Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New Deftones Today; Stream Sufjan Stevens' Christmas Box Set "Songs For Christmas"

The new Deftones album, "Saturday Night Wrist" is out today. And for you Sufjan fans, stream Songs For Christmas, his lofty box set. You know, if that's your thing.

Stream The Decemberists From NPR; A Dose Of Rock History With Sutherland Brothers & Quiver

The Decemberists
Building its cred with indie kids and at the same time creating middle-aged hipsters, NPR plugs away at 9:30 Club with streaming audio of last night's performance by the Decemberists. It's great to get to hear these shows, but I can't help but sense NPR's effort to get younger listeners keen to their programming, so that as age sets in, we start listening to talk radio and throwing out soundbites around the water cooler. Anyway, listen to the show. It's amazingly good. And Colin Meloy owns up to the fact that "you paid your money, and we entertain you." At least he knows who butters his bread.

Sutherland Brothers & Quiver
Over the last couple days, I've been obsessively updating and tagging and perusing la la (if you sign up, tell 'em I sent you), and it occurred to me that I can find the obscure stuff that I've been searching for diligently, but not willing to break the bank on, like those guys up there. Yeah, they don't look all that cool in the picture by today's standards, and maybe not even by 1976 standards, but the Sutherland Brothers & Quiver made great records. My introduction to them was through my dad who, like me, freely engages in unabashed music snobbery. I learned from the best, as his taste in music really shaped mine. Of all that I'm grateful to dad for, an ear for rock and roll is high on that list. I can remember jamming to Slipstream on 8-track, which dad still has, that's how cool he is. I can remember going to the flea market and digging through stacks of vinyl looking for albums with him.

Sutherland Brothers & Quiver - Slipstream
SBQ, as they're affectionately referred to on the internet fan sites, had one bona fide hit, "Arms of Mary", which hit #5 on UK charts. David Gilmour (yes, Pink Floyd's Gilmour) produced the B-side to that single. But "Sailing" became a #1 hit for Rod Stewart.

Regardless of the lack of incredible commercial success as SBQ, members such as Keith Wood went on to play keyboard for Al Stewart, Tim Renwick has played amazing guitar with amazing groups like Pink Floyd, Mike & The Mechanics, Eric Clapton, David Bowie, and had his own bands, including Wages of Sin and Lazy Racer. Tim Renwick is the utility man of rock guitar, and you can see an incredible bio of him here. Drummer Willie Wilson played drums on Pink Floyd's The Wall. The Sutherland brothers themselves continue to dabble, Gavin writing books and having made an album in 2000, and Iain composes, but doesn't appear to perform.

The SBQ Discography (Source: Peel):
The Sutherland Brothers Band (Island 1972). (Everything after this is with Quiver)
Lifeboat (Island 1972)
Dream Kid (Island 1974)
Beat Of The Street (Island 1974)
Reach For The Sky (Columbia 1975)
Slipstream (Columbia 1976)
Down To Earth (Columbia 1977)
When The Night Comes Down (Columbia 1978)

Now if those of us who are fans can only get the BBC to release those Peel sessions to us.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hanson Has Something In Common With Wilco, Nellie McKay, Clipse, Fiona Apple; Hall of Fame Hopefuls '07; Jacko In Public!

Hanson

1998's favorite boy pop rockers, Hanson, have created a documentary film called "Strong Enough To Break" about their struggles with their then-record label. After Island/Def Jam gave them grief, the boys independently released their album "Underneath" in 2004. I just can't believe their last album sold 137,000 copies. Wow. Source: Billboard
Fans of Wilco, Nellie McKay, Clipse, and Fiona Apple will recognize the issue of label heads claiming an album doesn't have a single or isn't radio friendly or something to that effect, and pushing it into purgatory. While some are able to get the label to finally release the album, others have to get out of their contracts and release the record themselves.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson will be making a rare public appearance when he accepts the Diamond Award for selling 100 million albums. I find it hard to believe that Mariah Carey beat him to it. Other recipients include Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi, and Celine Dion. No Neil Diamond? Source: Reuters
Congrats to Michael because, personal issues aside, he is one of the greatest pop performers of our time.

R.E.M.

Icons REM are eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Also included are Van Halen (Will Diamond Dave and Sammy Hagar argue about who's the best?), The Stooges, Patti Smith, The Dave Clark Five, and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, to name a few. I think the Dave Clark Five definitely deserve the nod, since they forged the way for the British Invasion of the '60s.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Girl Talk Tours, Mashes Up Good Charlotte

Greg Gillis AKA Girl Talk

Fans of mash-up probably know the name of Gregg Gillis, AKA Girl Talk, but Maryland/DC locals definitely know the name Good Charlotte. Girl Talk is hitting the streets on a tour this fall, and has committed to doing a remix for Maryland's Good Charlotte. The song can only get better, right? You can't screw up anything that's already Good Charlotte.

Try "Minute By Minute" by Girl Talk, a mash-up of Neutral Milk Hotel and Juelz Santana.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stream The New Deftones "Saturday Night Wrist"

Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist
The Deftones are streaming "Saturday Night Wrist" on their MySpace page. Own it this Tuesday.

