Thursday, August 31, 2006


Fuck. Seriously, fuck.

New Bob Pollard, "Supernatural Car Lover"

Thanks to Matt for pointing this out - Robert Pollard has posted an MP3 for the song "Supernatural Car Lover" from his forthcoming album, Normal Happiness. Check it out:

Robert Pollard, "Supernatural Car Lover".

Normal Happiness comes out on Merge Records on October 10th and can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Reminder! Two Great NYC Shows Tonight!

In case you forgot, there's two great rock shows in town tonight.

First up is Le Firm at The Annex at 9pm. The Annex is located at 152 Orchard St. (between Rivington and Stanton). Here's a map. Cover is $6.

Then follow me around the corner to The Delancey to catch The Ashford Breaks at 10:30pm for the band's Traitor EP release party. Cover is $6.

Wow, $12 for two great bands. You'd be crazy, or extremely cheap, to miss out.

Keith Olbermann for President

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I Admit It... Sometimes I'm Wrong

When I first heard of the band Margot and the Nuclear So & So's on at the beginning of this year, I disliked them right away. Not really sure why - I think it was the name. Then, the band played a Lounge Act on WOXY, and the song or two I heard I really, really disliked. Again, I don't really know why. Likely I was just predisposed to dislike them at that point.

Then, around April of this year, one of the many great blogs out there (can't remember which), posted an MP3 of the band's song Skeleton Key, and I fell in love. I bought the band's debut album, The Dust of Retreat, and it will almost certainly make my top 10 of the year (it was originally released in 2005, but re-released this year). I can't say enough about how beautiful the album is.

Now comes news that the band's next album, Holy Cow!, is due out in January, and My Old Kentucky Blog has MP3s of three songs likely to be on the album. Two songs are demos, and one is a live track. And they're fantastic. Go now.

Oh, and catch the band for FREE on Sunday, September 17th at Time Out New York's Back to School Blowout.

Buy The Dust of Retreat.
Listen to songs (including "Skeleton Key") at MySpace.

Dinosaur Jr.'s Gear Ganked

Welcome to New York, kids...

Apparently after last night's Dinosaur Jr. show at the Warsaw, the band's trailer was broken into, and pretty much everything was taken. Among the stolen:

1959 Fender Jazzmaster SN# 38927.
1961-3 Fender Jazzmaster SN# 62012.
1964-5 Fender Jazzmaster SN# L21581.
Fender Purple Jazzmaster new SN# R074329.
Rory Gallagher Stratocaster new SN# R25507.

B.C. Rich Warlock Bass SN# 4242413

[1] Paiste 20" 2002 medium
[1] Paiste 20" giant beat
[1] Paiste 20" 2002 crash
[2] Paiste 19" 2002 crash
[2] Paiste 15" 2002 sound edge top hi-hats
[1] 15" 2002 sound edge bottom hi-hats


If you see any of this stuff in your local music shop, go here and contact the band.

Le Firm at The Annex Tomorrow!

And so should you...

Thursday, August 31, 9pm @ The Annex
152 Orchard St., between Stanton and Rivington [MAP]

See you there!

Black Crowes Dump Keyboardist, Delay Release

According to (I know!), the Black Crowes have "released" longtime keyboardist Eddie Hawrysch after fifteen years. No reason is given other than "personal reasons". Eddie will be replaced on the band's fall tour by Rob Clores, who has played with John Popper and several other groups. Guess Chris really wanted that "ugliest member of the band" title back more than he let on.

To add insult to injury, the release of the band's "lost classics", the Tall Sessions and Band Sessions (to be released as The Lost Crowes), has been pushed back from yesterday until September 26th due to a "manufacturing error".

Cheap Trick Playing Free Union County Music Fest

The legendary Cheap Trick have been announced as headliners of the Union County (NJ) Music Fest '06 on September 16th. Other artists slated to appear are:

Roman Candle (a Chapel Hill, NC power-pop/alt-country band)
Mike Peters (of the Alarm)
The Fab Faux
Southside Johnny with LaBamba's Big Band (it wouldn't be Jersey without SS Johnny!)

The show is FREE, and runs from 12pm to 10pm. Cheap Trick plays from 8:30-10pm. For more info, including directions, go here.

If I weren't seeing two shows in NYC that night already, I'd be all over this.

(Thanks to Sal for the head's up!)

Lemonheads Tour Dates

The Lemonheads have announced a month-long tour of the U.S. in November and December, including a show here in NYC at Irving Plaza on December 15th. No on-sale info for NYC yet that I can see.

The dates:
18th November - Galaxy Theatre, Santa Ana CA
19th November - Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach CA
21st/22nd November - Troubadour, Los Angeles CA
24th/25th November - Independent, San Francisco CA
27th November - Doug Fir Lounge, Portland OR
28th November - Crocodile Cafe, Seattle WA
30th November - The Big Easy, Boise ID
1st December - The Depot, Salt Lake City UT
2nd December - Bluebird Theatre, Denver CO
4th December - Sokol Underground, Omaha NE
5th December - The 400 Bar, Minneapolis MN
7th/8th December - Double Door, Chicago IL
9th December - Grog Shop, Cleveland OH
10th December - Magic Stick, Detroit MI
12th December - Lee's Palace, Toronto ON
13th December - North Star Bar, Philadelphia PA
14th December - The Black Cat, Washington DC
15th December - Irving Plaza, New York NY
16th December - Avalon Ballroom, Boston MA

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Brokedown Sign to Merge

From comes news that one of my favorite young bands, The Brokedown, has signed to one of my favorite labels, Merge. I gotta say, this is one the best pieces of music news I've heard this year - a great band hooking up with a great label. Good luck to everyone involved!

The band will be releasing its debut full-length LP, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On, on January 27, 2007.

If you missed it when I posted several songs earlier this year, do yourself a favor and check out a couple songs from the band's The Dutchman's Gold EP, which you can buy here:

The Brokedown, "Down In the Valley"
The Brokedown, "Sparks"

Oh, and even better news for those of us here in New York - according to Merge, the band will be making their official Merge "debut" at Merge's CMJ Showcase in early November. Can't freakin' wait.

Edited to add: Get over to the band's MySpace page and take a listen to a rough mix of a new song from the band called "So It Goes". Holy crap is it good.

Edited again! Another new song, "On the Bubble", can be found over at Six Eyes, together with a brief interview with the band's singer/songwriter, Ross Flournoy.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Welcome Back, Carson

Jeremy Enigk, "Been Here Before"

From the first moment I first discovered Sunny Day Real Estate, catching their video for "In Circles" on 120 Minutes, I've loved pretty much everything singer Jeremy Enigk has done.

And while I somehow missed every chance I had to see SDRE live, I did manage to catch Jeremy on tour in 1996 in support of his first solo album, The Frog Queen. If you've heard the album, you know that Jeremy was accompanied on several songs by a small orchestra. Well, he brought that same orchestra (or a similar one) with him on tour, and somehow fit everyone on stage at the Knitting Factory here in New York. It's still one of the more impressive/near-disastrous things I've ever seen.

Anyway, here it is ten years later and Jeremy is about to release his second solo album, entitled World Waits on October 17th. The first single from the album, "Been Here Before", was just released and it's fantastic. Check it out:

Jeremy Enigk, "Been Here Before"

Even better is "River to Sea", which you can hear on Jeremy's home page [MP3] or MySpace page [streaming].

Gotta say, it's great to see an artist you love get better as the years go on. It doesn't happen as often as it should.

Can't They Please Just Send Him to Jail?

For fuck's sake, enough already. Pete Doherty just got busted giving cocaine to a teenage detox patient while he's already in court-ordered rehab. Seriously, why don't they just throw him in a cell and lock the damn thing? Every second he's free makes a mockery of the British legal system.

Free Bob Dylan

You may have heard some time back that Bob Dylan was doing a weekly radio show for XM Satellite Radio called the "Theme Time Radio Hour". Like me, though, you may not have wanted to spend $10 per month to hear it.

Well, you no longer have to live your life without the soothing sounds of Bob's 65-year old voice. (Yeah, that's sarcasm.) Billboard is reporting that AOL has obtained the right to simulcast Dylan's show on Wednesday mornings at 10am, starting this week. Then, starting Friday, AOL will also be airing repeats of the 18 episodes Bob has already done.

