Monday, July 31, 2006

Tool Tour Dates

In mofo non-chronological order. Because it's Tool, bitches. Coachella was probably a warm-up for what will be going on at these shows. Top and I are very thankful that they opted for Verizon Center as opposed to Nissan (gross traffic) or Merriweather (just fucking gross). More dates here if you fall outside the Metro D geographical sphere of influence.

07 Oct Wantagh, NY US Nassau Coliseum 2006 US Arena
06 Oct East Rutherford, NJ US Continental Airlines Arena 2006 US Arena
05 Oct Hartford, CT US Hartford Civic Center 2006 US Arena
03 Oct Manchester, PA US TBA 2006 US Arena
02 Oct Wilkes-Barre, PA US Wachovia Arena 2006 US Arena
30 Sep Washington D.C. US Verizon Arena 2006 US Arena
29 Sep Mansfield, MA US Tweeter Center 2006 US Arena
28 Sep Camden, NJ US Tweeter Center 2006 US Arena

The Colour

These guys are going to be in the neighboorhood in the late summer. This track came to us via email and I, for one, am enjoying it. Metro D specific dates are below:

6th | New York | Mercury Lounge
7th | Baltimore | Mt. Vernon Park
8th | Pittsburgh | Club Cafe
9th | Philadelphia | Balcony
10th | Baltimore | Sonar

I am going to have to check this EP out to see what the rest of their deal is. This track definitely gives some promise. These guys have toured with the likes of Kasabian, Louis XIV, and the Bravery. Check, check, and check. Solid live performers from last year.

MP3: The Colour - "Devil's Got a Holda Me"

Wolfmother Dates

We know about most of these, but there are some odds and ends that people might not know about like the Norfolk, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Memphis shows. We can't get enough of these guys. I will catch them again at the Pimlico date with Top, Callo, the First Lady, and other assorted wanderers.

THU 3 - K-Rock presents Kuyahoga, Cuyahoga Falls
FRI 4 - Steet Scene Festival, San Diego, CA
SAT 5 - Lollapalooza, Grant Park, Chicago
SAT 12 - 107.7 The End's Endfest, Auburn, WA

SAT 09 - McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn, NY (w/ Gov't Mule)
SUN 10 - Virgin Festival - Toronto Islands Park, Toronto, ON
TUE 12 - Bank of America Pavilion - Boston, MA (w/ The Strokes)
WED 13 - The Norva Theatre, Norfolk, VA
FRI 15 - House Of Blues, Orlando, FL
SAT 16 - Janus Landing, Tampa, FL
MON 18 - Center Stage Atlanta (Earthlink Live), Atlanta, GA
TUE 19 - New Daisy Theatre, Memphis, TN
WED 20 - Exit/In, Nashville
FRI 22 - Mr Smalls Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA
SAT 23 - V Festival - Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, MD
SEP 28 - Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA
SEP 30 - Download Festival, Mountain View, CA

Also, much to my dismay, they have teamed up with the Jackass boys to hype the next Jackass movie. The redeeming fact may be that The Malloys shot the video. It still makes me a little sad. From their e-mail:

"Last night Wolfmother played to a sell out show in their hometown of Sydney and were introduced on stage by the lads from Jackass who were at the show filming a video for the upcoming single 'Joker & The Thief'. The track will be the featured music video & single for the upcoming Jackass: Number 2 movie, due for U.S. release on September 22nd. At the helm of all the wild action will be music video auteurs The Malloys who also directed the videos for 'Mind's Eye' and 'Dimension'."

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Capitol Hill Block Party

On Friday I slept instead of going to see Band of Horses and Pretty Girls Make Graves. Saturday redeemed. The Capitol Hill Block Party brought bands nearly as familiar to Seattle as the afternoon's cloudy skies, which is to say largely unfamiliar to me.

The Silversun Pickups played up to MetroD's hype. Playing songs from their new album, they were a little rough but stayed comfortable and maybe enjoyed it more than the crowd. Music fan of the day also goes to SSP's lead singer Brian Aubert lounging backstage sitting on a speaker, smoking, and watching the bands that followed him.

Minus the Bear appealed to their local fan base, but two songs later seemed like a good spot for me to go find my minus - the beer. On Neumo's side stage I found The Divorce. While other people left, I filled in forward to the end of the set. Loud, brash, young punk, I'm looking for their next show.

Back outside I found a spot stage right. Right behind a drunken behemoth bouncing a section of chain link fence off the ground trying to keep time with the throbbing music. She couldn't keep up. The Black Angels turned her to a docile and lowing animal using the fence just to stay upright. None of this distracted me from the best music of the afternoon. The Black Angels start their tour this week to promote Passover. Experimental, psychedelic soundscape screaming around entrancing drone tracks on top of a religious percussive experience. A full track, samples, and video on their site. Go to the shows, be amazed.

Common Market followed. Seattle's great hip-hop hope? I'll buy it and go to their show next Sunday.

I'm new here. I have no context for Murder City Devils. They aren't supposed to exist anymore. But they played a show last night and I believe in ghosts. Scary intense. Trent Reznor swings mic stands with one hand. Spencer Moody swings mic stands with both hands - with the mic gripped in his teeth - while screaming the chorus - and spitting on the first three rows. I'm a late coming believer. Here's wishing reunion is reforming.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Raconteurs @ the Moore Theatre (Seattle)

Me and Maker's Mark had a go-round in the vertigo rodeo on the top floor of the Moore. I paid late and got a view from the second balcony. Sort of like watching a concert in an ornamented missile silo... just how I like it.

