Friday, July 31, 2009

Raphael Saadiq - "Let's Take a Walk"

MERCY! - As you might guess, the whole lot of us here at the RSL get the chance to partake in a whole lot of live music. That's a ton of shows, hundreds of opening acts, and tons of promise. I doubt I will see a better show all year long (but I'd like it if they tried) than Raphael Saadiq's stunner at the Paradise in Boston this March.

Saadiq, who we feel was was robbed of a well-deserved Grammy for The Way I See It this year, learned to play guitar, drums and bass by the age of six, and was singing with a professional gospel group at nine. Saadiq toured with Prince and Sheila E and was a member of Tony! Toni! Toné!, as well as acclaimed producer of artists like Joss Stone, D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige, The Roots, Snoop Dogg, and John Legend (who he toured with last year.) That being said, we see the dude is keeping himself busy. Here's the new video for "Let's Take a Walk."

Thursday, July 30, 2009

NPR turns up Ray Bradbury's graphic Fahrenheit 451

Now in Print / Radio Radio!
NPR focuses on the Bradbury approved 451 graphic novel!

The Graphic Fahrenheit 451 - Art by Tim Hamilton

HOT NEW ITEM: One thing we just can't get enough of: Great Cross-overs. And when NPR took a look at Ray Bradbury this week (mixing in comic art), what resulted was a need to get home and scribe this post!

A new Ray Bradbury-approved graphic novel [click now for streaming media / new window] carries the spirit of the man's original novel (printed initially back in 1953) which centers on a bleak future in which books are burned to protect people from their ideas and a world in which firefighters start blazes instead of extinguishing them.

The reinvention and the cool Tim Hamilton artwork in the graphic novel has all the trapping of educating (gasp!) the young. NPR agrees and they ran a piece today on All Things Considered about the new piece. This one's highly recommended!

Music Theme Bonus:
Plus/Minus - "Thrown Into the Fire"
from the Let's Build a Fire album


Grinding Tapes Showcase tonight at Club Passim

SHOW HYPE: Going Out Tonight
by Nikhil Gupta

Grinding Tapes Records at Cambridge's Club Passim

FOLK IS IN THE AIR... Be sure to check out tiny mtns (previously known as Elijah Wyman), Mr. Sister, and The Points North at Club Passim tonight. When one of RSL’s favorite local labels, Grinding Tapes Records, hand picks three performers for a folk showcase at one of our favorite venues, you can bet it will be a show not to be missed. Get there at 8 P.M. to see this entire stirring and passionate triple bill!

tiny mtns will be releasing their self-titled EP, at this gig. We expect this one to be full of the intimacy and quiet strength that Grinding Tapes promotes through their artists’ work.

Ever-Transparent about their costs and generous with the proceeds they share with charities, Grinding Tapes exposes listeners to socially-relevant music that also has a brilliant artistic community behind it. Check out the collective chorus in the band’s “We Try Too Hard” and see for yourself! Much like the other four new songs on tiny mtns, “We Try Too Hard” surprises listeners when new voices join in, laugh, or add such a dynamic feel to the music that it seems as though the song is in the process of being born at that moment. Seeing Wyman perform at Club Passim will be a highlight of the summer!

MR SISTER: The voice of Amelia Emmet is haunting and exhilarating all at once. Whether singing acapella at the Whitehaus in JP or playing with a careful combination of guitar, banjo, accordion, and horns, Emmet pulls audiences into her heartbreaking melodies and makes them feel more than they thought was inside of them.

The Points North

THE POINTS NORTH: There's a bare beauty to the band's music. You can thank members Chris Alspach, Regina Peterson, and Dylan Clark for that. These songs provide the soundtrack for the long, cold winters we all experience here in New England... And much like looking at the trees during those barren months, stripped clean of their leaves, the songs from The Points North let us see that time honestly. The two-part harmonies combine Alspach and Peterson’s voices perfectly, illustrating the band's focus.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Power of Music

Location: London's Trafalgar Square - If you carefully train your sense of taste (start by taking off your blinders) - it will serve you well by helping you locate great music art. It's not hard to find exceptional music (it's everywhere) but you do generally do need to look. Every now and again, the great music steps out of the noise to meet you.

The Power of Music Video Series is all about moments that make our lives more full. Rejoice in the power of music...

