Kingblind Downloads:: Halloween Edition (Part 2)
Matt Pond PA:: Halloween
Archive for October, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Kingblind Downloads:: Halloween Edition (Part 2)
Monday, October 30, 2006
Dark side of the rainbow
What happens when you sync Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon with The Wizard of Oz??
CLICK TO VIEW
Tonight: The Decemberists Live in Concert
Hear Full Concert on NPR.org From Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
CLICK TO VIEW PAGE
Friday, October 27, 2006
Gnarls Barkley:: Who Cares (Music Video)
Kingblind.com news that you can use
Clear channel radio for sale?
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Mastodon:: Colony of Birchmen (Music Video)
Here is the 2nd Video from Mastodon’s brilliant album “Blood Mountain” it’s directed by Jonathan Rej and Tom Bingham of Authority Films
Kingblind Downloads (Tom Waits Edition)
Some free and legal downloads of tracks from the new Tom Waits record “Orphans”
Tom Waits:: Bottom of the World (NEW !!!)
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Sean Lennon:: Friendly Fire (Album Review)
If it’s considered fair to spend any amount of time talking about who Sean Lennon’s dad was, then it’s equally fair to save time for his mom. Eight years after his debut album for the now defunct Capitol offshoot Grand Royal, Lennon is still best characterized by the same emphasis on pop cultural awareness exhibited by Yoko Ono, a responsiveness to contemporary music trends and issues that tends to date music while poking at significance. Into the Sun (1998) parked its hopscotch mentality out in left field, abstaining from stylistic, unifying threads to allow its heap of then-hip guest appearances to define it from song to song, moment to moment, and was thus of the kind of late-nineties, cross-culturalism toyed with by Beck, not to mention former Grand Royal owners the Beastie Boys. Like his mom’s debut album, Sean Lennon entered stage left with name recognition and an attempt to capture the sounds of his time.
At first listen, Friendly Fire may seem the pendulum swinging back the other way. Bringing Jon Brion on board not only packs onto easy, accessible song structures the lush accompaniment and warm production for which Brion is known, but also unifies the album into a character mostly alien to Into the Sun. Gone is the broad approach to musical accessory, the sponge into which is soaked the contributions, whatever they may be, of Lennon’s friends. Instead Friendly Fire demonstrates an exacting, precise musicality; strings and keyboards segue seamlessly alongside Lennon’s wafer-thin voice and undemanding arrangements, perfectly accentuating without overshadowing. Brion plays the role to which he was accustomed for Fiona Apple, and Lennon’s songs are elevated well beyond their fundamental quality. Friendly Fire sounds like it could be the Elliott Smith album Brion and Smith were purportedly supposed to make.
But as the album progresses kindly from nice, mid-tempo melody to nice, mid-tempo melody, it becomes clearer and clearer that Lennon’s stylistic change is not one from reflective to non-reflective songwriter; simply, it’s the temper of the times that have changed. Accordingly, Lennon’s lyrics throughout Friendly Fire paint a portrait of fatalism, depression and the absurdity of death’s omnipresence in current day America. “Dead Meat” opens the album with the question “Don’t you know you’re dead meat? / You just messed with the wrong team / Better not try to fall asleep.” In Yorkeian fashion, Lennon’s threats resonate with a culture’s dread; the singer imagines his own destruction by simulating it elsewhere, and the present day context hardly need be pointed out here. Lennon soon admits on “Wait For Me,” only two songs into the experience of Friendly Fire, that “everyone was born to die,” a leaden pronouncement for what almost amounts to the album’s first impression.
First (and excellent) single “Parachute” conflates love with the defeatist qualities of America’s ever-present terror. “Love is like an airplane / You jump and then you pray / The lucky ones remain / in the clouds for days.” The words punch like ubiquitous, sorrowful video footage before Lennon consigns himself to the album’s defining thought: “If I have to die tonight / I’d rather be with you / Cut the parachute […] we had some fun before we hit the ground.” The reckoning to which Lennon exposes his listener is less the shouldering of responsibility pontificated upon by the nation’s politicians, but a feeling of helplessness in the face of forces beyond his control. By the time he begins his second verse with “Love is like a hurricane,” Friendly Fire, with its imagery of airplanes crashing and natural disasters destroying, has set itself up as a requiem for the new American experience. It’s a fascination with the apocalyptic that first revealed its specter during the Cold War context of Sean Lennon’s parents and has returned, in recent years, to post-9/11 America. So, Lennon has not actually eschewed his reflexive ways; Friendly Fire is a lament that would have been out of place amid the optimism of Into the Sun’s 1998 but, today, mimics the defeatism first popularized by his parents’ culture in considering the possibility of unpredictable and sudden destruction.
The title is apt — a sometimes anti-war activist, Lennon and friends must sometimes feel a greater threat from precedents set at home than from the faceless threat of the 21st Century’s New Enemy. In a divided country, Sean Lennon has effectively and darkly captured the tenor of the alienated half. On the title track Lennon sums up with “You launched the insult / with the first cannonball,” and in doing so contrasts the album’s professional prettiness with the feeling of being one of the unnamed casualties.
