Monday, March 31, 2008

Takka Takka + Free Beer Tonight!

If you haven't already seen it over at Brooklyn Vegan, there's a great show going on tonight at Pianos in New York.

BV is hosting the Rock n' ROFL show with a mix of great music (Takka Takka, John Vanderslice, Annie Clark, Bell) and great comedy (Will Franken, Larry Murphy, Kumail Nanjiani, Sean O' Connor and Reggie Watts).

Tickets are available here for $10, and that price includes two hours (spread throughout the evening) of free Newcastle beer.

You better believe if I were in NYC tonight I'd be there, pretty much for Takka Takka alone. I've become a pretty big fan of the band after catching them a couple times last summer and once at SXSW this year. Very much looking forward to album #2.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Conway Twitty

I've sung this song to ever girl I've ever dated. No wonder I'm still single...

Congratulations Black Acid!

No Raveonettes writeup or photos. I was already tired by the time I got to the Black Cat, and openers Black Acid were, quite simply, one of the worst openers I've ever had to sit through in my life. After four songs, I simply didn't want to be there anymore, so I left.

I'm sure I missed an excellent show. The Raveonettes' latest disc is fantastic, and I've read good things about the earlier shows on this tour. But at the end of the day, I just couldn't listen to Black Acid any longer.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Help Finish the Silkworm Documentary!

It's been a year or two since I last heard about Couldn't You Wait?, the documentary about the best rock and roll band most people have never heard of - Silkworm.

Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that the movie is just about done. The bad news, of course, is that the filmmakers are just about out of money for the project.

So they're asking fans to each donate the small sum of $5.00 via this PayPal link to help them finish the movie. They apparently only need a couple thousand dollars total to finance the final trip to California for editing and the like. Oh, and if you do make a donation, you'll be credited in the film when it comes out!

I'm gonna go make my donation now. If you're not convinced yet, check out the trailer for the film and then make up your mind:

Edited to add: Don't forget that PayPal charges a 2.9% commission for most transactions on its site, so if you want to make sure that the film producers get the full $5 or $10 or whatever you feel like giving, you might want to pull out the old calculator and add on an extra $0.15 or $0.30 or so...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Daddy, What's That Bad Man Doin' To My Donkey?

Kids In The Hall Coming To D.C.

Not sure how I missed this one, but legendary Canadian comedy troupe The Kids In The Hall are coming to D.C. Specifically, the Warner Theatre on Saturday, May 3rd. Tickets went on sale at noon today.

Tickets ain't cheap (about $52 after fees), but isn't true comedic genius worth the price?

Hey, lookie there... lucky penny!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dead Confederate Loves Michael McDonald presents: Dead Confederate from WOXY on Vimeo.

Edited to add: You can listen to the band's entire set here.

DC Show Update

Decent week, though slow at the bigger venues. Updates will be in italics, as usual.

Oh, and yeah, I gave up on the purely chronological listing. Too much work.

9:30 Club
Sun., 6/8: Swervedriver

9:30 Club tickets went on sale this morning via

Sat., 9/27: The Indigo Guys Jackopierce

Do you seriously want to know how to buy tickets for this?

Black Cat [main stage/back stage]
Thu., 4/24: The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello Acoustic) [main]
Wed., 4/30: Argos, Sketchbook [back]
Thu., 5/1: Van Hunt [back]
Mon., 6/16: Firewater [back]
Mon., 6/30: Harry and the Potters, Math the Band, Uncle Monsterface [main]

Black Cat tickets go on sale via Ticketmastr this Friday, 3/28 at 5pm Eastern, except the Harry and the Potters show, which goes on sale next Friday, 4/4.

Fri., 5/23: Fools and Horses, The Sometimes Favorites, The Secret Pop Band
Mon., 5/26: Ida, Michael Hurley

Iota tickets are sold at the door only.

Jammin' Java
Sun., 5/4: Mark Olson (of The Jayhawks)
Tue., 5/20: Laura Viers, Liam Finn

Jammin' Java tickets are on currently sale via PrestoCart.

The Red and The Black
4/12: The Jet Age, Monotonix, Dark Meat, CTC

Red and the Black tickets are sold at the door.

