Friday, December 28, 2007

End of the eMusic month

Update at 11:20AM : added a few more gems.
I actually enjoy when the end of the month rolls around, and I have nothing to download on eMusic. It gives me an opportunity to update my collection with old favorites or try out some new artists. This month I went with the former. If you aren't in eMusic, head over to iTunes or your local music store. Here are a few diamonds in the rough I found.

Arcade Fire - "Surf City Eastern Bloc" Nice little ditty packed with powerful almost militant brass.

Old Crow Medicine Show - "Wagon Wheel" - Heard so much about these guys and from the sounds of this tune, I am hooked. Anyone know which cd I should get?

Rusted Root - Cruel Sun - The Godfathers of worldly tribal hippie-ish music. They made flautists cool again. Notables are "Send Me on My Way," "Martyr," and "Artificial Winter."

John Prine - The Missing Years and German Afternoons - Speaking of Godfathers. I can't get enough of Prine. Sheer genius.

Robert Earl Keen - Best - Texas alt-country at its finest.

Dan Bern - New American Language (plus others)
Sam Baker - Mercy
Josh Ritter - Animal Years
The Felice Brothers - Tonight at the Arizona
Avett Brothers
Backyard Tire Fire

Thursday, December 20, 2007

My Take:

Will someone please set up a soapbox for me?

Okay, I am starting to severely doubt the taste of Pitchfork. While originality in music is a wonderful thing, P4k has taken it entirely too far with their reviews and Top 50 lists. P4k, you are unoriginal, and lack variety, almost all of your top ten is psych, freak, music that is basically mostly dance music. Bear with me while we go through their Top 10.

Let's start with

10. Burial - Untrue - I have sampled and sampled this cd and I don't get it. It's too weird. Psych-trance/dance music -

9. The Field - See above.

8. Battles - Mirrored
Okay, Psych dance music, anyone see a pattern yet?

7. Spoon - No complaints here

6. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam - AC is kind of interesting, but still just too weird to last. Basically, psych, freak rock.

5. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna - Not really many complaints, but no top five album, but it is still in the psych rock category.

4. Radiohead - No complaints - It's good music.

3. MIA - Kala. More dance music, I now officially see the pattern.

2. LCD Soundsystem - Sounds of Silver. Another dance music cd with two wonderful songs on it, the others are boring. But still, dance music.

1. Panda Bear - Person Pitch. Sure its original, but it gets old after a couple of listens, and you guessed it, it is freak, psych rock.

Look at 2006: Scott Walker, Boris, Liars, Grizzly Bear, Joanna Newsom and number 1 was The Knife.

So all tolled, 6 weird dance cd's and a couple of freak, psych rock cd's. Why do we give so much weight to these guys? I am not jumping on this bandwagon anymore.

I am not saying all of these artists suck or are not talented, I am just saying that I really can't imagine really listening to these artists many more times than one. Compare this to the musical talent of the greats of the past: Springsteen, Dylan, Cash, Prine, Jerry, the Beatles, etc. Come on guys. You are trying too hard.


The Felice Brothers coming to Memphis

The Felice Brothers are coming to Memphis on Thursday, February 7!!! They are opening Drive By Truckers for their tour. Here is the full list.
The Felice Brothers

Fri 02/01/08 New York, NY Mercury Lounge

Thu 02/07/08 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone

appearing with Drive-By Truckers

Mon 02/11/08 Anaheim, CA House Of Blues

Tue 02/12/08 Los Angeles, CA The Avalon

Wed 02/13/08 San Francisco, CA Mezzanine

Fri 02/15/08 Portland, OR Roseland Theater

Sat 02/16/08 Seattle, WA Showbox At The Market

Sun 02/17/08 Seattle, WA Showbox At The Market

Tue 02/19/08 Boise, ID Big Easy Concert House

Wed 02/20/08 Park City, UT Suede

Thu 02/21/08 Aspen, CO Belly Up Aspen

Fri 02/22/08 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre

Sat 02/23/08 Boulder, CO Fox Theatre

Mon 02/25/08 Omaha, NE Slowdown

Tue 02/26/08 Columbia, MO Blue Note

Wed 02/27/08 Urbana, IL Canopy Club

Thu 02/28/08 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater

Fri 02/29/08 Saint Louis, MO The Pageant

Sat 03/01/08 Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall

appearing with "Langerado Music Festival"

Sun 03/09/08 Big Cypress, FL Big Cypress Seminole Reservation

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another new find

Photo cred: Judd Irish Bradley
My second find of the week is New Mexico's Dan Bern. The first strikes of his vocal chords immeditely ring the voices of Dylan and Petty. While a few of his songs are silly, (such as his song about Charles Manson's real last name - which is Krautmeyer, by the way) most of them are quite well written and very impressive. Gems such as "Thanksgiving Day Parade," "Sweetness," and "God Said No," will no doubt please. So far, my favorite cd is New American Language, which has just a teaspoon of Americana influcence. Check out his Myspace.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

New Find

Photo Cred: Terry Tamadge

After discovering two new artists, I would have to say it has been a good week. These things do not happen too often. Texas singer/songwriter Sam Baker is, no doubt, one of those "like on the first listen" artists. Baker's influences strongly favor John Prine and Dylan. Packed with clever lyrics, Mercy, his debut, is a gem. Baker's smoky, unpolished voice is a no-brainer purchase in my book.
Lyrics such as "So he’s driving to work, With his head split open, From last nights drinking and last nights smoking, And he never got home, And now there will be hell to pay," in the song "Iron" leave you thirsty for more.

