Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Used Cancel Warped Dates

The Used was forced to cancel all shows for June and July as singer Bert McCracken announced he was advised to undergo surgery for a node that developed on one of his vocal chords. The cancellations mean the band will miss all their scheduled Warped Tour dates. They released this statement about the Warped cancellations:

"The band is incredibly disappointed but promised to return to touring in the USA in early September with headlining dates. Kevin Lyman and the Van's Warped tour have been amazing supporters of our band and we are truly saddened that we won't be able to perform on this year's tour," states Quinn Allman, The Used's guitarist. "We hope to have new tour details ready for release shortly."

The band's rabid fan base made their latest release Lies for the Liars one of the more anticipated records of the year. While the fans are dissapointed, they are 110% behind the band and nothing but well wishes for McCracken are popping up all over the net. Doctors expect a full recovery and he should be ready to sing again in five or so weeks.

On Patrol: Tom Morello Brings The Nightwatchman To The Bowery Ballroom

By: David Schultz

From the time Tom Morello found his first mechanical object to rage against, he has lived a life of civil disobedience. While his activist streak may not have been as prominent as he toiled with Chris Cornell in Audioslave, it was in no way neutered. With the recent release of One Man Revolution, Morello speaks passionately for the dispossessed and disenfranchised, voicing their dissatisfaction with music's greatest weapon: the protest song. In doing so, he adopts the persona of The Nightwatchman, a not-so-alter-ego that took form before unsuspecting audiences in coffee houses and open mike nights around the country. This past Tuesday, Morello brought The Nightwatchman to New York City, playing before a sold-out crowd at the Bowery Ballroom.

Following in the footsteps of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, Morello stands alone on stage accompanied only by his impassioned ideals and an acoustic guitar emblazoned with "Whatever It Takes." Although his mood is jovial, Morello's Nightwatchman wants to do more than rock the house: he wants to return the power to the people and give them back the voice that he believes is being taken away from them. It echoes back to a day and an idealism that one man with one guitar can bring about societal change. His message goes beyond sloganeering, although like all those adept at working within and without the political system, he has plenty of them. If Morello spoke with an Irish accent, he might easily be mistaken for Bono.

After introducing himself as The Nightwatchman, Morello kicked off the show with his most incendiary songs, running through "One Man Revolution," "Union Song" and "Maximum Firepower" in quick succession. Eager to hear the words and music, the audience greeted Morello with a respectful silence quite uncommon from a Manhattan crowd. The guitarist ended the reverie urging that it was perfectly fine to make a little noise. Morello did want the silence back for his quieter songs like "The Garden Of Gethsemane" and "Let Freedom Ring." To get it, he offered promises of "metal" that had people salivating for acoustic interpretations of Rage Against The Machine material and raised the hopes of Zack de la Rocha or Tim Commerford possibly joining in. With such promises, Morello received an extraordinarily silent room; when he walked away from the mike, he could still be heard loudly and clearly. Whenever he wanted silence, Morello would ask for it but by the time he closed his show with "Until The End," he no longer needed the request.

In general, it's not a good idea to piss off a Harvard educated militant with the only microphone in the room, especially when he's consistently referring to himself in the third person. As long as you remain in Morello's good graces though, he's a fairly gregarious fellow. In between his 21st century rebel anthems, Morello bantered a bit with the crowd, telling stories about getting Michael Moore arrested for the first time and providing a behind the scenes perspective of Rage Against The Machine's silent naked protest at the Philadelphia stop of the 1993 Lollapalooza tour. If Morello didn't have any material to play, he could have easily padded a couple hours with his monologues. Not just humorous, the anecdotes made you realize how long Morello has been bucking the system and confirmed that he would be willing to take a quarter in the nuts in furtherance of a cause.

Morello ran through most of One Man Revolution, adding his reflection on the devastation in New Orleans, "Midnight In The Garden Of Destruction," the promised RATM cover of "Guerrilla Radio" and Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land." In introducing Guthrie's classic tune, Morello stated that he was restoring Guthrie's insightful yet critical final verses that are often omitted from the song, noting that Woody wrote the song in response to "God Bless America," a song he considered unrealistic. By the end of the song, Morello had everyone singing along with the elementary school fave and on his orders, leaping and jumping around like they were at a Rage Against The Machine show. For someone who preaches the mantra of thinking for yourself, Morello spent a fair part of his ninety-plus minute set instructing the audience with a dictatorial mien on the proper moments for handclaps and silence. Given his wry grin when providing such directions, he may understand the irony.

As The Nightwatchman, Morello carries on the age old practice of protesting through song. It's not only a long standing tradition, it's an important one. Just like the singer who sings the song changes with the times, so does the audience. The idealism that fueled the music of the Sixties reverberated strongly throughout the Woodstock generation. Despite the commonality of an unpopular war and concerns over the competency of our President, the same activism isn't present today as it was four decades ago. Bush's reelection in 2004 and the Democrats failure to thus far find the "new Kennedy" for 2008 has dulled the feisty spirit that fuels any counterculture movement. In trying to light the spark of revolution, Morello faces a mounting tide of apathy, quite possibly playing to crowds who come to play revolution for a couple of hours before heading back to the suburbs with the message forgotten. In this sense, Morello may be fighting an insurmountable uphill battle . . . but God help us if he ever stops.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Bad Brains: Build A Nation

by Rinjo Njori.

Bad Brains broke my heart on May 23, 1995. This was the release date of their third reunion album God of Love. At the time I wanted to blame Madonna, who released the album on her label Maverick. Apparently the brain trust who successfully marketed Alanis Morissette didn't have one person who understood Bad Brains or their hardcore legacy. I wanted to blame Jah because if he was all knowing he should have known God of Love was horrible. Afer all,omniscience is a pretty powerful thing. He should have heard the devotion pouring out of every note and encouraged silent prayer. Truth is I should have blamed Daryl, Earl and Dr. Know for this obvious money grab. Propping up HR for the umpteenth time was a mistake. After all, it wasn't long into this reunion that HR lost it and wrecked the reunion tour with the Beastie Boys.

Luckily, Bad Brains fans for the most part have a positive mental attitude and couldn't believe that the Brains would go out like that. For the past decade our P.M.A. has been tested again and again. We have been subjected to HR's insanity, constant rumors of a real reunion, and the dreadful dub heavy Soul Brains tours, which featured HR doing his best impression of Haile Selassie. Over the last two years our P.M.A. has begun to pay dividends. Daryl quietly got the band back together. Long time fan Adam Yauch, from the Beastie Boys, agreed to produce the new album. A series of reunion gigs to close out CBGB's (not featuring John Joseph on lead vocals) showcased a band not satisfied with letting God of Love or the Soul Brains determine their legacy.

Spanning two years of piecemeal recording sessions and the excellent production by Yauch, Build A Nation could effectively lay to rest all that has gone wrong since H.R. mailed it in on the Soul Brains tours. The good news is that the band's hardcore songs fall nicely between the polished sheen of the Rock for Light tracks and the metal heavy I Against I. The reggae songs have actually improved over their recently poor showing. The bad news is that the song names read like a set list for your local gospel choir, not a legendary hardcore band.

HR's vocals lack the energy or intensity of any previous outing. But, for once you can sense, even believe, he is giving it his all for a man of fifty plus years. Sure, religious lyrics fill the album. At least this time they are a lot more coherent and modest then the lunatic-tinged ramblings on God of Love.

The title track forgoes the need for complex lyrical structure. The band chants "Build a Nation!" in unison in between HR's minimalist "Build a Nation". This song shouldn't work based on this premise, but is effective because Doc, Daryl, and Earl are playing like it's 1983 again. "Expand Your Soul" leans heavily on the I Against I Bad Brains style. Bass heavy guitar crunch with other worldly vocals. The lyrics are kept simple but HR seems like he is singing with the song instead of during the song for the first time since Quickness. Luckily HR is just getting warmed up.

On "Universal Peace" the band and HR are in perfect harmony mixing hardcore with reggae breakdowns that haven't seen the light of day since 1988. "Send You No More Flowers" is the only track that leaves religion at the door. HR, for roughly 60 seconds, channels Paul Hudson circa 1979. This isn't "Pay To Cum" but this is absolutely the Bad Brains. The lead off track "Give Thanks and Praises", might not kick ass like Rock for Light's "Coptic Times" or the perfect instrumental "Intro" that opened I Against I, but the song is light years away from "Cool Mountaineers" which pretty much doomed God of Love.

The reggae on this record isn't half bad either. "Until Kingdom Come" uses layered keyboards and horns to accentuate the typically by the numbers reggae the Brains have put out over the last three decades. Lyrically, HR doesn't play favorites and keeps lyrics as modest on the hardcore songs as he does on the reggae songs. No one is ever going to mistake the Brains for The Maytals or the Wailers. This time out they might make a good island house band.

There are those who might see Build a Nation as a re-birth of the Bad Brains. To be honest, most people should view the album and supporting tour as a fitting career encore. They now have chance to go out on a high note. For one last time the Bad Brains can give people what they have been asking for since 1989 - a Bad Brains reunion that matters.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mark Broussard: S.O.S.: Save Our Soul

By: David Schultz

Louisiana soul singer Marc Broussard has a credibility that fellow Southerner Taylor Hicks would kill for. On S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, Broussard's first album since parting ways with Island Records, Broussard offers an ambitious selection of covers, cherry picking familiar chestnuts like Al Green's "Love And Happiness," The Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself" and Otis Redding's smoldering "I've Been Loving You Too Long." Though capably rendered, Broussard would have better served with a different slate of songs. A truly wonderful soul singer, Broussard is not overmatched on S.O.S., but by covering songs intimately connected to the likes of Stevie Wonder, Redding and Marvin Gaye, he's inviting comparisons to legends whose company the 25-year old singer isn't ready to join.

