Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Adam Duritz and Freeloaders

RSL Interview Exclusive
Music & Film brought to life

Prologue: I am pleased to share with you the thoughts of one of the most creative people in the music industry today. For the two-plus years I have known Adam Duritz, having interviewed him the first time in early 2008 - I have come to appreciate and respect the way he works his ideas to fruition. He worships the live experience and shares a bond with his audiences. Creativity provides purpose and meaning to his life.

I was not born a Counting Crows fan - it's an important distinction I want to make, as you won't have to be either to appreciate what follows.

Ryan Spaulding - We’ve actually talked a couple of times recently about the recently finished Traveling Circus and Medicine Show tour. You’ve been really excited and it’s clearly been a good time for you. Why was this tour so special?

Adam Duritz - Well, I think it was, over the last two years, probably the most enjoyable tour we’ve been on,” Duritz said. “The only one I think that might come close to this was the first sort of headlining tour we did back 1994.”

[Editor’s Note: Adam references the August and Everything After Tour. The album came out in late 1993 and the memories of early 1994 find the Counting Crows on the road and relatively unknown. They had not yet won the rave reviews that would follow soon after. The fact that Duritz connects the Traveling Circus tour with those happy, early days is most noteworthy.]

AdamIt was freezing; Wintertime. The record had only been out for three months. We had just played Saturday Night Live. We hadn’t blown up at all yet. At that point, there was no huge single. The only people who were at these shows – and they were all packed to the gills, were people who had found the album. Music fans who were utterly open, to anything we wanted to do. There was no need for a particular song. There was no need for anything… Just these shows in front of hugely rabid music fans... We could do anything we wanted.

Ryan What was that like for you?

AdamIt was fantastic. You never really get it again. You have an early period in which you’re opening for people. You’re trying to make an impression on people who don’t know your music. Which is great and then if it blows up… And then after that there’s a period of which you have a body of work and hopefully people are pretty much acceptable of anything you are going to play. But there’s that brief period you have when, if you’re lucky enough, you can really pack them into small places and they are open to anything. The people show up and they just want to see what it’s like and they just want to see your band. It’s really about the even playing field of that day, with complete creative freedom, where the audiences really had no judgment of it at all.

Ryan - In those kinds of small spaces, when all those people leaning into you while you play or sing a note, do you find that you giving yourself to an audience more because of that? Has this changed at all?

Adam I think it’s the same, before and after, for me... You also have to remember they didn’t seem like small venues to us back then. I’ve always gotten really lost up on stage. Back then, you got the sense then that (audiences) were willing to get totally lost with you.

Duritz recounts that tour in 1994 – it’s clearly a story he relishes. It’s a series of days that see the Crows evolved from tour opener in small venues but soon they are named headliners with fans on five continents. It all happened over the course of weeks.

Adam Other than that first run, the Circus was the greatest thing I’ve ever done.

Duritz produced and has a role in the new wicked offbeat comedy, Freeloaders, which will see its debut this Friday in Los Angeles. Making good on a comment he made to me during our conversation, Adam has organized an affordable, fan-friendly media event at the Ford Amphitheatre that will involve live comedy from Broken Lizard, a live set from Counting Crows and the film. Tickets, again by Durtiz’s design are only $20 – regardless of where fans find their seats. He says he’s doing it to reach people in new ways.

Ryan Can you talk a minute about the new movie, Freeloaders?

Adam Last year I partnered up with the guys from Broken Lizard, the guys who did Super Trooper and Beerfest and we made a really, really funny movie. Dave Gibbs, of Gigolo Aunts and now of Low Stars, co-wrote it (along with Dan Rosen). I’ve been an Executive Producer before but this is the first time I’ve ever actually been a full producer. Along with a couple of guys in Broken Lizard we were doing 17 hours a day on set.

Ryan Tell me about it.

Adam It’s totally different things you do, but it turns out that producing is a lot of the same skill sets as being a band leader. It was a lot of work and a lot of frustration as well. I really enjoyed doing it, I really loved it.

RyanI can't make it out to Los Angeles to see it. When will the rest of us get a chance to see the movie Adam?

Adam Hopefully next year. It’s an indie film. It has to be sold and find distribution. I think it will do okay. It’s very funny – it’s a silly, vulgar, funny movie.

[Ed’s Note: You can see an Actor’s List with a brief synopsis on the film’s IMDB page. The basis for the story is that a well meaning actor offers to help some friends who take advantage of him endlessly. It’s funny in the sense you can imagine our own good friends doing much the same should any of us become successful and famous. Duritz calls it “an untrue story” but he then tells of his ties to old friends in New Orleans – who came to visit his place in Los Angeles and it becomes clear the hilarious story has some basis in fact. There is a lot of friendly banter and laughter throughout.]

Adam - Literally there has not been an episode of Treme where somebody on the show didn’t stay at my house – at least for the first day. (Laughing) I’m not kidding, either. (Now we’re both laughing.) There’s not been an episode yet without a former, call them a Freeloader – because that’s the title of the movie. There were all kinds of musicians and writers – all the friends I made along the way who wanted to come out to LA to quote, un-quote, “make it in LA” came out. I said, ‘come on out, you can stay at my house’ – and they ALL did. Sometimes we had like 20 people living there.

