Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Hold Steady Album Stream

You can listen to all of Boys And Girls In America at Three tracks in and it feels and sounds fantastic. Hamden, CT and Ottobar dates are with buzz-band The Big Sleep. Separation Sunday was one of my favorite CDs of 2005.

Upcoming Dates:
Sep 30 Masonic Temple Hamden, CT
Oct 1 Irving Plaza New York, NY
Oct 2 The Ottobar Baltimore, MD
Oct 4 The Earl (21+) Atlanta, GA
Oct 5 The Bottle Tree (18+) Birmingham, AL
Oct 6 Hi-Tone Cafe Memphis, TN
Oct 7 Hailey's Denton, TX
Oct 8 Emo's Austin , TX
Oct 9 Walter's On Washington Houston, TX
Oct 12 Club Congress Tucson, AZ
Oct 13 Brick By Brick (21+) San Diego, CA
Oct 14 Detroit Bar (21+) Costa Mesa, CA
Oct 16 The Troubadour Los Angeles, CA
Oct 17 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA
Oct 19 Lola's Portland, OR
Oct 20 The Plaza Club (19+) Vancouver, BC
Oct 21 Crocodile Cafe (21+) Seattle, WA
Oct 24 First Avenue (18+) Minneapolis, MN
Oct 25 First Avenue (All Ages) Minneapolis, MN
Oct 26 The Metro (18+) Chicago, IL
Oct 27 Magic Stick Detroit, MI
Oct 28 Horseshoe Tavern (19+) Toronto, ON
Oct 29 Zaphod Beeblebrox Ottowa, ON
Oct 30 Middle East (18+) Boston, MA

The Hold Steady
[Official Site | MySpace]
MP3: The Hold Steady - "The Swish"
MP3: The Hold Steady - "Your Little Hoodrat Friend"

The Big Sleep
[Official Site | MySpace]
MP3: The Big Sleep - "You Can't Touch the Untouchable"
MP3: The Big Sleep - "Murder"

Monte's Gauntlet, Welcome

The Crutch may be dead, but it's editor will now be contributing to Monte's Gauntlet, described as "a critic's worst nightmare and a music fan's heaven." Let's just say that it is Fire Joe Morgan for the musical set, Metacritic with an opinion. Hello, friend.

Here is a taste:
Writer: Aaron McMullan

"Ben Kweller opens with 'Run,' which you'll remember from a couple paragraphs ago, and what 'Run' does is it makes a couple things clear with regards what a fella can expect over the duration of the album, thematically and musically. With regards the former, themes of running. That's what we're talking about. Running."

*It takes the writer too long to get to this. He mentions masturbating in his teens (contrasting his experiences with Kweller's, who was touring the world at 15), when in fact, he's still jerking off - this time, with his writing. Get to the point.

"Ben Kweller's songs, you can find out if folks've heard them by taking a stool sample. They cluster and bunch and swell in every corner of a person's being, traces of them skit about the gastrointestinal tract for months afterwards. Special kindsa songs, y'unnerstann, they'll do that."

*If you're trying to compliment someone's music, don't use shit as an analogy.

This review is way too long, completely self-involved, and a poor attempt at being clever. It's not worth wading through this review to get information.

Review Rating: 12% [Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller (ATO)]
The mission statement says it all:
"As a reader, who do you turn to? As a music fan, who can you trust? You visit seven websites a day, can't rely on $5 magazines, and grow tiresome of the sarcastic tone that has flooded the arena of music criticism. People are cutting down artists that haven't even grown legs, covering only select pieces of the independent realm, and offering misleading information and ignorant perspectives. It's out of control." [Read the entire Mission Statement]

Jeff Mangum Contributes to The Apples In Stereo LP, New Magnetic Wonder, JQ's Head Explodes

File this one under: "Dr. Thomas Beckett's head just fucking exploded." As collectives go, the Elephant Six Collective is probably the most important to Metro D. Thomas Beckett is catching Elf Power tonight at Union Station with the hopes that Jeff Mangum gets on stage and plays In The Aeroplane Over The Sea from start to finish and then asks Beckett if he wants to go grab a drink or seven. At some point in the following article you will read Elijah Wood's name and realize that he signed The Apples In Stereo to his label, Simian Records. It must be nice, Frodo, it must be nice.