Or "Came back and turned 30, Her and the girls, Never said why she left, But she wore country pearls, Says to her father, 'No questions, no lies,' She drove a t-bird with the top down, Cold beer between her thighs" (from "Truale")immediately places me on the backroads of the South or the Midwest cruising around before sunset.

I am itching to purchase his new cd Pretty World. I must give credit where credit is due, Thank you Paste for mentioning this fine artist. P.S. Mercy is on eMusic.
Sample him at Sam Baker Myspace

That second artist I mentioned coming soon.......

Monday, December 10, 2007

News of 2008.

Although we are by no means finished with 2007, we must inform you some bright bulbs flickering already in 2008.

Drive By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
out January 22.
DBT (minus Jason Isbell)releases a new album in January as the whole alt-country world holds their breath. Patterson Hood contributes 9 songs, 7 songs from Mike Cooley and 3 songs from Shonna Tucker. Also musical contributions from Spooner Oldham. Sample all 19 songs SAMPLE If 30 seconds can gauge it, I'm in. Yep, I hear banjo too.

Cat Power - Jukebox due out January 22.
Another covers album by Chan Marshall. Tracklist below:
1. New York (Frank Sinatra)
2. Ramblin’ (Wo)man (Hank Williams)
3. Metal Heart (Cat Power *)
4. Silver Stallion (The Highwaymen)
5. Aretha, Sing One For Me (George Jackson)
6. Lost Someone (James Brown)
7. Lord, Help The Poor And Needy (Jessie Mae Hemphill)
8. I Believe In You (Bob Dylan)
9. Song To Bobby (Cat Power **)
10. Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday)
11. Woman Left Lonely (Janis Joplin)
12. Blue (Joni Mitchell)

* original version on the ‘Moon Pix’ album
** first appearance of this song

In addition, there will be a limited-edition silver foil deluxe package with a bonus disc containing the following 5 songs:

1. I Feel (Hot Boys)
2. Naked, If I Want To (Moby Grape)
3. Breathless (Nick Cave)
4. Angelitos Negros (Roberta Flack)
5. She’s Got You (Patsy Cline)

Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams due March 18, 2008.
RC's album of the yearsters 2006 Destroyer will undoubtedly release another solid album.

Track Listing:
Blue Flower/Blue Flame
Dark Leaves From A Thread
The State
Foam Hands
My Favorite Year
Shooting Rockets (From The Desk Of Night's Ape)
Introducing Angles
Leopard Of Honor
Plaza Trinidad
Libby's First Sunrise

Also, If you are interested in old lists (Best of 2006, 2005) See links just above downloadable mp3 section.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

News and more Top Albums of 2007

Top Lists of 2007

Muzzle of Bees

Largehearted Boy

Aquarium Drunkard

Gorilla vs. Bear


Band O' Horses Tourdates, including stops in Nashville, Birmingham, Memphis.
Fri 12/28/07 Atlanta, GA The EARL
Sat 12/29/07 Atlanta, GA The EARL
Mon 12/31/07 Atlanta, GA The EARL
Sun 01/20/08 Charleston, SC Music Farm
Mon 01/21/08 Norfolk, VA NorVa
Tue 01/22/08 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore - TLA
Wed 01/23/08 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
Thu 01/24/08 State College, PA State Theatre
Fri 01/25/08 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
Sat 01/26/08 Louisville, KY Headliners Music Hall
Sun 01/27/08 Newport, KY Southgate House
Tue 01/29/08 Nashville, TN Exit / In
Wed 01/30/08 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone

Thu 01/31/08 Saint Louis, MO Gargoyle @ Washington Univ.
Fri 02/01/08 Norman, OK Meecham Auditorium
Sat 02/02/08 Dallas, TX Palladium Ballroom
Sun 02/03/08 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa
Mon 02/04/08 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
Wed 02/06/08 Birmingham, AL Bottletree
Thu 02/07/08 Tallahassee, FL The Beta Bar
Sat 02/09/08 Orlando, FL The Social
Sun 02/10/08 Orlando, FL The Social
Tue 02/12/08 Mount Pleasant, SC Village Tavern
Wed 02/20/08 Dublin, IRE Button Factory
Thu 02/21/08 Glasgow, UK ABC1
Sat 02/23/08 Birmingham, UK Carling Academy Birmingham
Sun 02/24/08 Manchester, UK Manchester Academy
Mon 02/25/08 Bristol, UK Thekla

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Top Albums of 2007

50 The Go! Team - Proof of Youth
Pretty disappointing follow up to a classic, but it has a few notable tunes.

49 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - Some Loud Thunder
Almost an utter failure, huge disappointment, Underwater and Emily Jean Stock saved the cd.