Broussard's best efforts on S.O.S. come when he moves away from sweaty Seventies-era soul: on "Yes We Can," an Allen Toussaint penned, New Orleans-style song first recorded by The Pointer Sisters, Broussard joyously gets in touch with his Louisiana roots and Blood Sweat & Tears' "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" benefits from his deft touch. However, Broussard's voice alone isn't enough to save Save Our Soul. Technically proficient, Broussard's band lacks the heart and passion that make soul worth saving in the first place. This is not so much a a case of Broussard completely getting in over his head with S.O.S.. Rather, it is a project that should have come after establishing himself as worthy of the material. Instead of bringing soul's traditions into a new century, Save Our Soul is "Taylor-made" for lite-FM radio.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Slip At The Bowery Ballroom

By: David Schultz

In line with the elusiveness evoked by their name, The Slip, a talented trio of Boston-based musicians, are a hard band to firmly get your mind around, their complexity rendering them indefinable in the simple terms often used by mass-marketers. Such slipperiness owes to the wide ranging skills of guitarist and lead singer Brad Barr, his brother Andrew (drums) and bassist Mark Friedman. Without needing much structure to work within, The Slip’s live sound has long found acceptance on the jamband circuit where audiences are receptive to improvised diversions and experimental digressions. Setting themselves apart from the jangling hordes, The Slip have a sense of melody not typically associated with bands capable of ten minute instrumentals.

Eisenhower, their most recent album, aimed more for the intellect than the gut. The interlocking bass and guitar riffs laid down by Brad Barr and Friedman weave sinuously with Andrew's drumming in a manner that challenged the most discerning of listeners. A thinking person's album, Eisenhower was greeted with a plethora of critical praise. Currently on a three week tour of the East coast that has included stops at the Wakarusa and Bonnaroo Festivals, The Slip returned to New York City for a Friday night show at the Bowery Ballroom.

The Slip are at their best when they let loose, following the song wherever it may lead. When they break free from the limitations of traditional song structure, they create lots of room for their prodigious skills to come to the forefront. Brad Barr makes an acoustic guitar sound more electric than your typical Fender or Gibson, getting the full sonorous acoustic tones without losing of the electric guitar's fire. Marc Friedman nimbly works bass lines that alternately provide counterpoint for Barr's guitar or carry the song on its own. Although capable, Andrew Barr avoids the overpowering, hard-driving drumming, working his drums into the spaces created by Friedman and his brother rather than blasting away at a beat. Brad Barr doesn't have the widest range on the mike. The Slip have worked this to their advantage, though. By not working outside his capabilities, Barr's vocals generate a warmth that matches the band's understated demeanor.

Their originality being one of the band's main draws, The Slip bracketed their two hours set with a pair of faithfully-adhered to covers. The spacey harmonic soundscape that opened the show raucously turned into an unexpected cover of Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker." The Slip's version didn't segue into "Living Loving Maid" but they did bring the song to a halt so Brad Barr could replicate Jimmy Page's solo, much to the howling delight of the crowd. Possibly owing to the late hour, their evening closing cover of Nick Lowe's (made popular by Elvis Costello) "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love And Understanding" wasn't as inspired, failing to draw as impassioned a reaction from the flagging crowd. In between the covers, they focused on songs from Eisenhower, giving many of the slower pieces, noticeably "If One Of Us Should Fall" and "Airplane/Primitive," an impassioned flavor missing from the studio versions. Barr and Friedman meshed best on their set closing version of "Children Of December" their lyrically lightweight ode to being born during the Christmas season. Friedman laid down a bouncy bass line with Barr filling in the gaps with a nice staccato riff. Not only their catchiest song, "Children Of December" is one of The Slip's most accessible.

The Slip have been slowly winnowing their way into America's subconscious. This past summer, My Morning Jacket's Jim James proclaimed himself Slip Fan #1, singing the band's praises and arranging for the Massachusetts based trio to open numerous shows on MMJ's fall tour. Making further inroads into the zeitgeist of a younger generation, the creators of video game sensation Guitar Hero programmed "Even Rats," Brad Barr’s subtle vision of unrest on the horizon, into the game as a secret, hidden bonus track. They hit the mother lode though, this past TV season when "Life In Disguise" played over the final scenes of a Grey’s Anatomy episode. If their appeal continues to broaden at the same steady pace as one of the their songs, their breakout should be imminent.

Mp3s, News and Notes

The Cure are set for a speedy North American tour of arenas and amphitheaters. The shows will have 65 Days of Static opening and will kick off Sept. 13th in Tampa, Florida and wind down just a month later with an October 17th show in Dallas. The Cure are also readying a new studio album for the fall.

Jonah Smith will play the Highline Ballroom tomorrow night. Just back from Bonnaroo, Smith returns to New York tomorrow night June 26th. Jonah will also do a few dates across the country with Johnny Lang before hitting the Big Summer Classic in August with the Roots, Greyboy Allstars and many more.

Ministry gets political on its latest release Rio Grande Dub(ya). If the title sounds familiar it is because the record is the dance/club remix of their 2006 release Rio Grand Blood. The new disc will be released on July 10th through 13th Planet Records. Two Ministry Mp3s are included in today's offerings.

Mp3 Offerings:
Ministry: "LiesLiesLies" (Cognitive Dissonance Mix)
Ministry" "Yellow Cake" (Hexafluoride Mix)
Project Jenny, Project Jan: "320"
Little Aida: The Damn is Broken
The Clutters: Temperature

Xavier Rudd kicked off his tour in support of his latest release White Moth. On the record, Relix says "With White Moth, Xavier Rudd sought to properly lasso—at long last—the catharsis of his live shows: the sound of his unhinged guitar, thumping stomp boxes and mystically creepy didgeridoos bounding out of the P.A. system. If obtaining an accurate reflection of your live experience is one of the biggest challenges for a genuine stage musician, Xavier pulls it off with his hot-wired Weissenborn." Rudd will also be doing some select dates with the Dave Matthews Band for a handful of East Coast dates in August.

The Rawk Report

Korn singer Jonathan Davis is reportedly writing a book of his favorite horror stories. Davis is quoted as saying "I am doing a book. But it's not a stupid book about how bad my life sucked or anything. I'm sick of rockstar tell-all books, that's lame. This book is way cool. I chose 12 of my favorite horror stories and 12 of my favorite artists will illustrate them. Then I'm writing about why I think they are so good, it will be a cool coffee table book." Korn, of course, is once again leading this year's Family Values tour.

Staind frontman Aaron Lewis is set for a second stint of his "Have Guitar, Will Travel" solo acoustic tour. Lewis will reportedly be unplugged for Staind tunes as well as select cover songs as he kicks things off July 27th in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The tour ends August 29th in Hampton Beach, N.H. But, the band will also play on as Staind will do a string of dates supporting Nickelback starting this week in Bay Roberts, Canada.

Linkin Park has gone platinum. Their latest record, Minutes to Midnight, was certified platinum by everyone's favorite litigants, the RIAA. Having moved over 600,000 unites in week 1, it didn't take long to top 1 million copies. Their single "What I've Done" is also riding high on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks where it has been No. 1 for 8 straight weeks.

Invitro, who recently completed dates supporting Sevendust and Static-X, have now been added to a string of dates with Hellyeah. "We're absolutely honored to be asked to open for the mighty Hellyeah on their headlining tour. I've toured with Pantera while I was in Soulfly and it's always a great time when you're on tour with the modern day master of metal drumming, Vinnie Paul," says guitarist Mikey Doling. Get those devil horns up in the air!

Ozzy Osbourne is apparently a bit confused over John Mayer's Continuum record title. Ozzy reportedly couldn't understand what the title meant and might not even be aware of who John Mayer is. He is quoted as saying, "'Continuum: Music by John Mayer,' whoever that is. 'Continuum.' I couldn't understand what that word meant. 'Continuum'? What does that mean?" Ozzy onced dueted with Mayer's reported on and off again squeeze Jessica Simpson. Maybe show him a pic of her jumblies to jog his memory on who Mayer is?

Axl's Late Arrival Greeted With Thrown Drink

Guns N' Roses concert goers should come to expect late starts. But, it didn't stop one fan from expressing a little anger over waiting for Axl in Australia. WENN reports that a fan tossed a drink at Rose when the band got off to a late start for a Brisbane gig.

Apparently the band didn't start until nearly midnight and some fans who paid well over $100 dollars a ticket weren't happy. The report says that not long into their classic "Welcome To The Jungle" someone hurled a can at Axl. In response, Rose reportedly challenged the audience, "Is that what you want? You want a battle. If you're going to act like that, then you know I don't have to be here." Despite some reported long disappearances during songs, Rose did finish the show.

Now that's a sign Axl has grown. Years ago he would have jumped in the crowd or stomped off. One question I have for security there though is, who lets a can into a concert? Having full cans of anything tossed at you is no fun, even for someone who may deserve some razzing for apparently not learning to tell time or respect those that have.

Led Zeppelin Reunion?

Led Zeppelin reunion are always fun for rock fans. We've heard many over the years and there have been a couple. Now, WENN reports there may be another. The story floating is the ban will reunite for a memorial concert for Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. Deceased drummer John Bonham's son Jason is reportedly set to fill in for his late father.

A "source" is quoted as saying, "Page, Plant and Jones spoke and agreed to do the memorial concert. They are waiting for a definite date." There is even speculation about a possible tour. I can totally see the band reuniting to honor Ertegun who oversaw some great Led Zep releases at Atlantic. As for a full blown tour, well have to wait and see. But, I won't be holding my breath.