The movie is written as a fictional account of what the fuckers did – behind my back - when I wasn’t around.

AdamThe story centers on the idea that I am getting married and I call my friends that I’m selling the house and I’m moving to New York. In my mind, they’re all going to be happy for me. In their mind, the gravy train just left town. They had been generally fucking me over and when they realize they are going to lose the house, they go into Full “Fuck Adam-mode.” It’s a really funny movie. I want to say none of it happened, but unfortunately some of it did.

Ryan - Do you have a hard time laughing at yourself?

Adam - (considers for a moment then laughs) No, I can laugh about this now…

RyanYou must be comfortable. You made this film and this is public now. You let this be funny instead of this being some kind of drama.

Adam I have no interest in doing dramas. Life is enough of a fucking drama, you know? I want to laugh. I have literally no interest in doing anything but comedies. The movie really isn’t about me. Gibbs is far more a main character in it than I am. The movie is really about a bunch of friends who are a bunch of fuck-ups.

Counting Crows
Web / My / Fb / Tw

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Joe Gideon & The Shark

Sounds from the Underground
by Nick Parker

Joe Gideon & The Shark
Luke B. Ford photograph

FROM THE UK: Let me warn you, in case we happen to meet: I’m a real music bore. I’m that guy who wanders around Boston music venues proselytizing about new bands (or bands new to me) to random passers-by, and lately all my monotonous diatribes have been about just one: Joe Gideon & the Shark.

When I have a bad case of music-driven hysteria, as I do with this duo, I’m not even able to articulate why I’m so excited – I’m no more than a mouthpiece for the band’s name, seemingly expecting that will be enough to convince you to bother looking them up.

It’s not enough, of course, and so let me put it this way: if Nick Cave and PJ Harvey's sadly doomed relationship in the 90s had spawned a couple of kids, they would have grown into the brother and sister duo who make up JG&TS. What better (illusory) heritage could they ask for?

So JG&TS manage to be as eccentric as both these musical luminaries. Viva Gideon plays drums, various keys, and carries most of the actual singing in the band, while Joe plays guitars and bass, and drifts through one-sided conversations with us that are compelling, apparently true, and often amusing. Despite Joe’s skillful wit though, this is not really his greatest strength. He will make you smile often as you listen to tracks like “Civilization” and “DOL” (aka “Daughter of a Loony”), but this band are at their best when this slight humor is underscored with both the sinister and the poignant.

How can they bring these disparate ingredients together? That’s where my wonder is: I don’t know how it works, but it’s a very powerful concoction that I haven’t heard before.

So let me get this out of my system: Joe Gideon and the Shark’s 2009 album Harum Scarum is a MUST have. There. Perhaps now I’ve written that out to you all, I can stop the whole ‘chanting their name’ thing.

Joe Gideon & The Shark
Web / My / Fb

Monday, September 27, 2010

Menomena + + + Suckers

We Recommend You Go.
by Emma Dessau

Thursday 9/30
Boston, MA


Menomena - TAOS
from Mines [on Barsuk Records]
listen + download

Menomena’s success is sort of a Cinderella story: A small indie band records an album of their own devices, distributes it to music media outlets hoping in vain someone will actually listen and give them some press. Then, lo and behold, Pitchfork’s mammoth hands pick up the lowly CD-R and stamp it “Best New Music.” Suddenly, they are thrust into the spotlight! Faces on tabloids everywhere! ...

Well, that’s not really how it works in the music industry these days. But when Pitchfork reviewed Menomena’s first release I Am the Blame Fun Monster! back in 2003 and gave it an 8.7 on their (goddamn) decimal system, it might have felt that way for the Portland trio. Alas, they did not lose any of that DIY charm, and their releases continued to be of the creative sleeper genre, creeping up on your brain with each listen. Their newest release, Mines, is exceptional. So exceptional, in fact, that songs like “Dirty Cartoons” actually hurt sometimes.

Web / My / Fb / Tw


Suckers - A Mind I Knew
from Wild Smile [on Frenchkiss Records]
listen + download

Appears with Menoment on Thursday is Suckers, a stellar Brooklyn band. Their infectious experimental-pop music is a synth-y blend of all the things you could ever want. Topped off by the supreme, deep vocals of Quinn Walker, they’re worth getting to the show early for.

Web / My /Fb / Tw

These are two of the more unique indie bands out there right now and their show on the 30th should be perfect end to September and a great way to ring in October... or as I like to call it, ROCKTOBER, because the lineup of bands coming to Boston next month is just that absurdly good.

