Friday, January 30, 2009

New Music - The Singles

I have a lot of anticipated releases for this year but I'm further encouraged when the first sounds from a new album exceed my expectations.  Here are a few:

Peter Bjorn and John - "Nothing to Worry About"

Just like "Young Folks," it's going to take an incredibly long time for me to get sick of this song.

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - "Isis Unveiled" and "Ascending"

As a die hard TOD fan, I can admit that So Divided was mediocre.  From what I've heard thus far, I feel really good about Century Self.  

Mastodon - "Divinations"

The cover alone got me excited for this album.  The new song even more so.

Coachella 2009 Lineup Announced

There's a little something for everybody and it is definitely an interesting lineup to say the least. There are some absolute ringers in the small print including Cloud Cult, Mastodon, Okkervil River, Drive-By Truckers, Public Enemy, Clipse, Fucked Up and the Hold Steady. And while none of the three headliners are a complete knockout punch, I can handle it. I never thought I would see Paul McCartney twice (Bridge School 2004) in my lifetime. And I'm pretty excited about it...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dark Was the Night, New Track from The National

The combination of MMJ, The National, Arcade Fire, David Sitek, New Pornographers and more makes this a highly anticipated release in my neck of the woods. You can stream the new track from The National here.


Produced by The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Dark Was The Night will be released on February 17th, 2009. It’s comprised of 31 exclusive tracks and it will be available as a double cd/triple vinyl/download and will benefit the Red Hot Organization – an international charity dedicated to raising money and awareness for HIV and AIDS through popular culture. They are the people responsible for albums including No Alternative, Red Hot and Blue and many more, and this is their 20th year, and this is the 20th release!


1 Knotty Pine – Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
2 Cello Song (Nick Drake) – The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
3 Train Song (Vashti Bunyan recorded, written by Alasdair Clayre) – Feist + Ben Gibbard
4 Brackett, WI – Bon Iver
5 Deep Blue Sea – Grizzly Bear
6 So Far Around the Bend – The National (arrangement by Nico Muhly)
7 Tightrope – Yeasayer
8 Feeling Good (popularized by Nina Simone) – My Brightest Diamond
9 Dark Was the Night (Blind Willie Johnson) – Kronos Quartet
10 I Was Young When I Left Home (Bob Dylan) – Antony + Bryce Dessner
11 Big Red Machine – Justin Vernon + Aaron Dessner
12 Sleepless – The Decemberists
13 Stolen Houses (Die) – Iron and Wine
14 Service Bell – Grizzly Bear + Feist
15 You Are The Blood – Sufjan Stevens

1 Well-Alright – Spoon
2 Lenin – Arcade Fire
3 Mimizan – Beirut
4 El Caporal – My Morning Jacket
5 Inspiration Information (Shuggie Otis) – Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
6 With A Girl Like You (The Troggs) – Dave Sitek
7 Blood Pt 2 (based on original song “You are the Blood” by the Castanets) – Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
8 Hey, Snow White (Destroyer) – The New Pornographers
9 Gentle Hour (Snapper) – Yo La Tengo
10 Another Saturday (traditional song) – Stuart Murdoch
11 Happiness – Riceboy Sleeps
12 Amazing Grace (traditional song) – Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
13 The Giant Of Illinois (Handsome Family) – Andrew Bird
14 Lua – Conor Oberst + Gillian Welch
15 When the Road Runs Out – Blonde Redhead + Devastations
16 Love vs. Porn – Kevin Drew

Thursday, January 15, 2009

RIP Indie 103.1

The saving grace out here in La-La Land...and, no longer:

Indie Activist:

This is an important message for the Indie 103.1 Radio Audience -

Indie 103.1 will cease broadcasting over this frequency effective immediately. Because of changes in the radio industry and the way radio audiences are measured, stations in this market are being forced to play too much Britney, Puffy and alternative music that is neither new nor cutting edge. Due to these challenges, Indie 103.1 was recently faced with only one option --- to play the corporate radio game.

We have decided not to play that game any longer. Rather than changing the sound, spirit, and soul of what has made Indie 103.1 great Indie 103.1 will bid farewell to the terrestrial airwaves and take an alternative course.

