Saturday, May 31, 2008

Harvard hosts Dr Dog and Cassavettes today - Free Afternoon Concert

The Harvard Block Party Today is a sort of CD release party.
Both Cassavettes (Boston) and Dr. Dog (Phili) have new summer albums.

The Show Will Go On... A free concert on Dunster Street in Harvard Square has a lot of people excited. The Dr. Dog show that was scheduled for the Mayfair is taking place today and it's a great reason to get out. Harvard Square shops and businesses will be out with all their wares.

Take note: the area between Forbes Plaza (1350 Massachusetts Avenue) and Dunster Street will be closed from 1pm until 6pm today to handle the festivities. Traffic will be re-routed. Take the redline in. The stage for today's indie rock showcase will be in Forbes Plaza facing the chess players and the courtyard in front of Au Bon Pain and Dunster Street.

Click HERE for more details and updates.

Dr. Dog on Dunster Street - 5pm stage time!

Dr. Dog will release the Fate album in July.

Hometown Heroes Cassavettes - 4pm stage time!

Cassavettes are releasing a live album - Animal Friends this week on i-tunes!

Dr. Dog - Web / Myspace
Cassavettes - Myspace / Band Blog

Friday, May 30, 2008

Burn After Reading

The New Movie from the Coen Brothers...

Nice Hair Brad

Joel and Ethan Coen direct a stellar cast.
(Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich & Tilda Swinton.)
The film is currently scheduled to be released on September 12th.


Poi Dog Pondering

The Return of the Band That Never Really Left at All

Poi Dog Pondering is not your average indie rock band. Geographically, they come from faraway places with diverse backgrounds: Hawaii, Austin and Chicago. Having been street performers, soul survivors, base and drum enthusiasts, rockers and probably about five more incarnations I failed to mention... The band is guilty of yet another new release - their seventh album. The aptly titled: "7" is 14 songs of soul and rock wrapped up together. There are some who are calling it a major return to form and their best work in years. All I know is this band is really different and their music's great!

Poi Dog Pondering

I wouldn't be writing about them if they weren't Really Good.

Proof Positive you have never seen a band like this before - (From the Poi Dog Pondering website):

Every record is a new adventure for us, and on this outing, we were in the mood to make a 'rock and soul' record. Because we control the purse strings, we spared no expense. We wanted a warm dynamic sound, so we recorded to analogue tape (when ever we could) & used old school effects like spring reverb and space echo in place of digital effects. We locked out the studio and lived in it.

Instruments we used to make this new record: 6 and 12 string acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, vibes, charango, guzheng, ukulele, tambourine, bandoneon, jaw harp, super tarana, xylophone, violin, cello, casio, vocals, trumpet, melotron, stylophone, electric mando cello, space echo, fender rhodes, wurlitzer, synth, piano, saxophone, trombone, baritone sax, omni chord, shakers, cow bells and hand claps.

Album Format:
The New Record "7" will be available on L.P., 8 track, cassette, c.d. and digital down load - Cause we're stubborn like that.


Wed June 4
St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill
Fri June 6
Austin, TX @ Antone’s
Sat June 7
Houston, TX @ Continental Club
Sun June 8
New Orleans, LA @ The Parish
Tue June 10
Nashville, TN @ 3rd and Lindsley
Wed June 11
Newport, KY @ Southgate House
Fri June 13
Lawrence, KS @ Downtown Lawrence
Sun June 29
Highland Park, IL @ Ravinia Festival

The Unbelievably Unique History of a Band that's Lasted 2 Decades:

1987: Hailing originally from Hawaii, the original lineup came to the mainland and traveled around North America busking on street corners for gas and food money. They camped along the way.
1988 - 1991: The band relocated to Austin and during this three year period they would release three records: "Poi dog pondering", "Wishing like a mountain..." & "Volo Volo". Toured heavily in the States, Canada, Europe and Japan. Played a lot of famous places like CBGBs in New York!
1992: PDP relocated to Chicago and developed it's big band Rock and Soul sound.
1995: PDP release the "Pomegranate" album.
1996: PDP performs the album "Pomegranate" from start to finish with the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago's Grant Park.
1996: Released the "Electrique Plummagram" EP
1997: PDP release "Liquid White Light" - a live retrospective.
1998: PDP released "That's the Way Love Is" EP
1999: PDP released "Natural thing" album
2000: PDP release the live album " Soul Sonic Orchestra" which captures the band re-inventing itself once again.
2001: Band Front-man, Frank Orrall's interest in electronic music led him to become a member of Thievery Corporation's live band as a percussion player and singer, along with PDP percussionist El John. (They still play with the touring band when not with Poi Dog Pondering.)
2001: PDP release " Sweeping Up the Cutting Room Floor" a collection of previously unreleased studio out-takes from 1987 to 1994
2003: PDP released their 6th record "In Seed Comes Fruit".
2004: PDP release the Marco Ferrari filmed and produced DVD "Audio Visivo" detailing the present history and recording of "In Seed Comes Fruit".
2005: PDP / Chicago Sinfonietta collaboration of Dvorak's "New World Symphony".
2007: PDP / Chicago Sinfonietta collaboration mini opera "Carmen" and the composition and performance of an original score for the Brazilian silent film "Limite" by Mario Peixoto.
2008: PDP finish and prepare the new record ("7") for release.

More information on
Web / Myspace

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bob Marley and the Wailers in California - Halloween 1973

Resurrected by Request!

A Superb Wailers Recording -
Soundboard Quality from 1973

Rare Performance:
The Record Plant in Sausalito, CA on Halloween 1973.

THIS REMARKABLE SHOW is set during the the Wailer's 1973 Burnin' album tour through the States. It's a very special time for the group - there is exciting new material to perform and America is paying close attention.

The Wailers had a rotating, changing line-up. This Tour marks the last appearance of what is widely considered to be the best Wailers line-up.

Pete Tosh
and Bunny "Wailer" Livingston will soon leave the group to work on their solo albums, little did anyone know it but this fact would make the moment of this show the best ever manifestation of the Wailers. This must-have recording is unbelievably still unavailable commercially. The show unfolds during the remarkable turning point in America's love affair for Bob Marley. The world-wide Reggae revolution would follow.

Bob Marley in 1973: photo by Gary Merrin.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Weinland in 2008 - Pretty Sensational Album & A Summer Tour

Pretty Damn Impressive. Thoroughly Great...

Weinland could be, honest to God, the best of its generation. This is original songcraft but it would be easy to mistake the soulful guitar and organ for something written by Neil Young. I am listening as I type these words and I can almost see Young's silhouette climbing over another series of heartaches as Weinland frontman John Adam Weinland Shearer emits another low and steady line of plaintives.

A Different Kind of Talent: Weinland is Wicked

Tomorrow this red hot Portland band will embark on a National Tour

The year is 2008 and what you do have is one of the best independent rock bands to ever be influenced by Neil Young and his contemporaries. Portland's Weinland (Badman Recordings) is embarking on their first ever national tour in support of La Lamentor - a stellar new release. This is a band you should know about!


Weinland - "La Lamentor"

Dark, Sad and Beautiful - La Lamentor is an epic and stirring affair. It's the perfect collection of songs for so many types of days (both the bad and the good). As for channeling the living ghost of Neil Young, just listen to "Gold", "With You Without You", or "Sick As A Gun." - But the band is so much more than a breathing homage to Mr. Young. There are echoes of Elliott Smith and even Nick Drake contained in these rich songs.

This is your chance to check out the band on tour. The whole things starts tomorrow and new dates are being added daily.