Friendly Fire isn’t angry enough to be a protest record, and therein also lies its greatest fault. Lennon doesn’t move from his position of isolation through to catharsis, or rational engagement, or even denial, but simply submits his listener to the sound of defeat. Friendly Fire could have been an inspiring album, more than just a snapshot of the times for which it was written, but doesn’t offer hope or solutions. The melodies and production are top-notch, even if, lyrically, the album’s motifs barely move from sullen dismay to cheery dismay (see the handclaps on “Headlights” and the occasional sweeping, major chord of “Would I Be the One”). Sean Lennon is his own writer, and to ask him for “Imagine” would be as facile as it would be unfair, but the thought doesn’t make this accurate, accomplished, impressive but certainly depressing sophomore album any more fun to listen to. If it takes eight more years for Lennon to record his third album, let’s hope both the gravity of the times and his ability as a songwriter to respond to them take a more positive direction.
Cobain Bests Elvis As Top-Earning Dead Celeb
Elvis Presley has ceded his crown to Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain on Forbes.com’s list as the top-earning dead celebrity. The list, published yesterday (Oct. 24), said Cobain earned $50 million between October 2005 and October 2006. Presley wound up in the No. 2 slot with $42 million, down from last year’s $45 million.
Forbes.com bases its dollar amounts on licensing deals for using the deceased celebrities’ work or image in advertising or elsewhere. This was Cobain’s first time on the list in its six years of publication. Presley has ruled the roost since its inception, said Forbes.com staff writer Lacey Rose.
Cobain’s coup was thanks to his widow, actress and singer Courtney Love, who sold a 25% stake in the Nirvana’s song catalog to New York music publishing company PrimeWave.
Ranked after Presley is “Peanuts” cartoon strip creator Charles Schulz at $35 million. Rounding out the top five were the Beatles’ John Lennon at $24 million and groundbreaking physicist Albert Einstein at $20 million, whose estate profited from such licensing deals as the popular “Baby Einstein” educational videos.
Other celebrities on the list include Theodore Geisel, better known as children’s book author Dr. Seuss; Ray Charles, silver screen legend Marilyn Monroe and reggae superstar Bob Marley. Past top earners include songwriter Irving Berlin and actor Marlon Brando. (via billboard)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Kingblind.com news that you can use
iPod is 5 today
Portastatic:: Be Still Please (Album Review)
Does Mac McCaughan ever rest? After a decade and a half as the mastermind behind a majority of Superchunk’s contagious catalog, the North Carolinian carries on his prolificacy with Portastatic–essentially McCaughan handling all instrumental chores except for an ever-slight and gyratory cast of musicians. Unable to pen and record a clunker amidst his handsome ballads and cascading rockers, McCaughan coalesces sugar-coated melodies with personal, often uproarious lyrics that can make his 40-something voice sound half its age. “Oh, you had some information that you turned into a hymn/That you sang into the answering machines of all your friends/But they never got the message,” he sings on “Black Buttons” beneath the delicate accompaniment of violin, oboe, and backing vocals by Laura Cantrell. The gentle acoustic-led folk song is one of several low-key gems, which split the nine-tune record with uptempo delights like “I’m in Love (With Arthur Dove)” and the utterly iridescent “Cheers and Applause.” As he cries out “Spinning, spinning, and no one’s as desperate as me,” perhaps McCaughan could take his own advice and, as the title suggests, be still. But–selfishly–let’s hope he doesn’t.
Friday, October 20, 2006
The Way We Get By + Rockstar Heroes- VAIN- Seattle, WA Nov 06 (Art Show)
The Way We Get By, photos of local musicians at work both on + offstage by Breanne Koselke
The Way We Get By featured members of Seattle bands The Divorce, The Catch, Schoolyard Heroes, United State of Electronica, Kane Hodder, and Siberian.
The raffle will go on through the month of November at VAIN.
Rockstar Heroes, stencils of music icons on canvas by Michael Lane
First Thursday opening reception Thursday, November 2nd, 6 – 10pm
2018 1st Ave
With DJ Teenage Rampage & DJ Kingblind, an art raffle to support the Vera Project, + a you-be-the-band photo shoot
Art on display through the month of November
?Breanne Koselke is a freelance photographer who shoots everything from rock shows to weddings. Her work reflects a documentary view of people, their lives, and what drives them. Her photos have appeared in Tablet, The Stranger, Seattle Weekly, and on Spin.com. She is currently working towards her Masters in Fine Art. The Way We Get By takes a photographic view of how a handful of local musicians continue to make rent to make music, capturing them in both their worlds of day job employee and onstage performer. The project is about people as they are and as they strive to be.
Philadelphia native Michael Lane studied fine art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts as a painting and printmaking student. He’s since made a living making prints and furniture out of salvaged materials from abandoned Victorian buildings, designing sets for theater and opera, and running a wallpaper manufacturing facility. Rockstar Heroes takes Michael back to his salvaging roots- these stencil portraits of music icons are painted on old opera canvas backdrops- originally 40 by 80 feet, now cut down to small sizes. The musicians featured in this series include David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Siouxie Sioux, and Patti Smith.
