Friday, July 31, 2009

You can't afford what you take

I loved Blitzen Trapper. If you're in Seattle, you are in for a treat tonight as local radio station KEXP puts on a free show at the Mural Amphitheater with today's INALLCAPS discovery: Throw Me The Statue.

After that, my peeps in Minneapolis will be able to catch them at 7th Street Entry on August 26 as they kick off a fall tour with The Brunettes. That's right, summer just began but it's already time to think about fall tours. Time to check out opening bands and discover new music all over again. If you've caught Cake in Seattle, you may have seen Throw Me The Statue open for them. If you caught The Shins way back in '05, you may have seen The Brunettes open.

And if you haven't caught anyone in awhile, then no time like the present to consult the schedule of your nearest straws-on-the-floor music venue and get on it! You'll be glad you did. I know you have read our posts about discovering great music in opening bands. Try to figure out who you are seeing tonight, next week, or next month.

And right now, preview some Throw Me The Statue:

[Download Throw Me The Statue - Noises]

You get lost when you find hope in a feeling

Blah blah blah they use drum machines and a glockenspiel. I have to mention that because everyone else and their wiki points it out and far be it from me to act like I don't notice. I think the most notable thing about this band is the laid-back but earnest way the music and sincere lyrics are delivered. There is something very respectable about that. In this way, and only in this way, I can compare them to Death Cab for Cutie without worrying that you will think they are another sound-alike band.

Creaturesque is to be released this coming Tuesday, and it's the second full-length album for the band. Just last year, the album Moonbeams received praise and media attention. Check out the video for "Yucatan Gold" from 2008.

And now you know what to do...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Michael Vick? This post is dedicated to asshat!

So Michael Vick was "conditionally reinstated" by the NFL. Well gee, ain't that great? Not really. You mean to tell me Pete Rose is banned for life for betting on games, but a guy who ran houses where dogs were bred to fight and kill gets another chance? Now, I must say my opinions don't represent everyone writing for this blog. So I will put this bluntly. Fuck you Michael Vick. You will never live this down, so this first song? Is dedicated to you. Here's "No Heaven" by Champion.

[Download Champion - No Heaven]

Weird, though. I just heard this song for the first time a couple days back. Where? Well, in a trailer for a game coming out on the PS3 on October 20th called "Borderlands". The trailer for the game is below. Looks like a lot of fun, and I've already pre-ordered the sum-bitch. Hopefully Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare tides me over until then. But hey, we also have the new Batman game coming out in August, also.

So this song reminded me of a song from about 2002 that I am sure a few people here would know. Timo Maas first made a name for himself with the remix of Azzido Da Bass' "Dooms Night". A video featuring this remix is below.

Well, the above track by Champion reminds me of a track done by Maas entitled "To Get Down". Really. Take a listen and tell me these two aren't somewhat similar. Both are good tracks, but definitely very much alike. Take a listen to both and decide for yourself.

[Download Timo Maas - To Get Down]

So....go buy stuff. Or Michael Vick will come over and take your dogs! I mean, that's pretty scary, isn't it?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Travel back from whence you came and take your elixirs with you...

If you can't trust the wind, who can you trust?
If you can't love sin, who can you love?
If I begin will you let me finish up?
If I fell down would you pick me up?
If I don't drink from a silver cup, like you,
Would you say so long, farewell, and good luck?

I got free tickets to the Traveling Circus and Medicine Show from my brother. TLO had been angling on going to this show for what felt like weeks. (It wasn't...) I have always wanted to see Counting Crows live, and this was my chance. But two things kept holding me back. One, the way-too-pricey ticket, and two, the fact I had seen enough youtube videos of live shows, and read enough reviews about the same shows to fear that it would be a lot of money for a shitty performance.

Maybe you have heard the same things? Maybe you have seen Counting Crows live? Here is the skinny on what is wrong about Counting Crows live. This will be tough to keep short, but I will try. Adam Duritz is an overly affected douche bag who whines a lot, talks too much between AND during songs, and has reworked all our favorite songs from August And Everything After and Recovering The Satellites. What I mean by reworked is ruined. You've been singing along to Mr. Jones and Angels Of The Silences for 10 years. You love these songs. They have meaning to you. You think you duet quite nicely with Adam.../cough

Adam doesn't give a fuck about you. He is tired of these same songs. He makes it impossible to sing, or even enjoy the songs. All Adam cares about is Adam and the hot girl in the black dress he wants to poke. SAVE YOUR MONEY AND DON'T SEE THEM LIVE!

