Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hot & Unsigned - Says She's Ms. Blat

New Music from New York
Someone You Should Know

Says She's Ms. Blat

ONE TO WATCH IN 2010 - Says She's Ms. Blat is New York creative duo of Lottie Leymarie (Keys / Vocals) and Bret Puchir (drums / backing vocals.) We were drawn, on first listen, to Ms Blat's high energy cabaret style sound. The tracks here touch all styles in a meandering yet purposeful way. The recipe for success is often spelled out by Leymarie's voice - the perfect foil to Puchir's drums and her own guiarwhich is unique sound with a familiar strength. Not exactly the same but favorable comparisons to some of favorite lady rockers fronting bands these days: Erika Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards), Magneta Lane, and Jen Johnson (Static of the Gods) -- that's some pretty amazing company to be keeping.

Says She's Ms. Blat - Poseurs
red hot -download this mp3!

About the Band - musicians Leymarie and Puchir first met in 2000, subsequently playing dates together in New York for years; but it wasn't until this year the pair formed She's Ms. Blat. The cornerstone of the band's new material are the songs Lottie was writing in her apartment over the last few years. The response to the songs has been pretty incredible - making this red-hot, unsigned band, one to watch in the year to come.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thoughts from Jesse Malin on New Years Eve

A Few Words from An Old Friend
Someone You Should Know

Jesse Malin is a favorite

HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE - Amidst all the new music we share with you; the energy and excitement for hot new artists generated on this website, we always end up returning to a handful of old favorites. One of these is certainly the brilliant Jesse Malin, a man who we admire as much for his mind as his music.

Our paths having passed a half-dozen times the last half-decade, I am lucky to have cultivated a passing friendship with Malin. Last year we sat down for an interview before another of his Boston performances. Engaging Malin in conversation is an enlightening experience. He's young in spirit but has a very old heart. No matter whether he's talking music (favorites from his collection and about his own craft), favorite artists or classic movies (one of Jesse's passions,) the results are honest, heartfelt and thought provoking. [editor's note: check out the interview. It's an excellent read!]

Such was the case this week when Jesse published an open later to fans. Like many of his entries, the New Years letter gave us a great feel for the man. Further, Malin dished a little on his forthcoming album in 2010. We will be there!

Hello Friends, Lovers, Comrades, Mobsters, Messengers, and Misanthropes

I'm sitting on a rainy Christmas in New York, watching the gray snow turn to water, and looking back on a year which has certainly been a tough one. As I've learned, most real good things don't come easy and looking out onto a new year, a new DECADE, with a new record in the chamber, I still find the optimism and thunder to shake my ass in these dirty old Red Wing boots. (I'm even going to see Danzig play tonight in the motherland of New Jersey).

Jesse's Highlights of 2009:

Working on the soundtrack for Mandy Stein's documentary "Burning Down the House: the Story of CBGBs"; seeing Wax open for Weezer at the Hollywood Palladium after 100 years; having one of my best friends, Ryan Adams, marry the most wonderful Mandy Moore and seeing him not smoking, not drinking, and driving merrily with a ring on his finger through the canyons of California; recording "Depression Times" at 7 AM at Stratosphere Studios with Green Day as Bob Gruen tried to keep his eyes open to shoot some photos to document the recording of a song which will hopefully soon be released; signing a new record deal with Side One Dummy Records; meeting producer Ted Hutt and engineer Ryan Mall and recording a new record with them in Brooklyn, New Jersey, and LA; reuniting with best friend Danny Sage (Heart Attack, Hope, D Generation) and having him sing on many of the new songs; having Howie Pyro guest bass on a song I wrote returning home from the Gogol Bordello tour of Russia, "All the Way from Moscow;" interviewing Ric Ocasek from the Cars, Al Anderson of Bob Marley and the Wailers, and Jerry Williams (Jay Dublee, hardcore producer and mentor) and many others for the Bad Brains documentary still in progress with Mandy Stein and Benjamin Logan ; touring the northeast with The Gaslight Anthem and getting to know the super inspired and inspiring Brian Fallon as well as his band and crew (who treated me and my folks like kings from Queens); opening 'The Cabin Down Below" a speakeasy private style playhouse with Matt Ramano (Strokes, Little Joy) and Johnny T (my partner at Niagara, The Bowery Electric, ATM and The Finger) and starting to like a few Steely Dan songs that were played on rotation in this rec room; working with the fine folks at Villam Artists; watching "Drinking from Cups" on YouTube; hearing Diane Gentile's recordings of her new songs "Happy" and 'Winter Girl" at Don DiLego's magical Velvet Elk Studios in the Poconos; dancing in a disco ghetto at Jack Wall's and Johnny T's ArtFag party at Bowery Electric; writing songs for a yet to be titled record that will be released in March 2010; writing with Don DiLego in my sister's Upper East Side apartment; writing again with Holly Ramos a new song called "Black Boom Box," coast to coast over the telephone; my father getting married for the third time in Fla to a wonderful woman named Arlene (third time's a charm!); my cousin Matt and his wonderful wife Cathy giving birth to the beautiful William Ross, my new cousin; seeing Bruce play "The River" in full at MSG with Danny Sage and John Rizzo; seeing Murphy's Law on a boat packed with hardcore skinheads going around Manhattan in the middle of August (Doc Martens overboard skinass); hearing Willie Nile's amazing new song, "One Guitar" every night on the European Light of Day Tour with Marah and Joe D'Urso in 14 countries in 14 days, 3 hours sleep a night, great Italian food, airport Tourettes, and a few bunk rubs with my red hummingbird guitar and many kind folks that I can't wait to see next year with the full band and new stage show; recording the ATM record (Adams Tastemaker Malin--the supergroup) in New York; auctioning off Ryan Adams paintings at the Morrisson Gallery with super schtick to raise money for the homeless through Housing Works NYC; sadly, the last slice at The Pizza Shop; meeting and playing with Randy Schrager; and much more I can't remember right now because they're blasting Jethro Tull and The Eagles in this hipster coffee internet spot called The Bean on 1st Avenue. One more vegan cake please....

