Saturday, June 30, 2007

Datarock does just that - it rocks!

I came across these characters while browsing through iTunes as the Phils were getting spanked by the Mets on national TV - 9,995 losses and counting! Datarock may take the cake for the most interesting duo ever (yes, more interesting than Milli Vanilli). They hail from Norway and, well, I think their Myspace bio explains it all...

Many moons ago, atop one of seven mountains surrounding a picturesque Norwegian countryside, two scruffy-faced individuals-Fredrik Saroea and the man known simply as Ket-Ill-made a pact to alter the face of contemporary music as we know it by single-handily transforming themselves into what they called the peak of pop evolution.
Their only scheduled tour dates at this time are in Europe - here's to hoping that a US tour is around the corner. Their new EP, I Used to Dance With My Daddy hits stores July 10th (pre-order via Amazon).

"All Along the Watchtower"

Last night, I was dropping some greenbacks on a few malted beverages and playing Golden Tee at a local watering hole when I heard Neil Young's version of "All Along the Watchtower." I started thinking about the Bob Dylan original and how many times it's been covered over the years - Hendrix, the Dead, Dave Matthews Band, hell even Prince gave it a go during last year's Super Bowl halftime show... I honestly don't think I've heard a version I didn't like so far and I like them all for different reasons (although DMB's take is my favorite, with the slow start that builds into a free-for-all frenzy). So I decided that I would do a little research this weekend... that is, if I remembered.

Well apparently my memory isn't as bad as I thought it was. It didn't take much surfing to uncover some more information. My first stop was to the trusty Wiki which provided a little history lesson (the lyrics "contain biblical and apocalyptic references") and a lengthy list of artists who covered it. I then came across what I first thought was a gold mine - a post on My Old Kentucky Blog, who covered this same topic in May (you mean I'm not the only one that comes up with these ideas??). Bonus! The post includes audio links for a handful of the covers... Damn! I can't get any of the links play.

I think the amazing thing about this song is the diversity of the artists that have covered it. The Dead played it 123 times... Dionysis Savvopoulos adapted the lyrics and sang it in Greek... B-Real of Cyprus Hill (I'd love to hear that version)... DMC of Run DMC (ditto)... rock, rap, new wave, folk, blues, even a string quartet - this song knows no boundaries in the music world. Makes you wonder if Bob Dylan knew that this song was going to be so popular on so many different levels when he wrote it almost 40 years ago?

Band of Horses interview (and others)


From The Line of the Best Fit:
"Earlier this month, Band of Horses finally made it over to the UK for a
whistlestop tour. Rich Thane caught up with frontman Ben Bridwell to find out
what the band have been upto since the release of last years outstanding debut Everything All The Time, and how they’ve found playing to a UK audience for the first time. "
I didn't realize until a few minutes ago that Mat Brooke left the band almost a year ago. Hopefully, that doesn't effect their sophomore effort. Ben Bridwell doesn't seem to think it will, but then again, would you expect him to say anything different? Anyway, check out the interview here.

Also, TLOTBF has a few other interviews posted, including the band that I said I wouldn't talk about for a while and The Twilight Sad.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Cure tour

The Cure announced that they are touring this fall. I still dig many of their CDs, but was not impressed when I saw them live in 1996. They didn't do much moving around stage then, so I wouldn't expect much 11 years later. And now that I've provided a glowing review of them in concert, here are the dates...

09/13 Tampa, FL - St. Petersburg Times Forum
09/15 Atlanta, GA - Gwinnett Civic Center
09/17 Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Bobcats Arena
09/19 Washington, DC - Patriot Center
09/21 Philadelphia, PA - Wachovia Spectrum
09/23 New York, NY - Madison Square Garden
09/25 Boston, MA - Agganis Arena
09/26 Montreal, Quebec - Bell Center
09/27 Toronto, Ontario - Air Canada Centre
09/29 Chicago, IL - Allstate Arena
10/02 Denver, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheater
10/04 Salt Lake City, UT - E Center
10/06 Mountain View, CA - Shoreline Amphitheater (Download Festival)
10/08 Seattle, WA - Key Arena
10/09 Vancouver, British Columbia - General Motors Place
10/11 Santa Barbara, CA - Santa Barbara Bowl
10/13 San Diego, CA - Cox Arena
10/14 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
10/16 Houston, TX - Toyota Center
10/17 Dallas, TX - American Airlines Center

Hooray Friday!

