Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Walter Meego: Voyager
(Almost Gold/Sony)
release: May 27, 2008
style: dance electronic pop
similar: Fischerspooner, MGMT, Cut Copy, Datarock, Air
[rating: ****] Walter Meego (essentially Justin Sconza and Colin Yarck) is the latest electro-dance-pop act with an overload of cool synth sounds. They are setting the night on fire, with hot trax heard on Ugly Betty and gigging with VHS or Beta. Voyager includes the simplistic but catchy "Girls" and "Forever," which is already one of the top underground dance songs of 2008. From Chicago and now Californi-way, they're as much fun as Junior Senior or Datarock, while not afriad to be dark in otherworldly places like "Keyhole," which has a compressed synth-guitar solo that launches the guitars of the eagles' "Hotel California" into the future. -Kenyon

Combichrist: Frost EP- Sent to Destroy
release: July 8, 2008
style: aggro-industrial dance
[rating: **] Combichrist (Andy from the less harsh Icon of Coil) had one of the biggest dark-dance club anthems of the last few years with the sexually-charged machinery pounding "This Shit Will Fcuk You Up." It isn't going to be topped on this Frost EP. Dammit. We get two songs with three remixes of each plus an instrumental. The original mix of "Prince Of E-Ville" is bland, though we get some spooky scary remixes. Not too exciting or recognizable for the dancefloor. "The Kill" is like Icon's "Floorkiller" or VNV Nation's "Ascension" in that it's a long instrumental that has sweeping deep synth and hard beats. -Kenyon

Hour of the Shipwreck: The Hour is Upon Us (self-released)
release: now
style: pretentious art rock
[rating: *] If Radiohead was enslaved in a dark sci-fi fantasy land, it would resemble something like Hour of the Shipwreck. The Los Angeles collective was largely influenced by Lord of the Rings and Hour is Upon Us feels as long as one of those films. This convoluted prog debut requires mad patience that i don't have. It's like watching Lady in the Water. Yea, i went there. -Kenyon
classic vintage music video.
the Hooters- "And We Danced" (1985) people trapped in the trunk of a car is not cool. good times in the mid-80s with the Hooters is the coolest.

Friday, June 27, 2008

new Verve song from upcoming album + official track list.

The Verve's new single, "Love Is Noise" is at their myspace. Upcoming album Forth is out August 19 via their own imprint On Our Own (brilliant!) distributed via Megaforce/MRI. "Love is Noise" was heard at the band's reunion tour dates, printed on the set list as "Disco." It had some electronic disco in it along with a killer background vocal loop which basically ruled. Most importantly, the song is not a slow ballad with acoustic guitar.

Official Tracklisting:
1. Sit and Wonder 2. Love Is Noise 3. Rather Be 4. Judas 5. Numbness 6. I See Houses 7. Noise Epic 8. Valium Skies 9. Columbo 10. Appalachian Springs

photos and review of show in new york HERE.
TAB the Band [Massachusetts]

The second, self-produced album Long Weekend is out August 12 on North Street Records and has the vibe of late 1960s/70s hippie rock n' roll like Jet pulled off a few years ago. First single "Where She Was on Monday" [MP3] re-animates the persona of early Rolling Stones. It will get a digital release July 1. Hear more songs at - http://www.tabtheband.com

2008 with Stone Temple Pilots and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. get jealous.

August 17- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, North Carolina
August 19- UCF Arena- Orlando, Florida
August 22- Ford Amphitheatre- Tampa, Florida
August 23- Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre- Alpharetta, Georgia

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

My Morning Jacket at Madison Square Garden New Year's Eve. What? ummm...okay? MMJ is suddenly that popular i guess. Yes, the actual MSG arena, not the theater. not practical. half a year away. gee i wonder what life will be like then.
Sigur Ros tour dates 2008
september 17 • united palace, new york city
september 18 • united palace, new york city
september 19 • bank of america pavillion, boston, massachusetts
september 23 • fillmore, detroit, michigan
september 24 • chicago theatre, chicago, illinois
september 25 • orpheum, minneapolis, minnesota
september 27 • morrison red rocks theatre, denver, colorado
september 28 • saltair, salt lake city, utah
september 30 • the marquee, tempe, arizona
october 1 • copley, san diego, california
october 2 • the greek theatre, los angeles, california
october 3 • the greek theatre, berkeley, california
october 5 • benaroya hall, seattle, washington
october 6 • arlene schnitzer theatre, portland, oregon
Cinderella tour was postponed because of frontman Tom Keifer suffering from a hemorrhaged vocal cord. Opener Warrant will still play some dates, but damn it's not the same.
The Kooks Fall 2008 U.S tour dates. yea they just finished a tour but they did so well, here's another one, covering new places. all ages unless noted, yay!

