Happy Holidays from Kingblind.com
Happy Holidays everyone.. Thanks for a wonderful year. See you in 2006! Off to visit with the family.. Thanks to all of our contributing writers and especially YOU.. Our fine, fine readers..
Archive for December, 2005
Friday, December 16, 2005
Happy Holidays from Kingblind.com
Robert Pollard Announces Solo Tour
Looks like they couldn’t keep good ol’ Bob Pollard off the road for too long. The indie shaman has announced a tour in support of his Merge Records solo debut, From a Compound Eye, which is set to hit stores January 24. On the trek, Pollard will be backed by singer/songwriter Tommy Keene on guitar and keyboards, Dave Phillips on guitar, Verbow’s Jason Narducy on bass, and Jon Wurster of Superchunk and the Scharpling and Wurster comedy duo on drums.
01-26 Athens, GA – 40 Watt
01-27 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
01-28 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
02-09 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
02-10 Columbus, OH – Little Brother’s
02-11 Newport, KY – Southgate House
02-24 Los Angeles, CA – Knitting Factory
02-25 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
02-27 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
02-28 Seattle, WA – Crocodile Café
03-30 Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
03-31 Chicago, IL – Metro
04-01 Detroit, MI – St. Andrews
04-20 New York, NY – Irving Plaza
04-21 Boston, MA – Paradise
04-22 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
Fans should prepare to expect…the expected, as Pollard recently explained to Billboard.com: “I don’t think it will be much different than a Guided by Voices show. I don’t know how else to do it. It’s not going to be me sitting at the piano with a spotlight on me. I’ll get drunk, come out and stumble around!”
He added, “There are 26 songs on From a Compound Eye, and we’re going to do 22 or 23 of them. That’s a big chunk of the show. I’ll do a few songs from some of my EPs, two or three from the Moping Swans, and there’s a Circus Devils song I want to do. I may do eight or nine songs from old Robert Pollard albums, and maybe a GBV song or two in the regular set. Then, maybe an entire Guided by Voices encore.” (via: pfmedia)
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Joy Division to record new material
New Order are working on new material for the long-awaited biopic of former Joy Division singer Ian Curtis.
Director and celebrated rock photographer Anton Corbijn – most renowned for his work with U2 – has asked the legendary Manchester four-piece to contribute songs to the film ‘Control’.
The biopic, which is based on a book by Ian’s widow Deborah, had been planned for a number of years, but the late singer’s family were never happy with the proposals until earlier this year.
Bassist Peter Hook said: “We were asked to do the soundtrack to the film which I thought was a fucking great idea, for Joy Division to do the music for a Joy Division film because we’ve never really done a soundtrack before. The soundtrack could include new stuff. Basically Anton wants to use certain songs by Joy Division so that each song becomes a video. Like the way the ‘Atmosphere’ video was filmed, he wants to write videos that appear in the film.
“Every time we get accolades for Joy Division it makes [Ian's suicide] sadder, especially with the film. Working on the film has made the whole thing seem more poignant.”
It is 25 years since Curtis was found hanging in his home. As a mark of respect to their former singer, New Order have been throwing in Joy Division songs during most of their sets throughout 2005. This culminated in the band playing a set almost entirely made up of Joy Division songs last month, as a tribute to the former Radio 1 DJ John Peel.
Hooky said the band are considering playing all-Joy Division sets at some stage in the future. He added: “We have actually talked about doing Joy Division sets and gigs but we haven’t actually found our footing yet. We did the festivals and had a bit of time off but because we’ve played two gigs recently and had the whole UK Hall Of Fame thing we haven’t really decided what we’re gonna do next. If we deem it to be enjoyable then we’ll do it.”
Casting for ‘Control’ is set to begin next spring and the production team are looking for a big screen actor to play the part of Curtis.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Kingblind Downloads:: Music Video Edition (Our favorite’s of 2005)
Broadcast:: Tender Buttons (QT)
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My Morning Jacket:: Off the record (QT)
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The Decemberists “16 Military Wives” (QT)
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OK Go “A Million Ways” (QT)
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Franz Ferdinand “Walk Away” (Wmv)
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Deerhoof “Wrong Time Capsule” (QT)
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Smog “Rock Bottom Riser” (QT)
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Jason Forrest “War Photographer” (QT)
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Kanye West (ft Adam Levine) – Heard ‘Em Say (Michel Gondry Edition) (REAL)
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Mastodon “Blood and Thunder” (QT)
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The Shins Deal With Becoming Minor Celebrities
Critics’ darlings The Shins are riding high on the attention they received from their contributions to the Zach Braff film Garden State as they continue to work on their third album.
