Friday, August 31, 2007

Spoon Playing 9:30 Club on 10/23 After All

Just when you thought the "Spoon situation" was over, there's a whole new wrinkle. This time, however, it's a good one, unless of course you went ahead and bought a ticket to see Yo La Tengo at the Birchmere on 10/23. (Thankfully, I've been procrastinating.)

According to a second post by Britt Daniel on this little blog (and elsewhere, I'm sure), Spoon will, in fact, be playing the previously scheduled second show at the 9:30 Club here in DC on Tuesday, October 23rd. Britt's exact post is reproduced below, but here's what I think is going on.

(1) If you bought a ticket for either of the original 9:30 Club shows, and if you choose to exchange it (or upgrade) for a Merriweather ticket, then at the time you do so you will be given a voucher. As long as you bring both your used Merriweather ticket stub plus your voucher to the 9:30 Club on 10/23 by 6:45pm, you will be guaranteed entry for the show. That means that anyone choosing to go the Merriweather show will get the bonus of being able to see Spoon two nights in a row for the price of one ticket. Not bad. I still don't want to see the Shins, though.

(2) If you bought a ticket for either of the original 9:30 Club shows, and if you choose not to exchange it (or upgrade) for a Merriweather ticket, simply bring your unused ticket to the 9:30 Club on 10/23 by 6:45pm and you will be guaranteed entry for the show.

(3) If you show up after 6:45pm with your unused original ticket and/or a voucher, your entry completely depends on whether there is still capacity in the club.

Unresolved questions -- What if you already got a refund for your 9:30 Club ticket? (Thankfully, mine just showed up today and I still have it.) If I show up only with my original 9:30 Club ticket, will I get in, or do I need a "voucher" (the first part of the email suggests no, but the last paragraph suggests yes).

Also, I just noticed that Spoon's set is apparently strictly limited to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Umm, ok. That's certainly not ideal. Granted, I'm happy at the prospect of seeing Spoon, but I'm still not sure whether this is all kosher or not, or whether I just want a straight-up refund. I'll have to think on this one.

That said, I do appreciate the effort by Britt and anyone else involved to try to remedy this situation. I still hope we get a full 9:30 Club show from them down the road, but we'll have to wait and see...

Hi again. We did finally figure out a way to do a smaller show in DC:
Spoon and the Ponys will be playing the 9:30 club on Tuesday Oct 23rd,
the day after the Shins / Merriweather show. For those who bought
tickets to either of the original 9:30 shows, admittance is guaranteed
and is free. After that, admittance is free on a first-come basis to
anyone who has a Merriweather ticket. The details get a bit thick, so
I'll just fw what I've been told. Thanks, Britt

>> Spoon will perform a special show at the 9:30 Club for those
>> who bought tickets to either the original Spoon shows at 9:30
>> or to the Shins/Spoon show at Merriweather.
>> Tuesday, October 23
>> 6:00 doors
>> 7:00-7:30 The Ponys
>> 7:45 - 9:00 Spoon (9:00 Curfew))
>> For those who bought tickets to the original 9:30 show:
>> Bring your ticket to the box office at the 9:30 Club or at
>> Merriweather to exchange/upgrade your ticket, at which time
>> you will receive a voucher. This voucher, when presented
>> with the 10/22 Merriweather ticket stub, will guarantee the
>> ticket holder entry to the special show if presented by 6:45
>> PM on the 23rd. You can still get in after 6:45, space
>> permitting of course. Yes that means you get to go to both
>> the Merriweather & 9:30 shows!
>> OR
>> Bring your unused ticket to the show on the 23rd - it will
>> guarantee entry if presented before 6:45, and can still be
>> used for entry after that time, space permitting.
>> For those who purchased Ticketmaster tickets to the Merriweather show:
>> Bring your ticket stub to the 9:30 Club for access to the show.
>> Admittance is limited by capacity and not guaranteed.
>> Operational details:
>> There will be two lines for entry - one (left side) for those
>> with the special 9:30 vouchers combined with the Merriweather
>> tickets, and the other (right side) for those with
>> Merriweather tickets only. We will allow entry through both
>> lines from 6:00 - 6:45, maintaining the balance to
>> accommodate the number of vouchers given out.

The Rock Returns to D.C.

Tuesday, November 27th at the Black Cat... Dinosaur Jr.. Tickets on sale next Friday, September 7th.

I've seen them three times since they reformed a couple of years ago, and aside from some sound issues at the most recent Irving Plaza show, they've been great. I was wondering whether or not I needed to see them a fourth time if they came back through town, but the fact that the show is at the Black Cat clinches it for me.

Be sure to wear earplugs, kids, 'cause it's gonna be loud.

The Draft Touring This Fall

Just noticed that Gainesville, FL's The Draft have a pretty big U.S. tour scheduled for October, including a local-ish stop at Ottobar in Baltimore. Why no DC show, fellas?

If you're not familiar with The Draft, the band features three of the four members of the dearly departed Hot Water Music, and put out one of my favorite albums of 2006, In A Million Pieces [BUY]. The band hasn't missed a beat since transitioning over from HWM, and I'm looking forward to finally getting a chance to catch them live this fall.

The Draft, "New Eyes Open"

The Draft U.S. Tour Dates

10/3: Baltimore (Ottobar)
10/4: Boston (Middle East)
10/5: New York (Knitting Factory)
10/7: Detroit (Small's)
10/9: Cincinnati (Poison Room)
10/11: Minneapolis (Triple Rock Social Club)
10/13: Denver (Marquis Theater)
10/14: Salt Lake City (Burt's Tiki Lounge)
10/16: San Francisco (Bottom of the Hill)
10/17: Los Angeles (Knitting Factory)
10/18: Fullerton, CA (The Alley)
10/19: Phoenix (The Brickhouse)
10/22: Denton, TX (Rubber Gloves)
10/24: Houston (The White Swan)

Hear more from The Draft at the band's MySpace page.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Beer and Music Collide in Virginia

Just noticed in the new City Paper (well, Washington's version) that there's an interesting 3-day festival happening in Centreville, VA (near Manassas) from September 21 to September 23 featuring two of my favorite things -- beer and music.

On the beer side, the festival will host breweries from across the U.S. and Europe, each of which will be offering 4 oz. tastings. Only a few of the breweries are actually listed on the festival's website, but I'm excited to see that one of the participants is Michigan's excellent Bell's Brewery.

On the music side, the bands include, among others, Southern Culture on the Skids on Friday, the Avett Brothers, Fishbone (!!!) and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic on Saturday, and Junior Brown on Sunday.

In addition, the festival's website also promises "world class burlesque" and "bonafide Coney Island Carny acts". Sounds interesting. Tickets are available here, and you can buy 1-day passes or a 3-day pass. Not surprisingly, 1-day passes for Saturday are more expensive than the other days, at a still reasonable $35. They also offer shuttle service to the Vienna, VA metro stop for $22 for those folks who are too much of a wuss to drink and drive. (I kid, I kid.)

I just might go on Saturday...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Band of Horses

I can't say I was a particularly big fan of Band of Horses' first album, Everything All The Time. They seemed to be trying a bit too hard to sound like My Morning Jacket, except I didn't think their songs were as good as MMJ's, and lead singer Ben Bridwell's voice was nowhere near as good as Jim James'. In fact, for some reason Bridwell's voice just really grates at me, and I can't really explain why.

Well, the band has a new album coming out on October 9th called Cease to Begin, and the first single from the album, "Is There a Ghost", has been making the rounds. It's ok. It's more upbeat than a lot of their last album, but Bridwell's voice still annoys me, and the song basically repeats the same thing over and over again. I think Ben's telling us that he could sleep.
Band of Horses, "Is There A Ghost"

If you're so inclined, you can pre-order Cease to Begin over at Sub Pop Records. Apparently there's a track on the album named after former NBA player Detlef Schrempf, so that's kinda cool I guess, because not enough indie bands name songs after tall white German basketball players. Honestly, I think it would have been more interesting if they'd paid tribute to Detlef's former teammate, Shawn Kemp, and named songs after Shawn's (alleged) numerous illegitimate children.

