Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Dead Weather: listening parties + From the Basement video

the debut album, Horehound, drops on the 14th, here's a list of places you can go to celebrate:

July 6: Comet Tavern in Seattle, WA @ 7pm
July 8: Les Boom at Numbers in Houston, TX @ 10pm
July 9: Thursdays at Thom Bar in New York, NY @ 10pm
July 10: Obscura at The Ruby Room in Phoenix, AZ @ 9pm
July 10: Lipgloss at La Rumba in Denver, CO @ 9pm
July 11: Clampdown at The Ravari Room in Columbus, OH @ 9pm
July 11: London Calling at The Stable Loft in St. Louis, MO @ 9pm
July 11: Shake at Rogue Bar in Phoenix, AZ @ 9pm
July 11: Eclipse in Jacksonville, FL @ 10pm
July 11: Crashin' In at Stanton Public in New York, NY @ 10pm
July 12: Burn at The Castle in Tampa, FL @ 9pm
July 14: Sonic at Beauty Bar in Los Angeles, CA @ 10pm
July 14: Lipstick! at Old Ironsides in Sacramento, CA @ 9pm
July 14: Propaganda in West Palm Beach, FL @ 9pm
July 14: Trainwreck at Angels & Kings in New York, NY @ 10pm
July 15: Transmission at Clubhouse Jager in Minneapolis, MN @ 10pm
July 16: Popscene at 330 Ritch Street in San Francisco, CA @ 10pm
July 18: Bang! at The Ruby in Los Angeles, CA @ 10pm
July 18: Tiswas at Donhills in New York, NY @ 10pm
July 27: Panic at Darkroom in Chicago, IL @ 9pm

here's a link to the From the Basement performance. I'd recommend checking it out.

Saturday Music Definitions: America

I love this country. Happy Independence Day everyone!

The Libertines - Radio America [mp3]

Jack's Mannequin - American Love [mp3]

Simon & Garfunkel - America [mp3]

Razorlight - America [mp3]

Frank Sinatra - America The Beautiful [mp3]

Band of the Week: Ben Sollee

it slipped my mind to do this post yesterday, sorry guys.

Ben Sollee is a Kentucky based songwriter who plays cello and weaves beautiful songs with subjects ranging from the desperation for honesty in politics to personal accounts of love for his family. He is incredibly talented and gained much recognition last summer, mostly due to his spectacular cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come”. Ben’s live shows are interesting and highly improvisational, and he keeps things fresh by reinventing his songs each time he takes the stage. His debut album Learning to Bend is a delight from start to finish, one of my all time favourites.

The soft-spoken Ben recently embarked on a 330 mile bike ride from Lexington to Bonnarroo (toting his cello around with him), playing small towns while trying to raise awareness for the charitable organization OXFAM America.

Ben Sollee - A Change is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke cover) [mp3]

Ben Sollee - Prettiest Tree on the Mountain [mp3]

visit Ben on MYSPACE

The Strokes Post #134

12- The Strokes - Trying Your Luck (Mtv $2 bill) [mp3]

13- The Strokes - Interlude (Mtv $2 bill) [mp3]

14 - The Strokes - The Modern Age (Mtv $2 bill) [mp3]

16 - The Strokes - Hard to Explain (Mtv $2 bill) [mp3]

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Strokes Post #131

The Strokes - You Only Live Once on SNL [video]

amazing! and I love the little victory dance Fab does at the end

I'm still on the lookout for the Juicebox video. if anyone has any info on that, please let me know!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

record review: Cage the Elephant - Cage the Elephant

The sonic boom of this Kentucky band is evident from the stellar opening track and lead single "In One Ear". Lead singer Matt Shultz sets the tone of the album: "They say we aint got the style/class/tunes that's gonna put us on the map" and in a way, he's right.

The songs don't focus on your average rock n roll fascinations (girls, booze, drugs); instead, the band sings about modern day Manifest Destiny ("Lotus") and the hardships of living in a society ruled by the dollar king ("Aint No Rest for the Wicked").