Hatebreed To Replace Shadows Fall On December 15 At Ram's Head Live

Hatebreed logo
Hatebreed will replace Shadows Fall at Rams Head Live in Baltimore on December 15. This is following a press release that can be found on Lambgoat, indicating that "the intensity of their recording sessions" will prevent their ability to tour. No problem, guys, I'd rather see Hatebreed.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 - Ole! Tarantula

Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3's Ole Tarantula
Chances are, Robyn Hitchcock has been rocking since before you were born (or at least, before you knew that there was more to music than Fraggle Rock). Hitchcock, a psychedelic legend, has been making music for almost 30 years. The most obvious psychedelic rocker, Syd Barrett, is dead, but Hitchcock lives. Why are we still talking about the dead guy, when this album rocks your psychedelic socks off (you know, the rainbow knee socks with the toes)?

Teaming up with the quite capable The Venus 3, comprised of REM’s Peter Buck, as well as Scott McCaughey and Bill Riflin, all of whom are also members of The Minus 5 (yes, it’s like a bad math problem), Robyn Hitchcock creates a rocking, musically superior record. From the poppy opener “Adventure Rocket Ship” to the undeniably pleasing piano on “Belltown Ramble”, Ole! Tarantula does not fail to define the alt-pop formula Hitchcock has been refining his entire career. The title track is a total winner, bound to make even the most jaded, good-music-hoarding hipster want to share this precious jewel with everyone. The latter part of the album shines, including the harmonious “’Cause It’s Love (Saint Parallelogram)” and “NY Doll”, a contradicting love-tinged yet sensational ode to the late bassist of the New York Dolls.

Throughout, Ole! Tarantula takes twists and turns throughout various genres and remains lyrically complex, complimented by great musical performing, including the classic guitar work by Buck. But it is easily digested and incredibly loveable. Prepare to scoff at anyone who won’t shut up about Syd Barrett.

Pharoahe Monch Closer To Releasing New Album

Pharoahe Monch
Pharoahe Monch's long-awaited next release, Desire, keeps getting delayed, but you can stream the track "Push" on Pitchfork. As it stands, the LP is due out November 28.
Formerly of Organized Konfusion, Monch's first solo album, Internal Affairs, is one of those hip-hop legends that, if you can get your hands on it, you've got to have. We have yet to see if the follow-up can match it.

Eagles & Wal-Mart: "Strategic Marketing Partnership"; Other Partnership: Victory Records And E-Music

The Eagles and Wal-Mart have announced a strategic marketing partnership, which, while the details are not yet available, will most likely give Wal-Mart exclusive sales rights to certain new releases from the band. In the press release, Wal-Mart claims to be "serious about giving our customers a choice of new, unique, world-class entertainment products." As long as it's an edited version.

It seems like a valid partnership to me. Wal-Mart chells cheap, plastic crap, and the Eagles create crap. The band will supply, and the store will distribute.

Victory Records logo E-Music logo

Victory Records and eMusic have announced that Victory's entire catalog will be made available for download on eMusic's site. eMusic is known for not using DRM in its files, thus making them playable on any digital player, as well as capable of being shared. Victory's bands include Silverstein, Hawthorne Heights, and Atreyu.

Nellie McKay To Release (Another) Double Disc On Halloween; Woxy Internet Radio Is Back; Where Did All The Good Swap Sites Go?

Nellie McKay
Nellie McKay will be releasing a double album, to follow up her debut double album on October 31, complete with a 44-page insert. Columbia Records dropped Nellie, so she is releasing this one herself.

Sample "There You Are" from the album and see how wonderfully eclectic her music is, and be sure to buy it if you like it! If you can't wait until Halloween to buy a hard copy, it's available in digital format now.

So, Woxy Internet Radio is back, and it's free. Give it a whirl.

Way back when, there were some good sites that let you swap old stuff online. Now, our best option is craigslist, where you can do just about anything. The only music-oriented one I'm aware of, la la (plugged by Woxy), even makes you pay them for the privilege of swapping your old CDs with others. Where have all the good swaps gone?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Briefli Searches Google For MP3, Video, Torrents, Office Files In An Easy Interface

Briefli Logo

Want to search for a specific file of a specific extension? Try Briefli. It's a Google search hack turned into a website. Drop-down menus let you search for MP3, wma, ra, mov, rm, qt, mpg, avi, wma, torrent, doc, xls, ppt, pdf, or even enter your own file extension. It's better than all the P2P crap.

Forward Russia Plays The Black Cat; Deftones Tickets On Sale For 9:30

Forward Russia

Forward Russia will be playing in DC at The Black Cat on December 16. It's $10 bucks, and it starts at 9. I'm on the fence about this group. I'm not sure if I'm digging the matching t-shirts thing. Bands wearing their own shirt creep me out. This uniform appearance is worse. And the singer's microphone swinging and cord-choking like Papa Roach bit makes me ill. But the music isn't bad.

Deftones
Deftones tickets for 9:30 Club went on sale today, as the band begins its tour in support of Saturday Night Wrist, due out on Halloween. The show is December 4, and tickets are $28. More like $35 with fees, if you buy online.

