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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Acoustically Speaking

Acoustically Speaking

A brand new music series celebrating artistry in pubs, studios and practice rooms.
I bring you the best acoustic music in the world - both past and present!

There are SIX SONGS On today's menu:

Morphine - The Other Side
What better way to start this thing off than with a Boston band with a huge cult following?. Mark Sandman was a genius and Morphine is incredible. Feel it here!

Ted Leo - Dancing in the Dark (Springsteen cover)
I am a big Ted Leo and the Pharmacists fan. Here is a rare acoustic performance where he takes on this song by the Boss. Ted Leo is a master.

The Oaks - Epilogue, Celebration
I plan for this music series to introduce people to new material. The Oaks are as talented as it gets but have not yet received the attention they deserve. I wrote a nice piece on them back in 2006 which I reprinted in March. Check it out.

The Kooks - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)
There was no hotter song in 2006 than Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" - and perhaps no better cover version than this one by relative newcomers - the Kooks. Now this is saying something as there was probably two-dozen good covers of this song recorded in a period of three months. Enjoy!

Probably one of the best acoustic songs recorded during its time. The strumming sounds a lot like we picture the legs of the horse and cowboys to look like as they struggle through the sandy heat. A classic celebrated today!

Thom Yorke - Follow Me Around
Find out what many Radiohead naysayers have discovered already. Thom Yorke is just really, really good. Whether or not you understand the Radiohead generation or its sound - give Thom Yorke a shot. Here Thom addresses a new classic.

New Music in this series soon. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Traveling Wilburys catalog about to be Unleashed!

After a near two-decade wait the entire Traveling Wilburys collection - including some new, never-released, material will be released in just days. This will make many - including yours truly, very happy. With a musical pedigree stretching four decades, the works of Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty will be re-released (something that was out of the question in the 1990s!) with new material due out on the Rhino label on June 11. If you don't know who the Wilburys (the world's best super-group) are or why you should be excited by this - begin to listen and hold on to your hat!


The Wilburys: Dylan was "Lucky." They called Tom Petty, "Charlie." Jeff Lynne went by "Otis." Roy Orbison was "Lefty." George Harrison, the Beatle, went by "Nelson." The Wilburys was a band but they were more so a musical getaway, a virtual holiday really - for some of the most accomplished men in music. It's unclear or not whether they realized they were making some pretty amazing music until later. Their friendship plays out in the music.


The band had the best of everything in mind when it released "The Traveling Wilburys Volume 1" - their first record made from sessions in early 1988. The album was one of Rolling Stone's best 100 albums of the 1980s - and with good reason. Almost every track is somehow emblematic of the members' careers in the industry and rife with imagery from their catalogs. With the death of Roy Orbison in 1988, the group closed its gates for good, but did release the "second half" of the sessions and some re-polished material from the early sessions. This was dubbed "The Traveling Wilburys Volume 3." The fact that they somehow "missed" an entire album underscored the band's light-hearted nature and served to fuel their collective legend. (As one valued reader* points out - Tom Petty's "Full Moon Fever" involved the Wilburys during various stages - and should be considered the Volume 2 in this series!)
For Volume 3, George Harrison changed his name to "Spike Wilbury" - his brothers Tom Petty, Jeff Lynn and Bob Dylan, respectively, went by the names "Muddy, Clayton and Boo." Although popular, the members declined to record new material or re-release what they had already cut.




With George Harrison's passing in 2001, nothing changed in this stance to "shut it down" - only now the surviving members vowed to not reprint any material. Only with the passage of time and the locating of new, unreleased material which will be published in the two-CD/one DVD set will this see the light of day. I used to peer through used CD racks looking for a copy of Volume 1 - since mine was swiped by a friend years ago. For a time you could find copies online for ridiculous prices. All-in-all, the release (and new material and DVD) is cause for celebration!


Traveling Wilburys web / wikipedia
* special thanks to Matt for the typo and fact corrections!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tragedy in Boston - Paul Farris, singer of theMark, is killed in an Overnight Accident

Blogger's note: I had planned on doing a Memorial Day tribute today, but dropped everything to write this piece. For the friends of the people hurt in this accident, to the fans of the band theMark, to anyone who ever wanted to be in a band and to touch music - who strive to live and be near creativity... This is a dark day. My thoughts go out to you. None of us live forever - cherish what you have. An important story.