The First Thursday opening reception for these artists’ shows will be on November 2nd from 6 to 10pm and will feature DJ Teenage Rampage & DJ Kingblind (spinning music inspired by ‘Rockstar Heroes’ subjects) and a you-be-the-band photo shoot, where people can pose with VAIN-styled rock models. In addition, both artists have generously offered to donate a piece of art each to a raffle benefiting The Vera Project’s Capital Campaign.
2018 1st Ave @ Virginia, Seattle
206.441.3441 | www.vain.com
Thursday, October 19, 2006
This is Johnny Cash at the Carter Family Fold July 5th 2003.
This is his final performance.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Badly Drawn Boy:: Born in the U.K. (Album Review)
By his own admission, Damon Gough’s last LP was “a bit of a disaster”. Having coasted from accolade to accolade since his debut in 2000, he was suddenly staring public indifference to his decidedly mediocre One Plus One Is One in the face. Small wonder he experienced a wobble with Born In The UK; Gough scrapped the 20 songs he’d written and started afresh. This may not measure up to The Hour Of Bewilderbeast, but it does boast a batch of sweet and deceptively unfussy, scruffily heartfelt tunes dealing with love, loss and the messiness of life that help redeem his unarguable songwriting talent.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Radiohead finally back to recording new LP
Radiohead have begun work on their new album, according to Thom Yorke.
The band played a number of new songs during their summer series of shows across the globe, which are expected to feature on the LP.
Yorke, making a new appeal on behalf of The Big Ask campaign, also confirmed that recordings are now underway for their seventh album.
Speaking on Radiohead’s Dead Air Space, the singer said: “We’ve started the record properly now. Staring to get somewhere I think. Finally.”
Meanwhile, Thom again appealed to the government and the British people for action against carbon emissions.
“if you are concerned about climate change
if it scares you speechless and wakes you in the night.
if you are bothered about the flooding you keep seeing.
or those high winds.
or that there is something not quite right about the fact you’re still walking round in a Tshirt in october.
please find out about the big ask campaign
we are hassling all MPs in the uk to write to our glorious leader and get a bill that commits us all to reducing carbon emissions 3percent a year. its a start. it has to be law. otherwise its never going to happen. and it has to.”
There is a full length video interview with Yorke about the campaign at www.thebigask.com.
(via yahoo uk)
DJ Shadow – Live in Homelands 2000
Live! At CBGB 1977 pw=hangoverhard.blogspot.com
Neil Young / Emmylou Harris – Live Bridge Benefit 1999 pw: www.hard-rock-cafe.blogspot.com
Monday, October 16, 2006
Patti Smith Helps CBGB Say Goodbye
The legendary stage of New York rock club CBGB got its final workout last night (Oct. 15), courtesy of another legend, Patti Smith. Smith — who played her first show at CBGB in February 1975 and early on became synonymous with the East Village venue and the American punk movement that was birthed in and around it — gave a rousing, passionate performance to a packed-like-sardines crowd.
With her loyal band (Lenny Kaye on guitar, Jay Dee Daugherty on drums and bass and Tony Shanahan on keys, bass and guitar) providing a solid foundation, Smith paid fitting tribute to the club’s 33-year history with a varied and fast-moving two-and-a-half hour two-part set. It included takes on several songs by other punk artists the venue helped launch, including the Ramones, Blondie and Television.
Television guitarist Richard Lloyd made an appearance to perform his band’s “Marquee Moon” in a quiet duet with Smith and sat in on several other numbers with the full band. Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea offered up his own services on a long list of high-energy entries, including an inspired “Free Money,” a vibrant “Birdland” and a raucous cover of the Who’s “My Generation.” Other highlights: a hard-charging “Gloria” that weaved in the “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!” refrain of the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop,” a pitch-perfect take on the Velvet Underground’s “Pale Blue Eyes” and Smith’s charmingly scattered storytelling, through which she shared special memories of CBGB and its patron saints.
Smith remained focused and upbeat throughout the majority of her performance, but became emotional at show’s end as she read a list of names of deceased figures who had played a prominent role in the club’s history — like Joey, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, Johnny Thunders and her own former bandmate Richard Sohl — and then shouted out a teary, emphatic “thank you” to CBs owner Hilly Kristal.
While Smith’s performance was the last the venue will host, CBGB officially closes its doors on Oct. 31, some 14 months after a dispute with its landlord, the Bowery Residents’ Committee, left the club without a new lease. A series of high-profile benefit shows plus vocal support from rock icons such as “Little” Steven Van Zandt and Elvis Costello failed to persuade the BRC to let CBGB remain in the space it has called home for 33 years.
Kristal, currently undergoing treatment for cancer, has indicated plans to relocate the club to Las Vegas.
Robert Pollard:: Normal Happiness (Album Review)
The former Ohio schoolteacher Robert Pollard is one of pop’s great cults. For 20 years, under a variety of names (notably Guided By Voices), he’s been releasing two or three albums a year, with all the quality-control issues that suggests. Normal Happiness, his second “proper” solo album since folding Guided By Voices, offers a new, consistent Pollard. While it eschews the unlistenable doodles that litter most of his albums (and comprise all of some) in favour of upbeat 60s-styled guitar pop, Pollard never quite pulls out the killer hook or the great chorus that he could manage at will in his early/mid-90s golden period. The bizarre song titles are in place – Pegasus Glue Factory being this album’s standout – and Pollard takes his adoration of the Who to ludicrous extremes with his mockney bark on Accidental Texas Who, but it feels as if Pollard’s flame is flickering rather than burning brightly. Normal Happiness? Maybe Pollard needs a little abnormality to give his very best.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Kingblind.com contest: Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette soundtrack
Here is our latest contest.. The excellent soundtrack for the new Sofia Coppola film Marie Antoinette. The rules are very simple..