The shows will be aired on AOL Radio. I've never listened to it before now, but the first channel it put me on was the "All Luther Vandross" channel. I may never need to listen to another channel again.

Oh, and while I see how this helps AOL (like I said, I'd never listened to AOL Radio before this announcement), how exactly is XM helping its subscriber numbers when it keeps losing exclusivity to its top shows? (Dylan, Opie & Anthony.)

Around the Web

I've had a few interesting links building up for the last week or so, and figured it was about time to post them... haven't done enough of this lately, sorry.

Daytrotter, which I don't check nearly enough, has a 4-song live set from the Cold War Kids, including two new songs.

Perhaps this blog thing has gone too far when individual albums get their own blogs. Apparently the 40th Anniversary re-issue of Pet Sounds has its own blog. The blog is having weekly podcasts until October 10th. (Via Coolfer)

I keep meaning to check out AOL's Interface offering. From what I've seen, it looks like a series of in-studio performances from up and coming artists. Quality stuff, but what kind of world is this where AOL is becoming a leading light in indie rock? There are several other bands up, but the one everyone's been talking about is Mew's.

Oh, and speaking of weird indie connections (and the "Second Alternative Wave" I mentioned last night), I noticed on Starz (the movie channel) this weekend that they are starting a new indie rock series called Musaic, showing various indie-oriented movies (e.g., the Death Cab move, Low in Europe, etc.) and other interviews and pieces. I don't know if this is a good thing or not.

Keep Hope Inside has a new Bloc Party demo called "Song For Clay".

Kingblind points out that Sub Pop is offering an MP3 of "A Pillar of Salt" from the new Thermals, which I hear is great.

Finally, do yourself a favor and head over to I Am Fuel, You Are Friends. Heather's posted a veritable crapload of songs from Sub Pop's now-defunct Singles Club, which ran from 1988 to 1993, and again from 1998 to 2002. There's some real great forgotten songs in there from Nirvana, Mudhoney, the Flaming Lips, J Mascis, Iron and Wine, and many others. Including L7, if you remember them. Go now.

Trey Anastasio to Play Two Nights at Webster

Trey Anastasio, formerly of Phish, is playing at Webster Hall on Sunday, October 8th and Monday, October 9th. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday at noon.

Damn, five years ago this would have excited the bejesus out of me. Now all it does is warn me not to go anywhere near 3rd Avenue and 11th Street those two nights, for fear of a patchouli overdose.

Oh, and tickets are also $42.50 each. When did Trey completely lose touch with reality? Phish tickets weren't this expensive, and they were actually good (prior to their 2000 "hiatus", that is).

AOL Roundup (Week of August 28)

Halfway decent week of stuff, if you exclude the kiddy Coldplay stuff.

Bob Dylan, Modern Times
The Roots, Game Theory
Pete Yorn, Nightcrawler
Ray LaMontagne, Till the Sun Turns Black
The Beach Boys, Pet Sounds (40th Anniversary)
Michael Armstrong, Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Coldplay (music to kill yourself to)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Return of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

If you’re under the age of, oh, let’s say 25, there’s a good chance you don’t remember Ned’s Atomic Dustbin. The British band was active in the early 90’s, and had a minor MTV hit with “Grey Cell Green”. However, despite a bunch of buzz, and the rise of the “alternative” movement in the U.S., the band never really caught on in the States, and split up in 1995 after three albums. Their main claim to fame was the fact that they had 2 bassists. They were also part of the so-called grebo movement, though I didn't know that until yesterday.

"Kill Your Television" [from God Fodder]
"Premonition" [from Brainbloodvolume]

(The band's best album, IMO, was Are You Normal?, but that's the one album I don't have on CD...)

As bands are wont to do these days, the band regrouped (with a few new members here and there) a few years ago, and started playing annual Christmas shows. There was talk of a new album at one point, but nothing ever came of it, and I basically forgot about the band again.

Then, the other day, played a new song from the band called "Hibernation", and it was pretty darn good. Head over to the band’s MySpace page to hear a clip of the new song for yourself. The digital single (no album yet) can be purchased here.

I'm not one to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but are all of these 80's and 90's rock bands reforming solely to take advantage of our current "Second Alternative Wave"? And will this second wave result in as many crappy, sound-a-like bands as the last one? (I'm looking at you, Sponge, Third Eye Blind, Candlebox, Seven Mary Three, etc. etc.)

And the most important question - will Bush get back together too? That may be the only thing in the world worse than Iran getting a nuclear bomb.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ted Leo @ South Street Seaport [8/25/06]

So last night was the annual free Ted Leo show at South Street Seaport. I've seen Ted a bunch of times, and this was the longest set I've ever seen him do. Rather than the usual hour and 15 minutes, Ted played close to two hours, and would have kept going if they hadn't pretty much kicked him off the stage.

The set was pretty varied, including songs from his last 3 albums, as well as 8 (9?) new songs. All the new songs sounded good, but my favorites were the military-themed ones: "Army Bound", "The Lost Brigade" and "C.I.A." The last of these, which Ted dedicated to a high school teacher of his who was in the crowd, repeated a refrain along the lines of "C.I.A., you don't know what you do", and at the end sang "But the Afghanis do... and the Guatemalans do... and the Nicaraguans do..." I'm paraphrasing, of course, but it's classic political Ted wrapped up in a kick-ass song. Can't wait for the album.

I got there early to catch blog-favorites Tokyo Police Club. I like their debut EP, A Lesson in Crime. Unfortunately, their live show has yet to really gel, and they were just kinda meh. Like I said, though, it's a good EP, and you should still check them out. The second openers, DC Snipers, were pretty decent, early 80's-oriented punk. Nothing to write home about though. The lead singer did look like a chubbier Mac McCaughan.


Tokyo Police Club

D.C. Snipers

Friday, August 25, 2006

Another Le Firm / Ashford Breaks Double Header

Strangely, it seems like two of my favorite local bands, Le Firm and The Ashford Breaks, have an affinity for playing separate venues on the same night. It happened last month, and it's happening again next Thursday (Aug. 31). Luckily, they have different set times, and the shows are within walking distance of each other, so join me at both, won't you?

First up is Le Firm at The Annex at 9pm. Join the band as they celebrate the fact that they're aaaaalmost done with their debut EP. The Annex is located at 152 Orchard St. between Stanton and Rivington. Tickets should be $7/8.

Second is the Ashford Breaks at The Delancey at 10:30pm. Join the band as they celebrate the release of their new EP, Traitor. The EP officially comes out on September 5th, but the band will be selling copies at the show (at least that's what their MySpace page says). The Delancey is located at 168 Delancey between Clinton and Attorney. Tickets should be $6.

So mark it down -- Thursday, August 31st, the night the rock comes back to NYC.

Frames Update

Yeah, I know I write about these guys a lot. But guess what? They’re that good. Besides, isn’t it nice to hear me say nice things about a band, rather than spending my time ripping on bands/artists I don’t like? (Panic at the Disco, Priestess, Good Charlotte, the Doodlebops, etc.)

Onto the news, via the band's latest newsletter:

The new album, The Cost, is out in Ireland next month (9/22), and will follow in the rest of the world in February 2007. The delay gives them (and their labels) time to work the album up-front, which they don't exactly need in Ireland, where they are huuuuuuuuge.

Tracklisting for The Cost:

Song for Someone
Falling Slowly
People Get Ready
When Your Mind's Made Up
Sad Songs
The Cost
The Side You Never Get to See
Bad Bone.

Glen is streaming two songs on one of his MySpace pages.

Then there's also the CD single coming out that I mentioned earlier this week. For those concerned, the song on the single called "No More I Love Yous" is not a Eurythmics cover. We can all breathe again.

The band tours Ireland in Sept/Oct. Glen then tours the US in support of his solo disc in October. The band then tours on and off in Europe in November and February.

Then, barring unforeseen circumstances, the band will come back West for a full US/Canadian tour in April/May of next year. Yes, it's a way off, but there's nothing stopping me from jumping a plane to Europe.. Oh, and the band also expects to play at next year's SXSW too. Yet another reason to book my flight now.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Buy My ACL Fest Tickets!

