Sunday, May 31, 2009

VIRAL VIDEO: Pezzettino and the Boston Firehouse

SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOT TO ROLL WITH IT: Ahh.... the best laid plans of men.... You weren't going to be hearing about the last two night's worth of RSL-shows at the Red Room at Berklee's Cafe 939 on these pages until we got all the photographs ready to go... but finding this endearing video blog posted online by Pezzettino! (the solo Wisconsin-based performer of last night's show.) This one just went up today (now that's fresh!) and we knew we just had to share!

Another Episode of Viral Video

Pezzettino photograph byMatt Schwenke

GOING VIRAL - PEZZETTINO-style! Utterly exhausted from yesterday's bus ride from NYC, where she performed just the night before.... Margaret wanted to nap before her set (which she just killed!!) last night, but found she just couldn't contain her excitement for being in the city for the first time - and so she went for a walk. What ensued was a video-accompanied jaunt down Boylston street by the accordian performer. She soon paid a visit to the nearby firehouse where they offered her a tour! Somewhere along the way, you realize exactly how cool and sweet this artist is as a person... And stuff like this is EXACTLY what the viral video series was created for!

From the new album "Lion"

What's Next: Ryan's Smashing Life is bringing you a Pezzettino listening party - open to the public - on June 30th at River Gods in Central Square. We will bring you the music - River Gods will bring you food and libations. What more could you want?! Come on Out and hear the music of "Lion!" Hope to see you there!


Spend a Few Minutes checking out all these
previous RSL Viral Video selections:

The RSL YouTube Page!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Another Episode of Viral Video

The Kooks (RSL Best of'08) Ride like madmen in France!

GO GO GO! The latest Viral Video - we found this one online and wanted to share! The Kooks have funs with some friends on a Go Kart course in France. The Kooks are a young, talented rock band with the ability to perform just about any type of music. They also do it with a smile - which makes it even more fun for fans...

Hot Covers from THE KOOKS

Kooks - All That She Wants
(Ace of Base cover)
Kooks - Crazy
(Gnarls Barkley cover)
Kooks - Young Folks
(Peter, Bjorn and John cover)

The Kooks
Myspace / Web

Spend a Few Minutes checking out all these
previous RSL Viral Video selections:

The RSL YouTube Page!

Last Night in Boston - Tonight in Boston!

LAST NIGHT: We couldn't have hoped for a much bigger and enthusiast crowd last night at the Cafe 939 - 3 huge bands and some very happy concertgoers. (A full house with very little room to move around in.) This is especially impressive when one realizes how much was going on throughout the region and we are so happy that so many of you are as dedicated as we are to exceptional live music. Thanks go out to Ryanhood, Vivian Darkbloom and Tom Thumb!

Boston's Vivian Darkbloom tore up the stage last night

Above: Check out the custom wii-mote guitar customization on Rob Morris' guitar!
Sean Hafferty photograph

TONIGHT: Guess what? Night 2 of RSL Presents at the CAFE 939 takes place tonight - 3 Stellar live performances (all female-fronted acts) to make you fall in love, again, with music! Doors are at 7:30 - Music at 8pm (don't miss a single note of this lineup! Click the link above for the bios and mp3s for all artists!) You can still get tickets for tonight's show online through Ticketmaster!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hello, Old Chap!

Hello online neighbors... In the midst of an exceptionally (and absurdly) busy week. As you know (I hope you know) the RSL is hosting two live shows this week. One tonight. The other is tomorrow night - both right here in Boston. Locals, come on out! We just shipped out a bunch of RSL t-shirts and will be bringing more to the show for your approval. (Just a note: Through the mail these babies are $9 with a music surprise.) For those of you in New England - if you come out to an RSL-sponsored show, these t-shirts are just $6! Either deal is pretty awesome. Beyond all that, we have a bunch of new music and artists to tell you about. And some truly stellar photographs by our pix snappers to share. It's all coming up.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Friday and Saturday Night in Boston - The RSL Music Blog presents... Live at Cafe 939

BACK-TO-BACK GOODNESS! - Ryan's Smashing Life presents, this Friday and Saturday Night at Boston's Cafe 939 in the Back Bay - 2 Nights of Amazing Live Music..... We have hand-selected three amazing acts for each night (Fri 5/29 + Sat 5/30) and will be taking over the Red Room performance stage at Berklee's Cafe 939 - offering you something really, really special... Very excited about this:


click to access bios + music / buy tickets

layout + design by artist Frank Germano

Why You Should Be There:


click to access bios + music / buy tickets

layout + design by artist Frank Germano

Why You Should Be There:


Due to the Venue & Interest - Both Shows will likely sell out. Pre-Sale Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Come on out!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's Their Time.... The New Collisions make some Noise!

