Friday, December 21, 2007

Top Albums of 2007 While Riding Through the Streets of Baghdad

Land of the free...
Home of the brave...
From my teammate, brother and comrade in arms. May he be home safe and soon. The only two weeks he had off in '07, we spent getting haught in NYC and Manchester, TN. And while he misspelled the name of the White Stripes album, I think he was fucking with me...trying to see if I'd proofread. Without further adieu, JQ aka Dr. Thomas Beckett, esq. presents...

Top Albums of 2007 While Riding Through the Streets of Baghdad

There are two approaches when riding through the streets of Baghdad. The first approach is to be vigilant – eyes and ears open, scanning the streets for anything out of the ordinary, locked and loaded, ready to fire. The other approach is to do what I do...plug your dirty white Ipod Headphones into your ears, close your eyes and fuckin pray.

Here is what I was listening to...

10) Of Montreal Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer! – “The Past is a Grotesque Animal,” is a true statement and an epic song from a great pop band. Must be honest with my Elephant 6 bias on this one. I can see why people wouldn’t be taken by it if they weren’t previously into the E6 scene. Plus, the previously mentioned song can get you from Camp Victory to the International Zone via Route Irish with one single play.

9) Derek Webb The Ringing Bell – “This is The End...This is the Very End” starts Derek Webb’s poignant album. I think he used to be a Christian Rocker but this album rocks. Eat skin, Jesus.

9) Elvis Perkins Ash Wednesday – One of first albums I really got into in 2007. “While You Were Sleeping,” is one of the top songs of the year and the album packs as much punch the rest of the way. Acoustic and a lot of instruments...I dig it. Elvis has interesting back story considering his father, Anthony Perkins and his mother [were] on one of the 9/11 planes...but his music speaks for itself.

8) Elliott Smith New Moon – I was thinking that this is more of a tribute, but these songs affected me just as much as any other album on this list...so it belongs here. If Elliott transmitted 1% of the pain he felt into his songs, then one can understand how it all ended. Prolific, never wrote a bad song…anything is better than nothing.

7) Beirut The Flying Club Cup – I just love the fuckin horns! Much of the same from Beirut, but still a lot different and much better than the shit other people are putting out.

6) The Apples in Stereo The New Magnetic Wonder – Jeff Mangum played the Cow Object on this album...enough said. Seriously though, The Apples have reached a whole new level with this album (somewhat literally with Robert Schneider’s introduction of a whole new scale), but the album is simply fun and well produced. The whole E6 community seemed tied to this one way or another and I constantly had a visual of every E6 band in a room singing “the sun is out, the sun is out...c’mon c’mon c’mon check it out!!!!!!” Simply put, at the end of the year I found myself enjoying this album a lot more than others.

5) Rock Plaza Central Are We Not Horses – Came out in Canada in 2006, but released in the States in 2007...so I am going with the release date just to include this great album. Some might say Chris Eaton’s voice is awful, the songs have no melody and the instrumentation is mediocre and they might have a point...but the cacophony brings joy to my ears. From the beginning with the crooning of “I am an excellent Steel Horse,” I was in and the rest didn’t disappoint. “When We Go, How We Go (Part I)” is one of my favorite songs of the year. The semi-concept album about robotic horses that are used by humans in a war against angels is somewhat poignant to a soldier on stop-loss being used by the government in a war against...
Sad that I can’t even finish that sentence. Whoever we are suppose to be fighting, I am sure they are not angels. I AM AN EXCELLENT STEEL HORSE!!

4) The Poison Control Center A Collage of Impressions – The best find of the year. This album is hard to define, but easy to enjoy. “Thrill” is probably the best song of the year. “You hit your head…now the terrorists want you dead” seemed to speak to me when a detainee tried to spit on me in a helicopter over Qadasiyah Province.

4) Okkervil River The Stage Names – Okkervil River is better than your favorite band. “Unless It’s Kicks” is another top song of the year. What I wouldn’t do to be a 14 year old girl floating to the stage during an Okkervil River show.

3) The National Boxer – I think this band has invented their own music genre. “Slow Show” makes me want to be at least 29 years old. I was lucky enough to catch them with my special lady friend during Bonnaroo. They brought me to tears...or it may have been the completely naked dude standing right next to me.

2) Radiohead In Rainbows – Sounds like the album that should have came after “OK Computer.” I think Radiohead is at a point where they are able to utilize all of their experimental achievements over the last 10 years to pick and choose what to add to just make a song great rather than just make a song different. Whenever Radiohead would play a song off one of their albums since OK Computer live it would be broken down, raw and beautiful. In Rainbows somehow combines [that simplicity] with state of the art production and the [indelible] beauty of a Thom Yorke song. Incredibly, Thom’s lyrics are also improving. I thought so during his solo debut The Eraser, and now with In Rainbows it is even more present. When he starts singing “it was the 21st century, it was the 21st century,” I almost had a head explosion. The best band of the 21st Century.

1) Cloud Cult The Meaning Of 8 – I love the back story of a musician and when Craig Minowa opens up The Meaning of 8 with the pleading of “You have eyes like mine,” I nearly melted as I could feel the pain of his lost child. The lyrics can mean something completely different...but that is what I felt...and that is the power of music. All year, I compared everything to this album and it persevered to the end...listening to it just as much in December than I did in February. If there was ever an album to get you through shots fired, it’s the Meaning of 8. If there was ever an album to help you put on your helmet and do it again, it’s this one. Suck up...take your medicine.

***

Honorable Mention:
!!! (CHK CHK CHK) – Myth Takes
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
Bjork – Volta
Bright Eyes – Cassadaga
Dr. Dog – We All Belong
Figurines – When the Deer Wore Blue
Joanna Newsom – Ys
Peter Bjorn and John – Writer’s Block
Rufus Wainwright – Release The Stars
Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger
Smile Smile – Blue Roses
The Twilight Sad – Fourteen Autumns, Fifteen Winters
The White Stripes – Icky Thumb
Wilco – Sky Blue Sky

Things I Wish I Listened to More in 2006 while I was too busy getting Haught:
David Thomas Broughton – The Complete Guide to Insufficiency
Damien Rice – 9
Anything and Everything THE KNIFE.

MP3: Rock Plaza Central - "I Am An Excellent Steel Horse"
MP3: U2 - "Desert of our Love"
MP3: Okkervil River - "For Real"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thick as Thieves

[Source: NY Times]

So let me get this straight:

I'm supposed to give you the benefit of the doubt.

I'm supposed to believe that as soon as the needle sunk in to your epidermis you knew it was wrong...and you never did it again.

I'm supposed to believe that HGH helps you heal faster, but that, somehow, doesn't enhance your performance.

I'm supposed to believe that gambling on a team you are managing is less of an offense than performance enhancing drug abuse.

And when is Jose Canseco going to shut the fuck up and get out of this shitstorm. Does he have another book coming out?
What. A. Fucking. Mess. The really sad thing is that I think everyone is fucking guilty. I don't know who to trust. And I don't know who to believe. MLB is beginning to look like the Bush Administration.