Tonight's Can't-Miss Artist Selection: Brown Shoe

There's a lesson to be learned in all things... That's true in life and it certainly seems to be the case in music. One of my greatest lessons in sound this year came back in March when I learned, once again, that extraordinary art can spring forth from the most unlikely or most unexpected of places. On a publicist's tip I headed into Cambridge to see California's Brown Shoe.

Exceeds All Expectations - It was a cold March night in Boston the last time this band was in town. The prospect of yet another west-coast indie band - amid a hectic work week after a few nights of other bands.... Well, let's just say I was hopeful but not terribly enthusiastic. As it turned out, taking the time to see Brown Shoe was one of the best decisions I've made all year. (And based on the number of shows we see, that's saying something!) For about 50 minutes late last Winter, I was warmed and completely renewed!

TONIGHT IN BOSTON - Here's your chance locals! Brown Shoe returns and will play the absolutely tiny All Asia bar. [Editor's Update: We have learned that there's some Band/PR issue here. The band's publicist and their own Myspace page list the Boston gig. The venue doesn't. Here's a sample of what local folks can expect for tonight. It's a new video from Brown Shoe:

This track amidst a strong 14-song lineup on Brown Shoe's highly recommended third album titled, "Jackalope." I am dragging everyone here at RSL to this show tonight to check these guys out first hand. For those near: I hope you can make the show for which the band has but one goal: to transcend the moment and to thoroughly entertain.

Web / Myspace

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tuesday Night's Big Event in Boston....

Ryan's Smashing Life Presents...
"A Night of Twang & Awe"
Rock, Alt-Country and Americana


Tuesday July 28th at 9pm
No-Presale :: Arrive Early!
18+ / Just $9


Cheap shows - expensive tastes!

Stage Photography :: Grand Duchy featuring Frank Black

Photographic Evidence
by Sooz

The Middle East in Cambridge, MA - 7/19/2009

BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK - Petits Fours is the debut album from Grand Duchy, aka the music from Violet Clark and the legendary Frank Black (who is again going by the stage nom Black Francis.) Featuring 9 tracks, Petits Fours is the wicked joint venture between the married Clark and Francis, and contains driving bass lines, a healthy dose of synths and some excellent vocals from Clark, alongside Francis’ trademark guitar squalls. The band performed a handful of select West Coast warmup dates last month and now kick off a full US tour. Black Francis shows are also not to be missed - expect to be treated to him drawing on material from his entire career. That's a whole lot of material! We caught Grand Duchy here earlier this month:

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Grand Duchy
with guests Van Elk and Bunnies

"Lovesick" by Grand Duchy
from the Petit Fours album

Web / Myspace / YouTube

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bob Dylan - Girl from the North Country

Also.. Still available for a limited time:
Bob Dylan live in San Jose (1992)

VIRAL VIDEO: Miles Fisher does Talking Heads + American Psycho

RED HOT! - BRAND NEW: This is musician, actor and comedian Miles Fisher - a gifted soul with, it seems, a hundred talents.

If you don't know Fisher, who has been on national television before [here he is doing an amazing Tom Cruise impersonation], already - you may soon. Fisher has done something remarkably artistic and a little uncanny in it's accuracy. He's done a stirring cover of the Talking Heads track "This Must Be the Place" and played that track over a scene by scene remake he did of the American Pyscho movie (2000) featuring Bret Easton Ellis' Patrick Bateman character - originally played masterfully by Christian Bale.

Christian Bale as the anti-hero Patrick Bateman in American Pycho.
Character & film are based on a satirical novel by Bret Easton Ellis.

TALKING HEADS & AMERICAN PSYCHO - The melding of these two 80's Era masterpieces is almost as jarring as the twisted American Pycho plot. (Released in 2000, the movie casts Bale as successful investment banker in the 1980s with serious detachment issues. He ends up becoming a serial killer. The satire comes in that no one seems to notice. Bateman is popular and successful despite himself. The level of greed, animosity and jealousy amongst his peers blinds them to Bateman's monstrosity.) The combination of the Heads' songs with the brutal simulated crimes during which Fisher sings is probably just the kind of social statement the heavy-handed Bret Easton Ellis would crave.

If you enjoy the Talking Heads cover, you can download it for free over at Miles Fisher's website. A great find and brand new... This is Viral Video!

You can't help but be over-powered by the cinematic imagery...
We recommend a second viewing to take in Fisher's Talking Heads cover.

