Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The American Beauty Project

There's a pretty interesting show going on here in NYC in January that I just learned about. Entitled The American Beauty Project, the show will pay tribute to the Grateful Dead's two Americana-oriented albums from 1970, American Beauty and Workingman's Dead.

The show will be presented for free over two days (Jan. 20-21) under the glass atrium of the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center, and will feature, among others, Jay Farrar, Mark Eitzel, Tim O'Reagan, Jorma Kaukonen, Dar Williams and many more, performing songs from the two Dead albums.

I may be an indie kid these days, but I'm still a huge Dead fan at heart, and this sounds like it should be very cool. For more information check out the project's MySpace page.

Rock Show Tonight!

Head over to The Annex tonight for some old fashioned ass-kickin' rock and roll.

8pm: Redflecks
9pm: Le Firm
10pm: The 101
11pm: Eons

If you haven't caught Le Firm yet, now's the time. They're playing with one of my favorite NYC-area bands, The 101. I'm sure they hate this reference, but The 101 are led by Eric Richter, who you may remember from the seminal 90's band Christie Front Drive, and his early 00's band, Antarctica. The 101 may be my favorite thing from Eric yet.

See you there!

Shows Of Note

A few NYC shows of note going on sale this week (or already on sale):

Fri., Dec. 29: Glassjaw at Webster Hall (on sale today at noon)

Sun., Dec. 31: The Slip at Northsix (on sale now)

Thurs., Jan. 18: Sloan at Bowery Ballroom (on sale Friday at noon)

Fri., Jan. 19: Mission of Burma at Irving Plaza (on sale now)

Fri., Mar. 9 and Sat., Mar. 10: Of Montreal at Irving Plaza (both on sale now)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

New Music From The Eames Era

One of the many young bands that I've really gotten into this year is Baton Rouge, LA's The Eames Era. The band excellent 2005 album, Double Dutch [BUY], got a lot of play around the Stew headquarters after I discovered through WOXY earlier this year.

Well, now WOXY tells me that the band has finished a new album entitled Heroes and Sheroes, and the album will be out in early 2007. Three songs from the new album are now available on the band's MySpace page. Or you can check out a couple songs from the band here:

"Little Brother" (from Heroes and Sheroes)

"Year of the Waitress" (from Double Dutch)

Highly recommended.

(Photo source)

Edited to add: I changed the link for "Little Brother". It was a direct link to download the song from MySpace. This time I've uploaded it onto Box and you should now be able to stream it.

By the way, EZArchive has made some new changes, and it looks like they may be a viable option again. Good news.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Portastatic Video, "Song For A Clock"

Check it out:

"Song For A Clock" is off of the band's excellent 2006 album, Be Still Please [BUY].

Oh, and check this out too. I've never seen this before:

This one's from 1995's Slow Note From A Sinking Ship [BUY].

New Broken West, "Hale Sunrise"

One of my favorite new bands, The Broken West, is streaming a new song called "Hale Sunrise" over at their MySpace page. The song is from their forthcoming debut LP, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On, which is due out in early 2007 via Merge Records. Another excellent song from these guys. I can already tell the album will be one of my favorites for 2007.

If you're in the L.A. area over the next month or two, do yourself a favor and check the band on the following dates:

Dec. 7: SoHo (Santa Barbara) with Calexico
Jan. 8: Spaceland residency
Jan. 15: Spaceland residency
Jan. 22: Spaceland residency
Jan. 29: Spaceland residency

Sad News

Just months after their four separate marriage ceremonies, Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock have each filed for divorce.

Why is it that the best matches sometimes just don't work out?

Err, yeah. I'll be getting back to usual coverage soon. Then I go to Vegas on Thursday, so there'll be a couple days of radio silence again.

AOL Roundup (Week of November 28)

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone. Go buy something, because there ain't shit to listen to at AOL this week.

Patti LaBelle, The Gospel According To...

Pilot Speed, Into The West (from AOL: "This buzz-band shows the intensity of U2, mixed with the passion of Coldplay." I haven't even heard it, but this sure sounds like one of the seven signs. Get to your local radiation shelters.)

Friday, November 24, 2006


So I turn my attention away from WOXY for a couple of days and what happens? They go nuts with two huge announcements.

The first announcement isn't much of a surprise, though it's a good one - WOXY Vintage is returning in December. If you're unfamiliar with WOXY Vintage, it used to be the separate stream where WOXY would play all the best modern rock, regardless of era. They'd play older stuff like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Elvis Costello, and Jane's Addiction, and more recent stuff from Guided by Voices, Pavement and Superchunk. The Vintage channel went down with WOXY back in September, and has stayed silent even since the main station's relaunch, even though there have been rumors of its revival since then. For the first few weeks, WOXY's bringing back the Vintage only on weekends, 9am-3pm, on the main feed. Once they get their legs, they'll be adding a separate stream dedicated to the Vintage. Good news.

The second announcement is a bit more surprising -- WOXY has announced that its long-awaited third DJ is none other than Joe Long of the Each Note Secure blog. If you're not familiar with it, ENS is a helluva blog, and has been a good friend to WOXY over the last couple of years. I just didn't have any idea that Joe was a DJ at heart. Based on his blog, I think Joe's got the right musical sense for WOXY, and think they've made a damn fine choice. Joe will be starting on the evening shift sometime in next few weeks.

And I'll say it again -- listen to some freakin' WOXY. Best radio around.

Oh, and hooray, I'm almost feeling normal. Almost.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Sorry for the lack of updates the last couple of days. I seem to have come up with some sort of flu-type thing which has left me pretty useless since Monday. Even had to cancel my holiday travel, unfortunately. Assuming I start feeling better, I hope to post some interesting new music in the next day or two. We'll see.