WIN TICKETS - I have 2 Pairs of Tickets for Giveaway. Beginning now, anyone who starts following us today on Twitter through Midnight on Wednesday Night will be entered to win. Current followers only have to RT the giveaway to be entered to win. You have to like your chances!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Talking to Their Generation

On Further Review:
Arcade Fire's The Suburbs
by Dan Lavender

Sometimes albums are created at just the right time.
It's not an exact science. It's probably luck in fact, when a band is able to tap into the zeitgeist of so many people. For example, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was released at exactly the right time: a little earlier, and Nirvana would have upset some poodle rockers; later and the indie dance mob would have sneered at Cobain’s unsophisticated yelling. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was aimed firmly at the disenfranchised teens of the X/Y generation, trapped with their parents in a nowhere suburb, aching to leave for the big city and adventure. Arcade Fire’s new albumThe Suburbs” is aimed firmly at the same generation today. Most have returned to the faceless suburbs, all grown up, with jobs, kids and responsibilities, wondering "where did it all go?"

It's a rarity these days to find an album with a coherent story from start to finish. The album is bookended by the title track “The Suburbs,” the reprise of which carries the mournful lines (longing for those empty summer days as kids.)

If I could have it back
All the time that we wasted
I would only waste it again

The album plays with various sounds of the 80's, the prog-rock of “Modern Man” and “Rococo” give way to the Joshua Tree era U2 of “Half Light II,” to the early 90's indie punk of “Empty Room” (which could've been a track on Belly's magnificent Star album of 1993). Before the reprise of the last track, the album concludes on a bitter-sweet throwback to Blondie with “Sprawl II,” lamenting the facelessness of the urban sprawl that we were trapped in, fought against, but, ultimately, unwittingly returned to.

Listening to The Suburbs is like an opera or a soundtrack of your childhood - if you're between 30 and 40 that is. This may ultimately be the album’s only major flaw - its lack of relevance to the youth of today. It's so retrospectively 80's, as is the current trend, that listening to this album in 12 months time might make it sound like a grand piece of hackneyed nostalgia.

Web / My / Fb / Tw / Yt
* Wilderness Downtown *

Saturday, September 25, 2010

September Show of the Month

Expertly Selected
Hand Picked for You

Sunday 9/26 at:
Cambridge, MA
[tickets - $12]

Web / My / Fb / Tw / Yt

Alberta Cross

Alberta Cross Songs

Web / My / Fb / Tw / Yt

Mean Creek

Mean Creek sampler

My / Fb / Yt

Oh Land

On the Rise right Now
Someone You Need to Know

Sun 9/26/10 at The Paradise
Boston, MA w/ Mates of State

Oh Land - Sun of a Gun
free artist-authorized download!

ELECTROPOP - NYC's Oh Land originally hailed from Denmark, the product of a musical family. Now state-side, she got snapped up by Epic Records after 2009's SXSW - where she made big waves.

Oh Land is currently putting the finishing touches on her US debut album and an EP to be released this fall. Right now she's out on tour with the lovable Mates of State. We think audiences in Boston on Sunday will very much like this show. Here's a bonus Oh Land remix, also available for free download. Thank me later.

Oh Land
Web / My / Fb / Tw

Friday, September 24, 2010

Airborne Toxic Event at the Somerville Theatre

Photographic Evidence
by Kira Doucette

Airborne Toxic Event

RSL Streaming Photo Album
Airborne Toxic Event
Somerville, MA - 9/8/10

Having just wrapped up their well-received tour with the Calder Quartet, we wanted to share the photos of The Airborne Toxic Event performing at the Somerville Theatre. I think you'll agree with me in applauding the efforts of our latest addition to the blog team: photographer Kira Doucette. She's very talented and we're happy to have her working with us and we're anxious to bring more of her work to light.

photographs by Kira Doucette

DOCUMENTARY FILM - There's a new documentary film about Airborne Toxic Event available now, that you might want to look into. Filmed last December in front of a sold out audience at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, All I Ever Wanted, features an eclectic mix of musicians and performers-ranging from a children'schoir, a world-class string quartet, a high school marching band, horn players, visual artists, and Mexican folkórico dancers. Yes, Virginia - it's an ambitious project. The show features selections from the band's eponymous debut album, songs from their new effort (early 2011 release) and some new and never before heard covers: the Ramones' "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (with the Belmont High School Marching Band), the Magnet Fields' "The Book of Love," and Q Lazzarus's "Goodbye Horses."

Airborne Toxic Event
Web / My / Fb / Tw

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Erin McKeown

One to Watch in 2010
by Emmery Brakke

Fri 9/24/10 - 2 Shows
at Club Passim - Cambridge, MA

When Erin McKeown traveled from her hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia to attend school at Brown University, there was no way she could have predicted that her career path would be that of an incredibly diversely talented singer-songwriter; but ten years and ten album releases later - that’s exactly what she is. *That's a hell of a lot of live shows.

Erin’s career is one of the most satisfying success stories out there. With her wide range of musical styles, from her early folk albums, to the successful alternative-rock album “We Will Become Like Birds” and even all the way to “Sing You Sinners”, her album of classic jazz covers, her skill set as both an artist and a writer are undeniable.

