Friday, June 29, 2007

Thrushes Live at with A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Monarch, The Offering, Pianowire

Thrushes 7/3/07

Thrushes are playing The Metro Gallery (1700 N. Charles Street, Baltimore) on July 3 with A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Monarch, The Offering, and Pianowire.

If you haven't seen Thrushes live yet, this is your chance. And is that show poster not the most radical thing you've ever seen?

Read a review of Thrushes' Sun Come Undone.

Virgin Fest Goes Green; Get Free Tickets

Virgin Fest

Like a lot of concerts and festivals this summer, Virgin Fest is going green in Baltimore. Festival-goers are being encouraged to help eliminate trash by bringing a bottle of water and using the 'filling stations' to refill that bottle. The festival organizers are using compostable plates, cups, even the trash bags. And, as is becoming the vogue thing to do, Virgin will practice carbon offsetting. I, for one, didn't know the phrase 'carbon footprint' before An Inconvenient Truth.

To add the icing to the eco-friendly cake, if you volunteer to help clean up, you can go to Virgin Festival free of charge.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Catch The Jennifers at Sonar Tonight

The Jennifers

Be sure to catch The Jennifers tonight at Sonar. Tickets are $8, but you can buy them in advance directly from the band for only $6.

Should be a great show, as the band gets ready to go on tour. The band is looking for help booking the following cities:

-Durham, NC
-Chapel Hill, NC
-Atlanta, GA,
-Asheville, NC
-Richmond, VA

If you have some connects, send them to me and I'll pass the info along!

Read a review of the latest album from The Jennifers, Colors From The Future.

Led Zeppelin One-Off Reunion Show, Possibly A World Tour

Led Zeppelin

DISCLAIMER: This might be unsubstantiated, and should only be taken at face value. Which, coming from a blog, means a plug nickel. And coming from me, less.

A Gigwise report states that we may see a one-off Led Zeppelin reunion in honor of the passing of Ahment Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records. As you read this, thousands of Zep fans are re-reading The Lord of the Rings to bone up on the obscure lyrical references on the off chance Page and Co. might embark on a world tour.

World tour? Ah, yes! If the one-off London show goes well, the surviving band members (Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones. The late John Bonham's son, Jason, will join on drums) are willing to climb the "Stairway to Heaven" as long as the chemistry gets kept from the "Gallows Pole".

Unsubstantiated rumors and lousy puns. Only here, folks. Only here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Gossip Video: "Jealous Girls"

The Gossip

Check out the new Gossip video for "Jealous Girls". Totally '80s. And totally expected. It's a clever video, I love the low-lit set and the whole venetian blind thing (which in itself is so 80s. Death to venetian blinds!). I'm still listening to "Standing In The Way of Control", but I never really dug this song.

Beth Ditto has caught flack for a while now about being unabashedly proud of who she is. To critics, that means a plus-sized lesbian. If Ditto was a man, would anyone care about her weight? It's really interesting that we can accept her sexual orientation but yet mock her for being askew of our societal beauty standards. Anyway. Sing it, Beth!

Your 60-Day Window of Shows: 6/28-8/25

6/28 The Fray, OK Go, Mae @ 9:30 Club
6/30 The Polyphonic Spree @ 9:30 Club
6/30 Rodrigo Y Gabriela @ Rams Head Live

7/1 Robbers on High Street, The Redwalls @ Ottobar
7/3 Morrissey @ Rams Head Live
7/5 The Fiery Furnaces, dios(malos) @ Black Cat
7/7 Tortoise @ Black Cat
7/8 Built to Spill @ 9:30 Club
7/8 Chromeo, Flosstradamus @ Sonar
7/10 Mickey Avalon @ Sonar
7/11 Pela @ Black Cat
7/17 Dirty On Purpose, The Besnard Lakes @ Black Cat
7/20 Violent Femmes @ Power Plant Live
7/21 Deerhunter, Battles, Singer @ Ottobar
7/23 The Ponys @ Black Cat
7/23 Marnie Stern @ Ottobar
7/24 Marnie Stern @ Rock and Roll Hotel
7/25 James Morrison, Ben Folds @ Verizon Center
7/26 Great Northern @ Black Cat
7/27 Paid Dues International Hip Hop Festival: Brother Ali, Hangar 18, Sage Francis, Mr. Lif, Living Legends and more @ Pier Six Pavilion
7/28 The White Stripes @ The Patriot Center
7/30 The Polyphonic Spree, Jessica Hoop @ 9:30 Club

8/2 Fiona Apple @ Pier Six Pavilion
8/4 Virgin Festival @ Pimlico Race Track
8/7 Ra Ra Riot, Tokyo Police Club @ Black Cat
8/8 My Brightest Diamond, Rasputina @ Ottobar
8/8 Blonde Redhead, Beach House @ Rams Head Live
8/8 Ra Ra Riot, Tokyo Police Club @ Sonar
8/11 The Cribs @ Black Cat
8/16 Neko Case @ 9:30 Club
8/21 Wolf Parade, Octopus Project @ Black Cat
8/21 Camera Obscura @ Sonar
8/22 Octopus Project, Stereo Total @ Ottobar
8/25 Limbeck, The Format @ 9:30Club

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins Bleed Fans Dry With Zeitgeist

When the so-called Smashing Pumpkins (is it really them with just Billy and Jimmy? I don't think so.) release Zeitgeist next month, they intend to release four versions of the album. Repeat: four (4) versions. Best Buy, iTunes, and Target each get their own version with a different bonus track for each retailer, and there is a final, generic version for everyone else (including the independent retailers you should be supporting over the foregoing ones).

