Monday, September 29, 2008

Letters to Cleo to play first shows in eight years.

What an unbelievable year of re-united groups. the Verve- yes! mbv- yes! Swervedriver- yes! New Kids- ummm...yea sure! Letters to Cleo.... yea dude, Letters to f-cking Cleo! They had one hit song ("Here and Now") on the heels of the grunge era and the video was on Beavis and Butthead. And then they fizzled, later playing cover songs in the terribly unrealistic 10 Things I Hate About You. So, first shows in eight years. Ha, eight years, thats all? -Kenyon

November 8 - Los Angeles CA - The Roxy
December 8 - Boston MA - Paradise Rock Club
December 9 - Boston MA - Paradise Rock Club
(New York tba)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

New animated humor show the Life and Times of Tim
debuts tomorow nite on HBO.

The lead character looks molded from Zach Braff, the simple animation has a sense of Home Movies and the tone is comparable to the Office, Dilbert and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Basically, Tim gets into one awkward situation after another. A lot of clips for individual "scenes" are up on youtube. Here's the "sneak peak". Poop jokes are never mature, but Tim's response of "this is New York, it's fast-paced" to people believing he dropped one on the floor is classic. -Kenyon

Friday, September 26, 2008

Legendary Pink Dots
Plutonium Blonde (ROIR)
release: October 7, 2008
style: abstract ghostly gloom
similar: IAMX, Bauhaus, Tear Garden, the Residents
[rating: ****] A longtime cornerstone of underground gloom, the Pink Dots have released dozens of albums while musical trends of the past few decades have come and gone. On Plutonium Blonde, Edward Ka-Spel and company have created a mad world of odd lyricism and warped, imaginative sounds. Blonde is chilling ("Rainbows Too") and other times relatively down to earth ( "A World With No Mirrors" trades in surrealism for acoustic guitar, flute and Ka-Spel's aching vocal). "My First Zonee" is one of the stranger excerpts - "milking the cow with my first zonee/out on the trail i'll spank the pony," which actually seems to be a song about a cell phone. "Oceans Blue" follows through on its title, an ambient piece that surfaces from dark waters. This outsider band is miles away from the mainstream. So far away that they could be from another planet. -Kenyon
Takka Takka: Migration (Ernest Jenning)
release: July 29, 2008
style: soft space indie rock
similar: Elbow, Ten Kens, Thee More Shallows
[rating: ***] Produced by Sean of Clap Your Hands Say Yea, Migration opens like the avant-gardeness of a Laurie Anderson record. The ambience unravels towards new age space rock, where the soft spoken vocals get treated to delay and looping. The guitars and drums carefully choose their own stream of consciouness without stepping on any toes. Not enough to lose my mind in, but still a nice listen. - Kenyon

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

drive it all over me OR soft as snow (but loud as hell)
my bloody valentine
live Roseland New York 9.22.08

clicky on images to make bigger.
It has already been an incredible year of concerts, with bands regrouping after an extended hiatus (The Verve, Swervedriver) and the Cure playing Radio City. my bloody valentine, the band that we always hoped and dreamed would finally be active, blew away everything in 2008's path like a damn tsunami. For the countless bands they influenced, mbv showed them all how it's done. And how you do it LOUD AS SHIT, which i think for many people will be the most memorable element.

mbv live was nothing short of a religious experience. Unreal and surreal. So mind-blowing that the two shitty opening bands would be forgotten five minutes into mbv's set. And what the hell was up with those openers? jesus. mbv, one of the most important bands in rock history could have chose anyone they wanted. Instead they make us sit--no, STAND--for over two hours of boringness. Thanks for warning us there would be two generic opening bands! i still don't know the bands' names and i don't care. i think the first one, at least the singer, was French. They were OKAY. But the second band, ugh. When the girl appeared with a flute, i was like, oh ok cool, the flute is for mbv. But no. Even with J Mascis jamming with them at the end it was still the most monotonous time-waster in history. Sorry guys, but you really were not appropriate for this show. Congrats though anyways!