- My Morning Jacket released At Dawn & Tennessee Fire Demos Package (Amazon link) earlier this month. It combines the At Dawn and Tennessee Fire demos (amazing how that works, huh?) in one neat little 20 track package. From the track listing, it looks like they threw a few live nuggets in there for good measure as well. You can listen to a few of the tracks courtesy of An Aquarium Drunkard here.

- Pearl Jam played their cover of The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" for the first time live this week in Copenhagen (and it was their first return since the 2000 Roskilde Festival tragedy). This cover ranks up there as one of my Pearl Jam favorites. I am fuel, you are friends provides the live audio here.

- Mid-year favorite lists are starting to hit blogs. Check out Metro D's and MFKWCRG's. The standards are always going to be there (The National, White Stripes, Arcade Fire), but what I always like about these lists are the gems you can find. The best of's from last year led me to Silversun Pickups, Clipse and The Format - for which my ears are truly grateful. Guess who'll be hitting up the music store this weekend?

- The Weather Channel is forecasting low to mid 90s in Greece all of next week, which is where the LOML and I will be vacationing. I've added extra baby power to my packing list - I'm sweating just thinking about it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The National documentary 3 of 3

The National documentary 2 of 3

The National documentary 1 of 3

Alright - I promise these will be the last posts on The National for awhile. I saw this 3-part series and thought it was pretty cool. Hopefully, you do to0. If nothing else, you'll defintitely see these guys (especially lead singer, Matt Berninger) give it their all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

9,991 and counting

When I tell people that I'm from Philadelphia (regardless of what we're talking about), more times than not I'm told how bad Philadelphia fans are. Mean, nasty, vulgar, disrespectful, and obscene are just some of the words that they use to generalize us. Inevitably, one of two things (and many times both) gets brought up in that conversation - the time that we booed Santa Clause and the fact that the old Veteran's Stadium had a jail in the basement.
We Philly fans love our sports teams - but we probably love to hate them even more. Just tune into WIP (610AM) for a bit if you happen to be cruising through Philly. You'll never hear more bitching and moaning than you will from the callers (and hosts). Is it like this in other major sports cities? Probably. But we Philly fans do it with a certain panache - one that usually involves a few 4-letter words and that distinctive Philadelphia accent.
In true Philadelphia fashion, was created to commemorate the 10,000th loss of the Philadelphia Phillies - which according to the website is the first sports team in history to accomplish such a feat. Looks like the Phils are only 9 losses away from the milestone. Thanks to mru for passing this on.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I wish I had a HD TV

Although I don't have an HD TV (give us a break, we just got cable a few months ago), there's this great HD channel, Music HD which features music programs from MTV, VH1 and CMT. I discovered this gem while nursing a slight hangover at a friend's apartment after celebrating the nuptials of two good friends in Philly Sly Fox style. Just to give you an idea of some of the stuff they have on MHD, here's the lineup for this afternoon/evening:
  • 4pm - RHCP, Live in Milan

  • 5pm - VH1 Storytellers: Pearl Jam

  • 6pm - VH1 Storytellers: Dave Matthews Band

  • 7pm - VH1 Storytellers: Coldplay

  • 8pm - VH1 Storytellers: Bruce Springsteen

  • 9pm - Isle of Wight Festival: The Who/David Bowie

  • 10pm - Isle of Wight Festival: Snow Patrol/Jet

This week's late night TV lineup

Late Show w/David Letterman
  • Monday - Morrissey
  • Tuesday - Bryan Ferry
The Tonight Show w/Jay Leno
  • Thursday - Velvet Revolver
Late Night w/Conan O'Brien
  • Monday - The Apples in Stereo
  • Tuesday - Explosions in the Sky
  • Wednesday - Jonny Lives!
Last Call w/Carson Daly
  • Monday - Jet
  • Tuesday - The Format
  • Wednesday - Teddybears
  • Thursday - Midnight Movies
  • Friday - The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello's solo project)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hooray Friday!

- Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem apparently will be touring together this fall (credit to Product Shop NYC). Only a Red Rocks date (Sept 17) has been announced, but expect more to follow. I don't know what it is, but I just can't get into Arcade Fire. I know I'm one of the few, and I'm sure I'll take some heat for making that statement - but, so be it.

*** UPDATE - A Hollywood, CA show (Sept 20) has been added on the Arcade Fire website. The tour is supposed to run through the beginning of October.

- The White Stripes played a "secret" show in LA for which fans, according to An Aquarium Drunkard, sat out for 4 DAYS! Are you kidding me? If people in LA don't have anything better to do for 4 days than sit out and wait for a concert, I'm moving there ASAP. Also, whoever was in charge of keeping the concert of a secret did a pretty shitty job and should probably be fired.