The worst detail of this whole debacle is that Target's edition is the only one that gets the title track to the album! I'm sorry, you mean to tell me that if I want the song for which the album is named, I have to go deep into the life-sucking 'burbs to the big red box and buy the album? As little as any of us care about a Smashing Pumpkins reunion sans James Iha or D'Arcy, I, for one, suddenly care less than ever. In fact, I refuse to put a single dollar in the pocket of a big, bald money-sucking vampire like Billy Corgan.

If you do decide to buy, here's the tracklist you're going to get when you avoid Best Buy, iTunes, and Target like the plague:

01 Doomsday Clock
02 7 Shades of Black
03 Bleeding the Orchid
04 That's the Way (My Love Is)
05 Tarantula
06 Starz
07 United States
08 Neverlost
09 Bring the Light
10 (Come On) Let's Go!
11 For God and Country
12 Pomp and Circumstances

Best Buy gets the bonus "Death From Above", Target gets "Zeitgeist", iTunes gets "Stellar". Moreover, iTunes gets a bonus covers set, featuring The Bravery, The Academy Is..., Panic! at the Disco, Test Your Reflex, and +44. I think I just threw up a little.

Throw objects at the Smashing Pumpkins when they play Virgin Fest in Baltimore.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Basshound at 9:30 Club, June 29 with Justin Trawick, Future

Justin Trawick

Fulfilling the rock star dream of performers all over the US, Justin Trawick has landed a gig at the famous 9:30 Club. He will be opening up for Baltimore's own Basshound. Also playing is Future.

About Future – A five-piece band formed during the summer of 2006 and bringing together over fifteen years of combined professional music experience, Future owns an experiment of sound influenced by forms of rock, hip-hop, and blues. Confidently presenting a unique method of music, incorporating socially-conscious lyrics, catching melodies, beats, and grooves, Future brings "music for your minds eye" into full view.

About Justin Trawick - Walking the tightrope between various genres, Justin's music fluently balances between sometimes rowdy, other times consoling, forms of folk, bluegrass, and hip hop bestowing upon listeners an incorporated and organic form of poetry. Justin has been tunefully navigating the Washington, DC music scene since November 2004, quickly expanding his range to larger venues up and down the east coast and opening for the honorable likes of Bob Schneider and Brett Dennen. He plays both solo and with his band, The Justin Trawick Group, as they're notably called, consisting of quite the velvety brew of piano, cello, violin, mandolin, upright bass, hand percussion, and drums. Trawick's debut album, How to Build a Life With a Lemonade Stand serves up a "jaunty attitude [and] rapid-fire lyrics" (Joel Sparks, OnTap Magazine).

About Basshound – Forming in the fall of 2004, Basshound blends blues, funk, jazz, bluegrass, and reggae into a versatile scene of head-bobbing rock. All the time exploring new and creative musical avenues, Basshound takes audiences through the twists of various and harmonious rhythms and the boundaries of sound.

June 29, 2007


All Ages Show


Friday, June 22, 2007

Digital Media Conference In Silver Spring Today

If you're in Baltimore/DC today and have $600 to burn on the registration fee, the Digital Media Conference is taking place in Silver Spring, MD. I won't be there for two reasons: (1) I work, and I'm in court this morning; (2) I don't have six hundred bucks. Both very good reasons.

But it looks like an informative event with lots of players in presence. Here's the agenda:

Registration, Breakfast & Networking

Welcome, Introductions & Opening Remarks

Conference Co-Chairs
Ned Sherman, CEO & Publisher, Digital Media Wire
Paul Sherman, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Tech Wire Publications

Panel 1
Whatís Next: 5 Digital Media Trends to Watch
Did the meteoric rise of MySpace and YouTube catch you by surprise? Three leading analysts give their opinions on the top five digital media trends to watch in the years to come.

Joe Bates, Director of Research, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
John Barrett, Director of Research, Parks Associates
Jen Wu, Analyst, M:Metrics

Panel 2
A View from the Top: The State of the Digital Union
This panel of digital media insiders will discuss the current state of the industry, including hot button issues such as how big media companies will balance the opportunities presented by digital distribution with the possible cannibalization of existing businesses? What are the most likely business models for user-generated content? What is the future for ad-supported free distribution of digital content - including music, video and games - online? What is the next big thing in digital media in the next 12 months to 2 years and who will be the winners and losers in the years to come?

Jim Brady, Vice President & Executive Editor,
Bruce Campbell, President, Digital Media, Discovery Communications
Ted Cohen, Chairman, Mobile Entertainment Forum Americas
Ed Moran, Director of Product Innovation, Deloitte
Betsy Scolnik, President, National Geographic Digital Media
Moderator: David Card, VP, Research, Jupiter Research

Networking Break

Robert Greenwald, Filmmaker, Director & Producer
This past year weíve seen the internet explode with entertaining YouTube videos and short films. Acclaimed filmmaker Robert Greenwald has taken the short form a step further with videos designed to allow viewers to take action and create change. Greenwald will discuss how he and his company Brave New Films are creating viral video campaigns that bring about tangible change. Distributed for free, via the internet, email, by partner organizations and through earned media, the edgy videos cover timely topics. For example, the recent FOX ATTACKS ( and IMPEACH GONZALES ( series- In a matter of days millions watched these shorts, and hundreds of thousands took action on the issues they address. Greenwald will discuss how he and his colleagues create these short films and the campaigns that carry them across the internet and into the world of real change.

Panel 3 - Track 1: Beyond the Buzz:
Is There a Business Model for Social Media & User-Generated Content?
The success of social networking sites MySpace and YouTube has created a buzz about user-generated content. Does the mass attraction to these sites represent a power shift from a traditional top-down model of corporate media to a bottom-up model focused on consumer generated content? How can traditional media businesses connect with this consumer mindset? Can content created by consumers be the backbone of a viable business model? This panel will discuss these questions and more.

