Friday, August 31, 2007

Tribute Bands and Why I Hate Them...

I really hate cover bands that call themselves a "tribute band" and they are paying 'tribute' to a band that are either still actively touring or have been inactive for only a couple years. I "get" the Elvis and Hendrix impersonators -- I wouldn't pay money to see them but I "get" what they are trying to do.

So...I got an email today from Ticket*astard that said "Don't miss your chance to get complimentary* tickets to great shows at BB King Blues Club and Grill" (note the asterick after "complimentary").

I was thinking this could be interesting if the list of bands was any good. Here is the list:

Oasis/Blur Tribute - 9/2
Beatles Tribute - 9/11
Kiss Tribute - 9/21
Masters of Soul Tribute - 9/26
Phish Tribute - 10/6
Cannabis Cup Reggae Band-10/13
Smiths & Morrissey Trib-10/27
Grateful Dead Tribute - 11/3
Van Halen Tribute - 11/13

Looking at the small print "*Complimentary tickets will include a $1.25 per ticket fee in addition to standard per order handling fee." So, on a per-ticket basis, I can pay $1.25 + $5-6 in Ticket*astard fees + $10 in BB King's minimum to sit at a table (approx. $17 in total) to see a band cover songs that I can hear any bar band play for free anywhere in the city. I'd also be able to drink significantly cheaper anywhere other than B.B. King's. Why bother...

I know I am beating this thread to death at this point but what is a "Van Halen Tribute"? Will the band's singer play David Lee, Sammy and Gary during the show? Will the guitar player be drunk? Will they kick the bassist out of the band?

I'd have to be paid to sit through something like this!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Meat Puppets' Set List from Knitting Factory, August 29th, 2007

It sucks that I forgot to charge the batteries in my camera...I don't think there is any point in posting dark, motion-blurred photos.

Anyway, the show was excellent -- it is great to see the Kirkwood brothers back in action. I just wish Derrick Bostrom was back in the band...

Here is the set list from the show...

1 Sam
2 Touchdown King
3 Snow
4 Up On The Sun
5 Plateau / Lost>Working On A Building>TheWhistling Song
6 Look At The Rain
7 My Baby's Gone
8 Station
9 Fly Like The Wind
10 Comin' Down
11 Oh Me
12 Severed Goddess Hand
13 Never To Be Found
14 Lake Of Fire
15 Climbing
16 Backwater

Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, August 28, 2007

Second Dan played the Mercury Lounge this past Tuesday and sounded great. I missed the first band of the evening but the room was pretty full for Lorraine Leckie & Her Demons and it was packed by the time Second Dan took the stage.
Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 8/28/07
The band played a full hour and are a really polished live act. The majority of the band's songs are great dance numbers and lead singer Dan Rosen is a compelling front-man who knows how to work the crowd. He got everyone dancing for the last few songs and up on the stage for the finale. This show really seemed to be the "end of summer" party.
Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 8/28/07
Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 8/28/07
The band's next show is at Tropfest Film Festival in Battery Park, New York on September, 23 2007.

Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 8/28/07
Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 8/28/07
Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 8/28/07
Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 8/28/07
Second Dan @ Mercury Lounge, NYC 8/28/07
Second Dan's MySpace Page

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Misfits Play B.B. King's on Halloween

The Misfits Play Halloween Show at B.B. King'sMy first thought when I saw this show announced was "who cares? The Misfits' last gasp was with Michale Graves." I just can't see paying $30 to see Jerry, Robo and Dez sing the Misfits songbook. Seeing Dez sing "Damaged" era Black Flag was fun in the past but I have 'been there and done that'. As for The Misfits' songs, Jerry simply has a terrible voice.

