Tuesday, July 31, 2007

No Isbell/Whigs in DC?

Crappity crap crap crap. Jason Isbell and The Whigs just added a bunch of new October dates, and still no D.C. gig. Come on, fellas, ya gotta. I'll buy you some rounds if you do.

October Jason Isbell/Whigs Dates

Tue-Oct-09 - Charlottesville, VA - Satellite Ballroom
Wed-Oct-10 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (on sale tomorrow!)
Fri-Oct-12 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
Wed-Oct-17 - Buffalo, NY - The Mohawk
Thu-Oct-18 - Columbus, OH - The Basement
Sat-Oct-20 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse

Paul Weller and Graham Coxon

Hadn't heard about this pairing. Actually, it's more than a pairing - it's Paul, Graham, Zak Starkey and Mani of the Stone Roses. Is this a permanent new group? Can't imagine it is, but it's still pretty cool.

Thanks to The Modern Music for the heads up.

Mas D.C. Showage

All shows are at the Black Cat, and all go on sale... wait for it... Friday at 5pm. Happy hour, indeed.

Wed., 10/10: Minus the Bear, Subtle, Ela
Thurs., 11/1: David Bazan
Mon., 11/5: Rogue Wave
Tues., 11/6: Menomena, Illinois
Thurs., 11/15: Stiff Little Fingers
Sat., 11/17: Electric Six, Willowz, The Golden Dogs

Edited to add: Product Shop is also reporting an October 30th date for The Go! Team at the 9:30 Club. Same night as Ryan Adams at Constitution Hall. I'll stick with Ryan, thanks.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Slap Bet Countdown

Thankfully, I don't think this is the countdown until the first new episode, but instead is the countdown until slap #3.

The Countdown

According to Wikipedia, that means that we can expect one mother of a slap on November 23rd at 8:23pm. I'm sure it will be legendary.

Ryan Adams DC Show Info

Info about Ryan Adams' October 30th show at DAR Constitution Hall in D.C. is finally starting to leak. The show still isn't listed at Ryan's website or at his normal pre-sale page, but it is finally listed over at Ticketmaster. According to TM, there are apparently two presales:

Thurs., 8/2/07 @ 10am: iTunes presale
Thurs., 8/9/07 @ 10am: Normal presale
Fri., 8/10/07 @ 10am: Normal onsale

I'll do some digging on iTunes to see exactly what this whole "iTunes presale" thing is. I'm also keeping an eye on Ryan's normal Music Today presale page.

Edited to add: Looks like the "iTunes presale" is a presale for those folks who bought the new album via iTunes. You should have gotten a password that will let you into the presale. Anyone care to share for those of us suckers who still buy physical CDs?

More New DC Shows

Dear lord is it impossible to keep up with the show schedule in DC. In New York, you really only have to look two places - Ticketweb and Ticketmaster (for Irving and now Bowery Presents shows). In DC (and Baltimore), however, there are about 10 different sites you need to check if you want to be kinda-sorta up-to-date, including the Tickets.com (for 9:30 Club), both the Black Cat site and Ticketmaster for Black Cat shows, the Iota website (they don't do any other ticket sales), Ticketmaster for Constitution Hall, the Rock and Roll Hotel site (they use an independent ticket company), Rams Head Live!'s tickets page, etc. etc. Just ridiculous.

The biggest joke of the whole thing is the 9:30 Club's website. Until late last week, their calendar only listed shows through the end of August, and now it only lists 5 September shows. However, if you look at Tickets.com you'll find 14 shows in September and 7 other shows in October and November. The only problem with the Tickets.com site? Every show listing is matched with a "parking ticket" listing, meaning the site is next-to-impossible to read.

I'm just happy that shows don't seem to sell out quite as quickly in DC and in NYC.

Newly announced DC shows:

Tues., 10/9: Josh Ritter @ 9:30 Club (full tour dates here)
Thurs., 10/25: Jens Lenkman @ Black Cat (on sale this Fri. at 5pm)

This is the only US date I've seen for Lenkman so far, but you can assume he'll be doing more, including at least one NYC-area show. Oh, and Ritter is playing Webster Hall in NYC on Fri., 11/9.

New Wussy, "Rigor Mortis"

I'm pleased to among the first to bring you a song from Wussy's forthcoming album, Left for Dead, entitled "Rigor Mortis".

You may recognize the song if you've seen the band live over the last year or so, or if you managed to get a hold of the band's limited edition Cure for Rigor Mortis EP earlier this year. And if you haven't yet heard it, it kicks ass.

Left for Dead will get a national release on August 28th, and the band will be touring in support of the disc later this Fall.
Wussy, "Rigor Mortis"

Keep your eyes on the band's website for ordering info. Or you could just keep checking this here blog, because I guarantee I'll mention it when it becomes available.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Recent WOXY Lounge Acts

WOXY.com has hosted a few excellent live Lounge Act sessions over the last week or so. Do yourself a favor and check them out:

Dirty on Purpose
Ra Ra Riot
The Sharp Things

And don't forget that Wussy is scheduled for their own Lounge Act this Friday at 3pm.

The Golden City Has Arrived

The Golden City, the new band featuring Eric Richter of Christie Front Drive, Antarctica and The 101, has arrived. The band has posted free MP3s of its new 3-song EP on its MySpace page, and they're fantastic. In some ways it's like CFD never went any, and that's just fine with me.

The Golden City, "Gray"

The band has three shows coming up, and thankfully I'll still be in NYC for two of them.

Thurs., 8/16: The Charleston (Brooklyn)
Sun., 8/19: Fat Baby (NYC)
Sun., 9/2: TBA (Denver, CO)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Packing Music

Spending the afternoon doing some packing in anticipation of the big move (T-minus 13 days) and just rediscovered, thanks to the iTunes shuffle function, the recent Big Star tribute album. I'd completely forgotten about it, despite the fact that it includes covers by The Afghan Whigs, Juliana Hatfield, Matthew Sweet, The Posies, Teenage Fanclub, Whiskeytown and Wilco. Seriously, you're not gonna find a better lineup than that.

Anyway, I figured I'd post my favorite song the disc for your listening pleasure. Reminds me just how much I miss Whiskeytown.
Whiskeytown, "Give Me Another Chance"

Edited to add: Listening to the CD again, I think I'm changing my mind. The Afghan Whigs' version of "Nightime" may just be the best song on the disc.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Rock Show of October

I haven't seen a D.C. date for this pairing yet, but I sure as hell hope we get one. This is gonna be one hell of a show.

Wed., Oct. 10th, Bowery Ballroom, Jason Isbell and The Whigs

Fellas, seriously, ya gotta come to D.C.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Final Fugazi Show on 9/3 in DC?

Product Shop is reporting that Fugazi may be playing their final show on Monday, September 3rd in Washington D.C.'s Fort Reno park.

I'd be sad if this truly is the end, but pretty psyched that I'll be living in town and able to be at the show.

Update: Snoop Hoaxy Hoax.