Thursday Night 5/28/09
SCENE: The Lucky Dog in Worcester
and Friday Night 5/29/09
SCENE: TT the Bears in Cambridge

Sarah Guild of The New Collisions

DATELINE - BOSTON: There is little doubt in my mind that at this very moment there is no hotter band in the city than The New Collisions. These new wave darlings are making all the right moves right now, proliferating the radio waves - sharing the sounds of their brand new EP (out this week) and rocking stages in and around Boston. Sarah Guild and The New Collisions are history in the making!

One to Know in 2009: THE NEW COLLISIONS

This week, The New Collisions release their debut EP - an opportunity for fans to take home a piece of the band for the first time ever. We were lucky enough to have a copy right here - and we find ourselves immediate fans. We just love Sarah's voice (she also has a transcendent rock-star quality - a sexy stage persona that sets her apart!) The band keeps getting sharper as time goes on. The New Collisions are the right blend of guitar/keys/drums/bass and it's clear everybody has worked very hard to polish their performances for this high-end pop project and it shows on this EP - certainly one of the best new music projects to come out of Boston this year... Highly Recommended!

The New Collisions - The Beautiful and Numb

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sonic Delight - Nashville's DARLA FARMER plants a seed!

Tonight @ the Bear's in Cambridge

Darla Farmer - a wild band with a big, big sound

A LITTLE BIT OF NASHVILLE: One of the most energetic and diverse bands we have come across in a long, long time will be in town tonight Tuesday (5/26), appearing at one of the city's best local stages. Darla Farmer, who we enthusiastically told you about back in February, are on the road and will call Cambridge home for just one night. If you were looking for something fun to do on Wednesday night - it doesn't get any more wild and big than this:

WEDNESDAY NIGHT LINEUP: Playing on the bill with Darla Farmer tonight are new RSL favorites Highly Personal Trash, and new friends Brother George and The Satch Kerans Band. Four bands - tickets just $7. Don't miss it!

Web / Myspace / Facebook / Itunes

Monday, May 25, 2009

Meese at Jerky's in Providence! - Tues 5/26/09

Scene: Jerky's in Providence

MEESE! Atlantic Recording artist Meese (from Colorado) are in the areaset to perform another impressive night filled with intelligent indie pop! They will be playing at Jerky's in Providence on Tuesday night - going on at 8:30ish. (Jerky's is a Music Hall hosting local and national acts each week. It's a non genre-specific venue like those in Boston (the Middle East, TTs, Great Scott, Harper's Ferry and the Paradise are quick examples.) The bar does its bit to be a good neighbor by supporting a number of local sports and special interests groups. In other words, it's a good place to grab a beer.

Meese plays Providence on Tuesday

A PAIR OF FREE TICKETS TO TOMORROW'S SHOW! - If you are in Providence or if you are willing to make the trip, the RSL Music Blog has a pair of tickets to the Meese show this Tuesday night to give you. to enter, just EMAIL us at therslweblog (at) gmail (dot) com. Just to make it easier for us, please type "Meese" in the subject line.

Remembering Jay Bennett of Wilco

REMEMBERING JAY: It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the great singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett who died yesterday. Bennett will be best remembered as a founder of Titanic Love Affair and as an early and important member of Wilco during that group's formative years (1994 - 2001) before leaving to become a prolific solo musician and a celebrated engineer/producer. During his career, the 45 year-old Bennett, brought a tangible, layered, earthy quality to almost every recording he touched. Because of this, many audiophiles began asking for his return to Wilco... Others just wanted Bennett to take a role in their music whether it was as a studio musician or as a producer.

Jay Walter Bennett

THE BACKSTORY: In some ways the amazing Sam Robert Wilco documentary, "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," was both an end and a new beginning for the band. Prepared to release the important Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (one of the best albums of the modern era), the band found itself in dispute with its label and the creative window appeared to be closing. Warner Brothers did not believe they could market Wilco. Band leader Jeff Tweedy found himself in personal and creative conflict with member Jay Bennett. (And because of this conflict Bennett becomes a polarizing force in the film. [Bennett had a similar vital role in the manufacture of the music of YHF. *credit and praise go to Glorious Noise.])

