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Archive for September, 2005

Friday, September 30, 2005

Katrina: Donate $100, get a call from Brian Wilson

If you donate $100 to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, Brian Wilson (the Beach Boy) will call you on the phone. Wilson “Here’s my challenge: For anyone who sends a donation of $100 or more, I will call you personally and answer a question you may have, or just say hello. Also, Melinda and I will match the donation.” LINK TO SITE
via boing boing.

White Stripes work with Michel Gondry again

‘Denial Twist’ clip will be surreal look at a day in their life. The White Stripes are reuniting with director Michel Gondry, and to celebrate, they’ve assembled a crew of characters that’s, well, pretty darn Gondry-esque. A cast of little people, giants, roadies, stagehands and one solitary Conan O’Brien “It’s going to be a real — how do you say it? — a mindblower.” director Michel Gondry will join the Stripes in their Gondry-helmed video for the song “The Denial Twist.” It’s the first collaboration between the band and the French auteur since 2003’s “The Hardest Button to Button”and their fourth time working together overall. “It’s going to be a real — how do you say it? — a mindblower,” Gondry said. “It is based on one day in Jack and Meg’s life. It’s re-enacting a day when they went to play on the Conan O’Brien show, in a very bizarre way. We see them playing on the stage, then they talk to Conan, and then they take their car and drive amongst giant people, and then they go home and watch their performance on TV. But the whole time, they will be distorted and stretched.” The video is based on the week in 2003 when, to celebrate the release of their album Elephant, the Stripes had a weeklong residency on Conan’s show, performing a different song each night. But though it sounds like it comes from the White Stripes’ personal memories, the idea for the video was actually all Gondry’s, and much like everything he does, it’s got some really strange roots. “I had made a statue of Conan, as a big square head, and I gave it to them and they gave it to him [while they were on the show],” Gondry laughed. “It was made of plaster and it was like something a little kid would do for their mother. And it got on TV, so I thought it would make for a funny and weird video.” And from everything Gondry said, the “Denial Twist” video is going to be plenty funny and weird. He’s building a compressed set in New York — Conan’s just wouldn’t cut it for the complex camera tricks he plans on using — and he wants to do the video all in one take. He also promises plenty of bright colors and a fair amount of post-production wizardry too. And while Gondry swears that O’Brien will definitely make a cameo in the video, it might not be as the host of his show. “We might have someone wearing his picture on their face, because we have to stretch that person, so we might have to get a [little person] and put a compressed image on their face,” Gondry said. “But who knows? All I can tell you is that Conan will be in the video.” The “Denial” video is scheduled to film in three weeks, and after that, he intends on keeping his collaboration with the band going — he’s already got ideas for videos number five and number six in his head. And sorry, Stripes fans, he says unlike the clip for “Fell in Love With a Girl,” none of them involves Lego bricks (see “Inside The White Stripes’ ‘Girl’ Video Block Party”). “Yes, people are always asking me to redo my older videos, but I won’t ever do another Lego video with the White Stripes. But I do have plenty of ideas,” he said. “I’ve done six videos with Björk, and I want to tie that record with the Stripes, then beat them again by doing another video with her.” (James Montgomery MTV)

Surviving Germs Reuniting For Shows

Seminal Los Angeles punk act the Germs will perform for the first time in nearly 25 years next month, with actor Shane West assuming the lead singer role previously filled by the late Darby Crash. As previously reported, West is portraying Crash in the biopic “What We Do Is Secret,” which is due for release next year. The Germs will be joined at the Oct. 29 show at Los Angeles’ Grand Olympic Ballroom by Suicidal Tendencies, the Dead Kennedys, Marky Ramone and Flipper. The venue was a haven for formative punk shows in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The surviving members of the Germs (guitarist Pat Smear, bassist Lorna Doom and drummer Don Bolles) have not performed together since Dec. 3, 1990. All three served as consultants on “What We Do Is Secret,” which will feature a mix of original Germs music and versions performed by the actors portraying the band members. “[West] got so close to being Darby that it actually freaked out a lot of the scenesters that came by the set,” director Rodger Grossman recently said. “He committed to doing this role in a way that I’ve never seen an actor commit to do anything. He read all the books that Darby read. He got blue contacts and prosthetic teeth permanently affixed to his, which had to be ‘chipped out’ so his teeth were more like Darby’s.” According to a statement, the Germs plan to tour the United States and Europe in the months ahead. Already confirmed is a performance during Riot Fest 2005, scheduled for Nov. 4-5 in Chicago, as well as a Nov. 25 date at the House of Blues in Anaheim, Calif.

