Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Eraser is leaked...

Thom Yorke's highly anticipated solo album The Eraser leaked online about 24 hours ago. The proper release hits shelves July 11 courtesy of XL Recordings. I assume the leak is a direct result of the promo release, and if so, it was inevitable. And thank god for it. Like every other Radiohead-obsessed fan, I literally foam at the mouth with the possibility of any new material, solo or otherwise. So naturally, I downloaded it the instant I heard of the leak and it has been on repeat ever since. My first impression, albeit a simplistic generalization, is Kid A-lite with proper song structure and intelligible lyrics. So in short, it's brilliant. No easy link as a'll have to search it out for yourself but it won't be hard to find. Anyway, The Eraser will nicely tide me over until I catch the full band at a once-in-a-lifetime theater show in San Fran come late June.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Summer '06 Mix

Summer is here in Minnesota and we're about half way through the year. To mark the occasion, I put together a mix of a few of my personal favorite 2006 songs available to date. I recommend that each and every one of you download these tracks (right click, save as...) if you don't have them already...and sooner, rather than later in case the links go bad. I grabbed every mp3 I could find and came surprisingly close to giving you the entire thing. But for the couple I couldn't find, hop over to emusic and sign up for the free trial to download 'em and complete the mix. Then put it all together just like I've done below (no messing with the order now) and enjoy the sounds of some great tunes. May this be at least one soundtrack to your summer of 2006.

1. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor - Arctic Monkeys
2. Formed a Band - Art Brut
3. Mount Wroclai (Idle Days) - Beirut
4. Stadiums And Shrines II - Sunset Rubdown
5. Violets - Candy Bars
6. I'm Waiting To Know You - The Fiery Furnaces
7. The Henney Buggy Band - Sufjan Stevens
8. Goin' Against Your Mind - Built to Spill
9. Auto Rock - Mogwai
10. According To Plan - I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness
11. Good, Not Great - Mission of Burma
12. I Want You So Hard (Boys Bad News) - Eagles of Death Metal
13. Steady, As She Goes - The Raconteurs
14. Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives - Voxtrot
15. Munich - Editors
16. Painter In Your Pocket - Destroyer
17. Lightning Blue Eyes - The Secret Machines
18. Cheated Hearts - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
19. Hospital Beds - Cold War Kids
20. An Old Familiar Scene - Elf Power
21. Did I Step On Your Trumpet - Danielson
22. Free Radicals - The Flaming Lips
23. Crazy - Gnarls Barkley
24. Insistor - Tapes 'n Tapes
25. The Great Salt Lake - Band of Horses
26. Pour Me Another - Ola Podrida
27. This Is How It Always Starts - Grandaddy

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Growing on me...

So I've been doing a bit of musical research on some of the lesser known bands (to me) in the ACL line-up and I must say that things are looking up. I downloaded MP3s (thanks to an free trial) of several bands that I had heard of but never listened to and a few I've just never heard of at all. The research has paid off after discovering a few musical gems buried in the lineup such as Explosions in the Sky, Stars, Feist, Okkervil River, Jose Gonzalez and the Black Angels. So in other words, the line-up is growing on me.

Quick debrief on the Mogwai show last night at 1st Ave. As expected, I was blown away and I'm speaking literally here. They sounded brilliant of course, but there is nothing more prominent in a Mogwai show than the physical assault on our oh-so-very-precious ear drums. I've thought about this a bit and these unassuming Scots deliver a concussion-inducing sonic force that far surpasses any other band I've seen in a live forum. I swear I could actually see the sound waves, it was that thick. Yet their melodies, textures and occasional vocals still manage to rise to the surface, without distortion or becoming lost in the mix. Luckily all of this pummeling is exactly what you want and expect from Mogwai and is 100% indicative of their material (i.e. loud-soft-loud, repeat till climax sans post-coital cuddling).

Lastly, I wanted to acknowledge the successful pass of the stadium bill early this morning after a very close vote, 34-32. Baseball is really the only sport I follow with any sort of passion, so I'm thrilled to see the Twins finally get their open-air baseball stadium. And you can bet I'll be there on opening day, 2010 even if I'm long gone by that time.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

ACL rundown

The 2006 Austin City Limits Music Festival lineup was announced last night, albeit with a bit of a whimper after an online leak a few days earlier, not to mention that many of the big-name artists were confirmed weeks ago. But now it is official:

Aimee Mann, Alexi Murdoch, Anathallo, The Anointed Voicez, Asheba, Asleep at the Wheel, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Ben Kweller, Benevento Russo Duo, Beto and the Fairlanes The Biscuit Brothers, The Black Angels, BoDeans, Brazilian Girls, Buckwheat Zydeco, Calexico, Cat Power and the Memphis Rhythm Band, Centro-matic, Charlie Sexton, Claire Small, Damian Marley, Damien Rice, Daniella Cotton, deadboy & The Elephantmen, Del Castillo, Donavon Frankenreiter