"This Must Be the Place"
from Talking Heads

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

The RSL YouTube Page!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Road to Newport & Folk Festival 50

tickets still available!

The Decemberists

"The Perfect Crime #2"

Joan Baez

"I Shall Be Released"

Langhorne Slim


Neko Case

"People Got a Lot of Nerve"

Josh Ritter

"Open Doors"

Billy Bragg

"A New England"

Deer Tick


The Avett Brothers

"Die Die Die"

Elvis Perkins in Dearland

"While You Were Sleeping"

We will be Live-Tweeting and doing some Blogging from the Festival. : George Wein’s FOLK FESTIVAL 50 (July 31 – August 2) in historic Newport, RI. Produced by New Festival Productions, LLC, the festival will include two full days of music on three stages at Fort Adams State Park and a Friday evening concert.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 1 ~ 11:30 am – 7:00 pm
Fort Adams State Park, Harrison Avenue

Pete Seeger, The Decemberists, Fleet Foxes, Gillian Welch, The Avett Brothers, Billy Bragg, Iron & Wine, Mavis Staples, Tom Morello: The Nightwatchman, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Ben Kweller, The Low Anthem, Brett Dennen, Tift Merritt, Tao Rodriguez Seeger, Langhorne Slim

SUNDAY, AUGUST 2 ~ 11:30 am – 7:00 pm
Fort Adams State Park, Harrison Avenue

Pete Seeger with Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Neko Case, The Campbell Brothers, Josh Ritter, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, Tim Eriksen & Shape Note Singers, Del McCoury, Guy Clark, David Rawlings Machine, Deer Tick, Balfa Toujours, Dala Girls, Joe Pug

BUY ONLINE or by PHONE: (800) 514-3849

General Admission: General Admission seating is first-come first-served on the lawn. Patrons may bring blankets and low-backed beach chairs. Adult: $ 69.00 in advance, $ 75.00 on festival weekend, if available.

Children 3-15: $ 15.00 at all times; under 3, free. 16+ pay adult price.

Adult Two-Day Passes: SOLD OUT.

Parking: On site festival parking: $ 12.00 per vehicle in advance; $ 15.00 on festival weekend.

Coverage of Last Year's Event:
RSL Photo Gallery / NPR Coverage /
Lineup & Hype

Hot Soundtrack! (500) Days of Summer

The Best Summer Has to Offer - Summer memories from my youth involves albums and books I fell for hard - listening to albums veraciously, turning pages as fast as I could read. Most have had a romantic summer tryst of some kind - even if it was an unrealized infatuation... Summer is made for new things, adventures in love, pop music and the renewal of the human spirit, and it's with this in mind that I extend this project forward for your approval...

Now in theatres is the music-dominated film (500) Days of Summer . It's a love story and a film about a break-up and it's a story about people and their music. (500) Days of Summer had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival this year to rave reviews. Many of those who enjoyed the film have remarked about how good the music is. Right now, this is our pick for 2009 Soundtrack of the Year. These pop songs should probably be in your ears this summer!


1. A Story of Boy Meets Girl
- Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen
2. Us - Regina Spektor
3. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
- The Smiths
4. Bad Kids - Black Lips
5. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
- The Smiths
6. There Goes The Fear - Doves
7. You Make My Dreams - Hall & Oates
8. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
9. Quelqu'un M'a Dit - Carla Bruni
10. Mushaboom - Feist
11. Hero - Regina Spektor
12. Bookends - Simon & Garfunkel
13. Vagabond - Wolfmother
14. She's Got You High - Mumm-Ra
15. Here Comes Your Man
- Meaghan Smith
16. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
- She & Him

SONGS ARE THE KEY - In keeping with the film's playfully unorthodox nature, the soundtrack to (500) Days of Summer features a host of offbeat artists, including Regina Spektor, Feist, Black Lips, Doves, Carla Bruni, Wolfmother and The Smiths. In a key moment in the film, Tom (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is listening to the latter's song "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" on his iPod, while riding in an elevator with Summer (played by Zooey Deschanel), who overhears it and comments that she loves The Smiths.

The Smiths

"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"
from the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack

Regina Spektor

from the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack

The Soundtrack is in stores now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Premiere: Golden Bloom's Dead Petals and The Shawn Fogel interview


We recently told you about how Golden Bloom is giving away each song track-by-track from their forthcoming album Fan the Flames - well, now it's our turn... Ryan's Smashing Life has been selected as one of the online outlets to give away a song from this remarkable album. We are already convinced that this album will prove to be one of the year's best new releases. (It's late July and I saw this with confidence.) Yes, Fan the Flames is that good - and Fogel is to credit/blame. Today we help Golden Bloom unleash Dead Petals, possibly the oldest, most well-conceived song from the record!