This could only be done on the Internet, a place where rules do not apply and where new music thrives; be it grunge, punk, or alternative - simply put, only the best music.

For those of you with a computer at home or at work, log on to and listen to the new Indie 103.1 - which is really the old Indie 103.1, not the version of Indie 103.1 we are removing from the broadcast airwaves.

We thank our listeners and advertisers for their support of the greatest radio station ever conceived, and look forward to continuing to deliver the famed Indie 103.1 music and spirit over the Internet to passionate music listeners around the world.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

At Last

The third straight Red Sox LF from 1939-1987 (Williams, Yasztremski, Rice) headed into the Hall. It only took 15 years to get him in. Only nine other guys have as many home runs and a higher career average. Those names read like a who's who of the best the game has to offer: Aaron, Foxx, Gehrig, Mantle, Mays, Musial, Ott, Ruth and Williams. Rice, despite the wait and despite this being his last HOF ballot, undoubtedly deserves his place among them. The ONLY player with three straight seasons batting .315 or higher, 39+ HRs, 100+ RBIs and 200+ hits. He was straight dominant for 12 seasons in the AL, as the ONLY player of his generation (1975-1986) to hit over .300 while clubbing 350+ HR. During the same span he amassed 6 Top-5 finishes in AL MVP voting, and, in 1978, he was the first AL player since Joe DiMaggio in 1937 to accumulate more than 400 TB in a single season (even in the steroid era, no ALer has done it since). And did we mention the broken bat check swings? There's no stat for that, but...

ESPN noted that he joins Bobby Doerr, Ted Williams, and Carl Yasztremski as the only members of the Hall of Fame to spend their entire career with the Red Sox. "That's, I think, one of the biggest accomplishments," Rice said.

One other interesting note: Joe Gordon got in on the Veterans Commitee ballot. This is well deserved and I only bring Joe Gordon's name up, because of the 1942 MVP voting in 1942. Ted Williams hits for the fucking Triple Crown and they give it to Joe Gordon? Granted this was decades ago and Ted was how he was with the press, but you have to be kidding me. The same goes for the 2 morons that voted for Jay Bell on this HOF ballot, and the 5 that didn't vote for Rickey Henderson...Outrageous. We're going to vote for a guy (Jay Bell) with less than 200 career HRs and a sub-.270 career BA and leave the guy with the 5th highest mark in career Ks out in the cold (Bert Blyleven)? My only rationale for the 2 Jay Bell votes is that someone is rubbing it in with Blyleven...Bell was part of a three player package that sent Blyleven to the Twins in 1986. Abstract yes, but there really is no defense for the votes that Jesse Orosco, Mo Vaughn, Jay Bell and Matt Williams received. None.

The system is officially broke.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Runnin' Down a Dream


When I really thought about it, I'd been listening to this guy longer than I'd been listening to anyone. Before Pearl Jam. Before My Morning Jacket. Before Radiohead. Before all of that I was buying Tom Petty albums as soon as they came out. Somewhere in my closet at my parents house is a CaseLogic full of tapes - tapes! - and I guarantee that Full Moon Fever is in there (I'm afraid to find out what else is in there). I can't say enough about this documentary. Rent. Buy. Consume.

Bonnaroo 365

[Metro D Took Bad Photos @ Bonnaroo]

Missed Radiohead on tour? They webcast their last show in Santa Barbara. Missed Bonnaroo in '08? They're starting to stream it. Technology is here and we never have to leave our house ever again.

This should mean that Pearl Jam's performance will be streamed at some point. Hopefully they will back catalog 2006, so I can cry my eyes out for days as to why I wasn't in the post-apocalyptic Manchester dustbowl heat for Tom Petty, MMJ and Radiohead.

From Bonnaroo:

We are excited to introduce Bonnaroo 365, a program by which fans can relive the Bonnaroo experience year round! Select performances will be streamed periodically at no charge on All performance footage will be taken directly from the festival’s exclusive master tapes while the audio will be remixed from Bonnaroo's pristine soundboard recordings.