Distillation, released in 2000, was McKeown’s debut. The concepts behind McKeown's album "Anniversary Tour" is wonderful, and the execution is sure to be even better; the tour consists of a select number of shows in select locations where McKeown will perform the entirety of Distillation from start to finish, as it was recorded. For the second part of the set she has selected songs that she feels represent how she has grown from that album, both older and newer material.

It’s really wonder to have such an intimate opportunity to glimpse into a favorite artist's development. The tour kicked off last week in North Carolina, but the next stop will be right here in Cambridge on Friday at Club Passim, one of the places McKeown performed at early on in her career. It should be a magical experience, one that I recommend you do not miss.

Fri Sep 24 - Cambridge MA
 - Club Passim

Fri Oct 08 - Portland ME
 - One Longfellow Square

Sat Oct 9 - Northampton MA
 - Iron Horse
Sun Oct 17 - New York NY
 - Highline Ballroom

Wed Oct 20 - Chicago IL - 
Lincoln Hall

Fri Oct 22 - Pittsburgh PA - 
Rex Theatre

Sat Oct 23 - Arlington VA - 
IOTA Club & Cafe

Sun Oct 24 - Philadelphia PA
 - World Cafe Live
Mon Nov 08 - Seattle WA - 
Triple Door
Thu Nov 11 - Los Angeles CA - 
Largo at the Coronet
Sun Nov 14 - San Francisco CA - 
Cafe DuNord

Erin McKeown
Tour Blog / Web / Fb / Tw

eels - tomorrow morning

New Music this Week!
Someone You Should Know

Boston Date this week!
Fri 9/24/10 at Royale

Mark Oliver Everett is "E"

EELS RETURN - One of the most distinctive, unique bands of the last quarter century has a new album I want to share with you today. Tomorrow Morning is the new effort and you can find it online, in stores or at the band's tour (more on this in a minute) these days. There are a few important things about this band worth indicating - then I'll let you get into the cool new video. First, Mark Everett is one of most captivating, unconventional singers in music. Mark Everett has one of the most interesting artist back stories of all time. Ultimately, there is no removing E from Eels - and nobody would want you to anyway.

Eels - Railroadman
a classic from Blinking Lights and Other Revelations

Once famous for their authentic, gritty but yet still ethereal, lo-fi music - the band have evolved before our eyes. The lo-fi, staticy feel is still there (removing criticism that all of the band's early efforts were anything other than intentional) on these - but changes in band membership and new songwriting directions have steered the band to where they are today. There's no doubt that Everett is heading towards being a fully actualized musician. Eels music isn't at the center of my being but I can see the band representing an entire trunk on the modern indie evolution chart. Remarkably, they are still doing what they did best years ago - better than anyone. I stop and consider that Morphine might have made the same point had Mark Sandman survived and played today. Here's the new video. Check out the album. If you're in town this weekend, I recommend attending the EELS set at Royale on Friday night. It'll be top notch.

Sept 24 - Boston, MA at Royale
Sept 25 - New York, NY at Terminal 5
Sept 26 - Washington, DC at 9:30 Club
Sept 28, 2010 Montreal, Canada at Le National
Sept 29 - Toronto, Canada at The Mod Club Theater
Sept 30 - Detroit, MI at The Crofoot Ballroom
Oct 1 - Chicago, IL at The Metro
Oct 2 - Milwaukee, WI at The Pabst Theater
Oct 3 -Minneapolis, MN at First Avenue
Oct 5- Denver, CO at The Odgen Theater
Oct 6 - Salt Lake City, UT at The Complex
Oct 8 - Portland, OR at Roseland
Oct 9 - Seattle, WA at The Moore Theater
Oct 11 - San Francisco, CA at The Fillmore
Oct 12 - Los Angeles, CA at the Henry Fonda Theater

Web / My / Fb

Free mp3 Download: on the official website

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Alex Brown Church (Sea Wolf)

Acoustically Speaking...
Tonight in Town:

Sea Wolf's Alex Brown Church

Sea Wolf - Wicked Blood

BEST of 2009 SELECTION - Alex Brown Church , typically accompanied by his five-piece band, Sea Wolf, will scale back his performances and instead, don the stage with just a guitar and his singular voice on tour. Church arrives in Boston today playing a date at the Middle East in Cambridge. Joining him on his solo serenade will be fellow troubadours Patrick Park and Sera Cahoone.

Sept 21 Cambridge, MA - Middle East
Sept 22 Montreal, QC - Il Motore
Sept 23 Clinton, NY - Hamilton College
Sept 24 Pittsburgh, PA - The Altar Bar
Sept 25 Toledo, OH - Mickey Finn’s Pub
Sept 26 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
Sept 27 Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club
Sept 28 Omaha, NE -Waiting Room
Sept 29 Lincoln, NE - Bourbon Theater
Sept 30 Colorado Springs, CO - Stargazers Theatre
Oct 1 Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
Oct 2 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
Oct 4 Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
Oct 5 Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw
Oct 6 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Oct 7 Arcata, CA - Humboldt State University
Oct 8 San Francisco, CA - The Independent
Oct 9 Fresno, CA - Franks
Oct 10 Los Angeles, CA - Echo Park United Methodist Church

BONUS NEWS: Coinciding with the Sea Wolf acoustic tour, new single “Turn the Dirt Over” from Sea Wolf’s acclaimed sophomore release, White Water, White Bloom (Dangerbird Records), will be pressed on 7” vinyl and made available digitally. The 7” will be backed with a remix by Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning, who radically pushes the limits of the original by injecting a steady disco beat, a flourish of keyboards, inventive percussion and extending the song nearly two and half minutes.

