Saturday, March 31, 2007

Bloc Party @ United Palace Theatre, 3.30.07

This is probably just as much a review of United Palace Theatre as it is a recap of Bloc Party as I'm sure most fans have seen them live at some time or another. InMyTree finally convinced me to bring a camera, which I did, and now I just need to figure out how to upload the photos. Not surprisingly, they look like shit. UPDATED: Added a few photos; thanks for the direction, InMyTree.

As for United Palace, there is no doubt that this is a beautiful old venue/church but it sure as hell doesn't look like the rendered photos on their site. Because it's a church, there obviously aren't any bars so the beer situation is brutal. One packed serving area below and one above. Not ideal. I believe this was also the first Bowery concert at the venue and it showed. The band encouraged people to move forward (the stage setup was about 10 feet from the first row), security wasn't having it. The band won, security finally relented. Plaster falling from the ceiling onto the stage, lights coming on at the wrong time, etc. Not to mention a packed subway platform afterwards of drunk people. It reminded me of leaving Shea stadium or a Nats game. Fortunately, the subway is empty at that time so getting on isn't a problem. Don't expect to find cabs in Washington Heights. As for the sound, I was right smack dab in the middle, 12th row from the stage and to my untrained ears, had absolutely no complaints about the sound. The potential is definitely there.

I missed Sebastian Grainger (DFA1979) but did manage to catch most of Albert Hammond Jr.'s set. I haven't heard any of his recorded songs but he really does sound very much like the Strokes. It was pretty innocuous but entertaining. Bloc Party took the stage at 9:50 and for a little while seemed a bit uncertain of their surroundings. There's no disguising the fact that this is one of my favorite bands so it's out of love if I'm a little harsh. Maybe it was the venue (seated venues are never ideal unless it's the Garden) or the incessant touring but the show was just "ok." These guys have some of the best b-sides this side of Pearl Jam but the setlist was completely by the book, an even split of Silent Alarm and A Weekend in the City. Can I get some "Two More Years" or something? My last gripe, they only played for an hour and twenty minutes. I may be a bit spoiled by now but bring your band to NYC, charge $45 for a ticket, and I'm going to expect a little bit more.

I should mention that the songs they DID play sounded excellent. Silent Alarm has so many hits and they all still sound incredible. In a live setting, I can definitely hear the difference in direction with the new songs (I actually really like the new album). Not a bad thing, by any stretch, they just need a little bit more seasoning. "Songs for Clay" and "waiting for the 7.18" are among the best songs they've ever written. The line of the night came from Gordon while encouraging the crowd to move up and get loose said, "this is not a Snow Patrol concert."

Tentative Setlist:
"Song for Clay (Disappear Here)"
"Positive Tension"
"Blue Light"
"Hunting for Witches"
"Waiting for the 7.18"
"Banquet"
"Where Is Home"
"This Modern Love"
"The Prayer"
"Uniform"
"So Here We Are"
"I Still Remember"
"Like Eating Glass"
-----------------------
"She's Hearing Voices"
"SRXT"
"Helicopter"

"Little Thoughts" and/or "Luno" could have been in there too, I'm not sure.

Random pic of venue:
Albert Hammond Jr.:
Bloc Party:

Friday, March 30, 2007

Bloc Party Pre-sale

For DAR. Kicks off at 10. AM. Today. Here. Password: weekend.

Ted Leo + the Pharmacists @ 9:30 Club, 3.29.07

Another great show for the 9:30 Club books. University of the District of Columbia yellow jacket with red racing stripes. Flourescent Asics. Jeans. Short hair. Plugged in, wired up he gets the heads bobbing. The hands clapping. The kids dancing. For all intents and purposes this was my introduction. We walked in the door as it all kicked off. 10 minutes ahead of schedule. I don't own an album, but I've listened here and there. I've always dug it, but never got consumed by it. Too many albums, too much music, not enough time. That excuse is dead. Ted brought the pain. And I loved every punked up, rocked out minute of it. Perhaps there's no better way to meet a band.

Flickr: [More Pics]
NPR: [Download, Interview, Pictures, More]

Dead Earth.

[Photo Credit: Nick Ut, AP]

Al Gore. National Mall. Bon Jovi. Sleeveless jean jacket optional. If it wasn't for those meddling Republicans, they would have got away with it.

"Former Vice President Al Gore has elevated awareness of global warming since his movie An Inconvenient Truth has gained traction with the public.

"That led Gore and other organizers to propose the Live Earth concert event, featuring Faith Hill / Tim McGraw, Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi and others, on Washington's National Mall July 7.

"The number seven was a keystone - the event would not only take place on 7/7/7 but on all seven continents, including Antarctica. So far, everything is a go except in the U.S.

"Although global climate change due to carbon emissions is overwhelmingly embraced as scientific fact elsewhere on the globe, it is still presented as theory by some U.S. politicians and their media henchmen.

"One of its biggest detractors is Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) who has called global warming 'the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.' He objected to 'having any events on the Capitol grounds that are either highly partisan or politically controversial - and the proposed Gore concert is both,' according to the Los Angeles Times." [Pollstar]
Inhofe likes to compare environmentalists to Nazis. Classy. More about the push and pull for Live Earth in DC here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Save the Album

Just read this article stating that Apple is making attempts to appease record execs by "allowing fans to buy complete digital albums without having to pay again for songs they already own." I'm not sure how much this will really impact the record industry; the rest of us have certainly figured out that it's a battle that can't be won. But, this definitely serves to benefit the user attempting to buy any album over 10 songs whereby a selection has already been purchased. "For example, if a customer had bought three 99-cent singles and decides to download the entire album with a listed price of $9.99, the customer would only have to pay $7.02." So, if it helps those folks who purchase music online, I'm all for it.

It's currently live on iTunes althought it says "limited-time offer." Current offers are set to expire on June 26.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Album Sales Afterthought

I was just reading Coolfer's chart recap for this week and this particular line really caught me off guard:

Silversun Pickups' Carnavas (Dangerbird) has now sold 106,000 units in ten weeks of release. They've got big numbers in Los Angeles, San Diego, the Bay Area and Seattle. In comparison, the latest Clap Your Hands Say Yeah album has done 40,000 in eight weeks, and Bloc Party's latest has sold 95,000 in seven weeks.
This is amazing to me and really says a lot about how far SSPU has come in such little time. There are few indie bands out there that have worked as hard as these guys (and girl) to get into the minds and ears of the masses. I guess it remains to be seen whether this leads to any sort of long tail longevity and a dedicated fan base because I've definitely noticed the hipster crew is starting to jump ship. I, for one, am happy for them but I also expected a bit more from Bloc Party.

Amy Winehouse's Trip to the Dentist

[Credit: Mabel Feres]

She joins Scott Weiland, John Frusciante, Pete Doherty and (recently) Mickey Avalon in that select group of fragile lives that I can't help but follow. John and Scott have all but gotten their shit together and I might not have to even include them in this, but the point, the point is this: I dig the troubled soul and I am not alone.

There's a certain magnetism to the amount of pain and truth that they bring to the table that makes the track that much deeper, their presence so fragile and the live experience something to cherish, should you catch them for that glimmer, that moment when they have it all together and the raw perfection of their talents overwhelms you. I've seen both John and Scott at the top of their games and it is quite the sight.

Amy's entering the fold in a completely different genre, and somewhat uncharted territory for me. But, as I listen to her CD, Back to Black over and over again I can't helped but get hooked. She has me at "Rehab". Lights out. Stunning vocals, marrow-deep lyrics, I'm lost. I've starting watching her ascent with baited breath. Canceled shows are followed by the admission of irresponsibility:

"Winehouse has now admitted the concerts in the U.K. capital were pulled after she smashed her front tooth in a drunken fall.