May 29 - River City Saloon
Hood River, Oregon

May 30 - Caterina Winery
Spokane, Washington

May 31 - Badlander w/ Joan of Arc
Missoula, Montana

Jun 2 - YouthWorks
Bismark, North Dakota

Jun 4 - Turf Club
St. Paul, Minnesota

Jun 5 - High Noon Saloon w/ The Silos
Madison, Wisconsin

Jun 6 - Beat Kitchen w/Sleep Out
Chicago, Illinois

Jun 7 - Daytrotter Session

Jun 7 - Daytrotter Presents:
@ Huckleberry’s Pizza Parlor
Rock Island, Illinois

Jun 8 - Cinemat Screening Room
Bloomington, Indiana

Jun 10 - The Penalty Box
Providence, Rhode Island

Jun 11 - Union Hall
Brooklyn, New York

Jun 14 - Big Art Show at Load of Fun
Baltimore, Maryland

Jun 16 - Local 506
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Jun 21 - Meadowlark Room
Denver, Colorado

Jun 22 - Urban Lounge
Salt Lake City, Utah

Jun 28 - The Aladdin Theater
w/Norfolk & Western and A Weather
Portland, Oregon

Weinland: Web / Myspace

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Trey Anastasio and Richie Havens added to the Newport Folk Festival line-up

ATTENTION / UPDATE: With the Addition of Trey Anastasio, Richie Havens, Cowboy Junkies and Son Volt - the country's oldest running folk festival has expanded into a modern rock giant and will sell out! This will be one of the premier music events on the east coast this year...


Trey Anastasio will play the Festival.
It will be the first concert for the former Phish frontman in 17 months
Anastasio's live album"Original Boardwalk Style" will be released on June 10th

NEWPORT, RI - The Folk Festival in August will bring Trey Anastasio to the stage for a solo acoustic set and his first full performance in 17 months. This will be Anastasio's first-time playing Newport and his first-ever full solo acoustic show. Additionally, folk-funk pioneer Richie Havens will make a historic return to the festival after seventeen years, while alt-country rockers Son Volt and Red Rooster will make their debut. These artists join the already stellar 2008 lineup which pairs rising stars like Cat Power and Jim James of My Morning Jacket with venerated stalwarts such as Jimmy Buffett, The Black Crowes and Levon Helm.

The Newport Folk Festival is a multi-day, multi-stage music festival held at the historic International Tennis Hall of Fame and Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. The Newport Folk Festival brings together some of the most prolific performers of our times with roots to folk music.

This year’s event will kick off on Friday, August 1st, with an evening concert at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the Newport Casino; followed by two full days of ground-breaking performances across three stages at the historic Fort Adams State Park on August 2nd and 3rd.

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.

Trey Anastasio
Richie Havens
Jimmy Buffett
The Black Crowes
Cowboy Junkies
Levon Helm
The Avett Brothers
Cat Power
Jim James (of My Morning Jacket)
Jakob Dylan
Son Volt
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


Ticketing: 877-655-4TIX

Ryan Adams jams on Bob Dylan

From the Depths of My Collection:

Ryan Adams takes on two Bob Dylan classics in one sitting!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cuts Like a... JACKSONKNIFE - Hot New Indie Rock!


Today's Artist of the Day is the enigmatic and eternally upbeat (it seems) Jacksonknife. This New York indie rock five-piece has a great summer sound but the real star here might be the superior musical arrangements and the recording quality on their new release: the You Don't Know What You're Talking About EP. The diverse sound and dynamic song structure are well served by Kyle "Slick" Johnson's production abilities (Modest Mouse and The Hives).

This is one fun band.
The timing of the EP release is simply criminal - I'm going to be listening to these six songs all summer long. As it is - I already have a pair of the Jacksonknife songs; "Truthfully" and "Healthy Diets" stuck in my already cluttered head. Jacksonknife is one to watch in 2008!

Jacksonknife is One Hot Ticket


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ghost of the Russian Empire - The Mammoth Album

Another Great Band
from AUSTIN, TX:

I will be the first to admit this album review is long overdue. While "The Mammoth" is just now for sale - I've been listening to it almost daily for the last month or so. Beyond the compliment of frequent play, I can tell you this: Ghost of the Russian Empire is probably one of the most promising young indie rock band going these days. Ghost of the Russian Empire (Thirty Ghost Records) have a haunting, layered sound - think about some of Radiohead's more ethereal tracks.

