Thursday, November 30, 2006

Coming Soon To The Ottobar; Free FasterFasterHarderHarder MP3

The Ottobar

Catch these shows at The Ottobar:

December 7 - FasterFasterHarderHarder - from Baltimore, not quite 2 years old.

December 17 - Mr. Lif

December 22 - Trixie Little and The Evil Hate Monkey - not a band, but a burlesque outfit! And from Baltimore!

January 26 - The Dwarves - Sub Pop/Epitaph punk rock legends. Infamously misogynistic. New video features the Suicide Girls. This one will go fast. On sale this Friday.

Check out FasterFasterHarderHarder's "Calm Down".

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Glassjaw Back In Action, Playing Recher Theatre December 27; Free MP3s: Kristoffer Ragnstam, Midnight Movies, Pablo

Glassjaw, fronted by Daryl Palumbo of the Glassjaw side project Head Automatica are back at it, and will be playing Recher Theatre in Towson on December 27. Tickets are on sale today.

A couple other shows of interest:
12/3 - Jeremy Enigk from Sunny Day Real Estate at The Rock and Roll Hotel in DC - $15
12/30 - Lake Trout w/ Two If By Sea and The Device at The Rock and Roll Hotel in DC - $10

Finally, Any Given Tuesday offers up 3 free MP3 files by some folks you don't know, in order of preference:
Midnight Movies - "Patient Eye (Edit)"
Kristoffer Ragnstam - "Breakfast By The Mattress"
Pablo - "Loser Crew"

They'll only stay available for a limited time, so get them while you can. They're worth it.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jam Cruise '07 Posts Schedule, Pamela Anderson & Kid Rock Splitsville

Jam Cruise logo

Duuuuuuude, Jam Cruise 5 is already sold out. Leaving Fort Lauderdale on January 2 and returning on January 7, it is 5 days of solid jamming. Too bad we can't go, my friends, as we were too apathetic to buy tickets. Now we miss the Guitar Hero competition.

And I was just reading in GQ this morning about Pam & Kid's fabulous marriage, and TMZ reports that divorce papers have been filed. Bye bye, love.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Clipse at Sound Garden in Baltimore; Internet Problems

Who knows what it is. I came home from Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night, and couldn't get online. I checked everything out, connections were proper, lights were on, but no one was home. Verizon tested the line, and thinks the modem has died. They also claimed there was an access restriction on my account, and that turned out to not be the case, according to billing. OK, fine. But for now I have no internet at home, and can't really generate material to do my posts. So I'll be lean on postings for a few days until the new modem arrives, and hopefully that will solve the problem.

The Clipse

More interestingly to readers, however, The Clipse will be at Sound Garden in Baltimore on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 6:30 PM. College kids all over will unite to discuss their trust funds over some grimy cocaine rap.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

New This Tuesday, November 28: The Clipse, Incubus, And More

The Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury

Incubus - Light Grenades

Coming out on Tuesday, November 28: The new Clipse, "Hell Hath No Fury". Delayed repeatedly, almost shelved by their label, but now it's coming out. Also, Incubus "Light Grenades", Too $hort "Hits", and the Foo Fighters "Skin & Bones" DVD.

And my blog was on 25 Peeps, the pure trash facebook of the blogosphere, for 20 hours and generated 20 clicks. Since I'm not a female and not willing to bare my flesh, I didn't outlast this guy who cleverly made his tooshie look like chest cleavage rather than butt cleavage. I'll bow to that clever marketing step, though. No hard feelings. Though it is interesting that i signed up in September, and only got on just yesterday.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Kelly Clarkson To Play Bamboozle '07?

If process of elimination works out correctly, Kelly Clarson will be playing Bamboozle in '07 along with My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park. Personally, I think KC is way cooler than either of those bands, but I suppose that will only make her look even better when she rocks the mic. Source: VH1.

Thanksgiving Weekend Shows in Baltimore/DC

Citizen Cope

Tonight and tomorrow night, Citizen Cope is playing Ram's Head Live along with Alice Smith. Tickets are available to one or both shows as a package.

