelloGoodbye performed next. While having a similar effect as Sherwood in terms of music, their sardonic banter between songs only brought down any effect sustained while listening to the songs. They would break into silliness for long periods of time, blurring the line between a bad stand-up act and great music.

But then Hanson came on, and it wasn’t long before the cheers from the female members of the audience reached such a pitch that it felt like being next to a jet engine as it spins into life. The band trotted onstage and immediately jumped into a bluesy, rock-filled song, completely unlike anything one would ever expect from Hanson. They did it again, and again, and again, and one felt all the years of belittling Hanson suddenly crumbling away into praise, respect, and admiration. The audience consisted mainly of teenage girls, but the music seemed made for guys. It had a country, folksy bent to it a la Darius Rucker while he was in Hooty and the Blowfish, but the guitar often launched into pure rock, blues, and funk, far from the sugary pop one came to define Hanson as back in the nineties.

They still carried some instances of the Jackson 5, but it blended well with their other material. At one point they brought out acoustic guitars and sang together with harmonies that would have made bands like the Eagles come back for comeuppance. It was surely a surprise for anyone only familiar with “Mmmbop,” to hear Hanson taking on country and folk influences, although they played “Mmmbop” for the fans. At that point, it didn’t matter. Hanson gained my respect at that point and I realized that any pop they do, or have done, is pop perfection.

All in all there was never a lack of energy on their part, and it translated to the audience well. Few people sat down, most people had their hands in the air when the band called for it, and most everyone clapped in rhythm and sang at some point.

I am now one of the initiated males who will say, from now on in a proud voice, “Yes please, one for Hanson.”

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Sherwood – Maybe This Time

November 7, 2009

Sherwood enlisted the help of the multi-talented Matt Wignall best known for his work with the Cold War Kids (mattwignall.com) to direct the video for the first single off their latest release, Qu – out now on MySpace Records.

The result is a beautiful and creative visual companion to the California-pop sounds of Sherwood – complete with tongue-in-cheek cameo appearance by the album’s producer Brad Wood (Liz Phair, Pete Yorn, Smashing Pumpkins).

Sherwood – Qu

October 15, 2009
sherwood qu

Written By: Joe Cardenas


Label: Myspace Records – Rating:

Sherwood returns with a very upbeat and very concrete pop/rock album. That band’s overall influence of the Beach Boys really becomes obvious in this album as the songs are very reminiscent of sunny summer days. Ironically, Sherwood came out with the album just in time for the winter season! I really don’t mind, ’cause I enjoy listening to anything that reminds me of the beach, something to help endure the cold, cold winter.

Qu starts in an odd direction with the a capella “Shelter.” There are a lot of tracks on Qu that make use of the chorus but “Shelter,” without any instruments, seems out of place in relation to the rest of the album. The ‘Oohs’ and ‘Ahhs’ really remind you of the Beach Boys (The intro to “Make it Through,” especially) and is partly why Qu feels so sunny. It’s a nice touch, as I have not heard many bands trying to emulate the Beach Boys’ sound.

Qu really starts to pick up with it’s next two tracks: “Hit the Bottom” and “Make it Through.” The songs are really catchy, radio-friendly and surprisingly dance-able in some parts. Having a dancing element is really interesting because Sherwood really makes it work. I could visualize kids dancing to this band live and just having a fun, sweaty time. The drums are very well-played and well-heard throughout the album.

Aside from the drums, there is nothing really distinct about the band’s sound compared to other pop/rock bands in the genre. The song structure is nothing out of the ordinary and the lyrics are what is expected from a young rock band. The band sticks to the norm and doesn’t take any risks with its sound. But Sherwood seems to know their sound, and like it, without wanting to change it drastically to please a mainstream audience. The Qu‘s sound is very solid and there’s isn’t anything necessarily weak about it.

The overall feel is very upbeat and at times feels like a soundtrack to a feel-good movie. Not everyone might be into this type of music but it is a most excellent album to help cheer you up when having a bad day, or to compliment the good day you’re already having. Anyone listening can really enjoy the passionate sound that Sherwood creates and appreciate how good it makes you feel.

Qu as a whole works very well, the sound is consistent and is different enough in each track to make you want to listen to the whole thing. The flow is nice, and listening to Qu will remind you of summer days at the beach – And with the winter season coming, I don’t think this album could have come at a better time.

Like Sherwood? Check out: We Shot the Moon, Mae, The Beach Boys

Sherwood – Nate Henry Gives Up The Goods

September 10, 2009

Interview By: Pablo Cortez

Sherwood have been super-busy preparing for the release of their up-coming album, “QU,” out October 13th. We caught up with Nate Henry for a quick Q&A. You can pre-order “QU” on Amazon.com at the link below. – Follow Sherwood on Twitter.

