Thursday, January 27, 2005
Tuesday, February 22:
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, Communiqué, The Joggers, The Herms (Great American Music Hall)
Wednesday, February 23:
Mission Of Burma, Erase Errata, The Ruby Doe (Bimbo's 365 Club)
Mates Of State, Smoosh, Aqueduct, Still Flyin' (Slims)
Phenomenauts, Big D & The Kid's Table, River City Rebels (Bottom of the Hill)
Thursday, February 24:
Polyphonic Spree, From Bubblegum to Sky, Knife and Fork, Toshio Hirano (Bimbo's 365 Club)
Hot Hot Heat, Louis XIV, The Mall (Great American Music Hall)
Portastatic, Papercuts (Bottom of the Hill)
Comets On Fire, No Doctors, Gerritt (Cafe Du Nord)
Friday, February 25:
Amon Tobin, Kid 606 (Bimbo's 365 Club)
Nada Surf, The Velvet Teen, Golden Republic, Winechuggers (Great American Music Hall)
Joanna Newsom, Nicolai Dunger, Drew O'Doherty (The Swedish American Hall)
Two Gallants, Heavenly States, Trainwreck Riders (The Independent)
Les Georges Lenigrad, Chow Nasty, The Flying Luttenbachers, Postcoitus (Bottom of the Hill)
Bettie Serveert, Ditty Bops, Inara George, Nik Freitas (Cafe Du Nord)
Saturday, February 26:
Rogue Wave, The Comas, Irving (Slim's)
Joanna Newsom, Nicolai Dunger, Nedelle, Okay (The Swedish American Hall)
Alexi Murdoch, A Girl Called Eddy, Keren Ann (The Swedish American Hall)
High On Fire, Fucking Champs, Kylesa, Say Bok Gwai (12 Galaxies)
Damon & Naomi, Vetiver (The Bottom of the Hill)
Sunday, February 27:
The Walkmen, Film School, Every Move A Picture (Bimbo's 365 Club)
More info and links for ticket purchasing here.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Friday, January 21, 2005
This week we present you two budding threesomes...
Hailing from England, The Subways are every struggling band's dream come true. Unsigned and praying for a chance, they applied to the 2004 Glastonbury Festival competition, which fills slots on the festival's smaller stages. Not only were they chosen as performers, organizer Michael Eavis liked them so much he bumped them up to the second largest of 17 stages with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Badly Drawn Boy, Rilo Kiley and Keane. While their Glastonbury experience made them a household name in the UK, they have yet to emerge on the international scene, but it's only a matter of time. This band of two brothers and a girlfriend has an explosive chemistry. Boy-girl vocals blend with a bluesy punk sound very few besides this trio can pull off.
The Dynamite Brothers
Yeah, so I'm partial to Chapel Hill bands -- sue me. The fact is the tight-knit community consistently produces innovative artists who push the boundaries of current music without losing their footing or becoming pretentious. The Dynamite Brothers are no exception. The popular new buzz phrase "genre-defying," doesn't quite capture their sound; you'd have to invent a new word -- something like omnigenric. You name it, they've got it in there somewhere. The sound is authentically adventurous, not busy or forced like those bands who make a big show of their own complexity. Their debut Clap Along With the Dynamite Brothers features guest appearances from members of other ground-breaking Chapel Hill area bands such as Squirrel Nut Zippers, Two Dollar Pistols and Hobex. Download some MP3s from the album and buy it here.
The tracks from Bombs will at various points remind you of Beck, Bob Dylan, G Love, or even Citizen Cope. But, make no mistake, Don has a unique sound and vibe all his own. Whether reflecting on a close friend's death in the ballad "Mr. Novocaine" or flowing about midget prostitutes as his alter-ego - "Big D" - the Bucks County, PA native and now Brooklyn transplant, will dazzle you with his lyrical mastery and infectious grooves. After hearing Don's cd at a buddy's house, I was immediately hooked and recently caught up with Don to talk about his music, career and influences.
In addition to his affable nature, Don's clearly a bright guy who effortlessly weaves references from poetry, world events and every day experiences into narrative stories that draw on all of his interests and influences. The range of musical genres on Bombs is impressive. Don says his influences change from day to day, minute to minute and says he can find musical inspiration in just about anything that makes a noise - Muzak, fax machines, animals, or even street noise.
Lyrically, Don draws inspiration from poets, authors, mc's, great songwriters and everything around him - news papers, advertisements, junk mail- whatever. Don's enormous vocabulary is on full display in his songs, so I wasn't surprised to learn that he reads three books at a time. Of course, Don quipped that he usually never finish any of them. One of his current reads is a book of musical quotations his grandmother got him for Christmas and so far his favorite quote from the book is from Louie Armstrong. He said, "All music is folk music. I never heard no horse sing a song."