Rage to Play New Orleans

Rage Against the Machine are taking their politically potent message to New Orleans in October in yet another reunion show. RATM, along with another "comeback" band, the Smashing Pumpkins, and a host of others will play the VooDoo Experience 2007 in New Orleans' City Park from October 26-28th. The lineup is long and diverse.

In addition to several New Orleans based acts, the festival will include Wilco, Kings of Leon, Earl Greyhound and Ben Harper. Those four obviously gel. But, the organizers also decided to add acts like Fall Out Boy, Red Jumpssuit Apparatus and Sinead O'Connor. Now that is some musical gumbo!

You can get the complete lineup and ticket information on the VooDoo Experience website.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Slash 4, Axl 0

The last recorded work released by a Guns N' Roses entity was The Spaghetti Incident way back in November of 1993. Since that time no group's "next record" has been the subject of as much discussion, for better or worse, than the mythical Chinese Democracy record that Axl and his new crew may, and I mean may, finally deliver this year - some 14 years later.

Since that time, not even counting his numerous guest appearances on records, including five in 2006 alone, Slash has managed to put out 4 records between his Snake Pit and Velvet Revolver projects. Ok, so the Velvet Revolver record Libertad won't officially be out until July 3rd, but there is a better chance of a turnaround in Iraq then there is of Axl popping out a record before that date. For those interested in more then just the score between Slash and Axl, you check out the video for Velvet Revolver's "She Builds Quick Machines" here.

Frank Black Compilation

Frank BlackFrank Black will always be associated with the Pixies, but the frontman for that ground breaking group, of course, has also been fairly prolific as a solo artist. Black has managed to release nine solo efforts and a compilation spanning those works is due out in the U.S. next week. Through a statement, Black has this to say about the two-disc set:

"I felt a little sheepish when my manager suggested a Best Of: I'm not exactly known for my hit records. But then, I didn't get into this to have hits. I did it to be a maverick, to be underground, to be part of that world as opposed to the Top 40 world. I wanted to be an artist and a musician, not to get invited to parties. It's about being true to yourself. But I've got a big back catalogue, and so for the uninitiated, Frank Black 93-03 is a good place to start. It just sounds like a regular Frank Black album because all my records are schizophrenic in tenor - fast song, slow song, country song, punky song. Although it's boring to say, 'I think it's very representative of who I am as an artist', it really is!"

The compilation features a new track that is a preview from his next record of new material, Bluefinger, which is set for a September release. You can give a listen to "Threshold Apprehension" here.

Amy Winehouse Fall Tour

Amy Winehouse announced a slate of fall tour dates. Most are in the US with a few Canadian stops. Given her growing penchant for cancellations I wonder if it is wise to buy tix to these shows ahead of time? I'm sure she'll managed most of thse but I'm betting at least a couple of no shows. Paolo Nutini supports most of the dates.

Sat-Aug-04-07 - Washington - DC - V Festival
Sun-Aug-05-07 - Chicago - IL - Lollapalooza Festival
Sat-Sep-08-07 - Toronto - ONT - V Festival
Sun-Sep-09-07 - Montreal - QUE - Osheaga Festival
Wed-Sep-12-07 - New York - NY - Summerstage - Paolo Nutini
Thu-Sep-13-07 - Philly - PA - Tower Theatre - Paolo Nutini
Sat-Sep-15-07 - Austin - TX - Austin City Limits Festival
Tue-Sep-18-07 - LA - CA - The Wiltern LG - Paolo Nutini
Wed-Sep-19-07 - LA - CA - The Wiltern LG - Paolo Nutini
Fri-Sep-21-07 - S.F. - CA - Warfield Theatre - Paolo Nutini
Sat-Sep-22-07 - S.F. - CA - Warfield Theatre - Paolo Nutini
Mon-Sep-24-07 - Vancouver - Orpheum Theater - Paolo Nutini
Tue-Sep-25-07 - Seattle - WA - Paramount - Paolo Nutini
Fri-Sep-28-07 - Minn. - MN - State Theater - Paolo Nutini
Sat-Sep-29-07 - Chicago - IL - Aragon - Paolo Nutini

Television Signs Off

TelevisionBy: David Schultz

In the Seventies, Television rose from the same burgeoning scene that spawned the Talking Heads, Patti Smith and Blondie to become one of New York City's most identifiable bands. Television's time was brief, but their impact remains a lasting one. Much like the Velvet Underground, Television went relatively underappreciated during their heyday, receiving most of their well-deserved accolades as an influential forerunner of punk and alternative rock well after the release of their debut masterwork Marquee Moon. As the members of Television (circa 1975), Tom Verlaine, Richard Lloyd, Fred Smith and Billy Ficca, have played together sporadically over the last two decades, any hometown performance generates a solid amount of interest. This past weekend in Central Park, Television's possible swan song attracted enough people to fill up CBGB ten times over

Scheduled to be the first of numerous free summer shows that make up the 2007 Summerstage season, Television’s Saturday afternoon set at the Rumsey Playfield was also rumored to be their last. A couple months earlier, guitarist Richard Lloyd announced that in order to concentrate on his upcoming solo release, the Central Park show would be his last. Unfortunately, fate was not kind to anyone wishing to see Television's farewell. With the 55-year-old guitarist hospitalized with pneumonia, a true Television performance was not to be. With Lloyd unable to play, longtime Verlaine associate Jimmy Ripp, who might replace Lloyd if Television continues on, filled in on short notice.

Many of those in attendance weathered a brief rain shower during the Apples In Stereo's hour long opening set, ironically peppered with songs about the sun that remained defiantly out of reach. The Apples' brisk poppy style songs provided an interesting contrast to Television's minimalist approach. The headlining set was more than just a blast off to Marquee Moon, covering the relevant, if not always melodical, periods of Television's career. Instead of an afternoon delight of give-and-take between Lloyd and Verlaine, Verlaine handed nearly all the leads, his angular guitar solos slicing through Ripp's rhythm guitar and Smith's simple but sterling three note bass riffs that are so noticeable on songs like "Little Johnny Jewel."

Television's sparse material didn't fit Central Park's ultimately sunny atmosphere. Verlaine's toned down wail, experimental-style guitar licks and Television's all-around hipster-chic are much more simpatico with a dimly lit club. Verlaine's attitude didn't seem befitting of a day in the park either. Before playing one note, Verlaine cavalierly mentioned that the regular guitar player couldn't be here, and then launched into a small tirade about the PA system. What may have passed for attitude back in the day came across as the bitching of a cranky old man; although that made it no less entertaining.

As the lightning and rain produced an unexpected delay, Television's set ran well over schedule, leaving no time for an encore. Despite the apparent anxiousness of the Summerstage staff, Television felt no need to wrap things up ahead of their schedule. With time running scarce, Verlaine led Television into "Marquee Moon," guiding them through a 15 minute version of their iconic tune that included a couple false finishes that delighted the crowd but seemingly irked their hosts. If this show is to be their last, Television finished out their career with one last act of defiance; a wonderfully apt gesture and a fitting coup de grace. Will Television comeback for a reunion show? Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

McCartney May Have A Second Cup

Paul McCartney has been selling loads of records at Starbucks and the former Beatle knows a good thing when he's found it. Now, a report from WENN says Sir Paul may release another record through the coffee chain.

Sales were so brisk for his new record on Starbucks' Hear Music label that Mercury Almost Full shot to number three on the U.S. charts. A so-called "insider" is quoted by the British newspaper Daily Express as saying, "Paul always had the business brain in The Beatles. Now that the new album is selling well, Paul has finally been convinced to sign a long-term deal with Starbucks and is expected to put pen to papers in the coming weeks. This means Starbucks will be responsible for Paul's albums for many years to come."

Many thought this wouldn't work and that Paul would re-sign with EMI, who he was with for over 40 years after this experiment with Starbucks. Even McCartney seemingly had doubts as he only initially signed a one record deal. Now, it looks like Paul won't be getting back to where he once belonged anytime soon.

Jack White's Urgent Thump

White StripesJack White spoke to the Onion Av Club and had this to say about spending more time (only 3 weeks!) recording the new White Stripes record Icky Thump than any of their previous offerings:

"[It's] probably because, like most of our records, it was half-written in the studio right before we pressed 'record.' That always lends a sense of urgency and immediacy to the songs . . . I like to work under those conditions."

Maybe Jack should have a talk with Axl Rose? You can read the rest of the interview here". Speaking of the White Stripes, you can enter for a chance to win a "meet & greet" with the band, VIP tickets to their show to see them perform live in Anchorage, Alaska. Details here.

Paris Hilton Serenaded by Dion

What major social event of our times can compel Dion to write a new song? Climate change? No. The war in Iraq? Ummm...not. Poverty in Africa? Nope. The jailing of Paris Hilton? Yes!

The rock and roll hall of famer who penned "Run Around Sue" and "The Wanderer" has put together a little ditty called "Hey Paris" and did a little video performance that's up on YouTube: catch it here.


Hey Paris, when I saw you tonight in your party dress,
Your make-up perfect, your hair a perfect mess
I must confess

Hey Paris, a love that I'd been hold in
Felt like the walls were closing' in around me
I must confess

I confess to the crime of lovin' you
And everything that comes with
I confess that too

Hey Paris, look out in the evening sky
There's a big ol' lovers moon that's rising high
Let's take a ride

Hey Paris, just out past the LA line
Where the air is clean & the water tastes like wine
Let's take a ride

It ain't even half-past eleven
We got time to make it to Heaven tonight

Paris, look at me
The sun will set you free

Paris, let's blow this town
This town just brings me down

Hey Paris, honest as the day is long
All I want is everything you want,
Girl honest I do

Hey Paris, It's not just your dress that's blue
I know I am, I think that you are too
Honest, I do

Blue is the color of lonesome me
Lonesome & blue you don't have to be no more
Paris, no more

You got a friend till the very end
I'll stand by you
I'll pray for you
I'm looking out for you

...steady girl.