The first installment of the program begins on January 11th, 2009 with The Raconteurs, whose Friday afternoon set was a highlight of the 2008 event. Hot on the heels of their grammy nominated album 'Consolers of the Lonely' (best rock album and best engineered) The Raconteurs delivered a classic Bonnaroo performance. Four of the songs from the set will be available for the first time as free audio downloads – one will be available to everyone, while the other three can be downloaded by Bonnaroo Community members only (membership sign-up is free!) The songs to be available for download are "Consoler of the Lonely," "Old Enough," "Blue Veins" and "Top Yourself." If that's not enough, the full set will be available in streaming video at, and radio stations across the country will broadcast the entire set on Sunday, January 11th. Click here to see a full list of stations. The full setlist from the show is listed below.

Beginning on January 7th, we will stream one song from the performance until the 11th when the complete set will be available.

The Raconteurs
June 13th, 2008
Bonnaroo - Manchester, Tennessee

"Consoler of the Lonely"
"Hold Up"
"The Switch and the Spur"
"You Don't Understand Me"
"Top Yourself"
"Old Enough"
"Store Bought Bones"
"Steady, As She Goes"
"Rich Kid Blues"
"Blue Veins"
"Many Shades of Black"
"Salute Your Solution"
"Broken Boy Soldier"
"Carolina Drama"

Where Radiohead Ends and Jay-Z Begins

Minty fresh.

Pearl Jam News, One Month Old: Ten Re-Issue

[Pearl Jam is on Flickr]

But PJ is shelf stable. And apocalypse-proof. And yes, I still remember unfolding the liner notes as "Once" blasted from my Aiwa 3 Disc CD Changer. Can you say Unplugged DVD?



Album extras include:
Remaster of original Ten album + remix by producer Brendan O’Brien • DVD of previously unreleased 1992 Pearl Jam MTV Unplugged performance with 5.1 surround sound audio remix • LP of the band’s 1992 “Drop in the Park” concert • Replica of Pearl Jam three-song demo cassette with Eddie Vedder’s original vocal dubs • Recreation of Eddie Vedder composition notebook • Never before seen memorabilia • Bonus tracks and more.

Ten, the debut album that sold 12 million copies and introduced the world to Pearl Jam in 1991, will be reissued in four (4) new and expanded editions. Pre-orders of the Super Deluxe Edition begin today, through the Ten Club at All four editions will be available for purchase on March 24, 2009. The reissue of Ten serves as the launch of a planned two-year catalogue re-release campaign leading up to the band’s 20th anniversary in 2011.

Each Ten package will include two versions of the album: the remastered version of the original album PLUS an accompanying remixed version done by the band’s long-time producer, Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Audioslave). Details on specific extras for each of the four packages are listed below.

“The band loved the original mix of Ten, but were also interested in what it would sound like if I were to deconstruct and remix it,” says producer Brendan O’Brien. “The original Ten sound is what millions of people bought, dug and loved, so I was initially hesitant to mess around with that. After years of persistent nudging from the band, I was able to wrap my head around the idea of offering it as a companion piece to the original – giving a fresh take on it, a more direct sound.”

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who served as the art director for the original Ten packaging, reprised his role for the reissues collaborating with designer, Andy Fischer, of Cameron Crowe’s Vinyl Films (Into the Wild soundtrack LP, Vanilla Sky soundtrack LP, Harold and Maude anniversary edition soundtrack LP).

"The goal was to assemble the ultimate fan-piece,” explains Fischer. “Something Pearl Jam lovers could pore over as they experience an indelible record all over again, in an entirely new way."

“The original concept was about really being together as a group and entering into the world of music as a true band...a sort of all-for-one deal,” says Jeff Ament. “There were some elements of the original Ten artwork that didn't turn out the way we had hoped, due to time constraints. With this reissue, we’ve been able to take our time and invest resources into making the design the way we had originally intended.”

In the process of digging through his archives for this project, Ament came across an old cassette marked “Momma-Son” – the fabled original Pearl Jam demo tape featuring the first recorded versions of “Alive,” “Once” and “Footsteps.” Ament and guitarists Stone Gossard and Mike McCready had recorded instrumental tracks of these songs to help solicit a singer for their newly formed band. Mutual friend - and then Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer - Jack Irons suggested they send the tape down to San Diego surfer and little-known singer Eddie Vedder.

