Sunday, September 30, 2007

Iran So Far

Short of Eddie Murphy becoming 20 again and returning to the show, there is nothing that would ever make me starting watching (or even Tivo'ing) Saturday Night Live again. I stopped around 1991 and haven't missed it.

But it is good to see Andy Samberg continue his streak of Digital Shorts hits. I was a big fan of The 'Bu, and it's cool to see him having success on a wider scale (even if it did become ridiculously overplayed with that Chronicles of Narnia bit.)

So, without further ado...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Because I Can, Dammit


If you can survive this, you can survive anything.

Oh, I discovered this on local Arlington, VA cable access. Greatest public access find ever.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Buy June, Get November

Here's the official release schedule for the New Pornographers' so-called "Buy Early, Get Now" Executive Edition box set, via today's Matador Records newsletter.

If they'd told me this in June, there's not a chance in hell I would have done it.
Those who've participated in the Buy Early Get Now scheme for
'Challengers' have been wondering (rightfully so) what's up with the
bonus downloads? The schedule (subject to change, just like your
voice) looks something like this:


July 4th - The Speed of Luxury (B-Side)
Aug 3rd - Silent Systems (B-Side)
Aug 28th - Fortune (iTunes pre-order B-Side)
September 11 - 3 demos - Showstoppers, Failsafe and Myriad Harbour
September 25 - Alternate mix of "Go Places"
October - Challengers video and photos
November - 'Live From The Future', Fugue States (iTunes album-only
B-Side) and photos
Never again, guys, never again.

Ryan Adams Meltdown #412

Man, this time he even made the front page of CNN. Nicely done, Ry.

Magnolia Electric Co. @ Black Cat, DC [9/27/07]

(Short review. Busy day. Sorry.)

Fantastic show by Magnolia Electric Co. last night at the Black Cat. I'd seen the band once before at the Knitting Factory in New York and wasn't terribly impressed. Looking back, though, it had to have either been an off night, or I just wasn't paying attention, because their performance last night was nothing less than stunning. Truly one of the best performances I've seen this year.

Next show: Tonight, an artist who will not be named. Going as a favor to a friend. There will be no writeup or pictures, in the interest of protecting my "street cred". And no, it's not Jackopierce.

Skipping Glen/Marketa

So I underestimated (or, as our President would say, "misunderestimated") exactly how much Swell Season tickets would cost. I guessed $50 after service fees. It's actually $52 after service fees. And Lincoln Theatre is general admission, meaning that for $52 I still have to show up when doors open if I want to avoid the possibility of getting stuck in the back.

Umm, no thanks.

I might have paid $52 for a seat nice and close to center stage, but even that would have been a close call. But, really, $52 to see the same 15 songs these two have been playing for a year and a half now?

I love ya, Glen, but this show is a complete and utter rip-off.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bishop Allen and Vanderslice Podcasts on NPR

Just a short public service announcement:

Audio from last weekend's Bishop Allen and John Vanderslice show at the Rock and Roll Hotel is now available at NPR. You can either stream the performances or download them as podcasts.

I'm listening to the Bishop Allen set and remembering how much I enjoyed their set. It's also reminding me that I felt during the show - and continue to feel now - that Justin's voice is quite different live than it is on record. Not in a bad way, but it kind of sounds like a different person singing.


New Bruce Video, "Long Walk Home"

Via Rolling Stone's Rock Daily blog:

Watch Saturday Night Live on October 6th

Join me in watching, or more likely Tivo'ing, Saturday Night Live on October 6th.

Why? The show will be hosted by the hilarious Seth Rogen and will feature a musical performance by Spoon.

Yep, you read that correctly. Spoon will be the second Merge Records artist to play the show (following Arcade Fire), and is yet another sign of the impending apocalypse. Next thing you know I'll be standing next to 11-year-olds and their moms at The Thermals show at the Black Cat in November. (Well, if they're hot moms, then I guess that's cool.)

This will be the first time I've intentionally watched any portion of Saturday Night Live since sometime in the mid-90's.

(Thanks to Kingblind for the heads up!)

No Merge Showcase at CMJ This Year

It just occurred to me that I hadn't heard anything yet about Merge Records' annual label showcase at CMJ, so I jumped over to the Merge forums and coincidentally found a posting by Christina (of Merge) from this morning.

According to Christina's post, four Merge bands will be playing at various times during the festival (no Shout Out Louds, Oakley Hall or Caribou?), and the label will be hosting a Saturday day show at Sound Fix Records (which they've also done in the past). However, it looks like there's no official evening showcase this year.

Guess we can chalk this up as another reason for me not to go to CMJ this year...

Merge Bands at CMJ

Tues., 10/16: The Rosebuds @ Bowery Ballroom (BrooklynVegan Showcase)

Wed., 10/17: Imperial Teen @ Maxwell's

Thurs., 10/18: Imperial Teen @ Southpaw (Jelly NYC Showcase)

Fri., 10/19: The Broken West @ Mercury Lounge (Big Shot Touring Showcase)

Sat., 10/20: Merge Records Day [FREE] @ Sound Fix Records (w/ The Broken West, Imperial Teen & Special Guest)
Sat., 10/20: Spoon @ Roseland Ballroom

What do you want to bet that the "special guest" at the Merge day party is Spoon?

Edited to add: Commenter Charlie says that the "special guest" is Oakley Hall. That makes sense. Spoon at Sound Fix would just be way too crowded.

Babyshambles, "French Dog Blues"

I mentioned the other day how much I'm liking the new Babyshambles CD. While I don't have any band-approved MP3s to share with you yet, you can see a video for "French Dog Blues" below. It's one of the better songs on the disc, but there's better still.

(Via Stereogum.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Frames on Life

Wow. A nice, lengthy portion of "Dream Awake" was just used in the final scene of the new show Life. Well done, boys, well done. (Too bad the show wasn't particularly good.)

I Will Not Be Watching 24 This Year

As if the last season of 24 wasn't stupid, annoying, preposterous and idiotic enough, there's word that this season is going to be even worse...

In the tradition of:

(a) Jake not dying on Melrose Place when the fucking boat blew up, and
(b) Bobby not really being dead on Dallas, and
(c) the dude coming back in Soap Dish after being decapitated, and
(d) Comedy Central continuing to renew Carlos Mencia's show, and
(e) the fact that D.C. keeps reelecting Marion Barry to office,

comes news that Tony Almeda is alive after all.


And even worse -- he's the main bad guy now.

Give me a fucking break. I'm done with this show.

A Return Engagement in Austin

So, after weeks (or was it months?) of hand-wringing, hemming and hawing, I finally decided today to suck it up and buy myself a badge for next year's SXSW festival.

Last year we bought wristbands for $150 or so which got us into most, but not all, of the shows we wanted. However, the SXSW folks warned us last year that, due to increasing demand and strain on hotel space, they might be phasing out the wristbands for out-of-town visitors this year. (I'm fairly certain there will still be wristbands for local Austinites.) So the question was whether we wanted to spend $500 on a music badge, in addition to hotel and airfare.

It should come as no surprise that my answer was yes.

So, while it's still six months away, I can officially say that I'm getting excited for SXSW. (Especially because it looks like I'm skipping CMJ this year.)

When Will It End?

When will the Buy Early, Get Now program for the new New Pornographers album finally end?

I ordered the so-called "Executive Edition" back in June. When it originally went on sale, my understanding was that I was buying a 4-CD set (including the album, a disc of B-sides, a disc of live tracks, and a disc of photos and videos) that would all arrive in my mailbox together.

I was wrong. It soon turned out that the 4-CD set that arrived in my mailbox included 1 actual album, and 3 blank discs. We were promised that all of the tracks and data for the 3 blank discs would be made available soon, and that we could then burn the discs with all of that data.

The album has now been out officially for more than a month. Yet the Buy Early, Get Now program is STILL meting out tracks at a glacial pace. They're essentially releasing a song every week or two, and every time they do so, they tell you "don't burn your CDs yet!"

My question is this -- at what point am I going to have the 4-CD set that I paid for more than 3 months ago? How long do I need to sit here and wait for them to leak out tracks one-by-one?

Frankly, I've completely lost interest in this process. I'm not rushing out to download every song they release. In fact, I haven't downloaded one in weeks. This process is a pain in the ass and I don't have time for it. I am never buying this type of product again.