You can also hear more Band of Horses over on MySpace.

RIP Richard Jewell

While I don't often stray from music and pop culture on this blog, every once in a while I see something that I feel is important to highlight.

I just saw that Richard Jewell died today of complications from diabetes and kidney failure. If you'll remember back to 1996, Jewell was the security guard who was originally heralded as a hero for saving people when a bomb went off at the Atlanta Olympics, and was then incorrectly accused of actually masterminding the attack. Although the government finally admitted that it was wrong, and that Jewell was not responsible for the attack (Eric Rudolph was later convicted of the crime), you can't help but believe that the situation forever besmirched Jewell's name and affected his life. Simply put, the man was royally screwed.

Anyway, I just thought it was right to take a minute and pay my respects. The man deserved a lot more than he got. Rest in peace, Richard.

Two More 9:30 Club Shows

Two more shows popped up on today. Both go on sale here tomorrow morning at 10am,

Sun., 10/7: Pinback
Wed., 10/10: The Pipettes

Can anyone tell me how Pinback is playing the Nokia Theatre in New York (on Tues. 10/9)?? The place holds 2,100 people. When the h-e-double hockey sticks did Pinback get that popular? Good for them, but I'm pretty shocked.

Bad Religion Pre-Sale

I've been wondering when Bad Religion tickets were finally going to go on sale. Thankfully Brooklyn Vegan pointed out today that there's a pre-sale for the entire tour, and it's going on now. Go here to get a ticket. Depending where you are, you can also buy tickets from Ticketmaster, though you'll probably pay a higher service fee.

RIP Hilly Kristal

Just heard this over on WOXY: CBGB founder Hilly Kristal passed away last night after a battle with lung cancer. More info is available here.

Rest in peace, Hilly. At least now you don't have to live in Vegas.

D.C. Show Update

Here's the interesting (IMO) new shows in the D.C. area that have been announced so far this week (or, alternatively, that I'm just noticing this week). There will probably be a few more announced before the week is out, but I figured now was as good a time as any to throw a list together.

9/19: Girl Talk, Dan Deacon, White Williams @ Black Cat (on sale now)
10/4: Paolo Nutini @ 9:30 Club (on sale now)
10/6: The Good Life, Luke Temple @ Rock and Roll Hotel (on sale now)
10/18: The New Amsterdams, Anathall @ Rock and Roll Hotel (on sale Thurs. 8/30 at 1pm)
10/19: British Sea Power, Stardeath, White Dwarfs (on sale Fri. 8/31)
10/20: Stars @ 9:30 Club (on sale now)
10/21: Film School @ Rock and Roll Hotel (on sale Fri. 8/31 at 10am)
10/23: Yo La Tengo @ Birchmere (on sale now)
10/24: Celebration @ Rock and Roll Hotel (on sale Fri. 8/31 at 10am)
11/4: The Black Angels @ Rock and Roll Hotel (on sale Fri. 8/31 at 10am)
12/7 and 12/8: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists @ 9:30 Club (on sale now)

I also saw a Patrick Wolf date listed at the Black Cat site yesterday (for sometime in September, I think), but it's gone now, so I don't know what the deal there is.

D.C. John Stabb Benefit Scheduled

As mentioned earlier, John Stabb of Government Issue was recently the victim of a random attack on the street near his home. Thankfully, John seems to be recovering well, but unsurprisingly he is facing extremely high medical bills.

In order to help John meet his bills, an initial benefit show was held here in DC at the Black Cat a few weeks ago. I was unfortunately not able to make that show. Thankfully, though, a followup benefit has been announced for Sunday, September 23rd at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

Government Re-Issue (feat. Tom Lyle, William Knapp, Brian Baker and John Stabb)
76% Uncertain
No Image
Alive at Last
Pup Tent

The shows is going to have door sale tickets only, so first come, first served.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Springsteen Tour Set

Thanks to Matt for the heads up. Dates are verified from the Backstreets site. None of these are up on Ticketmaster yet that I've seen, so no word as to on-sale. I guess they're not doing 11 nights in Newark after all.

For my new neighbors in the DC area, there's a Sunday, November 11th date. Unfortunately for me, this conflicts with Bright Eyes at DAR Constitution Hall. Decisions, decisions. I'm a bigger Bright Eyes fan than Bruce...

October 2 Hartford, CT
October 5 Philadelphia, PA
October 9-10 East Rutherford, NJ
October 14 Ottawa, ONT
October 15 Toronto, ONT
October 17-18 New York, NY
October 21 Chicago, IL
October 26 Oakland, CA
October 28 Los Angeles, CA
November 2 St Paul, MN
November 4 Cleveland, OH
November 5 Auburn Hills, MI
November 11 Washington, D.C.
November 14 Pittsburgh, PA
November 15 Albany, NY
November 18 Boston, MA

November 25 Madrid, SPAIN
November 26 Bilbao, SPAIN
November 28 Milan, ITALY
November 30 Arnhem, NETHERLANDS
December 2 Mannheim, GERMANY
December 4 Oslo, NORWAY
December 8 Copenhagen, DENMARK
December 10 Stockholm, SWEDEN
December 12 Antwerp, BELGIUM
December 13 Cologne, GERMANY
December 15 Belfast, IRELAND
December 17 Paris, FRANCE
December 19 London, UK

Edited to add: Looks like the DC show is at Verizon Arena and tickets go on sale on September 21st.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ted Leo Playing 2 Nights at 9:30 Club

Gee, the 9:30 Club sure does have a funny way of announcing shows and putting tickets on sale. Some shows, like Bad Religion, get announced but don't go on sale for weeks. Others, like Ted Leo and the Pharmacists pop up on sale out of nowhere.

ANYWAY... Ted is playing at the 9:30 Club on Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th. Tickets are on sale now. Think I'm going Saturday. Thanks to Matt for the heads up.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Papercuts @ Rock and Roll Hotel [8/26/07]

Caught Papercuts at the Rock and Roll Hotel tonight. I like but don't love their recent album, Can't Go Back. It has some great moments (see "Dear Employee" below) but the rest of the songs seem to blend together to me. However, since I haven't seen many shows this month, and because my friend Matt is a big fan of the band, I figured I'd check them out while they're in town.

What I would say is this - when they're playing as a 3-piece (guitar, bass, drums), they're an okay live act, but when they add a fourth person to play organ as well, as they did towards the end of the set, they sound pretty damn good. My advice? Add a permanent fourth touring member.

We skipped Beach House, who were the actual headliners of the show. I've heard a couple of songs from the band and they didn't do much for me. Plus, I gotta admit, I was nervous as hell having my car parked on the street near Rock and Roll Hotel. For lack of a better term, it's a sketchy, sketchy neighborhood, and I'm very protective of the first car that I've had after more than 11 years in New York. So we headed out after Papercuts. We did manage to see a couple songs from the opener Tiny Vipers, and that's about all that needs to be said about that.

SeeqPod Music beta - Playable Search

Vandaveer @ Iota [8/24/07]

So I finally got a chance to catch Vandaveer live on Friday night after having missed them open for Alejandro Escovedo in New York earlier this month. As I mentioned earlier, their Grace and Speed LP is one of my favorite albums of the year. Their show was excellent, including a wonderful rendition of Radiohead's "No Excuses".

They've got a bunch of live dates coming up over the next month or two, so be sure to catch them if they're in your town. You can find a full set of dates at the band's MySpace page. For my friends in New York, catch them with These United States at Arlene's Grocery on September 18th.

Only got a few pics, as Iota is a small little place and no one else was taking pictures, so I didn't want to be "that guy". That said, Iota seems like a fine place to see a band - with the exception of the big brick pole in the middle - and I'm looking forward to seeing more shows there in the future. The Shiner Bock on tap doesn't hurt things either.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Eames Era Video

The Eames Era have a new video for "When You Were a Millionaire" from their excellent Heroes and Sheroes disc. Check it out:

The band has managed to encapsulate both everything I miss and everything I don't miss about New York in one fell swoop. Ah, New York... where even the kids are snarky and elitist. I'll be back soon.

