Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Q Award Winners

The previously mentioned Q Awards show was held last night. The non-televised event was attended by U2 and The Who so if Bono was there it must be kind of important, right? Anyway, here's a few of the winners - no real surprises:

Best Track: "Crazy" Gnarls Barkley

Best Live Act: Muse

Best Album: Arctic Monkeys

Best Act in the World Today (?): Oasis

Q Legend Award: The Who

Q Award of Awards: U2

The rest are here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Red Auerbach (1917-2006)

"After his death on Saturday night, Red Auerbach was remembered as the greatest basketball coach/executive who ever lived. He built 16 championship teams and coached nine of them. He was the first to start five black players at the same time. He invented the victory cigar. He was competitive enough that he announced his coaching retirement before the '65-66 season so every team would have one last crack at him. He drafted Bird, Cowens and Havlicek, traded for Russell, traded for McHale and Parish, lucked into Cousy. He's arguably the most important non-player in NBA history -- really, it's either him or David Stern -- the one person who transcended a franchise and became a one-man Mount Rushmore.

"But it went deeper than that. For every Celtic fan growing up in New England in the '70s and '80s, Red became part of our families, the crusty old grandfather, the patriarch, the guy who made everyone else feel safe. As long as Red was around, the Celts were in good hands. That's just the way it was. He was our ace in the hole. He was Yoda before Yoda was Yoda. He was like a shark at a poker table raking in huge hands every 20 minutes, puffing on that damned cigar, making everyone else feel inferior. He was the ultimate winner. He gave us a competitive advantage. He was smarter than everyone else." [ESPN.com]


"In two decades of National Basketball Association coaching, Auerbach won 938 games, a record when he retired in 1966, as well as a record nine NBA championship titles, a number he shares with Phil Jackson. In those 20 years, 16 with the Celtics, Auerbach had only one losing season while winning almost two-thirds of his games.

"Auerbach was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969 and, 11 years later, was recognized as the greatest coach in NBA history by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America. That same year, 1980, he was inducted a second time into the Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the game.

"In 1996, he was honored on the 50th anniversary of the NBA as one of its greatest 10 coaches. His coaching achievement is recognized annually with the awarding of the Red Auerbach Trophy to the league's Coach of the Year. Auerbach himself won the award only once, in 1965. The award was named in his honor in 1967." [Boston Globe]


MP3: Fiona Apple - "Red Red Red"

Tonight: Decemberists, Apples In Stereo, Outrageous BAC's

[Elephant 6 Town Hall]

Top ran a marathon yesterday. He definitely shouldn't drink or, actually, stand up for long periods of time. Dr. Thomas Beckett and I should never drink in the company of each other. Period. And yet, tonight, we all have no choice. Hurricane Quinja is in the house! Expect outrageous, off-topic nods to Jeff "Jesus Christ" Mangum from here on out! Who is on the drums tonight, Apples In Stereo? Who's on the f*cking kit?!

We're doing our Tourzine thing for Filter-Mag again, so we will do our best to have a rundown of both Melloy & crew as well as any and all Mangum sightings we encounter along the way. Time to put the Metro back in Metro Distortion - nobody's driving home tonight!

9:30 Club
Doors 7:30
Lavender Diamond 8:30
The Decemberists 9:30

Black Cat
Apples In Stereo
Archie Bronson Outfit, Benjy Ferree
$12 mainstage 8:00

MP3: The Decemberists - "O Valencia"

Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame Ballot

"R.E.M., Van Halen, the Stooges and Patti Smith are among the nine acts on the ballot for the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, to be held March 12 at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Also on the ballot are the Dave Clark Five, Chic, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Joe Tex and the Ronettes." [Billboard]

Baltimore Ranked 12th Most Dangerous City

My bruises that are still healing, my knuckles that are scabbing over and my almost-back-to-normal-nose all think Baltimore should have made the Top Ten. DC is 19th, Richmond is 15th, and Camden, NJ is 5th. I caught my first PJ show ever in Camden. I had to use public transportation to get there and back. Let's just say that the subway station near the Tweeter Center after a PJ show is not where it's at. Unless you're looking to spike a vein or get shot. Scary, scary night.