With much love, peace, and gratitude to you all!! Happy New Year!
P.M.A.! (positive mental attitude) - Jesse Malin

New record out March 2010 on Side One Dummy Records.
See you out on the road.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Alcoholic Faith Mission

New Music from Denmark
Someone You Should Know

Alcoholic Faith Mission

Sune Sølund
[Bass, samples, percussion, guitar, piano]
Thorben Seierø Jensen
[Vocals, guitars, piano, samples, percussion]
Kristine Permild
[Vocals, keyboards, percussion]
Laurids Smedegaard
[Drums, vocals, guitars]
Gustav Rasmussen
[Trombone, guitars, vocals]

421 Wythe Avenue - That's the name of the new album from Copenhagen’s Alcoholic Faith Mission - a band that got its cosmic rebirth in Brooklyn. The title of the band's second record is actually the Williamsburg street address where Thorben Seierø Jensen and Sune Sølund lived for a time. It's also the address where AFM would end up reinventing its sound and be reborn. I think you will find the results to be both hypnotic and immense. This one has staying power. Sound Experiment: Alcoholic Faith Mission is what I'm listening to.

Alcoholic Faith Mission
Web / Myspace

Monday, December 28, 2009

examining TEST ICICLES

Newly-Discovered Old School
by Nick Parker

So I’m not as cool as I like to pretend. Plenty of great music gets past me. I’m left to the slightly embarrassing task of trying to catch up with others who really were there when it happened. This year the biggest missed opportunity which revealed itself was 2005s For Screening Purposes Only,” by the Test Icicles.

is this one hidden somewhere in your collection?

This band from London would have gone completely under my radar if it wasn’t that singer Dev left the group and went on to become Lightspeed Champion, releasing one of RSL’s best albums of 2008. Having become completely obsessed with Lightspeed, I was looking around for more by Dev, and the Test Icicles appeared dimly on the horizon. This is no longer easy stuff to get hold of, but my best-kept source for digging out hidden musical gems (my mother) doggedly tracked it down in a second-hand store in Manchester (UK).

So now the hunt is over, what do the Test Icicles sound like? Coming from Lightspeed to this, I don’t think I have ever heard a more jarring change of direction in any musician’s career. Where Lightspeed is slight and subtle and crafted to perfection, “For Screening Purposes Only” is a heavy, blasting album that feels like it could tear your head off. It’s vicious and cutting, and you wonder how Dev could sing another note after just first track ‘Your biggest mistake’ comes to an end.

Before Lightspeed Champion, Dev was in Test Icicles

Three Cheers for Happy Accidents - Though it is absolutely not what I was looking for at the time, The Test Icicles can’t be ignored. They are a really explosive band that you’ll keep playing even when it hurts to hear any more. If you ever come across their CD, and feel you need a sonic battering that feels like an actual battering, remember that they come highly recommended.