Posies on Tour!!! (of Spain)

You know, I could be upset that The Posies aren't playing in the U.S., but honestly I'm just happy to see them still together and touring and making music. If I didn't already have tickets to 4 shows in D.C. at the exact same time, I might actually think about hopping a plane to catch one of these shows - especially that Bilbao show.

Posies Spanish Tour Dates
10/26: Santona (Tropicana)
10/27: Tarragona (In Somni Festival)
10/28: Girona (Plaza Central)
10/30: Madrid (Gruta 77)
10/31: Bilbao (Kafe Antzokia)

BTW, these shows are in addition to the Posies' acoustic set at the Down on the Farm Festival in Halden, Norway on August 3rd. Yeah, I didn't know they had farms in Norway either.

New Wussy!

Get yerself over to Wussy's MySpace page to hear "Sun Giant Says Hey" from the band's forthcoming album Left for Dead. It's a classic (i.e., great) Chuck song with some killer backup vocals from Lisa. Love it.

The Whigs In The Studio

Before I go to bed, wanted to post this real quick -- The Whigs are back in the studio working on LP #2, and they're blogging about it. You can keep abreast of the recording process over at The Biscuit Blog.

According to the first update, they're recording with Rob Schnapf (!!!) (Beck, Elliott Smith, Guided by Voices, etc.) at Sunset Sound (i.e., where both Pet Sounds and Exile on Mainstreet were recorded, along with many, many others). Something tells me that ATO is gonna give this album a push. Hope so.

My First Weekend in DC

My first weekend in DC will be the weekend of August 11th. Unfortunately, that means I've got to skip both The Thermals at Maxwell's as well as the Thermals/Ted Leo show at McCarren Pool that weekend. Doh.

Luckily, there are two great shows in DC that weekend that I'm going to be able to catch.

First, on Saturday, 8/11, is Takka Takka with White Rabbits and The Cribs at the Black Cat. Honestly, I kinda detest The Cribs (especially that awful "Hey Scenesters" song), but the other two bands are cool.

Second, on Sunday, 8/12, is a comedy show with Eugene Mirman (i.e., the Conchordes' Mr. Furley), Leo Allen and Larry Murphy at Rock and Roll Hotel.

To be honest, comedy is one of the things that I'm concerned about missing down in DC. There's a fantastic group of comedians in New York these days (Mirman, Aziz, John Oliver, Demetri Martin, Kristen Schaal, etc. etc.), and it's nice to know that you can catch them around town pretty regularly. Plus there's always the old standby of The Comedy Cellar, where you never know who might show up. I'm hoping that DC benefits from its relative closeness to New York and gets regular visits from some of these folks.

Blitzen Trapper & David Vandervelde @ Mercury Lounge [7/25/07]

I'm beat, so this post will be short.

Caught current blog-wonders Blitzen Trapper tonight with David Vandervelde. After spending a couple of weeks with the new Blitzen Trapper disc and seeing them live tonight, my basic take is this: good band, bad songs. Well, let me amend that. The band has 4 excellent songs, all of which fall into a Grateful Dead (see: Workingman's Dead) and The Band groove. Unfortunately, though, the rest of the band's songs are pretty boring. They play with a ton of energy, though, and are extremely tight on stage. I just think they need to stick to the Dead sound.

Not surprisingly, a portion of the crowd left the Mercury after Blitzen Trapper's set, despite that David Vandervelde was the headliner. They screwed up. As my friend Matt remarked after the show, this guy has staying power. He's in his early 20's, is an amazing guitar player, and writes great rock songs. Plus, his band is just as good (especially his drummer). And their live show? Electric. Can't wait to see 'em again, as soon as possible.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hoodoo Gurus U.S. Dates

Admittedly, the Hoodoo Gurus's glory years pre-dated my interest in "alternative" music by a few years. By the time I started listening to Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk, Pavement, etc. in the early 90's, the Hoodoos had largely left the scene. Thankfully, I managed to catch their set at the Australian Day-Party at South By Southwest this year, and holy hell did they kick ass.

As a result, I'm definitely catching them on their short East Coast tour this fall. You should too.

Hoodoo Gurus Dates
9/4 - Black Cat - Washington DC
9/5 - B.B. Kings - New York NY
9/6 - The World Cafe - Philadephia PA
9/8 - Middle East - Boston MA
9/9 - Maxwells - Hoboken NJ

Best 5-Day Run Ever?

So I was just looking at my calendar and realized that the DC-area is having an unbelievable run at the end of October. Check this out:

Sat., 10/27: New Pornographers (9:30 Club)
Sun., 10/28: Drive By Truckers (Ram's Head Baltimore)
Tues., 10/30: Ryan Adams (DAR Constitution Hall)
Wed., 10/31: Lucero (Black Cat)

While I've been to a ton of shows in my life, as well as a bunch of music festivals, I'm not sure that I've ever had a string of shows quite as good as this one. Each and every one of these bands has the ability to put on incredible shows, and the prospect of 4 incredible shows in the span of 5 days is impressive.

Now if we can just find someone to fit that glaring 10/29 gap...

Propane and Gas Canisters Explode Near Downtown Dallas

Scary stuff, especially on the heels of the underground explosion here in New York. Let's hope Hank Hill wasn't injured.

Greatest Video Ever #322

Thanks to Stereogum for reminding me of the greatness that was (is?) Lionel Richie. When I was 9, you simply could not avoid the guy. Shameful admission #2 of the day - my mother and stepfather used "Hello" as their first song at their wedding. And somehow they're still married 23 years later.

While nowhere near as melodramatic and creepy as the video for "Hello", this video reminds us of the long-lost power of the music video to bring morons of all colors and ethnicities together to dance to bad music.

Drive By Truckers Fall Dates

Thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for the head's up. Looks like I'm driving up to Baltimore.

Jul 28 - K Fest @ Ross Landing Chattanooga, Tennessee
Aug 10 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre w/ The Allman Brothers Band Charlotte, North Carolina
Aug 11 - Alltel Pavilion w/ The Allman Brothers Band Raleigh
Aug 12 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre w/ The Allman Brothers Band Virginia Beach, Virginia
Oct 12 - WorkPlay Theatre Birmingham, Alabama
Oct 13 - Tipitina's New Orleans, Louisiana
Oct 14 - Texas World Speedway - Big State Festival Bryan-College Station, Texas
Oct 16 - Cain's Ballroom Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oct 17 - Granada Theatre Lawrence, Kansas
Oct 18 - Englert Theatre Iowa City, Iowa
Oct 19 - First Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct 20 - Barrymore Theatre Madison, Wisconsin
Oct 22 - Park West Chicago, Illinois
Oct 24 - Beachland Ballroom & Tavern Cleveland, Ohio
Oct 25 - The State Theatre State College, Pennsylvania
Oct 26 - Bowery Ballroom New York, New York
Oct 27 - Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, New York
Oct 28 - Ram's Head Live Baltimore, Maryland

Anyone been to the Ram's Head? How is it? I'm kinda bummed to miss the Bowery show.

BTW, looks like Baltimore tickets will be available here.

