Saturday, December 31, 2005

Bono finally admits that he has been annoying the rest of U2 with his political speeches at shows.
Solid show last nite at Masonic Temple in Smithtown.

Nakatomi Plaza

Slingshot Dakota

Con Amore

Satellite Lost (when vegan Phil isn't being a goth club kid, he likes to be a ghost)

Dearly Departed

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Best of 2005 according to Kenyon. not in exact order, but sorta close.

1. Warlocks: Surgery (Mute)
2. Mercury Rev: Secret Migration (V2)
3. The Bravery: s/t (Island)
4. Embrace: Out of Nothing (Atlantic)
5. My Morning Jacket: Z (RCA)
6. Sigur Ros: Takk (Geffen)
7. Go! Team: Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Columbia)
8. Cloud Room: s/t (Gigantic)
9. BRMC: Howl (RCA)
10. A Northern Chorus: Bitter Hands Resign (Sonic Unyon)
11. Russian Futurists: Our Thickness (Upperclass)
12. Bloc Party: Silent Alarm (Vice)
13. Tender Forever: The Soft and the Hardcore (K)
14. Architecture in Helsinki: In Case We Die (Barnone)
15. Ladytron: Witching Hour (Ryko)
16. Elkland: Golden (Columbia)
17. Manual: Azure Vista (Darla)
18. British Sea Power: Open Season (Rough Trade)
19. Project Skyward: Strange Synchronicities (Nebula)
20. Maximo Park: A Certain Trigger (Warp)
21. Amusement Parks on Fire: s/t (Filter)
22. Outhud: Let Us Never Speak of this Again (Kranky)
23. Shout Out Louds: Howl Howl Gaff Gaff (Capitol)
24. The New Pornographers: Twin Cinema (Matador)
25. Saxon Shore: The Exquisite Death of Saxon Shore (Burnt Toast Vinyl)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Depeche Mode on FUSE tonite, 10pm (EST).

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Measles Mumps Rubella: Fantastic Success (Doubling Cube)
release: February 21, 2006 (totally in the future, baby)
rating: ***
similar: Liars, Erase Errata, Public Image Ltd.

Okay, you wanna start getting some buzz going on this band or what. Cause, I mean, the record doesn't come out for two more months. Which is risky, because everyone might even HATE post-post-punk disco bands from New York by then! Check this out though: Measles Mumps Rubella worked with Ian MacKaye on some early songs (before they got their current vocalist) and toured with Le Tigre, Bratmobile and Trans Am. That's some serious street cred, dude. Oh, you think the name of the band is dumb (dude, what about that band Test Icicles? come on!). Yea, well, see, after a while you'll get used to it just like we did with a thousand other band names and then Measles Mumps Rubella will just sound very hip. We'll associate diseases with cool guitar effects, disco-dance punk and a yelpy vocalist. Totally. -Kenyon
Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice: The Flood (Troubleman Unlimited)
released: ?? ?? 2005
rating: *
similar: CocoRosie, Devendra Banhart

Wooden Wand (with or without the Vanishing Voice) has already issued several noteworthy works amongst a bombardment of recordings from the past two years. The Flood is not one of them. It doesn't help when the first two tracks are over 10 minutes. By the fourth track we at least get something that works and doesn't sound like they're trying too hard to be creative, even if it's just over two minutes. Sure, maybe if you just smoked some good weed, their experimental folk is "trance-like." Otherwise, there's a lot of straining vocals and guitars that are too unmelodic to be considered music or even interesting, making much of this as irritating as a Dunkin Donuts opening across the street from a 7-11. -Kenyon

Thursday, December 08, 2005

let's have a black celebration. tonite.
martin on guitar, dave on vocals and andy doing, er, something. wait, i thought this was synthpop!

Depeche Mode/The Bravery @Madison Square Garden. December 7, 2005.

Set: Intro, A Pain That I'm Used To, John The Revelator, A Question Of Time, Policy Of Truth, Precious, Walking In My Shoes, Suffer Well, Damaged People, Home, I Want It All, The Sinner In Me, I Feel You, Behind The Wheel, World In My Eyes, Personal Jesus, Enjoy The Silence.

Encore 1: Somebody, Just Can't Get Enough, Everything Counts
Encore 2: Never Let Me Down Again, Goodnight Lovers

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hot shows on Long Island this Friday:

Pretty Girls Make Graves, The Double (Matador), Tangiers (Frenchkiss), Encrypt Manuscript (local) at Live Trax, 242 Pettit Avenue, Bellmore. 6pm, $12.

Electro-industrial Metropolis artists Negative Format and God Module at Metasin, 2715 Hempstead Turnpike, Levittown. (kenyon will be DJing at some point).

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Music sounds better with video.

Mixel Pixel
"Body Automatic" and "Tell Tale Drum Machine"
Psychodelic animation which goes hand-in-hand with the NYC trio's lo-fi electronic weirdness. And of course they're still on tour too.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I Hope You Are All Happy Now
Photographs by Nicholas Zinner
(Evil Twin Publications/St. Martin's Press)

Nick (whoops, Nicholas) Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has seen a million faces. And he's rocked them all. Now he's got a book of photos he took to prove it. Of course, pretty much anyone with a camera can be a photographer these days. But not everyone (ie, me) has been around the world on tour. What sets many of these shots apart is that instead of a photographer going to several concerts or someone following a band around, the person taking the photos is the rock star himself. And you just can't get any closer to the secret life of a rock star than that (ie photos of hotel beds, backstage, etc). Sometimes those shots of the crowds actually stand out, like the one from Coney Island with the Cyclone rollercoaster. Don't be mislead though. There's a lot more subjects in front of the camera from the past few years than just a large volume of crowds. Zinner has been hanging out with bands and musicians that you may or may not recognize (TV on the Radio, Zinner's bandmates, Liars, Bright Eyes). And stay with the book, cause there's some great shots of the YYYs, cityscapes, people laying on the floor, and more people laying on the floor. -Kenyon

nick and kenyon. december 2003 (not in book)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Until the End of the Show
U2 @Madison Square Garden, November 21, 2005.
Section 218, row B, seat 15.

Main Set: City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, Elevation, I Will Follow (with additional lyrics towards end), I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Beautiful Day, Original of the Species, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Love and Peace or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday (snippet, "Rock the Casbah"), Bullet the Blue Sky, Miss Sarajevo, Pride, Where the Streets Have No Name, One.

Encore 1: Until the End of the World, Mysterious Ways, With or Without You

Encore 2: The First Time (acoustic), Stuck In a Moment (acoustic), Instant Karma (with Patti Smith), Bad (snippet, "People Have the Power").

This review is a little shorter than the other two shows i went to on this tour (May 18, October 10), because i already wrote all about it and the main set this time was so similar to October 10 in particular. As a result, boring and predictable, I know there's a schedule and routine the band and crew follows and there's only so many songs they can have ready, but come on U2, you have like 300 other songs available. I guess they have to play it safe most of the time as far as what songs to choose. U2 has to cater to the general fans and play the popular and succesful songs. That really is a shame and we wind up hearing a lot of the same stuff. Now there are some songs which i am truly sick of (i already hated "Elevation"). I know there are people there who haven't yet seen U2 on this tour but the band has to know that people are going to multiple shows. Here's some suggestions: New Year's Day, Even Better Than the Real Thing, something from the second side of Joshua Tree, something from Zooropa. Being in section 218, relatively close to the stage but mostly seeing their backs, doesn't help too much. If i was in the "ellipse", i know it would have been a different story and i wouldn't even care what they were playing. Well, at least this time i took photos with a sweet zoom lens.

So after the lame main set (really, i just couldn't get into it much), the band came back for the first encore with the ZOO TV images on the screen to start. I was like, oh no, here we go again with "Zoo Station" and "The Fly". Shit. Then i got the biggest, best surprise of the night: "Until the End of the World" (awesome, only saw them play it once on Zoo TV tour which i barely remember), and "Mysterious Ways." (although "New Year's Day" really is a great transition from "Until"). So by now i was praying for "Bad", and after the acoustic songs and the John Lennon song, we got it. And i think that, along with "Until the End" made my night. oh yea and after reading about the following night at MSG (show cut a little short, no "bad") i am so so glad i went to the first one. sorry guys!