Sunday, December 27, 2009 presents PARLOUR STEPS and THE BEATINGS

the Live Tradition continues
Here's one you won't want to miss...

layout & design by Tom Gallo



Discounted at $8

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sunset - Gold Dissolves to Gray

Someone You Should Know

BILL BAIRD RETURNS - Austin Wunderkid returns under the nom de guerre, Sunset. Country-western sonic rumblings, indie rock misbehavior, triumphant exhibition of the human spirit ensue... The bassist for the now-defunct Sound Team, Bill Baird has been rocking as a solo artist and now under the stage name Sunset for a couple of years now. I first met Baird back in 2006 - when this website was in its infancy. Baird generously agreed to sit down with me when Sound Team arrived in Boston for a tour with Sparta.

New Times, the Rebirth of Cool - Those were very different days, and Sound Team is sadly, no more. (Baird's former bandmates are performing now as TV Torso - named for one of Sound Team's songs.) Times change, but Baird is still ends of being one of the best creative minds in music. The new effort from Baird (again, credited here as Sunset,) is Gold Dissolves to Gray - a beautiful piece of tumbleweed rolling in the creative space of Baird's mind. The album triumphs in its exploration of spacing. Praised as modern psychedelia at its finest by Canada's Exclaim!, somewhere at the crossroads of “melodic pop bliss and twisted backwoods folk.”

A Songwriter's Triumphant Return - Behind the traditional lyrics (even Baird's instrumental songs tell a story), RSL hears sauntering, reliable tempos developing like a waltz. Speckled between these numbers are Baird's jam-minded epiphanies. Expect the unexpected as unconventional instruments combine to drive the songs home. Most of Baird's creations lift off the page, serving to showcase his skill for lo-fi recording and penchant for writing songs that effortlessly convey emotional language.

Gold Dissolves to Gray is one of the best of 2009. Seriously, kids. Austin, TX and the world of contemporary music is a better place with folks like Baird setting the stage. I am happy to have his back.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Ettes - No Home (live mp3!)

New Music this Week!
Someone You Should Know

A Rock Band We Just Love...

Meet the Ettes - one of our favorite rock bands - out of Nashville, TN. Coco (voice & guitar), Poni (voice & drums), and Jem (bass) are one of the hottest bands out there right now and people are starting to catch on. We were quick to jump on the band's bandwagon after SxSW two years ago, and the legend continues to grow. Recently invited to open for Juliette Lewis' band at the El Rey in Los Angeles, I understand The Ettes put one hell of a show. Here's a live track from that night. Now, you are in the know.

(ed's note: check the video link below the post to see some real action!)

Jem, Coco & Poni are The Ettes
Web / Myspace

Christmas with Kristy McColl & The Pogues

Holiday Music (done right)
One of the Best of All-Time...

Fairytale of New York

Kirsty McColl (RIP) and The Pogues

filmed in 1998, two short year before McColl was killed in Mexico.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Surfer Blood - Floating Vibes (mp3)

New Music Ahead
Someone You Should Know

January 19 Release Date

LO-FI INDIE FUZZ - With just a few weeks until the arrival of Astro Coast - the new record from Surfer Blood, we are definitely anxious. The name of the band? Let's just saw that it's not a celebration of "take it easy" attitude... it's more a critical look back at some of the band's high school days --> fast times growing up in and dealing with surfer-dude culture.)

The Palm Beach, FL band's cool drone and lo-fi sound have earned them a lot of positive buzz in music blogs... And we all know that blogs are the spoon that stirs the coffee. Here's the new track from Surfer Blood:

Surfer Blood
Myspace / Blog

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Toronto's Magenta Lane in Boston

Photographic Evidence
by Mark Jenko

T.T. The Bear's Place
Cambridge, MA
- 12/3/2009

Magneta Lane is on the Road with Sloan
images by RSL's Mark Jenko

"Love and Greed"
from Gambling with God (2009)

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Magneta Lane at T.T. the Bear's (12-3-09)

Magneta Lane

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Major Stars

New Music Scoop!
Someone You Should Know

Major Stars are Wayne Rogers, Kate Village, Tom Leonard,
Dave Dougan, Amanda Bristow, and Sandra Barrett.
photograph by Carla Richmond

ONE TO WATCH in 2010 - On January 19th, Boston's Major Stars will release the appropriately named, Return to Form. It's the seventh Major Stars album and band's second on Drag City Records. With three guitarists (Rogers, Village and Leonard) on one record the slow songs are textured and dense while the rock can raise your hair and leave your heart racing!