September 5th – Montreal, QC – Club Soda – all ages
September 6th – Toronto, ON – Virgin Festival – all ages
September 8th – Washington, DC – 9.30 Club – all ages
September 10th – New York, NY – Central Park Summerstage
September 12th – Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony
September 15th – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
September 30th – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre – 18+
October 2nd – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
October 3rd – Houston, TX – Meridian
October 4th – Austin, TX – Antone’s
October 5th – Tulsa, OK – Cains Ballroom
October 7th – St Louis, MO – The Pageant
October 8th – Des Moines, IA – People’s Court
October 9th – Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre
October 11th – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
October 12th – Cincinatti, OH – Bogarts
October 14th – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
October 21st – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
October 22nd – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
October 24th – Sacramento, CA – Empire
October 25th – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre
October 27th – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
October 28th – Hollywood, CA – Hollywood Palladium

Monday, June 23, 2008

a long term effect. [or]- boys shouldn't cry when robert smith is close enough to see the expression on his face.

The Cure. Night Two. June 21, 2008 live in New York City.
Left Side Orchestra Section, Radio City Music Hall.

clicky on photos to make them bigger.

set list: Adagio For Strings (Intro), Out of This World, Want, alt.end, The Baby Screams, The End of the World, Lovesong, A Letter To Elise, The Big Hand, Pictures of You, Lullaby, Catch, The Perfect Boy, Kyoto Song, Other Voices, The Only One, Hot Hot Hot, Sleep When I'm Dead, Doing The Unstuck, Push, Inbetween Days, Just Like Heaven, Charlotte Sometimes, The Hanging Garden, One Hundred Years, Bloodflowers.

1st encore: Freakshow, Close To Me, Why Can't I Be You?
2nd encore: Boys Don't Cry, Jumping Someone Else's Train, Grinding Halt, 10:15 Saturday Night, Killing An Arab
3rd encore: A Forest, Forever.

notable songs played at Radio City that weren't played at MSG: catch, a forest, letter to elise, hanging garden, other voices.
most happy to hear: a forest
most surprising to hear: catch, hanging garden
disappointed to hear: too much crap from the last few albums
songs i wanted to hear that weren't played but have been played on previous dates for this tour: play for today, plainsong, strange day.
really obscure song on first album i admit i didn't know: grinding halt. didn't know what the hell it was, as it sounded very un-cure like.
wierdest songs to play: kyoto song, grinding halt.

Another resonating performance. best thing about this tour is that they really mixed up the set lists from show to show, which, considering they play for three hours, is truly extraordinary. as many of us were physically closer to the cure than we ever would be in our life and with robert smith walking up to the balconies, i know a lot of people there would agree that this last night of the tour was magical and surreal. this all cancelled out the dullness of most of the main set. sorry, but it's the last nite of the tour and they could have done a little better than alt.end, baby screams or end of the world. and bloodflowers to end the main set? come on. when robert smith went up the walkways/stairs (?) to the mezzanine though, i was like, wow wow wow. he just...kept going up. and every time he went up another level the crowd went more nuts. he did speak a handful of times, not that we could make most of it out, but when the cure finished the song when smith was at the top of the opposite side he said, in the most endearing way, something like "why did you fucking let me up here." awww, he must have been scared. that was high up there!

from the end of the second encore to the last encore, i said screw it, and went up as close as i could get. and that's when they played "a forest" and i freaked out and danced with a few people right behind me. i turned around and we all sang "i'm running towards nothing; again and again and again and again and again!" shit, i hope i didn't piss people off. truly, though, a once in a lifetime event.

opener 65daysofstatic tearing sh*t up.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

friday i'm in love with the cure -[or]- say hello on a night like this.