Decemberists Webcast From 9:30; Cobain Tops The King; Flash Concerts 2006

The Decemberists
NPR kicks tail. The Decemberists will be broadcast from the 9:30 Club on Monday, October 30, and later streamed, here.

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Kurt Cobain has bested Elvis Presley as the top-earning dead celeb, according to Forbes.com. This was Cobain's first year on the chart, and he raked in $50 Million from October 2005 to October 2006. The numbers are based on licensing deals for the artists' image or recordings. Chances are this will be Kurt's only time topping the charts, since the numbers are bloated because of Courtney's sale of a 1/4 share of the Nirvana catalog this year. Source: Billboard

Cingular Wireless is promoting free, limited admission concerts in 10 cities. To have a better chance to be a part of the festivities, participants must opt in to receive text messages, which will guarantee that you are inundated with spam before you might, just might, get the guaranteed invite to the show.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Regina Spektor Back In Baltimore! Oh Yeah, Brazilian Girls, Too.

Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor will be back in Baltimore on November 19 at Sonar! Tickets on sale Friday.

The Brazilian Girls will be at Sonar on November 22. That's pretty cool, too.

Baltimore Smoking Ban?; Jeremy Egnik MP3 - "Been Here Before"; New Eminem Premieres On Sirius; Stream The New Damien Rice; New Next Tuesday

Today at 5 PM, the Baltimore City Council will be holding a hearing on a potential indoor smoking ban in Baltimore City. Broadcast on Cable 25, according to the Council's website, this will be a beautiful shouting match on both sides. And for bar-hoppers and live music nuts in general, this should resonate. I dont' smoke, but man, the second-hand smoke really adds to the ambience, doesn't it?

Jeremy Enigk - World Waits
Sunny Day Real Estate fans, check out the new single from Jeremy Enigk, it's called "Been Here Before" and it's off his new solo album, World Waits.

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Fans of Eminem will get a new dose when the next single comes out on Sirius today.

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The new Damien Rice, 9, is available for streaming from AOL.

Coming out next Tuesday (Halloween), remember Deftones' Saturday Night Wrist, the fabulous Baltimore band Animal Collective's re-release of the live Hollinndagain, Kevin Federline's Playing With Fire (for those who enjoy suffering, or at any rate, the humor in listening to a record by a back-up dancer), Lady Sovereign's Public Warning, or even Courtney Love's journals, "Dirty Blonde".

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If you need something that's out now, check out Frida Hyvonen's Until Death Comes. And check her out on November 8 in DC at the Rock and Roll Hotel.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Weird Al Gets His Propers; New Pixies, Incubus Albums

Weird Al Yankovic

CNN discusses Weird Al's newfound success with the Chamillionaire spoof "White And Nerdy". Having reached his first top 10 album and single, Al credits YouTube and download services that allow single-song purchases.

The Pixies

The Pixies are set to record their first new album in 15 years.

Incubus - Light Grenades
Incubus will be releasing Light Grenades on November 28, and touring in support in '07. Catch them at 9:30 Club on January 26. Small-venue warm-up tour before hitting arenas? We'll see.

On a side note, if you're into the indie scene, and what's new in Baltimore, check out Instrumental Analysis, who is kicking my tail on getting the word out on what's happening. Plus, they've got MP3's, not to mention that anyone who posts about Catherine Wheel has got to be cool.

And, though I don't often talk about myself outside of my own relation to what I'm posting about live shows I go to, I am super thrilled because Kristen and I are supposed to be going out and buying our guitars tonight. I gave up mine about 4 years ago when I had to pay rent in college, and now we're both going to start playing together. It is my ultimate hope that we become rock gods in the vein of Tenacious D, but more svelte and a lot more metal. While she isn't very happy about my desire to be in a band, she seems down with mastering the 6-stringed beast. Thus begins the first step on realizing my fantasy of having an acoustically perfect room in my house with a full band and recording equipment.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Big News For Smashing Pumpkins Fans

Smashing Pumpkins Reunion

News has developed over the last few days that the Smashing Pumpkins were reuniting in one form or another. Today, Pitchfork confirms that news via the Pumpkins' MySpace blog. As yet, it appears only Jimmy Chamberlin and Billy Corgan are confirmed to be part of the reunion. It has yet to be seen if the rest of the band will return (James Iha, are you too busy with A Perfect Circle? D'Arcy Wretzky on bass, or Melissa Auf der Maer?) If you want the latest, keep your eyes glued on the MySpace blog.

Billboard's Take On "Show Me What You Got"; HypeBot's iPod 5-Year Anniversary Opinion; Coming To You From NPR; Linda Perry Loves Courtney

Jay-Z Shows The UN What He's Got
Billboard reviews Jay-Z's new single, "Show Me What You Got", admitting that it's not the best he can do (clearly), but showing much love for what Clover Hope calls "the mighty horns", which we recognize from "Rump Shaker", and she credits as a Public Enemy sample but is actually and originally Lafayette Afro Rock Band's horn sample, if you wanna get accurate.
On that note, interesting how one day the song leaks on the internet, and the next it's in a Budweiser Select commercial. Hmmm....did the leak cause Jigga to scramble to make a video and release the single, or was the leak all part of the master plan?