Mr. Dion is quite the punster! What say you Paris, going to take him for a ride? What's one more?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Their Name Is Earl Greyhound

By: David Schultz

Imagine a parallel dimension in which the laws of gender, science and individuality to which we've grown accustomed fail to retain their hold on the human species. Now further imagine that on some drunken evening in this world, Lenny Kravitz knocked up an innocent and unsuspecting Wolfmother: the resulting love child would be Earl Greyhound with bassist Kamara Thomas being the beneficiary of Andrew Stockdale's wild hair gene. While Earl Greyhound would surely be princes of rock in this realm, in ours, they are simply one of the most buzzed about bands to have recently emerged from Brooklyn. This past Thursday, Earl Greyhound marked their triumphant homecoming to the five boroughs with a sold-out show at the Lower East Side's Bowery Ballroom.

The multi-racial band is intriguing both aurally and visually. Guitarist Matt Whyte has the classic long-haired, lanky good looks and cocky swagger of a hard rock frontman. He's complemented by the eminently noticeable Thomas, who has cultivated a Seventies-style bad-ass image complete with Angela Davis' old school afro. While Whyte and Thomas prowl the front of the stage, (Big) Ricc Sheridan, with arms the size of Aaron Neville, bashes away mercilessly at his drum kit. The band's harshest critics lambaste Earl Greyhound as a band favoring style over substance. Dashikis and hairstyles notwithstanding, there is much more to Earl Greyhound then colorful photo-ops.

On Soft Targets, their impressive though uneven full length debut, Earl Greyhound moves through garage-style psychedelia, furious bass and drums driven rock and Seventies-era, riff-centric Rush-derived guitar anthems. At the Bowery, the Hound blurred the lines between genres, generating a straightforward, in-your-face maelstrom that's been missing in the wake of grunge rock's slow fade after Kurt Cobain's suicide. Amidst the aural assault, some melodic Brit-Pop reveals itself: the refrain of "All Better Now" a lineal descendant of "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

After kicking off their set with a relatively restrained ballad featuring Whyte playing keyboards off to the side of the stage, the mood changed significantly. While Whyte strapped on his guitar, Sheridan launched into the thunderous drum beat of "Yeah I Love You," and with Thomas belting out the vocals, the threesome picked up a relentless pace that would not abate for the rest of their seventy-five minute set. Thomas provides something you aren't going to see with your everyday ordinary band. She not only plays a seriously heavy bass, she does it with panache, sticking her tongue out a la Michael Jordan when she finds the right groove. When she wasn't helping Sheridan create a rumbling soundscape that had their opening acts' shelved cymbals and drums vibrating in tune along the left side of the floor, Thomas kept rearing back for emphasis, matching the drummer's muscle and prodding Whyte along with a powerful élan.

On occasion, David Letterman will present something unique or curious on The Late Show and then turn to Paul Shaffer and ask "Is This Something?" If the venerable talk show host and his Canadian sidekick were at the Bowery Ballroom to contemplate Whyte, Thomas and Sheridan, the answer would be simple: Earl Greyhound is definitely something.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Art Brut: It's a Bit Complicated

by Rinjo Njori.

On a decidedly more crowded playing field that saw releases from Bloc Party, Maximo Park, Kasabian, and even Jarvis Cocker during the first half of 2007 - Art Brut find themselves knee deep in the once per decade British music explosion. Art Brut caused all sorts of commotion a few months back when tracks from It's a Bit Complicated were distributed to various sites to post in advance of the release. That was quickly followed up with a request to remove said tracks. Some people jumped the gun releasing the tracks and others similarly jumped the gun asking for retractions. In other words, it got a bit complicated. Art Brut's follow up to 2005's Bang Bang Rock & Roll finds the band as polarized as ever and not quite as together as their contemporaries.

One common theme throughout the album are references to other songs or influences. "Pump Up the Volume", which opens the album, immediately recalls one hit/one track recording artist M|A|R|R|S (or the Christian Slater movie), but the music is more akin to the influence of Pulp's Different Class. Still the lyrical and song references are littered throughout the album. Sometimes the reference is in the song's title and sometimes in the lyrics. There is a nod to Billy Childish's Garage Rock legends Thee Headcoats on "St. Pauli." The song lifts the entire chorus from Messerschmitt Pilots' Severed Hand track "Punk Rock is Nicht Tot" ("Punk Rock is Not Dead!") and repurposes it for this song. Less obvious is the quick aside in "Post Soothing Out" to Ike and Tina Turner's Phil Spector produced "River Deep - Mountain High." These references are great for the music nerd and a nod to some influential artists. Musically they are way off the mark from Art Brut's "sound".

Thankfully Argos's lyrics also provide plenty shots of humor. "Nag Nag Nag Nag", "Pump Up the Volume" and "People In Love" take easy shots at young love and brief love. Whether it's interrupting a make out session to turn up a good tune, the dreadful mix tape your girlfriend makes for you, or the weight couples seem to gain when there love grows as well. Luckily they manage to truly gel on one undeniably great song. "Direct Hit" incorporates some great riffs, backing vocals, and for once Argos vocals blend perfectly with the music the band is playing. The song doesn't get old and would be a hit by anyone's standards.

There appears to be two distinctive parts to this band. There is Eddie Argos the vocalist/spoken word extraordinaire whose lyrical and vocal styles recall Johnny Lydon and Jarvis Cocker. As motioned he is quick witted and puts together lyrics that actually tell a story. Then there is Ian, Freddy, Mikey, and Jasper who craft some great modern British Alternative rock. They take chances and incorporate some interesting elements. The real problem with Art Brut as a group is that Eddie's vocals don't really "play" well with the rest of the bands music. "Late Sunday Evening" gels perfectly, but "Jealous Guy" sees Eddie constantly trying to catch up with the music.

Art Brut undoubtedly will benefit from the latest explosion of British music on the international alternative music scene. I am sure there "confusing" leak benefited them as well. But, It's a Bit Complicated lacks what a lot of their other contemporaries have displayed this year. Bloc Party stepped up with a more focused and cohesive sounds, even if their singer was hell bent on pushing everyone's buttons. Jarvis Cocker proved that the "C" word was relevant and hasn't been a hermit since Pulp's demise. Art Brut doesn't portray that same kind of drive or confidence. They seems to be headed in two different directions. One direction led by their witty and engaging lyricist. The other by a great rock band. On It's a Bit Complicated, it's clear that those two parts are rarely on the same page.

The Cowboy Junkies Mosey Through New York City

By: David Schultz

In today's digital world, the Internet gets deluged with a flood of songs each week by artists hoping to distinguish themselves amidst the onslaught of new music. Many stand out by being louder or brasher than their contemporaries, others, especially British chanteuses, score major interest by being boozier, cruder and more outrageous than the "lady" to their right. Instead of moving quicker and faster than the rest, The Cowboy Junkies have always played the tortoise to every one else's hare, seducing listeners for two decades with their alluring near somnambulistic pacing and Margo Timmins' ethereal vocals.

In support of their latest release, At The Ends Of Paths Taken, the Timmins clan returned to The Concert Hall at New York Society for Ethical Culture, one of Lincoln Center's many intimate performance spaces. The cozy room, which has cushioned pews in lieu of traditional seating, provides a reverent atmosphere and inspires a respectful silence that perfectly suits the deliberateness of the Junkies.

Accompanied by Michael Timmins and Jeff Bird, Margo Timmins opened the show with an acoustic set that suited the surroundings. With her brother on acoustic guitar and Bird rotating through a series of low-key instruments, Timmins draped her forearms around the microphone stand and let her dreamy voice glide over the crowd. The relatively brief opening set, featuring "Cutting Board Blues," "Anniversary Song" and Townes Van Zandt's "Rake," hearkened back to their Trinity Session days. A larger venue would have swallowed the set's sparse delicacy; the Ethical Culture Concert Hall seemed custom made for Timmins' inviting vocals which resonated dolefully throughout the room drawing people in.

When compared to their 1988 debut, the leisurely pacing on Paths Taken sounds downright hardcore. Even so, the electric second set, in which bassist Alan Anton and drummer Peter Timmons finally appeared, hardly proved overpowering, finding a comfortable pace and remaining true to it. Although Michael Timmons remained rooted to his chair, the music roamed nicely, especially during "Follower2" and "Brand New World." When Margo walked off stage during the set-closing version of "Blue Guitar," the Junkies seemed to channel the headiness of The Doors.

Speaking with a slight Canadian lilt to her voice, Timmins' stage banter seemed a bit out of synch with a band celebrating their 20th anniversary. Her stories of the band seemingly living from hand to mouth may be supported by her overpushing of the merchandise available in the lobby. Timmins' calming voice softened the hard sell but nearly conveyed a puzzling sense of desperation. They are in touch with their fans, above and beyond the degree of many other bands. Something that surely factors into their enduring career. Over the course of the night, Timmins mentioned various audience members whom she knew were celebrating anniversaries, indeed dedicating "Anniversary Song" to one such couple.