The Cure June 20, 2008 New York City.
Night One - Section 203, Madison Square Garden.

clicky on photos to make them bigger.

Wow wow wow. any serious fan of the cure last night at MSG could not have been disappointed with the performance and song selections. after postponing the original tour dates for which tickets went on sale A YEAR AGO, The Cure--currently Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson, Jason Cooper--were exceedingly worth that wait. only complaint is the lameness of no keyboard player/Roger O'Donnell. most of the keyboard parts were replaced with guitar by Thompson and at times i would have much rather heard some warm synth than piercing guitar. The three hour set with three (?) encores covered a vast assortment of their catalog, with some usual expected songs (just like heaven, boys don't cry, in between days) and some surprises that caused me to flip out (push, the kiss, charlotte sometimes, hundred years, night like this). they started with a slow obscure song that might have been a new one or from wish [updated- see set list below], but immediately after they started pumping out one fantastic favorite after another. the crowd was very weak near the beginning, but the energy gradually increased when they played more popular, upbeat, dancey songs. by encore time and "close to me" and "boys don't cry," a lot more people were dancing and smiling etc. how people can sit the entire show, text message or leave to get a beer is hella lame. why are you even there? do you understand what is going on here? gee. thought it was sold out, but there were scattered empty seats, including right next to me, goody!

there were definitely magical moments going down aside from the cure playing "push" or "charlotte sometimes." there was a couple next to us and the guy proposed to his girlfriend right there and then. holy cow. even though i hate marriage, i high fived that guy cause i was in that good of a mood. met some awesome people too. thanks for helping to make this one of the best cure shows ever. i can't even believe i'm seeing them again tonight at Radio City Music Hall, the last date on the U.S tour. holy sh*t. and with opener 65daysofstatic, who totally destroyed. wasn't able to get any decent photos of them, will get good shots tonite for sure. gonna be in like 15th row from stage. don't know if i can handle it.

the incredible set list, not in order-

the only one (new), boy i never knew (new), prayers for rain, pictures of you, love song, lullaby, fascination street (?), edge of the deep green sea, friday i'm in love, to wish impossible things, end of the world, the kiss, if only tonight we could sleep, why can't i be you, just like heaven, hot hot hot, in between days, push, close to me, night like this, shake dog shake, one hundred years, charlotte sometimes, the walk, primary (!) , jumping someone else's train (!), boys don't cry, killing an arab, 10:15 saturday night. plus two or three lesser known songs and a couple of more new ones.

[updated proper set list]: Underneath The Stars, Prayers For Rain, A Night Like This, The End of the World, Lovesong, To Wish Impossible Things, Pictures of You, Lullaby, Fascination Street, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, The Perfect Boy, Hot Hot Hot, The Only One, Wrong Number, The Walk, Sleep When I'm Dead, Push, Friday I'm In Love, In between Days, Just Like Heaven, Primary, Shake Dog Shake, Charlotte Sometimes, One Hundred Years, Baby Rag Dog Book

1st encore: If Only Tonight We Could Sleep, The Kiss
2nd encore: Freakshow, Close To Me, Why Can't I Be You
3rd encore: Boys Don't Cry, Jumping Someone Else's Train, Grinding Halt, 10:15 Saturday Night, Killing An Arab

i've waited hours for this.

and so we watch the sun come up from the edge of the deep green sea.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bottle Up & Go [Brooklyn/Connecticut, Kill Normal records] - Guitar and drums duo that manufactures the ghost of Jimi Hendrix with the skills of the White Stripes and a knowing heritage of old time depression blues. "Wayward Son" MP3 [not to be confused with the 70s song by Kansas].

Wrongkong - [Canada/Germany, Minty Fresh records] - Lays happily between the d.a.n.c.e of Justice and the female-lead swaggering of Shiny Toy Guns. "Real Boy" MP3 [Strike Boys remix]
Straight to DVD July 29. Let's pretend it doesn't exist, ok?
ISLANDS and RA RA RIOT added to Village Voice SIREN MUSIC FESTIVAL at Coney Island Saturday, July 19, 2008.

The Verve will release new record August 19, 2008.