Apple Logo
Today on HypeBot a multi-source blurb on iPod (and portable MP3 technology as a whole) and its effect on the music industry. Is it over for album sales, and the beginning of a whole new world of 99-cent singles?

NPR Logo

Keep your eyes on NPR for the following live/archived webcasts from 9:30 Club:
10/27 - Sean Lennon
10/30 - The Decemberists
11/03 - Joan Osborne
11/06 - The Black Keys
11/10 - Arlo Guthrie
11/20 - Cat Power

Watch out for Courtney Love's return with a new album next year. Linda Perry (formerly of 4 Non-Blondes, now a beloved producer with such works as Xtina's latest). According to Perry, Courtney Love is up there with Bob Dylan in terms of lyricism. Not so sure about that, but she's gotta get paid, so let her trumpet this thing all she wants.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pitchfork Disses Microsoft And Zune

Maintaining hipster cred, Pitchfork said no to Microsoft when asked to incorporate the new Zune media player into its content for streaming and downloading site content. This should generate some additional popularity for Pitch, and is actually probably a better move for gaining notoriety than had they agreed to the deal. Microsoft must know that the super-elitist hipster audience is going to be a hard market to tap. Especially with DRM still a problem. Leak some super-cool albums to us, Mr. Gates, and we'll be down with Zune. Source:

New York Post

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Will Brandon Flowers Shut Up Already?

The Killers' Brandon Flowers

In another effort of shameless self-promotion and conceited braggadocio, Brandon Flowers says The Killers' new video is the best video ever. Dude, you're killing me.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stream My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade"; GWARRR!; Courtney Love Diaries Hit Stores On Halloween; Vegoose Hits The Blue Room

Head over to The Black Parade and stream the new My Chemical Romance, coming out next Tuesday, October 24. While you're there, buy a t-shirt for $7.99. Or pre-order the album in deluxe format for $40! You'll get a special "limited edition" package, limited to how many they can sell! You can also be a chump and order the standard version for $13.98. Of the whole album, I'd say one song is good. The whole thing is one weak attempt to screamo-fy "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", I'm telling you.
Get ready for schtick-metal with Gwar at the 9:30 Club on December 10. They should really be making a stop in Baltimore. They've got much more love here, I'm sure.
My girl Courtney Love has a book coming out on Halloween. It's called "Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love", and it's a total rip on Kurt's journals, which kept me interested for about 30 minutes, but I had to have it because I love Nirvana. But I'll be grabbing for C-Love's book, too. Once it's on the discount rack.
Can't make it to Vegas on the 28th and 29th? Stop by the AT&T Blue Room and watch Vegoose 2006 on a live webcast.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Heed The Changing Face Of Entertainment Media, And Go See Wilco But Don't Get Punched; Puscifer Podcast

As the New York Times reports, young adults aren't listening to the radio because there is just cooler stuff to listen to out there. Why listen to the same station play the same 25 songs ten times each per day, when you can plug your MP3 player in and listen to what you want to hear? Or web radio, where you can skip songs that suck or that you are tired of hearing? According to the article, "Listening hours have dropped almost 21 percent for 18- to 24-year-olds in the last 10 years[.]"
Also note the (as-yet) unregulated NetTV world, including the always-fabulous Tom Green, who can get away with much more online than he could on TV. It's all going digital, and according to the LA Times, NBC knows, because they are laying off "about 1%" of their workforce due to weak TV numbers. All the big entertainment names are acknowledging the lure of digital, including video games, the internet, and iPods.

Wilco Singer Punches Stage Bomber

And go see Wilco tonight at the 9:30 Club, or stream it on NPR, but don't let Jeff Tweedy punch you in the face.

And one more thing. I love metal. But this black metal video makes me feel dirty. And somehow, I think my soul has been tainted.

Maynard James Keenan fans out there: the Puscifer podcast (XML link) has one of those deep cuts, from the KISS tribute CD "Kiss My Ass", where Maynard sings with a group called Shandi's Addiction (a one-time project with Tom Morello from Audioslave on guitar), along with other hard-to-find tracks. Check it out.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Death Cab In DC; Justin Timberlake Tour; New Pandora Features; The Kasem Legacy Kontinues; Free Raekwon; Sunny Day Real Estate! Beach House Party

Tickets are still available for Death Cab For Cutie at DAR Constitution Hall in DC. They are playing two nights, November 6 and November 7. Both shows are at 8 PM.

As for Justin, he's touring large venues in North America (with Pink) starting January 8. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 AM. He'll be in DC on February 2, at the Verizon Center, and if you can't get enough in the mid-atlantic region, Philly on March 27. And can you believe the JT fan club costs $45? Insanity!

As for Pandora Internet Radio, new features have been added that allow you to mix your various stations together, move songs from one station to another, and, get this, when a song pops up by an artist currently on tour, it will show "on tour", and you can click that and find out where your fave bands are playing and when. It's a partnership with Ticketmaster, so it looks like they have to be selling the tickets for the functionality to operate.