Oh, and if you've got any Thanksgiving leftovers, feel free to send 'em my way. My Thanksgiving dinner will likely be Chipotle.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Why I Love SeeqPod, Part 2

Because how else can I put together a playlist of 80's gems like this in the space of 3 minutes and have an hour's worth of listening enjoyment?

The 80's Were Wicked Awesome

Two Shows I Won't Be Seeing Tonight

There's two great shows in New York tonight that you should try to hit if you have a chance.

First up is The Little Ones at Mercury Lounge. The band is scheduled to go on at 9pm, and Small Sins play at 10pm. Tickets are $12 and are still available.

I don't really know from Small Sins, so if it were me I'd head out after The Little Ones to catch The Key Party at Marion's Marquee Lounge (354 Bowery) at 10pm. If you'll recall, The Key Party is the new project from Darren of The Great Shakes. This show is FREE.

Unfortunately, I won't be hitting either show. I've had some ridiculous cold-slash-not-quite-flu thing going since Friday, so I'll be on the couch watching How I Met Your Mother and Heroes. This cold's totally killing me. It already made me miss Mudhoney, and now this. Not happy.

The Manhattan Love Suicides

Well, WOXY's done it again. They've introduced me to yet another band I'd never heard of, and one that just may be my new favorite band - The Manhattan Love Suicides.

The band's label, Squirrel Records, pretty much hits the nail on the head with its description of the band: Fuzzed up, black clad, feedback, lo-fi female fronted pop brilliance. Think Guided by Voices, Jesus and Mary Chain, and Velvet Underground, all mixed up.

Check out this this SeeqPod playlist to hear a couple songs from the band, including the excellent "Things You've Never Done", as well as a few comparable bands that Matt mentions in the comment section (Shop Assistants, The Flatmates and Heavenly).

You can also hear more from the band at their MySpace page.

The Manhattan Love Suicides' self-titled debut album comes out next Tuesday, November 28th on Magic Marker Records in the US. Matt points out that it can be pre-ordered here.

Ever Vigilant In The War on Terror

If they'd have let him ride a motorcycle in the 60's, maybe he would have gone to Vietnam then too. Err, probably not.

(Photo source)

AOL Roundup (Week of November 21)

There's a few things worth checking out this week, but nothing all that compelling.

Jay Z, Kingdom Come

2Pac, Pac's Life (This is the 817th album 2Pac has released since he died. Dude is sittin' on an island somewhere laughing at all your gullible asses.)

Snoop Dogg, The Blue Carpet Treatment (With production by Dr. Dre and the Neptunes)

Brand New, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (Another emo band tries to go legit)

Sufjan Stevens, Songs for Christmas (Only "select tracks" of the 5-CD box set are streaming at AOL. Does anyone care at this point?)

Oasis, Stop The Clocks (Greatest hits)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Super Happy Fun Time

Friday, November 17, 2006

Superchunk and Friends @ Irving Plaza, NY [11/16/06]

Last night was the Daily Show's Tenth Anniversary show at Irving Plaza here in New York. Several Daily Show correspondents, past and present, showed up (no Carell or Colbert, and Jon Stewart sent in a short but funny video). Ed Helms even showed up with his surprisingly good bluegrass trio. They were joined onstage for their second song by a heavy metal singer (who was that?) on a bluegrass/death-metal version of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". Great stuff.

There was also a lot of music. The Upper Crust are a one-joke band (dressing as French royalty) who play AC/DC-like riff rock. Clem Snide were unfortunately beset by sound problems and played a short set. The Mountain Goats played some of the most depressing songs I've ever heard (lyrically, at least), but managed to make it fun.

And Superchunk... well, what can you say? They're one of my favorite rock bands of all time, and holy crap was it great to have them back on stage. They sounded fantastic, and seemed to have a great time playing together again. They even played a new song which pretty much kicked ass. Keep your fingers crossed for a new album next year!

Some pics..

The Upper Crust

Samantha Bee

Clem Snide

John Hodges, a/k/a PC

John Oliver

The Mountain Goats


Funny Stuff

Can't say I agree with the theme of the song - Chad's actually been okay this year - but this is a pretty damn entertaining song.

The Dead Schembechlers, "Chad Henne is a Joke"

Download Live Frames

So I just discovered that there's a veritable badonkadunk-load of Frames shows available for download over at Irish Music Central. There's even a bunch of studio recordings available as well. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow afternoon before The Game.

Here's a few tracks from the band's L.A. show from September 2005. The rest of the show is available at the site.

"Pavement Tune"

Oh, and Go Blue!!!!!

Bo Schembechler Dies at 77

Some very sad news out of Michigan today - legendary football coach Bo Schembechler has died at age 77.

Bo, you will be deeply missed. Thank you for everything. Go Blue!

Another Online Music Venture

Add another interesting new music website to the list I discussed the other day. This one is called Baeble Music.

Baeble Music is positioning itself as yet another music-based community site, with blogs, playlists and the like, but offers one unique service that no one else has that I've seen - they're selling video of live performances online. They seem to focusing on the indie set (and really, who isn't these days?), and are currently offering sets from, among others, Portastatic, The Hold Steady, Figurines, Thunderbirds Are Now! and Harvey Danger. Short clips of performances are free, and full performances are $8.99 each.

Interestingly, a couple of friends and I thought about this exact business model some time back. Frankly, we decided that we didn't think there was enough of an audience for it, and the capital needed to secure videotaping equipment, agreements with venues, licensing rights for the music, and salary for videographers, plus more, would easily outweigh revenues. Who knows, maybe we were wrong. Maybe not.