Here is where it gets interesting...according to Wikipedia it has been loosely confirmed that Michale Graves and Doyle will be returning for the 2007/2008 studio album. Dez Cadena has stated that two guitars will be featured on the new album, thus implying Doyle will be playing on the new album, although no real concrete evidence exists to back up this claim. A rumored title for the new record as been "The Return of the Fiend". Jerry Only has not yet commented on the status of the album. However, Michale Graves was quoted to say, "There are other projects also in the works that are very hush-hush. News that will blow your mind, but has to be kept under-wraps for now. Let’s just say the end of this year will be a big one for Graves fans."

It will be very interesting to see who the special guests are for the Halloween show. Don't hold your breath though that it is Doyle and Graves -- it may just be Franche Coma.

Misfits' Website

White Rabbits Tour with Kaiser Chiefs and Release Video for "The Plot"

White Rabbits Release Video for The PlotWhite Rabbits seem to be the band everyone is talking about these days.

I missed the band's set on Friday night at Sound Fix - hopefully the band will be doing more shows in the area soon.

The band starts a tour with the Kaiser Chiefs on September 18th and there is one stop in the area: 9.29 NYC Beacon Theater w/ Kaiser Chiefs. After this, the band is off on a mid-October tour of the West Coast with Tokyo Police Club.

The band just released their debut studio video (there are many live videos floating around) for "The Plot" (link). The band's performance of "The Plot" on Letterman is probably old news but if anyone missed it...

White Rabbits' Website

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Meat Puppets Play Knitting Factory and Luna Lounge

Meat Puppets Play Knitting Factory and Luna LoungeThe reunited Meat Puppets are playing this Wednesday and Thursday (Aug 29th and 30th) at the Knitting Factory and the band is coming back through town for a September 8th show at the Luna Lounge in Williamsburg. This is the band's first tour in 11 years with original bassist Cris Kirkwood. Unfortunately, original drummer Derrick Bostrom is not part of the reunion -- the drum chair is filled by Ted Marcus.

Here is the set list from the other night in Texas -- I would expect the set at the Knit to be similar:

Touchdown King
Up On The Sun
Look At The Rain
The Whistling Tune
Severed Goddess Hand
Flaming Heart
Never To Be Found
You’re An Island
Oh, Me
Attacked By Monsters
Lake Of Fire

Comin’ Down
Back Water
Box of Limes
Pee Pee The Sailor

Knitting Factory
Luna Lounge
Meat Puppets' Website
Derrick Bostrom's Meat Puppets Blog

Tulsa @ Pianos, NYC - August 18, 2007

Tulsa will release Debut EP 'I Was Submerged' in OctoberTulsa, an exciting new shoegazer band from Boston, played the final night of their Piano's residency last Saturday night.

The musicianship of the band really impressed me as, for being just a 3-piece band, they were able to build a wave of sounds that was comparable to My Bloody Valentine or the mellower side of Jesus & Mary Chain. I have been listening to some advance tracks from the band's upcoming EP and the band captures a lot of this energy in the studio as well.

The band's live show has been getting great reviews from the press. Boston Phoenix recently hailed Tulsa as "the best rock band in Boston. Their combination of songwriting and musicianship and an eargasm of a sound rendered jaws unfunctional." The band has also gotten good write-ups from CMJ and Chicago Sun-Times.

Tulsa @ Piano's, August 18, 2007
Tulsa @ Piano's, August 18, 2007
Tulsa @ Piano's, August 18, 2007

Tulsa @ Piano's, August 18, 2007
Tulsa @ Piano's, August 18, 2007
The band's debut EP, "I Was Submerged", will be released October 9th on Park the Van. Check out the first video "Shaker" from this release (Director: Marshall Johnson).

Tulsa's MySpace page

New CD/DVD Releases for this Week

There are a couple of interesting releases this week:

Angels of Light - We Are Him
The latest release from Michael Gira's post-Swans band. I've loved all of the past Angels releases and the early press on the release has given it great reviews.

