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Archive for August, 2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

CBGB’s Fate Uncertain As Final Hours Of Lease Tick Away

On Tuesday night, punk band the Bouncing Souls will perform within the legendary walls of one of the cradles of punk rock, CBGB. With the iconic New York club’s lease winding down to its September 1 expiration, it could be the last live set this decades-old landmark gets to experience. On the eve of E Street Band member and “The Sopranos” actor Steven Van Zandt’s last-ditch CBGB Forever event at Washington Square Park, there has been little measurable progress in the fight to keep Hilly Kristal’s little spot in the Bowery alive. What organizers of the “Save CBGB” movement had hoped would be a celebratory event, featuring former Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale’s band Institute, Blondie, Chesterfield Kings, the Charms, a repeat appearance by the Bouncing Souls, and others, could wind up being little more than an epic wake for CBGB. CBGB Forever, which is being called a “rally” to inspire New Yorkers to save the club, runs from 3 to 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted at the event, and that money will be used to pay Kristal’s legal expenses, in the event that CBGB is removed from its current location, or will be donated to the BRC if he’s awarded a new, workable lease. A handful of speakers and musicians will also be on hand, including Talking Heads Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, filmmaker Jonathan Demme and actor Joe Pantoliano. “Nothing has changed,” said Muzzy Rosenblatt, executive director of the Bowery Residents’ Committee, a nonprofit that provides housing and social services to the homeless — and also is Kristal’s landlord. “They still owe us rent, which was one of many isues.” Rosenblatt, of course, is referring to the $91,000 in back rent that earlier this month a New York judge determined Kristal did not owe (see “CBGB Doesn’t Have To Pay $90,000 In Back Rent, Judge Rules”). Throughout the drawn-out legal dispute, that figure has been a popular reference point for Rosenblatt, who halted lease renewal negotiations several months ago, claiming the $91,000 would need to be paid before talks could resume. “I have no crystal ball,” he continued. “I don’t know what to expect anymore. I try not to get into hypotheticals. All we’ve ever wanted was responsible behavior. So far, that’s been an issue. What’ll happen on September 1, I don’t know. When it does, we will react appropriately.” The two sides don’t seem close to reaching a new lease agreement. Rosenblatt wanted to more than triple Kristal’s current rent, to over $50,000 a month. Kristal has said such a dramatic hike would sink the business. Rosenblatt has also grumbled about what he perceives to be numerous building violations at CBGB, above which he provides temporary housing for hundreds of homeless people. Citations have been issued to the club for some of those violations, he’s said, but none have been resolved. Kristal has expressed interest in moving CBGB, perhaps even to Las Vegas, if he’s evicted from 313 Bowery. Earlier this month, Kristal requested a face-to-face meeting with Rosenblatt, in a draft proposal designed to reignite talks (see “Talks Resume In Fight To Save Punk Landmark CBGB”). He offered a 15 percent rent increase as well as a third-party guarantor for future rent payments, by way of a newly established nonprofit called the Bowery Project. In addition, Van Zandt pledged to organize annual benefit concerts for the BRC. “If there is no new lease, their obligation as tenants would be to vacate the premises once the lease expires,” said Rosenblatt. “There have been communications they had sent us, what they thought was a preliminary proposal. It wasn’t complete. We told them where it was deficient. We told them that in any event, discussions of any new lease would depend upon [them] first being compliant under the existing lease, and they have ignored all of that. I don’t know what they’re doing. That’s their business, not mine. I just know that what the BRC’s interested in is a responsible tenancy that doesn’t jeopardize our mission or our work to help thousands of homeless men and women.” Kristal could not be reached for comment. Because video footage of the club was utilized in his failed Olympics bid, supporters of the “Save CBGB” movement figured they’d have a sympathetic ear in Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They’ve petitioned his office, asking that he intervene (the BRC receives $30 million in annual funding from the city of New York), but Bloomberg remained silent on the issue for months — until a press conference Tuesday afternoon (August 30). “CBGB, it’s a great New York City institution,” he said while hoisting a “Save CBGB” T-shirt. “It’s more than just another club. We are trying to bring both sides together. … But if we cannot, what we’ve said to CBGB is that we will try to find another location. We do not want to lose this institution in New York City. It’s part of our culture. They bring a lot of business here. I don’t think they belong anyplace else other than New York City. If the owner of the building that they’re in cannot be convinced to come to an agreement with them, then we will do something else.” (Chris Harris)

THE STOOGES CAUSE STAGE INVASION IN LONDON

THE STOOGES made a chaotic return to LONDON last night when they caused a stage invasion at their HAMMERSMITH APOLLO show (August 30). ollowing their appearance at The Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds Festivals last weekend (August 26-28), the band were joined by over forty fans as they tore through their second album ’Funhouse’. During set-closer ’No Fun’ the reformed punk pioneers – led by Iggy Pop – invited the crowd to storm the stage. Beer, cigarettes and underwear were all thrown in the dramatic finale from the returning heroes, whilst Pop was swamped by stage-invaders as they scrambled to touch the singer and sing into his microphone. The band ripped through each track from the 1970 LP ’Funhouse’ including ’Down On The Street’, ’Loose’, ’TV Eye’, ’Dirt’, ’1970’, ’Fun House’ and ’LA Blues’. The group – including guitarist Ron Asheton, bassist Mike Watt and drummer Scott Asheton – also played a selection of songs from their 1969 self-titled debut including ’I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and ’1969’. The gig was part of the ’Don’t Look Back’ series of gigs in which a band plays one of their seminal albums in full. Upcoming shows include performances from Belle And Sebastian, The Lemonheads and Mudhoney.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Death Cab For Cutie:: Plans (Album Review)