Just send a email to kingblind(at)gmail.com with SOUNDTRACK CONTEST IN THE SUBJECT LINE AND YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS IN THE BODY OF THE MESSAGE US Residents only. So simple! Good luck.. We will randomly be picking the winner.
Here is what you win::
The soundtrack, a Marie Antoinette poster, a pin and MA lipstick. Yes ladies.. Real film promo lipstick.. I kid you not.
Marie Antoinette Musical Inspiration:
When she was writing the script for Marie Antoinette, Coppola turned to music supervisor Brian Reitzell (with whom she had worked on her two previous films) to discuss music in the tone she was thinking of while writing. Reitzell mixed “Versailles CDs” that included such artists as Bow Wow Wow, New Order, Adam Ant, “and other post-punk romantic music,” says Reitzell. “It gave us a place to jump off from.”
In preparation for the film, Reitzell also immersed himself in opera. “We decided early on that our approach would be a collage of different kinds of music,” says Reitzell. “The soundtrack is a double disc, a post-punk-pre-new-romantic-rock-opera odyssey with some 18th century music and some very new contemporary music.”
The eclectic blend of sounds, Reitzell maintains, “makes it a lot easier to put yourself in the movie. The music resonates because it shows how these people really were. For most of the movie, Marie Antoinette is an adolescent and it would have been a lot harder to get across her teen angst with a Masterpiece Theater type of soundtrack.”
There was nothing happenstance or frivolous about the musical selections Reitzell and Coppola settled on for the film, he adds. “The thing about the music in this film is that there were no rules and no other movies we used as a role model,” says Reitzell. “We didn’t do anything for the sake of putting a song in. We always did what felt right to us.”
“It was all very organic,” he continues. “The story dictated the music, which follows the dramatic arc. We set it all up in the opening credits with the Gang of Four song “Natural’s Not in It” – which prepares you musically and lyrically for what’s going to happen. Later, there is an Aphex Twin piece, “Jynweythek Ylow,” which is played when Marie Antoinette first enters Versailles, which actually sounds like that place. What i love about it is that you can’t tell if it’s a harpsichord or string instrument that’s playing.”
The score was broken down into three parts to complement the film’s dramatic progression. “It starts with an innocent period,” says Reitzell. “The middle section is the more decadent period with the energy of more modern music. The end is the decline, and there are only one or two music cues.”
01. “Hong Kong Garden” – Siouxsie & The Banshees
02. “Aphrodisiac” – Bow Wow Wow
03. “What Ever Happened” – The Strokes
04. “Pulling Our Weight” – The Radio Dept.
05. “Ceremony” – New Order
06. “Natural’s Not In It” – Gang of Four
07. “I Want Candy (Kevin Shields Remix)” – Bow Wow Wow
08. “Kings Of The Wild Frontier” – Adam & The Ants
09. “Concerto in G” * – Antonio Vivaldi / Reitzell
10. “The Melody Of A Fallen Tree” – Windsor For The Derby
11. “I Don’t Like It Like This” – The Radio Dept.
12. “Plainsong” – The Cure
01. “Intro Versailles”* – Reitzell / Beggs
02. “Jynweythek Ylow” – Aphex Twin
03. “Opus 17″ – Dustin O’Halloran
04. “Il Secondo Giorno (Instrumental)” – Air
05. “Keen On Boys” – The Radio Dept.
06. “Opus 23″ *- Dustin O’Halloran
07. “Les Baricades Misterieuses”* – Francois Couperin / Reitzell
08. “Fools Rush In (Kevin Shields Remix)” – Bow Wow Wow
09. “Avril 14th” – Aphex Twin
10. “K. 213″ * – Domenico Scarlatti / Reitzell
11. “Tommib Help Buss” – Squarepusher
12. “Tristes Apprets..” – Jean Philippe Rameau / W. Christie
13. “Opus 36″*- Dustin O’Halloran
14. “All Cat’s Are Grey” – The Cure
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Kingblind’s Favorite Finds
The Raconteurs to release live albums
The Hold Steady:: Boys and Girls in America (Album Review)
Following up a critically acclaimed, career-defining concept album is easier said than done. Unless you happen to be Craig Finn, that is.
Barely 18 months after the Minneapolis-born singer-guitarist and his Brooklyn bar band The Hold Steady released their staggering sophomore disc Separation Sunday — our favourite CD of 2005 by a mile — Finn and co. are back with another stunner. And if it doesn’t quite reach the same lofty heights as its predecessor, that’s only because it doesn’t really try.
For Boys and Girls in America, Finn discards the full-length narrative approach of Separation Sunday in favour of a looser theme based on a line from Kerouac’s On the Road: “Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together.” But never mind that. It’s really just a bunch of songs about Finn’s usual topics: Suburban kids, shady lowlifes, drugs and booze, young lust and hanging out on the banks of the Mississippi River.