In addition to drawing on a wide range of influences and genres, another impressive aspect of Don's talent is his ability to play several instruments. Don says he's most comfortable as a rhythm guitarist, but noodles on a bunch of other instruments. When recorindg Bombs, he and Mike Plevy, who co-produced and engineered the disc, would switch back and forth trying to find cool parts for the guitars, bass lines, drum fills, synths, percussion, piano licks and so on. When they wanted something from a particular instrument they felt was out of their range, they would call up friends who played that instument to get the sounds they were looking for. From the final mix, you'd never guess that Mike and Don were just learning how to record.
He's won the admiration of fans, critics and fellow muscians alike and won two 2004 Philly Music Awards for "Best Male Entertainer" and "Best Acoustic Act." He's also placed songs in a few independent films including "Island" (2000 New York Film Festival) and "Long Short Story" (2002) starring Michael Williams from "The Blair Witch Project."
Even though Don's recording is fantastic, he's renowned for his lives shows. Don regularly sells out 200+ seat venues in Philadelphia, LA and New York. Don also set the attendance record for any independent artists' single night draw at Philly's Grape Street Pub. Recently, Don had a string of sold out shows at the famous Knitting Factory and Sidewalk Cafe in Manhattan, home to the "Anti-Folk Movement" and best known for housing Beck and Moldy Peaches along their way to mainstream recognition.
Judging by the huge crowds and accolades he's getting, our friend Don is himself on the way to larger recognition. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Bombs and come along for the ride.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Elvis Costello, Brian Wilson, Ambulance Ltd, Lou Barlow, the Soundtrack of Our Lives, Bloc Party, Vic Chesnutt, the Dears, the Donnas, Kathleen Edwards, Hot Hot Heat, Isis, Kings of Convenience, Ulrich Schnauss, Magnolia Electric Co., Sleater-Kinney, Nada Surf and Stephen Malkmus.The above artists add to the already stellar line up of:
Alabama Thunderpussy, the Album Leaf, American Music Club,For more information on South by Southwest, check out Donewating.com, SxSWBaby and the Austin Chronicle.
Amplified Heat, Apocalyptica, Apostle of Hustle, the Arm, Nic Armstrong, Ash, Athlete, Austin Theremonic Orchestra, Awesome Cool Dudes, the Black Halos, Black Moses, Bleach,
the Bloody Hollies, Bonk, John Butler Trio, By Divine Right,
Laura Cantrell, Cephalic Carnage, Charanga Cakewalk, Chingo Bling, Chingon, Meg Lee Chin, the City Lights, the Coolies, the Crimea, Crooked Fingers, Kacy Crowley, the Crystal Method, Crystal Skulls, the Cuban Cowboys, Cut Copy, the Czars, Daaraj, Walter Daniels/Wade Driver, Darediablo, Jesse Dayton, the Dears, DJ Jester the Filipino Fist and QuadRod, Johnny Dowd, Edith Frost, Endochine, Experimental Aircraft, Faceless Werewolves, Jason Falkner, Fatal Flying Guilloteens, the Fighting Brothers McCarthy, Ruthie Foster, the George W. Bush Singers, Eliza Gilkyson, Gnappy, Gorch Fock, Grady, the Greencards, Grupo Fantasma, Guitar Wolf, Caroline Herring, Robyn Hitchcock, Hobble, Billy Idol, Jetscreamer, Daniel Johnston, Laika & the Cosmonauts, Jon Langford & the Sexy, Ben Lee, Gary Lucas & Gods and Monsters, Aimee Mann, Marlowe, the Meat Purveyors, Metal Urbain, Midlake, Milton Mapes, the Mobius Band, Mono, Ronnie Montrose, Moonlight Towers, M. Ward, Nashville Pussy, the Octopus Project, Of Montreal, Anders Parker, Piccola Orchestra Avion, Pig Destroyer, the Pink Swords, Plastilina Mosh, Pong, the Pretty Please, Radar Bros., the Raveonettes, the Real Heroes, Gruff Rhys, Stan Ridgway, Rockland Eagles, Scott H. Biram, Charlie Sexton, Michelle Shocked, the Silent League, Son Volt, Mavis Staples, This Microwave World, Th' Legendary Shack*Shakers, the Six Parts Seven, Trashcan Sinatras, Patricia Vonne, the Waco Brothers, What Made Milwaukee Famous, Whitey Houston, and Zykos.
P.S. for blogheads: Austin is a free WiFi City. Look here for a list of Hot Spots.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
While Bethany Decker, the creator of the petition, deserves kudos for her novel approach, she should have addressed it to MTV as well.