The style is purely avante guard because it rejects modern trends in music and embraces the good ol' fashioned roots of ROCK. Cage the Elephant draws equally from early Red Hot Chili Peppers' funk, White Stripes swagger, Beck's straightforward rhythms and pure guitar bliss that would make their hero Henderix proud. "Back Stabbing Betty" is deliciously Southern but their songs are in the universal language of rock n roll. Come to think of it, the guys sound like an American Arctic Monkeys. And that's a recipe for success if I ever heard one.

The edgy album soars precisely because it strays so far from modern popular music (both mainstream and indie). It's time that rock music turned political again. We all could use a good dose of cultural criticism from music and, just shy of 38 minutes, Cage the Elephant delivers, hard.

So rest assured, Matt, your band is doin' just fine. It might take a little while for Americans to catch on, but in good time, crowds will flood to catch Cage the Elephant's wild live shows and Shultz's signature spastic tendencies.


the album was released in Europe in June of 2008 and was rereleased in the US on May 19th of this year. you can pick up a copy at any record store or on AMAZON

Cage the Elephant - In One Ear (Jools Holland) [mp3]

Cage the Elephant - Aint No Rest for the Wicked (acoustic) [mp3]

Cage the Elephant - Tiny Little Robots (Daytrotter) [mp3]

Cage the Elephant on MYSPACE

The Strokes Post #130

06 - The Strokes - You Only Live Once (live @ London University) [mp3]

07 - The Strokes - Reptilia (live @ London University) [mp3]

08 - The Strokes - Barely Legal (live @ London University) [mp3]

09 - The Strokes - Take It or Leave It (live @ London University) [mp3]

ZIP FILE (entire concert)

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Strokes Post #129

this concert took place at London University on November 29th, 2005--just prior to the release of First Impressions of Earth. The Strokes took the opportunity to debut the new songs to the enthusiastic audience. The sound quality is GREAT but the guys look a bit pissed off in the videos

01 - The Strokes - Juicebox (live @ London University) [mp3]

02 - The Strokes - Heart In A Cage (live @ London University) [mp3]

03 - The Strokes - Last Nite (live @ London University) [mp3]

04 - New York City Cops (live @ London University) [mp3]

05 - The Strokes - Razorblade (live @ London University) [mp3]

come back tomorrow for the last four songs

Sunday Morning Covers

sorry for the lateness, guys. I couldn't get to a computer yesterday because I was in San Diego all weekend.


Beck - I'm Waiting for My Man (The Velvet Underground cover) [mp3]

Sonic Youth - Pay No Mind (Beck cover) [mp3]

Jamie Cullum - Everlasting Love (Robert Knight cover) [mp3]

Feist - Nothin' In The World Can Stop Me Worryin' Bout That Girl (Kinks Cover) [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]

I'm pretty sure everyone has a massive crush on Leslie Feist and this cover captures the reason why pretty damn well.

The Flaming Lips - Just Like Starting Over (John Lennon cover) [mp3]

Doves - Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want (Morrissey cover) [mp3]

Nickel Eye - Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye (Leonard Cohen cover) [mp3]

Rufus Wainwright - Across the Universe (The Beatles cover) [mp3]

Maroon 5- If I Fell (The Beatles cover) [mp3]

Maroon 5 - Highway to Hell (AC/DC cover) [mp3]

must watch video: Peter Doherty covers Talking Heads at Glastonbury

this is freaking INCREDIBLE. the video includes three songs: "Music When The Lights Go Out", "Psycho Killer" (Talking Heads), and "Don't Look Back Into The Sun".

and here's an mp3

the lyrics to "Music When the Lights Go Out" always make me sad.
oh Pete, put me out out of my misery and get on that Libertines reunion!

video: Phoenix - Lisztomania (Jimmy Fallon)

our favourite French boys have brought their incredibly catchy new single to late night television, and the performance is stunning. I thought Jimmy's quip about the "large cd" was a bit stale, not to mention that it's Letterman's thing, but other than that the video is great!

interview: Leonard Mynx

I posted about Leonard Mynx's beautifully melancholy folk album Vesper back in April. his new album is being mastered right now, and will be released soon. he promises that it isn't as sad as Vesper, so it'll be nice to hear him sing in a less dreary manner. I've had a chance to ask him a few questions, so read on below for more info on the Portland-based singer

How autobiographical is vesper? I'm assuming some of these things are figments of your imagination, else you have had a very colourful life so far.