But what a set of songs: Chips Ahoy! is a love story starring a druggie girl with a winning touch at the horse track; the theatrical duet Chillout Tent recreates a romantic interlude between two overdosed teens at a rock fest (the boy is voiced by Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner); You Can Make Him Like You offers cynical relationship tips for shallow girls; Citrus is a bare-bones acoustic ballad. First Night reunites us with Separation Sunday’s Holly and Charlemagne.
Finn hasn’t tempered his musical ambitions, either. His ’70s guitar-rock epics still channel Springsteen’s Jungleland grandeur, Thin Lizzy’s harmonized boogie-rock and Jim Steinman’s musical melodrama. He’s still one of the sharpest lyricists in rock.
This album’s bon mots include: “I’ve had kisses that made Judas seem sincere,” “How am I supposed to know if you’re high when you won’t even dance?” and “Southtown girls won’t blow you away, but you know that they’ll stay.” And his distinctive delivery even manages to turn a line like, “Gonna walk around and drink some more” into an anthemic singalong.
Granted, his voice is still a dealbreaker — either you love his adenoidal machine-gun bark or you hate it. But even if you don’t enjoy the way he says things, you know he’s saying something. That’s why he’s one of the most exciting guys in indie-rock right now.
And why Boys and Girls in America is one of the year’s best albums. We’re already waiting for the followup.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Album covers that span the history of rock and roll
battle to the death !!
Justin Hawkins quits The Darkness
The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins has quit the band to recover from drink and drug addictions.
The singer has decided to call it a day following a stint in The Priory rehab clinic in London.
“I feel bad for the others (in the band),” he told The Sun newspaper. “It will be an upheaval. But it’s time for me to move on. It would be damaging to my recovery to stay on. I’m not blaming the band for my problem – I am an addict. There are people who can be in bands and stay clean, but I’m not one of them.”
Despite his decision to quit, Hawkins said that the band will carry on without him, with bassist Richie Edwards, who replaced former band member Frankie Poullain, taking over the vocal duties.
According to the singer, his addiction to cocaine over the last few years became so bad that he was spending over a £1,000 a week on the drug.
“I feel like I’ve lost three years of my life. I’m only just coming to terms with what has happened because I was always off my face,” he explained. “I became secretive, volatile and verbally abusive, a really unpleasant person to be around.”
Hawkins added that he considered quitting The Darkness last year before the band set off on a world tour, but carried on before entering rehab in August.
The singer said he will now concentrate on recording a solo record and writing music for films.
MOSS TO MARRY DOHERTY IN JANUARY
Supermodel KATE MOSS will marry her boyfriend PETE DOHERTY on the Spanish island Ibiza in January (07), according to the rocker’s uncle. Moss, who will wed the BABYSHAMBLES frontman on her 33rd birthday on 16 January, accepted Doherty’s proposal following his successful stint in rehab to treat his cocaine and heroin addictions. Doherty’s uncle PHIL MICHELS says, “He has brought her an engagement ring and has promised he will stay off heroin. “Pete told me they’re getting married next January in Ibiza. No expense will be spared. “I will be over there for a week and Pete said he would take care of everything. “He wants the wedding to reunite the whole family. He sees it as a new start.” British newspaper the Daily Express reports Doherty’s best man will be his former THE LIBERTINES bandmate CARL BARAT. Barat kicked Doherty out of the band when his drug taking spiralled out of control in 2004, but they recently reconciled.
UPDATE:: DOHERTY AXES UK TOUR
Troubled rocker PETE DOHERTY has axed the remaining dates of his current UK tour after failing to fully regain his strength in rehab.
Nice one Pete, Nice one.
Captain Beefheart – 1975-10-31 – Copenhagen Part 1
New Order:: Peel Sessions 1981 (1987) pw=http://jacyk70.blogspot.com
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The Dears:: Gang Of Losers (Album Review)
There are those for whom Blur’s last album, Think Tank, wasn’t the pinnacle of the group’s career but a repudiation of their Britpop ideals. For them, Blur peaked with Parklife, in 1994, since when they’ve been patiently waiting, fingers crossed, for Damon Albarn to exhaust his interest in world music and record 12 variations on ‘This is a Low’, Parklife’s melancholy yet euphoric centrepiece.
Improbably, their prayers have been answered not by Albarn but by the Dears, a Canadian sextet who espouse the best components of mid-Nineties Blur (head-spinning harmonies, enigmatic lyrics, unyielding faith in the power of The Song) while bypassing, happily, their mockney laddishness. In fact, two members of the Montreal band are female – Valerie Jodoin-Keaton and Natalia Yanchak – while the singer goes by the name of Murray Lightburn and sounds like, well, like Albarn were he fostered by Al Green and only owned five albums, every one of them by the Smiths.
Hence, as befits a songwriter in thrall to Morrissey, Lightburn’s fabulously romantic song titles (‘Ticket to Immortality’, ‘Death Or Love We Want You’), are almost the equal of the contents therein. Almost, because when the Dears get it right and Lightburn’s voice soars atop the kind of chiming riff that has long been integral to literate indie-rock yet here, inexplicably, sounds wonderfully novel, they are practically impossible to fault.