The group have been working on the new disc, tentatively titled Sleeping Lessons, with producer Phil Ek (Modest Mouse, Built To Spill, Pretty Girls Make Graves) at Shins singer James Mercer’s home studio in Portland, Oregon. The quartet now have 15 tracks for the follow-up to 2003′s critically acclaimed Chutes Too Narrow and the songs used in Garden State from their Oh, Inverted World debut. Though Mercer told MTV News that things could change, current track titles include “Phantom Limb,” “A Comet Appears” and “Cave Of The Ice Giants.”
“Everything is still pretty tentative,” says Mercer. “I’m still working on lyrics, but those are pretty much the last things I do anyway.
“But right now the goal is to have the album out in like July or August. I know we’re supposed to submit it to Sub Pop on April 1st, and I know that’s April Fools’ Day, but hopefully that won’t prove indicative of the album.”
While Mercer doesn’t have to worry about constantly being chased by paparazzi or having his personal life splashed across the pages of tabloids, he’s gradually getting used to the increased profile — and the accompanying higher expectations — that The Shins are now faced with.
“We’re just working on songs at my house, and it’s easy to feel forgotten about,” says Mercer. “But the other day I went into a coffee shop and they were playing a Shins song and it was like, ‘Wow, people are anxiously waiting to hear new music from us.’
“And it makes you better, because you always feel like you have to prove yourself.”
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
It’s Dean Gray Tuesday!! Green Day:: American Idiot mashup album
Only 10 days after its release, the mash-up album American Edit, which pays tribute to the acclaimed Green Day album American Idiot through some of the best mash-up productions of 2005, was shut down reportedly after received a cease & desist order from Green Day’s label, Warner records, despite the fact that it was released as an internet only release with no commercial gain for the team of mash-up artists involved. In fact, the only possible profit to be made from the release was a plea from the creators of the album (known only by the shared alias Dean Gray) for fans who enjoyed the creation to donate to one of three possible charities that Green Day have been known to support. Furthermore, the mash-up versions were such fantastic productions that they were truly a departure from the standard Green Day performances and would not compete for consumptive dollars.
We hope to mobilize the online Mash-Up community by organizing a simple one-day organized event. Participants would be asked to post the American Edit album online for 24 hours only starting on Tuesday, December 13, at 12:00AM. Doing so is not intended to be a mass organization of music piracy but, rather, one single display of the consumptive power of the mash-up and home remix community in the hopes of encouraging the labels, publishers and artists who are curious about the mash-up community to consider giving the high quality productions of “illegitimate” music a legitimate consideration as a promotional avenue for all music.
We also hope to encourage club DJs and radio DJs to air portions of the American Edit release on “Gray” Tuesday and refer to the site http://www.americanedit.org/home/ae/ by reporting their planned airplay in advance.
Billie Joe on the “Boulevard of Broken Songs” Mash-Up:
“Actually, I was driving in my car, and I heard a Green Day mashup, with, um, Oasis and Aerosmith. It sounded cool! There’s been a little bit of talk about doing a mashup, but I’m not sure who would be the appropriate hip-hop guy yet.”
CLICK HERE TO GET ALBUM AND ARTWORK
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On the eve of the release of Beck’s Guerelito, we offer a Beck remix you won’t find on the remix CD: “Que Onda Guero (Team Shi Latino 96.3 Remix)”
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New Elliott Smith Song Surfaces, “Stickman”:: So apparently a new studio track of Elliott Smith’s has surfaced. Entitled ‘Stickman,’ it was recorded with the rest of From a Basement..
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD ALSO.. Alternate live version CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Kaiser Chiefs Hint At ‘Heavier’ Second Album
Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson has hinted that the band’s second album will take a heavier direction.
The portly singer admitted that the long-player will be shaped by the band’s time on the road where they are more inclined to ‘rock out’.
He told BBC 6 music: “We’ve been on tour all year and we’ve kind of become heavier as a band – but that’s just because we’ve been enjoying rocking out. And it’s a lot of fun to rock out.”
He went on to say that he is looking forward to the opportunity to record the second album and the pressure isn’t getting to the band. He said: “This year has been hard work and next year is more about reaping the benefits, I think.
