Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Christmas song befitting 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Recommended shows: Oct 6-12

Tuesday, Oct 7
- The Black Kids @ The Entry
- Jamie Lidell @ Varsity Theater
- Robert Pollard @ Turf Club

Wednesday, Oct 8
- Radio K Anniversary featuring Low, Dosh, et al. @ First Ave.
- Silver Jews @ Triple Rock

Friday, Oct 10
- The Magnetic Fields @ State Theater
- Cold War Kids @ Fine Line

Saturday, Oct 11
- Fleet Foxes @ Cedar Culture Center (2 shows)
- Nick Lowe @ Dakota Jazz Club
- Tegan & Sara @ State Theater

Sunday, Oct 12
- Stereolab @ First Ave.

New Releases: Tuesday, Oct 7

- Deerhoof, Offend Maggie
- Marnie Stern, This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That
- Mt. Erie, Lost Wisdom
- Castanets, City of Refuge
- Antony & The Johnsons, Another World (EP)
- Bob Dylan, Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series, Vol 8
- Department of Eagles, In Ear Park
- Fucked Up, The Chemistry of Common Life
- Jolie Holland, The Living and The Dead
- Oasis, Dig Out Your Soul

Pointless List #1 - participation encouraged

Without permission, I'm posting this e-mail chain recently begun by CV, a friend of mine in Austin. Since it's music-related and I do love lists, I wanted to share it with the hope that any readers might contribute in the comments.

From CV:
So here is a list of my favorite songs from five different loosely defined genres. I've picked these genres because I feel that, with some degree of confidence, I can reasonably pick a favorite song from them. Obviously this task would be far too hard without much more thought than I have put into this for a genre like "Rock" or "Pop" or something. But within these cherry picked and ill-defined genres, here is my best attempt at naming my favorite songs:

Electronic: Gamma Goblins - Infected Mushroom

Metal: Revolution is My Name - Pantera

Pop R&B: You Make Me Wanna - Usher

Rap: Bust a Move - Young M.C.

Industrial: Closer - Nine Inch Nails

From SS:

Here's mine, for now..

Electronic: Barbers Adagio For Strings - (Ferry Corsten Remix)

Metal: I get it - Chevelle

Pop R&B: One More Try - Timmy T

Rap: Jump Around - House of Pain

Industrial: Closer - Nine Inch Nails

Can I make up my own genres?

Piano Rock: Vienna - The Fray

Blues Rock: 3x5 - John Mayer

From JTM:
I can't resist. I'll give this a shot using the constraints of your chosen genres. I may have to put in more than one song per genre, too. Sorry if that is a violation of the rules.

The Big Ship - Brian Eno
Little Fluffy Clouds - The Orb
Hyper-Ballad - Bjork
Everything In Its Right Place - Radiohead

War Pigs - Black Sabbath
Thunderstruck - AC/DC
Welcome Home (Sanitarium) - Metallica
Hangar 18 - Megadeth

Pop R&B:
What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
Superstition - Stevie Wonder
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Sign 'O' The Times - Prince

Sabotage - Beastie Boys
California Love - 2Pac
Fight the Power - Public Enemy
Adrenaline! - The Roots

Industrial: This is the hardest genre category, since it's by far the most narrow on the list.
Head Like a Hole - Nine Inch Nails

Not sure what to do with Piano Rock, but I'll try:
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Tiny Dancer - Elton John
Ol' 55 - Tom Waits

Blues Rock. Disclaimer - This could easily get very long and I won't be able to narrow it down by song. Plus, you could easily make an argument that basically all rock is blues rock so again, it's tricky. So I'll just name a few obvious artists instead:
Led Zeppelin
Jimi Hendrix
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Eric Clapton/Cream
Rolling Stones
Allman Bros.
The Animals

and more modern...
White Stripes
Black Keys

Phew. That was fun.


New Eagles of Death Metal video - 'Wannabe in LA'

Eagles of DM are a live favorite of mine and will be in the Twin Cities on November 8 at the Fine Line. I'd consider it a can't-miss show. They're touring in support of the new album, gloriously titled Heart On and in stores Oct 28.

SNL relevant once again as election approaches

I'm a fiercely political person but I am trying my absolute best not to bring up such matters in this forum. And that is no easy task over these last few months. I'll continue to keep things as apolitical as possible. But as an avid consumer and follower of pop culture, there's no harm in acknowledging SNL's sudden relevance this election season. As you've probably seen yourself, this resurgence of quality is primarily due to the now weekly Tina Fey appearances as VP-candidate Sarah Palin. In case you missed it, here's last night's VP debate send-up featuring a pitch-perfect Palin and a fine Biden parody, too. Queen Latifah has some impressive comedic chops herself.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Okkervil River video - 'Lost Coastlines'

I've been catching up on recently released videos, can you tell? Here's a video for my fav track off of Okkervil's The Stand-Ins, featuring former Okkervil member, current Shearwater front man Jonathan Meiburg.

007 Theme video - 'Another Way to Die' by White Keys

Yes, everyone has probably seen this by now but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't post it myself. The video sucks but the song itself is a decent James Bond theme, and could just as easily pass as a White Stripes song in another context (and without Ms. Keys).

Radiohead video - 'Reckoner'

Although Aniboom's animated Radiohead video contest ended up with 4 winners back in August, Thom has gone and singled out the Reckoner video in particular, proclaiming it to be the 'official' video for the track.

Radiohead - Reckoner - by Clement Picon

ACL 2008 - Day 3 in pictures (abbreviated and belated)

Sorry for the delay...we left for on our return trip to Minnesota immediately after Day 3 and didn't arrive back home until early Tuesday morning (2am or so). Only now have I had the time to wrap up this half-ass ACL coverage of mine.  Plus, my memory card ran out of space on Day 3 so pictures were few and far between.

Gillian Welch, my highlight of Day 3, performed with David Rawlings on the AMD stage.

Joined now by (not so) surprise guest Alison Krauss to sing 'Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby' from O Brother.

Neko Case a couple sets later at the AMD stage via jumbo screen.  As always, she put on a great show and this time to likely one of the biggest crowds she's ever performed.

Did I forget to mention it? On Day 3, HAM joined our team for the entire day of fantastic music, heat and the biggest crowds yet. This pic captures the Hankster having just awaken from a long nap during a pre-Foo Fighters set by Band of Horses.

Other acts from Day 3 not pictured here include: The Kills (probably the only new find of the fest), Stars, The Raconteurs (Jack White held up nicely with a slipped disc in his back), the very end of Gnarls Barkley featuring a cover of Radiohead's 'Reckoner,' Band of Horses and Tegan & Sara. We left Zilker Park just as the Foo hit the stage to begin the long drive home.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

ACL 2008 - Day 2 in pictures

Fleet Foxes had an early set today on the main AMD stage. My wife found 'em too mellow for the heat of the day. I found their CSNY harmonies just right.

Man Man are a bunch of zany band geeks. That's not a slight, just a realization. Definitely one of the most entertaining shows of the weekend.

Spiritualized win honors for set of the day. Spaceman Jason Pierce stubbornly refused to face the audience but otherwise, I have not a single complaint. Best of all, they played 'Ladies and Gentlemen We're Floating in Space' with a 'Fools Rush In' coda and finished off the thrilling set with 'Come Together.'

Headliners Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. We couldn't get close enough for a decent picture, so I can only offer a shot of the video screen. Best part had to be the reimaginings of Led Zep classics, including 'Black Dog' and 'Misty Mountain Hop.'

Although not pictured above, we also caught partial or complete sets from these other acts: Drive-By Truckers, Les Freres Guisse (from Senegal), Mason Jennings, The Black Keys and Beck from a far distance. Dust was again an issue, as we fell victim to the Mud Booger Plague for the second day in a row.

Friday, September 26, 2008

ACL 2008 - Day 1 in pictures, David Byrne steals the day

View across Zilker Park, early on Friday. Today featured possibly the best weather of all my ACL experiences: low 90s, partly cloudy with a nice breeze.

Mark and my wife smile for the camera during Yeasayer set.

Yeasayer came first on the schedule. Here's bass player Ira Wolf Tuton.

M. Ward put on a bluesy show at the WaMu stage. Yep, that's right, the Washington Mutual stage.

David Byrne played the AT&T stage at sunset. How could this guy not have been the Day 1 headliner? He put on a hugely entertaining show mixing new Byrne/Eno tracks with classic Talking Heads songs such as 'Once in a Lifetime.'

Byrne put on a show and I mean this literally. Choreographed (kind of) dancers added a theatrical element to the performance as did the all-white attire. The steely-haired Byrne hasn't lost his herky-jerky moves and frequently joined in with dance moves of his own. The sound was fantatic, the crowd enthusiastic. It was a memorable set that lived up to my lofty expectations. It'll be hard to top over the next two days.