- Stream the new Beastie Boys album The Mix Up (June 26) through Brooklyn Vegan. This bad boy is all instrumental.

- Yeah Yeah Yeahs have a new EP/DVD, Is Is (July 24). Give "Down Boy" a listen at Filter-Mag and "Rockers to Swallow" at Product Shop NYC.

- Interpol videos from their new album, Our Love to Admire (July 10) from ultra8201 here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The National – these guys are scary good

Let me start by stating that I don’t go to hundreds of shows a year. I don’t want to start this blog off and give the wrong impression. I attend 10-20 shows a year – don’t get me wrong, I’d love to go to more but considering the fact that I’m fairly exhausted this morning, 1 or 2 a month is enough for this guy.

I decided to drive to the 9:30 Club instead of hopping on the Ghetro mainly because of The National wasn’t scheduled to come on until 10:15. I didn’t want to have a repeat performance of when I saw them at the Black Cat in October and have to leave early in the set to catch the last train. This turned out to be a great idea – not a lot of traffic and a nice, cool breeze made for a pleasant ride. It also gave me a chance to give the new QOTSA album an honest listen and I’m digging it.

I went to the sold-out show without a ticket. No, I didn’t tell anyone that I didn’t have a ticket for a few reasons: 1) I had a good feeling that I’d be able to buy a ticket from someone there, and 2) I didn’t want to jinx myself. After about 15 minutes of standing out front of the 9:30 Club, a lady offered up an extra ticket for face value. With my cat-like reflexes, I snagged it up before anyone else knew what happened. Thank you blonde bombshell for being my damsel in distress… but sorry, I’m taken.

The show was absolutely incredible. Setlist? Sorry, but I have no idea. They opened up with “Start a War” and didn’t look back from there. I read in a blog recently (sorry, I can’t remember which one) that “they just get it.” And that they do - in a major way. I don't think a lot of people knew exactly what to expect, but The National gave their all and by the end of the night everyone was grateful for having experienced it. Don’t believe me? Check the concert out for yourself on NPR here. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

As for the Boxer vs. Alligator debate between me and Lilbabyjesus… you win. I’m a changed man (still an ass-man though).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Reality TV - what's wrong with the world

There aren't too many things that you can describe in one word. Neil Young is one of them. The next wave of reality TV is another... and that word is dung. The other night, I sat down with the LOML to test-drive a new reality show. Age of Love - pitting a group of 20-year old ladies against a group of 40-year olds in a battle for one man's heart. Interesting premise, different angle, hotties all around and most importantly, the possibility every week of a vicious cat-fight!! Needless to say, I made it through 20 minutes of the hour-long premier. Initial intrigue quickly turned into disbelief. Why do the "contestants" subject themselves to this? And why do viewers do the same? It's a train wreck waiting to happen... which, I guess is the appeal.

Now in those first 20 minutes, I was also treated to a number of commercials for other new reality shows. I'm embarrassed to even mention some of these:

Inturn - I didn't know they were looking for the next soap opera star.

The Real Wedding Crashers - If you're thinking, "there's no way that this can be as funny as the movie," you couldn't be more right.

The Next Big Thing - to do what, join the circus??

and my personal favorite, Pirate Master - Why are pirates so funny? Because they arrrr! (I just lured you into that joke, and you didn't even see it coming)

White Stripes live in the blue room

The AT&T blue room may become a popular place to check out live performances on the net. I was quite impressed with the overall quality of the Bonnaroo feeds this past weekend (take note - they will be archiving some of the footage from this in the near future).

Tonight at 6pm EST the White Stripes will be treating us to a live webcast. I haven't picked up a copy of Icky Thump yet, but I'm sure this light a fire under the rump shaker. They're currently boasting overall solid reviews on metacritic.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The National tomorrow night - ohhhh boy!

[The National]

To say that I'm looking forward to The National concert tomorrow night at the 9:30 Club would be an understatement. Although I don't enjoy Boxer as much as Alligator, that's like saying I don't like a Geno's cheese with (that's a cheesesteak with onions for all of you Philly cheesesteak virgins) as much as much as like one from Pat's. They're both delicious - one to the ears drums and one to the taste buds.

This will be my second time seeing them - the first being last October at the Black Cat in which I scored a free ticket from a generous passerby. The show is sold out, so this should be interesting (you know, with me not liking people and all).
UPDATE - Look mom, I learned how to insert pictures!