Crowd and seat report: energy level was definitely better and more intense for October 10 (though an earplug in my left ear may have clouded my meter-reading). as usual, the people around me were total deadbeats. hardly moving or dancing or responsive. the guy behind me was a total jerk talking to his girlfriend. i didn't even bother making small talk with the girls to the left of me. aside from the jerk behind me though, it was a good spot because i was at the end of my row (the odds are 1 in 15, yea?), therefore as soon as the arcade fire song came on, i went right in the isle and had plenty of space to dance (very lucky to be at the bottom of the section, with the guardrail in front of me). so, i had a clear view of the stage (see photos).

Notes: Among the snippets, Bono sang a line from the chorus of "Please" somewhere, forgot what song. I'm sure few people caught that. Young boy pulled onstage for "Sunday Bloody Sunday", not sure what to think of that. girl for "With or Without You" worked better. Patti Smith just had to comment about the war. Said there is no reason to be there. Half the crowd booed, half cheered.

Last note: I wore an old long sleeved shirt on which i wrote U2 lyrics and images from achtung baby tour. to my surprise, absolutely no one at the show commented on this. i purposely wrote lesser known lyrics, but come on. yea, i mean COME ON.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Can't get it out of my head.

Although Madonna's latest outfit is dreadful, "Hung Up," the first single from Confessions on a Dance Floor (released November 15), is immediately one of the best pop singles of 2005. The electro-disco track is hella better than that last piece of garbage called "American Life" and more on par with "Music" and "Ray of Light." See VIDEO.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Broken Social Scene: Broken Social Scene (Arts & Crafts)
released: October 4, 2005
rating: **1/2

Go ahead, Pitchfork, gush about Broken Social Scene releasing a record and going on tour. It's not gonna make me like them more. I mean, they're not THAT amazing. So they've got 15 people in the band. Woop-dee-freaking-doo. I would have done the same thing if I could find all the people. The Canadian band's last record didn't impress me (for some reason it won a Juno award). A couple decent indie rock-type songs with a nod to the late '80s/early '90s, though the rest wasn't very significant. The same thing pretty much goes for this self-titled third outing. Seriously, a lot of what they're doing here is indeed interesting. That's if you can sift through all the instruments and vocals that sometimes make it seem like the record is playing in another player at the same time 20 seconds behind. The last track is a little epic, but come on, with that many people, they could do a whole lot more. -Kenyon

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happening Beats.
K records at the Hobo House in Huntington, Long Island. November 1.

Calvin Johnson says: "We played in Allentown. It was.....pleasant enough."

If someone such as Calvin Johnson is going to be playing 15 minutes away from me, I don't think about it, I just plan on being there. Even if I've never regularly listened to his heralded indie pop band Beat Happening, or even heard his solo work. We're talking K records, afterall, one of the most trusted indie labels around. Knowing what the label's roster is like, bringing a K records artist with him means fun times.

Tender Forever was fun. But in a serious way. Like the Blow (also on K), one-person band Melanie Valera mostly sings along with some of her own pre-recorded music. Trust me, this indie-electronic comes out wonderfully, thanks to her heart and energy.

Calvin Johnson is an enigma. Is he joking or serious when he asks if we have any questions for him? Does he ever display excitement? What was the lesson of the story he told about that country singer? I'm at a loss.

Melanie of Tender Forever touched me. In more ways than one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Kenyon on MTV's High School Stories

The next season of MTV's High School Stories finally began and I'm in the one about the cafeteria boycott at St. Anthony's in Huntington. I haven't seen it yet and you probably didn't either but the show is on very frequently on MTV2. 12noon, 8pm, 11:30pm (EST) Monday-Thursday. You really don't want to miss the shenanigans in this episode. It involves food-throwing and a priest.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Ladytron: Witching Hour (Ryko)
released: October 4, 2005
rating: ****

"Destroy Everything You Touch," from Ladytron's third record, is one of the best dance-tracks of the year. Oh it's so obvious even the first time you hear it. In fact, I cannot wait to mix it into my DJ set at the club. What will happen is, I'll be spinning "One Roman Choir" by KieTheVez (huge bonus points if you know this song, unlikely that you do) and then mix it into "Everything You Touch." After the track begins with a low-volume beat, followed by an irresistible synth progression that bursts in, anyone on the dancefloor will be like "wow, what IS this?" A few smart people will actually wonder if it's the new Ladytron. They may not know for sure because there's something different here. You can still dance to their electro-pop. And it has the robo female vocals. But it's darker and more sinister. Afterall, the record IS titled Witching Hour. Alongside "Everything" are several other stand-out tracks such as the dreamy "International Dateline," the beat-lead "Sugar," and "Beauty*2" (which is like a gloomier, electronic Cocteau Twins). If you can't groove to this then you're just a robot that hasn't been programmed to dance. -Kenyon

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Morning Jacket? Or Pink Floyd circa 1971?

My Morning Jacket
October 18, 2005 at Webster Hall, NYC.
by Shannon Ronan

The leaves have been slow to change color this autumn, but upon leaving my first My Morning Jacket show, I could have sworn they'd turned golden. At that moment, I could state with complete confidence that the band had proved to be worth many months of waiting. And those months of waiting were hell, often filled with worry that frontman Jim James' endless charm might fail to distract from possible shortcomings (i.e. the recent line-up changes or the experimental meanderings of the latest record.)

Though Z was actually recorded far from the band's home of Kentucky, it is undeniably an acquired taste. No matter how smooth it starts to sound after repeated listens, chances are you will never forget the sting it left the first time you heard it. That is the beauty of the record. MMJ is not content unless they are out exploring unfamiliar rugged terrains. And that is the beauty of the band.

Tuesday's set list consisted of mostly newer songs, foregoing catchy country hooks and homegrown harmonies for those loaded with hard rock breakdowns. In step, the audience--made up primarily of an older crowd--put down their beers to raise their finger-horns in well-deserved salute. The band's overall mood proved hard to read beneath some of the members' hair, but their maturity and respectability as musical pioneers came through clearly in the way they swung that hair (a move presumably perfected only after many years of dedicated practice). MMJ whispered in with "Wordless Chorus," mesmerized with fan favorites "Golden, "One Big Holiday," "Run Thru," "Off The Record," and "Mahgeetah" and kicked up the dirt one last time, closing with "Anytime." Amazingly, even in its quietest moments, from the black shadows of the stage (lit only by an occasional flashlight to allow for guitar switches), MMJ never stopped rocking long enough to wonder if its fans would follow.

Set list: Wordless Chorus, It Beats 4 U, Gideon, One Big Holiday, The Way That He Sings, Golden, Sooner, Wonderful, Off The Record, Lay Low, Dondante, Run Thru. Encore: At Dawn, I Think I'm Going To Hell, Mahgeetah, Anytime.

Shannon is a graduate of the New School and has a job that requires her to look through the New York Times. You better be godddamn impressed by that.

Monday, October 17, 2005

There are three really rad songs on Harmonies for the Haunted, stellastarr*'s follow-up to their excellent debut from 2003. And so far there's one really super video for one of them. Unlike most of the debut album's upbeat new wavey rock, "Sweet Trouble Soul" is more along the lines of their darker "In the Walls," which showed the band's dramatic side. And like the video for "Walls," "Sweet" has got some intriguing visuals, which includes somber, yet dreamy animation. In other words, one of the best videos of the year. Come on, someone quote me on that! Watch video: HI. LO. Too slow. -Kenyon

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

U2: beautiful. Cell phones and beer: bad.
(or, love and peace or else I'm going to hurt someone)

U2 at Madison Square Garden, New York, October 10, 2005
-Kenyon Hopkin

You'd think that after three dates in the area in May and two at Madison Square Garden in the past weak would produce less of an energized crowd. With U2, that's just not the case. At least, not for this impressive third gig at MSG. And you'd think that being in section 419, facing the side of the stage, would be a drag. Not so. Not when it's an open stage and you're in Row A!