If Citizen Cope isn't your thing, you can see the super-buzzed The Hold Steady on Saturday at The Black Cat in DC, along with The Big Sleep and Statehood, for $15 bucks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Martha Wash at 1722 on Friday

Martha Wash

The voice responsible for C&C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat", the Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men", and Black Box's "Everybody Everybody", Martha Wash, will be gracing the Sugar Party at 1722 on Friday night.

You might not recognize Martha, since, in the C&C video, she was replaced by a more trim young lady lip-syncing her parts. But that's the voice you remember.

Have a good Thanksgiving, all. See you Friday.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Concert Review: Regina Spektor at Sonar, Baltimore, MD 11/19/06

Regina Spektor

4 out of 5 stars.

The things one goes through to see a small venue show. It's not a particular surprise to see a burgeoning artist and rising star like Regina Spektor in a small venue, but she's close to packing some bigger places than Sonar, and the problems coming with the venue remain: long lines in the cold, lots of stamps on your hand (Kristen forgot her ID, and I wasn't drinking, anyway), and parking lots with an army of vagrants ready to protect your automobile for a price. When we cram into these tiny spaces, I always leave the camera at home for fear of it getting smashed between me and some hipster (anyone have photos and want to share?).

The opening artist, Only Son (also on MySpace), AKA Jack Dishel, did his set with an iPod for a band and an acoustic guitar in his arms. Quite talkative, with a good sense of humor, and Kristen commented "come on, you'd let your daughter date a guy like that." I'm not sure what that means, and we don't have a daughter, but the set was good. The single "My Museum" as well as "The Captain's Dead At The Controls" were highlights. His rapport with the crowd develops quickly, with self-deprecating humor and subtle cracks between songs.

Following the respectable opening act, there was a long wait before Regina arrived on stage. Too long. Does she sleep until 8:45 every night? Is that why even a Sunday show doesn't start until after 9? Regardless, she steps upon the stage wearing a tutu and begins with an a capella rendition of "Eight Miles High" with finger-tapping-microphone percussion. It is at this point, with no instruments to support her, that you realize Regina Spektor's voice is, in a word, remarkable. Most comfortably falsetto, but quirkily reaching into baritone.

Playing current staples such as "Fidelity", "Better", "Samson", and "Hotel Song" ropes in the most crowd participation, but Soviet Kitsch material such as the Patti Smith-quoting "Poor Little Rich Boy" with its drumstick-and-chair-seat percussion, as well as "Your Honor" and "Ghost of Corporate Future" also please Regina's audience. The live rendition of "Apres Moi" with Spektor's native Russian verse is hauntingly beautiful, and the broad vocal range in "Field Below" almost reduces the listener to tears with its soulful brooding. Fortunately, when Regina straps on a mint-colored 6-string for "That Time", all you can do is smile and enjoy.

Spektor is a fantastic musician. She can play a piano expertly, but her vocal capabilities far overshadow her finger work. Her voice never falters, never indicates an error the whole night. And her backing band adds a live intensity that could not exist with just one person.

Between songs, the "I love you, Regina!" shouts get old (and, on this particular night, the requests for "Little Boxes", not even her song; Pete Seeger is the only singer I can come up with), and she appears to ignore them (finally telling the requesting party that she doesn't even know the song, and offering an apology in the form of "I suck like that"), graciously accepting the applause with "thank you so much" after every song. Yet, somehow, her thankfulness remains sincere. And she takes offense to those who would be raucous during her set, telling one screaming juvenile to "get the **** out" and then retracting with an offer for that same person to "go the bar, and tell them Regina is buying you a drink." Unlike some artists with a modest catalog of material, Spektor's set lasts well into the night, ending about two hours after it began, including encore.

3 Full Days of Coachella in 2007

Coachella logo

The Coachella Valley Music Festival will run for 3 full days in 2007: April 27, 28, and 29. Normally a 2-day festival, this will increase by one-third the music and substance use in Indio next year.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cat Power At 9:30 Club Tonight And Streaming on NPR

Cat Power

Tonight at The 9:30 Club, Cat Power. Tickets are $27.50 and still available. Or, you can stream it live tonight, as well as tomorrow and many days thereafter, on NPR.

