Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Snowden, ¡Forward, Russia! @ Bowery Ballroom, 11/28

Sadly, this could very well be my last show of 2006. The lineup of December shows in the city is severely unintersting and last night's show brought a good, not great, ending. Snowden far surpassed my expectations. I have only a handful of tracks from their album Anti-Anti but seeing them live brought their somewhat monotonous studio tracks to life. Their bass player really steals the show on stage and I should mention that she could very well give Stellastar*'s bassist a run for her money. I'll let InMyTree report back on that after their Black Cat show in December.

¡Forward, Russia! have received quite a bit of acclaim this year for their spastic live shows. I do love the album and their set last night was certainly entertaining but I can't say that it was necessarily jaw-dropping. The entertainment is completely based on the stage antics of lead singer Tom Woodhead (the drummer looked like she could have fallen asleep at any time) and there's no denying that he's a complete wild man on stage. I think he travels with an extra long mic chord to wrap around himself on stage. He also seems to have the mic toss and catch routine down which he also breaks out several times during a song. Strangely, in-between songs he turns into shy guy and barely says a word to the crowd. The bass player, Rob Canning does the talking. Now I could rattle off a bunch of numbers (Thirteen, Fifteen Pt. 1, Seven, Fifteen Pt. 2) that would consist of the song titles from their setlist but I'm not sure that would mean anything to most. They did play, for the first time in the States, a new song that breaks the trend of numbered titles, "Don't Be a Doctor" which actually sounded more like 8 songs rolled into 1. Overall, the setlist was short, as expected, and consisted of a one song encore.

Related:
AOL Spinner was there and they have a ton of pics from last night
NME was there too and they called it "triumphant"

A.V. Club Scores Rare Interview with Maynard James Keenan...

...And they're talking wine (among other things, of course)! Is there anyone in music more entertaining than MJK? I know so little about him and that's probably why he fascinates me. This is an interview that would have Rolling Stone drooling. Thank you Aaron Burgess.

AVC: Given how little press you do, fans mostly just have these weird, disconnected snapshots of you: Maynard choking a fan; Maynard onstage in kabuki drag; Maynard performing as an evangelical preacher. Is the real Maynard somewhere between all these? You can break out the incense again if you want…

MJK: I'm just going to get in the lotus position for this one—got a little New Age crystal enema going here… Mmm. [Laughs.] But it's all slices—I mean, who the fuck is Christian Bale, really? Does it matter? I think in order for us to be entertainers—and let's face it: We're entertainers; we're not philosophers in any way—we're just basically clowns. That's what we are. So you dress up like a clown, and it makes it easier to be a clown. It allows you to express yourself freely, to step out of your own body and just have fun with the character. Hopefully, somebody gets something out of it. I know I get something out of it. I have fun. [More]

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Dance Rock Played Out? Visit Foreign Islands

For those Bloc Party fans out there? I came across a song today that reminded me of something that would fit up along side a collection of Silent Alarm b-sides. The group is Brooklyn-based Foreign Islands and they've been getting some good press based on their live shows in NYC across the past year. Others have compared them to Les Savy Fav and Thunderbirds are Now! and although I don't particularly like either of those bands, the lead single, "We Know You Know It" from their upcoming album Restart Now! (that certainly won't help the Thunderbirds Are Now! comparisons) isn't bad. Have a listen:

MP3: Foreign Islands - "We Know You Know It"
MP3: Foreign Islands - "That's How This Goes Down"
MySpace

They self-released an EP last year which available at Insound.
Restart Now! is due out 2/20/07 on Deaf Dumb & Blind Recordings

Monday, November 27, 2006

While You Were Eating: Music News

Hope everyone enjoyed a nice holiday. Some news of note:

* Silversun Pickups continue to prove that Pitchfork hate cannot bring them down. 7 PLUG Award nominations and an opening slot on the recent Wolfmother tour later, the band will further expand their reach during Snow Patrol's spring tour and as announced today, a spot on Friday night's Late Show with David Letterman.

* Popmatters has an interview with Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio.

* Interpol is back in the studio for what is rumored to be their major label debut.

* Editors, also in the studio, have revealed some details on their second album. More here.

* It's amazing how much money the Stones and U2 gross on these tours.

* Tool's new single, "The Pot" is Number 1 on Billboard's Singles Chart for Mainstream Rock Tracks, a first for the band.

Movies

I missed Iraq in Fragments when it was at the E Street Theater, but it is on my list. Frat recently caught The Fountain and said it was something along the lines of "epic" and "mind-blowing." The Queen is consistently getting raves and it is awesome to see Helen Mirren catching some Oscar-buzz, especially since she once remarked that the Academy Awards "[is] the creme-de-la-creme of bullshit." We are right there with you Helen. Additionally, I think it is only fair to mention that The Queen is directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things). You might remember that I spent a whole post gushing about how flawless his adaptation of High Fidelity.

Iraq in Fragments

"Iraq in Fragments succeeds on so many levels that it’s difficult to know where to begin. It works as a stunning piece of cinematic journalism, with director James Longley dividing the film into thirds—one third each for the Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds—and attempting to capture a slice of life reality for the three major ethno-political forces in Iraq. The result is a panoramic portrait of Iraqi society that to my knowledge has never been equaled, or at least portrayed so vividly. The overall picture is not so much hopeless as it is bleak and unsparing. Even the Kurds, the most pro-American, anti-Saddam segment of Iraq, express misgivings and doubt regarding the future of their country—as well they should, if the rest of the film is to believed. The opening shots of Baghdad focus on smoke pouring out of numerous buildings, as the camera moves through the ravages of Iraqi urban life. "Baghdad used to be beautiful," ruminates 11-year old Mohammed, the central player in the first part of the film. Occasionally, the crackle of gunfire can be heard, which the local men react to less with terror than a kind of weary resignation."
[Stylus Magazine]

The Fountain

"If you’re a movie lover who despairs that big-scale filmmaking today consists of little more than a self-cannibalizing system of clich√©s; if you are fed up with putatively ambitious movies that turn out to sorely lack not just vision but actual brains and actual heart as well, then you need, badly, to see The Fountain, soon, and under the most optimum viewing conditions available. It may well restore your faith in the idea that a movie can take you out of the mundane and into a place of wonderment.

"Describing this picture in terms of transportive qualities will no doubt strike some as a little fuzzy-minded. I should point out, then, that with The Fountain, getting to a place of wonderment isn’t a matter of turning off your mind, relaxing, and floating downstream; the movie is as demanding as it is dazzling."
[Premiere]

The Queen


"Directed by Stephen Frears from a very smart script by Peter Morgan, who helped write "The Last King of Scotland," also about crazy rulers and the people who love (and hate) them, "The Queen" pries open a window in the House of Windsor around the time of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, blending fact with fiction. It begins just days before her fatal car crash in 1997, when the princess, glimpsed only in television news clips and photographs, had completely transformed into Diana, the onetime palace prisoner turned jet-setting divorcee. The transformation was fit for a fairy tale: the lamb had been led to slaughter (cue Madonna's "Like a Virgin") and escaped in triumph (crank the Material Girl’s "Bye Bye Baby"). Elizabeth II wore the crown, but it was Diana who now ruled.

"How heavy that crown and how very lightly Helen Mirren wears it as queen. With Mr. Frears's gentle guidance, she delivers a performance remarkable in its art and lack of sentimentalism. Actors need to be loved, but one of Ms. Mirren’s strengths has always been her supreme self-confidence that we will love the performance no matter how unsympathetic the character. It takes guts to risk our antipathy, to invite us in with brilliant technique rather than bids for empathy. Even Mr. Whitaker’s Idi Amin seems to shed some tears. Ms. Mirren’s queen sheds a few too, but having climbed deep inside Elizabeth II, a vessel as heavily fortified as a gunship, she also coolly takes her character apart from the inside out, piece by machined piece."
[New York Times]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Arma-Fucking-Geddon

Coachella is now a three day event. April 27 - April 29. 2007. Year of our lord. Get some.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - "Gold Lion" (Live @ Coachella 2006)

Pearl Jam, MTV Unplugged 3/16/92 CONT'D

As promised, here are the remaining songs from Pearl Jam's MTV Unplugged performance. The rest can be found here.