As far as the actual songs/music from mbv, it was off the charts. The vocals, especially Bilinda's soft voice, were way buried, as it should be. Colm was sick on drums and Debbie was pounding on the bass. Kevin Shields was Kevin Shields, werd. Loveless being the hailed album, the ones they definitely played from that were (not in order) --- only shallow, soon, come in alone, to here knows when, when you sleep, i only said (opening song). i'll wait to find a setlist before i mangle what was played from Isn't Anything, but they did play one of my favorite pre-Loveless songs, "slow." Songs i wanted to hear, didn't play - blown a wish, things i miss, can i touch you.

*update* official set list- i only said, when you sleep, you never should, when you wake, cigarette on your bed, come in alone, only shallow, thorn, nothing much to lose, to here knows when, slow, soon, feed me with your kiss, you made me realise. [blown a wish and sueisfine was on list but crossed out].

And i know we will never forget the 15 minutes of rumbling jet-engine level noise they had the balls to unleash on us. You could feel the air vibrating, no shit. Does someone have the exact timing of it? i say 15 minutes. my friend says it was only 7. felt like 30. i think the concept of time was disabled during that moment. wow.

nick from yeah yeah yeahs was there. second time we've met!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brian Jonestown Massacre live
September 19, 2008 Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

This was my second time seeing BJM and dammit again, no Joel on tambourine. According to Anton he was in Hawaii getting married and something about the ATP gig. Frankie Teardrop established himself as the coolest member on stage and he and the other guitarist were awesome enough to remain on stage making noise long after Anton had left. Speaking of Anton leaving, he left the stage a few times for unknown reasons while the rest of the band played some apparently impromptu jams, which did kick ass but got boring after a while. Anton talked a lot about politics and economics and "i don't want a fucking mormon president" and "fuck you i'm fucking sick." Willie Caruthers, formerly of Spacemen 3, is the current bassist, although now he can only speak like a pirate. The drummer, who is also the quietest, was solid the whole night.

It was dissapointing that Joel didn't show up, but i was damn happy about the song selection and a two hour-plus set. They played a lot of early stuff and nothing from the new album (pretty sure), which i just don't see going over too well in a live setting cause it's a wierd psyched-out album. Songs of note that i could identify: Whoever You are, When Jokers Attack, Sailor, Who, That Girl Suicide, Servo, Evergreen, She Made Me. Songs they didn't play that i wanted to hear- Last Dandy on Earth, Wasting Away, Love.

The High Dials were much better than expected. i remember them being just another psych-garage band on Rainbow Quartz records but they were actually impressive and professional. The only real complaints for the night--aside from no Joel--are that BJM still doesn't have their own personalized stage lighting, though that is tough to do when things are only semi-planned. It would make a huge difference. Oh and sorry, but the crowd gave off bad vibes. Not to the band but in general. Lots of snobs. Except for that one kid with the Wolf Parade shirt. You know who you are!

High Dials \/

new audio and junk.

The Golden Hands Before God [Montreal] - "Blood of November" [mp3] from debut album Here (Pop Echo). so actually the full name of the band is The Golden Hands Before God Conducts Incredible Magic Band & The Spirits. The reverbed vocals are key on this peaceful track from an otherwise country-garage psych group. "One Fine Morning" is out of the Brian Jonestown lesson plan and not just cause i saw them last nite.
Atomic Tom - [NYC] - new tracks, including "Take me out" (not the Franz song) are at their myspacey. The pop-rock is more than accessible and the heart-on-sweater sleeve lyrics are easily identifiable.
Camphor - [Upstate NY] - Camphor "has historically been used in religious ceremonies, as a moth repellent, as an ingredient in fireworks, for the embalming of the dead and for medicinal purposes." The songwriting of Max Avery Lichtenstein harnesses the meaning. The dark, pirate chant of "Castaway," from the album Drawn to Dust (Friendly Fire records) comes with a brilliant video.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

stellastarr* is working on its third album, due out next year. They're restless, so they are playing soon at small venues to get comfortable with the new songs.

November 5th Boston @ Great Scott Doors 8:00 PM
November 9th Washington DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel Doors 7:30 PM
November 10th Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s Doors 8PM
December 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th NYC @ Pianos Doors 7PM

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Talkdemonic set fall tour; new music from Eyes at Half Mast,
available today from Arena Rock.

