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Archive for September, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006 Ticket Giveaway (The National- Live in Seattle 10/6/06)

The National will be playing on Oct. 6th in Seattle, WA at Neumo’s and and Beggars will be giving away a pair of tickets. You want to go? Well just follow these simple rules and we will randomly pick a winner this weekend. Ok, Here are the rules. Just send your Name and address (In the body of the message) to kingblind(at) with THE NATIONAL in the Subject line.. That’s it!! So very simple..

Listen to The National
Slipping Husband

Murder Me Rachael

Wasp Nest

Cold Girl Fever

About The National
Beggars’ Banquet is thrilled to release the third record by Brooklyn-based band THE NATIONAL. Their label debut, “Alligator” will be released on April 12th, 2005. Here is the story of the band and their music as written by their friend Alec Hanley Bemis.
On New Year’s Eve 2004, I ran into The National’s singer, Matt Berninger, at a party in Brooklyn. He looked pretty much as he had the last couple of times I’d seen him, like he’d been locked up at home for days on end, trapped in thoughts, books, and videotapes. An old friend asked him what it was like to have left behind the world of regular employment, and I overheard this reply: “Don’t get too into your band. You’ll be poor, and happy, and never want to do anything else ever again.”

All you need to know about The National is that they gave up good jobs for this. But perhaps you want more…

They are five friends from Cincinnati, Ohio, who started making music in 1999 when they found themselves living near one another again in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. They weren’t looking to take over the world with a demo and matching outfits. Rather, music was their way of letting off steam from those good jobs. Records are what they talked about when they went out drinking together, when they ate together, when they played wiffle ball in the summertime.

Simply put, songwriting allowed The National to deepen their conversations. It’s how they broached the topics they really wanted to talk about — how they were past the halfway mark between twenty and thirty, and speeding toward a kind of permanence they never expected; how they pleased and disappointed their mothers and fathers; how flings had become girlfriends, and girlfriends, wives.

Thankfully, the band’s pre-existing bonds lent this musical conversation an unusual intimacy. The National contains two pairs of brothers — Aaron Dessner (guitars, bass) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), Scott Devendorf (guitar; bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Matt sings because he’s taller, blonder, and older than the rest.

Their self-titled debut album “The National” (Brassland 2001) was recorded and released before they had played even a single show, before the music spilled far from their heads. They cut the album with engineer Nick Lloyd and formed a label with a writer (yours truly, Alec Bemis), so those recordings could be released. A few fans were gained, some friends were made, but not much really happened.

The National made a second album, “Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers” (Brassland/Talitres 2003). The staff was the same, though Peter Katis, who produced both Interpol records, helped produce and mix, and Australian composer Padma Newsome from Clogs collaborated on arrangements and strings. Rolling Stone and many other magazines noticed this one, and when it made its way to Europe, magazines the band had never heard of began saying it was one of the years best.

A show at their favorite bar became a van ride to neighboring cities, became a plane ride to Europe, became two summers overseas. Their ties to those good jobs slackened.

It was the press attention in the UK that got the attention of Roger Trust, A&R for Beggars Banquet – who read a review and thought it would be something he would like. Strangely enough, within hours of reading that review he received a call from someone informing him that the band was looking for a label. Several months later he saw them live and was completely impressed…the rest they say is history!

Although The National have now signed to Beggars Banquet, they continue on their own path. Four of them have moved even further out in Brooklyn to Ditmas Park, where there is space and familiar suburban streets and even Geese on Beverly Road. Their new album, “Alligator”, much of which was recorded at their homes in Ditmas Park, was engineered by Paul Mahajan, who has worked with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and TV on the Radio. Padma Newsome camped out for a month with the band, and Peter Katis added more production and mixed the record at his house in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Matt Berninger’s potent baritone still intones about matters fraught and funny and sad; about record collections, missing persons and medium-sized American hearts. But the record’s not simply gothic or miserablist — more like the plays of Tennessee Williams, it’s full of peculiar intimacies and awkward grace. Alligator’s heroes are reckless and possessed seducers, but they are apologetic ones. In The National’s imaginings, in songs alternately lush and spare, there is something twilit and dreamy worked out in the basement of our brains.