D.C. Concert Update

There's a lot of new shows this week, though unfortunately only a couple of them are interesting (to me, at least).

Before I get to the list, though, I wanted to point out a show I just discovered a few minutes ago - Vandaveer is playing tomorrow night (Thurs. 9/27) at the Urban Outfitters in Georgetown at 7pm. I'm going to try to make it, if I can, before the Magnolia Electric Co. show at the Black Cat.

On to the listings:

Rock and Roll Hotel (all on sale Fri. 9/28 at 10am
Mon. 11/5: The Warlocks and Darker My Love (DML were one of my favorite discoveries at last year's CMJ. Kind of a more shoegazey Mudhoney.)
Thurs., 11/8: Juliet and the Licks, Scissors for Lefty (yep, that's Juliette Lewis' band)
Tues., 11/20: Black Dice

Black Cat (all on sale Fri. 9/28)
Sun., 10/14: The Alphabetical Order (CD release party), Red Racer
Tues., 10/16: Screen Vinyl Image, Ceremony (CD release party)
Sun., 10/28: Van Hunt
Sun., 11/18: Chrisette Michele, Keite Young

9:30 Club (all on sale Thurs. 9/29 at 10am)
Thurs., 11/1: Pepper (??)
Fri., 11/2: Band of Horses (late show)
Sat., 11/3: Koop (??)
Mon., 11/5: Colbie Caillat and Brett Dennen (??)
Tues., 11/13: Against Me!, Sage Francis, World Inferno Friendship Society

Iota (all tickets at door)
Tues., 10/23: J Roddy Walston and the Business

Can Anyone Explain This?

So prices have been announced for The Swell Season's upcoming show at the Lincoln Theatre here in D.C. Face value of the tickets, before Ticketmaster fees and facility charges, is $40.00, meaning that the actual price will be at least $50.00.

This is absurd, people. Without even addressing the fact that The Swell Season only has about 15 songs in their catalog to choose from (meaning that this show will be the same show they played in July), or the fact that they're a new band without a track record to back up a $50 ticket price, the fact that kills me about this is that tickets for the D.C. show are as much as 60% higher than the rest of the tour.

By way of example:

11/5: Seattle (Moore Theatre) -- $23
11/10: Los Angele (The Wiltern) -- $25
11/17: Atlanta (Variety Playhouse) -- $22.50
11/18: Washington, D.C. (Lincoln Theatre) -- $40
11/19: New York (Beacon Theatre) -- $34 to $37
11/21: Boston (Orpheum Theatre) -- $25 to $32
11/24 and 11/25: Chicago (Vic Theatre) -- $24

Can anyone explain this to me? I understand the higher pricing in New York, but what justification is there for the fact that the HIGHEST price on the entire tour, by far, is in D.C.? If the answer is that the Lincoln Theatre (where they're playing here) has higher facility charges, why not find a cheaper venue? Or is the answer that The Swell Season's biggest audience these days is the "NPR set", and the biggest "NPR set" happens to be in DC? (i.e., they've decided to gouge the well-to-do.)

Either way, asking your fans to shell out $50 for a ticket is a huge step, and one that is going to price out a lot of people. And, even for those it doesn't price out, myself included, it's still going to earn you a lot of ill will.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pete 1, Heroin 0

I just got my hands (err, hard drive) on the new Babyshambles disc, Shotter's Nation, and I gotta say... it's pretty damn excellent. The disc comes out of the gates with four great songs back-to-back, slows a little bit with a couple of so-so songs, and then kicks back in gear for an amazing second half of the disc, capped off with "Lost Art of Murder", a fantastic song that I've linked to before.

It would be putting it lightly for me to say that I'm surprised how much I like the album. I didn't much care for Down In Albion, and I had started to think that all the talent had gone with Carl into Dirty Pretty Things.

I was wrong. Well played, Pete.

Stream TWO New Bob Pollard Albums Now

As you may know, the legendary Robert Pollard (of Guided By Voices fame) has two new albums coming out via Merge Records on October 9th. I just discovered that both albums are now streaming for free over at Merge. I know what I'll be doing this evening.

Check 'em out:

Coast to Coast Carpet of Love
Standard Gargoyle Decisions

You can pre-order both albums here.

The Antlers in Baltimore

Some initial details have started coming out about the October 13th Antlers show in Baltimore that I mentioned yesterday. It's going to be a house show with about 30-40 person capacity and, in order to attend, you must email to get on the list. Also scheduled to play is Shelly Blake-Plock.

Presumably they'll be back down in this area sometime after the November 6th re-release of In the Attic of the Universe, so if you miss 'em this time, don't fret.

Kick. Ass.

Via the Rolling Stone blog comes video of Van Halen playing "Everybody Wants Some" at one of their recent rehearsal shows in L.A. As the title of this post says, it freakin' kicks ass. Guess I gotta scalp me a ticket for one of these shows.

By the way, am I the only one who can't stop envisioning dancing hamburgers during this song?

Antlers News

Some great Antlers news over at The Battering Room today... 

We already knew that the band had reached a deal with Fall Records to re-release the incredibly, fantastically wonderful In The Attic of the Universe, but now we finally have a release date - November 3rd. The disc will both be remastered and will have new packaging.  Can't wait to get my hands on it.  Be sure to pick it up when it comes out, even if you are one of 10,000 people who have apparently downloaded the disc already.  (Wow.  Eat that, Clive.)

Additionally, the band (i.e., Peter) has started working on a new album entitled Hospice.  No word on a release date yet, but Peter hopes to have the album done before the end of the year.

Finally, the band has a couple of dates coming up, including an October 13th show "somewhere" in Baltimore and a November 3rd show at Pianos.  I have every intention of being at that Baltimore gig, even if it's somewhere in West Baltimore in the middle of a shootout between the Barksdale crew and Marlo's crew.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Paul Westerberg Plays "The Craft"

Two pieces of really cool news over at Billboard today.

First up is news that Paul Westerberg is making music again. You may remember that Paul did some serious damage to his hand last winter. Although early reports were that he wouldn't be able to play guitar for a year, Paul made an appearance at Minneapolis' First Avenue night club for a taping of "The Craft" (the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's version of "Songwriters", apparently). Paul played songs from his Replacements days, his solo discs, and even a new song called "Everyone's Stupid". He also talked about his career between songs with host Warren Zanes, and had a few nuggets of pretty cool information. (See the article for more.)

The second piece of news, for me at least, is the existence of "The Craft". I've never heard of it before, but apparently they've been doing it for a while. You can find video of three earlier sessions, featuring Elvis Costello, Jim James and Patty Griffin here. Not sure if Paul's will be posted online or not. They've also done sessions with Aretha Franklin, Ray Davies, Little Richard, Roger McGuinn, Bootsy Collins, Robbie Robertson, Chuck D, Wilson Pickett and Mick Jones, and I'd love to see some of those too (except they're not posted yet).

Reminder! National Lounge Act Today at 2pm!

Just a reminder - The National is playing in the WOXY Lounge today at 2pm. Don't miss it!

Yawn... Band of Horses Hitting 9:30 Club on 11/2

Just noticed this list of dates for Band of Horses. Looks like they're playing the 9:30 Club here in town on November 2nd. Considering that Nickel Creek is already scheduled for an early show (6:30pm) at the 9:30 Club that night, I'm guessing that this will be on the late side.

In other words, I strongly suggest you take the day off and sleep until, oh, say 7pm. I'm still trying to pull myself out of the coma that Everything All The Time put me into. I can only imagine what seeing them live would do to me.

Sex Tapes: Not Just For Pamela Anderson Anymore

Head to Brooklyn Vegan for info about Meg White's new sex tape circulating on the Internet.

So if "exhaustion" is the entertainment industry's code for "rehab", then "acute exhaustion" must stand for "everyone's gonna see me get buck wild."

There is a simple truth in this world, kids. Whereas in the past you could survive by simply following the maxims "the early bird gets the worm" and "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" (BTW, nice marketing work, apple growers), in today's world the most important rule to live by is - if you let someone take pictures or video of you naked, regardless of whether you are famous or unknown, beautiful or ugly, tall or short, fat or thin, it will end up on the Internet.

Edited to add: The band's PR folks are claiming that this is NOT Meg... Phew.