Kelley Stoltz opened - talking with the crowd, poking fun at Canadians, and having a good time playing lite rock for tapping the foot. And it got me thinking about these Raconteurs with their near plastic perfect pop. A couple of the songs (Steady or Yellow Sun) are the kind that I really like - and then don't like myself for liking. But they've got a redeeming lyrical twist that gives me the feeling maybe these guys are constructing some Ween or Nada Surfesque tracks just for the kick of making it look easy. They have other songs - let's say Broken Boy Soldiers and Blue Veins - that head in another direction. So, I'm listening to the whimsy of Stoltz and thinking of the Raconteurs where the talent is not in question - but where are they going?

There's a small white line in the black of the stage. From my angle the cymbals look like CDs on the floor by my feet. The white line moves a little. It's the part in Jack White's hair and it's very straight. Then the rock came hard. (I have no set list so this is a rough estimate) They warmed up with some of their lighter singalongable tracks - which seem to bore them slightly. Using 'Together' as a segue, they proceeded down a much more interesting song list. With 'Broken Boy Soldiers' and 'Store Bought Bones' stuck in between new songs (Nashville sessions?). New songs that I enjoyed more than the old ones. Asymmetrical, grim guitar, tougher rhythm. All getting louder and better until it ended with a double-length version exposing all the fringes of 'Blue Veins.' Ending there, I would have driven home with the stereo off just to leave it sitting in my head. But they sated the masses with an encore (and I danced and sang along) of Hands, some other song, and Steady as She Goes.

I wouldn't promise an absence of their tongue-in-cheek pop, but you can be sure that snuggled in between those radio favorites, the next Raconteurs album will have some tough tracks.

The Vita Ruins

When I sobered up this morning, I had to give it another listen. Maybe I was reluctant because the CD was handed to me as I stumbled out of the 9:30 Club last night. Top and I threw it in and I listened to it about two and a half times through before I woke up and we were at my crib. Halfway through that first listen I looked at Top and said, "this is pretty fucking good." Top responded with a "yeah it is." Which easily could have meant, "shut up and let me drive, drunkie." Another reason why I was reluctant after last night's listen was the fact that the CD showed up on iTunes as 2Pac's "Dear Mama." Hmmmm. So I listened again this morning. And then I checked out their MySpace page and found an even better track ("My Last Days On Earth") than the one we received last night. According to the MySpizzle you can grab EPs at their shows and they will be in the area in August. I am assuming that they are cool with me posting the .mp3 since they were handing the single out last night. See you in August, fellas. If you rearrange the words of Vita Ruins it spells out "anti-virus." Intense.

August 12
The Red & The Black, Washington, DC
w. The Timothy Bracken Complex, Mikal

August 19
The Galaxy Hut, Arlington, VA
w. Skydivers

MP3: The Vita Ruins - "Alien"

Editors @ 9:30 Club, July 28th

Once Editors make an album that accurately portray how powerful and boundless their music is, there will be no stopping them. There isn't much standing in their way as it is, The Back Room is a respectable album doing fairly well here and at home, and the 9:30 Club was packed last night. That wasn't the case in March when they played a twin bill with stellastar*. The first time around allowed some great photo opportunities, but our late appearance last night relegated us to the balcony (which, I guess is where the 6'6" people belong, according to some).

A few months between DC visits and Editors are packing the 9:30 Club on their own. We didn't catch Cedars or Lake Trout, the opening acts, but timed it perfectly and ended up getting to the 9:30 Club about 5 minutes before Editors came out. It definitely sounded heavier this time around. Deeper and more intense. After their show in March I was privy to one or two songs at Coachella as I waited for Madonna to come out (and flop). They are getting better as the days go by and Top and I both left impressed. Many of the songs assumed a longer, harder role and you could tell that the boys were brimming with confidence. "Camera" appeared to be the strongest track for me and I am still terribly impressed with their drummer.

The setlist probably wasn't much different from the March performance, things might have been rearranged a little, but we heard all of the album tracks along with some new stuff. On the way out I told Top how I felt that these guys were a hit single away from some intense recognition, but I guess we could say that about a lot of bands. At any rate, Editors continue to impress, and the big things I expected in March are bigger now.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Irving - Death In The Garden, Blood On The Flowers

Amid the major label releases and the exploding indie bands that we have been hot on (Silversun Pickups, Birdmonster, Sound Team, The Black Keys, etc.) some other bands have been pushed aside. I received Irving's Death In The Garden, Blood On The Flowers earlier this year and never got around to discussing it. It is a well done record that has some very well-crafted pop songs on it. I came back to it recently, to make sure that I gave it a fair listen and found myself surprised at the wealth of solid tracks. Apparently something had a hold of me when I received this CD and I was not able to devote enough time to it. Tight hooks, nice vocal harmonies, and through and through, a solid album. Looking at their tour dates, I now remember almost checking them and Voxtrot out at Georgetown in April. I am sure they will be around again, and if they are, I will be hoping for these tracks...

MP3: Irving - "The Gentle Preservation of Children's Minds"
MP3: Irving - "Situation"

Chris Cornell Writes 007 Theme

What is to be made of this? Is this better or worse that Jack White's Coke ad? Chris Cornell is one of my favorite rock stars of all time but his staying power seems to be slipping a bit. It started with the Live in Cuba album and a horrendously bad rendition of Rage's "Sleep Now In the Fire." There are certain voices in music that aren't worth covering and I think Zack de la Rocha is one of them. I don't care if the rest of the band is behind you. InMyTree saw one of Audioslave's covers of RATM so he may have a different opinion. Next is the tired debut single, "Original Fire" from Revelations. I don't know, it might be time to move on.

Coolfer also has the latest gossip on the possible Audioslave break-up and RATM reunion.