Thankfully I only spent a couple bucks on drinks, otherwise I would have thrown my Corona bottle at Adam. (He would have been fine; I am sure his ego deflects things like that.)

So go on and tear it up
Black and cold with the dust
'Cause I believed in the Lord
But he don't show up anymore

The saving grace besides the free tickets was the band Augustana. The music was fantastic and the frontman was likable. He has a distinctive voice that catches your attention and holds it. Sadly the lead singer, Dan Layus, kept minimizing the band by saying things like "Don't worry, we are almost done and Adam will be back." This is just unnecessary and makes the crowd uncomfortable. If the crowd is liking your set, which they will (and did), there is no need to apologize.

The other problem was the format of the entire concert. I'll let Affected Adam explain:

Dear Everyone-Who-Happens-To-Read-This,

I know you’re all used to showing up at 8:30 or 9PM for concerts that started at 7. It’s understandable. You’re there to see YOUR band and you’re showing up when you think they’re gonna play, right? Well, starting on Thursday July 16th at Marymoor Amphitheatre in Redmond, Washington, that’s all going to change.

Ladies and Gentlemen, at 7:15PM, when the curtain goes up on The Saturday Night Rebel Rockers Traveling Circus & Medicine Show, Augustana AND Counting Crows are all going to be walking out onstage together and that show is going to start with EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US onstage singing and playing our brains out. We’ll do a few songs together and then it may be Counting Crows that plays the first set alone. I don’t know exactly how the shows going to run every night. It’ll definitely be different a few days later in Friant, CA when Michael Franti & Spearhead join up. It’ll probably be different every night. The only thing I know for sure is that EVERY show on this tour is going to start with EVERYONE onstage together and we’re going to all be running on & off stage all night playing on each others songs and playing songs all together and basically just playing whenever we feel like playing. So you get my point, right?

That means is that all the bands collaborate on each others' sets. Which means I had to endure Adam through some of Augustana's set. One of the other artists on the ticket couldn't make this particular show, so at least I didn't have to watch him ruin Michael Franti's songs too.

Before the show I had spent some time getting to know Augutana's songs. All likeable, but nothing jumped out at me. It wasn't until I heard the band live that I found some songs to love. Augustana sold me with the song "Dust" that they played about half way through their set. You may have noticed the lyrics scattered throughout this post. It's a strong song that grabs you and demands attention. I love the lyrics, the music, the harmonizing. It's just great. This song was worth the trip. In fact I bought the album the next morning and have played it over and over. Singing it over and over and over.

That's also what we want to do at your live shows. Sing along. Remember that Adam. Cuz I believed in Adam/But he don't sing anymore

[Download Augustana - Dust]

If a man can't lie, how can he speak?
If the sun don't rise, would the moon be out of reach?
If I came home, would you get down on your knees?

I bought Can't Love, Can't Hurt and I think you should too!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I can take the trouble, I'm 60 feet tall

If you've never wondered what it might be like to wake up in the morning and find a handful of deadbeat, derelict, drunken rockers sprawled out all over your kitchen crackhouse style, then you don't have The Dead Weather's debut album and you need to obtain it... Pronto.

You blink when you breathe
And you breathe when you lie
You blink when you lie
You blink when you breathe
And you breathe when you lie

It's called Horehound, and it was recorded in three weeks by the supergroup comprised of Jack White of The White Stripes on drums and vocals, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age on guitar, Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs on bass, and most notably, Alison Mossheart from The Kills fronting the band with the dirtiest whiskey-soaked vocals you've heard since before Grace Slick tried to Build A City.

