Friday, April 27, 2007
I | theThermals
I saw the Thermals for the 8th time in the last 11 months last night. Still awesome. I'll see them once more next month at Sasquatch. Glad to see them back to a 3-piece band. No different than the 4-piece really. Less gesturing by Hutch, but still the same intensity. I was so tired that I didn't jump around as much - mostly wallowed in the wings like a hog in mud. *snort* The NYU crowd was great though. No complaints. The Hold Steady -the proper headliner- rocked too, but by golly, I was inexplicably exhausted.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
"Free" Albert Hammond Jr. Show May 10th
Last time I went to a "free" GBH show at Hiro, they tried to charge all the d00dz $10, so we just left and drank until 3AM at a bar. Not that I'm complaining or anything. I hope this really is free this time.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Mugs, Beat Radio, Sure Juror, Mussels show this Friday
Chris "Hurry Up I Gotta Use The" B-room has cordially invited you to the latest show he's "curated". This is his best yet. If I didn't have Red Sox/Yankees tickets, I'd set up in the corner all night. Hopefully I can get down there after the
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
CRB Killed the Radio Star
The RIAA just gets shittier and shittier.
"The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on Monday issued a ruling denying motions submitted by various webcasters asking the judges to reconsider new, higher royalty rates for streaming music online." [link]
NPR reports more on the impact:
But a small Webcaster, who may put out a one-hour show that includes 15 songs and gets an average of 300 listeners a week, would have to pay more than $1,800 a year in royalties.What a terrible analogy. I've already dashed off two letters to my senators. This really pissed me off.
And it's not only the little guys who are upset. Clear Channel Communications, the country's largest commercial radio network, joined a number of other organizations last week in filing motions with the Copyright Royalty Board to ask it to rehear the rate increase issue.
Among those organizations was National Public Radio, which filed a motion for rehearing the issue on behalf of all public radio stations that stream their broadcasts online.
One group that pushed for the higher rates is Sound Exchange, a nonprofit entity created by the Recording Industry Association of America to collect royalties for music played via the Internet, satellite radio and other digital outlets.
"Whether you're a corner market versus a big supermarket," Simson says, "you both have to pay the same amount for the milk that you sell. It's not like the little guy gets a cheaper price for milk."
Monday, April 16, 2007
WDAZ TV in Grand Forks, ND did a report on the danger of being Emo. Yes, for real. There so much I didn't know - for instance, there's a point system? "You hit jackpot if you attempt suicide." Woah boy. Ummm, someone should clue the news into that those websites are a joke. I mean, cutting boards?
Friday, April 13, 2007
Illinois & Palomar @ Mercury Lounge
"God I hate this band," I mumbled, as Palomar [website/myspace] tortured their own material once again. Even though I really like their music -and especially their 2004 album- they are not even remotely engaging live. And here they were back at it, looking as bored as ever for their record release party for All Things, Forests. It's actually a pretty good album, but you wouldn't know it from last night. Sorry girls [and guy], but thems the apples. Listen to the album, but see something else. Here's a good one off the latest:
Palomar - You're Keeping Me Up [mp3]
Illinois - Headphones [mp3]
Illinois [website/myspace] is just the opposite. They're really fantastic live. If you haven't seen them yet, you really should. I was enjoying their 7-song EP out on Ace-Fu Records but it didn't prepare me for how tight and energetic they'd be on stage. Reading reports from SXSW, they seemed to be everywhere, so I was sad to miss their Cake Shop show last month. My buddy Del was there and came out raving about them; thus I made a special effort last night. In the song "Headphones" [see above], they borrow the melody of Cat Steven's "Father & Son" [but not to the extent of the Flaming Lips' 'Fight Test']. Whenever they sing "From the moment I would talk*," I want to keep singing, "I was ordered to listen." The recordings of the EP do little to convey how much sound this band can produce, so if you are catching the Kooks or Hold Steady on tour, get there early for Illinois.
*Illinois sing "walk", Yusuf Islam sings "talk". Close enough.
Hold Steady/Thermals Tix on Sale for NYU
I wasn't going to blog this until I got them myself, but it's all taken care of now. Tickets for the Hold Steady and Thermals show on April 26th are on sale at the NYU Ticket Center. You need a NYU student or alum I.D. and you can get one $5 NYU ticket plus one $7 Guest ticket. If you don't have access to an I.D., and if they aren't sold out, then you can go there at 12:30 on the 26th and buy then. Good luck.
Monday, April 09, 2007
How About Some 'Hot Cross Buns'?
Virtuoso in the Metro - Washington Post experiments by placing Joshua Bell -one of the world's greatest violinists at a train station during morning rush hour. An interesting read, even if it's a bit snobbish and not an entirely honest approach to the test. Really, morning rush? People put their lives in jeopardy getting to work on time. Update: Salon's Audiofile chimes in.
