Tuesday, April 29, 2008

this is music >> now i'm living >> now i'm living >> ah come onnnnnn!
the verve at the WaMu theater at Madison Square Garden, NYC
April 28, 2008.
[warning: set list spoiler below]

Even though it's been 10 years, it sure didn't feel that way. the verve was spot on and the magic was still there. after the DJ on stage spun typical annoying old soul junk (dude come on, not even some primal scream?) one of the best rock bands ever blew some minds. given that it's been 10 years, who knew what to expect or what the set list would be like. the band played and chose songs like it was only a couple years since the release of Urban Hymns and half the songs were from that last record. A couple of new songs were unveiled-- "Sit and Wonder," introduced by Ashcroft and "Disco," which was the title on the set list and as Ashcroft remarked "a soon to be classic." Oh yea, cocky. Fortunately, the new ones don't sound anything like the acoustic guitar-lead ballads off Hymns, where the Verve was drifting from its psychedelia.

The highlights (read: rocking out) were "A New Decade" (cause it was the first song), "This is Music" and "Gravity Grave." The last one was originally not on the set list, as Simon played a teaser bassline and Ashcroft had just grabbed an acoustic guitar. A bunch of people shouted out "Gravity Grave" and then Ashcroft was basically like, f*ck it, let's play it. He said it was going to be a "15 minute version" but it was only about half that, oh well. Of course--surprise, surprise--"Bittersweet" received the best response from the crowd and everyone in the seats were standing. Whatever. Anyway, Nick McCabe is the man. i didn't mention drummer peter or get any good photos of him so..peter you rule too.

in order - thanks to ben who got a set list.
A New Decade
This Is Music
Space And Time
Life's An Ocean
Already There
Gravity Grave (not on setlist)
Weeping Willow
Sit And Wonder (new)
Rolling People
Velvet Morning (on list, didn't play)
Drugs Don't Work
Lucky Man
Come On
Bittersweet Symphony
Disco (new. aka Love is Noise or Love is Pain)

short clip of one of the sweet new songs at the end of the set-
see you in the next one
Weezer - "Pork and Beans." Listen HERE.
from yet another self-titled record out June 24, 2008. "P and B" continues where the first self-titled record left off, going head to head with "In the Garage." Except for the lyrics about working with Timbaland. oh no!
DURAN DURAN 2008 tour starting...now. no Andy Taylor though. Sample the latest record HERE. They have gone the way of Madonna, collaborating with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake. Yea, awkward! It's okay, Duran Duran, i still love you.

Apr 29 - General Motors Place - Vancouver, BC
Apr 30 - WaMu Theater - Seattle, WA
May 2 - Sleep Train Pavilion - Concord, CA
May 3 - Santa Barbara Bowl - Santa Barbara, CA
May 4 - Nokia Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
May 6 - Dodge Theatre - Phoenix, AZ
May 8 - Valley View - San Diego, CA
May 9 - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV
May 10 - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV
May 12 - Wells Fargo Theatre - Denver, CO
May 14 - Rosemont Theatre - Chicago, IL
May 15 - Masonic Temple Theatre - Detroit, MI
May 17 - Chastain Park Amphitheater - Atlanta, GA
May 18 - UCF Arena - Orlando, FL
May 19 - Mizner Park Amphitheatre - Boca Raton, FL
May 21 - Koka Booth Amphitheatre - Raleigh, NC
May 22 - Mann Center for the Performing Arts - Philadelphia, PA
May 24 - Atlantis - Paradise Island (Bahamas)
May 27 - Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD
May 28 - Agganis Arena - Boston, MA
May 30 - Central Park Summerstage - New York City, NY
May 31 - Central Park Summerstage - New York City, NY

buy tickets

Sunday, April 27, 2008


10 minutes from my house. cool.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

what will the poor girl wear to all tomorrow's parties?

As you probably heard, my bloody valentine is headlining All Tomorrow's Parties, September 19-21 in...no man's land New York. It will cost you big time. Still, writers at Pitchfork and some other music snob sites are bugging out. Pitchfork especially. oooo ooo you peed yourself! oh my, Pitchfork, congrats, you are really expressing your excitement! Yea, they are shitting bricks all over the place. Although i've been hearing and reading rumors of mbv playing proper shows in NYC and can patiently wait for that, i can't help but openly not give a crap about ATP NY 2008.

First, look at the admission cost ($225 plus booking fee plus room). Second where the hell is Monticello? Upstate NY. Granted, not that far up. This is cool for being around more trees. Oh and check *this*: "The three-day boutique festival will have less than 3000 people attending." boutique? excuse ME.