Blender: Best of 2007

25. Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad
24. Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
23. Lily Allen - Alright, Still...
22. Band Of Horses - Cease To Begin
21. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
20. Brad Paisley - 5th Gear
19. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before The Ship Sank
18. Justice -
17. Bruce Springsteen - Magic
16. Jay-Z - American Gangster
15. Alison Krauss & Robert Plant - Raising Sand
14. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
13. Feist - The Reminder
12. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
11. LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
10. Rilo Kiley - Under The Blacklight
09. Miranda Lambert - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
08. Amy Winehouse - Back To Black
07. The Dream - Lovehate
06. Radiohead - In Rainbows
05. Against Me! - New Wave
04. Kanye West - Graduation
03. Lil Wayne - The Carter 3 Sessions
02. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
01. M.I.A. - Kala

No love for the National? No love for Blender. Year end lists are starting to make me throw up in my mouth.

2008 Tour Dates: The Mars Volta

Jan 9th – Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
Jan 11th – New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
Jan 12th – Providence, RI – Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
Jan 14th – New York, NY – Terminal 5
Jan 17th – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore at the TLA
Jan 18th – Baltimore, MD – Rams Head Live
Jan 19th – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
Jan 21st – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Hall
Jan 23rd – Michigan Theater – Ann Arbor, MI
Jan 25th – Kansas City, MO – Beaumont Club
Jan 27th – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
Jan 30th – Irvine, CA – The Bren Center at UC Irvine

More should follow at themarsvolta.com.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Video: Lupe Fiasco, "Dumb it Down"

A new Scarface album, a new Lupe Fiasco album and all is right with the world. Well, not really, but I found it funny that in the same day that I pondered what the fuck was going on in a rap video blazing across every screen in Best Buy (I still don't know what video it was), I found a bare bones rap track (and video) that actually provided something creative and worthwhile. I refer, of course, to the video above.

Pitchfork's Best of 2007

50. Tinariwen, Aman Iman: Water is Life
49. Dizzee Rascal, Maths + English
48. Robert Wyatt, Comicopera
47. Yeasayer, All Hour Cymbals
46. Marissa Nadler, Songs III: Bird on the Water
45. Ricardo Villalobos, Fabric 36
44. Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends
43. Stars of the Lid, And Their Refinement of the Decline
42. Ghostface Killah, The Big Doe Rehab
41. Life Without Buildings, Live at the Annandale Hotel
40. Beirut, The Flying Club Cup/Lon Gisland [EP]
39. The White Stripes, Icky Thump
38. Wu-Tang Clan, 8 Diagrams
37. Grizzly Bear, Friend [EP]
36. Iron and Wine, The Shepherd's Dog
35. Black Lips, Good Bad Not Evil
34. James Blackshaw, The Cloud of Unknowing
33. King Khan & the Shrines, What Is?!
32. Sally Shapiro, Disco Romance
31. Deerhoof, Friend Opportunity
30. Caribou, Andorra
29. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
28. Dinosaur Jr., Beyond
27. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible
26. Various Artists, After Dark
25. The Tough Alliance, A New Chance/New Waves [EP]
24. Dan Deacon, Spiderman of the Rings
23. Studio, Yearbook 1
22. Okkervil River, The Stage Names
21. Dirty Projectors, Rise Above
20. Liars, Liars
19. Feist, The Reminder
18. Kanye West, Graduation
17. The National, Boxer
16. Lil Wayne, Da Drought 3
15. Justice, t
14. Deerhunter, Cryptograms/Flourescent Grey [EP]
13. Jay-Z, American Gangster
12. No Age, Weirdo Rippers
11. Jans Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala
10. Burial, Untrue
9. The Field, From Here We Go Sublime
8. Battles, Mirrored
7. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
6. Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam
5. Of Montreal, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
4. Radiohead, In Rainbows
3. M.I.A., Kala
2. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
1. Panda Bear, Person Pitch

This list is pretty legit.

There. I got that out of the way.

Now, don't get me wrong, I like the LCD Soundsystem album. It is a great CD, but I don't think it is one of the top 2. I just can't reconcile that album being ahead of Boxer or In Rainbows. Mirrored in the top ten is also a stretch for me. All in all, Pitchfork continues to put together a comprehensive list each year and they do it by covering each album intelligently, on its own terms, and with the hipster-sarcasm levels adjusted down to a 4.6.

Re-Upping with Rolling Stone

I've been receiving issues of Rolling Stone for the past year and I'm fairly certain this was gifted to me although I'm not sure by whom. I know this because I've never paid for it. Despite all of its shortcomings, I enjoy the magazine and typically read through everything but the political articles, however, I've largely ignored the requests to "renew" my subscription. Yesterday, my final notice arrived in the mail along with the Yearbook 2007 issue. I set it aside and readied it for the trash. It wasn't until I opened the magazine and noticed that, shockingly, there was an interview with none other than the reclusive Cormac McCarthy. Well played RS, my $12.95 is in mail.

It wouldn't be fair to mention this without noting that NF got me into Cormac this year with "The Road" - easily the best book I've ever read - and I've been tearing through his other books ever since.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Another List: Billboard Critics' Poll

The folks at Billboard have done a nice job on their year-end list; and I say this, of course, because I agree with many of them. In related news, I'm growing a little tired of the so-called high-and-mighty sites bashing top album/song lists without coming up with a list of their own. These two particularly come to mind.

Billboard Critics' Poll:
10. Battles - Mirrored
09. Kanye West - Graduation
08. M.I.A. - Kala
08. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
08. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
07. Bruce Springsteen - Magic
06. Feist - The Reminder
05. The National - Boxer
04. Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
03. Amy Winehouse - Back in Black
02. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
01. Radiohead - In Rainbows

Previous winners include Bob Dylan (2006), My Morning Jacket (2005) and Franz Ferdinand (2004)

UPDATE: Our friend Ultra8201 also agrees on Radiohead.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

AV Club Top 25 of 2007


25. Iron and Wine, The Shepherd's Dog
24. James Murphy & Pat Mahoney, FabricLive 36
23. Fall Out Boy, Infinity on High
22. Bat For Lashes, Fur and Gold
21. Grinderman, Grinderman
20. Rilo Kiley, Under the Blacklight
19. Against Me!, New Wave
18. Ted Leo, Living With the Living
17. Low, Drums and Guns
16. The White Stripes, Icky Thump
15. Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends
14. PJ Harvey, White Chalk
13. Modest Mouse, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
12. Jesu, Conquerer
11. Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
10. Bloc Party, Weekend in the City
9. Wilco, Sky Blue Sky
8. Tegan and Sara, The Con
7. Amy Winehouse, Back to Black
6. M.I.A., Kala
5. Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
4. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver
3. Radiohead, In Rainbows
2. The National, Boxer
1. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible

That Fall Out Boy album kind of comes out of left field for me. I have to visit with M.I.A. and PJ Harvey. They are popping up on a lot of lists. I think this might be the strongest showing Bloc Party has had on any year end list I've seen.

AV Club's write up on Arcade Fire pretty much hits the nail right on the head. Win Butler and The Boss are on the current cover of Spin and you can read the beginning of their mutual interview here. Arcade Fire is about as epic as it gets...

Friday, December 14, 2007

01.01.08

Yeah, I'm buying this thing twice...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Across the Pond

Despite solid albums from Klaxons and Bloc Party, I was generally disappointed by the output of new music from the U.K. in 2007 - an area which I've come to count on for good tunes. Radiohead, of course, can't be counted because it's been determined that they are in a world by themselves.