Despite calls from the crowd, the Junkies forewent their distinctive cover of the Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane," choosing instead to close the show with their threadbare rendering of Neil Young's "Powderfinger." In stripping the Crazy Horse classic to the core, they distilled the song to its very essence, transforming it into an even more haunting elegy of lost innocence. The mournful lyrics of one man's struggle against seemingly insurmountable odds may be a metaphor for the Junkies' career. However, with lo-fi bands like Grizzly Bear drawing raves by slowing everything down to explore pensive moods, the Junkies may be simply keeping alive the fire that has sparked the present-day, psych-folk movement.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mp3s, News and Notes

If you are not at Bonnaroo this weekend, you can still check out some of the festivities by tuning in to the AT&T Blue Room. Yep, sometimes corporations can be hip if they have the big bucks to get them selves in to the right places. The Blue Room will feature clips from performances by Kings of Leon, Gillian Welch, The Roots, Cold War Kids, Ben Harper, Wilco, the White Stripes and many more.

If you're in the Brooklyn area next week you can check out the Pawnshop Roses as they hit the New York area for the first time since the release of their new record Let it Roll. They play next Friday at Jalopy with the New Heathens and some other friends. The disc is also on its way to stores that are apart of the Home Grown Music Network, which distributes some of the best "festival" or live music bands like the Disco Biscuits, Michael Franti and many more. The record is available now on now available on Rhapsody and eMusic and will hit all international iTunes and other digital music stores in late July.

The documentary All My Loving from Tony Palmer is set to be released for home video. The release of the film about music and its effect on pop culture in the late 1960s, will feature previously unseen footage from The Beatles, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Pink Floyd and many more. This is the first home video release since the BBC Film was first produced and broadcast in 1968.

Mp3 offerings:
Scissors for Lefty: Lay Down Your Weapons
Au Revoir Simone: "A Violent Yet Flammable World"
Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears: "Misery Loves Company"
The Self-Righteous Brothers: Diana
Clutch: Mainestream
Backyard Tire Fire: Tom Petty (live)

Drowning Pool will testify before Congress on behalf of veterans returning from the war who are not getting the health care they need. First, a letter the band prepared was delivered to the White House. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, along with the Armed Forces Foundation, are now helping to secure a time for the band to testify on Capitol Hill the 2nd week of September. The band is recently back from a USO tour and are taking the veterans health care issue head on. "Once home in the United States, we connected with Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans who have returned home," said Stevie Benton (bassist). "Though back on safe shores, these individuals are facing a steep uphill battle to reclaim their health after facing the trauma of war." Drowning Pool gets it. Hopefully Congress can rectify the situation as the troops have been repeatedly short changed on the health care front by the administration.

Michael Hutchence Biopic In Works

INXS was one of my favorite bands in high school. At least before they became MTV darlings in the late 80s and yes, decades before the Rockstar show. The main draw to the band, even for a certified heterosexual like myself was Michael Hutchene. Hutchence brought the rock star charisma of the late 70s and early 80s to the post-punk alternative scene or what used to be known as "college music."

Yes, there was a time when in INXS was quite hip (like when JD Fortune was still under 10 years old). On 1982's Shabooh Shoobah they deliver one of the best songs of the decade in "Don't Change". But, this early stuff wasn't mere 80s pop. Much of it was substantive and at the time somewhat innovative. Yes, the band took a turn toward the MTV mainstream as the 80s closed out. But, those early years produced some great stuff.

This generation will get a chance to learn about Hutchence and the early INXS catalogue from a new biopic on the deceased frontman produced by Morgan Freeman. Reports say the film is called Slide Away - the name of a duet Hutchence performed with Bono, who cites the INXS singer as inspiration for the U2 song "Stuck In a Moment." The film is said to feature Hutchence's ghost recalling his life to daughter Tigerlily and will be directed by INXS video maker Michael Egan. Johnny Depp is rumored to be in line for the part of Hutchence.

Burnlounge is FTC Target

When I first heard of Burnlounge last summer one of the first things I thought was "pyramid scheme." Apparently the Federal Trade Commission has come around to thinking the same thing. On June 6, 2007, the FTC filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against BurnLounge, Inc. The complaint charges that BurnLounge sold opportunities to operate on-line digital music stores that was, in fact, an illegal pyramid scheme. The agency is seeking a permanent halt to the illegal pyramid practices as well as other illegal practices alleged in the complaint.

According to the FTC, BurnLounge recruited consumers through the Internet, telephone calls, and in-person meetings and the sales pitch represented that participants in BurnLounge were likely to make substantial income. The agency says that BurnLounge recruited participants by selling them so-called "product packages", ranging from $29.95 to $429.95 per year. The FTC also alleges that more expensive packages purportedly provided participants with an increased ability to earn rewards through the BurnLounge compensation program. The BurnLounge compensation program primarily provided payments to participants for recruiting of new participants, not on the retail sale of products or services, which the FTC alleges would result in a substantial percentage of participants losing money.

The FTC specifically alleges that the defendants operate an illegal pyramid scheme, make deceptive earnings claims, and fail to disclose that most consumers who invest in pyramid schemes do not receive substantial income, but lose money, instead. The agency believes these practices violate the FTC Act.

The FTC has asked the court to halt the alleged deceptive practices and misrepresentations and to freeze the defendants assets, pending a trial, to preserve them for consumer redress. At a hearing on the FTC's request for a temporary restraining order, on June 8, 2007, BurnLounge's attorneys asked for more time to respond fully. U. S. District Court Judge George Wu ordered that a full hearing on the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction and asset freeze be held on June 19, 2007, after which he will rule on the FTC's requests.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Rawk Report

Finger Eleven and the Used will take the stage at Sunday night's MuchMusic Video Awards 2007. If you are unable to watch it live at 9 p.m. ET on the Canadian cable network, webcasts will be available. Both bands are competing for Best Video honors at the ceremony, along with many top selling rock acts including My Chemical Romance, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fall Out Boy, Evanescence and AFI.

Yellowcard's new record Paper Walls is due out July 17th. In an interesting marketing partnership, the band will play a free concert on June 22nd to launch the 2007 NHL Entry Draft Weekend in Columbus, Ohio's Battelle Plaza. Yellowcard has also been selected as July's artist of the month at Beyond the NHL show, the band will also play 14 dates on the Warped Tour, before joining Blue October for a fall tour.

Bon Jovi reportedly turned down a $1 million dollar book advance because they didn't want to reveal private details of their personal lives. Jon Bon Jovi is quoted as saying "One of those big publishers gave us a million dollars recently to write a book about our experiences but we just gave the money right back because it's no one's business." Good thing some things aren't for sale.

But, speaking of things that are for sale...KISS are asking fans to help create their set list for a mini U.S. tour. Fans can vote from a list of rare KISS tracks, some the band say they've never even performed live. The song getting the most votes will be added to the show, which will no doubt include all the blood-spitting staples KISS fans come to expect.

Linkin Park ("What I've Done") and the Smashing Pumpkins ("Doomsday Clock") are featured on the soundtrack for the Transformers movie. The disc wall also include cuts from The Used, Taking Back Sunday, Disturbed and HIM. The soundtrack is set to hit stores the same day the film opens on July 3rd.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Beatles Beat

Paul McCartney is apparently bummed that people are missing out on nature's "birdsongs" when they walk around listening to their iPods instead of keeping an ear open for the world's everyday sounds. McCartney is quoted as saying "Headphones remind me of work - whereas for most people it's the opposite.
The thing is, you get sealed off from the world, and that's fine when you're making a record. But, when you're actually just walking around, you're gonna miss birdsong, and that's so special." Maybe Paul could mix in a little Andrew Bird next time?

In other interesting McCartneyisms, Sir Paul apparently appreciates his unique status as a former Beatle. He reportedly says, "You know, there were only four people in the Beatles, and I was one of them. That means that only three other people in the universe experienced that and that's pretty amazing. I try not to think about it too much in case it gets overwhelming. It's great and I just feel blessed." Wait, what about all those claiming to be or hailed as the "fifth Beatle"?

Speaking of fifth wheels, Yoko Ono made recent headlines after quotes were attributed to her about drug use. Yoko is reported as talking about heroin use and how the pair dabbled, but never got hooked: "Luckily we never injected because both of us were totally scared about needles. So that probably saved us and the other thing that saved us was that our connection was not very good. Our connection kept getting us a lot laced with baby powder. We said, 'What is this?' But that saved us probably."

In other Yoko news, it appears she has granted permission for Lennon's "Imagine" for an Amnesty International awareness campaign. The song is also featured on a fundraising CD, Instant Karma: The Campaign To Save Darfur, that features Lennon covers and is aimed at raising funds for relief efforts in the region.

Also in the category of permissions to use songs, Schultz says that if you weren't lucky enough to get one of the bracelets for Paul McCartney's "secret" Wednesday night show at New York City's HighLine Ballroom, you may be able to get tickets to see Beatallica as they tour the country on their 2007 Twist & Mosh tour; which would pretty much be the next best thing (or third best . . . or maybe tenth best). A riotous blend of Beatlemania and Metallica sturm und drang, Jaymz Lennfield, Grg Hammettson, Kliff McBurtney and Ringo Larz, are poised to hit the road with tongue firmly in cheek in support of their upcoming release, Sgt. Hetfield's Motorbreath Pub Band. Surprisingly, the satirical mashup of two of the more notoriously litigious bands has not been buried under a mountain of "cease and desist" orders. To the contrary, it seems the Metallica boys are fans. As for Sony/ATV Publishing: it seems they are willing to tolerate Beatallica, which given their typical lack of humor or understanding is as close to a rave as you'll get from that camp. First The Grey Album, then the Beatallica. It's terrifying how close we may be to Rock Star: Beatle Nova.