People keep asking about the second album – ‘Are you under pressure or worried or whatever?’ – but we are really looking forward to it. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel for us.”
Monday, December 12, 2005
Coachella: 2006 Dates Set, Documentary Due
As expected, the seventh Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will return April 29-30 to Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif. Rumors are already flying about the event lineup, but sources say talent offers are still in the process of being made and that an artist announcement is likely several weeks away.
In the meantime, the festival will be the subject of the two-hour retrospective documentary “Coachella,” which will premiere Jan. 19 at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theatre and roll out Jan. 24 to additional U.S. theaters.
“Coachella” rounds up some of the most iconic performances from throughout the fest’s history, stretching back to Morrissey at the inaugural 1999 show up through a 2005 clip of the Arcade Fire. In between is footage of such acts as Bjork, Radiohead, the Pixies, the White Stripes, the Chemical Brothers, Oasis, the Flaming Lips, Iggy & the Stooges, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kool Keith and Beck, among many others.
The film was directed by Drew Thomas and produced by event promoter Goldenvoice.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Comedian Richard Pryor dies at 65
Just days after his 65th birthday, groundbreaking comedian Richard Pryor died Saturday of a heart attack, his wife said.
Pryor, who had been ill with multiple sclerosis, died at Encino Hospital near Los Angeles at 7:58 a.m. PT. Jennifer Lee Pryor tried to revive him at their home before paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital, she said.
“He enjoyed life right up until the end,” she said, adding that Pryor had been laughing a lot and was in good spirits in the two weeks preceding his death. “At the end there was a smile on his face.” (via CNN)
Friday, December 9, 2005
The Darkness:: One way ticket To hell… and back (Album Review)
From the moment the pan flute fanfare on “One Way Ticket” kicks off One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back, it’s clear that the Darkness still believes that more is more. If anything, the band believes that even more is even better: with the help of producer Roy Thomas Baker, they make their second album incredibly glossy and expensive-sounding, with layers of sitars, marching drums, bagpipes, and tubular bells on top of their already-powerful guitars, drums, and keyboards (and, of course, Justin Hawkins’ formidable falsetto). But while the band’s excess succeeded on Permission to Land, it loses some of its potency here: nothing on One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back is as immediate as “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” The band’s debut celebrated and inflated the rock clichés of sex, drugs, and partying; this album’s best songs are about longterm relationships, getting clean, and balding. The soaring power ballad “Dinner Lady Arms” highlights the good-natured streak running through a surprising amount of the Darkness’ songs, while “One Way Ticket” is an episode of Behind the Music, complete with cocaine snorting, turned into a pop single. More than occasionally, though, One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back just sounds unremarkable, despite the songs’ elaborate sonics. Tracks like “Knockers” — which should be a fool-proof Darkness song just based on its title — and “Girlfriend” sound like they were made from bits and pieces of Permission to Land rejects, while overblown-yet-slight ballads such as “Blind Man” and “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” sound too much like stale Meat Loaf. Still, there are moments when the Darkness still sounds like the smartest, dumbest band around: “Is It Just Me?” has a chorus that rivals their best; the flamboyant Celtic rocker “Hazel Eyes” shows off both Justin Hawkins’ over-the-top vocals and his brother Dan’s over-the-top guitar licks; and lyrics like “English Country Garden’s” “I cherished you and you tolerated me” show that the wit that made their debut so much fun isn’t entirely missing on this album. Not so much a letdown as a comedown, One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back just shows that the giddy highs of Permission to Land aren’t so easy to get the second time around. (by: Heather Phares)
Fans Mark Anniversary of Lennon’s Murder
NEW YORK Dec 8, 2005 — Fans brought flowers, candles and their own bittersweet memories Thursday as they gathered in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields to imagine what might have been on the 25th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder by a deranged Beatles fan.
“With the country at war, his work and philosophy seem more poignant and more desperately needed than ever,” said Kim Polson, 50, who said she fell in love with the Beatles when she saw them on television at age 8.
She was an early-morning visitor to Strawberry Fields, the section of Central Park opposite the Dakota apartment building where Lennon was gunned down on Dec. 8, 1980. Hundreds of fans, some of them born after Lennon’s death, gathered on a cold morning.
The scene was much the same in Lennon’s hometown of Liverpool, England, where scores of fans from around the world remembered the ex-Beatle with white balloons, flowers and prayers. The balloons, carrying tributes to Lennon, were released into the sky.