CD Release Party
January 19th at TT the Bears
Central Square, Cambridge, MA

Myspace / Album Preorder

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Photos - Sloan at TT the Bears

Photographic Evidence
by Mark Jenko

T.T. The Bear's Place
Cambridge, MA
- 12/3/2009

Bassist Chris Murphy of Sloan
images by RSL's Mark Jenko

"Take It Upon Yourself"
from the new Hit & Run EP

[buy it for just $3.99]

Sloan's Jay Ferguson

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Sloan at T.T. the Bear's (12-3-09)

Sloan's Andrew Scott before the TT the Bears backrop


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mr Brownstone in Boston for NYE

Best Cover Act - 2009!
New Year's Eve in Boston

Mr Brownstone

On New Year's Eve - Appetite For Destruction will be played

"Only 85% of attendees report making some kind of horrible mistake
during or after our performance," Dave Godowsky of Mr. Brownstone.

The Lineup:
Sean Greenhalgh (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) is Axl
Gerard Egan is Slash
Drew Thurlow (Takka Takka) is Duff
Dave Godowsky is Izzy
Mac Furey is Steven
Chris Joyce is Dizzy

The Paradise Boston 12/31 - Tickets

Web / Myspace

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Video from Ian Adams

Someone You Should Know

Ian Adams

photo by RSL's Sean Hafferty

NEW MUSIC VIDEO FROM A NEW FAVORITE - Earlier this year we named Ian Adams (Boston, Ma) to our Best of Early 2009 Album List - and his shit stands up against anything that came out this year. Anywhere. Here's the List and our review of Ian's Stay Up Late album (2009). More. to. come.


One to Watch - THE BIG BIG BUCKS

New Music this Week!
Someone You Should Know

DATELINE: BOSTON - The Big Big Bucks are guitarist Chris Basso, guitarist/keyboardist Ian Gustafson, bassist/vocalist Joey McHugh, and drummer Mike Tucker. Working hard on their full-length debut Crucial Schmooze, The Big Big Bucks are releasing their first single from the 2010 album on Saturday night (12/19) at Great Scott in Allston. Joining a lineup with labelmates The Konks, Babydriver, and Bar Sinister, this should be one hell of a night.

With a feel that's enthusiastically garage and unadulterated indie, it's pretty safe to conclude The Big Big Bucks are One to Watch in 2010!

The Big Big Bucks - Be a Baby
Premiere of the New Single!

The Big Big Bucks
Myspace / Web

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Interview with Parachute Musical's Josh Foster

Someone You Should Know

Josh Foster of Parachute Musical

Never before published photographs of
Parachute Musical's 9/12/09 show in Boston
all images by Sean Hafferty

I am thoroughly impressed whenever musicians find a way to surprise me in a live show. That's what happens when you see a lot of music - there's unfortunately, a bit of the law of diminishing returns. Today, I present an interview with Josh Foster, the driving force behind Nashville's sensational Parachute Musical - one such band that really just blew us away this year.

Foster and Parachute Musical weren't even on my radar until this summer when I began planning the fall live show schedule. Parachute Musical graced the RSL Presents "From Behind These Keys" live show in Boston in September, 2009. The program showcased acts that use the piano in new and amazing ways. The first thing you learn about Josh Foster is that he's an amazing pianist. The second thing, and perhaps most important, is that he's one of the most dedicated performers we have seen on tour. And as it ends up, he's a very driven songwriter - taking pride in his songcraft.

The photographs in this piece were all taken the evening of 9/12/09 at the Red Room at Cafe 939 by RSL photographer Sean Hafferty. The piece that follows showcases a never-before-released track from Parachute Musical's forthcoming album in January 2010.

RYAN SPAULDING for RSL: Josh, the last time we spoke in person was after the show I produced in Boston. At that time I was just blown away by your performance. After the show, you accepted my praise but expressed your regret that the performance wasn't energetic enough. Can you talk about your personal expectations for a live show?

JOSH FOSTER of PARACHUTE MUSICAL: That night was interesting, I felt so compelled to use the really badass piano they had on stage. It's not often that I get the opportunity so I took it. However, it caused a lot of problems in our set... It always does. I am so used to my set up. It's such a part of what PM is and when I challenge myself to try something different, it's fun for sure, but usually something suffers. I guess it was the energy that night. Also, our drummer Ben (Jacoby) hits the shit out of his drums... as a drummer should in a rock band. I don't care how you mic that piano, it still is no comparison to the volume of his kit.

