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.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Laser lightshow at Russian music fest blinds audience

Crazy story. Phew. I'll remember not to partake in any rave tents at Lollapalooza, though I can't make the same promise about Ecstacy. heh...if my wife is reading this, I'm only joking. Drugs are very bad.

Aniboom's In Rainbows finalists chosen. Here's my favorite...

Go here for the other finalists.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Radiohead's camera-free video of 'House of Cards' is now available

Go here to see what all of the hoopla is about. Leave it to Radiohead to break the mold yet again. You can also see how it was made and even download the data to make your own version. Incredible stuff.

"I liked the idea of making a video of human beings and real life and time without using any cameras, just lasers, so there are just mathematical points -- and how strangely emotional it ended up being." --Thom Yorke

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Recommended shows: July 14-20

Wednesday, July 16
- Health at The Entry

Thursday, July 17
- Mark Mallman at Minnesota Museum of American Art
- Charlie Parr at 331 Club

Friday, July 18
- Willie Nelson at Grand Casino (Hinkley)
- Deep Blues Music Festival at Washington Co Fairgrounds (Lake Elmo)

Saturday, July 19
- Neil Diamond at Xcel Energy Center
- Ween at Roy Wilkins Auditorium
- Secret Machines at Fine Line
- The Alarmists at Turf Club
- Deep Blues Music Festival at Washington Co Fairgrounds (Lake Elmo)

Sunday, July 20
- Neil Diamond at Xcel Energy Center
- Fleet Foxes at The Entry (SOLD OUT)
- Deep Blues Music Festival at Washington Co Fairgrounds (Lake Elmo)

New Releases : Tuesday, July 15

A slow week, except for this one essential pick:
- The Hold Steady, Stay Positive

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In concert - Wolf Parade @ First Avenue, 7/9/08

Disclaimer: I didn't have my camera, I didn't take any pictures. I apologize.

My love of Wolf Parade is well documented. My wife is an even bigger fan. So you can probably guess at our excitement headed into Wednesday night's show at First Avenue. After dropping Hank at the babysitter (thank you, Julia!), we headed downtown to meet up with some folks and partake in bruchetta, beverages and good company at Pizza Luce. We marched down to the venue just in the nick of time to stand around for an hour for the opening band. After the irksome delay (I hate waiting around for a band to come on stage), opening act Listening Party finally kicked things off. Previously unknown to me, the British Columbia-based two piece had a definite Animal Collective, tribal-folky vibe about them and it made for some decent head-bobbing material. The first song they played was fantastic, and I haven't a clue what it's called. Unfortunately, that was the only highlight to speak of. I quickly lost enthusiasm and became more interested in how one of the dudes looked exactly like Seth Rogen. The other was more of a bearded Ryan Reynolds. Moving on...

After a thankfully short break between sets, Wolf Parade came out on stage to much fanfare. The usual foursome of Spencer (my fav), Dan (wife's fav), Arlen Thompson and Hadji Bakara were joined by some other fella on synths who could have been Dan's brother. Without so much as a word, the group jumped right into 'Language City,' a stellar track from At Mount Zoomer and one hell of an intro. The intensity grew exponentially as the guys ripped through nearly every track of the new LP, plus a good portion of Apologies. Highlights included 'This Heart's on Fire,' 'California Dreamer,' 'Shine a Light' and 10 minute set closer 'Kissing the Beehive.' About half-way through, Spencer introduced a "new" song into the setlist, and it turned out to be a Sunset Rubdown track. Pleasant surprise. I can't remember which one for the life of me. Finally, in what was easily the most thrilling part of the show, Wolf Parade played a blistering encore version of 'I'll Believe in Anything.' It drove the crowd into a frenzy as the 90 minute set came to its regretful end. The energy in the room reminded me of the legendary TVOTR show at Emo's a couple year's back.

Surprisingly, First Ave. was nowhere near capacity. A friend assured me that most people have never heard of Wolf Parade, but I can't understand it. This place should have been sold-out! Anyway, the crowd made up for it in enthusiasm. This one kid right next to us, he was maybe 19, had this absurd kick-boxing dance routine that was both hilarious and distracting. The young Van Damme is an extreme example, but overall the crowd was energetic and sincere. Shoegazing at a minimum. And to be surrounded by a passionate, dancing crowd made the experience all the more fun.

Hey, it turns out I found a video on YouTube of this dancing kid I was talking about...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Fleet Foxes video - 'White Winter Hymnal'

Indie buddies become indie supergoup - Jim James, M. Ward & Conor Oberst

According to this Rolling Stone interview with My Morning Jacket's Jim James, it was revealed that James is recording an album with fellow indie mainstays M. Ward and Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes).

Let's face it. A supergroup is never better than its individual parts. There will always be the exceptions (see New Pornos), but more often than not you're left with some mediocre material and obnoxious publicity. Perhaps the most annoying aspect of this news is that these particular guys are all great friends which means we're possibly facing the indie equivalent of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon making movies together.