Fan the Flames will formally be released on August 18th

Golden Bloom - Dead Petals
download and play!

The Fan the Flames album and Golden Bloom, itself, are fruit from the musical rainforest that is Shawn Fogel's artistic mind. Fogel is one of those multi-faceted talent capable of playing several instruments - squinting his eyes only when frustrated with how things are going. He never really appears challenged. (While clearly inspired by the musicians around him - folks he needs to perform the songs live, Fogel played and recorded practically all the instruments on the new record himself!)

A listen to the new material and a little excursion into Fogel's artist backlog demonstrates that he's also a gifted songwriter. We decided we wanted to find out a little bit more about the album, the song we would be giving away and about Fogel himself.

Golden Bloom's Shawn Fogel

RYAN - RSL: Shawn, we love the album - but we are here today to discuss the song first. Can you tell me how "Dead Petals" was written?

SHAWN FOGEL: "Dead Petals" was written back in 2006 and originally appeared on the One Day in the Desert EP I released in 2007 (as Shawn Fogel, pre-Golden Bloom).

RSL: Did the music come first or the words during the creative process? Can you walk us through that?...

FOGEL: It's hard to recall the precise songwriting process, as far as whether music or lyrics came first or if they came together. I do know that I wrote it in my old apartment in Northampton, MA on my Harmony Rocket electric guitar, and the tempo was significantly faster than it is now. This song was first of many that were inspired by my frustration with and disdain for the Bush administration.

RSL: In your mind, where does "Dead Petals" stand in relation to the others on the Fan the Flames album?

FOGEL: I went back and forth on whether "Dead Petals" would be included in this album. At first I considered simply using the version of the song I recorded for the One Day in the Desert EP. Once the album began to take shape it was clear to me that using the pre-existing track wouldn't suffice, and if I wanted "Dead Petals" on the album I would have to remix it or re-record it. I ultimately decided to start from scratch, and with the keen and clever ear of Roger Greenawalt by my side we deconstructed the song and put the pieces back together. We ditched the guitar solo, reworked the arrangement and added my new favorite part of the song (the chorus where I hit just about the highest note I can belt out). Now that the album is done I'm very glad that I decided to keep "Dead Petals" in the mix, and it's easily one of my favorite tracks on the record.

RSL: It's probably mine too, Shawn. I really like the song and thing it lends a lot to the album. So let's talk about the album now. What was the creative process like for Fan the Flames?

FOGEL: I don't know if the way I went about making Fan the Flames would be advantageous to many other artists. It was recorded over the span of a year, tracked and mixed in four different studios with four different engineers/producers. Some songs were fully written and ready to go when I walked into the studio. Others were merely a chord progression and a melody when we started tracking, lacking lyrics until the day I recorded vocals for them.

RSL: Can you speak on your instrument-choice and how that influenced the final "spirit" for Fan the Flames?

FOGEL: Certain instruments played a key role in the sound for the album. I fell in love with the glockenspiel while making this record, and you can hear it on more than half of the songs. "More glock in the rock!" became my mantra in the studio. The Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond organ, Sequential Circuits Pro-One synthesizer, and the Arp String Ensemble synthesizer were all major players on the record, as well as acoustic upright piano. If I ever try to pull off these songs note for note like the recording in a live setting I'll probably need 2 or 3 keyboard players in the band!

RSL: (smiling) I know! Everything on Fan the Flames is so layered. It was a bit of a surprise - a bit like listening to the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album on first listen. I was sitting there, straining to name each instrument as they appeared. it's really quite beautiful!

FOGEL: My favorite instrument on "Dead Petals" is actually the banjo, which I play on the second verse. I never really learned how to play banjo properly, but it's impossible for me to not pick it up if there's one in the room. The other reason I like the banjo part on Dead Petals is because of what that microphone picked up other than the banjo. If you listen carefully you can hear Roger's cat Chatterbox walking across the piano at the very end of the second verse. You'd think that when a cat mashes some dissident notes while you're rolling tape you'd scratch the track and go for another take, but Roger and I looked at each other and said "that's a keeper".