New Frisky Dingo

If you're not watching Frisky Dingo on Adult Swim, now's your choice to remedy that. The second season is about to start tomorrow night (well, Monday morning) at 12am. You can also stream the season premiere here.

If you're not familiar with the show, it's the followup from Matt Thompson and Adam Reed of Sealab 2021 fame. As much as I love Aqua Teen Hunger Force, I may like Sealab better. And Frisky Dingo is quickly becoming nearly as good as both of them.

Friday, August 24, 2007

This Weekend in D.C.

My personal picks in italics.

Vandaveer and Sun Domingo @ Iota
Mocean Worker @ 9:30 Club
The Flatlanders @ Birchmere

Adam Franklin (of Swervedriver) w/ Hopewell and The Jet Age @ Iota
Andrew W.K., Earl Greyhound, The Big Sleep, others @ Rock and Roll Hotel

Beach House and Papercuts @ Rock and Roll Hotel
The Rentals @ 9:30 Club

Anything else interesting going on?

Mac the Serial Killer

Just a few more weeks... check out this pre-season episode from TV's funniest show, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It's split into 4 parts.

Objection, hearsay!

Mac The Serial Killer Part 1 of 4

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Mac The Serial Killer Part 2 of 4

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Mac The Serial Killer Part 3 of 4

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Mac The Serial Killer Part 4 of 4

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Yo La Tengo at the Birchmere

Forgot to post this earlier. New Jersey's second-best dancers, Yo La Tengo, are playing a show at the Birchmere in Northern Virginia on Tuesday, October 23rd. Tickets go on sale today at noon.

This show is part of the band's "Freewheeling Yo La Tengo" tour which is apparently focused on songcraft and storytelling, or something.

Believe it or not, but this will be only my second Yo La Tengo show, the first being the show they did for The Onion a few years ago at North Six with The Walkmen, Palomar and David Cross. Looking forward to it.

Bright Eyes and Decemberists Hitting Town, Dueling Shows

Looks like November is shaping up to be a pretty big month of shows in DC. We already have The Thermals, Rogue Wave, Morrissey, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The Hold Steady, and today brings news of five new shows.

First, Brooklyn Vegan is reporting that Bright Eyes is going out on a huge tour this fall which will bring him to D.C.'s Constitution Hall on Sunday, November 11th. Count me in.No word on when tickets go on sale yet. Odds are good there will be a presale here, though.

Second, The Decemberists are playing FOUR shows at the 9:30 Club, from Friday, November 9th through Monday, November 12th. Also according to Brooklyn Vegan, two shows (Friday and Sunday) will be entitled "The Long of It", where the band will play its longer, more proggy songs, and the other two shows (Saturday and Monday) will be entitled "The Short of It", where the band will play, of course, its shorter songs. There's a presale tomorrow, and general onsale is September 7th.

There goes the rest of my music budget for the month. :^)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thought of the Day

So it's been a few months now, and I think I'm ready to answer the question: Will Wilco's licensing of numerous songs from Sky Blue Sky for use in Volkswagen commercials affect how much I like the album?

I'm confident that the answer to that is YES. I haven't listened to the album in over a month, and I'm sick of it. I don't even watch that much TV these days, but the few shows I happen to watch during the summer (Rescue Me, Damages, Psych) all run the ads constantly.

And, because the ads use 5 or 6 songs from the album, it's not like I'm only burned out on one or two songs. I'm burned out on pretty much the whole thing.

My only question is whether this would be the case without the ads. Maybe I'm just not as into the album as I thought I was. Dunno.

The Spoon Situation

You may have read my post the other day about Spoon's cancelled shows at the 9:30 Club here in D.C. I was none too pleased about the cancellations, and especially the way they occurred - two shows in an excellent, mid-sized club were canceled in favor of one show at a huge outdoor festival-style venue (Merriweather Post). Moreover, instead of getting a full headlining set, it seemed that fans would see at best a slightly longer-than-usual opening set.

The worst part of the situation, in my mind at least, was that it was done in a very matter-of-fact way.  The email that went out to ticketholders from, instead of being apologetic, treated the situation like it was a "bonus" for the ticketholders, despite the fact that it left ticketholders with three less-than-optimal options: (1) pay an extra $10 to get seats close to the stage at Merriweather (which, by the way, is a 45-60 minute drive from DC); (2) for the same price, see the show from the "lawn" section of Merriweather (i.e., not close to the stage at all); or (3) get a refund and skip the show altogether.

As a longtime fan of the band who admittedly has been spoiled in being able to see the band in small, intimate venues for a number of years, I was upset.  My post, which was intended primarily to express my disappointment in the situation, admittedly had a pretty harsh title, and as a result caught the attention of Brooklyn Vegan, as well as numerous commenters and emailers.

Today, my post seems to have caught the attention of Britt Daniel himself.  (While I would normally question whether someone posting as Britt Daniel was, in fact, Britt Daniel, the tone and content of the post leads me to believe that it likely is him.)

In fairness to Britt and the rest of the band, I want to post Britt's response here. His explanation is pretty reasonable and, as I've said here, I don't blame the band one bit for jumping at the chance to play a big venue with The Shins.  I just wish that a replacement DC had been announced.  Thankfully, it appears that this may in fact be in the cards.
Hi guys

I first heard about this situation last week while we were traveling
in Europe. There was some misunderstanding on my part from the
beginning...I was told that the promoter of our show was promoting a
Shins show as well and that all parties involved did not want for
Spoon to be going up against the Shins on the same Monday night. Spoon
was asked would we be ok with getting on the bill with the Shins
instead but not as a typical opener slot, we'd have a full set time.
We're fans of the Shins, and since this was coming from the promoter
of our own show I figured this would be best. What I hadn't understood
at the time was that by combining the Monday night show of both bands
into such a big venue, Spoon would also be giving up its Tuesday night
show. This is my fault. If I had thought about it a little more
carefully I would have realized this would be the case because it's
standard. In order to get as many tickets sold for the bigger show as
possible, they have to eliminate the option of what was to be our
second DC show. Usually without exception, an opening band cannot put
its own smaller show on sale in the same city until the bigger show
sells out. The promoter / band may have been hoping to do the second
show all along but they need to see that the first one's going to sell
through before they can do it.

So, for all of this I apologize. Once I did realize there was no
Tuesday night 930 club show I was like, "fuck!"

We've tried to make sure that there are decent options for those
who had already bought tickets -- as I understand it you can transfer
your ticket from the 930 to the new venue for free (granted, it's on
the lawn), or you can use a 930 ticket to get a seated ticket for
less than it normally would have cost, or you can just get a full
rebate. But I do understand some people just prefer smaller-venue
shows to bigger ones -- this is why we played so many small-room shows
this year (like the Mohawk in Austin, Doug Fir in Portland, Schubas in
Chicago, the Bowery in New York, Cafe Du Norde and Popscene in SF, the
MFA in Boston to name a few of em) when we could have gone for much
more money in much bigger rooms. Since I realized both 9:30 shows were
out of the picture , I've been trying to find out if there are any
options for some kind of smaller show in the area and if something is
possible up we'll of course announce that.

My thanks to Britt (assuming this was, in fact, him) for his post, and for doing what he can to get us another show down the road.

I'm sure it's hard to balance the need for a band to reach a larger audience with the need to stay true to its older fanbase, and I'm sure this is even harder when you have various different booking, promo and management people all making decisions for you at the same time. The fact that Britt does seem to at least be trying to stay true to his older fans is a promising sign.

And, yes, I do apologize for the title of my previous post.

More New Shows

I'll mention again how annoying it is that the DC venues seem to release dates in dribs and drabs throughout the week. It wasn't a perfect system, but in the Bowery Presents' Ticketweb days in New York (i.e., up until about 3 weeks ago), it was a pretty good bet that the majority of the new shows around town would pop up on Ticketweb's listings either late Tuesday or early Wednesday. No idea how Ticketmaster's handling things for Bowery these days...

Anyway, the point of this post is...