As I mentioned a while back, I was all set to go to Austin for this year's Austin City Limits festival when I saw the lineup for Lollapalooza and fell in love. Not that there's anything wrong with the ACL lineup, which is great (Shins, Ted Leo, Long Winters, Flaming Lips, Willie Nelson, etc. etc.), but at the end of the day, I was more interested in seeing Wilco and The Frames than Tom Petty.

Anyway, long story short, I have two ACL tickets which I'm not using, and I've posted them up on eBay, here and here.

The auctions for both end tonight, and while one ticket has generated a bunch of interest, the second is still languishing at the low, low price of $51. So if you're looking for a deal on a 3-day ACL Fest pass, you just might be able to get one if you play your eBay cards right. Of course, this assumes that the ticket doesn't get bid up over the next few hours, but it's worth checking out, right? Right. :^)

Self-serving announcement over.


That sound you just heard is thousands of hipsters simultaneously jumping off the Bloc Party bandwagon and running as fast as humanly possible in the opposite direction.
Of course, they're hipsters, so no one wants to run so quickly as to - gasp - break a sweat, or worse, rip their Diesel jeans. Still, though, there's a lot of 'em. And they're running. Or at least walking quickly.

Why all the panic, you ask?

You just nailed it on the head, I respond.

Bloc Party have announced that they will be returning to the U.S. in the fall for a tour with.. wait for it.. Panic at the Disco.

The bands will be hitting New York on November 13th and 14th at the Theatre at MSG.

I won't be there, but I'm sure your 14-year old sister will be.

(Props to Brooklyn Vegan for the info.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Tyde, Three's Co.

If you're like me, you already ordered the new Tyde album, Three's Co., from Rough Trade several months ago when it was released in the UK. If you didn't, though, don't fret - the album's finally coming out in the U.S. next Tuesday on Rough Trade America.

If you're unfamiliar with The Tyde, think of the catchiest, poppiest rock song you've ever heard and add a California surfer vibe to the mix. Alternatively, you can go with Rough Trade's description, which states that Three's Co. "connects the dots between Bob Dylan, the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and Felt." Either way, the Tyde make some great rock and roll, and I strongly suggest you check them out.

For a sneak peak of the new album, head here to listen to three tracks ("Brock Landers", "Do It Again", and "Separate Cars). Also, if you're on the West Coast, be sure to catch the band on tour over the next couple of weeks. Dates:

8/27: The Echo (LA) [album release party]
9/4: The Independent (San Francisco)**
9/5: The Independent (San Francisco)**
9/7: Crystal Ballroom (Portland)##
9/8: The Showbox (Seattle)
9/13: Spaceland (LA)**
9/21: The Casbah (San Diego)**

** = with The Brian Jonetown Massacre
## = with The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols (good times!)

It's Official - Drew Henson is a Piece of Human Garbage

Already permanently out of baseball, loser for life Drew Henson is apparently just about done with football too. He certainly won't be playing for Dallas this year. Ain't karma a bitch, Drew?

Go Blue!

Pete Doherty/Kate Moss Wedding Ends in Tears, Violence

In case you hadn't heard, there's a lot of news in the world of ex-Libertine Pete Doherty these days, and none of it involves music. Apparently, despite statements that their relationship was over, Pete and model Kate Moss were scheduled to get married in Bali last week. The wedding got called off, despite that Kate, family and friends were already in Bali, when Pete got busted and sent to rehab.

Kate, understandably, is "in tatters." (Oh you silly Brits and your slang.)

Pete's not taking it too well either. He's so upset, he punched his nurse at rehab.

The Lemonheads, "No Backbone"

Get yourself over to the, ahem, AOL music blog Musically Left, But Always Right, to hear the Lemonhead's new song, "No Backbone". It's pretty great.

I don't see it credited anywhere, but that is so J Mascis.

The band's self-titled album will be released on Vagrant Records on September 26th. Oh, and Evan played a 3-song set at AOL's Interface recently. You can stream him performing "My Drug Buddy" here.

A Concert Addendum

Forgot to mention a few newly announced shows in my post last night. Hope these haven't sold out yet...

Thurs., Sept. 14: The Whigs at Maxwell's (also at Mercury 9/16)
Wed., Oct. 18 & Thurs., Oct. 19: You Am I at Mercury Lounge
Thurs., Nov. 9: Lucero at Maxwell's

I'm gonna skip Lucero at Maxwell's (probably), as they're playing Bowery on Sunday, November 12th. Arg, Sunday shows suck. Maybe I will go to Hoboken.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Wednesday On Sales - Lots!

A freaking huge day of concert on sales. Guess I gotta buy some cheaper heroin for a few days.

Mon., 9/18: John Legend (who?)
Thurs., 10/5 - Sat. 10/7: Gomez
Fri., 10/20 - Sat. 10/21: Mojave 3

Mercury Lounge
Tues., 9/19: His Name is Alive
Tues., 10/10: Eef Barzelay (of Clem Snide)
Wed., 10/11 - Thurs., 10/12: Silversun Pickups
Sat., 10/21: Maritime (ex-Promise Ring)

Webster Hall
Sun., 10/1: Cursive (same night as Hold Steady at Irving)
Thurs., 10/5: Brazilian Girls
Fri., 10/13: Good Charlotte (I'll go if Hilary's there)

The Cost Available for Pre-Sale

The seventh full-length LP from Ireland's The Frames (a/k/a the best band in the world, bitches) is now available for pre-sale via Dublin's Road Records. The album comes out in Ireland on September 22nd, and will ship from Road Records on September 21st. Total cost in US$ is approx. $29. I've ordered through them before, and it only takes a matter of a couple of days to arrive in the U.S.

The album will have an American release at some point, but there's no word right now as to when. However, the band's last album, Burn the Maps, was released in Europe around this time in 2004, and didn't come out in the U.S. until February of 2005. So there's a good bet that you'll wait 6 months if you don't pick it up now.

Oh, and Road Records is also offering for pre-sale a double a sided single featuring album track "Falling Slowly" and non-album track "No More I Love Yous". That one comes out on September 1st.

Meet The Venus 3

I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, but Robyn Hitchcock has a new album coming out on October 3rd called Ole! Tarantula (Yep Roc). The first song from the album, "Adventure Rocketship", is astoundingly good. Listen for yourself.

Robyn's backing band on the album is an outfit known as The Venus 3. Never heard of 'em? You may know them as 3/4 of the Minus 5 - Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck and Bill Rieflin. Also popping up on the album are Morris Windsor (Soft Boys/Egyptians), Kimberley Rew (Soft Boys), Sean Nelson (Harvey Danger), Chris Ballew (Presidents of The United States of America) and Ian McLagan (Faces). Umm, that's quite a lineup.

Ole! Taratula is available for pre-order through Yep Roc now. The first 500 pre-orders come with an exclusive bonus disc featuring live versions of "A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations, Briggs" and "Underground Sun," plus a previously unreleased track, "Embryo Twirl".

Monday, August 21, 2006

Stream To The Races

If you haven't heard it yet, Eric Bachmann's new album, To The Races, is fantastic. Eschewing the fuller, band-oriented sound from the last Crooked Fingers album, Dignity and Shame, the new album is, by and large, Eric and his guitar (although piano, cello and other instruments add a great touch here and there). And while I've liked everything in the Crooked Fingers catalog, this just might top them all. is now streaming the album in its entirety here. Just click on a song title and go. Thanks to Bradley's Almanac for the head's up.

To The Races comes out tomorrow on Saddle Creek Records, and can be pre-ordered here.

Kinda Sorta Relive Lollapalooza

Head over to the AT&T Blue Room to check out some video footage of several bands from this year's Lollapalooza festival. While nowhere near as extensive as it should be, they have a few songs each from Andrew Bird, Ben Kweller, Editors, Poi Dog Pondering, Sleater Kinney, Stars, The Raconteurs and Umphreys McGee. Unfortunately, no Perry Farrell from the kids stage.