In an 2008 interview with MOKB (link below), Bennett lamented how he came off in the film (sort of as an internal protagonist.) His future work and deeds help to make the case...."I'm not the dick head portrayed in the Wilco 'documentary,' I will probably spend a lifetime living down the after effects of someone else's creative editing. But, anybody who gets to know me even a little bit will paint you a very different picture. So, I guess one wish of mine would be for the world to know me for who I really am, but that's probably a lot to ask. "

Editor's Note:
Just weeks ago, Bennett filed a lawsuit against Tweedy for the sum of $50,000 due to his lack of compensation for his role in the film and on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The lawsuit came only as Bennett prepared for the hip replacement surgery (Bennett has been suffering through chronic pain and as a full-time musician - he had no health insurance.) According to reports, Bennett died in his sleep following his operation. No additional information has been made available.

My Old Kentucky Blog: 2008 Q&A with Jay Bennett
NPR : Rest in Peace Jay Bennett by Bob Boilen
Captains Dead: Don't Be Sad, I Know You Will Be (Jay Bennett & Jeff Tweedy 1999)
Aquarium Drunkard: Jay Bennett, 1963-2009 (download the YHF demos!)
CYSTSFS: RIP - Jay Bennett

Sunday, May 24, 2009

VIRAL VIDEO: Ryan Adams in Jamaica

Another Episode of Viral Video

Filmed in romantic non-music locations around the globe, the public television music series "Music in High Places" is sadly, no more. Ryan Adams played Jamaica and it was the finest of the series. (Are you kidding me? Music in High Places filmed in Jamaica?!) For years this has been one of my favorite collections of live video performance - as much as for cinematography and the high-quality sound recording as for Adams' incredible playing there. The time period for Adams and his band is extremely relevant. PBS got him when he was still making a name for himself. He is performing songs from the Gold album before they were made famous. The results is a masterful acoustic - energetic and fresh each time. What makes these tracks even more entertaining is that Adams (who has temporarily retired) doesn't really play most of these tracks anymore. These are true snapshot videos - a moment in time is beautifully captured. Do yourself a favor and pick up the Music In High Places DVD from your local indie rock record store.

Firecracker (Jamaica)

The Rescue Blues (Jamaica)

Hard-Time Situation (Jamaica)

Spend a Few Minutes checking out all these
previous RSL Viral Video selections:

The RSL YouTube Page!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Beautiful Darkness of WAR TAPES

Ryan Sez: I'm both excited and a bit intrigued by today's music project. With two very different approaches in their craft, War Tapes produce emotional, cinematic songs - while also jamming out dance-hall music for your next party. No matter what..... This music is Without a Doubt better than what your neighbor's kids are listening to.

Music You Should Know:


War Tapes are Neil Popkin (singer/rhythm guitarist), his sister Becca Popkin (bassist), Matt Bennett (lead guitar) and William Mohler (drummer).

RSL Calls it "Dark Pop" - And "we call it heart-quaking doom pop," says War Tapes' Neil Popkin (originally from Boston.) War Tapes' first full-length album, The Continental Divide, will be released next week (on May 26) by Sarathan Records (Seattle). War Tapes recently toured with RSL longtime favorites Tiger Army. Now they're on a tour with VNV Nation. Here's your chance to get in on this band early. Pick up the album (see below for the presale offer).

May 27th - Hollywood
Club Moscow -Free Show w/ RSVP! 18+
May 28th - Fullerton, CA
The Continental Room
Jun 15th - National Television
Jun 27th - Los Angeles
Club Nokia with VNV Nation
Jun 29th - San Francisco
The Regency Center with VNV Nation
Jun 30th - Portland, OR
Berbati's Pan with VNV Nation
Jul 1st - Seattle
The Showbox with VNV Nation
Jul 3rd - Salt Lake City
The Murray Theatre with VNV Nation
Jul 5th 2009 8:00P
Gothic Theatre with VNV Nation
Jul 7th - Milwaukee
Turner Hall with VNV Nation
Jul 8th - Minneapolis
Station 4 with VNV Nation
Jul 10th - Chicago
The House of Blues with VNV Nation
Jul 11th - Detroit
St. Andrews Hall with VNV Nation
Jul 12th - Cleveland
Peabody's with VNV Nation
Jul 14th - Toronto
The Phoenix Theatre
Jul 15th - Montreal
Le National with VNV Nation
Jul 17th - Boston
The Paradise with VNV Nation
Jul 18th - NYC
The Nokia Theatre with VNV Nation
Jul 19th - Philadelphia
TLA with VNV Nation
Jul 21st - Washington DC
The 9:30 CLUB with VNV Nation
Jul 23rd - Atlanta
Masquerade with VNV Nation
Jul 24th - Tampa
The Ritz with VNV Nation
Jul 25th - Ft. Lauderdale
Culture Room with VNV Nation
Jul 27th - Dallas
The Granada Theatre with VNV Nation
July 28th - San Antonio
The White Rabbit with VNV Nation
July 30th - Tempe, AZ
The Marquee Theatre with VNV Nation

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Music from Australia's ST HELENS


New music from Australia: Melbourne’s newest indie sensation, St Helens, released its first album, Heavy Profession, in Australia back in April but audiences in the US won't get fully exposed to this one until later this summer. At once catchy, devastating, and quietly relentless, this is exciting new music that's near-impossible to turn away from. We think audiences everywhere will find the wait worth while!