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Fogel passed along the fact that they captured Chatterbox the Cat up to more creativity in studio on video.... Check this out.]

Fan the Flames tracklisting
with Download Location:

(live in June)

Doomsday Devices (Ruby Isle Remix)
(live in June)

Fan the Flames
(live July 3rd)

She Leaves Me Poetry
(live July 10th)

The Fight at the End of the Tunnel
(live July 17th)

"Dead Petals
Ryan's Smashing Life
(live July 24th)

If You Believe
(live July 31st)

"The Mountainside Says
(live Aug 7th)

Theme For an Adventure at Sea
(live Aug 14th)

RSL: So how did it occur to you to release a song each week? What was your motivation?

FOGEL: I wish I could claim such a great idea as my own, but it was my manager Janelle Rogers who thought it up. She's constantly coming up with creative ways to promote Golden Bloom, and this one has been the best by far. What I liked most about it was that allowed me to feel like I was giving something back to the music magazines and blogs who have been supportive in the past. I really owe a lot to these sites (RSL included) not only for listening to my music but for getting others to take notice too.

RSL: Well falling into line behind a musician or a project's not that tough when the music's so good! I was just curious, which contemporary artists do you feel kinship with? Who inspires you right now?

FOGEL: I feel very lucky to have so many amazing musical co-conspirators in my life. I feel great kinship with everyone who at one time or another plays in Golden Bloom's live line up (Michael Azerrad, Jeff Patlingrao, Ryan Ball, Josh Cohen, Dan Saks, Andrew Laubacher), as well as the other bands that I play in from time to time (The Zambonis, The LeeVees, JP05, The Philistines Jr.,The Macaroons). There are bands and artists who I've shared bills with in the past whose music is as awesome as they are as people (Meredith Luce, Todd Deatherage, The Motion Sick, Canadian Invasion). At this moment I'm really loving the new self-titled album by Cincinnati band Wussy.

Golden Bloom
Web / Myspace

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We Recommend The Grownup Noise

Exciting New Music....
The Grownup Noise
2009 National Tour Kickoff
Friday Night - 7/24 @ The Middle East


Now I'm Not Sure, But... if it seems like there's another great band emerging or a hot new album released every day in Boston..., it's probably because it's pretty much the case! It's a great time to be a music blogger in what has shaped up to be one of America's most amazing music scenes! It's with this enthusiastic introduction I introduce you to the music of The Grownup Noise.

"Give Me Time"
from The Grownup Noise

Brand New Music!

The Unleashing Is the Hardest Part: Armed with a new album's (the CD is self-titled) worth of material, The Grownup Noise embark on a massive national tour this week and we are hoping a good number of you Boston folks will help them get off to the great start they deserve tomorrow night. Arrive at the Middle East early to ensure your place before a full night of stellar live tunes. The lineup's incredible:

The Sound of Good Things Coming to Be... One listen will very likely win you over. The Grownup Noise (Paul Hansen: guitar and vocals, Adam Sankowski: bass and vocals, Katie Franich: cello, and Aine Fujioka: drums) make arresting music. Check them out on tour.

The Grownup Noise


Friday, July 24th at the Middle East
National Tour kickoff show!
Jul 27th - Columbus, OH
The Rumba Cafe
Jul 28th - Athens, OH
Casa Cantina
Jul 29th - Chicago, IL
The Darkroom
Aug 3rd - Minneapolis, MN
The Acadia Cafe
Aug 5th - Billings, MT
Off the Leaf
Aug 6th - Spokane, WA
Caterina Winery
Aug 7th - Portland, OR
The Red Room
Aug 8th - Seattle, WA
The Comet Tavern (4pm show)
Aug 8th - Tacoma, WA
Doyle’s Public House (late show)
Aug 10th - Santa Cruz, CA
The Crow's Nest
Aug 11th - San Francisco, CA
The Hotel Utah
Aug 12th - Sacramento, CA
Marilyn’s on K California
Aug 16th - San Diego, CA
Brick by Brick
Aug 18th - Los Angeles, CA
Aug 19th - Tucson, AZ
Club Congress
Aug 20th - Santa Fe, NM
The Cowgirl
Aug 21st - Albuquerque, NM
Location TBA
Aug 24th - Denver, CO
The Hi-Dive
Aug 25th - Louisville, KY
The Hideaway Saloon
Aug 26th - Nashville, TN
The Springwater Supperclub
Aug 28th - Asheville, NC
The Bobo Gallery
Aug 29th - Washington, DC
The Red and Black Bar
Aug 30th - NYC
Rockwood Music Hall