AOL Roundup (Week of August 21)

Considering how many big albums are coming out this week (Eric Bachmann, Cursive, Mountain Goats, Thermals, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin), it's kinda surprising that not one of these discs made AOL this week. More surprising is that Paris Hilton is streaming for a second straight week. Still, there's a few interesting CDs to be found, including the new Outkast disc:

Paris Hilton, Paris
Outkast, Idlewild
Starsailor, On the Outside
Gov't Mule, High & Mighty
What Made Milwaukee Famous, Trying to Never Catch Up (lots of buzz around these guys)
Broadcast, The Future Crayon B-Sides and Rarities
As Tall As Lions, As Tall As Lions (more buzz)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Birdmonster at Pianos!

How did I miss this?

Not only are Birdmonster playing Mercury Lounge on September 7th, but apparently they're also doing a late show the night before at Pianos. Don't believe me? Check it out. No tickets on sale right now, but you better be sure I'll be checking daily.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Light Footwork Video

If you read some of my early posts on this blog back in February-ish, you would have heard me mention how much I like the latest album by a band called The Light Footwork. Although I listened to the album a lot back then, I kinda forgot about it given the number of new albums that have been come out in the intervening months, and the fact that I don't think they've made it to New York to do a show in that time. (Though I could be wrong.)

Anyway, I just noticed over at My Old Kentucky Home that the band has released a video for its wonderful song, "The Art of Everyday Communication, Part 1". Do yourself a favor and check it out. Oh, and buy yourself some Light Footwork here.

Hold Steady, "Chips Ahoy"

Get thee to Stereogum to hear the first song off of the new Hold Steady album, "Chips Ahoy!" The band's third full-length album, Boys and Girls in America, comes out on Vagrant Records on October 3rd.

Am I the only one that hears a real Vagrant (i.e., emo) influence going on here?

New Matthew Sweet Album - Rock Bottom

Sal pointed this out a few days ago but I forgot to post it until now.

Power-pop god Matthew Sweet apparently has a new album coming out in "fall 2006" or "spring 2007", and from what I've heard, it sounds great. Head over to the newest of Matthew's many MySpace sites and listen to the track "New Album Preview". Don't be fooled by the, err, odd voice-over, this is definitely Matthew Sweet, and, as Sal points out, the guitar work sure as hell sounds like Richard Lloyd. Can't wait to hear the final product.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Silversun Pickups - MTV Stars?

First came word that MTV was in attendance at Silversun Pickups' show at the Mercury Lounge a few weeks back.

Now Stereogum points out that the band has made a spiffy new video for "Well Thought Out Twinkles". Can an appearance on TRL and Road Rules/Real World Challenge be far off? God I hope so.

Remind Me Never to Have Children

SHOW ADDED & PRESALE: The Doodlebops 3rd & Final Show

By overwhelming demand, The Doodlebops are playing a 3rd and final NYC show in their first ever live U.S. concert tour!

Deedee, Rooney and Moe will come center stage to perform your favorite songs from their hit TV show on Playhouse Disney. Don't miss this opportunity to sing and dance along with kids' favorite rockin' band live in your hometown at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on October 1st!

As a member of Backstage Access, you can buy tickets for this date on Saturday, August 19 from 9:00am - 9:00pm, before they go on sale to the general public.

Click here to purchase your tickets and use promotion code BADOODLE.

Tickets for the October 1st performance go on sale to the general public Sunday, August 20 at 10:00am. Tickets still remain for The Doodlebops Live on September 30 at 2pm and 5pm.

Are You Kidding Me?

So I just bought a ticket for ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead (the Saturday show). Face price is $20. Yet the final price, after various Ticketmaster charges, was $30.50.

I'm sorry -- a 52.5% markup? Really?

Excuse my french, but how the fuck does this still go on?

Hidden Gems

For as long as I can remember, I've spent way too much money on music. The only thing that's changed over time, other than sheer volume, is that today, thanks to the wonders of the internet, I tend to have an idea what I'm buying before I buy it. Maybe the album doesn't always live up to the song or two I find on the net, but it's rare that I ever buy something and hate it. Unless, of course, it's called Per Second, Per Second, Per Second, Every Second.

This wasn't the case back in the day. Back in high school and college, I'd pick up all kinds of discs for all kinds of reasons - maybe a friend recommended it, maybe it had a cool cover, maybe the band had a bitchin' name (Assponys, huh huh), maybe it was on a label that had a lot of other good bands. There really wasn't any rhyme or reason, I just wanted to buy new music.

So, sometime in 1995, I was wandering around the Tower Records on South University in Ann Arbor (now gone, I believe), and saw a new CD from a band I'd never heard of on Subpop Records. These were the days when Subpop ruled the music scene, so I had no doubt that I was going to love this new band called Zumpano. So I pulled out the credit card, did a little math to make sure I could afford tuna to live on for the next week, and bought my new little prize.

Then I got home and listened to it. It was the most unlistenable piece of crap I'd heard in 19 years of life. And that includes "We Built This City (on Rock and Roll)".

Of course, being the music fan that I am, I refused to throw the thing away, or try to sell it, and put it into a box in a closet in Ohio and never looked back. Until last year, that is, when I was home visiting family and decided to have a look at the box. What did I find? Lots of late 80's metal (Whitesnake, Skid Row, Europe), some signs of my 1990-ish switch towards "alternative" (The Smithereens, The Church), a Pauly Shore "comedy" album, and Zumpano.

So what was the first thing I listened to? Skid Row. Big guns, baby. What was the second? The most unlistenable album of all time.

Except it wasn't as unlistenable anymore. Don't get me wrong, it's not a good album, but it has it's moments. And, more importantly, I recognized the lead singer's voice - Carl Newman, of the New Pornographers. So, mediocre as it was, I reclaimed the CD from the box and brought it back to New York with me. (Who am I kidding? I brought back all the other CDs too, except Europe.) And it's pretty much been on the shelf ever since, until I decided to share a couple songs with you.

The first song, "The Party Rages On", was the only song I could listen to in 1994, and is still far and away the best song on the album. The second song, "I Dig You", is unmistakable Carl, but deserves an award for "Worst Use of Piano in a Song" ever.

Zumpano, "The Party Rages On"
Zumpano, "I Dig You"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Trail of Dead at Irving

After what's been a pretty slow 2006, Irving Plaza seems to be picking up some steam in its indie booking lately. Upcoming shows include Cat Power, Redd Kross, Mates of State, Hold Steady, Secret Machines, Built to Spill, Social Distortion, Art Brut, and Frank Black. (Of course, there's also shows by Everclear and New Found Glory, but they can't all be winners, can they?)

And now add to that list ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, who will be playing two nights at Irving in November, specifically November 11th (Sat.) and 12th (Sun.). Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, at noon. Count me in for Saturday.

Initial CMJ Lineup Announced

Brooklyn Vegan reports that the initial lineup for this year's CMJ festival in New York has been announced. For a full list, hit the Vegan, but the artists that interest me are:

Cold War Kids
Silversun Pickups
White Whale
Dr. Dog
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
These Arms Are Snakes
Strike Anywhere

Keep your fingers crossed for Le Firm!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dirty Pretty Things @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC [8/15/06]

For better or worse, tonight's Dirty Pretty Things show will forever be known to me as the Beverage Show. Why? Partially because I've never seen a band have so many different beverages on stage at once. Yes, Guided by Voices used to keep a cooler of beer on stage, and a bottle or two of Jack (or was it Jim?). But in the leadup to tonight's set, DPT's road crew put out no less than 21 different drinks. Yes, I counted. First, there were at least 12 bottles of water skattered around the stage (mostly by drummer Gary Powell). Then there were about a half dozen beers. Then, just when it seemed the band was about to come on, one of the stage guys started making mixed drinks for the band at the side of the stage. I believe there were a couple cranberry-vodkas and a few rum and cokes, though I may be wrong on that. As a result, even before the band started, there were more liquids on stage than I've had to drink in the last week.

The second and more important reason that tonight will forever be known as the Beverage Show is the fact that no less than 7 beers were thrown into the crowd or at the band. Most of these were full cups of beer. Now I've been to a crapload of shows where you get drenched in the beer of people around you, but I've never been to a show in NYC where there was this much beer intentionally being thrown around the room. It didn't bother me, but I was pretty surprised security let it go on. Maybe they just wanted to make the band feel like they were home in London. I should've gone a few days without brushing my teeth.