"We Are Him is the most assured and relaxed Angels of Light album since the debut, and deserves to be considered alongside Gira's highest peaks. The frightening rage of old Swans surfaces several times, albeit in more bucolic clothing; the contrast is bracing. Lyrically Gira's constantly in-pocket, addressing his subjects with renewed agility, but also in a very relaxed voice; if De Sade had lived long enough to tell folk tales around a campfire, some of them might have sounded like this. The genuinely playful orchestration - banjos? horns? chimes? slide? check – is by turns charming and perverse, and has a band-of-brethren feel to it that's both ominous and exiting. The title track is like a pure shot of adrenaline. An intimate, unexpected masterpiece." - John Darnielle/The Mountain Goats
Blue Cheer - What Doesn't Kill You (CD)
Who would have thought that Blue Cheer would still be touring and recording after 40 years? I believe this to be the band's first studio recording since 1991's Dining With Sharks. The band put on a great live show at NorthSix about a year or so ago so I would expect this to be a great disc.

Cro-Mags: The Final Quarrel - Live at CBGB (DVD)
MVD has put out some pretty interesting stuff documenting the NYHC scene and this is no exception. This DVD captures the final Cro-Mags show (with both John Joseph and Harley Flanagan) at CBGB in 2001. As a bonus features, Amazon says that the disc includes a full set from Harley's War, Harley Flannigan's post Cro-Mags band.

Heaven & Hell - Live from Radio City Music Hall
Dio-era Sabbath captured live on March 30, 2007 at Radio City Music Hall. This has been released as a 2-CD set and a (separately sold) DVD. Both this tour and this particular show got stellar reviews -- 'nuff said.

Killswitch Engage - "As Daylight Dies" (CD/DVD)
The CD came out a month ago and is now being reissued with a bonus DVD and four bonus audio tracks. (I'd be p*ssed if I bought this a month ago). The DVD contains:
"My Curse" video
Making of "My Curse" video
"The Arms of Sorrow" video
Making of the "The Arms of Sorrow" video
"Holy Diver" video (Dio Cover)

and the bonus tracks on the CD are:
Be One
Let the Bridges Burn
This Fire
Holy Diver

Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates of Dawn (CD)
There is both a 2-disc and a 3-disc version of the 40th anniversary edition of the first Pink Floyd release (w/ Syd Barrett).

The two disc version contains both the stereo and mono versions of Piper. The three disc version contains the same stereo/mono Piper discs plus a third disc of bonus tracks. The bonus track include all the Pink Floyd singles from 1967, ('Arnold Layne', 'See Emily Play', and 'Apples And Oranges'), plus the B sides 'Candy And A Current Bun' and 'Paintbox'. Other tracks are a version of 'Interstellar Overdrive' - previously only available on an EP in France - and the 1967 stereo version of 'Apples And Oranges'.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster - II (2) CD Review

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster II (2) CD ReviewHaving grown up on pre-crash Lynyrd Skynyrd and pre-wimpyness Aerosmith, this CD caught my attention right away...and held it. Anyone who was a fan of the hard rock of 70's Aerosmith and/or the triple guitar lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd really needs to hear this CD. This is a great southern-tinged hard rock album.

The band put on a ferocious live show and is playing two live shows in the area in October.

Maylene & the Sons of Disaster - Irving Plaza 2007This CD gets mistakenly labeled as hardcore as it features x-Underoath vocalist Dallas Taylor.

This label is really misleading as Taylor showcases his whiskey-soaked voice without screaming. While this is clearly a hard-rock CD, the music and vocals are consistently melodic and there is both a southern ballad ("Tale of the Runaways") and an instrumental track ("The Day Hell Broke At Sicard Hollow") on the disc.

To understand what the band is all about, check out the promo video for "Dry the River" (below) along with the live video of the same song and you will get an appreciation for both the band's sense of melody along with the intensity of their live set. To put the promo video is perspective, the band's name is inspired by notorious '20s criminal Ma Barker and her gang, which consisted of her four sons. In a recent interview (published by the Seattle Times), Taylor said "What has always struck me about the Ma Barker story is how much it symbolizes the idea of 'what goes around, comes around.' Divine justice is unavoidable." "In these songs we speak as though we were [the Barker sons], telling any who would listen that a life lived unjustly will meet divine justice on the other side."