With 2008 on the horizon, I can safely look to two new releases that gives me confidence of more greatness to come. First, the David Sitek-produced debut by the Foals now has a tracklist and album title, Antidotes. Unfortunately, the album doesn't contain "Hummer" or "Mathletics" but given the strength of those two songs, that should bode well for the album. First single, "Balloons," was out Monday in the UK. The album comes out in March but I'm not sure when Sub Pop plans to release it stateside. If you're not sold by those plugs for David Sitek and Sub Pop well, then, I can't help you.


MP3: Foals - "Hummer"

Antidotes tracklisting:
'The French Open'
'Cassius'
'Red Socks Pugie'
'Olympic Airways'
'The Race For Radio Supremacy'
'Balloons'
'Heavy Water'
'Two Steps, Twice'
'Big Big Love (Fig. 2)'
'Like Swimming'
'Tron'

British Sea Power followed up the awesome The Decline of British Sea Power with the boring Open Season but with all of the ateaseweb excitement over Do You Like Rock Music? I couldn't help but take notice. This one hit the WWW's yesterday and after 3 listens to the album, I can safely say that the album title is rhetorical because it does not disappoint. The album is out next month in the UK and Feb. 12 in the states. Below is the video for the first single "Waving Flags".

Filter Mag's Top 10 of 2007

Pretty solid list from the gang at Filter Mag. I haven't listened to the Elvis Perkins or Great Northern albums and TGTBATQ is a bit questionable but I certainly won't argue with their first pick.

1. Radiohead, In Rainbows (self-released)
2. Band of Horses, Cease To Begin (Sub Pop)
3. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible (Merge)
4. The Good, The Bad & The Queen, The Good, The Bad & The Queen (Virgin Records)
5. Animal Collective, Strawberry Jam (Domino)
6. Elvis Perkins, Ash Wednesday (XL Recordings)
7. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (Capitol)
8. The National, Boxer (Beggars Banquet)
9. Great Northern, Trading Twilight For Daylight (Eenie Meenie)
10. Andrew Bird, Armchair Apochrypha (Fat Possum)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Steak Cologne? Stologne.

[Photo Creds: Sarah Lee/Guardian]

Antiquiet: Is the Queens sound a conscious or deliberate atmosphere?
Josh Homme: The thing is, that’s from years of doing whatever you want. Everything you do is habit-forming. You will form a habit of one style or another. And it might as well be getting people used to the notion that you’re going to do whatever you want. ‘Cause all the other habits include cow-towing to what somebody else wants. And there’s never a time to do that in music. As I understand it, your obligation is to play your favorite music that noone else plays, so you have to. And my favorite music is hooky, quirky, arty, dark, surprising, heavy, groovy, soft, emotional but not emo. It wears a sweater because it’s cold, not because it’s stylistically there.

Antiquiet: And it doesn’t try to fit into girl pants.
Josh Homme: Yeah, like there’s enough room for your cock and balls in your pants. And it’s in touch with its feelings, but it’s not a fucking pussy, man. Like, I need Lee Marvin, and I need Robert Mitchum. But I don’t need Sylvester Stallone, unless it’s Tango and Cash, ’cause that movie is fucking awesome. Or unless it’s my new steak cologne called Stologne.

Antiquiet: What are your thoughts on Radiohead’s name-your-price approach to selling their new album?
Josh Homme: I think it’s working great for them. I think they’re doing a really cool job of it and a really cool thing. Not everyone is Radiohead. You’re talking about one of the finest working bands in the world. So it’s tough to transpose a situation that works for the finest rock’n'roll band in the world and sort of move it around the cabin. If you were in a band noone knew, that wouldn’t work so well.
[Entire Interview @ Antiquiet]
Just when you think you've got you're monthly quota of Josh Homme (C-C-C-C-Cocaine), he goes and drops an interview like this. I'm looking forward to the day that QOTSA gets all In Rainbows on our collective asses.

MP3: Queens of the Stone Age - "Feel Good Hit of the Summer"
MP3: Queens of the Stone Age - "White Wedding" (Billy Idol cover)

Friday, November 30, 2007

JKs Picks for 2007

I think most avid music listeners would agree that 2007 was a great year for music, not quite up to the quality of '05 but far better than an all-together dismal '06. I've been working on this list for quite awhile and here's my final version.

The Baker's Dozen:
13. Bruce Springsteen - Magic*
12. Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond*
11. Division Day - Beartrap Island
10. Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future

9. The White Stripes - Icky Thump: This is a better album than I'm willing to give them credit for. Initially, I loved it but then I started to grow tired of Jack and Meg and I've since stopped listening to this. I think we just need some time apart. I'll be back.

8. The New Pornographers - Challengers: About as close to being a sure bet as they come.

7. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin: I can't see myself ever getting tired of listening to this album.

6. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga: see The New Pornographers.

5. Cloud Cult - The Meaning of 8: see The New Pornographers and Spoon.

4. Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals: I could regret putting this up too high but for now, this is exactly the fresh and unique sound from a new band that I needed this year.

3. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible: I think a lot of people will downgrade this due to overexposure (see The White Stripes) but I think this is truly a great album. They exceeded my expectations and earned arena rock status.

2. The National - Boxer: I think I saw them live 5 times this year and heard the same set list pretty much every time. Didn't bother me one bit.

1. Radiohead - In Rainbows: An easy pick for me. I can't believe I'm writing this but Rolling Stone really said it best: "...none of it sounds like any other band on earth; it delivers an emotional punch that proves all other rock stars owe us an apology."

* Proving that yes, old men can still rock.

10 Albums I recommend but fall short in a year of great music:
Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris
Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature
Dragons of Zynth - Coronation Thieves
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Twilight Sad - Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters
The Handsome Furs - Plague Park
Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City
Interpol - Our Love to Admire
White Rabbits - Fort Nightly

Albums that were critically acclaimed and I will never understand why:
Panda Bear - Person Pitch
Animal collective - Strawberry Jam
Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?

Albums that I thought I'd like but just couldn't get into:
Broken Social Scene Presents Kevin Drew - Spirit If
Okkervil River - The Stage Names

Album that I thought was hit and miss although most felt was a hit:
LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver

Established bands/artists that I just got into this year and am now completely into:
Ryan Adams
Modest Mouse
John Frusciante
The Silver Jews

The WTF album of 2007 released by a legend:
Puscifer - V is for Vagina

20 Favorite Songs of 2007:
1. Radiohead - "All I Need"
2. The National - "Fake Empire"
3. LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends"
4. The National - "Mistaken for Strangers"
5. Band of Horses - "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands"
6. Radiohead - "Videotape"
7. Arcade Fire - "Keep the Car Running"
8. Cloud Cult - "Take Your Medicine"
9. Queens of the Stone Age - "Suture Up Your Future"
10. Interpol - "Mammoth"
11. Okkervil River - "Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe
12. The National - "Slow Show"
13. Bloc Party - "Song for Clay (Disappear Here)"
14. Dragons of Zynth - "Anna Mae"
15. Radiohead - "Reckoner"
16. Yeasayer - "2080"
17. The White Stripes - A Martyr for My Love For You"
18. LCD Soundsystem - "Someone Great"
19. Yeasayer - "Wait for the Wintertime"
20. Sebastian Grainger & Les Montagnes- "Are There Ways to Come Home"

15 Favorites from the 2000s:
Radiohead - Kid A
Arcade Fire - Funeral
Radiohead - In Rainbows
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Source Tags & Codes
Beck - Sea Change
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
Broken Social Scene - Your Forgot It in People
Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
The Wrens - Meadowlands
Cloud Cult - Advice for the Happy Hippopotamus
The National - Alligator (or Boxer; haven't decided)
The White Stripes - White Blood Cells
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
Dismemberment Plan - Change

Previously: 2006 Picks

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Video of the Year?