Kerri Kasem, daughter of Casey, will be starting a new gig in daily radio in Vegas. It's who you know. Source: Radio and Records

Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan will be performing for FREE at Sonar in Baltimore, if only you'll RSVP ahead of time. Also comin' thru from the Wu at Sonar, but not for free, will be Method Man on November 9, featuring Inspectah Deck and Masta Killa. Four members of the Clan in a matter of weeks.

Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary

Last Friday, MTV commented on the growing love for emo, and showed what Sunny Day Real Estate members are up to. One played on Dashboard Confessional EP's, another is a Foo Fighter, and the singer has gone solo. While the outlook is bad for a reunion, I'd certainly love to see one.

Baltimore indie kids Beach House, whose album dropped on Oct. 3 on Carpark Records, will be having their record release party on Oct. 31 at the H&H Building (405 West Franklin Street).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Norma Jean, Lady Sovereign In Concert, Death Of The CD, 4 Stars For The Black Parade; Private Concert With Army Of Anyone

Norma Jean will be in concert tonight at The Recher Theatre in Towson, MD, as part of the Radio Rebellion Tour.

MTV News reports that Lady Sov will be kicking off her North American tour next Monday in Montreal, and will be hitting the 9:30 Club on Saturday, October 28. She's kind of bratty, and she might just be getting schlepped in the US as the next Eminem with a splash of Missy Elliott with her quirky style, but as she would have it, she "sounds weird and funky-fresh." There's something to be said for that.

The New York Post reports that music sales are still slumping, down 6.1%. What's more, CD sales are down 15% over the first 6 months of 2006. Digital and ringtones are keeping things afloat. Record stores are really suffering out there. Will this generation see the end of the brick-and-mortar record store?

Welcome To The Black Parade

Somewhat suprisingly, at least to me, My Chemical Romance's "Welcome To The Black Parade" gets four stars from Rolling Stone. Apparently the whole world, or at least Fricke, is a sucker for the Sergeant Pepper look.

If you're into Filter or Stone Temple Pilots, look into Army Of Anyone, and your chance for a free private concert. Richard Patrick from Filter and Dean DeLeo from STP are busy again.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Couple Musicians Become True Entrepreneurs; Friendster Meets Its Gloomy Doom

Entrepreneur magazine recently profiled a few musicians who later became business persons here, including Tom DeLonge from Blink-182 and a former B-52.

Are you on Friendster? Or have you latched on to the low-rent cheap HTML crap factory MySpace, which just happens to be kicking Friendster off the map? The New York Times profiles the downward spiral of Friendster. If guerilla PR reps would just make Friendster profiles for bands, this wouldn't be a problem, people! Jeez!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tool, Maynard James Keenan Fans Line Up Credit Cards In Hand

A Maynard James Keenan (singer of Tool) side project, Puscifer, just relaunched its website, and all it offers is an online store. Oh, yeah, it plays music, too. The ATF jacket available therein was sported by MJK when I saw them at Verizon Center (reviewed in a previous post), so there's a nice product plug. Keenan, always respectful, had this to say: "I put several of my Targets up for sale to see if people were silly enough to pay money for them. THEY SOLD OUT. Some of you need a hobbie. But hey, Thanks for the new wing on the winery." I think "hobbie" is meant to be spelled "hobby". Maybe a spelling workshop would benefit your postings, bud. But then again, I don't have three bands and a winery. So the joke's on me.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wilco At 9:30 And On NPR; Writers of "Homicide" Were Apparently Grunge Fans

Next Thursday, Wilco will be at the 9:30 club, and continuing the NPR Live Concert Series trend, the show will be broadcast live on All Songs Considered. Catch it at 10PM, or you can stream it afterwards, too.

Kristen and I have been watching Homicide, the original Baltimore crime drama, on DVD. In the second season, there are two murderers with interesting names: Lane Staley and Chris Novoselic. Layne Staley? Krist Novoselic? Alice In Chains? Nirvana? Apparently the writers were into grunge.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Killers' Brandon Flowers: Shut Up Already About Bruce Springsteen! & John Mayer/Sheryl Crow Lovefest

Explaining how upset he is about Green Day's DVD "Bullet In A Bible", Brandon Flowers of The Killers considers Green Day's performance of "American Idiot" in England "a very negative thing toward Americans." And then he starts talking about Bruce Springsteen, who he hasn't shut up about since The Killers' new album, "Sam's Town", hit the media stream. "American Idiot" was a huge hit for Green Day. Fans anywhere want to hear that when they go to a Green Day show. Just because the fans singing along happen to be English doesn't make the song suddenly more negative. Don't hate just because your album is getting destroyed by the critics. You're still selling records, ego-boy.