"March Movement" [mp3]
Although it is vocal-less and brief (almost criminally so), this track is reason enough to find more from this Portland, OR duo.

tour dates
9/20: Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
9/30: Seattle, WA - High Dive
10/1: Missoula, MT - Crystal Theater
10/3: Fargo, ND - The Aquarium
10/4: Minneapolis, MN - 400
10/7: Chicago, IL - Schubas
10/9: Somerville, MA - PA's Lounge
10/10: Philadelphia, PA - Khyber
10/11: New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
10/12: Washington, DC - The Red and the Black
10/13: Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
10/14: Mt. Pleasant, SC - Village Tavern
10/15: Atlanta, GA - The Earl
10/17: Tampa, FL - Crowbar
10/18: Gainesville, FL - Common Grounds
10/21: Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon *
10/22: Austin, TX - Mohawk
10/24: Tucson, AZ - Plush
10/27: San Diego, CA - Casbah #
10/28: Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
10/29: San Francisco, CA - Cafe du Nord

* = w/ Born Ruffians and Plants & Animals
# = w/ Jeffrey Lewis

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright dies.
Founding member of band died today at the age of 65 after a battle with cancer.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

O'Death announces tour dates.
Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skin out October 28, 2008

Another band from New York that could have been grown in the woods down South, the O'Death has seen the light through its assembly of buckets, banjos, and fiddles. Third album will be released by Kemado in late October 2008.

October 30 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY
October 31 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
November 1 - Johnny Brenda's - Philadelphia, PA
November 2 - T.T. The Bears - Cambridge, MA
November 3 - II Motore - Montreal, QUE Canada
November 4 - El Mocambo - Toronto, ONT Canada
November 5 - Mohawk Place - Buffalo, NY
November 6 - Beachland Ballroom - Cleveland, OH
November 7 - Jakes Nightclub - Bloomington, IN
November 8 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
November 9 - Hideout - Chicago, IL
November 10 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN
November 11 - The Picador - Iowa City, IA
November 12 - The Jackpot Saloon - Lawrence, KS
November 13 - Waiting Room - Omaha, NE
November 14 - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO
November 15 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake City, UT
November 17 - Media Club - Vancouver, BC Canada
November 18 - High Dive - Seattle, WA
November 19 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
November 20 - Jambalaya - Arcata, CA
November 21 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA
November 22 - Spaceland - Los Angeles, CA
November 23 - Casbah - San Diego, CA
November 24 - Modified Arts - Phoenix, AZ
November 26 - The Mohawk - Austin, TX
November 28 - Marquee - Tulsa, OK
November 29 - Off Broadway - St. Louis, MO
November 30 - Hi-Tone Café - Memphis, TN
December 2 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
December 3 - Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC
December 4 - Black Cat Backstage - Washington, DC
December 5 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
SHOUT OUT OUT OUT OUT - the electronic, vocoder-abusive band going on tour tour tour tour. ha that was so funny i forgot to laugh. The Canadian group had one of the coolest releases of 2006 and the Shouts got new sounds on the horizon. Check new track at the myspacey.

NEW YORK, NY: CMJ, October 22-25
LONDON, ON: Call the Office, October 26 w/ Stereo Image
WATERLOO, ON: Starlight, October 27 w/ Stereo Image
OTTAWA, ON: Barrymores, October 28 w/ Stereo Image
MONTREAL, QC: Les Saints, October 29 w/ Stereo Image
TORONTO, ON: LeeÕs Palace October 30 w/ Stereo Image
CHICAGO, IL: TBA, October 31 w/ San Serac
MINNEAPOLIS, MN: TBA, November 1 w/ San Serac
WINNIPEG, MB: Pyramid, November 2 w/ San Serac
SASKATOON, SK: Louis Pub, November 3 w/ San Serac

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Subways
All or Nothing (Sire/WB)
release: September 9, 2008
style: immense daring rock
similar: JJ72, Von Bondies, Muse
[rating: ***1/2] Don't let the record label name fool you. The UK rock trio's second album, piloted by producer extraordinaire Butch Vig, holds nothing back. The metal riffs of "Girls & Boys" (not the Blur song) will throw some of us off, though leaves no question that the band isn't playing around. "Kalifornia" continues with big riffs, though adds harmonies that should be expected from a song with that title. Just when the towering wave of rock threatens to engulf the young Subways, a handful of unplugged songs enter, such as "Move to Newlyn," which reflects on life in the UK. Aside from some hideous screaming in "Turnaround," not a moment is wasted. If All or Nothing doesn't establish them as a serious rock band (in the UK at least), nothing will. -Kenyon

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

new audio + video.
Bloc Party - "Talons"

physical release of album October 27, 2008.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Minty Fresh will release the solo debut of The Album Leaf's
guitarist Drew Andrews
on November 4, 2008.