As far as going for mbv, you'd have to wait through a bunch of other bands you don't care about, if that is the case. It's like that Curiouso nonsense the Cure did outdoors in the middle of the sh*tty summer. Also, can someone please get a more recent photo of mbv? Every photo i'm seeing is from back in the day. Even the promo for the shows in the UK. There's no way they still look like that.

At least this has been a big year for significant bands from the early-mid 1990s reforming- So far we have mbv, the Verve and Swervedriver. We also have the Cure two nights in a row (msg AND radio city music hall). these big festival shows in the U.S., no thanks.

and that brings us to the band line-up. what the hell. terrible!

F*ck Buttons - Polvo - Low
Edan with Dagha - Mogwai - The Drones
Built to Spill playing Perfect From Now On
Wooden Shjips (who?) - Shellac
Thee Silver Mount Zion Orchestra - Autolux
Meat Puppets playing Meat Puppets II
Tortoise playing one of their albums
Thurston Moore playing Psychic Hearts

Friday, April 25, 2008

semi-historical classic vintage live clip that will never come close to being replicated.
Def Leppard - "Photograph" (1988)

one of the best opening guitar riffs in rock ever, this live version of "Photograph," which appears to be the closing song at the concert, includes an extra guitar solo at the end by the deceased Steve Clark. never did i think a video of Def Leppard would give me chills.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Whiskey Priest: Hungry (Brick-A-Brac)
release: April 15, 2008
style: soft singy-songwriter
[rating: ****] Noah Hall, aka Whiskey Priest, is waiting patiently. He's holding on through his heartbreaking acoustic soul, reminiscent of Depeche Mode's "Somebody" and Elliot Smith. The tragedy feels so real in "Get Well Card," "Superman" and more. The cover of "Sweet Child 'o Mine" is a huge surprise and a convincing one that works super splendid. "Love and a Gun" makes reference to John Lennon and makes emotional statements such as "all you need is love and a gun to kill the pain." Truly a gem among this year's crop of singer-songwriters. -Kenyon
Hearts+Horses: Park Avenue Music (Clairecords)
release: May 13, 2008
style: experimental acoustic/electronic indie
[rating: *1/2] Let's see if we can get this straight. Park Avenue Music changed their name to Hearts+Horses and named this record Park Avenue Music. Or is it still Park Avenue Music and the record title is By Hearts+Horses? Silly kids, tricks are for rabbits. The music is tougher to comprehend. This boy and girl from Sacramento have made an awkward record that exists in its own universe, where down is up and up is down. Unlike their pleasant 2002 release, this effort has very little structure, even though the duo applies a very similar line-up of classical piano, a quiet sparse croon and sputtery glitch-tronics. Here it doesn't gel, earning half a star for at least being adventurous. Puzzling. -Kenyon
Blowing Trees: Blowing Trees (Glassnote)
release: March 18, 2008
style: rock the world
[rating: ***1/2] Like the room-filling universe rocking of Muse, Blowing Trees does some filling of its own in the urgent rock department. Calm down though, this Texas act isn't on par with the mighty Muse. With a consistent level of musicianship and sky-reaching vocals (which, i finally pinpointed, replicates Manic Street Preachers), the Texas band is able to pull something off worthwhile. Strong offerings include the very personal "The Day the World Left Me" and "The Anywhere," which, believe it or not, is the child of Radiohead's "Electioneering" and Kenny Loggins "I'm Alright." Yeah i know! go figure right? The latter half of the record holds up and shines just as well, barely mistepping. This band is like, under the radar or something. -Kenyon

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

new Mates of State - "Get Better"
record out May 20, 2008 on Barsuk!

MoS keeps getting better and stuff. How are they doing that? "Get Better" sees the duo evolving to a new level, further proving to be one of the most consistently great bands of indie rock. hurray!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tin Bangs - [Toronto] - influenced by a wide range of the best in rock with a number of great tunes to show for it, Tin Bangs' exciting rock 'n' rolling post-post-punk dance is the best new thing i've heard this weekend. no, THIS WEEK. think the futureheads or a happier editors or the first bravery record without synth. they somehow, someway opened for the killers, editors and art brut and don't even have a record label. can you feel the BUZZ!?! it's getting me so high right now. they need a different band name though. anyway, Tin Bangs has flashes of rock fathers echo and the bunnymen and david bowie to name a few. and here's a cliche statement i never use: we will be hearing more about this band in the near future. oh snap! rockin video for "the skinny" at their myspacey. get jealous. i already am! so jealous. please, tin bangs, stop making me jealous. -Kenyon