Too funny...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paste Magazine's 100 Best Albums of 2007

[Photo Credit: American Mary]

1. The National - Boxer
2. Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
3. Bruce Springsteen - Magic
4. The White Stripes - Icky Thump
5. Feist - The Reminder
6. M.I.A. - Kala
7. Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
8. Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
9. Band of Horses - Cease to Begin
10. Iron & Wine - The Shepherd's Dog
11. Radiohead - In Rainbows
12. Avett Brothers - Emotionalism
13. Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
14. Loney, Dear - Loney, Noir
15. Kanye West - Graduation
16. Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
17. Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
18. Miranda Lambert - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
19. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - Living with the Living
20. Blonde Redhead - 23

[Rest of List | Staff Picks | Writer's Picks]

I am slowly getting the feeling that I like this new Radiohead more than the rest of the world. No doubt, a solid list. Some surprises for me are the strong finishes from Modest Mouse and Wilco. Those are, of course, very pleasant surprises because I thoroughly enjoyed both of the albums, but, for some reason remember some lukewarm reviews upon their release.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Mars Volta: Puzzles & Covers

You have to give it to TMV. Not as revolutionary as Radiohead's latest internet ventures, but fun. And rewarding.

I'm not sure if all 732 of my moves were necessary. I think they are just proof that my brain is mush from the first semester of grad school and/or I'm just fucking retahded. I was honest, I didn't peak at the cover art before hand, I just let my synapses do the firing. Eventually, I got the track...and I'm saving you the trouble.

The videogame trailers, video clip madness and puzzle pieces for punk covers do nothing but whet my appetite. The first few impressions of this album ("Rapid Fire Tollbooth" now called "Goliath" & "Wax Simulacra") are putting me into that Tremulant, ATDI frame of mind. From the looks of the track lengths, it will be a return to exploratory form for the band, but I can't help but feel a little buzz, a little something different.

The Bedlam in Goliath drops on January 29th of next year and is the first studio album from TMV to feature new, permanent drummer Thomas Pridgen, who joined the band back in March.

MP3: The Mars Volta - "Back Up Against the Wall" (Circle Jerks cover)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Oh My Black Mountain

I can safely add Black Mountain's In the Future to my list of albums that I'm most looking forward to next year. Their self-titled debut was excellent but lead single "Tyrants" is nothing short of epic. Wow.

MP3: Black Mountain - "Tyrants" (via Pitchfork)

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Little City That Could; Statehood

Was back in my old stomping grounds (D.C.) over the weekend for a wedding. Great times. And it wouldn't really be a weekend full of nostalgia without a heavy dose of Dismemberment Plan on rotation, now would it? I have a feeling those reunion shows were sick. Anyway, for those looking to support one of D.C.'s most beloved bands, we got an email from former bassist and current teacher Eric Axelson that his new band, Statehood (also includes drummer Joe Easley), had finished their debut album. Click here for the full story about the band. Lies and Rhetoric is self-released and out today. After two listens thus far today, I'm beyond pleased with the result. It's certainly a more straightforward, I guess what some would call post-hardcore, rock record than any D-Plan album but fans will certainly recognize that raw intensity. This is, of course, a new band after-all and they deserve a new fan base. Have a listen below.

MP3: Statehood - "End the Moderation"
Buy the album from Insound.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Different Approach

Bob Lefsetz's recent post regarding Jay Z and iTunes caught me off guard a bit. It had nothing to do with Jay Z's decision to leave his concept album off iTunes. I agree with Lefsetz's argument there. It was his statement about how we listen to music now:

People haven’t listened to albums from start to finish since the death of vinyl. And, even in the vinyl days, we’d get up from the couch and needle-drop to skip lame tracks, to hear only what we wanted....

My iPod is permanently on shuffle. How about yours?


Really? Because I don't. Maybe I'm out of touch but I still want to listen to albums all the way through on my iPod. My approach has been to start with a song and if it's great, I'll seek out the album and listen to it. I think that's the way musicians would want it. If you like the album, maybe you buy it, maybe you go to a show. That's $ in their pocket. Would you do this if you just liked one song? Of course not, nor should you. It's emblematic of the changing music industry.

I still value the concept of an album (hell, I still buy cds on occasion). If the album isn't any good then I just lose interest and that's the end of it. Two examples: Apostle of Hustle released two insanely great tracks at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, to me at least, the rest of the album never lived up to those first two songs and I've since lost interest. On the other side, a friend recommended Yeasayer, I heard "2080" and subsequently was completely blown away by their album. It's easily one of the five best I've heard all year (I bought it and I'd like to see them live). I realize it's rare these days for an album to be great from start to finish but in an age of, what seems like, limitless music (and a lot of crap) those are the expectations I've set. Thats how I choose to listen to music when walking to work or working out and I don't really see my approach changing anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

YouTube Please...

From NME, this is too funny:

Josh Homme's desert rockers' plan to perform a six-song show for in-patients at an unnamed Los Angeles drying out clinic came to an abrupt and chaotic end when the band were cut off before the end of the first song and manhandled out of the building by heavy security, NME.COM has learned.

The rehab show was intended as a light-hearted, intimate performance in their home city of Los Angeles .

But a spokesman for the band informed NME.COM that when the band opened the show with classic 'Feel Good Hit Of The Summer', staff at the clinic were so unimpressed that they pulled the plugs and had security remove them straight away without negotiation.

The song's lyrics famously run: "Nicotine, valium, vicodin, marijuana, ecstasy and alcohol... c-c-c-c-c-cocaine".


MP3: Queens of the Stone Age - "Running Joke"

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Some Data on In Rainbows

Came across some interesting figures on Mashable yesterday regarding Radiohead's release of In Rainbows . A couple things jump out at me, first that 62% of all downloads paid nothing for the album. That seems high to me. Second, that the U.S. actually had a higher percentage of paying downloaders which suggests that people in the rest of the world a) feel more strongly about getting their music for free and b) feel like music should be less expensive. Note the more than $3 difference in average price. No official word yet on how many times the album has been downloaded but even at an average of $2.26 per, it's a nice profit.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Stay Down Champion Stay Down

I've had that line in our Header since the release of The National's Boxer but never heard it in any of the album's songs. It wasn't until recently that I came across a demo entitled Liberation CD that was given out in France and found the song's origin. MP3 below.