Dashboard Confessional w/ Brand New - Cole Field House @ UMCP 11/18/06

Dashboard Confessional

2.5 out of 5 stars.

Kristen, myself, and dear-friend-whose-permission--to-identify-I-have-not-yet-obtained (can I?) went to see Dashboard Confessional with Brand New on Saturday night at University of Maryland.

Brand New started off with a fizzle, with vocals bordering on apathetic, nu-metal poseur quality, and stage antics that were just that: staged antics. The lead guitarist's jerky, seizure-mimicing behavior was strained, and the singer's howling fits while rolling on the floor were contrived. By the third song, the band was coming into its groove, even though the constant replacing of the actual song names Star Wars-themed song titles didn't really make them much cooler. Performing live, Brand New will surprise those familiar with their studio albums by their seemingly extemporaneous takes on the songs, sounding almost prog rather than punk on stage.

As for Dashboard Confessional, Chris Carrabba makes a much better solo (or backed with a two-piece band) guitarist than a rock and roll frontperson. Fans of the albums Swiss Army Romance and The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most shudder at the wireless mic, prancing Carrabba who has apparently lost his previous stage fright, longing for the days when he strapped on a guitar and screamed about errant hairs all over the living quarters. Not to mention the violinist who's become a member, and has earned a inappropriate moniker from my hating trio of attendees.

Just the same, a Dashboard show is a huge sing-along for the fans, and while a fun part of the show, it can be somewhat annoying that Carrabba will fall silent while the crowd who actually paid for tickets does all the singing. With a PA as big as the ones his shows command now, we can all sing loudly and still only hear Chris, so why isn't he singing? When you're quiet, Chris, you give the angry boyfriends who got dragged to the show time to heckle you. At one point, Carrabba reproached one of these kids for mocking attendees who were enjoying themselves. Those of us who are doing the singing for you appreciate that. Now do your job.

The biggest letdown of recent tours is that the sets last an hour at best. On this particular night, the set, including encore, fell somewhere around 58 minutes. That, plus the failure to pull out old material from Swiss Army ("Turpentine Chaser"? "The Sharp Hint of New Tears?") and Kristen's fave "This Is A Forgery", while consistently encoreing with "Vindicated" is slowly turning Dashboard Confessional into a Vegas sideshow: all the standards and crowd-pleasers, some lights, fog, and a pretty-boy singer make for a cheap date.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Another Seattle Rock Reference on "Homicide"

Homicide - Life On The Streets

"Homicide: Life On The Streets", based here in Baltimore, has another reference to grunge rock. On October 14 I posted about characters named Layne Staley and Chris Novoselic. Today, watching Season 4, a husband killed his wife. The family name: Vedder. Someone was really into Vs. when they wrote the story for this one. And, later in the same episode, at the cop's bar, Detective Bayliss is dancing to PJ Harvey's "Working For The Man" from To Bring You My Love.

That puts the rocker tally at 3:
1) Layne Staley
2) Chris Novoselic
3) Eddie Vedder

Have I missed anything else up to this point? I'm only on Season 4, mind you, so I've got a couple seasons to catch up on, so I'm thinking up to this point, not in the last seasons.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral: 12 Years Later

This morning, I dusted off an old album that I hadn't listened to in about 5 years. In honor of this rediscovered beauty:

Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral

4.5 out of 5 stars.

With more layers (sonically and poetically) than a Taco Bell 7-layer burrito, The Downward Spiral became a nihilist soundtrack with its concept tale of one man's downward spiral after rejecting the (Puritanical) notions of religion, higher power, and morality in favor of self-destructive and ultimately suicidal behavior. The album is also an examination of the struggle for control, touching upon a highly existential concept of control (or the lack thereof) over one's own fate, as well as control over other individuals, whether in the notion of sadist over masochist, or more intriguingly, vice versa.

Downward Spiral uses copious sampling and instrumentation in making a pop-saturated industrial rock record. What makes NIN so different from contemporaries like Ministry and peers like Einsturzende Neubauten is that Trent Reznor utilizes hooks and grooves to make the record accessible while still Groundbreakingly technical, and yet disingenuous in its effort to remain gritty and lo-fi.