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Parachute Musical at Cafe 939 in Boston 9-12-09

RSL: Well, I certainly don't think your think your set was lacking a thing. Definitely one of the better performances I saw of 2009. Your pieces are vibrant examples of what modern piano can be.... demonstrating that while the sound behind the keys is timeless, the art there is very much real and can be made modern. Can you talk a minute about what it's like to work with piano these days? What opportunities and hardships will it present for you in 2010?

FOSTER: Honestly, the piano sucks a lot of the time. The Boston show where I met you was a perfect example. I opted to play a real deal acoustic piano provided by them but so much went wrong. Unless you're Rufus Wainwright or Alicia Keys touring with a loaned $120K piano from Yamaha, complete with a soundman that knows what the hell he’s doing, it is a semi-pointless endeavor to play an actual piano. So we substitute the best we can. Parachute Musical started out with a very piano driven sound... it was difficult feel great about that live because my gear was so sub par for so long. As time went on my gear got better, I added some more fun keyboards and the sound improved... but so did the writing, I think.

RSL: I think I know where you are headed but will help you there... If you were given the ultimate choice - that you had to give up piano or singing/songwriting, which one would it be?

FOSTER: It would be piano in a heartbeat. I feel the most creative when I'm in the songwriting process, and when I feel creative I feel happy. It just so happens that it comes out easiest when worked out on a piano. As much as I love it and enjoy sitting and improvising, I'm not that great at the end of the day.

RSL: Well, I appreciate your self-effacing nature - but I humbly disagree. I was drawn to your music for your use of piano - as both an instrument and for the story-telling element. I love the way you slap the piano around and make it a modern process. I know piano is very much part of your creative process.

FOSTER: Well it's always different. Sometimes a song is generated by a riff or something I like playing on the piano/guitar, some chord progression or something. Other times an entire song happens because of a single lyric... some phrase that I think is witty or cutting and has enough meaning behind it to write other lines. I'll be driving and think of something and text message it to myself. I have over one hundred saved text messages in my phone right now, 90% of which are lyrics that make no sense to me. The other 10% consist of recipes from my mom, nude photos and directions.

RSL: Nice. Can you take a song from your forthcoming album and do your best to describe how it came to be? Were the words or the music written first? What would we see if we were a fly on the wall in the room at that time?

FOSTER: I like to think that the perfect song writing process goes the way of Drop Me A Line, a song we just recorded with Derek Garten here in Nashville. Getting the song going with the full band was really difficult. It went through a lot of different stages as we played it live, different stages live if you will (that was a stupid Rush reference... I may go back and delete it later). Before ever bringing it to the other members of Parachute Musical, that song basically wrote itself. If you were a fly on the wall that night you probably would have seen me thinking faster then I could write. Lyrics poured out, the melody wrote itself, the structure was obvious and a bridge came naturally, which is unusual. That was a great moment for me writing that song.

FOSTER: Another song, like Hometown for instance (no recording for this one yet... sorry) was a different story. I pined over the lyrics and structure for a month! It was agonizing and I hated it. I like where the song is now but it was just a stupid month with that song. My favorite songs are the ones that just write themselves. They may not be fully developed and ready to be recorded... they will change here and there... but the core is done and you’re proud of it and it seems as if you did nothing but pick up a pencil. I love that.

RSL: You obviously see a lot of dates and have met fans in cities all over the place due to touring. What's different about live music in 2009 than in the past? Other than winning a new album, wild riches, unrelenting praise and steamy romance, what does 2010 hold for Parachute Musical?

FOSTER: (smiling) The "drugs to bands from fans" relationship has been awful lately. It's really dried up Ryan. People are just downright stingy now. PM has SO MUCH SHIT going on in 2010, it's two years before the end of the world so we need to get in as much fame as possible before... ya' know, we all die. In January, Parachute Musical is out on the road doing dates in Texas and the southeast with a band by the name of Sequoia Prep School for about 20 days. They're very handsome gentlemen who always get drugs from fans no questions asked. People are practically throwing fully prepped rigs on stage for them, soundmen are offering up belts as tourniquets... It's ridiculous.

RSL: Sounds like good folks to be around though!

FOSTER: And February has us on the road for 12 days, March will be about the same depending on whether or not SXSW decides to turn us down for the third year in a row and in April/May we'll be doing our first west coast tour with a wonderful group of transvestites named The Winter Sounds. That will have us out for 35 + days. We're thinking up some fun ideas for that tour, it should be awesome. Most importantly, we're releasing our new 2-song single on January 8th in Nashville as the start of our tour with Sequoia. We're very excited about this recording and very proud to give you those two songs before any other blog. Big huge shout out to Derek Garten who recorded, produced, and mixed this record. He's amazing, but not single... sorry.