TRAGEDY IN BOSTON: Paul Farris, singer of the Tuft's alterno-rock band theMark, and his girlfriend Katelyn Hoyt were the passengers of a taxi cab struck by the driver of an SUV being chased by Massachusetts State Police. The driver was arrested at the scene. Paul was killed and Kate and the cab driver are treated for very serious injuries.


Kate Hoyt and Paul Farris

Police chase ends in collision; 1 killed
By April Simpson and Beth Daley, Boston Globe Staff | May 28, 2007

A 2006 graduate of Tufts University who was the lead singer of a popular Boston rock band was killed yesterday after a sport utility vehicle being chased by State Police crashed into the taxi cab in which he and his girlfriend were passengers.

Paul V. Farris, 23, of Medford, who had recently taken his law school entrance exams and was the lead singer of theMark, was pronounced dead at Somerville Hospital soon after the early morning accident, the Middlesex District Attorney's office said.

Farris and his girlfriend were coming home after a night out with friends when the SUV hit the cab, said Cathy Cella, a friend of the Farris family.

Police arrested the driver of the SUV -- Javier Morales, 29, of Somerville -- at the scene and charged him with motor vehicle homicide yesterday.

Farris's girlfriend and the cab driver suffered serious injuries and were being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital last night, according to authorities. On theMark's page on MySpace.com, Farris's girlfriend was identified as Katelyn Hoyt. Fans of the band left messages on the site with prayers and condolences for Farris's family and Hoyt.

An unidentified employee of Metro Cab of Boston acknowledged last night that one of its cabs was in the accident, but declined to identify the driver.

"This is the most senseless thing that has ever happened," said Cella, of Edina, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis, where Farris grew up. Cella described Farris as charismatic and handsome with a great sense of humor.

"My two youngest daughters would fight over who was going to marry him when they got older," Cella said.

Farris, who was a history and political science major at Tufts, was working as a claims adjuster while he decided which law school to attend.

Morales was driving a Mercury Mountaineer in Everett about 1:20 a.m. when a State Police cruiser tried to stop him for motor vehicle violations, according to the Middlesex district attorney's office. Morales refused to stop and led the police on a chase into Somerville, authorities said. Four minutes later, his SUV hit the cab, which was stopped on Highland Road.

Farris's alternative rock band was well known in Boston and played in venues throughout the Northeast, including the Knitting Factory in New York and The Paradise in Boston. Farris graduated from Edina High School in 2002. He has a brother, Scott, who is 19, Cella said.

"He was just one of the best kids, Cella said. "He was one of the kids everyone loved to have underfoot. He was funny, nice, and polite, and greeted everyone's mom with a hug."



theMark live in Cambridge


A review by Independent Clauses on singer Paul Farris: ".. a lead singer with a voice so smooth and persuasive that it could convince even the most hardcore skeptics of the moon conspiracy that we did, in fact, land on the moon. Its the type of voice you listen to the radio to hear- a great, talented voice."

Boston Phoenix band profile: page
theMark on myspace: page

Midnight Snack - Boston's Aberdeen City shows some feeling: "Pretty Pet"

It's good to root for the home time... The good guys... For Aberdeen City... Sleep Well. Listen and you'll have pleasant dreams! This is Aberdeen City.


Midnight Snack with Aberdeen City


Recommended Listening:
The Freezing Atlantic album (itunes)

Recommended viewing:
The band plays the Paradise in Boston on June 8.

Aberdeen City on the Web: page / Myspace

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tonight in Boston - The Rosebuds cast a Bright Indie Light!

ARTIST OF THE DAY - THE ROSEBUDS!

Boston, your plans for tonight are made....


The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies

Great Scott in Allston will play host to the Rosebuds tonight. If you are in town looking for something to do, searching for a scene to be at - seeking a sound to hear... well, I made it easy for you. All you have to do is show up and have a good time!



Visiting the city tonight on tour, Raleigh's own The Rosebuds - touring in support their new release "Night of the Furies" (2007 LP) - Do yourself a favor and find yourself at Great Scott for this one! The Ladybug Transistor and DJ Carbo will appear in support.

Two Songs from The Rosebuds Unwind EP (2005 - also highly recommended)


Countdown - 30 Days to the Ryan Adams release. "Easy Tiger" is coming!