Phil Bronner, General Partner, Novak Biddle Venture Partners
John Funge, CEO, Incando Corp / Founder, Pickle
David Greene, President, ClinicaHealth
Haroon Mokhtarzada, Co-Founder & CEO, Freewebs
Judith Meskill, VP, Programming / Social Media Officer,
David Silver, President, Santa Fe Capital Group
Moderator: Daniel Todd, Co-Founder / President, Zango

Panel 3 - Track 2: Webcasting Royalties: The Battle Heats Up
This panel of copyright experts will discuss the ongoing battle over webcasting royalties. What are the implications of the most recent Copyright Royalty Board ruling for webcasters? Who are the stakeholders? Who are the likely winners and losers? What's next in this battle over digital content and copyrights?

Michael Huppe, General Counsel, SoundExchange
Kurt Hanson, Publisher, RAIN: Radio And Internet Newsletter
Jonathan Potter, Executive Director, Digital Media Association
Patricia Polach, Associate General Counsel, American Federation of Musicians
Michael Riksen, VP, Government Relations, NPR
Dick Huey, Board Member, SoundExchange (representing Matador Records)
Moderator: David Oxenford, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP


Panel 4
1:15pm ñ 1:45pm
Whatís Next in Web 2.0?
This panel of innovators, creators and thought leaders from leading Web 2.0 companies will look ahead at what we can expect in technological innovation in the years to come.

Social Media Widgets: Mike Sommers, SVP, Product Management, KickApps
Virtual Worlds: Damon Taylor, Producer, The Electric Sheep Company
Moderator: Ned Sherman, CEO & Publisher, Digital Media Wire

Panel 5 - Track 1: The Digital Evolution of the Music Business: What's Next?
This panel of industry experts will discuss the future of digital music, including pricing, online and mobile music product offerings and business models, next generation devices and the future of digital rights management (DRM). What business models, devices and marketing plans will drive the industry? What role will DRM play in the industry's future? Who will be the winners and the losers in the years to come.

Jim Griffin, Managing Director, OneHouse LLC / Co-Founder, Pho group
Timmy Grins, Co-Founder & CEO, ItsHipHop.Tv / Artist, Arcane
Brent Muhle, General Manager, Nettwerk Music Group
Eric Siebert, VP, Content Development, Clear Channel Radio
Dave Ulmer, Senior Director, Entertainment Products, Motorola Media Solutions
Moderator: Aydin Caginalp, Partner, Alston & Bird

Panel 5 - Track 2: Advertising 2.0: New Opportunities for Marketers
It used to be that publishers were creators of content online. Given the escalation of consumer voices and the myriad platforms they have to express themselves, publishersí roles are evolving towards aggregators and editors of content online. How do consumer voices in the content mix affect editorial voice, media planning, even creative executions? What new opportunities exist for marketers to tap into communities and niches? How do publishers retain the richness and diversity of their readersí voices, yet maintain their own editorial tone and integrity? And what impact does the inclusion of consumer generated content have on the metrics publishers tout to differentiate themselves?

Eric Koefoot, Founding CEO & Publisher, U.S. News Ventures
Keith Tomatore, VP, Sales & Operations, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive
Erik Hauser, Founder, Swivel Media / Director, Experiential Marketing Forum
Christopher Marentis, CEO, Clearspring Technologies
Randy Mountz, VP, Sales, PayPerPost
Moderator: Rohit Bhargava, VP, Interactive Marketing, Ogilvy Public Relations

Networking Break

Panel 6 - Track 1: Internet Video & Big Media: Friends or Foes?
In March, Viacom sued Google/YouTube seeking more than $1 billion in damages in a suit that represents the most aggressive move so far by an old-line media company against the highly popular but legally questionable practice of posting copyrighted media content on online video sites. At the same, NBC Universal and CBS, a sister company of Viacom, have struck licensing deals with Google / YouTube, and both Viacom and NBC Universal are pursuing their own strategies with popular video sites, such as Viacomís What business models will prevail for online video sites? What does the future hold for YouTube and Google Video? How are big media companies going to utilize online video sites in the years the come?

Ahmet Ozalp, Partner, Atlas Venture
Fred McIntyre, SVP, AOL Video, AOL
James McCaffrey, EVP, Operations & Strategy, Turner Broadcasting Systems
Nick Panagopulos, Co-Founder, President & CEO, BrainBox Entertprises, Inc.
Art Bushnell, VP, Sales & Business Development, Voxant
Moderator: Mike Vorhaus, Managing Director, Frank N. Magid Associates

Panel 6 - Track 2: FCC Outlook:
Who Will Be the Winners & the Losers in 2007?
This panel of experts will discuss the hot button issues being addressed by the FCC. The discussion will cover a range of issues impacting media and technology businesses, including cable industry pricing; digital television; media ownership; competition; spectrum, indecency and broadband deployment. The panel will consider how FCC rulings are likely to impact the future of the businesses operating in the digital media space.

Mark Fratrik, Vice President, BIA Financial Network
Julie Kearney, Senior Director & Reg. Counsel, Consumer Electronics Association
Carol Mattey, Nat'l Leader, US Regulatory Consulting Practice, Deloitte
Ken Ferree, Partner, Business Practice Trial Group, Sheppard Mullin
Victoria Phillips, Assistant Director, Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, Washington College of Law, American University
Moderator: Gary Arlen, President, Arlen Communications

Panel 7
Mobile Media: The Next Big Thing Beyond Ringtones
Until recently, the business of mobile media has been mainly about ringtones. However, with the launch of new devices and services this year, a whole new world of mobile media possibilities is being realized. This panel will discuss the current state of the mobile media market in the US and look at the opportunities beyond ringtones, including games, video and marketing, in the years to come.