St Helens

Is Melbourne the new Toronto? - Similar to the way Broken Social Scene draws support from numerous Ontario bands to create one amazing mega-band, St Helens pulls from the best that Melbourne’s musical community has to offer. You can trace the band’s members (Jarrod Quarrell, Hannah Brooks, Ian Wadley, Lewis Boyes, and Damian Clarkson) back to The New Season, Spider Vomit, Bird Blobs, Minimum Chips, Alpha Males and Kes, not to mention the less frequent contributions coming from members of Love of Diagrams and Panel of Judges. This pedigree certainly isn’t necessary for a sincere appreciation of St Helens, whose own music will allow the band to make a name for itself, but new fans will have plenty to go back to in order find the precedents and precursors for Heavy Profession.

Hot songs about late-night missteps: The debut effort from St Helens undoubtedly will inspire comparisons to the band’s namesake volcano south of Seattle, Washington—this even though the band’s name most likely gestures towards the town of St. Helens in northeast Tasmania. There is, however, something hot, steady, threatening, and destructive about these songs. Reminiscent of slow churning lava and the dizzying aftershocks of volcanic eruption, they tell the story of our late-night mistakes and miscues.

These songs also communicate the wonder and disbelief with which we often look back on such misadventures, but they never stoop to whining about anything like regret. The steady, persistent hook of the opening track, “Don’t Laugh,” suggests that what’s done is done; there’s no going back to change anything. In fact, St Helens seems determined to deny criticisms of anything its members have done: “Suck it up and take the whole hit.” Through the catchy blend of percussion and melodica on “How to Choose Your Guru, Pt. 2,” the search for answers to life’s mysteries bleeds into the search for one’s keys among someone else’s clothes early the next morning: “Well ever since I was three, God made a fool out of me, and now I’m looking for another to satisfy my needs, so who’s gonna win my love?”

For St Helens; Jarrod Quarrell (Vocals/guitar/keys/songs), Hannah Brooks (Vocals), Ian Wadley (Guitar/Bass), Lewis Boyes (Guitar/Keys/Backing Vocals), and Damian Clarkson (Drums), misdeeds might be the only means to move forward.

Quiet, honest, deliberate, and sexy music: With all of the band’s collaborative energy, you might expect the album to be a bit schizophrenic, but Quarrell’s poignant songwriting keeps Heavy Profession on track. Quarrell and Brooks’ beautiful vocals twist and turn around bare, lo-fi instrumentation that sounds purposeful in all its nakedness. Both the music and the words linger in the quiet space of these sexy tunes. Hipsters everywhere will be turning down the lights when this album hits their turntables later this summer. For those outside of Australia anxious to spin it now, grab Heavy Profession and two bonus tracks on iTunes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

And Now a Word from The In Out

Friday Night 5/22/09
SCENE: Plough and Stars in Cambridge
and Saturday Night 5/30/09
SCENE: The Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain

Todd Nudelman at Church this February

The Old In-Out: If there's one intrinsic quality we like in our music I guess the most important one would be authenticity. Having "a real" quality to the music and the band itself makes the whole thing a lot more approachable for listeners... Well there's not many bands more authentic than Boston's The In Out. We love their patented unpolished old-school, throwback sound. Fuzzy guitars entangled with drums, songs punctuated by two-part harmonies - it's the perfect neighborhood rock and roll. The band: Todd Nudelman (vocals/guitar), Nick Blakey (bass/vocals/keys), and Richard Adkins (drums).

DOING IT IN PUBLIC: On Friday (5/22) in Cambridge you will have the chance to see the band perform at the Plough and Stars (one of our neighborhood bars in Cambridge) with Cotton Candy. And a week from Saturday (5/30), The In Out play longtime favorite bar The Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain. (On the bill with The Figgs) Both venues will let listeners take their hair down and enjoy some great rock. This might be your last chance for a while to catch The In Out as they take a period off from live performing. Get there and Let Loose!!

The In Out

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ryan's Smashing Life presents May 30th at Cafe 939

IMPRESSIVE ENTERTAINMENT - On Saturday, May 30th the RSL Music Blog takes over the Red Room at Cafe 939 at Berklee for the second of two magical nights. (Here's a link to the Friday, May 29th lineup.)