Sat., 10/22: Longwave, Robbers On High Street @ Black Cat (on sale Friday)
Wed., 11/14: The Gossip, The Long Blondes and Panther @ Black Cat (on sale Friday)

Speaking of the Robbers on High Street, I had a chance a couple of weeks ago to listen to their new album, Grand Animals. I've always kind of thought of the band as a low-rent Spoon - the singer's voice can at times sound exactly like Britt, and their music was extremely stylistically similar as well. One listen through to the new album, however, and it's pretty clear that they've dropped the Spoon-isms. Now they're going for more of a Beatles-y sound. Unfortunately, the new sound is even less convincing than the old one. Oh well.

Weekly 9:30 Club Update

I'm starting to get the impression that the 9:30 Club announces the majority of their shows on Wednesday afternoons, as a bunch of shows just appeared on their calendar this afternoon. I'm listing everything, even though I don't know a few of the bands (Blaqk Audio) and couldn't care about some others (Cannibal Corpse). The ones I may go to are in bold. I can't decide about Cold War Kids. I've never really gotten into them, but I've heard they put on a good live show. We'll see.

All shows go on sale this Thursday, 8/23 at 10am. Still no word when that October 14th Bad Religion show goes on sale.

Sat., 9/8: Blaqk Audio
Fri., 9/28: Animal Collective
Mon., 10/1: Matt Pond PA
Thurs., 10/2: Jose Gonzalez
Wed., 10/3: Cannibal Corpse with Goatwhore (simply awesome name)
Tues., 10/16: Circa Survive
Sun., 11/4: Keller Williams @ the WMDs
Tues., 11/20: Hold Steady and Art Brut (don't forget the pre-sale)
Tues., 11/27: Cold War Kids

Hold Steady/Art Brut Pre-Sale

Meant to post this this morning, but Blogger was acting up. Anyway, there's a pre-sale going on for ten dates on the big Hold Steady / Art Brut tour this fall. Go here to get yourself tickets to the Providence, Athens, Knoxville, Pontiac, Tempe, Boulder, Austin, Birmingham, Richmond and D.C. shows. You'll save a few bucks on Ticketmaster charges if you do.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bad Religion at 9:30 Club on 10/14

Spectacular news from Product Shop - Bad Religion is hitting the road in October, and is scheduled to play the 9:30 Club on Sunday, October 14th. Openers for all shows are one or both of The Briggs and Gallows, neither of whom I've ever heard of before.

I'm glad this show isn't a day later, or otherwise it would interfere with pre-CMJ festivities in New York, which I plan on attending. There were some good shows on Monday last year, and I assume there will be again this year.

Full Bad Religion Dates

9/29: Schnepf Farms – Queen Creek, AZ
9/30: Club 101 – El Paso, TX #
10/01: House of Blues – Dallas, TX #
10/04: Clutch Cargo’s – Pontiac, MI *
10/05: House of Blues – Chicago, IL *
10/06: First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN *
10/07: The Eagles Club – Milwaukee, WI *
10/09: Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH *
10/10: Madison Theatre – Covington, KY *
10/11: Agora Theatre – Cleveland, OH *
10/12: Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY *
10/14: 9:30 Club – Washington, DC *
10/15: Nokia Theatre Times Square – New York, NY * (seriously, guys? why?)
10/16: Roxy – Boston, MA #
10/17: Electric Factory Ballroom – Philadelphia, PA #
10/19: Crocodile Rock Café – Allentown, PA #
10/20: Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ #

# = The Briggs opening
* = The Briggs and Gallows opening

New DC Shows

A bunch of new shows popped up over at the Rock and Roll Hotel's site today. This place is clearly becoming my favorite venue in DC.

Sun., 10/14: Saves The Day (acoustic)
Wed., 10/17: 1990s
Mon., 10/22: Owen, Kevin Devine and Andy Hull
Thu., 10/25: Travis Morrison Hellfighters
Thu., 11/15: Enon, Love of Diagrams
Mon., 11/19: Malajube

All of these shows are on sale this Friday at 10am, except for Enon and Malajube, which are on sale next Friday (8/31). Also, they've finally picked an on-sale date for the Sat. 10/27 Whigs/Broken West show - this Friday at 10am.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hold Steady and Art Brut Playing 9:30 Club

Great piece of news from Brooklyn Vegan today - The Hold Steady and Art Brut are touring together, and they're playing at the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, November 20th. I've missed the last few Hold Steady shows I was supposed to see, the most recent being last week's set in Prospect Park, so I'm happy to have another chance before they go off to record album #3. I'm not a huge Art Brut fan, but I've heard their live shows are fun.

Interestingly, for you folks in New York, this show is hitting the 3,000 person capacity Terminal 5. My question: Is this the first example of a show that really belongs at Webster Hall that's being unnecessarily bumped to Bowery Presents' new venue?

I'm no expert (or graphic designer for that matter), but if I had to guess, this show ain't gonna sell out. I may be wrong, but I don't think so.

Order Wussy's Left For Dead Now!

Just noticed that the new Wussy album, entitled Left For Dead, is available for mail order NOW via the excellent Shake It Records for only $10.99.

I just ordered mine. You should too. For proof, take another listen to a song from the album:

Wussy, "Rigor Mortis"

Wussy on MySpace
Wussy website

Spinner Roundup (Week of August 21)

So-so week over at Spinner this week. They've got one of my favorites of the year (Earlimart), what is easily one of my biggest disappointments of the year (sorry, New Pornographers), and several other albums I'm unlikely to ever listen to (e.g., Architecture in Helsinki).

The New Pornographers, Challengers
Architecture in Helsinki, Places Like This
Caribou, Andorra
Earlimart, Mentor Tormentor
Patrick Park, Everyone's in Everyones
Kinski, Down Below It's Chaos
Imperial Teen, The Hair, The TV, The Baby & the Band

New Cody and Gillette

Since we last heard from him, Cody Gillette went through a minor name-change (who'd have thunk there was a real Cody Gillette out there making music?), and is now going under the name Cody and Gillette. Let's hope for his sake that there's not some random litigious, white supremacist, anti-U.N., pro-gun-rights folk duo in Idaho made up of guys named Cody and Gillette. Stranger things have happened. Maybe.

Anyway, more importantly, the artist now known as C&G has another wonderful song up on his MySpace page. This one's called "Into the Blue", and damn if it's not the prettiest thing I've heard in weeks. Check it out before the color blue issues a cease and desist letter.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Not-Good-At-Math Way-Way-Way-Too-Early Working Top 10 Albums of the Year List

I mentioned in a post earlier in the day that Vandaveer's Grace and Speed is an early darkhorse in my "best of 2007" list. It's still ridiculously early, but I figured I'd post a quick list of the albums that are currently in the running. This will definitely change multiple times before the end of the year, but there are a few of you out there who have asked for more concrete suggestions of music you should be checking out. Consider this your response. Lazy lawyers.

In alphabetical order only...

The Antlers, In The Attic of the Universe
The Apples in Stereo, New Magnetic Wonder
Blonde Redhead, 23
The Broken West, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On
Dinosaur Jr., Beyond
Earlimart, Mentor Tormentor
Josh Ritter, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
The Mendoza Line, 30 Year Low
The National, Boxer
The Smashing Pumpkins, Zeitgeist (I kid, I kid)
Vandaveer, Grace and Speed
Wilco, Sky Blue Sky (trending downwards, to be honest)
You Am I, Convicts (released in the US in 2007, I believe)

A few other thoughts: I like the new Okkervil River disc, but unless something drastic happens I don't see it making my top 10. I'm listening to the new Rogue Wave disc, Asleep at Heaven's Gate, for the first time as I type this, and I'm absolutely loving it so far, so it might be on the list soon. And I'm pretty confident Wussy's new album, due out next Tuesday, will be on this list too.

HBO Renews Flight of the Conchords


This means, of course, that it's business time.

Vandaveer Touring

Vandaveer, "How Ever Many Takes It Takes"

One of the darker of the dark horses currently in the running for my top albums of the year is Vandaveer's stellar Grace and Speed [BUY]. I haven't yet had the opportunity to catch Mark live yet (I had to skip his New York show earlier this month to see The Figgs), but luckily it looks like I've got a couple of chances over the next few months. Do yourself a favor and be sure to check out one of these shows if you're within, oh, say, 54 miles of the venue.