Eric Eller, SVP, Products & Marketing, Millennial Media
Jon Jackson, CEO, Mobile Posse
D.P. Venkatesh, Founder & CEO, mPortal
Miguel Banuelos, Head of Mobile Mktg & Promotions, Ericsson Mobility World, NA
Gregg Smith, COO & EVP, Acuity Mobile
Moderator: Ted Cohen, Managing Partner, TAG Strategic/ Chairman, Mobile Entertainment Forum Americas

Alex Welch, CEO & Co-Founder, Photobucket

Cocktail Reception

Morrissey Mulling New Deal


Morrissey finds himself without a record deal these days, but things are looking up. In response to fan questions on, Morrissey tells fans that while he has no current deal, he has received an offer from Warner Brothers.

Answering fan questions on the site, when asked if he would be releasing another album soon, the former Smiths singer said: "I presently have the option to tour for the remainder of 2007, or start a new album."

He added: "I don't have a deal, but I have an offer from Warner Brothers." Yet he indicates he has some great touring opportunities that make it a tough decision.

Morrissey says, "As the same time, there are some great touring offers - New Zealand, South Africa, my beloved Scandinavia, Israel and Iran," he said. "I would love to sing in Tehran. So, for this week, it's a dilemma."


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Album Review: Community 2 - A NewOrderOnline Tribute

Community 2 - A NewOrderOnline Tribute

Fans of New Order and Joy Division are not only rabid, but inventive. They make biopics about Ian Curtis. They make (the focus of this review) cover albums. And they do it well.

On Community 2: A NewOrderOnline Tribute (a project of the NO/JD fan club,"), fans enlisted in a competition by submitting their covers of various New Order songs to be handpicked by Peter Hook himself for inclusion on the album. Who better than Hooky to decide who covers his work the best, right?

Of course you'r thinking, "Another covers album? So what?" This album is set apart because, like any tribute album, it contains obvious tracks like "Blue Monday" and "Subculture" but has plenty of deep cuts such as "New Dawn Fades" and "No Love Lost" in its seventeen-song repertoire. Further setting this compilation apart is that the songs are contributed by fans in the truest sense: people who like the band enough to cover them without being offered a check by their label to record an obligatory cover for a compilation album (e.g., If I Were a Carpenter, Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin; both good, but obviously timed just right with the right bands).

Community 2 is an album that shows the influence this monumental group has had across the world and across a span of decades. More than that, it shows that a famously plagued band understands and appreciates its fans. Artists from the UK to Finland to New Jersey and back came together to pay tribute to New Order, and they did so in a way no slickly produced, label-made tribute album could do. You don't see Led Zeppelin getting down with fan club-created tribute albums.

Choice tracks: "Ruined In A Day" performed by Sunrise Before Dawn, "Turn" performed by Glasnost, "ICB" performed by C Bentley.

Purchase Community 2 from, and support the New Order/Joy Division fan community.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Any Given Tuesday Episode 3: Salim


In this episode, Salim sits down with Any Given Tuesday to talk about his latest album, Hip Hop Revisited, and introduces his new single "The Sure Shot". The interview covers topics including the current state of hip hop, the architecture of a track, Salim's influences and his upcoming performances. Sit down with Salim and Any Given Tuesday, listen to three songs from Hip Hop Revisited, and get to know this local artist in a way that only SEN Baltimore and Any Given Tuesday can offer.

Check out Episode 3 of Any Given Tuesday, and subscribe to the podcast feed.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Releases for Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Your recommended new releases for this given Tuesday, June 19, 2007:

The White Stripes - Icky Thump

The White Stripes - Icky Thump: It's riff-tastic. That's my new word.

Art Brut - It's A Bit Complicated

Art Brut - It's a Bit Complicated - A bit poppier than the last LP.

Bon Jovi - Lost Highway - Not to be confused with the David Lynch film of the same name, this is listed for pure spectacle. Bon Jovi used to be awesome. Now, he's doing Nashville records that slander Nashville's reputation.

Mooney Suzuki - Have Mercy

The Mooney Suzuki - Have Mercy

Click on the art or album title to order any of the above.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Decline of Hip Hop

In a USA Today report, the newspaper discusses the decline of album sales in rap music, stating that "this year, rap sales are down 33% from 2006." This is even greater than the overall decline in album sales, and cannot be dismissed as simple suffering from digital sales and/or illegal downloads. Culprits include skipping whole album sales in favor of hyping the singles that sell ringtones and digital singles.

The greatest culprit in the declining sales, however, cannot be denied: people are just tired of hearing about bullets and bling. As USA Today puts it, "the young, largely white audience that can make a difference between modest and blockbuster sales ó are tiring of rappers' emphasis on "gangsta" attitudes, explicit lyrics and tales of street life and conspicuous consumption."

And one of my favorite hip-hop artists, KRS-One, puts it this way: "The music is garbage. What has happened over the past few years is that we have traded art for money, simple and plain, and the public is not stupid." You've got that right, Blastmaster! Hip hop as an industry has given up information and education and social activism in favor of being strictly party music. There is no balance in hip hop.

"The public has made a choice," KRS-One says. "They're saying, 'We do not want the nonsense that we see and hear on radio, and we are not putting our money there.' Rap music is being boycotted by the American public because of the images that we are putting forward."

Arguing that the current language of hip hop is blasted because it is a cultural representation of reality, 50 Cent counters "Music is a mirror, and hip-hop is a reflection of the environment we grew up in."