Mike Myers to Moon Us

Geez, been hearing about this one for longer than I’ve cut my toe nails. Mike Myers has finally signed on the straight line to play drummer Keith Moon in a biopic based on “The Who” band-member, best known as the finest ‘drum kit’ destroyer in history – and also, a dude with a gift for playing with the sticks. According to Variety, the film has been in the works for about ten years – I’ve never heard anyone else mentioned for the part of Moon but Wayne Campbell himself – with Roger Daltrey and Nigel Sinclair finally getting it off the pavement. The film, being developed by Sinclair’s Spitfire Pictures, will tell of the hard-living rocker Moon – known for his wild behaviour on and off-stage – whose batteries ran out in 1978. Here’s hoping Nicolas Cage is still the firm fave to wear the vest of Pete Townsend. There’s no substitute, really, is there?

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Kingblind Downloads

Dirty Three:: Doris

The Clientele:: E.M.P.T.Y

Morcheeba:: Lighten Up

Tenement Halls:: Plenty is never enough

Killing Joke:: Pandemonium

Harvey Danger:: Little By Little (ALBUM DOWNLOAD)

eDonkey Folds to RIAA Demands, Cites Legal Costs

Leading peer-to-peer application eDonkey will soon comply with RIAA demands. In Senate testimony Wednesday morning, company CEO Sam Yagan said that his company would be “throwing in the towel” following the receipt of an RIAA cease-and-desist notice. “I’d like to make it clear to the Committee that we have replied to the RIAA’s cease-and-desist letter,” Yagan said to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, in a hearing dedicated to post-Grokster issues. “I have personally committed to [RIAA president Cary] Sherman, which I reiterate today, that we are in the process of complying with their request.” The eDonkey site is currently live, and specifics of the plan going forward were not revealed. The company felt that it could win a legal battle against the RIAA, but could not afford the legal costs involved. Earlier, a Reuters report pointed to an eDonkey shutdown, though that appeared to be a false alarm. Yagan has been a top figure in the P2P space, though it now appears that he could be exiting the game entirely. “I am not here as an active participant in the future of P2P, but rather as one who has thrown in his towel and with no interest in replaying past issues.” Those comments may mean that an RIAA-sanctioned, legitimate version of eDonkey may never surface, creating only a partial win for the trade organization. According to Yagan, the RIAA strategies may create a bigger problem in the long-term. “I fear that the winners in Grokster will not be the labels and the studios, but rather the offshore, underground, rogue P2P developers who will have just lost half a dozen of their biggest competitors,” Yagan warned.

Super Furry Animals: Love Kraft (Album Review)

The sound of guitarist Huw Bunford diving into a swimming pool is the first thing you hear on the Super Furry Animals’ incredibly laid-back seventh album, Love Kraft. Recorded in Spain and completed in Rio de Janeiro, Love Kraft is unhurried, smooth and easy on the ears. Opener “Zoom!” does just the opposite of its titular promise, transmitting space-junk frequencies over stoned grinner melodies. The loose and shambolic sing-along stomp of “The Horn” works in some fibrous harmonica and hammered dulcimer, but it’s more Gomez-style harmless trippy blues than Exile on Main Street-period Rolling Stones lethal indulgences. The closest the band gets to the zany inventiveness of Radiator-era Furries is “Psyclone!,” a rumbling, hilarious declaration of extinction that opens with a Woody Guthrie-worthy send-up: “Pterodactyl, brontosaurus, tyrannosaurus gather ’round…” Overly synthesized tracks like the flow-busting “Lazer Beam” and the fuzzy “Frequency” detract from the weenie-roast beach-chill vibe. Notably, Love Kraft is the first Furries album to feature the writing and singing of all band members, which means less frontman Gruff Rhys and presumably more variety. But aside from the noted exceptions, Love Kraft is a solidly unified-sounding work: No political rants or social observations, and, regrettably, no Welsh-language detours. Just the Furries kicking it in warmer climes and putting aside deeper concerns for the time being. Perhaps On Vacation would have been a more apt title.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Kingblind Downloads