A Ryan's Smashing Life live show delivers remarkable music talent, straight from our digital pages to the finest stages in New England. This tradition of music exploration continues on Saturday, May 30th at the Cafe 939 with three outstanding acts that promise to thoroughly entertain, reigniting your passion for exciting new music!

poster layout and design by Frank Germano

Static of the Gods

Boston's own -Static of the Gods tends a hothouse full of luminous, melody-infused indie rock songs with sweet vocals soaring over a seething rhythm section and expansive, reverb-drenched guitars. Their clarity and innovation finds critics drawing comparisons from every end of the musical spectrum, from The Cure to Rainer Maria, Rilo Kiley to Silversun Pickups– with a sound that refuses to be fenced in, tied down, or kept under wraps.

Named “Boston’s hottest rising band” by Skope Magazine, SOTG released their well-received debut, Cycles Follow Signs, through recorded in April 2007, where it debuted at #141 on CMJ Charts, peaking at #103 with 5 weeks in the Top 200. Having toured the country in 2008, the band released the Obama Inauguration EP in January and are, right now, recording tracks for their next album.

Ryan's Smashing Life: "This most-promising band have a special something - a talent level, their tight play, an enigmatic charm - that lends me to believe they will be the next Boston band to make a mark on the national level."

NE Performer
: "Orbiting in perfect equilibrium between guilty pleasure pop music and cool underground purist fringe rock, Static of the Gods holds a future that looks promising ..."

The Hollow Sound

With members hailing from both Berklee and Emerson , The Hollow Sound might be considered a Boston band but their raucous live performances have earned them a fanbase a bit wider. Just back from the SxSW Music Festival in Austin, the band recently performed for fans on MTVu and at last year's CMJ Music Festival. They also just played in the Rolling Stone-sponsored Rockus music competition.

The songs from the Hollow Sound's new release, The Life & Times of The Hollow Sound EP, were produced by Mike Poorman (ex-Hot Rod Circuit, producer of Paulson, TREOS, and Piebald.)

The Hollow Sound (Maddie Herec - vocals, Evan Brock - guitar/vocals, Adam Gruss - drums/vocals, Bill King - bass, and Justin Poirier - guitar/vocals) has shared a stage with a number of impressive acts recently including Rookie Of The Year, The Matches, Kaddisfly, As Tall As Lions, and Dear & The Headlights, amongst others. Along the way, the Hollow Sound are finding new ways to get better - and they impress audiences!


The thoroughly engaging Pezzettino! is the brainchild of Margaret Stutt. Trained in classical piano at the local convent until the age of twelve, she picked up the accordion for the first time little over a year ago. Since the release of her solo debut album, Because I Have No Control in September 2008, Pezzettino! has been on the road and is busy writing and recording the third release, "Lamb," set for release in late 2009.

Influences include Yann Tiersen, Sufjan Stevens, Andrew Bird, Tchaikovsky, Bach, The Avett Brothers, Bjork, The Cranberries, Erykah Badu, Juliana Hatfield, Ben Folds, Sheryl Crow, and Billie Holiday.

Pezzettino! is now gaining a reputation for her genre-bending style that touches on Indie Rock, Classical, and Celtic Folk. "It's a bit like me showing up for a date with messy hair and skinned knees after jumping from a moving car."

RSL at Cafe 939 on Saturday, May 30th
(Do you have Facebook?)
This Event will Likely Sell Out.
All Ages - 8pm - Just $10

Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan signs to Rounder

A NEW HOME FOR DOLORES: Just learned that the angel-voiced Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer and songwriter of The Cranberries, has signed to ZoĆ«/Rounder Records. The Burlington, MA-based Rounder Records is one of our favorite music labels in the entire country. They are the home of Delta Spirit, The Tragically Hip, Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, and Sam Roberts amongst many others. The addition of O'Riordan would seem a great fit for the dedicated music label. There's more O'Riordan news to report: the artist is on the verge of releasing a new album; the 11 track No Baggage arrives on August 25th.

Dolores O'Riordan

Now on Rounder Records

With No Baggage, O’Riordan’s unforgettable, distinguished voice is back and better than ever. O’Riordan co-produced and wrote all the tracks on the album with Ontario-based Dan Brodbeck, resulting in a bright, clean sound that finds the singer’s astoundingly emotive voice front and center, be it on the gorgeous piano ballad “Lunatic” or the forthright, anthemic rocking track “Be Careful” or the infectious, driving lead single, “The Journey.”