How was the actual show? Damn good, if I say so myself. The band clearly had a great time, and the crowd went absolutely nuts. They played pretty much the entire album, and two Libertines cuts, for a total of about 50-55 minutes. My only wish, aside from the band having a few more songs in its catalog, is that the sound had been a little louder. There was an air of excitement and near-anarchy (flying beers will help that), but it felt like the show just missed out on being great because the music wasn't loud enough to pummel the crowd like it should have. All in all, though, it was a great, fun show that was just one more sign that Carl doesn't need his old partner to bring the rock.

Oh, and despite the broken collarbone, Carl played guitar for one song. You just can't stop this kid.


Little Ones Coming Back to NYC?

The Little Ones have added a bunch of new dates to their fall touring itinerary, including several east coast dates (Chapel Hill, DC, Philly). Nothing's announced for New York yet, but I'd have to assume one or more dates will be forthcoming? Right?

Aug 21, Spaceland Los Angeles, CA
Aug 26, 26th Annual Sunset Junction Street Fair Silver Lake, CA
Aug 28, Spaceland Los Angeles, CA
Sep 15, Double Door Chicago, IL
Sep 16, The Triple Rock Minneapolis, MN
Sep 17, The Picador Iowa City, IA
Sep 19, Opolis Norman, OK
Sep 20, Gypsy Tea Room Dallas, TX
Sep 21, Emos Austin, TX
Sep 22, Walters Houston, TX
Sep 23, Spanish Moon Baton Rouge, LA
Sep 24, The Earl Atlanta, GA
Sep 25, Exit / In Nashville, TN
Sep 27, Beta Bar Tallahassee, FL
Sep 28, The Orpheum Tampa, FL
Sep 29, Studio A Miami, FL
Sep 30, The Social Orlando, FL
Oct 2, Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC
Oct 3, Black Cat D.C.
Oct 4, Northstar Philadelphia, PA

The Little Ones, "Lovers Who Uncover"

Silversun Pickups / Viva Voce Fall Tour

Full dates for this fall's Silversun Pickups / Viva Voce are out. No word yet as to on sale dates for those NYC shows. Considering how many shows I have that weekend (four), I may need to go with the first night (Wednesday, Oct. 11) so I can rest on Thursday. Dates:

9.28: Rickshaw Stop (San Francisco CA)
9.29: Howie and Sons (Visalia CA)
9.30: The Echo (Los Angeles CA)
10.1: Modified (Phoenix AZ)
10.3: Emo’s (Austin TX)
10.4: Opolis (Norman OK)
10.5: Randy Bacon Gallery (Springfield MO)
10.7: Courtyard Café (Urbana IL)
10.8: Southgate House (Newport KY)
10.10: Iota Club and Café (Arlington VA)
10.11: Mercury Lounge (New York NY)
10.12: Mercury Lounge (New York NY)
10.13: Johnny Brenda’s (Philadelphia PA)
10.15: Middle East Upstairs (Cambridge MA)
10.16: The Bug Jar (Rochester NY)
10.17: Lee’s Palace (Toronto ON)
10.18: The Lime Spider (Akron OH)
10.20: Empty Bottle (Chicago IL)
10.21: Maintenance Shop (Ames IA)
10.24: Hi Dive (Denver CO)
10.26: Neurolux (Boise ID)
10.28: Doug Fir Lounge (Portland OR)

New Bishop Allen

It's been up for a while now, but I'm just getting around to listening to the new free Bishop Allen song, "Click Click Click Click", from their most recent July EP. And, not surprisingly, it's another great, happy, pop nugget. I definitely need to make sure I don't miss them at Pianos this month.

Bishop Allen, "Click Click Click Click"
Bishop Allen, "Quarter to Three"

The band actually has two NYC dates scheduled this month, as well as a mini-tour of the northeastern portion of the U.S. All dates are with Chris Mills:

8/17 Detroit @ the Lagerhouse
8/18 Chicago @ Subterranean
8/19 Milwaukee @ Mad Planet
8/20 Cleveland @ Beachland Tavern
8/22 Cambridge @ the Middle East [Up]
8/23 New Haven @ Cafe Nine
8/25 New York @ Pianos
8/26 Philly @ World Cafe Live
8/31 New York @ Joe's Pub AA

Buy some Bishop Allen EPs here.

The National Go On Tour Again

I'm not on the National's mailing list (gotta fix that), so Matt just pointed out to me that the band has added a number of fall shows. The band states that they "are deep into recording the follow-up to Alligator, but we're taking a few breaks in the Fall to play shows." Just hope they add an NYC date before all is said and done.


Sept. 8: Perpignan Guitar Festival, Perpignan, France - FREE show
Oct. 5: Richard on Richards, Vancouver BC Canada, w/ Mobius Band + Baby Dayliner
Oct. 6: Neumos, Seattle WA, w/ Mobius Band + Baby Dayliner]
Oct. 9: Troubadour, Los Angeles CA, w/ Mobius Band + Baby Dayliner
Oct. 10: Casbah, San Diego CA, w/ Mobius Band + Baby Dayliner
Oct. 11: Troubadour, Los Angeles CA, w/ Mobius Band + Baby Dayliner
Oct. 12: Great American Music Hall, San Francisco CA, w/ Mobius Band + Baby Dayliner
Oct. 13: Wow Hall, Eugene OR, w/ Mobius Band + Baby Dayliner
Oct. 14: Berbati's Pan, Portland OR, w/ Mobius Band + Baby Dayliner
Oct. 26: Black Cat, Washington DC

Monday, August 14, 2006

AOL Roundup (Week of August 14)

I've fallen off a bit lately in keeping up with AOL's weekly offerings. Good thing I remembered to do it this week, because they gots some Paris Hilton goins ons. It's as close as you can get to her without picking up herpes.

Paris Hilton, Paris
Yanni, Yanni Live
The Sex Pistols, Spunk
Bernard Fanning, Tea and Sympathy (AOL compares him to Ryan Adams... will have to check him out)
Grand Funk Railroad, Greatest Hits (Nope, it's not a 60-minute loop of "We're An American Band"... a shame)
The Damnwells, Air Stereo

By the way, I'm listening to the new Decemberists disc now, which seems to have leaked to all the usual places (that's where I found it), and I gotta say, any concern of major label "sellout" can go out the window. I'm halfway through song 2 ("The Island, Come and See, The Landlord's Daughter, You'll Not Feel the Drowning" - yep, apparently all part of the song's title) and I'm getting serious Genesis/King Crimson undertones here. And, fuck it all, I'm an old school Genesis fan, and I likey.

Lollapalooza Kicks Ass - Officially

For those of you, like me, who thought this year's Lollapalooza was fantastic, there's good news - the festival did incredible business. According to Billboard, total paid attendance was more than 166,000, with daily attendance of 52,000 (Friday), 56,000 (Saturday) and 59,000 (Sunday). Total ticket revenue was more than $8 million.

Without sounding too cheesy, you really have to hand it to the organizers of this thing. They had a great lineup and a great setup. I can't think of a single thing I can complain about from the entire weekend, except maybe that I had to choose between seeing the Frames and the Hold Steady.

Can't wait to see next year's lineup!

One More Glen Hansard Post

So it turns out that the list of shows on the Frames' website is incomplete - Glen Hansard is doing two NYC-area solo shows in October. In addition to the show at Tonic I mentioned earlier, he is also doing a show on Sunday, October 15th at Southpaw with Doveman opening. Tickets for the Southpaw show are on sale, and I just picked one up. Maybe I don't have to skip Okkervil River after all.

Portastatic On Sale

Seriously, the weekend of October 13th-15th is shaping up to be ridiculous. I already mentioned earlier today that Glen Hansard of the Frames will be playing Tonic on Saturday the 14th.

Well, tickets are now on sale for Portastatic at Mercury Lounge on Friday the 13th (ooooooohhhhh). They're also playing Maxwell's in Hoboken that Saturday night, which is also on sale.