The same could be said of a handful of tracks on this album’s predecessor, No Cities Lost, which graced numerous end-of-year polls two years ago. Then, though, the Dears were a more orchestral outfit whose brilliance couldn’t be sustained over an LP. Now, streamlined, the violins largely jettisoned in favour of lyrics that out-Mozzer Morrissey (‘Being born is really such a chore’) and songs as triumphant as ‘There Goes My Outfit’, the Dears sound like a band who have finessed their vision and are ready, finally, to take on the world.
Gang of losers? As Damon Albarn might have put it back when he was walking with the swagger of Ray Winstone and going dog racing with the boys: they’re ‘avin’ a larf, aren’t they?
Monday, October 9, 2006
Tower Records RIP
Tower Records Closes; Liquidation Process Begins
Tower Records will soon be liquidated, a jarring and symbolic development for the music industry. Just recently, a bankruptcy court approved a pending purchase by Great American Group, which now intends to liquidate Tower assets. Great American triumphed in a crowded bidding process, one that also included massive music retailer Trans World Entertainment. The winning bid was $134.3 million, though the all-in purchase price is closer to $150 million, according to a Tower attorney. Approximately 3,000 Tower employees will now be out of work.
Most within the industry expected a late-stage save by Trans World, though the retailer was outbid by just $500,000. Now, the fallout is already beginning, though it remains unclear if every store will be shuttered. Music fans will undoubtedly mourn the loss, especially those that grew up with the chain. Those same fans will probably jump at deep discounts on remaining CDs, part of a shutdown period that could spark holiday unit sales. For labels, the development is difficult to stomach, and offers a stark reminder of a shifting business. Sales of physical CDs have already dipped eight percent this year in the United States, part of a multi-year slide.
(Via Digital Music news)
CBGB’s closing its doors this week after 33 years
“CBGB” owner Hilly Kristal plans to move the club far from its roots with a new CBGB’s in Las Vegas. The owner plans to strip the current club down to the bare walls, bringing as much of it to Nevada as possible.
NEW YORK – Legs McNeil remembers the night back in 1975 when he walked into the dingy storefront club perched in the even dingier Bowery neighborhood. The band onstage, four guys in leather jackets and torn jeans, was the Ramones. McNeil sat at a nearby table, watching their set with Lou Reed.
It was unforgettable. But as McNeil would soon discover, it was just a typical night at CBGB’s, the club that spawned punk rock while launching the careers of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Blondie, the Talking Heads and the Ramones.
“Every night was memorable, except I don’t remember ‘em,” said a laughing McNeil, co-author of the punk rock history “Please Kill Me.”
After Sunday, memories are all that will remain when the cramped club with its capacity of barely 300 people goes out of business after 33 years. Although its boom years are long gone, CBGB’s remained a Manhattan music scene fixture: part museum, part barroom, home to more than a few rock and roll ghosts.
The club didn’t exit without a fight. An assortment of high-profile backers, including E Street Band guitarist Little Steven Van Zandt, battled to keep the legendary club open. But in the end, it was a simple landlord-tenant dispute — and owner Hilly Kristal saw the handwriting on the club’s dank walls.
“I knew the closing was inevitable, because my lawyers said, ‘You can’t win this case. The law is that your lease is up, and they don’t even need a reason to put you out,’” said Kristal.
Kristal sits beneath a platinum record from Joan Jett, a CBGB’s clock and a few of the endless band stickers that blanket the interior. Kristal, who is battling lung cancer, wears a black and white CBGB’s T-shirt with a matching baseball cap.
He once managed the Village Vanguard, the renowned jazz club where he booked acts like Miles Davis. Things were a bit different at his new club: “In rock, the bands were creative — but at first, they didn’t play so well.”
The first punk-scene band at Kristal’s nightspot was Television, soon followed by Patti Smith. Punk poet Smith will play the closing night as well, a booking that Kristal described as effortless.
Smith isn’t the only veteran playing one last gig. The ’80s hardcore band Bad Brains and the ’70s punks the Dictators are both scheduled for the final week. Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein are also stopping by.
When Kristal opened his doors in December 1973, CBGB’s stood for country, bluegrass and blues — three musical styles that wound up in short supply. Tommy Ramone, drummer for the Ramones, recalled how a new breed of bands gravitated to the space.
“At that time, there were no places to play in New York,” Ramone said last year. “It was a very dead time in New York City, doldrums all around. But CBGB’s allowed bands — original bands, no less — the freedom to go and play and do whatever they pleased.”
Kristal plans to move the club far from its roots with a new CBGB’s in Las Vegas. The owner plans to strip the current club down to the bare walls, bringing as much of it to Nevada as possible.
“We’re going to take the urinals,” he said. “I’ll take whatever I can. The movers said, ‘You ought to take everything, and auction off what you don’t want on eBay.’ Why not? Somebody will.”
Even a longtime CBGB’s devotee like McNeil thinks the best advice for the 74-year-Kristal is go west, old man.
“I always said Hilly should go to Vegas,” said McNeil. “Girls with augmented breasts playing Joey Ramone slot machines. It would become an institution.”
Holy Eff! Guns N’ Roses’ “Chinese Democracy” Out November 21st?
