Thursday, September 27, 2007

Latest Listens

My ears have been quite pleased with what I have heard lately. Here are a few:

The New Pornographers - Challengers

I was very surprised with how good this album was. I am not sure it has a bad song on it. Carl Newman shines on "My Right Versus Yours," and "Unguided." Also, Neko's songs are absolutely brilliant. I am not even a fan of her solo stuff, but her NP songs prove to be astounding. See "Go Places" and "Challengers" which is quite possibly my favorite song on the album. Just as those words exit my fingers, I proclaim that "Myriad Harbor" could also be the strongest. Dan Bejar (of Destroyer) basically can do no my eye. To all the critics, what could you possibly want? Granted there is no specific song like "Bleeding Heart Show" that chorally sings "Hey-La's" that will make you get chill bumps, but the aforementioned tracks stand near Heart show's lonely pedestal. Grade A-.

Avett Brothers - Emotionalism (on emusic)

How much time you got? I can't say enough about the Avett Brothers. This album continues their amazing creativity of Four Thieves Gone. It is full of fun upbeat songs as well as pretty slow songs. Highlights include "The Weight of Lies," "Die, Die, Die" and "Will You Return." Packed with Banjos, Cellos, Guitars, and Harmonized singing, Emotionalism is a no brainer. BUY IT. Grade A

Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew - Spirit If... (on emusic)

This might as well be a Broken Social Scene album. Most of the Broken Social Scene albums have at least two or three throwaway tracks, whereas this album does not. Spirit If contains the bouncy melodies of BSS tunes as well as the slower tempo tunes. Kevin Drew's nonchalant vocals provide a relaxing yet uplifting feel that is certainly pleasing. Grade B+


Josh Ritter - Animal Years (Released in 2006)

I finally caved in and got Josh Ritter's older cd Animal Years (on eMusic). I must say I am quite impressed. The man is a talented lyricist as well as vocalist. He reminds me of Ryan Adams Whiskeytown and Heartbreaker days before he turned terrible. It is one of those albums that hits you somewhere deep; I am not sure if it is from being from the South...Just something about this type of music. I am looking forward to purchasing his new cd The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter. Grade: B+

Drive By Truckers - Pizza Deliverance (released back in 1999). (on emusic).

I know, I know, the worst album title in possibly the history of America. However, one of my buddies recommended this album to me and sure enough, it is one of the finest DBT albums, Who Knew? The first track, "Bulldozers and Dirt", is one of the finest DBT songs in their collection. How I missed this album through the years, I don't know. The album even contains banjos and mandolins. Other highlights include "Box of Spiders," "Uncle Frank," "One of These Days," and "The Night GG Allin Came to Town." Grade B+

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Roots Rock Update: Giant Bear

Another Bear band has arrived. Giant Bear, an alt-countryish band out of Memphis, released their self-titled cd back in June. Lead singer, at times, echo the raspy baritones of The Boss (Bruce Springsteen). "Nashville" recently appeared on Paste Music's Sampler for this month. Packed with cellos that sound like violins, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, slide guitar, mandolin, banjo, and accordians, GB certainly takes me back to the rootsy-ness of Uncle Tupelo and Whiskeytown. Jana Misener sings leads the vocals in a few tracks while accompanying harmony in most. (she sounds similar to Neko Case.) They even threw a NIN cover of "Head Like a Hole."
They are playing in Oxford this weekend. I have a wedding and cannot make it....
CD's can be bought via their website or iTunes or eMusic.
Strongest song on cd posted below:

Nashville - Stream

Sep 20 2007 Detroit, MI 9:00 pm Corktown Tavern
Sep 21 2007 Chicago, IL 3:00 pm WLUW 88.7 Live In-Studio
Sep 21 2007 Chicago, IL 10:00 pm Red Line Tap
Sep 22 2007 Milwaukee, WI 10:00 pm Lulu's Cafe
Sep 29 2007 Oxford, MS 9:00 pm Two Stick
Oct 5 2007 Memphis, Tennessee 8:00 pm Otherlands
Oct 12 2007 New Orleans, LA 10:00 pm Dragon's Den
Oct 13 2007 Lafayette, LA 10:00 pm Artmosphere
Oct 20 2007 Houston, TX 9:00 pm Last Concert Cafe
Oct 24 2007 McKinleyville, CA 9:00 pm Six Rivers Brewing Co.
Oct 25 2007 Eugene, OR 8:00 pm Sam Bond's Garage
Nov 1 2007 Denver, CO 9:00 pm Meadowlark
Nov 2 2007 Gunnison, CO 10:00 pm Gunnison Brewery
Nov 8 2007 Champaign, IL 9:00 pm Cowboy Monkey
Nov 9 2007 Chicago, IL 9:00 pm Uncommon Ground
Nov 10 2007 Milwaukee, WI 9:00 pm ArtBar
Nov 24 2007 Memphis, TN 10:00 pm P&H Cafe
Dec 7 2007 Fayetteville, AK 9:00 pm Boom Boom Room
Dec 8 2007 Little Rock, AK 10:00 pm White Water Tavern
Jan 25 2008 Shreveport, LA 10:00 pm Jackrabbit Lounge @ L'il Joe's
Feb 8 2008 Chicago, IL 10:00 pm Piece Brewery
Feb 9 2008 Des Moines, IA 9:00 pm Vaudeville Mews
Feb 21 2008 Knoxville, TN 9:00 pm Preservation Pub

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Release Tuesday, and Mark Your DVR's

New releases this week:

Iron and Wine - The Shepard's Dog

From the sound of Boy with a Coin (MP3) and the acclaimed reviews, Sam Beam likely put out another classic. While I have always enjoyed I&W, it is a little on the slow side for my taste (which usually means only special occasion listening). However, this album sounds like it has more bite to it (no pun intended). More instruments are used than the first two albums which should make my ear happier.

Other releases I'm not too interested in:
Jose Gonzalez - In Our Nature
Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Matt Pond PA - Last Light

Also, in other news ACL has posted their music specials.

Austin City Limits:

10-06 Norah Jones
10-13 The Decemberists/Explosions in the Sky
10-20 Femi Kuti
10-27 Jimmy Reed Highway: Jimmie Vaughan and Friends
11-03 Wilco
11-10 Arcade Fire
11-17 Brad Paisley/Dierks Bentley
11-24 Van Morrison (Encore)
12-01 Gretchen Wilson/Miranda Lambert (Encore)
12-08 Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Encore)
12-15 John Mayer
12-22 Lucinda Williams/Old Crow Medicine Show
12-29 Bloc Party/Ghostland Observatory
01-05 Crowded House/Grupo Fantasma
01-12 Regina Spektor /Paolo Nutini
01-19 Roky Erickson/Kings of Leon
01-26 ACL PRESENTS: The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival

Monday, September 24, 2007

Jason Isbell Live at Proud Larry's in Oxford

Jason Isbell put on a wonderful show at the newly remodeled Proud Larry's. Very impressed he changed up the setlist from Jackson, MS, which most bands fail to do these days. Highlights were Psycho Killer, Outfit (of course), Dress Blues, and American Girl. Outfit was electric this time, and Chicago Promenade was without a keyboard (because it would not fit on the stage). Overall good show.
Here are a couple of Mp3's for your enjoyment (although not from this show):
Jason Isbell - The Assassin (live)
Jason Isbell - American Girl

(when I got there)
Never Gonna Change
In a Razor Town
Chicago Promenade (sans Keyboard)
Psycho Killer
Down in a Hole
Dress Blues
The Assassin
American Girl

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Okkervil River Live KEXP

I have been absolutely enjoying the new Okkervil River Stage Names. If for some reason you have not purchased this fine album. Here are some live great quality mp3's recorded at SXSW by KEXP on March 16, 2007.

01 - Intro
02 - The President's Dead
03 - The Latest Thoughts
04 - Our Life is not a Movie or Maybe
05 - Interview
06 - Westfall
07 - For Real
08 - Okkervil River Song

KEXP live

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Music Tuesday: on Wed.

New Music that came out Tuesday is as follows:

Broken Social Scene presents: Kevin Drew. Spirit If... Might as well be a new Broken Social Scene album. Great stuff. Pfk agrees, they gave it an 8.2. P.S. eMusic has it.