I doubt I'm ever going to pay $8.99 for a live video of a concert by a band. I've ordered band DVDs before and downloaded footage, and never seem to watch a concert video more than once. Even if it were formatted for my video iPod (videos are currently in Windows Media format), I doubt I'd watch too many concerts, and certainly not at that price. Maybe if there was a subscription model like eMusic, where you could download a certain number of shows a month for $10 or something, I might think about it. I also might think about it if the footage were in HD and had great audio quality, so that I could stream it through my HDTV. Until those things happen, though, I'm unlikely to give them much of my money.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Notes From All Over

We seem to be in another slowdown in the world of music news. Must be the impending holidays. Or maybe all the other bloggers are waiting on line at their local electronics store for the Nintendo Wii. (Thanks to Brian at MGoBlog for the South Park links.)

Regardless, here's a few of the more interesting things from the last few days:

Bradley's Almanac has MP3s from the Long Winters' recent stopover in Allston, Mass. Excellent stuff, as always.

Hot Rod Circuit are set to release a new album on Immortal Records in March. I may be one of the last people around who even remember who they are. (Via

Ryan Adams has released another eight albums of material on his website. I think it's time to give up on the idea of him ever putting out a concise, focused album, and just accept him for what he is - batshit crazy. But in a good way. (Via Stereogum.)

Not sure how long this has been up, but there's a short interview with Tobin Sprout (formerly of Guided By Voices) at Mundane Sounds.

RBally, who apparently isn't quitting but is just scaling back the operations, links today to a pretty cool article about Wilco's virtuoso guitarist, Nels Cline.

MSG Entertainment has purchased New York's Beacon Theatre and will close the venue for 9 months next year to do a $10 million overhaul. (Via Coolfer)

Torr profiles the new CD by The Cake Sale, a new project by a collection of Irish musicians intended to benefit Oxfam Ireland's Make Trade Fair campaign. The project includes, among others, Damien Rice<, Glen Hansard, Gemma Hayes, Lisa Hannigan and Josh Ritter (who's not Irish). A video for the song "Some Surprise" can be found here. I <3 Lisa Hannigan.

And, finally, Spinner points us in the direction of the hottest new Christmas tune of the year. And no, it's not Sufjan:

Dear god I hope I age better than these guys.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One Last Go With Silkworm

As mentioned here previously, Silkworm is preparing to release its final EP of new material. The EP, entitled Chokes, features four new songs (plus a cover of CCR's "Wrote a Song for Everyone") that the band had been working on prior to the unfortunate death of drummer Michael Dahlquist last year. The disc also includes a live cover of "Spanish Harlem Incident" as performed by the Crust Brothers, i.e., Michael, Tim and Andy of Silkworm and Stephen Malkmus, back in 2000.

Chokes is officially released on December 6th, but can be pre-ordered here. 12XU is streaming the first song from the EP:

"Bar Ice"

What a fantastic band. They will be missed.

(Thanks to Bradley's Almanac for the heads up on this!)

New Shows of Note

A smattering of new or new-ish shows that are of interest to me.

Bowery Ballroom
Sat., Jan. 13: The DBs (On sale now)

Knitting Factory
Thurs., Nov. 30: The Draft (three-fourths of Hot Water Music) (On sale now)

Wed., Dec. 13: Bound Stems and Ra Ra Riot (On sale now)

Union Hall
Wed., Jan. 17: Cold War Kids (On sale Wednesday 11/22 at noon)

Webster Hall
Fri., Jan. 19: The Dears (On sale Friday at noon)

Bob Pollard Injured - Tour Canceled

Some unfortunate news for those of you in Baltimore, Boston and Northampton - the Merge Records blog is reporting that Uncle Bob suffered an injury and is being forced to cancel the remainder of his Normal Happiness tour. No word on what exactly happened, or whether Bob finally high-kicked himself in the head. Glad I got to catch the band the other night at Irving Plaza Bowery Ballroom (oops, I was drunk)...

If you have tickets for the Baltimore show, don't fret (too much). Portastatic will go forward with a full-band show as scheduled, with The Oranges Band opening. And tickets are a low low $5! (TIX)

(Thanks to Matt for the tip!)

Somehow This Is Bill Clinton's Fault

Oh. my. God.

Talk about the decline of western civilization.

Best Fast Food in a Supporting Role

If you want a preview of what is sure to be the most heralded, critically-acclaimed movie of 2007, well, here ya go:

(Direct link - Embed doesn't seem to be working)

The Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie will be released in February 2007. The plot, such as it is, is described by IMDB thusly:
An action epic that explores the origins of the Aqua Teen Hunger Force (better known as Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad,) who somehow become pitted in a battle over an immortal piece of exercise equipment.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Frames' Rent Day Blues EP

Somehow I'd never noticed that The Frames had made their 1999 Rent Day Blues EP available for free download on their website. Well, now I have. It's in Real Audio format, but it's easy enough to convert RA to MP3.

"Rent Day Blues"
"Perfect Opening Line"
"Taking The Hard Way Out" (highly rec'd)
"Country Song"

Catch Le Firm With Kristoffer Ragnstam Tomorrow!

I just got a new EP from Kristoffer Ragnstam in the mail yesterday, and I'm really liking it so far (I'll be linking some songs soon). So I was pretty surprised when I realized today Kristoffer is on the bill with Le Firm tomorrow at the Knitting Factory Tap Room.

That's two good reasons to get off the couch and go catch some live music. Besides, Lost isn't on again until February, and it's not like anyone's gonna watch the Taye Diggs show.

Yet Another Cool Music Website

It seems like every other day I'm hearing about a cool new web 2.0 music website that's launching. There's been a ton of them lately - Reverb Nation, Amie Street, Imeem, and on and on. The latest one that's come to my attention is Seeqpod.