The sound and production value on spooky tracks "A Decade Without a Death" and "Hammer Hands" are a treasure. Listening to these back to back is an eight minute sensory thrill ride. The band submits to a more conventional jam later with "The Winter Soldier" - a song that still manages to lifts you up off your feet; carrying you off to distant places. Fuzzy zone-out songs are undeniably fun - and especially so here! This is a great album - and one that should be in your 2008 indie rock collection. Highly Recommended!

3.5 of 5 Stars - Great Indie Rock Listening!


Photo by Tammy Perez

Buy the album for just $11 US
Myspace Page

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bob Dylan 1963 Interview and Live Performance - First Ever Boots of Spanish Leather

Happy Birthday Bob Dylan! Sixty Seven Years ago today you were born and you've been sharing your music with us for 48 of those years. I can't think of any way better to commemorate your special day than to share this remarkable and rare, high-quality 1963 radio interview and performance recorded in studio by WFMT Chicago radio guru Studs Terkel. I posted this gem recording up last in September of 2006 and now that some time has passed I am hoping it will find purchase with a new audience and a fresh set of ears.

Bob is only 22 years old in this interview. He gives a great performance including the first ever recording of Boots of Spanish Leather. This one is an absolute must have for Dylan fans as well as for those who love listening to magical moments locked in time. This one's a keeper Bob, just like you. Happy Birthday!

It's May 1963...
Current events had family television sets tuned to the news. The adults were afraid of change. The kids were whispering too. Some of them were mouthing lyrics to exciting new songs.

This is a remarkable recording from WFMT radio in Chicago. The Dylan that performs here is remarkably like the Dylan we know from interviews today - just younger, and a little more open.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Dylan in '63: wordy but exceedingly clear,
The young man is easily excitable but quite fun.

There is insight here! This recording is an open door leading to Dylan's core values. We hear about his first visit to NYC. We know how he feels about folk music. We hear from Bob how the Cuban Missile Crisis impacted his song writing.

The class contrarian, Dylan opens the show with Farewell. It's his first chance to set the pace during the interview and he tries to make the most of it. Dylan strums away and declines to stop and let WFMT-Chicago host Studs Terkel speak until the last note of this song is played out.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
WFMT-Chicago radio's Studs Terkel

Dylan has evidently declined to give the Chicago programmer a set list but Terkel is a radio professional and he deals with the situation. Here, Terkel plays the part of host and a lion tamer. His "big cat" is a scrawny Midwestern songwriter with big dreams.

The kid is also fairly convinced he is in charge. The result is that this interview unfolds brilliantly. The studio sound engineers capture a long and winding free-form interview and live guitar session. During a discussion of the Cuban Missile Crisis and how it impacted the singer, Dylan surprises the Chicago host by telling him that he won't perform "A Hard Rain."

"You've got the disc there. You can take it off that. I prefer it if you could just do it that way," Dylan says quietly referring to the radio station's 45 album copy. Dylan's guitar, silent, sits nearby. "I mean, I could sing a song, but it takes a long time to sing."

With infinite patience, Terkel prevails. "I would like you to sing it, and I will tell you why after you sing it..."

You can almost Dylan his roll his shoulders. He could care less. "Alright." he says as he gathers his guitar from the studio floor. And what we hear next is just remarkable.

By now Dylan and Terkel have struck an odd, but working, relationship. The two ramble through talk about life in New York and friends along Dylan's path.

At times the two step on each others words. Dylan, initially very quiet, is shooting his words as fast as he can. He speaks, recants and then clarifies each thought.

The song lightens the mood in the room a bit further. Despite Studs'best attempts to prod him, Dylan still declines to speak about Woody Guthrie. He retreats into conversation about his development as a singer-song writer.

The topic of Dylan as a folk singer stops the conversation in its tracks. Dylan does not consider himself to be a folk performer and he announces that he will no longer perform popular folk tunes.

