Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Yellowbird Project


The Yellowbird Project is an artistic endeavor. Headquartered in Montreal, Project members are enthusiastic about what they do. They are, themselves, fans of the music and they have found a way to help people with their passion.

How It Works: Yellowbird approaches the bands they like and ask them to select a worthy charity and then allows the band to design their own tee-shirt for sale at the website. The folks at Yellowbird produce and sell the shirts (which cannot be purchased anywhere else) and then send the proceeds of the sales to the charity that the band selected! It's a beautiful thing.

Wolf Parade's Dan Broeckner

Wolf Parade designed this exclusive shirt.
Check it out it at the Yellowbird webpage

Wolf Parade - This Heart's on Fire

AU REVOIR SIMONE in their Yellowbird

Au Revoir Simone on Yellowbird

Au Revoir Simone - Hurricanes

With a crazy-great indie rock lineup of bands offering up their own designs - it's wicked cool to give and wear these shirts. (And it just feels right to support a great cause!) Here are the current bands with tee-shirt designs and the charity (in parenthesis) that they support:

Stars (Le Chaînon)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - (Art for Change)
The National (Safe Space)
Holly Throsby
(Amnesty International)
Hayden (The Acoustic Neuroma Association of Canada)
Broken Social Scene (Lake Ontario Waterkeeper)
Wolf Parade (Glass Casters Union)
The Shins (The Nature Conservancy)
Devendra Banhart (The Teenage Cancer Trust)
Wolfmother (The Teenage Cancer Trust)
Au Revoir Simone (Transportation Alternatives)
King Creosote (Greenpeace)
Joseph Arthur (MercyCorps)
My Brightest Diamond (Road Recovery)
Rilo Kiley (the Elliott Smith Memorial Fund)



Broken Social Scene - Cause = Time

Look Good - Feel Great. Tee-shirts are $25 which is less than what you would pay for bad concert tees. These are great conversation pieces and they bring you closer to the band than a generic tee with the band's name on it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ANOTHER CYNTHIA - Get Your Free Album!

Hot New Release (a Free Album)
and Cool New Developments!


This probably won't be the last time I tell you how much I am enjoying Another Cynthia's latest project or flash back to what they have already done (numerous accolades including RSL Underrated Album of the Year 2006. I mean, everyone loves an underdog especially one that's this talented.) But this might be the last time I need to tell you about Another Cynthia because being good eventually gets you noticed - even amidst a wide dark sea of contenders.

Both VH1 and MTV (believe it or not) are waking up to their sound. Both are using snippets of AC's catchy tracks on their television shows in addition to playing their songs. MTV showcased two tracks during their last Music Awards. The fan base is growing. It's good to see good things happen for this talented, hard working bands. This level of attention will likely result in a tour sometime soon. Only time will tell.

The Mannequin EP is available for Free Download.

You want it - It's Good.

First Single from the New EP
Another Cynthia - Let Down
Let Down is getting airtime on KNRK 94.7fm Portland

So get in on this multi-faceted talent factory. They are super DIY, playing instruments themselves, running their own boards and producing their own records. This is what indie is all about. Here's your chance to grab a free album's worth of material, listen to the songs and tell your friends that you knew about them before they broke it big. It could happen here in '08.

(Very Highly Recommended)
Another Cynthia - What I Want

Download the New EP Album:

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bob Dylan - Series of Dreams

One of My Favorite Videos of All-Time.

The Annuals' Identity Crisis Results in Sunfold

On Store Shelves Now

ANNUALS or is it SUNFOLD or both?

Annuals released the Wet Zoo EP album earlier this month. Absentmindedly, I popped it into my CD player and listened. Despite only sporting five tracks, the record still found a way to sound disjointed. The final pair of songs on the album were considerably different from the first three. I did a little research (which amongst other things, involved me actually reading the CD literature and going the extra step to reading the press release which accompanied it in the mail.) Wet Zoo is five songs new songs, but only three are from the Annuals. The last two are Sunfold - the reconstituted Annuals (same players, different roles.)

Whereas Annuals is led by Singer-Songwriter Adam Baker, The side project Sunfold (formerly known as Sedona) is led by Annuals guitarist Kenny Florence. In Sunfold, Florence plays the role of singer-songwriter and he does a fantastic job. What you get is an identity crisis that only the band themselves can iron out.

The Wet Zoo EP

If you open the EP up you get the image of a squid fighting a whale
Like the two factions on the CD, there is an identity issue. Which side wins?

