Friday, September 28, 2007

Lollapalooza 2008 Dates Confirmed


The dates for Lollapalooza 2008 have been confirmed as August 1-3 in the semi-permanent residence of Grant Park. After this year's lineup, which was impressive, to be sure, what's in store for '08? We'll have to wait and see.

A few suggestions: PJ Harvey, a newly reunited Babes In Toyland (yeah, in my dreams), Cat Power, Liz Phair with her pants back on and with her good music in tow (maybe a full performance of Exile In Guyville, a la Slint's Spiderland performances?). I don't know why I'm naming all female artists here, I believe it to be a mere coincidence. But it could be a prescient vision of a Lilith Fair revival.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another New Dashboard Confessional Track: "Keep Watch For The Mines"

The Shade of Poison Trees

Head over to Dashboard Confessional's MySpace to hear another track from The Shade of Poison Trees, due October 2. The song is called "Keep Watch For The Mines".

My reaction: shrug. I'm excited about the return to the acoustic sound, but this song isn't doing it for me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Clear Channel Bought Out By Private Equity Firm

Clear Channel

Clear Channel, the largest broadcast radio company in the United States (as well as the owner of a bunch of billboards throughout the US), has agreed to a buyout from a group of private equity firms including T.H. Lee Partners, L.P. and Bain Capital Partners, LLC. The price comes in around $39.20 per share, for a total of $19.5 billion.

By the terms of the merger agreement, shareholders can elect to receive the per share cash price, or exchange some or all of their shares of Clear Channel stock on a one-for-one basis for shares of stock in the new corporation formed by the private equity group.

Source: Clear Channel Press Release

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Details: Draw A Distance, Draw A Border

THE DETAILS: Draw a Distance. Draw a Border.

The debut album from Winnipeg's The Details is anthemic from start to finish, each song a heartful lament on the past or a startling thought of what's to come. The gentle chorus of "Hit Parades" propels an unveiled song of pity for those who suffer in war and those unaware casualties of fame. Not only do the melodies create barnstorming songs such as "Reunion Souvenirs" (a new-wave banger and instantly recognizable as the key track of the album and which strangely has the author thinking of Robert Palmer), but lyrical gems like "you've let your hatred rhyme with love" ("A National Anthem") vocalize the discontent of an entire province.

As a lyricist, Jon Plett (along with Sean Vidal) is almost never too ironic, usually sparing listeners from tired and repeated juxtapositions. Instead, we're treated with small victories in the form of "We never quite remember, so I'll carve our names in every fence and barely living tree" ("Underground"), howled with a careful balance of emotion and prescience, as if he knows the pain is only temporary.

Draw A Distance, Draw A Border is captivating from the start. Every track fits the album, and the songs are accessible without being diluted. Masterful pop with more than just a touch of hard rock, The Details live up to their name, giving plenty of attention to what it takes to make a good record.

Click the album art to purchase Draw A Distance, Draw A Border.

Monday, September 24, 2007

September 19, 2007: Regina Spektor with Only Son at Ram's Head Live!

Regina Spektor

Any Given Tuesday last saw Only Son and Regina Spektor at Sonar in November of 2006 (read the review here). While this last week's show Ram's Head Live! didn't mesmerize the author as much as the previous, the sound was 178% better. It would have been 200%, but the girl who sounded (but unfortunately did not look) like a contestant from Beauty and the Geek took some points off.

Only Son started out with a few acoustic songs before launching into his popular iPod band set (an iPod plugged into the sound system plays the backing tracks while Only Son sings and plays guitar). Fun, yes, but after touring once with Regina Spektor, hasn't this guy learned that he has to introduce himself to the crowd a couple times? I kept overhearing people asking, "Who is this guy?" Trust me, Jack, people aren't that bright.

As for Regina, what is there to say that hasn't been said before? A charming woman, a captivating performer. Her voice is masterful and unique, employing beat boxing, unusual forms of percussion, and a perfect blend of imperfection and poise. With recent favorites such as "Fidelity" and "On The Radio" balanced by older ones such as "Us" and (a personal favorite) "Ghost of Corporate Future", Spektor masterminds the art of pleasing old and new fans alike without screaming sell-out.