Ataxia - II

[Photo Credit]

If you know Metro D, you know we are fucking John Frusciante fanatics. If you aren't hip to his game outside of Red Hot Chili Peppers, then you are missing some amazing stuff. I will put it this way, we listened to his solo stuff the entire way home from Albany. On shuffle. Albums at a time. For five and a half hours (with brief interludes of pirate jokes and Chappelle show memories from Frat). His solo work beginning with To Record Only Water For Ten Days is mind-blowing. Now that we have established our love for his goodness...here is the news:

From Frusciante.net, 10.29.06:

"While some people still keep their heads in disblief, Amazon.de put Ataxia's second record up for presale here. From this offer it is obvious that the record is going to be titled II.

"Even though there is no information on when and how this record will be released in other countries than Germany."
From Frusciante.net, 10.07.06:
"The official German John Frusciante website has now revealed the release date for the second release from the Ataxia session in February 2004. It will be released in Germany on the 1st December 2006.

"There are no further information given concerning a possible record title or a cover.

"But we can already name the tracklist of an unmastered version:"

1. "Ethiopian Song"
2. "The Empty's Response"
3. "Attention"
4. "OLA"
5. "The Soldier"
Some of you may be in the dark right now. What the fuck is Ataxia? Who the fuck is John Frusciante? How the fuck did the Cardinals win the World Series? So let's back it up a little bit. A litte while ago (2004), John Frusciante released 7 albums in one year - 6 of those in 6 months - during a period of creativity many fans hope will repeat following the Stadium Arcadium tour. One of those albums was a project called Automatic Writing. The group behind that effort consisted of Joe Lally (Fugazi), Josh Klinghoffer (Bicycle Thiefs) and John. They called themselves Ataxia, and the 5 track CD they created was a monster. With the Chili Peppers winding down one leg of a North American tour and another tour (with Gnarls Barkley) on the horizon, many fans of John's solo work are holding their breath wondering when the solo madness will break loose. It is still very unclear because the sources are fan-sites. Once something official breaks open we will be sure to let you know, but until then here is a little nibble.

MP3: Ataxia - "Dust"

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Options for Tonight: Lady Sovereign, Bound Stems, Wrens, Beck

[Photo Credit]

Lady Sovereign @ 9:30 Club
Early Doors 5:30 PM
Young Love 6:30 PM
Lady Sovereign 7:45 PM

MP3: Lady Sovereign (ft. Missy Elliott) - "Love Me or Hate Me (Remix)"

Bound Stems @ DC9
We've been talking about these guys for a while now. This show is part of the DAM! Festival, and Bound Stems will be playing before De Novo Dahl tonight at DC9. I still have no idea what I am doing and if I will even make The Wrens, or this, or anything. I am knee deep in some grad school applications and the light at the end of the tunnel is dim and uninviting.

The Wrens @ Black Cat
$13 mainstage 9:30

The Best of the Rest
...can be found at DC's TourFilter. As for the couch potato set...

Beck on Saturday Night Live, 11:29 PM EDT
Beck - "Where It's At" (Saturday Night Live)

"For the second time in two years, the veteran singer/songwriter has made an album of sometimes clever and intriguing pastiche on which he's primarily working with the detritus of his own catalog." [Pitchfork: 6.9]

"Furthermore, the record is speckled with architectural inconsistencies that declassify each U-turn into new territories of sub-genre exploitation: pop hooks sabotage the funk jams, krautrock sprouts from old-school rap cadences, blues riffs find themselves surrounded by an infestation of surly catcalls. It's these concurrent oddities, absurdities, and stylistically-ignorant endearments, rifling through the album's gooey and often cavernous headspace, that cause The Information to congeal with unexpected ease. Perhaps the absence of this kind of collective subtext is what elicited the routine condemnation of last year's similarly eclectic Guero, which lacked an absurdist thread. Though it was unfairly criticized by some, Guero will most likely be seen, in hindsight, as a safer warm-up to The Information's wildly successful risk-taking. It's held together by its space-age hip-hop affectations, by its neo-psychedelic flashbacks, by its underlying acknowledgement that each 'fun' element has some kind of consequence embedded on its flipside. This may not sound like music of the future, but it's the kind of music that only the future could possibly make." [PopMatters: 8/10]

We haven't talked much about the album, but JK and I agree, Beck is pretty much a sure thing these days. Pitchfork thinks he is working from the detritus, I think that he is just plain getting down. While it isn't along the same lines as Guero that same manic craziness resonates throughout the entire work. I loved Guero, loved Sea Change, and well, I love this. Take your time to digest it, it's a strong move from a guy who consistently journeys further and further away from the mainstream and our own expectations of him.