The Grownup Noise - Artist Type
Recorded Live on WERS 88.9fm

the Grownup Noise
Website / Myspace

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Acoustic Version of Beck's Gamma Ray

The New Video from Beck

BECK reinventing BECK: I made it no secret last year that I was thoroughly disappointed by Beck's Modern Guilt (2008) which I called a very "middle of the road effort" from an otherwise gifted musician. But I have refused to give up on Beck - he's always up to something new and exciting. True to form, Beck's creative team have revamped the dude's website and he's evidently retooling some material (and hopefully working on some new stuff). Here's the video for Beck's acoustic version of Gamma Ray:

"Gamma Ray" album version
from Modern Guilt

Hey Rosetta!

Preview: Tuesday, July 28th
Hey Rosetta & Dearly Beloved
The Scene: The Middle East

Hey Rosetta at Lee's in Toronto 4/24/09
images by Pete Nema

Coming to Boston from Newfoundland are the impressive Hey Rosetta! - a band we've been hearing lots about over the last year. And it seems with good reason - the six-piece are finalists for a prestigious Polaris Prize - the Canadian version of the Mercury Music Prize. Hey Rosetta! are one of just 10 finalist bands (a list marked - most notably - by Canada's Metric) - that were culled from hundreds of acts from across the country. The band plays the Middle East next Tuesday night - appearing in a lineup that includes Toronto's Dearly Beloved. Tickets are $8 and are on sale now.

"The New Goodbye"
from the Into Your Lungs album

WIN: Ryan's Smashing Life is giving away one pair of free passes to one lucky winner - all you have to do to enter is email us with the words "Hey Rosetta!" in the subject line. Winner must be at least 18 years-old. Passes are non-transferable. Contest ends this Friday.

Web / Myspace

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kasabian are nominated for a Mercury Prize for “The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum”

2009 MERCURY MUSIC PRIZE NOMINEES - Congratulations are in order to the gentlemen in Kasabian, who were honored and recognized today with a prestigious Mercury Music Prize nomination. Each year the very best music from the UK and Ireland are nominated for album of the year. A nomination by the experts is a victory alone - out of the hundreds of worthy projects each year only a dozen are selected for final consideration. This year is no different, as Kasabian's third LP - The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, comes up against some stiff competition. Today's news comes just as we were about to unleash our review of the new Kasabian album. What follows is our own British expatriate's thoughts on the record. (Nick Parker and his family live just outside of Boston. We are lucky to have him.) Enjoy - Ryan

"I love it when a plan comes together," - George Peppard, the A-Team.

by Nick Parker

Let me get the down side out of the way early: nobody ever listened to Kasabian for their searing insights into the ways of the world. Their new album, “The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum” holds true to this fact. It is full of strange lyrical choices, which often border on the ridiculous ( - this, without the benefit of Beck's trademarked sense of irony). What about the opening lines from single “Vlad the Impaler”; “Face check, I walk this beach/ I’m frying in the heat, in the cauldron stir me/Chop down my diamond teeth I ain’t got.”

"Vlad the Impaler"
from The West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

NEW MUSIC from Kasabian

An Album with Swagger - This being said, I whole-heartedly recommend “West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum.” It's an impressive bit of music - an album that has real swagger. (Remember this word when you end up buying the album and think back to this review!) Kasabian may ‘talk a bit strange,’ and less than profound at times - but this band can transporting a listener to a place, to a mood - in which we all seem a bit cooler. Try playing it loud, driving in an open-top car on the highway. Try playing it whenever you want to feel a little tougher, and it won’t let you down. "West Ryder" is a reaching and genuinely effective album

Kasabian’s equally good previous two outings, Empire (2006) and Kasabian (2004), had the same confidence boosting effect on the listener. The band are, at root, a real old style rock outfit, a lot like The Who – able to live a rock and roll dream for the rest of us.

There have been some comparisons with Oasis in the press (and the two bands have toured together in the past), and I think it’s this sense of bravado that people are talking about – Musically, after all, Kasabian are far more experimental than the Gallaghers. So if you like rock music that struts, this one will be a big hit with you.