The audience at sunset during the Byrne's performance.

Other bands we saw today but not pictured above include Vampire Weekend, Mates of State, The Swell Season (i.e. those two from Once) and headliner Mars Volta.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This morning we hit the road on our way to Austin. Before I leave, here's a little mix (via for you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New Releases: Tuesday, Sept 23

Busy week for releases...

- TV on the Radio, Dear Science,
- Cold War Kids, Loyalty to Loyalty
- High Places, High Places
- Blitzen Trapper, Furr
- Brightback Morning Light, Motion to Rejoin
- Thievery Corporation, Radio Retaliation

Recommended shows: Sept 22-28

Monday, Sept 22
- A Place to Bury Strangers @ Triple Rock

Wednesday, Sept 24
- High Places @ Triple Rock

Thursday, Sept 25
- Sigur Ros @ Orpheum

Saturday, Sept 27
- Mogwai w/ Fuck Buttons @ First Ave

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brian Wilson plays Black Cab Session

It's safe to say this is the biggest name the Black Cab Sessions have ever taped by a long shot. Nice work, guys.

Bob Dylan concert scheduled in Twin Cities for election night

Bob Dylan is scheduled for perform at Northrop Auditorium on the University of Minnesota campus on Election Day, November 4th. The show, which will have no opening act, is set to begin at 8pm, right as the polls close. I'll actually be in Washington, DC over the election, but if I was in town, a Dylan show would have been a welcome distraction from the pundits and predictions on that fateful night.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

TVOTR video - 'Golden Age'

TV on the Radio's homoerotic new video of standout Dear Science, track 'Golden Age.'

Ted Leo releases new digital EP in Rapid Response to RNC

In the two weeks since the Palin convention here in St. Paul, indie stalwart Ted Leo has been hard at work and steamin' mad. As proof, he's gone and recorded a new EP titled Rapid Response featuring four tracks: two originals, two covers, all political. The juicy (and impressive) part here is that one of the original tunes, "PARANOIA: Never Enough," was written in direct response to the RNC-related shenanigans. Can't wait to hear it. The digitial-only EP is for sale at Touch 'n Go Records right now for a variety of "donation" prices ranging from $4 to $20. Even if you're not gonna buy it, check out the link if only to read Ted Leo's entertaining liner notes. Here's a pull quote to give you a taste:
We yammer on about the efficacy of trickle-down economics, but we ignore the trickle down effect that eight long years of example of contempt for the standards of the very same reasonable society this government claims to desire to defend, and the cynical exploitation of the populace via their fears and willingness to allow any transgression against their rights in the name of comfort (to inadvertently quote Shelter), but the proof of that trickle-down effect is all around, and was on display during the RNC in St. Paul.

Although his opinions (and questionable sentence structure) aren't likely be endorsed by Obama or other Democratic leaders as an official party response to the RNC, Ted certainly has something to say and that in itself is refreshing. Seeing as I'm always complaining about the noticeable lack of politically charged music around, this is a welcome development from where I stand.

Monday, September 15, 2008

ACL trip coming up

After a one year hiatus, we're headed back to the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Sept 26-28. This go-round we're road tripping in a RV with the family. Could be a blast, or could be a disaster. We leave a week from today. Hopefully Texas will be hurricane free now that Ike's driven through like a battering ram. And speaking of Ike, the Arkansas v Texas game originally scheduled for this past weekend was postponed until the ACL weekend. Not sure how that will affect the crowds.

Without question the most exciting part of this year's festival experience will be having baby HAM in tow. Our plan is to bring HAM the first part of each day if the weather isn't too fierce (heat or otherwise). He's gonna love it!

Ok, here's my itinerary. As we know, things won't end up even close to the plan, but you gotta start somewhere. Still trying figure out how Austin Kiddie Limits will fit in, too.

Friday, September 26

* 1:30pm - 2:30pm Yeasayer
* 2:30pm - 3:30pm Vampire Weekend
* 3:30pm - 4:30pm Jamie Lidell
* 4:30pm - 5:15pm M. Ward
* 5:30pm - 6:30pm Hot Chip
* 6:30pm - 7:30pm David Byrne
* 7:30pm - 8:15pm The Swell Season
* 8:15pm - 9:30pm The Mars Volta

Saturday, September 27

* 12:30pm - 1:30pm Fleet Foxes
* 1:30pm - 2:30pm José González
* 2:30pm - 3:30pm Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
* 3:30pm - 4:30pm Man Man
* 4:30pm - 5:30pm Erykah Badu
* 5:30pm - 6:30pm Spiritualized
* 6:30pm - 7:30pm Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
* 7:30pm - 8:15pm The Black Keys
* 8:15pm - 9:30pm Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
* 8:30pm - 10:00pm Beck

Sunday, September 28

* 12:30pm - 1:30pm Nicole Atkins & the Sea
* 1:30pm - 2:30pm Octopus Project
* 2:30pm - 3:30pm Gillian Welch
* 3:30pm - 4:30pm Stars
* 4:30pm - 5:30pm Neko Case
* 5:30pm - 6:30pm Okkervil River
* 6:30pm - 7:45pm The Raconteurs
* 7:30pm - 8:30pm Band of Horses
* 8:30pm - 10:00pm Foo Fighters

Bjork video - "Dull Flame of Desire" featuring Antony Hegarty

Fantastic song now featuring fantastic video.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Releases: Tuesday, Sept 16

- Ruby Isle, Night Shot
- Talkdemonic, Eyes at Half Mast

Recommended shows: Sept 15-21

Tuesday, Sept 16
- The Presets w/ Cut Copy @ Fine Line

Thursday, Sept 18
- Neko Case w/ Giant Sand @ First Avenue

Friday, Sept 19
- Panther w/ Ratatat @ First Avenue
- River Rocks Festival featuring Jakob Dylan, Ozmatli, OAR, White Iron Band @ Harriet Island

Saturday, Sept 20
- Soul Asylum @ Epic
- River Rocks Festival featuring The Roots, Mike Doughty, Live, The Alarmists @ Harriet Island

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More tour announcements - Lucinda Williams, Calexico

Lucinda Williams hasn't played First Ave in a while but she's coming back this fall on October 23rd and then, in an odd scheduling move, for a second night two weeks later on Nov 5th. The last time I saw Lucinda at First Ave, my wife fainted mid-show and was carried out of the crowd by a heroic, large and hairy staff person. Definitely a night to remember, but not to repeat. Lucinda's new album Little Honey hits the streets on Oct 14 and supposedly features guest spots from Elvis Costello and Matthew Sweet among others.

Also heard today that Calexico kicked off their tour, fresh off this week's release of Carried to Dust. They'll stop by the Twin Cities on November 22nd to play the Fine Line.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Elbow wins Mercury Prize for The Seldom Seen Kid

In what amounts to an upset, Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid took home the Nationwide Mercury Prize at the event held in London earlier today, beating out the likes of Radiohead, Burial and Robert Plant/Alison Krauss. Wouldn't have been my choice but it's easily Elbow's best release to date so congrats to them. This prize is a big deal in the UK.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Rocktober in the Twin Cities

I was pointing out that Deerhoof show and realized what a busy night that is for here in the Twin Cities. Oct 14th also includes David Byrne at the State Theater and Neil Young at the RNC-tainted XCel. Sheesh. Next, I took a gander at the entire month of October and was's this for a potential month-long marathon:

Sept 30 - Beck
Oct 2 - My Morning Jacket
Oct 3 - Weezer
Oct 7 - Black Kids
Oct 8 - Silver Jews
Oct 10 - Cold War Kids
Oct 11 - Nick Lowe, Fleet Foxes
Oct 13 - Broken Social Scene
Oct 14 - Deerhoof, David Byrne, Neil Young, Death Cab for Cutie
Oct 16 - Rufus Wainwright, Ted Leo
Oct 17 - Wire
Oct 18 - Mason Jennings
Oct 20/21 - TV on the Radio
Oct 25 - Of Montreal
Oct 29 - Conor Oberst
Oct 30 - Yeasayer


Deerhoof video - 'The Tears and Music of Love'

Who's excited for Deerhoof's upcoming Offend Maggie? Here's a video of the first single 'The Tears and Music of Love.' This live performance showcases the always entertaining seizure-like drumming style of Greg Saunier.

Remember they'll be in town on Oct 14th at First Ave.