FROM THE BAND THEMSELVES: Many people have asked why (Annuals and Sunfold) should be two instead of just one band with two songwriters. However, after hearing the gigantic difference in musical aesthetic between the two, the reason becomes apparent. While sharing many of the same influences and ultimately the same vision of creating captivating, original music, Adam Baker (Annuals frontman) and Kenny Florence have chosen different paths to the apex. For the past 3 or 4 years, Florence and Baker have focused on broadening their scope of musical understanding by taking interest in many styles of music from all differrent time periods. For Kenny, the main areas of inspiration have been jazz, traditional country, classical music (particulary from 19th and 20th centuries), 70s prog-rock, and Indian music. The purpose of Sunfold is to rediscover the sense of uninhibited exploration of melody and harmony that is always present in the pioneering of a genre and mold it into a sound that is reflective of past and present musical paradigms, without getting stuck in any particular formula.

There are only five tracks on Wet Zoo. I will only share one track with you (personal policy) but I can steer you to where you can get "Sore" the Annuals new release from the album. In the meantime, I really want to share some Sunfold. In my mind Florence's work here is the best on the album. Baker, who relinquished vocals, ends up playing some pretty kick ass drums. Please go out and pick this one up and let me know what you think...

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Superabundance from Young Knives

New Release - Out Now!


Young Knives are as well known for their various throwback stage wear (think uniforms and tweed) and energetic live shows as they are for their songwriting. Now they will be known for a second album of new material. Superabundance (Trangessive Records) is available now! The single I elected to share with you today is "Turn Tail." Check it out:


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hot Artist - SixToes



If there is a positive theme I am hearing in independent rock these days, it's folk fusion. You see, these days what rings with the most truth (having some authenticity) is what's most popular with more enlightened audiences. In 2008, this movement is comprised of talented indie-folk artists the world over (Check Beirut, Andrew Bird, DeVotchKa, RaRa Riot and Cloud Cult amongst others.) Each has exceptional sound and great instrumentation... Today's Artist of the Day definitely fits this bill and I've been enjoying their EP album for some time.

SixToes is a hopeful indie rock band playing out of London and certainly beginning to make waves. There are six pieces: David Greenep, Ben Rogers, Anne Carruthers, James Hitchins, Natalie Sedgwick and Andy Hobson - but to be truthful, despite that number, their sound is larger than that still.

Listening to powerful, layered tracks like "Reggae Song" and "Trick of the Night," the band's sound is almost epic. (Kind of like listening blindfolded to a dramatic movie score.) There's more going on than what you can take in all at once. What's going on up on stage here is a very good thing. I look forward to seeing what happens next...

An Explosion of Sound and Movement

Very Highly Recommended Music:
SixToes - Trick of the Night

Visit SixToes - Pick up their EP!
Myspace / Web (under development)

The Wolf Parade 2008 Tour - Tickets on Sale!

Do Not Miss This One!!!


Wolf Parade - Call It A Ritual

"At Mount Zoomer" ALBUM TOUR
tickets are on sale now!!!

July 7: Pontiac, MI
@ Crofoot Ballroom

July 8: Chicago, IL
@ House of Blues

July 9: Minneapolis, MN
@ First Avenue

July 12: Vancouver, BC
@ Commodore Ballroom

July 13: Seattle, WA
@ Marymoor Park

July 15: Portland, OR
@ Crystal Ballroom

July 17:
San Francisco, Ca
@ Fillmore

July 18: Hollywood, CA
@ Henry Fonda

July 19: Hollywood, CA
@ Henry Fonda

July 20: San Diego, CA
@ Cane's

July 21: Tucson, AZ
@ Rialto Theatre

July 24: Dallas, TX
@ Palladium Ballroom

July 25: Austin, TX
@ La Zona Rosa

July 26: Baton Rouge, LA
@ Spanish Moon

July 28: Atlanta, GA
@ Variety Playhouse

July 29: Raleigh, NC
@ Disco Rodeo

July 30: Philadelphia, PA
@ Electric Factory

July 31: New York, NY
@ Terminal 5

Aug 2: Boston, MA
@ Paradise Rock Club

Aug 3: Montreal, QC
@ Metropolis

Aug 9: Toronto, ON
@ Koolhaus

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Langhorne Slim & The War Eagles

This Album in Stores on April 29th

photos by Crackerfarm

I really do live for moments like this - when I find great new talent and the songs end up working for me on so many levels. (You know what I'm talking about... the joy of finding albums that don't have any bad songs...) Today's project is Langhorne Slim & The War Eagles.

This indie-rock artist (obviously influenced equally by country, blues and folk) is one hell of a talent! His lyrics are ironic and the band is just sensational. One of the finest things I can say about this project is how tight the band sounds - despite the varying punctuation and pace of the 13 tracks. (Sometimes they are tempered slow, steeped in tradition like the slow and steady blues in the summer heat. Other times, Langhorne delivers his words in rapid fire aggression - howling for punctuation. The drums and bass, they come along for the ride.)