"Dry the River" - Official Promo Video

"Dry The River" - Bootleg Video from Atlanta 2007

The band is starting a two month tour with Underoath, Every Time I Die, and Poison the Well in September. There are two shows scheduled in the area:

Oct 24 2007 6:00P Nokia Theatre at Times Square New York, New York
Oct 25 2007 6:00P Starland Ballroom Sayreville, New Jersey

Maylene and the Sons of Disaster Website
Maylene and the Sons of Disaster MySpace page

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Notorious MSG are Playing Bowery Ballroom w/ Satanicide on Sept. 7th

The Notorious MSG open for Satanicide @ Bowery Ballroom on Sept. 7thThese guys are way too funny -- why am I not surprised that they are playing with Satanicide?

Here is the band's bio from their press kit:

Blasting out of the streets of Chinatown, THE NOTORIOUS MSG have arrived with a vengeance. Serving up deep-fried beats straight from the Chinese ghetto, they will not stop until they achieve complete musical destruction. This is the story of three renegade restaurant workers from the reputed streets of Chinatown, New York City. Pursuing their dreams of musical superstardom, Hong Kong Fever, Down-Lo Mein and The Hunan Bomb fled the harsh ghettos of Asia only to face more hardships as second-class citizens in America. They struggled to earn a living, toiling in the kitchens and risking their lives as Chinese restaurant delivery boys. Facing robberies and beatings on a daily basis, their fight for survival came to a head when an unknown assailant killed one of their original band members. This was the last straw; it was time to fight back. Rising up with a fury, the trio were reborn and The Notorious MSG exploded onto the NYC music scene with a new calling
This promo video should tell you everything that you need to know:

The band has been around for a couple years and below is part of a review from Asian Weekly of the band's first West Coast show.
The trio from New York City’s Chinatown poses as a group of restaurant workers who moonlight as musicians, gangsters and pimps. It may sound confusing, but it can also keep you doubled over laughing. Somehow the formula of wig-donning, gangsta-talking, wonton-cooking employees works. At least it does for MSG’s growing fan base of Asians and non-Asians alike.

MSG in the house, and we’re feelin’ really hot / Yeah, East Side Chinatown, bitch / You gonna die /Just comin’ out the ghetto with an egg roll / Got a .57 magnum feelin’ loco / And you know / I never go — solo / Got your homie funky Buddha and your boy d-lo
Read the full text of the interview/review

Tickets are $13 (in advance) and doors are @ 7PM

The Notorious MSG's Website
Bowery Ballroom's Website

The Rentals Play "Free" Show Tonight/ Discounted Paul Stanley Tickets Still Overpriced

The Rentals Play 'Free' at Noika TheatreI am beginning to like the promoters at Nokia Theatre. When a show doesn't sell well, they essentially give away tickets. (You have to pay the "service charge" which ranges between $5 - $7 per ticket). It looks like the free link is now down but it is a pretty cool idea to try and pack the crowd in. There is nothing worse than a sparsely attended arena show.

Rock N Roll Fanasy Camp Plays BB Kings on Sept. 3rdROCK 'N ROLL FANTASY CAMP is playing B.B. King's on September 3rd. The show features Paul Stanley (KISS), Mark Farner from Grand Funk Railroad, David Letterman Show Horn Section + Special Guests. So, if you use the special offer code "OFFER", you can get $65 tickets (no wonder they weren't selling tickets - way too high a price for this weak of a lineup) for $40. In my mind, $40 is still too high a price! When you add back the $7.50 per ticket convenience charge and B.B. King's minimum (at the last show I was at, the charge was $10 per person per set) to sit at a table, you are basically back up to $65/ticket.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Austerity Program's Record Release Party @ Rocky's (Williamsburg) on Aug. 23rd