The raging drum sampling on "March Of The Pigs", a tale of pigs being led to slaughter, gives way to one of Reznor's tell-tale hooks, via piano, that turn a headbanging rock riot into a crowd-swaying pop ballad, while "Heresy" memorializes his curdling screams about the death of religion ("Your God is dead, and no one cares")in his character's eyes. Juxtaposing the screams are the razor-sharp whispers in the now-infamous track "Closer" about copulating like animals. Musically, "Reptile" is the most impressive with the machine sampling and dense mixing, "Ruiner" is incongruously delicate and features masterpiece chord progression, while "Eraser" makes the listener's teeth rattle with annoyance before the crescendo ends with a song of desperation and self-loathing. And the unforgettable "Hurt" slowly and melodically releases the character into the ethereal realm of the feeling of non-existence, begging for the ability to feel again.

From near-silence to near glass-shattering in decibel level, Spiral, in its distortion-filled sludge, is alternatively bitter and cathartic, on the surface hopeless yet demonstrating emotive release in the scathing criticisms and analyses of the album's concepts.

Skyrocketing Trent Reznor onto the pedestal of rock stardom, The Downward Spiral will have an impact on rock music for years to come, and rightfully so.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Swedish Metal Band Meshuggah To Record New Album


Through the month of November, Meshuggah will be writing the songs for their new album, slated for a Spring '07 release. Recording will begin in December, and the band will follow the release with a tour.

Meshuggah have previously toured with Tool, and are known for their complex time signatures and experimental take on musicianship. Their last studio album, Catch Thirty-Three featured tracks that comprised a concerto of sorts, with clear variations in tempo and movements.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

U2 Wins In Legal Embroilment Over Hat, Clothes

U2 in concert

Never fear, U2 fans: Bono is getting his hat back. A stylist on the Joshua Tree tour apparently took a hat, earrings, a sweatshirt and pants at tour's end, and held the items until '02 when she tried to sell them at Christie's. U2 followed by having their lawyers send letters to get the stuff back, blah blah, lawsuit, U2 wins.

NPR Hearts Lupe Fiasco; Big Boi Rollin' Solo

Lupe Fiasco
NPR has gone gaga over Lupe Fiasco's Food And Liqour. Check it.

Big Boi

Big Boi is dropping his actual solo (not like the Speakerboxx/The Love Below semi-solo bit) album in '07, according to MTV.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

In Stores Today: Microsoft Zune MP3 Player, New CDs!

Zune logo
The Microsoft MP3 player, called Zune, hits stores today. Speculation is all over about whether this thing will take off and put a dent in the iPod's market share. Time will tell.

In CD releases, Tenacious D, Damien Rice, Depeche Mode's Best of, Sublime and Clash box sets, The Game, and more that I don't care to mention.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Panic! At The Disco To Release Box Set. . .With One CD In It

Panic! At The Disco

The young fellows of Panic! At The Disco are releasing a box set this Tuesday. It's actually called a "Collector's Box" with contents including P!ATD's one album, hardly enough for a box set, as well as a DVD, a (blank) diary so Panic! fans can write all the news about "totally the best band ever, and I love their haircuts! Soooooooo cool!", a poster, a mask, photos, and even a certificate of authenticity, because in 6 months, this set is going to be worth money, and the highly discerning collectors will need to verify authenticity. For sure.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

33 1/3 Book Series - Colin Meloy A Writer, Too

33 1/3 - The Replacements' Let It Be by Colin Meloy

The 33 1/3 book series is a series of books about some of the best albums of the last forty years. I just stumbled on this series last night, and this morning I found that Colin Meloy of The Decemberists wrote this one about The Replacements' Let It Be.

Other titles include the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique, DJ Shadow's Endtroducing, GNR's Use Your Illusion albums, Nirvana's In Utero, PJ Harvey's Rid Of Me, and a ton more.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Heed The Call Of The Mastodon On February 17 At 9:30 Club


Mastodon will be visiting the 9:30 Club on February 17 with Converge and Priestess. If you have not seen Mastodon live, they are incredibly talented, with a real tight show that stays true to the recording.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

PJ Harvey - The Peel Sessions 1991-2004

PJ Harvey - The Peel Sessions 1991-2004

4 out of 5 stars.