When they first came on for "City of Blinding Lights" (after the Arcade Fire over the PA got my fists pumping) the crowd was nearly deafening and a lot of the time it was difficult to even hear the music. Several people that posted at u2tours.com said that Bono's voice was a little off. I remember the singer from Keane (who were not bad) even mentioned that his voice wasn't up to par tonite (no one should be pointing that out, cause it only brings attention to it). I really didn't notice any flaw with his voice, but come on people, U2 is playing like 200 shows in a year, so what do you expect. It's amazing that they can play two hours each nite at all.

I was very ecstatic that they started with "City" again, but "Vertigo" and "Elevation" (why they chose to keep this in the set so long is beyond me, that song is weak), was like they were just going through the motions. I know they can't mix up sets TOO MUCH, but I'm just sick of those songs. The next two songs, however, more than made up for this: "I Will Follow" and "Electric Co." Most of the crowd was into "Follow" but (surprise, surprise) only a small percentage even knew "Electric Co." That was the first of a few songs where I was dancing and jumping around while the people around me were sitting down or just standing there like zombies.

"I Still Haven't Found" unexpectedly followed, I've never known of that song coming so early in a set. Then of course the crowd got energized again with "Beautiful Day." "Miracle Drug" slowed it down and again Bono had to dedicate the song to nurses, etc. and then "Sometimes You Can't Make it", which i don't even clearly remember them playing because I was probably sitting and putting my head on the guard rail in front of me. Good time for a break.

Then came the sorta charged-up-with-a-political-message segment with "Love and Peace," "Sunday" and "Bullet the Blue Sky", all which were pretty rocking, with Bono playing a little drum kit on the ramp for "Love and Peace". After "Bulllet" was probably the most unexpected song (for me at least) of the nite: "Miss Sarejevo," a song they recorded under the name "Passengers" with Brian Eno and opera singer Pavorotti. Holy cow! Are you kidding me? I assumed it would be "Running to Stand Still" cause that's what usually comes after "Bullet". The Edge played piano instead of guitar for "Sarejevo" and sadly, most of the crowd didn't know it, and since it's a quiet song, I could hear people talking. As a result at that point, I pretty much hated most everyone there. This was a really special moment, and Bono was even singing Pavorotti's part, wow, impressive.

Favorites "Pride" and "Streets" of course followed and then the so so boring and overrated "One". (I'm pretty sure) just before "One" Bono had the crowd do the thing with the cell phones, which I find pretty ironic since he was talking about how they can do everything including lending support to the ONE campaign and yet here they were annoying the hell out of me with people calling their friends before and during the show (I kid you not, this guy next to me, who thankfully later moved cause he was in the wrong seat, called his friend during Keane like 5 minutes after getting there and says "yea, they're pretty good" and holds the phone up to record some of it to send to him. jerk)

The main set ended, they took a short break, and then the Zoo TV-like images were on the screens. Totally sweet. The best part of the show, second only to start of "City". It's like a new concert is starting, like you're at the Zoo TV tour in 1992. I happen to love "Zoo Station". Of course it's not a "hit", so not as many people are into it. I wish Bono moved around more for the song though as he did in the Zoo TV live from Sydney Australia video. Here he kinda just did the same movements when I saw them May 18, so that was just going through motions there. "The Fly". I'm sorry, that song is very average for U2. Why aren't they playing "Even Better Than the Real Thing" on this tour? That would work so much better, especially earlier in the set. "With or Without You" I was hoping would flow in from a previous song, it doesnt work too well after "Fly".

At that point it was 11:25, and my friend and I decided we needed to catch the 11:42 train (the next was at 1:04, dammit. yea yea I know, it's U2!), so just as they came on for the second encore with "All Because of You", we left, realizing it otherwise would have taken like 30 minutes to get from section 419 to the ground. I really hated to leave, especially after finding out they played "Bad" and "40". However they did play that May 18 so I'm not as upset. Hopefully they will play "Bad" November 21 (I'll be in a 200-level section near the stage). After the show, I was having second thoughts about Nov 21 and I wanted to sell the ticket. (get ready for the rant) I'll tell you why: phones, talking and beer. People, again: YOU PAID GOOD MONEY TO SEE U2, AND HERE YOU ARE DRINKING BEER (and spilling it on people), going to the bathroom or to get more beer (MSG is dumb for selling it) AND TALKING DURING THE SHOW ("yankees are down 2-1!"). I am sure there are bigger fans that deserved tickets more than you and got shut out. You just don't get it, this is one of the best bands and shows you will ever see, and some people appreciate it more than you and want to be incredibly focused and immersed in it. It's a chance/risk you have to take though. I guess my section could have been worse, it wasn't as awful as I am making it sound, it was just typical. I'm trying my luck on Nov 21, because well, U2 is the BOMB and this may be my last chance to see them, particularly at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Oh yea and um, I think I forgot to mention that the lights were pretty cool too.

Main Set: City of Blinding Lights, Vertigo, Elevation, I Will Follow, The Electric Co., I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (snippet of In a Little While), Beautiful Day (snippet of lou reed song), Miracle Drug, Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, Love and Peace or Else, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Bullet the Blue Sky, Happy Birthday/Miss Sarajevo, Pride, Where the Streets Have No Name, One (snippet of Ol' Man River.)

Encore 1: Zoo Station, The Fly, With or Without You. Encore 2: All Because of You, Yahweh, Bad, 40

photos and more at U2tours.com

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tonight Kenyon will be in section 419 at MSG for U2.

Depeche Mode at MSG went on sale this morning at 9am and it is NOT SOLD OUT YET. Second show added too.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Breaking news: U2's song selection on Conan O'Brien Thursday nite was a big let down. In between interviews, commercials and a "Year 2000" with the Edge, the band played "All Because of You", "Origin of the Species" (yawn), "Stuck in a Moment" (yawn) and "Vertigo" (which got cut off when the show ended).
advanced news ticker (warning! some non-music items): Kenyon playing at 169 bar next Thursday....hearing Bon Jovi's new single over the PA in Stop n' Shop is not cool, cause, well, the song ain't no "It's My Life"....Busy Phillips of Freaks and Geeks and Dawson's Creek fame is not as cool when producers want her to seem kinda black in a dumb sitcom called Love Inc....new DVDs from Jesus Jones, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and other washed-up early '90s bands are at MVD....ticketmaster/MSG has been releasing single seat tickets for U2 (I tried the other day and a seat for $169 on the floor right behind the stage came up, I passed)....Kenyon seeing U2 at MSG this Monday; tickets for Depeche Mode at MSG go on sale the same day just to make things more complicated....Fischerspooner is playing at Irving Plaza on Halloween; band will not be looking very special given that it's NYC....stellastarr* hosting Subterranean on MTV2 November 6....these re-envisioned film trailers for The Shining and Titanic are mad surreal.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

How many people actually expected Supergrass to last this long? When will Kenyon stop beginning reviews with questions? It's been ten years since their debut and at this point they're more consistent than fellow Brit band Oasis. Actually the first single from Road To Rouen (Capitol) is more Oasis or Radiohead than Supergrass. The band has definitely matured (just look at the beard on Gaz!) and reinvented themselves (they got strings in this song, though those musicians are hiding in the video). Road to Rouen released September 27. Watch VIDEO for "St. Petersburg".
new releases of note out today: Franz Ferdinand, Ladytron, My Morning Jacket, Liz "Phooey" Phair.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Mommy and Daddy: Duel At Dawn (Kanine) Who's your Mommy and Daddy? Just don't compare this NYC duo to the White Stripes or Raveonettes because it's a girl and guy. Mommy and Daddy are a lot tougher and more like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs...with a synthesizer.

Watch video for "Franconia Road."

Monday, September 26, 2005

If you're still wierded out by music from Spiritualized in a VW commercial, well, just try not to think about it. Here are some unexpected audio tracks I discovered to maybe divert your attention to a credit card or pants. Okay maybe I've been watching more TV this week, shut up ok!? I did my homework first! And um, you're not my real father!

