Friday, March 31, 2006

The Matt Roren Karaoke Experience. Definitely a highlight at the benefit for the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington, Long Island last nite. MRKE's set included such hits as "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." If you don't think this is for real click HERE.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Prefixmag has the Yeah Yeah Yeahs footage from last nite on Letterman. If you're wondering who the guy on acoustic guitar is, it's new touring member Imaad Wasif.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs were just on David Letterman 30 minutes ago. Unfortunately I missed it. Here's their previous performance on the show. Karen O is good here, but I would still like to see her move around the stage more.

Liars: Drum's Not Dead (Mute)
release: March 21, 2006
rating: **

When the Liars were touring for the first record in 2002 and opening for Sonic Youth in New York, the restless post-experimental rock band practically blew its forefather band away. It was partly because the Liars seemed very reckless and exciting, and party because Sonic Youth was kinda a drag live. The same would not be said if the Liars were supporting its third album, the much darker Drum's Not Dead. It's hardly because it's not interesting. The Liars have been intriguing and strange since their inception (even though its sophomore record about witches is forgettable). It's just really hard to picture a live impact from tribal-type percussion, moaning-like vocals (and the vocals don't come often) and whatever other sounds they mustered up on this concept record about something that really is an effort to explain here. On record, however, it at least shows that the band is willing to take chances. Hopefully, like Sonic Youth, this is just a phase of avant-garde the Liars are going through, and when they finish, they'll get back to what they do best: rock the hell out. -Kenyon
If you thought a tour with Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus was exciting, just you wait. Def Leppard and Journey, two bands that have been around just so damn long, are touring together this summer, including June 24 at Jones Beach, Long Island. Def Leppard has been honored by the RIAA with two Diamond Awards for selling quite a lot of copies of Hysteria and Pyromania-which, if you don't know, rock hard. Important note though on Journey: vocalist Steve "Oh Sherri" Perry is not in the band anymore.
Diamond Nights playing at Crazy Donkey on Long Island next Wednesday with Head Automatica.
New Elefant video for "Lolita". Censored version. From the upcoming record Black Magic Show. Quicktime small. Quicktime bigger.

I just heard a song from the new Goldfrapp album in a commercial for Coca-Cola. Blech! Yea, it was during American Idol ok. Ok shut up ok? I just had to prove that everyone would choose really bad songs. And they did! Yea! they all sucked!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Frank Lenz:
Vilelenz and Thieves (Hidden Agenda)
rating: ***
release: March 21, 2006

In the promo photo of Frank Lenz holding a mic to what looks like a karaoke machine, he looks like a total science and technology geek, albeit a hip one. It also suggests his music is either really geeky or really experimental or both. In reality, the music of this arranger/producer (Pedro the Lion, Starflyer 59) is actually elegant, and at first quite eclectic before he settles down into quiet acoustic indie rock ala Elliott Smith. Vilelenz and Thieves begins with something out of the orchestral pages of Polyphonic Spree, while other times Lenz can easily draw comparisons to Yo La Tengo. Usually though, he's just very soft-spoken, even when he's saying "I've always been a fucking poseur." -Kenyon

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Ice Cream Social @Metasin last nite.

I would love to be in this band. Not only do they have a fantastic indie pop/rock band name (even though I don't eat ice cream), there are two keyboards. But I can't be in the band. They're from Buffalo. Bummer.

Friday, March 24, 2006

It's taking me some time to adjust to 90210: the beginning. Especially to the idea that David Silver was semi-hip, before he started chilling with Babyface. Here he is with Scott wearing a New Order shirt.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Editors: The Back Room (Fader)
release: March 21, 2006
rating: ****1/2

When I went looking for the press sheet for this disc, I realized it only came with the tour dates for the Editors and Stellastarr*. I could have went online and easily found the background info on this hyped band, but at that point I was like, you know what, screw it. This is going to be one of those new bands where I really don't care or need to know anything. I'm going in with an open mind, not even knowing what they sound like yet. Maybe the Editors are from New York City. Whatever, I don't care. Let the music speak for itself. So guess what. This is the first great record of 2006. I hope I haven't said that yet about another record. Cause this one really is. And if I did say that, then this is the first great record of 2006 that can compete with Kitchens of Distinction and Interpol. ps...Editors are from England. -Kenyon

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

MP3s in the hoouussee. from artists I never heard of before.