Beck will perform on Saturday Night Live tonight with Hugh Laurie (the guy from House).

MP3: Beck - "Dark Star"
MP3: Beck - "Nausea"

Friday, October 27, 2006

The National @ Black Cat, 10.26.06

"Start a War"
"Secret Meeting"
"Lit Up"
"The Geese of Beverly Road"
"Baby, We'll Be Fine"
"Wasp Nest"
"Murder Me Rachael"
"All the Wine"
"Looking for Astronauts"
"Daughters of the SoHo Riots"
"Mr. November"
"About Today"

"Cold Girl Fever"
"Fake Empire"

I want to say that the closer, "Fake Empire" is a new one. But, I could be wrong. At any rate, that song was a quick lightning bolt of energy that completely floored me. Awesome, awesome track. "Cold Girl Fever," is an old one (off their self-titled, 2001 debut) that they dusted off.

The Mars Volta & Red Hot Chili Peppers @ Arena at Gwinnett, Atlanta, 10.26.06

We are everywhere. From my faithful leige, Frat:

Believe it or not, the crowd was amped for them. By the end of the set I would say there might have been more than half the arena on their feet...and Cedric definitely fed off of it. The format was about the same...but the jams were just as unpredictable as before...and it was very interesting to see how much they would stick to a formula from night to night. They really don't...which is amazing when you think about it. They are just all really talented guys who get inside of the moment and react off of it...musically that is pretty intense. Whats more, is that they choose to do it in front of thousands of people. Anyway...I can verify that what we heard on Saturday (i.e. the 45 minute jam w/ hints of "Day of the Baphomets" wasn't really "Day of the Baphomets"...cause they played the same structure to the 45 minute jam. However, right before they played "Viscera Eyes" Cedric said..."this is our last song." But when they were done with "Viscera Eyes" so many people were going ballistic that they stood there for a minute...pondering if they should leave the stage...and then Omar looked around (as if to tell them what song to go with) and they busted into a sick ass (probably 20 minute) version of "Day of the Baphomets"....but all the of key components were there...only stuff different were a couple percussion solos and of course omar blazing through about 5 minutes of solo insanity. Anyway...just know that THE MARS VOLTA is now a ZERO TOLERANCE event if your thinking of skipping out on their upcoming headlining show. Their headlining dates are sure to be mind blowing.

You know I could type out about 5 pages of kick ass shit that I saw with the PEPS...cause you know I'm pretty overboard when it comes to John [Frusciante]. So for the sake of brevity, I will just give you the setlist that I wrote down as we went. I will say this though:

The highlights of the show were as follows:

A.) when Anthony said "we would like to play a Ramones song for you" and they busted into "Havana Affair."

B.) Then after the set Anthony said "we are all very, very lucky people to have been alive during the time of the Ramones." Even more beast than that though was the number one highlight of the show...

C.) [T]he encore starts with Chad coming out to do his drum medley...he pumps the crowd up (does the same kind of thing you hear on the [Live at] Hyde Park CDs). [He] plays a couple [of] signature John Bonham/Zeppelin songs and then he busts into U2's "Sunday, Bloody Sunday." After the first few measures...all of a sudden you hear the guitar harmony come through the stadium (even Chad looks around to see what the fuck is going on). John runs out to the mic and starts singing the song. Chad's got a huge ass smile on his face, obviously just as surprised as the rest of us that John would just uncontrollably bust into "Sunday, Bloody Sunday." Ok, ok. Like I said I could go on...

"Cant Stop"
"Dani California"
"Scar Tissue"
Jam w/ Marcel Rodriguez (Omar's little brother)
"Havana Affair"
"Blood Sugar Sex Magic"
Jam (Flea)
"Throw Away Your Television"
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (John solo)
"Snow ((Hey Oh))"
"Me and My Friends"
"C'mon Girl"
Jam (Chad)
"Right On Time"
Jam (Flea)
"Don't Forget Me"
"Tell Me Baby"
Jam (Flea & John)
"By the Way"

Drum Medley (Chad)
"Sunday, Bloody Sunday" (Chad and John)
"I Could Have Lied"
"98 Olds" (whatever that little interlude was...they did it again)
"Give it Away"
Jam (chord prog and rhythm was "She Turns to Me" but Anthony had already left, so they just jammed inside the song with no lyrics)
Jam (John did some Hendrix/blues jamming over a 12 bar that chad and flea laid down) (approx 5 minutes of insanity)
Jam out (Chad, John, Flea)

Overall...a fucking orgasmic experience.