RSL: Josh, let me finish off with a fairly staple question - because I am interested in how you will answer it... If you could work with any living musician or producer, who would it be and why? Is there anyone else out there, past or present, you feel that strongly about?

FOSTER: I love Rufus Wainwright but I think he'd be too much of a queen and wouldn't let me do shit. Jeff Buckley is amazing but too talented and would probably scoff at my ideas. A girl asked me this recently in an interview and I know my answer is going to be different from what I told her. I would have to say Elliott Smith. I have a healthy obsession.

Parachute Musical
Web / Myspace

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Delta Spirit announce 2010 Tour Dates

New Album & Tour in 2010!
Someone You Should Know


Matt Wignal photograph

The greatest live act in America right now, Delta Spirit are coming off of two years of wildly successful dates that landed them the affection of thousands of fans throughout the States and points beyond. Their 2007 release of Ode to Sunshine won them our pick as Record of the Year. Live shows were so well supported - many of them sold out, Delta Spirit re-released the album last year. Touring in support of the rechristening, they won hearts in minds.

Having seen the band six times now, I can tell you their title of America's best live band is well earned. Haven't seen them to date? A new album, currently being called, History From Below, is set for a Spring 2010 release date. Dates in which the new songs will presumably be played were announced today. Boston folks rejoice - two dates (including the February 1st kick-off,) are right here. We have it for you first:


Feb 1 Middle East Upstairs
Cambridge, MA [tickets]

2 Kung Fu Necktie
Philadelphia, PA

3 DC 9
Washington, DC

5 Union Hall
Brooklyn, NY

8 Middle East Upstairs
Cambridge, MA [tickets]

9 Kung Fu Necktie
Philadelphia, PA

10 DC 9
Washington, DC

12 Union Hall
Brooklyn, NY

Mar 8 Bottom of the Hill
San Francisco, CA

9 Cellar Door
Visalia, CA

10 Bootleg
Los Angeles, CA


Soul Christmas from Old Jack

A New Holiday Classic
New Soul from Old Jack

Neighborhood Christmas

festive drive by with a little Old Jack playing

Dan Nicklin (The Professor):
Vox, Samples, Programming, Sleigh Bells, Hand Claps
Alyssa Nicklin (His Wife): Hand Claps
Ryan Peters (The Halogens): Bass
Oliver Clarke (Ms. Pigeon): FuzzFace, Vox
Jason Dunn (The Luxury): Acoustic Guitar, Vox
Jason Meeker (Ms. Pigeon, Old Jack): Keys, Hand Claps
Rishava Green (Ms. Pigeon, The Lights Out): Guitar Solo, Claps
Dom Minots (ex-Old Jack): Hand Claps

Befriend Old Jack.
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 14, 2009

New from The Black and White Years

New Music Video!
New Stuff from Austin, TX

Long have we supported this quirky, bright indie rock band from Austin. The Black and White Years have an undeniably smart, fun sound. We loved their eponymous debut last year, naming it one of The 20 New Albums You Need to Own in 2008.

And now on the verge of a new year, BAWY are at it again. What follows in the Two Reservoirs music video shot in Super 8 and edited down by Matthew Hoffman. If you like the song, you can then head over to the band's website and download the track for free by registering for their fan club. The Black and White Years were just added to the SxSW Music Festival in March. (Black and White Years and another 200 bands were just added to the festival lineup.) You better believe we will be there!

The Black and White Years "Two Reservoirs" from Matthew Hoffman on Vimeo.

The Black and White Years "Two Reservoirs"
Directed, shot and edited by Matthew Hoffman

Shot on Super 8 color negative film stock:

Kodak Vision2 200T 7217
Kodak Vision2 500T 7218
additional footage: A. Bri Cormier
MCH/ABC Productions 2009

Black and White Years
Web / Myspace

Sunday, December 13, 2009

David Wax Museum appreciation society

BEST of 2009 Music Series
by Sean Hafferty
Someone You Should Know...

RSL Best of 2009 Selection

Like your favorite pair of jeans, there is something familiar, comfortable, and unique about The David Wax Museum. I'd heard good things about these folks, but I wasn't expecting for their latest album, Carpenter Bird, to be one of my favorites of the year.