Set List:
"Oceans"
"State of Love and Trust"
MP3: "Alive"
MP3: "Black"
MP3: "Jeremy"
"Porch"
MP3: "Even Flow"
"Rockin' in the Free World"

Bloc Party - "The Prayer"

You can stream Bloc Party's latest "The Prayer" here. Sound quality isn't the best, but I wouldn't know, I refuse to listen to it outside of the context of the album. I am taking P4K's word for it:

"Okereke's pleas are backed by monk-ish backing chants reminiscent of his band's breakout single 'Banquet', as well as stomping and clapping that begins as if in a schoolyard but slowly mutates, without changing at all, into something more martial. Bell-like keyboards ping off of the chorus ('Tonight make me unstoppable!') and an abrasive guitar solo cuts through it all like a blinding light.

"The muddy sound quality on this stream leaves a lot to be desired, but trust me on this: it isn't just one of the best songs on the album. It's one of the best songs Bloc Party's ever written."

Cuz I'm a M*thaf*ckin' P.I.M.P...

One's got Grammys, one's a Rhodes Scholar. One is the self proclaimed "best rapper alive" and the other was the leader of the free world. One's got "the hottest chick in the game wearing my chain" and the other one cheated on his wife in the Oval Office with a Lane Bryant model. Oh, what I would have done to be a fly on the wall backstage at Ellen today. Why is that, you ask? Because Jay-Z and former President Bill Clinton were chilling between commercials talking shop. That's right, two of the biggest pimps in the land right there on Ellen. It was bizarre. Even more bizarre was the fact that I happened upon it during my lunch break. Jay-Z was coming of his Hangar Tour while Bill was discussing his efforts in the Gulf Coast. I only caught the Jay-Z interview and he seemed pretty fucking exhausted. Sitting there listening to Jay-Z talk about how him and the Pres go back got me wondering what B-Jeff and Hova would discuss. Who has the flyest first lady? Hova hands down. Who's got more hoes on the side? Debatable. Best cigars? A matter of taste...

Rest In Peace, Robert Altman

There were three great moments at the Oscars this past year: Clooney getting Best Supporting Actor and saying something along the lines of "I guess this means I won't get Best Director," P. S. Hoffman getting Best Actor and thanking his mother, and Robert Altman picking up a Lifetime Achievement Oscar and giving an eloquent, humble speech that spoke volumes about his character. If you haven't seen Short Cuts, M*A*S*H, Nashville, or Gosford Park, they are must-see films.[Photo Credit: Gerald Peary Interview]

The legendary director of such classics as M*A*S*H, Nashville and The Player dies at the age of 81
(LOS ANGELES) — Robert Altman, the caustic and irreverent satirist behind M*A*S*H, Nashville and The Player who made a career out of bucking Hollywood management and story conventions, died at a Los Angeles Hospital, his Sandcastle 5 Productions Company said Tuesday. He was 81. The director died Monday night, Joshua Astrachan, a producer at Altman's Sandcastle 5 Productions in New York City, told The Associated Press. The cause of death wasn't disclosed. A news release was expected later in the day, Astrachan said.

"A five-time Academy Award nominee for best director, most recently for 2001's Gosford Park, he finally won a lifetime achievement Oscar in 2006. 'No other filmmaker has gotten a better shake than I have,' Altman said while accepting the award. 'I'm very fortunate in my career. I've never had to direct a film I didn't choose or develop. My love for filmmaking has given me an entree to the world and to the human condition.'

"Altman had one of the most distinctive styles among modern filmmakers. He often employed huge ensemble casts, encouraged improvisation and overlapping dialogue and filmed scenes in long tracking shots that would flit from character to character. Perpetually in and out of favor with audiences and critics, Altman worked ceaselessly since his anti-war black comedy M*A*S*H established his reputation in 1970, but he would go for years at a time directing obscure movies before roaring back with a hit."
[Time (AP)]

Robert Altman Dies at 81
"By the Academy's count, Altman directed 86 films, writing 37 of them. Early credits, according to the Internet Movie Database, included How to Run a Filling Station, the sort of industrial short that paid the fledgling director's bills. Moving onto TV in the 1950s, Altman helmed episodes of Bonanza, Maverick and Route 66.

"It wasn't until his mid-40s that M*A*S*H, the 1970 black comedy set during the Korean War, but speaking the language of the Vietnam War-era audience, distinguished Altman as a feature director." [EOnline.com]

Robert Altman, American maverick, dies aged 81
"Robert Altman, arguably the most colourful and distinctive film-maker of his generation, has died in a hospital in Los Angeles, California. He was 81 years old.

"A late bloomer, Altman was a middle-aged TV director when he took over the reins of 1969's Korean war satire M*A*S*H, reportedly after 17 other directors had turned it down. The movie tapped into a groundswell of opposition to the war in Vietnam and became a mammoth hit. It also established the director's genius for loose-limbed narratives and multi-tracked sound recording; a kind of controlled chaos that caught the mood of a culture in flux."
[Guardian Unlimited]

Robert Altman
[IMDB.com | Wikipedia]

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mastodon & Priestess Tour

"Mastodon has unveiled a three-week North American tour in support of its latest Reprise album, Blood Mountain. The metal-leaning quartet will be joined by Priestess and Converge on the trek, which begins Jan. 26 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and wraps Feb. 18 in Norfolk, Va.

"'[Touring], I feel, is what got us signed,' drummer Brann Dailor told Billboard.com in a recent interview. 'But we're really aggressive about it and sometimes it can get to us. Sometimes I sink into a depression on tour because it's no place to be when big stuff happens, like if your dog dies or something. You're in your tour bubble. So it'd be nice to keep finding way to adjust to it.'" [Billboard]

Dates:
Jan 26: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Culture Room)
Jan 27: Orlando, Fla. (House of Blues)
Jan 28: St. Petersburg, Fla. (Jannus Landing)
Jan 29: Tallahassee, Fla. (Beta Bar)
Jan 31: Athens, Ga. (40 Watt Club)
Feb 1: Knoxville, Tenn. (Blue Cat's)
Feb 2: Nashville (Rocketown)
Feb 3: St. Louis, Mo. (Pop's)
Feb 5: Minneapolis (First Ave.)
Feb 7: Grand Rapids, Mich. (The Orbit Room)
Feb 8: Columbus, Ohio (Newport Music Hall)
Feb 9: Pittsburgh (Rex Theater)
Feb 10: Sayreville, N.J. (Starland Ballroom)
Feb 11: Providence, R.I. (Lupo's)
Feb 13: Allentown, Penn. (Crocodile Rock)
Feb 14: Rochester, N.Y. ( Water Street Music Hall)
Feb 15: Albany, N.Y. (Northern Lights)
Feb 16: New Haven, Conn. (Toad's Place)
Feb 17: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club) | Tickets
Feb 18: Norfolk, Va. (NorVa)

Sunday YouTube Greatness

Radiohead - "No Surprises"


Iggy Pop - "The Passenger"


Jeff Mangum - "Holland, 1945"


Black Flag - "Filthy & Miserable"


The Strokes & Jack White - "New York City Cops"

Pearl Jam, MTV Unplugged 3/16/92

Friday's Pearl Jam post put me back into PJ mode, so I'm pulling out the archive with their MTV Unplugged performance.