The Cure is at MSG and Radio City this weekend. Kenyon will be there too.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Quitzow: Art College (Young Love)
release: June 10, 2008
style: indie electronic, indie pop
[rating: ****] In her press photo, Erica Quitzow is holding colorful balloons against a colorful background. Hot. Art College is hotter. She uses the best synthesizers (Moog, Korg, etc) and cleverly assembles her multi-tracked vocals, synths and beats. "Stay Away From John" is haunting and cute all at once, while she contrasts that by revealing sexxxiness for "Slept in My Car." "Cats R People 2" is just....hella awwwwsome. "Love" is unfortunately a complete day off. Otherwise Quitzow is on fire. -Kenyon


Setting Sun: Children of the Wild (Young Love)
release: June 10, 2008
style: acoustic indie folk love
[rating: ***] Not to be confused with the former name of the side project from members of Swervedriver and Interpol, this Setting Sun evokes the singer-songwriter with a backdrop of pond fishing and fields of fire. Lead by Gary Levitt and featuring frequent collaborator Quitzow, Children of the Wild was recorded in a 19th century home (so jealous). Topped by a Pete Yorn meets Joseph Arthur voice, Levitt's third album as Setting Sun is a welcoming display of organic, back-to-basics songwriting. Stay until the closing posi song "Happy Joy" (not to be confused with Ren and Stimpy). Goes great with potato salad, fruit punch and sandwiches. -Kenyon

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Dials
Amoeba Amore
(No Fun)
release: May 26, 2008
style: garage power poppy rock 'n roll
[rating: ***] The Dials grab their guitars and throw them in the trunk of a 1975 Plymouth. Then they drive safely to their gig and rock the hell out. The quartet's rebellious 1960s and early 80s-inspired rock is sparkling with Farfisa and rubber-burning co-lead vocals from two semi-riot grrrrls. Following a very personal tragedy for them a few years ago, the Dials have triumphed with a Behind the Music-worthy story. The determination to continue resulted in opening for the Thermals, Tapes n Tapes and the Psychedelic Furs. Heck yea. -Kenyon
My Education: Bad Vibrations (strange attractors audio house)
release: June 10, 2008
style: sleepy instrumental
[rating: **1/2] There's plenty of instrumental rock bands that like to start quiet, then build up and eventually take the form of noise. Yea, My Education does this too, integrating jazz and country via pedal steel, piano and viola. So you can definitely put this Texas band alongside Japancakes, though My Education is less country and noisier, aside from the pretty title track at the end. Nice background music. You'll probably hear it on my interadio show to wind down. Bad Vibrations includes a track titled "Sluts and Maniacs." What the fudge? These guys are f*cking psycho! Run away! -Kenyon
Podington Bear: The End (Hush)
release: June 28, 2008
style: electronic, ambient, keyboard
[rating: **] Part of a 10-CD work that was podcasted (get it?) these instrumentals originate from a Portland musician who will not reveal his/her identity. Pooh. Ranging from twinkly ("Bargaining") to dramatic ("Fury"), The End is meant to be a concept album regarding the response to death and dying. There are plenty of songs and albums about death and dying. This isn't the one in which to put faith. If one wasn't aware of the theme, "Ebullience" and "Acceptance" are little more than elevator music. At least "Grief" includes a harp. When do we hear harps anymore? Sure, it's impressive to churn out a million songs and a 10-cd box set, but this hardly feels like closure. -Kenyon

Sunday, June 15, 2008

so, how about that best of Radiohead CD? oh the irony!
and in so many different formats!

1-CD collection featuring 17 tracks
Special Edition 2-CD, adding 13 tracks
4-piece vinyl set with 29 tracks
17-track & 30-track digital downloads
DVD featuring 21 classic promo videos

Radiohead Video Blips:

Modern Guilt, Beck's follow-up to 2006's The Information, out July 8

hear new song "Chemtrails" at www.beck.com

Beck U.S. tour dates so far:

8/22/08 - San Francisco, CA - Outside Lands Festival
8/24/08 - Bend, OR - Les Schwab Amphiteater
8/30/08 - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
9/20/08 - Hollywood, CA - Hollywood Bowl
9/27/08 - Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival

Friday, June 13, 2008

never lose that feeling -[or]- space travel rock 'n' roll.

swervedriver at music hall of williamsburg. June 12, 2008.
with the still out and longwave.