FRI/ 8.24.2007: The Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
FRI/ 8.24.2007: IOTA Club & Cafe, Arlington, VA
THU/ 9.6.2007: The Dame, Lexington, KY
FRI/ 9.7.2007: The 930 Listening Room, Louisville, KY
TUE/ 9.18.2007: Arlene's Grocery, New York, NY ##
THU/ 9.20.2007: Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY ##
FRI/ 9.21.2007: AS220, Providence, RI ##
SAT/ 9.22.2007: John Bale Book Co., Waterbury, CT ##
SUN/ 9.23.2007: Lo-Fi Social Club. Baltimore, MD ##
SUN/ 9.30.2007: The Black Cat, Washington, DC **
TUE/ 10.16.2007: The Hope, Brighton, UK ##
THU/ 10.18.2007 : The Social, Nottingham, UK ##
FRI/ 10.19.2007: The Magnet, Liverpool, UK ##
SAT/ 10.20.2007: The Beat Club, Glasgow, UK ##
WED/ 10.24.2007: Le Franc-Pinot, Paris, France ##
FRI/ 10.26.2007: Winston Kingdom, Amsterdam, Netherlands ##

##: with These United States
**: with John Bustine and Brandon Butler

Morrissey No Longer Sick, No Longer Playing MSG

Remember how Morrissey was supposed to play Madison Square Garden back in June? Well, Moz got sick and ended up canceling that show and several others. I've heard nothing to dispel the story that he was, in fact, ill, but there were also reports that Moz had sold only about 7,000 tickets out of more than 18,000 seats at MSG. So it's a good guess that that figured into the deal too.

Well, both issues seem to be resolved now - Moz seems to be back and healthy, and he's ditched the idea of playing MSG. Instead, he's scheduled five nights at Hammerstein Ballroom. While five nights at Hammerstein does, in fact, bring him to just under 18,000 available seats (Hammerstein holds about 3,500), it also allows him to fill many of those seats with repeat ticket buyers. While he may not be able to find 18,000 who will spend money to see him live, he can certainly find several thousand who will buy tickets for multiple nights. And I'm sure they'll bring him flowers too.

Anyway, I'm not sure which of these are rescheduled dates and which aren't, but here's Moz's tour dates for October (source):

October 1 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 2 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 4 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 5 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 6 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 8 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 9 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 11 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 12 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 13 LOS ANGELES, CA : Palladium
October 15 SALT LAKE CITY, UT : Thanksgiving Point
October 17 WAUKEGAN, IL : Genesee Theatre
October 19 ROYAL OAK, MI : Royal Oak Music Theatre
October 20 MERRILLVILLE, IN : Star Plaza
October 22 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 23 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 26 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 27 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 28 NEW YORK, NY : Hammerstein Ballroom
October 30 BOSTON, MA : Orpheum
October 31 BALTIMORE, MD : Rams Head
November 2 WASHINGTON, DC : Constitution Hall

I'm not a particularly big fan, but I might consider hitting the Constitution Hall show for shits and giggles.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rogue Wave Opener Goodness

As if I needed any more reason to buy my ticket for Rogue Wave's show at the Black Cat on Monday, November 5th, I just saw that Port O'Brien are opening. You may remember that I spoke about these guys last fall. Admittedly, they kind of dropped off my radar since then, but this is as good a reason to catch up.

Britt Daniel Can Bite Me

As I mentioned previously, Spoon recently announced that they would be playing 2 shows at the 9:30 Club here in DC - specifically, Monday, Oct. 22 and Tuesday, Oct. 23. I bought a ticket for the second night, on the theory that Monday night shows suck.

I also mentioned that The Shins were playing Merriweather Post Pavilion outside of Baltimore on Monday, Oct. 22, and that I would not be attending.

Well, someone decided in their infinite wisdom that these three shows needed to be combined into one. For proof, check out this email that I just got from
Spoon has agreed to play on The Shins bill at Merriweather Post Pavilion on October 22, so the 9:30 Club shows have been cancelled.

Because you showed your allegiance by buying your tickets so early, they want to treat you right - you have some choices here:

1 - trade in your ticket for a GA Pit or Reserved pavilion ticket (a
$45 value), for only ten more dollars. You can do it in advance thru the 9:30 Club or Merriweather box office.

2 - present your ticket to Merriweather on October 22 for a lawn seat (a $30) value) - no exchange or extra effort necessary.

3 - Ask for a refund.

Think about what you'd like to do, and well get back to you Monday with more details about how to proceed. Just know that we've got seats and pit spots held for you!

So let me get this straight, Britt... you're canceling BOTH nights just so you can play with The Shins on ONE night? And you're not even going to reschedule a SINGLE DC show?

The Shins are terrible live and I am not spending extra money (and travel time) so I can see Spoon play a 40 minute set and then suffer through a Shins live set. And NO WAY am I seeing that show from the lawn.

Seriously, guys, I call bullshit. I respect the fact that you're getting bigger, and that this is a great opportunity to get more people to hear you. But as a band that has depended on its hardcore fans for more than a decade now, this is a really, really shitty way to treat those fans. Or should the term now be "ex-fan"?

See you on your way back down, fellas.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Checking In From NYC

So I'm back in New York for the weekend. Man did I miss this town after only 5 days. Although it sucks living in an apartment with only an aerobed and a computer without WiFi. I'm spending my days (including now) sitting in Cosi using their free WiFi. Fun.

Anyway, wanted to drop a quick note to let folks know that The Golden City - the new band from Eric Richter, formerly of Christie Front Drive, Antarctica and The 101 - is playing this Sunday night at Fat Baby. I actually managed to catch their first ever show last night at the Charleston in Williamsburg. Good stuff. They're clearly very early in their time as a band, but the songs sound great, and they'll sound even better when they play somewhere other than the Charleston. :^) I've mentioned it before, but you can hear a few new songs from the band at their MySpace page.

Tonight is The National with Takka Takka and The Forms at South Street Seaport. Should be a complete and utter zoo. Looking forward to it. If you're going, be sure to get there early - Takka Takka has been putting on some great shows of late, and you won't want to miss them.

Edited to add: Due to unforeseen events, I'm actually gonna have to skip the National/Takka Takka show tonight. Oh well. I'll see the National in DC in 2 weeks anyway. Enjoy the show, kids.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Full Thurston Moore Tour Dates

I mentioned the other day that Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore was playing a solo gig here in DC in late September. Rolling Stone's Rock Daily blog is reporting that this is actually a real tour, although split into two parts. If you're in the NY area, you've got 2 (or 3, if you have a car) chances to catch him.

Tour Dates:
9/24 - Hoboken, NJ (Maxwell’s)
9/26 - Brooklyn, NY (Music Hall of Williamsburg)
9/27 - Boston, MA (Museum of Fine Arts)
9/28 - Princeton, NJ (Terrace Club)
9/29 - Washington, DC (Rock and Roll Hotel)
9/30 - Philadelphia, PA (Johnny Brenda’s)
10/24 - Seattle, WA (Neumo’s)
10/25 - Portland, OR (Doug Fir Lounge)
10/26 - Arcata, CA (Humboldt St. University)
10/29 - San Francisco, CA (Great American Music Hall)
10/30 - Los Angeles, CA (Echoplex)

Shout Out Louds Playing 9:30 Club

Just noticed that the Shout Out Louds are playing the 9:30 Club with Johnossi (?) and Nico Vega (??) on Sunday, October 28th. Tickets go on sale Thursday at 10am.

Sadly, this is the same night as Drive By Truckers in Baltimore, so I likely won't be in attendance.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ted Leo Touring Again

Even though I missed both Ted Leo and The Thermals this past weekend in New York, it looks like I'm going to get a chance to see both of them soon. As I mentioned yesterday, the Thermals are due to play the Black Cat on Saturday, November 3rd.

Now it appears that Ted Leo is going to be coming back to the East Coast a few weeks later. I just saw that Ted is scheduled to play Webster Hall in NYC on December 5th. Tickets are on sale for the very odd price of $19.99. Has live music become a commodity like gasoline?