(The tone of Dylan's anti-folk state of mind explains the odd introduction to the recording - the radio show call man had introduced Dylan to the home audience by calling him "a folk singer!")

"I did it. We'll just say I did it," Dylan says of being a folk singer. "It was something I did."
Things are tense now, but again Terkel maneuvers through the choppy waters and reaches Dylan. He is able to pull another live performance from Dylan. This occurs when the host asks Dylan if there are any of his songs that he thinks might one day be recorded and sung by other artists.

Suddenly, Dylan is uncharacteristically enthusiastic. Ignoring the conversation with Terkel, the young Dylan begins tuning and strumming his guitar. He is pacing the cage like a tiger! He is ready to perform. Finally, the room grows silent and Dylan can begin.

It's the first ever confirmed recording of Boots of Spanish Leather! Dylan had written it weeks before but it had not yet been put to tape in the studio. It's magnificent.


When asked about Dylan got into songwriting - he responds:

"It's always been with me. I can't really say what lead me to it," Dylan continues. "I like to do a lot of things. I'm one of these people who tend to think that everybody has a certain gift. The trouble is just trying to figure out what it is."

This is the best part of the entire show. Listen carefully - Dylan speaks more like a sage than a intimidated young kid thrust on the world stage. Amazing.

Dylan says he is writing a book about his first week in NY.

NY, NY: A place to pound a nail:
"There's a couple of chapters in it," Dylan says. "It's about somebody that's come to the end of one road. He knows there's another road there, but he doesn't know exactly where it is. And knows that he can't go back on the other road. All kinds of stuff there, all kinds of thoughts."

Dylan is tired at this point, Dylan signals that he has had enough. The coy Terkel lets Dylan rest during a period of conversation, then some how draws yet another song out.

"Blowin' In the Wind, that's a popular song!" Terkel says.

Dylan, evidently resentful, responds: "Oh god, I hope not!"

* * * * * * *
The show ends here.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Elvis Costello - Momofuku

Quirky, Ironic and Relevant:
Elvis - Show 'em how it's done!

Elvis Costello

At 53 years young, the great Elvis Costello has released "Momofuku" - a brand new collection of 12 songs that demonstrate that not only is the artist still a inventive storyteller, but hugely relevant as well. Costello recorded the sessions with backing band The Imposters (Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher) but spent some time jamming in session with Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley - RSL Top 15 of 2007), Johnathan Rice (incredible singer-songwriter) and "Farmer" Dave Scher. All the songs appear on this great new collection - in stores now!

4 of 5 Stars - The New One:

On the Album:
Elvis Costello & the Imposters w/ Jenny Lewis, Johnathan Rice, Farmer Dave Scher & Jonathan Wilson.

Lyric Search - Elvis Costello's "1984" Song from the New Album -
From: "No Hiding Place"

Two lovers rocking up and down
In an elevator
15 minutes later
They'll make a killing in the market
They knew how to work it
On that close circuit
My, my, it's a terrible disgrace
You'll find these days that there's
No Hiding Place

Elvis Costello has found a way to embrace success, still continue to thrive and grow - without becoming a part of the industry establishment. Bravo Elvis. Stay ironic and keep us guessing!

A reminder to our readers: Also in Stores now - "Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years" I wrote about this one some time ago and it still comes highly recommended. It's a great place to start for new fans. US fans - there are still signed copies hidden in some sealed packaging. Read All About It!

Elvis Costello - Myspace / Web

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We Are Scientists release a very listenable album

Now In Stores

We Are Scientists

BONUS: "After Hours" Video
Windows Media Player / Quick Time
"No animals - human or otherwise - were hurt
during the filming of this music video"

On their second album, We Are Scientists hope to surprise a lot of people - - the same way they did with their 2005 debut, "Love and Squalor." Back then the band was a three-piece. Keith Murray (guitar & lead vocals) and Chris Cain (bass & backing vocals) were faced with some changes last fall when long-time drummer Michael Tapper left the group. The two founding members have since failed to name a replacement but have added touring drummers and keyboardists to round out their sound. The results, so far, are mostly very positive. The new record; "Brain Thrust Mastery" has only been in my CD player for a few days but I have definitely liked what I have heard. Just check out the upbeat, rolling sound of "After Hours;" Indie Pop has never sounded so good!