Noel Gallagher attacked during Virgin Fest performance

You've probably heard by now what happened to Oasis guitarist and firebrand Noel Gallagher at the Virgin Festival last night in Toronto. If not, watch carefully about 16 seconds into the clip below. If it weren't for the fact that Noel may have actually sustained some injuries as he fell into the monitors, I'd be cheering the sentiment of the crazed lunatic on stage. I don't typically condone violence but if any rock star could use a beating, it'd be Noel or his younger bro Liam. But alas, the douche got injured enough to be taken to a hospital with possible broken ribs or torn ligaments. So I won't celebrate after all. Impressively, he came back on stage to finish up the set before seeking treatment. As for the attacker? He is now in jail and charged with assault. No doubt as the story unfolds we'll learn of his hire by Damon Albarn.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

New Releases: Tuesday, Sept 9

- Okkervil River, The Stand Ins
- Michael Franti & Spearhead, All Rebel Rockers
- Kimya Dawson, Alphabutt
- Fujiya & Miyagi, Lightbulbs
- Chad VanGaalen, Soft Airplane
- Calexico, Carried To Dust

Recommended shows: Sept 8-14

Tuesday, Sept 9
- The Dandy Warhols @ First Ave

Wednesday, Sept 10
- Spiritualized @ First Ave

Friday, Sept 12
- Ra Ra Riot @ The Entry
- They Might Be Giants @ First Ave
- Motorhead w/ The Misfits @ Myth Nightclub

Saturday, Sept 13
- The Walkmen @ 400 Bar
- Joan as Police Woman @ Cedar Cultural Center

Dear Science leaks

All is good in the world because TV on the Radio's new album Dear Science leaked this morning.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Radiohead's final performance of US tour to be featured at NPR's All Songs Considered

I think it's been a day or two since I posted a Radiohead-related story...

Bob Boilen of All Songs Considered recently posted a marvelous story about his trip to Santa Barbara to see Radiohead's last gig of their U.S. tour. Perhaps, you'll remember this as the very same show streamed live by Radiohead themselves on the night of Barack Obama's DNC speech. Segments of that video broadcast are now readily available online.

Here's a sampling:

But I digress...the best news revealed here is that All Songs Considered was granted permission to record and post the entire show on their site as well. It'll be available on Monday, Sept 8 at noon for your audio streaming pleasure.

If you aren't already familiar with the extensive collection of concert recordings available on the NPR website, I absolutely recommend you check it out.

Out Magazine lists the '100 Greatest, Gayest Album of All Time'

Now this is a fantastic idea for a list. Out Magazine polled gay artists from all across the industry to come up with the 100 Greatest, Gayest Albums. There are oddities among certain selections but it's much easier to complain about omissions (no Depeche Mode?!). All the same, I find the results are mighty impressive as these kind of lists go.

What was the criteria? The list was not limited to only albums by queer musicians, but rather anything that had relevance in the life of those polled could qualify. Or as Out Magazine put it, it's a list of "the seminal, flamboyant, trailblazing, gender-bending, campy, theatrical, audacious, unforgettable albums that changed our lives."

Congrats to Madonna and Morissey/The Smiths who tied for most albums on the list. I was most pleased with the #1 selection of David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, one of my personal all-time favorites.

100 The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
99 Joni Mitchell - For The Roses
98 Ferron - Testimony
97 Janis Ian - Between The Lines
96 Nick Drake - Bryter Layter
95 Culture Club - Kissing To Be Clever
94 Hair Original Broadway Cast - Hair
93 Sade - Lovers Rock
92 Morrissey - Viva Hate
91 Grace Jones - Nightclubbing
90 Kate Bush - The Kick Inside
89 Fifth Column - To Sir With Hate
88 Hüsker Dü - Zen Arcade
87 Madonna - Confessions On A Dance Floor
86 Madonna - Madonna
85 Nina Simone - Anthology
84 Cyndi Lauper - True Colors
83 Bette Midler - The Divine Miss M
82 Cher - Believe
81 Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah
80 Rufus Wainwright - Want One
79 T. Rex - Electric Warrior
78 Various - The Rocky Horror Picture Show Soundtrack
77 New Order - Substance
76 Ani DiFranco - Imperfectly
75 Carole King - Tapestry
74 Michael Jackson - Off the Wall
73 Various - Fame Soundtrack
72 Donna Summer - Once Upon a Time
71 Elton John - Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
70 Rent Original Broadway Cast - Rent
69 Frances Faye - Caught In The Act
68 Nirvana - Nevermind
67 Hüsker Dü - Candy Apple Grey
66 Soft Cell - Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
65 Le Tigre - Le Tigre
64 Patti Smith - Easter
63 Björk - Debut
62 Jeff Buckley - Grace
61 Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
60 R.E.M. - Automatic For The People
59 Bronski Beat - The Age of Consent
58 Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville
57 Prince - Dirty Mind
56 Team Dresch - Personal Best
55 David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
54 Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes
53 Culture Club - Colour By Numbers
52 Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
51 Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome to the Pleasuredome
50 Rufus Wainwright - Poses
49 Patti Smith - Horses
48 Cris Williamson - The Changer and the Changed
47 The Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs
46 Madonna - Ray of Light
45 Bikini Kill - Pussy Whipped
44 Pet Shop Boys - Very
43 Prince - Purple Rain
42 ABBA - Gold
41 Melissa Etheridge - Yes I Am
40 Pet Shop Boys - Behavior
39 Laura Nyro And Labelle - Gonna Take A Miracle
38 Dusty Springfield - Dusty In Memphis
37 Blondie - Parallel Lines
36 Madonna - Erotica
35 Yaz - Upstairs At Eric's
34 Donna Summer - Bad Girls
33 The Smiths - Hatful Of Hollow
32 The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
31 Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstacy
30 Diana Ross - Diana
29 Pet Shop Boys - Actually
28 Queen - The Game
27 Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
26 Scissor Sisters - Scissor Sisters
25 k.d. lang - Ingénue
24 Sylvester - Living Proof
23 Deee-Lite - World Clique
22 The Gossip - Standing In The Way Of Control
21 David Bowie - Hunky Dory
20 Queen - A Day at the Races
19 The B-52s - The B-52's
18 George Michael - Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. I
17 Lou Reed - Transformer
16 Queen - A Night at the Opera
15 George Michael - Faith
14 Erasure - The Innocents
13 Ani DiFranco - Dilate
12 The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground & Nico
11 Various - Hedwig And The Angry Inch Soundtrack
10 Antony And The Johnsons - I Am A Bird Now
9 Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual
8 Madonna - The Immaculate Collection
7 Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
6 The Smiths - The Queen is Dead
5 Judy Garland - Judy at Carnegie Hall
4 Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls
3 Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
2 The Smiths - The Smiths
1 David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars

Walkmen perform 'The Rat' for and it rocks

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Battle of St. Paul - RATM impromptu protest show at capitol comes to abrupt halt

Here's a report from Rolling Stone (and NPR video below) covering the Rage Against the Machine "surprise" protest gig held (and abruptly halted) earlier this evening at the State Capitol in St. Paul. A Zach-led march down to the XCel Center followed the festivities. Not the happiest of endings but all the same, what an experience that would have been? To march in protest against 'The Man' with self-proclaimed anarchists Zach and Tom. To think I could have spent the night in jail after having tear gas doused in my face; meanwhile the raging fury of Zach and Tom fly home on a comfy private jet after yet another raucous (and profitable) gig at the Target Center tomorrow night. Something doesn't seem right...nah, it'd be worth it.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Releases: Tuesday, Sept 2

- Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun
- Giant Sand, Provisions

Recommended shows: Sept 1-8 (RNC edition)

Monday, Sept 1
- 'Take Back Labor Day' featuring Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Mos Def, Atmosphere, et al. @ Harriet Island

Tuesday, Sept 2
- 'ProVention Concert for Peace' featuring Haley Bonar, Dan Wilson, The Honeydogs, et al. @ Midway Stadium Fitzgerald Theater

Wednesday, Sept 3
- Rage Against the Machine @ Target Center

Thursday, Sept 4
- GZA w/ P.O.S. @ Cabooze

Friday, Sept 5
- The Roots @ Epic
- Nas @ First Avenue

Saturday, Sept 6
- Xiu Xiu @ Triple Rock

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Walkmen video - 'In The New Year'

Another new cut from TVOTR's Dear Science

Me very excited. 

Eight is Enough - Protest concert featuring Low tonight at Turf Club

I somehow missed this on my weekly recommended concert posting. Tonight The Turf Club is hosting the first of many local protest concerts over the next two weeks. Titled 'Eight is Enough,' tonight's gig will feature Low, Dosh, members of Tapes 'n Tapes, P.O.S., STNNNG and many more acts. Doors open at 7:30pm, 21+ show, advance tickets are apparently sold-out but there will be tickets sold at the door this evening.