Luke Sneyd - [Toronto] - Sneyd and his band are like fresh minty breath after brushing your teeth thoroughly. sharing the style of sloan or brendan benson, the bubblegummish power pop addresses the usual array of subject matter (loss, alienation, politics). songs like "unknown," "timeless" and "waiting," however, are lovable enough that those subjects are overshadowed.
Come on Caboose - [Ohio] - singer / songwriter Coran Stetter and drummer Eric Simonds "had just about enough with revolving door line ups in previous bands filled with all talk no walk musicians". boo hoo. have you been to iraq lately? okay okay, i dig what you're saying. then they met each other and discussed committment. they recruited two other guys and now they have some song. "organs" is semi-breezy indie pop/rock ala the 1990s, while the pina colada bassline leads into the decent but not so interesting "hot iron."
cherryaxe - [Boston] - the first two songs provided are badly recorded and badly sung lo lo-fi indie-folk. Toy piano and accordion cancels out some of the badness. The other two fair better. "Febreze" drops the porch-folk for indie rock, which works better for cherryaxe. "Fresh Vegetables," although it switches to acoustic folk with banjo, is very very very serious.


Friday, April 18, 2008

new Architecture in Helsinki vid- "Like it Or Not"

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

effin' breaking news.
Original Jane's Addiction bassist Eric Avery will join the band for one night only in a performance at the first ever U.S. NME Awards in Los Angeles, April 23, 2008. Avery continually declined offers to reunite with the groundbreaking band since the original break-up in 1992 and chose instead to focus on other avenues of music, including his solo album released last week on Dangerbird Records. His awesome killer answer to the obvious question: "I’ve chosen to reject the prospects of reuniting in the past, for personal and philosophical reasons. I have always considered reunions to be a way to make a quick buck, and it sells short my own experience of it the first time around. The reason I started to even consider this is because it’s honoring the past instead of trying to recreate it." Werd.

Avery today.

classic black&white Jane's press photo circa 1991.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wolftron: Flesh and Fears (Eyeball)
release: May 6, 2008
style: singer/songwriter chamber pop/rock
[rating: ***1/2] I bet you're thinking this is electro-nik cause of the "tron." You know, like Ladytron or the film Tron or whatever. No no no! Wolftron, lead by Kenny Choi of Daphne for Derby, contradicts its name by providing a percentage of the most naturally sleepy, honest-sounding pop/rock this year. Notables "Crystal Skulls" and "Blueberry Waves" are impressively rich and reverbed considering the low-key production techniques, while the romantic-dramatic splices of psychedelia surround Choi's layered, pillowy vocals. Super rad! -Kenyon

Friday, April 11, 2008

new Portishead - "Machine Gun"

record out April 29, 2008.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Daturah: Reverie (Graveface)
release: April 8, 2008
style: posty rock solid
rating: [****] German band Daturah is able to bring the usual vocal-less post-rock to a new level. While many other bands of this style hit occassional peaks of intensity, Daturah is at full ramming peak 95% of the time on Reverie. When quiet, the voice samples and the dark corners of the atmosphere are the calm before charging guitars come falling. Few other acts have pulled off the now-tired quiet-loud-quiet-loud approach as sharply. The five cerebral pieces are less aggressive than, say, 65daysofstatic, though pack an equal punch. Daturah knows exactly what it is doing on one of the most serious record without lyrics so far this year. -Kenyon
really quick reviews yo...

The Black and White Years - [Texas] - Ska has been dead for years now, but the Black and White Years (named "best new local band" by someone at the Austin Chronic-el) update the building block rhythm of ska with the vibrant "Power to Change." The self-titled debut album was produced by the Talking Heads' Jerry Harrison and they got a date soon with VHS or Beta, so werd up.

Gentleman Auction House - [St. Louis] "The Book of Matches" is posi kitchen sink indie rock with a big back beat. Would make sense opening for the Polyphonic Spree or alongside the Go! Team.

Alan Wilkis - [Brooklyn] '70s soft rock/pop walking on multi-color electronic lifts. "Milk and Cookies" is gonna make girls get all giddy. One of the best things heard all week.

Team Robespierre [Brooklyn] electro-punk for the kids in basements and warehouses featuring sing-alongs up the ying yang.