I've been on a bit of a Calexico kick lately so it felt like kismet as I checked out the lasted project from the unsigned Boston-based quartet The David Wax Museum - who doesn't sound like Calexico - but both share the influence of traditional Mexican music - and use it very well.

Lush with harmonies, Carpenter Bird gives you a nice variety of flavors. From the more straight Americana of "Jalopy Heart" and "I Have Wasted My Life", to the Mexicana of "Colas" and "El Corrido del Borracho", to the skip drag of "Beatrice", it makes for no small amount of toe tapping. Here's one we really like:

The Wax Musem is a four piece based in Boston and led by David Wax with Jiro Kokubu, a multi-instrumentalist from Japan, Suz Slezak on the fiddle and Greg Glassman on drums. The inspiration for their sound comes from the years of study that David spent in Mexico combined with folk and country rock from his midwestern youth. The luscious harmonies and laid back grooves will warm the heart during the cold winter nights that are on the way.

Now you might have caught them recently opening up for The Avett Brothers or The Low Anthem, but they actually just wrapped up their own east coast tour at the end of October. But no worries for folks here in New England, as they are playing a pretty brisk schedule around here for the next couple months. So, if you're in the area you will have a few opportunities to catch them. If you can't make it, grab The Carpenter Bird. Its one of my favorite folks albums of the year.

Web - Myspace /Dates - Album

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Radiohead Bootleg - One of Their Best!

London, UK - Nov 26, 2003:


Photos - Nitzer Ebb at the Paradise

Photographic Evidence
by Marc Beaulieu

The Paradise Boston, MA - 12/3/09

Nitzer Ebb's Douglas McCarthy struts on stage

NITZER EBB AT THE DISE - When it was finally time to play, the band filed-out one at a time with a blue haze of light drenching the stage at Boston’s Paradise Rock Club. When Douglas McCarthy finally appeared the show launched very quickly into a fury of four-on-the-floor beats that made you want to move.

McCarthy’s voice ached and screamed lyrics that mesmerized you for the entire show. They played all the tracks from their latest release, Industrial Complex, their first new material in almost 15 years. As McCarthy held up the front by strutting across the stage back-and-forth all night, Bon Harris held his own covering vocals, triggered electronic percussion, floor tom, cymbal and MalletKat (an electronic version of a mallet keyboard like a marimba or xylophone). Jason Payne has stepped in as the band’s new live drummer and he alternated between playing sitting down and standing up while playing electronic pads.

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Nitzer Ebb at The Paradise Boston 12-3-09

Nitzer Ebb started in 1983 and were pioneers in the genre called EBM, which stands for Electronic Body Music; a phrase coined by Kraftwerk member, Ralf Hutter.

Nitzer Ebb
Web / Myspace

Friday, December 11, 2009

One To Watch: The Gentlemen's Bet

New Music this Week!
Someone You Should Know

The Gentlemen's Bet

STORYLINE MUSIC - An unraveled measure of twine leading us someplace new and beautiful; a solitary leaf bouncing down a city avenue on an unseen wind. The moment between notes of a slow-moving song... The deliberate composition of a song, punctuated by saxophone and drum, interrupted (perfectly)by voice and guitar. All of these odd, but strangely apt descriptions come to mind after just one mesmerizing listen to The Gentlemen's Bet.

MEET THE GENTLEMEN - The product of three songwriters – Andrew Lappin, Aaron Gardony, and Dusty Nichols-Schmolze – who decided to combine forces in the Winter of 2006 during their freshman year at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Since then, the band has assumed various incarnations both in concert and in the studio in order to realize the creative visions of its three principal members.

BRINGING YOU THE BEST - Regardless of the line-up, The Gentlemen’s Bet has sought to work within the American tradition by combining elements of rock n’ roll, folk, jazz, blues, country, soul, and psychedelia in order to craft a sound that is its own. The band's latest full-length album (2009) is, "From A Great Height" is a tremendous effort with at least four songs we absolutely loved on the very first listen. That's winning stuff! Be on the look out for "Big Gunpowder Falls" - their new album due out in January.

The Gentlemen's Bet
Myspace / Twitter

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Greg Mullen & St Claire in Somerville

Out on the Town - Friday 12/11:
by Nikhil Gupta
P.A.'s Lounge - Somerville, MA

Greg Mullen - ready for the weather

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE - Four amazing local acts will take the stage this Friday night at PA's Lounge in Somerville. Both Greg Mullen and St. Claire make warm, inviting music. Mullen's vocals are strong, rich, and just as percussive as the drums and piano behind him. When guitar and horns come in, his voice still reaches out to the audience and pushes each note along. Mullen can also be wild, creative and raw - if need be. St. Claire's music is filled to the brim with Emily Forsythe's shimmering voice, even when their tunes are at their most sparsely arranged.