“I just wrote ‘Merry Christmas John’ on my balloon,” said James Andrews, a 9-year-old from Bournemouth, England. “I love the Beatles, and especially John Lennon.”
In New York, locals mingled with tourists in Central Park. One woman sat with a scrapbook she had assembled over the years, while another man played Beatles music on an acoustic guitar. Visitors piled off tour buses to visit the vigil or walk past the Dakota. Among the floral offerings were a half-dozen white roses and a bough of holly.
Angie Mulbay, 24, traveled to New York from Columbus, Ohio, with her 20-year-old sister Ashley. They planned to spend most of the day in Strawberry Fields.
“John is very important to me, his music and his message,” said Mulbay, who was born four days after Lennon’s death. “We’re here to share the day and meet people with the same interest.”
Twenty-five years ago, Lennon who had turned 40 two months earlier was returning from a midtown Manhattan recording studio with his wife, Yoko Ono. As they approached their apartment building, Mark David Chapman, a fan carrying a copy of J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” opened fire on Lennon.
Thursday, December 8, 2005
CBGB’s to close on Halloween 2006
The legendary punk venue announces its end…
CBGB is set to close its doors for the final time on Halloween 2006.
The legendary New York music venue, the cradle for the ’70s punk scene and launch pad for bands such as The Ramones and Talking Heads, announced the agreement with its landlord yesterday (December 7).
The deal with the Bowery Residents Committee (BRC), who own a 45-year lease on the property at 315 Bowery, seemed impossible following the expiration of the previous lease on August 31.
However, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office interceded and helped reach an agreement which avoided a potentially bitter court battle.
According to Billboard, CBGB proprietor Hilly Kristal said: “It’s been little stipulations, back and forth – we agreed, we didn’t agree. We finally got to a point where we agreed with each other.”
Muzzy Rosenblatt, BRC executive said that the agreement would let his homeless advocacy group “concentrate on helping the needy and homeless of New York City”.
A non-profit organisation, the BRC houses 250 people above the famous club and CBGB is its only commercial tenant.
CBGB lease with the group expired at midnight on August 31 and the BRC announced that it wanted the club out after a five-year fight.
Kristal – who opened the venue in December 1973 – was served with an eviction notice a week later and the two sides went to court. The rent of the club has now been raised to $35,000 following the new agreement, compared with the old deal’s $19,000.
Kristal must now leave the venue by October 31, but the proprietor has revealed that he is already looking for a new venue.
Other sites in lower Manhattan are being visited by Kristal with a view to reopen CBGB once the new deal expires, and a month of closing celebrations are expected at the old space.
Kristal has also revealed that he is considering opening a branch in Las Vegas and is unconcerned about creating the ambience of the original CBGB.
“Things are different all the time – look at the 70s, the 80s, the 90s,” he said. “The most important thing is we’re keeping the integrity of CBGB. It won’t be exactly the same, but it will have the same ingredients.”
Kingblind.com Album Giveaway (World Leader Pretend)
Enter to win a signed copy of World Leader Pretend’s CD Punches and
T-shirt. (US residents only)
Send a email to: kingblind(at)gmail.com with WORLD LEADER PRETEND in the subject line and your name and address in the body of the message.. It’s soooo simple.. We will ramdomly pick a lucky winner today.. GOOD LUCK.. Remember.. You must have WORLD LEADER PRETEND IN THE SUBJECT LINE AND YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS IN BODY OF THE MESSAGE..
About World Leader Pretend::
With the recent devastation of their hometown, New Orleans, 5-piece World Leader Pretend display an intensity in their recent live performances that cannot be misinterpreted. Each single note is equally as important as the sum of all parts and the innate power of their music is reminiscent of U2 or The Verve, while still reflecting a sound unique to their hometown. With their youthful charm and character with old time inspiration, Punches is a memorable and unique fusion of art and pop.