Rock and Roll Hotel
Tue., 5/13: Snowden, Colour Revolt
Thu., 5/15: The Sword, Torche, Stinking Lizaveta
Sat., 5/24: Subtle, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Efterklang
Sun., 5/25: Seawolf
Mon., 6/16: Retribution Gospel Choir (Alan Sparhawk of Low)
Sun., 6/29: King Kahn & the Shrines

Rock and Roll Hotel tickets go on sale via Ticket Alternative on Friday at 10am Eastern.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

By the Time I Move Back to NYC...

... McCarren Pool will again be a pool. Not a big loss, although the organic hot dogs are pretty good.

New Heavenly States

One of the albums that I've been listening to a lot lately is the new disc from San Francisco's The Heavenly States, entitled Delayer.

I was a huge fan of the band's 2005 album, Black Comet, and in my opinion the new album is stronger in just about every way. Here's the album's lead single:

The Heavenly States, "The Race"

If you're in New York this week, do yourself a favor and catch one (or more) of the band's three shows at Piano's. In fact, if you're just about anywhere in the country other than D.C. (sniff sniff), you'll be able to catch the band at some point in the next couple of months. Check it out:

Heavenly States Spring Tour
3/27: New York (Pianos)
3/28: New York (Pianos)
3/29: New York (Pianos)
4/14: Los Angeles (Spaceland)
4/15: Hollywood, CA (Cinespace)
4/25: Portland, OR (Doug Fir)
4/26: San Francisco (Bottom of the Hill)
5/14: Fargo, ND (The Aquarium)
5/15: Minneapolis (The Uptown)
5/16: Chicago (Schuba's)
5/17: Dubuque, IA (The Lift)
5/18: Iowa City, IA (Iowa City Yacht Club)
5/19: Lincoln, NE (Box Awesome)
5/20: Omaha, NE (The Waiting Room)
5/21: Denver, CO (Benders Tavern)
5/24: Missoula, MT (The Badlander)
5/25: Sasquatch Music Festival (The Gorge, WA)

Oh, and you can buy Delayer over at for only $9.98!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

WOXY's SXSW Sets Are Up!

Just noticed that all twenty two of WOXY's Lounge Acts from SXSW are now up on their site for downloading. There's even video from five of them. Awesome.

Among others, the sets include: Lightspeed Champion, Birdmonster, Dead Confederate, Sons & Daughters, A Place to Bury Strangers, Shout Out Louds and Earlimart. I didn't get to listen to WOXY at all while I was down in Austin, so these are all brand new to me.

I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.

New Hiders Album in Late Spring!

I haven't seen an exact date or even an album title yet, but I just noticed over at The Hiders' MySpace page that the band will be releasing its second LP this spring. Call me crazy, but I'm guessing that the release will come sometime around the band's CD Release Show at the Southgate House in Newport, KY on May 9th. Keep an eye on the blog as I'll try to post something from the album as soon as I find it.

If you haven't yet heard The Hiders, do yourself a favor and jump on the bandwagon now. If album #2 is anywhere near as good as album #1 (Valentine), hopefully these guys will be getting a bunch of press before too long.

The Hiders, "Everything I Wanted" (from Valentine) [BUY]

Hello.. Wilco Roger..

Dusty Gazongas!

Posted Jan 07, 2006

Aqua Teenage Hunger Force featuring Dusty Gazongas from the Wild Wild Chest!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Photographers Are Not Snipers

Crowded House at 9:30 Club!

Can't say I ever expected to say those words. I am so friggin' there.

Fri., 5/2: Crowded House @ 9:30 Club

Tickets go on sale next Thursday (4/3) at 10am EST.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Gutter Twins @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC [3/20/08]

Gonna keep this short since I have to catch a train to New York first thing in the morning...

Caught the Gutter Twins for the first time tonight and walked away with almost the same reaction I had after hearing the album for the first time - very good, but not great.

I'm just not sure if the pairing of Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan actually works. Dulli writes sweeping, sexy, exciting rock and roll. And as much as I like Mark Lanegan's voice - possibly one of the coolest in rock music - he brings a very dark, moody and, honestly, a pretty boring presence to the music.

While both Dulli and Lanegan are well known for the sinister edge to their music (which is largely why people were excited about the combination in the first place), they come at things from such drastically different angles that they almost seem to neutralize each other. Speaking from nearly 20 years of seeing Dulli perform live, his shows are supposed to be fun. And while I thought the band sounded excellent tonight, and the show was enjoyable, there was very little that was fun about the show.