Double-shot of Jeff Tweedy

Is it just me or has Wilco been all over the place lately? Don't get me wrong, I love Wilco and couldn't be happier for them and all of their successes. But part of me doesn't want to share them with the rest of the world. No I didn't "discover" them, but I did enjoy their music before everyone jumped on the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot train. Ah whatever, I'm starting to sound like one of those music snobs.

In any event, the Sundance Channel is providing our ears and eyes with a Wilco/Jeff Tweedy two-fer this Wednesday (tomorrow):

10pm - Jeff Tweedy: Sunken Treasure Live in the Pacific Northwest
Filmed over five nights, this live concert film, directed by Christoph Green and Brendan Canty, captures Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy in solo concerts held in theaters, ballrooms and college auditoriums from Seattle to San Francisco during the winter of 2006. One of the modern masters of the acoustic guitar, Tweedy performs more than 20 songs, including "How to Fight Loneliness," "In a Future Age," and "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart."

11:30pm - I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

In an ironic confluence of timing, just as Chicago's alternative country rock band Wilco completed what would be their breakthrough album, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot," their label, Reprise, chose to drop them. Fortunately for anyone with a vicarious interest in the commercial music world, photographer and filmmaker Sam Jones was at work on this revealing documentary when Reprise made its decision. The twists and turns of fate that follow make this tale of art, commerce, clashing creative personalities and rock success a "rare gem." - Chicago Tribune.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Live from Abbey Road

Another diddy from the Sundance Channel. What looks like a promising new show begins this Thursday, June 21st at 10pm.

From the Live from Abbey Road website:

"Artists will perform inside a studio environment, without a television presenter or a public audience. Each artist will perform 3 tracks, which will be interspersed with intimate interviews.

Live from Abbey Road will be a 12-part season and each week it will showcase an hour of the world's greatest musicians."

Dave Matthews, David Gilmore, Gnarls Barkley, John Mayer, Massive Attack, Muse, Ray LaMontagne, RHCP, Snow Patrol, The Good The Bad & The Queen and The Killers are just some of the musicians that were enlisted to take part in this series.

The premier kicks it off with Richard Ashcroft (anyone want to take bets on if he'll dust off "Bitter Sweet Symphony" for this one), John Mayer and Norah Jones.

A Whole Lot of Neil Young

An Aquarium Drunkard has some quality Neil Young live tracks here (thanks to mru for the heads-up on this one). 115 to be exact - yikes! I'm slowly making my way through this bonanza and haven't been disappointed yet. Actually, it's tough to think of a time that I've ever been disappointed in Mr. Young. Beginning rockers take note - this is a man that's been going strong for over 40 years. Simply put... amazing.

Bonnaroo stream

AT&T has been streaming selected bands in the blue room all weekend. I checked it out yesterday for a bit and the quality (sound and video) is pretty good. Hey, it's probably the only way a guy like me is going to experience one of these festivals (and I'm sure I'm not alone).

Today's schedule (all times are CST)

12:30 PM - Robert Glasper Trio
01:00 PM - John Butler Trio
02:00 PM - The Flaming Lips
03:00 PM - Bob Weir & Ratdog
04:30 PM - Wolfmother
05:30 PM - Wilco
07:15 PM - The White Stripes
08:45 PM - Widespread Panic

Happy Pops Day

Just a quick Father's Day shout-out to all of the dads out there (especially mine). Let the kids fire up the grill today while you kick back with your drink of choice. It might be a good idea to have the fire extinguisher close by too... just in case.


You know, I've been kicking around the idea of starting a blog for awhile now. I'm honestly not sure what pushed me to finally make this a reality. After thinking about it for a minute or two, I guess this is just how I roll. Think about something for a period of time - go back and forth and back again on why I should or shouldn't do something (for what sometimes seems like an eternity) - talk myself into something and then almost immediately talk myself out of that same thing - and then finally, and most of the time out of nowhere, I just do it.

So what's my purpose you ask? I'm not looking to change the world - yeah, it would be cool if I could, but I honestly doubt that I'll be delving into that deep of issues. I joke around that the world wants to hear what I have to say... now I guess it's time to put up or shut up.

Seriously though, I’m not really sure why I'm doing it. For some reason, I think I’m in a “I want to express my feelings” phase. Which is weird because I rarely express my feeling (probably because I do a terrible job of expressing them). So why blog instead of talk to people about it? Easy, because I don't have many friends.

I’m not really sure how long this phase of my life is going to last. It may be 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years. Don’t worry though, you’ll know when the phase is done because I stop posting. So until then, sit back, relax and enjoy.

Here I am
blogoshere! Be gentle.