Emily Forsythe of St Claire

You Itch Like a Secret

There's something infectious about The Tired Times - besides their catchy hooks, the fun this crowded band has together makes its way into the audience. They're sure to get PA's Lounge shaking before Mike and Robbie of home/alone take the stage, and then the night will reach its summit. Drums, guitars, vocals are all a part of their arsenal.
Doors open at 8:30PM, and (just in case you needed a bit more than crazy-good music from your evening out) we hear talk of free beer for two hours Friday night. Show up for more details. Thank us later.

Bonus Track
Greg Mullen - Mountain Steep

featuring the Whitehaus Family Arkestra

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Atmospheric - The Black Ryder

New Music this Week!
Someone You Should Know

The Black Ryder

Tamara Thomas photograph

One of the best things about hosting the world's most dangerous music blog is meeting so many new people. (take note - music lovers are good people) There's a shared interest and an enthusiasm founded by sharing the things we enjoy. That's more chemistry than you'll find in most long-term relationships these days. And, I'll have you know that we love getting suggestions - especially when they result in greatness. With that being said, today's bonus artist focus is a completely new band to me... I just got this tonight but immediately had to share! I want to thank Rachel in San Fran for pointing us their way.

What little I have found out about Australia's The Black Rider is still pretty damn cool -as you will see below. Bonus - the band offers an mp3 to entice fans. For their full catalog, check out The Black Ryder page.


The Black Ryder - Burn and Fade
featuring Peter Hayes

The Black Ryder
Myspace / Facebook

Joel Plaskett's Three

New Music from Toronto
Someone You Should Know

A massive (and most worthy) project from Joel Plaskett
photograph by Ingram Barss

There was one a time you couldn't find Joel Plaskett's music outside of Canada. And even after his name and his music started to become popular, his stuff has still been relatively hard to find. We think that's a real shame and hope those days are coming to an end.

Today we look at Joel Plaskett's new triple-length album, appropriately titled, "Three." It's a record with enough solid new material, refreshing experimentation and catching riffs that we think most will find this a worthy addition to their music collections.

Once Plaskett decided to go with the concept of Three, the references flew fast and furious throughout his songs: among them a “1-2-3” count and a “3-2-1” countdown in the same song (in fact, within two lines of each other); “Good things come in threes”; several allusions to “33-1/3” (his age at the time of recording); and that he worked on 33 songs for the project.

Three is in many way, classic Plaskett. It's a mish-mash of styles and completely authentic. So while there's a drum machine and a general rock feeling to songs like "Wishful Thinking," you can also find a more pop presentation to, "Deny, Deny, Deny." (Plaskett slows things down a bit more for the acoustic presentation for "New Scotland Blues." The slow paced, "Heartless, Heartless, Heartless" is an emotive masterpiece with beautiful guitar.)

Plaskett also explores some brand new sounds this time out (you can do a lot of new things on a triple album), like the penny whistles on “Sailor’s Eyes,” the dry pedal steel guitar on “Every Time You Leave Me Alone,” and the soulful horns on the album’s first single, “Through & Through & Through."

Utlimately though, things always end up returning to Plaskett's alt-country, roots-heavy core. (Listen to core... "Pine, Pine, Pine." - it's a track that could have come from any of his earlier albums.) It's a time-proven equation that works again here.

Looking ahead, Plaskett stands to win a slew of new awards for this effort when the East Coast Music Awards are handed out in March. He is up for; Entertainer of the Year, FACTOR Recording of the Year (for Three), bMale Solo Recording of the Year (for Three), Single of the Year (for Through & Through & Through), Single of the Year (for You Let Me Down), SOCAN Songwriter of the Year (for Through & Through & Through), and Pop Recording of the Year (for Three.)

Anyone who has seen Plaskett live, (we sadly missed him recently in Boston but have vowed to catch him somewhere on tour in 2010) will tell you that Joel's best skill is his personal performances known to bring down houses. We love the ambition of the triple album project - it's an expensive, risky endeavor, but one that will doubtlessly end up with Plaskett scoring new fans. Get in on this... "Three" is One of the Best Records of the Year.

Web / Myspace / Maple Music
"Through & Through & Through" Official Video