The show was filmed at midnight on 3/16/92 at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, NY and aired on 5/13/92. I explicitly remember this as the first time I ever saw Pearl Jam perform live (on air, of course) and was blown away by Eddie's voice and the translation of the songs in an acoustic setting. You may recall images of Eddie standing on his stool and writing "Pro Choice" on his arm with a marker during a thrilling version of "Porch." Legend has it that the band had wanted to play "Sonic Reducer" instead of "Jeremy," the video that was currently on heavy rotation on the network but MTV heavies had their way and the band relented. Another confirmed rumor suggests that MTV also later asked Pearl Jam to do another Unplugged segment which they turned down.

Strangely, this show was never released as an album but you can find the album as a bootleg in many places. Here is the setlist, taken from Pearl Jam's Web site with mp3's of a few of my favorites, including the two songs that did not air (email us if you're interested in any others).

[aired version, 30 min]: Even Flow, Jeremy, Alive, Black, State of Love and Trust, Porch

[complete, 51 minute set]: Oceans, State of Love and Trust, Alive, Black, Jeremy, Porch, Even Flow, Rockin' in the Free World

Pearl Jam, MTV Unplugged:
MP3: "Oceans"
MP3: "State of Love and Trust"
MP3: "Porch"
MP3: "Rockin' in the Free World"

Pearl Jam - "Porch"

Friday, November 17, 2006

Michael Mann - Last of the Mohicans

There isn't a single scene in movie history I have watched more than this. I'm watching it now on the big screen and pondered if YouGoogley had it. Turns out, they did.

Make Poverty History: Pearl Jam w/ U2

Two of the biggest live performering acts in the world came together during today's Make Poverty History Concert in Melbourne, AU. Pearl Jam performed "Rockin in the Free World" and were joined on stage by The Edge and Bono. Not surprisingly, Bono makes a grand entrance on the stage after the song had begun but it's an altogether amazing performance with altered lyrics that fit the theme of the benefit. Enjoy...(thx)

Streaming WMV: "Rockin in the Free World" (skip to the 7 minute mark)

Envy: KinoSport

I just stumbled across KinoSport. I am fucking envious. Envious of the photography. Envious of the layout. Envious of the design. It is truly beautiful and original. The backdrop changes everytime you are there. Above is my favorite: the open road. Here's a passage from their latest post:

"America frightens me. Leave the politics and weapons and sprawl aside: it frightens me on purely geographical terms. So many blank spaces on the map, shocking Antarctic rectangles where who knows what's happening. Nonetheless, I borrowed a Chrysler because there is always the romance of the open road, the coming-of-age and meaning-of-life stories paired with highway numbers and motor lodges, mythologized in an endless library of songs, books, and movies. Do other countries hold such passion for their interstate system?

"Welcome to Indiana, the crossroads of America. A town called Gas City. Music roaring, driving hard. Wolf Parade. The Modern Lovers. Spiritualized. Basic Channel. Sometimes I listen to religious talk radio. If we look around today, just as the scripture says, the prophetic clouds are gathering... I try to imagine what it would feel like to believe in Jesus. Some people believe in Jesus, I believe in Helvetica. The word, the single letterform and all that it contains: this is the shape of the rational mind." [KinoSport 11.16.06]
Jesus.

MP3: The Music - "Take the Long Road and Walk It"

 

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Plan for Tonight

In no particular order...

1. Ponder my cash flow, the Cat Power show at 9:30 Club next Monday that isn't sold out, my desire to attend and the intersection of those three things.

Check out Cat Power's set with the Memphis Rhythm Band at La Route Du Rock at the back-in-action rbally. The French commentary in between songs is so delicious it hurts.

2. Watch Chan-wook Park's Lady Vengeance.

3. "Stack bodies".

Christopher O'Riley @ Kennedy Center Sunday Night

[Photo Credit]

Thanks to friend, patriot, and Metro-challenged VH for the head's up.
The Kennedy Center
"Modern rock collides with the beauty and intricacy of classical music in Christopher O'Riley's acclaimed, unforgettable transcriptions. This piano master reinterprets music by the innovative rock group Radiohead and the late singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, bridging the gap between pop and classical genres."
[Terrace Theater | 8:00 PM | $30 |Tickets]

"O'Riley claims his renditions have introduced the music of Radiohead to an ignorant classical audience as well as introducing classical music to a wider or younger audience, as he sometimes performs both standard concert repertoire, such as Shostakovich or Mozart, and Radiohead, Elliott Smith or Nick Drake interpretations at the same concert. O'Riley describes himself as an obsessed Radiohead fan in interviews, and says he was attracted to the multilayered nature of the band's music, leading him to listen and transcribe lesser known album tracks, live bootleg recordings of performances, b-sides, and even songs never officially released, as well as some of their hit singles. In his liner notes for Home to Oblivion, he calls Elliott Smith 'the most important songwriter since Cole Porter,' although admitting he was unaware of Smith's music until his apparent suicide in 2003. When asked to explain his unusual choice of material for a classical pianist, O'Riley has often quoted Duke Ellington's statement that 'there are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.'

"O'Riley does not sing, but his pop interpretations usually stick to the original song's structure and incorporate the vocal melody. He compares them to the work of classical composers who sought material in popular songs and dances, although O'Riley notes he is not a composer. His intricate Romantic-style performances have met with praise from many Radiohead fans, especially on the Internet, while some would have preferred more improvisatory arrangements (such as those of jazz pianist Brad Mehldau), or feel he is unfairly profiting from the band's name, or from the untimely deaths of cult icons like Smith and Drake (his next project)." [Wikit]

Christopher O'Riley's Official Site

Radiohead
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "Karma Police"
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "No Surprises"
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "True Love Waits"

Elliot Smith
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "Roman Candle"
MP3: Christopher O'Riley - "Not Half Right"

  

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

John Shaved His Head

[Photo Credit: LAist Photo Essay, RHCP @ Roxy for Zune Secret Show]

Pitchfork: Trail of Dead's So Divided

"As was the case with its predecessor, the aesthetic faux-pas on So Divided can be cringe-inducing. It's not pretty. But there's a much bigger problem at hand: Trail of Dead don't even sound like a rock band any more. So Divided is even more elaborately orchestrated and structured than Source Tags and Codes, but its complexity seems inorganic and clumsy, revealing the weakness of the source material rather than elevating and enhancing it. There's certainly nothing wrong with forgoing traditional rock instrumentation in favor of lavish arrangements and studio trickery, but the bells and whistles here don't even begin to fill the void created by a complete dissipation of the group's energy. Even when the dizzyingly disparate pieces of the album do fall into place, it seems like the work of some external hand; the band achieves crystalline structural vistas, but it's never quite clear how they got there, or why." [Pitchfork: 5.5]

Robert Pollard, Portastatic @ Sonar Tonight

UPDATE: DUE TO INJURY ROBERT POLLARD HAS CANCELLED HIS APPEARANCE TONIGHT. REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN AT PLACE OF PURCHASE. PORTASTATIC WILL STILL BE PLAYING WITH THE ORANGES BAND ON THE CLUB STAGE. [Sonar]

Robert Pollard
[Official Site]
"Robert Pollard (born October 31, 1957) is a Dayton, Ohio singer-songwriter, who until 2004 was the leader and creative force behind indie rock group Guided by Voices. During his high school years, he was a successful basketball and baseball player. Pollard was a fourth grade schoolteacher until 1994, when Guided by Voices first broke into the national consciousness with the release of the album Bee Thousand. With over 900 songs registered to his name with BMI, Pollard is among the most prolific songwriters of his time." [Wikit]


Portastatic
[Official Site | Merge Records Band Page | MySpace]
MP3: Portastatic - "I Wanna Know Girls"
MP3: Portastatic - "You Know Where to Find Me" (Live)

 

Encore

Trail of Dead - "Another Morning Stoner"

Trail of Dead @ 9:30 Club, 11.14.06














Setlist
"Mistakes & Regrets"
"It Was There (That I Saw You)"
"How Near How Far"
"Stand In Silence"
"Gaterwaul"
"Homage"
"Aged Dolls"
"A Perfect Teenhood"
"Will You Smile Again"
"Totally Natural"

Encore
"Another Morning Stoner"

Blood Brothers @ 9:30 Club, 11.14.06





Setlist
"Set Fire"
"Teen Heat"
"Nausea"
"Ambulance"
"Laser Life"
"Camouflage"
"Rat Rider"
"Skeletal"
"Dream Unicorn"
"Trash"
"Peacock"
"1,2,3,4 Guitars"
"Vital Beach"
"Love Rhymes"
"Cecilia"
"Giant Swan"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

9:30 Club Tonight: Trail of Dead, Blood Brothers

Tuesday, November 14

7:00 Doors
7:30 Brothers and Sisters
8:15 Celebration
9:05 Blood Brothers
10:30 ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead

Metro D highly recommends checking out Celebration's set. Katrina Ford & Co. are high energy and a lot of fun.