I can't make it but for good reason. I'm going to see my bro-in-law Johnny Blaze's show with The Rez tonight at Trocaderos. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What I'm listening to...

I was posting one new review a week for a while there, but I couldn't keep it up. Instead, I'll run through some quick one-liner reviews for several recent releases/leaks from the last few weeks. This will catch you all up on what's good and what's not.

Beck - Modern Guilt
Most consistent collection of tunes since Sea Change and the Danger Mouse production is a nice fit, but ultimately I was left with little to no lasting impact. The set is so consistent in sound and theme that each song sounds like the next. Luckily, it's a pretty decent song.
JTM Grade: 70%

David Vandervelde - Waiting for the Sunrise
Last time we heard from Vandervelde, he was Marc Bolan reincarnated. This go-round, we're still grounded firmly in the 70s, only now more Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young worn on our sleeves, rather than T. Rex. I prefer glam but it's a decent set nonetheless. Songs tend to meander on too long.
JTM Grade: 75%

The Walkmen - You & Me
I'd kinda lost interest in The Walkmen after the underwhelming A Hundred Miles Off but this new album delivers on all fronts. Even though there's nothing as immediate as 'The Rat' to be found here, the album may very well be more complete and satisfying from beginning to end than Bows + Arrows. Contender for AOTY.
JTM Grade: 90%

Of Montreal - Skeletal Lamping
Disco's dead and maybe it should stay that way. Even as camp, this doesn't work. Big disappointment from Kevin Barnes coming off career high Hissing Fauna.
JTM Grade: 45%

Okkervil River - The Stand-ins
Culled from the same session that produced last year's The Stage Names. I'm not sure if Will Sheff can write a bad song, but it's hard not to think of this as leftovers that didn't make the cut (i.e. Black Sheep Boy Appendix). For most bands, you'd think this would mean subpar material but that's not the case. Like I said, bad songs he cannot write. Welcome guest appearance by former bandmate and current Shearwater mainman Jonathan Meiburg.
JTM Grade: 75%

Mogwai - Hawk is Howling
Just leaked. Still absorbing. Initial impression has me thinking it could be their best in years. Bonus points for the best cover art and song titles of the year doesn't hurt either. And by best, I mean worst.
JTM Grade: pending

Bloc Party - Intimacy
Chaotic, borderline cheesy, only occasionally thrilling. For better or worse, there's a heavy Chemical Brothers influence going on. Mostly for worse unfortunately and I'm beginning to wonder if Silent Alarm was a beautiful fluke. As always, it's hard to take Kele seriously, but oh how he tries so hard.
JTM Grade: 55%

David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
My expectations were high considering the two geniuses involved here and admittedly, I was surprised with the results. Far less experimental than Bush of Ghosts but that also means much more listenable. I'd even call these accessible, MOR pop songs, but man, these are some damn good songs. In a time where every other band swipes from The Talking Heads playbook, Byrne/Eno have delivered a decidedly untrendy set of songs. It's refreshing. I've had this almost on continuous repeat since I downloaded it last week.
JTM Grade: 90%

The Verve - Forth
The beloved UK act will never be able to re-create 'Bittersweet Symphony' but I that's what I keep hoping they'll do. The Verve are one of those bands I desperately want to love but can never really fall for. Forth is a pretty album (and so is the cover art), but even now, I can't think of a single memorable track other than single 'Love Is Noise.' And again with the long songs. Unless you're post-rock or a brilliant wordsmith, I see no reason for this kind of excess.
JTM Grade: 60%

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Recommended shows: Aug 25-31

Wednesday, August 27
- Gnarls Barkley w/ Cloud Cult @ MN State Fair
- The Rez @ Trocaderos

Friday, August 29
- Ruby Isle @ Kitty Cat Club

Saturday, August 30
- The Black Crowes w/ The Black Keys @ MN State Fair

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fun Fun Fun Fest tickets on sale tomorrow

I think it's fair to say that Austin, TX has an inordinate number of music festivals, probably more than any other US city save NYC. Austin's a fantastic city and my hometown, but I don't live there so I'm sticking calling it inordinate. In March there's the industry catered, hipster haven of SXSW. September has the populist ACL Fest in all its sweaty glory. And the new pup is the overly-excitable Fun Fun Fun Fest. Now in its third year, FFFF has carved out its own little niche, with a focus on punk, indie and hip-hop. This year's event is held on Nov. 8-9 at Waterloo Park and tickets go on sale tomorrow. November is the ideal month for an outdoor Austin fest. If only ACL could snag such a late date.

Anyway, here are some highlights from the FFFF 2008 lineup.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The National
Minus The Bear
St. Vincent
Trail of Dead
The Annuals
Bishop Allen
Frightened Rabbit
Parts and Labor
Magnetic Morning
Bad Brains
Dead Milkmen
Dan Deacon
Kool Keith/Dr. Octagon
Dengue Fever

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"Golden Age" - First single from new TVOTR album

Here's our first taste from the new TVOTR record. Funky bass, Prince/MJ vocals, glorious production by Sitek. Yes, this song is awesome and yes, I'm psyched for Dear Science to be released on 9/23 or leaked even sooner. On "Golden Age" Kyp Malone sings lead instead of the usual Tunde Adebimpe.

Monday, August 18, 2008

David Byrne & Brian Eno - "Strange Overtones"

This is a seriously catchy song and now can say with confidence that the entire new album is really, really good.

My Morning Jacket video - "Touch Me I'm Going To Scream, Pt 2"

Neil Young opens fall tour in St. Paul on Oct 14

Neil Young, who I was lucky enough to see last November at his sold-out Northrop show, is embarking on another sizable tour less than a year later. This time he starts things off in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center. Death Cab for Cutie open up for the first half of the tour (including St. Paul show), with Wilco picking up the reins as opener during the latter half.

Complete tour as follows:
10/14 - Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul *
10/16 - MTS Centre, Winnipeg *
10/18 - Brandt Centre, Regina *
10/19 - Pengrowth Saddledome, Calgary *
10/21 - Comcast Arena, Everett *
10/22 - GM Place, Vancouver *
10/29 - Cox Arena, San Diego *
10/30 - The Forum, Los Angeles *
11/1 - Events Center, Reno *
11/4 - Sprint Center, Kansas City *
11/5 - Qwest Center, Omaha *
11/29 - Metro Centre, Halifax #
12/1 - Bell Centre, Montreal #
12/2 - Scotia Bank Place, Ottawa #
12/4 - Air Canada Centre, Toronto #
12/7 - Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit #
12/9 - Allstate Arena, Chicago #
12/12 - Wachovia Spectrum, Philadelphia #
12/15 - Madison Square Garden, New York #

Opening acts:
* Death Cab for Cutie
# Wilco

Bloc Party surprise with digital release of new LP in three days time

Today Bloc Party unexpectedly announced the release of their new album Intimacy on August 21st via digital download, more than three months in advance of the physical release set for Oct 28.

Byrne/Eno album now available

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is the new LP from David Byrne and Brian Eno and it is now available for purchase or streaming right here. I've been streaming it this morning and it's surprisingly accessible considering the avant-garde nature of their last collaboration, 1981's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. I like what I'm hearing.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Recommended shows: Aug 18-24

Monday, August 18
- Califone @ The Walker Art Center

Wednesday, August 20
- Great Lake Swimmers @ The Entry

Sunday, August 24
- Buddy Guy w/ Jonny Lang, Big Head Todd & the Monsters @ MN State Fair

New Releases : Tuesday, August 19

- The Dandy Warhols, Earth to the Dandy Warhols
- The Fiery Furnaces, Remember (Live album)
- GZA, Pro Tools
- Lykke Li, Youth Novels
- Stereolab, Chemical Chords
- The Verve, Forth
- The Walkmen, You & Me

New Deerhunter, Atlas Sound full-length LPs leaked unintentionally by Bradford Cox

Not a good weekend for Bradford Cox. Cox posted some new Atlas Sound material as a virtual 7" but the download link unintentionally sent you to his private Mediafire directory containing a treasure chest of demos and unreleased material, including the new Atlas Sound album Logos in unmastered form, not anticipated to be released until 2009. Even more surprising, looters found a new Deerhunter full-length (not Microcastle but something entirely new) titled Weird Era Continued and a horde of other miscellaneous covers, mixes and demoes. It amounted to Bradford Cox accidentally opening up his personal hard drive for the masses and as I've mentioned before, this guy is prolific.

The mistaken link didn't last for long, but long enough of course. All of the material is now readily available if you have the urge. It's unfair to give a judgment on the new songs, but I'm definitely impressed by what I've heard so far and the sound quality excellent.