“Bang Theory” MP3
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“Bang Theory” Video:
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Punches EPK Video:
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Wednesday, December 7, 2005
The Pogues to tour USA
The Pogues “The band specialised in Irish folk music, often playing with the energy of the punk rock scene from which several of the members had their roots. Their politically-tinged music was reminiscent of The Clash, with whom they played (Joe Strummer produced one of their albums and even joined the group briefly), and used traditional Irish instruments such as the tin whistle, banjo, cittern, mandolin, accordion, and more.” LEARN ABOUT THE POGUES
“The Pogues will be performing six shows in the United States of America in early March, 2006″
Friday March 10 Washington DC 9.30 Club
Saturday March 11 Atlantic City Borgata
Tuesday March 14 Boston Orpheum
Thursday March 16 NYC Nokia Theatre
Friday March 17 NYC Nokia Theatre SOLD OUT
Saturday March 18 NYC Nokia Theatre
Tickets at Ticketmaster.com
Spike Jonze new ad for The Gap
CLICK TO VIEW Requires QT
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
“Chappelle’s Show” returns to TV, but not star
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – “Chappelle’s Show” is returning to Comedy Central, but that doesn’t mean its star is any time soon.
The network announced Monday that it will air more episodes of the hit cable series next year using footage shot before Dave Chappelle abandoned the production in May.
But Comedy Central’s decision to air the never-before-seen sketches only increases the unlikelihood Chappelle will ever return to complete the third season of the series, the network’s president, Doug Herzog, said.
“We have to do this because we have no idea what the future foretells,” Herzog said. “He hasn’t been able to articulate what he would like to do, so we’re moving forward.”
Comedy Central first disclosed that it would air more episodes of “Chappelle” at a taping Sunday night of the upcoming special “Comedy Central’s Last Laugh ’05″ in Los Angeles. The production included a two-minute trailer teasing the upcoming episodes.
The trailer also will begin running next week on Comedy Central’s new broadband channel, MotherLoad. The new episodes — sources say there was only enough footage to produce four half-hours — won’t air in primetime until the second quarter of next year.
That would return “Chappelle” to Comedy Central about a year after a 13-episode third season was originally intended to bow. “Chappelle” was first supposed to return in February but was bumped to May amid speculative reports that Chappelle, who also is co-creator and co-executive producer of the series, was suffering from everything from the flu to writer’s block.
By the time May rolled around, Comedy Central was forced to admit that the series was postponed indefinitely as more reports surfaced that Chappelle had ventured to Africa and sworn off further involvement with the series for unspecified reasons.
Since May, Comedy Central has futilely attempted to re-establish a dialogue with Chappelle but held off on plans of airing the new episodes in hopes he would return. The network has no plan to pursue legal remedy, though sources indicate Chappelle could conceivably be sued for breach of contract.
Chappelle had signed a contract in August 2004 to do two more seasons of the series for an estimated $50 million. The payout included a significant chunk of DVD sales from the series, which is one of the highest-selling TV discs on the market. Chappelle is still expected to participate in profits derived from the first two seasons, and sources indicate he received a hefty advance prior to starting production on the third season.
Comedy Central warned Chappelle’s representatives that the network was moving forward with production on new episodes without the comedian, who had involved himself in every aspect of production in past seasons. The network owns the rights to the footage and could conceivably distribute the episodes on DVD as well, but no determination has been made.
Herzog said Comedy Central will never shut the door on future collaboration with Chappelle.
“We always hold out hope against hope,” Herzog said. “We would very much relish the opportunity to be back in real business with Dave.”
Neither Chappelle nor his representatives could be reached for comment.
Chappelle lampooned his own newfound wealth in footage seen in the trailer teasing the series. One sketch has Chappelle showing off his home on a faux episode of MTV’s “Cribs”; he is shown cooking a Tyrannosaurus rex egg and sprinkling it with diamond dust. (via:Reuters/Hollywood Reporter/ Yahoo News)
New York Doll:: (Film Review)
They may have looked like a pack of ugly transvestite prostitutes, but at their early-’70s sleaziest, the New York Dolls could outrock and outraunch the Rolling Stones. Dressed in platform boots and thrift-shop drag and belting out songs like “Trash,” “Identity Crisis” and “Jet Boy,” the Dolls single-handedly revitalized the downtown New York City music scene with their combination of glam rock and Brill Building pop. And they set the stage for the coming punk explosion before imploding in a mess of ego, drinking and drugs after only two albums. By the time fan-boy Morrissey would attempt to recruit the band 30 years later for the 2004 Meltdown Festival in London, there wasn’t much left to reunite. Lead guitarist Johnny Thunders and drummers Billy Murcia and Jerry Nolan were all dead. Lead singer David Johansen had gone his own way, recording a few solo albums, briefly morphing into Buster Poindexter (“Hot Hot Hot”) and appearing in movies. Guitarist Sylvain Sylvain was appearing around NYC as a solo act. The strangest post-Dolls path, however, was taken by bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane: After bottoming out and nearly killing himself in L.A., Kane found salvation through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and took a job helping out around the Family History Center library. That’s where filmmaker Greg B. Whiteley found Kane when Morrissey’s request arrived — humbly riding the bus to work every day alongside sweet-faced elderly women who had no idea that the awkward, 55-year-old giant loading the copier was a rock legend. Shot in 2004, while Kane was traveling back to NYC to reunite with Johansen and Sylvain and rehearse for the upcoming festival dates, Whiteley’s film is an unexpectedly poignant chronicle of an unexpected turn in a completely unexpected life. The film is filled with great footage of the Dolls in their heyday, together with interviews of various rock luminaries and of Kane’s coreligionists. But its best part melds the Dolls’ vintage performance of “Jet Boy” on The Old Grey Whistle Test with their 2004 Royal Festival Hall version of the same song. This might be the only documentary that will appeal to punks and Mormons alike. — Ken Fox
Antony And The Johnsons joined by surprise guest
Boy George makes a public appearance in London- Antony & the Johnsons were joined onstage last night (December 5) by Boy George.