The Durdens, Eli Young Band, Elvis Perkins, Explosions in the Sky, Federico Aubele, Feist, Fields, The Flaming Lips, G. Love & Special Sauce, Galactic, Ghandaia, Gnarls Barkely, Goldfrapp, Gomez, The Gospel Silvertones, The Greencards, Greyhounds, Guster, Guy Clark, Husky Rescue, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness?, Ian McLagan and The Bump Band, Imagination Movers, Iron & Wine, Jack Ingram, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe McDermott and the Smart Little Creatures, John Mayer, The Jones Family Singers

Jose Gonzalez, Joy Davis, Kasey Chambers, Kathleen Edwards, Kings of Leon, KT Tunstall, The Long Winters, Los Amigos Invisibles, Los Lonely Boys, Lou Ann Barton, Marah, Massive Attack, Matisyahu, Matt Costa, Matt Nathanson, Melissa Reaves, Murder by Death, Nada Surf, New Monsoon, The New Orleans Social Club, The New Pornographers, The New Soul Invaders, Nickel Creek, Okkervil River, Oliver Mtukudzi & Black Spirits, The Palm Elementary School Choir, Paolo Nutini, Patrice Pike

Peter Dawson, Phoenix, Pierre Guimard, The Raconteurs, Randy Rogers Band, Ray Lamontagne, Robyn Ludwick, The Rocket Summer, Rocky Votolato, Rodney Hayden, Sam Roberts, Sara Hickman, The Secret Machines, The Shins, Son Volt, South Austin Jug Band, Sparklehorse, Sparta, Star Kids Yoga, Stars, Sterling Lands and The Warrior Gospel Band, The Stills, String Cheese Incident

The Subdudes, Sylvia St. James and The Gospel Stars, Ted Leo/Pharmacists, Terri Hendrix, Thievery Corporation, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Tragically Hip, Trish Murphy, Troy Campbell Band, Van Morrison, Ween, What Made Milwaukee Famous, The White Ghost Shivers, Willie Nelson, Wolf Parade

There you have it. As you've probably noticed, I've been ranting and raving about ACL all year. My very first post on this here blog was an exuberant recap of my 2005 ACL experience. I regularly talk it up to friends and on this very site. I even helped encourage a couple of friends to snatch up their 3-day passes early before any lineup inklings had been released. I was that confident. And now the lineup is released...and my initial reaction is mixed. More of a 'bleh' than the expected 'fuck yeah!' Have my expectations grown too high? ACL has always been unique from the other big festivals, showcasing a wide array of local talent, older vintage bands, a good mix of indie bands and of course, the standard fest-oriented jam bands. It is also just a great festival experience. But still...

As I review the acts over and over I can't seem to find even one act that makes my mouth water with anticipation. Last year I had a truly geeky excitement to see The Arcade Fire, The Fiery Furnaces, Wilco, Built to Spill and Lucinda Williams. The year before, it was Wilco (again), Neko Case, My Morning Jacket, and best of all, The fuckin' Pixies! This year, I don't know...The Flaming Lips and Willie Nelson are the only two that even raise my eyebrows. There are plenty of other bands I like in that line-up, but for some reason or another they just don't give me the hard-on I was hoping for. I mean Bonnaroo has Radiohead so that's no contest, the rest is icing. Lollapalooza has Wilco, Sonic Youth, RHCP, Sleater-Kinney, Kanye West, Queens of the Stone Age and Broken Social Scene. ACL has Van Morrison as a headliner?! Don't get me wrong, I like a good Van tune like the next guy, but I have sickening feeling that my parents would be more interested in this year's lineup than I am. And that disturbs me.

I say again, there are some damn fine artists in there: Wolf Parade, Sparklehorse, New Pornos, Iron&Wine, Cat Power, Ted Leo, Gnarls Barkley, The Shins, etc. But still, none of them get me truly excited for that live experience that I'm badly craving. I'll still go of course. I'll still have a great time and maybe now I'll be pleasantly surprised with my expectations lowered. And I'll take any excuse to make a trip to Austin, TX. I'll suck it up and suffer through it. Guess this just means that I'll have to go to Lollapalooza, too in order to get the fix I'm looking for. What can ya do? Life is tough.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Natural's Not In It

(Gang of Four, Entertainment!)

The problem of leisure, What to do for pleasure
Ideal love a new purchase, A market of the senses
Dream of the perfect life, Economic circumstances
The body is good business, Sell out, maintain the interest
Remember Lot's wife, Renounce all sin and vice
Dream of the perfect life, This heaven gives me migraine
The problem of leisure, What to do for pleasure

Coercion of the senses, We are not so gullible
Our great expectations, A future for the good
Fornication makes you happy, No escape from society
Natural is not in it, Your relations are of power
We all have good intentions, But all with strings attached

Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest
Repackaged sex keeps your interest

The problem of leisure, What to do for pleasure
Ideal love a new purchase, A market of the senses
Dream of the perfect life, Economic circumstances
The body is good business, Sell out, maintain the interest
Remember Lot's wife, Renounce all sin and vice
Dream of the perfect life

This heaven gives me migraine
This heaven gives me migraine
This heaven gives me migraine