"'I broke my big tooth. I had a massive gap in the front of my mouth,' she revealed, before explaining that dental surgery has fixed the unsightly injury." [Yahoo!]
And the PR machine isn't covering for her, trying to right the ship. They're just letting her sail. And maybe she demands that from the people she surrounds herself with. If she does, I respect it. We all have faults, but we aren't all under the microscope. Regardless of how she handles herself, I'm watching, I'm listening and I'm in love. The big, perfectly tousled hair, the tats (the tats!), those lips, the honest interviews, the makeup, and the diva demands for booze are all afterthoughts once you hear the voice.

 

MP3: Amy Winehouse - "You Know I'm No Good" [Remix] (ft. Ghostface Killah)

Bonnaroo Artist Additions

The 'Roo can't get here soon enough. After the job is over. Before the grad school begins. It will all unravel in Manchester, TN. Artist additions from Bonnaroo.com:

Ornette Coleman
El-P
David Bromberg and Angel Band
Flight of the Conchords
The New Orleans Klezmer Allstars
Yard Dogs Road Show
MP3: TV On The Radio - "Hours" (El-P Remix)

Tonight @ 9:30 Club: TPC & CWK

***SOLD OUT***
Doors 7:30
Delta Spirit 8:00
Tokyo Police Club 8:45
Cold War Kids 10:00
I'm hoping my Fantasy Baseball draft ends in time to get out for Cold War Kids. If I don't make it, Top will be our eye in the sky.

It seems like only yesterday we were planning for V Fest, catching drummers break sticks while wearing gasmasks and watching Tokyo Police Club set Warehouse Next Door on fire.

Cameron v. Scott

[Words From Here]

I've been on a Sci-Fi kick lately and over the past two nights I've fired up Alien and Aliens. Going into this little movie festival all I could think about was getting to Aliens, because I remember hearing that the sequel was the best of the bunch. I couldn't be further from the truth. Aliens is the #72 movie of all time. Surely you jest. Cameron overdoses on effects - and they're great - but, other areas suffer. Game over, man. Game over.

Alien. #52. The truth. And this from a guy that hates Sci-Fi. Everything from the austere set design to the solid casting (including Yaphet Kotto of Homicide: Life on the Streets fame, Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt) are pitch perfect. The build-up to finally seeing the alien is excellent, especially in the Director's Cut. A wandering kitty. A dark, wet control room. Space. Quiet. A noise. Alien. Death. And then, later, when our anticipation and curiosity cannot wait. Fully grown and of monstrous proportions, we see it in all of its glory.

It's interesting to compare the approach that Scott and Cameron take to suspense and science fiction. Scott stays with the characters, develops them and doesn't show you the beast until it is absolutely necessary. Cameron sends the beasts in by the boatload and let's them dominate the screen.

I prefer the first approach, because it makes me feel like it is all remotely possible. Watching the human reaction to the surreal, you are drawn in. You can relate. Watching hoards of aliens attack a small group of Colonial Marines and I feel numb. It's all action, no substance. It's too surreal. It's a gimmick. And, it's overload.

I'm on to part three, the David Fincher installment, and I've heard the Director's Cut is where it's at. Here are a couple of beast tracks, vaguely related, from some epic albums. The Meaning of 8 is the real deal. I can't say it enough.

  

MP3: Cloud Cult - "Alien Christ"
MP3: Radiohead - "Subterranean Homesick Alien"

Arcade Fire: Cancellations, New Single

All links, misnomers and news from the 'Fork.
Cancellations:

"Alas, yesterday (Saturday, March 24) in Oslo, Norway, Win Butler finally succumbed to the illness that has been dogging him for months, and the Arcade Fire decided to cancel the rest of their European tour. In an entry titled 'heavy heart' posted in his diary on the band's website, Butler explains that he 'ha[s] been suffering from a sinus and bronchial infection for the last 3 months, and last night in Stockholm I finally pushed my voice and body farther than they are able to go.'"
New Single:
"On May 5, Merge Records will release the first U.S. single off the Arcade Fire's epic sophomore LP. "Keep the Car Running" comes backed with 'Broken Wind'-- which is not to be confused, of course, with 2005 seven-inch cut 'Cold Wind' UPDATE: THE SONG IS CALLED 'BROKEN WINDOW', NOT 'BROKEN WIND'. MERGE SENT OUT THE WRONG TRACK NAME. WE WEREN'T MAKING A GRADE SCHOOL JOKE, WE SWEAR!-- and arrives with typically lavish packaging on 7" vinyl."

DCist: Walkmen @ Rock 'N Roll Hotel

The DCist caught the Walkmen last friday night. I was in Baltimore catching up with old friends and taking in the UNC/USC game. I already had tickets to The Walkmen/Kaiser Chiefs bill and I much prefer 9:30 Club to any other venue in the city in terms of sound, so I passed last Friday night. Interestingly, the DCist's post about the Walkmen sparked some sound quality debates in the comment section, as well as debate about the quality of the Walkmen's performance. As someone who has never been to the Rock 'N Roll Hotel, I'm left wondering what the deal is. I've heard a number of times that it is an incredible space, but I also regularly hear a debate about the sound.

Hold Steady Tour Dates

I will see you in Bonnaroo. Finally. Here are the dates:

05-12 Harrisburg, PA - Abbey Bar at Appalachian Brewing Co.
05-13 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom
05-14 Newport, KY - Southgate House
05-15 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
05-16 Grand Rapids, MI - Intersection
05-17 Milwaukee, WI - Miramar
05-18 Madison, WI - Orpheum Stage Door
05-20 Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground
05-22 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
05-23 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
05-24 Boise, ID - Neurolux
05-26 George, WA - The Gorge (Sasquatch! Festival)
05-28 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
05-30 San Francisco, CA - Slim's
05-31 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
06-02 Phoenix, AZ - Brick House
06-16 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Odds & Ends

* Spoon's new album is titled Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.
[Link]

* Daft Punk is playing Brooklyn in August. Tickets are on sale this Saturday.
[Link]

* LCD Soundsystem is popping a 91 over at Metacritic. I grabbed it last week, but I am still trying to find time to give it a good listen.
[Link]

* Pitchfork posted a new Dinosaur Jr. track today. I'll save you the trouble. Great breakdown about 2 minutes in, followed by a killer solo that lasts the rest of the song. Hipsters call that "masturbatory", I call it "sweet". Beyond drops on May 1.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr. - "We're Not Alone"

The Mars Volta on The Henry Rollins Show

[Photo Credit]

The Mars Volta will perform a 13-minute set on The Henry Rollins Show on April 27th. From IFC:

THE HENRY ROLLINS SHOW
ALL NEW SEASON 4.13.07
FRIDAY NIGHTS 11ET/8PT
This April, Henry Rollins returns with 20 new episodes featuring "the most uncensored conversations in television."

4/13 Guest Marilyn Manson/Uncut Performance by Peaches
4/20 Guest Ben Stiller/Uncut Performance by Ryan Adams
4/27 Guest John Waters/Uncut Performance by The Mars Volta

And only on IFC.com - an exclusive additional uncut performance and interview with each musical guest.

Watch this space for more updates coming soon.
And also coming to IFC on April 13th - HENRY ROLLINS: UNCUT FROM ISRAEL: Henry Rollins performs two nights of spoken word in Tel Aviv. Unfiltered, uncensored, and absolutely uncut.
April has turned into a serious month for television (new season of The Shield, final season of The Sopranos, new season of Entourage, baseball, baseball, baseball).

IFC is available via the following outlets in the Arlington, VA area:
Cable:
COX CABLE COMM-FAIRFAX CNTY 200

Satellite:
DIRECTTV: 559
DISH NETWORK: 331
Comcast, you're killing me.