I'm not a person who stops for musicians in the train station. The last one I can recall was a guitarist who approached us at West 4th and insisted he play some John Lennon. "I hate John Lennon," I replied. Not entirely true, but not really false either. Play a cover I haven't heard that week. "What? Who doesn't like Lennon?"
Yet I'm not entirely of cold heart. Several years ago, when I was living in Paris, I was strolling with my guitar along the quai of the Seine and failing to find some fellow winos, I sat on the edge near one of the party boats. Inside, a wedding banquet was in full swing. While the jazz band was tight and practiced, they were also largely ignored. A few songs later, the vocalist saw me and smiled knowing that he had at least one listening on. I waved, got out my guitar and pretended to play along. The feast beyond evaporated as we amused ourselves for a few moments. I went back to listening -I'm not even very good when I'm pretending- and eventually our band broke up. It was getting late, my Côtes du Rhône has gone dry, and -well- he wanted to start playing some Lennon.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Summer Fridays at South Street Seaport
One of the best things about summer is spending Friday evenings at South Street Seaport. Last summer gave us Elvis Perkins, Hot Chip, NY Dolls, and many others. This year's line up is just as awesome.
June 1 Animal Collective w/ Danielson
June 29 Ra Ra Riot
July 6 Fujiya & Miyagi
July 13 Menomena
July 20 Bishop Allen, Rock Plaza Central
August 10 Au Revoir Simone, Metronomy
August 17 The National w/ The Forms and Takka Takka
August 24 Camera Obscura
August 31 Battles
This is part of the River to River festival which also includes New Pornographers [July 4 at Battery Park], Shearwater [July 5 at Castle Clinton], Spoon [July 11 at Battery Park], Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings [July 26 at Castle Clinton], and many others.
Mother Mother - Touch Up
Man Man Kiss Kiss Mother Mother.
Indie bands are chewing too much Doublemint gum. Mother Mother [website/myspace] comes recommended to me by Julseas. If I had an album of the week feature, this would be it. While it sounds like the popiness of Spinto Band, it has the quirkiness, key shifts and rhythm intrigue more common in songs by They Might be Giants. Here are just the first two tracks off the album Touch Up, out now in Canada and soon in the USA. Pre-order here.
Mother Mother - Dirty Town [mp3]
Mother Mother - Polynesia [mp3]
Some quotes, pulled straight off their myspace page:
"Listening to Mother Mother is like reading Hunter S. Thompson – you end up in a place where reality has been delightfully skewed, though you’re not altogether aware of it." - ML, Chart AttackThere you have it: disastrous and best album of 2007.
"When Mother Mother overstep their eccentric bounds and get downright kitschy, the results are pretty disastrous" - Pitchfork
"Touch Up may just be the best album of 2007, and Mother Mother have set the standard that everyone -- Arcade Fire, Stars, Wolf Parade, The New Pornographers, everyone -- will have to try and measure themselves against." - I Heart Music
It's a long story
My new roommate watched LOST for the first time last night. On seeing Kate and Juliet tethered together:
"Why are they handcuffed to each other?"
Ummm... where to begin... I try to summarize three seasons of plot twists in a few seconds.
Then I realized, we don't even know that answer.
Maybe I'll just point him to Stan's summary.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Menomena @ Bowery Ballroom
Menomena - Twenty Cell Revolt [mp3]
Everyone in Menomena sings. I forget this when I listen to their albums, not because the guys sound alike, but because they complement each other so well. When they sing three part harmonies, I'm in heaven. "Rotten Hell" -as one example- showcases this talent and through which they attempted to get the audience participating by singing in rounds. Unfortunately it's too brief to really get comfortable, to lean in and belt it out. They need to extend it, air it out, let it breathe.
The percussionist looks peculiar as he lifts his arms to the same height [about his shoulder] every swing. I wonder if it's to keep his whole body syncopated with the on-again-off-again nature of the beats. He's a mechanical tin monkey. The guy on keyboards switches to guitar and back again so seamlessly and repeatedly that I'm dazzled at his coordination. The third member covers bass lines and saxomaphones. I can think of no other band which so bravely lends it's melodies and fills to the sax.
Sadly, while I like the Friend & Foe songs more than their previous material, the older stuff is so much tighter and comfortable on stage. They really hit their strides on "The E is Stable" and "Twenty Cell Revolt." F&F sounds so polished in studio, they haven't quite converted it to their live show yet.
Still, Friend and Foe is the acclaimed album that has justly taken the band from playing Sin-e [R.I.P.] to headlining Bowery.