Rogue Wave - Asleep at Heaven's Gate

I truly enjoy Rogue Wave. I have not purchased yet, but I streamed it and it sounds very solid. Mp3 below:
Lake Michigan

Stream Both HERE

Local News: Rogue Wave coming down south:
11/08/07: The Earl: Atlanta, GA
11/09/07: Mercy Lounge: Nashville, TN
11/10/07: The Bottletree: Birmingham, AL

Monday, September 17, 2007

Jason Isbell Friday, September 14 in Jackson, MS

Absolutely sounded great. Crowd was pretty slim but into it nonetheless. Most of the songs on Sirens in the Ditch sounded better than the album. For instance, Grown does not have quite the cheesiness it does on the album, same with "Brand New Kind of Actress" and "Chicago Promenade." DBT tunes sounded perfect as always. I can't wait to see him again this weekend in Oxford. Forgot my camera of course. Very nice Cover of Van Morrison's "Into the Mystic"

Chicago Promenade
Never Gonna Change
Down in a Hole
GD Lonely Love
Psycho Killer (Talking Heads Cover)
The Magician
Into the Mystic (Van Morrison Cover)
Dress Blues
In a Razor Town
Try (with I think a few lines from Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" or "Stop, Hey What's That Sound"
Hurricane and Hand Grenades
Brand New Kind of Actress
Decoration Day (this is when I had to leave so not sure if last song or not)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Arcade Fire (featuring David Bowie on vocals)

Arcade Fire with David Bowie singing and playing the twelve string on "Wake Up" live at Fashion Rocks. Grab the Mp3 over at iTunes. (it is for a good cause).

Wilco in Southaven.

Here is the setlist from the Wilco show in Southaven, MS I missed last night. Oh well.
I heard tt was raining the whole time, which I would not be too fired up about.
Played some old stuff though which makes me wish I would have seen. The two bathroom breaks would have been too close together though. (Shake It Off and Sky Blue Sky)

Shot In the Arm
Side With Seeds
You Are My Face
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Pot Kettle Black
War On War
Shake It Off
Handshake Drugs
Impossible Germany
Sky Blue Sky
Too Far Apart
Jesus Etc.
Hate It Here
I'm the Man Who Loves You
On and On and On
Heavy Metal Drummer
Red Eyed and Blue
I've Got You
California Stars
Box Full of Letters *(Jody played drums)
Late Greats
Via Chicago
Spiders (Kidsmoke)

*Jody Stephens from Big Star and Golden Smog

Jason Isbell Tonight in Jackson.

Former Drive By Trucker Jason Isbell is playing tonight at Hal and Mal's in Jackson, MS. I believe I will be there. Daybreakdown is opening. Should be a great show.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The National in Birmingham at Bottletree

I could not believe how small BottleTree was. Great venue though. To see the National in such an intimate venue was much more amazing than seeing them in a big theater last time. The Rosebuds opened up and were fun, and sounded pretty good. I enjoy the Rosebuds' music, but am not overly impressed.

I loved how The National meats out at the end of most songs with a jam, which adds a new element to the songs (especially the slow ones). Also, Padma Newsome was an imperative addition to the cast. He played the violin, keys, and some sort of blow keyboard. They put on quite a show.


Start a War
Mistaken for Strangers
Secret Meeting
Baby, We'll Be Fine
Slow Show
Squalor Victoria
All The Wine
Racing Like a Pro
Apartment Story
Daughters of the Soho Riots
Fake Empire
About Today
Green Gloves
Mr. November

Bright Eyes Memphis Presale.

Bright Eyes - Orpheum: November 6 (Tuesday)
Presale - 10:00 AM today. then follow instructions.

Regular tix go on sale Saturday. Presale

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Tomorrow's Releases and Streams

The Shout Out Louds hooked me when Howl Howl Gaff Gaff came out a few years back. I will be downloading this bad boy on eMusic tomorrow. I have heard a few songs off of it and am impressed. Mp3 Below.

Tonight I Have to Leave It

I will eventually purchase this cd I am sure. Running to The Go! Team is quite pleasing. I rock out to Thunder Lightning Strike every now and then. Very original stuff.

Overrated psych rockers Animal Collective release Strawberry Jam tomorrow. P4k approved 9.3(of course). I will give it a chance. I did somewhat enjoy Feels, however, I still think it is "cool" to like them.

Stream all of aforementioned albums AT AOL

Hilarious Article

Hilarious article from The Onion

Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8

CHICAGO—Music, a mode of creative expression consisting of sound and silence expressed through time, was given a 6.8 out of 10 rating in an review published Monday on Pitchfork Media, a well-known music-criticism website.

According to the review, authored by Pitchfork editor in chief Ryan Schreiber, the popular medium that predates the written word shows promise but nonetheless "leaves the listener wanting more."

