Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blitzen Trapper @ Bowery Ballroom, 2/27/09

Blitzen Trapper @ Bowery

Artists representing my 3rd and 4th favorite albums of 2008 together on one bill at Bowery. Needless to say, I was pretty excited. I'm really rooting for Plants and Animals. This was my third time seeing them live, all in opening slots, and each performance was better than the last. They played two new songs last night which with some polishing should be very solid. I think they've earned the right to a headlining gig in NYC and Bowery doesn't seem far out of reach. Blitzen Trapper was awesome last night. I hadn't seen them before so it's always a good feeling when a band exceeds your expectations in a live setting. Furr was the album that made me a believer and last night's performance only added to that. They described themselves last night as part folk, country, and rock. Fans of any of those genres should check these guys out if you haven't already.

On a side note, if there is one thing I've noticed more recently, it's that I'm becoming less tolerant of the crowds at places like Mercury and Bowery. I guess I'm getting older but the amount of talking just gets out of hand at times. I really think you need to be in the front 1/4 of both venues to avoid it. It's disappointing but it comes with territory, I guess.

I'll be back at Bowery tonight for ...Trail of Dead. I'm expecting a slightly different atmosphere.

Band of Horses at Carnegie Hall

I've never been to Carnegie Hall before. I have a very good feeling about this show.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rick Rubin and Clipse?

[Photo Cred]

Yes, please. Rubin's beard always humbles my feeble attempts at facial greatness.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Josh Freese Album

I remember Josh Freese from his days with A Perfect Circle but he's probably better known as a one-time drummer for NIN. He's promoting a solo album now and I literally laughed out loud at several of his pricing options. If money were no option for me, I would love to go play miniature golf with Maynard James Keenan. The best part is that, while unlikely to be purchased, these offers are real. It's a great way to generate buzz. The album is out March 24th. More info here.

* Digital download of Since 1972, including 3 videos

* CD/DVD double-disc set
* Digital download

* CD/DVD double-disc set
* T-shirt
* “Thank you” phone call from Josh for buying Since 1972. You can tell him what you like about the record that you purchased, or what you thought sucked. Ask whatever you want, like “Is Maynard really THAT weird?” or “Which one of Sting’s mansions has the comfiest beds?” or “Are Devo really suburban robots that monitor reality or just a bunch of dads from Ohio?” or “Why don’t the Vandals play more stuff off the first record?” It’s your 5 minutes to yack it up. Talk about whatever you want.

$250 (limited edition of 25)
* Signed CD/DVD and digital download
* T-shirt
* Signed drum head and drumsticks
* Go on a lunch date with Josh to PF Changs or The Cheesecake Factory (whatever you’re into)

$500 (limited edition of 15)
* Signed CD/DVD and digital download
* T-shirt
* Signed cymbal and sticks
* Meet Josh in Venice, Calif., and go floating together in a sensory-deprivation tank (to be filmed and posted on YouTube)
* Dinner at Sizzler (get your $8.99 steak and “all you can eat” shrimp on)

$1,000 (limited edition of 10)
* Signed CD/DVD and digital download
* T-shirt
* Signed cymbal, drum head and drumsticks
* Josh washes your car OR does your laundry … or you can wash his car
* Have dinner with Josh aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif.
* Get drunk and cut each other’s hair in the parking lot of the Long Beach courthouse (filmed and posted on YouTube, of course)

$2,500 (limited edition of 5)
* Signed CD/DVD and digital download
* Get a private drum lesson with Josh, or for all you non-drummers, have him give you a back and foot massage (couples welcome)
* Pick any 1 member of the Vandals or Devo (subject to availability) to accompany you and Josh to either the Hollywood Wax Museum or the lunch buffet at the Spearmint Rhino
* Signed DW snare drum
* Take 3 items of your choice out of his closet (first come, first serve)
* Change diapers and make bottles with him for an afternoon (after hitting the strip club)

$5,000 (limited edition of 3)
* Signed CD/DVD and digital download
* T-shirt
* Josh writes a song about you and makes it available on iTunes
* Co-direct a video with him for the song about you and throw it up on the YouTubes
* Josh gives you and a friend a private tour of Disneyland
* Get drunk together. If you don’t drink, we can go to my dad’s place and hang out under the “Tuba tree”
* Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam will send you a letter telling you about his favorite song on Since 1972