48 Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond
Impressive straightforward indie rock cd from the old school. PLEASE PAVEMENT GET BACK TOGETHER!

47 The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Although not fully for me, a very rocking cd nonetheless. It does lack cohesion though.

46 Explosions in the Sky - All of the Sudden I Miss Everyone
Gotta love instrumental meats. Explosions can do no wrong. Not as good as The Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place though.

45 Dr. Dog - We All Belong
70's rock at its finest. One of Tweedy's favorites. Somehow, Dr. Dog recreates the days of old.

44 Panda Bear - Person Pitch
One of the most original things I have heard. Not as good as people proclaim, but interesting at the least. Reminds me of Beach Boys with a tablespoon of psychedelia.

43 LCD Soundsystem - Sounds of Silver
Two songs on this cd are good enough to carry the weight of the whole cd. Is that legal?

42 Youth Group - Casino Twilight Dogs
Cripsy indie power pop that echoes sounds of the 80's. Excellent cover of "Forever Young"

41 Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
Tony Bennett for hipsters. Very original. Gorgeous instrumentation which accompany his solid baritone.

40 Blonde Redhead - 23
BR brings the ambient sounds of Sigur ros' and Bjork together for this little ditty.

39 The Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills
Pretty much a let down compared to Howl Howl Gaff Gaff, but still has some great indie pop tunes.

38 Besnard Lakes - Are the Dark Horse
Original award yet again. At times reminds of, you guessed it, pshychedelic Beach Boys.

37 Iron & Wine - The Shepard's Dog
Great effort by Sam Beam to switch it up a bit, but something is still missing.

36 Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
Probably Ryan Adams' best since Gold, love that he brought back some twang. However, when he says, "Guitar Solo," I suddenly and involuntarily throw up.

35 Blitzen Trapper - Wild Mountain Nation
A dash of DBT and a dash of Led Zep and wa-lah, BT emerges with this solid Southern rock record.

34 Menomena - Friend and Foe
At times sounding like none other than Ozzy, Friend and Foe hides a few masterpieces within.

33 Son Volt - The Search
Not a bad effort for the Godfather of Alt-country. Jay, please bring back the banjo, fiddle, and lap steel. The Boquist brothers are bored stiff.

32 The Clientele - God Save the Clientele
Mellow indie rockers, The Clientele, release another mediocre yet capturing record.

31 Stars - In Our Bedroom After the War
I just see so much potential in this band, and I feel this record is a step in the wrong direction. "The Beginning After the End" starts the record out strongly but then I'm asleep by number 4. It is still a pretty good attempt; I just see so much potential. Oh, well.

30 John Vanderslice - Emerald City
I hate to be negative but every cd after Cellar Door should be called Not Cellar Door, because that is what they are. I love John V though, and this cd has some wonderful songs. Once again, I just expect more.

29 Radiohead - In Rainbows
What an amazing marketing release. This is standard Radiohead, good album.

28 Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
Spencer Krug is a stud. Do I need to continue?

27 Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals
Surprisingly wonderful debut by Brooklyn's Yeasayer. Almost has a Genesis feel, with a dash of freak rock. Very interesting indeed.

26 Kings of Leon - Because of the Times
The Southern Strokes do it again with BoT. Little more mainstream, but I still dig it.

25 Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Never cared for Of Montreal until this album. The 80's are not dead.

24 Feist - The Reminder
Feist blasted her way into the spolight with TR. Very impressive cd, she capitalized her potential.

23 Backyard Tire Fire - Vagabonds and Hooligans
Drive By Who? BTF elbows their way into the Southern Alt-country spectrum with this fine cd.

22 Great Lake Swimmers - Oneida
Give me banjo or give me death. With strong vocals and beautiful instrumentation, these mellow hipsters struck gold with Oneida.

21 Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
Solid album, possibly his finest. I love Andrew Bird, but for some reason it just doesn't stick like other artists do. See other artists below.

20 Interpol - Our Love to Admire
Critics hated it, I actually liked it. I really just don't know how they can "change it up." Interpol is Interpol. Awesome cd.

19 The Felice Brothers - Tonight at the Arizona
Honestly, I could write three paragraphs about this band. Freshest, most original thing I heard all year, I can't believe they have not blown up yet. Get ready, it will happen.

18 The Shins - Wincing the Night Away
Pretty disappointing release from The Shins. I expected more once again. Over half of the cd is better than average.

17 Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
Interesting release by the eccentric Patrick Wolf. Almost orchestral backing and his David Byrnesque vocals combine for a powerful one-two punch.

16 The Twilight Sad -Fourteen Autumns, Fifteen Winters
Put words to Explosions in the Sky and you will have this band. Laced with a thick scottish accent, TTS are a unique talent.

15 Jason Isbell - Sirens in the Ditch
Ex-trucker Jason Isbell releases his first solo leaving us thirsty for more. Packed with instant classics, Sirens is a huge stand for Jason as he implants flag in the alt-country soil.