Nethers @ Black Cat, 10.27.06

"Sweet Song"
"If the Shadow Suits You"
"Do Mi Re"
"O the Dead"
"Green G_ne"
"Migratory Birds"

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Cloud Cult Tour Dates; New Album Info

Metro D favorites, Cloud Cult, have announced their final tour dates of 2006. We already know about one of these but here are the rest:

Friday 10/27 - Northfield, MN: Carlton College (The Cave)
Wednesday 11/1 - Philadelphia, PA: World Cafe Live 10pm
Thursday 11/2 - Washington DC: DC9 (21+) $9
Friday 11/3 - New York, NY: CMJ Music Marathon - Mercury Lounge
Saturday 11/4 - Middleton, CT: Wesleyan University
Sunday 11/5 - Boston, MA: Great Scott
Monday 11/6 - New York: TBA
Tuesday 11/7 - Pittsburgh, PA: Club Cafe
Wednesday 11/8 - Detroit, MI: The Belmont
Thursday 11/9 - Columbus, OH: Surly Girly
Friday 11/10 - Madison, WI: Stage Door
Saturday 11/11- TBA

Now, even better news: The band tells us that the new album titled "The Meaning of 8" will be released in February.

Tonight: Cold War Kids

I just talked to one of the gentlemen at DC9. I was trying to get an idea of when Cold War Kids were getting on stage. This is of importance because I will be at The National at Black Cat, but have hopes of catching Cold War Kids because they are so fucking beast. Details: it all depends on the earlier sets, but the best bet is to get there before 11:00. Good chance they are hopping on stage betwixt 11:30 and 12:00 EST. My chances of making this set? About as good as me staying sobah all night long!

[Tapes 'n Tapes/Cold War Kids Review @ Billboard]

Larry Kirwan: Goodbye CBGB's

[Black '47]

There we are. Three fists in front. Singing every word with Larry. Killing Crown like it's going out of style. Enjoying every minute. I just found this picture on Black '47s flickr page and it brought back a ton of great memories from that night. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever come back from a Black '47 show without a story or twelve. We would later talk to him, get some CDs signed and, more than likely, annoy him to no end by telling him how much his music means to us. Thanks for putting up with us, Larry. We can't wait until you come back through...

GOODBYE CBGB'S by Larry Kirwan
"As is often the case at events on the Lower East Side, the first person I ran into was Shane Doyle, founder of Sin E. But I was looking for someone else. It took a lukewarm bottle of beer before I realized just who - myself, or rather a younger version thereof. I had loved playing CBs: the stage, the lights, the sound, and always the promise of many other things after the gig. There was a glamour to this kip, a seedy magnificence. To strut the boards of CBs meant that you had arrived. You might go no further but you had crossed a certain threshold, and that was something in and of itself. Oddly enough, I was one of the few banned from playing the place - for being too 'demonic.' But that's a whole other story and no ban lasted long in CBs.

"Though I hadn't been in the club for years, nothing had changed; I could have walked through it blindfolded and still found my way downstairs to my favored urinal. Hilly had originally lit the place with beer signs and there they glowed above the bar in their dingy glory. Pabst had even gone out of business and returned to hipster favor since Hilly first hung the Blue Ribbon shingle. And now I was glad for this dimness because as figures slouched past I could see them as they had been twenty-five, even thirty years previously; then, when they squinted in at me, I caught them as they look now, more lines, less hair, often wiser but with dreams still undiminished. People, who I even remembered not liking, threw their arms around me; all the little tribal rivalries forgotten or charitably laid to rest. Ladies that I'd had crushes on paraded by in violently hennaed hair, heels and tight leather skirts, young men in tow - boy-toys, I surmised, until introduced to their sons. And here we were, a reunited family, dysfunctional as ever, eyeing each other cautiously, but basking in the glow of the amazing music that had been created within these postered, stickered, dust-encrusted, stone-deaf walls."
[Read More @ Black '47's Blog]