Secret Knives - [New Zealand] - bright eyes backed by editors or the killers but with a lo-fi recording method.

Sleepy Eyes of Death - [Seattle] - oooooo electronic swirly dream rock, like M83.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Pyramids: Pyramids (Hydra Head)
release: April 22, 2008
style: experimental atmospheric noise
[rating: ***] Thanks to the little info found, Pyramids was a complete mystery and pretty much remains that way. This self-titled experiment is way out there in no man's land, ejecting layers of guitar noise, drum machine pounding and disembodied vocals. About a third of the time it's soothing and an enjoyable listen, the remainder is mainly annoying and increasingly so, depending on your threshold of tolerance for this sort of thing. The final track practically winds up being condensed and compressed hardcore metal, believe it or not. Pyramids could possibly be post-post-post rock that hasn't been invented yet. Basically, you'll either think it's sh*t or genius. I'll tell you what though, Pyramids, you get three stars for not following the popular crowd. -Kenyon

Monday, April 07, 2008

explosions in the sky.
april 6, 2008 at the crazy donkey in farmingdale, long island.


lichens [opener. dude sitting in chair looping sounds].

Saturday, April 05, 2008

new Madonna.
i want candy. any kind will do. except THIS trash!

Hard Candy out April 29, 2008.

Boy i am so glad i saw Madonna on the last tour supporting her fantastic previous album, cause so far Hard Candy is torture. There are problems here. First, Justin Timberlake is understandable. I guess it sorta works even though he's young enough to be her son, but Timbaland? no no no. He ruins an already mediocre song. Madonna does not need those two clowns. And look at Madonna's arms. Ew. Oh wait, sorry MTV.com just brainwashed me saying, she is "looking better than she has in years." Blech. 4 minutes to save the world? Stop singing about such a crisis and start preventing the ice caps from melting. You got money, use it! Whoops, too late. Warner has been removing the video from youtube mad quick and making us pay 1.99 on iTunes, but here is a still-shot version of "4 Minutes" that looks even worse than the video itself. A 4-minute waste of time. -Kenyon

NIN Nine Inch Nails Live Concert Tour 2008
United States Year Zero Ghosts With Teeth

07/25/08 - Pemberton, BC - Pemberton Festival
07/26/08 - Seattle, WA - Key Arena at Seattle Center
07/28/08 - Edmonton, ALB - Rexall Place
07/29/08 - Calgary, ALB - Pengrowth Saddledome
07/31/08 - Winnipeg, MAN - MTS Centre
08/02/08 - Minneapolis, MN - Target Center
08/05/08 - Toronto, ONT - Air Canada Centre
08/07/08 - Uncasville, CT - Mohegan Sun Arena
08/08/08 - Worcester, MA - DCU Center
08/12/08 - Knoxville, TN - Knoxville Civic Coliseum
08/13/08 - Duluth, GA - Gwinnett Arena
08/15/08 - Oklahoma City, OK - Ford Center
08/16/08 - Houston, TX - Toyota Center
08/18/08 - Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center
08/20/08 - St. Louis, MO - Scottrade Center
08/22/08 - Cleveland, OH - Quicken Loans Arena
08/23/08 - Auburn Hills, MI - Palace of Auburn Hills
08/27/08 - East Rutherford, NJ - Izod Center
08/29/08 - Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Center
08/31/08 - Lexington, KY - Rupp Arena
09/02/08 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater
09/03/08 - Salt Lake City, UT - The E Center of West Valley
09/05/08 - Oakland, CA - Oracle Arena
09/06/08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Forum

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Tears Run Rings
Always, Sometimes, Seldom, Never
release: April 8, 2008
style: dream pop, shoegaze
similar: Moose, Mira, Skywave, Secret Shine
[rating: ***1/2] Previously of indie pop/twee bands of which you probably have never heard, the members of Tears Run Rings (that's a song by Marc Almond of Soft Cell, by the way) exchanges its preference for a direct embodiment of classic shoegaze. "Waiting for the End," for example, will naturally be accused of copycatting early Slowdive. "Run Run Run" and a few others funnel the baritone, hazy lazy vox of early Jesus and Mary Chain. The girl vocals are put to sufficient use (very important), blending flawlessly with the male. This debut LP, which took a few years to make via infrequent meetings of members before relying on snail mail and email, has an ironic natural flow. As far as post-early '90s dream pop goes, Always is among this year's best. -Kenyon
classic vintage historical live video.
Dead Kennedys - "Life Sentence" (1984)