Ryan Adams Add More Dates (Including DC)

Despite the fact that I didn't love his recent show at the Hiro Ballroom here in New York, I admit it - I'm a sucker for Ryan Adams. I'll go to pretty much any show of his, buy any album, etc. When a man can make albums like Strangers Almanac and Heartbreaker, he pretty much earns my allegiance for life. Even if he did write a song about Britney Spears.

Pitchfork is reporting that Ryan has added a slew of dates that will keep him on the road from now until the beginning of December. Half of these shows are international, half are in the U.S.

Notable dates (to me):

9/22: Ann Arbor, MI @ Michigan Theater (I may be there for the UM-Penn State game that day. Go Blue!)
10/30: Washington DC @ DAR Constitution Hall

No New York date as of now, but there's 10 open nights right after DC, so you can probably expect a couple of dates thrown in there.

The weird thing about my possibly seeing Ryan in Michigan? It will be the first time I've seen a band at the Michigan Theater since I saw... ahem... The Samples there in 1994. (Yep, that's probably the most shameful musical secret of my life, and I just admitted it to you. You should feel honored.)

[Thanks to Sal for bringing the shows to my attention!]

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Swell Season @ Gramercy Theater, NYC [7/24/07]

I think tonight's show by The Swell Season (i.e., Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of the movie Once, together with Harvey Birdman Thomas "Doveman" Bartlett) was summed up by a story that Glen told about halfway through the set. Glen, who has been making music as a member of The Frames for nearly twenty years, remarked that for the first time this week he and Marketa have been getting recognized on the streets of New York. He explained that it feels weird to him to be recognized, and he isn't sure whether he likes it or not. When Marketa asked him "Isn't this what you've been working for for so long?" his response was, "I'm not sure." (I'm paraphrasing.)

As a long-time fan of both Glen and the Frames, I have the same mixed emotions about Glen's recent successes. On one hand, I'm thrilled that Glen is finally getting the recognition he deserves in the U.S., and I'm happy to see that, in some cases at least, years and years of hard work does pay off. I can't think of a single musician out there that deserves success more than Glen (and the rest of the Frames.)

On the other hand, when an artist starts to get big, suddenly you have to "share" that artists' music with a lot of other people. Sure, this happens with every band that gets big. However, at 31 (32 tomorrow... arg..) there are very, very few bands that connect with me on an emotional level anymore. When you're a teenager or in your early twenties, most of what fuels you is your emotion, and you grasp onto bands who "define" who you are. (See: Goth, Emo, etc.) When you start to get older, though, you tend to become (or at least I have) a much less emotional person, thinking in more practical terms about life. It's very rare, and very special, when the rare band sneaks through and makes you feel the same thing about music that you felt when you were younger.

This is what Glen and The Frames have done for me over the last few years, and this is why it's difficult to try to reconcile the fact that they're starting to get very popular in the U.S. It's even harder when you realize that most of the people in the audience don't even know who The Frames are. (Only about 20% of the crowd cheered when the band played The Frames' "Star, Star" at the end of the show.) For me at least, it cheapens the emotional connection you have with the band when a large group of new listeners who don't have the same connection with the music start showing up at shows. A good example? The drunk guy in front of me who kept throwing his fists in the air, "RAWK"-style, during the show. (Folks, this was an acoustic, folk-oriented set, not a rock show.) Another example? The various couples throughout the crowd who decided that the show was a good time to start making out. (Despite Glen and Marketa's current relationship bliss, most of the songs they perform are very raw songs about heartsickness and loss.)

Unfortunately, all of these things were going through my head during the show, making it hard to concentrate on the music itself. My sense is that Glen himself was struggling with certain of these things during the show too (well, maybe not my particular issues, but his stated discomfort with new popularity), as his performance simply good, but not great. And while it may not be fair to consider that a disappointment, I've come to expect greatness every time I see Glen perform live, and I almost always get it. Tonight, though, felt very much like a "Glen-by-the-numbers" show, without the emotion that has come to define Glen's work.

Two last things. First, no pictures, because for some reason either the band or the venue (the venue blamed the band) requested that cameras not be allowed, and despite that the tickets said nothing about it, they forced people to pay $2 to check their cameras at the coat check.

Second, and more importantly, the opener, Amy LaVere, took years off my life. Truly, truly abhorrent. She desperately wants to be a bluegrass Norah Jones. Her singing voice might be good (although when she talked I wanted to shoot myself), but her songs were just painfully bad. Sorry, Amy, but it's true.

Official ACL Fest After-Shows

The Austin City Limits Festival has announced its official lineup of "after-shows" for this year. I'm happy to see that Wilco isn't on the list. Otherwise, I'd be pretty upset that I'm not going. The full list can be found here. Here are the shows that interest me.

Thurs., 9/13: Spoon with Sound Team @ La Zona Rosa
Fri., 9/14: Paolo Nutini and Peter, Bjorn and John @ Stubb's (outside)
Sat., 9/17: Queens of the Stone Age @ La Zona Rosa
Sat., 9/17: Heartless Bastards @ The Parish
Sat. 9/17: Blonde Redhead and The National @ Emo's
Sun., 9/16: Common @ La Zona Rosa
Sun., 9/16: White Stripes @ Stubb's (outside)
Sun., 9/16: Dr. Dog @ Stubb's (inside)
Mon., 9/17: Yo La Tengo @ The Parish (note: why on Monday?)

Clearly the best show (IMO) is that Blonde Redhead/National show at Emo's. Still not enough to get me to go hang out in a 95 degree, shade-less park for 3 days, but close.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Lots o' Monday Music

Man, am I gonna miss New York. Where else can you jump on the subway, 7 minutes later be at the Mercury Lounge, then proceed to see three really good bands in the space of 2 hours, grab a great late evening Turkish dinner and then be home about 7 minutes later?

D.C.'s one saving grace? It's less than a 1/2 hour drive to Waffle House. Eat that, New York.

First up tonight was Takka Takka. I think I saw these guys open for that awful Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show in Central Park last summer. They didn't leave much of an impression, and despite the short-lived buzz around the band, I forgot about them. Then, about a month ago, I found out that LeFirm's guitarist, Rene, had joined Takka Takka as a permanent member. (He's splitting time between the two bands.) So I decided to give TT another shot. Gotta say - they put on a pretty damn good show tonight, especially their last two songs of the night, which were downright stunning. It definitely helped that Bryan Devendorf of The National sat in on percussion, though I'm pretty sure they would have sounded great even without him.

The band has a few shows coming up, including opening for The National at South Street Seaport next month. That'll be my last Seaport show for a while (if not forever)... sniff sniff...

I stuck around after TT to check out a bit of Die Romantik's set. I'd heard of them before, but had no idea what they sounded like. I only saw about 1/2 their set, but from what I saw, I'd call them "gothic prog". It's much better than it sounds. And the drummer looked like Luke Wilson's character from The Royal Tenenbaums, so they have that going for them. I'll definitely need to hear more from these guys.