The intimacy wasn't as palpable at Ram's Head Live! as Sonar, causing concern that Spektor can't satisfy a venue any bigger than this, but for her most forgiving fans, any proximity to her charm and character should suffice.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy First Birthday, Any Given Tuesday!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Any Given Tuesday! One year old today. If you're curious, the very first post: a review of Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds. I think that page got about 3 hits, one from me, one from my wife, and one from my work's IT department scanning my internet history to see what I've been doing at work!

What fun it's been. I've gotten some great shows under my belt, some great albums, and some wonderful new friends. Recently, circumstances have made it really tough to put a lot into AGT. Good circumstances, but such that they require pithy posts and rarer reviews than I'd like.

To those who came along and have been reading since the early days, thanks! I hope it's been worth it. If you're new, stick around! Hopefully I'll be able to tough it out another year.

P.S.: How about that picture for the cheesiest birthday image I could ever find?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Kanye Topples 50 In First-Week Sales

50 Cent

Alright, almost everyone has been talking about it, and I've bought in to the hype: Kanye West beat 50 Cent in album sales last week. Kanye's Graduation smoked 50's Curtis by nearly a third. The former moved 957,000 units according to Nielsen SoundScan, the latter 691,000.

Quite bombastic sales in the face of a crippled album sales industry, where recent chart-toppers have moved less than 200,000 in their first week. According to, Graduation is the best-selling album in the week of release since, ironically, 50 Cent's The Massacre which moved 1.1 million in its debut.

The question remains: Will 50 follow through on his promise to retire if Kanye outsold him by actually bowing out? My guess is no, but I'd love to see him show some class and stay true to his word.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Epitaph Records Leaves eMusic


An interesting business development: Epitaph Records joins previous ship-jumping indie labels and has parted ways with eMusic, citing issues with eMusic's pricing which is based on subscription and allows per-song rates to fall well below the industry (read: iTunes) standard of $0.99.

Pardon today's short post, kiddies, papa is busy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Idea Society - The World Is Bright And Lonely; Watch The Video For "Don't Sleep"

Formed by Mike Law (of Eulcid), New Idea Society is a project also comprised of Chris DeAngelis, Stephen Brodsky, Mike Ushinsky, and Andrew Schneider. That lineup may or may not be exact, depending on which day you see the lineup. The band's new album, The World Is Bright And Lonely, was just released on Exotic Fever Records (and this post rounds out my recent lovefest for EF's new releases. See also the new Pash: The Best Gun review.)

New Idea Society, as a rule, takes viral hooks and infectious rhythms, sugarcoating dreary prose that is firmly planted in the sullen and borders on the nihilistic. Law's voice wears well the despair that the music deceptively masks on "Dress Shirt". The band eschews the minor chords and emo yelps of certain peers, favoring a dissonance of brighter tones to counter the despondent themes of the lyrics. Also challenged is the 3-minute formula of the popular standard, as the title track "Part II: The World Is Bright And Lonely", an homily directed apparently to someone opening their eyes and finding themselves a day late and a dollar short, breaks the 8-minute mark, and the twelve-track album clocks in at over 50 minutes.

Often spare in its sound ("Press Reverse"), Bright And Lonely is chock-full of subtle instrumental experimentation, and was recorded primarily live, giving the album a natural and warm sound. The vocals are somewhat forward, grabbing the listener's attention without becoming scurrilous or too disparaging. The first single from the album, "Don't Sleep", is the Bright part of New Idea Society's world, while "Dress Shirt" is a more representative sample of the Lonely side. "Don't Sleep"'s jaunt and pop make it an obvious single, while "Dress Shirt" is a close runner-up. The former has an ambience of joy, speaking to the urgency of infatuation, while the latter's guitar melody and wardrobe-inspired lyrics form an anthem for the broken and jaded.

Click the album art above or go to Exotic Fever to purchase the album.

Here's a video for "Don't Sleep" from the album:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pash - The Best Gun; Free MP3 - "Down"

Say hello to Fredericksburg, Virginia's Pash. Two years after their debut, Pash have delivered The Best Gun, a pop (without the cheese) rock record fueled by galloping drums ("Kill The Rich Boys I & II"), danceable riffs ("Down"), and often heart-shattering lyrics.