The 303s (record out April 11 on Cult Hero)
inexplicably drops out at the end.

Casey Dienel (out now on Hush)
similar to beth orton, joanna newsom. we'll just see about that.

Track a Tiger (out now on Future Appletree)
like a really breezy Yo La Tengo.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins has signed with Darla records. His first release with Darla, Continental, is out May 15. Guthrie will also play on and mix the upcoming--and much delayed--record from stellar dream pop band Mahogany, due this summer. In related Cocteau Twins news, 4AD this week releases a modified version of the band's box set Lullabies to Violaine.


This person is sick of hearing about the Arctic Monkeys. When I get the audio working for my latest video, you will see how I am sick of it as well. That and SXSW. For now, you can watch THESE.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Devo: the Next Generation. or, We Don't Need Another Devo. (see, that one is a play on "We Don't Need Another Hero" by Tina Turner. hmm, that didn't go as well). ok. Next Generation! I'm going with Next Generation!

Well anyway, this was already a quiet and weird week for releases (I'm sure SXSW had something to do with that), so just to be sure, a re-imagined, kid-version of Devo, yes, DEVO, has released a CD and DVD with classic songs by Devo on Walt Disney Records (!). I mean really, that's what kids NEED these days! De-evolution! The kids--aged 10 to 14--"share an understanding of the Devo aesthetic". gee whiz. When your influences are "The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Carlos Santana, Coldplay, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson" that's pretty impressive. They will work with NAMM (not the war) to increase awareness for music education--ok I guess that's kinda good. 11-date US tour of schools starts march 27 in Boston. Listen to sound clips and see videos HERE, if you dare.


Australian band Decoder Ring will release its award-winning, gorgeous ambient electronic pop soundtrack to the film Somersault in the U.S May 2 on Bella Union (operated by Simon Raymonde of the Cocteau Twins). They make their U.S. live debut with shows in Los Angeles, New York and at SXSW. They have a projectionist who uses three 16mm projectors. Cool!

Friday, March 17, 2006

South by South WHAT? I'd rather be blogging. Any publicists or other industry people out there who aren't in Texas, hit me up yo. CMJ is seven months away...I'll need some better excuses not to go.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

BREAKING NEWS>>>>Nine Inch Nails touring with Bauhaus. Late May--July.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Now THIS is a music video. A Northern Chorus: Winterize. From its latest record Bitter Hands Resign (Sonic Unyon). Quicktime only.

More new tracks from the Liars. Plus a bad recording of them covering Nirvana.

Erasure is releasing an acoustic album April 18, featuring new versions of old songs. Anything is better than that covers record they did a few years back. Erasure's first ever acoustic tour includes May 19 in New York.

The Birthday Massacre (Metropolis Records) is playing April 7 in Long Island at Metasin/UltraSoundLounge, where Kenyon DJs.

WUSB's website has finally been improved.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Robert Cherry: The New Forever (Requisite)
release: Now-ish
rating: **
This guy's former band, Ether Net, opened for BRMC, Idlewild, Hot Hot Heat and Placebo. Holy cow, that's some great cred for a band I've never heard of. And he's gonna need it, because his solo debut is kinda a snoozefest. There are some good moments that are fleshed out with piano and acoustic guitar and it becomes a little more likable as the record moves along. And heck, we really do need a new forever, yo. It's just that the singer-songwriter aspects become too safe and conventional. And he's got a cat in his press photo. Save that for myspace. -Kenyon
Exeter Popes: Exeter Popes EP (White Shoes)
release: February 7, 2006
rating: ***
Three songs, two guys in band, one nice sound. Pleasant, fragile folk-indie-pop with just a wee bit of twee. -Kenyon

Monday, March 13, 2006

Diamond Nights is playing on Long Island with Head Automatica, April 5 at the Crazy Donkey --where I saw Ministry in 2004. I kid you not about any of this. Gotta post the new video from DN later. It's killer.