Later, Gorilla vs. Bear discovered that Bradford Cox, angry about the invasion, posted the following on his blog, along with a deliberate link to the Logos album. This post has since been removed:
"Logos (R.I.P.) 2007-2008"
Fuck this shit. I can just make another album. It's not finished and now it never will be."

Sheesh. I feel sorry for the dude but I guess blogging can have its risks. Bradford is a volatile guy so I hope this doesn't cause him to shut down the blog and truly abandon some fantastic future material.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fujiya & Miyagi video - "Knickerbocker"

Fujiya and Miyagi - Knickerbocker

A book about Babyshambles?!

I don't know why this silly insignificant story bugged me so much but it has, so you're gonna hear about it. Music-tabloid NME (a publication I have harsh feelings for anyway) has reported that Pete Doherty's post-Libertines band Babyshambles is soon to have an "official" book published about their exploits, "charting the euphoric highs and the depressing lows of the band."

I'm going to be sick. Couple things of note. First, Pete Doherty is the only reason this is a story. The UK is obsessed with the crazy dude. Yes, the Libertines were a fantastic, influential band that burned too bright before fizzling out in a drug-riddled crash. Pete's now less a musician and more of a tabloid mockery (competing closely with his pal Amy Winehouse).

You'll also note that according to the drummer, the book will include "a lot of stuff regarding him and Kate (Moss)'s relationship...including Pete's surely profound "views on the no-shows, his view on drugs, his view on the arrests and persecution, relationships with band members."

As awful as it sounds, that angle is at least understandable from a marketing point-of-view. So it's tabloid fluff obviously and I'm sure it will sell for the intended audience. What pisses me off most is that the book is about Babyshambles...why would anyone deem the band Babyshambles worthy of permanent ink, bound pages, an entire freakin' book. Their music is sub-par, they have existed for all of 4 years or so. What is their to write about except for Pete's antics? They've made little to no impact on anyone as far as I can tell. Granted, I'm not from the UK so maybe I just don't get it, but this just blows me away. Anyway, yes, it's a dumb thing to get worked up about but I just had to share.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beijing Olympics 2008 - What's going on here?

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I've always been rather bored by the Olympics. Winter, summer, either way. Dream Team, Schmeam Team.  It baffles me that folks can be so passionate for Olympic sports.  Me? It's always been a bit bland.  Something changed this go-round for me.  For some odd reason, the current Olympics has me paying attention. Maybe I'm just caught up in Michael Phelps mania, and I am.  More peculiar is how I've found myself watching and enjoying (gasp!) gymnastics, volleyball, non-Phelps swimming races even. There's some serious drama going on in these things that just don't exist in other sporting forums. Amazing athletes playing for country, honor, pride, all that bullshit rather than the almighty dollar.  Is that it?  I don't know.  But seriously, Michael Phelps is the shit. Anyway, I just need to say how shocked I am by this development. Even the opening ceremonies were unusually impressive and engaging.  I blame my wife. She is the one who forced me to sit down and watch a Phelps race.  Now I'm hooked.

ACL aftershows announced

The ACL Fest official aftershows were announced today.

Here's a quick rundown...
- Manu Chao
- Gnarls Barkley and CSS
- Mike Farris featuring the Roseland Rhythm Revue
- Return of the Butthole Surfers w/ The Kills
- Mugison
- The Black Keys w/ The Black Angels & Jessica Lea Mayfield
- G. Love & Special Sauce
- Conor Oberst w/ Special Guests Jenny Lewis and M. Ward
- Jamie Lidell w/ Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears
- David Byrne - Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno
- The Swell Season w/ Bill Callahan
- Drive-By Truckers w/ Shooter Jennings
- Heartless Bastards w/ Dead Confederate & Wax Fang
- Car Stereo Wars
- Okkervil River w/ Man Man & Crooked Fingers
- Jose Gonzalez w/ Neva Dinova & McCarthy Trenching
- Jakob Dylan and The Gold Mountain Rebels w/ Back Door Slam

Nothing jaw-dropping but some interesting options. I'd definitely be game for David Byrne, the Okkervil River/Man Man pairing or the surprise inclusion of Butthole Surfers! But alas, I'm not planning to attend any aftershows this year since 1) I know how exhausted I'll be after each day of the sweatfest and 2) I'll have my baby boy with me on the trip.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

In concert - She & Him @ First Avenue, 8/7/08

Gotta love all ages shows. Doors open at 6pm, first act at 7, main act at 8-8:30 and out the door by 10pm. Truly an ideal scenario for the working-week event. And this was the setup on last Thursday evening at First Avenue for She & Him, aka Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward.

Johnny Blaze was my concert buddy for the evening and we were both fans of their debut release Volume One. M. Ward is always fantastic but Zooey really stood out as a gifted songwriter and unique vocal presence. But let's be candid here. Zooey is a movie star and based on the surprisingly packed crowd, I have to believe there's an added celebrity-whoring curiosity mixed in with your average She & Him audience. So that added an interesting vibe right from the get-go. No judgment. We were as complicit as the next person.

The night opened up by Becky Stark, alone on stage. Becky is the lead singer from Lavendar Diamond and later we discover her to be Zooey's back-up singer. Best I can tell, she's a eco-obsessed hippy with an operatic, Kate Bush-like voice. Started off a little dull, with the audience noise almost drowning her out. Eventually and just in the nice of time, a new guest musician would join her on stage with each new song until eventually both M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel herself were backing her up on some more flushed out tunes. Turned into a good set by the end. She also had this semi-improvised comedy routine going on as filler between dreadfully depressing songs which made for an entertaining contrast.

Next came the main event. I've read that the pairing of Matt and Zooey had proved to be awkward on stage more often than not, primarily due to some adorable stage fright on the part of Zooey. I could see a little of that. She's surely worked out most of the kinks since SXSW, but there remained a bit of initial hesitance. Once she sat down on the piano and rang off the chorus of "Sentimental Heart" she started to respond to the crowd's enthusiasm, loosened up and appeared to be in her element. M. Ward? He's a rock. Always fantastic. He's the consummate musician and modest as hell. As is his style, he prefers to hang out in the corner, in the shadows and often with his back facing the audience. It's clear he doesn't want the performance to be about him, despite the crowd wooing and cheering every time he comes up to the microphone or lets out a solo from his guitar. He's like a big brother, wanting to help out little sis. He doesn't want to take away any attention, just wants to be there for her. The spotlight is on Zooey and her songs and by the end of the night she earned it with a set including nearly every track from the album. Better yet, I counted three new ones from what I hope will be Volume Two. All in all, a good night. Nothing revelatory but very good. We saw a movie star, listened to some great live music, and best of all I was home by 10:30.

Monday, August 11, 2008

More fall concert announcements - Yeasayer, Fleet Foxes

Both Yeasayer and Fleet Foxes have been touring tirelessly, including numerous stops in the Twin Cities. Unlike some bands, The Black Kids to name one example, these two groups are very deserving of their substantial hype and acclaim. Lucky for you, we'll have yet another chance this October to catch both live acts on higher profile headlining tours.

Fleet Foxes were here maybe a month ago at The Entry and are coming back to town and upgrading to the Cedar Cultural Center in which they'll perform on October 11.

Brooklyn's Yeasayer will be coming to Minneapolis for an Oct 30th show at The Triple Rock. Word is that they'll be featuring many new tracks this go-round after touring for well over a year on the coattails of the excellent All Hour Cymbals.

Creepy new Mogwai video - 'Batcat'


Saturday, August 09, 2008

BeatMaker - Best music app for iPhone

Here's a demo of BeatMaker, hands down the best music-related app for the iPhone thus far. I haven't mastered this type of skill yet, but a guy can try. Or if you don't give a damn about the iPhone but you're interested in listening to a nice ambient groove, give it a lookie.

LEGO video of Radiohead's "House of Cards"

Thursday, August 07, 2008

RNC protest shows gaining traction: Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, Atmosphere, et al.

'Take Back Labor Day,' is the St. Paul protest concert (on Harriet Island) orchestrated to coincide with the RNC, about which I posted a while back. The line-up already had some politically charged umph with the likes of Tom Morello and Steve Earle playing hosts. Now the event's official site has confirmed series of additional acts including Mos Def, Lupe Fiasco, local heroes Atmosphere, Billy Bragg and Allison Moorer. Tickets go for a mere $10. Who would have ever thought it was a good thing to live in the city of the RNC? 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bonnie "Prince" Billy at Walker Art Center in March 2009

Wow, now that's planning ahead. I just happened across this random date on the Walker Art Center calendar and was shocked. First, I'm shocked that Bonne "Prince" Billy is going to be in town for a live show. But even more shocking is scheduling the show for 7 months from now on March 19, 2009. Looks like he'll play two shows, one early and one late. I don't know about you but I can't plan that far ahead.