One of the best features that most of these sites offer is the ability to create a personalized "Playlist". What does that mean? Well, if you want to listen to songs from different artists on the internet, you typically have to bounce between blogs, artist websites, and artist MySpace pages, and listen to songs individually. What several of these new web 2.0 sites allow you to do is easily search their directories, find MP3s, and add songs from various artists to a playlist that you can listen to straight through, without jumping from page to page. You're essentially programming your own radio station which plays in the background as you go about your day.

Seeqpod, which I discovered today, essentially marries this playlist idea with an MP3 aggregator (think Elbows and Hype Machine.) It allows you to quickly search tons of blogs, artist websites, label websites and more, find MP3s, and add them to a playlist you can listen to. For example, the playlist I'm currently listening to looks like this:

Grizzly Bear, "Lullabye"
Magic Numbers, KEXP session
The Whigs, "Violet Furs"
Guided by Voices, "Smothered in Hugs"
Kristoffer Ragnstam, "Fashion"
Damien Rice, "9 Crimes"
Darker My Love, "Summer is Here"

It took me about 3 minutes to put this playlist together. It was just a matter of a couple quick, easy searches for artists I was in the mood to hear, and the click of a button. Good stuff.

Hype Machine has a tool like this, but I find it a little clunky, and I don't think their directory of websites is quite as extensive. (I could be wrong, but I think Hype Machine only looks at blogs to find MP3s.) Seeqpod looks at label websites, artist sites, and more. The only thing that Hype Machine has over Seeqpod, at least right now, is the ability to drop your playlist onto your website as a widget, allowing you to share your playlist with other people. Another great idea.

Anyway, do yourself a favor and check out some of the sites listed above. All of them offer interesting new ways of finding and listening to new music.

Cast Your Ballot for the 2007 PLUG Awards

As you may know, the PLUG Independent Music Awards are awarded every year to celebrate the best in independent music. What I like best about the PLUG Awards is that they're not handed out by some committee of out-of-touch voters and celebrity hangers-on. Rather, they're decided by popular vote, and anyone can vote.

Voting for the 2007 edition of the awards is now under way. If you have 5 spare minutes, go vote. And be sure to go to the Media Categories (Obsessive) section to vote for as Internet Radio Station of the Year!

The 2007 PLUG Awards will be held on February 10, 2007 at Irving Plaza in New York.

This Man Needs More Voices

And take from that what you will...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gob Iron Brooklyn Show Rescheduled

Last week's canceled Gob Iron (Jay Ferrar, Anders Parker) show in Brooklyn has been rescheduled for January 20th. The show is still at Northsix.

I kinda figured Northsix would be closed by then for the big remodeling...

Paul Weller Attacks NYC

Product Shop reports that Paul Weller will be playing three "very special" shows at Irving Plaza in New York in January. Each night will be dedicated to a portion of Weller's career, including a night reserved for the music of The Jam (Tues., 1/30), the Style Council (Wed., 1/31) and his solo career (Thurs., 2/1).

I can only assume that tickets for the first night will be gone within about 2 minutes. They go on sale this Friday.

I plan on attending the first night, and being as far as humanly possible from Irving Plaza on the third night.

(Thanks to Matt for the tip!)

See The Ashford Breaks This Friday!

New York's Ashford Breaks are playing a late night show this Friday Nov. 17, at Galapagos (70 N. 6th St.) in Brooklyn. The deets:

Crashin' In Presents:

11pm: The Real Ones (Breaking Records from Norway)
12am: Daylight's for the Birds
1am: Ashford Breaks
2am: The Affair (Absolutely Kosher)

There's also several DJs lined up for the evening spinning Brit/ Indie/ PostPunk/ Grime/ Nu-wave/R emix dance tunes, an Oasis "Greatest Hits" album listening party with giveaways from Filter, and new and old school skate videos projected on a huge screen all night long. (Or so says their email.)

Cover $8

Video Monday!

Here again is a collection of some interesting videos floating around YouTube. As always, thanks go to Torr for finding several of them. The rest of 'em I found my own bad self.

Catfish Haven, "Tell Me"

Midlake, "Head Home" (via Torr)

Mojave 3, "Breaking the Ice"

The New Pornographers, "The Laws Have Changed"

The Pigeon Detectives, "I Found Out" (via Torr)

And, for the Bob Pollard fanatics out there, whether you're joining me at Bowery Ballroom tonight or not, here's two:

Guided By Voices, "I Am A Scientist"

Robert Pollard and Pearl Jam, "Baba O'Reilly" (from Cincinnati 6/24/06)

AOL Roundup (Week of November 14)

Slim pickins at AOL this week. Don't forget that ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead and Damien Rice have new albums out this week too.

+44, When Your Heart Stops Beating (another Blink-182 spinoff, hopefully with more dick and fart jokes)

Original Soundtrack, A Broke Down Melody (featuring Doug Martsch, Eddie Vedder, M. Ward and, um, Jack Johnson)

Army of Anyone, Army of Anyone (featuring members of Stone Temple Pilots and Filter. What, the guys from Sponge were too busy?)

Staind, The Singles: 1996-2006 (Staind's "greatest" "hits".)

Neil Young, Live at the Fillmore East 1970 (I will be buying this)

The Slip, Eisenhower (AOL compares them to recent Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Miles Davis. Will have to give a listen.)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Current Listening Sampler

I haven't been posting enough songs lately, so I figured I could post a few of my favorite songs from my current listening list (right-hand column). As always, if you like anything, go order a CD.

The Dears, "Hate Then Love" (from Gang of Losers)
Pink Nasty, "Untitled" (from Mold the Gold)
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, "Oregon Girl" (from Broom)

A Weekend In The City Has Leaked

If you haven't noticed, Bloc Party's new album, A Weekend In The City, has leaked into the internets' many tubes. I'm not about to go posting it or anything, but you can likely find it in all the usual places.