The songs are short - but they are well-received abbreviations (just nipping at the edges of the band's creativity). Having missed the band during their recent Boston appearance (believe me - I wouldn't have had I heard this album beforehand), I can only imagine what these songs would sound like cracked open and performed live!

In Stores Tuesday:

The self-titled album (which you absolutely must go out and pick up) will be available online and in stores next Tuesday. Don't take my word for it - you have good taste:


Apr 25 -- Paramount Theater –
Peekskill, NY w/ Josh Ritter
Apr 28 -- Music Hall of Williamsburg --
Brooklyn, NY w/ Josh Ritter
Apr 29 -- Recher Theater --
Baltimore, MD w/ Josh Ritter
Apr 30 -- Mercury Lounge --
May 1-- IOTA Club & Café –
Arlington, VA
May 2 -- Local 506 --
Chapel Hill, NC
May 3 -- Village Tavern --
Mt. Pleasant, NC
May 4 -- The Social --
Orlando, FL
May 6 -- The Earl --
Atlanta, GA
May 7-- Mercy Lounge --
Nashville, TN
May 8 -- Bottletree Café --
Birmingham, AL
May 9 -- One-Eyed Jacks --
New Orleans, LA
May 10 -- The Mohawk –
Austin, TX
May 13 -- The Casbah --
San Diego, CA
May 14 -- Troubadour --
Los Angeles, CA
May 15 -- The Independent --
San Francisco, CA
May 17 -- Doug Fir Lounge --
Portland, OR
May 19 -- Tractor Tavern --
Seattle, WA
May 22 -- Urban Lounge --
Salt Lake City, UT
May 23 -- Hi-Dive --
Denver, CO
May 24 -- Replay Lounge --
Lawrence, KS
May 26 – High Noon Saloon –
Madison, WI
May 28 – Schuba’s --
Chicago, IL
May 29 – The Hideout --
Chicago, IL

One To Watch in 2008

Langhorne Slim & The War Eagles
Myspace / Web / Kemado Records

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

BIG DIPPER - The long awaited "Supercluster"

The Triumphant Return of Boston's Big Dipper -
One of the city's greatest bands ever releases an anthology that belongs in your collection!

The band will resurrect the songs during live performances (the first appearance for some Big Dipper songs in 16 years) this week. Very Highly Recommended!

"When you think back on it, Big Dipper was a supergroup. Yeah, that sounds funny if your definition of 'supergroup' lives along the lines of Blind Faith and GTR. But the pre-Dippah pedigree of the band was undeniable, with members having done time in some of the better groups of the early- to mid-80s.

Gary Waleik was one-third of the original lineup of the amazing Volcano Suns along with Steve Michener, who also played bass with Dumptruck for a stretch. Bill Goffrier was the guitarist for the legendary Wichita band The Embarrasment. Jeff Oliphant drummed for XS...

Big Dipper brought pieces of all those bands to the table - the thud of the Volcano Suns was married to the twitch of the Embos and the moody jangle of Dumptruck. But it added up to so much more than that. They had it all; they were smart without being annoying, funny without being silly and unafraid to rock it hard or crack their hearts wide open."

Tom Scharpling - WFMU Radio, New Jersey
liner notes to Supercluster

Boston's Big Dipper just released the Supercluster Anthology (Merge Records) - one of the greatest collection of songs, photographs and facts I have had the pleasure of reviewing. The hot 3-disc Anthology, limited to just 5,000 copies, presents the listener with an enjoyable album-by-album, track-by-track take from the band's formation (1985) through their peak (1990) and on through the inevitable breakup in 1992 after an unfortunate major record deal which many feel was bungled by Epic Records.

Supercluster's bonus material picks from the band's hard to find and unreleased archives and offers up the band's insight into the songs and their creation. This one is a must have for Big Dipper fans and recommended fare for anyone interested in the Boston Scene during the 1980s.

Included in this mighty package (49 songs!) is the bonus video for "Faith Healer" - which got Big Dipper on the national airwaves, (sealing the band's permanent place in Boston folklore) a track that almost making them a household name everywhere else.

To grasp the evolution of Boston rock history, one should first study the stars...

Vintage Big Dipper

Big Dipper is Bill Goffrier (vocals/guitar), Gary Waleik (vocals/guitar), Steve Michener (bass/vocals), and Jeff Oliphant (drums/vocals).

This is Boston Rock:
Big Dipper - She's Fetching


Historic stuff!