Unless, of course, you consider it fun to watch a guy stand on stage with his eyes closed while grasping onto the mic stand like it was his only friend for an hour straight (I'm talking about Lanegan - take a look at the photos below, it's basically the same stance he had for the entire 90 minute set).

Seriously, I'm not sure if Lanegan (a) opened his eyes once during the set, or (b) proposed to that mic stand after the show.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pearl Jam Touring With Ted Leo

Just saw over at Brooklyn Vegan that Pearl Jam has announced three weeks of East Coast dates for June, including -2- nights at Madison Square Garden and 1 night at the Verizon Center here in D.C. Kings of Leon are opening the dates in the south, while Ted Leo is opening all dates in the north, including the DC date (phew!).

Tickets go on sale via the band's Ten Club on Monday. Tickets will go on sale to the general public some time thereafter (TBA).

I've still never seen Pearl Jam. Will I finally see them this time around? Very possibly.

Pearl Jam tour dates
Kings of Leon opening (except Bonnaroo)
11-Jun West Palm, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre
12-Jun Tampa, FL St Pete Times Forum
13-15 June Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
16-Jun Columbia, SC Colonial Center
17-Jun Virginia Beach, VA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Ted Leo opening
19-Jun Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
22-Jun Washington, DC Verizon Center
24-Jun New York, NY Madison Square Garden
25-Jun New York, NY Madison Square Garden
27-Jun Hartford, CT Dodge Amphitheater
30-Jun Mansfield. MA Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts

Upcoming WOXY Lounge Acts

There's a ton of great Lounge Acts coming up over at WOXY in the next few weeks, so I figured I'd let you know about them. There's even some serious D.C. action going on (Pash, Martin Royle, These United States), so those of you here in the DC area who don't currently listen to WOXY should really fix that situation ASAP.

Upcoming Lounge Acts
Thu., 3/20 (today!) @ 4pm: Mussels
Fri., 3/21 @ 4pm: The Big Sleep
Mon., 3/24 @ 1pm: John Vanderslice
Fri., 3/28 @ 4pm: Chairlift
Fri., 4/4 @ 2pm: These United States
Tue., 4/8 @ 4pm: The Photographic
Wed., 4/9 @ 1pm: Cursive (awesome)
Mon., 4/28 @ 1pm: Finest Dearest
Tue., 4/29 @ 3:30pm: Velella Velella
Wed., 4/30 @ 4pm: The Little Ones (also awesome)
Fri., 5/2 @ 4pm: Peter Adams


Someone please remind me why I didn't fly out to San Diego for this...

Liam Finn, Miracle Fortress @ DC9 [3/19/08]

Pretty good show over at DC9 tonight.

First up was Liam Finn, who I had seen just a few days ago at SXSW. I can't say I was impressed with his show in Austin, but I decided tonight that a big part of the problem I had with his show on Saturday was the size of the room - he'd played in the so-called "Bat Bar", which was little more than a huge stage set up in one of the conference halls at the Austin Convention Center, and which did not suit his music well at all. DC9, on the other hand, was much more appropriate, and I actually quite enjoyed his set.

If you haven't heard his music, you can check out a video for his song "Second Chance" here, and you can stream his latest album, I'll Be Lightning, in its entirety here.

Oh, and yeah, he's Neil Finn's son.

Next up was Miracle Fortress, whose debut album, Five Roses, has been on near-constant replay on my iPod since I got it several months ago. This was the first time I've seen the band, and their set was solid. Not as good as the album, but still pretty good, and it seemed to pick up steam with each song. That said, I'm still kicking myself for missing lead singer Graham Van Pelt's other band, Think About Life, in Austin.

Check out a great Miracle Fortress video for "Have You Seen In Your Dreams" here.

I left after Miracle Fortress because, well, I don't much like Most Serene Republic, who were headlining the show. So that's all there is to say about that.

Liam Finn

Miracle Fortress

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Song of the Day

Although I didn't actually see them at SXSW last week, one of the bands I discovered in Austin is Grand Archives.

I'd heard the name before, then my friends caught one of their sets and had good things to say, and then I listened to the band's recent album, The Grand Archives, at Waterloo Records. I was pretty much sold on the strength of the album's first track alone - "Torn Blue Foam Couch". Take a listen for yourself:

Grand Archives, "Torn Blue Foam Couch"

You can hear more from the band at their MySpace page, and you can pick up The Grand Archives at for $9.19. The band sounds a lot like Mojave 3 to me, and that's a pretty good thing.