We, the undersigned, are disgusted with Ashlee Simpson's horrible singing and hereby ask her to stop. Stop recording, touring, modeling and performing.
We do not wish to see her again. She cannot match the sound of her voice that can be found on her CDs, when she sings live.
She simply yells the words (sometimes the wrong ones) into the mic. We are so sickened by her "performing" that we are taking this opportunity to demand that she stop.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Hillary Duff is now reported as the headliner for the event.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Friday, January 07, 2005
- XFM radio online will broadcast Wilco's October 27th live performance at the Orpheum Theater (Madison, WI) tonight at 9 pm ET. Follow the link here and don't worry if you're not a subscriber because they offer free three-day trials;
- Wilco will also be on the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS;
- Michael Stipe will be on Last Call with Carson Daly; and
- G. Love will be on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS.
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
1. Elliott Smith From a Basement On the Hill (Anti) Released: 10/19/04
Listening to Elliott Smith is like watching a beautiful cherub-faced child laugh and play while reciting Sylvia Plath's darkest poetry. His music is at once heart-breaking and fulfilling. From a Basement on the Hill is every bit as orchestrated and full as his earlier works such as XO and Figure 8, but with an undercurrent of deliberate chaos. Guitars are bigger, sometimes untuned, sometimes competing with the melody. Pianos are less vaudevillian and more mysterious. Drums echo and pop in and out unexpectedly. It all fits together to encase Smith's delicate vocals. While it is impossible to listen to this album absent the context of his life and death, it should be recognized as more than a sad farewell from a troubled musician.
2. Muse Absolution (Warner Brothers) Released: 3/23/04
Many have been quick to write off Muse as another Radiohead clone. I'm still trying to figure out why it would be so terrible to have another Radiohead in the world, but the point is moot. While Matt Bellamy and Thom Yorke both follow the Jeff Buckley school of vocals, the blanket comparison ignores the vast musical differences between the bands. Where Radiohead is subtle, Muse is belligerent but also more melodic. On Absolution, the band ventures dangerously close to arrogant over-production, but instead delivers a well orchestrated and hook filled album that is magnificent from beginning to end.
3. Drive-By Truckers The Dirty South (New West Records) Released: 8/24/04
Drive-By Truckers are probably the only band with narratives about the rural South that don't make me wince. The band has three singer-songwriters and three guitars and still manages to pull together well-crafted, cohesive songs. The Dirty South is the best rock album to come out of the South in years.
4. Iron & Wine Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop) Released: 3/23/04
Our Endless Numbered Days is the lullaby album I love to fall asleep to, as Sam Beam's soft acoustic ballads stretch before you like a fluffy cloud. The move to the studio thankfully did not destroy any of the stripped down intimacy we grew to love him by.
5. Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand (Epic) Released: 5/20/04
Despite the overexposure, this album still puts a smile on my face. These spunky Scots managed to release a fantastic danceable debut with no disappointing filler songs.
6. Interpol Antics (Matador) Released: 9/28/04
Turn on the Bright Lights was so derivative of Joy Division and Sisters of Mercy that most didn't take Interpol seriously. With Antics they seem to finally be comfortable with their own sound.
7. U2 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Interscope) Released: 11/23/04
U2 delivers the raw emotion and loose production which defined their early work with a new, fresh spin. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb is a guitar-heavy and bluesy reminder of why they have managed to stay on top for so long. No, this is not U2's greatest album, but it is nonetheless important.
8. Arcade Fire Funeral (Merge Records) Released: 9/14/04
On Funeral, Arcade Fire blends beautiful alt-folk music -- lavish strings, airy piano, and chunky guitars -- with sentimental lyrics telling stories of death and the loss of youthful naivete. The quirky eccentricity of this album doesn't distract from its strong emotional core.
9. The Walkmen Bows & Arrows (Record Collection) Released: 2/3/04
With Bows & Arrows the Walkmen lead a movement in New York that is closing the door on the Strokes dominated sound of the last couple of years and moving on to something more interesting and original. "The Rat" is easily a contender for the best song of the year.
10. Madvillain Madvillainy (Stones Throw) Released: 3/23/04
The underground rap collaboration made in heaven. Madlib lays down some muddy jazz beats while MF Doom contributes gritty rhymes with loads more wit than those watered down pretenders who have taken over the mainstream with played-out references to booty and bling.
11. Tom Waits Real Gone (Epitaph) Released: 10/5/04
Closing Time will always be my sentimental favorite. When I heard that Waits was to release a new album I was excited; when I heard his signature piano would be absent I was scared. Silly me to doubt such a brilliant songwriter.