“Startling and subtly affecting, the National creeps in like the killer in a bleak gothic novel. Strings tremble, hearts break and each smoldering song brings a harrowing tale of new pities.” – MAGNET

“If Nick Cave had discovered the horror of suburban ennui before the Bible and heroine, we might not have had to wait so long for a band like the National.” – CMJ MONTHLY

New tracks from The Who!!

There’s a NEW record from THE WHO! First one in 24 years. It’s called Endless Wire and it comes out 10/31. Though, you’ve probably known this for a while. The first release of it will also include a limited edition bonus DVD of a 2006 concert in Lyon, France (which features a sweet 10min version of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’).


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Ash singer to release solo single

Ash singer Tim Wheeler is set to release a solo single.

‘Glow’ is a collaboration with legendary dance music producer Arthur Baker.

Baker has previously worked with the likes of New Order and Bob Dylan.

The single’s release follows the announcement that Ash guitarist, Charlotte Hatherly, would be leaving the band after 9 years to concentrate on her solo work.

‘Glow’ is set to be released on March 20.

Kingblind Downloads

The Album Leaf:: Always for you

Whitey:: Walk in the dark

La Donnas:: Pale Horse

Sonic Youth – Peel Sessions October 19, 1988

Arctic Monkeys – live @ 9 30 Club,Washington 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kingblind Downloads

Decemberists: 2006-09-25, KCRW*

Badly Drawn Boy: 2006-09-13, Oxford*

Okkervil River: “The President’s Dead”

Tom Waits:: Bottom of the world

120 Days:: Come Down
* Registration required for downloading

Wolfmother pull US shows

Wolfmother have been forced to cut short their American tour after bassist/keyboardist Chris Ross’ son was born a month early.

The band played in Pittsburgh on Friday and at the Virgin Festival in Baltimore on Saturday (September 23), after which Ross flew back to Australia to be with his partner and son.

Both an in-store appearance in Chicago on September 26 and their Hollywood show on Thursday (September 28) have been postponed, with the Hollywood performance rescheduled for December 12.

However Friday’s (September 29) San Diego gig has been cancelled, as has their Saturday appearance at the Download Festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre outside San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kingblind’s Favorite Finds

episodes of: The Simpsons, Futurama, South Park, Family Guy, American Dad

List of Films Ordered By Uses Of The Word “F*ck”

Death Cab for Cutie, Postal Service featured on

Bohemian Rhapsody in 25 different voices

Merritt Returns To ‘Bubble-Gum Goth’ On New Album

It’s been nearly 10 years since Stephin Merritt released an album under the moniker the Gothic Archies, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been working on one.

Indeed, for every volume of the “A Series of Unfortunate Events” books that Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, has produced since 1999, the Magnetic Fields mastermind wrote a corresponding track. On Oct. 10, the Gothic Archies will round up those songs on “The Tragic Treasury: Songs From A Series of Unfortunate Events” (Nonesuch), the same week Handler’s 13th and final book in the series will be released.

In addition to the 13 tracks, Merritt also added two bonus tracks, including “Freakshow,” which he originally wrote to correspond with the book “The Carnivorous Carnival” but ultimately deemed too depressing.

“It’s an extremely upsetting song on some level, being such a freak that birds come and poop on you,” Merritt said. “This project, the Gothic Archies, revolves around this sense that the world is terrifying and ridiculous. Instead of taking the straight-ahead rock approach, it’s my bubble-gum gothic band.”

With song titles like “Smile! No One Cares How You Feel,” “The World Is a Very Scary Place” and “Dreary, Dreary,” Merritt obviously tapped into the dark sentiments of the children’s books. However, his working relationship with Handler wasn’t constrained to just the soundtrack, as Handler played accordion on several tracks on Magnetic Fields’ critically acclaimed “69 Love Songs.” Upon meeting in the late ’90s, the two also began writing a musical script together, dubbed “The Song From Venus,” which Merritt says is about two-third complete.