In my conversation with Salim, a Baltimore hip hop artist (the podcast will be available on Any Given Tuesday tomorrow), we discussed the lack of balance in hip hop, and it is clear from the above comments by KRS and 50 that there are different cultural representations that hip hop can make. There is a time for party music, a time for mirroring one's reality, and a time for speaking out against political and social injustice.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Reminder: Lord Baltimore Grand Opening Tomorrow w/ Thrushes, Death Set, Baby Aspirin

Lord Baltimore Recording

If you're in Baltimore and skipping Bonnaroo this weekend like me, here's a friendly reminder that Lord Baltimore Recording's grand opening is this weekend. Print out your invitation to guarantee access to this free event featuring Thrushes, The Death Set, and Baby Aspirin. Free music and food for everyone!

**Update: Gary B have been added to the lineup.**

Any Given Tuesday's review of Gary B & The Notions - Get Those Crazy Notions!

Any Given Tuesday's review of Thrushes - Sun Come Undone

New Online Swap Meet at

I don't know how many of you out there are into flea markets, swap meets, and the like (all being pretty much the same, with some regional quirks about them, I suppose). And then there's yard sales. . .dont' get me started! When I was a kid, my dad and I would rummage stacks upon stacks of vinyl at the flea market back home in Delaware, and it was awesome. Got some really good classic vinyl (and classic memories) out of those weekend trips. Not only that, but I was a huge Hardy Boys fan (I still dream of finishing the complete set, books 1-66). Flea markets and yard sales were the best!

And then, in college, I discovered online swap sites, and that was cool until the better sites went down. Thank my lucky stars, I just found SwitchPlanet lets you swap stuff for free. No fees, just postage. And you can trade books, games, CDs, and DVDs.

SwitchPlanet uses a form of currency called switchbucs, which you receive after you send something to another user (or, moneybags, you can buy them without sending stuff). Switchbucs allow you to request things from other members. I still haven't gotten the hang of the whole value of this currency, but so far, it looks promising.

If you sign up, look for me. But I am definitely not giving up my original Hardy Boys books. No way!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Album Review: J. Roddy Walston & The Business - Hail Megaboys

J. Roddy Walston & The Business - Hail Megaboys

J. Roddy Walston & The Business are a Baltimore band (by way of Tennessee) who released their first full-length, Hail Megaboys (Southern Brethren, distribution through Morphius Records), in early March.

First things first, rock and roll doesn't have enough piano. Maybe you've seen Any Given Tuesday's prior explications on the awesomeness of Jerry Lee Lewis (read a review of The Killer's Last Man Standing), who, whaddya know, is also from Louisiana. Well, J. Rod & The Biz have been listening. Not only that, each member must have been issued Queen's Greatest Hits as required listening upon entry into the group. Hellbilly piano and vocal harmonies rip throughout the record. On the dancehall/barroom cut "Rock and Roll The Second" the keys are the star, Rod's itchy and scratchy voice coming from behind to drive a distinct rock and roll that brews somewhere below the Mason-Dixon. Follow that with "Go For It", favoring guitar attacks over the black-and-whites, "Go For It" is a danceable jam with encouraging lyrics inspiring enough to cause you to dance away your worries and then go out and do something about them!

The real roots rock gets kicked up from the dust on "Sally Bangs", based on a tune Rod's grandmother's family used to share. Twanging guitar (or is that actually a banjo?), drums that harken up a washboard percussion sound, anybody with a little bit of country is going to get a bit reminiscent with this one. Speaking of reminiscing and nostalgia, harmonies just short of "Bohemian Rhapsody" burst from the flames of "Nineteen Ought Four", which is loosely derived from Baltimore's own history: the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 (or, if not based on the Fire itself, on a metaphorical, malevolent desire to raze the town/life and start anew). Even if the song is more of a statement of stagnance in both geography and mentality, it does name-drop our fair city. That counts for something, doesn't it?

See "Stop, Rip and Roll" for the '70s-rock backing vocals and classic-rock guitar that define Hail Megaboys, just before falling into the dysphoria of "Go Malachi". The closing track takes an album of tunes that at least sound worry-free and untroubled even if the lyrics don't always follow suit and departs on a somber tone, sharing tales of stale marriage and cognizance of one's own lackings in life. While the band's sound is like a teenager with no cognizance of her own mortality, "Go Malachi" and the other less forward-looking tracks like "The Times Are A-Staying" might be a precursor to an evolution in sound and substance for J. Roddy Walston & The Business. Don't let that keep you from enjoying the fast times of Hail Megaboys, there's plenty of time to grow up before the band comes out with another record.

Free MP3 Download: J. Roddy Walston and The Business - "Rock and Roll The Second"

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 Out To Change The Music Business

New Music Strategies - promoting online record label

I have a new best friend, and his name is Andrew Dubber. Well, we don't really know each other, and we've never spoken, but I'm all over his site, New Music Strategies, where he debunks the myth of self-made MySpace superstars like Lily Allen, explaining that these mythological "indie" creatures are not the success stories they are made out to be, but are actually the product of PR, labels, and marketing. As the website posits, "if youíre reading about music online, chances are youíre reading PR and marketing." This is entirely true. Even if the PR and marketing is grassroots by the performer and a close group of friends/fans, there is marketing in action. In the case of Allen, however, a huge machine was in the works. So much for indie.