Monday, March 26, 2007

At Last, More U.S. Bloc Party Dates

From P4K, who has the complete tour including dates in Europe and Australia:

03-27 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis *
03-28 Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre *
03-30 New York, NY - United Palace Theatre *
03-31 New York, NY - United Palace Theatre *

05-27 Pompano Beach, FL - Pompano Beach Amphitheatre
05-28 Tampa, FL - USF Sun Dome
05-29 Orlando, FL - UCF Arena
05-31 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
06-01 Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
06-03 Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall
06-05 Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre
06-06 Boston, MA - WFNX Radio Show
06-07 Asbury Park, NJ - Convention Hall
06-09 San Francisco, CA - Live 105 Radio Show
06-11 Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre
06-12 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
06-13 Las Vegas, NV - Palms Casino Hotel
06-16 San Diego, CA - Concerts in the Park
08-25 Reading, England - Reading Festival
08-26 Leeds, England - Leeds Festival

* with Albert Hammond Jr., Sebastien Grainger
Bloc Party tickets for DAR go on-sale this Saturday. Ticketbastard is currently calling them "Block Party". Noisettes and The Maccabees will open up.

MP3: Bloc Party - "Atonement"
MP3: Bloc Party - "Hunting for Witches" (Black Sessions)

Full Album Streams

Here are a couple new full album streams worthy of attention.

AOL has Klaxons' Myths of the Near Future. Ignore all that bullshit about the term "new rave." This is actually a really great rock album. It's 10 bucks at Insound and as an added bonus, they're shipping the Magick and Golden Skans import CD singles along with it. It comes out tomorrow.

NME has Maximo Park's Our Earthly Pleasures. It was a tall order but it doesn't quite stand up to their debut. The album drops off a bit during the bottom third of the album but overall, it's a very solid effort from a band that I think is very underrated here in the States. The album is out next Monday in the UK and May 8 in the US. No pre-sale information yet.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Fratellis @ Mercury Lounge, 3/23/07

Lead singer John Lawler took the stage for the encore and, much to everyone's surprise, did an acoustic performance of "New York, New York." Sinatra with a Glaswegian accent...a classic moment.

I realized last night why I love to come out and see these UK buzz bands perform in small clubs in NYC. When the majority of the crowd hails from the UK, these shows provide a completely different live experience. Watching swarms of people singing and dancing along with every song; it's a rare opportunity to find such an enthusiastic crowd at a venue this size, in a city notorious for arms-folded show-me-what-you-got audiences.

The Fratellis had a successful debut last week, selling close to 15,000 units and a top 50 spot on the Billboard 200 due in large part to their iTunes commercial. For those who haven't yet heard anything beyond "Flathead," this is far from a one hit wonder band. What impressed me most - and what I think separates the Fratellis from their UK upstart counterparts - was their incredibly tight live performance. Despite their juvenile lyrics, The Fratellis came across as seasoned musicians, all highly skilled at their craft.

MP3: The Fratellis - "3 Skinny Girls" (B-side to Henrietta)

UPDATE: The Music Slut has a photo of the setlist (minus "New York, New York"). The last song was a cover of the Who's "The Seeker." You got to love the fact that these dudes have a great relationship with Pete Townshend. They performed the song together at SXSW.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Checking with Tokyo Police Club

I stumbled over a hidden gem on iTunes this week. An exclusive Live from SoHo EP of my favorite new band of 2006, Tokyo Police Club. Courtesy of a gift card, I purchased an album for the first time ever on iTunes and I highly recommend it. It's a relative bargain at $5.99 for 9 songs; two of which are brand new and one other, "Box" is a b-side to "Nature of the Experiment." Alternatively, one of the new tunes, "Cut Cut Paste" is now streaming on Pitchfork. The other, "untitled" was also recorded during last month's Daytrotter session.

MP3: Tokyo Police Club - "Untitled" (Daytrotter)
MP3: Tokyo Police Club - "Graves" (Daytrotter)

They're currently touring with Cold War Kids. Dates below:

3/23 Vinyl Atlanta, GA
3/24 Mercy Lounge Nashville, TN
3/26 Village Tavern Mt. Pleasant, SC
3/27 Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC
3/28 Nightclub 9:30 Washington, DC (SOLD OUT)
3/29 First Unitarian Church Philladelphia, PA
3/30 Middle East Downstairs Boston, MA
3/31 Pearl Street Nightclub Northampton, MA
4/2 La Salla Rossa Montreal, QC
4/3 Zaphod Beeblebrox Ottawa, ON
4/4 The Mod Club Toronto, ON
4/6 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY (SOLD OUT)
4/7 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY (SOLD OUT)
4/9 Mercury Lounge New York, NY (SOLD OUT)
4/11 The Mod Club Toronto, Ontario

The National - "Fake Empire"

The first time I listened to Alligator I was pulling an all-nighter at work. In need of a break, I retreated into the dark recesses of my office, turned the lights off, put the acclaimed 2005 release on and got completely blown away. Something similar just happened. Granted, it was only one track, and, granted, it came from a place I have come to avoid, but what a pleasant surprise for a Friday. It builds and builds. And when you think it is done, the horns hover in. It comes alive in your ears, and it is too good not to post. Excitement doesn't quite cover it. Bonnaroo, here we come.

MP3: The National - "Fake Empire"

When that link runs out, you can keep listening at The National's Official Site.

Pitchfork Confirms Moz Dates

Hopefully this doesn't go the way of the White Stripes dates. At any rate, via Pitchfork, here they are:

04-27 Stockton, CA - Bob Hope Theater *
04-28 Sparks, NV - John Ascuaga's Celebrity Showroom *
04-29 Sparks, NV - John Ascuaga's Celebrity Showroom *
05-01 Oakland, CA - Paramount Theater *
05-02 Santa Rosa, CA - Wells Fargo Center *
05-05 Spokane, WA - INB Performing Arts Center *
05-06 Seattle, WA - Paramount *
05-08 Salt Lake City, UT - E Center Ford Theater *
05-09 Denver, CO - Fillmore *
05-11 Omaha, NE - Orpheum *
05-12 Milwaukee, WI - Riverside *
05-14 Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theater *
05-15 Chicago, IL - Auditorium Theatre *
05-17 Cleveland, OH - Playhouse Square Center *
05-18 Columbus, OH - Palace Theater *
05-20 Indianapolis, IN - Murat Center *
05-22 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant *
05-23 Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater *
05-25 Dallas, TX - Palladium *
05-26 Austin, TX - Backyard *
05-28 Houston, TX - Verizon *
05-30 El Paso, TX - County Coliseum *
05-31 Tucson, AZ - Music Hall *
06-02 Phoenix, AZ - Maricopa County Events Center *
06-03 San Diego, CA - Bayside Concerts *
06-05 Ventura, CA - Majestic Ventura Theater *
06-06 Riverside, CA - Riverside Municipal Auditorium *
06-08 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl *
06-09 Las Vegas, NV - Pearl *
06-26 Boston, MA - Bank of America Pavilion *
06-27 Northampton, MA - Pines Theater *
06-29 Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center *
06-30 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden *
07-02 Vienna, VA - Wolf Trap *
07-03 Baltimore, MD - Rams Head *
07-05 Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata *
07-06 Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center *
07-09 Norfolk, VA - NorVa *
07-10 Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theatre *
07-12 Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall *
07-14 Boca Raton, FL - Mizner Park Amphitheater *
07-15 Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live *
07-17 Jacksonville, FL - Morocco Shrine Auditorium *
07-19 Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theatre *
07-20 Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park *
07-21 Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues *

* with Kristeen Young

NBC Universal and Fox on the Offensive


Via BBC News:

"NBC Universal and Fox will put top shows such as 24, House and Heroes as well as hit movies on the site, which will carry advertising.