Sea Wolf
Web | Myspace

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nor'easter Festival

New England This Week!
A Musical Green Getaway in NH
Sept 24-26 / Loon Mtn

3-day Celebration Of Music, Sports + Conservation in Lincoln, NH

This Weekend / Sept 24 - 26: The 2010 Nor’easter Main Stage features an energetic and eclectic lineup that includes: The Gaslight Anthem, Dr. Dog, The Walkmen, !!! (Chk, Chk, Chk), Eli “Paperboy” Reed and the True Loves, Alberta Cross, Rubblebucket, The Constellations, Sean Bones, Javelin, Tan Vampires, AmPm, AdeeM and The Super Secret Project (Granite State of Mind).

As Festival Organizer Pete Ward explains “Like the outdoors community itself, the Nor’easter Main Stage is an energetic, fun and diverse home to folks from all walks of life.”

opens in new window

The Nor’easter is the Northeast’s premiere mountain life festival, combining multiple outdoor sports, conservation efforts and the Northeast’s premier music lineup.

Eli Paperboy Reed

Eli Paperboy Reed - Come And Get It
photo by Nevermind

Nor'Easter = Adventure - The three-day event will include: two days of music, pro rock climbing at The Unified Bouldering Championships Pro Tour, An international Cyclocross race and even a costume “Fun run” with top musical acts, professional athletes and the Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School, a volunteer conservation project organized in partnership with the White Mountain National Forest, a social camping atmosphere for overnight guests, and more.

Dr. Dog

Perhaps most important, a portion of the weekend’s proceeds will benefit the Conservation Alliance, an outdoor advocate group that engages outdoor businesses to help protect and conserve threatened wild places for their habitat and recreation values.

The Walkmen

The Walkmen - All Black and White New!!
Photo by 5342 Studios
Full Set: Walkmen at SxSW

The Nor'Easter Festival
Website & Tickets / Fb / Tw

Superchunk Really has Arrived

New Music this Week!
Someone You Should Know
by Julie Stoller

Boston Date this week!
Tue 9/21/10 at Royale

What a great time to be a ‘90s hipster. Bands who were in their heyday at that time - Pavement, Guided by Voices, Teenage Fanclub, Swans – all seem to be touring this year. The latest in this wave of really cool bands of yore is the powerhouse foursome from Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Superchunk.

Loved by many and highly regarded for sticking to their indie roots, Superchunk released their first three albums on Matador Records, despite interest from the majors after their debut. When Matador decided to partner with Atlantic Records for distribution, they moved to their own label (founded by Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance), the now legendary Merge Records. DIY at its finest. They were at the center of a raging Chapel Hill music scene (Squirrel Nut Zippers, Ben Folds Five, Archers of Loaf), and in addition to putting out their own classics like Here’s Where the Strings Come In (recorded at Boston’s Fort Apache Studios) and Come Pick Me Up, Merge was also home to many notable artists, among them McCaughan’s Portastatic, Neutral Milk Hotel, Conor Oberst, Arcade Fire, and The Magnetic Fields.

Both pretty and powerful, striking a nice balance between ear-catching melodies and punk explosion, Superchunk’s music has an urgency and a vibrancy that gets the adrenaline going, propelled by McCaughan’s high-pitched, exuberant vocals. They’ve just released their 9th album, Majesty Shredding, their first full-length release since 2001’s Here’s To Shutting Up. If “Digging For Something” is any indication, they haven’t lost any of their youthful power. As they haven’t been in Boston since 2001, here’s a chance to relive some of that exciting past, and celebrate a true indie band as they scream into the future.

At Royale on Tuesday, Superchunk will be performing with fellow Merge Records band Versus, who recently released On the Ones and Threes, their first album in ten years. Tickets are still available online.

Web / My / Fb / Tw

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Look Out for Drug Rug

Support Live Rock
Believing in the Music

Sarah Cronin + Tommy Allen

Drug Rug - Wintertime

Embracing The Facts - So I had intended on writing you to ask for your support in one of my favorite bands in New England right now. Transportation and friendship are a band's most important tools. That's just the way it is. Sometimes instruments, even, take a back seat to the basics. So I decided to do something to help Drug Rug, who are sans-van (is the correct Latin?) and need to replace their old standby Pee Wee (yes indeed, the van was named "Pee Wee"). In an effort to stay viable as a band and continue their work, bands like Drug Rug are turning to web-based services like Kickstarter to help them reach fans who can help cover expenses. Who says the patronage system is dead?? (If I didn't think Drug Rug was so awesome, this whole piece would be about Kickstarter. Bands with supporters who have considering hanging it up may want to give this a look.)