The Walkmen are helping you save money. Not on your car insurance, but on service charges on tickets for their upcoming tour. Starts May 24 at Webster Hall in New York, ends late June in Boston.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

MP3 in the houuusse.

Your new favorite buzz band to post about on your blog:

You Say Party! We Say Die!- "the Gap (Between The Rich And The Poor)".
The Liars keep getting wierder. This video for a song off the upcoming Drum's Not Dead, out March 21 on Mute, is some seriously wacked out shit. REAL - WMV

Clothing Pile theatre presents "Anytime" by My Morning Jacket.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

My Morning Jacket is touring with Pearl Jam beginning May 9. Pitchfork's news piece about this is really dumb. The two dates in the New York Metro area are June 1 and 3 at the Meadowlands, New Jersey. Shannon is bugging out because My Morning Jacket and Pearl Jam are her two favorite bands ever. Pearl Jam's next record is out May 2.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Ambulance LTD: New English EP (TVT)
rating: **1/2
release: March 14
played with: REM, Killers, Guided by Voices

Could have been a major faux pas covering Pink Floyd. Not just anyone can or should be doing that. Ambulance LTD's version of "Fearless", with its gentle vocals, represents just as well as David Gilmore or Roger Waters playing it solo in 2006. Pink Floyd may indeed be an influence, but this EP, like their debut full-length, cuts across the rock n roll map. Which is more of a minus than a plus. Even if they can be versatile enough to generate soul for "Arbuckle's Swan Song," the songs kinda lay flat. It's only a seven-song teaser (with two new songs) until the next LP is out, so we'll see if A LTD can sharpen the focus or if they even need to. Just don't, by any means, no matter what you read, be lead to believe this NYC band is involved with shoegaze. Give them soul, rock n roll, psychedelia. But please, there is nothing here that resembles shoegaze! -Kenyon
Last episode of 90210 on Soapnet today. Series starts over on Monday.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

She Wants Revenge. Candidate for best new band and best band name.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Goldfrapp: Supernature (Mute)
release: March 7, 2006
rating: ****
similar: Dot Allison, Miss Kittin, Annie, Madonna, Fischerspooner

The hype, promotion and promotional hype for Goldfrapp's third record had been building for months. The anticipation is pretty much justified. Supernature is an electro-disco-pop goldmine. For people that don't think that electro-disco-pop is a dead fad. It doesn't even matter what style you want to call it, because it's that fantastic, a timelessly modern album that could have occured anywhere from 1980 to 2006. Hot dance tracks are oozing from Supernature: "Ride a White Horse", "Number 1" and "Koko" to name a few. It doesn't hurt that Alison Goldfrapp's vocals are to die for, not at all robotic but sizzingly sensual. And don't forget her counterpart and music maker Will Gregory, who may not be as attractive to be the focus of attention, but uses some brilliant charming synth to make this one of the stand-out entries of the year. -Kenyon

On the Tonite Show, Monday March 13.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Hypatia Lake: And We Shall Call Him Joseph (Sad Robot)
release: February 28, 2006
rating: ***1/2
similar: Black Heart Procession, Dykehouse, Flying Saucer Attack, Flaming Lips
played with: BRMC, M83, Ulrich Schnauss, Ambulance ltd.