Finally, I ran around the corner to Pianos to catch Eastern Conference Champions' CD release party. I'd only heard one song from the band before, but liked it enough to check them out. Glad I did. To be honest, from what I heard, the band doesn't have a lot of great songs, but they play them with such energy that it's impossible not to like them. Songs aside, I kept comparing them in my head to The Whigs. If you've read this blog before, you'll know that's a damn fine comparison. The band was tight, loud and a lot of fun. They're also from Philly, so I'm hoping to catch them down in D.C. before too long.

Check out their song "To The Wind" over at Rock Insider.

What Are The Old 97's Smoking?

Somehow I completely missed the fact that the Old 97's are playing two shows here in NYC this Friday. Both shows are part of Circle Line Cruises' "Rockin' the River" cruises, meaning that, duh, the shows are on a boat. The band is doing two cruises, one at 7pm and one at 9:30pm. Tickets for both are available here.

However, just when I decided to try to grab a ticket to one of the cruises, I noticed the price -- $45, before fees.

Seriously? Umm, guys... what the f**k?

New Wussy Album on August 28th

Awesome news - the new Wussy album, entitled Left for Dead, will be getting a national release on August 28th. For those of you in the greater Cincinnati area, the album will actually be getting an early release (via Shake It Records, I assume), as well as a release party at the Northside Tavern on August 17th.

I was lucky enough to actually be in Shake It Records in June at the exact moment (no joke) that Chuck dropped the album off for the Shake It guys to listen to. They put it on the store's stereo, and I managed to listen to about 1/2 of the album while shopping. What I heard was fantastic, and I can't wait to hear the rest.

Upcoming Wussy dates
Fri., 8/3: WOXY.com Lounge Act
Fri., 8/3: Southgate House
Fri., 8/17: Northside Tavern (CD Release!)

Spinner Roundup (July 24 releases)

Spinner has a number of interesting new releases this week. Other than Josh Rouse, not much of it is up my alley, but it's always good to try to expand one's musical boundaries. Especially when there are Canadian lesbians involved.

UNKLE, War Stories
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Is Is
Tegan & Sara, The Con
John Vanderslice, Emerald City (the world of indie musicians loves this guy, but I've never gotten into him)
Portugal. The Man, Church Mouth
Josh Rouse, Country Mouse, City House

And, for what seems like the 5th weekend in a row, they also have the new Matthew Dear album, Asa, up as well. I'm not linking to it because the whole push behind this album seems way too calculated and, frankly, I don't like what I've heard from it. So there.

Lollapalooza Ticket For Sale

Hey kids.. if you're interested in getting a deal on a Lollapalooza ticket for next weekend, check out my eBay listing for my ticket. I have a "Buy It Now" price of only $130, which is lower than what I paid, and about $65 less than current face value (the show isn't quite sold out yet, though I'm sure it will by next week). Or you could just put in a lower bid, of course. Or do nothing at all. Up to you. Just wanted to give you fine folks a shot at a great ticket for cheap.

Updated: SOLD!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Eric Bachmann @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ [7/21/07]

Skipped Siren Fest today to start working my way through Deathly Hollows. About 1/3 of the way through. So far, so good.

I did manage to catch a fantastic set by Eric Bachmann at Maxwell's tonight, though. I always forget just how good Eric is live. He played a mix of songs from his latest solo album, To The Races, as well as older Crooked Fingers songs, and "White Trash Heroes" by Eric's old band, Archers of Loaf. Interestingly, when someone in the crowd asked him to play something new, he responded that he doesn't have any new songs right now, but should in a month or two. Wonder if that means he's moving back into the van?

Notably, while the show didn't sell out, the approximately 70% full room was as lively a crowd as I've ever seen for Eric before. The crowd was downright rowdy (in a good way). It was clear that Eric and the band appreciated the support. I wish crowds were this enthusiastic at more indie shows.

ABC's Golf Coverage Thinks It's 1988... and Hip

Anybody else watching the British Open at all this week? For some reason, the music that ABC is using throughout its broadcast is late-80's British "modern rock". So far I've noticed regular usage of The Cure and Depeche Mode. Add to that fact that during every commercial they're running the Wilco Volkswagen ads, and it's just an odd, odd situation.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mendoza Line Break Up (Kinda)

Somehow I missed this article on Pitchfork a few months ago. Sadly, Brooklyn's Mendoza Line have broken up. Well, maybe not completely broken up, but Shannon McArdle is leaving the band (as well as her marriage to bandmate Timothy Bracy).

The band's website is a little unclear as to the future of the band, suggesting both that Bracy will continue forward under the Mendoza Line name, and also that the band's forthcoming release, entitled 30 Year Low (out August 21st on Glurp), will be their last. So maybe Bracy's just using the name for the shows in support of the new disc, and then calling it quits?

The band is streaming 3 tracks from the new disc at their website. Here's one of them:

"Since I Came"

Iron and Wine Playing 9:30 Club

Not sure whether I'll go to this or not, but Iron and Wine have announced a Fall tour that will bring them to the 9:30 Club on Saturday, September 29th. They're also playing the Tower Theater outside Philly on Friday, 9/28, and Town Hall in New York on Sunday, 9/30. (Thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for the heads up.)

Is it me, or does one of those venues not fit with the others?

9:30 Club: 1,200 person capacity
Town Hall: 1,500 person capacity
Tower Theater: 3,119 person capacity

Is Sam huge in Philly or something?

One Thing I Won't Miss About NYC

Hipsterism, and the local PR world's never-ending effort to convince us that we're all hipsters, and that we're all so very, very cool.

(This is the signage being used by a large new apartment building being built in Williamsburg.)

[Photo source = marikosuave at Flickr]
[Story source = Curbed (who else?)]

Marc Olson in D.C. on September 6th

Marc Olson (formerly of The Jayhawks) is playing two shows in the D.C. area on Thursday, September 6th. The first is a free in-store set at the Borders at 18th and L at 12:30pm, and the second is a full set with The Last Town Chorus that night at Iota. I'll certainly be at one of these.

Three other quick notes about Iota:

(1) The excellent Vandaveer is playing there on Thursday, August 9th opening for Joan As Policewoman. Luckily, I may just be in town then to pick up my keys to my new apartment.

(2) Jimmie's Chicken Shack is playing there on Friday, August 3rd. These guys were playing all over the D.C. area back when I first lived there in the summer of 1996. I don't think I've heard of (let alone thought of) them since.

(3) Am I correct that Iota doesn't sell advance tickets for anything? Every show is first come/first served? Is this as problematic as it sounds when bigger bands play there? (E.g., I know The Frames played there a year or so ago.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The New Hot Sh*t

It's been a pretty slow year so far for discovering new bands. Whereas by this point last year there were a ton of new bands that I'd discovered around the blogs (Asobi Seksu, Birdmonster, Bishop Allen, Broken West, Little Ones, Tokyo Police Club, Voxtrot, etc. etc.), the only great new band that springs to mind for 2007 is The Antlers.