The former Culture Club singer came on to duet with Antony on ‘You Are My Sister’ during the show at the London Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
After the song, Antony Hegarty presented Geroge with a bouqet of flowers. George thanked the audience for supporting Hegarty, who he said had “one of the most beautiful voices in the world”. He emotionally added to Antony, “You are my sister.”
The setlist included ‘Hope There’s Someone’, ‘Fistful of Love’ and a cover version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘The Guests’.
Antony And The Johnsons will play the same venue again tonight.
Paul McCartney Planned To Reform The Beatles
A year before John Lennon’s murder… Sir Paul’s record contract has surfaced which apparently shows that Paul McCartney planned to reunite The Beatles only one year before John Lennon was killed.
The 1979 CBS record deal details that Macca believed he could once again reform the supergroup with John, Ringo and George.
It’s reported that the contract was worth around £6million.
The papers are believed to have emerged at the exact time of the 25th anniversary of John Lennon’s death
Monday, December 5, 2005
CBGB’s may move to Las Vegas
After failing to obtain a last minute reprieve, Hilly Kristal, owner of legendary New York City club CBGB’s is considering a move a little further south.
According to one source, Kristal is currently in negotiations to secure a new home near the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Specifically, the Desert Passage, a 475,000-square-foot retail and entertainment strip that surrounds the Aladdin.
The club had been fighting for some time to obtain a renewal of their lease with the Bowery Residents Commitee and despite obtaining support from local government and many fans, was denied a lease renewal in September.
Thursday, December 1, 2005
Kingblind.com Top 15 albums of 2005 (#4 thru #1)
Well folks here it is… our final top 15 albums of 2005. From 38 writers in 8 countries we have tallied all the votes, crunched the numbers and POW… this is it… broken down into 3 groups (15 to 10. – 9 to 5. then 4 to 1.) Here is our list. And just in case you are wondering, the number 1 was a real bitch. We thought that a tie might be in order, however, we did finally decide on just ONE… Well enough talking.. ONTO THE LIST!!! (Notice the UK / USA split. Interesting. It just happened by chance.)
Number 4 thru Number 1 (The USA Vs. UK battle of the best!!)
1) The Hold Steady:: Seperation Sunday (New York City, NY)
The Hold Steady’s major players once called themselves Lifter Puller. This must be mentioned in the opening of every review of their work until the end of time, because every time the words “Lifter Puller” are uttered, a few hundred albums are sold. The group has that kind of limited but sterling reputation. Judging solely from Separation Sunday, they’ve earned it. This is the kind of album that comes around every year or two and convinces us that seventies-style rock is back with a vengeance. Writers somehow seem to miss the implication that if this breed of rock is “returning”, and doing so on a regular basis, it never really left us in the first place — but that’s really beside the point. It’s all bullshit anyway. And if there’s one thing Separation Sunday reminds us to do, it’s to always, always cut the bullshit. There’s a lot to say about Separation Sunday. There might be something to learn from contrasting The Hold Steady’s simple and occasionally minimalistic “rocking is awesome” formula with The Decemberists’ assertion that more is, in fact, more. The two groups have a few things in common. Craig Finn can’t even fake talent as a vocalist, but his lyrics are perfection, and his powerful, charismatic spoken/shouted delivery sells them. He doesn’t go out of his way to rhyme thesaurus words, but he does tell really good stories — mostly in the form of rough, charming character sketches that sound like honest factual reports or the kind of brilliant lies you launch across pool tables. He does a lot of talking about women, because women are awesome. That’s really the sort of explanation he’d probably give if you were dumb enough to ask. “Women are awesome.” Why does Separation Sunday include some really rocking guitar solos? Because guitar solos are awesome.