Here's the alluring description from the Walker's calendar:
Spend an evening with one of the most enigmatic and celebrated singer-songwriters of the last decade. Oldham’s atmospheric art-folk is borne of an Appalachian netherworld finding its glimmer and glow through gentle guitars, lush harmonies, shimmering folk-tronics, and elegies that slide between spare and sly, lovely and lonely, beautiful and bucolic. A rare live performance by one of today’s most prolific and fiercely creative artists.

Deerhunter tour announced, including Mpls date in Nov

Is it just me or have there been a slew of tour announcements recently? This fall is really shaping up to offer an array of great shows in the Twin Cities. Too many for my life as a parent, so I have to be very selective. The latest announcement is Deerhunter. After they finish up on their stint as openers for NIN, they will embark on a headlining U.S. tour in support of their new album Microcastle.

Headlining schedule below including Nov 17 Mpls show at The Triple Rock, which is probably my favorite local venue if you were curious. If at all possible, this gig will be on my calendar.

10/31 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
11/1 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
11/2 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
11/3 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar
11/4 Washington, DC - Black Cat
11/5 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
11/6 Princeton, NJ - Terrace F. Club
11/7 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
11/8 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11/10 Boston, MA - Paradise
11/11 Montreal, Quebec - Theatre Plaza
11/12 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
11/13 Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
11/14 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
11/15 Chicago, IL - Metro
11/16 Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
11/17 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock Social Club
11/20 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
11/21 Seattle, WA - Neumos
11/22 Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
11/24 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
11/25 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
11/28 San Diego, CA - Casbah
11/29 Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts
12/1 Dallas, TX - Palladium Loft
12/2 Austin, TX - Emo's Alternative Lounge Outside
12/3 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live
12/4 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
12/5 New Orleans, LA - One Eyed Jacks
12/6 Birmingham, AL - Bottletree

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

David Byrne & Brian Eno release first single from new album

David Byrne's own blog directs readers to the first single from his new collaboration with Brian Eno Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. The song is titled 'Strange Overtones' and it's available at the album's website. In other Byrne/Eno news, a full tour in support of the new album, sans Eno, has also been revealed. Byrne will be in Minneapolis on Oct 14th at the State Theater.

Full tour dates:

9/16 - Bethlehem, PA - Zoellner Arts Center - Baker Hall
9/17 - Baltimore, MD - Lyric
9/18 - Newport News, VA - Ferguson Center for the Arts
9/20 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheater
9/21 - Asheville, NC - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
9/22 - Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium
9/23 - Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre
9/25 - Austin, TX - Paramount
9/26 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits (Zilker Park)
9/28 - Alburquerque, NM - Kiva Auditorium
9/30 - Phoenix, AZ - Orpheum
10/2 - San Diego, CA - Humphreys
10/3 - Los Angeles, CA - Greek Theatre
10/4 - Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theater
10/6 - San Francisco, CA - Davies Symphony Hall
10/8 - Santa Rosa, CA - Wells Fargo Center For the Arts
10/9 - Saratoga, CA - Mountain Winery
10/11 - Park City, UT - Eccles Center for the Performing Arts
10/12 - Denver, CO - Buell Theater
10/14 - Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre
10/15 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst
10/17 - Omaha, NE - Kiewit Concert Hall
10/18 - St. Louis, MO - Fox Theatre
10/19 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre (Reserved)
10/21 - Lousiville, KY - Louisville Palace Theater
10/23 - Cleveland, OH - Allen Theatre
10/24 - Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theatre
10/25 - Indianapolis, IN - Clowes Memorial Hall
10/26 - Chicago, IL - Chicago Opera House
10/29 - Toronto, ONT - Massey Hall
10/30 - Montreal, QUE - Metropolis
10/31 - Boston, MA - Wang Center
11/1 - Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata
11/3 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre
11/5 - Albany, NY - Empire State Plaza
11/7 - Pittsburgh, PA - Carnegie Music Hall
11/8 - Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre

Rage Against the Machine coming to Mpls on Sept 3 to coincide with RNC

It was announced yesterday that Rage Against the Machine (fresh off their raucous Lolla show) are coming to the Target Center in Minneapolis on Sept 3. This just so happens to time perfectly with the Republican National Convention across town in St. Paul. What a bizarre coincidence.

Rage guitarist Tom Morello was already scheduled to be in town for a solo performance (along w/ Steve Earle) on Sept 1st, so the timing works out nicely for the guys.

I doubt the show will end up like their infamous 2000 DNC protest concert in Los Angeles, if for no other reason than it ain't for free. In fact, you'll have to fork over $60 for admittance. Tickets go on sale 10am on this Saturday.

Monday, August 04, 2008

My belated coverage of Lollapalooza 2008

Despite my best intentions, blogging during Lollapalooza didn't quite work out. I had neither the resources nor the time, and iPhone blogging just isn't practical. Sorry 'bout that but better late than never. So here's a quick photographic rundown of the fest.

Other comments, highlights, notes...

Other than those mentioned in the slide show, I also saw/heard:
- Gogol Bordello (listened to during eating, resting)
- Battles (kick ass)
- Toadies (not very good but did sing Backslider!!)
- White Lies (first I'd heard of 'em)
- The Whigs (decent)
- Iron & Wine (perfect soundtrack to my afternoon chill)
- Flogging Molly
- Love & Rockets (Keith Richards look-alike, otherwise blah)
- About half of the NIN set. The band was tight but the sound was too low and I could hear Kanye calling all the way from the other side of Grant Park. The NIN light show was the best of the fest, and so were Trent's arms. Damn, he is definitely on the juice. I did get to hear a nostalgic rendition of 'Closer,' so I went away satisfied.

Random memories...
- Playing bean bag toss with a couple of Tennessee kids in the shade.
- The perfect weather and the perfect environment. Conditions are much better than ACL.
- Buses running all day with A/C on full blast for those requiring some refuge.
- Three kids jumping into Buckingham Fountain at the end of Day 3. A huge crowd gathered to cheer 'em on. Around ten cops eventually coerced them off the fountain, put the poor schmucks in handcuffs and walked them to the paddy wagon. Ridiculous.
- On Sunday morning, I enjoyed one of the best breakfast experiences of my life. So if you're ever in Chicago, I beg you, go to the Eleventh Street Diner, 1100 S. Wabash.
- I somehow did not get sunburned. It's a miracle.

- Couldn't make it to the aftershow with Broken Social Scene and Yeasayer. If I had known that would happen, I would have made sure to catch the BSS set at Lolla. Oh well, they are coming to the Twin Cities in October.
- In a perfect world, I would have liked to have seen Grizzly Bear, Girl Talk and BSS but really, I can't say there were any real regrets on bands choices.

Other Lolla coverage worth a read...
Check this out for details on the Rage Against the Machine mayhem up in the front.

Final thoughts...
Radiohead is my painfully obvious choice for best show of fest. The trippy LED light show was mesmerizing, but the most memorable moment was pure serendipity; a coincidental firework display went off behind the stage for an unrelated Chicago event. Fireworks started going off during 'Everything in its Right Place' and the grand finale seemed to sync right up with the climax of 'Fake Plastic Trees.' It was surreal. All in all, a nice setlist. They played the entirety of In Rainbows and some choice cuts from back catalog. Highlights included a new jazzier take on 'The Gloaming' and the 2nd Encore killer combo of '2+2=5' and 'Idioteque.' It was an exhausting but wonderful show.

Here is the complete setlist.

01. 15 Step
02. Airbag
03. There There
04. All I Need
05. Nude
06. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
07. The Gloaming
08. The National Anthem
09. Faust Arp
10. No Surprises
11. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
12. Reckoner
13. Lucky
14. The Bends
15. Everything In Its Right Place (Fireworks going off)
16. Fake Plastic Trees
17. Bodysnatchers

Encore 1
18. Videotape
19. Paranoid Android
20. Dollars and Cents
21. House of Cards
22. Optimistic (Thom, “You are quiet Chicago.”)

Encore 2
23. 2+2=5
24. Idioteque

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Update from Lollapalooza, Day 1

No wireless at my hotel so I am doing this from my phone. That means this will be brief. Day 1 was great...perfect weather, hot & humid, but compared to ACL conditions, paradise. The space is larger than I expected, so hopping between stages not too practical. After an hour in line,we were inside and headed to watch Black Lips. Then came Go! Team, who put on an energetic set to an enormous crowd. Sought refuge for a bit, and Lolla has loads of leisure options, and shade. More later...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The best laid plans : Lollapalooza 2008

The time has come. Tomorrow night I leave for Chicago and Lollapalooza. I'll get in around 10:30pm and meet up with my brother, who will have arrived much earlier from Austin, around 6:30 or so. I'm expecting he'll be nice and lit by the time I locate him in an airport bar. Our hotel is directly across the street from Grant Park's Buckingham Fountain so we can't ask for a better lodging scenario. Festivities kick off Friday around mid-day.