The new album - June 26

The new album is coming and from what I have heard so far, it threatens to be really, really good. Ryan is still standing one foot firmly in country, but seems to have focused on some of the clean vocalizations and production styles he has used in the past. He also isn't producing three albums at a whack, as he did in 2005. Each track off the 13-song Easy Tiger will have every opportunity to shine. Here's the proof -

Track listing for the new album: here. More samples and chit chat at two of my favorite blogs: An Aquarium Drunkard and at I am Fuel, You are Friends. Here are versions of two tracks set to appear on the album.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Song / Artist of the Week - ISLANDS

ARTIST OF THE WEEK: ISLANDS

the 2006 album

SONG OF THE WEEK
Islands - Where There's a Will, There's a Whalebone



If there is a quality that is demonstrated by new indie music these days it's fusion and depth. Islands is not at all lacking in either category. Unusual, non-standard instrumentation, melodies that can break through music styles and deep, layered song structure are common. You may not like everything you hear from bands like Islands, but you know they are on to something good.

A Musical Tribute to Kurt Vonnegut - RIP

A tribute to a Great Sage and an Important Social Voice -
Kurt Vonnegut, dead at 84.

"There's only one rule that I know of, babies
— 'God damn it, you've got to be kind."

Kurt Vonnegut, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like "Slaughterhouse-Five," "Cat's Cradle" and "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation, died last night in New York. He was 84 and had homes in New York and in Sagaponack on Long Island.

* Quantum Leap moment -
This is a republish.... 'Tis true. I got into a chat at the pub tonight with someone enraptured with K.V. - we chatted for awhile. I said - "I will republish my Vonnegut tribute. Sure enough. Here it is."

Vonnegut's death was reported by Morgan Entrekin, a longtime family friend, who said Vonnegut suffered brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago.

Vonnegut wrote plays, essays and short fiction. But it was his novels that became classics of the American counterculture, making him a literary idol, particularly to students in the 1960s and '70s. Dog-eared paperback copies of his books could be found in the back pockets of blue jeans and in dorm rooms on campuses throughout the United States.

Like Mark Twain, Vonnegut used humor to tackle the basic questions of human existence: Why are we in this world? Is there a presiding figure to make sense of all this, a god who in the end, despite making people suffer, wishes them well?

He also shared with Twain a profound pessimism. "Mark Twain," Vonnegut wrote in his 1991 book, "Fates Worse Than Death: An Autobiographical Collage," "finally stopped laughing at his own agony and that of those around him. He denounced life on this planet as a crock. He died."

Not all Vonnegut's themes were metaphysical. With a blend of vernacular writing, science fiction, jokes and philosophy, he also wrote about the banalities of consumer culture, for example, or the destruction of the environment.

His novels — 14 in all — were alternate universes, filled with topsy-turvy images and populated by races of his own creation, like the Tralfamadorians and the Mercurian Harmoniums. He invented phenomena like chrono-synclastic infundibula (places in the universe where all truths fit neatly together) as well as religions, like the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent and Bokononism (based on the books of a black British Episcopalian from Tobago "filled with bittersweet lies," a narrator says).

The defining moment of Vonnegut's life was the firebombing of Dresden, Germany, by Allied forces in 1945, an event he witnessed firsthand as a young prisoner of war. Thousands of civilians were killed in the raids, many of them burned to death or asphyxiated. "The firebombing of Dresden," Vonnegut wrote, "was a work of art." It was, he added, "a tower of smoke and flame to commemorate the rage and heartbreak of so many who had had their lives warped or ruined by the indescribable greed and vanity and cruelty of Germany."

His experience in Dresden was the basis of "Slaughterhouse-Five," which was published in 1969 against the backdrop of war in Vietnam, racial unrest and cultural and social upheaval. The novel, wrote the critic Jerome Klinkowitz, "so perfectly caught America's transformative mood that its story and structure became best-selling metaphors for the new age."

To Vonnegut, the only possible redemption for the madness and apparent meaninglessness of existence was human kindness. The title character in his 1965 novel, "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," summed up his philosophy:

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies — 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.' "

Vonnegut eschewed traditional structure and punctuation. His books were a mixture of fiction and autobiography, prone to one-sentence paragraphs, exclamation points and italics. Graham Greene called him "one of the most able of living American writers." Some critics said he had invented a new literary type, infusing the science-fiction form with humor and moral relevance and elevating it to serious literature.