As if that weren't enough, Okkervil River are playing the Bowery Ballroom on Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th. Tickets have been on sale for a while. In what I thought was a smart move at the time, I bought a ticket for the Saturday show. Now I gotta figure out if it's worth spending money on the Sunday show, and whether I'm even likely to get off the couch (during NFL season, no less) on a Sunday night.

Is there such a thing as too many shows?

Glen Hansard, Busy Man

Holy crap is Glen Hansard a busy dude. Over the last few months, he's been playing a bunch of European shows (and a couple US shows) in support of his debut solo album, The Swell Season, and he also just finished up a short 3-date U.S. tour with The Frames which I'm proud to say I followed from show to show as if they were the Grateful Dead.

Now comes news of a whole slew (slew = 18) of new dates, both with band and without. The full band dates are all in Ireland, and will be in support of the band's new album, The Cost, which comes out in Ireland on September 22nd. Release dates for other places, including the U.S., will be announced later, apparently. Guess I'll be ordering from Road Records in the next few weeks.

In addition, Glen will be returning stateside to support the U.S. release of The Swell Season (August 22nd on Overcoat Records) [PRE-ORDER]. The tour will include an October 14th stop at Tonic here in NYC.

Glen's full U.S. itinerary:

SAT 10/14 Tonic NEW YORK, NY
TUE 10/17 Triple Door SEATTLE, WA
WED 10/18 Doug Fir PORTLAND, OR
FRI 10/20 Cafe duNord SAN FRANCISCO, CA
TUE 10/24 Schuba's CHICAGO, IL

No word on on-sale yet. You can be sure I'll let you know when I hear anything.

Wussy Coming to NYC (Finally!)

Nearly a year after the release of their fantastic debut LP, Funeral Dress, Cincinnati's Wussy are finally coming to New York. The band will be playing Lit Lounge on Wednesday, October 16th.

No idea if there are going to be advance tickets for this or not. I've never seen a show at Lit Lounge, and I don't see them listed on Ticketweb or Ticketmaster. Anybody know anything about this place?

If you're wondering what Wussy sound like, check out their live Lounge Act from

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Five To Grow On

I haven't been doing a very good job of keeping you up to date with all of the new albums I've been picking up lately. That's partially because I don't have the patience to do proper "reviews", and partially because I recognize that, even if I did, I'm no journalist. It's also because a big chunk of the stuff I've been getting lately is pre-release stuff that I prefer not to post links for until the album is actually released (and I've actually bought a copy). Don't think it's not killing me to post "Little Bird" from Eric Bachmann's new disc or pretty much anything from the new M. Ward album.

Anyway, instead of doing proper reviews, I figured I'd link to some songs off of five recently released albums that I've really been enjoying. If you like what you hear, of course, help out the bands and pick up some CDs.

The 101, "Dancing" [from Numbers - BUY]. Can't remember if I've posted anything from The 101 before. If not, you may recognize the lead singer/songwriter from his earlier bands, emo-pioneers Christie Front Drive and his followup electronic-based band, Antarctica. Numbers is the band's second full length album, and it's an excellent marriage of Eric's earlier guitar-fuzz emo with a much more mature pop aesthetic. Good stuff.

Forward, Russia!, "Thirteen" [from Give Me a Wall - BUY]. Forward, Russia! are one of those bands that I kept seeing on all the blogs over the course of a couple of months but never listened to. Then, at the end of the month when I needed to use up my remaining eMusic downloads, I picked up their album, Give Me A Wall, and holy shit was I happy I did. This album kicks ass in a way that few other albums have this year. It may go a little off the freak-out deep end here and there, but all in all I love it.

PS: Not sure why, but the album's not listed on eMusic anymore. It doesn't get a formal U.S. release until next month, but since it's out in England, I feel ok posting it.

Heartless Bastards, "Searching for the Ghost" [from All This Time - BUY]. Over the course of 31 years, I can probably count the total number of woman-fronted bands that I like on my two hands. Not sure why. But there's something about the Heartless Bastards (it helps that they're from my old hometown of Cincinnati) that I really like. A lot of reviews like to call them "garage" rock, but I just think they're a great straight-ahead rock band. And holy crap does Erika Wennerstrom have pipes.

La Rocca, "This Life" [from The Truth - BUY]. I've posted about La Rocca several times, but now that their debut album, The Truth is out, I feel confident saying that this band should be huge. Excellent album, and this is an excellent song. Check them out on tour this year, because I get the sense they're gonna get big, and soon.

White Whale, "The Admiral" [from WWI - BUY]. I wasn't sure how much I was going to like White Whale. I'm a fan of Matt Suggs' previous solo work and work in Butterglory, but the advance tracks I heard suggested a certain level of prog-rock that I wasn't sure was going to work over the course of an album. I had nothing to fear. The album is twice as good as I had any right to expect, and I've been listening to it pretty much non-stop the last few weeks.

Hope you like these songs as much as I do. It really is shaping up to be one of the best years for new music that I can remember.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

DPT Secret Show at Annex on Wednesday?

Heard a rumor that Dirty Pretty Things are playing a "secret" show at the Annex on Wednesday. (They're playing two sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom on Monday and Tuesday.) Anybody know if this is true?

EDITED TO ADD: Brooklyn Vegan reports that the secret show isn't Wednesday, but TONIGHT (Monday), starting at 12:30am, after the band's first night at the Bowery.

Lollapalooza, Day 2

After running around like crazy on the first day of Lollapalooza, Day 2 was a bit more relaxed. Not that there were fewer acts I wanted to see - it was just that there were more popular acts that I knew would pull a huge crowd. So, in order to get a decent spot, I ended up pretty much camping in front of the Bud Light stage all day.

My first act of the day was Nada Surf. Frankly, I don't know much about the band other than their awful, awful single "Popular" from a few years back. But the band following them was Built to Spill, and, as I said, I wanted to get there early for a spot. So, I settled in and checked out about half of their set, sneaking closer and closer to stage with each song. Can't say I loved them, but they were surprisingly better than I expected.

After Nada Surf I settled in for an hour of waiting before Built to Spill came on. It's been a while since I'd seen them live, and I had forgotten that the band does all of its own setup. So it was pretty entertaining to see Doug and the band start setting up their own equipment, and have no one in the crowd realize it was them. It took about a half hour for people to start saying, "hey, isn't that Doug?" Good stuff.

Then, about 20 minutes before their set was supposed to start, the band finished their setup, looked at each other, and started playing. It took a minute to figure out if they were still tuning or if they were actually starting, but as they got louder and louder, it became clear the set had begun. Suddenly, some guy came running from the side of the stage giving the "cut this shit out" sign like crazy. The problem was that Feist was playing across the field, and BTS were about to start drowning her out. While that wouldn't have bothered me in the least, it wasn't something the festival wanted, so BTS had to stop.

When the band finally came back out 20 minutes later, the sound was flat out awful. It took close to 1/3 of the set before the mix was fixed. By the time it did, the band sounded great. They don't move around a lot on stage, so it's more about the music than about the show. But with a catalog of music as good as BTS (I'm ignoring Ancient Melodies), that's just fine. That said, I'm looking forward to seeing them in a (slightly) more intimate venue this fall (Irving Plaza).

After Built to Spill, I ran across the field to check out a few minutes of Calexico. I'd seen them two days earlier in Central Park, so I only stuck around for a couple of songs before heading back to the Bud Light stage for Sonic Youth.

I've only seen Sonic Youth live a few times, and I think the last time was opening for Wilco's two Summerstage shows a few years back. That was during the period when Jim O'Rourke was still in the band, and, well, I can't say I really got a whole lot out of the shows. This time around the band was Jim-less - though I half expected a guest appearance since this was Chicago - and I thought they were fantastic. I'm a big fan of the band's latest album, Rather Ripped, and the band played a number of songs from that disc, as well as several older nuggets, including "Eric's Trip". The biggest surprise of the set? The number of teenage kids going absolutely nuts for the band. It's good to see the kids paying tribute to their elders.

After Sonic Youth, I started pushing forward towards the stage again for the next act, The Flaming Lips. With an hour between bands, it gave a whole lot of people time to do the same thing as me. Within minutes it became clear that this was going to be the most crowded set I'd been to yet. By the time the band came on, it was completely nuts - but in a good way. A Flaming Lips show is always fun, but with this many people it was incredible.