Spinner Roundup (September 25 Releases)

The links don't seem to be active yet, but I'm sure they will be before too long. Some pretty interesting discs this week... I'm most excited to hear Sea Wolf's debut LP.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, 100 Days, 100 Nights
Jose Gonzalez, In Our Nature
Office, A Night at the Ritz
Sea Wolf, Leaves in the River
Matt Pond PA, Last Light
Shocking Pinks, Shocking Pinks
Devendra Banhart, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Small Sins, Mood Swings

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The DC-Area Show of 2008

Man does the Birchmere announce its shows early. Here's the show that will define 2008 for the DC music scene.

Bishop Allen @ Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington, DC [9/22/07]

So I finally got to see Bishop Allen for the first time last night. I had tickets to no less than 5 of their monthly EP-release shows at Pianos in New York last year, and somehow always managed to miss them for one reason or another. I also had them penciled in on this year's SXSW schedule, only to find out at the last minute I couldn't get into the show because it was a badgeholder-only show (and I only had a lowly wristband). So when I saw that the band was coming to DC opening for John Vanderslice, I had to go.

Happily, the band put on a great show. I guess they're treating this tour almost as a co-headlining gig, because Bishop Allen played close to a full hour-long set, unlike a normal 35-45 minute opening set. Moreover, based on the size of the crowd and the reaction of the crowd, I think they pretty easily could have been the actual headliners. The place was packed, and various people were singing and/or dancing along to songs and generally having a great time. Frankly, I was shocked at how well the crowd seemed to know the band. Do they have a following in DC, or is this happening everywhere they play? (I'm not complaining, mind you, I'm just surprised.)

The only downside to the show was the fact that the Rock and Roll Hotel seems either not to have an air conditioner, or they seem unwilling to admit that, while it now technically Fall, it was still hot as balls yesterday. We had a high temperature in the mid-80's yesterday, and it felt close to that inside the club last night. By the time Bishop Allen's set was over, we didn't even really give a thought to sticking around for Vanderslice. I felt bad about it, but I just couldn't stay in that club any longer. Next time I'm bringing a hand-held water mister fan. (Well, probably not.)

I somehow managed to forget my camera last night, so I was stuck with the old iPhone camera. That's the last time I'll be doing that, as the photos below will prove (i.e., they're shitty):

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Appalachian State > Penn State


PS: Go Blue.

It's Time to Blow Devito

How in the world did I miss this? Yet more Internet antics from the It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia folks. Speaking of which, if you haven't been watching it this season, you're missing out. From dumpster babies to unibrowed ladies to a special appearance by Donovan McNabb himself (err, not really, but it was actually Elvin Tibideaux), the show is as funny as ever.

Danny DeVito & The Contract

Why Fred Savage, you ask? Well, he's directing a bunch of the episodes this year. Now we just need a little Winnie Cooper action.

Friday, September 21, 2007

1900 is the New 1990

Or so the Rock and Roll Hotel would have you think...

Not sure why, but I'm just really amused by the fact that the 1990s canceled for 10/17 only to replaced by the 1900s.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Division Day @ DC9 on October 23rd

Just saw that Division Day is scheduled to play DC9 on October 23rd. Tickets are available at the door only and cost $8. Assuming I can get there in time from seeing Spoon's early show at the 9:30 Club that night, I'll be there.

While I haven't gotten into Division Day as much as some other bloggers, they're definitely an interesting young band that I've been keeping an eye on since I saw them at last year's CMJ. Plus, anybody who can convincingly cover Sunny Day Real Estate is cool in my book.

The band is touring in support of its "new" album, Beartrap Island, which is due out on October 2nd via Eenie Meenie Records. I say "new" because this is technically a re-release of the album the band (self?) released earlier this year. From what I can tell, the new version has two additional songs plus new artwork. You can hear a few tracks from the album at the band's MySpace page.

Edited to add: In addition to SDRE, the band also recently recorded a Depeche Mode cover. Check it out:

Division Day, "Enjoy the Silence"

Snapcase Reunite for Callum Robbins

As you probably know by now, J Robbins' (Jawbox, Burning Airlines, etc.) son, Callum Robbins, was diagnosed last year with spinal muscular atrophy, an incurable nerve disorder. There have been a number of concerts and other events to raise money to help the Robbins family meet their medical bills, and now there's another - hardcore band Snapcase are reuniting for one night to play a benefit for Callum.

In addition to the benefit aspect, the show will also celebrate the release of The Anti-Matter Anthology by author Norman Brannon. If you're too young to remember, Anti-Matter was a leading punk 'zine from the 90's (I only barely remember it). The book will apparently collect a bunch of the best articles from Anti-Matter's run.

The show is on November 24th at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. There's a pre-sale package if you want to both buy a ticket to the show and buy a copy of the book. Public tickets will then go on sale on October 5th.

I was never a huge Snapcase fan, but if I were in New York, I'd probably try to hit this show.

The Apples in Stereo @ 9:30 Club, Washington, D.C. [9/19/07]

As you probably figured out from my post last night, I was at the Apples in Stereo show at the 9:30 Club. I almost didn't make it to the Apples' set, but I grabbed a beer, steeled myself to make it through the 9pm-9:45pm period, and survived. Yay me.

I've been a big fan of the Apples' latest album, New Magnetic Wonder, since it came out early this year. I actually first fell in love with a lot of the album when I caught the band's CMJ appearance last fall, where they previewed a number of songs from the disc. Thankfully, the songs sound just as good now as they did then (just a little louder, considering that the CMJ show was acoustic).

The band's set drew primarily from the new album, with a few older classics thrown in for good measure ("The Rainbow", "Strawberryfire", etc.). I was actually pretty pleasantly surprised how familiar the crowd seemed with the older material. I always kind of assumed that older Apples was a very niche thing (admittedly, I only got into them a couple of years ago), but I was clearly wrong. One time I'm happy to be wrong.

Oh, and you can hear the set for yourself here.

Some Apples pics:

As I mentioned yesterday, the evening's opening act was the excellent Julie Ocean. This was the second time I've seen them, and they were great. A lot of the sound issues from their Black Cat show were resolved by the 9:30 Club's acoustics, and they sounded like a band that ought to be playing the 9:30 Club a lot more in the future. Can't wait to get an album from these guys at some point.

And of course there was Hugo "Hurley" Reyes Aqueduct.

Waterboys Still Together, Touring

I know some of you out there might find this interesting. Personally, I'm not sure I could name a Waterboys song, but that's my own personal failing, I suppose.

Waterboys U.S. Tour Dates

Nov 1: Boston, Berklee Theatre
Nov 2: New York City, Webster Hall
Nov 3: Glenside (Philadelphia), Keswick Theatre
Nov 5: Toronto, Danforth Music Hall
Nov 6: Chicago, Park West
Nov 9: Seattle, Moore Theatre
Nov 10: Vancouver, Commodore Ballroom
Nov 11: Portland, Alladian Theatre
Nov 13: San Francisco, the Fillmore

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Aqueduct = The Suck

Sitting in the 9:30 Club and seriously considering skipping Apples In Stereo. Their openers Aqueduct are one of the worst bands I have ever heard. I feel like my life is being sucked out of my ears. Please make it stop.

Via iPhone

Britt Daniel Shocked to Find Out He's In Interpol

Thanks to Sal C for pointing this little bit of quality journalism out:

If you can't make it out, it's an article on about Interpol's (non-sellout) show at Madison Square Garden last week. The only problem is that the photo they use isn't Interpol - it's Spoon. And Britt looks mighty surprised in the photo. Maybe he just found out before taking this picture that he had to play the second 9:30 Club show after all... (I kid, I kid.)

Here's the direct link so you can see it for yourself, before they (presumably) fix it.

DC Show Update

Veeeeerrrrrry slow week in new shows. That's two weeks in a row. Come on, DC, bring the rock fury.

9:30 Club
Thurs., 10/25: CeU (who?)
Mon., 10/29: Underoath (who?) with Poison the Well, others
Tues., 10/30: Jimmy Eat World
Wed., 10/31: The Bravery
Thurs., 11/8: Sia

All 9:30 Club shows are on sale tomorrow at 10am except for Sia, who goes on sale on Friday at 10am.

Black Cat
Tues., 11/6: Alasdair Roberts and others
Sat., 11/24: Shonen Knife and others

All Black Cat shows are on sale Friday.