Sound Team and Sparta @ Irving Plaza, 10/25

I'm ashamed to admit that this is the first time seeing both bands live given the number of times Sound Team has been through NYC and my documented affection for Sparta. I wanted to see As Tall as Lions too but the thought of letting 30 Rock sit in my DVR was just unacceptable - the show if freaking hilarious. Sound Team played a 45 minute set and while I thought they were great, seeing them as an opener vs. a headliner (as InMyTree noted here) is vaslty different. For some reason during the set these things were popping into my head: Do all 6 members of Sound Team get paid evenly? I mean, there are two keyboard players and if anything, the other 4 should be getting the bulk of the share. I would also like to see a Sound Team episode on MTV Cribs. I've wondered how well some of these smaller major label bands do financially. Do these guys make money? Major record labels should post this information just like professional sports teams.

Anyway, on to Sparta. Anyone who's listened to the new album can plainly hear the band's transformation from post-hardcore to more traditional rock as they continue to move further away from their ATDI roots. My only response to skeptical fans everywhere is to see their live show because they fucking rock. I've said for a long time that Pat Carney of the Black Keys is the best drummer I've ever seen live but I'm fairly certain that changed last night (someone should alert Pat of this contest since I'll be seeing the Keys next Friday). I suppose ATDI fans already know this but Tony Hajjar absolutely blew me away. He also has a pretty amazing story too which is told in a short film "Eme Nakia" currently being promoted with the release of the new album. Understandably, I think it's safe to say that these were ATDI fans looking for more Wiretrap Scars (and damn, those songs sounded incredible) and less Threes but regardless of where the band goes from here - and based on Jim Ward's comments last night, he considered giving up music altogether a year and a half ago - I think most of us left last night reassured that these guys can still shred the stage.

Nick Zinner, The Horrors

Nick Zinner, of coffee table book fame, recently listed and commented on his ten favorite CDs at Insound. I was pleasantly surprised to find John Frusciante's Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt on Zinner's list. It was Frusciante's first solo album and at different points it is desperate, sparse, haunting, painful, and challenging. Some of it is pretty hard to swallow, borderline unbearable, but there are flashes of the brilliance that resonates throughout all of his later solo work, beginning with To Record Only Water For Ten Days.

Also in the news recently is Nick Zinner's production help for the Horrors. Any friend of Nick Zinner is a friend of mine:

"Those lucky Horrors. First, director Chris Cunningham chose the British punk band as the vehicle through which to make his long-awaited comeback. Now, Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has shared his production talents with the group (and probably some hair and makeup tips, too.)

"Zinner recently stopped by London's KONK studio to twiddle the knobs on two tracks, 'Sister Leonella' and 'She's the New Thing,' for the Horrors' forthcoming debut LP. In an interview that ran October 18 on the band's MySpace page, Nick Zinner said that the Horrors 'were very well behaved' in the studio and were 'reward[ed] ...upon completion of their final takes with a pint of virgin blood.' He also mentioned that he'd like to work with the boys again if his 'schedule allowed it.'" [Pitchfork]
All this Zinner reading pushed me around the web a little bit and I came across some gems. Check out the video to "Turn Into" (one of my Top Ten Tracks of 2006.5). I don't know what I like more: the video, Zinner's solos, the personal hurricane smoke everyone gets in the middle, or Karen O.'s little half-smile at the end. Dope-tastic!

STREAM: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Turn Into"

I think I am going to go with the smile. Even more debatable is which Yeah Yeah Yeahs song has my favorite Nick Zinner guitar work. It has to be either the aforementioned "Turn Into" or "Y Control."

MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Turn Into" (AOL Interface)
MP3: Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Y Control" (Peel Session)

Culture Bully has the entire AOL Interface set broken up into mp3s. The Runout Groove has the same for the 2002 Peel Session.


JK may or may not have touched on this one a while back, but I am too lazy to find out. Here is the dills:

1. Go here.
2. Click on your city/area, for me it was DC.
3. Enter your bands, make a username, password, and provide your e-mail address.
4. Or just check the club listings or the calendar and get your uninformed ass informed.