New Music Strategies' (NMS) manifesto makes some controversial statements that any entrepreneur (read: calculated risk-taker) would appreciate. Particularly of interest is #4: "It is better to ask forgiveness than permission." As Dubber would have it, referring to the RIAA and the interests of the labels it serves, ". . .it is more important that you create culture, than it is that they restrict it." Arguably, there are plenty of ways to create culture while respecting ownership. In fact, the manifesto in its entirety is a statement against ownership of content and copyright. From a viewpoint where content is controlled by mega-corporations at the expense of the creator, there is a fundamental problem that NMS' manifesto stabs in the heart. But individual creators and artists of intellectual property might also be harmed by this view. NMS acknowledges this conflict, but holds that "the [copyright] laws need to be amended to reflect the practices and requirements of a healthy and creative society[,]" without explaining or crafting any notions of how such a rewrite should take place and what it should entail.

The exciting and absolutely agreeable part of this philosophophical discourse is that NMS is taking business to task, insisting on a change in the current business model. If labels and members of the industry aren't happy with the changing face of how consumers interact with their product, adapt. Business thrives by meeting customers' wants and needs. Industries lobby every day, largely outside of the public eye since most are consumed with the fact that Paris Hilton went back to jail, to keep things status quo to protect the current business model and profit margins. But consumers are a hardy bunch, and eventually the businesses must come around and adjust to their customers' tastes. That means respecting our privacy and not embedding personal data into media we download, doing away with rootkits that act like spyware on our computers, and eliminating DRM that makes it impossible to play the music we pay for on whatever device we choose.

NMS also offers an eBook, The 20 Things, which compiles a series of blog posts over the past few months into one digest (the catch is that you provide your email for the mailing list, but you can dodge that and just read the posts if you'd prefer). Hypebot claims the book is exclusively offered through them, but that seems to divert from NMS' message, doesn't it?

Being biased, I'm tuned into Thing #3: Opinion Leaders Rule at New Music Strategies, where Dubber discusses bloggers (like me) and the fact that "youíre unlikely ever to see a bad review on an mp3 blog." Any Given Tuesday isn't necessarily an MP3 blog in the typical sense (post, free MP3, post, free MP3), but is definitely in the category of writing positive reviews. Just as Dubber states about music blogs generally, AGT will not (at this point in time) review anything it doesn't like. Why waste time telling readers what they won't like when they very well might like it if they discover it on their own, when we can rally around what we think readers will like? This is about community building and supporting the artists we enjoy, not slandering some artists' material. As Any Given Tuesday, I avoid the stuff I don't want to review. If I don't personally like what you've got, I will politely decline to review it.

Not only does Dubber's Thing #3 encourage bands to come to me for reviews and networking, but it firms my place in The Long Tail: bands who get reviewed on blogs like this won't sell a lot of records just through Any Given Tuesday, but more bands can sell some records. More importantly, more bands will reach more people by spreading out in the community.

If you fancy yourself part of the music business, you should check out New Music Strategies so you aren't left behind as everyone else evolves.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Album Review: Pontiak - Sun on Sun; Free MP3

Pontiak - Sun on Sun

Pontiak is the riffingest band this side of The White Stripes. Pontiak's latest effort, Sun on Sun (due in September from Fireproof Records), is full of monster jams with '70s-style heavy, heavy guitar riffs that will absolutely blow away your rock sensibilities, not to mention most Zeppelin-biting wannabe rock outfits on the scene right now. Each track recorded live (except for vocal overdubs), this follow-up to Valley of the Cats (read Any Given Tuesday's review here) is much more experimental, albeit dissapointingly even shorter than the last album. Having recorded the tracks live (whether or not an artistic or financial decision), there is a much more organic feel, an unpolished groove that a highly polished and overdubbed rock album just can't give.

The title track, "Sun on Sun", is a booming 9-minute straight up rock and roll song with all the noise, feedback, riffage, majestic beauty and total aural assault that would compare to two giant stars colliding in outer space, like a literal Sun-on-Sun. So few rock bands can write long songs that don't waste four minutes before fizzling into insipidity that it might do music shops and the art of rock a favor to hand out this CD with every new guitar sold to a snot-nosed kid who wants to play like [insert vapid, overblown rock band here]. This song absolutely embodies what it means to jam in a band. It oozes chemistry like only a trio of brothers such as Pontiak can do. If that's not enough to get you on board, the low, chugging groove of "Shell Skull" that flows into an amped-up chorus mandating you to stomp your feet and rock out will do the trick. With the beefy gain-cranked solos of that song and the vicious, powering riffs, the message is this: rock and roll has not left us, it's just moved to Greene County, Virginia. And just you wait for the keys on "Tell Me About". Get ready for the shred!

The truest flaw of Sun on Sun is its awfully light 7 tracks. "Sun on Sun" is a monster, but "Swell" is noise-filler. Fortunately, the firepower returns on "White Hands", carrying into the bluesy beginning of "White Mice", which totally changes horses mid-race, in a good way.

Sun on Sun is a formidable follow-up to the last album from Pontiak. What it lacks in length it makes up in depth.

While you have to wait until the end of summer to get Sun on Sun, you can buy Valley of the Cats on Pontiak's MySpace page.

Download Episode 2 of the Any Given Tuesday podcast, which features "Sun on Sun".

Free MP3 Download: Pontiak - "Shell Skull"

Lollapalooza Schedule Is Here!

Lollapalooza logo

The Lollapalooza schedule has been made official, and you can download it here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

FTC Files Suit Against BurnLounge


DIY online music store host BurnLounge is in deep water with the FTC this week, being sued by the government agency for operating an illegal investment scheme ("pyramid" scheme). Huge investors like Justin Timberlake, who plunked down $13 million for the site, may have been bamboozled, if FTC allegations are correct. Promoters for the site, former USC football stars Rob DeBoer and Todd Ellis have been two of the biggest voices for promoting BurnLounge, even recruiting USC coach Steve Spurrier, Jr. to put money into the business.