Austerity Program CD Release Party - Aug 23rd @ Rocky'sAusterity Program have just released their second CD, Black Madonna, on Hydrahead and are playing a record release party at Rocky's in Williamsburg tomorrow night. Austerity Program can make an incredible amount of noise for being just a two man (+ a drum machine) band and the band is a lot of fun live. (Check out my photos of the band's show last November at Water Street Lounge)

The band's member have uber-serious jobs (PhD candidate and researcher) so the band plays very few shows these days. I'd make a point of checking out the show tomorrow night. It is only a $5 admission...

Austerity Program's Website
Austerity Program's MySpace Page

White Trash Reunite for Show at Don Hill's

Does anyone remember these guys? They tore up MTV in the early 90's for about a year or so and seemed to drop completely out of sight after that. For anyone now saying "who?"...White Trash were one of the better funk-metal bands that was touring in the early 90's and the original lineup had a full horn section (pre-dating a number of the ska bands that followed). "Apple Pie" was a big MTV video and "The Crawl" was used as the theme for the Jon Stewart show.

The show is August 30th and tickets are only $10.

Here is where I date myself -- I saw White Trash in '91 or '92 at Hammerjack's (in Baltimore). The band was joined on stage by Gene from Lucy Brown (DC funk band, signed to Atlantic) and the show was simply a lot of fun.

I haven't found much information on the show at Don Hill's but it looks like the original band has reunited. As the band is (was?) from Long Island and always were a strong draw in the Mid-Atlantic, I wouldn't wait to get tickets.

For anyone who needs further convincing, here is the MTV video for "Apple Pie".

White Trash's MySpace Page
Metal Sludge Interview with Guitarist Ethan Collins

Viva Viva @ Pianos, NYC - August 18, 2007

Viva Viva @ Pianos, NYC, August 18, 2007I went to Piano's last Saturday night to see Tulsa but got to the club early enough to see Boston's Viva Viva play. The band has only been around about a year or two but they sounded great. They have an early 70s Stone-ish rock sound (check out "Heartbreak Sweepstakes" and "Keep Looking" on the band's MySpace page) and the lead singer, Dave Vicini, has a manic Iggy Pop type energy.

The band released a new EP "Art, Sex, Death & Time" earlier this year but I can't find it for sale anywhere on the 'net. I guess this is available only at the band's show. Speaking of this...the band is playing a show in Brooklyn this weekend (dates and locations below) and isn't coming back to town until November.

Viva Viva @ Pianos, NYC, August 18, 2007
Viva Viva @ Pianos, NYC, August 18, 2007
Upcoming NYC Shows:
August 25, 2007 at Loft Party @ 230 Franklin st., Brooklyn (Greenpoint)
November 15, 2007 at Union Pool w/Abigal Warchild

Chris Warren (formerly of Dirty Holiday)
Viva Viva @ Pianos, NYC, August 18, 2007
Dave Vicini (knocked down by the evil powers of R n' R)
Viva Viva @ Pianos, NYC, August 18, 2007
Viva Viva's MySpace Page

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Devildriver Takes a Break from OzzFest and Plays Highline Ballroom Tonight

Devildriver Plays Highline Ballroom on August 21stIt has to be hard to be a second-stage band on OzzFest and play a 20-30 minute set in the middle of the day. Daath and Devildrvier are taking a night off from OzzFest and are playing full sets tonight at the Highline Ballroom.

Devildriver is touring behind their new CD, Last Kind Word, which was released at the end of July. The CD has gotten solid reviews (link) and the band is a force to be reckoned with live. Daath is touring behind their Roadrunner debut, The Hinders, which was released back in March. I am not at all familiar with Daath so I can't comment on the band but here is a link to the Blabbermouth review of their new CD.

Ticket are $20 and are still available for tonight's show. Doors are at 7PM and the concert starts at 8PM.