12. Sonic Youth Sonic Nurse (Geffen Records) Released: 6/8/04
Sonic Youth reasserts their relevance with Sonic Nurse, their best since Daydream Nation. With this album, they have scaled back the experimentation without abandoning their unique garage rock sound altogether.
13. The Libertines Libertines (Sanctuary Records) Released: 8/31/04
Pete Doherty's crack and heroin driven escapades have kept the writers at the NME busy all year. This fragile band with all of its problems could never last, but at least they have left behind this hint at the greatness they might have achieved.
14. Patty Griffin Impossible Dream (ATO Records) Released: 4/20/04
I've always been a fan of Patty Griffin's, but wasn't prepared for the religious experience of Impossible Dream. She comes into her own as a songwriter on this album by incorporating more layers, including horns, synthesizers and moving gospel harmonies.
15. Graham Coxon Happiness in Magazines (EMI) Released: 5/17/04 (UK)
Coxon's solo work while with Blur seemed to be a reaction to the melodic pop produced by the band. It was almost laboriously lo-fi. In Happiness in Magazines, he embraces his ability to write great guitar-driven pop songs. It was released in the UK in May, but for some silly reason will not see the light of day in the US until January 25, 2005.
16. Morrissey You Are the Quarry (Sanctuary Records) Released: 5/18/04
The Moz is back and as wonderfully self-absorbed as ever. After a seven year hiatus and a couple of disappointments before that, Morrissey came back swinging with his best since Bona Drag. His non-apologetic lyrics are wordplay at its finest since Cole Porter.
17. Carina Round Disconnection (Interscope Records) Released: 3/9/04
With Disconnection, Carina Round proves that a woman's voice doesn't have to be pretty to be compelling. Don't misunderstand me, hers is as good as any of the Lillith Fair alumnae, but more visceral and energetic.
18. Ambulance LTD Ambulance LTD (TVT Records) Released: 3/9/04
Ambulance LTD is Brooklyn's answer to Oasis. They don't break any ground with this album, but they pack their songs with catchy riffs and sweet vocals. This album is one of the more accessible coming out of the New York scene this year.
19. Modest Mouse Good News for People Who Love Bad News (Sony) Released: 4/6/04
"Float On" makes this album worthy. We just wish the rest of the album was as good.
20. The Tragically Hip In Between Evolution (Zoe Records) Released: 6/29/04
Gordon Downie is the best vocalist/lyricist most of you don't know. In Between Evolution was produced by Adam Kasper (Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age), who gives this release a more organic vibe. It's a little less radio friendly than what we're used to with the Hip, but only because it rocks more.
Best Reissue: Pavement, Crooked Rain. They made it more than worth your while to rebuy this classic by adding a ton of previously unreleased material including a cool REM cover. Stephen Malkmus seems to be hinting at a possible reunion or at least not ruling out the idea so cross your fingers.
Saturday, January 01, 2005
When the tour actually began to take shape, many wondered if the band could ever live up to their legend. The Pixies are highly revered for taking indie music on a new path. Their soft-loud-soft songwriting inspired bands like Radiohead and was a virtual template for Nirvana. The influence of this band on the indie music of the 90s and today can not be overstated. No one wanted to see the Pixies go the way of the Stones and tarnish their legacy by cranking out mediocre tours every few years with astronomical ticket prices. I, for one, would have preferred that they stay pissed off at each other rather than risk a fall from grace.
At the Constitution Hall that night, the Pixies were on a mission to prove themselves up to the task. They came out blazing with "Ed is Dead" and "Gouge Away" then peeled through about 20 more favorites including "Velouria," "Caribou," "Gigantic" and "Monkey Gone to Heaven." They had undeniable chemistry and an incredibly tight sound.
Black amazed with his ability to scream like a banshee and then immediately switch over to sweet crooning, then whispering, then screaming again. Deal's voice was slightly worse for the wear, but not lacking any of her former energy. Her bass playing was flawless. Deal's picked out eighth note lines are the glue that binds the frenzied elements of the rest of the band. Santiago and Lovering had a moment during "Vamos;" where Lovering tossed a drum stick to Santiago while playing, which Santiago then incorporated into a theatrical guitar solo. All in all, it was a roller coaster ride through songs that reminded all in attendance how much fun it was to be a Pixies fan.
So what's next? The band will take at least six months off and then reconvene in the studio. If they're happy with what happens we may see a new CD and another tour in the fall. My fingers are crossed. With my renewed faith, I know whatever is yet to come will not disappoint.
Be sure to mark you calendars for the January 29, PBS airing of the Pixies on Austin City Limits. More info can be found here.