((words - Copyright © 2007 the International Herald Tribune All rights reserved ))

View the Kurt Vonnegut Slideshow

Play the Songs:



Thank you Kurt, I mean it.

NEW - the K.V. Library

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blog Radio 24 - Channeling Song through Fresh Souls

Welcome to Blog Radio volume 24

"Channel Surfing" Songs - New Covers!

Channeling old music and songs through young souls....

The Beach Boys - The Letter (demo version -Box Tops cover)
One of my favorite classics to see performed live and acoustic.
The Box Tops were pretty much a one-hit wonder.

I am Astronaut - What is Love? (Haddaway cover)
I have been following I am Astronaut for about a year now.
This is a solo version of the song from the band in Sunland, California.
They are supposedly in the studio now, which is great.

TV on the Radio - Mr. Grieves (Pixies cover)
NYC's TV on the Radio proved the hype last year.
Tremendously different and very good, they cover the Pixies here.

Ok Go - Jessie's Girl (Rick Springfield cover)
Finally, something to wash the "Here we Go" song away.
Well, it won't get as big - but you have to love a Rick Springfield cover!

Flaming Lips - Seven Nation Army (White Stripes cover)

Just in case you missed it, the Flaming Lips are geniuses.
They can play ANYTHING. Seriously talented.
I hope they produce a new album this year.

Eve6 - You Really Got Me (Kinks cover)
Eve6, from what I am told, were a spotty band.
The performance from one show to the next could vary greatly.
I only saw them play once and they were bloody awesome.
Here is their take of the Kinks cover of a cheese classic.
(Before you write - I like the Kinks and Van Halen... But the song is dripping.)

Jude - Crazy (Gnarls Barkley cover)

Jude is a tremendously talented singer songwriter.
He is originally from Boston but now lives and performs in LA
Check out what I wrote about him before: Jude.

Ben Folds - Bitches Ain't Shit (Dr. Dre cover)
Honestly, best funny cover - ever? Ben Fold is so underrated.
The fact he would do this and pull off the Weezer sound - well.
Genius!

Cansei de ser Sexy - Pretend We're Dead (L7 cover)
I posted this one recently, but it's a damn good cover.
L7 is a band you don't see much of these days.
A great song.

Chris Cornell - Redemption Song (Bob Marley cover)
Chris Cornell is on tour solo these days.
Great version. His Led Zep cover (Thank You) rocks too!

You say, "I Like It!!!"
Check out Blog Radio 23: Link


What is Blog Radio? This collection celebrates my musical tastes, gives me a chance to dust off some old classics and slip in some new artists who might otherwise not get proper exposure. A new installment is released once each week to ten days. (This entry is loooong overdue!) Today's post is a commemoration of sorts to clever and unusual cover songs - channeling (if you will) the spirit of the artist and their original version of the song. These are the latest and greatest cover songs in my collection. Some, you will find, are most unexpected - Ryan

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Coyotes are Roaming the Streets - THE MARCY PLAYGROUND rumble

Marcy Playground, Coyotes in Boston and my line of thinking

I was just listening, on the way home from work, to an old mix disc. It's something I threw together last summer and came across this Marcy Playground song.



Marcy Playground - better than you think.

I am a big Marcy Playground fan. I had them on my mind today after writing about Lamexcuse - an indie rock band from Austria playing in Boston tonight. As it turns out, the three guys playing at P.A.'s tonight happen to also be Europe's biggest Marcy Playground fans.


Marcy Playground's John Wozniak at the Hatch Shell
photo by David Kilkenny

Personal music anecdote: I "met" John Wozniak once years ago when the band was touring in at the peak of their popularity - touring in support of their Sex and Candy single. I had a press pass, writing for a small New Hampshire newspaper. I was also working security (which meant I had access to all areas) ... I ended up having lunch next to the Marcy Playground singer. Four feet away... and we never shared a single word.

As for today's blog "Coyote" title - encroachment by development on nature's front porch is nothing new. I'm not an activist - just taking note of today's current events in Boston. Coyotes are roaming the streets in the suburbs. Nothing new, really; but it's so early this year.