For anyone who hasn't heard the new Devildriver CD, Roadrunner has a downloadable mp3 posted of "Not All That Wander Are Lost". It is kind of cool to compare the studio version of this song to the live version (which was filmed at the New England Metal Fest earlier this year).

Daath's Website
Devildriver's Website

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Care Bears on Fire - I Stole Your Animal CD Review

Care Bears of Fire Release New CD on Oct. 2ndThe Care Bears on Fire's new CD will be released on October 2nd and the band is having a release party at Southpaw on September 28th.

The new CD features 11 newly recorded tracks and is produced by Joel Hamilton (who has produced more cool bands than I can count [list]).

Here is the track listing for the disc:

01. Everybody Else
02. Five-Minute Boyfriend
03. Met You On MySpace
04. Shadow Girl
05. Jack Brown
06. I Must Know Why
07. Victim Of Rock & Roll
08. 8
09. Watchdog
10. You Walk Away
11. Baby Animals

This is a fun CD in the 3-chord "snot punk" spirit of bands like The Queers and Screeching Weasel. Most of the lyrics of the songs are targeted at a pre-teen audience ("Met you on Myspace", "Five-Minute Boyfriend") but others are surprisingly mature ("Jack Brown"). The CD leadoff track, "Everybody Else" should help break the band to a wide audience and it will be interesting to see what's next for the band.

Anyone who hasn't seen the band play live should check out the band's show at Southpaw on September 28th or at Atlantic Antic (free performance!!) on September 30th. The band is a lot of fun live and play with an early Go-Gos/Runaways intensity. At the last few shows, CBOF drew as many adults without kids as parents with kids.

Care Bears on Fire's MySpace Page

The Dodos (Meric Long) Play August Shows in Brooklyn and NYC

The Dodos Play Luna Lounge on August 30thPsych/folk-duo The Dodos are in town for two shows supporting Jennifer Gentle (Sub*Pop). The shows are August 29th at the Mercury Lounge in Manhattan and August 30th at the Luna Lounge in Brooklyn. After the current East Coast tour, the band is touring the West Coast with Akron Family.

The band has been compared to a wide range of artists but I think the closest comparison is to Nick Drake and/or early Tyrannosaurus Rex (the acoustic duo era). The Dodos' last CD, Beware of the Maniacs, made a number of "Best of the Year" lists for 2006. Check out The Ball and Nerds from this release. I would expect this to be a great show.

Here is what Deli Magazine had to say about the last CD...."When Meric Long released his solo EP 'Dodo Bird' in March of 2006, he attracted a slew of quality-loving indie fans with his songwriting/ guitar/vocal talents. Now, with experimental drummer Logan Kroeber on his side, he is breaking all the rules, and doing it well. On 'Beware of the Maniacs', Long and Kroeber craft each song with full, almost orchestral blends of multiple guitar and drum tracks. Long's classic, raw voice displays raw and deep emotion through his often personal and descriptive lyrics. The almost tribal drums compliment the varied guitar sounds, from heavy chords to intricate finger-picking."

The Dodos have a new release, tentatively entitled "Visiter", scheduled to be released this fall.

The Dodos/Meric Long's Website
The Dodos/Meric Long's MySpace Page

Smashing Punkpins - Zeitgeist CD Review

Smashing Pumpkins - ZeitgeistI am guessing that most people's opinion of this CD will depend on how much they like Billy Corgan. This is a Smashing Pumpkins disc in name only and is NOT return to the sounds of Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. This is probably closer, musically, to Zwan or Billy's solo release. This isn't to say this is a "bad" CD, it is just forgotable.

The music on this disc is pretty disjointed as it starts with a few alt/grunge tunes, progresses into some songs that are more melodic (and sound a bit like classic Pumpkins) and ends with some Queen-like operatic cuts that simply don't work. What is sorely missing is the classic Pumpkins verse-chorus-verus melodic structure. Most of Billy's vocals sound like he was completely uninspired.