LIVE! - The release of Big Dipper's Supercluster is intended to be a celebration - not a funeral. The founding members of Supercluster are picking up where they left off 16 years ago. Three live shows are scheduled this week only:

Thursday Apr 24 - Maxwell’s
Hoboken, New Jersey

Friday Apr 25 - Southpaw
Brooklyn, NY

Saturday Apr 26th - The Middle East
Cambridge, MA

Tuesday, April 22, 2008




The Real Deal - Listening to D.W.M.'s alt-folk has been a treat

One of the projects that has been sitting on my desk for far too long finally sees the well-deserved light of day today.... Boston's David Wax Museum is a four-piece alt folk group making exceptional live music. The songs range from roots folk to Americana country. You also can't help but know that when you are hear these songs that you are being told the truth. Substance is increasingly rare these days.

The David Wax Museum play their own instruments, write their own pieces and elect to go completely authentic. It makes for a real and visceral experience. David Wax Museum is David Wax (guitar/jaranas/voice), Jiro Kokubu (dobro/mandolin), Suz Slezak (fiddle/voice), and Jack McGrath (upright bass/voice).

Roaming and expanse and other times very simple and straightforward, the songs of the David Wax Museum are each their own kingdoms. Just listen to "Rosamar" from the album Turned Off Thinking About. Therein is an blissful intimacy which I defy you to ignore. More playful but just as real is the Museum's "The Great Unawakening," a soaring song that asks us in playful sing-song; "How does one become a citizen of a nation in decline?" It was hard to choose a favorite:


May 17 - The Brooklyn Coffee & Tea House
Providence, RI

May 24 - Club Passim
Cambridge, MA

May 30 - One Longfellow Square
Portland, ME

Jun 6 - Cherry Street Artisan
Columbia, MOD

Pick Up the Album
"I Turned Off Thinking About"

David Wax Museum - Myspace / Web

Monday, April 21, 2008

Brian Jonestown Massacre's latest: My Bloody Underground

They Reviewed It - I went straight out and Bought It

FILTER reviews "My Bloody Underground"

A new album from the Brian Jonestown Massacre

The dark iconic genius Anton Newcombe and Brian Jonestown Massacre released their 13th album less than a week ago. Despite being an interested party in BJM's music over the years, I have somehow managed to not pick up either of the Massacre's last two releases. So it was of great interest to me to hear that Newcombe was working on a new project and it was getting high praise (reportedly some of BJM's best work in years). I read about My Bloody Underground in Filter magazine yesterday (the April 25th issue) and went out and immediately picked it up.

My Bloody Underground


"Anton Newcombe is a frightening bat-shit genius. On its 13th album, Newcombe's Brian Jonestown Massacre has found a way to weave the frightening (literally scary; not 'he's-so-good') to make an album of dreadful density and substantial worth. BJM's modus operandi has always been to grab genres, extract the essential marrow, and then release a lo-fi album that is frightfully competent in terms of, or superior to, its influences. The title references My Bloody Valentine, The Velvet Underground and The Jesus and Mary Chain ('My Little Underground') and these influences appear with astute and buzzing accuracy. But instead of just reproducing the bliss of the former, or the too-cool screed of the later, My Bloody Underground weaves these sounds into a series of dark, fly-buzz near instrumentals, utilizing Newcombe's immense facility with drone-centered Indian music, psychedelia, and tape loops... This album is impossible to turn off." - SAM ROUDMAN, FILTER

Brian Jonestown Massacre - Bring Me The Head of Paul McCartney on Heather Mill's Wooden Peg (Dropping Bombs on the White House)

yes, this is the actual song title.
no, it has nothing at all to do with the actual song.

Anton Newcombe of the BJM

Newcombe isn't well liked but he is widely respected

The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Web / Myspace / Wikipedia page

FILTER online

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New My Morning Jacket - EVIL URGES drops on June 10th


A new album from My Morning Jacket will emerge on June 10th. The title? Evil Urges.

"The world today is such a confused place. Things that people think are good values are obviously twisted, but there are other things considered evil that obviously aren't. There is real evil out there, but "Evil Urges" is about how all of these things that you've been told are evil really aren't, unless they're actually hurting something or somebody."
- My Morning Jacket's Jim James

My Morning Jacket

I am still a relative newbie to My Morning Jacket, so I will defer to the press release: Evil Urges is the album that the band has been making for almost ten years. Their previous work has emboldened them with the confidence to continue to grow in ways few artists would be capable of achieving. Admirably, Jim James' songwriting manages to remain as organic and cohesive as ever, making their musical leaps forward fluid, logical, entertaining, and inspiring.

More than ever before, the band treated the studio itself as a musical instrument for the recording of Evil Urges. Thus co-producers Jim James and Joe Chiccarelli (The Shins, White Stripes) truly collaborated on the band's most ambitious and convincingly executed album to date.