Digging around Ticketmaster, it appears that Ted also has a Philly date scheduled for December 6th at the Starlight Ballroom (on sale here).

Come on Ted, give us a D.C. show. December 7th is open on my calendar.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Morning Becomes Eclectic Sessions

Thanks to David for reminding me that KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic has been hosting some great in-studio sessions lately. Now I know what I'm doing throughout the day tomorrow.

Upcoming Sets
Tues., 8/14: The Magic Numbers @ 2:15pm EST
Mon., 8/20: Oliver Future @ 2:15pm EST (getting a big WOXY push right now)
Tues., 8/21: Earlimart @ 2:15pm EST

Recent Sets
Bat For Lashes
Crowded House
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova

You Just Got Christmas Early, Kids

It's an action, romance, horror, comedy... it's a romactihoredy.

On sale tomorrow (i.e., Tuesday).

New D.C. Shows

A couple interesting D.C. shows announced today. I'm particularly happy about the second one, considering that I missed seeing them twice in NYC this past weekend.

Sat., 9/29: Thurston Moore @ Rock and Roll Hotel (on sale Fri. 8/17 at 10am)
Sat., 11/3: The Thermals @ Black Cat (on sale Fri. 8/17 at 5pm)

And for those of you still living in mid-2002, The Hives are scheduled to play the Black Cat on Wed., 10/17. Tickets are on sale on Friday. No word whether The Vines will be appearing as well.

Shins Playing Merriweather


According to Brooklyn Vegan, The Shins are playing Merriweather Post Pavilion on Monday, October 22nd. I will not be in attendance. They're just not a good live band, and I really did not care for the last album. I might, repeat might, pay to see them play a small room (9:30 Club or smaller), but there's no chance I'm going to see them in a venue that holds 16,000+ people. (Speaking of which - how is this even possible for them to sell out? Does Merriweather have a smaller, indoor room? Who plays outdoors in late October?)

Slightly more interesting is the fact that the band is playing two nights at something called Terminal Five in New York. This appears to be the Bowery Presents' new 3000-person room in midtown which will compete with Roseland and Hammerstein. (Which again begs the question, if they only have 6,000 tickets in NYC, why play a 16,000 seat venue outside DC?)

First Impressions of D.C.

So the move down to D.C. actually went off pretty much without a hitch, and I'm just about all settled in. Thankfully my lease in New York goes through the end of the month, so I'll be back in a few days for The National and Takka Takka at South Street Seaport, but it's impossible to deny that my time in New York is essentially up. For now.

That said, my first weekend in D.C. almost felt like I was in New York (except for that whole missing The Thermals at Maxwell's and missing The Thermals and Ted Leo at McCarren thing). First up on Saturday night was Brooklyn's own Takka Takka playing with White Rabbits and The Cribs at the Black Cat. Much like their show at Mercury Lounge a few weeks ago, Takka sounded great. The new guys seem to be settling in nicely, and I'm quickly becoming a very big fan of the band's new, meatier and slightly jammy sound. I hear that they're looking to record LP #2 sometime this Fall, so hopefully we'll get to hear it before too long.

Next up was White Rabbits, who have been getting a ton of buzz over the last few months, especially from I have the band's debut album, Fort Nightly, and while a few songs are pretty good, I admit that I find the rest of the album pretty boring. That said, seeing the band live is a completely different experience. On stage they have a ton of energy, as well as a ton of members (and friends) running around stage, and two (!!) full drum kits. They definitely won me over, and I can't wait to catch them live again.

I skipped out before The Cribs came on. I really, really hate the songs of theirs that I've heard (especially "Hey Scenesters"), and wasn't really in the mood to stick around. I heard from a friend who's seen them live before that I made the right choice. Phew.

Next up on Sunday night was New York's Eugene Mirman and Leo Allen at the Rock and Roll Hotel. This was my first time at this venue, and I gotta say - I like it. Despite the fact that it's in a complete and utter warzone of a neighborhood, the room itself was very comfy (think a slightly deeper Mercury Lounge), and had a cool bar upstairs with a decent-looking kitchen. This was something like the 3rd or 4th time I've seen Eugene this year, and amazingly about 70% of his material was new to me. He was hilarious as always. (Note to Flight of the Conchords: give the man more lines.) Leo Allen was good as well, and opener Larry Murphy had some pretty interesting puppets.

So, all in all, not a bad start to my time in D.C. Let's hope we can keep this type of pace up for the next 12 months.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Initial CMJ Lineup Announced

Head over to Brooklyn Vegan to check it out. It's not so good yet, but it's early. I have no doubt it will round out nicely, as usual.

An Early Adieu

Things will probably be quiet around the Stew for the next few days. As I've been threatening for some time now, I am officially moving to Washington D.C. tomorrow. I'll be back in a week or so to catch The National at South Street Seaport, and to take care of some odds and ends around town, but for all intents and purposes tomorrow is the end of a mostly wonderful, sometimes not, but certainly always interesting 11 years in Manhattan. I'll be back often (seeing the Frames at Webster Hall, will likely be back for CMJ, etc.), and I may very possibly move back next summer. The D.C. thing is, luck willing, a one-year deal, and next year will either bring me back to New York or possibly Chicago. Or Akron.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who's made the last 11 years a ton of fun.

I'll leave you with an obvious song. I'll warn you that I don't tend to listen to lyrics much, and despite being in advanced placement English for many years, I was always terrible at reading and interpreting poetry. (I think I still have a copy of my interpretation of Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn in a pop quiz from 12th grade where, because I simply had no idea what the hell it meant, I wrote 4 pages (double-spaced) on the restorative benefits of Grecian Formula and its ability to help get old guys laid. Seriously. My teacher made me retake the quiz. I think I got a B the second time around.) What I'm saying is that I have no real idea what the song is about, and I'm posting it simply because the title and overall tone of the song is appropriate. Enjoy.

R.E.M., "Leaving New York" (from Around the Sun)

Download the Figgs' Maxwell's Set

If you missed The Figgs' two excellent shows in the New York area last weekend, or if you simply want to hear why I rave about these guys so much, head over to the always-excellent NYC Taper blog where you can download the band's entire Maxwell's set (well, all but one song).

If you haven't been checking out the NYC Taper site, you should do so ASAP. He's been posting a ton of great shows, including the White Stripes' recent show at MSG, Wilco's show at Hammerstein, and Dinosaur Jr. at Irving Plaza, among others. Awesome stuff.

Final Mendoza Line Album Now on eMusic

Although not due for a physical release until August 21st, the final Mendoza Line album, entitled 30 Year Low is now available for download on eMusic. eMusic also has the band's accompanying disc of outtakes and rarities entitled The Final Remarks of the Legendary Malcontent.

I just finished listening to the main album, and it's stunning. My favorite song on the album may be Aspect of an Old Maid, although you're not going to find my favorite version of that song on the album. The album version features vocals by Shannon McArdle and Will Sheff of Okkervil River. While excellent, that version pales in comparison to the alternate (original?) take on the song by McArdle and the Mendoza Line's Timothy Bracy. Not surprisingly, considering that the two were going through a divorce during the recording of the album, the McArdle/Bracy version feels rawer and more immediate.

You can hear the alternate version at the Glurp Records website. (Click on "the mendoza line" under "latest news" for 5/10, and the link is just below the album cover. There's no more direct way for me to get you there aside from a deep-link to the song, which I prefer not to do.)

John Stabb Benefit Show

Just saw this over at DCist:

A benefit show is being held tomorrow night (8/10) at the Velvet Lounge in Washington D.C. for John Stabb of Government Issue. If you hadn't heard, John was viciously attacked by a group of teenagers near his Burtonsville, MD home last month. While his subsequent surgery and healing seem to have gone well, John's insurance is refusing to cover a large part of his expenses.

I get into DC late tomorrow afternoon, but am not sure if I can make it or not. Luckily, there's a PayPal donation page as well as other avenues to help John. Go here for more info.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

TV's Funniest Show is Back

And not a moment too soon...

The latest (and possibly best) teaser commercial doesn't seem to be up on YouTube yet. I'll post it when I see it.