Rock and Roll Hotel
Fri., 11/16: The Bird and the Bee (i.e., the equivalent of aural death)

This puppy goes on sale on Friday at 10am. May God have mercy on your soul if you actually buy one.

Glen Cashes In

I'm going to refrain from adding any commentary so as to avoid saying anything bitchy and negative.

The Swell Season (a/k/a Glen and Marketa from the movie Once) are returning to the US for a lot more shows in November. Dates are as follows:

11/5: Seattle (Moore Theatre)
11/6: Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)
11/8: San Francisco (The Grand at Regency Center)
11/10: Los Angeles (The Wiltern)
11/11: San Diego (4th and B)
11/13: Denver (Ogden Theatre)
11/15: Austin (Stubb's)
11/17: Atlanta (Variety Playhouse)
11/18: Washington, DC (Lincoln Theatre)
11/19: New York (Beacon Theatre) (!!!)
11/21: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)
11/22: Montreal (Le National)
11/23: Toronto (Danforth Music Hall Theatre)
11/24: Chicago (Vic Theatre)
11/25: Chicago (Vic Theatre)

All shows are confirmed.

I've never been to a show at the Lincoln Theatre. It looks like capacity is about 1,200, which isn't much different than the 9:30 Club, where the Swell Season played back in July (although I think that one was seated? I was at the NYC show). It's also in the same general area as 9:30 Club/Black Cat, so that means I can hit Ben's for dinner before or after. Hmm... I'm tempted to skip this, if only so that I keep pretending that Glen hasn't gone over to the "NPR Side", but I just don't know if I can.


Mudhoney Returns!

Details are still pretty sketchy, but it appears from the band's website that Mudhoney recently finished recording 11 songs for a brand new album due out... well... I have no idea.

The band also has two live dates scheduled in New York in early December - December 1st at the Music Hall of Williamsburg and December 2nd at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for both shows are on sale now. The Bowery show, but not the Music Hall show, is billed as Mudhoney "Performing Superfuzz Bigmuff". Awesome.

I'll end this post in the same way I end a lot of my posts - please come to DC, fellas, okay?

Upcoming NPR Streaming Concerts

As I mentioned earlier, NPR's All Songs Considered show is broadcasting tonight's Apples In Stereo show from the 9:30 Club. They actually have a pretty great lineup of shows coming up (most of which I'm going to), so if you don't live in DC, or if you can't make it to the shows, be sure to check out some of the broadcasts.

Upcoming All Songs Considered Shows
9/22: John Vanderslice @ Rock and Roll Hotel (no Bishop Allen broadcast?)
9/26: Rilo Kiley @ 9:30 Club
9/28: Animal Collective @ 9:30 Club
10/27: New Pornographers @ 9:30 Club
10/30: Okkervil River @ Rock and Roll Hotel

Go here for more info on All Songs Considered.

Tonight in DC

There's a couple of indie-tastic shows here in DC tonight, so get off yer ass and check out some live music.

9:30 Club: The Apples In Stereo w/ Aqueduct and Julie Ocean
This one's being streamed (and recorded) by NPR's All Songs Considered, so it's a good bet that it's gonna be running on the early side. As a result, be sure to get there early to catch DC's own Julie Ocean at 8:00pm. (Aqueduct are scheduled for 9pm, and the Apples at 10pm).

Tickets appear to still be available here for $15 (before fees).

Black Cat: Girl Talk w/ Dan Deacon and White Williams
Can't say I love any of these guys, but Girl Talk and Dan Deacon are kinda hot crap around the blogs these days. I wouldn't mind catching Dan Deacon's live show sometime, but I have absolutely no use for Girl Talk's "let's sample everything we can think of from the 80's because it's soooo clever" approach to "songwriting".


Rock and Roll Hotel: Heavy Trash (ft. Jon Spencer) w/ Powersolo
I was never a fan of the Blues Explosion, and I haven't heard much I like from Heavy Trash either. Until yesterday, that is, when I heard the song "Outside Chance" from their new Yep Roc album, Going Way Out With Heavy Trash [BUY]. If you like Reigning Sound, and lord knows I do, then you're gonna love this song. Unlike a lot of Jon Spencer songs I've heard, it's a bluesy rock song that always remembers its a ROCK song first and doesn't get sidetracked with a lot of fake-white-boy-blues garbage. Check it out:

Heavy Trash, "Outside Chance"

Tickets appear to still be available here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

CMJ Wishlist

Still not sure if I'm hitting CMJ in NYC next month, but if I do, my schedule is starting to come together piece by piece, though there's still nothing earth-shattering which would make my decision for me. Thanks to Product Shop for keeping up to date with the CMJ listing.

(I'll probably keep updating this post as new shows become available, so if you're curious which sets I recommend for CMJ, keep checking back.)

Tuesday 10/15
???: The Rosebuds @ Bowery Ballroom

Wednesday 10/16
11pm: The Little Ones @ Mercury Lounge

Thursday 10/17

Friday 10/18
12am: The Broken West @ Mercury Lounge

Saturday 10/19
10pm: Georgie James @ Mercury Lounge

More Spinner Album Streams

Spinner has added a few more interesting streams to their lineup for this week. I've been wanting to hear the Thurston Moore and A-Sides albums, so I'm pretty happy about those. As for Les Savy Fav, well, I'm linking it because I know a lot of you folks out there like them, but I swear to Zeus that I will never, ever, ever post a picture of that shirtless freak.

The A-Sides, Silver Storms
Les Savy Fav, Let's Stay Friends
Thurston Moore, Trees Outside the Academy

Don't forget that Thurston is playing the Rock and Roll Hotel here in DC on Saturday 9/29. The A-Sides are at the Black Cat opening for Say Hi To Your Mom (I don't care if they changed their name to Say Hi, I'm gonna keep using the full name as punishment to them for ever using it in the first place) on Tuesday 10/30. Les Savy Fav have no DC dates at the moment, though they do have three NYC shows over the next few weeks.

Monday, September 17, 2007

New Shows at Iota

Noticed a couple interesting new shows on Iota's calendar today. Enjoy...

Tues., 10/9: Walter Salas-Humera (of The Silos) and Anders Parker (of Varnaline)
Sat., 11/13: Fionn Regan (early show)

And don't forget about The Handsome Family tomorrow night.

To My New York Friends...

Get over to Arlene's Grocery tomorrow night for DC in NY, featuring a bunch of great DC-area musicians. The lineup:

7pm: Vandaveer (a personal fave)
8pm: The Sketches
9pm: The Upwelling
10pm: These United States
11pm: Zac Clark

Wish I could go...

Splitting Duties, Again

I haven't been updating my other blog much lately. That's changing. Starting today I hope to be keeping both blogs pretty regular and up-to-date. Of course, there are some pretty major differences between the two blogs (given that the other blog is my company blog), but there's a good bet that most of my posts over there will be music/pop culture-related. If you have a chance, check it out.

Spinner Roundup (September 18 Releases)

I've been remiss in linking to Spinner's full album previews recently. This week's selection is pretty decent, so be sure to test out some new music.

Bella, No One Will Know
Eddie Vedder, Into the Wild OST (Eddie's solo debut for the Sean Penn movie)
Ed: Decent album, though kinda boring. Should work as a Soundtrack, though.
Hard Fi, Once Upon a Time in the West
Kevin Drew, Spirit If... (Broken Social Scene frontman)
Ministry, The Last Sucker (their final album, supposedly)
Rogue Wave, Asleep at Heaven's Gate (the first half of the album is as good an album as I've heard this year)
The Wombats, The Wombats
Ed: Wannabe Franz Ferdinand/1990's/etc. Boring.

Edited to add: I left off what may be the most interesting album on Spinner this week - Drug Rug's self-titled LP. Really, really cool stuff.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Vilest Thing I've Ever Eaten

... and I lived in Japan for a time, so that's saying something.

(Yes, that's a Dominos Oreo "Pizza". Yes, it was the worst decision I've made in 2007.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Seth Green is Pretty Funny

Via Culture Bully. If you're confused, then you clearly missed this.

Man, Chuckie Miller's lookin' old.

Isbell/Whigs in Baltimore

I seem to have missed this one. Too bad I have tickets for Bad Religion that night.