Track 1, "60 Feet Tall", would be my new theme song if I really wanted to slip into complete debauchery and decide to enhance the dark circles that wish they could take up permanent residence on my face. Instead, I will just play it in secret when I decide to drink alone. It's a 5+ minute track, so instead of sharing that here, I will share "So Far From Your Weapon", serving as a warning to all of us that that vice we crave is willing and waiting. Check it out:

[Download The Dead Weather - So Far From Your Weapon]

And if that isn't enough warning, check out "Bone House":

[Download The Dead Weather - Bone House]

The Dead Weather is currently on tour, bringing all their demons and tempting you to come along for the ride... All over the country this summer. Tonight they play in Detroit at The Fillmore. Try to check them out at First Ave in Minneapolis on Monday. That would be a legendary show. For all dates check out their website. Mookie and I will be catching them at Outside Lands in one month!

And of course you don't want to buy CDs anymore. You want to listen NOW! Here are some links to download the albums. Show some love. Buy the music, support the site, but most of all, support the artists.

Don't act like you can't act, I know I've seen you do it
Better learn to shake hands....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What to post....what to post.....

So after the high I felt after last week's interview with house legend Derrick Carter, I feel the strong need to post something fantabulous. I don't care that that's not a word. I say it is. So there!

So I finally got around to buying a couple new tunes I had meant to grab. And they're the focus of this week's post. They're both fun, funky, and keep with my style of just being a little off kilt when it comes to musical tastes. And that's a good thing. I think it's why George keeps me around. Between you and me, I think it's because he was afraid I'd launch an affirmative action case against him for not having enough of us pale skinned folks on staff. Kidding, of course. I'm translucent.

So enough stupidity. You want music. I know. The first is a track that was making huge waves online just a couple months back. It's the group YACHT, and this track is a cover of the track the Fabulous Stains did called "Waste of Time". You can now finally pick it up via whichever buying method you'd like. Great track!

[Download YACHT - Waste of Time]

Next is the track "Golden Phone" by UK oddball Micachu. I say oddball in the nicest way possible, because holy fucking christ, you need to see this kid's hair! I mean, it's like her - yes, that's a female - hair is Flock of Seagulls gone terribly wrong! But dammit, this song is just catchy as all hell, and has that great balance of catchy and poppy as well as underground just enough. So here's "Golden Phone!

[Download Micachu - Golden Phone]

And seriously. Check this girl's hair. WTF? I can forgive it.

And from the folks at BIZ 3? I am gonna pass along a little message about a contest. It's the HARD Fest. And you can win tickets! Check out the info on how you can win by clicking here.

As usual? Buy stuff. It'll help the economy. And if you buy a song, an angel gets its wings. Know how I know that? Because I'm a wholesale wing seller. Fact. I <3 CAPITALISM!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Your hands are wrapped around your own lie

When your brows furrow and you try not to breathe while taking in a song you haven't heard before, you know you have just discovered something amazing.

Sounds like you found a new favorite band. I took that right from their description on their MySpace page. That's witty. But I think it's true!

Honey it's not too late for you
If you ask me I'll tell the truth
It's not the things you want to hear
Baby you're running out of time
Leave now before I change my mind

It's been a long time since I fell in love with a piano-backed band. Good ones just don't come along often enough. Farewell Flight, hailing from Harrisburg PA (hey! I've been there...) does it so expertly. They deliver such a beautiful, clean sound. Some tracks are painful and melancholy, others are upbeat, each track always strong. They work hard at it - just ask them! Sound. Color. Motion. is their first full-length album, released independently last fall after a split with their label. Speaking of working hard, prior to this record, they put out two EPs which were self-recorded and self-produced.

The final track on this album is a terrific crescendo and, I might add, a quite excellently written love song. Check out "Slow":

[Download Farewell Flight - Slow]

I'll make myself clear

I do have a new band to include among my favorites.

And they tour, tour, tour. 500 shows in 40 states over the last 4 years, in - wait for it - that DIY style you know we love. Make sure you check out the EPs and the full-length. They will be recording another this fall. Meanwhile, enjoy "Over:"

[Download Farewell Flight - Over]

Help out this indie indie band and buy something. Then you can say you knew them when.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Derrick L. Carter - the interview!

Okay, this is the special treat I've worked so hard to get. Just this past Friday, Chicago house legend Derrick Carter graced Boston again. One of my good friends, Randy DeShaies, booked Derrick just two weeks prior to the event, so this was a simple slap in the face to wake me up and make me go dance - which I rarely do. I've wanted to get an interview with Derrick for years, now. That started while still helping George with the Vegas website we co-owned earlier in the decade. The blog gave me a new opportunity, and after really being persistent? Derrick obliged.