MP3: The National - "Tall Saint" (demo)

Tracklisting:
Brainy Alternate - longer version with different ending
Slow Show (demo) - alternate version from album
Tall Saint (demo)
Rest of Years (demo)
Santa Clara

UPDATE: Link to "Tall Saint" is updated along with a bonus of "Rest of Years"
MP3: The National - "Rest of Years" (demo)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Eddie Interview; 13 Years of Pearl Jam Tour Posters

There's a very good and lengthy interview up on Billboard with Eddie Vedder. The focus, is of course, on Into the Wild but it does touch on some PJ-related material.

You can also pre-order what will surely be the incredibly awesome Pearl Jam vs. Ames Brothers: 13 Years of Tour Posters now from Ten Club. "Opening with a written forward by Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and introduction by the Ames Bros, the 264-page hard cover book features 229 posters designed by Ames Bros and Pearl Jam artist Brad Klausen. 'Pearl Jam vs. Ames Bros' features over 80 comments on individual posters from all five members of Pearl Jam and running commentary from the poster designers -- offering insight into the inspiration, concepts and process of poster creation." There is a $50 edition available to anyone and a limited edition book for $200 available to Ten Club members only. Suffice it to say, most buyers of this book are likely members in which case, you probably already know about this.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals @ Hammerstein, Halloween 2007

This was my first Ryan Adams show - as I mentioned this summer, I just got into his music - and I really had no idea what to expect. This show began at 8pm and ended around 11:10, with a 15 minute intermission. For those counting, that's about 3 hours worth of music. Honestly, I could have arrived at the beginning of the second set and left a happy man. The first set, while consisting of some great songs, was a little too jam band-ish for me. It gave the Cardinals, an outstanding band in their own rite, a good chance to spread their wings so-to-speak but given the venue and my surroundings (Hammerstein is brutal), I just couldn't get into it. With a fifteen minute intermission (which felt like 30) to follow, our morale was a bit low. The 2nd set, however, was perfect. Great songs, one after the next that seemed tight and more focused. The encore also featured two songs that I wanted to hear most, "Let it Ride" and the AIC cover, "Down in a Hole." Perhaps some of his fanatical followers expected more from a tour closer on Halloween night but again, this being my first show, I'll leave that to the pundits.

Set list:
Set #1:
Peaceful Valley -->
Blue Hotel --> Peaceful Valley
Mockingbird
Beautiful Sorta
The Rescue Blues
The Sun Also Sets
When the Stars Go Blue
Goodnight Rose
Cold Roses
Freeway to the Canyon
Jon Joke/Spacewolf Happy Birthday
Off Broadway/Jam
Please Do Not Let Me Go

Set #2:
Bartering Lines
A Kiss Before I Go
The End
Dear John
Night Birds
Wild Flowers
Shakedown On 9th St
Everything Changes
Why Do They Leave
Two
Halloweenhead
Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd.
I See Monsters

Encore:
Let it Ride
Down in a Hole
What Sin/Jam -->
Peaceful Valley End

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Goodbye Stylus

Today marks the end of Stylus Magazine which is unfortunate because I put quite a bit of value into their opinions. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean I agree with all of their choices for favorite albums and songs of '07. Their final say:

Top 10 Albums:
10. Radiohead - In Rainbows
09. The Field - From Here We Go Sublime
08. M.I.A. - Kala
07. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
06. Kanye West - Graduation
05. The National - The Boxer
04. Lil Wayne - Da Drought 3
03. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
02. Miranda Lambert - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
01. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver\
[More]

Top 10 Songs:
10. LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great
09. Lil' Wayne - Upgrade U
08. Grinderman - No Pussy Blues
07. The National - Fake Empire
06. Radiohead - House of Cards
05. M.I.A. - Jimmy
04. Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
03. Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!
02. UGK ft. OutKast - International Players’ Anthem
01. LCD Soundsystem - All My Friends
[More]

Friday, October 26, 2007

New Pornographers @ Webster Hall, 10/25/07

I made another exception during my baseball playoff viewing to see the New Pornographers last night. Caught the first few innings and then made it across the street to watch the last inning and a half. I think I've got the routine down now. As for the show itself, Bejar may be the crowd favorite - and without all 3 "stars," I probably would have skipped this one - but for me, Neko is the standout. She has an unbelievable voice and it comes across so effortlessly. It was an awesome show; one that I'm glad I didn't pass up. And yes, the bass coming from the club downstairs at Webster is obscene. I have no idea why Bowery still books shows at this venue, especially with all of the new ones popping up around town. If there is a game 6, on the other hand, then Ryan Adams will have to wait.

Setlist (from the New Pornographers forum)
All the Things That Go to Make Heaven and Earth
Use It
Myriad Harbour
All the Old Showstoppers
Miss Teen Wordpower
Execution Day
Challengers
The Laws have Changed
Spirit of Giving
My Rights Vs. Yours
Mass Romantic
Testament to Youth in Verse
Adventures in Solitude
Bones of an Idol
Unguided
Twin Cinema
Go Places
Sing Me Spanish Techno
Bleeding Heart Show
--------------------
These Are the Fables
Jackie Dressed in Cobras
Violent Femmes cover w/ Gordon Gano
--------------------
Letter from an Occupant

Pitchfork's "Guest List" with Josh Homme

Further proof that Josh Homme is, in fact, the man. My favorites:

Favorite New Band

I kind of like this Black Angels record-- it's really good. They're from Texas and that makes me happy, because I want something good to finally come out of Texas. We're going to do some shows with them.

How's it holding up?

Fuckin' good, man. Better than your music, that's for sure. Oh wait, you guys don't make music, you just write about it [laughs]. So yeah, I'm just listening to our family of stuff.

Favorite Record Shop

They still have those? I'm gonna miss those fuckin' things. I used to like to just hang out there. I guess you can have a coffee store and a bookshop now. Amoeba, definitely.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

New The Mars Volta Album Details

This is more for NF than me but TMV have finally settled on a release date and track listing for The Bedlam In Goliath. The album will come out on 1/29/08. Jeff Jordan is doing the artwork and John Frusciante guests.

Track listing:
'Aberinkula'
'Metatron'
'Ilyena'
'Wax Simulacra'
'Goliath'
'Tourniquet Man'
'Cavalettas'
'Agadez'
'Askepios'
'Ouroboros'
'Soothsayer'
'Conjugal Burns'

Friday, October 19, 2007

Trail of Dead @ Highline Ballroom, 10/18/07 (CMJ)

The odd start time (listed at 9:30) allowed me just enough time before and after the show to watch my Sox. On any other night, I'd much prefer a headlining and longer set but this was perfect. When I bought these tickets I had every intention of seeing Islands (whom I've never seen) but it wasn't meant to be. TOD's high energy and intense set did not disappoint although I admit, I hold them is such high regard that it would take a complete disaster for me to offer any other opinion. The only downside, as was the case at Luna Lounge, was not hearing "How Near, How Far." I don't know who I need to pay to hear that song live. Also, a congratulations goes out to the bouncer/ID checker at Highline for the biggest asshole of the day award.