The concept of the wild coyote roaming the city streets is an extremely powerful image. If you saw the Michael Mann movie Collateral (2004) - that flick has an incredible scene in which the characters are passed on a Los Angeles city street by coyotes. The eyes of the wild dogs glisten brightly as they stride past the film's main characters. Like the head beams of cars, they pass by.

It started like any other night.


So how strong is the memory of an image? How powerful is the recollection through listening to a forgotten song on a mix disc? I guess, as mighty as you choose to make them.

Appearing in Boston tonight - Austria's Lamexcuse!

APPEARING TONIGHT IN BOSTON

From GRAZ AUSTRIA - It's LAMEXCUSE

One of the first international indie rock groups I elected to write about when I opened my music weblog doors for business was Lamexcuse from Austria. (What a great name!)

The band have a really unique sound (think the Shins meet the Samples & Marcy Playground!) - it's a pedigree that has earned them a healthy and loyal following in their homeland. Tonight they take on the crowd over at P.A.'s Lounge in Sommerville (*) and they would love to see you come out. Be looking for copies of their "Important Little Things" album. Pick this one up if you see it there.

* Also appearing tonight at P.A.'s Lounge: Comma, Clock Hands Strangle and The Young Leaves



A good reason: Lamexcuse are touring the US but still live in Austria. It could be months until they come this way again. And, they're worth it. There is something to be said about a live show with musicians who want to be performing for the audience!

SONG OF THE DAY
Lamexcuse - Are You?



BONUS TRACK:

The multi-lingual homepage
Lamexcuse

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Hottest Thing - Voxtrot Releases their Album

Pretend for an instant you are in the indie rock band Voxtrot. Today would be a very special day for you. (First of all - you are talented and have had one of the best stretches of music over the last two years - being in the hotbed of all things indie and cool in Austin, Texas... and had a hand in that city's stranglehold on indie-rock majority rule) - but today is just extra special...

Today your band's releases its first full length LP. It means kids from Des Moines and listeners in Sacramento can finally hear your material. People in Paris and indie enthusiasts in Toronto and Mexico City might hear you for the first time. Today would be a new day, with the potential of new friends in Tallahassee and fans in Schenectady. Somebody might even write about you - if you are lucky, from Boston....


Voxtrot - The album: on sale now

Today, Voxtrot releases their self-titled debut release. Eleven songs in one nice package. The first thing you should do is listen. The second thing you should do is go out and pick it up.

ARTIST OF THE DAY - 5/22/07




VOXTROT plays Boston
w/ Au Revoir Simone on June 14 at the Middle East.
More Dates: Tour

Monday, May 21, 2007

Rocky Votolato - Why I'm High on this Guy

Ok... This is a re-run, but I can't help it. I haven't posted anything on this guy in months and have been listening to his music a lot. (And, what's the point of having a music blog if I can't share with you what I'm listening to... Let me influence you again!)

The "Makers" album was released more than a year ago and it has taken me that long to really understand the greatness of Rocky Votolato. He is a talented sing-songwriter with tremendous promise.

Musician of the Day
Rocky Votolato
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
His Story (Thanks to Wikipedia)

Rocky Votolato was born in rural Texas in 1978, though was raised in the Pacific Northwest. When his former band Lying On Loot (made up of himself, Red Stars Theory violinist Seth Warren and Bugs in Amber guitarist and his brother Sonny Votolato) dispanded in 1996, Rocky Votolato (singer/guitarist), along with friends Rudy Gajadhar (drums) and Andrew Hartley (bass), started playing under the name Waxwing. Rocky's younger brother Cody (The Blood Brothers) soon joined the band on second guitar, and the band recorded their debut 7" for Henry's Finest Recordings. In 1999, Second Nature Recordings released their first full-length, entitled 'For Madmen Only'. Blending straight-up rock with elements of post-hardcore, and Cody's metal reminiscent guitaring, Waxwing soon established a strong local following. It was a feat built upon with their two succeeding albums 'One For the Ride' (2000) and 'Nobody Can Take What Everybody Owns' (2002).