Spoon Playing Two Shows at 9:30 Club

Just noticed that Spoon is scheduled to play two shows at the 9:30 Club on Monday, 10/22 and Tuesday, 10/23. Tickets go on sale tomorrow morning at 10am.

I've skipped seeing them no less than 3 times this year (SXSW, Webster Hall (or was it Bowery?) and Rockefeller Park), so I feel kinda obligated to go to at least one of these.

Edited to add: Holy schnikes! Spoon's New York show is at Roseland Ballroom on 10/20. The boys have finally hit, I guess. Good for them. Full tour dates are here. I'm too lazy to type them all out. Lo siento.

Apples in Stereo Touring Again

Apples in Stereo seem to be touring more than just about everybody this year, except for maybe Dinosaur Jr. I missed their last show in NYC, so I'm definitely catching the 9:30 Club show.

Apples in Stereo Fall Dates
8/31: Denver (Bluebird Theater)
9/2: Seattle (Bumbershoot Festival)
9/13: Lexington, KY (The Dame)
9/14: Athens, OH (The Union) (when did bands start playing at OU?)
9/15: Cranford, NJ (MusicFest)
9/16: Brooklyn (Music Hall of Williamsburg)
9/17: Boston (Middle East)
9/19: Washington, DC (9:30 Club)
9/20: Hoboken, NJ (Maxwell's)
9/21: Philadelphia (World Cafe)
9/22: Raleigh, NC (Lincoln Theater)
9/23: Atlanta (Unplugged in the Park)
9/25: Athens, GA (40 Watt Club)
9/26: Gainesville, FL (Common Grounds)
9/27: Orlando, FL (AKA Lounge)
9/28: Fort Lauderdale, FL (Culture Room)
9/29: Tampa, FL (Crowbar)
9/30: Tallahassee, FL (Beta Bar)

Why Is This Acceptable?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New Steve Earle, "City of Immigrants"

Head over to Steve Earle's MySpace page to hear the song "City of Immigrants" from his forthcoming album entitled Washington Square Serenade (due out 9/25 on New West Records). Interestingly, the album was produced by John King, who is better known as one half of The Dust Brothers.

Overall, the song is pretty damn good, or at least right up until someone sounding a hell of a lot like the Indigo Girls starts singing. And the flute's gotta go. Oh, and several parts of the song remind me of Neil Diamond, but that's not a terrible thing.

Edited to add: According to Billboard, that ain't the Indigo Girls, it's a Brazilian group called Forro In The Dark. Um, ok.

The Good Life Touring

Tim Kasher's (Cursive) other band, The Good Life, are touring this fall. I haven't seen a full tour schedule yet, but a few dates have been announced so far. Unfortunately, the DC date conflicts with Voxtrot and The Little Ones at the Black Cat. I may need to hit the Philly show.

Tour dates (so far)
Wed., 9/26: The Picador (Iowa City)
Fri., 9/28: Subterranean (Chicago)
Mon., 10/1: Mohawk Place (Buffalo)
Thurs., 10/4: Bowery Ballroom (NYC)
Fri., 10/5: First Unitarian Church (Philadelphia)
Sat., 10/6: Rock and Roll Hotel (DC)
Thu., 10/25: Troubadour (West Hollywood)
Tue., 10/30: Bimbo's 365 Club (San Francisco)

New Wussy, "Jonah"

Head over to Wussy's MySpace page to hear another song from the band's new album, Left for Dead. It's a tough call, but it might be my favorite song from the album so far.

MTV Announces Video Music Award Nominees

Why is this news?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Morons Across America... Rejoice!

FOX has heard your calls, and has programmed a night specifically for you. Starting this Fall, Fox brings you "Lobotomy Thursdays" featuring:

8pm-9pm: Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
9pm-10pm: Don't Forget the Lyrics!

Your bus is leaving.

I Won't Last in D.C. More Than a Year

In what might be the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time, DCist is reporting that Washington D.C.'s Metro service (i.e., its subway) is apparently considering getting rid of its late night weekend service.

If you're unfamiliar with the situation, it used to be that Metro stopped running every night around 12am. Sometime in the late 90's (or was it early 00's?), Metro added late night service on Fridays and Saturdays, keeping the trains running until around 3am.

When I lived in D.C. twice in the 90's, the midnight cutoff for Metro was a nightmare. There were numerous nights where I had to choose, at 11:50pm, whether to leave a concert I was seeing at the 9:30 Club in order to make the last Metro train, or watch the rest of the show and take my chances getting a cab afterwards. If you've ever been to a show at the 9:30 Club, you'll know how hard it is to catch a cab there. Back in the mid-90's, it was pretty much impossible. And, despite a bit of an economic boom in the area in recent years, it's still too difficult today. I had a hell of a time getting a cab after The Frames' show at the 9:30 Club earlier this year.

Metro's addition of late night weekend service was a step in the right direction. It's no coincidence that D.C. has been growing in the last few years, and that more and more apartment buildings, restaurants and bars have been popping up throughout the District.

So instead of expanding this effort, and adding hours on weeknights, Metro instead is looking at ending late night service altogether. Brilliant. Let's give an incentive to people to either (a) not come into the District and spend money, or (b) drive home drunk from the bar. Let's also clog the streets on weekends with people looking for places to park. And let's hurt bars and music clubs by forcing their patrons to head for the door at 11:50pm to make sure they can catch the last train home.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

Dada Tours!

Unless you were paying attention for a few months in 1992, you may not know who Dada is, and if you do, you probably had no idea they were still together. That's a shame.

Of all the bands to have minor hits in the "alternative wave" of the early 90's (theirs was "Dizz Knee Land", from 1992's Puzzle), Dada was one of the few bands that had both the songwriting skills and the musicianship to become legitimate rock stars. Unfortunately, however, despite the fact that they went on to release four more excellent albums (including American Highway Flower, which in my opinion is one of the best albums of the 90's), the band never really broke through beyond a dedicated core fanbase.

Talk about a dedicated fanbase, though. I've managed to see the band a couple of times in New York over the last few years, and I always meet people who've traveled in from Florida, Ohio and even California. And the shows? Unbelievable. Two hours (or more) of pure rock and roll, every time.

So I was thrilled to see today that the band has scheduled several dates over the next few months, including a show outside of Washington D.C. in two weeks. I'm there. You should be too, if you know what's good for you.

Dada dates
8/23: Falls Church, VA (State Theatre)
8/24: Philadelphia (North Star Bar)
11/2: Denver (Bluebird Theater)
11/8: San Francisco (Red Devil Lounge)
11/10: San Juan Capistrano (The Coach House)

Also, if you're in LA next week, be sure to check out guitarist Michael Gurley's other band, the always excellent Butterfly Jones at the Whisky A Go Go on August 11th.

Wussy Lounge Act Available for Download has posted Friday's Lounge Act by Wussy for download on its site.

Check it out.

You Am I, Smoking Popes and The Figgs @ Bowery [8/4/07]

Another night, another awesome rock show. Sleep awaits.

You Am I

The Figgs

The Smoking Popes

Saturday, August 04, 2007

More Figgs

One of my favorite album that I've heard this year is Graham Parker and the Figgs' live album, 103 Degrees in June. The album came out last year, but I just got it a couple of months ago, and I can't stop listening to it. I've never been a huge fan of Graham's, but the combination of Graham and the Figgs, who have been Graham's primary backing band for a number of years now, makes for some fantastic rock music.

Here's some proof.

"Bad Chardonnay

The Figgs @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ [8/3/07]

Beat, no time for words. Awesome rock show from The Figgs tonight, as usual.

If you're in New York tomorrow, come see The Figgs at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets are available. You shan't be sorry.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Help The Cause

I don't ask you folks to do much other than stop by the blog on occasion and bask in the glow of my wit and musical taste. However, there's one huge favor I'd like to ask from you - help send the Spice Girls to Baghdad.

Seriously, just go here and click on the button to vote for the Spice Girls to play in "your spice city". (Wow is that painful.) You can literally vote for any city in the world, but if NME is to be believed, Baghdad is actually a contender. And the groups PR folks insist that the group will play whatever city gets the most votes.