Setlist:

"Ode to Isis"
"Gargoyle Waiting"
"Naked Sun"
"Stand in Silence"
"Relative Ways"
"Caterwaul"
"Will You Smile Again for Me"
"Clair de Lune"
"Totally Natural"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bruce Springsteen @ Madison Square Garden, 10/17/07

Just as quickly as Radiohead swooped in last week to remind everyone yet again of their greatness (and raise the bar for other bands making music today), Bruce, for one night at least, brought me back to the voice of my childhood. See, Bruce was THE Rock Star in my house growing up and at 58 he may not be able to move on stage like he used to but he can sure as hell still put on an amazing show.

Last night was the first time I've ever seen Bruce and the E Street Band in concert and I can't think of a better place to see him than the Garden. It's easy to see how he has inspired so many of my favorite bands today . The setlist featured a lot of songs from Magic which certainly suggests the band's confidence in the new material ("Gypsy Biker" is awesome). It's a great album, maybe not 5 star great, but about the only thing that has kept from In Rainbows across the past 8 days. "Badlands" was amazing and no matter how many times you've heard "Born to Run," last night's experience was unforgettable.

Setlist:

Radio Nowhere
The Ties That Bind
Lonesome Day
Gypsy Biker
Magic
Reason To Believe
Adam Raised A Cain
She's The One
Livin' In The Future
The Promised Land
Brilliant Disguise
Backstreets
Darlington County
Devil's Arcade
The Rising
Last To Die
Long Walk Home
Badlands

Girls In Their Summer Clothes
Thundercrack
Born To Run
Dancing In The Dark
American Land

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Debut Puscifer Single: "Queen B"

Puscifer - "Queen B" (PC | MAC)

Unfortunately, the song isn't very exciting. Even if it IS Maynard.

Bloc Party Performing New Song on Conan

Bloc Party have a new song called "Flux" which they are planning to perform on tonight's Late Night With Conan O'Brien show. Also appearing on tonight's show: Snoop Dogg. Looking forward to hearing it.

New Wu-Tang: Beatles Interpolation, Frusciante Contribution


[A Concert for George]

I make no bones about it: George Harrison is my favorite Beatle (in fact a framed issue of Rolling Stone with his face on it looks at me as I type), "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is my favorite Beatles track (no surprise, it was penned by George) and despite their abysmal live performance two years back at 9:30 Club, I love me some Wu.

So the news that Wu-Tang took the track on with the help of George's son, Dhani, John Frusciante, and Erykah Badu got me a little excited. As of yesterday I was babbling to some cohorts about how they were the first to "sample" the Beatles and now today we find out its an "interpolation". I feel like Wu-Tang has Bush's speechwriters penning their MySpace blog: a euphemism here, the wrong word there. C'mon. It's definitely a noticeable take on the Beatles classic. One man's interpolation is another man's sample.

Continuing on my nightly journey through the internets I stumbled across more George Harrison news. Martin Scorsese has agreed to direct a Harrison documentary that will be produced by Harrison's widow, Olivia, and involve participation from both Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney (a close second as favorite Beatles go). More at Rolling Stone and Variety.

Now back to the 36 Chambers:

"The statement that we made yesterday was incorrect and we apologize for any confusion it may have caused. We DID NOT sample the Beatles, i repeat, we DID NOT sample the Beatles, rather we did an INTERPOLATION of the classic George Harrison composition 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps.' In a historic collaboration, Dhani Harrison, son of George, through his friendship with the RZA, played guitar on the song and he himself helped secure the REUSE LICENSE. Also appearing on the song are John Frusciante, guitar player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Erykah Badu singing the chorus. To satisfy everyone's curiosity, the song will be streamed exclusively on loud.com tonight. It will be the first single and video from the forthcoming album '8 Diagrams' in stores December 4.

"Thanks again to Dhani Harrison and the Harrison Estate for helping us make history." [TangSpace]


MP3: Wu-Tang Clan (ft. Dhani Harrison, John Frusciante & Erykah Badu) - "The Heart Gently Weeps"
MP3: The Beatles - "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
MP3: Martin Luther McCoy - "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A New Day, A New List: Underrated Guitarists

It's not clear if this is from Rolling Stone or Rolling Stone's readers. It's entertaining nonetheless.

1. Prince
2. Kurt Cobain
3. Neil Young
4. George Harrison
5. Ace Frehley
6. Mike McCready
7. Lindsey Buckingham
8. Mick Taylor
9. Nels Cline
10. Johnny Greenwood
11. Tom Verlaine
12. Carrie Brownstein
13. Mick Jones
14. Robert Fripp
15. Johnny Marr
16. John Frusciante
17. Izzy Stradlin
18. Daniel Johns
19. Vernon Reid
20. Robbie Robertson
21. Mick Ronson
22. Billy Corgan
23. Elliott Smith
24. Eddie Hazel
25. Phil Keaggy

Monday, October 01, 2007

Tuesday: Division Day @ The Echo

This'll be a record release show at The Echo for Beartrap Island which JK talked about last week. Doors at 8:30, Division Day gets on at 11. $8. Beartrap Island is available on iTunes now and on CD this Tuesday. Hence the whole record release thing...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Radiohead.






I first caught wind through BrooklynVegan. Then I read the news from Jonny. There's more at Pitchfork. I understand I can pay what I want for the download. The question is...is the extra $81 the price I want to pay?



MP3: Radiohead - "Cuttooth"

Boris: Roaring Silence Revue

It was one of those things I dreamed of. I'm sure I mentioned it to people. More than likely mentioned it to Frat somewhere in Illinois when we hit traffic for the first time on our cross country trip. Needing a little something to keep our minds off the distance we fired up the DFA '79 debut cover to cover and then Rainbow, the classic collaboration that still hasn't been knocked off the top spot for album of the year honors. So somewhere in Illinois. As the sun set and the traffic thinned. One of us might have said..."fuck, that'd be great if Michio joined Boris on their next US tour."

Ask and you shall receive.

    

MP3: Boris - "Hama"
MP3: Boris - "Ibitsu"
MP3: Boris w. Michio Kurihara - "Shine"
MP3: Damon & Naomi - "Beautiful Close Double"
MP3: Damon & Naomi w. Michio Kurihara - "My Flower"

Dates:

Boris / Damon & Naomi
US Tour 2007
Both Bands Play with Michio Kurihara

9.30 Empty Bottle (Chicago, IL)
10.2 First Unitarian Church (Philadelphia, PA)
10.3 Music Hall of Williamsburg (Brooklyn, NY)
10.4 Kelly-Strayhorn Theater (Pittsburgh, PA)
10.5 Wexner Center For The Arts (Columbus, OH)
10.6 Mad Planet (Milwaukee, WI)
10.7 Triple Rock Social Club (Minneapolis, MN)
10.10 The Nightlight (Bellingham, WA)
10.11 Chop Suey (Seattle, WA)
10.12 Dante's (Portland, OR)
10.14 The Independent (San Francisco, CA)
10.15 Echoplex (Los Angeles, CA)
10.16 The Brickhouse (Phoenix, AZ)
10.18 The Ballroom (Marfa, TX)
10.19 Scoot's Inn (Austin, TX)
10.20 The Spanish Moon (Baton Rouge, LA)
10.21 Bottletree (Birmingham, AL)
10.22 The Earl (Atlanta, GA)
10.23 40 Watt (Athens, GA)
10.24 The Cat's Cradle (Carrboro, NC)
10.25 Satellite Ballroom (Charlottesville, VA)
10.26 Black Cat (Washington, DC)
10.27 Bard College Chapel (Annandale-On-Hudson, NY)
10.28 Bowery Ballroom (New York, NY)
10.29 Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)
Back Catalog: Boris @ Ottobar, 6.4.06
Back Catalog: Boris @ The Orange Peel, 9.8.06

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Back.