The Flaming Lips' set is the set that I'm going to remember Lollapalooza for. Yes, it was the same set they've been doing for a while now. And yes, it was the same balloons and dancers and the like. But who cares? A Flaming Lips show is a celebration, and holy crap was it cool to celebrate with 15,000 (a guess) other people. The number of people dancing and jumping and bouncing around was just incredible. I seriously haven't felt a buzz in a crowd like this in years. Just a fantastic, fantastic set.

From the Lips I was going to try to run across the park to catch The New Pornographers, but unfortunately the crowd was so big that it took 20 minutes to get away from the Bud Light stage. By the time I got to New Pornographers, I'd be lucky to catch half their set. And since I'd seen them in New York a couple of days earlier, I decided to head back to the hotel to rest up for The Frames at the Metro that night. More on that later.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Jim DeRogatis Whines About Lollapalooza

Apparently, despite that everyone I've spoken to felt that Lollapalooza was an unqualified success, Chicago Sun Times writer Jim DeRogatis doesn't agree.

Now, I'm all for people expressing their opinions, and I don't particularly care whether he liked Lollapalooza or not, but I really don't think that any of DeRogatis' complaints has even a shred of legitimacy.

He complains that too many bands played the same sets they play in a normal concert. What exactly were they supposed to do? A set full of covers? A set of only obscure singles? That's not what a festival like this is for. This type of festival is a showcase for a band to play its best material for what is likely the biggest audience it's ever had. And, to Lollapalooza's credit, a ton of the bands that played were exciting young bands who only have a dozen songs to choose from. So, what, Midlake was supposed to learn and play a Red Red Meat cover? The Subways were supposed to play "25 or 6 to 4"?

Similarly without merit is DeRogatis' complaint (which he never really explains) that the festival wasn't "Chicago enough". I'm not sure what he wants. Mike Ditka serving hot dogs? A Blues Brothers set? A post-rock wank-a-thon stage? Disco demolition night?

If DeRogatis thinks that Lollapalooza was held in Chicago for any reason other than it was a great place to hold it, and centrally located so thousands of non-Chicagoans could attend, then he's kidding himself. This isn't a "Chicago festival" - it's a festival that happens to be held in Chicago. And, guess what? It's got bills to pay. So they add a lot of bands who are going to hopefully sell tickets. I hate to say it, but there just aren't that many Chicago bands (other than those who did play) that I'd pay $140 to see.

He also repeats a complaint I've read a couple times in Chicago papers about the price of water being $3. Seriously, get over it. There were a ton of free water fountains. And the bottles of water were huge. Considering that most corner stores, at least here in NYC, get $1 for a tiny Poland Spring, $3 ain't too bad. And considering that Webster Hall charges $5 for water, well... you get the point.

In the end, it really bothers me that one of the leading musical journalists in Chicago would be so negative about a festival which, in my opinion, was fantastic, and which I think did a lot of good for Chicago. It brought in thousands of fans, who spent money at hotels, restaurants and bars. It brought in hundreds of bands, and bolstered the town's musical profile. And, in my case at least, it made a strong case for Chicago as a town I might consider moving to at some point when my legal career is over. (Soon, baby, soon!)

Maybe he'd be happier if the festival picked a new home next summer. Or, better yet, maybe he just shouldn't go next time.

Steve Earle News

I guess Condi didn't kill him and dump him in a ditch after all.

After a couple of years of relative quiet, Coolfer reports that Steve Earle has signed with New West Records, and will be releasing a new album in early 2007. Can't wait.

Spank Rock Coming to Bowery Ballroom

I still haven't heard them, but all the big boys have been talking about Spank Rock. If you can get past the name, and I'm not sure I can, they're coming to the Bowery Ballroom on Thursday, October 26th. Tickets are on sale.

By the way, are Mojave 3 tickets ever going to go on sale?

Long Winters Tickets on Sale

Tickets for the Long Winters' show at Bowery Ballroom on September 29th are on sale now. Haven't seen them since their show at Northsix a few years back, so I'm pretty excited about this.

Check out muchos Long Winters MP3s at the band's website.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

How Have I Never Seen This Before?

This is one of the greatest things ever.

Decemberists Tickets on Sale Tomorrow

Tickets for the Decemberists' show at Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday, November 3rd go on sale tomorrow at 11am. Tickets are $29.50 before Ticketmaster charges, so expect to pay about $40.

I'm still on the fence. Do I want to spend $40 for the privilege of seeing them in the worst venue in NYC? And given the size of the room (approx. 5500), there's no guarantee that it will sell out or that I'll be able to unload my ticket down the road. Arg.

Jolie Holland Coming to the Bowery

Haven't seen this posted anywhere else yet -- Jolie Holland is coming to the Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday, October 18th. Tickets are on sale now.

Not a huge fan of hers, though I do own her 2004 album, Catalpa, and it's not bad. Haven't gotten around to getting her new disc, Springtime Can Kill You, though it's gotten generally good reviews. Here's a couple of songs from Catalpa, via Jolie's website:

"All the Morning Birds"
"December 1999"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Lollapalooza, Day 1

Not surprisingly, things have been pretty busy at work this week since I've gotten back from Chicago, so I haven't had a whole lot of time to talk about Lollapalooza. While I have a little bit of time tonight, I figured I'd cover Day One (Friday, August 4th).

The day started with a bit of a scare -- when we got to Grant Park at 11:00 am, we found what looked like the world's longest line of people waiting to get in. We could hear a couple of bands inside sound-checking, and we were a little nervous that there might be a serious delay getting in and we'd miss the early bands. No need to worry. Once the doors finally opened, the lines sped along, and we got through the 5-block line in about 6 minutes. Crisis averted.

The first band we caught was recent "it" band Midlake. The band had a pretty good crowd for an early show on the first day of the weekend, though I couldn't help looking around trying to match up every member of the crowd with which blog they run. In what was a bit of foreshadowing of things to come, the band's set was a little off at the beginning due to the absolutely loudest, most brain-destroying bass I've ever heard in my life. They eventually worked out the kinks a few songs in, and the band sounded pretty damn good. For the rest of the weekend, it was pretty much a given that the mix was screwed up for the first couple of songs. Pretty much the only negative the entire weekend.


From Midlake I ran across the park to catch Cursive. I've been a fan of the band for 7 or 8 years now, but somehow have managed to miss them every time they've been in NYC in that time. No idea why, though I've had tickets to most of those shows and still not gone. Now I wish I'd gone to some of them. The band was great, and simply kicked ass. While I'm not a huge fan of their new album, I'm definitely going to have to check them out when they come back in the fall.

This is a shot of downtown Chicago from the crowd for Cursive:


From Cursive I pinballed around a bit, catching about 1/2 of The M's set, then 1/2 of Kelley Stoltz, and then 1/2 of Jeremy Enigk. The M's didn't do a whole lot for me, but I was really impressed with Kelley Stoltz, whose music I had never heard before. I'm gonna have to pick up some of his stuff, and post some tunes here. He really is excellent. And Jeremy was pretty good too, though I'm looking forward to catching a full set from him at Bowery Ballroom this Friday.

The M's:

Kelley Stoltz:

Jeremy Enigk:

From Jeremy it was over the Bud Light stage, where I spent pretty much the rest of the weekend. First up was Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Unlike his more rock oriented set at the Bowery last month, Ryan's set at Lollapalooza was, as my friend Matt referred to it, "Ryan Garcia". It was essentially a Grateful Dead set, between jamming out on Ryan's songs and covers of no less than -3- Dead covers ("He's Gone", ""Wharf Rat" and "Franklin's Tower"), and guess what? It was wonderful. Ryan's been doing the neo-Dead thing for a year or two now, and I think he's finally perfected it. That's not to say that I don't want to see some "alt-country" and "rock" sets from him in the future, but if his Dead sets are going to be this good, I hope he sticks with it for a while.

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals:

After Ryan I camped out at the Bud Light stage and got a pretty good spot for My Morning Jacket. I'd only seen them live once before, at the 2004 Austin City Limits festival, and found them to be the surprise of the festival. This time around, I wasn't surprised how good they were. Simply put, they put on my favorite set of Day 1, and probably my #2 or #3 set of the weekend. Can't wait to see them again.