Music Video: "When We Were Young"

O’Riordan is no stranger to success, led by “Linger,” The Cranberries debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, hit #1 in Britain. Follow-up No Need to Argue cemented the group’s popularity via such popular tracks as “Zombie,” “Ridiculous Thoughts,” and “Ode to My Family,” ultimately being certified 7x Platinum in the U.S. and 5x platinum in Europe (hitting # 1 in Germany, Austria, and Australia, and # 2 in the U.K.). The Cranberries had four top 20 Billboard albums, 8 hit singles, and worldwide sales of over 40 million records.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Marching Orders - Coldplay and "Left Right Left Right Left"

STEPPING INTO A NEW DAY: Coldplay wants to thank their fans - who have helped make the seemingly endless Viva La Vida tour - a huge success. (More dates are listed below.) They are giving away (with free email registration) a total of nine live songs to make you feel like they do... So to speak. Capturing the spirit of the tour (which just keeps marching on), Coldplay have titled the free downloadable EP, Left Right Left Right Left. The album contains a free version of "Viva La Vida" and "Clocks" - which should make a whole lot of rabid Chris Martin fans really glad to be alive..

Remaining Viva La Vida Tour Dates:
18/05/09: Birmingham, AL
20/05/09: Virginia Beach, VA
21/05/09: Washington, DC
23/05/09: Hartford, CT
24/05/09: Hershey, PA
26/05/09: Philadelphia, PA
27/05/09: Saratoga Springs, NY
29/05/09: Scranton, PA (Cancelled)
30/05/09: Pittsburgh, PA
01/06/09: Buffalo, NY
02/06/09: Detroit, MI
04/06/09: Cincinnati, OH
05/06/09: Indianapolis, IN
06/06/09: Nashville, TN
09/06/09: New Orleans, LA
10/06/09: San Antonio, TX
12/06/09: Des Moines, IA
13/06/09: Omaha, NE
15/06/09: Winnipeg
17/06/09: Calgary
18/06/09: Edmonton
20/06/09: Vancouver
21/06/09: Vancouver
02/07/09: Arras
03/07/09: Werchter
05/07/09: Roskilde
10/07/09: Portland, OR
11/07/09: George, WA
13/07/09: San Francisco, CA
14/07/09: Sacramento, CA
16/07/09: San Diego, CA
18/07/09: Carson, CA
19/07/09: Irvine, CA
21/07/09: Dallas, TX
22/07/09: Houston, TX

DOWNLOAD Left Right Left Right Left
(required email registration on

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ryan's Smashing Life presents May 29th at Cafe 939

INCREDIBLE ENTERTAINMENT - On Friday, May 29th the RSL Music Blog takes over the Red Room at Cafe 939 at Berklee for the first of two magical nights. (Here's a link to the Saturday, May 30th lineup.)

A Ryan's Smashing Life live show delivers remarkable music talent, straight from our digital pages to the finest stages in New England. This tradition of music exploration continues on Friday, May 29th at the Cafe 939 with three outstanding acts that promise to thoroughly entertain, reigniting your passion for exciting new music!

poster layout and design by Frank Germano


On the streets of Boston – in between classes at Berklee College of Music – Ryan Green found his calling with childhood friend Cameron Hood. While busking with their acoustic guitars, the two were snatched up by Clear Channel’s Tea Party Concerts booking agency. Since then, the two, under the name Ryanhood, have toured the country opening up for artists such as Jason Mraz, Lifehouse, Matt Nathanson, and the Plain White T’s.

One part comedic exchange and one part music ensemble, Ryanhood has built a reputation around the country as one of the most entertaining and engaging acoustic duos today. Their airtight vocal harmonies, along with Ryan’s rapidly precise guitar riffs and Cameron’s soulfully rich lead vocals, create the pleasantly distinguishable “Ryanhood” sound.

Ryanhood's upcoming album, The World Awaits, produced by Grammy winner Ross Hogarth (Melissa Etheridge, Ziggy Marley), features the same feel-good breakdowns and radio-ready hooks that fans have loved about Ryanhood for years.

Web / Myspace

Vivian Darkbloom

One of the most wildly talented new bands we have stumbled on in recent years, Boston's Vivian Darkbloom have already achieved notoriety and accolades for their music. Led by singer Rob Morris whose tricked out guitar (an incredible customization involving a Wii remote) has helped gain the group attention - his band's music has been the subject of attention from,, and Find out what others already know, this is one of the hottest new sounds in the country!