NPR's "All Songs Considered" Top 10 (so far)

NPR has gotten into the mix with their top 10 songs of 2006 (via ProductShop). They are:

Tender Forever: "Then If I'm Weird I Want to Share"
Cat Power: "The Greatest"
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins: "The Charging Sky"
Neko Case: "Margaret vs. Pauline"
Super XX Man: "Collecting Rocks"
Gnarls Barkley: "Crazy"
Paul Simon: "How Can You Live in the Northeast"
The Walkmen: "Emma Get Me a Lemon"
Art Brut: "My Little Brother"
Thom Yorke: "And it Rained All Night"

You can listen to the complete playlist or individual tracks here.

We completed our lists too: InMyTree | JK (If you want any of the MP3s, just email us)

Not New News: Reynolds Out at ESPN

What?!? Deadspin has some theories and The Boston Globe was on it two days ago. The New York Post announced he was simply fired, with no specific reason why, while the Seattle Post Intelligencer asserted it was for sexual harassment, citing aforementioned NY Post article, and leaving me completely confused. Some people believe it was (insert CLUE voice here) HR, at the Outback, with the Bloomin' Onion. If you have no idea who the force out we are talking about, you can read a bio at

The Baseball Tonight crew was already rendered useless when Peter Gammons fell ill earlier in the year, so this really doesn't change the already futile nature of their baseball coverage. That being said, I don't know what kind of human being HR is, but I could at least handle his commentary. I said handle, not enjoy. The rest of those lackeys in the ESPN booths (Gary Thorne, Joe Morgan, John Kruk, etc.) really stink.

Last night's Yankees-Rangers game was brutal to watch because the morons in the booth were beyond annoying (and the Spankees won). I think Thorne was calling it, but I could be wrong. They were talking all night current pitchers in the majors that throw over 100 mph. Enter Ron Villone from the Yankees bullpen. The guy in the booth with Thorne said Villone did, in fact, throw in excess of 100 mph earlier in his career. Thorne then asks: "are you just throwing that out there arbitrarily?" This, of course, is a great question for one ESPN announcer to ask another ESPN announcer, because more often then not they are all full of shit and talking out of their ass. Leave it to Thorne to finally question the status quo. ESPN is just a huge joke to me these days.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

MoRisen Records

I was recently introduced to MoRisen Records, an indie, Charlotte, NC-based, label and with it, two promising bands: The Sammies and The Talk.

Perhaps a gentle reminder of how Pitchfork can positively benefit young up-and-coming bands, they recently gave a single from The Sammies' debut album, "Falling Out" 3.5 stars out of 5. The Sammies display an eclectic range of genres whether it be straight indie rock, southern rock, post-punk, or even glam rock. When listening to the album, at various times I'm reminded of other contemporaries Stellastar*, Jet, and the Vacation. Who knows if that hybrid is calculated but I really think it works. The debut shows a hell of a lot of promise and after a couple of spins in my ipod, I think this will be an album that I continue to come back to from time to time. The Sammies s/t debut came out on June 27. They'll be touring with Birdmonster this fall including the Black Cat on 9/4, Maxwells on 9/6, and Mercury Lounge on 9/7 (more dates here).

MP3: The Sammies - "Angry Robots Revolt"

The Talk are a much more seasoned band and it shows in their most recent release (3rd with MoRisen), 2005's The Sinners of Daughters. They've also had a bit of mainstream success, the song "N.Y.L.A" was featured on The O.C. It's full of catchy melodies, great riffs, and potential pop rock hits. BUT, I haven't quite warmed up to the vocals. The lyrics are solid but the voice doesn't move me as much as the music. I'll give it a few more spins to see if it sticks.

MP3: The Talk - "It Comes with the Territory"

Kasabian - "Empire"

You can listen/download to the new single over at The Rocksuckers. Sounds great to me. But, I am a big fan of those guys, so I might be a little jaded.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

October 3rd, 2006

Without lamenting over the fact that Pitchfork just shit on another two of my favorite releases of the year (see also PJ and Muse; why do I even bother?), we can safely put the July 25th release date in our rearviewmirrors and focus our sites on the next big date: October 3rd. Lots to choose from including a major label monster, a major label debut, a potential major label bust (x2), and a critically acclaimed indie rock king. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

The Killers: Sam's Town | News and updates
The Decemberists: The Crane Wife | News and tour dates
Jet: Shine On | News and potential tracks
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead: still untitled | Very little news
The Hold Steady: Boys and Girls in America | News and tour dates

If there are others out there that I'm unaware of, let me know.

6'6" And Nothing We Can Do About It

The topic at hand is near and dear to my heart and 6'6" frame. Should tall dudes stand in the back?

Sound Team, Cold War Kids, Midlake @ Black Cat (Backstage), July 24th

Sound Team:

Cold War Kids:

Sound Team's Setlist:
"Handful of Billions"
"Your Eyes Are Liars"
"Born to Please"
"New Piano"
"Back in Town"
"No More Birthdays"
"Fastest Man Alive"
"It's Obvious What Happened"
"New Guitar"
"TV Torso"
"Movie Monster"

The coffee is bleeding in, making this a much easier task.

I came home last night, after work, unaware of the beautiful noise that lay ahead. I purposely occupied myself with all things outside of Sound Team, CWK, Midlake. I remember vividly the picture Sound Team painted before they opened for Elefant earlier in the year. I wanted it untouched. I wanted to enter tonight with that performance in mind, but with a clear slate of opportunity available. This said, I waited for Top with some episodes of nip/tuck. Dr. Christian Troy is like a TV-LSV version of Patrick Bateman. Without the bloodlust of course. The perfect entertainment to keep my mind off of the music. Budweiser. Harpoon. Rinse and repeat. Top arrives. Movement.