In a previous post, I commented that I thought "Tarantula" was just ok. While I stand behind this comment, "Tarantula" is one of the better songs on the disc. The best track is "(Come On) Let's Go" as this is the closest to old-school Pumpkins. Unfortunately, for anyone who bought this disc unaware, the ltd-edition bonus tracks are also quite good.

Stellar, the iTunes exclusive track, is interesting but not a "must have". It is an atmospheric track with almost a Coldplay/Pink Floyd feel. Death from Above, the Best Buy exclusive track, is a great melodic rocker (and Corgan's vocals sound inspired). Zeitgeist , the Target exclusive track, is a great acoustic number that is carried by Billy's voice.

To sum up my thoughts, this release is for Billy Corgan fans only. There just aren't enough good tracks on this release. If you feel compelled to purchase this, I'd recommend either the Best Buy (still on the shelves in NYC) or the Target versions as the bonus tracks are pretty good.

Smashing Pumpkins Main Website (link)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ari Gold - An Exclusive Interview

Ari Gold Has a CD release party at Joe's Pub on September 4thOn Tuesday, I had the pleasure of speaking with R&B/Dance artist Ari Gold. He has a new CD, Transport Systems, coming out next month. He is holding a CD release party at Joe's Pub on September 4th.

The first single from Transport Systems, Where the Music Takes You, is streaming on Ari's MySpace page. This is an incredibly catchy tune which features Sasha Allen on backing vocals. When I spoke to Ari, we found that we have a mutual love and respect for the work of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and you can hear some of this influence in the new single. Taking this influence one step further, Ari covers the Jam/Lewis penned track (released by the Human League in the 80's) "Human" on the new release.

The CD release party on the 4th should be a lot of fun. Special guests are planned and tickets are only $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

Here is a direct link to an MP3 of the interview I did with Ari and here is a link to the RSS feed.

Ari Gold's MySpace page
Ari Gold's Website

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Wombats - Photos from The Annex, NYC 8/15/07

I thought The Wombats' show last night at the Annex was fabulous. The club was packed and I read on NME that the show sold out. The band was "on" and played a hot 50 minute set. I don't know all of the band's material so I couldn't put together a set list but I recognized "Acapella/Girls, Boys And Marsupials", "Kill the Director", "Backfire at the Disco", "Moving to New York" and "Let's Dance to Joy Division". The band played about 10 songs in total.

The band is a lot of fun live and are almost certain to be playing bigger rooms during their next trip to town.

The band started the set with an acapella number
The Wombats @ Annex, 8/15/07

Murph and Tord Working Up the Crowd
The Wombats @ Annex, 8/15/07

The Wombats @ Annex, 8/15/07The Wombats @ Annex, 8/15/07

Murph Introduces The Wombat
The Wombats @ Annex, 8/15/07

The end of a hot and sweaty night of fun
The Wombats @ Annex, 8/15/07

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Jonah Smith CD Review

Brooklyn-based artist Jonah Smith released his third CD and his first for Relix Records just about a year ago. This is a great CD that spans across musical genres and falls somewhere between Van Morrison's blue-eyed soul and Americana. Immediate points of comparison would be The Band (whose Garth Hudson plays on one track) and John Hiatt.

Musically, the disc is consistently mid-tempo but there is enough variation between the songs so that the disc never gets bogged down. All of the songs are carried by Smith's warm voice and slower tracks are offset by "John Hiatt style" rockers (a reference point would be Hiatt's "Thing Called Love") so the disc continues to hold my attention after repeated plays.

The best way to experience Jonah Smith is to give a listen and the tracks are sure to draw you in. Here are some links to audio and video from this CD.

Stay Awhile

My Morning Scene (the strong leadoff single from this disc)

Cast a Long Shadow

Smith is currently touring the West Coast (tour dates below)and returns to the East Coast with a show at the Connecticut Folk Festival on September 8th.