"Mangum plays 'drums, cow object, backing vocals, handclaps' (no, we don't know what a 'cow object' is either), while 'London audience' contributes 'anger due to Apples' overly-loud guitars.'" [Pitchfork]

"The Apples in Stereo is an indie rock band associated with the innovative Elephant Six Collective, a group of bands also including Neutral Milk Hotel, Secret Square and Olivia Tremor Control. They currently include members Eric Allen (bass), and John Hill (rhythm guitar) while lead singer/guitarist Robert Schneider writes the most of the band's music and lyrics. Longtime drummer Hilarie Sidney left the band in August 2006. A new drummer has yet to be announced. They are best known for their bright, catchy lyrics and 60s pop/rock sound that often provokes comparisons to The Beatles. Their major influences include The Velvet Underground and The Beach Boys." [Wikipedia]

Spoon: AOL Interface, Film Credits, Demos

They perform "Metal Detektor," "Chips and Dip," and "They Never Got You." You can download the podcast or mp3 of the entire performance. The site says that Britt Daniel used an iPod as his backing band for his performance.
[AOL Interface]

Upcoming Dates:
September 30 | Austin, TX | Emo's Outside
October 6 | Baton Rouge, LA | Rock N Rouge - The Mayeux

Spoon recently released reissues of Telephono and Soft Effects:
"The Merge Records re-release of Telephono and Soft Effects is now out and available in stores and online. Telephono was Spoon's first album, released in April of 1996 and the Soft Effects EP followed shortly after in January of 1997. Out of print for nearly five years, both releases are presented here re-mastered in one specially priced deluxe package with the restored artwork and Brett Vapnek's video for 'Not Turning Off.' Soft Effects is still the preferred release of many a Spoon insider; listen closely enough to the nooks and crannies of this EP and you will hear the genesis sound of many Spoon records to come." [Official Site]

Recently at Pitchfork:
"Monster's Ball/Finding Neverland director Marc Forster's new movie Stranger Than Fiction couldn't have a more fitting title. Sure it features Will Ferrell as an IRS agent having his life narrated by Emma Thompson, who thinks she's finishing her next novel, but what's really important is a tiny credit at the end of the trailer linked below. Look closely and you'll see, 'Music by: Britt Daniel.'" [Pitchfork]

MP3: Spoon - "I Summon You" (Demo)
MP3: Spoon - "Sister Jack" (Piano Demo)

!Forward, Russia!

[Official Site | MySpace]

An insert in a package I recently received from Insound shared a cryptic editor's note on !Forward, Russia!: "Bloc Party meets At The Drive-In." You know I am getting to the bottom of that one, but the fact remains that these guys are good, catching a lot of buzz, and coming to a venue near you. An added bonus is Metro D fave Snowden opening up for them. Dates follow and you can read more at Filter Mag.

25 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe
26 - Portland, OR - Dante's
28 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
30 - San Francisco, CA - Café du Nord
2 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
27 - Boston, MA - Great Scott
28 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
29 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
30 - Montreal, QC - Mile End Cultural Centre Main Hall
1 - Toronto, ON - The Legendary Horshoe Tavern
2 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
4 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
5 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
6 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
8 - Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar
9 - Oklahoma City, OK - Conservatory
10 - Dallas, TX - Gypsy Tea Room
11 - Austin, TX - Stubbs
12 - Houston, TX - Walters
14 - Atlanta, GA - Earl
15 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
16 - Washington, D.C. - Black Cat

MP3: !Forward, Russia! - "Four"
MP3: !Forward, Russia! - "Nine"

Friday, September 29, 2006

Kurt Cobain at 40

"Fiercely radical in his politics, manifesting them in the way he lived his life and made his art, Kurt was able to convey his beliefs without having to resort to sermonizing. I doubt Nirvana would have ever taken the eventual Bruce Springsteen-Pearl Jam route of using the stage not only as a soapbox, but to promote some sort of 'dialogue' with fans. Kurt was far too direct for an approach like that; he made it plain: if you had, in his words, 'redneck' beliefs, he didn't want you at his shows or championing his music. There was no room for negotiation, and no patience for trying to change your mind. You either got it or you didn't." [Billboard]

TVOTR @ Chicago Innerview

[Photo Credit]

"'I think it is possible to be a success and stick to what you're doing,' Adebimpe says. 'Some cases it just goes that way, that you're happy with what you're doing and it's working out, but in other cases it is the opposite. You just have to remember what the important thing is about it, and also what your definition of success actually is.'" [Chicago Innerview]

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Metro D: Public Enemy #2

Peace sign? No.
I'll get off this guy's shoulders in two more songs? Fuck no.
Sign language for "vagina?" Maybe.
I ate two pounds of Ecstasy two minutes ago? Now we are getting somewhere.