Any time PJ Harvey puts out new material, the event is a cause for celebration. While the Peel Sessions aren't new, per se, it's something different. Completists will have to have it, fans should buy it, and everyone should hear it.

PJ Harvey's career has involved multiple personas over her seven studio releases. Try listening to Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea and then Uh Huh Her and try to pretend it sounds like the same artist. Sessions covers her early Dry songs like "Oh My Lover", "Victory", "Water", and "Sheela-Na-Gig" (the album-opening 1991 session is the best material of the disc) but the only Rid Of Me material here is "Snake", yet there is even soundtrack material: "Naked Cousin" which originally appeared on the soundtrack to "The Crow: City of Angels". The disc is worthwhile if for the first five tracks alone. "You Come Through" from Uh Huh Her rounds out her career to date.

What makes the album most incredible is that Peel sessions were notorious for their unproduced, naked sound. Yet the performances here are flawless. It's no wonder that John Peel counted PJ Harvey among his favorite artists to record.

The Peel Sessions that PJ Harvey recorded lay bare the haunting, soul-stirring quality of her voice. For hardcore fans of Harvey, the selections will make plenty of sense, but not the omissions. "That Was My Veil", which appeared on an album Harvey recorded with bandmate John Parish, is one of her best singing performances on record, and is present here. What's disappointing is the lack of material from To Bring You My Love or Is This Desire?, and nothing else from Rid Of Me. A session was recorded in 1992 with Rid Of Me material, and in 1996 with Is This Desire? material, but save for one track, is absent here. PJ Harvey selected the tracks herself, so the oversight is at her intention, for whatever reason.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stream The New Damien Rice Album, See Damien Rice At Lincoln Theatre

Damien Rice - 9
Stream the new Damien Rice here. Damien Rice will be playing the Lincoln Theatre in DC on December 16.

Jerry Lee Lewis: Last Man Standing

Jerry Lee Lewis - Last Man Standing

4 out of 5 stars.

Truth be told, my first introduction to Jerry Lee Lewis was the movie "Great Balls of Fire" with Dennis Quaid playing Jerry Lee, and Winona Ryder his sweet cousin. And that convinced me that Jerry Lee Lewis was cool. No matter that I was way too young to know who he really was. The braggadocio, the piano on fire, I was fascinated.

Years later, I've heard Jerry Lee's music, I understand his place in rock and roll history. And, I'm fortunate enough to hear his new album, a collection of duets (the word being used loosely, since he refused to let anyone overshadow him on these tracks, classically himself) with rock, country, and blues titans.

Opening with a remake of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" is an excellent touch, as the point of the album is so clearly to show Lewis's impact on the genre. Both icons of rock, and inspirations to many, and Jerry slays anything Jimmy Page brings to the table on this song. This Southern-bred monster plays the piano today like he did 50 years ago. And he takes other people's songs, and shows how he can play them better. Quite unlike Bob Dylan, whose songs are often better when covered by another band (try "Maggie's Farm" by Rage Against The Machine). On "Pink Cadillac" Jerry takes Bruce Springsteen's song and runs away with it, leaving Bruce to crow in the background. Jamming with Neil Young on "You Don't Have To Go" is one of the album's best true duets, and apparently The Killer gives Neil some respect and they cut loose together.

Some of the best moment's are Jerry's signature yelps, and his ad lib hootin' and hollerin' and cat-calling his collaborators. Lewis talks trash. He sets pianos on fire. He will tell you he's the best. He will eat a bucket of nails for breakfast and, two hours later, will give you a platinum-worthy record. And if you give him enough time in a room with Buddy Guy, like on "Hadacol Boogie" where the piano smokes just as much as the guitar, he just might convince your kids that the blues, country, and rock wouldn't be the same without him. And you might ditch the guitar for piano lessons.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Motley Crue Tell-All Book To Become A Movie! And The 50 Best Albums of '06, According to Uncut

Motley Crue
The 2001 book The Dirt, a confessional of the sordid history of Motley Crue, is being made into a movie with cameos from Christopher Walken as Ozzy, Val Kilmer as David Lee Roth. The band themselves will be played by no-name something-or-others. Maybe even by women (OK, that's my sideline, that's not the real scoop). That would be fun, though. Source: ABC News