The basic premise of the FTC's suit is that BurnLounge runs a pyramid scheme, in that it pays more money to store owners for recruiting new store owners than it does for selling music. The Complaint also alleges that BurnLounge promoters misrepresented their actual earnings for investing in the company.

Source: Myrtle Beach Online

Metal Monday: Since The Flood; Free MP3 - "Strength"

Since The Flood

If you are down with Hatebreed, this newer addition to the New England hardcore scene, Since The Flood, should get you excited. Part of the Metal Blade Records family, Since The Flood have an anthemic sound with a surefire recipe for amping up a crowd and, from what I've been able to decipher, a positive message, much like Hatebreed.

Free MP3 Download: Since The Flood - "Strength"

Concert Review: Tool - First Mariner Arena, Baltimore, MD: June 8, 2007

Maynard James Keenan - Tool

Any Given Tuesday last caught Tool at theVerizon Center in DC back in September (read the review here). Just as that show was flawless, thus was the case here. And the overall effect of the show was the same, too. The band played plenty of tracks from 10,000 Days, such as "Jambi", "Wings From Marie Parts 1 & 2", and the show closer, "Vicarious", dedicated in a timely manner to Paris Hilton, as was "Stinkfist" earlier in the show.

The show opener, Melt Banana, is a Japanese speed metal band with some electronic noise crossover. As is becoming AGT's trend, we missed the better part of their set and, from what we did hear, the point, too.

Tool entered the stage to much applause, Maynard in a hunter's orange Puscifer (a side project for Keenan) hoodie and cowboy hat, with the same mohawk as the last tour. As Tool's set progressed, the overlap from the arena tour became even more obvious. The positioning of the band on the stage was identical to the arena tour, as was the majority of the set list. The standout track was "Flood" from Undertow, mainly because it is a bit of a rarity at Tool shows (and where is "Swamp Song"? Can't we hear that one live?).

It is such a pleasure from a technical viewpoint to watch Tool play live. Almost entirely avoiding any interaction with the crowd (except last night for thanking fans for not using their flash photography and making a couple Paris jokes) during the performance, I was transfixed on Adam Jones, Justin Chancellor, and Danny Carey as they expertly did their jobs. Adam and Danny look detached, playing guitar and drums better than almost anyone else I've had the pleasure of seeing live seemingly without effort. Whether their detached look shows because they are lost in their art or collecting a paycheck at this point is hard to say. Only Justin looks like he's really getting into his playing, even doing a little headbanging at times (so remarkably un-Tool, apparently).

The crowd at this particular show was largely a disappointment (at least from where I was standing). Other than one pretty mellow hipster who was giving us a good vibe, we were surrounded by colossal meatheads who commenced to pour their beer on their face like water, before spraying mouthfuls into the air, and girls who danced to metal songs like it was a Grateful Dead show, gyrating and bouncing like Jerry Garcia had just reincarnated into Maynard James Keenan. Can't make this stuff up, folks. I have never been to another concert where people behave so ridiculously, not even Ozzfest.

All that aside, another great performance by the band. Nothing surprising, though, as all the same tricks were repeated from the last tour, including Maynard's slithering profile pulsating to the beat and the point two-third into the show where the band takes a break and commands the crowd to put up their lighters. If you missed the arena tour, check this tour out. It's a few bucks cheaper, and smaller venues. That's a deal.

Tool plays Bonnaroo next weekend. Hippie kids beware, and hold tightly to your beer. Bonnaroo may have never seen a circle pit before.

Setlist for the show:

Forty-Six & 2
Rosetta Stoned
Wings 1+2

Skinny Puppy Tour Dates

Skinny Puppy

Skinny Puppy are currently on tour, for all you industrial fiends out there. They'll be in DC and Baltimore next week.


June 11th Washington DC / 9:30 Club
June 12th Baltimore, MD / Sonar UPDATE: THIS SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELED.
June 14th Atlanta GA / Center Stage
June 15th New Orleans LA / House Of Blues
June 16th Houston TX / Warehouse Live
June 17th Dallas TX / House Of Blues
June 19th Tempe AZ / Marquee Theater
June 21st San Francisco CA / The Fillmore
June 22nd Los Angeles CA / Henry Fonda Theater
June 23rd Los Angeles CA / Henry Fonda Theater
June 24th Anaheim CA / House Of Blues

August 6: Utrecht, Holland ~ Tivoli
August 7: Berlin, Germany ~ Columbia Club
August 8: Krakow, Poland ~ Klub Studio
August 9: Prague, Czech Republic ~ Roxy
August 10: Budapest, Hungary ~ Sziget Festival
August 12: Hildesheim, Germany ~ M'era Luna Festival
August 14: London, United Kingdom ~ Astoria
August 15: Manchester, United Kingdom ~ Academy 2

Friday, June 08, 2007

Exotic Fever Fest 2007: June 15 and 16 in Washington, DC

Exotic Fever Records

Exotic Fever Records is a great indie label in Washington, DC, and they are having a fantastic festival on June 15 and 16 (incidentally, the same weekend as Bonnaroo, but when Tool is headlining what used to be a jam fest, who wants to go to that?) at the Warehouse Next Door on 7th Street NW in DC.

Here's the schedule:

Friday, June 15:

Mass Movement of the Moth
New Idea Society
Den of Thieves
Kathy Cashel
Worn In Red
A Study In Her

Saturday, June 16:

Liza Kate
Sean McArdle
The April Decca

The fest is 6 bucks a night. Way cheaper than Bonnaroo.

This Weekend at Ottobar: J. Roddy Walston & The Business, The Jennifers, Impossible Hair, Soft

J. Roddy Walston & The Business

J. Roddy Walston & The Business, currently one of Baltimore's finest and most-loved around the indie nation, are playing The Ottobar in Baltimore on Saturday, June 9, along with The Jennifers (read a review of Colors From The Future, their latest). Also playing: Impossible Hair and Soft.