Well, Sarah and Tommy turned to the fans. That's where I come in - to draw attention to the thing. With the support of fans both near and far, the new van has been funded. So, at this point we are talking about raising funds for their tour. (Which will kick auditory ass.)

Here's the Drug Rug Kickstarter campaign if you want to make a tour donation. Who knows, Tommy and Sarah may buy you a draft when they see you on the road. This is definitely One to Watch in 2010.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jane Lui on a Zurich Rooftop

New Video from Zurich!
Someone You Need to Know

NEW MUSIC - Californian Jane Lui's third album Goodnight Company will see digital, online, release on October 5th. Here's a sneak peak. This video for "Illusionist Boy," directed by Steve Ellington, was filmed on the rooftop of a cafe over seeing beautiful Zurich, Switzerland. Goodnight Company was co-produced with Aaron Bowen (San Diego). Bursts of electronica, funk, old-timey, & folk give away her eclectic influences with uses of melotron, dixieland jazz, field recordings, gospel choirs, and music boxes. We're looking for to it!

Lui at Carnegie Mellon

Jane Lui
Web / My / Fb / Tw / Yt

Friday, September 17, 2010


New Music this Week!
Someone You Should Know

Live in Boston
Sat 10/2/10

NOT A "SUPER BAND", A SUPERB BAND - The tour dates for GAYNGS will be kicking off in the next few days. Ten of the twenty-plus contributors on the Relayted album will be there, including Justin Vernon and Mike Noyce of Bon Iver, ringleader Ryan Olson, Zak Coulter and Adam Hurlburt of Solid Gold. Jake Luck of Leisure Birds, Ivan Rosebud of The Rosebuds, Brad Cook and Joe Westerlund of Megafaun, and Mike Lewis of Andrew Bird and Happy Apple will all be there too!

GANYGS have been garnering a wide variety of critical acclaim ranging from the New York Times to the BBC. Online fame spread with word that Stereogum had named the band one of the Top 40 Best New Bands Of 2010 They have also just released an stunning cover of George Michael's "One More Try" (featuring Har Mar Superstar) and a live video for "Last Prom On Earth", featuring a Prince cameo filmed at Minneapolis's First Avenue.

They will round out their U.S. Tour in New York City with two shows at Webster Hall and Music Hall of Williamsburg and and an appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, an event that will surely make a huge mark on late night TV!

09/29/10 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
09/30/10 Chicago, IL - Metro
10/02/10 Boston, MA - Paradise
10/03/10 New York, NY - Webster Hall
10/04/10 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/05/10 Washington, DC - Black Cat
10/06/10 Carrboro NC - Cat's Cradle
10/9/10 Official ACL Afterparty At Emo's With Bear In Heaven
10/10/10 Austin, TX - Austin City Limits Festival

My / Fb / Tw


Advance Notice
by Emma Dessau

Live in Boston
Wed 9/22/10


RED HOT, and SOMEONE YOU SHOULD KNOW - Phantogram’s debut album, Eyelid Movies is a nighttime background thumper -- for those evenings when zoning out and staring at walls sounds like a great idea. Give it a few listens, though, and you’ll find tracks that make that white wall swirl like you’re on a surprise acid trip.

The Saratoga Springs duo, featuring Josh Carter on the guitar and Sarah Barthel rocking the keyboards, will perform their space-y electronic trip-hoppy goodness at the all new Paradise on Wednesday the 22nd, a perfectly good way to get through the week. Watch this video and check your calendars.

UPDATE: ** For a limited time you can buy Eyelid Movies on Amazon for just $5

Editor's Note: That drone-y beat and low static is catchy as hell. Total winner! (Ryan)

My / Fb / Tw

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NEW VIDEO - Visqueen

Brand New Music Video
An Artist on the Move!

Rachel Flotard of Visqueen

Visqueen - The Capitol
SxSW Photo Set by 5342 Studios

SEATTLE LOVE - If you like your coffee strong you might just have heard Visqueen one morning at your local Starbucks or peeped the band's singer Rachel Flotard on the Seattle coffee chain's website. There are some very valid reason for the noise. Having only grown familiar with the band's music the last two years, I was completely blown away after witnessing Visqueen's NPR set at Stubbs during this year's SxSW Music Festival. Things continue to look up. The band is clearly focusing on music these days. A new video was released this week on AOL. Since no one saw it there, I thought I might share it with you. Raise a cup of coffee with a friend over this one - clearly One to Watch in 2010.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Iggy and the Stooges ignite Boston!

On Further Review
by Julie Stoller
HOB Boston - 8/31/10

As I stood in quiet awe in the emptying House of Blues sweat-soaked afterglow, Iggy and the Stooges having pummeled us senseless, the thought occurred to me: every punk band in the world should just hang it up and find day jobs, because they’ll never hope to achieve that level of elegance and ferocity.