Edited to add: One other point of interest - the band's lead singer/songwriter is Mat Brooke, formerly of Band of Horses. Don't hold that against them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Download the Dexateens for Free!

One of the bands I was most impressed by at SXSW was Alabama's The Dexateens. If you'll recall, I first mentioned them a couple of weeks ago when I discovered that they were opening for the Drive-By Truckers' upcoming shows at the 9:30 Club here in DC.

Anyway, it turns out the band has a new album coming out called Lost and Found, and the band has made the album available for free download. I'm listening to it for the first time right now, and it's pretty great. Do yourself a favor and go get it.

Oh, and if you need more convincing, the album was co-produced by Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers and David Barbe of Sugar. Pretty good pedigree if I say so myself.

Edited to add: Two more things. First, I just discovered over at that Lost and Found is, in effect, an "accidental" album of songs that the band had left over while recording its next "real" LP, entitled Singlewide. If these are the "b-sides", then I can only imagine how good Singewide will be.

Second, I forgot to mention that, even though Lost and Found is available for free, you can also make a donation as a "thank you" to the band and to help them recoup their recording fees and pay to release the album on CD and vinyl. There are few better causes to contribute to than to help get good music out to the public...

Monday, March 17, 2008

SXSW - Day 4

I hate to admit it, but I'm getting old. By the time that Day 4 (Saturday) rolled around, I was just about done. My feet ached, including a blister on one of my toes that had me limping as I walked, and five hours of sleep per night wasn't really getting the job done, especially with the "Sleep Number" beds that the Radisson gave us. Note to self -- do not buy a "Sleep Number" bed.

Anyway, neither I nor my friends ended up being particularly motivated to run around from show to show all day. So after a fantastic BBQ lunch at the Salt Lick, we pretty much just went with the flow. Although I still ended up seeing seven acts on Saturday, two were actually accidental -- we happened to be CD shopping at Waterloo Records when Half Japanese were playing, and we happened to be having dinner at Maria's Tacos when Alejandro Escovedo showed up for a set (yep, every single restaurant or bar in Austin seems to have a stage in it somewhere).

My favorite sets of the day were The Dexateens, who I'd never seen before but now am looking forward to seeing open for the Drive-By Truckers at the 9:30 Club, The Teenage Prayers, who I like much better live than I ever have when I've heard them on, and Anders Parker, who put on a haunting set in the awesome Saint David's Church (sadly, we missed M. Ward and Jim James in the same room). Georgie James were also very good, but as I told a friend, I'm looking forward to finally getting to see them with a full band.

As for Half Japanese... well... at least now I can say I've seen them. And that's all I'll say about that.

Lunch at the Salt Lick

Magic Christian @ Dog and Duck Club

The Dexateens @ Sidebar

Half Japanese @ Waterloo Records

Alejandro Escovedo @ Maria's Tacos

The Teenage Prayers @ Lambert's

Liam Finn @ Bat Bar

Georgie James @ Dirty Dog

Anders Parker @ Saint David's Episcopal Church

SXSW - Day 3

If Day 2 was my favorite day of the week, Day 3 (Friday) was a close second. I got to see several bands for the first time that I'd been wanting to see, including The Night Marchers, Future Clouds and Radar and Earlimart, all of whom were excellent. I also had the chance to get introduced to Fucked Up, who were better than I expected and whose frontman was hilarious (the best part was when he walked off stage mid-song, got a plate of barbeque, and came back on stage eating food between lyrics). In addition, I saw a great set from one of my favorite bands, The Whigs.

The worst show of the day, sadly, was Lucero, who I normally love. I missed the first couple of songs so I think I missed a full explanation, but from what I gathered from stage banter it seems like Ben had something wrong with his hand and couldn't play guitar well. This translated into a bunch of sloppy songs and a lot of lengthy meandering breaks between songs where the band would talk amongst themselves and then chat with the crowd about what song to play butcher next. I'm a huge fan of the band, so to say I was disappointed is an understatement.

Full set of pics from Day 3 are here.