From the annals of We’ll Believe It When We See It: A friend of ours with a retail source has told us that the long awaited Guns N’ Roses album, Chinese Democracy, has gotten a firm release date of November 21st. Under normal circumstances we’d laugh at such an assertion — after all, this album has reportedly cost more than $13 million and has been “due out” since 1998. But whenever somebody has actually managed to get Axl to speak in the past few months, he’s said it’s coming out before the end of the year. Plus, there was that G n’ R tour announcement the other day that alluded to a release date some time in the next two months. Dare to dream, folks. Dare to dream.
(via Rolling Stone)
The Dresden Dolls 2006-09-03 Kesselhaus/Kulturbrauerei, Berlin, Germany
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs:: Peel Session (22-Aug-2002)
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Chris Walla:: Cupid (Sam Cooke Cover)
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Jeremy Enigk – Been Here Before
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Summer Hymns:: Start Swimming
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Andy Partridge:: Sonic Boom
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South:: Up close and personal
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Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton:: Knives Don’t Have Your Back (Album Review)
Emily Haines (of Broken Social Scene and Metric) strikes out on her own with Knives Don’t Have Your Back, a collection of quiet, introspective piano ballads that are every bit as beautiful as the album’s packaging. Haines’s languid, melancholic compositions are reminiscent of Kristen Hersh’s solo material, particularly on “Crowd Surf Off A Cliff,” one of the album’s many wrenching love songs. There’s an inward, domestic tone to Knives—a record that could provide all-too-fitting accompaniment to a reading of The Bell Jar. Haines’s is a distinctly feminine—though not necessarily feminist—point of view, and she delivers bons mots like “Bros before hos is a rule/Read the guidelines” and “Don’t elaborate like that/You’ll frighten off the frat boys” throughout “The Maid Needs A Maid,” a double entendre-filled tune about desperate housewives, and “Mostly Waving,” respectively. The singer-songwriter’s lovely, often unexpected piano melodies are complemented by Hammond organ (courtesy of her band The Soft Skeleton) and opulent strings (by the Tokai String Quartet) on tracks like “Doctor Blind,” a clever condemnation of psychiatry that Tom Cruise would no doubt get behind. Knives Don’t Have Your Back is a striking contrast—and a poignant, subtle companion—to last year’s Live It Out.
The Hold Steady- “Your Little Hoodrat Friend”
Excellent video from last year’s top album.. Look for a review of their new album “Boys & Girls in America” later on this week. About this video:: It was made for The Hold Steady but rejected by Mgt. so it’s not seen the light of day until it popped up on You Tube (Or so we are told.)
Friday, October 6, 2006
Dinosaur Jr. Delivering New Album, Live DVD
Having reunited last year with its original lineup for the first time since 1989, Dinosaur Jr. is nearly finished with a new studio album. Guitarist J. Mascis, bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph tracked the as-yet-untitled set at Mascis’ home studio in Amherst, Mass., and are eyeing a spring 2007 release on a label to be announced.
Tracks earmarked to appear on the disc include “By the Fire,” “This Is All I Came To Do,” “Back to Your Heart” and “Stop.” Mascis is in the process of finalizing guitar and vocal parts at present.
“We spent the better part of two years touring together, so we might as well make a record together,” Barlow said “The reunion thing went well, considering we held up and enjoyed it. The new album is just a way of extending it. The band pretty much does one thing at a time. I thought we’d be done after the tour, but then the album magically popped up. We probably won’t do anything else, but then again, we’ll see.”
Barlow says the sound of the new tracks is simpler, but with the definite feel of Dinosaur Jr.’s trademark sound. “Dinosaur is something where the sound just propels us,” Barlow says. “It’s an energy source unto itself. The minute we started playing together, it was like, ‘Oh, there it is.’ It didn’t surprise me though, since I’ve always believed in the quality of J.’s material.”
The band isn’t concerned with living up to the standards of its earlier work, according to Barlow. Instead, Dinosaur Jr. will go right back on the road after the album drops.
“Before we knew what we were doing, I thought, ‘F*ck, we’re going to get crucified,’” he admits. “In the end, though, one thing I’ve learned from touring with J. is that he has a devoted following of fans. I think, at some point, those people that do love your music become the most important. When you’re younger, it seems like you’re more interested in people you haven’t tapped into. But at this point, nothing people can write about us can shock or surprise or disappoint me.”
Also in the works is a Dinosaur Jr. live DVD, due May 8, 2007. Directed by Mascis’ brother-in-law, Phillip Virus, the release will include live performance footage from the first half of the reunion tour, including shows in New York and Boston.
“I haven’t seen it, but I’m kind of terrified because I hate live DVDs,” Barlowsays. “Looking at us playing these old songs, that runs a distant second to seeing us when we were really young and f*cked up and struggling. Some really shaky, old video — I’d rather see that. Seeing us older and more confident and paunchier… I mean, we play the songs well, but so what?”
Dinosaur Jr. is also dealing with the theft of a trailer full of its gear, which went missing in Long Island City, N.Y. Nothing has been recovered, but Barlow says the band has been too busy to dwell on the unfortunate turn of events.