14 BSS presents: Kevin Drew - Spirit If...
Might as well be a Broken Social Scene album. Wonderful album. Its hard to find a bad song it. The first nine blow me away.

13 Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Potential, Potential, I am beginning to see a theme. Not a bad cd Jeff, we just expect more.

12 Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
Britt and the Spooners create yet another classic, and somehow maintain originality on every track and album.

11 Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
Love this guy. Finally got Animal Years this year, and was blown away. Conquests picks up where it left off and adds about six more dimensions.

THE TOP TEN of 2007

10 The New Pornographers - Challengers
Neko Case shines in this wonderful release by the League of Extraordinary Hipsters. These guys just master indie power pop. No more needs to be said.

9 Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
This is a "grower." I am loving the direction Conor is going. Then again, I love me some fiddle and steel guitar. Fine, fine album. The lyrics are superb. I just kicked my own self in the crotch for not going to Memphis.

8 Pela - Anytown Graffiti
This came out of nowhere. No one really paid attention, but my ears were rewarded with sticking with this one. Wonderful album, from start to finish.

7 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
I mean will there ever be another Funeral, Nope! Will this do, Yep. Great follow-up to a perfect debut.

6 Avett
Brothers - Emotionalism
Just discovered these guys this year. Where have I been? This album, as well as their back catalog, is just as fine. Slamgrass is the new black. As original as it gets.

5 Modest Mouse - We Were Dead....
The mouse brings the thunder again. These guys can do no wrong. Dr. Marr is fabulous, and Brock continues to pump our adrenaline, while blowing our minds altogether.

4 Okkervil River - Stage Names
Jeez, didn't know you had it in you. What a release! Find me a bad song on here, please, because I cannot find one.

3 Band of Horses
- Cease to Begin
Speaking of bad songs, has Band of Horses ever made one. Ben throws a little Southern hospitality in this gem. Cease is an album of hope and utopia, and man, is it good. If we can miraculously get an album a year from the Horses, I won't even be bitter anymore about Uncle Tupelo breaking up. Someone wake up Jim James from his cozy slumber and get him in a studio, Benjamin B is showing him up.

2 The Felice Brothers - The Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol 1.
Mother of Pearl, this hidden jewel almost tripped my favorite band in the world (see below) and leap frogged to numero uno. I cannot pry this Disc out of my player. My ipod loves it too; it freezes up if I try to listen to something else. Every song is a phenom. If Dylan married Boudreaux's ex-wife, this would be that illegitimate little dude. BUY THIS THING. 15 American dollars in a greeting card to: Felice Brothers P.O Box Palenville NY 12463....... or to our paypal: we'll mail the music right out to you.

1 The National
- Boxer
Surely you knew this was coming. Boxer slows Alligator's sprint to a trot. While I will concede it is no Alligator, who cares? Ten out of twelve of the songs are five stars, and two of the tracks are four stars. Here are a few words to describe: original, beautiful, smart, lyrically fascinating, well placed vocals, astounding drum pieces, dark yet light, crisp, on and on and on. Near perfect album.

Honorable Mentions:
Giant Bear - Giant Bear
Aaron Schroeder - Black & Gold
The Rosebuds - Night of the Furies
White Rabbits - Fort Nightly

I would love to see your top ten in the comments!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Paste Crowns National

Just got my December issue of Paste and was glad to see many familiar albums on the Top 50, but couldn't be more pleased than to see RC favorites The National taking home the prize for Best Record of 2007. Do the link to see the full list of 100 best albums of the year.

Again, our apologies for the super light posting. Clyde and I hope to have our own best albums of 2007 lists up soon.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I apologize for the lack of posts. I just started a new job and we are moving as well. Things should be back to normal in a week or so.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Felice Brothers

My wife was in Nashville this past weekend and saw an amazing new band: The Felice Brothers. She and her friends met them after the show and they ended up coming over to her friend's house and parking their Winnebago in their backyard for three days thereafter. She came back with the cd, and I must say I am very impressed. At first listen, nostalgic echoes of Dylan and Prine immediately grab my ear, throw in a dash of Dr. Dog and you have the Felice Brothers. With the accordion and organ drifting throughout most tracks, one can't help feel as if he is in a Tennessee Williams play set in an eery New Orleans midnight. From start to finish, The Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol. 1never ceases to impress. Hailing from the Hudson River Valley part of New York state, The Felice Brothers packed The Adventures of the Felice Brothers Vol. I, full of sing-a-longs, hooky lyrics, and crafty instrumentation that create an original masterpiece. Unfortunately, I missed them opening up for Bright Eyes on Tuesday Night in Memphis while the Real World was slowly rearing its ugly head into my life. Felice Brothers Myspace

Monday, November 05, 2007

Vampire Weekend

A LOT of buzz behind this band, and honestly such hub-bub usually tends to turn me off, b/c my expectations are usually not met for the next big “it” band (see Arctic Monkeys). But, if the songs Vampire Weekend has been leaking prior to their January 29, 2008 full length release are any indication of their material, this should be one of the first to make some of the critics ’08 best album lists. Currently touring with the Shins overseas, this band hails from NYC, but incorporates a lot of world music vibe into their stateside ditties (some calling it “Preppie Afro Pop”). Really has a summer feel to it if you ask me, so should be a breath of fresh air coming out in the heart of winter. Check out the following tracks available through KEXP and on VW’s website.