So after the show Friday, July 10th, he gave me a few minutes to discuss his views and be his usual jovial joker self. The conversation started with a lot of joking, and with Derrick outing his pal Mark Farina - jokingly - via the use of his iPhone. The text he read from it, as Derrick says, has Farina saying, "I was going to pee in Boston Friday, and looked up, and saw your big head staring at me!" Definitely only something the BFFs could share. And most definitely get a laugh out of me.

Eventually, we briefly discussed his discography, where he made note that he really doesn't have a favorite record, per se. "I don't have one of those moments where everything culminates," Carter states. He continued by saying he's "more evolutionary than revolutionary."

This makes sense to anyone in the game as long as he's been in it. People simply do need to evolve in order to survive the game, and his statements re-affirm that. As he continued, "I'm just trying to find a spot where everything works out, and it's all good."

When asked about putting on a show for the folks that come out to see him, he sort of shirked when I made mention of a quote that Erick Morillo gave me, but it still holds true. All those years ago, he told me that he simply knew people paid to see a show, so he wanted to try to put one on. While this may have changed with Morillo? The statement did speak volumes, and Derrick's take was a bit more verbose and insightful.

"When you get that sort of platform," he begins, "and you're able to do things with people watching, and you're charged with presenting people with a good time? That's my situation." And despite it being a different city on countless nights? "I'm here. This is not my home, but whatever. We're trying to have a good time, so let's do it."

When finally asked about any new projects, he was vague about a new one, but the reasons are simply put by the Chicago legend. "I've got an album I'm working on, but I don't have a whole lot of....'This is some secret shit!' or have a insight into any of it."

Despite the brevity of the interview, I felt incredibly lucky to be able to pick his brain with even what sounds like basic questions. Then again, it's not every day I can spend talking to someone that helped influence how I DJ'ed.

Seriously? Go see this man play. You won't be disappointed! This week, there are no MP3s posted, but I have left a link where many of the man's live mixes are posted up online. Click here to check out these mixes.

And take the time to go buy his stuff! Now!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked

The very first post on this blog was about Billy Boy on Poison. You can reminisce here.

It feels like I have come full circle. Nearly a year later I discover that Billy Boy on Poison has finally released their debut album, Drama Junkie Queen.

It was worth the wait. It's a solid effort by a band that I predict will be a well known rock name.

I might just be biased. I would be a bad omen for this blog if the first band we write about goes quietly into the night. That's the thing though, this band probably doesn't even know what quiet even means.

This album rocks with the voracity that EP only hinted at.

This band opened for STP over a year ago. I wouldn't be surprised if one day those tables get turned.

Billy Boy on Poison is rock and roll.

Here is your proof:

[Download Billy Boy on Poison - Drive Me Insane]

Are you asking yourself what happened to the rock bands of your youth? Are you walking down the aisles of your record store or the list of albums in iTunes wondering; will any of this rock my socks off? Trust in us and click the Amazon link below.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ghosts of old loves are blowing in the pines

Alexisonfire is all growed up. Unfortunately, I forgot to add their older albums in my iTunes rebuild, so I can't prove it to you. But they released their fourth full-length album, Old Crows/Young Cardinals, just a couple of weeks ago and in it I can hear mature sounds ranging from hardcore punk to newcore screamo.

I even hear a bit of Tiger Army in there somewhere. That's a compliment. While these boys did hit the scene kicking ass and taking names, they've only gotten stronger in the 8 years since the band formed. And it seems that rather than being influenced and inspired by bands they've toured with, it seems that they've taken something else from all the touring they've done.

In an interview with CHARTattack: "I think the big thing influencing myself and Dallas when we were getting off the road was having played a lot and done some touring with some bands that we didn't like," says guitarist/vocalist MacNeil. "We knew what we didn't want and what we wanted to distance ourselves from, and that became equally important as what we were trying to get to."

Apparently this continues even as they attack every date on Warped this summer. On their own tour blog, they say:
I'd say the most surprising thing about this tour is the amount of bands that are faking it. Straight up lip-syncing nonsense!
To begin with Millionaires don't sing at all, and the one dude from brokeNCYDE is up there just pretending. I digress...........