While some great mentions are listed in the bottom 36, the list of Uncut's 50 best albums of '06 thus far, is somewhat disappointing in the top 10. Take a look for yourself. Bob Dylan at #1? Is that just obligatory? Source: Stereogum

Baltimore Record Club

I found out about this on Craigslist, but it's definitely worth a plug for vinyl lovers (meaning records, silly). The Baltimore Record Club meets the first Saturday of each month in Roland Park, at the First Christian Church. The address is 5802 Roland Avenue. It's free, and the fun starts at 5 PM.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Genesis Reunion, Sans Peter Gabriel; New This Tuesday: Nirvana DVD, PJ Harvey Peel Sessions


Billboard reports that Genesis will be reuniting for a tour with Phil Collins at the helm. Peter Gabriel has declined to participate. And Phil doesn't even seem all that thrilled. Apparently, winning Oscars for Disney songs isn't enough for him right now, so he's begrudgingly going back to his roots.

In stores tomorrow, Nirvana's "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!" will be available for the first time on DVD, and PJ Harvey's Peel Sessions will rock your world.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pandora To Visit Baltimore

Pandora Internet Radio Logo

Pandora's founder, Tim Westergren, will be making a stop in Baltimore on November 16 at the Community Hall. Find out about the Pandora story, the Music Genome Project, and get some free shwag.

If you're planning on going, drop me a comment! Might see you there.

Get the details here.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Out On November 7: PJ Harvey - The Peel Sessions

PJ Harvey - Peel Sessions
Coming this Tuesday, PJ Harvey's Peel Sessions. Raw, bare, and intimate, as Peel's sessions are known for.

Track Listing:

1. Oh My Lover
2. Victory
3. Sheela-Na-Gig
4. Water
5. Naked Cousin
6. Wang Dang Doodle
7. Losing Ground
8. Snake
9. That Was My Veil
10. This Wicked Tongue
11. Beautiful Feeling
12. You Come Through

Friday, November 03, 2006

Help Your Favorite Unsigned Bands Get A Record Deal - Or Get Your Band Signed

Sellaband - Getting Unsigned Bands Record Deals

Based in Amsterdam, SellaBand is a new idea giving bands and music lovers the opportunity to invest (or for the band, generate investors) in unsigned bands to the tune of $10. Once a band raises $50K, SellaBand will give them a record deal, record an album, and promote that album. Source: Each Note Secure

Not sure how this will play out, or if it's even a reasonable idea for US bands, but it's an option. A band could try to raise the money by itself, but finding 5,000 investors at $10 is ridiculous, and has legal and accounting connotations that are too complex for most artists to want to deal with. Selling CD-Rs and saving up gig money makes more sense. Even so, exposure through SellaBand is exposure, even if the attempt to raise the capital falls through.

Practically, it makes sense that, once a band hits the halfway point, at the greatest, investors will jump on board, thinking it's going to be a sure thing. Once you can dig up 25-50% of the seed money, others think your band is going places, and are more likely to drop the ten bucks.

Jimmie's Chicken Shack, November 18, Lancaster PA

Jimmie's Chicken Shack

Coming to The Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA on November 18, Jimmie's Chicken Shack. Originally from Maryland, these guys blew up back in '97 with the song "High". Maybe you remember it, maybe you don't. I loved that guitar riff. They certainly haven't stopped, having released Re.present in 2004.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Shows To Catch: The Clipse Tonight, Lake Trout At The 8x10, Cat Power At 9:30, Citizen Cope's Thanksgiving Plans

The Clipse

You can catch GQ's "Wilco of hip-hop," Virginia's The Clipse, at Ram's Head Live tonight for six freakin' dollars. You can't even buy a cassette for that.

Lake Trout at Brewer's Art

Hometown heroes Lake Trout will be playing at the 8x10 in Federal Hill on November 22. How about that picture being taken at Brewer's Art? That dungeon bar is never that bright!

Cat Power

Another winner: Cat Power at 9:30 Club on November 20. It's an early show, doors open at 6PM. If you're a 9-to-5er, leave work early.