My Morning Jacket is Jim James (vocals/guitar), Two Tone Tommy (bass), Carl Broemel (guitar), Bo Koster (keyboards), and Patrick Hallahan (drums). James was just added as a solo performer to the 2008 Newport Folk Festival in August.

My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges

My Morning Jacket:
Myspace (tour dates) / Web (all things MMJ)

Friday, April 18, 2008

David Ford - World Premiere Video

Favorite Artists Series: DAVID FORD

There's not much out there like the music of David Ford. With his use of loop pedals and multi-instruments, he's definitely one of the most innovative live stage performers. Today I present to you, the World Premiere Video of David Ford performing Go To Hell - recorded in studio on a single take!

If you like what you see (and how couldn't you possibly? I mean, this is amazing....) there is a lot more David Ford material out there. Mr. Ford, who is decent to talk to, has a remarkable album of hits "Songs for the Road" (2007). For those of you in Boston, David Ford has been added to the sold out Sara Bareilles show at the Paradise on 4/22. If you miss that one, no fear, David will be back to jar Boston's collective soul in a highly recommended bill with a favorite band: Wild Sweet Orange in support of Augustana at the Paradise on May 19th - get in on that one now before it sells out.

DAVID FORD Live in Studio

(recorded in a single take)
"Go To Hell"

David Ford Myspace / Web
David Ford fan page

David Ford special to the RSL:

Stage Presence (recommended)

Tapes N Tapes rock Boston again!

Despite an increasingly scratchy voice that was bothering singer Josh Grier far more than the crowd, Minnesota's Tapes 'n Tapes played a hugely energetic set last night in Boston. The band played a number of new songs off "Walk It Off" - their brand new album, mixing in old favorites from 2006's "The Loon." This was a great show!

The band plays the Fillmore in New York's Irving Plaza tonight. (Keep your finger's crossed for Josh's voice.) Check out the remaining tour dates: Tapes 'n Tapes myspace.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The 2008 Newport Folk Festival - Integrating New Artists

AUG 1st - 3rd, 2008 - NEWPORT, RI

The world's most famous folk festival returns! The Newport Folk Festival turns 49 this summer. To help celebrate, planners are bringing in some great talent: The Black Crowes, Cat Power, Jimmy Buffett, Jakob Dylan, Gillian Welch, Levon Helm, She and Him, Calexico and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). The overall feel of the festival appears to be louder, younger and stronger.


Tickets on Sale on April 23rd

This year’s event pairs young stars like Cat Power and Jim James of My Morning Jacket with established artists like Jimmy Buffett and The Black Crowes. From its Friday evening show at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino to its three-stage weekend layout at Fort Adams State Park, the 2008 Newport Folk Festival promises to bring the original essence that the fans have come to expect through a careful curatorial approach that links our collective musical heritage with the music of today.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 23 at 9am, with single day tickets and a limited number of discounted two-day passes available at that time. For more information on package features and pricing, visit

“We have taken great care in selecting the artists for this year’s Newport Folk Festival,” commented Tom Shepard, CEO of The Festival Network. “The festival is one of the oldest music events in the United States and this year’s lineup will respect its storied history while bringing in a new crop of artists that represent the future of American music.”

The new booking approach by The Festival Network aims to reestablish one of America’s oldest and most beloved music festivals among the country’s top summer destinations. With respect to the history and tradition of the festival, each artist’s set will be unique to the event. From rare song renditions to complete acoustic sets to the intimate beauty of the legendary surroundings, this year’s festival will stand out as a memorable turning point for years to come.

CURRENT LINE-UP (subject to expand!)
Jimmy Buffett
The Black Crowes
Levon Helm
The Avett Brothers
Cat Power
Jim James (of My Morning Jacket)
Jakob Dylan
Stephen & Damian Marley
Gillian Welch
She & Him featuring Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward
Kaki King
Brandi Carlile
Willy Mason
Over The Rhine
The Felice Brothers
Jake Shimabukuro
Kate Taylor
Richard Julian
Jesca Hoop

Founded in 1959, The Newport Folk Festival has become an institution, renowned for presenting well-known folk stars alongside the best new talent of the day in one of the most beautifully intimate settings America can offer. From Joan Baez, James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, to The Pixies, Bright Eyes and Wilco, the Newport Folk Festival continues to present nationally known performers as well as traditional folk and roots artists alongside new artists from a wide variety of genres including folk/rock, indie rock, bluegrass, country, alt-country, blues, grassroots and world music.

Tickets on Sale April 23rd

Everybody's Talkin' Kooks


The Brighton, UK band has released a new album, leaving England taken on Blogs and the World. Here's what they're talking about by the indie-rock/pop water cooler these days.