Unleashed on Exotic Fever Records on August 28, The Best Gun is crafted with full-rock bangers like "The Battle Ended There" and subtly instrumented, melodic and accessible hits such as "The Best Gun". Urgent vocals powerfully propel The Best Gun, riding the power chords of "What Do We Always Say" and resting on the jangle of "The Promised Land" before sounding off a cataclysm in "Down". Even though Pash can sometimes sound lean for a quartet, the band is always listenable, never pretentious, and crafts clear, bright songs with pop culture potential.

The Best Gun is a rapid-fire 11 song repertoire, and the album's loud report will leave your ears ringing long after all of Pash's bullets have left the chamber on this release.

Click the album art or visit Exotic Fever at to buy the CD.

Free MP3: Pash - "Down"

Friday, September 14, 2007

Get A Free MP3 of Dashboard Confessional's "Thick As Thieves"

Dashboard Confessional

That's right! Go to Dashboard Confessional's MySpace and download the MP3 of "Thick As Thieves" for free, before the album Shade of Poison Trees comes out on October 2! There is also a contest to create the new video for "Thick As Thieves". The contest ends October 5. Even if you're not a creative type individual, go watch Chris Carrabba's lo-fi video introducing the contest, and laugh at his tilted brim.

Oh yeah, watch the first live recording of "Thick As Thieves":

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dillinger Escape Plan - Ire Works Details

Dillinger Escape Plan

Official press release:

Dillinger Escape Plan (Ben Weinman - guitar, Liam Wilson - bass, Greg Puciato - vocals, Gil Sharone - drums, and Jeff Tuttle - guitar) recorded Ire Works with long-time engineer Steve Evetts at Evetts' Omen Room Studios in Los Angeles, CA. As previously reported, the band has unveiled the first preview track and album opener "Fix Your Face" exclusively via their MySpace.

Ire Works' complete track-listing is as follows: "Fix Your Face", "Lurch", "Black Bubblegum", "Sick On Sunday", "When Acting As A Particle", "Nong Eye Gong", "When Acting As A Wave", "82588", "Milk Lizard", "Party Smasher", "Dead As History", "Horse Hunter", and "Mouth Of Ghosts". Ire Works is set for a November 13 North American release date, November 12 internationally, via Relapse Records.

Dillinger Escape Plan has also unveiled the details for their first headlining tours in support of Ire Works. The band will kick things off with a U.S. run during the month of October along with guests A Life Once Lost, Genghis Tron, Behold...The Arctopus. Immediately following, Dillinger Escape Plan will embark on a U.K. and E.U. headlining run in November with support acts still to be announced.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Brian Buta - False Colors; Free MP3s

BRIAN BUTA: False Colors

On his first full-length solo album, Brian Buta expands on the sound of FasterFasterHarderHarder, the band he formed over two years ago, pushing post-punk to the rear while electronic experimentation drives forth with rhythmic bass, textured synths (try the title track, "False Colors"), and near-new wave vocals on False Colors.

"Black Ring" introduces itself with long synthesizer notes, keyboards, and a submariner bass line. The multiple layers throughout the album add depth to the shifting ambience throughout, as the songs move from the dark and ominous to the bright and shining ("Screens"). The straight, hardline beat of "Caloris Basin" meets well with the new-wave punk "Emergency".

False Colors is most intriguing as it is entirely a solo project, all instruments being played, vocals being sung, recorded/mixed/mastered by Brian Buta himself. Down to the artwork, this is handmade by a musical being. I'm led to wonder if he put each jewel-case together by hand in an effort to retain absolute quality control over his creation. An artist to the core, Brian Buta makes it clear with False Colors that he is an incredibly creative soul.

Listen to "Open" for the ascendancy and "Motion Action" which closes out a one-man show with fuzzy guitars and a vocal hook that will stay with you for hours.

Click the album art to purchase False Colors on CDBaby.