“There’s going to be one major heist in your career and it’s going to be a bummer, so you have to be prepared for it,” he says. “J. had insurance on everything. He took the biggest hit, since he lost all this gear he was comfortable with. But he immediately put himself to the task of getting new sh*t. He didn’t let it get in his way, even though his stuff was worth thousands of dollars. I just lost a bass.”
Thursday, October 5, 2006
Janet joins the jicks
Former Sleater Kinney drummer Janet Weiss is now the drummer for Stephen Malkmus‘ band, The Jicks. Weiss will still be a member of Quasi with ex-husband Sam Coomes. And no word yet on a new Jicks material. Mr. Malkmus is also a new father so I would think a new record would be in late 07 at best.
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Kill Rock Stars Records going bye-bye??
Kill Rock Stars founder Slim Moon is leaving the label for an A&R role at Warner Music Group imprint Nonesuch Records, a spokesperson for Kill Rock Stars confirms. The indie label will be moving its headquarters from Olympia, Wash.-to New York, where Nonesuch is based. The day-to-day functions of Kill Rock Stars will be handed over to Moon’s wife, Portia Sabin.
It is unknown as of yet what will be happening to Kill Rock Stars’ artist roster, but a label spokesperson says the indie has planned to scale back for a while now. Six staffers will be let go as part of the transition, which is due to be completed sometime after the Oct. 31-Nov. 4 CMJ music conference. In addition to Sabin, Kill Rock Stars GM Maggie Vail, mailorder head Tobi Vail and accountant Nard Mullan will stay on with the label, says a spokesperson.
Moon formed Kill Rock Stars in 2001, and the label soon became associated with the riot grrl punk movement, thanks to early releases from Bikini Kill and Bratmobile. The label was the longtime home for the now broken-up Sleater-Kinney, and released two albums from singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. In recent years, Kill Rock Stars has seen two of its biggest acts leave for other labels, with Sleater-Kinney going to Sub Pop to record its final album, “The Woods,” and the Decemberists recently jumping to Capitol.
The Killers:: Bones
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Mogwai:: Friend of the night (Live)
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Borat:: In my country there is a problem
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Beck :: Nobody’s Fault But My Own
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The Killers:: Read my mind
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Beck:: “Dark Star” (TV On The Radio Remix)
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Sparklehorse:: Ghost in the sky
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The Decemberists:: The Crane Wife (Album Review)
The Crane Wife makes no sense. For the first major-label release by Kill Rock Stars nerdcult faves the Decemberists, you’d assume the EMI suits would be pressuring Colin Meloy and co. to deliver at least one radio-friendly single. But Meloy’s smartly taken advantage of the resources a major provides to develop a composite concept album made up of two separate song cycles (the titular one, a reimagining of a Japanese folk tale divided into two chunks, and a fantastic tripartite prog patchwork he’s dubbed The Island) and a handful of dense tracks that span genres from funk to folk to fuckin’ grunge (!). Oddly, the unconventional sequencing and measured pace of the album make the fragmented mess hold together quite well, save for one pallid entry into 70s funk (The Perfect Crime #2), which is incongruous in this context. The combo of producers Chris Walla and Tucker Martine is ideal: the former’s obsession with sonic perfection and epic indie pop plays off the latter’s knack for weird folk and intricate songcraft.
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
The Horrors:: Sheena is a parasite
Monday, October 2, 2006
The Futureheads Cancel Oct Tour Dates
“It is with great sadness that I must tell you we have had to cancel our forthcoming US Tour, due to the development of Tendonitis in Barry’s left wrist. He has been advised to rest and, as far as we can see, there is no way of us being able to make those shows work, given the state of his wrist. We are all deeply disappointed at having to pull the shows at such a late stage, but there is no way around it for us. Apologies to the people with tickets – we promise to get out to the US at the next available opportunity. The UK tour will not be affected by this given that there are some months progress toward recovery, and only rest will enable that. Thanks for your understanding”
- Ross Millard (The Futureheads)
The Thermals: The Body, The Blood, The Machine (Album Review)
The Thermals have always been known for fast-paced, lo-fi rock, but on The Body, The Blood, The Machine, they’ve slowed down the tempo a little and cleaned up the sound a lot. While still passionate and noisy, the tempo isn’t that of Fuckin A. Three songs are well over four minutes, and there’s even a ballad. All the tracks are tied together by the album’s most compelling element: the paranoiac lyrical screed delivered by Hutch Harris, a rant that alternately states that God is against us, the government is against us, God is the government, God is for us, and we’ve lost God. For all the contradictions, there’s a core of earnestness that makes potentially trite references to sin and Jesus immensely appealing; the Thermals feel more akin to Ted Leo in their attitudes than the bratty pop punks who just want to poke people in the eye with angst. And if not for the lyrics that poke harder, they’d be just as radio-ready as the latter. “A Pillar of Salt” sports as catchy a pop hook as you could ask, and it’s the radio stations’ loss that it mentions “our dirty God, our dirty bodies” — and that other tracks offer similar lyrics. (Harris’ anthemic requests on “Returning to the Fold” include needing God “like a Big Brother.”) A few small instrumental solos — most notably the guitar outro that descends into noise as the album ends — make you wish there were a few more instrumentals to showcase the band’s musical prowess. But those would cut into Harris’ lines, so we’re probably better off without them.