White Denim, Live Session #93

by oz on September 23, 2011

White Denim’s latest album D may end up being my favorite release of the year. There have been many great albums released in 2011, but few have I explored with the same depth and focused attention. The band finds a way to blend frantic dueling guitar solos into one cohesive sound and, having never seen a live performance, I have eagerly anticipated this session.

On my short list of tracks was the most accessible track on the album, “Street Joy.” On the album, it serves as a nice reprieve from the roller coaster twists and turns provided by the songs surrounding it. In this session, the song still stands out for me. The band’s albums have always showcased their musicianship, but lead singer James Petralli’s voice sometimes gets lost beneath in the flurry of sound and complex arrangements. On “Street Joy,” his vocals can truly be appreciated in their own right.

A few side notes to this session. Firstly, I just read on Wikipedia that the aforementioned James Petralli is the son of the former major league ball player Gino Petralli. If you collected baseball cards in the late 80’s and early 90’s, you probably remember the frequency at which you’d find Gino in a pack of cards. It bordered on conspiracy. Anyway, I loved discovering the connection.

Secondly, you’ll notice the upgrade in video quality on this session. We were fortunate to have an experienced crew of video professionals from Concentrated (a Chicago-based creative production studio) take over the video duties on this session.  They are the same group that put together the very touching Father’s day video and documentary that we featured in June. We owe a big thank you to them for their hard work.

Enjoy the session and keep your eyes out for our next session with Other Lives.

White Denim Band Introduction

Exclusive: White Denim – Street Joy

Exclusive: White Denim – Anvil Everything

Exclusive: White Denim – Keys

Download the White Denim Live Session as a zip file.

White Denim – Anvil Everything (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)

White Denim – Street Joy (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben Hemming September 25, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Really love this band, great dynamic between the members as the video clips really shows…

interested in more free music downloads?

Woody September 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm

This session was amazing. The thing that struck me was how Steve and Josh kept the rhythm section so tight without ever looking at each other. its like they share the same brain.

that night I had a dozen guys from the burbs rolls down to see the show. They melted some faces that night.

Buzzman3535 September 28, 2011 at 10:34 am

I’m trying….but just don’t get it.

Why is White Denim such a favorite lately for so many people?

They aren’t bad or untalented, thats clear from the videos and the music I have heard …it just seems to me that everything I see that someone might like about them is done better by other bands. Its just kind of boring music. Sounds pretty good and the songwriting is ok, but no reason to listen to more than 60 seconds of each clip. I’m completely willing to say its just me, but this music does not grab me at all.

Love the blog, respect the music your bring to the table. Just don’t get this group’s appeal. Would love to hear specifically why others really dig them.

SHIRK September 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Thanks for sharing you opinion, Buzzman3535. I can totally respect what you’re saying. White Denim is an interesting mix and a tough one to put your finger on. I think it’s safe to say it’s not for everyone. I love their music…that thick 70’s feeling prog mixed in with some psych-rock. For me their music captures the right blend of “Challenge”…the kind of thing where I don’t always understand their musical decisions. They make me listen through some tension to get to an interesting release or resolution.
Even if I didn’t enjoy listening in that way, I’d still love watching these guys rip. Each band member is definitely a “player”. Pretty much every person I’ve introduced their music to responds with a comment like “That Drummer is ridiculous!” Thanks for checking out the session and sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated.

Buzzman3535 September 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm

that was a very well articulated response. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

I see what you are saying, watched the videos again, and that was more or less my conclusion to their unique-ness….the fact that they aren’t very predictable and that they are working something out musically while they play. I can see how that is appealing. In the case of WD, I think its detracting from a cohesive sound…but thats strictly my opinion.

I guess for my limited time/energy/$$ I am drawn to things that appeal to my sense that an artist is playing something new or something that I haven’t heard before (I certainly haven’t heard everything so many times its something older that grabs me). I guess thats why I have trouble with artists of late like Blizten Trapper, Strands of Oak, and your last post on Elliot Brood. I just feel like I’ve heard their material before in other work.

I get the challenge aspect to new music too, thats not lost on me..so I’ll keep coming back to WD and see if it grows on me. Thats always a great feeling when it clicks with someone you had previously written off. That just happened for me on Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart. Took me a long time to see why that one was so highly though of, but I get it now and love it.

Anyway, damn it feels good to talk music. Keep up the good work.

pagodafitz September 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm

These dudes are great. I have been a little bit behind the curve in finding them. May double rainbows be in your near and distant future. Thanks for the session.

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