I recently received J. Roddy Walston & The Business' latest album, Hail Megaboys, and plan to have a review posted here in the next week or two.

Pelican Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Summer 2007 Tour Dates


The northeast and mid-atlantic series of dates for Pelican's upcoming U.S. tour have been announced.

7/19 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop w/ Priestbird
7/20 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place w/ Priestbird
7/21 Toronto, ON @ Lees Palace w/ Priestbird, Nadja
7/22 Montreal, QC @ Main Hall w/ Nadja
7/23 Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East w/ Clouds, Priestbird
7/24 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom w/ Clouds, Priestbird
7/25 Brooklyn, NY @ Luna Lounge w/ Priestbird, Unearthly Trance
7/26 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church w/ Priestbird, Your Black Star
7/28 Washington, DC @ Black Cat w/ Preistbird, Your Black Star
7/29 Richmond, VA @ Alley Katz w/ Clouds, Priestbird

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Metal Blade 25th Anniversary Tour

Metal Blade logo

Following up on their celebration of their 25th anniversary, Metal Blade Records is kicking off a 25th anniversary tour. Cannibal Corpse will headline, with support from The Black Dahlia Murder, Aeon, and another band TBA.

Tour dates:
9.6.07 - New Orleans, LA @ The House Of Blues
9.7.07 - Houston, TX @ The Meridian
9.8.07 - San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
9.9.07 - Ft. Worth, TX @ The Rockyard
9.11.07 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theatre
9.12.07 - Scottsdale, AZ @ Venue Of Scottsdale
9.13.07 - Anaheim, CA @ The House Of Blues
9.14.07 - Hollywood, CA @ The House of Blues
9.15.07 - San Diego, CA @ The House Of Blues
9.16.07 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's
9.17.07 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's
9.18.07 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
9.19.07 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
9.26.07 - Saint Paul, MN @ Station 4
9.28.07 - Chicago, IL @ The House Of Blues
9.29.07 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
9.30.07 - Cleveland, OH @ The House Of Blues
10.2.07 - Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall
10.3.07 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10.4.07 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
10.5.07 - Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
10.6.07 - Providence, RI @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel
10.7.07 - Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights
10.9.07 - Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
10.10.07 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
10.11.07 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues

The Go To Release Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride July 24; Hear "Invisible Friends" From The Album

The Go

Detroit-based rockers The Go are preparing for the release of Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride. Due in stores July 24th, Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride is the follow up to the The Go’s critically acclaimed 2003 self-titled release, The Go.

Former bandmates of Jack White of White Stripes and Raconteurs fame, The Go have their own pop sensibility, with a more Beatles meet The Beach Boys sound on tracks like "Invisible Friends". This is definitely more indie pop than the Stripes, whom the band has been known to tour with.

See below to get "Invisible Friends" and hear it for yourself.

The Go - "Invisible Friends"

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dan Deacon Needs A New Keyboard

Dan Deacon

The face of Wham City Baltimore, one Mr. Dan Deacon, has been hyping up the tour circuit and the blogosphere lately. While blowing minds with his 8-bit Herbie Hancock-reminiscent (if only in appearance) sound experiment, Dan regrets to inform that he broke his Casio MT-800 keyboard. Yeah, just like the one you had to have in 1986.

If you still have said keyboard, Dan wants it. Hook him up.

Source: Pitchfork

Updated and Revised Artscape Schedule


More developments in the Artscape schedule. Artscape will be held in Baltimore from Friday, July 20 to Sunday, July 22. Some serious developments, like Lupe Fiasco and Keyshia Cole being added to the main stage on top of Burning Spear, who was previously announced.

I tried to give credit to local artists, but if I missed you, let me know and I will update.

Here's the latest schedule:

Main Stage
Friday, July 20
4pm To be announced
5:30pm Gordon Chambers
7pm Nuttin' But Stringz
8:30pm The Isley Brothers featuring Ronald Isley

Saturday, July 21
1:30pm To be announced
3pm Marcel & The Truth
4:45pm Emily King
6:30pm Lupe Fiasco
8:30pm Keyshia Cole

Sunday, July 22
1pm To be announced
2:45pm Clarence "Bluesman" Turner
4:30pm Ryan Shaw
6pm Burning Spear

Festival Stage
Friday, July 20
5:30pm The Bridge (Baltimore)
7pm Martin Sexton
8:30pm Los Lonely Boys

Saturday, July 21
12:30pm Matt Wigler
2pm The Crawdaddies (Maryland)
3:30pm Far From Earth (Baltimore)
5pm To be announced
6:30pm Avett Brothers
8pm To be announced

Sunday, July 22
12pm Winner of the Billie Holiday Competition
Winner of the Cab Calloway Competition
1:30pm Archie Edwards Barbershop Players
3pm Los Hermanos
4:30pm The Greencards
6:30pm Sam Bush

University of Baltimore Stage
Friday, July 20
12pm Baltimore Islanders Steel Band
1:30pm To be announced
4:30pm Damsels
6pm Soul'd Out
7:30pm Elikeh Band (Maryland)
9pm June Star

Saturday, July 21
12pm Deanna Dove
2pm Wes Tucker & The Skillets
3:30pm Kirsten Thien
5pm Wendy McIntyre
6:30pm Santa Mamba
8:30pm Rob Thorworth (Baltimore)

Sunday, July 22
12:30pm Neenah Taylor
2pm JaneilaSoul Afrique
3:30pm Smooth Play
5pm The Hint (Maryland)
6:30pm Fools & Horses

DJ Culture Stage
Complete schedule for this stage is forthcoming.