Midlake's sound reminded me of Fleetwood Mac void of Stevie Nicks' husky vocals. Throughout their set we are treated to a Victorian film that has been chopped and set to the sound (was it Polanski's Tess?). THE TRIALS OF VAN OCCUPANTHER, Midlake's latest, will occupy me for days, I am sure. Midlake segues perfectly into Cold War Kids who come in with their simple, sharp hooks that loom larger in the live setting. Each band is a perfect compliment and set-up to the next.

The foreplay of Cold War Kids, a surprise of sorts, has left me completely naked and vulnerable. The sound is heavier and has a fullness to it that doesn't translate on their EPs. How could it? They are wild and frenzied on stage and the Rickenbacher bass kept coming dangerously close to hitting human heads on stage. The random cymbal on top of the wooden crate, whose sole purpose was to be hammered and smashed in combination with the drums, was a fantastic touch that added to the attention grabbing scene. You could look at any single member and get caught up in their antics. It sounded so heavy. "Saint John" and "Hospital Beds" left a lasting impression. Every lick and furious cymbal crash pulled me in. It's 10:00 Ronald Reagan, do you know where your kids are? They're slaying the Black Cat on the darkhorse bill of the year.

Swirling with promise is the hope of the "TV Torso" return to grace. What is it with this album? No hype? We talk with the drummer, after the show, and that is explained, but upon entrance and then watching them set up I find myself wondering. The drummer noted that they "wanted people to discover the album" and that sometimes what seems like a good idea at the time (spreading the word through shows, fighting the label's overt hype machine) can sometimes backfire. This isn't to say, of course, that he thought it had backfired, just that it maybe didn't work out the way they wanted it to. At any rate, he didn't seem preoccupied with it, he seemed pretty indifferent to the whole topic.

When Sound Team hits backstage, everything is shattered. The expectations are gone, a fleeting memory that couldn't match the real thing. Sweat bleeds from your pores and your ears want it to stop. There are earplugs in your pocket. They could very well be dampering the damage of this intense sound. You opt for the full effect. As the riffs spin and unwind, we dance. Others choose to casually look on. We let go. Give in. Differences are made here. In this space we find ourselves. I have no idea what the crowd feedback was from the show because I was up front, shaking uncontrollably, what went on behind me, hopefully, was more of the same. I was blissfully alone in all that Sound Team had to offer, closing my eyes and rocking away.

There is more action here. The second time around, an air of confidence. As if, dusting the Pitchfork dirt of the shoulder they find themselves with nothing to prove, nowhere to go but up. Or, perhaps, louder. Visually there is more movement. They are contained on a small stage, the six of them, but the sheer whallop of sound emanating from the sunn o))) speaks volumes in terms of freedom. Unchained. And their presence on stage, their movement, camaraderie, and subtle violence touches this same chord. I find myself adrift in chaotic physical movements. Drunk, or liberated, it may depend, or it may not. You simply get lost amidst this sound.

With Sound Team, I can look down and see what song is coming next, it's right there on the stage, written on several napkins, but the actual song continues to exceed the humble prediction I allow. I don't want to get too excited with the natural fear of being let down. But, with each song, Sound Team continues to exceed their last performance here at the Black Cat. I am grateful, drenched in sweat and when I finally turn around, alone, save Top, and a handful of people buying CDs, I catch my breath. A large man begins to disassemble the tools of my unraveling and I walk away. I imagine the next time being louder. Better. Stronger. And laugh in my satisfaction. Among the masses, filtering out, we want more. Even when it is as good as these three bands were last night. The room empties out after a loaded set. Three loaded sets. I am spent. I just want to shake a Sound Team hand and say, "Fuck Pitchfork, your album is great." Because it's true. Fuck them. Their ears are liars. And we have seen and heard the truth about this band.

MP3: Sound Team - "Handful of Billions"
MP3: Sound Team - "TV Torso"
MP3: Cold War Kids - "Hospital Beds"
MP3: Cold War Kids - "Saint John"
MP3: Midlake - "Roscoe"
MP3: Midlake - "Head Home"

Ryno, Welcome.

We are now bicoastal. Little stands in the way of this apparatus. Sound Team, Cold War Kids, Midlake post will follow in a few hours. What a show.

Monday, July 24, 2006

AOL Music Full Album Streams

As expected, many great selections on AOL Music today to prep you for tomorrow's big release day. Tom Petty, Jurassic 5, Tapes 'N Tapes (how many times has this album been released?), Mew, New York Dolls, Midlake, The Long Winters, and the Knife. Impressive. Of course, Silversun Pickups and White Whale are also out tomorrow and while I haven't found a stream of SSPU's album (trust me, it's worth it), you can stream White Whale's WWI on the home page of the Merge Records site. The latter is already safely occupying a spot in my top 10 list of year's best.

UPDATE: White Whale got an altogether good review this morning from Pitchfork although the score doesn't exactly suggest that. I'm not mad at it.

Pearl Jam @ Gorge Ampitheater, WA

Set 1: Wash, Corduroy, Hail Hail, World Wide Suicide, Severed Hand, Given To Fly, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Even Flow, Down, I Am Mine, Unemployable, Daughter/(It's Ok), Gone, Black, Insignificance, Life Wasted, Blood
Encore 1: Footsteps, Once, Alive, State Of Love And Trust, Crown Of Thorns, Leash, Porch
Encore 2: Last Kiss, Inside Job, Go, Baba O'Riley, Dirty Frank, Rockin' In The Free World, Yellow Ledbetter

We meet Ryno in familiar territory: a concert, the Pacific Northwest, a Pearl Jam experience. He sends his love, a photo, a setlist, and a message from the edge:

"A concert at the Gorge is more than watching a band - it's an experience. One might say a pilgrimage. But, I wouldn't. From Seattle it's mountain passes, some forests, and warning signs for snow avalanches shimmering in the heat. Faceless irrigated farmland fading to sage and rock. East, east towards mecca in the wake of a thousand Subarus, RVs and V-dub Vans. We masses climb out of the Columbia River to wind through dust and melted macadam to see Pearl Jam. A fast drive, in the heat with the sweat running.