Beastie Boys Tour Dates

The Beastie Boys are set to release an all instrumental album later this month, but don't worry you can still hear the Brooklyn boys rock the mic. The venerable hip hop trio has announced a set of late summer tour dates:

8/1 Philadelphia - Festival Pier
8/6 Boston - Bank of America Pavilion
8/8 New York - Summerstage
8/9 Brooklyn - McCarren Pool
8/16 Denver - Red Rocks
8/23 Santa Barbara - County Bowl
8/25 Berkeley - Greek Theater

Word is that those dates will have plenty of rhymin' and stealin' and a later set of dates focusing on the instrumental sounds of the Mix Up, which hits stores June 26th. If you're still ready to fight for your right to party, pre-sale tix go on sale June 25th at

Farm Aid To Come To The Metropolitan Dust Bowl

When Bob Dylan blithely suggested that one or two million dollars raised during Live Aid be given to American farmers to assist in the payment of their mortgages, he not only likely pissed off Bob Geldof but became the catalyst for Farm Aid. Two decades later, Live Aid has morphed into Live 8 and been coopted into Live Earth; Farm Aid though has remained constant. Under the auspices of Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, Farm Aid has become a yearly event since its inaugural 1985 show in Champaign, Illinois.

For its 22nd edition, Farm Aid will be moving from the Heartland to the Big City with this year's show taking place September 9, 2007 at New York City's Randall's Island. For those worrying that a concrete jungle makes an inappropriate venue for a rural benefit, have no fear: not only is Randall's Island so inconveniently removed from the heart of the city, if the weather is dry, it will turn into a veritable Grapes Of Wrath Dust Bowl. If Farm Aid is beset by Randall's Island's traditionally hellacious concert conditions, Willie Nelson may regret his glib rationale for the locale. "More people eat [in New York City] than probably anywhere else in the world, so where better to go?" the country legend reportedly stated.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rage Against The Machine Announces New Show

Rage Against the Machine is ready to rage again. This time it won't be part of a festival like Coachella or Rock the Bells, although there will be some other great music on the bill. Rage is set to play with Queens of the Stone Age on August 24th in East Troy, Wisconsin. Tickets will go on sale this Saturday, June 16th. There's no doubt this relatively small town is in for some big time rock and roll.

Meanwhile, guitarist Tom Morello, may have seen a little too much rage after a recent gig. Reports say Morello was performing at a rally outside the G8 summit in Germany when the crowd got unruly. According to reports, Morello had to escape the area by boat after the protest became violent. Morello is quoted as saying, "After my set, I had to escape via small boat to the Baltic Sea. There were police boats blockading the entrance to the festival and we snuck out under cover of darkness." Not sure if there will be a boat escape route in Troy, Wisconsin!

Social Distortion: Greatest Hits

Social Distortion: Greatest HitsBy: Sean R. Grogan

"SoCal At Its Best"

Who says punk is dead? Not us and certainly not Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness. Since 1979, these Orange County ruffians have been unleashing their mind-blowing punk on the world, and this collection of greatest hits showcases their 28 years of hard work. By pulling classic songs and radio hits from each of their eight albums, this retrospective manages to strike a successful balance between their hard-hitting, mosh-pit-igniting punk anthems and those that are carried by Ness's melodic, soulful lyrics.

Social Distortion began in Ness's bedroom back when he was just 17. After they released their first single, "Mainliner/Playpen," they started generating radio play and landed tours with iconic hardcore acts including Youth Brigade and Minor Threat. But it was the release of Mommy's Little Monster in 1983 that gained these SoCal punks the national following that they've held onto despite several roster changes, heroin addiction, and run-ins with the law.

Each track on Social Distortion: Greatest Hits seamlessly combines the punk influence of The Clash and the Ramones with the rebellious sounds of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Southern Blues. The pinnacle is Social D's raging, yet slick, rendition of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" which hits you like a blast furnace as Ness's gritty vocals merge with the grinding guitars of the late Dennis Danell. Ness's love and admiration for music pours through his vocals which run the gamut from raw, on tracks like "Another State of Mind", to deep and moving on songs such as "When Angels Sing." Social D's mainstay – stories of hard-luck lives and eventual hard-won redemption – play out on furious tracks like "Mommy's Little Monster" and "Prison Bound," but hit home on "Story of My Life."

The album also features their first new song in three years: "Far Behind." It's a biting tune similar to the Social Distortion we're accustomed to, and we can relate as Ness spins a tale of a friendship gone bad. Though it's a tease, we're hoping their newest album, slated to hit this fall, will live up to the promise "Far Behind" delivers.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rock Feud News

I always get a kick out of reading about these "rock feuds" - remember Axl Rose and Vince Neil? The latest feuds cover a variety of genres. Rolling Stone reports about the beef between My Chemical Romance and Marilyn Manson. Manson reportedly thinks that MCR are ripping him off and may have written "Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery" - from Eat Me, Drink Me record about MCR. Gerard Way, MCR's frontman, thinks Manson is making the accusations for publicity. Maybe a duel with black eye liner pencils is in the works?

On the other end of the spectrum, the "feud" between the Bravery and the Killers is heading into a period of detente. The Bravery's singer Sam Endicott reportedly regrets the verbal catfights with the Killers. The band is apparently now more focused on their music. They are on a club tour now and later this summer will hit the road with Incubus.

The final act of today's feud news trilogy features a pair of British bands. Kasabian is still not done sparring with Keane. British tabloids say the jabbing "reignited" when Keane singer Tom Chaplin reportedly questioned the drinking abilities of the Kasabian lads. Kasabian struck back with a crack on Chaplin's weight and his alleged penchant for pies. Sounds like someone needs a timeout.

Guns N' Roses Kick Off Australian Tour

Guns N' Roses launched their first tour of Australia in nearly 15 years. That probably means that many of the young kids at the show in Perth were toddlers when Axl Rose and crew were at their height. But, one reviewer says that time hasn't diminished Axl's stage presence and the corn-rowed singer scored some major brownie points by dedicating the show to hometown legend Bon Scott of AC/DC. The band ran through all the "hits" but apparently left no hints about that oh so infamous Chinese Democracy record that is "allegedly" coming out some day.

Rolling Stones News

Mick Jagger joined Simon Cowell on a list of the sexiest men ranked by ladies in Britain, WENN reports. The poll was taken by UK magazine Glamour and also included Bill Clinton. The ladies are reportedly impressed by Cowell's "man-boobs, flat top hair and Cuban heels". Mick, of course, has none of those traits.

But, one trait Mick does have is spontaneity. Reports have Mick jumping up on stage at a London pub a few weeks back with his brother's band Atcha!. The Jagger brothers duet went down at the Bull's Head in Barnes. Why this is news now and didn't come out when it reportedly happened is a mystery.

A duet that is making instant news is the one that went down over the weekend. Scottish crooner Paolo Nutini jammed The Stones last night after reportedly getting a phone call from Mick himself to join the band at the Isle of Wight Festival. The Scotsman got to live out a rock and roll fantasy by joining the Stones on a run through of "Love In Vain." But, Paolo wasn't the only one doing what Jeff Spicoli could only dream of. Amy Winehouse also joined Mick and the boys for "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bono Pleads for American Values

Beyond hanging out at the G8 Summit, Bono is guest editing at Vanity Fair. In his "Guest Editor's Letter" the Irishman professes his continued admiration for America, which was evident on earlier records like Rattle and Hum, and pleads for some exportation of American values to places in need:

"The majority of people in the world no longer idolize Western ideals of justice, freedom, and equality. They don't believe we believe in them. As a student and fan of this great country, America, and the ideas at the heart of it, I think the wider world needs to see a demonstration of those "American" values, through pharmacology, agro-ecology, and technological help for those in extreme circumstances, in their hour of need. These are dangerous times—it's cheaper and smarter to make friends of potential enemies than to defend yourself against them later."

You can read the full letter here.

Hendrix Will Appeal Denied

The Washington Supreme Court denied an appeal in what has been a lengthy challenge to the will of James "Al" Hendrix. Al Hendrix was, of course, Jimi Hendrix' father, and founder of Experience Hendrix, LLC, the family company that aims to preserve Jimi's musical and cultural legacy. After Al's death in 2002, Leon Hendrix filed suit challenging Al's will.

Janie Hendrix, President of Experience Hendrix, issued the following statement, "My dad was an extremely generous man who had a clear vision for preserving and maintaining the legacy of Jimi Hendrix. We've done our best to realize that vision. We intend to continue on the path laid out by my father and to redouble our efforts to fulfill that vision."

String Cheese Incident to do Beacon Theatre Run

The String Cheese Incident are set to take a page out of the Allman Brothers handbook for a series of shows at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. While SCI, won't be doing an Allman-length stint, they will be in the Big Apple for four nights from July 11-14. Three of the nights are sold out already, but there seem to be some seats available for the July 11th show.

New York is just one of SCI's many summer stops. SCI hits the 10,000 Lakes Festival in July, stepping in for Trey Anastasio who had to cancel, along with Gov't Mule, the Tragically Hip, moe., Ratdog, the Disco Biscuits and many more. The band will also play the Big Summer Classic in August with the Roots, Yonder Mountain String Band and a host of others.

Keller Williams Unveils WMDs

WMDs may not have been found in Iraq, but you will find them on the summer festival circuit thanks to Keller Williams. Williams is set for a big summer as he's still touring in support of Dream. Besides doing his maniacal one-man show on a series of co-headline dates with Bob Weir and Ratdog, Keller will introduce a new band for the summer: the WMDs.

In addition to Williams, of course, the WMDs feature Keith Moseley on bass (The String Cheese Incident), Gibb Droll on guitar (Marc Broussard), and Jeff Sipe on drums (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Trey Anastasio, Susan Tedeschi, Phil Lesh). The all-star band will only appear on select dates including Bonnaroo and Summercamp. Complete tour information is available on his website.