My Morning Jacket:

Then I moved across the field to check out Sleater-Kinney for the first, and last, time ever. I've never been a huge fan and, well, this set didn't change my opinion.


I ditched S-K after a few songs to grab a snack and wait for my friends to finish up at S-K so we could go get drunk. All in all, a great first day, and a taste of even better things to come.

View of downtown at the end of Day One:

There Are No Words..

... except, BUCKEYE!

Silversun Pickups Coming Back in October

No sooner do I post that Silversun Pickups will likely come back in the fall, they announce that, in fact, they're coming back for two nights in October. As Brooklyn Vegan reports, the band will be touring with Viva Voce, and hitting the Mercury Lounge on Wednesday, October 11th and Thursday, October 12th. No word as to on-sale date yet, but you can expect me at one or both shows.

Secret Machines In The Round

The Secret Machines will be returning to the New York area for two shows this fall. Apparently, both shows will be "in the round", meaning the sound is gonna suck big time.

The deets:

Monday, October 2: Irving Plaza (on sale on August 15 at noon)
Friday, November 3: Warsaw (on sale on August 15 at noon)

Seriously, this does sound cool, but how in the world are they going to make this work at Irving and Warsaw?

Radiohead Go Reggae

No, not really. But kinda. Easy Star Records has put together a ton of top reggae artists to record a "tribute" version of Radiohead's OK Computer. The album, entitled, what else, Radiodread, is available for pre-sale now.

Check out a few songs from the album here. I really like Toots and the Maytals' version of "Let Down". Although I do really like the original album, I haven't listened to OK Computer in years because I find it amazingly cold and pessimistic. The reggae aspect adds a whole new dimension that I'm surprised I like as much as I do. It may even be enough to make me go back and listen to the original disc again.

New Shins Album Delayed... Again reports that the third Shins has been delayed. The album was originally due in June of this year, then pushed to October, and is now due sometime in 2007.

Never fear, though, as the band states that "We have never been more happy with anything that we've ever recorded before. ... And we can definitely say that it is due to the fact that we've been given so much time to perfect it. The record is the best we've ever done."

I sure hope the album's good, because no one's listening to them for their live show. (Which is consistently awful, IMO.)

New Long Winters Video

If you missed it over at Stereogum, the new Long Winters' video for "Fire Island, AK" is out. Check it:

The Long Winters are scheduled to hit the Bowery Ballroom here in NYC on September 29th. No word on on-sale yet. They're also doing (did?) a free show this week at Mercury Lounge. It was another of those free shows that only the unemployed could get into, so I didn't go..

Silversun Pickups on WOXY Today

I unfortunately didn't get to the Silversun Pickups show at the Mercury Lounge last Thursday, as I called it a night after the New Pornographers so I could get some sleep before my 7am flight to Chicago for Lollapalooza. I didn't make the band's show in Brooklyn on Monday night either, as I was just plain beat from standing in the sun 4 days in a row.

So, while it's not quite the same thing as seeing them live, I'm glad we at least get to hear them live this afternoon at 3pm on Check 'em out, you shan't be disappointed.

And I would assume that the band will make a return appearance in NYC sometime this fall. CMJ maybe? Hope so.

NYC Concert News

Some NYC concert news and notes for your Wednesday morning:

Per Brooklyn Vegan comes news that the New York Dolls will be playing a free show at South Street Seaport on Friday, August 18th. The band is standing in for the Box Tops, who were previously scheduled to play but had to pull out due to a medical emergency.

Regina Spektor, who has been getting a lot of attention from the indie kids the past few months, is playing Town Hall on Wednesday, September 27th. Tickets go on sale today at noon. If you're curious what she sounds like, head over to My Musical Trivia to check out a couple songs.

Razorlight are playing the Bowery Ballroom on everyone's favorite go-out day, September 11th. Tickets are on sale at noon. I didn't hear much of their first album, but quite like the Talking Heads undertones of their new single, "In the Morning" (Windows Media).

Several Webster Hall shows on sale today at noon, including The Knife, Cut Chemist/Lyrics Born, and Michael Franti & Spearhead. Not one of those interests me, but I list them here because I love you.

Still no word on on-sale dates for Mojave 3 or Portastatic...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Golden Smog Return to NYC

Via Brooklyn Vegan comes word that Golden Smog will be making a return trip to New York on Sunday, September 17th in support of their excellent new CD, Another Fine Day.

Unfortunately, the show is at Webster Hall, one of my least favorite venues, and even worse, the show is on a Sunday night. And, if that weren't enough, it falls during a busy week with Magnolia Electric Co., Shearwater, Bottomless Pit and the Whigs all on Saturday, then Eric Bachmann on Wednesday and Drive By Truckers on Thursday. Soooooo, call me a maybe. (Add Senor Tweedy to the mix, though, and I'll find a way to be there.)

For those less reluctant than I, tickets are on sale now.

More Frames Coverage

Apologies to those who don't love this band as much as I do. Check out Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova doing a 1/2 performance on Czech television. Great stuff.

Indie Choreography

I've never really gotten into OK Go's music, but boy do I like their new video for "Here It Goes Again," if for no other reason than I spend the entire video wondering how the hell they did this. Thanks to JAX for pointing this one out last week.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Portastatic Hit the Road

Via Matt and the Portastatic blog comes news that Mac and crew will be hitting the road for a few weeks in September and October in support of their new album, Be Still Please. Lucky for me, the band has scheduled two NYC-area dates:

Portastatic duo opening for M. Ward

Mon., 9/18: Charlottesville, VA (Satellite Ballroom)
Tues., 9/19: Carrboro, NC (Cat's Cradle) w/ Lambchop
Wed., 9/20: Nashville, TN (Belacourt Theatre)
Fri., 9/22: Denton, TX (Hailey's) w/ M. Ward
Sat., 9/23: Austin, TX (The Parish) w/ M. Ward

Portastatic w/ Jennifer O'Connor (new Merge artist)

Wed., 10/11: Philadelphia, PA (North Star Bar)
Thurs., 10/12: Allston, MA (Great Scott)
Fri., 10/13: New York, NY (Mercury Lounge)
Sat., 10/14: Hoboken, NJ (Maxwell's)
Sun., 10/15: New Haven, CT (Bar Nightclub)
Wed., 10/18: Washington, DC (Black Cat - Backstage)
Thurs., 10/19: Durham, NC (Duke Coffeehouse)
Fri., 10/20: Mt Pleasant, SC (Village Tavern)
Sat., 10.21: Atlanta, GA (The Earl)

Also check out this article from Billboard about the new album and - wait for it - the next Superchunk disc. Can't freaking wait!

Jeff Tweedy's 49th Beard

This photo is kind of cheating, but I like it anyway.

I've seen better Wilco shows, but it was cool to see them in their hometown, in front of the biggest crowd I've ever seen them play. (The previous biggest for me would have been Radio City Music Hall, I think - a long way from those Thanksgiving gigs at the Mercury Lounge in 1996.) They played 4 new songs, which all sounded great. But where's the surprise in that?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Quick Lollapalooza Update

Not too much time to update now, have to grab some lunch and get to the park to see The Frames for the third time in three days. (Their Metro show last night was in-cred-ible.) But wanted to at least tell those of you watching at home that all of my photos from Day 1, Day 2 and the after-party at the Metro last night are up on Flickr (see link in left-hand column). Here's two of my favorites:

Gotta say, I thought ACL 2004 was a great festival -- this thing beats it. Not just the bands, but the whole experience. These folks know how to run a festival. Great, great job.

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Frames @ Summerstage, NYC [8/3/06]

God bless the Frames. I see a lot of bands, but they are, hands down, my favorite live act around. (If Teenage Fanclub played more than every 5 years, it might be a close call.) They put on another great show tonight, and completely owned the large crowd that got there at 6pm to see them. The best news? I get to see them twice more this weekend in Chicago...

My flight's in about 6 hours, so unfortunately that's all the commentrary you're getting tonight. If you want more pictures, I've got a ton of the Frames, Calexico and the New Pornographers on my Flickr page. See link in the left-hand column.

And now I bid you a good night, and I'll see you in Chicago!