swervedriver rocked it 1990s style, minus adam franklin's dreads. the whole band was in a good mood. i did some sick rocking out when they started the set with "Sciflyer." Before the encore, drummer Jez said "you guys are rockin' tonight." well i'm glad he thought so cause i thought most of the crowd was dead, movement-wise. come on, it's been 10 years. SWD forever.

set included [aka songs i was able to identify, not in order]: sciflyer, song of mustang ford, ravedown, duel, girl on a motorbike, never lose that feeling, 99th dream, these times, behind the scenes of the sounds and times, i am superman.

found the setlist at the swervedriver forum, thanks to the girl that ran up on stage to get the drummer's setlist and then pulled off by a bouncer only to have bouncer give her a setlist anyways. most of the other songs were on early EPs that i never heard before. blah. set in order: sciflyer, juggernaut rides, sandblasted, the birds, duel, girl on a motorbike, these times, 99th dream, the hitcher, she's beside herself, i am superman, never lose that feeling, behind the scenes, son of mustang ford, for seeking heat, ravedown. set from previous night at bowery ballroom was much different, which is rad even though i wasn't there.

songs i wanted to hear that they didn't play: bring me the head of the fortune teller, sealed my fate, wrong treats, up from the sea, blowin' cool.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Doleful Lions: 7 (Parasol)
release: June 10, 2008
style: indie electronic
[rating: *1/2] Shifting from indie rock to indie electronic sounded good on paper for Doleful Lions, even if it's a jump on the bandwagon several years late--7 even has a track with a vocoder. The start of the album had potential in the form of an instrumental, but from there it is sadly downhill on skis. From a cheap New Order bassline to wimpy vocals, the Lions' release in 2006 of lo-fi music recorded in 1999 is being missed right about now. Guided by Jonathan Scott's interest in all things fringe, 7 gets Biblical- "I stand before you in creed and Christ/the light returned the runes were cast/on that day of the last/I do conjure thee queen of night." "Here Come the Star Nations" includes bubbly low-budget casio and video game-type music, but Scott's vocals are repelling instead of gelling. i don't know what's going on here but it doesn't sit right, man. Later in the record is an out-of-nowhere excerpt from Halloween III. Weird. Troublesome enough to be swept under the rug immediately. -Kenyon
Gazelle: Sunblown (Hidden Agenda)
release: June 10, 2008
style: indie electronic
[rating: **1/2] The members of 1990s blistering rock band Hum have kept busy with several projects in the last decade that branch off from that successful group. Gazelle--Jeff Dimpsey (Hum, National Skyline) and Adam Fein (Absinthe Blind)--continues the quieter avenues explored by the Skyline. Dimpsey's production and mixing has become serene. Fein's vocals are the reserved, hushy kind that require more emotion than he's providing. The seven-minute "Lineal" is when he sounds most cozy while Dimpsey makes room for piano, studio trickery and sputtery beats. "Phasedown" is all about the power of ambient sound and with a name like "Phasedown" it should be expected. For the last track, the two really pull things together vocally and musically and we're left wondering why they didn't do more of this. -Kenyon

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cannonball Jane [Connecticut] One-girl force Sharon Hagopian is cool enough being an elementary school music teacher just over the Long Island Sound from me. As CJ, she loves to mash hip-hop beats, samples and sweet vocals. Already, she earns my jealousy for going out there with the Go!Team and Le Tigre among others. Hogopian's Knees Up! EP is so hip it's wearing argyle socks.

mp3 - The Secret Handshake

dates with the nite:

6/10 – New London, CT @ O’Neill’s Brass Rail
6/12 – New Paltz, NY @ 60 Main w/ Quitzow
6/13 – Danbury, CT @ Heirloom Arts Theatre w/ Palomar
6/14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Galapagos, NYC Popfest
6/17 – New Haven, CT @ Café Nine w/ Quitzow
6/20 – Columbus, OH @ Wholly Craft
6/21 – Lakewood, OH @ Bela Dubby
Broken Letters [Alabama]

The name makes total sense. i searched for Broken Letters on wiki-wiki-peedy and it redirected to the concept of text in the Qur'an. Songs from the upcoming Sing the Burning Alphabet absolutely radiate with religion. The solemn folk-rock lead by David Hickox and Brad Davis begs for comparisons to Iron and Wine and Two Gallants.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