"Making camp is parking the car and pulling out the Guinness Draught - hot as the trunk of my car.

"Past the black rocks, the river is far and cruel blue. No clouds above, but across the canyon a chiaroscuro boils the high ground. The mirage of space between makes the horizon waver, fighting the hills for the best seat to the show. You see, the Gorge is big. But, not in the hopeful way of a mountain from far away. It's not cocky like that. The Gorge is subtle in its size. With jagged details clear and touchable, as if we are indoors. But after a while, staring into the chasm, you feel the immensity of omitted earth mocking your existence. Emptiness methodically unhinging notions of time and location, size and proportion. Trying to fill that void with my imagination would drive me mad. A venue like this can swallow a band whole (Sasquatch 06, ...Trail of the Dead).

"Trying to time the buzz and the crowd and the start of the show, leaving an hour early is too late. With the great venue comes expensive monopolized camping and parking (it's still worth it). A through-hike to the amphitheater with whole crowds of people pulled to the side of the gravel hobbling on blowouts of flop-flips and flap-flops. Booze patrol that's Draconian, largely indifferent or drunk. Splintery unjumpable fences turning a docile herd into a corralled mob. The management managing to leave about five thousand people in the entrance queue while Pearl Jam started to play.

"That's me, I'm an amateur, getting inside on the fourth song.

"I muddled through the cattle chute and waded through the beer garden. A real IMAX moment to rise over the terrace and have all space and sound opened up in front. The void pulling you out over the cliff while the band fights to hold the balance. If the music isn't big enough, it gets sucked off the backside, drowned in the largesse. Pearl Jam was huge. With 'World Wide Suicide,' they brought us out to the edge of the precipice and then held us there in space for the rest of the night.

"Two hundred miles from home, they were playing their last venue of the US tour for a family crowd. Eddie said 'clouds never looked so good,' and swigged from a big brown bottle with a stopper top. They went through classics and new songs in a pretty standard set with the sun setting long, coloring the sky in homage to Seattle's band. After a break in which no one sat down, they came out to play what Eddie called 'short encore.' Short because they had another show to play the next day. But then he said 'fuck those tomorrow people' and the riffs got richer and the drums beat longer. They strayed from the album versions, improvising out into the open space. Somewhere around 'Alive,' the sun set, Eddie jumped off speakers and amps and joined the crowd, Mike McCready, Stone Gossard, et al, started to fill the night and there wasn't really anything going except Pearl Jam playing the best show I've seen.

"By 'Last Kiss,' the light was gone except for the stage and a stray blast of fireworks somewhere from the black water below. The band took some pauses between songs, playing tired near the finish. Eddie threw out tambourines (lots of them) to the crowd, calling out people he'd known in the old days. Exhausted and comfortable, they teased as if to close and then came back with 'Rockin' In The Free World.' The lights started coming on in the seating area and Eddie said Mike would put us to bed with the last one. 'Yellow Ledbetter followed.' I've listened to that song, often on repeat, for twelve years. It never sounded as good. Eddie sat on an amp in the middle of the stage and drank while he watched Mike McCready carry the world as he went from 'Yellow Ledbetter' through some assorted Jimi and out with the 'Star Spangled Banner.' In the best outdoor venue in the country, Pearl Jam was home."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Spin Mag Making a Weekend Contribution

Call it a Sunday bonus when an article from Spin magazine leads me to some good new music. Reading through Peter Gaston's Summer Playlist, Part One I came across a couple new bands that are worthy of a background check.

Heavens is made up of Alkaline Trio frontman Matt Skiba and F-Minus bassist Joe Steinbreck and their first download hit Spin exclusively on Friday. Their debut, Patent Pending, is out on Eptiaph on Sept. 12 and at the moment, the title track is the only song available on the WWW. It has more of an Interpol/ILYBICD feel to it than Alkaline fans are probably used to hearing.

MP3: Heavens - "Patent Pendng"

Controlling the Famous are an LA-based band and were featured as the Spin band of the day back on May 12th. There has been very little buzz around the blogger community for these guys and that surprises me. Rock Insider put in a plug for their debut Automatic City as one of the best of 2006. From everything I've heard from this album it is a true rock sleeper for 2006 right there with Film School's s/t debut. This is pure straightforward rock with melodic choruses and great hooks (described by some as math rock??). The album, released on May 6th, was produced by Alex Newport who worked previously with At the Drive In. From everything I've read, their live shows are especially noteworthy and while tour dates are scarce I'll be on the look-out.

MP3: Controlling the Famous - "Two Sides"
MySpace (Stream 3 other songs)

30 Rock

Hopefully they didn't blow their load on this preview. It looks pretty good. Tracey Morgan kills me and I have always been a fan of Tina Fey. Fey and Rachel Dratch are leaving SNL for 30 Rock, a show about a show that also stars Alec "Schweaty Balls" Baldwin.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Odds & Ends

OK Computer will be the focus of a documentary-like DVD complete with a performance of "Creep" (?). The DVD will hit stores on September 19th.

I have actually enjoyed the Invaders CD, a compilation by Kemado Records that features Black Mountain, The Sword, Dungen, Pelican & more. It pointed me to a lot of bands, and most importantly, gave me my first taste of Witch. It is what it is: a compilation. While they don't feel the same way that I do, Prefixmag's review is pretty funny, especially the last line.