It's been too long. Great tracks from JK below. LA is the City of Angels. For real. And the Sox have the East. Back tomorrow with some beats, stories and news.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Finally, Some New Bands; 4-Spot Friday

It's definitely been a good year for new releases but I've either been paying less attention lately or the best albums came out in the first half of the year. I'm enjoying new releases from Jose Gonzalez, Eddie Vedder, Band of Horses, etc. but I haven't been truly excited about anything in what feels like months (in reality it's probably just a couple weeks but that's life in the internet age). Almost on cue, I was introduced to 3 new bands over the last week and I've hardly listened to anything since.

Division Day: These guys have been around for awhile and I have no idea how I've missed them. Beartrap Island, I believe, is their debut full length and was released this month on iTunes with hard copies out in stores next Tuesday (Oct. 2). It's easily one of my favorite albums of the year and it's exactly the kind of refreshing new sound that I've been looking for. The songs are fairly evenly split between rock and mellow and there's not a bad song on the album.

MP3: Division Day - "Tigers"

Dragons of Zynth: Another one that I'm not sure how I've missed. Yes, there are obvious influences from TV on the Radio. Yes, their album was produced by Dave Sitek. And yes, this is seriously some good shit. They've received a lot of good buzz from their live shows here in NYC but for some reason their album was released without much fanfare. Prefix gave the album an outstanding 9 out of 10. Others need to take note.

MP3: Dragons of Zynth - "Get Off"

Destroy Cowboy: This is a rare instance of receiving random music in our mailbox that I actually really like. They are an unsigned band out of Birmingham, UK and their songs contain everything that I love about British rock today - an excellent combination of keyboards, guitars and drums. You can stream 4 songs on their MySpace page. The below mp3, although about 45 seconds too long, is my favorite.

MP3: Destroy Cowboy - "1000 Candles"

The XYZ Affair: This unsigned band got some good publicity this summer when Insound named their debut the best album of the year, so far. I've been listening to their songs for awhile but haven't had a chance to post a song yet. Reminds me of the good ol' days with Weezer back in '94.

MP3: The XYZ Affair: "Ideals"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

amazonmp3 Launches in Beta


amazonmp3 has finally launched its ipod compatible beta site. I haven't downloaded anything and probably won't but from what I can see on the surface, there are a few things that offer an advantage over iTunes. All tracks are DRM free, encoded at 256kbs. Pricing is slightly cheaper, although still not low enough, at $.89 for songs and full albums ranging from $4.99 to $9.00 and up (with several different price points in between). The obvious downside, at least for mass audiences, is that EMI is the only major that's currently on board (that leaves 3 others out). UPDATE: I just read that Universal has also signed on.

In a related note, is it just me or have the prices at Insound gone up recently? As one of the last remaining cd buyers out there, I'd like to support the little guys but with the increase to $50 for free shipping and far cheaper prices at Amazon, I just can't justify it right now.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Editors on The Tonight Show

I was on vacation during Editors last stop through NYC at Webster Hall. My boy JD was in attendance and while he didn't have the kindest words for the somewhat lethargic crowd I can only assume Tom Smith and co. still brought the intensity that first blew me away in January of last year. They recently performed "An End Has a Start," one of my favorite tracks from their latest album of the same name, on The Tonight Show.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

PEARL JAM - IMMAGINE IN CORNICE Screening

The World Famous Ziegfeld Theatre, NYC. 2 tickets. You better believe I'll be there. Full list of screenings can be found here.

Band of Horses Tour Dates

I think some people have been a bit harsh on Cease to Begin. It took me awhile to get into Everything All the Time and this one is no different. I like it quite a bit and "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands" stands up pretty tall against "The Funeral." Here are the dates:

10/30, Charlottesville, VA (Satellite Ballroom)
11/1, Raleigh, NC (Lincoln Theatre)
11/2, Washington, DC (9:30 Club)
11/3, Providence, RI (Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel)
11/4, New York, NY (Terminal 5)
11/6, New Haven, CT (Toad's Place)
11/7, Northampton, MA (Pearl Street)
11/8, Montreal, QC (La Tulipe)
11/9, Toronto, ON (Phoenix Concert Theatre)
11/10, Pontiac, MI (Crofoot Ballroom)
11/12, Chicago, IL (Metro)
11/14, Minneapolis, MN (First Avenue)
11/15, Fargo, ND (The Aquarium/Dempsey's Upstairs)
11/17, Bozeman, MT (The Filling Station)
11/18, Boise, ID (Neurolux)
11/19, Seattle, WA (Showbox)
11/20, Seattle, WA (Showbox)
11/21, Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)
11/23, San Francisco, CA (Mezzanine)
11/24, Los Angeles, CA (Avalon LA)
11/26, Pomona, CA (Glass House)

Tickets are available here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Kasabian

Kasabian may have let me down with their second effort, Empire, but I haven't closed the book on them yet. I'll still make every effort to see them when they're stateside and I'm digging the title track of their new two song EP. It's got Serge on vocals and I like that it's a bit more stripped down; with a sound more in line with their debut.

MP3: Kasabian - "Fast Fuse"

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals @ Radio City 9/15/07

There's something about Ben that brings the best out of everyone. With a setlist heavy on Lifeline tunes, it doesn't matter whether you're a die hard fan or this is the first time hearing these songs, it's impossible not to leave happy. BHIC aren't playing their more traditional live songs on this tour but then again, we knew that. And the crowd at Radio City? Nothing short of amazing - far better than what I witnessed earlier this summer for Arcade Fire. What caught me completely off guard was a brief moment of emotion I don't think I've ever felt from a live performance, during Ben's no mic verse and subsequent crowd eruption on "Where Could I Go." Previous audiences during this tour will know exactly what I'm talking about. Future ticket holders will know soon enough. Hearing "Masters of War" was an obvious highlight. Although not with Eddie, opener Piers Faccini more than held his own during his verses.

MP3: Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals - Masters of War (with Eddie Vedder), Lollapalooza 8/3/07

Set I:

  1. 11th Commandment >
  2. Well Well Well
  3. Fight Outta You
  4. Picture In A Frame
  5. Fool For A Lonesome Train
  6. In The Colors
  7. Gold To Me
  8. Whipping Boy
  9. Younger Than Today
  10. Having Wings
  11. Two Hands Of A Prayer
  12. There Will Be A Light
  13. Needed You Tonight
  14. Put It On Me
  15. Say You Will
  16. Use Me
  17. Where Could I Go
Encore I:
  1. Paris Sunrise #7 >
  2. Lifeline
  3. Masters Of War w/ Piers Faccini
  4. Like A King / I'll Rise

Friday, September 14, 2007

Because it's Maynard



Got to love his sense of humor...