PLUG Award Nominees; Pitchfork Lacks Any Maturity

PLUG Award nominees were announced and Band of Horses and Silversun Pickups each received 7 nominations. PLUG recognizes only independent artists and labels so if you're wondering why, for example, TV on the Radio doesn't show up. That's why. And then there's Pitchfork's Amy Phillips who very informatively spends 4 paragraphs explaining the selection and voting process, the event date, etc. adds this sentence at the very end:

"So get to voting! But please, for the love of god, stay away from Silversun Pickups."

Your opinion is one thing but singling out and denigrating ONE single band is completely uncalled for. It's just one more example (Jet review as another) that seriously questions their their credibility as a trusted source. It's a bullshit comment and it really pissed me off. And yes, I am a big fan of SSPU but I think it still would have bothered me if she had said someone like Belle & Sebastion.

Anyway, here are some of the noteworthy categories:

Album of the Year:
Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time (Sub Pop)
Beirut - Gulag Orkestar (Ba Da Bing)
Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit (Matador)
Cat Power - The Greatest (Matador)
Girl Talk - Night Ripper (Illegal Art)
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House (Warp)
J Dilla - Donuts (Stones Throw)
Joanna Newsom - Ys (Drag City)
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (Anti-)
Silversun Pickups - Carnavas (Dangerbird)
The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls In America (Vagrant)
The Knife - Silent Shout (Mute)

Indie Rock Album of the Year:
Annuals - Be He Me (Ace Fu)
Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time (Sub Pop)
Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit (Matador)
Black Heart Procession - The Spell (Touch And Go)
Dirty On Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens (North Street)
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House (Warp)
Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther (Bella Union)
Silversun Pickups - Carnavas (Dangerbird)
Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming (Absolutely Kosher)
Tapes 'N Tapes - The Loon (XL)
The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls In America (Vagrant)
Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (Matador)

Song of the Year:
Arctic Monkeys - "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" (Domino)
Band Of Horses - "The Funeral" (Sub Pop)
Gossip - "Standing In The Way Of Control" (Kill Rock Stars)
Hot Chip - "And I Was A Boy From School" (Astralwerks)
Hot Chip - "Over And Over" (Astralwerks)
Jenny Lewis WIth The Watson Twins - "Rise Up With Fists" (Team Love)
Midlake - "Roscoe" (Bella Union)
Peter Bjorn And John - "Young Folks" (Wichita)
Silversun Pickups - "Lazy Eye" (Dangerbird)
The Coup - "Laugh/Love/F**k" (Epitaph)
The Knife - "We Share Our Mother's Health" (Mute)
Tokyo Police Club - "Nature Of The Experiment" (Paper Bag)

Music Blog of the Year:
brooklynvegan.com
coolfer.com
discobelle.net
fluxblog.org
gerardvsbear.blogspot.com
gorillavsbear.blogspot.com
idolator.com
largeheartedboy.com
music.for-robots.com
myoldkyhome.blogspot.com
stereogum.com
youaintnopicasso.com

VOTE

Monday, November 13, 2006

Blood Brothers, Trail of Dead @ Irving Plaza, 11/12

Sunday shows are the absolute worst and this was the second show in two nights for the Blood Brothers/Trail of Dead tour at Irving Plaza. Add to it the shitty weather outside and in such a rare instance, I'd be willing to give these guys a mulligan. Over the course of the last two years, Trail of Dead has ascended my list of favorite bands even as others began to write them off. I missed their show at Black Cat last year and this was my first chance to see them live. From the cryptic messages found throughout the blogosphere, the reviews of this tour have been very pro Blood Brothers/meh AYWKUBTTOD. Needless to say, given the above, my expectations going into last night were pretty damn low. Well, you know where I'm going with this, forget all that shit because they ripped out my insides and shred them to pieces. I'm completely exhausted this morning, my ears are still ringing, and I could care less. They were everything I wanted them to be and more.

I won't go into much detail because I want InMyTree to go into Tuesday's show with an open mind. If you know what you're getting into, Blood Brothers will absolutely live up to the hype they're getting on this current tour but their sound is just not for me. Given the choice of incessant screaming or Conrad Keely's admittedly shaky vocals, I'll take the latter every time. Consistent with the rest of the tour, the set list was very focused on earlier work, "Stand in Silence" was again, the only new song they played. I'm not sure if this is due to lack of practice with the new material or the fact that the album has yet to be released. That will be judged by the remainder of the tour. They played the 3 songs that I needed to hear including what I believe to be the best song of the past decade, "How Near, How Far" ("Another Morning Stoner" and "Will You Smile Again" were the other two). Their set was a relatively short 70 minutes but to be honest, I'm not sure I could have handled anything more. Jason Reece did about 3 songs but made up for it by doing an entire show's worth of stage antics. The band did a one song encore and invited about 30 people from the crowd up on stage and unfortunately, I'm not exactly sure what the last song was, maybe "Richter Scale Madness?" It was a bit hard to tell with everything going on and people bouncing into the band. Here is my attempt at the setlist, in no particular order, and I may have one or two incorrect songs in here. If anyone out there has the official setlist, please send it to me.

"Ode to Isis"
"How Near How Far"
"Caterwaul"
"Homage"
"Clair de Lune"
"Days of Being Wild"
"It Was There That I Saw You"
"Relative Ways"
"Another Morning Stoner"
"Will You Smile Again"
"Stand in Silence"
"Rest Will Follow"
"Richter Scale Madness" ??

Trail of Dead is going to be busy over the next two days, they're doing an album release show tonight at midnight at the Virgin Megastore in NYC, followed by another in-store at Sound Garden tomorrow in Baltimore and then the show at 9:30 Club tomorrow night. Who knows, that could lead to a sub par effort but you've been warned.

Related News:
The New York Times reviewed the Saturday show

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Throw Your Hatred Down

[Photo Credit: PJ Bootleg - Sydney, 11.07.06; Buy Pearl Jam Bootlegs]

"Throw Your Hatred Down"
Music & Lyrics by Mr. Neil Young

Here in the conscious world
We place our theories down
Why man must bring us to our knees
Before he sees the weakness of his sinful plan
The power in his hand
Will never touch a friend

Throw your hatred down
Throw your hatred down

[solo]

Meanwhile in the underworld
The weaknesses are seen
By peasants and presidents
Who plan the counter-scheme
Children in the schoolyard
Finish choosing teams
Divided by their dreams
While a TV screams

Throw your weapons down
Throw your weapons down

[solo]

The wheel of fortune
Keeps on rollin' down
The street that's paved with sinful plans
There but for circumstance
May go you or I
Dressed in gold lame
Find a place to stay

Throw your hatred down
Throw your hatred down
Throw your hatred down
Throw your weapons down

[solo]


The best artists create songs that still mean something years after the fact. Neil Young could have written this song yesterday and it would mean something to all of us. It's hard to consider it a cover when Pearl Jam was the backing band for Neil Young's Mirrorball, but we'll call it a cover. Pearl Jam has played it three times total, and those three times came in the last month. Here's what it sounded like with Neil on vocals in the studio and with Eddie & crew in Australia 5 days ago.