Sarcastic narration to follow:
'Oh, look how much fun they're having making those movies. They're such good friends and they play jokes on each other and laugh. Oh do they laugh! I wish my job could be like that. And hey, maybe they'll do hundreds of interviews and appear on every magazine and every talk show just to be sure we all know how much fun they have working together and making money doing it. I sure hope so.'

No, I hope not.

And yes, I have a man-crush on George Clooney. What's it to ya?! I want to hang out on the set of the Oceans' movies, joking around with George, Brad and Matt. I want to have a constant smirk on my face because I'm so goddamn handsome and rich. That's MY dream and I don't care what you think!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Recommended shows: July 6-12

Monday, July 7
- The Mae Shi at Uptown Bar

Tuesday, July 8
- The Dodos at Triple Rock

Wednesday, July 9
- Wolf Parade at First Avenue

Friday, July 11
- Lee 'Scratch' Perry at First Avenue

New Releases : Tuesday, July 8

- Beck, Modern Guilt
- David Bowie, Live at Santa Monica '72 (Reissue)
- Albert Hammond, Jr., Como Te Llama?
- The Melvins, Nude with Boots
- Ratatat, LP3
- Ron Sexsmith, Exit Strategy of the Soul
- Wire, Object 47

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Songs of Summer 2008

Last year it was Yeasayer's '2080,' two years ago 'The Funeral' from Band of Horses. White it's still too early to settle on my song of the summer for 2008, I will take this holiday-eve opportunity to offer up a several addictive tunes. They aren't even necessarily the best songs, rather the ones most likely to define my summer. Anyway, here's one possible soundtrack to your 4th of July festivities. In order to embed the streams (via imeem), I limited my choices to music officially released to date. So no Beck, no Deerhunter, etc. Still a fine mix, if you ask me. Enjoy.

How to name your rock band

Here's a nifty little tool for you aspiring musicans out there. Thanks to NPR's All Things Considered blog for pointing this out.

It's pretty simple. You type in a word or phrase and it spits out a nice list of suggested band names. Let's give it an inmature try.

When I type in Poo I get the following list:

Poo Effect
Poo Eskimo And The Futuristic Hand
Poo Hill
Poo Medicority
Porcine Poo
Rabid Poo
Poo Assassin
Disrupted Poo
Poo Company
Poo Dogma And The Progressive Express

One more shot for good measure. How about Mango...

#9 Of The Mango Atom
Mango Him
Blurry Mango
Mango Mood
Mango Slate
Intimate Knowing
Mango Of The Daughter
Mango Wheel
Mango Haze
Miserable Mango Of The Old Pot

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Another CMG list : Top 12 Indie Facial Hair

One more list I had to share from CMG's Listravaganza 2008: Top 12 Indie Facial Hair.

Coming in at #4 on said list, Nick Cave.

My bro-in-law Johnny Blaze is a facial hair afficianado and would surely appreciate the rankings.

And who could forget Peter Griffin's life-changing mustache.

Rock the vote for Mauer & Morneau, tonight's your last chance

The All-Star game voting ends tonight at 10:59pm CST. Mauer is already in first place for catchers but Morneau remains second (behind Youklis) at First Base. Vote here up to 25 times per e-mail address.

Ian Curtis' gravestone has been stolen.

First Kurt Cobain's ashes, now Ian Curtis' gravestone?! My lord, what's going on here? I'm not one to offer conspiracy theories, but I'm beginning to suspect a connection between these two events. Why not? I'll be the first to proclaim that this is the work of a serial burglar of suicidal rock star relics. It's a very particular kind of thief.

RATM's Zach De La Rocha announces new band, same politics

Zach De La Rocha, politically outspoken frontman of recently reunited Rage Against the Machine, has just announced the formation of a new band called One Day As A Lion. The two-piece features Zach on vocals and keyboards, with former Mars Volta member Jon Theodore on drums. Their self-titled debut EP will be released in hurried fashion as soon as July 21.

In what can only be described as class De La Rocha rhetoric, he describes the band as follows:

...a defiant affirmation of the possibilities that exist in the space between kick and snare. It's a sonic reflection of the visceral tension between a picturesque fabricated cultural landscape, and the brutal socioeconomic realities it attempts to mask.

The name [is] taken from the infamous 1970 black and white, captured by legendary Chicano photographer George Rodriguez featuring a center framed tag on a white wall in an unspecified section of Boyle Heights.

It reads: 'It's better to live one day as a lion, than a thousand years as a lamb.' This record is a stripped down attempt to realize this sentiment in sound.
Gotta love it. Cynicism aside, it's still good to know that at least someone out there in music biz is politically outspoken. And playing a Barack Obama benefit concert isn't what I mean.

In other RATM-related news, Tom Morello (aka Nightwatchman) is set to release his second solo LP titled The Fabled City on September 30.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

CMG presents their 2008 Listravaganza

Worth a look but if bone dry irony and obscure musical references piss you off, best to avoid it. As an amateur music writer myself, I particularly appreciated this one...

7 Words You Can't Say in Music Reviews

7. Angular

6. Glacial

5. Seminal

4. Dylanesque

3. Whiteboy-Soul

2. Radiohead

1. Scrappy!