Death Cab for Cutie have The OC to thank for making them the subject of water-cooler chatter, after a recent appearance in the soap. And just like the show’s teen characters, Death Cab for Cutie’s songs appear perfect while seething with angst. Unfortunately, at times the band are as unconvincing as the show. Suffering from a late-twentysomething malaise, singer Ben Gibbard’s angelic vocals sag with the weariness of a man who’s gazed at his navel all his life only to realise there’s nothing but fluff and darkness. “These wrinkles masterfully disguise the youthful boy below,” he sings dolefully on Brothers on a Hotel Bed. The music is similarly introspective, hampered by funereal rhythms and mournful piano melodies. But when Gibbard wrestles with big questions in smaller ways, he makes magic. Both I Will Follow You Into the Dark and the chilling What Sarah Said look death in the face with a wry smile, the pin-sharp observations as far away as possible from any practicised pose. (by: Betty Clarke, UK)

Kingblind Downloads

Arcade Fire:: Live on KCRW and Brazil
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Death Cab for Cutie:: Soul Meets Body
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xbxrx:: Beat Rolls On
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Paul Westerberg:: several live tracks & tribute songs
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Monday, August 29, 2005

Final GBV Show Heading To DVD

Guided By Voices’ New Year’s Eve 2004 blow-out at Chicago’s Cabaret Metro, which also doubled as the final show of its storied career, will be released on DVD later this fall. The as-yet-untitled DVD is due Nov. 15 via Plexifilm with bonus features to be announced. As expected, the performance was epic even by GBV’s standards, encompassing more than 60 songs from the nooks and crannies of the band’s catalog and the myriad side projects of leader Robert Pollard. Appropriately, the show ended with “Don’t Stop Now” from GBV’s classic 1996 album “Under the Bushes Under the Stars.” In between, a host of past GBV members joined the band on stage, including guitarist Tobin Sprout for “Fourteen Cheerleader Cold Front,” bassist James Greer (with Sprout) for “Johnny Appleseed,” drummer Don Thrasher for “I Am a Scientist,” drummer Jim MacPherson and bassist Greg Demos on “I Drove a Tank” and “Shocker in Gloomtown” and Pollard’s brother Jim for “Lethargy.” The show also boasted guest turns from Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster (“I Am a Tree”) and former Chavez leader Matt Sweeney (“Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy”). As previously reported, Pollard has several new releases in the pipeline, including the second installment of his massive “Suitcase” boxed set. First up is the Sept. 27 release of the EP “Music for ‘Bubble’” via the artist’s own Fading Captain Series imprint. (via billboard)

Kingblind Downloads

Daft Punk – Human After All
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Billie Holiday – Best Of
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Distillers – Coral Fang
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New Pornographers – Electric Version
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Friday, August 26, 2005

KINGBLIND DOWNLOADS

Aqualung:: Strange and Beautiful (Album Download)
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The Olivia Tremor Control – Music From the Unrealized Film Script: Dusk at Cubist Castle
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The Damned – Damned Damned Damned
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Jimi Hendrix – Live at the Atlanta Pop Festival
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BLOC PARTY TAKE A BREAK

Bloc Party have revealed their plans for the next year or so, and the news is: expect a break from them for the start of 2006. Bassist Gordon Moakes also explained the thinking behind hotly anticipated new single ‘Two More Years’, released on October 3, and what the band think of the remixes for their imminent ‘Silent Alarm Remixed’ album. According to Moakes, 2006 will see the boys hitting the studio at full speed, and approaching things a bit differently too. “I think we’ll be working on ideas for the rest of the year and then start trying to get something to tape properly in January…We’ve been looking at different beats – guitar bands don’t always think about how they use rhythm in songs.” In the meantime, being the nice chaps that they are, the world will get a few months off from Bloc Partying, they said to XFM: “It’s tiring enough being in people’s faces and in their perceptions constantly, people deserve as much of a break from us, as us!” Talking about ‘Two More Years’, Moakes said: “We had the feeling that Kele was looking to have one stab at writing a pop tune, something you’d hear on the radio…it’s our semi-conscious attempt to write something more immediate.” He also named his highlights from the remixes various people have done for ‘Silent Alarm Remixed’: “I really love the Mogwai mix [of ‘Plans’] because I’m a huge fan, but I also like the Engineers mix [of ‘Blue Light’], it takes the track in a new direction.” ‘Silent Alarm Remixed’ is out on August 29.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Jack snaps…Live at UC Berkeley

Photos and video of Jack White… and well… Uh… A little temper issue.. From The White Stripes, Greek Theatre, U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley, CA Friday, 2005.08.12
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Kingblind Downloads

Erase Errata:: Tongue Tied
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The Lights:: Smile (dream syndicate cover)
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The Lights:: Setting Sun
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Sick Bees:: Rat Trapz
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Snoop Dogg Skateboards???

Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus, superstar rapper, is now venturing into the world of skateboarding with the launch of the Snoop Dogg Board Company (SDBC). The company will launch with a complete line of long and short skateboards, accessories and backpacks. SDBC is being distributed by Pentagon Distribution, the distributor for Kampus Wakeskates and shoes, Academy Snowboards and CD Wakeboard Bindings. “Bing Worthington, Jr., Snoop Dogg’s brother, came to us with a vision of bridging these two industries together because there is already so much crossover between skateboarding and the rap/hip-hop market,” said Duane Pacha, President of Pentagon Distribution. The decks will be competitively priced and in addition to the skate accessories, SDBC will launch a complete line of high-end Snoop Dogg luggage and travel bags, which will hit stores in January 2006. “We are excited to work with the Pentagon group,” Worthington said. “These guys are definite hustlers in this business. With our music industry connections and concerts, we know this project is going to get big. We are down with skateboarding and want to get more music fans into skateboarding,” commented Worthington. SDBC is currently looking for qualified international distributors to represent Snoop Dogg Board Co. For more information visit www.snoopdoggboardco.com.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

BEASTIE BOYS Acapella Downloads

Beastie Boys FREE AND LEGAL acapellas, complete with BPMs
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Kingblind Downloads

White Stripes: 2005-06-01, Manaus Opera House (Brazil) show
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Siouxsie and the Banshees: 1977 & 1981 demos and outtakes
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Kiss:: S/T
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Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner:: Spaced Out- The Best of Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Howl (Album Review)

As far as about-faces go, BRMCs change from shoe-gazing garage-rockers to cattle-grazing wayfaring strangers could be described as pretty major, if one was prone to massive bouts of understatement. For a band feted, then subsequently dismissed, as just your basic black-clad Jesus & Mary Chain worshippers to come back with an album of acoustic, folky Americana is one of the more surprising musical developments of this year. Initially, it’s difficult to swallow. There are a lot of questions to be answered, and while it’s true that their third-album hand may have been forced by drummer Nick Jago’s reluctance to do anything as mundane as turn up for gigs and the disagreements with Virgin that followed the poor sales of Take Them On, On Your Own, it’s tempting to be a little weary. Are their hearts in it? Is this all a ruse? Can they pull this off? To begin with, it seems not. Neither of the opening tracks do anything persuasive; Shuffle Your Feet’s chanting and handclapping goes down the road marked ‘hoedown’ never to be seen again, and Howl’s efforts to countrified a squalling guitar with slices of organ and harmonica falls somewhat short, but after two false dawns Devil’s Waitin’ marks the start of the transformation becoming far more convincing. “I’ve seen the battle and I’ve seen the war / And the life out here is the life I’ve been sold”, Peter Hayes sings, matter-of-fact and resigned, the simple handpicked guitar starkly ringing out, and you almost believe its 1962 and you’re in some dark dive watching Dylan or Johnny Cash do a turn. It would be tempting to dismiss it as a fluke, until they best it: firstly on the distant, wind swept Fault Line and then the rat-a-tat storytelling syllables of Complicated Situation. And by the time the time closing track The Line comes around you’re willing to forgive the schmaltzy piano-led Promise and the ploddingly portentous religious drone of Gospel Song as mere teething troubles. Especially as the last track marks quite a watershed, being the single most cohesive stab at what you might have previously imagined a Country & Western BRMC would be: dark, foreboding and creeping towards a big swirling guitar led finish with malevolent intent. It’s the best thing on the album. Rebirths are hard, especially for bands who haven’t exactly displayed a massive range of musical influences previously, so for BRMC to totally reinvent themselves like this is nothing if not brave. It’s also mostly successful. It isn’t their best record, but as an acknowledgement that slabs of feedback-laden noise weren’t going to take them much further, and change was needed for an attempt at a long-term career, it’s promising. “When did you stop caring?” they ask at the end of The Line, and tempting as it might have been to say “Somewhere about 2003, same as you” the grand transformation that Howl marks mean it’s no longer so. BRMC go folk, and pull it off. Whatever next…(By: Tim Lee UK)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

John Peel Day Announced

Radio 1 have announced that the very first ‘John Peel Day’ will take place on October 13. The day will be a celebration of John’s life and his contribution to music. They are hoping that as many people as possible will organise events and gigs across the country under the same banner. Gigs can be as small or huge as you like with info, advice and logo’s available from the Radio 1 website. Before the event on October 13 Radio 1 will be organising a special gig in London, more information on this is expected to be released in the near future. John Peel died last October while on holiday in Peru, he was 65. He was considered one of the most innovative and interesting radio presenters of the 20th Century.