That may be about to change. Thanks to Bill over at I Rock Cleveland, I just discovered Times New Viking. The band, based out of Columbus, Ohio, plays some of the most glorious noise that I've heard from a band in a long time. While the comparison doesn't really do them justice, the band at times sounds to me like an amalgam of Guided By Voices (check out "Teenage Lust!" below), The Thermals and The Velvet Underground. Plus, I'm sure there are a ton of other late 80's/early 90's noise-rock bands that bear mentioning as well, but I was never too familiar with the genre.

Anyway, check 'em out. They apparently recently signed with Matador, so expect to hear a lot more about them in the near future.

Times New Viking, "Teenage Lust!" (from Paisley Reich)
Times New Viking, "Natural Resources, I Love Mine" (from Dig Yourself)

Both of the band's LPs, as well as a CD single, are available at eMusic as well.

Little Ones Opening For Voxtrot in DC

Some good news via the Black Cat's schedule:

The Little Ones are opening for Voxtrot's show at the Black Cat on October 6th. No idea if this is a one-off or if they're opening the entirety of Voxtrot's tour - the band's MySpace page has no shows listed for October (not even the Black Cat show).

Tickets for this show, as well as Lucero's October 31st show at the Black Cat, go on sale tomorrow at 5pm. (Is this a common thing for DC tickets to go on sale at 5pm on a Friday? Haven't you people ever heard of happy hour?)

Drive-By Truckers @ Castle Clinton, NYC [7/19/07]

And to think I almost skipped this show tonight. Damn. The Drive-By Truckers absolutely killed (particularly the second half of their set). I'm a Jason Isbell fan, but I think the band is going to be just fine without him. I had originally planned to come home, change, and head down to see Jason's solo set at the Mercury, but I think I'm gonna call it an evening. Besides, as good a set as I'm sure Jason will put on, it would have a hard time supplanting the Truckers' set in my mind.

Oh, and Patterson mentioned at the end of the set that they'd be back in October. Sure hope they do a D.C. date then too.

Initial D.C. Show Schedule

While I realize that my new D.C.-area home won't afford me quite the same show schedule as New York - i.e., no "secret" late night Ryan Adams show at the Bowery, or Interpol or Franz Ferdinand, and no free outdoor Seaport or Castle Clinton shows, and, worst of all, no CMJ - things aren't all that dire down in DC.

So, in an effort to transition this blog to more of a D.C.-area music scene focus (but with regular references to NYC shows I'll be missing), here's some of the good shows coming up in D.C. over the next couple of months. I'm not including August because I'll still be in NYC.

4: Editors, Ra Ra Riot (9:30 Club)
5: The National (9:30 Club)
6: Midlake (Black Cat)
19: The Cure (Patriot Center)
20: Mountain Goats (Black Cat)
23: Kings of Leon (9:30 Club)
24: Kings of Leon (9:30 Club)
26: Rilo Kiley (9:30 Club)
27: Rilo Kiley (9:30 Club)
27: Magnolia Electric Co. (Black Cat)
28: Sea and Cake (Sonar/Baltimore)
29: Andrew Bird (Sonar/Baltimore)
30: Okkervil River (Rock and Roll Hotel)

6: Voxtrot (Black Cat)
11: Sunset Rubdown (Black Cat)
27: New Pornographers (9:30 Club)
31: Lucero (Black Cat)

Two other things. One, yes, this list is largely an attempt to convince myself that I'm not making a huge mistake leaving NYC. Second, I still plan on finding a way to come up for CMJ, which runs October 16th-20th.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lease = Signed

So I'm not technically moving to D.C. after all. Instead, I'm moving to Northern Virginia. Specifically, southern Arlington, in the Pentagon City/Crystal City area. Not New York City by a long shot, but also not particularly suburban either. Kinda like Jersey City without the Jersey.

The good parts? Cheaper rent, significantly bigger "loft" apartment, 5-minute drive (in good traffic) directly into D.C., relatively easy subway access, and a pretty good lineup of music coming over the next couple of months (New Pornographers, The National, Okkervil River, Lucero, Magnolia Electric Co. and more).

The bad parts? It ain't New York. Oh, and the nearest "cuisine" is Chevy's, California Pizza Kitchen and Ruby Tuesday. Mmmm, good.

Then again, at least I don't need to live my life in N. Va. in constant fear of a predatory horseshoe crabs.

The saving grace? It's a one-year move. Next summer, I decide between New York and Chicago. Or Akron, if my new business does poorly.

After The Jump Fest

The initial lineup for the NYC-area blogger throwdown known as the After The Jump Fest has been announced. Check it before you wreck it, yo:

AUGUST 25, 2007




themusicslut . batteringroom . disconap . earfarm . ryspace . irockiroll . musicsnobbery . merryswankster . softcommunication . theunderratedblog . sitdownstandup . productshopnyc .watercoolergossip . bumpershine . themodernage . yetidontdance . slapyouinpublic . subinev . punkphoto . poptartssucktoasted .stereoactivenyc . fingeronthepulse

All proceeds from the festival will help fund grants written by New York music teachers for their classroom via the Bloggers Choose chapter of DonorsChoose.org. Please join us in making a great day of music and a significant contribution to music education in our city.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Apartment Hunting in D.C.

Posts will be light this week given that I'm in D.C. looking for an apartment. However, if things keep going the way they went today, I may just end up staying in New York. Seriously, how - and why - do people live here?

I've been hearing for years about how there are so many great new buildings and hip areas in D.C. The area that I've heard the most about is Chinatown. When I first lived in D.C. in the summer of 1996, the Chinatown area of D.C. was, for lack of a better term, shitty. Dirty. Run-down. Wasteland. Then, around the time that the MCI Center Verizon Center came to the area, a bunch of new bars, restaurants and apartment buildings have been going up. Everyone I know from the D.C. has been telling me how much better the area is, and how it's the "hot" place to live these days. So I decided to spend my first afternoon in town looking at apartments in Chinatown.

I'm disappointed to report that Chinatown is still a hellhole. Sure, there's a number of new apartment buildings - however, the ones I saw were essentially glorified college dorms, with cheap, drab decor and a bunch of 1-bedroom apartments being turned into 2 (or 3) person homes. Even worse, much of the area is still filled with vacant and/or condemned buildings, and the streets are full of drunks stumbling around screaming at the numerous voices in their head. And the vaunted "hot" bar and restaurant scene? It's pretty much limited to two blocks, and includes at its heart none other than Fuddruckers.

So, um, yeah... Chinatown ain't happening.

Tomorrow I'll probably look in the Dupont/Logan Circle area, but based on Internet research as to available buildings and pricing, I'm not hopeful. That would pretty much leave me with Arlington (Virginia), which has some decent buildings but would essentially make me suburban, which I don't know if I have the fortitude to withstand for a year.

As much as I hate New York sometimes, it's amazing how just a few hours outside of it makes me wish I'd never left.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Clark and Michael

If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to check out the new(ish) Internet show Clark and Michael. The show stars Michael Cera (of Arrested Development fame) and Clark Duke, as well as a bunch of guest stars, including Buster Bluth Tony Hale and Andy Richter. There's 13 episodes, and while the show doesn't reach Yacht Rock level, it's about as close as anything has come.