Andrews has dates with Magnetic Morning. Again with the Magnetic Morning. okay okay we get it, you guys have TWO BANDS now.

Thur. Oct. 30 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
Fri. Oct. 31 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Sun. Nov. 2 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
Mon. Nov. 3 - Los Angeles, CA - The Roxy
Tues. Nov. 4th - San Diego, CA - The Casbah

"I Could Write A Book" [MP3] from the upcoming album Only Mirrors.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Verve: Forth
(On Your Own records)
release: August 26, 2008
style: The Verve
similar: The Verve
[rating: **1/2] The Verve--who, like Radiohead, doesn't need a big record label anymore--could do no wrong up through Urban Hymns. One of the two new songs revealed on the past tour set a possible new direction while retaining the group's unique electricity. The album cover of Forth is perfect and so is the label name ("On Your Own" is a song from Northern Soul). As one of the most anticipated releases this year arriving 10 years after their break-up, Forth--comprised of ten lengthy tracks--is unable to match up to the psychedelia of Storm in Heaven and Northern Soul or the mainstream breakthrough of Hymns. A couple of great new songs from the Verve is better than nothing. But at what cost, people? At what cost?

1- "Sit and Wonder" - more guitar from Nick McCabe than most of Hymns and the straightforwardness of the song meets the requirements to have been on that record. Good sign so far.
2- "Love is Noise" - there was excitement in hearing the new material at the show with this one. But the rest of the album fails to follow its natural flow. The looped vocal hooks and steady groove from bassist Simon Jones and drummer Peter Salisbury works perfectly with the refrain "love is noise, love is pain, love is these blues that I'm singing again". YES! And we can actually dance to this too, like we dance to the remix of London Suede's "Everything Will Flow."
3- "Rather Be" - Though it abrubtly slows the pace, the low octave piano, gospel vocals and guitar effects are welcome.
4-5-6- "Judas," "Numbness," "I See Houses" - Ugh. It's not a problem that it's slow. The Verve have done great things with slow tempos. But these three drag. The worst part is that McCabe sounds held back, as there are no good riffs and just average interludes. You're killing me.
7- "Noise Epic" - no focus on guitar and doesn't live up to title. Noisy at end. Epic? no. What a mess.
8- "Valium Skies" - finally! The lullaby pace and rich, flowing vocals are as good as the b-sides from Hymns. And yes, that is saying a lot. Those b-sides were superb. i see a disco ball and slow dancing.
9- "Columbo" - Peter Falk? no. average psychedelia.
10- "Appalachian Springs" - slow again, with acoustic guitar and ala Hymns' "Weeping Willow."

Now to sit and wonder. - Kenyon

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sam Champion. The name sounded familiar. Sam Champion is a weatherman on TV. Sam Champion the band is from New York. Sam Champion that's on TV is gonna be pissed. It took days for him to come up with that name. As for this indie rock band, "Like a Secret" is bound to receive comparisons to Pavement and--not just cause of the song title--Built to Spill. Their second album, Heavenly Bender, was released a few days ago via North Street. www.myspace.com/samchampion

tour dates:
September 14 DC9 - Washington, DC
September 15 Local 506 - Chapel Hill, NC
September 16 Village Tavern - Mt. Pleasant, SC
September 17 Café Eleven – St. Augustine, FL
September 19 Emo’s – Austin, TX
September 24 Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
October 2 Mercury Lounge - NYC (w/Hymns)
Great Lake Swimmers upcoming album and tour dates.

Forget BSS. GLS is where it's at in Toronto. Following a gig in Toronto opening for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, ethereal country-folk ensemble Great Lake Swimmers will release their fourth record through Nettwerk in early Spring 2009.