This is Not The World
release: June 3, 2008
style: post-post-punk dance rock
similar: Maximo Park, The Rakes
[rating: ****] Contained adeptly in its own rock 'n roll cube, This is Not the World confirms that the Futureheads are for real. the third album from the British band is astoundingly crisp. Self-released and produced by the one and only Youth, This is Not owes heavily to the Clash (minus the reggae influence). The 40 minutes have the energy of a young band from the early 1980s, fully charged and electrified. The lyrics have urgency to coincide: "it's time to wake up/it's time to change/ let's get it started/i feel like there's so much to rearrange, come on!" "Walking Backwards" just makes sense. "Radio Heart" is cool because it has a fade-out. So much more, from "Sale of the Century" to "See What You Want" has an invigoration that is missing from many of the group's competitors. -
Remi Stevens and the Gang of Thieves [Canada] This guy (or band, Remi prefers to be mysterious) posted negative reactions to the music because even "the Sex Pistols, Nirvana and the Beatles would have experienced this type of division." i gotta give props for that. Someone said "bad bad bad. The production is awful. The vocals are painful. The song is just a series of strange sounds with a distorted bass track and incoherant vocals...this has no musical value whatsoever." Wow. Well, i'm going to be a "detractor" as well, Remi. But at least my response will be written a little better. "Girls Dig Musicians" is some of the most hilarious shit i've heard this year and it's so bad it's good. Like movies that are so bad that they're good. Unfortunately, there's little more worth the time. Jesus, you know what? Maybe if you slowed down the Blood Brothers and tossed in the Bee Gees and Beck, this would be the result.

Dead Leaf Echo [New York City] "Pale Fire" was mixed by Ulrich Schnauss, so of course THAT track is great! He made it all ethereal and stuff. Dead Leaf Echo played with the Black Angels and Soundpool, so at least they can brag about that. Me not too fond of the dramatic yawning vocals though, sorry!


Cavedoll [Salt Lake City] Cheesy band name, semi-cheesy music. But look at them! How can you not love them! The band has and plans to put out a ridiculous amount of albums, wooo. i'm not sure if their disco-synth dance rock is tongue in cheek or being taken very seriously. Maybe a little of both. "Tokyo" is pretty fun and "Mexico" is upbeat as if the Bravery got very happy. "Full of Awe" is the sound of the B-52's forced to adjust to electro.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Spiritualized: Songs in A&E
release: May 27, 2008
style: Spiritualized
[rating: **] The last Spiritualized album, Amazing Grace, primarily took cues from proto-garage rock 'n roll, with only a handful of songs (which were the much better ones) maintaining the gospel-symphony vision. The rest was out of the band's comfort zone, a major let down. Now it looks like leader Jason Pierce has gotten that out of his system. In fact, before this album Pierce was already taking Spiritualized on the road for a minimal, acoustic set. Songs in A&E--interspersed by brief assorted interludes--stems from that direction. There is acoustic guitar and some symphony for "Soul on Fire," the first single and one of the better soul-searching pieces. There are some songs that rock out too, with "You Lie and Cheat" at the top. It features the choir and guitar noise, so you can't go wrong. The usual wordings from Pierce litters the collection (Jesus, fire, waves, drug references). "Baby I'm a Fool" is another "Walking with Jesus," though with an injection of folk and less sadness. "Sitting on Fire" is a sad love song with acoustic guitar and passages such as "it's so hard to fight when you're losing/and i gotta little tear in my soul/and in my own time i am dying/i can't even hold what i own." The problem with Songs is that Pierce sounds weary, like he hasn't fully recovered from being hospitalized. This is reflected in the songwriting. Before you know it, the morose though strangely optimistic "Borrowed Your Gun" nears the completion of the record and the emptiness in the heart is still very much present. Songs is indeed tender, though the sixth proper album lacks assurance and isn't going to make any breakthrough like 1997's Ladies and Gentlemen, nor is it pristine like Pure Phase or Lazer Guided Melodies. For a Spiritualized album, it's just okay when compared to those others. Oh and if you read other reviews stating that this is the best work since Ladies and Gentlemen, fudge that. Ask them if they ever listened to Let it Come Down. Serious fans should really get the original CD, with a fold-out of lyrics on one side and medical life-support tools on the other. -Kenyon
Frog Eyes

Given the previous involvement of Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug, it's no stunner that Frog Eyes also breaks the rules of everyday indie rock. The 9-minute "Bushels" [MP3 here] is an offbeat, eccentric affair that could be one of the epic indie rock pieces of the summer. "Idle Songs," also from the new record released by Absolutely Kosher [myspace] throws Arcade Fire into fast-forward. The Canadian band goes on tour starting now.