Expected to have one of the biggest tour of the Year

It wasn't long ago, things were looking up for the Kooks. They were an bunch of improbably lucky up-and-comers and they were on a very limited six- or eight-city tour of the US. There was some talk of promoting the new upcoming CD project on both side of the Atlantic. Then, it happened.

Somebody decided things were going to be big for this band. Virgin Records hired marketers and publicists (lots of them) to sell the little band to the world. This band wasn't manufactured to succeed but they were offered a dangling pendent called opportunity. They have seized the chance and are running with it!

There were soon videos and leaked tracks and material from live performances. Then the "Konk" album emerged just a few weeks ago. There was a regular and a deluxe version (red neon - see below)released. With the projects and backing has come the hype and it looks like the Kooks will now be one of the most widely touted bands this year in blogs. Get ready now for the world tour that is unfolding and selling out fast!

The New Album: 4.0 / 5 Stars - Pick it Up!

Kooks - All That She Wants
(Ace of Base cover)
Kooks - Crazy
(Gnarls Barkley cover)
Kooks - Tick of Time
Kooks - Always Where I Need to Be
(rocking live performance)


on the
KOOKS Myspace
Official Web

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Jesse Malin - On Your Sleeve (2008)


Jesse Malin has released a masterful cover album I want to share with you. The album "On Your Sleeve" (One Little Indian) is a major change of pace and a healthy one for the increasingly popular Malin. Jesse just released a winning record just last year. I selected "Glitter in the Gutter" as one of the Top 15 Records of 2007. It was an easy selection for a premium pick - as Malin took the best from his previous projects and then branches out anew. "Glitter" is a must have. The very same is true for this great collection of cover songs.

There is nothing like a Jesse Malin live show. Jesse, ever the charming young man, can win over a crowd in mere minutes. He tells charismatic anecdotes about his life growing up with music and how he came to play songs. The same is true on the new record of hot covers. The liner notes are filled with Jesse's take on these famous and sometimes not-so-well known songs. He hints at why these tracks mean so much to him. What you read and hear is vintage Jesse. My prediction is that this record will win over a hell of a lot of new fans.


Jesse Malin writes: "This song gives me that crazy stomachache feeling of when you are very young and you get busted. I never got caught for smoking pot but I did for shoplifting, fighting and for brief nudity in a Spanish class: suspension, detention and punk rock expression.

My junior high school yard was in Whitestone, Queens, NY. Me and my 13 year old buddies would meet before class around 8am and drink whiskey that I stole from my Mother's liquor cabinet and imported into little apple juice containers which we would suck down as fast as we could in the freezing cold before the bell would ring. Nowadays they load up my dressing room full of booze. Sometimes we don't drink any of it.

RSL Album Grade: 4 of 5 STARS - "Buy It!"

Jesse Malin: Myspace / Facebook

One Little Shop (buy this record!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Alienation Mix

The Latest RSL Mix Tape

Alienation by Nik Ainley

Stream this one today. Thank me later!

Also check out the
"Songs from Between the Trees" Muxtape (from Sunday)

What's a Muxtape?
Make One for Free and Find Out!
Be sure to Send Me the Link to the One You Make
Or add the Link in the Blog Comments.

Hot Indie Rock Ticket: THE FORMS & CLOUD CULT


The Forms (Brooklyn, NY) were one of the most memorable projects of 2007. They are still definitely worthy of your attention. The Forms' self-titled release turned a few heads and my prediction is that this will be one of the bands to watch this year on tour. I can only imagine how good the material sounds now that they have had several months to perform the news songs live!

The Forms - Transmission
The Forms - Red Gun

Touring with The Forms is experimental indie rock seven piece known as Cloud Cult (Minneapolis, MN). The band is definitely spreading its wings in 2008 - having released a brand new album "Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-partying Through Tornadoes)"last week. The tradition here is much larger than the band taking the listener to a completely different place. Fans of the great Syracue indie rock band Ra Ra Riot will be right at home at a Cloud Cult show.


HOT TICKET: The Forms & Cloud Cult appear live this week
Wednesday, April 16th at the Middle East in Cambridge

THIS SHOW will also Feature Boston's own

The Forms Web / Myspace
Cloud Cult Web / Myspace

Monday, April 14, 2008



Having just missed the street-smart, post-punk band Carbon/Silicon here in Boston (they played a sold out TTs earlier this month,) I thought I would take a few minutes and share a couple of CS tracks with you good readers.

CS is the brainchild of Mick Jones (The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite) and Tony James (Generation X.) The creativity here was born in Punk Fire, but steeled in years of wizened editing, production and touring. The band has a particularly ironic lyric tradition and an edgy sound. Different and displaced from both artist's early musical backgrounds - CS has carved out new and often intelligent audiences.