Citizen Cope

Citizen Cope will be at 9:30 on November 22. Then he'll be in Baltimore at Ram's Head Live the 24th and 25th. Spend Thanksgiving weekend with Clarence Greenwood, not your family. Hey, Clarence, what gives? Seeing the fam in DC on Thanksgiving? Hooking up with old peeps in DC?

Guns N' Roses Tour Notes; Bloodlined Calligraphy Announces New Singer

Axl Rose In Concert
Billboard reviews Guns N' Roses Halloween show in Jacksonville, FL, demonstrating that Axl still doesn't take the stage when he's supposed to, apparently waiting hours to actually come out. The review is a mixed bag, and makes it hard to want to shell out the cost of a ticket for Axl & Dizzy, but no Slash. And Buckethead isn't part of the new GNR anymore. He's been replaced by Bumblefoot.

Bloodlined Calligraphy - They Want You Silent
Bloodlined Calligraphy has replaced former vocalist Ally French, who left the band via text message recently. The new frontwoman is Ellen Hoffman.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Album Review: Deftones "Saturday Night Wrist"

Click to buy Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist

Click the picture to purchase this album from Amazon.

4 out of 5 stars.

The Deftones are the sole survivors of the nu-metal movement. That is to say, they are the only band that didn't suck that remained intact. However, the last couple years were close to destruction for the Deftones, who almost fired their singer during the process of making Saturday Night Wrist. For production, the band chose Bob Ezrin, whose prior work includes Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd.

The first single from Saturday Night Wrist, "Hole In The Earth", displays Chino Moreno's moaning, melodic vocals formidably, with a constant hi-hat from Abe Cunningham leading through the verse, driving into crashing cymbals to the chorus. "Rapture" is an aggressive follow-up, full of screaming and driving guitar from Stephen Carpenter. "Beware" takes it down to a soundscape of climbing keyboards (from Frank Delgado, who works with Moreno on the side project Team Sleep), and clocks in at exactly six minutes of complex rock with broad-scaping, sweeping guitar work.

"U,U,D,D,L,R,L,R,A,B,Select,Start" will strike those who came of age in the '80s as the classic Konami code (the song title actually transposes the 'B' and 'A'. As a geeky aside, the code is most popular for giving the player 30 lives in the NES game Contra, and the 'Select' button made it a 2-player game. Yeah! The track is an instrumental offering.

"Rats! Rats! Rats!" returns to the hard sound, and Carpenter's guitar in the bridge is unreal. Fans of the earlier Deftones material will like this and "Xerxes".

Track 9, "Pink Cellphone", featuring Annie Hardy of Giant Drag, is the standard 'bizarre' track, featuring a monologue on sexual behavior. The programming by Delgado makes the track worthwhile.

Saturday Night Wrist is proof that the Deftones are one of the most original bands in metal, willing to experiment and expand the genre, while maintaining the integrity of their distinct sound. Moreno's lyrical complexity has always been one of the most appealing characteristics of the band, and reaches its apex on the latest offering. The band's growth is obvious, and this album is much more cohesive than the previous one.

This album could very well have been the death knell for the Deftones, after the last album failed to impress. But the band outdoes itself, beating White Pony, and pushing the envelope for progressive metal.

"The Black Parade" To Become A Musical? Plus, U2 Best Of Tracks Announced

My Chemical Romance - Black Parade Musical
I don't want to cover this band, I don't. But when I read that they are going to make a musical out of Welcome To The Black Parade, well, I have to say something. Concept albums get a bad rap. And I think that is generally because most popular bands are mediocre as artists. Yeah, they can play instruments, but they aren't really making something with real force behind it. And when a half-wit wants to drag it out into a multimedia foray, well, we have a problem.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
NME also reports that U2's imminent 'Best Of' collection, called U218 Singles, now has a tracklisting:
'Beautiful Day'
'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For'
'Pride (In The Name Of Love)'
'With Or Without You'
'New Year's Day'
'Mysterious Ways'
'Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of'
'Where The Streets Have No Name'
'Sweetest Thing'
'Sunday Bloody Sunday'
'Walk On'
'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own'
'The Saints Are Coming'
Plus one new song, title TBD.