Sunday, Oct. 14
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with The Whigs
Baltimore, MD
Tickets $12

They Might Be Giants, "The Shadow Government"

Never been a huge fan of TMBG, though they've definitely had some great songs over the years. Unfortunately, this ain't one of 'em. It's not awful, but it's also nothing to write home about. Cool video, though.

Via Spinner

Friday, September 14, 2007

Maybe He Has a Point

Or maybe he's a raving lunatic.

How did I miss this earlier in the week??

John Reis Returns!

And not a moment too soon...

Kingblind is reporting that John Reis of Rocket From The Crypt, Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu, etc. etc., is returning from his self-imposed hiatus with a new band called Speedo. In addition to Reis, the band features Hot Snakes' Jason Kourkounis and Gar Wood and well as Tommy Kitsos of CPC Gangbangs (never heard of 'em).

As you might expect given the band name, Reis stated on the Swami message board that the band will sound like bits and pieces of all of his previous bands. Specifically:
"The sound is a combination of everything I've been a part of dating back to my prepubescent days in Pitchfork. Similar to Hot Snakes but not as sinister yet still maintaining some of the drama and subsonic boom. Akin to the rockin' fun of RFTC but without the same kind of riffery. Like the Sultans but not as straightforward yet still maintaining the sense of melody and pop of the 2nd record. Occassional nods to the Flamin' Groovies, Real Kids, Byrds, boogie rock era Status Quo, Bo Diddley, Chess Records in general, Wipers, Michael Yonkers and Shuggie Otis are evident to me."

The band is apparently recording an album and will be performing at Reis' new bar in San Diego sometime this month. Can't wait to hear some music from 'em.

Upcoming WOXY Lounge Acts (and more)

There's not a ton of stuff scheduled for WOXY's Lounge Act right now, but what they currently lack in quantity they more than make up for in quality. Very excited about the first one.

Upcoming WOXY Lounge Acts
Mon., 9/24 @ 2pm: THE NATIONAL
Thu., 9/27 @ 4pm: The Teenage Prayers
Fri., 9/28 @ 12pm: Superdrag
Mon., 10/15 @ 3pm: Love Like Fire
Tue., 11/6 @ 4pm: Oppenheimer
Tue., 11/13 @ 2pm: The Mugs

Also, be sure to check the WOXY site this afternoon for a direct link to their broadcast from this weekend's Monolith Music Festival from Red Rocks. Here's the lineup for the WOXY broadcast:

Mason Proper @ 3:50 Mountain (local time for the festival)/5:50 Eastern
Cat-A-Tac @ 5:10/7:10
Ra Ra Riot @ 6:30/8:30
De Novo Dahl @ 7:50/9:50

Mobius Band @ 9:10/11:10
Flosstradamus w/ Kid Sister @ 10:30/12:30am

Via Audio @ 2:30 Mountain (local time for the festival)/4:30 Eastern
Forget Cassettes @ 3:50/5:50
Ian Ball (of Gomez) @ 5:10/7:10
White Rabbits @ 6:30/8:30
Hot IQs @ 7:50/9:50
Au Revoir Simone @ 9:10/11:10
Yacht @ 10:30/12:30am

Sets in bold are the ones I want to catch, if possible.

Who's Johnny?

Enjoy your weekend, kids.

Meet Morningbell

Caught an interesting band called Morningbell at The Red and The Black here in D.C. last night. A friend recommended them (he knew one of the bandmembers), and far be it from me to refuse to check out a rock band.

Morningbell's MySpace page describes their music as "[t]he Flaming Lips travel through time to save John Lennon and George Harrison; they start their own band without Paul's stupid lyrics." While I wouldn't quite hold their music up to either of those bands, the general concept fits pretty well. (They even did a pretty legit cover of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows".) There's also a very healthy dose of mid-90's jam band in their sound (Phish, God Street Wine), though thankfully they never fall into any 10-minute noodling jams.

I won't say that I fell in love with all of their songs - in fact, there were probably only 2 or 3 that would really hold up for me as songs on a CD that I would want to listen to multiple times. That said, their live performance was pretty spectacular. There are very few bands out there at their age (mid-20's I would guess) that are as tight, as engaging (well, their singer/guitarist is engaging) and as entertaining as Morningbell. (Birdmonster comes to mind.) They even have their own "$100 light show" which incorporates flood lights, strobes, and jackets covered in Christmas tree lights. Seriously, it's much better than it sounds. If they can just add more hooks and melodies to their songwriting, they could definitely be a band to keep an eye on.

The band is playing a short Northeast tour right now (they're from Gainesville, FL), so if you're free and want to find a good way to spend an hour or so of your evening, catch the band at one of the following stops:

Fri., 9/14: New York (Lit Lounge)
Sat., 9/15: Doylestown, PA (The Cigar Parlour)
Sun., 9/16: Pittsburgh, PA (BL's)
Tues., 9/18: Raleigh, NC (The Pour House Music Hall)
Fri., 9/21: Gainesville, FL (1982)
Fri., 10/12: Tampa, FL (New World Brewery)
Fri., 10/19: Gainesville, FL (The Atlantic)
Thurs., 11/1: Ocala, FL (Appleton Museum of Art)
Sat., 12/1: Gainesville, FL (Common Grounds)

You can hear four songs from the band at their MySpace page. My suggestion is that you start with "Waiting on a Sleep".

Cure Playing DC on May 9th

Brooklyn Vegan is reporting that The Cure have rescheduled their recently cancelled Fall tour for late Spring 2008. All dates below:

MAY 2008
09 WASHINGTON DC Patriot Center
10 PHILADELPHIA Wachovia Spectrum
12 BOSTON Agganis Arena
14 MONTREAL Bell Centre
15 TORONTO Air Canada Centre
17 CHICAGO Allstate Arena
19 KANSAS CITY Starlight Theatre
21 DENVER Red Rocks Amphitheatre
25 GEORGE WA The Gorge Sasquatch! Festival
26 VANCOUVER General Motors Place
29 SANTA BARBARA Santa Barbara Bowl
31 LOS ANGELES Hollywood Bowl

03 SAN DIEGO Cox Arena
04 PHOENIX Dodge Theatre
06 DALLAS American Airlines Center
08 AUSTIN Austin Music Hall
09 HOUSTON Toyota Center
11 TAMPA St Pete Times Forum
13 FT LAUDERDALE Bank Atlantic Center
15 ATLANTA Gwinnett Center
16 CHARLOTTE Charlotte Bobcats Arena
20 NEW YORK CITY Madison Square Garden

Thursday, September 13, 2007

No Title

New DC Shows

Not a whole lot of interesting new shows announced for the DC area this week, IMO. I already mentioned the Elvis Perkins show. The 9:30 Club has They Might Be Giants tickets on sale now for Friday 11/23. The Black Cat has VHS or Beta tickets going on sale tomorrow for a Monday 11/12 show. Otherwise, there's not much else.

My dance card is pretty full pretty much through Thanksgiving anyway, so maybe that's not a bad thing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Elvis Perkins at Jammin' Java

So there really is a music venue in suburban D.C. called Jammin' Java. Why? I'm not sure. I guess it's better than Terminal 5.

Anyway, they have an interesting mix of artists on their calendar, including the Mekons, Marah, Jesse Malin, Teddy Geiger (remember when this guy was gonna be HUGE?), and, ahem, Frank Stallone (yep, Sly's brother).

And now they have Elvis Perkins. Specifically, on Wednesday, December 5th. Tickets are on sale now.

That is all.

These Diamonds Will Kill You

Despite the fact that he's 250 or so miles north of D.C., Brooklyn Vegan has news about a couple of very dangerous shows coming to our area.

First up is My Brightest Diamond and Tim Fite at Iota on Friday, November 16th. To say I'm not a fan of My Brightest Diamond is putting it nicely. The few songs I've heard have made me crave a quick death.

Speaking of which, Brooklyn Vegan also reports that the man who would be happy to bring me that quick death, King Diamond, will be playing several shows in driving distance of DC next spring. Specifically, he'll be in Springfield, VA at Jaxx on March 29th and the Trocadero in Philly on March 30th. Seriously, though, how can he NOT be playing Ram's Head Live! in Baltimore? If it's good enough for Tesla, Kix, Puddle of Mudd and Boyz II Men, surely it's good enough for the King.

Bright Eyes DC Presales This Week

Just noticed over at Ticketmaster that there are apparently two pre-sales for Bright Eyes' show at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on Sunday, November 11th.