Ozzy Speaks to Guitar World

Ozzy Osbourne is a busy guy. Ozzfest is set to gear up soon and, of course, Ozzy is readying his latest record Black Rain for release this summer as well. Ozzy took some time to speak with Guitar World, who sent over a few choice quotes:

On his health: "I'll tell you, it's a weird feeling waking up and thinking you're dead. That's happened to me; that's where you gotta go, Well, it's time to stop, 'cause the next time I wake up and think I'm dead, I'll really be dead."

On Keith Richards snorting his father's ashes: "I was knocked out when Keith Richards came out and said he snorted his father. I thought, Well, somebody's gotta do something insane while I'm taking a break, you know? Thank God he was joking. I've already snorted a line of ants. I don’t need to try to top that!"

On the toughest substance to quit: "They're all a bitch to kick, but I'd have to say cigarettes. I used to cover my whole body with [nicotine] patches. I looked like a goddamn mummy. And I'd still smoke! Then my heart would start beating like crazy and I'd break out in sweats. But one day I just said, 'Enough of this shit.' And I quit, just like that."

Ozzy's complete interview is in the current Guitar World on news stands now.

Rage Against The Web Site

A Live Nation operated web site affiliated with Rage Against The Machine has been causing quite a stir lately. The site has been conducting a mysterious countdown with two clocks simultaneously ticking down: one to this Monday morning and the other to August 24th (all while playing the guitar riff from "Bulls On Parade" ad nauseum). Rage's reunion was originally scheduled for a one-off gig at Coachella, leaving fans to wildly speculate whether the site is building suspense for a Monday morning announcement of a comprehensive reunion tour. As for August 24th, it appears quite likely that RATM will be playing that night in East Troy, Wisconsin at the Alpine Valley Music Theater. Regardless, the Coachella set will not be their last for 2007: they will also be playing select gigs with Public Enemy and the Wu Tang Clan as part of the Rock The Bells tour.

Grinderman & Cold War Kids To Open For The White Stripes

If Jack and Meg White weren't an intriguing enough pairing of musicians, The White Stripes have made a valiant effort to try to and up the interest factor for their upcoming tour in support of their soon-to-be-released Icky Thump. Hot on the heels of the announcement that the Cold War Kids would support the Stripes on the west coast and Midwest legs of their fall tour comes the news that Grinderman, Nick Cave's latest project, will join Porter Wagoner in opening up for the Whites when their make their headlining debut at Madison Square Garden.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wilco Defends Advertising Decision

If you haven't heard (or seen), Wilco has licensed a handful of new songs to be used in VW ads. Apparently this has irked some fans (or at least some critics) as the band felt the need to post a statement on their website citing the need to reach people due to a lack of radio play.

The band says: "This is a subject we've discussed internally many times over the years regarding movies, TV shows and even the odd advertisement. With the commercial radio airplay route getting more difficult for many bands (including Wilco); we see this as another way to get the music out there. As with most of the above (with the debatable exception of radio) the band gets paid for this. And we feel okay about VWs. Several of us even drive them."

I have to agree with Wilco on this one. It's not like they're pushing cigarettes or something like that. I say go for it boys, don't let the VW ad critics bug you.

Blur to Reunite for new Record?

Reports from the UK are the complete lineup will reunite for a new Blur record. Prior reports had Damon Albarn, Dave Rowntree and Alex James all on board, but guitarist Graham Coxon the lone hold out. Now "sources" are telling UK media that Coxon has now agreed to join the others to start recording in November.

Of course, Albarn has been busy lately with his The Good, the Bad and the Queen project. Earlier this year Albarn told NME that the next installment of that project would begin recording in September. Given Albarn's penchant for multiple projects it is quite possible he'll do both. We'll have to wait and see.

Chili Peppers, Jeff Tweedy, Iggy Pop do Lil' Bush

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have already made cartoon history on the Simpsons. Now, Pitchfork reports, that the band are joining Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters as rockers set to make cartoon cameos on Lil' Bush. The new cartoon will debut June 13th on Comedy Central network. The cartoon originated through Amp'd Mobile and since its debut last September has gained some buzz which led to the Comedy Central deal, who will run six episodes to start. The series was created by Donick Cary, a writer for the Simpsons.

Iggy Pop has a recurring role as "Lil' Rummy" and reports have Pixies frontman Frank Black making an appearance as the devil. Jeff Tweedy will play God. The latter of course, will no doubt cause some Wilco fans to say, what do you mean play God?

Queens of the Stone Age Coming Your Way

Queens of the Stone Age announced that they will kick off a summer tour that will see them play some smaller markets than a band of their stature may normally hit at this juncture in their careers. Places like Boise, Idaho and Missoula, Montana are great American towns, but not the kinds of places that one normally sees at the front of the tour. But, if you live in the city, don't worry the band promised they'll hit New York, Chicago and elsewhere later on.

Josh Holmes told Billboard, "We want to play to people who hardly ever get shows and just burn the house down." I saw QUOTSA about four or so years ago in Towson, Maryland and they did indeed burn the house down. Look out Duluth!

New Monsoon Thunders Into The Mercury Lounge

By: David Schultz

On their way to upstate New York to play a set at Warren Haynes' Mountain Jam, (one that would be delayed by an old style monsoon . . . well, really a torrential downpour), San Francisco's New Monsoon made a triumphant return to Manhattan's Mercury Lounge for a late-night Friday gig. From one perspective, New Monsoon appears to be in a state of flux: for starters, their two-man percussion section, once featured prominently in the band's mix, seems to be on indefinite hiatus. Rather than find substitutes for their recent East coast trip, New Monsoon shed the Indian raga and percussive hodge-podge and focused instead on the rootsy, bluesy grooves created by the group's founding member guitarists Jeff Miller and Bo Carper. A more permanent change to the rhythm section involves the addition of bassist Ron Johnson, formerly of Karl Denson's Tiny Universe. Johnson sat in with Monsoon during their last visit to the City, with the announcement of his joining the band coming a few weeks later. The absence of the percussion section worked wonders as Miller, Carper, Johnson, keyboardist Phil Ferlino and drummer Marty Ylitalo seemed to thrive with the extra musical space. If the streamlined, five-piece becomes permanent, New Monsoon will only gain speed with their sleeker, leaner configuration.

In comparison to their last metropolitan visit which featured a number of sit-ins, Friday night's show was a more insular affair, accentuated by Carper and Miller passing the guitar lead back and forth, exploring the contrasts between the electric and acoustic. Carper truly provides New Monsoon with a stylistic twist: he’s able to coax heavier and meatier riffs than you would expect from an acoustic guitar and by abandoning traditional bluegrass structure, he offers an intriguing serving of rock banjo. He's also an extremely social creature: in between sets, Carper never got more than ten feet from the stage, choosing to mingle and chat with the fans instead of retiring backstage.

The title of their upcoming album, New Monsoon V, may give a hint as to the band's future to those who like to read tea leaves. For those who prefer coffee, it might simply be a reference to the fact that it’s the bands fifth album. Prognostication aside, the selections New Monsoon previewed on Friday night proved to be pretty exciting, especially their rollicking run through "Alaska." Their current sound benefits greatly from Johnson's addition, his bass work providing a wonderfully funky, soulful dimension. Over the course of the evening, Monsoon covered Jimi Hendrix' "Freedom" and reinvigorated old favorites like "Patato's Mission." With Miller leading the way, they touched on rambling Allman Brothers style grooves, hit slinky sinuous Tom Petty vibes and even channeled the best parts of Bruce Hornsby & The Range. The one departure took place during an instrumental jam between Ylitalo on drums and Johnson playing an enormous African-style string and percussion contraption. Once the two had their beats syncopated, Ferlino, Carper and Miller jumped in and the band went into their final flurry.

As they straggled back to the stage for their encore, Ferlino acknowledged the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by noodling a bit of the opening riff until the rest of the band caught up. Their bouncy run through the jazzy-funk of "Greenhouse" to close the night was a bit removed from what came before but showed another side of the band. For many bands, lineup fluctuations can spell disaster. For New Monsoon, it seems like a gigantic step towards finding the right sound.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mp3s, News and Notes

Jack White reportedly put the icky thump a DJ for leaking the new White Stripes record. A DJ for Chicago station Q101 reportedly played the Stripes record Icky Thump in its entirety last Wednesday. But, Jack White was not happy with what he viewed as an early airing of the record. On her blog, DJ "Electra" tells how White called the station to express his displeasure that the record was played. She says she was just trying to tell the world how great the record is. White still wasn't happy with her explanation and stuck to his view that no record should be played before its time.

If you're in the DC area tonight, Wes Tucker and the Skillets will be playing with Laura Tsaggaris at Iota to benefit The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and implements programs designed to prevent sexual assault and help victims. Chrisitina Ricci serves as the national spokeswoman for the organization. Stop in for a good show and a good cause.

Chris Cornell is set for a North American tour in support of his new album, Carry On. The former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman kicks off his tour with a July 10 show in San Francisco. Cornell will also perform Wednesday on Jay Leno and Thursday on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live. You can listen to Carry On in its entirety on Chris' MySpace page.

If you're in the Philadelphia area this Friday, the Pawnshop Roses will play Milkboy Coffee with Justin Jones. The show starts at 8pm and is all ages.

Mp3 Offerings:
Ryan Adams (w/Sheryl Crow): Two (via WXPN)
Peel - "In the City"
Mooney Suzuki - "99%"
People Noise: "A Million Lives"
The Polyphonic Spree: Running Away (via

The soundtrack for the upcoming documentary Kurt Cobain About a Son, is due out Sept. 11 on Barsuk Records. The will feature songs by R.E.M., Iggy Pop as well as a new song by Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard. In addition to the 21 tracks, the record is said to include audio excerpts of archived Cobain interviews.