So take 2 minutes out of your day and send the lovely ladies of the Spice Girls where they belong... hell on Earth.

It's Showtime for Illinois

Although I try to stay on top of new bands as much as possible, I admit that I tend to shy away from bands that all of the other blogs jump on. My tastes tend to differ from a lot of the blogs - I really don't like either dance-oriented music or bearded-freak-folk. (Hence, you don't see a whole lot of LCD Soundsystem, Daft Punk, Grizzly Bear, Devendra Banhart or the like on this blog.) As a result, I tend to be pretty hesitant about a lot of the bands that you see getting a major push on the blogs.

One of the bands that's gotten a ton of coverage over the last few months, and one of the bands that I kept putting off listening to, is Illinois. As time went on, though, I kept hearing more and more good things about the band and its debut EP, What The Hell Do I Know? As a result, I came this close to heading out to McCarren Pool a few weeks ago to catch them, but got scared off by the lengthy commute.

So when I got an email from the band's publicist yesterday about the inclusion of the song "Nosebleed" on this week's episode of Showtime's Weeds, I figured it was time to finally check out the band. Here's the song:
Illinois, "Nosebleed" (from What The Hell Do I Know?) [BUY]

Honestly, it doesn't do a whole lot for me. The way the vocals are recorded is pretty annoying, and I'm really not a fan of the banjo in anything other than country or bluegrass.
Slightly better is the song "Alone Again", which you can hear over at the Ace Fu Records site. It's better, though still not anything particularly groundbreaking. It actually makes me think of Midlake, but a little louder and less pretty.

If you like what you hear, be sure to catch the band on tour throughout October with Menomena. And be sure to watch this Monday's episode of Weeds. Theoretically I'll have Showtime again after I move next week, so maybe I'll end up seeing it someday too.

Glen Does Dylan

Wow, this whole Once phenomenon just keeps going. Word from the Frames' website is that Glen and Marketa have just recorded a new song called "I'm Not There" for inclusion on the soundtrack to the forthcoming Bob Dylan biopic called... wait for it... I'm Not There.

Very cool.

Reminder! Wussy Lounge Act Today!

Wussy will be recording their second Lounge Act for this afternoon at 3pm. It's a safe bet that they'll be playing songs from their new album, Left for Dead, and you'll probably hear one or two classics as well.

Don't miss it!

Watch This Video

Whatever your politics, whatever your take on the war, you should watch this video. It's a glimpse into what's going on in Iraq on a day-to-day basis that we simply don't get from the American media. It may not change your overall view of the war, but it certainly should give you a better understanding of what our troops (and the Iraqi people) are facing.

Go here.

(Thanks to P. Fulmer for the heads up.)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Stevie Wonder to Tour

There have been rumors for a while now that Stevie Wonder was planning a Fall tour this year, including a rumor that he would be part of September's Austin City Limits Festival. Well, the latter turned out to be untrue, but the first part is. Strangely, though, no New York date.

A Wonder Summer's Night Tour

8/23: San Diego, CA (Humphrey's)
8/25: Lake Tahoe, CA (Harvey's Lake Tahoe Amphitheatre)
8/26: Concord, CA (Concord Pavilion)
8/28: Santa Barbara, CA (Santa Barbara Bowl)
8/30: Portland, OR (Edgefield Amphitheatre)
8/31: Woodinville, WA (Chateau Saint Michelle Winery)
9/4: Saratoga, CA (Mountain Winery)
9/5: Los Angeles, CA (Greek Theatre)
9/10: Chicago, IL (Charter One Pavilion)
9/12: Detroit, MI (Meadowbrook)
9/14: Atlanta, GA (Chastain Park Amphitheatre)
9/16: Baltimore, MD (Pier Six Pavilion)
9/20: Boston, MA (Bank of America Pavilion)

I've never been a huge fan, but I plan on trying to get up to the Baltimore show.

Alkaline Trio Signs to Epic

Kings of A&R is reporting that the Alkaline Trio has signed with Epic Records. (Press release.)

Alkaline Trio is one of the few bands from my emo past (approx. 1996-2000) that I still listen to pretty regularly. Their first few albums are fantastic examples of late 90's emo, with loud guitars, catchy (but not bubblegum) songs, and a dark ok-I'll-say-it emotional edge. I'd probably take some heat from longtime fans, but my favorite disc from the band is still 2001's From Here to Infirmary. It's pretty regular jogging music for me.

Congrats to the band on the deal. While I thought the band hit a bit of a lull with Good Mourning, their last disc, Crimson, was pretty damn good, so I'll be interested to see what their next album sounds like.

My only suggestion? Don't overthink things. Don't go crazy with gadgets and production. Write the same quality songs you've been writing for a decade and stay true to 'em.

That is all.

Random Thought: I Agree With Pitchfork?

Wow, two mentions of Pitchfork on the same day. I don't think I ever talk about Pitchfork, largely because I rarely read it anymore.

Anyway, I did venture over to the indie rock mothership this morning and noticed that they'd run a review of the new Bishop Allen album, Bishop Allen & the Broken String. Gotta say, it's one of the few Pitchfork reviews that I pretty much agreed with from start to finish. My key point of agreement - these songs were better on the EPs. The band seemed to think that they needed to add several layers of studio sheen to their sound for their debut LP, when in fact a huge part of their appeal is that their songs are clever, catchy and slightly off-kilter. Studio perfection does not become them, and in most cases saps the life and charm from the band's songs.

I do like the album, and I think that there are a bunch of really good songs there. But I also think that this could have been a great album, and the band missed out by trying to be too much to too many people. That's been a trend on a lot of albums this year, in my opinion (Voxtrot, The Shins, Bloc Party, Sondre Lerche, Ryan Adams), and has led to a number of disappointing albums.

Travis Morrison @ Iota, 9/1

Just noticed that Travis Morrison and the Hellfighters are scheduled to play Iota in Arlington, VA on September 1st. Looks like they're opening for someone named Gist.

I've been hearing that Travis' solo album #2 is supposed to be much better than solo album #1, which I admit to never buying largely due to that unfortunate Pitchfork review. However, I was a huge Dismemberment Plan fan, so odds are pretty good that I'll go to this show.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Show of the Fall

You'd think that moving to a smaller market city would lead to a lot less nights where I have to pick between shows.

Not exactly.

On Saturday, October 27th - the same night as the New Pornographers' show at the 9:30 Club - is this even better show at the Rock and Roll Hotel:

The Whigs and The Broken West

On sale Fri. at 10am. Umm, I'm going to this instead.

Two New Maritime Songs

Milwaukee's Maritime will be releasing their third album, entitled Heresy and the Hotel Choir, on October 16th via Flameshovel Records. The album was produced by Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Modest Mouse, Cat Power), and represents the band's first album without bassist Eric Axelrod (formerly of The Dismemberment Plan).

While I liked the band's first two albums, I never really got into them as much as the bandmembers' previous bands (D-Plan, The Promise Ring). From what I've heard of the new album, though, I think that's about to change.

Maritime has made two tracks from Heresy and the Hotel Choir available to the blog world, and I'm happy to post them here for your listening enjoyment. Both are excellent, but I'm really, really digging "For Science Fiction".

"Guns of Navarone"
"For Science Fiction"

The band claims that it will be touring "well into 2008", which is good, because based on these tunes, I can't wait to see them.

Hear more from Maritime at their MySpace page.

Cincinnati Rock City

Hot on the heels of new music from Wussy comes news that Cincinnati's The Hiders are working on LP #2. You can listen to several demos of the band's new songs here. There are 5 songs, some older and some brand new. All very, very good.

Also, Cincinnati Magazine apparently had an article about the band in a recent issue. It's good reading, especially the discussion of A&M Records vs. a couple of indies, and is available here.

Listen to a few tracks from the band's first LP, Valentine, at their MySpace page.

Twilight Sad in DC

Just announced today:

The Twilight Sad
Rock and Roll Hotel
Mon., Oct. 1 8pm
Tickets on sale Fri., 8/10 at 10am

Can't say I've really gotten into these guys, despite that everyone else in the blogging world has. The guy's voice bothers me for some reason. I guess I ought to give them another chance. We'll see.