CIV: "Can't Wait One Minute More" (Toyota or Nissan)
U2: "Love Rescue Me" (melodramatic MSNBC coverage of hurricane)
Madness: "It Must Be Love" (Levi's? it was definitely jeans)
Bow Wow Wow: "I Want Candy" (Reese's. Except the chorus was modified)

on the web>
M83: "Don't Save Us from the Flames" (Pontiac)
Minotaur Shock: something from Maritime i'm sure (American Express)

Friday, September 23, 2005

advanced news ticker: Kenyon playing at 169 bar October 13, the same night the Warlocks are at Bowery Ballroom....Keane opening for U2 at MSG......local venues the Downtown and non-profit youth center Freespace close; bands wonder where the hell they can play.....Live 8 on DVD in November; dumb editors leave out the Cure and A-Ha, among others....those darn Dandy Warhols, who first played on Live with Regis and Kelly, will be on Mad TV October 1; no word yet on the Tony Danza Show....M83 is getting some heavy duty exposure in a Pontiac commercial.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

T.Raumschmiere is really pissed off now. The video for his electro-punk-thrashed "Sick Like Me," from Blitzkrieg Pop, is one part Kraftwerk, two parts Aphex Twin. What, were you expecting a Ramones parody? Watch video via Windows Media Player. Record out now on Mute.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

You know sometimes when the video makes the song seem better than it really is? Well, this is one of those times. "Weakest Ones" by A.R.E. Weapons is from their album Free in the Streets, out today on Defend Music. I'm still trying to figure out this electro-rock-glam band, though the first thing that's coming to me is a combination of Fischerspooner, Fatima Mansions and Suicide. Now if I can just figure out what the hell is going on in the video.

Friday, September 16, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: local commercial radio station 94.3 WMJC played FIVE relatively good songs in a row. Coldplay "Speed of Sound," Squeeze "Tempted," Semisonic "Closing Time," Depeche Mode "Precious" (from new album), U2 "Beautiful Day." Then they ruined it with the Dave Matthews Band. [note on Semisonic: the drummer is rather outspoken about the corruption of the radio and music industry, if you haven't heard].

In related local radio news, WLIR, which back in the day was the only commercial station I listened to and in its later days became less of an "alternative," has been eliminated. Well actually it changed format to "NeoBreeze," which, as reported in Newsday, will be "an easy-listening format that's slightly hip: Alongside Frank Sinatra and Yanni, you might hear R.E.M." Really f*cking sad, dude. Did I mention they fired all the DJs? Well, they did. There's no DJs. It's all automated like that Jack junk. This is yet another reason to listen to WUSB.
advanced news ticker: Arcade Fire opening for U2 in Canada, which is probably a little better than hearing them over the PA just before U2 goes on....Soundtrack to Cameron Crowe film Elizabethtown to include song by My Morning Jacket.....band in UK has the same name as Kenyon's radio show (oh you better believe I had that name before them!)...local indie pop band My Favorite breaks up, Kenyon looks for another indie pop band to jump on stage and sing with.....Death Cab for Cutie's Plans debuts on the Billboard chart last week at #4, this week at #16; for some reason a record called American Idiot has been on the chart for 51 weeks....CMJ Music Marathon is this week, ask me if I care. Oh come on, ask!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: Dirty on Purpose, who I originally shunned because I didn't like the name, became one of my favorite new bands in a matter of minutes after seeing the video for "Mind Blindness." They got this whole Pale Saints thing going. And boy, do I miss the Pale Saints. The band's debut EP, Sleep Late for a Better Tomorrow, came out September 6 on North Street records. They'll be at the Mercury Lounge in NYC this Saturday for CM-Schmay.

Acid House Kings: Sing Along with the Acid House Kings (27 records) Since when did they start sounding like Belle and Sebastian? They're supposed to sound like the Smiths! Released today, September 13.

That's Because You Drive Me
This Heart Is A Stone
Oh yea and records from these artists are out today as well: Sigur Ros (which I have not heard yet, dammit! don't tell me anything please), stellastarr* (the jury is still out), Dandy Warhols (they're tight with Regis), Coco Rosie (they're strange dude), Devendra Banhart (wrote a review for Resonance magazine), Super Furry Animals (damn them for being prolific!), Annie Hayden (the most underrated artist on Merge), and the Cranes (what? they're still around? no way, is this a proper record?). Over and out.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Depeche Mode tour dates announced; opening acts will be the Bravery (who one-ups Interpol with most shows played) and the Raveonettes. Both opening bands have been interviewed by Kenyon, both bands are unknown to most fans of Depeche Mode.

Yet more music for the masses October 18.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

advanced news ticker: Peter Cetera of the band Chicago was totally wearing a Bauhaus t-shirt in the video for "You're the Inspiration"; VH1 (which is obviously insecure about itself because they like to make fun of other people) accuses it of being one of the most "awesomely bad love songs".......The Bravery compete with Interpol for NYC band that plays too many shows.......Kanye West suddenly seems bad-ass now....The Dandy Warhols will play at CBGB on September 14th; new single still kinda weak.....Doves look to break record for most played festivals in shortest amount of time, scheduled for CMJ Music Marathon September 14, Texas's Austin City Limits Festival September 25, Across the Narrows Festival October 2 and San Francisco's Download Festival October 8.......Broken Social Scene record out October 4, Kenyon still says they're overrated up the gazoo.......Metropolis records to release DVDs from Skinny Puppy and Front 242 (enter witty remark about kids today not aware of these important bands here)...Kenyon coins the term "post-hipster."

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The extra super premium prolific John Vanderslice has got some songs available from Pixel Revolt, out August 23 on Barsuk. Unlike extra super premium gas, the price of his CD will not be rising within the next 10 minutes.

Exodus Damage
Trance Manual

JV is playing a huge amount of shows that go into November, which include these dates in New York:

September 14 at Mercury Lounge (with Aqueduct)
October 14 at Knitting Factory (with Portastatic)
October 15 at Southpaw (with Portastatic)
this guy makes some good music videos.
some sweet upcoming records from mute:

Richard Hawley: Coles Corner (today!)
M83: M83 [reissue of first album] (today!)
Paul van Dyk: Politics of Dancing Volume 2 (September 20)
Goldfrapp: Supernature (February)
Liars: Drum's Not Dead (February)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

"Venus in Cancer" by Amusement Parks on Fire. Why settle for just an arcade? Yea, so anyway, this is some killer noise-pop.

http://www.filtermmm.com/apof/audio/apof_vic_hi.mp3 http://www.filtermmm.com/apof/audio/apof_vic_med.mp3

http://www.filtermmm.com/apof/audio/apof_vic_hi.wma http://www.filtermmm.com/apof/audio/apof_vic_med.wma

Playing at the Mercury Lounge, September 17 during CMJ.
Kanye West says "George Bush doesn't care about black people," live on NBC; "Funnyman" Chris Tucker finds it a tough act to follow. Watch video HERE or HERE.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

doing some other stuff right now. be back in a few days.

Monday, August 29, 2005

BREAKING NEWS: Sufjan Stevens has NOT yet been mentioned on Advance Copy. Oh wait, did that count? Shit. Do-over! Do-over!
The idea of a Cars reunion without Ric Ocasek or Benjamin Orr (he's dead, that's his ghost to the right) is pretty dumb. But Pollstar felt they needed to write about it anyway, even though it's just a rumor. And there must be a better headline than "Revving Up the Cars." I was thinking of something along the lines of, hmm..."Just What We Needed?".