"Vivian Darkbloom offers a subtly unique species of alternative rock, kitschy and catchy, but with staying power... Dark-tinged alternative with absorbing lyrics and simple, powerful guitar riffs" - CMJ

"Vivian Darkbloom is Boston's hot new band. They're young, creative, and really good" - Ryan's Smashing Life

Vivian Darkbloom
MySpace page

Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb is the musical project of Boston's Andy Arch, who records the various instruments of deconstructed pop songs and scaffolded folk music. He has shared the stage with Jens Lekman, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Dr. Dog, and many more, and played around the country. Do not miss a single minute of Tom Thumb - one of the best live performers we have ever seen!

"Andy Arch puts the songs first and lets the strength of his performance and thoughtful production sensibilities carry the audience through a satisfying and meditative experience,"
-Andrew Sgro, Northeast Performer Magazine

"The music of Tom Thumb is a an absolute feather in Boston's cap. The Taxidermist gets 4 of 5 stars! It's a must have record for acoustic and folk lovers!"
-Ryan's Smashing Life named Tom Thumb's record one of just Twenty Albums You Need to Own in 2008

Tom Thumb
Web / Myspace

RSL at Cafe 939 on Friday, May 29th
(Do you have Facebook?)
This Event will Likely Sell Out.
All Ages - 8pm - Just $10

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Live Photography :: St Helena at Church

Photographic Evidence
by Marc Beaulieu

The Scene: Church of Boston - 4/30/2009

Armed with a new album's worth of material and a number of loyal fans, Boston indie darlings St Helena played Church with The Kickbacks about two weeks back. We wanted to capture the scene so we sent along RSL's own Marc B to snap some shots. And we are certainly glad he did!

St Helena's Magen Tracy

St Helena's Patrick Teahan

One of our Favorite New Songs of 2009:
St Helena - Fortune Cookie

The band have a new album called Slow Jack, which you really should check out. On May 27th, St Helena plays a benefit show at the Middle East in Cambridge - which should be big fun. Get more details through the event page on Facebook. See you there.

Web / Myspace

VIRAL VIDEO: Weezer covers MGMT's "Kids"

Another Episode of Viral Video


This really cool live video comes to us from (5/14/09) Thursday's exclusive T-Mobile at Paramount Studios. Yep, it's that fresh. We're giving credit where credit is due. We heard about it on Twitter from Chris over at Culture Bully [web / twitter]. Do you Twitter? Word travels fast. You can follow the RSL now! Our brand new page is @theRSL

Spend a Few Minutes checking out all these
previous RSL Viral Video selections:

The RSL YouTube Page!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Get Far, Far Away with Peelander-Z


We try to get these out early in the day than this, but it just didn't happen this time. There is absolutely no shortage of things to do or great shows this weekend in Boston but we thought we would give you just one more option. Tonight at the Middle East, comic book fantasies and punk rock are in full effect with the arrival of costumed rockers PEELANDER-Z.

Peelander-Z is not your mama's punk rock

PEELANDER-Z, the costumed Japanese Action Comic Punk Band, has been appearing not only on the major music festivals like Bonnaroo Music Festival, CMJ and SXSW, but also on the TV programs like Best Week Ever on VH1, Upright Citizens Brigade on Comedy Central and MXC: Most Extreme Challenge on Spike TV, and on Anime Network. They have played with many national bands, such as Buckethead, Electric Six, Particles, and more. Also they've performed at many other major Anime conventions and the festivals all over the US. Currently the band remains unsigned to a major record and consequent can continue playing the music they like!

These three dress up in color-coordinated costumes and act as if they came out of Japanese Animation. Touring behind the brand new P-Pop High School album (released in April), you can and should plan for the unexpected at one of their shows! (That includes the music but also the performance. The band tends to get the audience involved in their shows!)

Peelander-Z join a really fun, highly recommended lineup over at the ME Upstairs this evening: NY's That Handsome Devil, Math the Band (Providence), and The Asthmatics (NH). Doors are 9pm. Be thoroughly entertained for just $12.

Web / Myspace

Thursday, May 14, 2009



When you're hot, you're hot.... Cage the Elephant used to belong to little Kentucky, but now they're sons of the World. This is the story of a band that had to make it in the UK before labels and listeners in the U.S. would give them a real shot. Their debut came first in England last June on British Indie label Relentless. (Top 40 UK charting in the UK ensued!) The subject of much talk in the U.S. after last year's SxSW Music Festival, CTE seemed to disappear for just a bit while they were working on their new material. This early success earned the band a top 40 hit and a new deal today with Jive Records (the Zomba label Group) in the US. Well, it seems the brief time out of the spotlight for the band was well worth it.