They are masters at their art. From the relentless pounding heartbeat of Scott Asheton’s druming fury, to James Williamson’s mind-melting guitar voyages. Steve Mackay on bluesy/jazzy sax, moving their sound out into hypnotic and entrancing realms, and Mike Watt – the newest Stooge, but with his own considerable stature as a member of the esteemed Minutemen – not only providing that solar plexus punch on bass, but pausing here and there for a distortion-producing sensuous dance with his amp; so obvious was his visceral pleasure, it was almost a little embarrassing to watch him. And Iggy Pop, ah... Iggy. The ultimate whirling dervish; the consummate showman. Yelling, shrieking, then dropping it down to a sexy and dangerous croon. He’s all over the stage, all over the audience, showing off that impossible 63-going-on-30 physique with his own unique crazy dance. It’s impossible to take your eyes off him.

We Take You to the Front Row:
Iggy Pop at the House of Blues Boston

I Wanna Be Your Dog by Iggy and the Stooges
Julie Stoller photo

Punk bands are generally not what I’d call musically sophisticated. It’s not about that. It’s about the energy, the angst, the passion. Oh, the Stooges have all that, but they’re also quite wonderful musicians, with a strong jazz and experimental sensibility. There were periodic interludes when they stretched out their powerful punk anthems into something more textural and complex, with Williamson physically appearing low-key, but in ripping into his guitar, anything but. Mackay with his wonderful sax playing and smoky jazz club vibe… so classy. One such interlude was in the aftermath of a rollicking dance number, “Shake Appeal,” which had 30+ members from the audience up on stage, hilarious fun with a sensuous wind-down.


Raw Power
Search and Destroy
Gimme Danger
Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell
Shake Appeal
Night Theme
Beyond the Law
I Got A Right
I Wanna Be Your Dog
I Need Somebody
Death Trip
Open Up and Bleed
Encore: Fun House, No Fun

For the record, there was a good deal of thrashing about and mic stand tossing (once hitting a security guy, but a friendly handshake cleared up any misunderstanding), two stage dives and one that was kind of “a crawl.” Unlike days of yore when the scene sometimes got ugly and confrontational, this was a full-on love fest – though with mosh-pit-madness up at the front, not one for the feint of heart.

But it was Iggy’s quieter moments that I found most compelling. Stalking around the stage like a deranged panther, bringing it down to something darker and more sinister (“give me danger, little stranger…”). Writhing and contorting his way around massive statements like “Gimme Danger,” “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (ohhh… bliss.), and “I Need Somebody,” he examined every nook and cranny of the darker side of human existence, desperation and obsession, with every fiber of his body. Performance immersion and audience participation: 110%. It was a very special night.

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The Neighborhoods

As it turned out, it was to be an evening of legends. I was unaware that there would be any opening band, let alone that it would be hometown boys The Neighborhoods . What a perfect choice of support act, and it’s been… well, since the early 90s that I’d last seen them. Wildly pumped up and well-aware of the evening’s importance, they placed a searing set, David Minehan resplendent in his vintage t-shirt from The Rat. They were very enthusiastically welcomed by a crowd who were delighted albeit surprised to see them there, and there was great band/audience interaction and yelled out requests. Lee Harrington sung a song which he dedicated to his life partner that had the line “I am a broken man; can’t you see it in my eyes.”

With tremendous energy and giddy excitement to be supporting Iggy and the Stooges (“this guy helped shape my life” – David Minehan), they ripped through a set that included “Half Life”, “Reptile Man” and popular audience request “Parasite” – sounding absolutely fantastic.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NEW VIDEO - Jukebox the Ghost

Brand New Music Video
Album Tour Underway

Jukebox the Ghost at SxSW at Antone's in Austin

Jukebox The Ghost - Empire
SxSW Photo Set by 5342 Studios

Last week saw the release of Jukebox the Ghost's long awaited sophomore album Everything Under The Sun and this week brings the release of a brand new music video for "Schizophrenia." Songwriter Ben Thornewill comments on the track:

"Years ago I learned that often schizophrenics become schizophrenics in their early twenties after a traumatic experience. So the song is from the point of a schizophrenic who still has the wherewithal to talk coherently about his illness. Secondly, the song was born of the two piano melodies of the verses that were both technically very difficult to play and which, after I learned them, screamed 'schizophrenic.'"