06-03 Seattle, WA - Sunset Tavern
06-04 Portland, OR - Backspace
06-06 San Francisco, CA - Café Du Nord
06-07 Los Angeles, CA - Echo
06-09 Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts
06-10 Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
06-12 Austin, TX - Club DeVille #
06-13 Dallas, TX - Club Dada #
06-14 Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone #
06-16 Washington, DC - Black Cat #!
06-18 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's #
06-19 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg #*
06-20 Cambridge, MA - T.T. the Bear's Place #*
06-21 Danbury, CT - Heirloom Arts Theatre #*
06-22 Montreal, QC - Lambi #*
06-23 Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern #*
06-24 Chicago, IL - Mansion #*
06-25 Madison, WI - Project Lodge
06-26 Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock
06-27 Fargo, ND - Aquarium
07-04 Victoria, BC - Logan's
* with Shearwater
# with Evangelicals
! with Firewater

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Jason Webley
The Cost of Living
release: June 24, 2008
style: gypsy-cabaret-folk-rock
[rating: ***] Jason Webley is a wierd dude. Maybe not as wierd and peculiar as he used to be, but still not the normal singer-songwriter. Four or five years ago he played at a bar where i used to DJ. He irked us at first, wearing a mask and doing some kind of old-tyme sea shanty thing with his accordion and stomping on the floor. By the end of his set, he had the crowd singing and dancing in a line. Although The Cost of Living is more conventional than that night, it includes elaborate arrangements with a minimal amount of instruments as well as some of the most accomplished cabaret-folk the Seattle-based Webley has composed. And don't get the wrong idea. Webley's music is actually dark. Joined by his backing group on drums, viola, bass, etc, the finest segments include the grim "Disappear," "Meet Your Bride" and "Ways to Love." Acoustic guitar takes the place of accordion on "Back to You Again," opening a whole new door. -

Webley is currently in Europe:

June 3 - Ceské Budejovice, CZECH - Klub Velbloud
June 4 - Bratislava, SLOVAKIA - Sub Club
June 5 - Vienna, Austria - Vorstadt
June 6 - Budapest, HUNGARY - Siraly
June 8 - Chisinau, MOLDOVA - Mihai National Theater
June 10 - Paris, FRANCE - Studo de L'ermitage
June 13 - Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - dB Studio
June 14 -Netherlands - Beekestijn Pop Festival
June 15 - Hoorn, NETHERLANDS - SWAF
June 17 - London, UK - The Green Note
June 19 - Exeter, UK - Northbridge Inn
June 20 - Brighton, UK - The Cowley Club
June 21 - Southampton, UK - The Homestead
Happy Anarchy: Reset (Highlark)
release: May 20, 2008
style: encompassing art rock
[rating: *1/2] Staten Island has always been a big question mark. It still is. Originally an eight-member group, the first album from the now five-piece Happy Anarchy grew from seeds of a few bands and styles including latter day Beatles and funk/reggae/ska. By the fifth track, Reset is all over the place. "Vampire Bunnies" is dizzying and not in a good way. It's evident a lot of work was put into the songs, and maybe that's the problem. Overkill resulting in a tiresome listen. -Kenyon
Dream Bitches
(Recommended if You Like)
release: May 20, 2008
style: indie riot grrrr pop rock
[rating: ***1/2] Rocking like a mischievous All Girl Summer Fun Band, the Dream Bitches are more dreamy than bitches. But who knows. Most of the group's second album contains bitter post-break-up lyrics hidden in non-obvious break-up songs. The constant vocal harmony from two of the four girls (there's also a guy on guitar) is the star of the New York band. The Bitches have top lyrical skills to match, like when they rhyme "teeth" and "see." And gosh those girls wear great outfits. -Kenyon