Sunday, August 28, 2005

While MTV is handing out awards tonite for most of the 20 videos they play (oh you know, that 30 minutes in between The True Life of Real College Students Who Play Beer Pong and How to Add Subwoofers to Your Car), you can go online and seek out videos such as Athlete's "Half Light," which, in between my reviews and news, gets the award for best cinematography. And come on, you know it's all about the cinematography. Can't you tell I love that word? watch video via windows media player

Athlete: they've been doing push-ups.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

advanced news ticker: Just Like Heaven, a romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, and Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) starts September 16 and will include, on the soundtrack, a cover of the Cure's "Just Like Heaven" by Katie Melua just to piss me off....Echo and the Bunnymen are called "shoegazers" at livedaily.com, when frontman Ian McCulloch definitely said on 120 minutes in 1992 that he was a "stargazer," but whatever cause they're post-punk......new video from Dandy Warhols has a bunch of dogs, a really hot keyboard player and a song that sounds like 30 seconds of thought was put into it.....sub-heading on blogs with the words "random thoughts" are still dull and cliche....episodes left on 90210 with Dylan: 3.....a bunch of bands are playing in NYC, Sept 14-17.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

records out today that you just might care about:

black rebel motorcycle club: howl (rca)
john vanderslice: pixel revolt (barsuk)
new pornographers: twin cinema (matador)
warlocks: surgery (mute)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Cloud Room
Hey Now!

by Kenyon Hopkin

You wouldn't expect it from a suave rock band from Brooklyn, but J of the Cloud Room plays third base in a kickball league on a team called the Orange Sleeves. Sounds like fun, sure, though when you don't know about the gimmicks teams create, it can turn violent. "The Robot Pirates are known for being the bad guys and they heckle everyone," explains J, who, not to be confused with the member of White Zombie using the same letter, doesn't reveal his full name. "It's funny when new teams join and don't know how things work, they take what the Pirates say seriously. Yesterday this girl got so fed up that she smashed a bottle on a guy's head and kicked him in the ribs."

The competition sounds fierce. And it's not too far fetched to compare it to the competition with today's rock bands, especially when you have the Killers bad-mouthing the Bravery. The Cloud Room, who are like a more upbeat Interpol, is facing that feeling as well. "I completely get jealous of bands who are newer than us that suddenly get buzzed about," he explains. "Most of the time their music doesnt do anything for me. Sometimes there were bands that blew me away. It sorta pisses me off that we've been around longer and had to trudge around all these awful clubs playing to six or seven people. But we all chose to come to New York so I'm not gonna whine about what people are like".

Arriving in New York five years ago from California, J was originally trying to break into the film business, persuing a job working for director Hal Hartley. When that fell through, he shifted his focus to the band. And has he been able to watch his films lately? "Just by chance I haven't seen any of his films since. But it wasnt my doing, it was his doing because I heard they were pretty awful." Yikes!

Today he's calling from his job at a law firm, where, after four years, it's his last day before the Cloud Room--J, bassist Jon Petrow, keyboardist Benjamin Nugent and drummer Jason Pharr--goes on tour. How does he manage the job, band and kickball in such an expensive city? "That's why I work these freelance gigs. I normally work at nights. I found a way to make the most amount of money and still have time for the band. Everyone else in the band works at night, so we practice during the daytime. I have friends in other towns who brag about having an entire house for $300. But there's no other town that offers this kind of access, so you pay for it."

After starting the band four years ago, J finally made some inroads in the NYC circuit. About a year ago, they started pushing themselves and things took off after making a new demo. Later, they signed with Gigantic records, released a solid full-length and got the video for the first single, "Hey Now Now" on MTV2. "Sometimes it's good to just pester the hell out of people."

Now that they have some sort of following, does the Cloud Room want to remain in indie rock obscurity or rise to something bigger? "What we're going for is trying to be like immortal bands that we love and not the band of the moment," says J. "It seems like so many indie rock bands these days are not going for greatness. I dont think we've achieved this but thats what we're striving for."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Because I know so many of you love Death Cab for Cutie, here's the audio streams for "Soul Meets Body" from the upcoming Plans, out August 30.

WINDOWS Media Player
New York City band Group Sounds (not to be confused with the Sounds. You know, "Living in America"? Come on it was only a couple years ago) is another post-punk influenced dance rock band similar to Maximo Park, Futurheads, Kaiser Chiefs and yes, the Jam!

Check out their very silly video.

Or go to their website if you'd rather create your own images.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

advanced news ticker: huge outdoor shows in Brooklyn and Staten Island, October 1 and 2, artists include Pixies, Killers, Beck, Interpol (of course) and Oasis....new record from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club very folky, very good...and very copy-protected........Brian Jonestown Massacre teaser EP isn't genius......Seth Rogan is wearing a Sonic Youth t-shirt in the trailer for The 40-Year-Old Virgin....Kenyon still hasn't heard from Pitchfork......Broken Social Scene record out October 4, still baffling how they found all those members........Kenyon casts spell to get Warlocks cd.....Gary Numan live recordings from 1979-81 finally on cd, "Cars" not his only good song.....Nine Inch Nails sells out Madison Square Garden, Kenyon insists he saw them when most fans were in elementary school......U2 at MSG less than two months away, latest album still a bore.
dude, listen:

the mainline. with kenyon.
wednesdays 2:30-5:00PM (EST)
WUSB 90.1 FM (http://www.wusb.org/)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


What in the world could country-rock band My Morning Jacket have in common with Kanye West, Jude Law, Jay-Z, Bill Clinton? Besides being, well, people? According to Esquire magazine, they are all some of the "Best Dressed Men in the World." Yea, I also thought it was a typo. I mean, Bill Clinton, best dressed? Why, cause he was president? But seriously now, MMJ? The band "looks the way it sounds," says Esquire. Oh gee. That's just so nice of you to notice, Esquire.

Other listees are Coldplay's Chris Martin (why, cause he's the singer?) and Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos (why, cause he's the singer?). Kenyon Hopkin wasn't on the list only because Esquire never saw him singing on a Friday night.

For a fuller story see this article in USA Today, which has a Top 20 list that actually goes to 21. Must be a Spinal Tap thing.

Bill Clinton's got nothing on My Morning Jacket.

In related, and more important MMJ news, the band's latest record, Z, will be out October 4, with a US tour beginning October 6 (Oct. 18 in New York, expect a detailed review from Shannon). Did I mention that USA Today can't count? -Kenyon

Monday, August 15, 2005

Stryper. Honestly!

Following in the footsteps of just about every other band with a few hits from the '80s, Christian hair-pop-metal band Stryper has reformed and will release a new album tomorrow, its first since 1990's Against the Law, just before goodtime metal was killed by grunge. The tour begins September 22, with a date on Long Island September 28! Holy Jesus! The new album is called Reborn (duh!) and features original members Michael Sweet (lead vocals, guitar), Oz Fox (lead guitar) and Robert Sweet (drums), joined by new bassist Tracy Ferrie. Could it get any sweeter?!

"Our fans have said they would like to hear Stryper with more edge, but I didn’t want to do something so heavy that it would limit us," says Michael Sweet. "We were able to deliver the edge yet still keep the melody and catchy guitar riffs." Yeah yeah! More edge! That's what I've been saying all along! Seriously though, it's so awesome when you can play "Honestly" on the piano. -Kenyon

the obligatory THEN and NOW photos:


NOW (not bad compared to flock of seagulls):

Thursday, August 11, 2005

best of 2005. so far. (or, records most played on my radio show).

Mercury Rev: Secret Migration (v2)
the Bravery: s/t (island)
Embrace: Out of Nothing (atlantic)
Cloud Room: s/t (gigantic)
Russian Futurists: Our Thickness (upperclass)
Bloc Party: Silent Alarm (vice)
Architecture in Helsinki: In Case We Die (barnone)
Northern Chorus: Bitter Hands Resign (sonic unyon)
Elkland: Golden (columbia)
Manual: Azure Vista (darla)
British Sea Power: Open Season (rough trade)
Project Skyward: Strange Synchronicities (nebula)
Maximo Park: A Certain Trigger (warp)

best songs of 2005 not on a best album. so far.

Ian Brown: "Keep What Ya Got"
Hot Hot Heat: "Middle of Nowhere"
Shout Out Louds: "Very Loud"
Lou Barlow: "Catepillar Girl"
Raveonettes: "Somewhere in Texas"
Brendan Benson: "Spit it Out"
New Order: "Krafty"
Spoon: "I Turn My Camera On"
Fischerspooner: "just let go"
White Stripes: "Doorbell"

worst/biggest let downs of 2005 so far.

