Louisiana’s GIVERS – Afropop with a splash of Southern Charm

Image via The Owl Mag

I have a musical crush on GIVERS, a quintet of twenty-somethings from Louisiana who came together after Hurricane Katrina swept their lives away in 2005.

After the Hurricane demolished New Orleans, singer-percussionist Tiffany Lamson and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Guarisco’s belongings were submerged in fifteen feet of water. Poor Lamson had just moved into a new apartment to start her freshman year at University of New Orleans. Instead of turning a national disaster into a personal crisis, Lamson and Guarisco – previous hometown homies from LaFayette, Louisiana – partnered up to form GIVERS.

Finding themselves without school and without a home, they went back to Lafayette to work on their music. In 2009, after playing together for three years, they asked drummer Kirby Campbell, keyboardist Nick Stephan, and bassist Josh LeBlanc to join them for a two-hour set at a local pub, with Guarisco taking on lead guitar and splitting lead vocals with Lamson.

They caught their big break by opening for Dirty Projectors at a local pub – a band whose off-kilter guitar riffs and polyphonic male-female vocals are a primary inspiration for GIVERS. Frontman and guitar-savant David Longstreth was so charmed by GIVERS’s tumultous, happy sound that he invited them to open for Dirty Projectors’s their East Coast tour. A riotously successful performance at the 2010 Austin City Limits festival landed GIVERS a record deal with Glassnote.

This fall, they’ll be taking the reins and headlining their own North American tour. This includes a concert at Wrongbar in Toronto with Lord Huron on October 26th! (Tickets are $13.00 and available here). Time to discover GIVERS before they explode! (Cults, anyone?)

RIYL: Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors, Ra Ra Riot.

MP3: Up Up UpGIVERS from In Light (Glassnote, 2011) Download on Stereogum.

MP3: In My EyesGIVERS from In Light (Glassnote, 2011) Download on Stereogum.

Toronto Concert Update: September, October, November

I’ve been anticipating a bumper crop of concerts in Toronto this fall, and what a harvest it’s going to be! Tune-yards, Lykke Li, Peter Bjorn and John, Ra Ra Riot… my wallet’s going to be as empty and cold as my ex-boyfriend’s parents. And so, Music Between Friends presents our fall edition of the Toronto Concert Update.

SEPTEMBER

Peter Bjorn & John @ Lee’s, 19+
Fri Sept 2, 2011 and Sat Sept 3, 2011 – $20.00

Harlan Pepper @ Rivoli, 19+
Thurs Sept 8, 2011 – $10.00

Said The Whale @ Mod Club, All Ages
Thurs Sept 8, 2011 – $16.00

Empire of the Sun @ Echo Beach, All Ages
Tues Sept 13, 2011 – $41.00

Kid CuDi @ Molson Amphitheatre, All Ages
Thurs Sept 15, 2011 – $29.50-55.00

Olivia Tremor Control @ Lee’s, 19+
Fri Sept 16, 2011 – $18.50

Vivian Girls @ The Shop, 19+
Fri Sept 16, 2011 – $15.00

Mother Mother @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Sat Sept 17, 2011 – $26.50

Two Door Cinema Club @ Kool Haus, All Ages
Sat Sept 17, 2011 – $21.00

Toro Y Moi @ Opera House, 19+
Sun Sept 18, 2011 – $20.00

Starfucker @ Lee’s, 19+
Tues Sept 20, 2011 – $13.50

The Shins @ Phoenix, 19+
Thurs Sept 22, 2011 – $31.00

Tahiti 80 @ Horseshoe, 19+
Thurs Sept 22, 2011 – $13.50

Kid Sister @ Wrongbar, 19+
Sat Sept 24, 2011 – $15.00

Tune-Yards @ Lee’s, 19+
Mon Sept 26, 2011 – $16.50

Girls @ Mod Club, 19+
Tues Sept 27, 2011 – $16.50

Mates of State @ Phoenix, 19+
Wed Sept 28, 2011 – $16.00

Ohbijou @ Trinity St. Paul’s, All Ages
Fri Sept 30, 2011 – $20.00

OCTOBER

Foster The People @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Sat Oct 1, 2011 – SOLD OUT

Naked and Famous @ Phoenix, 19+
Thurs Oct 6, 2011 – $21.00

Ra Ra Riot @ Lee’s, 19+
Thurs Oct 6, 2011 – $17.50

Portishead @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Mon Oct 10, 2011 – $59.50

Drums @ Mod Club, 19+
Tues Oct 11, 2011 – $16.00

Braids @ Horseshoe, 19+
Fri Oct 14, 2011 – $12.00

Yukon Blonde @ Lee’s, 19+
Fri Oct 14, 2011 – $11.50

Iron & Wine @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Sat Oct 15, 2011 – $28.50

Dum Dum Girls w/ Crocodiles and Colleen Green @ Lee’s, 19+
Sun Oct 16, 2011 – $17.50

Neon Indian @ Lee’s, 19+
Tues Oct 18, 2011 – $15.00

GIVERS w/ Lord Huron @ Wrongbar, 19+
Wed Oct 26, 2011 – $13.00

Friendly Fires @ Phoenix, 19+
Sun Oct 23, 2011 – $21.00

Metronomy @ Mod Club, 19+
Wed Oct 26, 2011 – $16.00

Death From Above 1979 @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Thurs Oct 27, 2011 and Fri October 28, 2011 – $36.00

Chad Vangaalen @ Mod Club, 19+
Fri Oct 28, 2011 – $20.00

Blitzen Trapper w/ Dawes @ Opera House, 19+
Thurs Oct 30, 2011 – $18.50

NOVEMBER

Holy Ghost @ Hoxton, 19+
Tues Nov 1, 2011 – $17.00

Chromeo @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Wed Nov 2, 2011 – $31.50

Lykke Li @ Sound Academy, All Ages
Tues Nov 15, 2011 – $31.50

Radio Dept @ Mod Club, 19+
Thurs Nov 17, 2011 – $15.00

Elliott Brood @ Phoenix, 19+
Fri Nov 18, 2011 – $20.00

The Kooks @ Sound Academy, All Ages/19+ Area
Wed Nov 23, 2011 – $25.00-35.00

Timber Timbre @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre, All Ages
Sat Nov 26, 2011 – $27.50

Jay-Z & Kanye West @ Air Canada Centre, All Ages
Wed Nov 23, 2011 and Thurs Nov 24, 2011 – $59.50-250.00

That’s it for now, friends. Enjoy the concerts and make sure to grab a band tee for me.