Another site, with a similar tilt, by the same brain is called SonicLiving. While it is iCal, Yahoo! & Google Calendar compatible, it is not DC-friendly. I learned about all of this while trolling the Hype Machine high seas.

Bloc Party: Tracklisting, Release Date

One of my fondest memories of the weekend that was Coachella 2006 was playing Bloc Party in the parking lot for a buddy of mine that was home on mid-tour leave. 2005 and 2006 found him pretty busy with war and all, and he had missed Bloc Party's epic debut, Silent Alarm. The look on his face when "Positive Tension" unfolded three songs in was probably the same look I had on my face months later when he saw me catch The Who perform "Baba O'Riley" for the first time live. Watching a music fanatic friend of mine go from hearing an album, to completely digging it, to hearing it live in a matter of hours was unreal. Just like Boris' Pink owns the Baltimore/Washington Parkway, Silent Alarm owns Indio, CA. Everytime I spin Silent Alarm I think of the Coachella Five and the weekend in "Other Desert Cities." And now, to the news...

"Bloc Party release their second full-length album A Weekend In The City - 5th February 2007 through Wichita Recordings. Produced by Jacknife Lee and recorded at Grouse Lodge Studios in Ireland. Bloc Party's newest collection of songs is a stunning, intense and brilliant follow-up to their celebrated debut Silent Alarm. The album will be preceded by the single 'The Prayer,' released 29th January 2007." [Bloc Party Official Site]

Here is the tracklisting:

01. "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)"
02. "Hunting For Witches"
03. "Waiting For the 7.18"
04. "The Prayer"
05. "Uniform"
06. "On"
07. "Where Is Home?"
08. "Kreuzberg"
09. "I Still Remember"
10. "Sunday"
11. "SRXT"

Below are some live versions of the new tracks we will be catching November 11th at the Patriot Center (StubHub | eBay) and on disc come 5 February. Good shit is always going down around my birthday. Pats winning Super Bowls, getting home from the desert, Bloc Party albums...

Live @ Coachella
MP3: Bloc Party - "Uniform"

Live @ Paredes de Coura, Portugal
MP3: Bloc Party - "Song For Clay (Disappear Here)"
MP3: Bloc Party - "Waiting for the 7.18"

The National Tonight @ Black Cat

[The National v. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah]

Fuck. Yes.

Many people would have laid down, given up at that point. Blood was all over my lucky T-shirt, my nose was split open, and of the most concern was my comrade-in-arms laid up on a hospital bed. We kept on going. Knocked out a CAT Scan, an X-Ray, watched Frateralus hit on some nurse types, and at the last possible second, made our escape. Left the hospital, hopped in the car and bolted to Albany. On the way up, I spit blood, pondered the presence of internal bleeding that could consume me before I saw Cedric and Omar kick it at the Pepsi Arena, and raved about The National. Sure, we caught TV On The Radio the night before, and we were on the way to see The Mars Volta and Red Hot Chili Peppers, but The National was still on the horizon. That was Saturday morning.

Fast forward to today and I have a scab that runs the length of my forearm from that same streetfight I reluctantly entered last Friday night. On top of that I have a chipped tooth (maybe two, my tongue is still deciding) and an eye that is a sweet mix of purple and yellow. In the mirror this morning I noticed that there is also some yellow from a bruise I did not even know I had on my forehead. Luckily, my hands and knuckles are pretty sore as well. Maybe it wasn't as one-sided as it felt.

None of it matters. We're alive.

Tonight it is upon us. The National absolutely slayed Black Cat the last time they played here. Slayed it. The show remains the standard of excellence to this day. I can promise you several things if you attend tonight's show: the drumming is top notch, the energy is feverish, and the songs speak for themselves. Alligator may be the best album of '05 and "Mr. November," "Secret Meeting," "Lit Up," and "Abel" would definitely find their way onto my list of the top songs of last year.

Live Black Sessions
MP3: The National - "All the Wine"
MP3: The National - "Cherry Tree"
MP3: The National - "Mr. November"

Black Cat
$13 mainstage 8:30

The Hold Steady on Billboard 200

"In fact, the Brooklyn-based five-piece bowed at No. 124 on the chart with its third album, Boys and Girls in America. The Vagrant set also managed a No. 9 and No. 2 showing on the Tastemakers and Heatseekers charts, respectively.