Badfinger:: Cambridge 1974

Guided By Voices: “Back to the Lake” music video

M.I.A.: “Galang (Serj Tankian remix)

Elliott Smith: 2000-05-08, Atlanta

Big Star:: In Space (Album Review)

There isn’t much arguing that the three studio albums Alex Chilton cut with Big Star between 1972 and 1975 represent the creative high-water mark of his career, but it doesn’t seem to be a period he looks back upon with much fondness. The man rarely plays songs from the Big Star catalog in his solo shows, and while he assembled a new version of the band in 1993 — with Chilton and original drummer Jody Stephens joined by Jonathan Auer and Ken Stringfellow of the Posies — the group has only played sporadic live dates since then (presumably when someone ponies up the right price for a gig), and it has taken 12 years for Chilton to work up the enthusiasm to make a new Big Star album. And to listen to 2005’s In Space, it’s hard to say if that’s what he really wanted to do; In Space sounds a lot more like one of Chilton’s likeably shambolic solo albums than a work of fractured but inspired pop genius in the manner of #1 Record or Radio City, with New Orleans R&B, garage rock, and even old-school funk taking as prominent a role in the mix as the Brit-informed guitar hooks of Big Star’s glory days. It’s probably no coincidence that the two most “Big Star” sounding songs on the album were contributed by Jody Stephens (the lovely “Best Chance We’ve Ever Had” and “February’s Quiet”), while Auer and Stringfellow conjure up the mood of #1 Record with their compositions, “Lady Sweet” and “Turn My Back on the Sun.” Chilton, however, seems to be on another page altogether, and the amusing irony is this not-very-Big Star-ish album sounds like a better Alex Chilton solo set than the man has made since 1987’s High Priest. His revved-up take on “Mine Exclusively” (a tune the Olympics cut in 1966) is a near-perfect garage rock rave-up, “Hung Up With Summer” is a solid early Beach Boys homage, “A Whole New Thing” and “Do You Wanna Make It” are rough and ready R&B workouts, and even the deliberately sloppy “Love Revolution” (a disco-funk homage complete with mirror balls and platform shoes) and “Makeover” find the man sounding more engaged and enthusiastic than he has on record in quite some time. In Space also finds Chilton accompanied by a band that’s worth his while for a pleasant change; Auer, Stringfellow, and Stephens are a potent rhythm section who do lovely harmonies behind Chilton’s still-exciting guitar lines, and these performances sound tighter and more emphatic than what one might expect from Chilton’s solo work. In Space is an album that should appeal to anyone who digs Alex Chilton; however, anyone expecting a Big Star album is going to be more than a bit puzzled by most of these tunes. (by: Mark Deming)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Kingblind Downloads

Iron & Wine – Woman King EP

Minutemen – WREK Sessions, 1985

Neil Young – Rarities: 1967-1974

Green Day:: Live at the MTV Music Awards

The Hives announce new DVD and single details

The Hives are set to return in November with a brand new DVD and single. The band will release ‘Tussles In Brussels’ – their debut DVD – on November 14 which will feature a twenty track gig filmed in the Belgian capital last year. Also included on the disc will be a documentary, directed by Kalle Haglund, charting the history of the band from their first gig in their hometown of Fagersta, all seen through the eyes of fictional investigative reporter D.W. Johnson. The film is narrated by Little Steven Van Zandt of E Street Band and The Sopranos fame. ‘Tussles In Brussels’ will boast eight promo videos as well, with two of them previously unseen – ‘A Little More For Little You’ and ‘Abra Cadaver’. The Hives release a re-recorded version of ‘A Little More For Little You’ on November 7 on 7″ and download, which will feature ‘Abra Cadaver’ and ‘No Pun Intended’ live in Brussels as B-sides.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Belle & Sebastian play ‘classic’ album in London