Vampire Weekend - Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa

Vampire Weekend - A-Punk

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween with Josh Ritter

The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter couldn’t be a more appropriate name for this artist’s new album, nor a better theme for his current tour, because this Halloween night in the “City of Vulcan” he conquered. The singer/guitarist was fully-adorned in ancient Roman garb (save the stage prop helmet) for an evening that he said was “3000 years in the making”, and though this comment was only jest, after the show I could not argue that Ritter and his band had put forward a mythical effort.

The entire band was in full costume: Ritter as “Optimus Prime”, the base player as “Take the Mummy and Run”, drummer as “Marquis de Chaveis”; and guitarist and keyboardist as “Restless Heart” (“They're big in Buffalo”). This wit filled the show, as did the grin of Ritter as he ran through a great selection of songs from both Conquests and The Animal Years. Some highlights (in not necessarily the correct order): “Mind’s Eye”, “Monster Ballads”, “Wolves”, “Real Long Distance”, “Empty Hearts”, “Right Moves”, “Rumors”, “The Temptation of Adam”. The greatest treats however was their tribute to the holiday by performing multiple covers (Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and Johnny Cash’s “Crystal Chandeliers and Burgundy”), the show-ender “Lillian, Egypt”, and the crowd-favorite “Kathleen”—dissected with a full recital by Ritter of the speaking line from the “Thriller” video. Wicked, indeed.

Going into Workplay Theatre, I expected a more laid-back, lounge/piano bar feel, having not spent much time with the latest two albums but rather Hello Starling (still a great album). But it was rife with fast-paced, folksy foot-stompers. Ritter’s interaction with the audience was also spectacular: complimenting costumes, inviting two ladies on stage to sing “Empty Hearts”, allowing a fan to strum the guitar on “Distance”. His excellent song-writing and genuine showmanship has endeared me to Ritter for the long run.

Update, 11/5/07: This Saturday, I spoke with the owner of Laser's Edge record store in Homewood which held an in-store performance from Ritter after the show. Ritter played 9-10 songs acoustic at the store, a performance which started after midnight and must have lasted until close to 2 AM, all while still wearing his costume and no shoes. The performance was recorded, and the owners of Laser's Edge stated they wouldn't be surprised if it was released in some form down the road.

Shows of Note

Shows of Note:
Willie Nelson with special guest David Alan Coe in Tupelo Sunday November 4th.

Bright Eyes live at the Orpheum in Memphis Tuesday November 6th.
Bright Eyes Live at the Alabama Theater in Birmingham Wednesday, November 7th

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Explosions in the Sky/Colour Revolt, Workplay Theatre, 10/29/07

Earlier this year when EITS released their fourth full-length album All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, I did something I typically never do. Something very fanatic. On a rainy Saturday morning while stranded at the office pulling the Bill Lumberg weekend shift I decided to email the band to convey my praise for their music and to ask when they were planning on making their way through the deep south. Much like Mark Smith, Munaf Rayani, and Michael James's cautious, reverbed strums, my email floated into the abyss, never to be answered. No matter, there was plenty of instrumental Lone Star State guitar rock to tide me over in the meantime—whether their new release or soundtrack for Friday Night Lights—until Monday night’s show at Workplay in Birmingham.

Colour Revolt from Oxford, MS opened. Being from near Clyde’s neck of the woods, I had advance notice of what to expect. This is definitely an act to watch out for. Starting out with a slow-burning, mellow number replete with choking feedback and licks that sounded more like orca whales than any man-made instrument, Revolt piqued my interest from the get go. Clyde had warned me about lead singer Jesse Coppenbarger’s voice, but I was admittedly abraded by it when he launched into a series of Kurt Cobain-esque screams from the second song through the end of the set. But much like the third or fourth time I listened to CYHSY, I slowly got over the vocals and settled into the sound, which in turn helped me appreciate how much these rasp howls fit in. My guess is this is the kind of music the 10 and 11 year olds who packed their 5-disc JVC changer with grunge albums create: a nod to the past, but much smarter music. I’m always looking for another excuse to make a trip by the Grove, so maybe Colour Revolt fits the bill.

As the lights went on and the stage cleared to reveal an amp covered with the state flag of the headliner EITS’s home, I found it amusing how intent the 60-year-old roadie was on adjusting the one microphone on the stage. If you don’t know, EITS’s music is completely without words, and it is hard to find words to describe it. Think of driving down a two-lane highway at 2 AM on a Sunday morning, close to home but your mind racing far away from any driveway you are about to pull into. EITS is a good soundtrack for such a moment.