And the night after appearing on stage with Sheryl Crow in his now-famous bear suit, John Mayer was surprised by Sheryl in a bikini. Hmm. That's subtle.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bloodlined Calligraphy Loses Singer And Drummer; Hatebreed & Glassjaw Members Start Side Project

Hardcore band Bloodlined Calligraphy was supposed to play in Baltimore this past Sunday, but the day before the tour started, Ally French (the singer) sent her bandmate a text message saying she was leaving the band. A text message. BC's new album, Ypsilanti, primed to be their breakthrough album, just dropped September 19, was featured at both Hot Topic and Best Buy, and now the band is without a singer. A text message! Oh yeah, and the drummer quit, but he was kind enough to finish out the first leg of the tour. Source: HXC

Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw (or maybe you know him from Head Automatica) and Sean Martin of Hatebreed have a side project called House of Blow.

Any Given Tuesday Finds More Industry Subterfuge With Raconteurs' "Instant Bootlegs"; New Fiona Apple; Sarah McLachlan Needs You

The Raconteurs are selling recordings of their shows, immediately after the show, and calling them "instant bootlegs." Does it equal a bootleg if it's being released for sale by the performer, presumably in cahoots with their label, and with the label's approval? I thought bootlegs were fan recordings that made their way through the underground. The Pearl Jam ploy wasn't really a 'bootleg', either. Sure, bootlegging has gotten very sophisticated as digital has broken through, but I don't think selling me a CD on the way to the parking lot is a bootleg. Source: Pitchfork Media
Anyway, you can catch The Raconteurs at the GMU Patriot Center on November 17 with Bob Dylan.

In light of the re-release of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and the new soundtrack, check out Fiona Apple's new song, "Sally's Song", at Stereogum.

Eek!
Ack! Sarah McLachlan needs you to remind her that Christmas albums are for people like Bing Crosby and Elvis, and maybe James Taylor. More than that, what's with that horrible photo?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Dashboard Confessional at College Park - Tickets On Sale Now

Dashboard Confessional

As of today, Ticketmaster says they are not, but tickets are indeed on sale for Dashboard at Cole Field House in College Park, MD. It's all general admission, floor is $30, bowl seats $20 (w/o student ID). Ticketmaster will hit you with 5 or 6 bucks in fees.

The Gorillaz, Still? Where Does It Stop? Thankfully, PJ Harvey Hasn't Quit!

Seriously? People still think the Gorillaz are cool? Cool enough to buy exclusive iTunes EP's, (more) DVDs, and a book? This parlor act is becoming a franchise, and I'm sad.

Maybe you'd prefer seeing Diddy have it his way on YouTube, the new member of the Google-opolis, to the tune of $1.65 billion in stock. By the way, you can stream the new album, "Press Play" at MTV's The Leak.

I'm not sure how much of this multimedia cash grabbing I can take from the music industry. Album sales in a slump, so let's go get a Whopper?

On a more positive note, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien on Sunday and Frank Black at Sonar in Baltimore next Wednesday. Buju Banton, notorious for his anti-gay songs, will also be at Sonar next Thursday. He's been catching a lot of heat at shows recently, spurring protests and cancellations at multiple venues.

And the best news of the day: PJ Harvey will be starting work on a new album. She's reuniting with Flood (who engineered NIN's Pretty Hate Machine, and produced The Downward Spiral, but also produced PJ's To Bring You My Love and co-produced Is This Desire?), as well as John Parish, her primary cohort (with whom she shared billing on 1996's Dance Hall At Louse Point). I have a feeling it will be more of an experimental type album like Dance Hall At Louse Point, since it's apparently focused on piano. If you can find that album (I've got it...and Amazon.com has 5 left), check out "Is That All There Is?".

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

James Blunt Can't Say Goodbye to Bedlam, Babs Silences Heckler, And Lloyd Banks Gets Generous

James Blunt joins the industry's beat-the-dead-horse mode of selling albums in a time of crap sales by re-issuing Back To Bedlam with a "bonus" live disc. Record companies have found it quite lucrative to run the consumer as sucker game by taking a wildly popular album (Blunt has sold 2.2 million, so far, according to the article on Billboard.com) and dressing it up a little, encouraging those who have already bought it to buy again. Even if 10% of those consumers are willing to buy an album for the second time actually do it, there's 220,000 sales. Not bad.

How about Barbra Streisand getting tough with a heckler at her show? When a heckler wouldn't let up, she told him to shut the *click* up. Source: Y! Music

Props to Lloyd Banks for donating $10K to his high school alma mater in Jamaica, Queens. I'm sensing a return to intelligent and political hip-hop, with some artists actually walking the walk, and it is good.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Fall In Love With The Hype Machine

I may be light years behind on this, but I just discovered The Hype Machine, a tracker of MP3 blogs that lets you stream all kinds of audio. It can be subscribed to in RSS via text or podcast form. Some smoking PJ Harvey cuts are on there. When you listen via the Flash player, the track that's playing will come with a button indicating which blog the song's coming from. Find some new music, find some new blogs at the same time.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Songbird Could Be A Viable Challenger To iTunes

Get Songbird

Web 2.0 keeps getting better. The open-source Songbird "web player" plays just about any file extension, has multiple themes, lets you organize your media, create mixes and playlists, and its real innovation is that it lets you browse webpages and play them or search the web based on what you're playing. And that's just in Version 0.2. Click on the jammin' little bird to see what's going on.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

What A Sale! And Jay, I'm Not Feelin' "What You Got". Cop That Damien Rice Instead.