Merritt will join Handler on his book tour, playing ukulele while the author plays accordion. Lemony Snicket, Handler’s pseudonym, is also supposed play percussion. “Yeah, we have to figure that one out pretty soon, I guess,” Merritt says, deadpan.

Meanwhile, fans can expect two new albums from Magnetic Fields in 2007, the first of which Merritt promises “will be loud” but will not be supported with a tour. The artist also contributed the track “The Meaning of Lice” to “Plague Songs,” a compilation based on the plagues in the Old Testament of the Bible. The collection, which also features Rufus Wainwright, Imogen Heap and Brian Eno, is due Nov. 7 via 4AD.
(Katie Hasty, N.Y.

Sparklehorse:: Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain (Album Review)

Four albums in, its some kind of revelation that Sparklehorse remains strictly a cult phenomenon. The record-making vehicle of Virginia-born Mark Linkous, Sparklehorse music settles into the subconscious as surely as sediment on the seabed. And Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain is prima facie evidence

It could be that the favouring of minor-chords and the most subtle of changes precludes any Flaming Lips-style breakthrough. Despite the hopes of Parlophone, one suspects that somewhere up in the North Carolina hinterlands this suits Mark Linkous just fine.

Five years on from the David Fridmann produced It’s A Wonderful Life, there are no earth-shattering changes to Linkous’ studio-warped rock ‘n’ roll pastoralism. As there was nothing broken on previous Sparklehorse outings, there is little in need of fixing.

There are filtered rockers ( Ghost In The Sky, It’s Not So Hard) gentle subterranean melancholy (Morning Hollow, Getting It Wrong) and bruised, yearning pop Sparklehorse specialities like Some Sweet Day and Knives Of Summertime.

The only discernible difference is that Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain thankfully lacks the odd distraction that made Good Morning Spider and Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot (whew!) such difficult records to maintain concentration through. In the time-honoured phrase, DFLYITBOAM is all killer and no filler.

What also remains are Sparklehorse’s gallery of supporting players. Scattered over DFLYITBOAM are Tom Waits, Sophie Michalitsianos (AKA Sol Seppy), Stephen Drozd, (The ‘Lips again), and the weirdly omnipresent Dangermouse. But ultimately, this record is the product of Linkous’ vision alone.

Though routinely accused of miserablism, Linkous variously wraps the Sparklehorse sound in such delicate distortion (the faster numbers) and sanguine twinkling (the slower ones) that the prevailing mood of DFLYITBOAM is one of cautious rapture.

Unlike, say Calexico or the Tindersticks, Linkous is never weighed down by, or in love with his own capacity for rueful introspection. Having once been pronounced dead and temporarily losing the use of his legs, slivers of quiet optimism are easy to discern even through the dewy requiem of the protracted titular finale.

Defiantly in the key of low, Shade And Honey remains tender and devotional. Similarly, Return To Me radiates a grace and warmth that belies the despondent travails of the singer. To underline that this is no one-trick pony, those aforementioned rock-outs have enough cojones to fill out these horse latitudes. Like Graham Coxon, without the sound of someone trying too hard.

Though it’s something of barrier to true greatness, Linkous manages to wield his influences firmly in the service of the Sparklehorse aesthetic, rather than let his influences rule him. For example, there are refracted Beatle harmonics all over Don’t Take My Sunshine Away and Ghost In The Sky like a psychedelic peppery rash.

There’s also a glimmer of suspicion that, as with the earlier Sad & Beautiful World, Linkous wants to rewrite the final two Velvet Underground albums. Thankfully, Linkous is far too much the technician to let Sparklehorse go the way of other camp followers. DFLYITBOAM is a recording that belongs firmly in the 21st Century.

Sometimes being on the outside looking in is the best place to be. If it takes Linkous another few light years to dream up the next Sparklehorse show, it’ll be worth the wait.
– Steve Hands

Kingblind Downloads

Mega Indie Rock Directory

The Magic Numbers:: Take a chance

Northern Soul’s Classiest Rarities

New Directions – A Collection Of Blue Eyed British Soul


A dozen remixes (2006) of Brian Eno and David Byrne’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Kingblind’s Favorite Finds

Jarvis Cocker (Pulp) goes solo

The MPAA Surrenders in War Against Piracy?