In 1999, Votolato branched out from his work with Waxwing, having written a handful of songs which did not really fit in with their more aggressive, fast tempo syle. Along the way he has toured with the likes of Damien Jurado, Small Brown Bike, The Get Up Kids, The New Amsterdams, Owen and the Casket Lottery, members of the latter having provided assistance as backing musicians on occasion. His studio albums have also been littered with appearances from some of Seattle's finest musicians (including players in the bands Red Stars Theory, Sharks Keep Moving, The Blood Brothers, Death Cab for Cutie, Pedro the Lion and Sub Pop solo artist Rosie Thomas). On the production side Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Botch, Murder City Devils, Hayden), along with Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie). It is a creative imput which has helped see Rocky progress sylistically with every release, from his low key self-titled album released in 1999 - all pretty much recorded live, right through to his recent, alt-country, folk-esque offering, 'Makers'. A video was shot for the first track of Makers, White Daisy Passing.

Votolato also starred in the film 'The Edge of Quarrel', which he worked on with Dave Larson from Excursion Records. It also includes members of the Murder City Devils and Botch, and is about a gang war between straightedgers and punk rockers. He is married with two children, and lives in Seattle.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The real proof? It's here:
THE SONGS


Goldfield
Makers
One Day You Won't Be Here


Rocky Votolato on myspace


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Artist of the Day - Architecture in Helsinki are bottled excitement!

Architecture in Helsinki are from Australia.
And are probably the most exciting band you have never seen live.

SONG OF THE DAY

The new AIH album will be released this summer.
They are on tour now.


Tentative Track Listing for
PLACES LIKE THIS
  1. "Red Turned White"
  2. "Heart it Races"
  3. "Hold Music"
  4. "Feather in a Baseball Cap"
  5. "Underwater"
  6. "Like it or Not"
  7. "Debbie"
  8. "Lazy (Lazy)"
  9. "Nothing's Wrong"
  10. "Same Old Innocence"
BONUS SONG - REMIX
Nevereverdid (Yacht remix)

My first taste of AIH
(RSL live review!)



AIH WILL BE IN BOSTON ON JUNE 7!

- Appearing at the Middle East in Cambridge's Central Square.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday's Song of the Day - The Smiths with Frankly Mr Shankly

It seems hard to believe that The Smiths were only a band for just five years. With an influence that packs a punch today (twenty years later!), they seemed the perfect fit for Sunday's Song of the Day. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on some Smiths and find out what they are all about. Perhaps I will post a few live shows and some rare b side materials if you are interested...? Drop me a line.


The Smiths - Especially Black and White

SONG OF THE DAY
The Smiths - Frankly, Mr Shankly
(a live recording!)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tapes N Tapes live - their SXSW 2006 Performance!

TAPES 'N TAPES - LIVE !

Erik Applewick at the Middle East - May 2006
photo by R Spaulding

Josh Grier belting it out live in NYC
photo by D Atlas

TONIGHT IN BOSTON - TAPES N TAPES!


Prior to this week I haven't written about Minneapolis indie rock outfit Tapes 'N Tapes (web) for at least six months, so the fact that the second post about them shouldn't overwhelm you. The band is playing Boston's Paradise Club tonight - a great venue for one of my favorite bands. Today's post is a four-track live performance from the University of Washington's KEXP radio (90.3 fm) - one of the best indie rock radio stations on the internet and in the airwaves. Tapes appeared on KEXP live from Austin's South-by-Southwest Music Festival in March 2006. I have the recording for you today and urge you to see the band live - either tonight in Boston or during the next round of shows. The band does not disappoint live.

TAPES 'N TAPES
SXSW - AUSTIN, TX
March 2006

note:
There are some issues with the sound in Manitoba.


Tapes 'N Tapes took on Paris Hilton in Japan

Friday, May 18, 2007

Song of the Week - Nashville's Be Your Own Pet!

If you are an indie rock punk outfit, the bestest job in the world in 2007 could be..... opening up for the Arctic Monkeys while they hit the road in support of a new album. Imagine all those frothing fans and all that energy! Yeah, it's probably that. The aforementioned employment spot has belonged this month to the hottest little indie punk band in all of Nashville. The foursome go by the nom de guerre of "Be Your Own Pet." Sounds like a great job and a hell of a lot of fun.