I'm about 2/3 of the way through so far, and it's good, but not great. It's nowhere near as immediate and catchy as Silent Alarm, but it's got a few gems.


Song For Clay (Disappear Here)
Hunting For Witches
Waiting For The 7.18
The Prayer
Where Is Home?
I Still Remember

The song "Kreuzberg" sounds like it could be the track that gets all the O.C. or Grey's Anatomy folks hot and bothered. Mid-tempo, pretty and oh-so-heartfelt. Personally, my favorite so far is "Where Is Home?", which kicks some serious ass.

A Weekend In The City will be released in the U.S. on February 6th via Vice/Atlantic. According to Billboard, the first single, "The Prayer", was supposed to be released at the end of January, but I'm guessing they may move that up now, a la The Shins.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Damien and Glen to Play 2nd NYC Show

It hasn't been officially announced yet, but the most recent Frames newsletter let slip that Damien Rice and Glen Hansard will be playing a second show next month at the Beacon. The shows are scheduled for Tuesday, December 12th (announced) and Wednesday, December 13th (new). More info when I have it.

In other Irish music news, La Rocca's gear was stolen in Philly.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Decemberists on AOL's Interface

The Decemberists are the latest feather in the cap for AOL's Interface. Head over to AOL to hear the 3-song set the band performed last week, including "O Valencia", "Summersong" and "The Crane Wife 1 and 2".

Alternatively, here's the direct link to the MP3.

Listen to the Trail of Dead's So Divided

I still can't decide where I come down on the new ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail of the Dead album. Parts are great, parts are good, parts are boring. And the cover of GBV's "Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory"? Just plain unnecessary.

Anyway, now you decide for yourself - the band is streaming the album at their MySpace page. Check it out.

I'm seeing the band tomorrow night here in New York. Strangely, Irving Plaza's website makes it look like The Blood Brothers are actually headlining the show, but that just doesn't seem right. Anybody got any insight? I'd love to avoid the Blood Brothers (as well as Sons and Daughters) if at all possible. Can't really stand either of them.

Bloc Party Not Playing With Panic! After All

Well, kinda. The hugely-anticipated-by-12-year-olds-everywhere Panic! At The Disco/Bloc Party tour got off to an unfortunate start last night. Soon after Bloc Party's set, drummer Matt Tong was admitted to an Atlanta-area hospital with a collapsed lung. He'll apparently be ok, but the band has canceled several shows (so far) on the Panic! tour. So far the cancelled shows include: Carlotte NC; Fairfax, VA; and both shows at Madison Square Garden. Don't be surprised if this list gets longer. No word whether Panic! will find a replacement opener or just go it alone.

Keep your thoughts with Matt. And if you go to one of these shows, be sure to throw a bottle at Panic! for me. (Kidding!)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wheat, Part Deux

So it turns out that Frank over at Chromewaves actually posted about the new Wheat releases a couple of days ago. And, what's more, he's got an MP3 called "What Everyone Keeps Telling Me" from of the band's new EP.

And guess what? It's pretty good.

Frank also has an early version of the new LP and has good things to say about it too. So, yeah, that's good news. And apparently Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second has only sold 29,000 copies. Ouch.

Edited to add: If you want to know what the fuss is about with early Wheat, head over to This Wheat, a fansite for the band, and listen to the band's earlier albums. (You can even download them for free.) A couple of my favorite songs are:

"Death Car" (from Medeiros)
"Raised Ranch Revolution" (from Hope and Adams)

Wheat Returns

It's been three years since Boston's Wheat released their last album, the disappointing (and at times soul-destroying) Per Second, Per Second, Per Second... Every Second. And even though the band had a decent amount of success with a couple of songs off of that album, they seemed to go into a sort of self-imposed exile after ending their 2004 tour with The Neptunes Liz Phair.

Well, the band is back. And the question on everyone's chapped lips is - does Wheat still suck? Or have they rediscovered the muse that made Hope and Adams such a fantastic album?

Unfortunately I don't have an answer for you yet, but I will soon. The band has released a new 5-song "mini album" called That's Exactly What I Wanted... Exactly That, which is available now. The disc's tracklist:

"What Everyone Keeps Telling Me"
"Little White Dove"
"Until It Takes"
"That's Exactly What I Wanted... Exactly That"
"Washing Machine Blues"

The band is also in the process of finishing up its next full-length LP, Everyday I Said a Prayer for Kathy and Made a One Inch Square. That disc is due out in Spring 2007.

I just ordered a copy of the mini-album (can't we just call it an EP?). We'll see whether or not this is the last time I give the band my money. I hope not, but I'm not overly optimistic.

(Photo source.)

Odds and Ends

It sure seems like most of the indie music world is suffering from post-CMJ doldrums. I know I am. A few interesting things have slipped through the cracks this week, though, so check 'em out:

Stereogum has a new acoustic track from Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. I'm really digging what I'm hearing from this band, and am regretting skipping them when they were in town a month or two back with Catfish Haven and Birdmonster.

I Am Fuel, You Are Friends has yet another new Ryan Adams track, which you can also listen to at his website. What's doin' with his voice?

Can You See The Sunset From the South Side? has three tracks from an interesting Canadian band called Turnstiles. Not bad. The first song is essentially a Grandaddy rip-off, though.

Pitchfork has two acoustic tracks from Grizzly Bear.

My Old Kentucky Blog has a few tracks from recent buzz band O'death. I'm gonna have to catch these guys the next time they play in NYC.

Idolator has new tracks from The Evens (I just got the disc last night. Heard good things so far.)

And, last but not least, Idolator brings us news that the Bob Dylan musical it is a closin'. Ha ha.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Don't Let The Door Hit You In The Ass

Rumsfeld to "resign".