The album cover for Hypatia Lake's sound-bending sophomore effort makes it too easy to dismiss them as experimental post-rock noise. Just look at it! So, ok, my bad. And We Shall Call Him... is actually one of the more happy discoveries so far this year. Mainly because it relies greatly on swirling textures and has a big foot in space rock and shoegaze. It starts off strong, balancing a concept story about a guy leading a revolt against a candy factory (what?). It sorta wonders off later and loses some strength, hinting that this too-short record is only a small part of a greater whole. Sticky Sweet. -Kenyon


Man Man: Six Demon Bag (Ace Fu)
release: February 21, 2006
rating: **
similar: World Inferno Friendship Society, Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart
played with: Arcade Fire, Fiery Furnaces, Cat Power

Man Man isn't for many, but they're certainly not easy to ignore when they've got an experimental style that draws from jazz, Middle Eastern, old-school carnival type music, cabaret, and who knows what else. It's not an easy listen when they add the throaty or whiney vocals. But hell, if they were playing one of their off-the-hook shows nearby, I'd so be there for major photo taking. So they get half a star for that. Oh yea, and if it matters, they opened for Arcade Fire ..AND, supposedly, Cat Power. -Kenyon

Saturday, March 04, 2006

I have been getting a TON of emails announcing bands playing at South by Southwest in Texas later this month. (For those in the know, SXSW.) So instead of giving any one in particular attention, and because I'm in New York, here is the entire LINE-UP (which includes Elefant and Brian Jonestown Massacre).

Okay now that that's out of the way.....
Pitchfork is having its own music fest this summer in Chicago.
After two dates at Madison Square Garden last December, Depeche Mode is playing at Jones Beach, Long Island May 13. It's the first show announced for this year's schedule there. Knowing what the line-ups are usually like, this will be one of the more exciting acts.
According to Technorati, Advance Copy is currently ranked number 281,328 in the blogosphere.
I can't find my Cloud Room cd. Speaking of which, they're playing March 11 at Mercury Lounge with Film School.
The Long Island Press, who laid off Kenyon last summer, has downsized--yet again--from 72 to 64 pages. Ha!

I finally heard Swervedriver's Ejector Seat Reservation, their lost/rare/dropped-from-three-labels album from 1995 that was finally re-issued in 2003. Not as spectacular as I expected. It's kinda like the following LP, 99th Dream, just not nearly as keen and light on the guitar effects.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

February 28 was an unusually dead release date. Unless of course you are down with Hawthorne Heights or a Bruce Springsteen show from 1975. Don't even worry about it because there are plenty of big records coming up real soon. Especially March 21. I can hardly contain myself.

March 7
Goldfrapp: Supernature (Mute)
Mogwai: Mr. Beast (Matador)
Mudhoney: Under a Billion Suns (Subpop)

March 14
Stephin Merritt: Showtunes (Non)

March 21
Appleseed Cast: Peregrine (Militia Group)
Editors: The Back Room (Fader)
Liars: Drum's Not Dead (Mute)
Placebo: Meds (Astralwerks)
Richard Ashcroft : Keys to the World (EMI)
Mates of State: Bring it Back (Barsuk)
Mojave 3: Puzzles Like You (4AD?)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Duly noted:

Radio Indie Pop is streaming the new Mogwai record (out Tuesday March 7)
Irving got better. Record out April 4 on Eenie Meenie. Look and listen.
Madonna, Daft Punk and Massive Attack join line-up for
Coachella (April 29-30).
Final Destination 3 is not worth $9.75 because the characters are mad dumb.
90210 on Soapnet update: Dylan's father may still be alive; Noah still a drunk; 9 more episodes till series ends. Pictured here is Dylan McKay as Bruce Springsteen in an undated video still.

Warlocks are on tour with Sisters of Mercy starting tomorrow March 2 in Florida. Playing Webster Hall in New York March 6.


Editors (a recent buzz band that I haven't yet heard) and stellastarr* (a previous buzz band that I've heard ad naseum) are co-headlining a US Tour starting in Boston on March 20 and ending April 30 at Coachella. The bands will alternate the headline slot. Except in New York, where they are special and can play their own gigs.

March 26- New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom (stellastarr* only)
March 27- New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom (stellastarr* only)
March 28- Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw (both)
March 30- New York, NY @ Webster Hall (Editors only)

Editors’ debut album, The Back Room, to be released in the US on March 21. stellastarr*s second album, Harmonies For The Haunted, came out last year in the US and is out March 6 in the UK.