The Mick Jones we hear on these records is far more Big Audio Dynamite and BAD II than the man we knew with the Clash. The Tony James is less the angry young man from Generation X and certainly more modern. And that's probably the key to the band. These guys keep changing and surviving.


VOTE: Jones and James in '08

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Songs Heard from Between the Trees

The Latest RSL Mix Tape

Stream this one today. Thank me later!
Today's Mix

Also check out the
The "Crowd Parted for Me" Muxtape (from Saturday)

What's a Muxtape? Make One for Free and Find Out!
Be sure to Send Me the Link to the One You Make
Or add the Link in the Blog Comments.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Crowd Parted for Me - The Latest RSL Mix

The New RSL Tape is here!

The Crowd Parted by artist John Clark

Stream this one today. Thank me later!
Today's Mix

Also check out the
The Last Muxtape (from Thursday)

What's a Muxtape? Make One for Free and Find Out!
Be sure to Send Me the Link to the One You Make
Or add the Link in the Blog Comments.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Ascension of Vivian Darkbloom!


Definitely One to Watch in 2008:

Boston's Vivian Darkbloom is one of the city's tightest bands.

Vivian Darkbloom is Boston's Hot New Band. They're young, creative and really good. After just a year of playing together as a band; Rob Morris (vocals and guitar), Brian Skerrat (bass and vocals) and Loren Bienvenu (drums) are emerging as one of the city's brightest new talents.

The group just released the "Lets Become Machines" EP which showcases their considerable range and growing talent. It was very much a DIY process.

"We recorded it in our drummer’s basement," singer Rob Morris said on the phone recently. "It was a very cumbersome approach. We’re not sound engineers. But it came out pretty well. The public seems to respond to the tracks."

Indeed they do. The band rocked the stage at Bill's Bar recently opening up for Static of the Gods (highly recommended!) The house was thoroughly impressed and one can't help but know that better days are on the way.

INFLUENCES, SOUNDS and STYLES: Vivian Darkbloom has some sound similarities and song structures in common with one of my favorite bands in the country: Mason Proper (a hugely talented Michigan indie rock outfit that would be far more famous than they are currently if they had the benefit of being on the left or right coast.) And it was during our recent chat and though our email correspondences that I learned from Morris that he has been influenced by Spencer Krug and Dan Broeckner's Wolf Parade (another favorite band - this one from British Columbia, Canada.) This revelation keeps us going for some time further. Darkbloom plays a cover version of Wolf Parade's "Modern World" that I am thoroughly interested in hearing.

Morris is a bright guy. He's a graduate student here in Boston at MIT. Right now he's working on a sound project involving guitar and kinetic movement. It's only a matter of time before the world will know this guy's name.

UPCOMING DATES: Vivian Darkbloom has two local shows over the next three weeks to check out. They will be at P.A.'s Lounge in Sommerville on April 17th and at TT the Bears in Central Square, Cambridge on May 8th.

I figured I would ask Morris which song the group considers their best - so I could listen for the track at these shows.

"Our favorite song to perform? I think all three of us in the band would tell you that we have no idea anymore," Morris said. "We do listen to the performance and critique it... Like 'there was a strong intro to "Jamie," or the chorus on that one came in a little late.' Otherwise they're just patterns of notes now. It's the newer stuff we are focusing on."

The beauty of a band like Vivian Darkbloom is that there is only what's upcoming. They are the best of the emerging talent here in Boston. They are what's next.

Buy the "Let's Become Machines" EP on the
Vivian Darkbloom
MySpace page

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Explore the Sunshine!

Today's Streaming Mix

Sunny by Debbie Miller

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Today's Mix

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Revelations from Bob Dylan

The Greatest Source of Bob Dylan insight:
Himself - Well, sort of....

Bob Dylan graphic by Elbow Hinge Design

I have the thought that not many people really know Bob Dylan. The same could be true for many of us. But never has a man been so focused on with so very little left unsaid and unclear. And still, a mystery!

We all recognize the various characterizations of the past.... Coy, evasive Bob. The Dark Soul. The Rebel. The Misunderstood Icon. The Mysterious Artist. The Troubador. The Recluse. The Rocker. The Sage. Therein lied the Mystique and Wonder of the latest Bob Dylan film.

The Revelations have come Slow - About once every three to five years, Bob Dylan does something wild that it catches the world's ears and eyes. He releases a new album, appear in a film, starts a radio program sharing his favorite artists past and present or gives a revealing exclusive interview - (this one is still my favorite ever, from 1963).

Recently - and without much fanfare, I might add - Dylan won a formal Pulitzer Prize citation. Even the most devoted Dylan fans, who cannot overstate the man's importance in their eyes, batted a collective eyelash. We know, we say nodding... "we know."