"Music's first offering, an eclectic, disparate, but mostly functional compendium of influences from 5000 B.C. to present day, hints that this trend's time may not only have fully arrived, but is already on the wane," Schreiber wrote. "If music has any chance of keeping our interest, it's going to have to move beyond the same palatable but predictable notes, meters, melodies, tonalities, atonalities, timbres, and harmonies."

Schreiber's semi-favorable review, which begins in earnest after a six-paragraph preamble comprising a long list of baroquely rendered, seemingly unrelated anecdotes peppered with obscure references, summarizes music as a "solid but uninspired effort."

"Coming in at an exhausting 7,000 years long, music is weighed down by a few too many mid- tempo tunes, most notably 'Liebesträume No. 3 in A flat' by Franz Liszt and 'Closing Time' by '90s alt-rock group Semisonic," Schreiber wrote. "In the end, though music can be brilliant at times, the whole medium comes off as derivative of Pavement."

While Schreiber concedes that music is still "trying to find its aesthetic," he also claims the form has not yet lived up to the lavish praise heaped on it by pop culture journalist Chuck Klosterman and 19th-century French romantic composer and critic Hector Berlioz, among others.

Schreiber concludes his critique by calling on music to develop a more cohesive sound in its future releases.

"We can only hope that [music] will begin to grow with its fans over the next few millennia," Schreiber said. "If it can stick to what it does well, namely the song 'Peg' by Steely Dan, and Tuvan throat singing, then a sophomore effort will indeed be something to get excited about."

The review has split the music community, with many decrying Pitchfork's lukewarm reception of music as a contrarian move designed to propel the publication's tastemaker status.

"It's elitism for the sake of elitism," said Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke, who refuted Pitchfork's middling rating, describing the entire art form as "transcendent." "I've been listening to music for over 30 years, and it's consistently some of the best stuff out there."

Despite music's defenders, the Pitchfork review has made a deep impression on the thousands of music fans who slavishly follow the website's advice when it comes to enjoying things.

"Music used to be great, but let's be honest, it's a 6.8 now at best," said Los Angeles resident Lowell Radler, 23, who admitted that he just looked at the rating rather than reading the whole review. "I seriously might never listen to music again."

Still, most analysts agreed that the impact of Pitchfork's scathing review of music will be dampened by the 2.4 rating it received from Pitchfork staff writer Dave Maher just moments after the initial critique was published online. Maher termed Schreiber's assessment of music "overwrought, masturbatory posturing intended to make insecure hipsters feel as if they're part of some imagined elite beau monde."

This Week in Concerts

Design by Traci Edwards
The National will be playing in Birmingham, Wednesday night with The Rosebuds and Doveman. Barring a Nuclear Holocaust, I will be there. Tickets are only 14.50

Also, Wilco will be playing with Dr. Dog Thursday Night in Southaven at the Snowden Grove Ampitheater. I am not sure I will be able to make it. I feel like I have seen Wilco enough times in the recent past to justify two late sleepless nights (considering I have to work Thursday and Friday.) But, I may still end up going.

By the way, if you never downloaded The National'sDaytrotter SessionsI would HIGHLY RECOMMEND you downloading "Gospel" and "Lucky You." "Gospel" has an "Intervention"-esque organ at the first that is very cool.

And for more National in case you missed unreleased Boxer tracks, Boxer B-Sides

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Avett Brothers in Memphis at Delta Fair and Music Festival

Avett Brothers 153
Originally uploaded by thread

Avett Brothers 011
Originally uploaded by thread

These guys are climbing places in my favorite bands. I truly can't get enough of them. Not only are their Cd's unreal (right now Four Theives Gone is my favorite but Emotionalism is incredible and I am just now listening to Mignonette) but their live show is unmatched. As you can gather from the videos below, they put on a show. I think Scott broke five banjo strings. It is hard to rock that hard without breaking strings. I thought it was incredible how Scott had a kick drum at his feet while Seth had a high hat at his. Very solid show and solid setlist.

Avett Brothers 212
Originally uploaded by thread

PG From Chile*
Weight of Lies*
Swept Away*
Wanted Man*
At The Beach
Backwards With Time
16 In July (Seth solo)
Distraction #74*
Will You Return*

That's How I Got To Memphis*

* = w/ Joe Kwon

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Sorry for the lack of posts

I apologize for the lack of posts. I have been crazy busy at work and after work. I will be back very soon. I have some great ideas in the mix. Also, I will have the Avett Brothers show review.