25 - Northampton, Mass. @ The Iron Horse Music Hall *
26 - New York, N.Y. @ Mercury Lounge *
27 - Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. @ Common Ground Coffeehouse #
28 - Brooklyn, N.Y. @ Union Hall *
3 - Montreal @ Sala Rosa **
16 - Hamilton @ Pepper Jack Café +
17 - London @ Aeolin Hall +
23 - Peterborough @ Montreal House ^
24 - Wakefield @ Blacksheep Inn ^
25 - Toronto @ Lee's Palace ~
w/ Jennifer O'Connor *
w/ Patrick Porter #
w/ Akron/Family & Herman Dune **
w/ Kate Maki & Timber Timbre +
w/ Timber Timbre & Don Brownrigg ^
w/ Kate Maki & Sandro Perri ~

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Spiralling - Keane

From the upcoming album Perfect Symmetry. October 14, 2008.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

XX Teens
Welcome to Goon Island (Mute)
release: September 30, 2008
style: rudimentary art rock
similar: Art Brut, Louis XIV, Arctic Monkeys
[rating: *1/2] There's little charm and little to love here from the XX Teens (formerly Xerox Teens), whose half-singing half-yelping and clamor of guitar, bass and drums qualifies them as rebellious sons of veteran post-punk band the Fall. Lyrically and CD booklet-wise, the U.K group borders on the territory of the Residents. "B 54" is as strange and experimental as the lyrics: "the amputee!/she's got five legs/six legs and a croissant." The short and quirky "Only You" (not the Yaz song) is relatively accessible and will pull in some new followers, though it doesn't have enough lasting-power to be of importance by next year. The last four tracks are the only ones that go over four minutes each, including "Darlin'," where steel drums appear from nowhere and the semi-singing is all over the radar. It's not until the last two songs, "Sun Comes Up" and "For Brian Haw" (he's a peace activist) that XX Teens show potential for ditching half-conceived ideas. -Kenyon

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Meadows [Los Angeles] - They sold me when i heard their cover of the Posies' "Dream All Day." Their version as well as the originals showcase the LA artists' Americana-Country-Pop. The pop side was pop enough to be on that Lifetime show Army Wives very recently. www.myspace.com/themeadows

ForceField On - [Long beach, CA] - The trombones are the centerpiece of this chamber-indie band, whose members have a wild range of credits with other artists (Calexico and Lampchop to All American Rejects and Neville Staple of the Specials.] they're true. honest. not trying to be the latest thing. it's on! www.myspace.com/forcefieldon

Mike Keane - [Milwaukee] On his website it reads: "Mike Keane allows taping at virtually all of his live performances." He is that cool. The songwriter is currently kicking the asses of coffee shop folk in Milwaukee Wisconsin with his sax-player friend. He's got no myspace. Now that is impressive. http://www.mikekeane.net

Millsted - [New York, NY] I'm thinking Hot Hot Heat meets Fishbone here. Hot! Millsted's assault is tight and professional, soon to be a band to watch on the NYC circuit. Make me wanna pogo. www.myspace.com/Millsted
classic vintage video
Tears for Fears - "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (1989)

Following a synth-heavy debut and their pop breakthrough Songs from the Big Chair, Tears for Fears went out on a limb. Though it owes much to latter-day Beatles psychedelia, the ambitious "Sowing the Seeds of Love" proved to be handled with care.
Stars announce North American tour. New EP, Sad Robots, is out today September 1 exclusively through www.sadrobots.ca.
9/17/08 – Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street *
9/18/08 – Providence, RI @ Lupo’s *
9/19/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero *
9/20/08 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 *
9/24/08 – Chicago, IL @ The Riviera *
9/25/08 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pagaent *
9/26/08 – Lawrence, KS @ The Granada *
9/28/08 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/1/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Avalon ^
10/2/08 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues ^
10/3/08 – Santa Barbara, CA @ UC of Santa Barbara ^
10/4/08 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Rio Theatre ^
10/6/08 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore ^
10/7/08 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall ^
10/8/08 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom ^
10/9/08 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox ^
10/10/08 – Bellingham, WA @ Viking Union/Western WA Univ. ^
10/29/08 – Fredericton, NB @ SUB Ballroom/Univ. of NB %
10/30/08 – Moncton, NB @ The Manhattan Club %
10/31/08 – Charlottetown, PEI @ The Wave/Univ. of PEI %
11/1/08 – Halifax, NS @ The Marquee Club %
11/3/08 – St. John’s, NF @ Club One %

* w/ Bell X1
^ w/ Think About Life
% w/ Hey! Rosetta
september is go!