MP3: Neil Young - "Throw Your Hatred Down"
MP3: Pearl Jam - "Throw Your Hatred Down" (Sydney, 11.07.06)

8 Track: The Week That Was

[Viva Voce @ Iota Club & Cafe]

British. Buzz.
MP3: Klaxons - "Atlantis to Interzone"

Give me one good reason why this isn't one of the top twenty tracks this year. We almost left after Silversun Pickups to catch Sparta, but we stuck around and caught the goodness that is Viva Voce. Get Yr Blood Sucked Out has been spinning ever since.
MP3: Viva Voce - "So Many Miles" (Live @ KEXP)

Tuesday can't come soon enough. TOD is hitting 9:30 Club up with Blood Brothers. Get some.
MP3: ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - "Naked Sun"

Maybe my favorite track next to "Whipping" off of Vitalogy. Many a jam session between Frat and InMyTree feature a two man acoustic attack on this.
MP3: Pearl Jam - "Immortality" (Live @ Bridge School Benefit 1994)

News of a new Cornell solo album dropped this week. Rumors of an Audioslave breakup were dismissed. And this gem, which will be part of the solo album, surfaced at Stereogum.
MP3: Chris Cornell - "Billie Jean" (Live in Sweden)

I saw the movie The Proposition more than a month ago and I still find myself thinking about it. "The Rider Song" is a great track for the Sunday rain. Or for shooting dudes in the Australian outback.
MP3: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - "The Rider Song"

Bob Dylan has been on heavy rotation during my periods of heavy composition. This track, I believe, is the strongest track off of Blonde on Blonde. I love the meandering bass line.
MP3: Bob Dylan - "Visions of Johanna"

I love this song acoustic. The intro still has a heavy feel to it. Pearl Jam fired Dave Abbruzzese two months earlier and Jack Irons was filling in on percussion.
MP3: Pearl Jam - "Corduroy" (Live @ Bridge School Benefit 1994)

The Mars Volta Tour Update

From TheMarsVolta.com:

The Frontier Touring Company wish to advise that The Mars Volta tour, scheduled to kick off in Australia on November 28, has been postponed.

But never fear! The band have already confirmed new show dates for Australia and New Zealand for March 2007.

Existing tickets remain valid for the new concerts and do not need to be exchanged. Simply rock up on the night and present your original ticket to gain admittance.

Fans unable to attend the new concert dates in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth can secure a refund from their original point of purchase.
This probably means June/July kickoff for the American leg.

Red Hot Chili Peppers @ Verizon Center

Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Snow ((Hey Oh))" Video


Just a few days ago, in a moment of true restraint, I passed on grabbing fan club tickets to the Charlottesville, VA show. And now today, checking out my e-mail, I find more news. News that challenges my ability to resist. News that John Frusciante will be playing DC. I literally can't say no to this. I believe that this is the tour that Gnarls Barkley will be opening for them, but I can't be positive. More on that later. Remember when I grabbed tickets to the Albany show because there wasn't a DC date? And by March they will have played this area three times. Patience is not a virtue of InMyTree.

Recently announced dates on the John Frusciante Show:
Fri. Jan. 12 - Oklahoma City, OK at Cox Arena*
Sat. Jan. 13 - Dallas, TX at American Airlines Arena*
Mon. Jan. 15 - St. Louis, MO at Scottrade Center*
Wed. Jan. 17 - Nashville, TN at Gaylord Entertainment Center
Sat. Jan. 20 - Cincinnati, OH at US Bank Arena
Mon. Jan. 22 - Raleigh, NC at RBC Center*
Tue. Jan. 23 - Charlotte, NC at Bobcat Arena*
Thu. Jan. 25 - Washington, DC at Verizon Center*
Fri. Jan. 26 - Charlottesville, VA at John Paul Jones Arena
Sun. Jan. 28 - Tampa, FL at St. Pete Times Forum*
Tue. Jan. 30 - Orlando, FL at Orlando Centroplex*
Wed. Jan. 31 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL at BankAtlantic Center*
Tue. Feb. 27 - Chicago, IL at Allstate Arena*
Sat. Mar. 2 - Des Moines, IA at Wells Fargo Arena
Sun. Mar. 3 - Champaign, IL at Assembly Arena
Mon. Mar. 6 - San Antonio, TX at ATT Arena
Wed. Mar. 07 - Houston, TX at Toyota Center*

*Fan pre-sale on Tuesday, November 14th at 10am local time. More info here and here.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day


Many people may not have noticed Veteran's Day today, for the simple fact that it fell on a Saturday and therefore, most of us didn't score a day off from work. But, of course, that isn't the point. In a week where we saw the democratic process kicked into high gear, there is a lot to be proud of. I was proud to see that the system works, and when people want change in America, they can work to achieve it. I am also proud that we have young men and women that still choose to sacrifice a lot of the liberties you and I might enjoy to ensure that it stays that way. To all of them - whether it was Normandy, Inchon, Khe Sanh, Sadr City, Tora Bora, or countless other places - Metro D thanks veterans everywhere for their sacrifice.

MP3: Eddie Vedder - "I Am A Patriot" (Acoustic Live)

Friday, November 10, 2006

QOTSA to Play Free Show in NYC

[Photo Credit]

We totally. Fucking. Missed this one. From QOTSA.com:

11/10/2006
NYC SMALL CLUB SHOW!
Queens Of The Stone Age will be playing the official Zune Launch Party (zuneinsider.com) on Monday (11/13) from 9pm - 12 midnight. Venue information will be live on zuneinsider.com Monday morning. Tickets are free to the public and EXTREMELY LIMITED. Tickets must be picked up @ Circuit City in Union Square only on FRIDAY (starting @ 7pm) on a first come first serve basis. Tickets come in pairs. You must be 21 or over to enter.
If anyone hits it up, let us know how it goes. Queens of the Stone Age are amazing live. Talk about lost art of finding out about a secret.

Other bands pumping Zune are covered at Billboard.com and Zune hasn't really been blowing people away.

MP3: Queens of the Stone Age - "Lost Art of Keeping a Secret"

B is for Blood

I sat down to bang out my lackluster resume for a grad school application and put on Bloc Party from the beginning to the end. It kicked of with The Bloc Party E.P. and rolled all the way Silent Alarm with some singles, bootlegs, and remixes in between. What happened next, was fantastic. Somewhere between Bloc Party and Bob Dylan (which continues to roll) my iPod stumbled upon Blood Feathers and The Blood Brothers. Two tracks from distribution CDs that landed in my hands through Insound orders. Bombarded by other new music, a devastating workload and application after application, these two tracks had slipped through my greedy paws. Until tonight. I am definitely psyched for The Blood Brothers' opening slot for ...Trail of Dead 9:30 Club show on Tuesday. It appears to be the perfect setup for the boys from Austin.