Vesper is no[t] strictly autobiographical in the sense that I did not live every story. But it is autobiographical from an emotional standpoint. I feel like I know all the characters very closely and sometimes it really hurt me to hurt them, but that was their story, it had to happen. It is still painful to perform some of the songs. I have never performed "Robert" live.

When did you start writing music? Why?

I always wrote as a child. I don't know why. I loved stories and I felt like I had some that needed to be told. I was an avid short story composer for a while. Naturally, I suppose, it developed into music in my mid-late teens. Songs were so concise. A short story has to be well structured, but a song must have ever word in place to convey the proper mood. Maybe it was fast food culture that forced me to trim down my stories into songs. Also, I was moved by music my whole life. I never went to bed without the radio on. I needed to hear music everywhere. I guess the two, stories and music, were just ready for each other by that age.

Do you write songs in some sort of secluded place, like in a cabin in the woods, or do you simply write them as you go along, using napkins and such when thoughts come to you?

Songs are strange in that they don't wait for you. I don't control the songs nor own them. They come when they want and if you decide to ignore them for a while, you will miss them. They are in command. I have to write whenever and wherever the songs decide to come. It can be a burden. It sounds cliche but it is true. Anybody who says that they are in charge of the songs either doesn't write good songs or is a liar. Songs come from a different place and different songs definitely come out of different settings, such as a secluded place or in a bustling city.

What was your favourite album when you were in high school?

There are too many to answer. It depended on mood. It depended if it was a Wednesday or snowing or if leaves were rustling or if more trains went by that day. The atmosphere sets the mood and then you find the album to match it. Or vice versa.

If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive, who would you choose?


Drugs and alcohol: good or bad for music making?

A blessing and a curse. Drugs are like songs. They can end up in control if you aren't careful. By the time you notice you are lost, you might have a long road ahead of you to try and get back to where you were. And you can never fully go back. I do believe in altering perceptions. I think it can be an amazing experience. The myth about that is that drugs are the only way to do that. That's not true. There are infinite ways to change perception. Drugs just are easy, but like with most easy things in life, they may not be the best way or worth it.

If you could have one superhero power, what would it be and why?

The power to make people forget. Being able to forget is what keeps us going. If we remembered everything, everyday, we would be trapped. Even still, we remember too much useless information. We cling to the wrong sorts of experiences. We get bogged down. War and hate and pain and fear, are all from memories. If we could just forget, we would move beyond all that nonsense. Humanity will never grow until we learn to forget the things that don't matter anymore. Memories are like ghosts. They haunt us, in bad ways, sometimes.

visit Leonard Mynx on MYSPACE

record review: Regina Spektor - Far (repost, sans mp3)

I generally can’t stand female vocalists. There are a few exceptions. Regina Spektor is always an exception. Regina Spektor’s five album discography is brilliant, and her latest release, Far, beautifully fluctuates between playful songs and gloomy, serious ones. Sometimes the songs themselves combine surprisingly solemn lyrics with happier melodies.

“Machine” is a deliciously creepy number that evokes Smashing Pumpkins. “I am downloaded daily, I am part of a composite,” Regina sings. The ominous chord progression sounds like it should be background music in a haunted house.

Another favourite, “Two Birds”, is reminiscent of Regina’s older work, and her vocals soar brilliantly as she sings about, you guessed it, a pair of birds.

I remember reading (in the latest issue of SPIN) that the songs found on Far were actually produced by four different producers. This doesn’t affect the cohesion of the album at all: Far flows better than most records produced by one person. This just serves to show how talented Regina is and how groundbreaking her work actually is: she manages to retain her individuality and unique song-writing in each of her endeavours.

Far is surprisingly mature, and it moves away from the super catchy quality of her previous album, Begin to Hope. Instead, it is a collection of thirteen excellent tracks that get better with each listen, much more layered and varied than anything she’s ever released. While the first half of the album is a lot more striking and powerful than the latter half, the entire album is extremely solid.

Highly recommended.