Care Bears on Fire @ SESAC Day Stage

The Weakerthans @ Volume

Jay Reatard @ Emo's

Fucked Up @ Vice Saves Texas Party

The Night Marchers @ Vice Saves Texas Party

The Whigs @ Volume

Portastatic @ The Parish

Future Clouds and Radar @ Momo's

Takka Takka @ Friends

Earlimart @ Buffalo Billiards

Headlights @ Habana Calle 6 Patio

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ Habana Calle 6

Lucero @ Red Eyed Fly

Akron/Family @ Red River Street

The Supersuckers @ Emo's Annex

Throw Me The Statue

As I mentioned earlier, one of my favorite "finds" of SXSW was Throw Me The Statue. I caught about half of their set at the Mohawk while waiting for The Explorers Club, and was extremely impressed by the band's songs and live show.

What I didn't realize until my friend Matt picked up their disc at Waterloo Records on Saturday is that the band is, on record at least, just one man - Scott Reitherman. I was a bit thrown as we started listening to the disc and, instead of hearing the full band from the show, heard what was essentially a bedroom recording with vocals, guitar and a Casio keyboard.

I've since gotten over my surprise and, after downloading the band's album from eMusic and giving it a few listens, am well on my way to becoming a very big fan. The band has drawn favorable comparisons to Guided By Voices (with both Pollard-like and Sprout-like songs), and that's always gonna grab my attention.

Here's a song from the band's debut LP on Secretly Canadian. His/their debut LP, Moonbeams, just came out a few weeks ago and you can order it here.

Throw Me The Statue, "About to Walk"

They're also going out on tour for the next month or so (full dates here), but no D.C. date sadly.

SXSW - Day 2

Day 2 was probably my favorite day of this year's SXSW, in no small part due to our annual trip down to Lockhart for some Smitty's BBQ. Best damn sausage around.

My best "find" of the day was Throw Me The Statue, who I'd never heard of before but came away very impressed. I was also thrilled to catch Bon Iver, who was fantastic despite the fact that very few of us in the audience could even see the band due to the crowd and the fact that they were all seated towards the back of the stage. And Wussy was as good as I've ever seen them, so be sure to catch them on their East Coast tour this month.

Full set of pictures from Day 2 - including good, bad, and ugly ones - can be found here.

Lunch at Smitty's in Lockhart

The Constantines @ Emo's

Ra Ra Riot @ Emo's Jr.

Shout Out Louds @ Emo's

Grand Ole Party @ Fader Fort

Birdmonster @ Fader Fort

Georgie James @ Emo's Jr.

Fleet Foxes @ Emo's IV

Ian MgLagan @ Lucky Lounge [no picture]

Hanson @ Bat Bar (ha!)

L'il Cap'n Travis @ Bourbon Rocks

Wussy @ Bourbon Rocks

Throw Me The Statue @ Mohawk Inside

The Explorers Club @ Mohawk Inside

Bon Iver @ Mohawk Outside

Citay @ Mohawk Inside

Parts & Labor @ Mohawk Inside

Old 97s @ Stubb's

Another One Bites the Dust

Via Brooklyn Vegan and Idolator -- Harp Magazine is shutting down. The next issue, with Dave Grohl on the cover, will be its last.

Who's next to go?

SXSW - Day 1

Right before I left for Austin last week I mentioned that I was trying to decide between two options for Wednesday night -- one option was to hit Stubb's early to make sure I got in for Dead Confederate and R.E.M. and sit through 3 artists I didn't know, or to instead bounce around between different places and catch Shearwater, Lightspeed Champion and Okkervil River, among others.

But for Dead Confederate's awesome set (possibly my favorite of the week), I made the wrong choice. I absolutely hated Summerbirds in the Cellar, Jonathan Rice and Papercranes. R.E.M. was excellent, so when coupled with Dead Confederate, I'm not angry about my choice, but I can't say I was thrilled about it either. I can only take solace in the fact that Okkervil is coming to DC next month, and I'm sure Shearwater won't be far behind. Not too sure about Lightspeed Champion, though, who I somehow ended up completely missing in Austin.

Anyway, here are some Wednesday pics. My full set of Wednesday pics can be found here.

Jason Collett @ Emo's Annex

The Wedding Present @ Emo's Annex

Summerbirds in the Cellar @ Stubb's

Jonathan Rice @ Stubb's

Papercranes @ Stubb's

Dead Confederate @ Stubb's

R.E.M. @ Stubb's