The first pre-sale is listed only as an "Internet Presale", and it starts tomorrow (Thurs., 9/13) at 10am. The second pre-sale is listed as a "9:30 Club Presale", and it starts Friday at 10am. Regular tickets then go on sale to the public on Saturday at 10am.

I have no idea if there's a pre-sale password or not, but I'll look around. Your best bet is to keep your eyes peeled for the 9:30 Club's semi-regular email newsletter. If there's a pre-sale for the "9:30 Club Presale", it will probably be there.

Oh, and tickets are $29 face, so expect to pay about $40 when all is said and done. And don't forget that November 11th is also the night that Bruce Springsteen is scheduled to play the Verizon Center. Tickets for that show go on sale next Friday (9/21). Notably, Bruce has the 4 nights prior and 2 night afterwards open on his schedule, so there's a good chance that a second (or third?) show might get added if ticket sales are good.

Edited to add: This was in the Brooklyn Vegan comments about the NYC Bright Eyes presale. No idea if it's right or not.

pw is 1203
our last goodbye

As I guessed, the 9:30 Club newsletter tells all.

Meet The Disciplines

How am I always the last person to know these things?

Apparently Ken Stringfellow, of Posies, Big Star, R.E.M. touring band and solo fame, has a new band called The Disciplines. And fuck me if they're not awesome. And they're also Norwegian, which would make them awesome even if they weren't, well, awesome.

Go to the band's MySpace page to hear the awesomeness for yourself.

Disciplines Tour Dates

Sep 15 2007 8:00P The Old Blue Last London, UK
Sep 28 2007 8:00P Garage Bergen, NORWAY
Sep 29 2007 8:00P Folken Stavanger, NORWAY
Oct 5 2007 9:00P Cafe Mono Oslo, NORWAY
Oct 9 2007 11:00P Le Baron Paris, FRANCE
Dec 7 2007 9:00P Fucking Pop, Ey?! @ Bang Bang Club Berlin, GERMANY
Dec 13 2007 11:00P Kuudes Linja Helsinki FINLAND

So who's up for a trip to Folken Stavanger?

Edited to add: They got's a video!

The Makes Nice to Release New Album, Tour

One of the more interesting bands that I've found so far this year is San Francisco's The Makes Nice. I posted about them back in March when I discovered their excellent Candy Wrapper & Twelve Other Songs LP, and I've been enjoying that disc ever since.

Surprisingly, I just noticed on the band's MySpace page that they have a new album coming out next month. The album is entitled This Time Tomorrow and is scheduled for release on October 16th on Frenetic Records. You can hear two new songs ("Do It Again" and "Her Personal Vendetta") on their MySpace page.

The band is also about to go out for a pretty extensive tour which, sadly, will not be bringing them to the D.C. area. Newman!

If you're lucky enough to catch them live, drop me a line and tell me how they are. They seem like they'd put on a fun live show.

The Makes Nice Tour Dates

Sep 15 2007 9:30P KALX Live! Berkeley, California
Sep 23 2007 8:00P Great American Music Hall San Francisco, California
Sep 27 2007 9:30P The Funhouse Seattle, Washington
Sep 28 2007 9:00P Slabtown Portland, Oregon
Sep 29 2007 9:00P The Badlander Missoula, Montana
Oct 1 2007 9:00P The Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct 2 2007 9:00P Frank’s Power Plant Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Oct 3 2007 8:00P Ronny’s Bar Chicago, Illinois
Oct 4 2007 9:00P The Bluebird St. Louis, Missouri
Oct 5 2007 9:00P Melody Inn Indianapolis, Indiana
Oct 6 2007 10:00P The Union Athens, Ohio
Oct 7 2007 9:00P The Belvedere Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Oct 11 2007 8:00P Tritone Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 12 2007 8:00P The Cake Shop New York, New York
Oct 13 2007 8:00P The Outback Lodge Charlottesville, Virginia
Oct 14 2007 8:00P Slim’s Downtown Distillery Raleigh, North Carolina
Oct 16 2007 9:00P The Jackrabbit Lounge Shreveport, Louisiana Oct 17 2007 9:00P Beerland Austin, Texas
Oct 19 2007 9:00P The Tower Bar San Diego, California
Oct 20 2007 9:00P The Smell LA, California

Margot & the Nuclear So and So's Tour Dates

Looks like the kids from Margot & the Nuclear So and So's are headed out for a few "mid-recording" tour dates over the next few weeks. According to the band's MySpace page, they just recently finished up the first batch of sessions for recording LP #2, entitled Animal!. They expect to do a second batch of sessions in late fall/early winter. No word on a release date yet, but spring 2008 is probably a good bet.

If you can't wait that long, and if you happen to be in the middle part of the country, catch the band when (and if) they come through your town.

Tour Dates

9/15: Morrison, CO (Red Rocks/Monolith Music Festival)
9/16: Omaha, NE (The Waiting Room)
9/20: Dekalb, IL (House Cafe)
9/21: Champaign, IL (Canopy Club/Pygmalion Music Festival)
9/22: St. Louis, MO (The Duck Room at Blueberry Hill/PLAY:stl Festival)
10/6: Muncie, IN (The Launching Pad)

And here's a great demo for an unreleased song that was floating around the internet a few months back:

Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, "As Tall As Cliffs" (demo)

New National Video, "Apartment Story"

Missed this one yesterday while I was in New York. Via Spinner:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Frames @ Webster Hall, NYC [9/10/07]

There's no such thing as a bad Frames show. Unfortunately, however, increasingly of late there is such a thing as a middle-of-the-road Frames show. That's what we got last night.

Granted, there were moments of utter beauty and emotion ("Your Face", and "The Cost", which has really grown on me since I first heard it), but there were also moments where it felt that the band was essentially phoning it in. Well, let me amend that last statement - I don't think the band "phoned it in", per say, but I think they're falling too much into a groove of playing the same songs every show to the point where they're just not sounding as fresh and vibrant as they should. Part of that is probably the fact that I've seen the band 6 times in the last 13 month, but a big part is probably the fact that they've been playing essentially the same setlist over and over during that time. The band desperately needs to start incorporating other songs from its playbook. Songs like "Friends and Foe", "Plateau", "Angel at My Table" and "Dream Awake" are fantastic songs, but I can't remember the last time I saw them played live. Changing up the setlist would breathe a ton of new life into their set.

A couple of other annoying things from the show. First, despite the fact that we got there early (8:30pm, just 30 minutes after doors opened), essentially the entire floor of Webster Hall was already covered with people sitting. As most people who go to shows somewhat regularly realize, this is a real problem. It takes the already limited space in the club and essentially cuts it to 1/3 the space - a seated person takes up as much floorspace as about 2-3 people (especially if you're sitting with a group of friends). As a result, despite that the club was probably only about 1/3 full when we got there, we couldn't get anywhere near the stage. (It also didn't help that the show was at Webster Hall - i.e., the only club [FN] I've ever been to that doesn't have an ever-present "path" you can follow to the front of the room.)

Second, true to its shitty reputation, Webster Hall refused to set their air conditioner to anything under about 80 degrees. The show was sold out and crowded, and many of us were dying of heat. Just awful. That said, the sound was much better than I'm used to for Webster, so at least they're not totally incompetent anymore.

Finally, as I alluded to a couple of months ago, it's clear that the Frames' audience is growing as a result of Glen's appearance in the movie Once. While I'm thrilled for his success, it's already making a noticeable difference in the crowds showing up for the show. I think it had something to do with why people were sitting (i.e., in my experience the only people who sit at shows are young kids (20 and younger) and folks who've never been to a club show before). It was most obvious during the encore, though, when Glen brought out Marketa Irglova to perform two songs from the Once soundtrack. People literally lost their shit when she came out. My friend Brian and I were flabbergasted. Sure, I love the songs Glen did with Marketa, but people were freaking out when she came on stage. Just indescribable.

So that's it. I got to see one of my favorite bands in my favorite city on Earth, so at the end of the day who am I to complain? A couple of pics follow the footnote.

[FN] = A caveat - Irving Plaza used to have a "path" (you had to hug the wall on the right side, then cut left in front of the door to the backstage area and you'd find yourself up by the stage). They killed that when they started fencing off the right-hand wall for bands to stash their gear. Now it's much, much harder to use that trick, though it still works if you get there before the room completely fills up.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Am Home

Back in New York for tonight's Frames show. Holy hell have I missed New York. DC is nice and all, but...