We Are Scientists is on tour in Europe through August. Check the Dates.

We Are Scientists
Web / Myspace / Wikipedia page

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Live Photos: David Ford and Wild Sweet Orange

David Ford and Wild Sweet Orange:
Live - May 19th - Paradise Rock Club Boston

David Ford

Best Performance of the Night:
David Ford - State of the Union

Wild Sweet Orange

Preston Livinggood (guitar) - Chip Kilpatrick (drums)

David Ford with Wild Sweet Orange

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wild Sweet Orange and David Ford tonight!

David Ford and Wild Sweet Orange:
AUGUSTANA opening acts are hot

Pop darlings Augustana, they with the breakthrough single "Boston", arrive in our city tonight playing the Paradise. The San Diego band comes well supplied with two remarkable opening acts; David Ford and Wild Sweet Orange. The Doors for this 18+ show open at 7pm. Don't be late or you will miss the best music of the night:

David Ford is a Sonic Dynamo

Opening up tonight at the Paradise is one of my favorite live solo acts. The UK's David Ford is a master of the loop pedal allowing him to pull off some pretty amazing stunts. I have seen people's jaws on the floor before when they heard his gritty, emotive voice and his beautiful piano-playing. Having seen Ford play live a few times now I can tell you he doesn't disappoint. Check out my most recent writeup with video - here. If you are going to the show tonight get there early enough so you don't miss this guy! I have included a rare Smiths cover here. Click the link above to check out "Go To Hell" - which is far more upbeat. I just wanted to share something rare and cool this time!

One Bright Future: Wild Sweet Orange

Wild Sweet Orange is the crisp clean sound of modern indie pop. I heard this band's music back at the beginning of the year and have looked forward to seeing them live ever since. Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama - they carry with them elements of southern styling but have a worldly sensibility. Here's what I wrote about their first EP and the single "Wrestle with God." There is a whole lot to like...

Paradise Rock Club - Tonight at 7pm
David Ford / Wild Sweet Orange / Augustana

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dropkick Murphys at the Hard Rock Las Vegas


The Hard Rock Cafe Las Vegas - Poolside -
Setting for last night's smokin' Murphys show

I am going to apologize with an explanation: I'm a music fan and a writer - - I have a nice camera but I don't even pretend to be a great photog, but I try. Secondly, I want to tell you that this was one helluva difficult show to capture on film. The layout of the venue is beautiful, but it is designed (it seems) to preclude you from getting great shots. The best images are from right in front of the stage. At a Dropkick show, this is where the pushing and shoving are going on... *

Even though I had a photo pass - Hard Rock security booted me from this area after just a couple of shots. There was just so much pushing and fighting around, they didn't want the distraction - I guess. But I did capture a ton of landscape and crowd shots. And anyone that attend a Dropkick show will tell you - the crowd, and the way they react to the songs, is the very essence of the fun.

This one sold out or was very close.
Dropkicks fans are everywhere.

I got this great stage shot of Al Barr singing with the crowd.
After that, I was pushed out of the security strip - photo pass and all.

Sigh... I had such high hopes for this shot.
I wanted to frame the band in this shot with the violet stage light.
A fight broke out next to me broke out and caused me to move. *

There were a lot of Boston jerseys and Red Sox hats in the crowd

11 pm - 88 degrees - Just another night at the Hard Rock Las Vegas

The Dropkicks head west to San Francisco today - and some upcoming dates with Sick of It All. Many nights are - predictably - sold out. The band is tighter than its ever been. Last night in Las Vegas was one hell of a show.

HOT NEWS: The Murphys just inked a deal to play three dates with the Bosstones in New England. Tickets are on sale today. Get in on this one people! Details are below:

Friday, May 16, 2008

The RSL Music Blog presents... The Black and White Years - June 17th at the Middle East

You Know Summer is Here...