Picking a favorite song from Separation Sunday is like pulling teeth. The Hold Steady strike a beautiful balance between simple, sublime rock ‘n’ roll and the nuanced layering of sounds. From the classy female background singers to the organ breakdowns and piano flourishes, every song on the album is as weightless as it is propulsive, as addictive as it is satisfying. It’s tempting to get into specific songs one by one, but that isn’t necessary; if you’ve got any sense, you’ll be discovering them on your own soon enough. Besides, our mission now is to cut the bullshit. So let’s do that. Here are the facts: Separation Sunday stands a chance of being one of 2005′s true classics. You’ll listen to it for years. If you’re even vaguely open to the idea that classically styled rock could be exciting under any circumstances, you need this record.
Your Little Hood Rat Friend:: (MP3)
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2) Spoon:: Gimme Fiction (Austin, TX)
Gimme Fiction is Spoon’s loosest, most eclectic effort yet. While still sounding like themselves, the Austin-based band manages to evoke a number of other artists on their fifth full-length. (It’s a neat trick.) On proto-glam opener “The Beast and Dragon, Adored,” Britt Daniels channels the David Bowie of The Man Who Sold the World. Then there’s slinky jam “I Turn My Camera On,” where he conjures up Prince or Mick Jagger, circa “Miss You,” by singing in a higher register. As indicated by the title, “Sister Jack” sounds like early Who (i.e. “Happy Jack”), while “They Never Got You” sounds like Plastic Ono Band-era John Lennon. Do all these different styles hang together? For the most part: yes. After the triumph of Kill the Moonlight, Spoon could have easily rested on their laurels and issued another album just like it, but Gimme Fiction proves they would rather evolve than stagnate.. Their fifth full-length is nothing short of a dizzying, soulful masterpiece, easily the most expansive work in their career. “Gimme Fiction” is a sprawling, exhilarating, filler-free album of keenly focused artistic vision and ambition.
Sister Jack:: (MP3)
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3) Bloc Party:: Silent Alarm (London, UK)
Styled more along the lines of a revolutionary cell than a band, Bloc Party approach the medium of rock’n'roll with the sort of high seriousness usually reserved for philosophy lectures. Yet on Silent Alarm, this “autonomous unit” of smart, wiry London youth don’t just succeed in reinvigorating the artform–they come pretty close to reinventing it from the ground up. Whereas early singles like “She’s Hearing Voices” found the band still attempting to chisel their own image out of familiar post-punk reference points–The Fall, Joy Division, and Gang Of Four, to name but three–newer tracks such as “Like Eating Glass” and the prickly “Price Of Gas” find Bloc Party pioneering a freshly-minted template of staccato percussion, expansive soundscapes, and cryptic lyrics that artfully straddle the political and the personal. Russell Lissack has forsaken that overdone hallmark of post-punk, brittle tortured-fretboard skronk, in favor of an effects-laden guitar sound that adds genuine prettiness to Bloc Party’s edgy rush. But it’s Kele Okereke’s vocal that’s the band’s most flexible facet, morphing from frothing anger to breathless desperation. “Are you hoping for a miracle?” he bays, on “Helicopter”. Yes? Well Silent Alarm ably fits the bill.
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4) Kaiser Chiefs:: Employment (Leeds, UK)
The Kaiser Chiefs shamelessly rip off their heroes, copping the Clash’s political might for “I Predict a Riot,” Blur’s vision of cool Brittania on “Saturday Night” and Brian Wilson’s “Caroline, No” for, er, “Caroline, Yes.” But they do such a wonderful job, it’s hard to notice or even care. So just give in and start doing that ’80s bounce-dance thing to the band’s debut disc, already. Employment is thrilling from beginning to end, packing in 45-minutes of exuberant Britpop melodies, na-na-na choruses and buzzsaw guitars that make Franz Ferdinand look like a bunch of stiffs. These guys know how to work it–after all, it’s in the album’s title.
NA NA NA NAA:: (MP3)
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