Thanks to Product Shop for turning me onto the show.

New Videos

It's been too long since I did a video roundup post. The ghost of J.J. Jackson is not happy.

Don't anger the ghost of J.J. Jackson.

Ash, "Polaris"

Blitzen Trapper, "Devil's a Go Go"

Dinosaur Jr., "Forget the Swan" (live on Henry Rollins Show)

The Long Blondes, "Weekend Without Makeup"

Okkervil River, "Our Life is Not a Move or Maybe" (Live from SXSW)

Rilo Kiley, "The Moneymaker"

The Thrills, "Nothing Changes Around Here"

Ryan Adams at Fez

I just discovered that the Live Music Archive has audio from Ryan Adams' show at Fez back on October 2, 2000. I was lucky enough to be at this show, as well as several other late-night sets Ryan played at Fez in the late 90's and (very) early 00's. A couple of these shows were fantastic, and a couple were pretty boring. I haven't listened to this set yet, so I really don't remember which category it fell into.

Here's a direct link to a Flash player of the entire set. Enjoy.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Pod Hotel

Anybody heard about, or stayed at, The Pod Hotel yet? Although I'm moving to DC for a year, I plan to come back often for business, to see friends and (most importantly) to see shows. Until we do our next round of funding, though, we're all going without salaries, and I'm not going to want to be spending a whole lot of money on hotels.

Enter The Pod Hotel. It's located at 51st and 3rd, and offers a selection of several very small rooms for relatively cheap prices. Each room comes with free WiFi, LCD TVs and iPod docs. Many rooms, though, lack bathrooms, meaning you have to use shared bathrooms. The cool part? Electronic displays in your room pod show the availability of bathrooms. Single rooms run about $149, but there's also bunk rooms for about $159, and larger rooms are more expensive.

I may just do this for The Frames.

Frames @ Webster On Sale Now

Tickets for The Frames' September 10th (Monday) show at Webster Hall are on sale now via Ticketmaster. Openers are Brendan O'Shea and Michael Brunnock.

This is the first Bowery Presents show that I've seen on sale on Ticketmaster rather than Ticketweb (other than a couple MSG shows they promoted). I seem to remember that when the switch to Ticketmaster was announced, The Bowery Presents promised that the "low" fees charged by Ticketweb would remain in place. Well, they've already broken this promise.


Girl Talk @ Webster Hall on September 15th
Base ticket price = $20.00
Service fee = $6.20
TOTAL = $26.20

The Frames @ Webster Hall on September 10th
Base ticket price = $20.00
Service fee = $7.20
TOTAL = $27.20

Granted, it's only $1, but if they're already breaking their promise to keep prices the same, how much do you think they'll be charging a year from now?

Kids, I implore you - if you have any way to get there, start buying your Ticketmaster tickets at the F.Y.E. store in midtown at 51st and 6th Avenue. I used to work in the same building as F.Y.E., and if you buy in person you avoid most of the fees and even get a 10% (or so) discount if you pay in cash. There's also a few other retail locations, but I've never bought tickets there, so I can't guarantee you'll get the same discounts.

(PS: This post is in no way brought to you by FYE. Other than their Ticketmaster pricing, I always hated that store. You want a CD wiping kit with that?)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Earlimart Tour Dates

Earlimart, "Never Mind the Phone Calls"

I can't stop listening to the new Earlimart disc, Mentor Tormentor. It's freaking fantastic. I've liked the band's earlier albums, but they've never really grabbed me like this one. The album comes out on August 21st. Get it.

And be sure to catch the band on tour this fall. You've got plenty of opportunities.

Tour Dates

8/23: Cafe Du Nord (San Francisco)
8/25: The Triple Door (Seattle)
8/28: Joe's Pub (NYC)
8/30: Schubas Tavern (Chicago)
9/16: Treasure Island Music Festival (San Francisco)
9/27: Doug Fir Lounge (Portland)
9/29: Lamplighter (Vancouver)
10/4: Grog Shop (Cleveland)
10/5: El Mocambo (Toronto)
10/6: Main Hall (Montreal)
10/7: Harpers Ferry (Allston, MA)
10/11: Johnny Brendas (Philadelphia)
10/12: Ottobar (Baltimore)
10/13: Duke Coffeehouse (Durham, NC)
10/14: The Earl (Atlanta)
10/15: Bottletree (Birmingham)
10/16: Mink (Houston)
10/17: The Mohawk (Austin)
10/18: Palladium Loft (Dallas)
10/20: Larimer Lounger (Denver)
10/22: Paper Heart Venue (Phoenix)
10/23: Casbah (San Diego)

Bold signifies shows I'll probably go to.

New Pornographers Announce October Dates

New Pornographers, "My Rights Versus Yours" [PRE-ORDER]

All shows feature Lavender Diamond as opener.

Sun., 10/14: Missoula, MT (University Theater)
Mon., 10/15: Winnipeg (Garrick Centre)
Wed., 10/17: Milwaukee (Pabst Theater)
Thurs., 10/18: Chicago (Metro)
Fri., 10/19: Chicago (Metro)
Sat., 10/20: North Tonawanda, NY (Riviera Theatre)
Sun., 10/21: Toronto (Ducat King)
Wed., 10/24: NYC (Webster)
Thurs., 10/25: NYC (Webster)
Fri., 10/26: Philly (Trocadero)
Wed., 10/31: New Orleans (House of Blues)

There will be a pre-sale here eventually.

Given my soon-to-be new location, I'm hoping for a 9:30 Club show or two. Then again, I can always drive up to the Troc.

The National at Daytrotter

Yeah, I still bought myself a National ticket, sucker that I am, even though I've already seen them 3 times this year, and even though I'll be seeing them for free at South Street Seaport next month.

Why? Because they're just that good.

For proof, go check out the excellent 4-song set they did for Daytrotter recently. Great stuff, and you can download all the songs as free MP3s. Awesome.

"Lucky You"
"Slow Show"
"Pretty in Pink"

Tickets.com Can Bite It

OK, so I haven't said a whole lot about this here, but on or about September 1st I am moving to Washington D.C. It's probably just for a year or so, as my business partners and I get our new Internet startup up and running. At the end of that year, I'll either come back to my beloved NYC or go to Chicago. We'll see, it's a long way off.

Anyway, the reason I'm mentioning this? The National just announced two shows in D.C. at the 9:30 Club at the beginning of September -- specifically, Wed., Sept. 5th and Thurs., Sept. 6th. Tickets are on sale.

I've been to the 9:30 Club a bunch of times in my life, but I've never seen them (or Tickets.com) completely and utterly rape people the way they are for this show. Check out this math:
Ticket price: $18.00
Service charge: $4.75
Subtotal: $22.75
OK, to this point we're fine. But then you get to choose "delivery method", and the only choice they have is Will Call. Fine. THEY CHARGE $4 FOR WILL CALL. So, instead it looks like this:
Ticket price: $18.00
Service charge: $4.75
Will-call fee: $4.00
TOTAL: $26.75
Kids, I'm no math major, but a quick check of my calculator shows that this is a 49% MARKUP of the ticket price. (And that's before their $10 parking fee, which I'll skip, thanks very much.)