By the time Top showed up at my apartment last night, I was 8 cans in to a PBR 12 pack. Who kills 8 PBRs while watching Quills? I do. Great movie. It was all downhill from there. We rocked the Nationals-Cubs exercise in baseball futility, after some more bevvies at the house and in Eastern Market. Top and AlcoPaul were in full Cubbies gear, complete with paper bags to put over their heads in case of a blowout. Mark Prior looked terrible, neither team looked good defensively and all-in-all it was one of the poorest displays (major leaguers should know how to hit the cutoff man by now) of baseball I have ever witnessed. I rolled out at the end of the 6th and apparently it got close. Regardless of the teams on the field, RFK is a mess. A complete mess. Go Expos.

American radio has no love for Madonna. Metro D has no love for the radio.

PJ will open for U2 in Australia later this year. Weird.

If you really can't wait for Return to Cookie Mountain, the latest CD from TV On The Radio, you can pre-order the import which hits Amazon on Tuesday.

On Friday, JK and I were emailing back and forth about the merits of Insound and how we decide what to buy. I told him how much I used Insound's Top Sellers List. Taking a look at what people are buying and then doing my own investigation about those bands has proved to be a fruitful technique, along with checking the blogosphere and listening to the radio.

Decades Rock Live, a show on VH1 that unites current stars with older musicians brought Elvis Costello and Death Cab For Cutie together last night. I was shamboozled at RFK and didn't get a chance to check it out, but it should repeat 15 times this weekend in typical VH1/MTV fashion. Surprise, surprise, I am right: showtimes and clips are at the Decades Rock Live website.

Kasabian announced the departure of founding member Chris Karloff last week. The announcement on their website seems icy at best. There was no information on who will replace Karloff and whether or not that replacement is a permanent one. They will be performing at V Fest in September. Their album, Empire will come out in September. Filter-Mag has a calendar with all of the other prominent, upcoming UK releases for the fall.

New Tom Petty

You can stream Tom Petty's latest album, Highway Companion at Rhapsody. It arrives in stores on Tuesday.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Virgin Festival

Things are shaping up. Top and I grabbed our tickets today. I just grabbed a ticket for the First Lady, and it turns out Callo and The Geaux are going to make it down, as well. It didn't take much to rope Callo's mess into the mix (all I told him was that we were drinking in Baltimore). Well, actually he was sold when I uttered these two words: "The Who." Rock legends, Pearl Jam influences, and all around beasts in the Metro D book. That part in the movie VANILLA SKY (of who's merit we will discuss later), you know, the skyscraper, the still frames, when Pete Townshend hits his knees (a clip from QUADROPHENIA) sent me through the roof (that's Sigur Ros playing, kids). I love that movie (that's me discussing the merit of the movie). The original, ABRE LOS OJOS is far superior but there is something about Tom Cruise wearing a mask yelling "Patron!" at the bartender that makes me smile. Fuck, that's my dumb ass every Friday night. Except I don't wear a mask, treat my friends like dogshit, and dump Julianna Gianni (aka Cameron Diaz). I do yell "Patron!" at bartenders, though, and consider Jason Lee a friend. At any rate here is some goodness from The Who and beyond to nibble on while you get your weekend started...

MP3: The Who - "Boris The Spider" (BBC Sessions)
MP3: The Who - "Leaving Here" (BBC Sessions)
MP3: The Who - "The Seeker" (BBC Sessions)
MP3: The Who - "Won't Get Fooled Again"
MP3: The Who - "Baba O'Riley"
MP3: Pete Townshend - "Heart To Hang Onto" (ft. Eddie Vedder)
MP3: Pete Townshend - "Magic Bus" (ft. Eddie Vedder)

Ticketmaster | Pimlico Official Site


Priestess Opening for GWAR

Well, we missed them when they played Black Cat because (gasp!) we went to see The Roots and Talib Kweli that night, but we are going to catch up with Priestess at Sonar on a Sunday in August. Can't wait. It'll be good to catch up with the Sexecutioner as well. Suicide City and 2 Cents will also perform.

Aug. 15 - Tulsa, OK @ Cain's Ballroom
Aug. 16 - Memphis, TN @ New Daisy Theatre
Aug. 17 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
Aug. 18 - Toledo, OH @ Headliners
Aug. 19 - Huntington, WV @ Huntington Music Hall
Aug. 20 - Baltimore, MD @ Sonar
Aug. 21 - Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock

Brooklyn Vegan caught Priestess for a couple of songs at Siren.

MP3: Priestess - "Lay Down"
MP3: Priestess - "Talk To Her"

Wolfmother is Everywhere

I remember my surprise way back in May after hearing Wolfmother's Love Train on an iTunes commercial. Well, a lot has happened since then and I think you'd be hard pressed to find a band that is working harder for mainstream success. They can literally be found everywhere. Take your pick:

AOL Music Sessions featuring Q&A and live videos for the following songs - "Woman", "Love Train", "Dimension", 'White Unicorn", "Joker & The Thief." This is definitely worth checking out.

Another live TV performance with the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on August 1st.

iTunes Live Video from the Palms in Las Vegas (6 tracks).

Wolfmother's performance from the MTV Movie Awards here.

Sprint cell phone users can also join in on the phone. Wolfmother took part in the Sprint Music Series (ringtones and live video of "Joker & The Thief," "Love Train," and "Woman."

If that wasn't enough, you can see them live yourselves all across the country in August and September including McCarren Pool in Brooklyn on 9/9 and the Virgin Festival in Baltimore on 9/23.

I'm exhausted just writing this.