Adam Green: Gemstones (rough trade)
Daft Punk: Human After All (virgin)
VNV Nation: Matter+Form (metropolis)

looking forward to: Stellastarr*, Warlocks, Brian Jonestown Massacre, BRMC, Ladytron, Richard Hawley, Devandra Banhart, Sigur Ros.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Sympathy for the Anton

Dang, I am so glad I got to see the Brian Jonestown Massacre pre-Dig! (October 2002 --or was it 03, oh man I got so wasted that night I don't remember. Just kidding). They played at the Bowery Ballroom to a room that was less than half-full until the house lights went on (no thanks to the less-than-entertaining Dead Meadow and the Realistics playing before them). Now, a few years later, just after the release of the film Dig! (in case you don't know by now, it follows the paths of BJM and the Dandy Warhols), the band sells out two shows at Bowery, July 30 and 31. Hmmm, any connection? Front guy Anton Newcombe definitely deserves this, but he certainly doesn't deserve people coming to the shows behaving like a**holes by provoking him because they think that's what you're supposed to do at a BJM show. I was tempted to go July 30. But after reading some reviews, I'm glad I didn't, at least not to the first show. The consensus is that the band walked off prematurely on Saturday and played for two hours on Sunday.

some reviews:
One Louder (saturday)
Simple Mission (sunday)
IAMalik (sunday, includes a conversation with Anton before the show)

The latest record from BJM is available at Tee Pee records.

Now would be a good time to post my photo of me and Anton, but honestly, I look stupid, as I had yet mastered my technique of posing with a rock band. So instead, here's his signature on the promo for my radio show. Not sure why he put "all the best" in quotes.

In related news, the Dandy Warhols (the friends/rivals featured in Dig!) will release their fifth album, Odditorium or Warlords of Mars, September 13 . The promotional "Suitcase Tour" will consist of sets at radio stations using only instruments that fit into a single suitcase (insert witty joke here). Plus, they'll play at CBGB for the first time ever during the CMJ Music Marathon in September. August dates on the West coast next week, while full U.S. tour will start in November. -Kenyon

Oh yea and, they'll be playing the first single "Smoke It" on Live with Regis and Kelly (what the f*ck?) on September 13.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Various Artists
Never Lose that Feeling Vol. 1
(Club AC30)
release: September 12, 2005
rating: ***

I've got mixed feelings about Never Lose that Feeling. On one hand, it's interesting to hear an interpretation of early '90s shoegaze classics by a newer band. But like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or War of the Worlds, is a re-do really necessary? Although I'll be the first to admit that I love playing songs by these bands and would even love to record them and be on the next volume of this comp, do we want to fool with songs that have been so close to our hearts? Oh, such a dilema. Nevertheless, you gotta give it up for Club AC30 (which is also a club nite in London) for assembling this tribute to the original shoegazers. Most of the bands doing the covers are relatively unknown (at least in the U.S), but most of the songs you will know if you're hip to Slowdive, Curve, Swervedriver (the comp's title is a song by them), Medicine and the Pale Saints. Some tracks are reconstructed, some are stripped down. Some are a complete revision, some are nearly carbon copies. Nothing here really blows my mind, but hey, when you're 16 years old and Ride or Lush is the best thing since INXS and U2, you've got a lot with which to compete. -Kenyon

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Last night California's Dusty Rhodes and the River Band played at the UltraSoundLounge (where I DJ) and I can easily say, hands down, they were one of the best touring bands I've seen at the club. And being there nearly every week for the past year and a half, I've seen quite a lot of bands. Sort of a fusion between folk, rock, country and prog (they cite Woody Guthrie, Yes, the Band and Hank Williams as some influences), they basically can capture your attention after one song (oh whoops, that sounded cliche). They're that damn good. The instrumentation for the six-member group included violin and accordion, enhancing an already brilliant set. Good energy, good tunes. If I start a promotion company for bands not on Long Island, these people would be one of my first picks. They're not on a label yet, but expect that to change and assume you will hear them on my radio show. --Kenyon

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Cloud Room, one of Kenyon's favorite new bands of 2005, will host Subterranean on MTV2, September 28th. Band will play Mercury Lounge August 5.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The latest from clairecords, which helps keep the shoegaze (and some indie pop) flowing.

Sciflyer: The Age of Lovely, Intimate Things EP
What Swervedriver would sound like underwater. About 50 feet underwater. As usual with Sciflyer, the vocals are way way buried in the mix and the guitars are droney. The Age, which is two "lost singles" and some "b-sides," includes a song called "Never Come Down" that clocks in at 14 minutes. So they pretty much should have called the band Vervedriver. -Kenyon

released: August16, 2005
similar: Swervedriver, Skywave, Moose, Sianspheric

Silver Screen: The Greatest Story Never Told
Cris Miller (aka Silver Screen) got started playing music by trying to play songs by OMD on a Casio. You can definitely hear an influence from OMD here, but The Greatest Story is more about guitars than keyboards. Those guitars are pretty and so are Miller's vocals. -Kenyon

released: May 24, 2005
similar: Riverside, Lucksmiths, Starlet, Cocteau Twins, Lightning Seeds

Eau Claire: s/t EP
Members of Experimental Aircraft and Clear Horizon, residents of Texas and Ohio. Four tracks of whispery ambient pop.

released May 24, 2005
similar: Softies, Sugar Plant, American Analog Set
U.S. Air Guitar Championships

oh come on, I can totally do this.

Friday, July 29, 2005

"We've got a lot riding on this record," says O.A.R. vocalist Marc Roberge. "We tend to get pigeon-holed as a jam band, a college band or a touring band. We haven't been taken seriously as songwriters."

Cue violin.


As reported earlier, "Any Way that you Want Me" by Spiritualized (originally by the Troggs) is on the soundtrack for Me and You and Everyone We Know. Warning: those hoping for the song to be played during a magical, romantic moment in the film will be a tad disappointed. In fact, you, me and everyone we know may never think of the song the same way again.


Music by M83 is in the trailer for the wierd looking sci-fi/thriller/apocalyptic film Night Watch, out today, July 29, 2005. See the trailer HERE. Mute records will re-issue M83's debut album on September 6, 2005, originally released by French label Gooom in 2001.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

This time they didn't forget the gravy.

Worked Up so Sexual!!!!

Gravy Train!!!! at the Knitting Factory, NYC. July 25, 2005.
by Shannon Ronan

A lot has changed in the two years since Gravy Train!!!! released their hella dirty, hella danceable debut, Hello Doctor. For starters, Drunx has been replaced by the aptly-named Junx, (imagine half the clothes and double the gay-chic of Andrew McCarthy's quirky sidekick, Hollywood, in the 1980's flick Mannequin). Oh yeah, and Chunx has noticeably lost most of her chunk. You follow?

There's no doubt that Gravy Train!!!! could have easily coasted by forever, fueled by shock value alone. Sure, Gravy Train!!!! is gimmicky and often over the top, but they are undeniably the best at what they do. Though the new album, Are You Wigglin?, includes a track called "Pussy Sauce" the sound here is way more mature. Okay, well maybe not mature, but certainly more developed. Even if the best song on the 22-minute album happens to be a cover ("I Wanna Wanna Wanna Wanna Wanna Wanna Wanna Get Rid of You"), Wigglin still proves Gravy Train!!!! to be the sexually-liberated phoenix rising from the ashes of the short-lived and long-dead "electroclash" movement, churning out new songs with lyrics that could make Peaches blush and keyboards that leave Le Tigre to lie flat as a cat nap.

The Train managed to pack another show at The Knitting Factory. But more noteworthy is the way they made even the too-cool-for-dancing kids dance themselves into sweaty summer oblivion. Junx proved to be the best addition to the band, swinging his pink pom-poms and flinging his trunks into the audience while informing rowdy dancers, "we're not here to be shady. We're just here to be fierce." Still, the seemingly harmless on-stage dancing and off-stage diving soon emboldened a few front row titty-grabbers to grope Chunx, who I then believed punished New York City leaving "You Made Me Gay" out of the short set, choosing instead to close the show with other old favorites such as, "Titties Bounce" and "Sippin 40s." Despite the awkward tension of the show, Hunx proclaimed it to be one of their best ever and I concur, having once again been convinced that Gravy Train!!!!'s synchronized dance moves and impromptu humping never flunx.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The soundtrack for Me and You and Everyone We Know came out July 12 (whoops) on Everloving records and it includes "Any Way that You Want Me" by Spiritualized (originally by the Troggs). Enough said. Ok well, the rest of the soundtrack should be neat too (I haven't seen the film yet, don't want to spoil it by listening) because the original score is by Michael Andrews, the same guy responsible for the soundtrack to Donnie Darko, which all the kids seem to like so much.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Just listen to yourself!