The stage was for the most part bare, and minimal lights throughout, probably because most will agree that the music provides the atmosphere at this show. The house was quite packed for a Monday night (reported as a sell out, but it was definitely not wall to wall), but for the most part silent and reverent for the orchestral sounds before them. The band played a non-stop hour and fifteen minute set scaling the entire range of tone and emotion. When I first discovered this band in Rolling Stone's David Fricke's "Out There" column, I read about their unexpected physical performance considering the content of their music: writhing on the ground during solos, beating guitars on foreign objects. Some of that was evident Monday night, with a few windmill guitar strums and broken shoulder straps (suffered on "Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean"). This made for what seemed like a truly exhausted Rayani when he returned to the stage to humbly refuse calls for an encore, proclaiming that the band was “dead in the water”, but praising the “unmatched” crowd. A pleasing show, but somewhat disappointing in their material for me, as I yearned to hear some more “headbangers” and possibly some of my favorites from The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (such as "First Breath After Coma" and "The Only Moment We Were Alone"). Also, a "A Slow Dance" plus “Your Hand in Mine” would have made a great encore. But, it is understandable that these guys were beat, fitting this show as primarily a filler between their tour with the Smashing Pumpkins. And I guess this is truly an “art rock” band, going more for the overall product rather than a quick, catchy fix here and there. But the tell-tale sign for me is would I pay to see them again—and the answer is definitely.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Avett Brothers coming to Oxford again.

Just heard Avett Brothers will be headlining Double Decker Festival in Oxford, MS at the end of April 2008!!!! No official confirmation yet.

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, Alabama Theatre, 10/28/07

They might say this artist is a little too mainstream for this blog and our tastes, and for the most part I might agree with “they”, but there is a reason Ben Harper’s Live from Mars, Disc 2 has been in my disc changer since 2001, and there certainly is no denying his chops as guitar player. Many of the acoustic numbers on that disc shepherded me through good and bad times alike, and even though the show at Birmingham’s Alabama Theatre was not totally acoustic, it was still extremely engaging nonetheless. Harper’s longevity hovering between the festival/jam band scene and moderate radio play can be attributed to his mastery of the guitar and his ardent voice. On his birthday, he dedicated this show to the Blind Boys of Alabama, starting out with the down-home gospel pew thumper in “Well, Well, Well”. Other highlights from the concert included “Excuse Me Mister”, “Welcome to the Cruel World”, a heart felt acoustic solo of “Walk Away”, and a fantastic rendition of Bill Withers’ “Use Me”, complete with long pause before picking up the last verse, a la Withers’ Live at Carnegie Hall album. A big HT to McCall for the photos.

Voodoo Music Experience, New Orleans, LA

One of the most underrated music festivals of the year took place this weekend: the New Orleans Voodoo Music Experience. Held in the Big Easy’s historic City Park, this festival has risen from one of numerous multi-day concerts in the city showcasing mostly local talent, to a full-fledge 3 day showcase of up-and-coming talent and rock & hip-hop heavyweights. I always enjoyed this event while I was in NOLA, mainly because of its timing (Halloween) and the freaks it brought out from the Quarter and other neighborhoods (some of which come to follow the Noomoon Worms Union, no doubt), but in the past few years they have really kicked it up notch with their list of acts (this year: Jason Isbell, MIA, Ghostland Observatory, CYHSY, and locals Morning 40 Federation). Reports are that Spoon was fantastic as always, but I would really be interested in hearing about the 1 AM show they performed at One-Eyed Jacks Sunday morning. For reviews of some of the headlining acts, check out’s blog. I look forward to getting My Old Kentucky Blog’s take on the festivities as well.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Covers: The Mixtape

Herein lies a nice selection of covers to start your weekend.

1. Against the Wind (Bob Seger) - The Hold Steady
2. American Music (Violent Femmes) - The Hold Steady
3. Cortez the Killer (Neil Young) - Marissa Nadler
4. Diamonds Are Forever (Shirley Bassey) - Arctic Monkeys
5. Holland, 1945 (Neutral Milk Hotel) - Jason Isbell with the Drive by Truckers
6. Keep the Car Running (Arcade Fire) - Foo Fighters
7. Poupee de cire Poupee de son (France Gall)- The Arcade Fire
8. Waitin' For Superman (Flaming Lips) - Iron & Wine
9. Young Folks (Peter Bjorn & John) - Dawn Landes

Download them Here

Monday, October 22, 2007

Okkervil River - "Love to a Monster"

Sorry for the lack of posts, I have been extremely busy, and honestly just not much news to report. I have been soaking in all of the new albums I have bought recently which consist of: Radiohead - In Rainbows; Band of Horses - Cease to Begin; Josh Ritter - The Historical Conquests; Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover; Iron & Wine - Shepard's Dog; Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger; Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala; and Akron/Family - Love is Simple. Reviews will come soon.

Beautiful rendition of "Love to a Monster" filmed by the coolest guy ever Vincent Moon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Viva Los Campesinos!