Metro D's interview with Wolfmother

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Insound I Salute You

I'm new to Insound. My first purchase from them was the Tokyo Police Club album last week after I realized that my only other option for purchase was iTunes (which I never do). I have to say, the speed in which it was delivered was most impressive and puts Amazon to freaking shame (understandable due to the size of both companies). Feeling good about that purchase, I went on the site again yesterday to make my purchases for the eagerly anticipated 7/25 release day. Since that post, I think I'm over Boy Kill Boy but I purchased White Whale's WWI, Silversun Pickup's Carnavas and Midlake's The Trials of Van Occupanther. Just got off the phone with the lady only to find out that two of my cds have already arrived (WW and SSPU). Mind you, the release date for all three of these albums is 7/25. Maybe this happens with a lof of these indie pre-orders but this has me pretty pumped and it's just one more reason not to walk over to Tower Records at lunch. I guess this is also a long winded way of saying - if you're interesting in buying any of these albums, go ahead and order them from Insound now and you won't have to wait until next Tuesday.

Fuck Work: Baseball

The hand of Tek, the Capitan, has reached down and touched you, and pardoned your exercises in futility at the cubicle. Break away, you been blessed by the A-Rod beater. Yeah, Tek isn't having the season we were hoping for, but he is managing a depleted staff quite well, and doing a great job of bringing two young guns into the fold (Lester and Papelbon). Did I mention he just passed Pudge on the all-time list for games caught as a member of the Red Sox (by Pudge I mean the Hall of Famer, Carlton Fisk, not that other catcher going by the same nickname)?

As a baseball fan, I get the mofo World Cup every day of the week. Days like today put me on cortical overload and have me refreshing my Fantasy Stat sheet every two seconds.

Back in the day (last year), a fan could log in and stream a game on the spot for $3.95. Not a bad charge for one game to beat the pressures of the job, beat the heat, or catch up with the hometown team while you were traveling. These days, the wizards at (of which, JK almost became one) are copping $14.95 a month or $49.95 for the rest of the season. I hate my job so much that I signed up for the season back in April when it was $99.95, knowing full well that I would watch a Jon Lieber/Mike Thompson match-up rather than stare at my computer screen (wait a second...). Well, today is one of those days where there are a ton of good games to check out. Great pitching match-ups as well.

NYM @ CIN 12:35 ET | Glavine (11-3) v. Arroyo (9-6)
CWS @ DET 1:05 ET | Contreras (9-1) v. Rogers (11-3)
TB @ MIN 1:10 ET | Johan (10-5) against some B-rate D-Ray lackey
TEX @ BOS 2:05 ET | Schills (11-3) against some Texas oxygen-thief
HOU @ CHC 2:20 ET | Pettite (8-9) v. Zambrano (9-3)

MLB Games Today

Go Sox, Go Cubs, goodbye work.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

vh1: The Drug Years

Did anybody catch any of these documentaries last night? For some reason this had me glued to the screen like the CIA had its test subjects glued to their hallucinations while treated with acid. Maybe it was because I learned a lot, maybe it was because I've always found drugs somewhat of a fascinating subject, maybe it's because they discuss most of the books lined up on my windowsill...I dunno. But it was really well done and it wasn't complete MTV trash, so maybe that's reason enough. The song that immediately came to mind while watching was one of my Tool favorites, Third Eye...both quotes in the song by Bill Hicks:

"See, I think drugs have done some *good* things for us, I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor: go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes, and all your cd's and burn them. 'Cause you know what? The musicians who've made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years...Rrrrrrrrrrrrreal fuckin high on drugs."

"Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves."

95 degrees. 75% Humidity. Heaven.

Although Cali is up there with my top vacation spots, there's nothing like visiting my homeland...'the city that starts with a C, ends with an O, and has a heh-cahck in the middle' as the Super Fans once said on SNL. Last weekend was a weekend to remember - perhaps my best trip yet. Accompanied by guest VIP Dr. Beckett, in his quest to use all of his vacation up and max every credit card before heading back to the land of flowering meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate. Friday entailed a home-cooked meal of brats and more brats, and a night out at Features, located in the burb of Naperville (money magazine's #2 place to live in the US this year, ohhhhh!). Friday blended into Saturday, where we had some chi-town eats and each had heart-attack #2, with a big beef and sausage combo with cheese courtesy of Portillos. From there I took Dr. Beckett on a magic carpet ride on the red-line 'El' up to Addison Street exit, where we endured ridiculous heat out in the bleachers, sucking down beers simply to stay alive. Think Coachella 06. Anyway, my Cubbies shit all over the 1st place Mets, for at least one day it was a good day to be a Cubs fan. The scoreboard says it all:
With an hour to kill before hitting up The Bronx @ The Metro, it was time for some more eats and beers. Lucky's, a block south of Wrigley, serves their famous sandwiches that come with the slaw and fries on the sandwich. Sure, why not...double pastrami and cornbeef with cheese it is...heart attack #3:
The Bronx concert was this shit, and I was pleased with the Metro; another first-time venue for MetroD. As such, it deserves its own post, which I will hit up tomorrow...until then, enjoy some Super Fans:

The Roots @ Fur Nightclub

There's not much left to say that inmytree didn't already cover. We hate Fur - there's a better chance of seeing us at Polly Esther's in the future than there is at that godforsaken club. The Roots were ok. Talib was great. They confiscated enough D-Ring keychains to start their own REI store. Although they let me take my camera in, security warned us that if we took any pictures, the cameras would then be confiscated as well. They also confiscated everybody's chewing gum at the door. What's the deal with that? This sounds like the making of a bad MacGyver episode or some shit. Anyway, them telling me not to take pictures was like me telling my old roommate in college that he wouldn't take the fire extinguisher off the wall and spray the doorman. It's going to happen, it just is. This, of course, usually occurs when one is heavily sloshed (we were/I was). So enjoy my pics, Fur Nightclub.