Neil Young Tour Dates Announced

Rolling Stone's Rock Daily blog is reporting that a full set of dates for Neil Young's fall tour is out. For some reason their actual blog post only lists a few dates, but the entire schedule can be found in their RSS feed.

For my friends here on the East Coast, here are the dates that matter:

11/15: Washington, DC (DAR Constitution Hall)
12/2: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)
12/3: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)
12/5: Wallingford, CT (Oakdale Theater)
12/9: Philadelphia (Tower Theater)
12/12: New York (United Palace)
12/13: New York (United Palace)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Finally! Bottomless Pit to Release Debut CD

Many, many thanks to Bradley's Almanac for the heads up on this one: Bottomless Pit's debut album, Hammer of the Gods, finally has a release date. Well, make that a release month - November.

If you're not familiar, Bottomless Pit is the new band from Tim and Andy from Silkworm, plus Chris Manfrin from Seam and Brian Orchard from .22.

You can pre-order the album here. I just did. Before you do, though, ask yourself, do you merely want the CD or do you also want the album on gatefold double 12-inch 45rpm vinyl? Because you can apparently have both for $18 (or the CD alone is $12). If I had a record player I know which one I'd choose. But, then again, wouldn't that be the whole purpose that I had a record player in the first place?

Here's the lead track from the album. If you have the band's EP or caught them live last year, you should recognize it.

Bottomless Pit, "The Cardinal Movements"

Edited to add: The band has a few live dates scheduled for later this fall. Hopefully this will turn into a bigger tour, and we'll be seeing them in DC and NYC.

10/19: Milwaukee (Cactus Club) w/ Adam Franklin and Dianogah
10/20: Madison, WI (Corral Room) w/ Dianogah
11/2: Columbus, OH (TBA)
11/3: Pittsburgh (Brillobox) w/ Karl Hendricks Rock Band and The Kyle Sowashes

Liveblogging Tell Me You Love Me

While some others are liveblogging the MTV Video Music Awards, I figured I'd liveblog the premiere episode of HBO's new show, Tell Me You Love Me.

9:00pm: The show isn't starting on time.
9:04pm: Ah, there it is.
9:06pm: Dude jerks off in bed while his wife starts the shower. Wife sees him through the open door.
9:08pm: Different couple get into passive-aggressive fight over a cake at their engagement party.
9:10pm: Yet another couple fights. Wife then goes to bathroom, and camera (and husband) watches her pee.
9:12pm: Old, graying couple shown making out.

OK, I'm done. I can already tell this is going to be terrible, self-indulgent and depressing. Even worse, you just made me watch a chick pee in the first 10 minutes of the show. Totally unnecessary. I've had enough painful, awkward, depressing relationship moments in my life. I don't need to watch a show about it for an hour every week.

Just bring back The Wire already, HBO.

Edited to add: 9:17pm: Ah yes, soft porn. Wonderful. The girl's attractive, but I could get this on Cinemax, guys.

9:19pm: A 10-year old girl gets her period.

What the fuck is this show?

Edited again: 9:37pm: OK, that's the third instance of dude ass in just one episode. That's more dude ass than I like to see in the course of a decade, let alone 33 minutes. Please make it stop.

Edited again: 9:53pm: The hot blonde wife from The Mind of the Married Man literally just jerked a guy off on tv. The whole thing was shown, ejaculation and all. This just became something more than soft porn. But it's still not particularly good.

9:55pm: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I am simply not watching an old lady give an old dude head. It's just not happening. Make it stop.

9:56pm: Show ends. I may keep watching this show, but only for the same reasons I used to watch Undressed on MTV - it's a trainwreck with hot, naked chicks (except for the old one).

The DC Scene, Part Two

As I previously mentioned, I'm in the process of trying to listen to as many Washington, D.C.-area bands as possible to try to get a sense as to my new local music scene. It's still pretty early, but I'm finding a number of really interesting bands. I've already discussed The Julie Ocean and The Fake Accents. Here's two more good ones:

The Jet Age

Of all of the DC bands that I've heard over the last few weeks, the one that is most quintessentially "D.C." is The Jet Age. What does that mean? Well, it means that they're the one band that I've found so far that truly sounds like an outgrowth of DC's long-standing punk and post-punk tradition. Loud guitars, driving bass and drums, strong, catchy songs... Excellent stuff.

"Please Come Home Now"

You can catch The Jet Age playing with David Kilgour of The Clean at DC9 on November 14th. I'll be there.

More info: MySpace, Website

The Beanstalk Library

I discovered The Beanstalk Library the old-fashioned way - some dude was handing out 3-song promo CDs as people streamed out of The National's show at the 9:30 Club last week. I haven't seen anyone do this in New York in years, but I've always though it's a great way to get people to hear your music.

The Beanstalk Library write catchy, often jangly Americana rock. If that bunch of pseudo-rock criticism makes you think of Wilco, R.E.M., The Byrds or The Old 97's, well, good, because that's what I meant to say. The band's debut album, America at Night [BUY], reflects a hodgepodge of these influences, but thankfully never feels overly-indebted to any single source. Definitely a band worth keeping an eye on.

"Fake It"

If you're in the DC-area, you can catch The Beanstalk Library this Tuesday (9/11) at DC9 with The Winter Sounds, and again on Friday, 10/12 at Rock and Roll Hotel with Cloud Cult.

More info: MySpace, Website, DCist interview

Saturday, September 08, 2007

This Man Makes Me Sad

Friday, September 07, 2007

New Rogue Wave Video

Via Spinner comes the premiere of the new Rogue Wave video for "Lake Michigan". I can't say enough about the band's new album, Asleep At Heaven's Gate, which comes out on September 18th. Definitely one of my favorites of the year. You can hear the whole album for yourself here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

DAM! R&R Hotel Adds Yet More Shows

Just when I go and post this week's new show list, the Rock and Roll Hotel goes and adds more shows. When are these people gonna start adhering to my schedule?

10/11: The DAM! Festival Presents: Dirty on Purpose, The Big Sleep, Slaranffenland and Via Audio
10/12: The DAM! Festival Presents: Cloud Cult, The Beanstalk Library
10/13: The DAM! Festival Presents: Craig Wedren, iLIKETRAINS, Metropolitan, Time of Orchids
11/6: Psychic TV

The DAM! Festival shows are door sales only, but the Psychic TV show goes on sale next Friday, 9/14 at 10am.

Steve Jobs Gives Everyone $100

Well, not everyone, but all of us who shelled out $599 (or $499) to be an early-adopter of the Orgasmatron iPhone.

If you missed it, Apple dropped prices on the iPhone by $200 yesterday, just 68 days after introducing the phone and getting close to 1 million people to buy the thing. While annoying, I was one of the folks willing to deal with it, and suck it up as a cost of being an early-adopter.

Lucky for me, a lot of other iPhone owners weren't so willing to accept their fate, and inundated Apple with complaints. And Steve Jobs, a/k/a the Father of All Things Good and Kind, has heard those complaints. To wit:
To all iPhone customers:

I have received hundreds of emails from iPhone customers who are upset about Apple dropping the price of iPhone by $200 two months after it went on sale. After reading every one of these emails, I have some observations and conclusions.

First, I am sure that we are making the correct decision to lower the price of the 8GB iPhone from $599 to $399, and that now is the right time to do it. iPhone is a breakthrough product, and we have the chance to 'go for it' this holiday season. iPhone is so far ahead of the competition, and now it will be affordable by even more customers. It benefits both Apple and every iPhone user to get as many new customers as possible in the iPhone 'tent'. We strongly believe the $399 price will help us do just that this holiday season.

Second, being in technology for 30+ years I can attest to the fact that the technology road is bumpy. There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever. This is life in the technology lane. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you'll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon. The good news is that if you buy products from companies that support them well, like Apple tries to do, you will receive years of useful and satisfying service from them even as newer models are introduced.

Third, even though we are making the right decision to lower the price of iPhone, and even though the technology road is bumpy, we need to do a better job taking care of our early iPhone customers as we aggressively go after new ones with a lower price. Our early customers trusted us, and we must live up to that trust with our actions in moments like these.