Several times a year, Music Experts, Rock Journalists and Bob's fellow musicians lay some claim to new-found revelations in his songs. Sooner or later, some brave soul stands up at the alter with an old Dylan gem held high! After dusting it off, they decide to share it with the rest of us. Fantastic and necesary, but the Dylan fanatic in me has always wanted more!

So it is with great interest I peer at the new online issue of Vanity Fair.
In an article whimsically titled: "Inside Bob Dylan's Brain" we look at Bob's likes and (by omission,) his dislikes. The VF article focuses on Dylan's fascination with his radio program topics (Theme Time Radio Hour). Now with two years worth of shows, Vanity Fair contributor Duff McDonald catalogs everything from the artists Dylan has played, to the poets, movies and television shows he’s referenced, to the jokes he’s told and the recipes he’s shared. Little comments that Bob made along the way fill in the blanks.

The Vanity Fair piece is definitely fun and enlightening! The topics are based on the radio program's easy-going, conversational feel... The piece has great Dylan quotes from the last two years: “I don’t trust a man who doesn’t tear up a little watching Old Yeller."

What we read about Bob Dylan in Vanity Fair is likable and certainly hopeful. He is open-minded and surprising modern at times. “A lot of people who play one kind won’t play with people who play another kind, but me personally, I never understood any kind of border patrol when it comes to music.”

This is wicked stuff and an absolute must-read for Dylan fans! The print copy will be available on store shelves very soon!

From Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Show
Episode 15 from last season - an "Eyes" theme:
The Streets - Dry Your Eyes (with Bob Dylan intro)

Travel the World - Today's Blog Playlist

The Latest RSL Mix

A Beautiful World by Matthew Woodson

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Today's Mix

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Afternoon in the Park - RSL Mix Series

The Latest RSL Mix Tape

Irises by Van Gogh

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The Latest RSL Tape

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New Music from Chicago - Meet HEAD OF FEMUR


HEAD OF FEMUR (Greyday Records) is the creative vessel for the whimsical pop music explorations of Mike Elsener and Matt Focht (former drummer of Bright Eyes). In March, the band just released the GREAT PLAINS album. The new record is a rumbling ride through the country, a rocket ship into space, a journey into the mind of the artists. This one is definitely catchy (you'll see) to the point where it becomes irresistible!

On the Great Plains album, the band was allowed to bend the music to their will - and what is produced is the blinding white light of true 'pop radio.' It's feel-good music without cause or care. Because of the number of unusual tracks with unusual time signatures contained within "Great Plain," and by the variety of instruments showcased - including the percussive use of horns and organs, HEAD OF FEMUR could easily fit into the collection of progressive rock fans. They pull off some amazing stuff in a very small package!

Album Artwork by Maggie Pedersen

Today's Record and Artist of the Day are a refreshing breath of fresh air - a nice change. This baby is available now!

Myspace / Artist page

Monday, April 07, 2008

Start your Day Off Right on Through Tonight


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RSL 2 Muxtape

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Flashback :: DELTA SPIRIT - 2007's ALBUM of the YEAR

Work Hard.. Live Right... Love Life. Simple Life Lessons which could have been uttered by America's hardscrabble Nineteenth Century pioneers. Some of these hard-living pioneers are depicted inside the album cover of Delta Spirit's masterful "Ode to Sunshine" album (RSL Album of The Year - 2007).

DELTA SPIRIT'S latest record is an homage, of sorts, for the blue-collar souls and pioneers: the hard livin', hard drinkin, and people dyin' young on life's edge with not much to show for it. The album cover depicts a vintage photo of a monster tornado attacking a grey landscape.

The storm depicted here in the cover is the oldest known tornado photograph. This bleak image was taken in South Dakota in August 1884. By personal accounts the storm captured was a dark, powerful monster. It's selection for the cover of this album cannot be understated. The irony is these songs are full of light and playful - but stretched over a dark, hard landscape.

Ryan's Smashing Life - 2007 Album of the Year

Late in the Year,... This Masterful Record

Hit Play and Walk into a Dusty Saloon, stepping into a past you never knew. There is something epic and dangerous about these songs. Each of the tracks has a very intentional soft fuzz sound. (Excellent production qualities here, track after track!) The next song comes and the piano jangles a lonely tune while the voice rise in defiance of boredom, of sobriety, of, perhaps, living in the moment all-the-while knowing tomorrow is full of hard labor. Ode to Sunshine is all about living through the pain and realizing know you are still lucky to be alive.

Know just one thing: Ode to Sunshine is an incredible album - one of the best of the year. Delta Spirit was already a personal favorite band. But hey, congratulations boys! With this release - you are one of the best bands in the world right now. You heard it here first!

Southern California's Delta Spirit


Delta Spirit - Trashcan