Under the Radar Shows

Three under the radar shows in NYC this week to take note of:

Cordalene is playing Lit Lounge tomorrow night (Thurs. 11/9) at 11pm. If you missed any of my earlier posts about the band, head over to their website to stream their latest album, The Star Ledger.

The 101 is playing Lit Lounge on Friday (11/10) at 11pm. Listen to some music from the 101 at their website.

And, last but certainly not least, Staten Island legends The In Crowd are hosting an evening at the Muddy Cup in Stapleton on Friday from 8pm to 11pm. Keep your fingers crossed for a rendition of "Geeks at the Mall", which is my personal favorite..

I highly recommend all of these bands, so if you're looking for something to do this week, check 'em out!

Ryan Adams Playing 3 Nights at Town Hall

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals (whoever that includes at this point) are scheduled to play three shows at Town Hall in New York next month. Tickets go on sale this Friday (11/10) at noon.


Monday, 12/4
Tuesday, 12/5
Wednesday, 12/6

Now I'm about as big a fan of Ryan as there is -- I still stand by my argument that the 2nd half of Rock n' Roll is great (though the first half kinda blows) -- but I'm wondering whether maybe Ryan's overshot his popularity here? Town Hall holds 1,500 people, meaning Ryan thinks he can sell 4,500 tickets. I think this would have been doable a few years ago, but I'm not so convinced he can do it now. I hope he can, but...

(Thanks to Matt for the head's up on the shows!)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Damien Rice Playing The Beacon on December 12th

Damien Rice is hitting the Beacon Theatre on December 12th. As previously reported here, the opener for the show will be Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, performing songs from their recent Swell Season LP.

Tickets are on sale this Friday at 10am. I'm looking for pre-sale info as we speak.

Tuesday Afternoon Videos

A few interesting videos for your Tuesday afternoon. I've tried to throw in some from my favorite acts of CMJ.

The Apples in Stereo, "Please"

Asobi Seksu, "Thursday"

Babyshambles and Friends, "Janie Jones" (via Torr)

A pretty unnecessary, not-so-great cover of the Clash classic. The video's pretty interesting, though, if only for the sheer number of British indie rock star cameos. Try to spot as many as you can. There's a list at the end of the video.

Darker My Love, "Summer is Here"

The Figgs, "Favorite Shirt"

Peter Bjorn and John, "Young Folks"

An interesting group that I've just recently started listening to.

See also "Let's Call It Off" (via Torr)

The Thermals, "No Culture Icons"

Forget Cassettes

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, one of my favorite sets from CMJ was the show put on by Nashville's Forget Cassettes. If you don't listen to, you probably haven't heard the band's music, and that's a shame.

Forget Cassettes are one of the few really good bands around these days playing what used to be called post-punk*, i.e., angular guitars, shifting time signatures, loud-soft dynamics, etc. Think Q and Not U, Braid and a lot of the bands on Dischord in the late 90's/early 00's, and then add a female singer with a voice that can switch from seductive to menacing at the drop of a hat. The band's songs are challenging (in a good way), with numerous parts, and shifts from soft to pummeling and back, and with a degree of musicianship seldom seen in indie rock these days. I can't recommend them enough.

"The Catch" (from the new album, Salt)
"Ms. Rythym and Blues" (from Instruments of Action)

And check out the band's most recent Lounge Act performance for WOXY.

* Unfortunately, around 1999 of so, the term "post-punk" started being used by bands to avoid being called "emo". As a result, a lot of crappy emo bands started calling themselves post-punk, and the term essentially lost its meaning.

Preview My Morning Jacket's Okonokos DVD

Head over to AOL Music to check out three performances from My Morning Jacket's live Okonokos DVD, including "Gideon", "One Big Holiday" and "Anytime". MMJ is one of my favorite live bands around. Go find out why. (Sadly, AOL makes you sit through a short Chili's commercial first, but at least it's the one performed by The Old 97's.)

In addition, AOL is offering concert highlights from:

Franz Ferdinand
The Futureheads
Rogue Wave
The Cribs (I freakin' hate their "Hey Scenesters" song)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bob Dylan Hitting NYC After All

Glad I didn't end up buying tickets to see him upstate.

Bob Dylan
@ City Center
Monday, November 20th
On sale on Friday at 10am

AOL Roundup (Week of November 7th)

Slow release week.

Foo Fighters, Skin and Bones (live album) [Wouldn't you think mixing Nirvana, Sunny Day Real Estate and (for a while) The Germs would have produced a single interesting song in the span of 10 years?]
Paul McCartney, Ecce Cor Meum (Paul goes classical)
The Bee Gees, First 3 Studio Albums (remastered)
PJ Harvey, Peel Sessions 1991-2004

Sunday, November 05, 2006

CMJ Wrapup

Bands Seen
Annuals, Apples in Stereo, Asobi Seksu, Birdmonster, Bobby Bare, Jr., The Broken West (twice), Laura Cantrell, Darker My Love, De Novo Dahl, Division Day, Steve Earle, The Figgs, Forget Cassettes, Jaymay, La Rocca (twice), Alison Moorer, Elvis Perkins, Portastatic, Ra Ra Riot, Sam Champion, Silversun Pickups, Stars of Track and Field, Takka Takka, The Thermals, The Tyde, Ultra High Frequency, The Whigs, White Whale.

Bands Missed
Bound Stems, The Decemberists, Dirty on Purpose, Forward Russia!, Ferraby Lionheart, The Little Ones, Mew, O'death, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Tokyo Police Club

Best Blogger-Sponsored Show/s
All of the top NYC blogs had good shows for offer, but the best of the bunch was clearly Brooklyn Vegan's three-day marathon of bands. And that's not just the 3 free cans of Sparks I drank in the space of an hour talking. (Sparks = alcoholic Red Bull = not good but effective)

Best Use of a Smoke Machine at an Indie Show
Sam Champion @ Studio B (it distracted from their music)

Worst Crowd
The loud, drunken, rude crowd for Steve Earle.