"With zero airplay and no TV exposure, the Hold Steady attributes much of its success to its 'ravenous' fanbase. 'I don't know if there's a way of calculating this, but I think that [with] a good ratio of our fans -- we're their favorite band,' Finn says. 'They're more ravenous. They'll travel with us.'" [Billboard]

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Boris & sunn o))) - Altar

The following is from Southern Lord Records:

"Southern Lord are extremely honored to present the new collaboration album from Boris and sunn 0))) entitled: Altar. This album is NOT a split album. Altar is a true collaboration album between sunn 0))) and Boris that is a result of both bands conceptualizing, writing and recording the album together as one entity. Both groups have stepped outside their previous sounds and created a wholly unique album that stands on its own unique ground. There are elements of each groups trademark sound within the album but true to each groups progressive and experimental aspects, Altar moves into a completely new dimension."
Kim Thayil, of Soundgarden fame, guests on a track, as do several other musicians from bands like the Melvins and Earth. This thing should be a beast. You can buy a limited edition double disc at Southern Lord now (you can also stream it there) or pre-order the album at Insound. When you pre-order from Insound, you will receive a Southern Lord sampler.

The Prestige

There are few things I like more than a Christian Bale performance. A Christopher Nolan film is one of them. This is the second time in two pictures he has called on Bale and Caine (Batman Begins), and it is shaping up to be a killer. Did I mention Scarlett J is in the house? How about the walk-off judge himself, David Fucking Bowie? The Prestige hit theaters last week. As always, you can find an informative, well-written review at PopMatters. Now the only thing is how to find time between The National and Annuals to see it.

Thank You, Rob Sheffield

Now there are two people on the planet that think Dane Cook isn't funny. At all. Me and Rob Sheffield. Welcome, Rob, and thanks for your two cents on Dane:

"Yeah, we get it: the world's hottest comedian, a success story, the MySpace generation, blah to the blah, but where are the fucking jokes? Dane, did you bring any jokes at all? Or did you just figure you'd think of some after you got famous? His success is his whole story, with his hit album Retaliation, his HBO special Vicious Circle, his Jessica Simpson comedy Employee of the Month. But when does the funny start? How can any comedian get this famous with no jokes?" [Rolling Stone]

We Are Scientists Attack

The tour that never seems to stop will return to the Black Cat on Tuesday, December 12th when The Grates will be opening for We Are Scientists. This will be the 4th or 5th time in a year that W.A.S. will play the DC/Baltimore area. While we weren't the biggest fans of the last show they played at Black Cat, you gotta respect the "tour your balls off" mentality. I am still trying to figure out if I respect the whole message board action that I read about at Stereogum. Regardless, I found it to be pretty humorous, and have found at least three four opportunities in the past day or so to use the phrase "nutsack full of catshit." I am pretty sure that Chris, the offended, is the dude with the glasses who rocks bass for W.A.S.

MP3: We Are Scientists - "Inaction"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

TV On The Radio @ Sonar, 10.20.06

The Mars Volta @ Pepsi Arena, 10.21.06

"Rapid Fire Tollbooth"
Jam (40-45 min., hints of "Day of Baphomets")
"Viscera Eyes"

The Mars Volta: New Drummer, Tour

Expect pictures from their show in Albany soon. They rocked. Their setlist over the past few weeks has evolved into a long jam session. In Albany they played the following:

"Rapid Fire Tollbooth"
Jam (40-45 min., hints of "Day of Baphomets," unreal solos)
"Viscera Eyes" (completely ridiculous)
As for the news...well, fuck, they are on their third drummer in about four months. Drama-rama:
"A new song entitled 'Rapid Fire Tollbooth' was played live for the second time on September 23nd 2006 in Milwaukee, WI, as reported by fans and attendees of the show who had received set lists from the stage.

"On September 25th, Cedric Bixler-Zavala fell ill and the Mars Volta were forced to play a set with John Frusciante on third guitar in Toronto. On this date the band played over 47 minutes of instrumental material, including a lengthy cover of the Pink Floyd composition 'Interstellar Overdrive.' Omar announced Cedric's listening to 'Yellowcard and a lot of weird bands like that,' as reason for his exclusion from the performance; presumably in jest.