First heard of the Welsh collective Los Campesinos! from the Arts & Crafts sample I picked up from the Jason Collett show week before last, and I have been playing their two tracks and a few of their free downloads a lot lately. Fast paced music, with lots of blips, glockenspiel dings, and hand claps. Reminds me a little of I’m From Barcelona at times, but without as much of the bubble-gum pop sounds that some of those Swedish bands tend to have. “You! Me! Dancing!” off their debut EP has a touch of Essex Green or the Little Ones. These guys have yet to release a full album, but should have one out in early 2008. If the cuts from their EP are any indication, I’ll likely buy it on release day.

Los Campesinos! - You! Me! Dancing!

Also, check out their stellar 8.4 review of the Sticking Fingers Into Sockets EP on P4K.

Bruce Springsteen played with The Arcade Fire in Ottawa, Canada

The Arcade Fire joined the Boss on stage for a couple of tunes in Ottawa, Canada.

Keep the Car Running

State Trooper

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Avett Brothers at Workplay Theatre, 10/12/07

Wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked into Workplay Friday to see the Avett Brothers, other than what I had heard from Clyde and others on how they play an intense live show. Still, I didn't know how revved up they could get with the diversity of their catalog, which has just as many ballads and bluesy odes as rockers. But when about 30 seconds into the second song of their set Seth had to replace his first of 5 guitar strings of the night, I knew I was in for a treat. The Avett Brothers are hell on their instruments. Slinging, elbowing, slamming, strumming, head-banging, convulsing their way through a blur of bluegrass/alt country/slam dancing jams, all while smiling ear to ear. Their relentless punishment of their banjos, guitar, bass, and high hat is done with a general excitement throughout. They truly look like they enjoy it, which is getting rarer and rarer these days amongst bands which have been on the road as long as they have been.

The Avetts energy on stage is contagious, making you want to jump and flail to the type of music that your granddad might sway in a rocking chair to. And I shouldn’t just reference age for hyperbole, as the age of the audience ranged from high schooler, to young professional, to middle-aged couple, to grandfather and grandson, seriously. The crowd was large (in fact, I wondered how many folks could have been at the DBT show next door with as many as were in the theatre) and eager, and their performance did not disappoint.

They opened with “Left on Laura, Left on Lisa” and moved through “Shame” and “Paranoia in B Minor” early in the set. Other notables: “Weight of Your Lies”, “November Blue”, “Die Die Die”, “Distraction #74”, “I Killed Sally’s Lover”, “Will You Return”, and “Go to Sleep”. Throughout the show it was hard not to notice the collegiality between the Seth Avett, Scott Avett, Bob Crawford and cellist Ben Kwon. At one point during the show Crawford and Kwon were bumping each other back and forth on their stand-up string instruments, laughing to each other as they surveyed the crowd. This interaction of the players continued to infect the crowd as they performed their 3 song encore set, finishing off with a number that broke for crowd participation, group hand claps and a capella singing by all members of the band. A great way to end an excellent performance which exceeded all my expectations. I purchased the Live, Vol-2 album after the show in an attempt to memorialize the evening. Pick it up if you can, in place of hearing them in person.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Band of Horses: Track by Track Cease to Begin

While everyone has been held up with In Rainbows, I have been rocking the new Band of Horses. It is undoubtedly a different cd than Everything All the Time. Here is a track by track analysis.

The first song "Is There a Ghost" blasts out of the gates at full speed. Starting off ghostly slow, ITAG primes up and finally explodes at about the one minute mark. One of the strongest tracks on the album.

The second song "Ode to LCR" is another rocker that resembles a dab of Jane's Addiction, but much prettier. Cease is surprisingly quite a blissful album with lines in Ode such as "The world is such a beautiful place."

The next song "No One's Gonna Love You" is one of the weaker songs because of the lyrics. Once again I was surprised at lyrics like "No One is ever gonna love you more than I do" and "anything to make you smile." However, I really do like this song; it was just surprising.

Named after a Supersonics basketball player, Detlef Schrempf is the last of the somewhat ballads. It too is one of the weaker tracks, but good nonetheless.

"The General Specific" is raging reedic good. Break a bowl and mix one part Beach Boys and two parts Alt-Country and wa-la, you have General Specific. This is possibly the best track on the album.

"Lambs on the Lam (in the City)." Weighing in at a whopping 0.50 seconds, "Lambs" is a throw away. I understand transitions, but come on guys when you only have a ten track alum 1/10 is a big deal. Argggg.

"Islands on the Coast" is another rocker. Very solid song. "Islands" sounds more like the last album maybe than any other.

"Marry Song" is a beautiful harmonizing track. Lead by a keyboard, "Marry" almost sounds like a long lost Uncle Tupelo B -Side, almost like "Sin City." Definitely rootsy. Great song.

"Cigarettes Wedding Bands" is a staple Band of Horses tune. Bridwell's haunting voices meshes well with the mid-tempoed reverbed guitar that sails distorted throughout the entire song.

"Window Blues" brings back the ole' 5-String. Its good to hear a banjo again. "Window Blues" is a slower, swaying track that does not lack in beauty. Lyrically speaking, WB is probably the strongest form of songwriting on the album.