Free MP3s:

Brian Buta - "Open"
Brian Buta - "Motion Action"

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Any Given Tuesday Episode 9: Ingrid Michaelson


Listen to some tracks from Ingrid Michaelson's Girls And Boys and take in a review of the album. Click below or on the post title for the file. You can also subscribe to the podcast's RSS feed. And call in to the show and leave a voicemail! (443) 955-5382 is the number, and your voicemail will get included in a future episode of the show. You can also email and let me know what you think!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Help These United States

DC's These United States need your help. They have made it to the final round of Amie Street's Sets The Stage contest and now they need some votes. They are getting killed by a Brooklyn band, so let's represent the Baltimore/Washington region and help them win. Everyone knows that these guys deserve it and if they win, they get a CMJ showcase and $10,000. More money for them, means more great music for us to consume. To vote, you need to register, but it only takes a second. Use the promo code "instrumental" and you well get a bunch of free credits to use on the great indie music that Amie Street promotes. So please take a minute and help this great band out. If you aren't familiar with them, check out the track below.

So High So Low So Wide So Long

Patrick Park - Everyone's In Everyone

Newly released on Curb Appeal Records, Patrick Park's Everyone's in Everyone is full of somber emotion in the timbre of Park's voice, but also thrives on bright guitar tones and the occasional piano. You know how they say as one life ends, a new life begins? Well, in the world of insightful-man-with-guitar, this saying works. Jeff Buckley may no longer be with us, but Patrick Park rises like a phoenix from the ashes and carries on. Dare I say it, but "Stay With Me Tomorrow" takes me to a place where I can almost think I'm listening to a discontented James Taylor, as Park's unadorned, yet passionately pleading, voice runs 3:35 over 12 strings and a Hammond organ.

Everyone's In Everyone takes a focal shift away from the introspective and purging LP Loneliness Knows My Name, decidedly standing up and getting on with things rather than continuing to dwell on "Time For Moving On", outwardly criticizing the brutality and violence of war on "Pawn's Song", and exploring the interconnectivity of mankind on the title track, "Everyone's In Everyone". Beyond the audible brilliance of Patrick Park's voice, he blends both acoustic and electric guitars to near perfection.

Everyone's In Everyone demands you to step outside ourselves ("Here We Are") and really think about what it is to be alive in the world we live in. I, for one, am glad to have Patrick Park's music to listen to while I do it.

Patrick Park plays tomorrow and Wednesday night at The 8x10, supporting Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (read a review of This Is Somewhere).

Click the album art above to purchase.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Will Gray - Introducing Will Gray; Free MP3 - "I Just Wanna Love"

Will Gray

On his debut EP, Will Gray adds to the natural blend of hip hop and rhythm and blues by mixing in classical strings and banjo, creating an Americana-infused and soulful six-song gem called Introducing Will Gray.

Will Gray is comfortable throwing around rhymes ("This Goes Out") just as much as pouring out his soul in a Terence Trent D'Arby near-falsetto ("I Just Wanna Love") or a Ben Harper-esque guitar track ("Film Queue"). All comparisons must be loose, as the sound on Introducing is beautifully unique, beat-boxing party tracks ("Where You At") with a sarcastic and critical image of the rampant flossing in hip hop's current state mix in with funky strings ("This Goes Out") and eastern-inflected soul ("I Can't") as Gray experiments with various styles and fronts, demonstrating a desire to break new ground.

Get introduced to Will Gray and find a new way to experience rhythm and blues. The packaging to the EP will surprise you. It's clever and more environmentally friendly than standard jewel casing.

Free MP3: Will Gray - "I Just Wanna Love"

Purchase Introducing Will Gray at Will Gray's website.

Hang The DJ at Rock and Roll Hotel Tonight at 9 PM

DC music blogger 5 Acts is hosting a DJ night at Rock and Roll Hotel in DC this evening at 9PM. If you're in town, check it out! Can't say I know what's going on, but I'm all about supporting those who support the music community!

Thursday, September 06, 2007 URL Issues

Those who log onto Any Given Tuesday using the link have been experiencing problems visiting the site. While I use my non-existent technology skills to try to figure out the URL forwarding issue, visitors should use the link.

Yeah, I know that if you're going to the .info, you're not seeing this post, but if you're subscribing to the RSS feed, you might be able to read this!