*** *** ***

Blood Feathers
Philadelphia winters are spitefully cold and longer than seems possible or even just. It's awfully hard to do anything at all. Yet right in the heart of those frozen doldrums Ben Dickey and Drew Mills (both lately band-bachelors and good-friends), got down to blowing on the embers of songs they had, individually and together, been incubating for some time. Aha. It caught: this prolific twosome favor each other so handsomely in tone, skill, presence and purpose that it was only natural to shake hands and make a band. And thus from ashes ~oh the formidable Phoenix!~ has risen Blood Feathers. Their fantastic fledgling album, curse and praise, was recorded during nine days of hibernation in a little nest of a studio tucked in the corner of an arctic warehouse in Fishtown. [MySpace]
[Blood Feathers]

Upcoming dates:
Nov 16 Club Europa, Brooklyn, New York
Nov 18 North Star Bar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dec 15 Johnny Brendas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

MP3: Blood Feathers - "Sea Legs"

*** *** ***

The Blood Brothers
Lyrically, Young Machetes remains firmly rooted in the surreal consciousness, rage and oblique politics the Brothers have always embraced. It also reveals a new, once-bitten wisdom. "I thought the collective dissent of our generation would bring about positive change," says Jordan of the election year climate that inspired Crimes and its direct commentary. "When that didn't happen I felt like the bottom had fallen out." Still, Jordan and the band stay positive, motivated by the idea of the 'personal as political.' "It comes down to your dollars and cents - who and what you choose to support." It also means music is a microcosm for change. "Imagine where we could go with music," Morgan ponders, "if we always said 'yes' and not 'no.'" [The Blood Brothers]
[Official Site | MySpace]

Remaining dates for Trail of Dead, The Blood Brothers, Celebration, and Brothers and Sisters:
Nov 11 Irving Plaza New York , NY
Nov 12 Irving Plaza New York , NY
Nov 14 9:30 Club Washington, DC
Nov 15 Tremont Music Hall Charlotte, NC
Nov 16 The Masquerade Atlanta , GA
Nov 17 The Club at Firestone Orlando , FL
Nov 18 Jannus Landing St. Petersburg, FL
Nov 20 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
Nov 21 Warehouse Houston , TX
Nov 22 Emo's Austin, TX
Nov 24 Granada Theatre Dallas, TX
Nov 25 Jake's Backroom Lubbock, TX
Nov 27 Marquee Theatre Phoenix, AZ
Nov 28 House of Blues Las Vegas, NV
Nov 29 House of Blues San Diego, CA
Nov 30 Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, CA
Dec 1 Henry Fonda Theatre Los Angeles, CA
Dec 2 Glasshouse Pomona, CA
Dec 3 Empire Sacramento, CA
Dec 5 Fillmore San Francisco, CA
Dec 6 Crystal Ballroom Portland, OR
Dec 7 Showbox Seattle, WA
Dec 9 Sugar Night Club Victoria, BC
Dec 10 Croatian Cultural Center Vancouver, BC
Dec 11 MacEwan Ballroom Calgary, AB
Dec 12 The Venue Formerly Known as Red's Edmonton, AB
Dec 14 Avalon Theatre Salt Lake City, UT

MP3: The Blood Brothers - "Laser Life"

Get Well Soon, Matt

[PeterHill.net]

According to Blog Party you can send flowers, cards, and the like to:

Matt Tong: patient
Grady Memorial Hospital
80 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive, SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Metro D's thoughts and prayers are with Matt, his family and the band. Apparently he played the entire show last night in Atlanta with the collapsed lung. Sick.

Blog Party also has NME's track by track preview of the new album, A Weekend In The City, complete with fan-created artwork for each track. Due to the fact that they are the supporting act for Panic! At The Disco, I doubt refunds will be available for the show. My recommendation? Scalp that ass on eBay or Craigslist. My attention has now turned to a possible Bloc Party return to the 9:30 Club. Their one and only performance at 9:30 Club was on June 16th, 2005. Two months before that they rocked Black Cat. A blogger can dream.

MP3: Bloc Party - "Banquet" (Phones Disco Edit)
MP3: Bloc Party - "Staying Fat"
MP3: Bloc Party - "Tulips"

Bloc Party Not Playing @ Patriot Center

This from the 'fork, due to an injury to drummer Matt Tong during last night's show, Bloc Party will not be playing the Charlotte, NoVa. or NYC shows with Panic! At The Disco. This is a huge disappointment to those Bloc fans who bought tickets to see them open up. P!ATD fans probably won't notice the difference.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Arriaga + Omar = Head-splosion

"Rodriguez-Lopez, who is working on music for Guillermo Arriaga's forthcoming film The Night Buffalo as well as his own, five-years-in-the-making movie,..." [MTV.com]

Arriaga? As in the guy that wrote Babel, Amores Perros, and 21 Grams? Sign me the fuck up. It is a small, small world when you love great things.

The Mars Volta & The Christian Science Monitor?

I'm gonna throw some lyrics down and let you make what you will of a recommendation for Amputechture showing up in The Christian Science Monitor. Now I know that The Christian Science Monitor is not a religious themed paper. However, it is published by a church ( the First Church of Christ Scientist, Boston) and there is a religious article published in ever paper.

Maybe I should just throw them a bone for being so open-minded. After all, they are throwing a bone to an album that is handing it to Christianity and Catholocism. Maybe that has something to do with their basic theology: "what reaches and affects thought shapes experience, it follows that a newspaper would have significant impact on the lives of those who read it" [CSMonitor.com].

I simply find it interesting to see a promotion of sorts for Amputechture in something affiliated with the organized religion. Granted it was a recommendation from author T.C. Boyle, but I am still impressed with the open-mindedness.

While I respect the ability to be fair and unbiased in discussing what is created through art, I am digging everything Cedric has to say...

Tetragrammaton
you and your false
witness to god
you've one in the chamber
but your finger got stuck

let slip the sound
of a cry for help
but all was lost
on the night you walked

palms speak through eyes
serve your memory lost
i contaminate with insignias

in the end they just gagged me
to make him come out


Meccamputechture
this dirt is turning christ
to make repent again
so i've heard
they're cutting
all the youngest ones
said this dirt is turning christ
to make repent his lust
so i've heard
that the puppet tugs its pull
please dismantle
all these phantom limbs
it's the evidence
of humans as ornaments


Viscera Eyes
while the other three did hide
the culprit spat the seed
from a podium of glass
shattering the sigil
that you thought was deitized

don't let me go, don't let me go
here is venom in numerical lies
your convalescent thorns
are but a crown of maggots
they rot the shakes inside that glass eye
come and give it to me
come on and die


[From MTV.com]
"This album's a commentary about the fear of God instead of the love of God, which goes hand-in-hand with Catholicism," he said. "To me, religion is the reason there is so much conflict in this world, and I think it's just so unnecessary to believe in this blue-eyed, white-bearded, white-haired God. Amputechture is my personal way of describing enlightenment, or just the celebration of this person who is a shaman and not a crazy person. It's about the pineal gland and how it has certain elements that mimic a DMT experience, and how we can come up with cures for cancer and AIDS if we're more in tune with what's going on in the rainforest." Cedric Bixler-Zavala

Uncle Walter

Lawrence: "Peter... watch out for your cornhole, bud."
[Office Space]

A VERDICT, FINALLY [New York Times]
"A federal court jury in Bridgeport, Conn., convicted Walter A. Forbes, former chairman of the Cendant Corporation, of masterminding an accounting fraud that was, at the time it was discovered in 1998, the largest on record.

"The verdict came in the third trial of Mr. Forbes over eight years. Jurors could not reach a verdict in the earlier cases. This jury found Mr. Forbes, 63, of New Canaan, Conn., guilty of conspiracy and of submitting false reports to regulators. It acquitted him of securities fraud.

"Mr. Forbes, who is free on $1.2 million bail, is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 17. He may be sent to prison for as long as 25 years."


MP3: Ben Folds Five - "Uncle Walter"

I want to thank everyone who extended concern for Uncle Walter. While some of you suggested that you would next hear me reporting on the live music scene in Switzerland, fret not. I wasn't involved.

There is no word on whether or not this will affect my inheritance, my record collection or booze consumption. I laugh. I tease. In all seriousness, I am part of the bastard line of firefighters from Boston, so I don't hobknob or go sailing or do whatever it is that rich criminals named Forbes do. But that doesn't mean I'm a cold-hearted son of a bitch. I still get teary-eyed when I hear about the big dogs from the family Redwood getting sent to the slammer.