We received an interesting e-mail regarding the original Roots posting from Kyle, one of the KOOL cigarette protestors that was outside of the club, which I remember stumbling past on my way to the back of the line. We thank you for your e-mail, and can definitely agree on a few things, primarily that 1) It was disappointing to see the artists aligned with a brand like KOOL, if for nothing else the ridiculous signs and free-sample waitresses that detracted from the venue, and 2) The artists probably have no idea what was going on with the sponsorship. I saw Talib Kweli perform in the summer of 2003 in Washington state with the Sprite-Remix Hip Hop Fest with Robert Randolph and the Family Band and O.A.R. Kind of funny how the sponsorships have changed with the times, along with the state of hip-hop according to many. If you're interested in this at all, google 'kool hip hop,' and you'll find quite a few articles out there relating to states and groups joining the fight against this KOOL campaign - and winning.

Pitchfork All-Stars at Ottobar

Tuesday July 25th
Danielson, Page France, Plans n Plans and Cascade in Blue
Doors at 8pm/ Show at 9pm - ALL AGES | Tickets
Danielson's 9.1 @ Pitchfork

Wednesday August 2nd
Ted Leo Pharmacists, Jai ALai Savant and Georgie James | Tickets
Ted Leo's 8.5 @ Pitchfork

Monday October 2nd
The Hold Steady w/ guests TBA
The Hold Steady's 8.7 @ Pitchfork

Monday October 16th
Okkervil River, Elvis Perkins and Chester Stacy | Tickets
Okkervil River's 8.5 @ Pitchfork


Thom Yorke on the Henry Rollins Show

I caught my first episode of the Henry Rollins Show last weekend for the sole purpose of watching Thom Yorke's performance. I wasn't really all that impressed with the rest of the show, I love Henry Rollins for his intensity but he's really a terrible interviewer. I actually think John C. Reilly looked nervous as hell as he sat down for this interview. Too funny. I also expected some sort of introduction into Thom Yorke's performance. Was Henry Rollins even there during the performance? Regardless, if you missed the show this past weekend, you can watch an encore performance tomorrow, July 20 @ 11pm. Of course, the other alternative is to rely on YouTube. Here is Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood and Nigel Goodrich performing the Cymbal Crush.

I think the version on IFC of "The Clock" is the far superior of the two. You can still watch that one in the video section here.

Audioslave - "Original Fire"

I was listening to the radio yesterday morning (a rarity) and I was pretty sure I was hearing Chris Cornell so I asked myself, "Self, is this the new Audioslave track?" At that moment, Tom Morello thundered in with a guitar solo only Morello would create. It's pretty good, but nothing has stacked up to that first album, yet. Stream it:

Real | QT | WIN LO | WIN HI

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Flameshovel Records

Flameshovel Records, an upstanding independent label based in Chicago with a good reputation, was kind enough to pass along 2 CDs about two months ago. Yesterday, in the midst of my Johnny Cash, Thom Yorke, and Muse binge, I received a third. It is the new Bound Stems CD, APPRECIATION NIGHT, that is set for release on September 19th, 2006. I have to admit, I am thoroughly enjoying it between bursts of Johnny, Thom, and the boys from Devon. The final track, "55 Cross St." has received several repeat looks. The word around the campfire is that these guys and gal are quitting the dayjob and making a go at this music thing. To that, Metro D always says "fuck yeah!" with a deep sense of admiration. Of the three CDs I think this one has the most potential in a live setting. The depth, layers, and unpredictability of each track (and the CD itself, as a whole) harkens Cloud Cult to me, but they don't have similar sounds, and I feel the need to emphasize that. Regardless, I am really enjoying it.

MP3: Bound Stems - "55 Cross St."
MP3: Bound Stems - "Excellent News, Colonel"

Those other two CDs (Russian Circles' ENTER & Judah Johnson's BE WHERE I BE) weren't bad either. In fact, they were pretty good. I listened to the Russian Circles album ENTER for a good week straight, absorbing all it had to offer. Too say that they sound like an instrumental Wilderness would be lazy, but it would point you in the right direction. There is no vocal, so if you are hung up on the idea of some meandering, experimental tracks without the words intertwined, Russian Circles isn't the band for you. I, for one, struggle with it, but Russian Circles have a heaviness to them that has won me over. That being said, the 6 tracks left me wanting more. For what it's worth, iTunes classifies their genre label as "Metal."

MP3: Russian Circles - "Enter"
MP3: Russian Circles - "Death Rides A Horse"

Judah Johnson dug in quick with the second track, "Little Sounds" immediately grabbing me, and for some reason reminding me of U2 circa ACHTUNG BABY. That being said, about five songs in I wrote myself a note to make sure that I didn't reference U2 when I wrote about Judah Johnson because the CD evolves into something very different from a U2 album, which is good. The album alternates between fairly straight forward rock, ambient tracks with slow winding measures and jazz-fused upbeat explorations with fabulous rhythm. I am still absorbing it, but I think I have a hang up with Daniel Johnson's voice. It is worth a listen to prove me right, wrong, or insane. BE WHERE I BE drops on August 22, 2006.

MP3: Judah Johnson - "Star Struck"
MP3: Judah Johnson - "Little Sounds"

Update (7/20/06): Both Flameshovel and management for the Bound Stems got in touch with us and expressed their appreciation for the post, but they also wanted to note something that I meant to touch on when I posted. I neglected to inform everyone that the CDs below are not the releases I was talking about above, they are recent releases from those bands, save the Russian Circles release. The confusion arose when I couldn't find a pre-order at Flameshovel, Insound or Amp Camp for the forthcoming Bound Stems and Judah Johnson releases. The main reason why I display CDs at the end of my posts is so that people can buy something. With this in mind, please realize that the Bound Stems and Judah Johnson albums below are available now.
The forthcoming releases from Bound Stems (dropping 9/19/06) and Judah Johnson (dropping 8/22/06) follow below. You can click on each of them and get more tracks and info about the bands. We will let you know when and where you can pre-order the CDs. Thanks to Flameshovel for reaching out to us and giving us some links that will hook the listeners up.