Seriously, are these people (and the RIAA, and the CRB, etc. etc.) trying to destroy the music industry by alienating every last fan on Earth?

Okkervil River Pre-Order Special

Strangely, I don't think I've seen this posted around anywhere so far. As seems to be the hip thing to do these days, Okkervil River is making its new album, The Stage Names, available for pre-order. If you pre-order before August 7th, you'll get an email with a coupon and link allowing you to download the entire the album in MP3 before the release date. Additionally, all CD orders come with a bonus disc of solo demo versions of each song on the album. All of this for just $11.

I already have a leak of the album, but for $11 I'm off to pre-order myself a copy now.

(Photo source.)

The Last Days of Internet Radio?

Woke up this morning to this wonderful (mass) email from Pandora's founder, Tim Westergren. Apparently efforts to obtain a temporary stay from the Copyright Royalty Board's new royalties for Internet radio have been turned down by the U.S. Appeals Court in D.C. That means that, barring a miracle, the new rates go into effect on Monday.

As a final, last-ditch effort, organizers are asking for supporters of Internet radio to call you Senators and Representatives today and ask them to bring the Internet Radio Equality Act to the floor for an immediate vote. If this doesn't happen, the issue surely won't be brought up before Congress' August recess, and who knows when (or if) it will come up at all. Even worse, who knows how many stations will have disappeared in the interim.

If you listen to Internet radio, please join me in calling your Congresspeople this morning.

Here's Tim's email in its entirety:

Hi, it's Tim one more time...

Disaster looms! Today a federal court denied a plea to delay the massive increase in rates webcasters must pay the record labels. This means that, absent immediate Congressional action, the new ruinous royalty rates will be going into effect on Monday threatening the future of all internet radio.

This is a very dire situation and I'm writing to ask one more time for your support. The effort you've made over the past four months has been extraordinary and has forced the rapid introduction of the bill, but the committee process has been sluggish and we need to once again remind the representatives of the urgency of this issue. This is perhaps the most important phone call you can make for us.

Please call your Congressional representatives in the House and Senate and ask them to force immediate action on the Internet Radio Equality Act and bring the bill to a vote. It is critical that their phones begin ringing off the hook starting early in the morning. If it's busy, please try again later.

Congressperson Jerrold Nadler: (202)225-5635

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton: (202) 224-4451
Senator Charles E. Schumer: (202) 224-6542

I'm sorry that we have to keep asking you for this - but it's our only recourse. We are no match for the legal and legislative strength of the RIAA and we need your help.

Thank you again.


-Tim Westergren
(Pandora founder)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Continue to Stalk the Frames

A couple interesting notes from this month's Frames newsletter:

First, Glen and Marketa are doing no less than three major U.S. television appearances this month. If there was any doubt, Once appears to finally be Glen's (and the Frames', hopefully) ticket to bigger things in America.

Monday, 7/30: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (wow!)
Wednesday, 8/1: The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (less wow!)
Saturday, 8/3: Last Call with Carson Daly (no wow!)

Also, in addition to NPR's webcast of the recent 9:30 Club show, you can also find audio of the band's recent show at the Metro in Chicago here.

That is all.

The Chinese Don't F**k Around


Further proof:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Siren Schedule Is Out

If I go, and that's big if, my day would likely look like this:

1pm - Twilight Sad (partial set)
1:30pm - White Rabbits (partial set)
2:30pm - Elvis Perkins
3:30pm - Detroit Cobras (partial set)
4:00pm - Black Lips (partial set, primarily to avoid Lavender Diamond)
5:00pm - We Are Scientists (I guess, not a fan really)
6:30pm - Voxtrot
7:30pm / 8:00pm - either New York Dolls or Cursive, dunno

bold signifies bands that might convince me to attend

(Thanks to Chris for the heads up on the schedule.)

Christie Front Drive Reuniting For One Show

Damn, I wish I could be in Denver on September 1st. One of my favorite bands of the 90's, Christie Front Drive, is reuniting for one show at this year's Denver Fest. If I weren't moving that weekend, I'd seriously be thinking about a trip out West. Damn.

Get more info (and eventually tickets) here.

What's The Point?

So I just noticed over at Hypebot that b5media has launched no less than thirty new music blogs today.

Why? Well, b5media's CEO, Jeremy Wright explains that, "[s]ince b5media first launched in September of 2005, we've felt the music scene was being vastly underserved by professional blogs."

That's just about the silliest thing I've ever heard. Why exactly does the "music scene" need professional blogs? The so-called "amateur" blogs, such as Brooklyn Vegan, An Aquarium Drunkard and Largehearted Boy, among many others, are fantastic.  Sure, there are a lot of fair-to-middling music blogs out there (you're reading one now, kiddos), but I find it hard to believe that the "music scene" has been suffering because there aren't more "professional" blogs.  Besides, there are plenty of professional music blogs these days, from Rolling Stone to the AOL/Time Warner folks at Spinner to the Gawker Media folks at Idolator. Do we really need more?

Even more dubious is the content of b5media's new blogs. One blog, called The Hotel Yorba, is dedicated to all things White Stripes. Umm, hasn't The Modern Age been news-central for the White Stripes for about 5 years now? Then there's Our Digital Music, which seems to be a mix of music industry and music tech news. Thanks, but I'll stick with Hypebot, Coolfer and Engadget. And there's about 28 other blogs, many of which seem to have serious identity issues and lots of cross-over with one another.

Yawn. I'll be sticking with my current daily reading, thanks very much.

Spinner Roundup (July 10 Releases)

For the first time in a while, there's a bunch of interesting new CD releases this week. For proof, just check out the selection of streaming albums over at Spinner:

Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist (so-so comeback album)
Interpol, Our Love to Admire (so-so third album)
Spoon, Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (good, not great)
Bad Religion, New Maps of Hell (so-so 802nd album)
Nick Drake, Family Tree
Against Me!, New Wave
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova!, Once Soundtrack
Fionn Regan, The End of History (the next big Irish thing?)
Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, Glassjaw Boxer (Springsteen meets Garth Brooks?)
They Might Be Giants, The Else

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Antlers and Built To Spill in Brooklyn [7/7/07]

Caught part of two shows out in Brooklyn tonight. First up was The Antlers. This was the first time I've had the chance to actually see them live, despite the fact that I've been listening to their incredible new disc, In The Attic of the Universe, for nearly five months now. (Seriously, it may still be my favorite disc that I've heard this year.)

While it's clear they're a young band [read: they still need time to gel as a live unit], their set got stronger as it went on. By the time we left (admittedly, two songs short of the end), I thought they sounded pretty damn good. Looking forward to seeing a lot more of these guys down the road.

The reason we cut out of The Antlers early was to run over to Built to Spill at McCarren Pool. Luckily, my friend Matt had driven into Brooklyn, and we jumped in the car and presto chango supermagico we found a spot literally across the street from the entrance to McCarren. We missed about 2 songs at the start of Built to Spill's set (and all of Bob Mould and Cat Power), and ended up with only a so-so spot about 20 feet in front of the soundboard.