$10,000 (limited edition of 1)
* Signed CD/DVD and digital download
* T-shirt
* Signed DW snare drum from A Perfect Circle’s 2003 tour
* Josh gives you a private drum lesson OR his and hers foot/back massage (couples welcome, discreet parking)
* Twiggy from Marilyn Manson’s band and Josh take you and a guest to Roscoe’s Chicken ‘n’ Waffles in Long Beach for dinner
* Josh takes you and a guest to Club 33 (the super-duper exclusive and private restaurant at Disneyland located above Pirates of the Caribbean) and then hit a couple rides afterward (preferably the Tiki Room, the Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror)
* At the end of the day at Disneyland, drive away in Josh’s Volvo station wagon. It’s all yours … take it. Just drop him off on your way home, though, please.

$20,000 (limited edition of 1)
* Signed CD/DVD and digital download
* T-shirt
* A signed drum from the 2008 Nine Inch Nails tour
* Maynard James Keenan, Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo and Josh take you miniature golfing and then drop you off on the side of the freeway (all filmed and posted on YouTube)
* Josh gives you a tour of Long Beach. See his first apartment, the coffee shop on 2nd Street where his buddy paid Dave Grohl $40 to rip up tile just weeks before joining Nirvana. See the old Vandals rehearsal spot, the liquor store he got busted at using a Fake ID when he was 17 (it was Dave from the Vandals’ old ID). Go check out Snoop Dogg’s high school. For an extra 50 bucks see where Tom and Adrian from No Doubt live. For another $25 he’ll show ya where Eric from NOFX and Brooks from Bad Religion get their hair cut.
* Spend the night aboard the Queen Mary and take the “Ghosts and Legends” tour. (Separate rooms … no spooning.)
* Josh writes 2 songs about you and both are made available on iTunes and appear on his next record (you can sing back up on ‘em, clap, play the drums, triangle, whatever)
* Drum lesson OR foot and back massage (once again … couples welcome and discreet parking available)
* Pick any 3 items out of Josh’s closet

$75,000 (limited edition of 1)
* Signed CD/DVD and digital download
* T-shirt
* Go on tour with Josh for a few days
* Have Josh write, record and release a 5-song EP about you and your life story
* Take home any of his drum sets (only one, but you can choose which one)
* Take shrooms and cruise Hollywood in Danny from Tool’s Lamborghini OR play quarters and then hop on the Ouija board for a while
* Josh will join your band for a month … play shows, record, party with groupies, etc.
* If you don’t have a band he’ll be your personal assistant for a month (4-day work weeks, 10 am to 4 pm)
* Take a limo down to Tijuana and he’ll show you how it’s done (what that means exactly we can’t legally get into here)
* If you don’t live in Southern California (but are a U.S. resident) he’ll come to you and be your personal assistant/cabana boy for 2 weeks
* Take a flying trapeze lesson with Josh and Robin from NIN, go back to Robins place afterwards and his wife will make you raw lasagna

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Obligatory Oscar Post

Yes, the Oscars are Sunday and yes, I'll be watching. I've grown more and more frustrated with the selections and winners over the past few years but complaining about the Oscars is half the fun. At the end of the day, I still love films and have a deep amount of respect for the history of the award. I think most would agree that this was a pretty bad year for Hollywood. I saw 5 of my top 6 films in our neighborhood indie theater. My favorites:

1. Waltz With Bashir
2. The Wrestler
3. Milk
4. Slumdog Millionaire
5. Gran Torino
6. Gomorrah
7. Dark Night
8. Curious Case of Benjamin Button

I haven't seen enough of the Best Picture films to feel strongly about it. I'd be happy if either Mickey Rourke or Sean Penn wins but I would be most disappointed if Waltz doesn't win best foreign film.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

Looking forward to this one:

Monday, February 09, 2009

Picking out the best albums of the decade

2009 marks the end of the Twenty Ohs and with that, the absolutely necessary look back at my favorite rock albums of the decade. Last night's boring Grammy's telecast (with some exceptions!) seemed like a fitting time to begin that list. I'll try and rank them by the end of the year with the expectation that we get some good music this year. I know I must be missing some releases but at first glance, it appears there was a peak in 2005. This is what I came up with:

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead - Source Tags & Codes (2002)
Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible (2007)
Beck - Sea Change (2002)
The Black Keys - Rubber Factory (2004)
Bloc Party - Silent Alarm (2005)
Broken Social Scene - Your Forgot It in People (2003)
Caribou - Andorra (2007)
Cat Power - You Are Free (2003)
Cloud Cult - Advice for the Happy Hippopotamus (2005)
Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
Constantines - Shine a Light (2003)
Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism (2003)
Dismemberment Plan - Change (2001)
Doves - The Last Broadcast (2002)
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (2002)
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America (2006)
Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights (2002)
Modest Mouse - The Moon & Antarctica (2000)
Muse - Absolution (2004)
My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves (2003)
The National - Alligator (2005)
The National - Boxer (2007)
The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema (2005)
Queens for the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf (2002)
Radiohead - Kid A (2000)
Radiohead - In Rainbows (2007)
Ryan Adams - Gold (2001)
Sparta - Wiretrap Scars (2002)
Spoon - Gimme Fiction (2005)
The Strokes - Is This It? (2001)
The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine (2006)
TOOL - Lateralus (2001)
TV On The Radio - Dear Science, (2008)
TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)
The White Stripes - Elephant (2003)
The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001)
Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)
Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005)
The Wrens - Meadowlands (2003)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Grammy Highlights: There Were a Few

There really are very few highlights to this show now. There was Dave Grohl on drums with Sir Paul. And Thom and Johnny performing "15 Step" with the USC marching band. The best moment of all, however, was seeing my sister on live television for the first time. Looking good MESK.

I'm updating this post with my dad's first and likely last live blogging attempt.  Some names have been deleted to protect the innocent.

8:02 Is U-2 singing a song or making noise? Way below their best.
8:06: Our neighbor, Dwayne Johnson ... alias the Rock, seeking to clarify his manhood, something about kissing a girl on the lips... he may regret replays of the tape
8:09  Pardon my age, but Al Green does not need Justin Timberlake as accompaniment
8:16 commercial bloc... 
8:23 Cold Play.  I suggest a diet of  beef & BBQ... way too tremulous for my taste
8:26  OK, I'm out of it. Who are these guys?
8:29: Carrie Underwood.. now I understand why she has a following. There are gazelles grazing in the African savannah on the nature channel, one step down on your Direct TV dial
8:29  OK, another commercial break.  I'm psyched. Target. Drats.  Bertoni takeout Italian. Olay. Mute, mute. Lincoln.. heart rate up... no, it's the major tom version.  Got to hand it to them.. it's very cool.  would be better with the original David Bowie sound track.  Then baby formula. Cholesterol.  Strange demographics here.
8:43 Best song of the year: I AM TOTALLY IGNORANT. Is Cold Play making a statement with their colors? Is there something left to chance with these guys?
8:45: Justin T, now Kid Rock is shiney black... How great is it to be oblivious about fashion trends? For the first time ever, I can't wait for the next commercial block... ooohhh, here it comes
8:47  Damn.  Rheumetoid arthritis. Are they watching, too? Chewing gum.  Now I'm totally confused. More Olay & Target. WHO CARES? Vitamin supplements.  Home buying. On-line degrees. Toyotas-- pathetic. They need Noah.
8:53  M. Cyrus (distant relation to Cyrus the Great?) is embarrassing herself
8:55  Yuck.. Robert Plant does a succubus cling to Alison Kraus  Ready for next commercial break.
9:03  Exfoliating body was. A Lincoln commercial.  Splashy, but I've seen better.
9:10  Stevie Wonder with the Jonas Bros?  Imagine what happens with internet dating services.
9:15  Cold Play get a rock album award.  The definition of rock must have changed
9:17 AT LAST! BINGO! Our daughter on national television. I'm going out to buy a Lincoln.
9:20  OK, now I'm switching to the Nature Channel.