Ryan's Smashing Life Music Blog presents...

Austin's hottest new band:


Live at The Middle East in Central Square Cambridge, MA on June 17th
Opening Acts will soon be announced!

Guitar Mayhem - The Sword returns to Boston

I write these words in a Las Vegas hotel room that trembles with the guitar might of The Sword. It's the awesome sound of power...

Austin's THE SWORD returns to Boston on Sunday night!

I told you a few weeks back about The Sword's new record - an inspired hard guitar assault on the senses. The band rocked North America and are taking another swing through Boston at the Middle East on Sunday. The Sword appears in a wicked line-up that includes: Torche, Stinking Lizaveta, and Never Got Caught.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ticket Giveaway - RSL Presents Indie Rock Mayhem at TT the Bears Tomorrow Night

Reminder: Ryan's Smashing Life Presents - Tomorrow Night!

Boston's Aloud (above) & New York's Murder Mystery headline one hot bill.
Attend to check out FOUR amazing bands & pick up some free CD giveaways.

Here's the lowdown on the big Friday Night event:

art by Surgeon General

Tomorrow Night at TT the Bears - Four Hot Bands, CD Giveaways and a ton of fun! Get ready because the RSL Music Showcases are back! This is the first of several live shows planned for 2008, following up on the tradition I started last year. I bring you highly talented musicians from Boston and beyond. This one is being sponsored by the great guys over at Stranded in Stereo - who will be handing out free CDs!

Enter the Words "RSL at TTs" in the Subject Line of your Email.
One Lucky entry will get a pair of passes to the show.

This is the Best Show in Town.
These are the Bands:

Aloud Myspace / Web
Murder Mystery Web / Myspace
Miss Fairchild Web
Scuba Myspace / Web

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Headed to Las Vegas

Ryan Adams - Ooh Las Vegas
recorded live 2002

I'm headed out today for Vegas. My plane takes off from Logan this afternoon. I hope to keep up posting, but I'm still not sure where this twisted path will lead me. It's a well deserved and long overdue treat.

Ryan Adams Web / Myspace

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Beautiful - Amazing New Stuff from The Old Believers

Alaska's The Old Believers - today make Portland, OR their home. And Portland is damn lucky to have them. Nelson Kempf and Keely Boyle are the band they also happen to be two very talented souls.

The Old Believers

Boyle and Kempf - photo by Matt Chopz

The pair have been touring in support of their latest album Some Songs from The Old Believers. Their roaming has put them on tour with some pretty exceptional musicians; (they recently toured with Kate Earl and my friend Matt Hopper.) All this touring comes in anxious anticipation of the July release of the amazing Eight Golden Greats EP. It's the finest work in their career to date.

I have been rocking this album - loud - today at the house. The pair split the singing chores on the album and while all the tracks on Eight Golden Greats are pretty damn great - one is just exceptional. Keely takes the lead in "No More" - one of most arresting tracks I have heard in ages. It will make you an instant fan.

The Most Amazing New Song I have heard in a long while
The Old Believers - No More

And while I hate torturing you with this amazing stuff that you won't be able to hear for a few weeks - let alone buy (tentative release date is set for July 10th)... I thought it was only right to get you a little excited for something this sweet. This album is exceptional!

The Old Believers
Myspace / Virb page

Friday, May 09, 2008

Tokyo Police Club - New Remix

2008 has already been a big year for Tokyo Police Club. With a top selling record in Elephant Shell and a successful world tour well underway, everything is coming up roses for this band from Ontario. Their label, Saddle Creek, today just authorized the release of the "Tessellate Remix" by Tom Campesinos (of Los Campesinos!). Here is the remix for free download, along with the original version of "Tessellate" - you tell me what you think of each....

All Bridge, No Trolls - Tokyo Police Club

The New Album (In Stores Now):


Myspace (Tour Dates) / Web (Everything Else)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

RSL Indie Rock Celebration - May 16th!