"The initiative is designed to give the firms greater control over how their content is accessed on the internet.

"Viacom has launched a $1bn copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube."
They should just cut Jack Bauer loose on that ass. It could be over in one season. Not even. Make it a minor plotline. YouTube will be dead by next Monday at 10/9 Central.

Additionally:
* Tune in here to hear NPR's take on the Viacom lawsuit.

* "Google's Copyright Nightmare" at BBC News.

Album Sales Continue Downward Spiral

I still believe that the ability for a consumer to buy one song instead of an album, takes a bigger chunk out of revenue than piracy or pear-to-peer song sharing. But, that's just me. And I don't have any statistical data to back that up. Pollstar has the lowdown on album sales so far this year:

"While overall music sales are up 19 percent compared to last year at this time, translating into 46 million additional music purchases, sales of physical CDs have dropped 20 percent compared to 2006.

"So far this year, consumers have purchased 89 million physical CDs. That's 23 million fewer than the 112 million music fans bought last year.

"'And while digital album sales increased 100 percent over last year, overall album purchases, including 'track equivalent albums,' where 10 digital track purchases count as one album sale, dropped 10 percent to 118 million from last year's 131 million benchmark.

"Of course, piracy is still a factor in declining music sales. Despite the recording industry's efforts, peer-to-peer song sharing refuses to go away. Chances are you can find anything you want if you look hard enough. And, in most cases, you don't have to look very hard."

Morrissey Coming to Wolf Trap?

From the DCist:

"Also announced, but not yet confirmed, is a July 2nd date for Morrissey at Wolf Trap in Vienna. I spoke with someone from the venue today and they informed me that 'no specific event information is available at this time,' but that Wolf Trap's 2007 event schedule would be unveiled next Monday and more information might be available then. Tickets for most of the other confirmed Morrissey dates go on sale March 31st, so stay tuned."
They also have more details about V Fest.

VFest: Pimlico, the Police & the Pumpkins

From Pollstar:

"Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has announced the U.S. Virgin Festival By Virgin Mobile will be held August 4-5, 2007 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., adding a second day of music in its second year. The Police and Beastie Boys play August 4, and The Smashing Pumpkins headline the second day.

"On-sale dates for tickets, the rest of the line-up and additional info will be announced in the coming weeks.

"The first U.S. Virgin Festival By Virgin Mobile was held September 23, 2006, and featured 20 bands performing for more than 45,000 people across two stages and a giant dance tent.

"This year, the site will again provide a variety of entertainment and activity, concessions, a diverse array of vendors and non-profit organizations, art installations, performance art and more."
Let's just hope they don't run out of bottled water at 8:00 PM. Again.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mohawks, Not Fauxhawks

Because we mean fucking business.

That's right, the Boston Red Sox have a closer. And we didn't have to trade anyone. Or sign any dead weight for big bucks. And he did alright last year. OK, aside from the injury, he kicked ass. 35 saves, 75 Ks in 68 IP. Not bad for a rookie. The details via Gordon Edes at the Globe's Extra Bases:

Jonathan Papelbon and Terry Francona confirmed this afternoon that the club is abandoning the experiment to convert him to a starter and that he will continue as the team's closer.

Papelbon, despite his public declarations of embracing the role of starter, said he hasn't been able to sleep this spring because he wanted to close and finally told Francona of his desire on the field prior to Tuesday night's exhibition game.

"I walked into Tito's office and said, 'If you want to give me the ball in the ninth, I want it,'" Papelbon said today.

Papelbon confirmed the decision after this afternoon's game with Philadelphia.
The downside, because there is always a downside with the Sox, is what becomes of the rotation. Lester isn't ready, so, who will be the fifth starter? Because Julian Tavarez in the five-hole makes me want to punch the wall.

Inside the Lines w. Mickey Avalon

[Photo Credit: Myspace | Official Site]

There's a million things I should hate about Mickey Avalon. The monotone delivery, the self-absorbed lyrics, the utter decay that drips off every track, the outright misogynistic lyrics, songs about drugs, songs about murder, and songs about murdering for drugs...and the list goes on. But.

But.

I can't stop listening. I love it. I love the hooks. I love the fact that they sound like they were made on $30 keyboard and then dubbed over that Mickey bought from a pawn shop with money he earned from working the streets. I love that he takes no prisoners; everyone's a target from plastic surgeons to bulemics. He runs rampant on the L.A. scene touching everything from hustling to drug addiction to the Hollywood facade.

Simon Rex (of Young, Hard & Solo #3 fame) is in on the game, along with Cisco Adler (of Mischa Barton fame). His website has some hilarious videos of Rex and Avalon running through tracks and screwdrivers for an episode of Tom Green Live in what appears to be a trailer full of not-so-pretty Avalon hopefuls. From what I hear, the MTV Cribs with Rex had a little Mickey in there, too. He rocked Stubbs at SxSW and did Kimmel in February. What can I say, the kid gets around. He's probably going to be the first one to tell you that, too.

He is what he is and I like that. There's a painful honesty about everything, but it doesn't make you think too much because you're too busy dancing to the music. Mickey's been doing his thing for a while now and the blogosphere has been on to him, albeit with lukewarm enthusiasm. We'll have to wait and see where it all ends up. I predict a Diet Pete Doherty-like trajectory with too many drugs, not showing up for shows, busts, and the like.

Comparing him to Doherty may be giving him too much credit, but I can see the downward spiral right around the corner. Money equates to drugs. And drugs equate to, well, more drugs. Best of luck, Mickey. I'm along for the ride.

Tour Dates:

Mar 22 Sagamore Hotel - RSVP Here Miami, FL
Mar 24 Club Underground Reno, NV
Mar 25 Whiskey Dicks Lake Tahoe, CA
Mar 27 The Clubhouse Tempe, AZ
Mar 28 Club Congress Tucson, AZ
Mar 29 Park Ultra Lounge Sacramento, CA*
Mar 30 Mezzanine San Francisco, CA*
Mar 31 Pure Las Vegas, NV*
Apr 4 Velvet Jones Santa Barbara, CA
Apr 5 University Theatre Las Vegas, NV
Apr 9 Bluebird Denver, CO
Apr 12 Pure Austin, TX
Apr 13 Pure Austin, TX
Apr 14 Warehouse Live Studio Houston, TX
May 4 Lotus New York, NY
May 5 Bamboozlefest Rutherford, NJ

*w. DJ AM & Travis Barker
 

MP3: Mickey Avalon - "Mr. Right"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chris Cornell @ Irving Plaza On-Sale Date

Tickets for Chris Cornell's other east coast dates went on sale last weekend and sold out almost immediately. His 4/16 New York show goes on sale this Saturday @ 1pm. Tickets are listed on the Irving Plaza site at $35. I expect this one to be a tough ticket as well but I'll be giving it a shot. I'm the first to admit that I'll always have a soft spot for my Grunge heroes. I mean, hell, he IS dipping into the Temple of Dog and Soundgarden catalogs.

Tour Dates:
Fri April 6 Las Vegas, NV Vegas Grand Prix
Sun April 8 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Wed April 11 Chicago, IL Metro - Smart Bar
Sat April 14 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre
Mon April 16 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Thu April 19 Boston, MA Avalon Ballroom
Sun April 22 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of The Living Arts
Tue April 24 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live
Fri April 27 Dallas, TX Palladium Ballroom
Sun April 29 Austin, TX Stubbs Bar-B-Q
Wed May 2 Los Angeles, CA Avalon

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tonight @ Black Cat: Mew

TUE MAR 20
MEW [MySpace | Official Site]
OH NO! OH MY! [MySpace | Official Site]
$15 mainstage 8:00 | Tickets

Mew - "156"

Video: Cloud Cult - "Chemicals Collide"

"Oh, god, it's beautiful..."