Pitt tipped to take over Cruise MI role

Trail Of Dead Crosses The Great ‘Divide’

Neil Young Opens Archives For Fillmore CD/DVD

Kingblind Downloads

Damian Jurado:: Pink Moon (Nick Drake Cover)

Rocky Votolato: Tinfoil Hats

Mastodon: 2006-09-19, Denver*

TV on the Radio 2006-09-22 Live on KCRW (FLAC)*

Raconteurs: 2006-09-15, Dallas*
* Registration required for download

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy:: The Letting Go (Album Review)

To understand just how big a record The Letting Go is in the Oldham canon, a bit of background is called for. Fans of this poster boy for Old Testament facial hair tend to regard 2003’s largely acoustic Master and Everyone as one of his loveliest and least complicated records.

For Oldham himself, however, its making seems to have precipitated some kind of creative crisis. Since Oldham’s favourite way of restoring his own equilibrium is to disrupt as many other people’s as possible, the last few years have inevitably been challenging ones for his long-suffering fanbase.

The Letting Go’s marvellously grandiose taster single, ‘Cursed Sleep’, suggested that this would be the album to finally reward our patience. And so it is, though not always in the way that might have been expected. The first song’s elegant opening verse – ‘When the numbers get so high/ Of the dead flying through the sky/ Oh I/ Don’t know why/ Love comes to me’ – combines with Ryder McNair and Nico Muhly’s courtly string arrangements, and the ethereal backing vocals of Faun Fables’ Dawn McCarthy, to soften the listener up for a self-conscious tilt at glacial perfection.

The equally exquisite second song, ‘Strange Form of Life’, confirms this impression, but just when you’re starting to worry that Oldham might have shaved off too many rough edges in the pursuit of a conventional pay-off, ‘Wai’ undercuts this anxiety with some of the most brutally discordant ‘harmonies’ ever put on record.

And so it goes on. A thrillingly straightforward country-blues paves the way for a couple of tunes sung in an inexplicable death-metal croak. And if Oldham has a specific letting-go in mind, perhaps it is the fantasy that these two warring impulses in his music can ever be separated.

Kingblind’s Favorite Finds

‘SNL’ makes cast changes, cuts

Beatles’ Liverpool haunt named a landmark

Keith Richards: I’ve quit ‘weak’ drugs

A music site provides a guilty pleasure

TV on the Radio give a ‘voice to our time ’

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Indie Rockers Band Together For Rogue Wave Drummer

A host of notable indie rock artists will join Rogue Wave for a Sept. 30 benefit in San Francisco for the band’s drummer, Pat Spurgeon, is in need of a kidney transplant.

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, Matthew Caws of Nada Surf, Ryan Miller of Guster and John Vanderslice are among the guests slated to perform during the evening, with more still to be announced. Daniel Handler, otherwise known as popular author Lemony Snicket, will be the MC for the event.

Indianapolis native Spurgeon was born with only one kidney, requiring a 1993 transplant. However, that kidney has begun to deteriorate, and Spurgeon has been on dialysis since April while searching for a donor. Friends and band members have been tested to see if they are matches, “but Pat has yet to hear good news. Provided he finds a donor, there will be an enormous amount of costs that both Pat and his donor will incur,” reads a post on Rogue Wave’s Web site.

Despite his condition, Spurgeon is still touring with Rogue Wave. Earlier on the day of the benefit, the band will perform at the Download Festival, alongside Beck, the Shins and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, among others.

In June, frontman Zach Rogue said Spurgeon’s health situation crystallized his own priorities about life in a touring band. “It’s almost like you are stripped down to knowing the most important things in your life,” he said. “It makes you understand who you are and what relationships matter to you. Maybe when you’re 18, touring is a party on wheels. But when you’re a little bit older, you do this for reasons of wanting to make music.”

Fans can make a donation to Spurgeon’s medical expense fund via Rogue Wave’s site.
(via billboard)