V is for Vagina is out October 30th. First single is available for pre-order on Sept. 24th from puscifer.com. Out on 10/2.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stream the INTO THE WILD Soundtrack

I have no idea how this happened by 96.3 WROV: The Rock of Virginia (!) is streaming the album on its web site. Listen to the soundtrack here. It's short and with my first listen, it's a tad bit disappointing but hell, it's still Eddie. "Far Behind," "Long Nights," "Hard Sun" and "Guaranteed" are the standouts thus far.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The End of Sound Team

News of the Sound Team break-up was unfortunate to say the least. This band has been in the minds of many over the last couple years and while some may be quick to blame this on the Pitchfork effect; I'd wager that it's far great than that. This one reeks of major label mismanagement. Capitol's mistreatment of the band was blatantly obvious as we noted a couple times last year. The label subsequently dropped the band shortly after their release of Movie Monster. In the end, it's a classic case study for a Lefsetz letter. Sad and just one more reason why we should be weary when indie bands we love make that leap to a major.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Psych/Noise, Eh?

[Photo Credit]

I'm no hockey fan, but I do love Boris about as much as anything. This has got to be one of the coolest things I've read in music news in a while:

"How's this for the next Will Ferrell movie? A professional hockey player grows tired of the usual Nickelback and Bon Jovi pre-game pump up jams and begins surreptitious nightly excursions into the underground psych and noise scenes. While playing for the Red Wings, he attends a Dead Meadow gig in Detroit and there meets an ex-member of the Dirtbombs who used to put out Pavement and Don Caballero records and now works for Warner Bros. The two become friends, gush about Boris and Sunn O))) together, and decide to start a limited-run label specializing in psych/noise releases. Then they live happily ever after.

"Also, there's a romantic interest played by Audrey Tautou and a scene where Ferrell accidentally eats a hockey puck while dining at a Tim Hortons. Genius!

"Best of all, this one would be Based on a True Story, as the above synopsis more or less tells the tale of upstart Macomb, Michigan imprint Elevation Recordings. The hockey player, Boyd Devereaux, now plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Warner guy, Joe Greenwald, used to run the label Third Gear. And they really did meet at a Dead Meadow show." [P4K]

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Band of Horses "Is There a Ghost"

Yes. I'm glad I decided to check Pitchfork today. The first song off of Cease to Begin, "Is There a Ghost." MySpace has it. Download it here.

Now I'm off for vacation...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Shine a Light: Scorsese & the Stones


What I can't understand is the selection of movies that they reference after they show Scorsese. Mean Streets? Got it. The Aviator? Ummm, there's three hours of my life I won't get back. GoodFellas? Got it. Gangs of New York? Errr, even Daniel Day-Lewis couldn't save that thing. Casino? Fuck yes. The Departed? Jesus. Where the fuck is Raging Bull? Taxi Driver? The Color of Money, even? All three of those knock The Aviator, Gangs of New York and The Departed out of the fucking ring. At any rate, I digress. This looks pretty good, as does Silence.

San Diego Street Scene

I still don't know how feasible this one is going to be with school kicking off the week prior to this (Sept. 22-23). Sunday is definitely the stronger of the two days (you can buy single day passes) with Editors, Social D, Arctic Monkeys, T.I. and Spoon to name a few, but Saturday has Muse. Decisions, decisions.

Sean Penn's INTO THE WILD

Trailer for aforementioned movie featuring music by Eddie Vedder. Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. I read it a long time ago, but I remember it lingering with me for days afterward.

Back. Kind Of. Ben. America.

About a week ago I just finished driving cross country for the first time (I fly back grab my other car and do it all over again in about a week). Highlights were seeing Cormac McCarthy in Santa Fe, getting vortexual in the red rocks in Sedona, AZ for two nights, checking out the Painted Desert and watching a condor circle a dead mule off Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon. Of course there was way more to it than that, but I know I haven't been pulling my weight around here and I was looking for a good moment to hop in and get my feet wet all over again.

Up until about 6 minutes ago, I had no knowledge of this little performance. You gotta love the fact that Ben had center court at the Finals all pimped out with his rug and chair. I will be catching Ben at the Orpheum on one of two nights here in LA. It is going to be pretty crazy to see him rocking out for a hometown audience. As you can see from the album cover and the pic below, they are going to be dressing up for this tour and they actually invite you to do the same.

We haven't discussed the mindblowing event that was Ben Harper at Bonnaroo, but I'm sure we will at some point. Dates below, album drops on Tuesday and you can preview it here.Lifeline Tour:

Aug 28 Burbank, CA, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Aug 31 Snowmass Village, CO, Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Sep 1 Boulder, CO, Macky Auditorium
Sep 2 Kansas City, MO, Uptown Theater
Sep 3 Minneapolis, MN, Orpheum Theatre
Sep 6 Chicago, IL, Chicago Theatre
Sep 7 Indianapolis, IN, Murat Theatre
Sep 8 Detroit, MI, The Fillmore at State Theatre
Sep 10 Louisville, KY, Louisville Palace Theatre
Sep 11 Knoxville, TN, Tennessee Theatre
Sep 12 Nashville, TN, Ryman Auditorium
Sep 14 Pittsburgh, PA, Benedum Center for the Performing Arts
Sep 15 New York, NY, Radio City Music Hall
Sep 17 Washington, DC, Warner Theatre
Sep 18 Albany, NY, Palace Theatre
Sep 19 Burlington, VT, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
Sep 21 New York City, NY, Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Sep 22 Upper Darby, PA, Tower Theatre
Sep 23 Boston, MA, Orpheum Theatre
Sep 24 Montreal, QC, Theatre St. Denis
Sep 25 Montreal, QC, Theatre St. Denis
Sep 28 Toronto, ON, Massey Hall
Sep 29 Toronto, ON, Massey Hall
Oct 1 New York City, NY, Late Show with David Lettermen
Oct 27 New Orleans, LA, Voodoo Music Experience
Oct 28 Birmingham, AL, Alabama Theatre
Oct 29 Memphis, TN, Orpheum Theatre
Oct 31 Miami, FL, Gusman Center
Nov 1 Jacksonville, FL, Florida Theatre
Nov 2 Atlanta, GA, Fox Theatre
Nov 4 San Antonio, TX, Majestic Theatre
Nov 5 Dallas, TX, Majestic Theatre
Nov 6 El Paso, TX, Plaza Theatre
Nov 8 Los Angeles, CA, Orpheum Theatre
Nov 9 Los Angeles, CA, Orpheum Theatre
Nov 10 Oakland, CA, Paramount Theatre
Nov 12 Portland, OR, Keller Auditorium
Nov 13 Vancouver, BC, Orpheum Theatre
Nov 14 Seattle, WA, Paramount Theatre
Nov 15 Seattle, WA, Paramount Theatre

Saturday, August 11, 2007

More PJ Follow-Up: Vic Theatre Download

Unfortunately, at this moment it appears that Ten Club will choose not to release this show as an official bootleg. For those that haven't heard it yet, you can find a very good quality taping over at The Army Reserve, both in MP3 and FLAC (Thank you, Pearl Jam forums). It's an amazing show, one that will certainly go down as one of Pearl Jam's best and further evidence that the band is far from showing signs of slowing down. Expect a fair number of goosebumps.

For the courtesy of the taper, it's been asked that this be downloaded for personal use only and that you not share the MP3s.