Best Discovery of a Band I'd Never Heard of Before
Darker My Love

Best Discovery of a Band I'd Heard of But Never Heard
The Figgs

Least Essential Set
Tie, Annuals and Sam Champion

Best Show I Almost Skipped
Forget Cassettes

Most Promising Young Band
Tie, The Broken West and Ra Ra Riot

Best Facial Hair
Tie, Bobby Bare, Jr.'s guitarist Civil War-era moustache and Brent Rademaker's pornstache

Best Reason to Skip an Afternoon of Work
KEXP's daytime in-studio sessions at Gigantic Studios. Hopefully WOXY can do something like this next year too.

Best Overall Set of the Week
This was a close one. I saw a lot of great shows, and the best of the best included the Apples in Stereo, Birdmonster, Forget Cassette and Silversun Pickups. But, at the end of the day, the show that stood apart was Friday night's set from The Figgs. This is the reason I still go to rock shows.

CMJ Saturday, Evening Edition

And so it ends...

Bobby Bare, Jr. @ Mercury Lounge

Decent alt-country stuff from Bobby Bare, Jr. Not too much else to say. His guitarist had a cool moustache.

The Tyde @ Mercury Lounge

I've been a fan of the Tyde for years, but this was the first time I've seen them. Great set. They played songs from all three of their albums, including two of my favorites, "Henry VII" and "Go Ask Yer Dad", both of which are from the band's second LP, Twice. I love the surfer dude/pornstache look. I'm seriously considering picking up the look before I leave my current law job, just so I can go to court looking that way. That would rule.

Forget Cassettes @ Arlene's Grocert

Yet another contender for my favorite set of CMJ, and I almost didn't go. I came close to calling it a night after the Tyde ended around midnight. But since Arlene's is right around the corner from Mercury, I had no real excuse for not going. Sooo glad I did. They completely blew me away. One of the most powerful performances I've seen in a while. And Beth ain't bad to look at either.

De Novo Dahl @ Arlene's Grocery

I posted some songs from these guys the other day. This was my first time seeing them. The matching outfits are kinda silly, but they put on a really good, fun show. Looking forward to hearing their new album.

And while we bid adieu to CMJ 2006, with every ending comes a beginning. I booked my hotel for SXSW today. So, Austin, I'll be seeing you soon.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

CMJ Saturday, Afternoon Edition

Back home for a quick nap before tonight's festivities. Caught several more great sets this afternoon. God I love CMJ.

Takka Takka @ The Annex (Brooklyn Vegan party)

First band of the day was Takka Takka. I've heard their name around a lot, but before today had not had a chance to hear their music. (I showed up too late to catch their set opening for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in Central Park.) I was really impressed. Although they sound like a lot of other bands (who doesn't?), they had a number of very good songs. Definitely a band I want to hear more from.

White Whale @ The Annex (Brooklyn Vegan party)

I missed White Whale at last night's Merge Records showcase, since I cut out after Portastatic to see The Thermals in Brooklyn. So I was glad to have a chance to catch them this afternoon. They were fine. I like the songs from their new album, WWI, but I can't say that their live performance was anything special. Nothing to write home about.

Annuals @ The Annex (Brooklyn Vegan party)

I'm not sold on these guys. They've got two pretty good songs, both of which remind me of Wheat, but the rest of their stuff was pretty boring. I was glad they only played for about 25 minutes today. No pictures.

Elvis Perkins @ The Annex (Brooklyn Vegan party)

This is the second time I've seen Elvis Perkins and had a great time. Elvis and his band sounded great, and I for one love the sound of the standing drum. It makes me think of college football. (Wow did my team barely escape today.)

Ra Ra Riot @ Sin-e (Underrated party)

Coming into CMJ, one of the bands that I wanted to catch most was Ra Ra Riot. I first heard the band a couple of months back when they played the WOXY Lounge, and I really liked what I heard. While their set started kind of slowly - don't know if it was the songs or the performance - the band seemed to get their footing as the show went on. The last few songs they played were utterly fantastic. Can't wait to see them again.

Birdmonster @ Sin-e (Underrated party)

Another show that's going to contend for my favorite of CMJ (see also Apples in Stereo, The Figgs). I've caught Birdmonster three times this year, and every time they've kicked my ass. One of the most exciting live bands going right now.

CMJ Friday

Seriously, I'm running out of gas. This whole working during the day and ridiculous concert-going at night is starting to take its toll. So no pics or commentary tonight. Maybe tomorrow. More likely Sunday.

Bands seen tonight: The Broken West, Portastatic, Sam Champion, The Thermals and The Figgs.

14 more bands to go tomorrow. Gotta buy earplugs.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Kanye West Thinks Kanye West Is The Balls

So apparently the MTV Europe Video Awards were held last night and even though he won Best Hip Hop Video award, Kanye West was just a tad miffed that he didn't win the overall Best Video award. So much so that he felt he needed to crash the stage and inform the crowd that he deserved to win because his video "cost $1 million" and starred Pam Anderson.

God I hope that's not all it takes to make an award-winning video. Because if it is, I would imagine every Killers video from now to the end of time will have Pam Anderson in it, given their unending bid for legitimacy.

Grizzly Bear on AOL's Interface

I'm a little late to the game with Grizzly Bear. For a while there it seemed like all the big blogs were pushing them, and for some reason I kinda took that as a bad sign and refused to check them out. A week or so ago, though, I decided to check out an MP3 I found online and really, really liked it. I've heard a few more songs now, and they're all great. Now I just need to get the album. (Come on, eMusic, post the thing!)