They will most likely sell out their dates in NYC, Minneapolis and San Francisco. You can catch them in DC on April 11th when they open up for Exit Clov. Tickets are still available. $10. Their new album, The Meaning of 8 lives up to every lofty expectation I set. You can buy it here.

Modest Mouse: Album Drop, Tour Dates

In support of their new album, Modest Mouse kicked off their 2007 tour last night in Fargo.

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank [Pitchfork: 7.8 | Metacritic: 83] drops today. It is their fifth studio album (the third with Epic). Pick it up at Insound for $17.99 (on sale) or at Amazon for $9.99 (on sale). Hmmm. Here are their current tour dates:

03-19 Fargo, ND - Playmakers Pavilion
03-21 Seattle, WA - South Lake Union Naval Reserve
04-15 Seattle, WA - Paramount Theatre
04-16 Vancouver, British Columbia - Pacific Coliseum
04-20 Minneapolis, MN - Orpheum Theatre
04-21 Minneapolis, MN - Orpheum Theatre
04-22 Chicago, IL - Auditorium Theatre
04-26 Rochester, NY - Main Street Armory
04-27 Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
04-29 New York, NY - The United Palace
04-30 New York, NY - The United Palace
05-02 Providence, RI - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel
05-03 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
05-04 Greensboro, NC - Special Events Center
05-05 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade Music Park
05-06 Birmingham, AL - BJCC Arena Concert Hall
05-08 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
05-09 Austin, TX - The Backyard
05-10 Grand Prairie, TX - Nokia Live
05-12 Mesa, AZ - Mesa Amphitheater
05-13 Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
05-14 San Diego, CA - Cox Arena at San Diego State University
05-16 San Jose, CA - San Jose State University
05-20 Somerset, England - Butlins Minehead
05-23 London, England - Royal Albert Hall
06-01 Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound

Monday, March 19, 2007

Watch and Listen to Two New Songs from The National

Courtesy of The National:

The great French blog La Blogotheque has just posted two "Concerts à Emporter" (Take Away Shows) from the National. We're playing borrowed flamenco guitars (which we didn't bother to tune due to the influence of the local wine!) and we get some help from our French friends. There are two videos, "Start A War" and "Ada". Both songs (albeit in very different forms) are on our new album "Boxer" which will be released May 21/22 by Beggars Banquet.


[Link]

The White Stripes Tour

I don't know what it is going on with this thing. Links are alive, info is crossed out, links are dead. Billboard, NME, Filter and Pitchfork all put the dates out, but there is nothing showing at the White Stripes MySpace page outside of festivals. As an amateur blogger, at best, I feel the need to hold off with White Stripes tour dates until I see it from the band itself. Sorry for the confusion. The world wide web ain't what it use to be.

Awesome Boris Pics @ P4K

From SxSW [Link], including the trademark gong move from Atsuo. I don't know how it happened, but somehow, Amy Phillips and Metro D are beginning to find common ground.

Smashing Pumpkins On the Road

Flag, Euro/Canada dates, and ticket info from the Smashing Pumpkins MySpace page.

Billy Corgan's getting down during the baseball season, maybe he's already thrown in the towel on his beloved Cubbies.
Dates:

May 28 Pinkpop Festival Megaland, Landgraaf
May 31 Primavera Sound Barcelona
Jun 2 Rock Am Ring Festival Nürburgring
Jun 3 Rock Im Park Festival Nürnberg
Jun 9 Lisbon Festival Lisbon
Jun 15 Nova Rock Festival Nickelsdorf
Jun 16 Heineken Festival Venice
Jun 17 Greenfields Festival Interlaken
Sep 9 Virgin Festival Toronto, Ontario
And ticket info for Toronto:
Hey everyone-

There is an exclusive ticket pre-sale for YOU, the Pumpkins fans! Just click on this link Tuesday at 10am EST: Tickets
The pre-sale password is: ZEITGEIST

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cloud Cult's Craig Minowa @ Litmuszine

Rob Mitchum, recently did an interview with Cloud Cult's Craig Minowa. You can read it at Litmus. That interview plays a role in Mitchum's recent article at P4K titled "Please Mr. Pharmacist: The New Brand of Drug Song".

Ultra8201 @ SxSW

Ultra8201, the only blogger on the blogroll that I have ever met, is getting down at SxSW right now. It's just pictures right now - and he's got shots of everyone from The Fratellis to Albert Hammond, Jr. to Saul Williams (!) to Ghostland Observatory - but I am sure there will be more as the weekend unfolds. Get some, Ultra8201. Get some.

Lefsetz: The Pearl Jam Paradigm

Lefsetz is still tripping on Arcade Fire, makes an interesting reference to Pearl Jam:

"Call it the Pearl Jam paradigm. After Ten, the band decided to do no more videos, no hype. Sure, their record sales trailed off, but FIFTEEN YEARS LATER they can still sell out arenas. Do you want to still be able to work as a musician and not have a day job fifteen years on? Then I’d suggest you watch your publicity. The more ubiquitous you are, the shorter your career.

"As for Arcade Fire… There are much worse offenders.

"But as Pearl Jam proved, fuck the casual fan. It’s the HARD CORE you’re interested in.

"Of course, at first it’s hard to get anybody to pay attention, but once you’ve got traction, pull back on the reins!"
[Sales-Week Ending-3/11/07]

The Good, The Bad & The Download

I missed The Good, The Bad & the Queen at 9:30 Club because I've been down in Florida since Wednesday (partly cloudy, 70s, occassional showers so far). Information Leafblower was in the house taking great pics, but didn't seem to be impressed with the Blur + the Verve + the Clash combo. You can judge for yourself via the stream/download at NPR.org.

Pack Your Bags.

(AP Photo/Charles Berch/ESPN)

Congrats to VCU. Watching Duke lose is kind of like watching the Yankees lose, I don't care who provides the beating, I just like to see it all go down. UNC is still chugging right along.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Tour

New album is May 1, "Weapon of Choice", the first single, is still streaming here, along with some other new tracks.

May 5 Marquee Theatre Phoenix, AZ
May 6 House of Blues San Diego, CA
May 8 The Wiltern Los Angeles, CA
May 9 The Fillmore SF
May 11 Roseland Theatre Portland, OR
May 12 Richard's On Richards Vancouver, BC
May 13 The Showbox Seattle, WA
May 15 The Big Easy Boise, ID
May 16 In The Venue Salt Lake City, UT
May 17 Gothic Theatre Denver, CO
May 18 Sokol Underground Omaha, NE
May 19 Granada Theatre Lawrence, KS
May 20 The Pageant St. Louis, MS
May 22 First Avenue Minneapolis, MN
May 23 The Rave Milwaukee, WI
May 24 Vic Theatre Chicago, IL
May 25 St. Andrews Hall Detroit, MI
May 26 Kool Haus Toronto, ONT
May 28 La Tulipe Montreal, BC
May 29 Avalon Boston, MA
May 31 Webster Hall New York, NY
Jun 1 Theatre of the Living Arts Philadelphia, PA
Jun 2 9:30 Club Washington DC [Tickets]
Jun 4 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
Jun 5 The Music Mill Indianapolis, IN
Jun 6 City Hall Nashville, TN
Jun 7 Roxy Theatre Atlanta, GA
Jun 9 Culture Room Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jun 10 The Social Orlando, FL
Jun 12 Zydeco Birmingham, AL
Jun 13 The Republic New Orleans, LA
Jun 14 Meridian Houston, TX
Jun 15 La Zona Rosa Austin, TN
Jun 16 House of Blues Dallas, TX