Wow, the Dave Matthews Band is doing fans some favors with a "Blowout Sale" and everything for a flat $20. T-shirts for $20? Sign me up, greedy ones! After $35 for membership in your fan club, $20 for a t-shirt don't seem bad! I don't remember the last time I spent $20 on jeans, nevertheless a t-shirt. I'd rather get my Hatebreed t-shirt for $12.

Heard the new Jigga-man? Jay-Z is back with a new single from the November release "Kingdom Come". This "Show Me What You Got" business is whack. Whatever he's got must have left. We all knew The Black Album wasn't going to be a real retirement, but I'm wishing it was. Hov's apology ("What you want me to do? I'm sorry. I'm back.") on this track is not accepted. Saying "I'm the Michael Jordan of recordin'" is making the most obvious fake retirement reference possible. Wreckx-N-Effect can't be OK with Jay-Z biting their song. And Lafayette Afro Rock Band wants to get paid for that horn sample. Though the Flavor Flav sample makes me want to break out the old, real hip-hop. The classic Public Enemy album It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, track 9 ("Show Em What You Got") is the source of that one.

If you're less hip-hop and more Irish folk, check out the new Damien Rice track, "9 Crimes". It's over at Stereogum. The post is kind of funny. Grey's Anatomy humor. I like it. But I like the song, too.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Why Is NPR Suddenly Cool To Me?

Alright. So my wife, Kristen, loves NPR, and I always make fun of it (and her for listening to it). I love her. I don't have to love NPR. But this new partnership with the 9:30 Club and NPR's All Songs Considered is bringing out some good stuff. The Regina Spektor show, The Decemberists, even Sleater-Kinney.

Does NPR's new coolness have any relation to my love for Neil Diamond? Or Neil cover bands like Super Diamond that are going to be at 9:30 Club on October 13?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Chinese Democracy Before Thanksgiving?

Maybe, just maybe. Source: Rolling Stone

I Glimpsed You, Regina Spektor.

Yes, "glimpsed" is a proper word. Silly, but proper.

So I went to The Sound Garden in Baltimore last night to see Regina Spektor, and though I couldn't really see her, she sounded beautiful. Her voice is so wonderfully amazing live. Sounds just like on the record, seriously. This woman's brand of piano anti-folk is so entertaining, like on "Uh-Merica" with its grunts that beckon the audience to join in, but the audience sucks. Regina Spektor does not. "Uh-Merica" and "Better" were the memorable songs of the three or four I managed to hear. I arrived a few minutes late, so I'd guess she performed five total.

Her brief appearance (so brief, that it's hard to truly review such a thing) at the record store was prefaced by a night in DC which was picked up by NPR's All Songs Considered (Stream it here) and before her trip to Boston, MA today.

Now when I squeezed in to the record store, I couldn't see her at all. But she sounded so wonderful! Hers is a voice that is indescribably wonderful to hear in person. Between songs, she was a bit too precious, playing the solo performer "one with the crowd, we're all friends, oops I messed up a song, let's all laugh about it" bit a little too much.

After her performance, she was available for autographs, so my wife and I got in the line, and I was able to snap a few shots, and we got her to autograph the latest album:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ludacris Scorches The Charts Yet Again With "Release Therapy", Mastodon Joins Tool In Europe, And A New Player In Music Recommendations

3 #1 albums for Ludacris, Justin Timberlake sinks to number 5, and Weird Al gets "White & Nerdy" at #10, his personal best. Source: Billboard

Likin' the new haircut on the album cover, Luda. Billboard's picture must be dated.

Like Tool? Like Mastodon? Live in Europe? Mastodon is joining Tool on their European tour.

In other news, like Pandora before it, FineTune wants to tell you who to listen to. Source: Hypebot

The Decemberists - The Crane Wife

Decemberists - The Crane Wife


3.5 out of 5 stars.

Far from selling out as many fans were concerned the move from Kill Rock Stars to Capitol Records would be, The Crane Wife, produced by Death Cab For Cutie's Christopher Walla, benefits from the major label move, giving the group a big label sound without losing the independent style. Colin Meloy has become the literary giant of music, with all his apostrophes, "thees" and "thous", and not to mention five-dollar words like "arabesques." Lest we forget, there is a band here, not just Charles Dickens with a microphone. The musical epic "The Island: - Come And See - The Landlord's Daughter - You'll Not Feel The Drowning" will remind listeners of the broadly scoping instrumentation of the band. Vocal contributions from former KRS labelmate Laura Veirs on "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)" do not fail to impress.

The despair and classic morose ambience of the past albums remain, but sound snazzier. There's no selling out here. That would require bringing the lyrics into the 21st century and losing the bouzouki (an old-world guitar-like instrument). The Decemberists are still an intelligent, yet accessible, rock group.