Therefore, we have decided to offer every iPhone customer who purchased an iPhone from either Apple or AT&T, and who is not receiving a rebate or any other consideration, a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product at an Apple Retail Store or the Apple Online Store. Details are still being worked out and will be posted on Apple's website next week. Stay tuned.

We want to do the right thing for our valued iPhone customers. We apologize for disappointing some of you, and we are doing our best to live up to your high expectations of Apple.

Steve Jobs
Apple CEO
Unfortunately for me, there's not a whole lot at the Apple Store that I need, although I suppose I could buy five of these and give them out for Halloween.

A Night of Options in DC

I'm much more accustomed to having these types of nights in New York, but I'm happy to see that they happen here in DC too. Amazingly, there are no less than four great rock shows tonight to choose from. You can't go wrong, unless of course you choose not to go to any of them.

9:30 Club: The National, The Rosebuds and Doveman, beginning at 8:15pm
Black Cat: Midlake and Dawn Landes, doors at 8pm
Iota: Mark Olson and Last Town Chorus, beginning at 8:30pm
Rock and Roll Hotel: Oakley Hall and The Teeth, beginning at 9pm

New Babyshambles

I really ought to get to sleep, but before I do, I wanted to point you over to Kwaya Na Kisser to take a listen to a new Babyshambles song called "The Lost Art of Murder". Very relaxed and mature sounding. I like.

Reminder: Mark Olson in DC/VA Tomorrow!

Mark Olson, "Clifton Bridge"

Just a reminder that you have two chances tomorrow to catch Mark Olson if you're in DC/NVa. First up is a 12:30pm performance and signing at the Borders book store in the District at 18th and L. Second is a show tomorrow night at Iota with The Last Town Chorus. The Iota show supposedly starts at 8:30pm sharp, so get there early.

Mark is touring in support of his new album, The Salvation Blues. I haven't yet had a chance to hear the whole album, but the four songs over at Mark's MySpace page are fantastic. I don't usually take stock in these things, but Harp Magazine, one of the few magazines whose opinion I trust, has said the new album is his best since his time with The Jayhawks (notably, Gary Louris guests on 3 tracks on the disc). I need to make sure to pick up a copy of the album tomorrow night. You can get yourself one here.

New DC Shows

This week's batch of interesting shows. It's not 100% complete, so you may want to check the venue sites yourselves. These are just the shows of bands I recognize and think you fine folks might find interesting. Shows in bold are shows I'll be attending.

9:30 Club (on sale Thurs. 10am)
10/12: Government Mule w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
10/13: Government Mule w/ Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
10/14: Bad Religion w/ The Briggs, Gallows
10/15: Cat Power and the Dirty Delta Blues
10/17: Umphrey's McGee
10/18: The Wallflowers (Ed: seriously??)
11/6: John Butler Trio
11/30: Dark Star Orchestra
12/1: Dark Star Orchestra

Black Cat (on sale Friday)
10/28: The XYZ Affair, Small Sins
10/29: COMEDIANS OF COMEDY: Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, etc. (YAY!!)
11/12: VHS or Beta, Moving Units
11/13: Iamx
11/27: Dinosaur Jr.

Rock and Roll Hotel (on sale Friday 10am)
9/8: Washington Social Club and others (door tickets only)
10/16: The Octopus Project, Shout Out Out Out Out, Summerbirds in the Cellar
10/28: Manchester Orchestra, Annuals
11/7: Dr. Dog, Delta Spirit, Emily Lacy

The National @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC [9/5/07]

One word, kids... wow. That's about all I can say about tonight's National show at the 9:30 Club. This was the 4th (maybe 5th) time I've seen them this year, and they haven't once disappointed. You can ask me again after I see Wilco next month, but it's a hard call for me right now to figure out who the best live American band is right now. Right now, I'm strongly leaning toward The National.

We also got good sets from The Rosebuds (how haven't they broken out yet?) and, surprisingly, Doveman. I say surprisingly because, as talented as I know he is, every time I've seen him before he's bored me to tears. Especially that opening set he did for the Frames at Town Hall earlier this year. But tonight was much better, in large part because he was backed by 60% of the National (Aaron, Bryce and Bryan).

Some pics:

New Emma Pollock... Finally

Just three short years after the final Delgados album, and six months after she started playing shows in the US (including SXSW) playing new songs, Emma Pollock is finally releasing her solo debut next week on 4AD. Stereogum has been kind enough to point the way to Emma's new video for "Acid Test", and it's pretty damn good. Much more pop oriented than the Delgados, but still vintage Emma. Check it out:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hoodoo Gurus @ Black Cat, Washington, D.C. [9/4/07]

Great show at the Black Cat last night. As promised, I made it there early to catch both openers, Julie Ocean and The Fake Accents, and I was richly rewarded for doing so. Both bands put on great sets and have me excited about seeing them again. My only real complaint was the sound, which was kinda muddy for much of Julie Ocean's set. Still, though, the bands were tight and the songs were great.

I was a little hesitant to be the only person taking pictures with a flash, so most of my pictures of the two openers came out pretty bad. Here's one kinda decent shot of The Fake Accents.

I missed a chunk of the Hoodoo Gurus' set while talking to the Julie Ocean guys (and the Fake Accents' bassist) after their sets. The guys were all very cool and a pleasure to meet. By the time I made it back upstairs, I managed to catch about 20 minutes from the Hoodoos, who were as good as I remembered them from SXSW. It's great to see a band that's been around as long as they have still having a ton of fun on stage and sounding as tight (and loud) as ever.

Be sure to catch all three bands if you have a chance. The Hoodoos are playing tonight in New York, and then in Philly, Boston and Hoboken over the next few days. Julie Ocean have two shows coming up, first in Philly playing with the WOXY-approved Oliver Future at the North Star Bar on 9/14, and then opening for the Apples In Stereo at the 9:30 Club on 9/19. The Fake Accents... well, I don't see any dates for them right now. But I'll let you know when new dates pop up.

Parts & Labor

So I'm admittedly a little late to this party, but I'm in the process of completely and utterly falling in love with the latest Parts & Labor disc, Mapmaker. I used some month-end eMusic credits to pick up the album last week and finally got a chance to listen to it in the car today. Holy crap it's good.

The comparison may mean nothing to most of you, but I hear the band as having a lot of similarities to the dearly departed Juno, but with less atmospherics and a lot more ass-kicking. It's frenetic, driving and loud, and it very well may end up on my top 10 list at the end of the year.

Parts & Labor, "Fractured Skies"

You can buy Mapmaker">here for a low $10. You can also listen to more from the band on its website and its MySpace page.

They have a bunch of live dates coming up, including an opening spot with Les Savy Fav at the Bowery Ballroom on 9/22, but nothing in D.C. Damn.

Mystery Jets Touring U.S.

This is one of the first bands I'll be missing due to my move to D.C. that I really want to see. Caught them at the Mercury Lounge in NYC last year and thought they were great. Fellas, why play Detroit but not D.C.? You're much less likely to get stabbed here. (I kid, Detroiters.)

Mystery Jets Tour Dates

18 Sep 2007 Chicago, IL (Abbey Pub)
19 Sep 2007 Detroit, MI (Magic Stick)
20 Sep 2007 Toronto, ON (El Mocambo Club)
22 Sep 2007 Brooklyn, NY (Music Hall Of Williamsburg)
23 Sep 2007 Boston, MA (Paradise Rock Club) with Klaxons
24 Sep 2007 New York, NY (Joe's Pub)
25 Sep 2007 CineSpace, CA (?????)
26 Sep 2007 Los Angeles (Henry Fonda Theatre) with Klaxons
28 Sep 2007 San Francisco (The Fillmore) with Klaxons
30 Sep 2007 Seattle, WA (Showbox) with Klaxons
1 Oct 2007 Vancouver, BC (Commodore Ballroom) with Klaxons

Wilco in Virginia

Keep forgetting to mention this... Wilco is scheduled to play in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday, October 20th. There's a presale going on now, and general ticketing starts on Friday. All seating is general admission, which is pretty cool. After service charge and shipping, ticket are $50, which is not pretty cool.

I still want to hit CMJ in New York that week, but I'm starting to get concerned about taking that much time off from my business, as well as the cost/difficulties of crashing in New York, so I went ahead and bought a ticket. We'll have to wait and see whether I decide to head north or south that weekend.