I'm thrilled to death to see many of the other bands on this year's slate, but let's not fool ourselves. The only reason I'm going through all of this trouble and expense is to see Radiohead headline on Friday night. And oh, what could have been if their Thursday night pre-Lollapalooza gig had come to fruition. So I'll say right off that my Friday schedule is organized so as to strategically position myself nice and early at the Radiohead stage.

Here's The Plan.  Know that I have not accounted for transit times, food/drink/leisure breaks or any other distractions. I also have some overlaps to work out. Anyone who has been to one of these big festivals must accept that they never end up how you think. All part of the fun.

Friday, August 1

* 12:15pm - 1:15pm Black Lips

* 1:15pm - 2:15pm Rogue Wave

* 2:15pm - 3:15pm The Go! Team

* 4:15pm - 5:15pm Gogol Bordello

* 5:15pm - 6:15pm Cat Power

* 5:45pm - 6:30pm Grizzly Bear

* 6:15pm - 7:15pm Bloc Party

* 7:15pm - 8:00pm Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

* 8:00pm - 10:00pm Radiohead

Saturday, August 2

* 1:30pm - 2:30pm Mason Jennings

* 2:30pm - 3:30pm The Gutter Twins

* 3:30pm - 4:30pm DeVotchKa

* 4:30pm - 5:30pm Explosions in the Sky

* 5:30pm - 6:30pm Okkervil River

* 6:30pm - 7:30pm Battles

* 7:30pm - 8:30pm Toadies

* 8:30pm - 10:00pm Rage Against the Machine

Official After-show:

Broken Social Scene w/ Yeasayer @ Metro

Sunday, August 3

* 11:30am - 12:15pm The Octopus Project

* 1:15pm - 2:15pm The Weakerthans

* 2:15pm - 3:15pm Brazilian Girls

* 3:30pm - 4:30pm Black Kids

* 4:15pm - 5:15pm Iron & Wine

* 5:15pm - 6:15pm Flogging Molly

* 6:30pm - 7:30pm Girl Talk

* 7:15pm - 8:15pm The National

* 8:15pm - 10:00pm Nine Inch Nails

For you cheapskates (i.e. mature adults with fiscal responsibility) who won't be there with me, you don't have to miss all the fun. There are options via "The Inter-net." Well, options may be a stretch. But there is that one enormously powerful corporation that always seems to own exclusive streams from music festivals. So by all means, check out the action at the AT&T Blue Room. Or perhaps could provide a nice alternative. Lastly, the fest will have their own little video coverage feature from the front lines called Lolla Base Station.

But rest assured, I'll be the only music blogger in attendance. So if you want some exclusive coverage, you know how to find me. I'll be sure to post a few updates and pics while I'm there.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NPR posts full-length Tom Waits concert from 'Glitter & Doom' tour

Not lucky enough to catch a date on Tom Waits' "Glitter & Doom" tour of the southern US of A (or as Waits calls it, PEHDTSCKJMBA)? The next best thing is provided by the musical curators at NPR. Today the wonderful people at All Songs Considered have posted a full-length (2.5 hour long) concert from Waits' stop in Atlanta, GA on July 5.

Here's the set list:

"Lucinda / Ain't Going Down to the Well"
"Down in the Hole"
"Falling Down"
"Chocolate Jesus"
"All the World Is Green"
"Cemetery Polka"
"Cause of It All"
"Till the Money Runs Out"
"Such a Scream"
"Hold On"
"Black Market Baby"
"9th and Hennepin"
"Lie to Me"
"Lucky Day"
"On the Nickel"
"Lost in the Harbor"
"Innocent When You Dream"
"Hoist That Rag"
"Make It Rain"
"Dirt in the Ground"
"Get Behind the Mule"
"Hang Down Your Head"
"Jesus Gonna Be Here"

"Eyeball Kid"
"Anywhere I Lay My Head"

Broken Social Scene at First Avenue - Oct 13

I don't know how this announcement missed my finely-tuned radar, but comes thru in a pinch once again. Twice in one day even. BSS are not to be missed live. I know, I say that about everyone lately.

TV on the Radio announce more tour plans for this fall, TWO dates in Mpls! is pretty spiffy for this sort of thing. Example: Via the popular music social networking service, I was notified of the newly announced tour schedule for TV on the Radio. Note that Minneapolis is one of two cities scheduled for TWO shows. The other honored city is their hometown of Brooklyn. I like, indeed. We love our TVOTR here in the Minnesota. And don't forget, they're releasing a new album titled Dear Science, on Sept 23rd.

Tour dates:

Sep 5 Roseland Theater - Portland, Oregon
Sep 6 Showbox SoDo- Seattle, Washington
Sep 7 Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, British Columbia
Sep 9 MacEwan Hall - Calgary, Alberta
Sep 10 The Starlite Room - Edmonton, Alberta
Sep 20 Treasure Island - San Francisco, California
Oct 10 The Electric Factory - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 11 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel - Providence, Rhode Island
Oct 13 Wilbur Theatre - Boston, Massachusetts
Oct 14 Brooklyn Masonic Temple - Brooklyn, New York
Oct 15 Brooklyn Masonic Temple - Brooklyn, New York
Oct 18 Bogarts - Cincinnati, Ohio
Oct 19 Vogue Theatre - Indianapolis, Indiana
Oct 20 First Avenue - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Oct 21 First Avenue - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Oct 22 Riviera Theatre - Chicago, Illinois
Oct 24 Voodoo Festival - New Orleans, Louisiana
Oct 25 Tabernacle - Atlanta, Georgia
Oct 26 Bijou Theatre - Knoxville, Tennessee
Oct 28 Lakewood Theater - Dallas, Texas
Oct 30 Stubb's (Cellar) - Austin, Texas
Oct 31 Diamond Ballroom - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Nov 6 The Wiltern - Los Angeles, California
Nov 8 4th and B - San Diego, California

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sign 'O The Times

Courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine:

Byrne & Eno album - more details revealed...

The name of the album is Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

The release date (digital only at first) is August 18 via their own website:

On August 4th, the album's first single "Strange Overtones" will be available as a free download from the same site.

01 Home
02 My Big Nurse
03 I Feel My Stuff
04 Everything That Happens
05 Life Is Long
06 The River
07 Strange Overtones
08 Wanted for Life
09 One Fine Day
10 Poor Boy
11 The Lighthouse

David Byrne will be touring extensively. As I have now come to accept, this tour will be without Brian Eno. Dates announced are below, but word is that many more dates are still to be scheduled.

"David Byrne, Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno" tour:

9/18 - Newport News, VA - Ferguson Center for the Arts
9/20 - Atlanta, GA - Chastain Park Amphitheatre
9/26 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival
9/30 - Phoenix, AZ - Orpheum Theatre
10/2 - San Diego, CA - Humphreys Concerts by the Bay
10/4 - Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theatre

Deerhoof announce fall tour in support of Offend Maggie

See Deerhoof live. That's my take-home message. The first time I ever heard their music was in a live setting (opening for Wilco a few years back) and as good as their recordings can be, none can replicate the sporadic explosion of sound that is a live Deerhoof performance. Watching the incredible, autistic-like frenzy of drummer Greg Saunier is worth any price of admission. As luck would have it, now's your chance. They just announced an upcoming tour.

Dates to follow, including October 14 at First Avenue:

8/31 - Vancouver, British Columbia
10/3 - Los Angeles - Avalon
10/4 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
10/6 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
10/7 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's
10/9 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
10/11 - Denver, CO - Bluebird
10/13 - Omaha, NE - The Slowdown
10/14 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
10/15 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
10/16 - Bloomington, IN - Buskirk Chumley Theater
10/17 - Chicago, IL - Metro
10/18 - Pontiac, MI - Crofoot Ballroom
10/21 - New York, NY- Spiegeltent
10/22 - New York, NY - Irving Plaza
10/23 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East
10/24 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street
10/25 - Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom
10/26 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10/28 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
10/29 - Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle
10/30 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
10/31 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
11/1 - Orlando, FL - The Social
11/2 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar
11/5 - New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
11/6 - Houston, TX - Numbers
11/7 - Dallas, TX - Granada
11/8 - Austin, TX - Fun Fun Fun Fest
11/10 - El Paso, TX - Club 101
11/12 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
11/13 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Recommended shows: July 28 - August 3

Wednesday, July 30
- CSS, The Go! Team, Matt & Kim and Natalie Portman's Shaved Head at First Avenue (The Black Kids were also long scheduled to be a part of this impressive line-up but as far as I can tell, they'll be elsewhere).
- Yeasayer at Urban Outfitters (free show!)