"After their Fall tour with Frusciante's Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Mars Volta will launch their own headlining tour across North America that will last 'well into 2007. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez stated in a radio interview in San Diego with FM949 that they will go first to Japan, then onto Australia. After that they will head over to Europe and then to the United States.'

"On October 17th while opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Rutherford, New Jersey, the band unexpectedly played with new drummer Deantoni Parks, amidst rumors that Blake Fleming had quit the band. Deantoni Parks will remain with the band for the next 3 weeks, after which a permanent replacement will be sought out." [Wiki Is Wikit Retahded Good]

Wolfmother & Silversun Pickups Tour

And the venues keep getting bigger for Wolfmother. Can I get a 9:30 Club? Coming soon:

November 21 - Philadelphia, Pa. @ Electric Factory
November 22 - New York, N.Y. @ Hammerstein Ballroom
November 24 - Detroit, Mich. @ Majestic Theatre
November 25 - Chicago, Ill. @ Riviera Theatre
November 26 - St. Louis, Mo. @ Mississippi Nights
November 28 - Houston, Texas @ Meridian Theatre
November 29 - Dallas, Texas @ Gypsy Ballroom
December 2 - Portland, Ore. @ Roseland Ballroom
December 3 - Seattle, Wash. @ Moore Theatre
December 4 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore
December 7 - Las Vegas, Nev. @ The Joint

[Indie Workshop]

The Kooks @ Bowery Ballroom, 10/24

The Kooks followed the same touring pattern of recent British successes and buzz band extraordinares, the Arctic Monkeys and Editors, by making two stops in their first tour of the States - in LA and NYC. And it makes sense because it guarantees a healthy number of ex-pats in the audience that know the music (and know it very well, I might add) and it gives the band a chance to generate some additional hype from their live shows to readers beyond America's two biggest cities. As Pitchfork mentioned yesterday, these guys have already opened for the Stones and gone triple platinum in the UK. Seeing them live was my chance to see if a) they're legit and b) if they have a chance to make it in the States. My conclusion after an extremely entertaining 45-minute set is a) yes and b) probably not. The band is very confident on stage, they show none of the awkwardness that I've seen from multiple Arctic Monkeys performances, which is fairly remarkable given their age. Lead singer Luke Pritchard reminds me a lot of a younger, more talented, Tom Meighan (Kasabian) - confident to the point of cockiness. He put on a show for the crowd, from start to finish. It's not just an act, though, they're a talented group of musicians and they've absolutely perfected their craft. They came out, ran through about a dozen songs in 45 minutes, the crowd bouncing along to every beat and shouting the lyrics to every song, then left without an encore. And that's just what I needed to see to prove the hype to be necessary. So will they make it here it in the States? The odds certainly aren't in their favor. As a young band, they suffer from an identity crisis that lends itself to many different genres (ska, brit pop, punk, etc.). Until they find their niche, it's probably not enough to attract much of an American audience but I've seen and heard enough that I believe these kids may just have a decent future beyond their debut album.

Monday, October 23, 2006

News and Notes

* Cryptic messages left by Jimmy Chamberlin on the progress of the new Smashing Pumpkins record.

* Not to be outdone, Thom Yorke has also provided some details on the new album: "weve started the record properly now. starting to get somewhere i think. finally."

* Metro D reader, Christopher, sent us a link on some user tips for savvy iPod owners courtesy of NPR.

* More from NPR, you can listen to Wilco's performance on Friday night at the 9:30 Club in DC.

* You can watch Sunken Treasure: Jeff Tweedy live in the Pacific Northwest in its entirety tonight on WilcoWorld streaming on demand from 9pm to midnight EST.

* I will be seeing the latest British sensation, the Kooks, tonight. Stay tuned...

Red Hot Chili Peppers @ Pepsi Arena, 10.21.06

Intro (Chad, John, Flea)
"Can't Stop"
"Dani California"
"Scar Tissue"
"Fortune Faded"
"21st Century"
"Parallel Universe"
"Hump de Bump"
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" (John solo)
"Snow ((Hey Ohh))"
"Nobody Weird Like Me"
Jam (Flea & John)
"Wet Sand"
"Right on Time"
Jam (Flea & John)
"Don't Forget Me"
"Tell Me Baby"
Jam (Flea & John)
"By the Way"

Drum Solo (Chad)
"Under the Bridge"
"Give It Away"
Jam (Chad, John, Flea)