To be completely honest, I don't know why everybody gets so excited. I kind of believed the whole "I'm a CEO...I don't know a thing..." excuse. So he's making millions of dollars, that doesn't mean he's asking the question why. Or how. Yeah, that sounds pretty legit. I mean, that defense worked the first two times. Right?

On a separate note, I'm trying to figure out if $1.2 million bail means you're a flight risk or just a complete fucking jackhole. Or maybe they have to make bail something that'll put a dent in your checking account. While my bet is that he goes to some country club bullshit prison where he can still throw a dime down on the Belmont Stakes if he wants to, I still have to say it: "Walter...watch out for your cornhole, bud."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Trail of Dead's Conrad Keely Interviews with P4K, The Skinny

"It's not that people feel apathetic about music or the way it is, but there's a certain sense of resignation about what can and can't be done, with things like records leaking. It seems like the stuff that is really popular, the stuff that's top 10, top 40 music-- it seems like most people I know are in complete agreement that it's horrible, and yet they can't do anything about it. I've also been affected by this sense of powerlessness, that I don't feel like it's worth trying to change things right now. I wish I didn't feel that way." [More]

For fans - and I count myself as slightly obsessive one - it can be a distressing read at times but it certainly gets at the heart of Conrad's frustrations of where he sees TOD's music today, his views on the current tour and on the music industry as a whole.

“I was raised by these survivalist type parents who were really serious about the state of things and I always think about things on a more global scale. But, on the other hand maybe it’s not really our place as musicians or entertainers, it’s not like we’re CNN.com, obviously we’re not telling anybody things that they don’t know. I like to talk about them, maybe just to make people realise that songwriters these days can talk about more besides partying and fucking dancing and whatever bullshit you hear on the radio; that we actually give a fuck.” [More]

I'll be seeing them at Irving Plaza this Sunday and man, I hope they're into it.

Related Info:
Yesterday's article in the Village Voice

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Babel is Breathtaking


The most disgusting part of my weekend, oddly enough, came in the middle of one of the most beautiful films I have seen in a theater this year. Babel, the new movie from acclaimed director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, is a breathtaking achievement. While I still believe that Amores Perros is the strongest installment in his trilogy of films (also including 21 Grams) with screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga, Babel is a force to be reckoned with.

While Babel has haunted me the past few days with its stark imagery and beautiful cinematography, the vision of Rinko Kikuchi (delivering a flawless portrayal of the deaf-mute character of Chieko) entering a discotheque has circled my thoughts relentlessly. Rinko delivers, perhaps, the best performance in Babel. She also provided the audience at the E Street Theater an opportunity to gasp, or chuckle, or in some other way, malign the nature of communication between deaf-mutes. Therein lies the most disgusting part of my weekend.

In the theater that night, the place that people are frequently exposed to worlds they otherwise might never see, I found people mocking the very disability that Innaritu and Arriaga so valiantly capture in gut-wrenching scenes about youth and sexuality. Granted, it was not overt, but it was noticeable. As Chieko grunted and signed her way through conversations with her friends and father, people laughed quietly in their seats. It was not an isolated incident. As a Moroccan family eats their food, sitting on the ground, with their bare hands, people giggled or whispered in their neighbor's ear. I was too wrapped in the delicate, fluid pace of the film to bother. But I am still pissed. And disappointed.

There is a good chance you might not offend anyone who is deaf-mute in a setting like that. With the lights off and everyone facing forward, they might not understand you. Hopefully, they wouldn't give you the opportunity to make an excuse, or apologize. It is simply deplorable behavior, that I would hope, in this day and age, wouldn't exist. Especially in an Innaritu film on the night after its limited release. But it does. Hopefully Innaritu continues to make these beautiful films about understanding, life, loss and hope. This world desperately needs them.

Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel are all cinematic marvels that reach into the complex worlds of relationships, religion, international relations, Christianity, sex, and violence in places such as Mexico, Japan, Morocco, and California only to create seamless revelations on love, faith, and humaity. There are definitely misguided people that need these films, to break their misconceptions and help them realize that whether you are born with the ability to hear or not, if you have the luxury of a developed society or not, we are all still pumping the same blood, breathing the same air and trying to understand the subtleties of life and the nuances of our neighbor.

Babel opens everywhere Friday.

The Bravery: Not-So-Secret Shows

Nov 13
TT the Bears
Cambridge, MA
$12 * 8pm Doors * 18+

Nov 14
Century Lounge
Providence, RI
$10 * 8pm Doors * 18+

Nov 15
Ottobar
Baltimore, MD
$10 * 8pm Doors * All Ages

iPods Aren't Just for Music

Personally? I use two iPod Nanos instead of rolls of quarters for any and all streetfights we encounter on our road to live music. Apparently, Major League Baseball is a little more resourceful.

Techno-sport: A whole new ballgame
"Speaking of the dispersal of scouting information, there's a valuable new aid for that these days: the iPod. Yes, in baseball iPods aren't just for playing music on the treadmill or the airplane — they're also the tools of the scouting profession.

"'It's an exciting development,' says Gayton. 'Thanks to the iPods, you can now watch scouting video and scout a player in person at the same time.'

"While Gayton says the iPod isn't yet standard scouting equipment, it still has plenty of value to the organization, and it's most assuredly a growing trend. As well, many teams are also using iPods to distribute advance-scouting footage to their players.

"A few days ahead of a pitcher's upcoming start, for instance, compressed footage of each opposing hitter can be downloaded to his iPod. That allows him to watch the video on his on time and at any location. Many ballplayers have a borderline addiction to reviewing film and taking advantage of video scouting. Thanks to such creative use of the iPod, it's easier than ever to feed that addiction."
[from FoxSports.com]

Monday, November 06, 2006

List Season Has Begun: Canada's 33 Hottest Bands? I'll Take 10

This year's anticipated releases have hit the shelves and it's about time for the lists to start coming out. I've actually been putting some thought into my ten favorite tracks and albums of the year (coming soon) but until then, here's the 2nd annual 33 Hottest Bands in Canada which was pulled together by i (heart) music and is based on the contributions of music writer's, bloggers, and radio hosts. Nothing really too shocking here, The Arcade Fire at No. 26 is understandable given the fact that they did very little in 2006. I stepped up to the challenge and made my list based on 2006 impact:

10. Destroyer: I enjoy the work that Dan Bejar provides for the New P's but I just can't quite get into his albums.

9. Sunset Rubdown

8. The Lovely Feathers: I liked Hind Hind Legs but for some reason, I just haven't really listened to it much.
MP3: Lovely Feathers - "Pope John Paul"

7. Islands: Excellent debut but admittedly, it's not for everyone. They're quickly gaining recognition for their entertaining live performances.
MP3: Islands - "Where There's a Will, There's a Whalebone"

6. New Pornographers: They may not have released an album this year but that hasn't stopped them from touring. Still my vote for best pop band around today.

5. Malajube: Yes it's in French but listen to Trompe-L'Oeil once and you'll know exactly why everyone is raving about this album.
MP3: Malajube: "La Monogamie"

4. Broken Social Scene: Kevin Drew keeps touring and he's bringing along any members who happen to be available that day. Got to love that.

3. Wolf Parade: With Swan Lake, Sunset Rubdown, and touring with Wolf Parade, there is no question that Spencer Krug was a busy man in 2006.

2. Tokyo Police Club
MP3: Tokyo Police Club - "Box"

1. Priestess: The band released Hello Master in Canada on 1/1/06 and subsequently signed to a major-label deal with RCA only to have the album re-released in June. This is simply one of the best albums of the year, in any country.
MP3: Priestess - "Talk to Her"

Where Is Your Mind?