UPDATE: Thanks to Mike at RetroForward graphic design, we're back on board. His design is much better than this site, obviously, but his internet skills far surpass mine, and he solved my issue with aplomb.

The Go - Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride

The Go - Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride

Has anyone told The Go that it's not 1967 anymore, and that their new LP, Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride, is on CD as opposed to vinyl? The album comes in a gatefold cardboard case, just like the records of the The Beatles ("You Go Bangin' On" falls squarely into the pop magnificence of mid-career Beatles tracks) and The Rolling Stones (The Go are reinterpreting '60s R&B like the Stones did). The record even takes on a Pet Sounds vibe at times, with harmonizing vocals and slightly psychedelic instrumentation. Listen to "Mary Ann" and tell me Brian Wilson couldn't have rocked that tune.

While these guys keep getting called "Jack White's old band" (he was in the band for all of, what, 6 months?) they set aside the Led Zeppelin power chords and embrace guitar virtuosity with bangers like "Yer Stoned Italian Cowboy". It's still Detroit's unique domestic, factory made, assembly line rock 'n roll, but The Go are lucky to have had Jack White than to have him and still be constrained by his minimalist ideals. Taking post-punk and pop balladry back 40 years, The Go are unique exactly for remaining in the past: The Stones can't hang it up, but The Go can't deny the sound they love. The most riff-rocking track on the album, "Help You Out", builds lightly on the garage sound of The Go's hometown, but more often than not Howl rides a beat that Detroit would have all but forgotten (saved only by classic rock radio) if The Go weren't here to carry the torch.

And the production on this record is as meticulous as Howard Hughes in his later days. Bobby Harlow, lead singer, produced the album with an attention to detail reserved for curators of only the most precious of archival quality artifacts. The way a paleontologist finely cleans a discovered dinosaur bone, Harlow tweaks and tunes every centimeter of tape the band recorded during the Howl sessions. The obsession comes through in the details, all the way through to the tambourine shakes that sneak their way onto the downtempo "She's Prettiest When She Cries".

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Ingrid Michaelson - Girls and Boys

Ingrid Michaelson - Girls and Boys

Ever since scoring her first song placement on Grey's Anatomy, Ingrid Michaelson has continued to garner exposure on the show, culminating in a place on the most recent season finale, where her track "Keep Breathing" (composed for the show) played during the final scene.

But she's more than just a made-for-TV soundtrack genius (she's also been played on The Real World: Denver, One Tree Hill, and The Bad Girls Club). Ingrid Michaelson's album Girls & Boys is full of colorful tunes that are easy to digest, with themes of love both rueful and remorseless. Michaelson's use of metaphor in songs such as "Breakable" does not dilute the fragile nature of her tales about the most sensitive of human emotions.

Michaelson's dulcet, near-cherubic voice calls upon the sugary vocals of Leigh Bingham Nash but never comes on too strong, as Ingrid's delivery is direct and unassuming. Never pretending that love is a perfect and painless experience, Michaelson's charming voice has a way of making the reality of love's consequences palatable. A much better way to approach her music than some of the vapid songstresses who sing tales of a love only fit for teen movies.

Nor does Girls and Boys toe the line and play it completely safe, as songs move from electric guitar to organ, rock to indie pop, without losing its footing.

Buy the album from CDBaby

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Any Given Tuesday #8: Baltimore Music Conference Weekend

After spending a weekend at the Baltimore Music Conference, I culled together a bunch of the interviews to produce this latest episode of the podcast. Featuring a run-in with Salim & The Music Lovers' Salim and Topix, a young band called Funky Willie & The Git Down Boys, The Side Affects, U'll Neva No, and Sean K. Preston. And, of course, the artists provided songs for your listening pleasure.

Subscribe to the Any Given Tuesday podcast in iTunes or your RSS-based podreader.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day!


Happy Labor Day to all! I'm fortunate to have the day off to spend at home with Kristen, but I know many of you are stuck working. Very strange to live in a society where we have a holiday to celebrate and honor our working stiffs, and we make them work on that very day! I won't be out there spending any money today, and I hope others consider that businesses stay open on holidays only because we are out there to spend, spend, spend. If we don't spend, our fellow citizens will get their holiday, too!