As I have experienced, it's hard (sometimes impossible) to be objective about your own music. What else could account for the latest records from Billy Idol, Rob Thomas, Daft Punk or, say, some trashy local rock band that thinks being 'indie rock' means not being on a major label? Well, apparently post-grunge/metal/punk-pop kiddie band CKY (come on, it stands for Camp Kill Yourself) is still in denial about this, and will fire back at anyone who says their new record is shit. That includes Rolling Stone of course. Oh man, I can't wait to tell CKY that they suck, just so I can get a pissed-off response from them.
Very very few records released this week. That's very very odd for mid-July. Ok, so Frank Black released his like, 20th solo album.

some upcoming records to look forward to:

August 23- stellastarr*, John Vanderslice, BRMC
August 29- Ladytron (UK only)
September 6- Warlocks, Richard Hawley
September 13- Sigur Ros
October 4- My Morning Jacket
Brian Jonestown Massacre sells out two shows at Bowery Ballroom, obviously attributed to the film Dig! (which BJM frontman Anton hates). I can gladly say I saw them, pre-Dig!, a couple years ago at Bowery, when the venue was less than half full and there was plenty of space to dance. I'm still, however, gonna look around for a guest list.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

There was no entry yesterday. In fact, I didn't even touch a computer yesterday. What could possibly be better than sitting in front of computer? Being an extra on MTV's High School Stories, of course. Filming was all day yesterday and today. And damn, it was warm out. Episode will air during the fall season, at which point you can see Kenyon portraying a Catholic high school student. For real.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Well, tomorrow, July 16 is the celebrated (or should I say notorious?) Siren Music Festival at Coney Island. I haven't gone to one yet, don't plan on going to this one. I don't even think it matters to me anymore who is playing. Spoon, Mates of State (ok fine, Jason is a really nice guy), Ambulance Ltd, VHS or Beta, et al. Whoop dee freakin' doo. Oh how I would just love to spend my day in the hot sun, packed together with thousands of other suckers, including the people that would normally be there who picked the wrong day to go on the rollercoaster. I would like, however, to hear some opinions of this show. Anybody? As for me, I'll be gearing up for a "performance" taking place on Monday and Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Ghostly International has become the first record label to give Advance Copy links to mp3s, specifically for use on blogs. werd. oh and the music is pretty decent too.

The curiously named Skeletons & The Girl-Faced Boys offer the title track from their album Git (released June 28), a bit of light electro-pop:


The title track from the upcoming record by Mobius Band (out August 9) makes me think of Longwave, for sure:


-Kenyon Hopkin
VOODOO MUSIC EXPERIENCE 2005 to take place October 29-30, 2005, in New Orleans' City Park. Sure to make people from Long Island once again feel crappy about the failure of the Field Day festival, but others thankful that their town's environment wasn't ruined.

Over 80 acts slated to perform, including Nine Inch Nails, the Bravery and the Neville Brothers (what?).

Tickets went on sale July 8 at www.voodoomusicfest.com (which rejected my "back" button on the browser) and at ticketmaster. Single day tickets will be on sale in September.

Acts scheduled so far: Nine Inch Nails, The Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, Billy Idol, Social Distortion, Tiesto, My Chemical Romance, Secret Machines, New York Dolls, Cake, Ryan Adams, Mickey Hart's Voodoo Drum Circle, The Bravery, Louis XIV, LCD Soundsystem, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Digable Planets, Carl Cox, Brazilian Girls, The Decemberists, Death From Above 1979, VHS or Beta, and many more.

-Kenyon Hopkin

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Electro-pop duo Goldfrapp will release its third album, Supernature, in the U.S in February 2006 on Mute records. That's FEBRUARY 2006, seven months away. It will be released in Europe August 22, 2005 because, well, we're not as worthy. (well, actually it's a part of a "global strategy.")

European tour dates begin this summer with festival dates and continue into the fall with club dates. The duo--Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory--are currently in the middle of a European promotional tour.

Alison Goldfrapp says Supernature is "an über world of sound and hybrid creatures. It's a place to take part in fortnightly disco séances, where people dance with spirits and howl like beasts of the forest wearing lycra and stilettos." Uhh, yea, cool...I think? -Kenyon Hopkin

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Two killer records out today, July 12, from bands of which you likely haven't heard, which have a pretty good chance of landing somewhere between #30-40 for my best of 2005:

OXFORD COLLAPSE: A Good Ground (Kanine Records)
Similar to Stellastarr*, Les Savy Fav.

also out today on Kanine is the latest from Mixel Pixel. Watch for my interview with the band, coming soon. Kanine will release the next Mommy and Daddy record September 27.

THEE MORE SHALLOWS: More Deep Cuts (Turn)
Similar to Grandaddy, Earlimart.

Thankfully, these records cancel out Bronson Arroyo and William Hung. -Kenyon Hopkin
Boston Red Sox Pitcher Bronson Arroyo releases Covering the Bases today.
Cover of "Hunger Strike" causes an expressionless look on Eddie Vedder's face. More at MLB.

Not to be upstaged, William Hung one-ups Arroyo with Miracles, also released today. Thousands across America wonder why he's still allowed to make records.

Neither one deserves a photo here. -Kenyon Hopkin
Secretly Canadian signs I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, a band with one of the best names ever. Bluffington, a runner-up for one of the best names ever, remains unsigned. Full-length debut from ILYBICD (whew!) will be produced by Paul Barker of Ministry (!) and slated for release in early 2006.

MP3 from their 2003 EP.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

LIVE 8. July 2, 2005.

If you missed Live 8 last weekend (and hell, why would you want to watch TV all day and miss most of it anyway due to commercials and the fact that it's in several cities at once?), all the performances are online at AOL. god damn i love technology. also there's a lot of good/funny comments at Stereogum, who I hope will trade blog links with me sometime within a year.

some highlights:

Although they played it way too safe with the non-surprising "Beautiful Day," "Vertigo" and "One," I'm still looking forward to October 10 at Madison Square Garden.

Pink Floyd
Roger Waters was there. Really, you need to bow down to them.

Coldplay with the Verve's Richard Ashcroft for "Bitter Sweet Symphony." Unfortuntely, no signs of Verve guitarist Nick McCabe. Rolling Stones probably recieved a small royalty for the sample in the song.

The Cure
What? the Cure played? oh hell yea! Except there didn't seem to be a keyboardist. And the guitarist is...hmm, looks like Porl Thompson, otherwise it's someone new. That'd be sweet if it's Porl Thompson.

Will Smith Dude, come on man, he did "Summertime."
Scissor Sisters. they can dance
the Killers just one song but pretty sweet
Duran Duran original line-up
a-ha yea!

-Kenyon Hopkin

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

tomorrow, wednesday, july 6.

live phone interview with lo-fi indie rock band MIXEL PIXEL (kanine records)

the mainline. with kenyon.
indie/brit/space/dream/electronic/synth/rockwednesdays 2:30-5:30PM (EST)
WUSB 90.1 FM (http://www.wusb.org/)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Lost in the Shuffle in 2005:

Lou Barlow
released January 25, 2005
rating: ***

Emoh? No, Lou Barlow hasn't gone post-hardcore on us. No, no, Emoh is home spelled backwards. Oh Lou, so clever! Oh wait, why didn't anyone else think of this before? Record title analysis aside, this solo effort from one of indie rock's favorite songwriters is actually, well, impressive. Unfortunately, given all the attention to his participation in the reunion of Dinosaur Jr and their subsequent tour, Emoh could very well be overlooked instead of drooled over. The record is consistent, that's for sure: accompanied sporadically by cello, light percussion, et al, Barlow and his acoustic guitar work wonders on several numbers. "Caterpillar Girl" is among the highlights, skipping along with Barlow's comforting vocals, while "If I Could," in which he doubts a relationship, will have some critics swooning and comparing him to Elliott Smith. The unexpected cover of Ratt's "Round and Round" is likely one of the best acoustic covers of an '80s pop-metal song, ever, as Barlow brings out a desperately heartfelt side that we never knew was there. "Holding Back the Year," which could have folks wondering about a mid-life crisis based on song title alone, beckons to be examined. And that's enough emo for 30-something, longtime fans to last for months. -Kenyon Hopkin
Currently getting the most air-play on college radio stations nationwide (from CMJ).