Anyway, the band just did an Interface session with AOL and it's available for download now. Check it out.

(Photo is from Gothamist, who's hosting a couple more great days of CMJ goodness at the White Rabbit.)

CMJ Thursday

Another quick update. Hopefully I'll do a fuller recap when the weekend is over. Right now, my ass just needs to sleep.

Apples In Stereo @ White Rabbit (Gothamist Party)

Fantastic set. I was never a huge fan of the Apples during their first run, and only started getting into them during their "hiatus" of the last few years. Truth be told, though, my favorite thing that lead singer Robert Schneider has done is his album under the Ulysses moniker. That might be changing, however. The band played 6 songs from their forthcoming album, and each one was better than the last. This album just joined my "most anticipated" list for next year.

Darker My Love @ Pianos (Dangerbird Records showcase)

My first real "find" of the week. This band completely destroyed me. Think Mudhoney, the Stooges, and a little Ride thrown in for good measure. Loud and pummeling. I need to hear more.

La Rocca @ Pianos (Dangerbird Records showcase)

Another great show from La Rocca. This band needs to get huge. I don't say that of many bands I like, but they've got a sound that really ought to resonate with a lot of people. If Coldplay can sell millions, certainly these guys can go gold.

Silversun Pickups @ Pianos (Dangerbird Records showcase)

As always, another great set from SSPU. As it gets closer and closer to 2007, Carnavas keeps inching closer to the top of my yearly list.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bat-Shit Insane

I don't know if there's a better pictoral embodiment of bat-shit insane than this one that was on this afternoon.

Saturday Lineup

Sitting here in the office trying to do work, wishing I was out at some afternoon shows. Can't focus too well, so I figured I'd map out my Saturday at CMJ. Think it will look something like this:

Brooklyn Vegan @ Annex
12:00- Takka Takka
12:45- White Whale
1:30- Annuals
2:15- Elvis Perkins

3:00- Ra Ra Riot
4:00- Birdmonster

Home, nap, dinner (or maybe WFMU record fair).

Cake Shop
9:45- Human Television

Mercury Lounge
10:00- Bobby Bare Jr.
11:00- The Tyde

Arlene's Grocery
12:00- Forget Cassettes
12:45- De Novo Dahl

I'll be thrilled with myself if I actually make all these shows. I'll likely also be deaf.

New Magic Numbers Album Streaming at NME

Head over to the ever-excitable to hear the brand new Magic Numbers album, Those The Brokes. You need to click on the "Media Player" button, and if you don't have an account already, you'll need to sign up for one (it's free). Then you need to be patient, because their media player sucks. Give it a minute or two of error messages, keep hitting cancel, and the album will eventually start playing. Listening to it now.

The album comes out in the UK on Monday, and can be pre-ordered here for 7.99 Pounds (or 8.99 Pounds for the digipak). That roughly translates to about $15.18/$17.08. Not awful, and it looks like shipping is free.

(Photo source)

Edited to add: My first impression after one full listen? Pretty boring. Hoping it's a grower.

More WOXY Lounge Acts Available for Download

WOXY has posted a few more of its recent Lounge Act sessions for download. Check 'em out:

De Novo Dahl
Frank Black
The Hotel Cafe Tour
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
The Wrens

CMJ Wednesday, Evening Edition

Crap I'm tired.

The Whigs @ Mercury Lounge

Another excellent, energetic show from the boys from Athens. This is the 5th or 6th time I've seen them this year. I've never been disappointed.

Laura Cantrell @ Southpaw

Second time I've seen Laura. That's Mark Spencer of The Blood Oranges playing with her. Laura's got a great voice, but I'm not a huge fan of her music (or the covers she plays). That said, she's very, very hot, and I want to touch the heinie.

Alison Moorer @ Southpaw

Alison's got an even better voice than Laura's, but I like her music even less. Also, I want to touch her heinie more. Unfortunately, her husband, Steve Earle, would probably kick my ass if I did.

Steve Earle @ Southpaw

The aforementioned Steve Earle. It was great to see him in such a small, intimate room. The last time I saw him was at the Beacon Theater, which holds about 2,800 people. Southpaw holds significantly less. (They claim 450, but I highly doubt that, unless you include the downstairs bar.) I just wish the crowd hadn't sucked as much as it did - truly awful.

No desire whatsoever to touch Steve's heinie.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Midday Check-in

So CMJ has started in earnest... Since I'm kinda slow at work this week, I took the afternoon off to hit a couple of free shows.

First up was The Broken West's in-studio session for KEXP. I think this is the first time the band has played in New York. They played six songs from their forthcoming debut album, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On (due out on January 23rd via Merge Records). I'd heard a couple of the songs before, including "Down In The Valley", which was also on the band's debut EP. The new songs sound just as good, if not better, than the older stuff (my favorite is "So It Goes"). If you're in town, be sure to catch the band on Friday at the Merge Showcase at the Knitting Factory with Portastatic, White Whale and Richard Buckner.

My picture-taking was kinda limited due to the setup of the stuidio. This is the band:

And this is the room next door where KEXP is broadcasting from all week:

From there I ran up to the Apple Store in Soho to catch Asobi Seksu. They're quickly becoming one of my favorite bands to see live. Maybe I'm just a sucker for early-90's style shoegaze, but it's hard to beat a great loud band with a hot female singer.

From Asobi Seksu I ran up to the Puma Store in Union Square, and arrived early for Silversun Pickups. And by that I mean I showed up on the wrong day. Oops. The show's tomorrow afternoon at 3pm. Oh well, I'll still see them at Pianos.

Now I get to clean up and head down to catch The Whigs, and then trek out to distant, scary Brooklyn (kidding) to see Steve Earle. More later.

The Broken West on MySpace
Asobi Seksu on MySpace