I'm not going to lie. My shit has been slacking when it has come to the blog. But I am working hard. At something I really believe in. I just can't pass up the moments of sheer explosion when the only place I can be is locked into the keyboard pumping out a conversation or a thought. God, it feels good to be back here. Writing. Not writing the news, but writing...just writing. I missed the Keys tonight. But, there will be other nights. Until then, you can peep my motivation - don't lie - that setlist is hot.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Live Music Weekend Recap

With all the craziness around CMJ this week in New York, I did my best to partake in the events this weekend catching 8 different bands in a 24-hour period. It was exhausting, I felt like I spent a full day at Austin City Limits. Here are some thoughts on the various acts.

Friday, 11/3: The Black Angels, The Black Keys @ Nokia Theatre
I was looking forward to hearing the Black Angels, I haven't had a chance to listen to their album in full but I like most of their songs. They sounded great in what must have been the largest venue they've ever played (2100 which was full during their show). My lady actually felt bad that the band had to drag their own equipment off the stage after their set. I explained to her that not all bands have a crew the size of U2, her response: "Well, they're living the dream". True. The Black Keys were entertaining as always. I believe this is the 4th time I've seen them and this was by far the best set list, combining the best of Magic Potion with past greats. Patrick Carney, of course, did not disappoint on drums. A very nice reminder as to why he is one of the best on tour today.

Saturday, 11/4: Brooklyn Vegan Show @ The Annex
I can't thank BV enough for putting this show together. He literally managed to pull together all of my favorite new bands (White Whale, Tokyo Police Club, and SSPU) in one venue for a FREE show. Amazing. I missed Takka Takka who came on first at noon but here were the rest, in order:

White Whale: I've been waiting and waiting for these guys to come to NYC to promote their album. They haven't received much of the critical acclaim that I feel their album deserves but I thoroughly enjoyed their brief set. After many shows this week, Matt Suggs barely had his voice but the band was nothing short of awesome. They need to come back.

Annuals: Despite all of the buzz, I'm not really a huge fan of the album, Be He Me. The potential is there and some of the songs are great but the album just seems to fade in the latter half. That said, no band left me more impressed. Adam Baker's energy matches his age and although they only managed to get through 4 or 5 songs, I firmly believed that their future will be extremely bright. Random aside: why hasn't Pitchfork reviewed this album? No one built these guys up more after posting the mp3 to "Brother." Get the sense that maybe they felt the same way that I did about the album? A little disappointing to be sure - and yet no review. Hmmm...

Elvis Perkins: I didn't know his work beforehand and I didn't really hear anything that would give me cause to listen further. Sorry, just a bit too depressing for me.

Tokyo Police Club: My vote for best new band in 2006. They easily managed to cover the most ground in their allotted 30 minutes, getting through about 9 songs half of which were new material. Always entertaining, I can never get enough of these guys.

The Big Sleep: "Murder" is one of my favorite tracks this year and there is no question that the band can rock out with the best of them. Unfortunately, I need to hear some more vocals. I get the sense that if they followed in the footsteps of Broken Social Scene that they would also experience similar success.

Silversun Pickups: This is probably one of our most blogged about bands and deservedly so. Entertaining as always, Brian Aubert and Nikki Monninger seem to be more comfortable on stage with each show. I just wish they could have played a bit longer. "Lazy Eye" and "Kissing Families" are quickly becoming show staples. Solid.

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Girlfriend Wants Tom Brady

[Boston Globe]

And guess what, so do...

Yeah, right. Anyway, Brady is the man. Look at this guy! Rolling in to accept his ring (one of three). Coyote Ugly dame. Shirt unbuttoned. Shit eatin' grin on his face like, "figure I'll do this about five more times in my career." Scandalous, Tommy, scandalous. The hilarious part? He is all business, all about team, and all about work ethic. You don't see him on four different ads during one commercial break. If you see him on one, he is with his whole O line. He's proven himself time and time again, and this Sunday against the Colts he will rise to the occasion once more. The Colts are undefeated (again), everyone is talking shit (again), and well, that is why we have the Sports Guy. To shut 'em all up.

I Really Hate The Colts by Bill Simmons
"Meanwhile, here's Tom Brady and his three Super Bowl rings. He's never had a top-10 receiver on his team. He's never had a top-10 tight end on his team. He's never had an elite runner except for Corey Dillon in 2004. His receivers leave for other teams and completely fall off the face of the earth. During his first Super Bowl season, he survived a QB controversy with local hero Drew Bledsoe and the loss of his only deep threat (Terry Glenn). Two summers ago, his offensive coordinator fled for Notre Dame and the team didn't even bother spending money to replace him. This season, they lowballed his top two receivers, pushed them out the door, then expected Brady to break in a new group of guys as the season was going on. And the guy just keeps winning. Out of all the must-win games over the years, he came up short only in Denver last January."
[Sports Guy Speaks Truth]

This track is a stretch, but I think you get the drift...

MP3: Professor Murder - "Champion"

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Cloud Cult - "Happy Hippopotamus"

I have no idea why YouTube all of a sudden is working today (usually it is firewalled at my place of employment). At any rate, it is getting me hyped for tonight's Cloud Cult show at DC9. We caught them at Iota back in April and we are pretty excited about the show tonight at DC9.

Mainstream Rock Song of the Year?

Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Wet Sand"

Better sound quality here...

Beck, Positivity, & Corn Flakes Dispensers

[Photo Credit]

My initial reaction made me think of one Beck song and one Beck song only: "Loser." But, like I said to the mildly retarded man refilling the Corn Flakes dispenser at the Comfort Inn in Albany when he asked - in reference to the bruise on my eye socket that I received two days prior in a Baltimore streetfight - "did you win?" "Of course I won, friend, do I look like a guy that loses in anything?" This of course, is true, because even when things are completely shitty I am the one cracking a fucking joke and trying to see the good in it all. That said, I have arrived, at what I believe, is a positive conclusion to the events that transpired on All Hallow's Eve's Eve.

If I had known about this show at the time that people were getting in line...I would have been even more fucked up than I am now. Here's why: I wouldn't have been able to get there until it was too late. Dr. Thomas Beckett was on an inbound train from NYC arriving at 5:00 PM. And there is no way that they would let me buy two tickets, one of which was for a guy that wasn't there yet. And there is no way I was rolling without the Quinja on Monday night. Secondly, I was halfway to North Carolina, logjammin' on I-95 doing stuff for work. There literally wasn't a shot in hell that I would be able to get in that line. Keeping that in mind, I would have been swinging from a rope if I discovered that he busted out "The Golden Age" and "Lost Cause."

Now we arrive at the whole "how did we not know about this?" issue. And I am going to put a positive spin on this one, as well. Before this little fiasco I didn't know about Information Leafblower and I never really checked out DCist. I just kind of bee-bopped around the web and did my thing. And as the old Thundercats motto goes "now I know, and knowing is half the Castle Grayskull."

Anyway, I am happy I didn't know about the Beck show. It would have hurt even more to see JQ bust in through the door of the apartment and say, "you will never believe what I wasn't able to get tickets to." As it stood, Top told me yesterday that we talked about Beck being at the Black Cat after we left the Apples In Stereo show. He actually learned about the whole deal when he was in line (he got there before us). I know, I know. It's true. But by the time he crossed paths with JQ and I rumrunning our way through the Capitol and rocking out to the Apples In Stereo it was a foregone conclusion and I am even more happy that he didn't emphasize the situation then for the same reasons that I am glad I didn't find out at 12:00 that afternoon. Ignorance, my friends, in combination with inebriation, is bliss. Next time...

MP3: Beck w. The Flaming Lips - "Loser" (Live @ Universal Ampitheater)

More Beck & Flaming Lips tracks at the soon-to-be-retired rbally.