PC: What up, Nate? First question: how are you guys preparing for “QU’s” upcoming release? Any band rituals, like not changing your socks or eating only fish ‘till release day?

Nate: We don’t have any rituals as a band for release day yet. It takes so long for an album to come out that we would probably give up on ideas like” not changing our socks,” etc. We are actually really busy, I have been putting in 40+ hour work weeks doing just about everything.

PC: You’ve been recently tweeting, (twatting? twooted?) about prepping the pre-orders of “QU.” Can you elaborate on the package for our readers?

Nate: We are going to offer three packages and I think we are still deciding what’s going to be in each package. I have been just trying to get the word out that the new pre-order is coming soon. I wish I could tell you it’s up right now but it will be soon, very soon.

**Editor’s note – He’s being modest! The pre-order is up-and-running on Amazon.com**

PC: Speaking of which, why “QU?”

Nate: Exactly.

PC: You’ll be touring with Better than Ezra this fall, curious as to what some of your favorite bands that you’ve toured with are.

Nate: We have enjoyed the road with so many great bands over the years that it’s hard to give a narrowed-down shout-out. I think our favorite tour was with Relient K, because they treated us like kings, every show was huge and sold out. They are just a great band of good people and we had a lot of fun together.

PC: I’ve read most of you met while at Cal Poly SLO, what were your majors? By the way, Cal Poly Pomona rules!

Nate: Cal Poly Pomona? Is that another school something? JK! Going to school on the central coast of California and playing music full time are the two dreams this band has shared together. Our majors in college included business, recreation parks & tourism admin, communications and philosophy. Some of us need to finish a few more classes though (winks).

PC: The three MySpace-released tracks from QU have very distinct sounds. Is this true for the rest of the LP, and was this slight change in direction something that was decided on?

Nate: I think an album needs to move, and breathe, and continue to engage the listener in new ways with every track. An album should be like a great film or book that keeps people engaged until the end. With “QU,” we decided to let each song sorta be it’s own journey and go the direction that “the song” needed to go. We also wanted to make an entire album, not just a few good songs, but an entire album that people will love start to finish.

I think the only way to continue playing music emotionally as a band is to grow and change. I think Sherwood would implode if we played mindless music every night, even if the shows were all sold out. We had a lot of “who are we” talks on the road with our last release, as it took us all over the world. Those experiences molded our perspective on music and life in general. Making an album that stays fresh for years is very hard to do. I think we finally have an album that we will love playing for a long time.

PC: What were some musical influences for you guys growing up as kids?

Nate: As kids, I think we all loved bands like the Beach Boys & The Beatles. I grew up listening to a lot of 80’s bands when driving to elementary school with my older sister. I can remember singing Paula Abdul & Madonna songs on the playground, trying to impress girls. My first CD’s were “Siamese Dream,” “August & Everything After,” & Weezer’s “Blue Album.”

PC: Who writes and/or thinks up ideas for the Sherwood Show? How did the whole idea come about?

Nate: That would be me, Nate. I was actually talking to Gabe Saporta one night, late on his tour bus, about how webisodes engage a band’s fan base. He kinda unofficially convinced me to start it. I had been doing a lot of videos for sherwood already, but it wasn’t a part of a collective series, so to speak. The ideas sort of come to me and then I try and motivate the rest of the band to act. It keeps us having fun – well… most of the time.

PC: Great feature on the Birmingham Travel Lodge by the way. What were some of your favorite spots you played in the UK?

Nate: Why thanks, it’s one of our more popular episodes. In America, you spend hours on end driving, and there are noticeable differences between cities and their crowds, but in the UK, it all feels very similar to me. The dialect with accents change, but the cities are all hundreds of years old, and relatively close in proximity to one another. I would say that since I have the Scottish blood in me, that something stirs in my heart when I get there. I like to play in Scotland.

PC: Finally, what’s the plan for Sherwood’s future? Anything you’d like to share with the fans?

Nate: We are at a critical moment as a band, because we are no longer kids, and we have paid our dues. It’s time for us to take things to the next level. We just hope this album strikes a chord in the hearts of people like never before, and we can continue to do this for many more years to come.

Two things I would relay to our fans. First, word of mouth is everything, tell everyone about the music you love and put it on a mix for friends, or Twitter and/or post a link.

Second, If you love what a band does then it’s your job to support them as much as you can. Buying a record from your favorite band goes a long way these days and it’s more important than ever.