Love the rootsy numbers as well as the rockers. Wonderful album.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Day of Radiohead

If I didn't post something about the Radiohead release day, I think I would be ex-communicated from the Blogosphere. Everyone has very positive things to say about the new album In Rainbows. However, the biggest complaint is the 160kbps sound quality of it. I have tried just recently to get the dang album to no avail. Apparently, the website is loaded down, for it now asks for a username and password??? So, basically I downloaded the album from other means and will wait to "purchase" it from the stupid website. I really don't understand why they didn't prepare better for this, when knowing millions of people will be trying to download. And unlike me, the people who can't get it will download it illegally then never actually pay the money once they get it. I really don't understand it. Anyway if anyone has a trick please let me know. I can find no instruction on the net other than that someone heard if you didn't register yesterday, you are out of luck. It works now!!!! I paid 3.5 pounds which is about $7.50. I figure iTunes is ten bucks and here you are getting poor quality so why not $7.50. I am sure I will buy the cd version as well to capture the sound it deserves. Anyway, I am listening to it as we speak, it truly does sound unreal, old school rocking like Ok, and Pablo, with just a touch of electronic in the background like Kid A. 160 kbps does suck though for a band like Radiohead, we are not talking the Black Keys here, we are talking about the theater sound of Radiohead. Oh well, who am I to complain. Go buy the album and support the band (when you can).

Kings of Leon/BRMC/Manchester Orchestra at Alabama Theatre

Normally I would be all over this show in Birmingham tonight. KOL’s 2003 debut Youth & Young Manhood was one of the albums that got me out of the doldrums of alternative music that had occupied the first part of the decade. But their underwhelming new release Because of the Times and the $33 ticket price turned me off, especially when I saw these guys play an amazing show at B&A Warehouse for $12 just two years ago. Still, they put on a hell of a live show, so I’d still recommend catching them if you can while on tour. Black Rebel Motorcycle Band and Manchester Orchestra open. Manchester, an Atlanta band, has received a lot of favorable reviews from outlets like Paste and Jenny Eliscu from Rolling Stone and Left of Center. Hopefully they will come back through on a tour of their own with a thriftier price of admission.

Manchester Orchestra – Wolves at Night
Manchester Orchestra – Alice and Interiors

I will be present for the Avett Brothers show this Friday night at Workplay and intend to have photos and a full report posted this weekend. Unfortunately, Drive-By Truckers are playing at the same time in the same building, an inexplicable injustice that I don’t care to go into, but I’ll attempt to get some feedback from my friends who make it to see Patterson and the gang.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hilarious: From the Onion


A Minnesota woman was fined $222,000 for illegally downloading and distributing 24 songs via the file-sharing network Kazaa. What do you think?

Pete Carson,Furniture Mover"Wow, is that how much music costs now? Honestly, I have no idea, I haven't paid for music in years."

Shelley Birney,Painter"A stiff fine, yes, but it's hardly as bad as when I was punched in the stomach for humming 'Hollaback Girl' on the elevator."

Hans Hoerzl,Curtain Installer"To avoid any problems, I'll just start stealing from the record store again."

Monday, October 08, 2007

New Release Tuesday

Band of Horses - Cease to Begin

Jim James Ben Bridwell and the Band did not waste any time pulling the trigger on Everything All the Time's follow up. Although Bridwell's controversies have been all over the net, See Licensing to Wal-Mart; and Meating Out on a Blogger, this album will wipe out any smack talk. Oh and
7.7 by P4k for a Sophomore effort ain't bad.

Stream Full Album

Sunset Rubdown - Random Spirit Lover
Spencer Krug lead vocalist of Wolf Parade and Sunset Rubdown will be releasing Random Spirit Lover. As a big fan of Shut Up I Am Dreaming, Random Spirit Lover should be a solid release. P4k gave it a very favorable review.

Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedala
9.0 by P4k, wow. Swedish singer Jens' vocals echo the old English. See Belle & Sebastian; Morrissey of The Smiths. See also: David Byrne of Talking Heads. Many of his songs have an orchestral feel packed with flutes, cellos and the like, almost a big band sound. Kind of cheesy, but at the same time it somehow is very enjoyable. Grab it at eMusic tomorrow.

Full Album Stream

Beirut - The Flying Club Cupp
Zach Condon of Beirut also brings a worldly sound to the table. Packed with horns and accordions, TFCC will be yet another mood album-one you will have to be in the mood for. I have enjoyed popping in Gulag Orkestar on occasions.

Radiohead - In Rainbows
Although I would not join in the Koolade drinking for Radiohead, I do somewhat dig their music. This release is certainly an interesting story. See full details HERE. To sum it up, Radiohead is releases a digital download release Wednesday for whatever you want to pay. I will certainly download it.

Also released this week:
Fiery Furnaces - Widow City
Robert Pollard - Coast to Coast Carpet of Love
Robert Pollard - Standard Gargoyle Decisions
The Ravonettes - Lust Lust Lust