Wolfmother: April/May Tour Dates

Apr 15 Warfield Theatre San Francisco, California
Apr 18 Fillmore Auditorium Denver, Arkansas
Apr 21 Bijou Theatre Knoxville, Tennessee
Apr 22 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, Alabama
Apr 24 Disco Rodeo Raleigh, North Carolina
Apr 25 9:30 Club Washington DC, Washington DC [Tickets]
Apr 28 Webster Theatre Hartford, Connecticut
Apr 29 Avalon Ballroom Boston, Massachusetts
May 3 Bogart's Cincinnati, Ohio
May 4 The Orange Peel Asheville, North Carolina
May 9 The Grove of Anaheim Anaheim, California

Ear-Bleeding Country

This is not a post about SXSW. You won't find any live blogging to let the rest of the world know how much fun you're missing. Maybe I'm a little bitter. Anyway, a month ago I mentioned that I have been enjoying Dinosaur Jr's throwback rock reunion album Beyond. Even at 41, J Mascis is still making his presence felt on the music scene, whether it be through his vastly overlooked metal band, Witch (he plays drums), his vocals on Mew's last record, or the reunion with Dinosaur Jr, their first studio album together in 19 years. Largely unfamiliar with Dinosaur Jr's past work, which almost seems like a crime now considering their peak happened during my teenage years, a buddy of mine pointed me in the direction of Ear-Bleeding Country. I downloaded it yesterday and immediately came to the realization that I had been missing out on something great. I do have one memory of the band; for some reason I have a vivid recollection of the video for "Feel the Pain" on MTV way back in 1994 that featured the band playing golf in the middle of New York City. That song will always be one of my favorites from that decade, and likely for all-time.

MP3: Dinosaur Jr - "Feel the Pain"

I've seen J Mascis perform solo but I, for one, am definitely looking forward to the tour in support of their new release. Beyond is out on May 1st. Pre-order available at Amp Camp.

UPDATE: Perfect timing, I just found Dinosaur Jr's tour dates on NME. Count me in for Irving Plaza.

San Diego, CA, The Casbah (May 10 - billed as 'J Mascis And Friends')
West Hollywood, CA, The Troubador (May 11, 12, 13)
San Francisco, CA, Slim's (May 15, 16)
Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom (May 17)
Seattle, WA, The Showbox (May 18)
Olympia, WA, Capitol Theatre (May 19)
Bellingham, WA, The Nightlight (May 20)
Minneapolis, MN, Triple Rock (May 29, 30)
Chicago, IL, The Abbey (May 31, June 1, 2)
Ann Arbor, MI, The Blind Pig (June 3, 4)
New York, NY, Irving Plaza (June 6, 7)
Toronto, ON, Phoenix Concert Theatre (June 8)
Montreal, PQ, Club Soda (June 9)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Arcade Fire's Neon Bible in at No. 2

Album sales really are a joke now, huh? Not one album sold more than 100,00 copies. How many people live in the United States, 300 million? And this includes digital sales. Anyway, Neon Bible, hits the charts at Number 2 with 92,000 units. Both very respectable totals for the band considering their Funeral peak was 131. Unfortunately, and much as I suspected, they didn't quite reach The Shins status. [Read more]

Arctic Monkeys Pre-Sale Info @ 9:30 Club

Presale tickets to the Arctic Monkey's May 16 show at the 9:30 Club are still available. Ticket's are $25 so definitely not cheap. I haven't figured out if I'm going to see this one yet. I really just need to hear some new material first. Be Your Own Pet is opening.

[9:30 Presale | Password: brianstorm]

Via Theriotvan.com (other presale information available)

Tour Dates:
04-27 Indio, CA - Empire Polo Field (Coachella)
05-01 San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theatre
05-02 Portland, OR - Roseland Theatre
05-03 Seattle, WA - Showbox
05-04 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
05-07 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
05-08 Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre
05-09 Pontiac, MI - Clutch Cargo's
05-11 Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus
05-12 Montreal, Quebec - L'Olympia
05-13 Boston, MA - Avalon
05-15 New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
05-16 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
05-17 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
05-19 Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle
05-20 Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live

Iggy & the Stooges @ 9:30 Club

Tickets for this show went from on-sale to sold out in a heartbeat at some point last week. I didn't get the e-mail in time, and, to be honest, don't know if I would have hopped into the feeding frenzy to begin with. Regardless, the prices on eBay have dropped slightly (about $5 to $10) and you can now get down for about $80, plus outrageous shipping. Over at StubHub they are $75 before shipping.

Options: [eBay | Craigslist | StubHub]

On a related note, I had to run home from work yesterday and pick up something I forgot. On the way out the door I left my iPod blasting Rainbow in my office. Sans iPod and in need of constant stimulation, I turned the dial to DC101 just to see what Elliott was up to. They were doing this thing where they have three sets of different tickets and the first person to call gets first dibs, so on. So forth. The first guy calls in, hears "Iggy & the Stooges" and goes "I don't even know who that is", so he obviously grabbed another set of tickets. The next kid, who probably thought he was getting "sloppy seconds" gets on with the "Is this me? Am I on?" and was completely ecstatic when the Iggy Pop tickets were still available. Good for him. I guess that radio thing isn't half bad.

The Host and 300

Check out the comment threads at the AV Club in regards to reviews for these two movies, The Host and 300, the last two movies I have seen in the theater. It is hilarious high-brow v. low-brow humor...and a lot of people taking things out of context and making the proverbial mountain out of a molehill. The really interesting thing is that people pissed off about 300 pour into The Host's comment thread immediately, dismissing the movie as far-fetched. Y'know, because that beast the size of a three-story building with lobster-claw hands in 300 really fought at the Battle of Thermopylae. Meatheads. You have to love it.

300
Let me begin by saying that if you aren't a fan of Frank Miller's graphic novel, you probably won't be a fan of 300. It is a spectacle to watch, but it is ripped straight out of a graphic novel, a la Sin City. The only difference here is that the premise of Sin City never happened. The premise of 300 is the Battle of Thermopylae. I think that is where people are struggling the most with this movie. If you are going in looking for Braveheart or Gladiator - or worse, a historical, detailed account in the vein of Gates of Fire - you are going to the wrong place. 300's dialogue, for the most part, is either word for word, or a slight variation of Miller's original dialogue. This must be taken in context, the script is from a graphic novel! Yes, entire blocks of monosyllabic dialogue are shouted. The good news is that the fight scenes are expertly executed, so if you come for what is hinted at in the trailers, you will not be disappointed. The entire tone of the film is also pitch perfect and a worthy interpretation of Miller's original work. But, while I believe they did a great job with bringing Miller's vision to the screen, I wasn't blown away. I am a big fan of Sin City and for better or worse, I pitted 300 against Sin City and 300 just doesn't compare. In the end, it doesn't tug at a variety of emotions, it is all adrenaline. All knocks aside, 300 is the type of movie best viewed in the theater, and I would encourage anyone to seize that opportunity.

The Host
This is the best movie I have seen in the theater this year. Granted, that list probably isn't in double digits yet, but that can't detract from the fact that The Host is a top-notch monster flick with a lot of heart and a lot of laughs. I can't put it any better than Scott Tobias did over at the AVC.

The Host is currently showing at E Street.

Interview w. Arcade Fire's Win Butler @ The Onion's AV Club

Great stuff...and, of course, the lowdown on The Black Donnelly's:

AVC: Is it true that you refused to license a song for NBC's The Black Donnellys even though Crash director Paul Haggis asked you personally?