Track 2, "Young Cardinals", is the song I would say shows just how serious they are, and it's one of the strongest on the album in my opinion. In fact, it blows me the fuck away.

[Download Alexisonfire - Young Cardinals]

The boys do have some good words for other acts on Warped Tour. The Gallows, a band on new dad Brett Gurewitz's Epitaph label, reportedly "play harder than everybody everyday". Rapper POS carries himself "like he is fronting for a punk band." Of course they're going to have kind words for Antiflag, since they've toured the world with them and even sing on their record. Last but not least they cite hometown boy Shad because, well, you've got to back up your brothers. So check out these four and maybe watch for us to talk more about them in an upcoming podcast. You are subscribed to the podcast aren't you?

One more song for your listening pleasure. I like "No Rest" as well. I think it showcases their expertise on their tools and equipment. The lyrics aren't terribly inspired, and you know what a lyric snob I am... But the execution of this track is impeccable so I am letting it slide.

[Download Alexisonfire - No Rest]

Check out Warped Tour this summer if you can. The day-long festival has barely gotten started, so you have no excuse not to find a show near you (if you're anywhere in the contiguous yoo-nited states that is - or in Quebec tomorrow). And get in on one of these massive circle pits that Alexisonfire inspires.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More indie stuff

I just wanted to post another quick one, as I'm having a busy day dealing with lots of drama. So much fun, that drama!

The band Deerhunter just released a new EP, entitled Rainwater Cassette Exchange. The song posted today is a pure piece of pop glory, while still maintaining an edginess to it that means they can keep that one thing many bands love - cred. So here's "Disappearing Ink". And with that, time to go disappear back into the void of BS and drama. Till next week.

[Download Deerhunter - Disappearing Ink]

As usual, go buy this stuff. Or else a puppy dies. True story.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I feel swell

Photo Credit: Razziphoto

Photo Credit: Razziphoto

I have picked up a lot of new music in the last few weeks. So much in fact that it has literally frozen me up and I couldn't decide what to write about today.

One album does stand out. The self titled album by the band The Airborne Toxic Event, or T.A.T.E for short.

If it's true that a picture is worth a 1000 words, then the picture above taken at one of their live shows will help me to keep this post short and sweet.

They get compared to everyone from Modest Mouse and The Arcade Fire to the Clash and U2, The Airborne Toxic Event's debut album was one of the most anticipated releases of 2008.

This Los Angles band was named one of the top three L.A. bands to watch in 2008.

Previous bands to receive this distinction include Cold War Kids and Silversun Pickups.

It's 2009 and I will be listening to this album on the regular. I think after listening to Innocence that you might do the right thing and purchase this album too.

[Download The Airborne Toxic Event - Innocence]

And forget happiness, I'm fine
I'll forget everything in time
I swear I didn't know,
You know me, how I can't let go
And we're not guts, we're just hacks
All that life amongst the cracks
The scars, the siege that breaks
The ugliest scene, the worst mistakes
And everywhere I see her face
Such a beautiful child, such an awful waste
And there's no innocence like hers
Just emptiness and nerves

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Electroclash revisited

So this post features a couple of tracks that I used to play years back when DJing. It depended on my mood, really, as I liked to bounce around between genres.

The first cut is by the pretty much unknown group Adult. I actually saw these guys live before they really became "in" with the whole electro crowd. Not bad, if I remember right. This song got them quite a bit of play, and resulted in a good Carl Craig remix of this track. I'll even post that remix, also, as a little gift. So here's Adult.'s "Hand To Phone".

[Download Adult. - Hand To Phone]

[Download Adult. - Hand To Phone (Carl Craig Remix)]

Next up is more Felix Da Housecat. This time under his guise of Aphrohead. This song was an absolute bitch to get my hands on, but I'm glad I did. The Clashbackk label produced a lot of unbelievable stuff, and this one is no different. Here's "Blindmanwilly", a track that revolves around none other than a harmonica loop, which is pretty fitting if you think about it. One of Felix's lesser known tracks, but probably one of his best, in my opinion.

[Download Aphrohead - Blindmanwilly]

And yes. Go buy stuff. It makes me smile. As does shiny things.