It can become quite easy to throw around words like "masterpiece" when one is wowed by the Decemberists' catalog and Meloy's verbiage. It's great to have popular music that displays an increased vocabulary. But the trap is in accepting such music as instantly classic. Worthwhile, for sure, but it's no Anna Karenina.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Nirvana Video Coming To DVD November 7, Regina Spektor NPR webcast from 9:30 Club

In 1994, roughly 6 months after Kurt Cobain's suicide, Nirvana released "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!" (catch that classic Cobain pun), a concert video with (now) classic footage of Nirvana before and during their massive fame. Now it's coming out on DVD. Catch the fantastic live performance of "Aneurysm" and Kurt's fracas with a bouncer in "Love Buzz". Source: Billboard

Regina Spektor's show at the 9:30 Club tonight, which is sold out, will be webcast tonight on NPR, starting at 8 PM Eastern.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Hatebreed - Supremacy

Hatebreed - Supremacy

4 out of 5 stars.

Supremacy, Hatebreed's first release on Roadrunner Records, is their best yet. Rise of Brutality was the breakout album for the group, but this is the album that proves to the industry that they are the kings of hardcore. The opening track, "Defeatist", starts the onslaught, and it continues relentlessly through the closing "Supremacy of Self".

Hatebreed's name deceives the positive message that Jamey Jasta (the voice of headbangers all over as the host of MTV's Headbanger's Ball) brings through his lyrics. Jasta and bandmates believe in their music and the impact that it can have on its listeners, and their dedication is not hidden on Supremacy.

"To The Threshold" remains true to its title and pushes the album to the threshold with blistering double bass and riotous vocals, including a chorus that insists on making heads bang. "Destroy Everything" delivers the best bass lines of the record, and Jasta's screaming chant is enough to stir even the most apathetic of listeners as he channels Phil Anselmo all along.

Jasta's vocals, Matt Byrne's drums, Chris Beattie's bass, and the duel chugging guitars of Sean Martin and Frank "3 Gun" Novinec (who joined the band this year and brings an impressive resume of hardcore experience with him) come through with wonderful clarity on this record. In fact, for Byrne, this record is his shining moment, displaying impressive work throughout the record (check out the drum solo on "Divine Judgment"). The return of the band to a 5-piece, and the power of adding Novinec really shines on "Immortal Enemies" and "As Diehard As They Come".

On their new label, the band receives the attention to production they've needed and deserved, and delivers the hardest, most uncompromising offering of their career.

Regina Spektor, Decemberists, Ray LaMontagne at 9:30 Club in D.C.

Coming to rock your socks at The 9:30 Club are:

Regina Spektor - TOMORROW, October 3 @ 6PM....or catch her at Sound Garden on Wednesday, as mentioned in a previous post, since the show is sold out! Good for you, Regina!

The Decemberists - October 30 @ 7:30 PM - and buy the new album tomorrow!

Ray LaMontagne - December 11 - and buy his album at Amazon.com



Get Your Tickets to 9:30 Here

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tool - Verizon Center, Washington, DC 9/30/06

Releasing an album, on average, every five years, touring only in support of said album, and then disappearing for several years is Tool's modus operandi. So, when 10,000 Days came out in May, and Tool did a small venue tour (for which tickets were ridiculously hard to come by) before starting the arena tour, Tool fans were chomping at the bit.

Last night's show was, for most DC area fans, the big night, the chance to see Tool live again...almost like sighting a Yeti. The set list was as follows:

Stinkfist
The Pot
Forty Six & 2
Jambi
Schism
Lost Keys
Rosetta Stoned
Wings For Marie
10,000 Days

-- The band at this point stopped, sat on the drum riser, and Justin Chancellor lit a flame, prompting lighters to rise around the crowd, before the band encored with:
Lateralus
Vicarious
├ćnema


The stage was white, allowing for projections of Adam Jones' video work onto the back and floor of the stage. Stinkfist was an amazing opener, showing that Tool has not lost its touch since Aenima came out in 1996 (coincidentally, 10 years ago today). Tool performs perfectly live. Mistakes, if any, go entirely unnoticed. The show was musically amazing. The live performance of Wings/10,000 Days, with an accompanying laser show, is breathtaking in its raw display of musicianship. Adam Jones' talkbox solo on Jambi was a great moment in the show. Danny Carey's drumming remains on a higher level than his peers, and Justin Chancellor brings the bass guitarist out of the back left corner of the stage and into the spotlight with his great finger work. Unfortunately, Rosetta Stoned was vocally unimpressive, as Keenan could not recreate the verbal salad of the album version.

The only criticism of the show is that the band seemed really detached from the audience, almost like a symphony rather than a rock concert. Which, to most fans, is probably an appropriate comparison, but concerts beg for the audience to connect more with the performers. Keenan made perhaps three of his trademark snide comments to the crowd, all about George W. Bush. Before the encore, the band plopped down on the drum riser, a very out-of-place moment, before Chancellor caused the Verizon Center to burst into tiny Bic-type candlelights and cheering.

Tool remains one of the best live metal bands. Fans might begin to fear if they have left the mindblowing show days of the Undertow/Aenima tours, but even on their most mediocre day, Tool is worth every penny. And at $67 with Ticketmaster's fees, it's quite a bargain.