WB: That was actually a tough decision, because that's a pretty good show, compared to most of the crap on TV. We watched the pilot, and for primetime TV, it's actually quite good. The whole conclusion was completely built around "Rebellion," and I was like, "Oh no, you guys are fucked! What are you gonna do now?" Every cut was lyrically tied. The whole premise of the show gets revealed in the last four minutes to "Rebellion." We all kind of liked the show, but at the same time, it's still our song, and the song doesn't have anything to do with that. It'd be kind of depressing to have one of my favorite songs of ours be associated with this thing it's completely unrelated to. It's more about the context. This show was like a really good TV version of Goodfellas. If it was actually Goodfellas and that hadn't come out yet, I might've said yes. If it was the fucking Godfather, the best film I've ever seen, of course they could use our song.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Kings of Leon Tour Dates

Kings of Leon have announced some U.S. shows. I've actually been pleasantly surprised by Because of the Times. KOL have always managed to come up with hits ("Knocked Up" and "McFearless" are their latest) but this album seems to be more consistently solid throughout. I haven't seen them live before but Roseland? Maybe next time...

I imagine a DC date will come later. Tour Dates:

May 2 Seattle, WA - Moore Theater
May 3 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
May 5 Denver, CO - Ogden
May 6 Kansas City, MO - Voodoo Lounge @ Harrah's
May 7 Tulsa, OK - Cains
May 9 Austin, TX - Stubbs
May 11 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
May 12 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
May 13 Dallas, TX - House of Blues
May 15 Indianapolis, IN - Vogue
May 17 Milwaukee, WI - Rave
May 18 Minneapolis, MN - First Ave.
May 19 Chicago, IL - Riviera
May 21 Louisville, KY - headliners
May 22 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
May 24 Cincinnati, OH - Bogarts
May 25 St. Louis, MO - Pageant
June 1 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
June 2 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
June 5 New York, NY - Roseland
June 6 Boston, MA - Avalon
June 7 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
June 12 Toronto, ONT - Kool Haus
June 16 - Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo Festival

Slow Going

Not much to report these days. Maybe everyone is prepping for SXSW. I really need to go one of these years. In fact, InMyTree and I made a pact. It's going to happen sooner or later.

I may try to see "300" tonight. Reviews are not surprisingly mixed. I'm still shocked by how much money it made in it's opening weekend. The all-time record for box-office releases in March? The 3rd best debut ever for an R-Rated movie. That probably gives Frank Miller a green light on just about anything for the forseeable future. It looks like he's on tap to direct "The Spirit". He's also involved in an adaptation of "Ronin" and "Sin City 2".

There's an interview with Patrick Carney, one of the best drummers in the business, over at Pitchfork.

I think the ongoing discussion of where the Arcade Fire will be playing in NYC is close to being confirmed. I read something on the UsKidsKnow forums yesterday that it's more and more likely that all 3 shows will be at The United Palace. I'll be there in a couple weeks to see Bloc Party. We'll see. The official message says: "Please do not email this site regarding the NYC shows in May. Just keep an eye on this site in the coming weeks for any updates & info regarding the venues and on-sales."

Just for the hell-of-it MP3: Here's another of the Bloc Party b-sides that I'm enjoying at the moment.

MP3: Bloc Party - "Cain Said to Abel"

You can listen to the Bravery's first single, "Time Won't Let Me Go" on their site. Sounds just like their old stuff. I'll pass.

Finally: Eddie and Keith Richards at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC last night. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Friday, March 09, 2007

Maxïmo Park Tour Dates

One of my favorites, Maxïmo Park, will be make the trek over to North America this summer. Dates, as reported by Pitchfork, are below. And I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly but did Amy Phillips just say something nice about a band I like? "Check out the band's new single, 'Our Velocity', over at their MySpace. I like how his voice breaks during the chorus."

What Pitchfork didn't report is that loyal fans can get their hands on tickets now. Click here for pre-sale info. Tickets are $16.

07-11 Boston, MA - Great Scott
07-12 New York, NY - Webster Hall
07-13 Montreal, Quebec - La Tulipe
07-14 Toronto, Ontario - Mod Club
07-16 Chicago, IL - Double Door
07-17 Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theatre
07-19 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
07-20 Salt Lake City, UT - Club Sound
07-22 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
07-23 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
07-24 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
07-26 San Francisco, CA - Popscene
07-27 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
07-28 San Diego, CA - Casbah

Recapping the Past Seven Days

I've fallen behind on some posts so here it goes:

* I caught some Spring Training action down in Tampa last weekend. Saw Philly and Cleveland on Friday including a home run from Ryan Howard that seemed to travel 500 feet. The Phillies have a great new stadium in Clearwater. Caught the Yankees and Pirates on Saturday at Legends Field which was pretty uneventful outside of a very awkward moment when Arod tried to startle/scare/tackle Derek Jeter in front of the fans during warmups. It looked so phony. Man, I hate him.

* I went to see the Thermals and the Big Sleep on Sunday night at Bowery Ballroom. What a great fucking show. I can't remember the last time I saw such an energetic crowd at a show. On a Sunday night, no less! Hutch Harris has this dorky machismo that's just as much humorous as it is great rock n roll. I ordered Fuckin A the next day. As for The Big Sleep, they put on a good show but I still think they need to incorporate more vocals.

* I watched the Dixie Chicks documentary, Shut Up and Sing. It doesn't really matter how you feel about the Dixie Chicks music (I don't know any of it), the film's importance is on the value of free speech. I think the impact of the film would have been slightly greater had it been completed after the Grammy's (they swept Best Album, Record, and Song) but then again this isn't really about how the Dixie Chicks got the last laugh. If only it were that simple. The issue is far more serious and it's one that I do have strong opinions on. I strongly recommend it. And yes, RHCP fans, Chad Smith does appear in the film.

* Funny line from a recent Bob Lefsetz blog post on The Arcade Fire:

I mean who cares if the band is on an indie label if the act is sold JUST LIKE it's on a major label.

Why the fuck does the Arcade Fire need a gargantuan story in the "New York Times Magazine"? Is this really gonna reach the target audience? Or SNL... Is that really the cutting edge anymore? Shit, everywhere I turn there's a story on Arcade Fire, the hype is deafening, and in many instances, the band is complicit, can't they say NO?
This after the band made a concerted effort NOT to have their song played on The Black Donnelly's. I guess they can say "NO." You're off on this one, Bob.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

More Dismemberment Plan Info

In regards to the added night with Dismemberment Plan, from BlackCatDC.com:

FRI APR 27- THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN, THE ORANGES BAND, PILOT TO GUNNER (This show is sold out. There will be a limited number of tickets available at the Black Cat box office starting at 8pm on Thursday, March 8. There is a 2 ticket limit per person). $15 mainstage 9:00
That's tonight. Shortstack, Butterflies and Chairlift are playing backstage as well. 10 bones.

David Fincher Is Back.

Zodiac [IMDb.com | Metacritic]

Ataxia - AWII

The second half of John Frusciante's work with Joe Lally (Fugazi) and Josh Klinghoffer (formerly of The Bicycle Thief) is on the way, but there is no solid information to rely on. The album was originally intended to drop on March 6th, this past Tuesday. It is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.com, but there are rumors that the album will be released only on vinyl or as a download-only deal through JohnFrusciante.com, this is contrary to what Amazon, Warner and Record Collection have to say. Record Collection posted the following message on their site on January 2nd:

"John Frusciante (RHCP), Joe Lally (Fugazi), and Josh Klinghoffer (Bicycle Thief) fans should start getting ready for Ataxia II."
Amazon has it pegged as a March 20th release through Record Collection, but they don't have the artwork for the album. The artwork above was (supposedly) released from Warner Brothers Germany.

Guitar Solos Discussed at A.V. Club

A couple of Metro D favorites are mentioned:

"I, too, appreciate finality in music, but as a songwriter, I also understand the urge to change it up. You get bored. Think about The Rolling Stones shuffling through "Satisfaction" for the 8,000,000th time. So I don't begrudge bands that avoid old material when performing, or others that rework their songs live. Take, for example, TV On The Radio and The Mars Volta. Especially in the latter's case, you don't go to the shows expecting to hear the albums note for note. The albums are basically snapshots from a specific time in a process that continues after the group leaves the studio.