1-SLEATER-KINNEY The Woods Sub Pop
2-GORILLAZ Demon Days Virgin
3-WHITE STRIPES Get Behind Me Satan V2
4-COLDPLAY X And Y Capitol
5-SPOON Gimme Fiction Merge
6-FOUR TET Everything Ecstatic Domino
7-STEPHEN MALKMUS Face The Truth Matador
8-DRESSY BESSY Electrified Transdreamer
9-BELLE AND SEBASTIAN Push Barman To Open Old Wounds Matador
10-SMOG A River Ain't Too Much To Love Drag City
11-MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK Commit This To Memory Epitaph
12-ALKALINE TRIO Crimson Vagrant
13-WEEZER Make Believe Geffen-Interscope
14-NINE INCH NAILS With Teeth Interscope
15-DEAD 60'S The Dead 60's Deltasonic-Epic
16-AQUABATS! Charge!! Nitro
17-CARIBOU The Milk Of Human Kindness Domino
18-BECK Guero Interscope
20-TEAM SLEEP Team Sleep Maverick

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sigur Ros. September 12, 13 @Beacon Theatre, New York.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bass player from alt-rock band Soul Asylum (when the term "alt-rock" meant something) dead at 41.

NEW YORK (Billboard) -- Karl Mueller, bassist and founding member of the Minneapolis-based rock act Soul Asylum, died Friday at his home, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune. He was 41.

Diagnosed with throat cancer in May 2004, Mueller underwent radiation treatment and was said to have been in and out of the hospital in recent months.

In the early 1980s, Mueller formed Loud Fast Rules with singer/guitarist Dave Pirner and drummer Dan Murphy, a band that became Soul Asylum three years later. After a period of underground notoriety, the band achieved mainstream success with its 1992 breakthrough, "Grave Dancers Union" (Columbia).

The album peaked at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 2.14 million copies in the United Stated, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The set featured the single "Runaway Train," which peaked at No. 5 on the Hot 100.
My Morning Jacket to release next record in September, 2-Cd collection of early work and rarities released by Darla still goes overlooked.

My Morning Jacket have announced the release of their upcoming album, Z, to be released September 20. The psychedelic country band from Louisville garnered acclaimed with 2003's It Still Moves, released on Dave Matthew's ATO records. Tour dates listed at ATO.

source: CMJ , ATO
Smashing Pumpkins may, just may, reform.

Billy Corgan, apparently not satisfied enough with his solo record, wants to reform a band that we pretty much figured he wasn't happy with. Full story at Billboard.
COLDPLAY'S X&Y DEBUTS AT #1 ON BILLBOARD 200 AND TOPS CHARTS IN 22 COUNTRIES TO DATE. (which means there's no escape from the band for the rest of 2005).

Sales of A Rush of Blood to the Head and Parachutes Top Catalog Chart (and people didn't previously buy the records because...?)

38-Date, 36-City North American Tour Launches August 2nd, including September 6, 7 at Madison Square Garden (where i will be seeing U2 October 10 and November 21)
I always think it's amusing when a TV show (comedy, drama, whatever) places music-related items or dialogue into the show. Like, posters of a band that you know the characters would never ever be listening to or probably never heard about. Or when characters are talking about going to see a band play. It's also slightly disturbing and surreal, because sometimes a band who you thought was far from the mainstream is mentioned. One time (don't know what program it was), a boy was upset with his dad because he felt he didn't know anything about his life. He asked his father, "what's my favorite band?" The kid was wearing an INTERPOL shirt. The father still didn't know. Then the boy said "INTERPOL, dad."

Here's one involving Alternative Press magazine that's notable. Someone pretending to write for them is introduced in this clip from the WB's One Tree Hill. It's all just clever marketing, I know. But it's like, worlds colliding!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Let's Have a Ball (based on coolness factor alone).
Pixies/Interpol/LCD Soundsystem @ Jones Beach, Long Island June 14, 2005
by Shannon Ronan

Okay, so I probably shouldn't have shunned those extra squirts of bug spray. And I shouldn't have assumed that the breeze off the water might create enough of a chill to make dragging around a sweaty cardigan sweater seem practical. And surely, I should have spent less time leisurely sipping vanilla vodka and cola in the parking lot and more time rocking out to the seemingly dance-worthy beats of LCD Soundsystem.

Still, after making my way through the obnoxious barrage of gigantic Tommy Hilfiger logos and the masses of red and black clad pre-teens, I reached my seat just as Interpol had taken the stage, easing me gently into my summer concert life with a delicate yet heartfelt rendition of "Next Exit". Honestly, they pretty immediately garnered my undivided attention based on coolness factor alone, failing to miss a single note while at least three band members simultaneously smoked cigarettes mid-song. It was more likely the hypnotic effect of the nostalgic but never overly sappy nature of the songs themselves that truly won me over. Having never before seen the band perform, I was thrilled to indulge in personal favorites such as "Obstacle 1" and "Leif Erikson" and though I may have rolled my eyes ever so slightly, I even secretly enjoyed "Slow Hands" and "Evil". The thing is, that when the opening band, primarily made up of a bunch of baby-faced scenesters possesses more stage presence than the headlining act, you realize Interpol is probably too good to be opening for anyone (even the Pixies!), and when they left the stage I'm sure I wasn't the only left feeling disappointed.

Allowing for just the right amount of anticipation to build, the Pixies finally appeared, boasting the sort of calm confidence that can only be acquired over time. But they only showed their years in terms of focus, playing straight through almost thirty songs, never stopping to chat and rarely stopping to breathe in between tunes. True, they lacked enthusiasm at first, but after just a few songs, their looks of boredom faded and Frank Black began delivering guttural screams with ease, Kim Deal gave a smile or two, David Loverling led the band into the super cute "La La Love You" and guitarist Joey Santiago (if for one night only) dethroned Thurston Moore and became the reigning king of reverb. Mixing a heavy handful of well-known classics (i.e. "Monkey Gone To Heaven," "Here Comes Your Man," "Gigantic") with a few surprises (Kim Deal's melodic version of "In Heaven") and downright hard rock breakdowns (during "Tame" and "Something Against You"), the Pixies managed to appease their diverse audience of both diehard fans and more inexperienced ones. Let me assure you, even if the nosebleed seats were empty, the Pixies are still deserving of all the increasing hype which has surrounded them since their original break-up in 1992.

While nothing can quite compare to indulging in semi-sweet harmonies and crude bass lines while the sun sinks into the ocean, Jones Beach (excuse me, Tommy Hilfiger) Amphitheater is unfortunately just large and conveniently located enough to draw entirely too many ambiance-wreckers (i.e. girls in skin-tight camisoles dancing drunkenly and screaming "I love you" to the angelically indifferent Carlos D. and Frank Black). Still, I'd be a liar to suggest that the lack of seats combined with the familiarly sticky feel of city floorboards beneath my aching feet could have made this show any cooler.


Interpol: Next Exit, Slowhands, Say Hello To Angels, Narc, Not Even Jail, Leif Erikson, Evil, Take You On A Cruise, Obstacle 1, PDA.

Pixies: Is She Weird?, Subbacultcha, Dead, Wave of Mutilation, I Bleed, Broken Face, Monkey Gone to Heaven, #13 Baby, In Heaven, Where is my Mind?, La la love you, Nimrod's Son, Mr. Grieves, The Holiday Song, Vamos, Here Comes Your Man, Bone Machine, Stormy Weather, The Sad Punk, Something Against You, Isla De Encanta, Allison, Cactus, Gouge Away, Tame, Debaser, Hey, Gigantic, Encore: Caribou.