Sept 14 - Philadelphia - The Ox *$
Sept 15 - Boston, MA - Great Scott *$
Sept16 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg *$
Sept 17 - Baltimore, MD - Sonar *$
Sept 18 - Charlottesville, VA- The Southern Cafe & Music Hall *$
Sept 20 - Louisville, KY - The Vernon Club *#
Sept 21 - St Louis, MO - Cicero's *#
Sept 22 - Little Rock, AR - Juanita's Cantina Ballroom *#
Sept 23 - Houston, TX - House of Blues *#
Sept 24 - Austin, TX - The ND at 501 Studios *#
Sept 25 - Frisco, TX - Oysterfest *#
Sept 28 - San Diego, CA - The Loft UCSD #&
Sept 30 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo #&
Oct 2 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill #&
Oct 4 - Portland, OR - Mississippi Studios #&
Oct 5 - Seattle, WA - High Dive #&
Oct 7 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court #&
Oct 8 - Denver, CO - Hi Dive #&
Oct 9 - Omaha, NE - Slowdown Jr #
Oct 11 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry ^!
Oct 12 - Milwaukee, WI - The Cactus Club ^!
Oct 13 - Chicago, IL - Schubas ^!
Oct 14 - Indianapolis, IN - MOKB Presents @ Radio Radio ^!
Oct 15 - Pittsburgh, PA - The Brillobox ^!
Oct 16 - Washington, DC - The Black Cat ^!
Oct 27 - Portland, ME - State Theatre @
Oct 28 - Burlington, VT - Flynn Center @
Oct 30 - Providence, RI - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel @

* = w/ Via Audio
$ = w/ Drink Up Buttercup
# = w/ Hooray for Earth
& = w/ AB & the Sea
^ = w/ Elizabeth & the Catapult
! = w/ Ruby Coast
@ = w/ Guster

Jukebox the Ghost
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Monday, September 13, 2010

the Xavier Rudd interview

Appearing Tonight in Boston
Wilbur Theatre - 8pm

photos by James Looker

ADVANCING - Nearing the end of his North American tour, award winning and best selling musician Xavier Rudd and Izintaba pull into Boston tonight for a show at the Wilbur Theatre. It's his last date on American soil this year. Rudd and backing band Izintaba have sold out dates across North America, sharing songs from the new album Koonyum Sun.

WORLDWIDE FOLLOWING - Rudd has become known for his extraordinary stage show that finds him performing guitar, didgeridoo and various percussion parts simultaneously—using a unique set-up that literally surrounds him with various instruments, singing from behind a stand holding three didgeridoos of different keys. He has led sold-out tours in Europe, Canada , Australia and the US , both headlining and supporting the likes of the Dave Matthews Band, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper.

What follows is an excerpt of a telephone interview I conducted with Xavier Rudd. One thing that you will likely gather from what is to follow is that Xavier is a spiritual man. He believes in the creative spirit and his voice often carries a childlike enthusiasm when the topic of making music comes up. He is most enthusiastic though when we talk about the people he reaches. He loves Australia and her native Aboriginal people. Perhaps most importantly, Rudd loves his audiences.

Xavier Rudd is a musical ambassador

Ryan Spaulding: Do you have a specific approach to songwriting? How do you go about your craft?

Xavier Rudd: It just happens to me. I don’t think much about it. I don’t really ever prepare. I have never actually ever sat down and tried to write a song. They just, they just sort of come. And they come pretty easy. The songs that are meant to stay. I don’t write them down or anything. They stay in my head.

Ryan: Can you take us through a song – tell us what it’s about and why it’s important to you?

Xavier: You know, every song is important to me and every song is important to me. Every song is special.

Ryan: Is that the case when you are writing? Is there purpose in making your music then or is it a fluid process?

Xavier: The ones I’m meant to play and perform come through. It really happens fast, you know? It might be songs from an emotional experience or something I care it about. The spirit comes through. I don’t really know how it works. It’s an easy process.

Ryan: That’s a beautiful thing.

Yeah, it is. - I’ve never really had a dry spell in my life.

Ryan: That being the case, do you have a lot of new material you could pull out if you need to?

Xavier: I’ve got a lot of songs. I tend to focused on what I’m doing now. I’m always sort of moving forward. I don’t go backwards too much. Once an album is mastered I listen to it maybe once or twice after and then I’m done with it.

Ryan: Do you find that when you perform songs that they are evolving or changing with each time you play them? Do the songs ever grow?

Xavier: Yeah it does. Once we take it to the live stage, the song changes… it grows again. Once we go to a live situation it always changes. The rudiment is the same - but the song definitely grows.

Ryan: Do you have an easy go of it playing with other musicians or does your style and your specific instrumentation make collaboration difficult?

Xavier: This album, Koonyum Son, I recorded with an African rhythm section. I still do the same thing with them that I do (when solo). I haven’t cut down on much. We still play around a bit and explore the space.

Ryan: You play a different kind of live performance, Xavier. Do you find that as time as goes on, your music has become more appreciated? Are your audiences growing?

Yeah they are. People have been coming out all over the world. The listeners are good fun-loving people. And they have been coming out, Smiling and lovely.

You play the Aboriginal instrument the didgeridoo. Was that one of the first instruments you picked up in music or was that something that came in later?

Xavier: I played it a little at a young age. It was just a thing though. It was then more a meditational thing or a cultural thing. It was never really part of my music – until later. The didgeridoo, to play that thing fast takes years. It takes a good 20 years to play the thing right. You have to expand your diaphragm so much to play.

I’ve tried and it’s not a simple thing to do at all. My hat’s off to you. I’m going to let you go but we all look forward to seeing you in Boston. Thanks much for speaking with.

Xavier: Cheers and nice talking with you brother!

Xavier Rudd

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