"It isn't a matter of having the chops, necessarily, to pull it off live. I think the performances that really affect us are the ones where feeling plays as powerful a role as skill. Technique doesn't equal soul." [Crosstalk: Are Guitar Solos Lame]
Pretty good article aside from the title.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Trackmarks: Boris w. Michio Kurihara - "Sweet No. 1" from Rainbow

When the guitars and drums finally clash head-on, flashes of Hendrix virtually flood to the forefront, but Michio Kurihara (formally of White Heaven and Ghost, among others) and Wata don't stick to a particular influence or technique for very long.

At the outset, Michio dominates with an explosive guitar solo borne from a brief muted riff that sets both the tempo and prepares everyone involved for ignition. Wata waits patiently in the wings and then arrives in a flourish, about 1:50 in, sounding at first like a human voice, only to give way to Takeshi's vocals that follow :40 later.

The marriage of each guitar's tonal qualities is breathtaking. When they alternate turns, it is more than a simple hand-off - it is give and take - each one appearing to push further than the other. The solos are blistering, crashing in and careening on like buzzsaws cut loose from their axes. The track is Rainbow's climax, the final explosive vision of a power-packed union of one of hard(er) rock's finest bands and one of the most gifted guitarists on the planet.

The following track on the album, Rainbow's ninth and final cut, titled "...And I Want", simply allows the listener to return calmly to their mortal existence, return to their resting heart-rate. If listeners knows what's good for them, they start the cycle over, close their eyes and allow the aural hurricane of Rainobow to lift them once more towards the "Sweet No. 1" apex and out of the throes of all that is ordinary.

MP3: Boris w. Michio Kurihara - "Sweet No. 1"

 

Boris plays four times at SxSW:

3.15 (Thursday)
Stubbs BBQ
w/ Melvins, Pelican and The Panthers

3.16 (Friday)
Vice Party
w/ Earthless, Big Business, Fucked Up, CPC Gangbangs, Black Lips, Annihilation Time, Against Me! and more

3.16 (Friday)
Spiro's Eclipse SxSW Show
w/ Zoroaster, Noxagt, Mark D (sunno)))/Ex-Melvins) Super Sonic Festival Projections & special guest!

3.17 (Saturday)
SxSW Presents
Mastodon & Boris at the Town River Lake

Dismemberment Plan Tickets

As earlier discussed, tickets to the first night of Dismemberment Plan's two night stint at Black Cat are on sale here. Thanks Going Out Gurus.

Tool: Re-Announced Dates

From Pollstar:

Tool has announced new dates for several shows that had to be canceled due to an injury drummer Danny Carey suffered in February.

The new run of shows begins April 30 at the Reno Event Center in Nevada and so far runs through May 24. Tickets for the original shows can be exchanged for the new ones.
04/30 Reno, NV - Reno Events Center
05/02 San Diego, CA - Cox Arena
05/05 Las Cruces, NM - Pan American Center
05/06 Tucson, AZ - Tucson Convention Center
05/08 Albuquerque, NM - Tingley Col. @ New Mexico State Fair
05/15 Southaven, MS - DeSoto Civic Center
05/19 Oklahoma City, OK - Ford Center
05/21 San Antonio, TX - AT&T Center
05/22 Corpus Christi, TX - American Bank Center
05/24 Baton Rouge, LA - Baton Rouge River Center

An Instant Classic Comment Thread

I ran across this while reading through the comments on Brooklyn Vegan yesterday and it's just too damn funny not to post.

The Post:
Brooklyn Vegan's SXSW show

The Comment from "Justin" (link contained in post - comment appeared 3 times followed by an apology post for multiple comments):

I don't think the sterns are playing this day, but im not sure. Maybe someone else could answer better. it looks like they're playing a couple dates before this one there. I'm excited about the cd too, what I've heard is amazing. I can't wait to see them when they're in New York.
Response of the year?:
Dear Justin,

next time you attempt to spam people's comments:

a) Learn to read - or at least learn to pretend read - it will make your story seem more convincing.

b) Don't link to your REAL MySpace page which talks about how you're working as an intern at a publicity company that happens to be the one that promotes the band you are pretending to like.

c) Don't then immediately come back and comment anonymously pretending to be someone else. Talking to yourself makes you look even dumber than your four previous comments already made you look.
Subsequent comments are also humorous. Love it.

Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame's "Definitive 200"

"The Definitive 200 is a list of 200 ranked albums that every music lover should own...celebrating classic recordings by favorite iconic and contemporary artists." [The Definitive 200]

1. BEATLES - SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND 1967 Rock
2. PINK FLOYD - DARK SIDE OF THE MOON 1973 Rock
3. MICHAEL JACKSON - THRILLER 1982 Pop
4. LED ZEPPELIN - LED ZEPPELIN IV 1971 Rock
5. U2 - JOSHUA TREE 1987 Rock
6. ROLLING STONES - EXILE ON MAIN STREET 1972 Rock
7. CAROLE KING - TAPESTRY 1971 Adult Contemporary
8. BOB DYLAN - HIGHWAY '61 REVISITED 1965 Rock
9. BEACH BOYS - PET SOUNDS 1966 Rock
10. NIRVANA - NEVERMIND 1996 Rock
11. PEARL JAM - TEN 1991 Rock
12. BEATLES - ABBEY ROAD 1969 Rock
13. SANTANA - SUPERNATURAL 1999 Rock
14. METALLICA - METALLICA 1991 Rock
15. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - BORN TO RUN 1984 Rock
16. PRINCE - PURPLE RAIN 1984 Pop
17. AC/DC - BACK IN BLACK 1980 Rock
18. ROLLING STONES - LET IT BLEED 1969 Rock
19. DOORS - DOORS 1967 Rock
20. GRATEFUL DEAD - AMERICAN BEAUTY 1970 Rock
21. SHANIA TWAIN - COME ON OVER 1997 Country
22. THE WHO - WHO'S NEXT 1971 Rock
23. STEVIE WONDER - SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE 1976 R&B
24. FLEETWOOD MAC - RUMOURS 1977 Pop
25. PINK FLOYD - THE WALL 1979 Rock

Radiohead's OK Computer, arguably the best album of the 90's, comes in at #111, further down the line than Dave Matthews Band's Crash (#48), 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin' (#57), Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory (#84), Creed's Human Clay (#95), and the Soundtrack to Dirty Dancing (#99). It is Radiohead's only entry on "the Definitive", a list which, we just discovered, isn't definitive.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dismemberment Plan @ Black Cat, to Benefit the Callum Robbins Family Fund

Keep on eye on Going Out Gurus for the lowdown on a second Dismemberment Plan Reunion show. The first one sold out in a flash, which is a rarity for Black Cat shows. Here are the details, for what will now be the second of two shows, from BlackCatDC.com:

"The first time I saw The D Plan was in a basement on the campus of William and Mary. I was a student, Travis Morrison was a former student, and the Plan's music was the kind of beat-heavy and rhythm-friendly rock that would later become known as dance-punk. A couple years later - and one decade after they formed - The Dismemberment Plan broke up. I was glad I had a chance to see them then. I'm glad I have a chance to see them now.

"I'm also glad I have a chance to help out Black Cat friends and Channels members J. Robbins and Janet Morgan, who welcomed their first child - a son named Callum - into the world on January 27, 2006. Not long afterwards, it was discovered that Cal was born with a genetic motor neuron disease called Type 1 SMA, or Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Our hope is that people whose lives J., Janet, and Cal have touched - with their music, their friendship, and their work in the independent music community - can help."
Beauty Pill and Owls & Crows will open up. There are more details about Callum and his family at DeSoto Records.