I didn't notice it as much at the Superchunk show a few weeks back, but McCarren's sound system is really, terribly weak. Built to Spill is a band that needs to be heard LOUD, and tonight's show was anything but. Doug is one of the best rock guitarists on Earth, and you could barely hear him most of the time. Too bad. Next time, let's hope they play Irving. (Or, in light of recent business developments on my end, let's hope they play the 9:30 Club.)

Next show: Spoon, unless I skip it like I skipped New Pornographers and Shearwater.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Live Earth Report

Didn't watch it.

Recent Internet Radio Performances

There's been a ton of great in-studio performances around the net lately. Check 'em out, and be sure to support these great stations.

The Eames Era
Tacks, The Boy Disaster
The Features
The A-Sides

The Current @ MPR
Dan Deacon and Videohippos
Brother Ali
Ryan Adams
Fountains of Wayne
The Heavenly States

KCRW/Morning Becomes Eclectic
Sea Wolf
The Clientele
The Broken West

This is where I'd normally list recent KEXP performances too, but their website doesn't list anything since April. Have they stopped doing in-studio sets? Or are they only available to "members" now?

Ryan Adams on Sirius Radio

If you're wondering what a Ryan Adams show sounds like these days, check out this recent set that Ryan and the Cardinals did for Sirius Radio. Much like his Hiro Ballroom show, the set is pretty laid back (a bit too much for my taste), but you can definitely hear just how great Ryan's voice is sounding these days.

One other note - I have no recollection whatsoever where I downloaded this set from, so I apologize in advance for not being able to give credit. To whomever put this out there, thanks.

"Goodnight Hollywood Boulevard"
"Goodnight Rose"
"The Sirius Song"

Is it me, or is Ryan trying to sound like his good friend Jesse Malin on that last (made up) song?

Friday, July 06, 2007

New Josh Rouse Video, "Hollywood Bassplayer"

Thanks to Spinner for posting the first video from Josh Rouse's excellent new disc, Country Mouse, City House. It's probably my favorite song on the disc, but I've only listened to it straight through twice so far...

Oh Widget, Where Art Thou?

(This post also appeared, in slightly altered form, here.)

As I'm sure you know, the Internet has gone widget-crazy over the last year or two. It seems like everyone and their grandmother has their own widget these days, which is why it seems so weird that I can't seem to find a widget for what I want to do with this blog (and my other blog).

Specifically, I want a widget that I can drop in my blog sidebar that will display 5 to 10 (or more) of my favorite news or blog posts of the day. I want the widget to be dynamic, so that if I'm on a blog, oh, say The Modern Age, and I really like some article Laura has about The White Stripes (a band she rarely blogs about, I know), I just click a button and automatically that article (or at least the headline) is displayed in the widget back on my blog. Readers of my blog could then easily click through to the original article.

I'd use this in a second over Digg, Delicious or the like. I used to do a lot of posts on my other blog that were essentially "roundups" of interesting articles I'd found around the web, but I stopped doing it because it required me to keep a continuous log going of the articles (and URLs) as I found them until I had enough to amount to a post. If I only found one or two interesting articles in a day, often times I'd forget about them and never post them. A widget like the one I'm talking about would solve this problem.

So, anybody know where I can find myself this type of widget?

Lala's Streaming Album Experiment Over... For Now

According to Ars Technica, Lala's recent experiment with providing free streams of thousands of albums is over. For now.

Lala claims that it has suspended the service for several reasons, including that it was causing a massive strain on its servers (to the detriment of its older customers who were looking only to trade CDs), and because it is still in the process of negotiating deals with a number of additional labels to permit free streaming of albums over Lala's site. They say they'll be re-launching the service when they can offer a wider range of albums for streaming.

I'll take Lala at their word for now and believe that the streaming service is coming back. I hope it is. Recorded music has become a commodity that people generally expect to be free or cheap, and when people actually spend money on music, it's generally a "spur of the moment decision". (See my decision to pre-order the new New Pornographers album at the mere mention of a few free B-sides and an early free stream of the album.)

Lala's service is (or will be) well-positioned for this type of sale, given that you can listen to an album and, if you like it, simply click a button and buy it. I know there's a lot of discs I'd end up buying this way (assuming that Lala keeps its cheap CD pricing) rather than waiting for an album to finally end up on the torrent sites (at less-than-stellar bitrates).

Lord knows there's got to be a better way to try to sell records these days than suing children.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Rock Show of the Summer

An already excellent show just got better.

Saturday, August 4: You Am I, Smoking Popes and (just added) The Figgs, Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Tickets are on sale now.

Seriously, this is a show you need to see. While I haven't seen the Smoking Popes live since something like 1997, I can say that You Am I and The Figgs are among the best live rock bands you're gonna see. Buy a ticket.

Do it.

Do it.

Do it.

(Photo source.)

First iPhone post

This is my first post via my new iPhone. Testing to see how easy/hard it is. Unfortunately the auto-coorect spelling function doesn't work in web mode, so tjat makes it harder. Overall, though not too bad. Expect some live posts from shows in the future. Fun

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Olbermann: Bush and Cheney Should Resign

Amen, Keith, amen.

While I likely will vote for a Democrat - or whatever Bloomberg runs as, should he run - in 2008, we have finally come to the point where I can say, with no hesitation, that I would take just about any Republican as my next president so long as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are gone.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

I Am Moving To Dayton

Damn, man. If you don't make this permanent, Bob, I'm just gonna have to move in next to the Monument Club.

(Thanks to ProductShop for the heads up!)

The One Word Review of Die Hard 4


See also: Bloated; dumb plot; ridiculous action set-pieces; less realistic than Howard the Duck; indestructible karate bad guy girl; good guy "assumes" indestructible karate bad girl is beaten, just before she gets up and starts fighting again (twice); daughter falls for young goofy guy based on knowing each other for 20 minutes; godawful "computer terror" storyline with completely unrealistic usage of computers; only slightly better when it was called Enemy of the State (and that one had Jack Black)

But see: Mary Elizabeth Winstead (the hotness)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Best Music Video Ever?

Can't remember if I ever posted this or not. Even if I did, it's worth a re-post.

And be sure to check out David's unplugged performance as well:

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Frames Playing NYC and Chicago

I was right. The Frames have added September shows in Chicago and New York.

Sat. 9/8: The Hideout, Chicago

This show is part of The Hideout's weekend Block Party. Along with The Frames, it also features Bloc Party, Andrew Bird and "many more special guests". Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

Mon. 9/10: Webster Hall, New York (openers Brendan O'Shea and Michael Brunnock)

No word as to on-sale for Webster. And since I still don't know exactly which town I'll be living in come September (I'm apartment-hunting in Chicago in 2 weeks), I'm buying tickets to both.

Help Fight Rogue Helicopter Pilots

Be sure to watch all the way through. This is a serious issue that needs our attention.