Cage the Elephant are: Matt Shultz (vocals), Brad Shultz (guitar), Daniel Tichenor (bass), Lincoln Parish (guitar), Jared Champion (drums)

The first single and video off of the new album (pictured below) is “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked,” in which Matt describes being mugged by a drug dealer and picking up a young female hitch-hiker he soon finds out is a prostitute. “That song is about realizing that everyone’s got a back-story and that essentially we’re all the same...”

BIO - influenced by Hendrix & Dylan: The Shultz brothers grew up poor, sharing a tiny room in the family’s two-bedroom apartment with two other siblings. “Our dad drove a supply truck and he was gone a lot,” Matt recalls. “There wasn’t a lot of money or anything to do so we would make up goofy songs to pass the time.” At age 12, Brad bought a beat-up guitar from a neighborhood kid for $20 that he played until it literally fell apart. Not long after their parents were divorced, Brad snuck home a cassette of Jimi Hendrix’s Live at Woodstock, which the brothers listened to obsessively for three years, cementing their love for rock and roll. A few years later, Matt bought Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are a-Changin’. “That was a huge, life-changing album for me.” he says. “Just the honesty in Dylan’s music and how he looked at society, it really opened my eyes to how blind we really are.” After the brothers’ parents divorced, the music floodgates opened and they began to devour everything they could find from the Beatles, The Ramones, Led Zeppelin, Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, and the Pixies, to name but a few.

Tiny Little Robots



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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ben Harper and Relentless7 - White Lies for Dark Times

Ben Harper and Relentless7

NEW RELEASE & A FRESH START Very impressed with what we've heard so far from Ben Harper's new album, White Lies for Dark Times. In an unintentional (but largely welcome) restart of his modern career - the naturally gifted Harper has turned the page and is playing with a tight new band and making a hell of a lot of rock noise. Here's the video performance of the band's recent appearance on Late Night with David Letterman:

We have a couple of copies of the new album for giveaway. Drop us an email [therslweblog (at)] with "Ben Harper and Relentless7" in the subject line. Winners will be asked for their mailing address for shipping. No entry information (including your email address) is ever shared. Good luck!


in stores now!


Web / Myspace

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Like A Criminal - The GNR Leaker Wants You (to Pay his Lawyer)

THE BEAT GOES ON: By now you know that Chinese Democracy, the GNR album more than a decade in the making, is very much real. And other than a few high points - it's a just a good album ( - and really, little more.) If you recall, 9 of the 14 songs from the album were leaked online by and all hell broke loose... (We wrote about it and snagged an unmastered copy of Chinese Democracy online long before the record was released in stores. Then we went out and bought one later for review purposes...) Well, the legal battle (on both criminal and civil side) continues - and due to the album's completely mediocre sales; coupled with the record's insane $13M price tag.... You better bet Axl Rose and company are going to get their pound of flesh on this one. The Defendent Kevin "Skwerl" Cogill (aka Mr. Album Leaker) has hired an attorney and is now asking the public for donations to help him pay for his legal costs.

LEAKERS RUIN IT FOR ALL OF US: I've made it clear I'm no Axl fan, but I think the band has a bone to pick on this one. Album leakers stink!

Leakers ruin it for the musicians (stealing from the people they claim to love. These artists often suffer a double-hit once their material is leaked, since the leak can appear premastered. It doesn't represent the final product - which is already financially spoiled.)

Album leakers hurt the industry (this much you probably already knew...) Dwell on this for a second: It's true that the record industry is an inefficient, wasteful dinosaur - very slow to adapt and change. This is its weakness. But it is established and sewn up with business dudes in expensive suits who don't really know much about music. This, of course, makes the music industry ridiculously impractical. (But oddly enough, when it comes to survival-mode, having a bunch of attorneys and accountants around can be an area of strength.) If people steal albums and give them away to the public, the business loses money and they predictably respond by cutting corners and raising prices (just like any other business.) Things get worse instead of better for all of us when the industry posts losses... Less money goes to new music projects. The labels stop taking chances on new artists. Prices go up... Think about it.

Leakers also give great music and entertainment blogs like this one a bad name. The bottom line is that it's not cool to leak albums.

Listening to Leaked Music: If you get leaked pre-release material, consider yourself lucky. Listen to it. If you do like it, go out and buy the album and support the artist you are listening to. Give your business to the people whose who your like.

Closing Thoughts: Now that I said all this, I don't want this guy to get completely nailed to the wall - but what he did definitely wasn't right. He gave away somebody's creative work for nothing. He sabotaged the project. He shit on the pie. And, he got caught. We will continue to monitor this one since it's near and dear - and because the outcome could end up changing the way you get your music and how much it costs. And, let's face it: it's also very entertaining to see what the hell that unpredictable fucker Axl Rose will do next.