HEAVY PETTING: NASHVILLE'S BE YOUR OWN PET




Pets by Stefano Giovannini

BYOP Linkage:
Myspace
Main Page

I Ran (Ran So Far Away) - A Guilty Pleasure for Song of the Day

What is this? 1980's New Wave for the Song of the Day on my Music Weblog? Sure - everything has roots somewhere. There are songs that stick despite our best attempts. I have a sense of music and a taste for humor. Which leads me to my questions about this song: What were you doing the last time you heard this track? Who were you with? Place memories are strongest with music and food. Interesting. A Flock of Seagulls with I Ran. Come on back later, there will be more.


LOVE FROM VICE CITY - A Flock of Seagulls were the backdrop for the advertising campaign and were center stage in this "Grand Theft Auto" classic set in the 1980s- one of the most popular names in gaming history.


So stylin'

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Saying Hello to a band named AU REVOIR SIMONE - they release a great new album




Putting the finishing touches on the European leg of their album tour in support of the brand new release: "The Bird of Music" (the threesome's first full-length LP) - Au Revoir Simone is about to embark on an American tour with Austin indie-powerhouse Voxtrot. It's a good time to be alive!

Heather D'Angelo, Erika Forster and Annie Hart are a dynamic trio of indie songstresses specializing in dream-like sonic landscapes dotted with keyboard melodies. It's original fare and not at all what you would expect. The new album creates a bigger world for the three to roam - and they do it well. The first single to be released is "Through the Backyards (of Our Neighbors)." With sings like this - it's pretty safe to say that the Voxtrot / Au Revoir Simone ticket is going to be a great tour. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

From the new album!


Voxtrot and Au Revoir Simone arrive in Boston on June 14 - appearing at the Middle East in Cambridge's Central Square. More tour dates on the Au Revoir Simone homepage.

The recipe for contentment springs from the well at the foot of the Ghostland Observatory

Man, that was a looooong blog title....! I was sipping a Newcastle tonight pondering about what song I was going to make the song of the day for Thursday and it suddenly came to me that I have been somewhat cold in my disregard for Austin's Ghostland Observatory. True, I plugged them in a major way when the duo played Boston recently. I didn't however do enough - at least in my book. And what that does is open the book for today's song of the day.

ON STAGE - GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY

Photograph: Dániel Perlaky

SONG OF THE DAY
Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City

Man if you can't feel it - you could be too far gone.

Stop back in later. I have more to share.

Ghostland Observatory on Myspace

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Crazy Little Thing - meet Baltimore's Gary B & the Notions!

The Baltimore independent rock scene is alive and well, thank you. It wasn't that long ago I pointed out that there were some stirring from Maryland. I introduced you that day to The Frenemies - a great Baltimore outfit with a truly unique sound. Today I follow it up with something just as good - and perhaps even more special....

ARTIST OF THE DAY

Meet Gary B & the Notions

Gary Barrett Jr - sans the Notions

In the song Lori, Gary Barrett asks, "What's in a Name?" I would suggest a great deal - especially when you have a great name like Gary B and the Notions. GB&TN are an indie rock and power pop outfit in Baltimore. They are responsible for the release of You Get those Crazy Notions! - one of the best new indie releases to come across my desk. Sounding a bit like a cross between Elvis Costello and Ted Leo, the band have much to celebrate these days. Their sound is dynamic and the songs, real.


THE NEW ALBUM RELEASE

GET THOSE CRAZY NOTIONS!

Barrett is no new face to the Baltimore indie scene. Over the last six years under the stage name Your Imaginary Friend, he’s given hundreds of solo performances peppered with opening slots for Sufjan Stevens, the Hold Steady, Of Montreal, Dismemberment Plan, and The Mountain Goats, as well as his favorite songwriter, Franklin Bruno.

Gary B & The Notions - Lori

Show them some love:
Gary B &The Notions on Myspace

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tapes N' Tapes are baaaaaack. Last year's hottest indie rock band storm Boston - Song of the Day

TAPES N' TAPES ARE BACK


A little more than a year after they hit the Middle East with Cold War Kids and Figurines (what a bill!), Tapes are back and ready to rock Boston! The Paradise will showcase some serious indie-rock this Saturday night as Ladyhawk and Harlem Shakes open. Check out the Tapes n' Tapes main page and myspace for the latest including tour dates in your hometown. Just don't say I didn't warn you when the tickets to this Saturday (May 19) are all gone. It's sure to happen! Be there.