Belle & Sebastian have played their ‘classic’ 1996 album ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’ in its entirety London last night (September 25). Tickets for the Scottish outfit’s performance at the Barbican, part of the ‘Don’t Look Back’ series of shows, were reportedly selling for vast sums on internet auction sites before the gig. And those who did get in were treated not only to the album, but a host of other classic tracks, including live rarity ‘Electronic Renaissance’ from their debut album ‘Tigermilk’. They also played a new song, titled ‘Another Sunny Day’.
The set was:
‘Slow Graffiti’
‘Another Sunny Day’
‘Woman’s Realm’
‘The Loneliness Of The Middle Distance Runner’
‘Electronic Renaissance’
‘The Stars Of Track And Field’
‘Seeing Other People’
‘Me And The Major’
‘Like Dylan In The Movies’
‘The Fox In The Snow’
‘Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying’
‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’
‘The Boy Done Wrong Again’
‘Judy And The Dream Of Horses’

‘Dog On Wheels’
‘The Boy With The Arab Strap’
‘The Wrong Girl’
‘I’m A Cuckoo’
‘If You Find Yourself Caught In Love’

Kingblind Downloads

Iggy & the Stooges:: Michigan Palace

Various Oasis:: Videos and Songs

Thurston Moore – Psychic Hearts

Friday, September 23, 2005

Kingblind Downloads

The Cure:: MTV Unplugged

Various Artists – Vancouver Complication

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Bloc Party:: Hellacopter (Music Video)

The American Analog Set:: Set Free (Album Review)

In contrast to contemporary music world’s penchant for volatility and evolution, The American Analog Set, throughout their decade-spanning career, have changed very little. While they evaded bandwagons and poseur-dom, the Austin-based quintet had, to date, quietly churned out six full-lengths, numerous singles and EPs; given the addition of Set Free to their already impressive collection, it simply gets better.
Set Free gives 2001’s Know by Heart – critically acclaimed and widely regarded as Amanset’s masterpiece – a serious run for its money. Unlike the band’s previous effort, the rather patchy and under-whelming Promise of Love, Set Free reverts to a format of consistency; while Amanset’s subtleties reach certain depths, there is not a dud to be heard. Their qualities lie within, in their precision and abundant maturity: the simplicity in which the typical Amanset song takes root is what makes Set Free tick. To strip Set Free down is to reveal the simplicity in its unvarnished nakedness. The guitar riffs that lace standout tracks “Born on the Cusp” and “The Green Green Grass” would sound unmistakably trite were they not interwoven with a small assemblage of layers. On the contrary, Set Free is far from panoramic; Amanset’s lo-fi tendencies require that the instruments employed do not fight for space, and instead allow for the thread of the album to unravel and slowly expose its suitably flowing hooks. The American Analog Set’s reverence reaches a peak with “She’s Half,” during which a steady and unremarkable progression of chords provides a platform for Andrew Kenny’s raspy whispers. Motionlessness aside, it is moving, duly matched by the hypnotic “Sharp Briar,” which sees Sean Ripple’s vibraphone move to center stage – if a stage were ever set. Upon beholding Set Free, it is obvious that The American Analog Set are a band that have never been destined to move mountains; the band’s long-running consistency suggests their lack of interest in doing so. Set Free is bound with sincerity, exemplifying the workings of a band absolutely content to continue writing subtly accessible indie-pop songs that both relax and conjure warmth. Although fans cannot be certain of Amanset’s presence in a decade’s time, they can be confident that, if still creating together, they will remain as cerebral, wistful and charming as ever. (Reviewed by Mike Wright)