Web / Myspace

Monday, July 20, 2009

Beastie Boy's MCA diagnosed with Cancer

BREAKING NEWS: Adam Yauch is Battling Cancer

Adam Yauch

OUR THOUGHTS & PRAYERS - Just back from their European Tour and on the verge of embarking on major US tour dates, the Beastie Boys today announced the unfortunate news that Adam Yauch (MCA) has been diagnosed with a form of cancer. Yauch says the situation is hopeful as the tumor was caught early - treatment is set to begin right away. The band's Summer Tour dates have all been canceled. The release of the band's forthcoming album Hot Sauce Committee Part 1 has been postponed. More news as we have it. This video from the band was just released:

Just Released Video

Videodrome Spotlight :: DIRTY SWEET

VIDEODROME SERIES: today we take another jaunt down music video lane with three flicks featuring the songs from San Diego's talented Dirty Sweet - raucous southern indie rock fun and certainly one of the best names in rock today!

Dirty Sweet - Of Monarchs and Beggars

Dirty Sweet's Ryan Koontz

photo by Marc Bouillo

even more
Web / Myspace
CD at Merchlackey

Recently on the RSL Videodrome...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Handsome Furs in Boston

Photographic Evidence
by Sooz

Great Scott - 7/6/09
* sold out show!

The Handsome Furs' Dan Boeckner

Alexei Perry

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bowerbirds at TT the Bears

On Further Review &
Photographic Evidence

by Emma Dessau

TT the Bear's Place in Cambridge - 7/12/2009

Photographs in this series by Emma Dessau

Touring behind their beautiful and powerful new album, Upper Air, Bowerbirds played before a captivated Boston audience at TT the Bears in Cambridge last week. Bowerbirds are Phil Moore (guitar, lead vocals) and Beth Tacular (accordion, keys, vocals) along with a slew of other talented friends who join them on tour. What a string of dates this act has in front of them! Bowerbirds are pretty much booked straight through the next seven or eight weeks. Catch them if you can - this is a highly recommended entertainment!

The indie-folk duo took the stage at TT the Bear’s Place on Sunday at an hour to midnight, surprised and flattered to see so many fans ignoring the impending doom of 7 a.m. wake up calls. “This is why the economy is bad right now? Because all you guys are spending your Sunday night at a Bowerbirds show?” joked Moore, lead vocalist and guitar player. Moore and Tacular, were joined by frequently accompanying band member Mark Paulson on percussion. Brad Cook of Megafaun, Bowerbirds stellar opening act, also joined them on stage with his standing bass. Bowerbirds' set was split evenly between new material from Upper Air and fan favorites from 2007s Hymns for a Dark Horse.

"Northern Lights"
from the new album Upper Air

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The beauty of Bowerbirds lies in their ability to cast a spell of calming awe upon their audience. It is difficult not to be mesmerized while staring up at Moore and Tacular, who both look so earnestly moved by each lyric they sing, one might think they were coming up with words on the spot. If Moore’s simple yet moving lines: “I don’t expect a Southern girl to know the Northern lights...” doesn’t win you over, then perhaps Tacular will. She plays the accordion on almost every song - without without a hint of being a bit over the top. Good show!

So, as the clock struck midnight, Bowerbirds tenderly carried their audience into Monday morning. Hours later, as alarms blared throughout Boston and Cambridge, I’d like to think those of us who got a taste of Bowerbirds soothing sound felt okay about rolling out of bed and starting a new week.

Bowerbirds Dates
Jul 20th at the Mill in Iowa City, IA
Jul 21st at 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, MN
Jul 22nd at The Slowdown in Omaha, NE
Jul 26th at Kirby Court in Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 29th at The Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver, BC
Jul 30th at The Triple Door in Seattle, WA
Jul 31st at the Dept of Safety in Anacortes, WA
Aug 1st at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR
Aug 3rd at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco, CA
Aug 4th at The Echo in Los Angeles, CA
Aug 5th at The Casbah in San Diego, CA
Aug 6th at The Rhythm Room in Phoenix, AZ
Aug 10th at Club Congress in Tucson, AZ
Aug 12th at Haily's in Denton, TX
Aug 13th at The Mohawk in Austin, TX
Aug 14th at Walter's on Washinton in Houston, TX
Aug 15th at One-Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, LA
Aug 16th at The Bottletree in Birmingham, AL
Aug 17th at The Earl in Atlanta, GA
Aug 22nd at The Arts Center in Carrboro, NC

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