Completely inspired by what he heard from these musicians that he then only knew by name, Vedder quickly wrote lyrics, put these vocals to the music tracks and shipped the tape back to Seattle. Upon hearing how Vedder had transformed the songs, Ament, Gossard and McCready asked him to come up to Seattle so they could meet and have an official “tryout” together. Shortly thereafter, Pearl Jam was born. (A replica of the “Momma-Son” cassette will be included in the Super Deluxe Edition of Ten.)

Jeff Ament describes the experience of re-visiting that tape with singer Eddie Vedder:
“I think the first time that Ed or I had opened any of those boxes was a few weeks ago. I knew that the original ‘Momma-Son’ cassette was somewhere, but I hadn’t listened to it in 17, 18, 19 years. It was cool to sit down and play it for the first time with Ed and see his reaction. And to find that 90% of it stayed exactly the same as what ended up on the record. A lot of elements were identical. There was some energy flying around at that point even from 1,300 miles away from Seattle to San Diego.”


1. Legacy Edition (2-disc set in mini-LP style slipcase):
· Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)
· Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”
· Re-designed packaging

2. Deluxe Edition (2-disc set plus DVD specially designed hardbound package):
· Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)
· Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”
· DVD of Pearl Jam’s previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance including never before seen bonus performance of “Oceans” with 5.1 surround sound audio remix

3. Vinyl Collection (2-LP set)
· LP 1: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl
· LP 2: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl and remixed by Brendan O’Brien

4. Super Deluxe Edition (2-disc set plus DVD, 4 LPs and replica cassette in linen-covered, slip-cased clamshell box):
· Disc 1: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered (original mix)
· Disc 2: original Ten tracklisting digitally remastered and remixed by Brendan O’Brien, plus six bonus tracks: “Brother,” “Just a Girl,” “State of Love and Trust,” “Breath and a Scream,” “2,000 Mile Blues” and “Evil Little Goat”
· DVD of Pearl Jam’s previously unreleased 1992 MTV Unplugged performance including never before seen bonus performance of “Oceans” with 5.1 surround sound audio remix
· LP 1: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl
· LP 2: original Ten tracklisting remastered for vinyl and remixed by Brendan O’Brien
· LP 3 & 4: Drop in the Park – Live at Magnuson Park in Seattle on September 20, 1992 (audio mixed by Brendan O’Brien)
· Cassette: replica of original “Momma-Son” Pearl Jam demo cassette featuring “Alive,” “Once” and “Footsteps”
· Package also includes an Eddie Vedder-style composition notebook filled with replica personal notes, images and mementos from the collections of Eddie Vedder and Jeff Ament, a vellum envelope with replicated era-specific ephemera from Pearl Jam’s early work and a two-sided print commemorating the Drop in the Park concert.

Glasvegas @ Bowery Ballroom, 1/6/09

Hyped bands out of the UK always grab me.  I have no idea why, more often than not, they just end up disappointing me down the road.  I held out on this Glasvegas show when it went on sale because I was still on the fence about them.  Since that time, the debut album has positively grown on me.  So, when tickets went back on sale two days ago for their sold out Bowery show, I figured it was worth it to form a full opinion.  I read through BV's post and subsequent comments this morning and I'd agree with the overall sentiment.  From all of the supposed UK buzz bands I've seen the past few years at Bowery (Arctic Monkeys, The Kooks, Editors, British Sea Power, Foals come to mind), this was the lowlight.  It was pretty lackluster.  I have no issue with the length of the show (40 mins), they just didn't have the songs to fill that time period.  "Go Square Go, " "Daddy's Gone" and "Geraldine" were a lot of fun and the crowd was into it but I don't really remember the other songs.  I also didn't notice from the album but the drumming was essentially nonexistent during the show.  That, to me, was the biggest issue that needs to be addressed.  Unfortunately, not the best start to the live shows of '09 but I certainly don't regret going.  

Set list:
"Flowers and Football Tops"
"Lonesome Swan"
"It's My Own Cheating Heart That Makes Me Cry"
"Please Come Back Home"
"Polmont on My Mind"
"Ice Cream Van"
"Go Square Go"
"Daddy's Gone"