Saturday, August 2
- Nine Inch Nails w/ Crystal Castles at Target Center

And for those making the trip out to Chicago this weekend, there's Lollapalooza from August 1-3. I'll be writing more on that later this week.

New Releases : Tuesday, July 29

Sadly, notta thing worth mentioning...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Deerhoof leaks new music from upcoming album Offend Maggie

You've probably figured this out, but we're in the midst of a very unique and exciting time in music. Each and every day, musicians/bands of all shapes and sizes are showing remarkable creativity in marketing and releasing music via the internet. Contrary to popular belief, it ain't just Radiohead breaking the mold. New, inventive ideas are popping up all the time. There are no rules (yet).

For example, I came across this interesting twist on Radiohead's popular fan remix experiment...

Deerhoof have released the sheet music to 'Fresh Born,' the first single from their upcoming LP Offend Maggie which hits the street October 7th via Kill Rock Stars. They're inviting us fans to download the sheet music, record our own version of the song, upload it and present the link. It doesn't say so, but I'm assuming all submitted MP3s will be available for public listening. According to the site, Deerhoof's version of 'Fresh Born' will be shared soon.

Here's the score, but go download the PDF if you want a better version to work from:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New Animal Collective song debuts at Pitchfork Fest

'Lion in a Coma'

New Devendra Banhart video featuring girlfriend Natalie Portman

Devendra Banhart proves it's never too late to promote your album, especially when you have the likes of Luke Skywalker's mum at your disposal. A full 10 months after its release date, out comes a brand new video for 'Carmensita,' a track from last year's bloated Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. The video debuted at AOL's music blog and features a starring role for Portman along side darling Devendra in a Bollywood tribute that is pure camp. Natalie's involvement will surely raise Devendra's profile beyond the usual indie rock fans.

2008 Mercury Prize shortlist announced

The 2008 Nationwide (UK not US) Mercury Prize shortlist was announced this morning. Each year 12 UK albums are nominated leading up to a live award show, sort of a Brit indie-flavored Grammy's.

Radiohead's In Rainbows must have qualified since the physical release came out in 2008? Easy to say they're the favorite but don't count out Robert Plant/Alison Krauss or The Last Shadow Puppets. But actually, last year the prize went to The Klaxons, out of a shortlist that included Amy Winehouse, Arctic Monkeys, Dizzee Rascal and Bat for Lashes. So, it's safe to say my prediction could be WAY off.

Here's the shortlist:

Adele - '19'
British Sea Power - 'Do You Like Rock Music?'
Burial - 'Untrue'
Elbow - 'The Seldom Seen Kid'
Estelle - 'Shine'
The Last Shadow Puppets - 'The Age Of The Understatement'
Laura Marling - 'Alas I Cannot Swim'
Neon Neon - 'Stainless Style'
Portico Quartet - 'Knee-Deep In The North Sea'
Robert Plant And Alison Krauss – 'Raising Sand'
Radiohead - 'In Rainbows'
Rachel Unthank And The Winterset – 'The Bairns'

The winners will be announced at the ceremony in London on September 9.

Monday, July 21, 2008

TV on the Radio announce details of new album

No contest...this is the best news of the day in what has been a dreadfully long Monday. As reported by P4K, TV on the Radio have announced the title and release date of their new album!! The highly-anticipated follow-up to Return to Cookie Mountain (i.e. my personal choice as album of the year in 2006) is titled Dear Science, and is due out September 23rd. Sooner than I would have expected. This just makes my day. The TVOTR boys have lined up some live dates for September as well, but it's a small little thing and the Twin Cities aren't on tap. I'm not worried. With a new album, I'm confident they'll embark on a much larger tour in the months to come.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Recommended shows: July 21-27

Monday, July 21
- No Age w/ Abe Vigoda at Triple Rock (early show)
- Jay Reatard at Triple Rock (late show)
- Titus Andronicus at The Entry

Tuesday, July 22
- The Hold Steady at First Avenue
- Apples in Stereo at Turf Club

Wednesday, July 23
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at Target Center

Thursday, July 24 - Saturday, July 26
- 10,000 Lakes Festival in Detroit Lakes, MN
Hippy-dippy extravaganza featuring Phil Lesh & Friends, Michael Franti, George Clinton, The Flaming Lips, White Iron Band, God Johnson, Medeski/Martin/Wood, The Bad Plus, WookieFoot, Slightly Stoopid and many more

New Releases : Tuesday, July 22

Finally a busy week for new releases...

- Beck, Modern Guilt
- Black Kids, Partie Traumatic
- Bodies of Water, A Certain Feelings
- Broken Social Scene Presents...Brendan Canning, Something For All Of Us
- CSS, Donkey
- Dr. Dog, Fate
- High Places, 03/07 - 09/07
- One Day As A Lion, S/T

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pitchfork Music Fest is this weekend

I'd love to make it one of these years. It's in Chicago, so relatively nearby and it's ridiculously cheap. Each year the line-up has been fantastic and 2008 may be the best yet, including Mission of Burma, Animal Collective, Hold Steady, Spoon, Dinosaur Jr., Fleet Foxes, Les Savy Fav, Spiritualized, Bon Iver, No Age and many more 'Best New Music' honorees.

Now experts in the online video business, P4K will be streaming live sets from the fest all weekend right here

But in the meantime, here's a sampling from Deerhunter's 2007 PFK Fest appearance. Bradford Cox looks just darling in that dress, doesn't he?

Son of a...Eno is NOT joining David Byrne on tour after all

Too good to be true, I suppose. And another example of how the instantaneous 'news' coverage of the internet is more interested in hits than facts. What can I say? I'm truly disappointed. Oh well, at least Byrne will still be focusing on his Eno-era music at ACL.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My God! Brian Eno to join David Byrne on tour this fall, including ACL!!

According to this story, what was once wishful thinking, then a tease of a rumor, has now become truth and fact. Instantly going down as one my all time dream concert pairings, it is now official that David Byrne will be joined by Brian Eno on his tour this fall, including Byrne's already announced show at this year's Austin City Limits Music Festival!! That's right, folks. I'll be there. I'll see David Byrne and Brian Eno together on stage performing what is billed as "The Songs of Talking Heads' David Byrne and Roxy Music founder Brian Eno." Despite the title, word is that Eno will also be adding some vintage Roxy Music and solo material to the sets. This is too good to be true. I'm totally geekin' out. That is all.

St. Paul, MN - Soon home of RNC, protest concerts

Have you heard it's an election year? The campaigning has been pretty low key. Minnesota is especially swamped in political muck this go-round. For you non-locals out there who may not know, the Republican National Convention is being held at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul, 'coincidentally' the same venue at which Obama proclaimed his historical Democratic nomination victory. We also have a governor who is rumored (at least by our local press) to be a serious option for McCain's VP. And let's not forget the Senate race in which surly Norm Coleman faces off with former celebrity Al Franken. I'm just relieved in the midst of all this, that Jesse Ventura decided to not be involved, while still somehow being involved.

At any rate, the RNC is set for Sept 1-4. I had previously believed the only tangential benefit to the inglorious event to be bars open extra late and maybe some cool arrest stories from friends. Now I hear the big guns are coming out: rock stars. We all know how effective musicians can be at instigating political thought and change in this day 'n age. I'm weighing in heavy on the sarcasm scale today.

First off, we have the radical liberals coming together in the form of acclaimed songwriter (and actor on final season of The Wire) Steve Earle pairing up with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine. Apparently, some other "friends" are set to appear as well, though who and what that means is not yet known. They play at Harriet Island on Sept 1 (Labor Day).

With a more local flare, The Turf Club is hosting an Aug 27th Obama benefit called "Eight Is Enough: The Concert to End Our Long, National Nightmare." Despite the fiery name, the performers here have decidedly less radical bent. They include Low, members of Tapes 'n Tapes, Dosh, not to mention STNNNG, P.O.S. and surely some surprise special guests and friends. Then at Midway Stadium (home of the Saints), the Honeydogs and Semisonic will lead yet another protest-themed event on Sept 2.

And finally, in all fairness, some pro-RNC musicians are performing as well. So if you're game for some Sammy Hagar (wow!) or maybe you're more of a LeAnn Rimes kinda guy, some conveniently private events are scheduled locally to coincide with the convention.

Let the hoopla begin.