U2 Set Up Studio in Morocco

U2 are recording new material in Morocco with long time collaborator Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno. Their website says the band have set up a studio in Morocco's medieval city of Fez where they have been holed up until the wee hours of the morning writing and recording for the past couple of weeks.

A report from someone with the band in Fez says "they're on a roll and the ideas are coming think and fast." The band joined Eno and Lanois after flying down to North Africa from Cannes where U23D was previewed earlier this month with the band performing a special red carpet show.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Shining Star: Bright Eyes At Town Hall

By: David Schultz

Not too long ago, Conor Oberst served as the musical equivalent to LeBron James, commencing his recording career while still in his mid-teens. At only 27, the talented songwriter possesses that rare combination of an idealistic outlook, youthful optimism and a wealth of recording and touring experience. His trips into the studio typically become prolific, yielding a glut of recordings.

He began 2005 by simultaneously releasing two wildly different albums, the acoustic-folky I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and the techno-tinged Digital Ash In A Digital Urn. During a 2006 burst of recording, Oberst focused his sights on Middle America with the results pared down into Cassadaga, his seventh full length album and Four Winds, a companion EP. Popular enough to play New York's larger theaters, Bright Eyes became part of the Big Apple residency movement by taking over midtown Manhattan's staid Town Hall for a seven night run of shows.

Oberst has become synonymous with Bright Eyes, but guitarist Mike Mogis and organist Nate Walcott are just as much of the group as their more recognizable leader. For the Town Hall shows, Bright Eyes also included Jake Bellows (guitar), Anton Patzner (violin), Rachel Blumberg and Sleater-Kinney's Janet Weiss (drums) as well as assorted cellists and brass. Borrowing a page from the Jack White book on cohesive apparel, they all dressed in white with Bellows wearing a blowsy dappled shirt that might have been stolen from the world's largest set of baby pajamas.

A marvelous venue for any singer-songwriter, Town Hall's coziness inspires an increased sense of respectfulness and reduced chatter from the audience, making it an ideal room to convey every word and note to the audience. Oberst didn't make the best use of the venue's superior acoustics for the Tuesday night show. Not only were many of his lyrics lost within the instrumental mix: in finishing nearly every song with a powerful flourish, Bright Eyes tended to overpower Town Hall's limitations. When you could make out what Oberst was saying, he proved himself a potent songwriter and quite possibly a "little Dylan" in training. Although his imagery can drift towards the heavy handed, Oberst possesses a nice ability to move his narratives towards poignant questions. The songs work best in a live setting with the band's upbeat accompaniment as it gives Oberst instrumental foils to play off. When Oberst goes into folky mode, the songs often wander morosely. His set closing version of "Lime Tree" exemplified that point, Oberst's message getting lost in an endlessly ponderous morass.

Accompanied by her longtime partner David Rawlings, Gillian Welch opened the evening with an hour long set of gorgeously crafted folk and country tunes. The two spotted the set with some fiery guitar interplay moving from the Prince-like crescendos at the close of "Revelator" to the twangy two-step of "Jackson." Rawlings returned to the stage throughout the second half of Bright Eyes' set, joining in on guitar and backup harmonies. He wouldn't be the only helping hand that evening. In an effort to make each show truly unique, Oberst introduced a different special guest each night.

On Tuesday night, Norah Jones and the Little Willies joined Lou Reed, Ben Gibbard, Steve Earle, Ben Kweller and Jenny Lewis on the Bright Eyes guest roster. Oberst tried to build a sense of anticipation only to have the moment humorously torpedoed when Jones let the secret slip by striding onstage during Oberst's introductory spiel. With Oberst sitting by the side of the stage sipping his drink, the Willies played a nice little mini-set consisting of "Love Me" and "I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive" before Oberst joined them for "We Are Nowhere And It's Now."

Oberst and Bright Eyes had plenty of inspired moments. During one song, Oberst knocked down his flower laden mike stand and before a roadie could get onstage to get it upright it, Oberst simply lay down on the ground and sang while resting on his side. For the encore, Oberst offered his country-tinged "Four Winds" featuring Patzner's violin before bringing Jones, Welch and Rawlings back on stage for a spectacular sing-along version of Welch's "Look At Miss Ohio" which Oberst guided into Neil Young's "Helpless."

If parts of the show were a bit too loud for Town Hall, others were too quiet. The lengthy, sometimes awkward pauses necessitated by equipment changes gave some of Bright Eyes' extremely young fans an opportunity to demonstrate the social ineptness of being young and unchaperoned in public. The silent gaps between songs were often accompanied by the shouts of various youngsters trying to get the attention of Oberst or any other member of the band they could get to respond. Cringeworthy as the outbursts were, they did signify the extent to which Oberst connects with his fans, a skill he's unlikely to lose over the course of sure-to-be lengthy career.

Oasis Documentary To Air Glastonbury

Oasis won't play live at the huge Glastonbury festival, but they'll still get plenty of attention with a super sized video screen showing their mugs off to the crowd. The festival will screen the Gallagher brothers' documentary Lord Don't Slow Me Down on a giant screen during the festivities.

Directed by Baillie Walsh, the film documents the Oasis "Don't Believe the Truth" tour of 2005-2006. The film features the title song "Lord Don't Slow Me Down", written by Noel and recorded during the Don't Believe the Truth sessions. According to Wikipedia, despite leaving it off that album, Gallagher described it as being "one of the best things, like The Who, The Yardbirds and the Jeff Beck Group combined, and it's got two drum solos on it!"

The film is reported to be set to hit theaters and be released on DVD later this year.

Paris Hilton Dropped By Record Label

Paris Hilton was dropped by her record label. File this under, "duh?" Yes, I know these big corporate record labels think consumers are stupid. But, here the market worked. Hilton is, of course, off to jail. But, the label heads who signed her are guilty of crimes against the art of music making.

Reports say the company is thought to be disappointed after spending $250,000 in a video for single "Stars Are Blind" and a big promotional tour. With all the daily press Hilton generates and the label muscle behind the release, she reportedly sold only 70,000 cds.

I'm still amazed that some of these "insiders" at labels have jobs. They are the ones who should be dropped for signing her in the first place. Maybe if these labels let millionaires fund their own vanity records and looked around for artists with actual talent instead of trying to parlay a gimmick they wouldn't be so "disappointed" with sales.

A representative for Warner Brothers is quoted said, "We are not expecting any new Paris Hilton material in the foreseeable future." Like I said above, duh!

Stones Not Touring For The Money

Keith Richards felt the need to hit back at Rolling Stones critics who say the band keeps churning out tours to continue to cash in. There's no question the Stones do rake in the bucks when they tour. But, what's wrong with that? Richards and crew have earned all the money they've made by providing a product that people want to buy. It is plain and simple economics. But, Richards insists it's not just about the cash.

Keith is quoted as saying "I don't think you could get these guys to do it just for the money. It's still a bloody adventure. Every time you set sail on these things, they're never the same and I love to see the world and I hope the world loves to see me. You get this insane idea that you can only do this between 17 and 25, but y'know, I'm not a tennis player. I'll show you how long it can be done."

It is quite impressive that these guys are still out there doing it over age 60. There's no doubt the tour is about more than money too. Don't forget there are still chicks and good times on the road!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Jack White as Elvis?

Jack White may be busy touring in support of the new White Stripes record and he, of course, has his famous side project the Raconteurs. Now, according to a report by WENN, he has added yet another project to his plate. The report says White is set to play the King in a comedy called Walk Hard set to be released next year.

White is quoted as saying "It's my favourite era of Elvis, around '56, and when John sent me the script I laughed out loud the whole way through." If Jack is Elvis, does that mean Meg is Priscilla?

Amy Lee Speaks to Revolver

Amy Lee and Evanescence have been going through some growing pains and lineup changes lately. Amy sat down with Revolver to discuss the goings on and some other issues like meeting groupies on the road. Here are a couple quotes from Miss Lee:

On her bandmates jealousy: "They just want to play their instruments, and they rather I do most of the press and the work while they sleep."

On groupies during her tour: "At an aftershow party, a couple kept talking to us and getting closer and closer, and finally they let us know that they were swingers and they wanted to bring me back to their place. I was totally horrified."

I get two things out of these statements. One, her bandmates are lucky this thing is still a band and not simply called the Amy Lee project. Second, apparently she doesn't realize she's in a rock and roll band. The full interview is in the July issue of Revolver, which is on stands now.

Ryan Adams Announces Tour Dates very quiet, Ryan Adams is playing. Seriously, Ryan Adams is going on tour and if you do go you really should pay attention to this guy. He's one of the premiere and most prolific songwriters of this era. Adams, is of course, set to release his new record Easy Tiger on June 26th and the dates coincide with the release. I expect we'll see more added later (the publicists love that since they'll get to send out the "MORE DATES!" email), but for now we have the following dates backed by the Cardinals:

Monday, June 18 - Minneapolis MN - Cedar Cultural Center
Wednesday, June 20 - Detroit MI - Gem Theater
Friday, June 22 - Toronto ON - Enmax Theatre
Saturday, June 23 - Burlington VT - Higher Ground
Thursday, June 28 - Philadelphia PA - The Theater of the Living Arts
Friday, June 29 - Boston MA - Somerville Theater

I haven't heard the record yet, but others are already giving it the thumbs up. Q gave the album four stars and wrote "the bad boy is back, and he's really, really good." Rolling Stone noted that "perhaps thanks to maturity, sobriety or both, Adams' voice sounds better than ever." Harp's lead review in the current issue calls the album "easily Adams' most consistent recording." What no Pitchfork rating yet? How am I supposed to know if I like it or not?

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Grace Potter Rocking The Gear circa 2006!