SONG OF THE DAY
Omaha

Jay Nash - Letters From The Lost

THE BEST NEW 
ALBUMS OF 2013 





After a solid year of touring, JAY NASH spent most of 2012 hunkered down in his Vermont home studio, crafting what would become Letters from the Lost (produced by Bill Lefler & Jay Nash). It was a time for stepping out. This is the first album Nash had recorded outside of LA in many years. Throughout his career, indie-folk-rock artist Jay Nash has shared the stage with numerous acclaimed artists including Counting Crows, Maroon 5, Ingrid Michaelson, Zac Brown, Lucinda Williams, The Low Stars, and Katy Perry. Jay's albums have featured a luminary cast of musical characters: Don Heffington (drummer for Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Ricki Lee Jones) Rob Wasserman (bass for Bob Weir, Ratdog) Chris Joyner (keys for Ray Lamontagne, Jason Mraz) and Jamie Wollam (drums for Jackson Browne).





OUR GRADE:  A-  Change was in the air for this record - and it's reflected in the music. Behind Nash's distinct vocals this time are a far more layered soul. And in support: mandolin, baritone electric guitar, and ukulele. These robust new songs are charged with energy. It was a challenge to Nash to take so many chances and head off into the unkown... These challenges are being rewarded as Letters from the Lost contains both songs that are immediately classic (like Sailor) and quietly important and immediately relevant (Wander). The full breadth of human emotion are captured here. This is career-level work from Jay Nash! This is a record you need to own.



MONTH-LONG US TOUR

Wed., 5/15
Tin Angel
Philadelphia, PA
Thurs., 5/16
Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 2
New York, NY
Fri., 5/17
Stone Mountain Arts Center
Brownfield, ME
Sat., 5/18
The Red Room at Cafe 939
Boston, MA

Jay Nash & David Ramirez
Wed., 5/22
The Rhythm Room
Phoenix, AZ
Thurs., 5/23
Soda Bar
San Diego, CA
Fri., 5/24
McCabe's Guitar Shop
Santa Monica, CA
Sat., 5/25
Zoey's Cafe
Ventura, CA
Sun., 5/26
The Catalyst Atrium
Santa Cruz, CA
Tues., 5/28
Cafe Du Nord
San Francisco, CA
Thurs., 5/30
White Eagle Saloon
Portland, OR
Fri., 5/31
Q Cafe
Seattle, WA
Sat., 6/1
Cafe Mela
Wenatchee, WA
Sun., 6/2 
Carr's Corner
Spokane, WA
Tues., 6/4
Urban Lounge
Salt Lake City, UT
Wed., 6/5
The Soiled Dove Underground
Denver, CO
Thurs., 6/6
The Slowdown Front Room
Omaha, NE
Fri., 6/7
SPACE
Evanston, IL
Sat., 6/8
Off Broadway Nightclub
St Louis, MO
Tues., 6/11
Czar Bar
Kansas City, MO
Wed., 6/12
The Vanguard
Tulsa, OK
Thurs., 6/13
The Blue Door
OklahomaCity, OK
Fri., 6/14
The Live Oak
Forth Worth, TX


photo by Deborah Lopez

JAY NASH 
Album / Web / Fb / Tw
BONUS: Jay Nash is an Outlaw.


Monday, May 14, 2007

Review: Kings of Leon release a top album! "Because of the Times" should be owned

The family that rocks together just got even better. Kings of Leon are three brothers and a cousin from Tennessee and they have a brand new album on store shelves which you should be picking up right away.



I have to be perfectly honest, I have been listening to the band's new record "Because of the Times" with a cynical ear. I didn't want to enjoy it as much as their last LP release - "Aha Heartbreak." I love Aha Heartbreak. It's such a fun album - the lyrics can be anything from profound to raunchy; the music wry, fun and dynamic. So, perhaps you can understand my fears. They said the new record was going to be different and a lot of ways it is. Among these is the songs are more developed, longer and the thought fuller. In other words, what was good is now better.


KOL in studio for the new record

The band has gone from producing unusual pop songs with quirky sounds to developing their sound into miniature indie operas. Think I'm kidding? Check out the first song "Knocked Up." You will hear the best of the old style with new elements and better songwriting. The track is seven minutes long and - more here, is better. Pick it up.

New stuff!


Nathan Followill in studio

KINGS OF LEON site