This was the view for a good four songs. My hat is tipped to those fans that chose to raise some "high-angle hell" and hit this miscreant with anything and everything you could find. The band on stage - if you can see them - is The Killers.

She was off the shoulders and out of sight by the time Brandon was hitting us with "....all these things that I've done..." Hopefully she was standing in line for a port-a-potty, finding out there was no bottled water left (see Ecstasy comment), or hanging out in the Virgin Mobile Freak Lounge.

Metro D: Public Enemy #1

Tokyo Police Club, Neptune @ Warehouse Next Door, 09.21.06


Tokyo Police Club

Somewhere between learning that Pearl Jam had performed "Hunger Strike" with frontwolf Andrew Stockdale and Top arriving to pick me up, I got smashed. It was last Thursday, the week was winding down, the craziness that accompanies a new Pearl Jam live experience had invaded my frontal lobe and forced my enthusiasm to the refridgerator and bar.

It's Eddie's world, and I'm just living in it.

That said, when I hopped into Top's Smashmobile, he immediately understood what kind of night it would be. Top's been taking it easy on the libations and driving to the majority of the shows we've attended in the last few months. He's running a marathon in October, but life's a sprint. As we weave our way into the heart of the Nation's Capital I notice a severe lack of green in my billfold. I turn to my partner in crime and ask if he has enough cash for both of us. "I've got enough for the door, but not enough for your booze habit." Well put, and I took it as a compliment.

My assumptions about a cash only bar and no ATM were well founded inside Warehouse (we moved over there once we realized that the first band wasn't even set up). We hit the road and scored a gorgeous Bank of America Fountain of Youth about a block away. On the way I made contact with Lord Callo and informed him of the Frattitude's plans to attend the upcoming Virgin Festival. He threw up in his mouth and then expressed his sheer elation in words that only someone who just threw up in their mouth could piece together: "fancockulous," "smashtastic," "elysium," and "ohhhh, jesus, this won't be good." All was well.

A crown and ginger later I find myself watching Neptune. 10 points for the fiercest axe in the land. 10 points for the drummer going through about 7 sets of sticks during a 35-40 minute set. 10 points for changing the setlist because you destroyed something necessary to play one of the songs. 10 points for drumsets made out of trashcans. 10 points for gasmask microphones. 10 points for everything when I am this fucking drunk.

Seriously? I was mesmerized. I really thought Neptune was great. They create a very intense sound that has its moments of prog, metal and hardcore. Some of the songs were without vocals, but I didn't mind, in fact I was wrapped up in everything they threw out there. The only question I have is what smells worse, the gasmask that the drummer says hasn't been washed yet this tour....or my crotch, loofaless since Day -1 of Coachella, after Tool's performance on Day 2?

The set change presented an opportunity to hit the head and refuel with Bud Heavies. At this point the place was fairly packed and buzzing with talk of Canada's latest hype magnet, Tokyo Police Club. Top and I settled in at the back, but one we were only one song in and I had to get closer. The live performance mirrors the EP in several ways: brilliant, short, energetic and fun. But, the live show adds that extra dimension, that raw feel in the absence of perfection.

They played the whole EP in between strange comments about who they were and where they were playing. They are sincere and vulnerable, and most importantly young. In fact, too young to be this good. At one point the frontman started doing his thing out in the crowd in between a pole and (unfortunately) someone who didn't seemed too concerned.

Xylophones were struck. Giant flags were waved. Some were stunned. Some were quietly bobbing there heads. Some were just there so they could tell someone they were there. Regardless of the reasons for their presence, everyone left with something to talk about as well as a reason to be at the Black Cat on October 17th. As if Art Brut wasn't reason enough.