The Tradition continues here in 2008....

art by Surgeon General

The RSL Music Blog presents.... An Indie Rock Music Showcase.

This is one hell of a hot music lineup scheduled for May 16th at TT the Bears - Four Hot Bands, CD Giveaways and a ton of fun! Get ready because the RSL Music Showcases are back! This is the first of several live shows planned for 2008, following up on the tradition I started last year. I bring you highly talented musicians from Boston and beyond.

This one is being sponsored by the great folks over at Stranded in Stereo, who vow to give you lots of free goodies if you arrive early - and ask nicely. SIS is a company that takes the best new music in the world and puts it in an easy to digest package - which they give to you for free. The only way to guarantee that you get the free goodies (supplies are limited) is to arrive early! Doors for this show open at 8pm and the first band goes on at 9.

The intention of the showcases is to present opportunity for the artists and to bring truly amazing music into the lives of my readers. Here is the handpicked lineup for the May 16th show:


Fiery rock n' roll band Aloud is known for their two lead singers, tight male/female vocals, exceptionally strong songwriting, and energy-filled live performances. Lead vocalists/guitarists Jen de la Osa and Henry Beguiristain have been writing songs together since their early teens, and have crafted the passionate rock n' roll sound of Aloud with bassist Roy Fontaine and drummer Ross Lohr.

The critically acclaimed foursome are based in Boston, MA and perform regularly throughout the east coast and beyond. A very busy 2008 is kicked off with this show.

I shared Aloud's brand new album "Fan the Fury" back in March. (Album Review.) RSL is very proud to bring you this ultra-hot Boston band on the rise. I predict very good things!

Aloud Myspace / Web

Murder Mystery

Is pop craftsmanship a thing of the past? With popular music becoming more and more sales-driven, it seems the gap between a hit record and a great record has never been so wide.

Fortunately, Murder Mystery is here to fill that void and then some, ushering in a new era in feel-good, well-crafted pop. "There isn't a single weak track on their self-released debut, Are You Ready for the Heartache Cause Here It Comes," raves the Village Voice.

I'll be completely honest with you. Murder Mystery is one of my favorite bands. I first heard their 2007 record and it blew me away. (My Album Review - "This enchanting record is awash with the sounds of influences both past and current. These tracks are proof positive that Frank Black, They Might Be Giants and the Talking Heads walk the Earth.")

I am delighted to help bring this amazing band back to Boston - where I am sure they are destined for success. More great news? There's a new album in the works.

Murder Mystery Web / Myspace

Miss Fairchild

Miss Fairchild is Daddy Wrall (vocals), Samuel P. Nice (production) and Schuyler Dunlap (instruments). Since 2004, they have made dynamic modern pop music that also serves as a music appreciation course for lovers of soul and funk music. On 2007's "Ooh La La, Sha Sha&" album, the trio blends a timeless sense of songwriting with timely production values, displaying a remarkable musical palette influenced by such artists as Sly & The Family Stone & Tony Toni Toné. With Trick Johnson (bass) and Todd "The Rocket" Richard (drums), they are The Miss Fairchild Show, an express train of energy, rapid transitions and positivity, which has drawn comparisons to the legendary Jungle Brothers.

The showmanship and funk that Miss Fairchild bring are exactly what we all need to get this summer music season in full gear. Fun would be an understatement. This is going to be sensational!

Miss Fairchild Web


Boston's Scuba is an indie pop band playing original distortion-laced melodies. Initially constituted in Boston in 2000, the current configuration launched in 2004.
The line-up consists of 4 friends who met at the University of Connecticut in the 90's. Their influences include Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, Swell, Guided By Voices, The Beatings, New Order, and so forth.

I love Scuba's sound. This great Boston band is signed to the Midriff Records label (the same people that brought you solo artist Eldridge Rodriguez and The Beatings.) It's really hard to beat the dark, layered tracks on Scuba's great 2007 self-titled album. (RSL Album Review - Check out "You Break My Heart in a 1000 Different Ways.") This band is a treat!

Scuba Myspace / Web