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.