Aug 24 2007: 9:00P: Hotel Cafe Los Angeles, California
Aug 25 2007: 11:00P: The Connecticut Yankee San Francisco, California
Aug 27 2007: 8:30P: The Triple Door Seattle, Washington
Aug 29 2007: 10:00P: Lola&apos' Room Portland, Oregon
Aug 31 2007: 8:00P: Zebra Cocktail Lounge Bozeman, Montana
Sep 1 2007: 8:00P: Covered Wagon Ranch Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Sep 2 2007: 10:00P: Mangy Moose Teton Village, Wyoming
Sep 4 2007: 7:00P: Mingus Park Outdoor Amphitheater Coos Bay, Oregon
Sep 8 2007: 8:00P: Connecticut Folk Festival New Haven, Connecticut

The is a new demo track, "Ms. Cooper", and live versions of "Stay Awhile" and "Everything is New" posted to Smith's MySpace page.

Jonah Smith's Main Website
Relix Records

The Wombats Play Annex Tonight (Wed, August 15th)

The Wombats Play Annex on August 15thUK buzz band The Wombats are making their NYC debut at Club NME @ Annex tonight. This should be a great show as the band has generated quite a buzz with their early singles “Lost in the Post” , “Moving to New York” and "Kill the Director". Check out the video below and you will quickly find yourself singing along.

The Wombats - Kill the Director Video

This September, The Wombats will digitally release their self-titled six-song EP that featuring their hit singles “Backfire at the Disco,” “Kill the Director,” and “Moving to New York.”

I would expect the show to sell out so get tickets now or get to the club early tonight. Doors are at 9:00 PM and the band takes the stage at 10:00 PM.

The Wombats' Website
The Wombats' MySpace Page

Monday, August 13, 2007

Modest Mouse Conan Performance Pulled From YouTube

Modest Mouse Clip Pulled From YouTubeModest Mouse music performed Missed the Boat last Tuesday on Conan and the YouTube clip of the band's performacne was posted on numerous blogs. Obviously the NBC/Conan O'Brien people took a dim view of this as "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NBC Universal."

Sooner or later, the entertainment industry is going to have to come to grips with user generated content. One of the important factors in my mind is that this clip wasn't a cellcam video but rather a performance that aired across public airwaves. What is the difference between me watching the band's performance on YouTube vs. TIVO-ing or DVR-ing the performance and watching it at my convenience? It would seem easier for NBC to try and monetize a YouTube type of "transaction" (which is happening on a trackable, public site) rather than pushing anyone who missed the performance to the pirate torrent sites. Shutting down this clip on YouTube will not make the demand go away....

New Model Army Returns to New York in September

New Model Army Plays Mercury Lounge in SeptemberAfter 27 years, New Model Army is still going strong. The band is releasing their 10th CD, "High", on September 4th and are kicking off their US tour in Philadelphia on September 5th.

The band is playing three shows in the area:
September 6th - Mercury Lounge
September 7th - Maxwell's
October 5th - Southpaw (last date of US tour)

I have seen the band a few times and always thought they were a great live act - very much in the same "ragged but right" spirit as The Clash or Sham 69. The Big Takeover said that "On any night… they’re the closest thing to The Clash out there: and not even Joe Strummer has much on Sullivan".

Without ever having had a Top 20 hit in any country in their 27 year history, New Model Army have album sales in the millions, have attracted some of the biggest producers on the planet (Glyn Johns, Tom Dowd, Andy Wallace) and built up an almost religious devotion amongst fans. They’re a classic modern cult band, opting for the pursuit of musical and lyrical vision rather than celebrity status. By the mid 1990s, having grasped that the Internet was changing the whole music industry, they opted for the totally independent path of owning their own label.

"High" is NMA’s most guitar-driven and melodic album for some time, while the lyrics are the customary mixture of political and personal, timeless and absolutely current, but always with a vivid piece of storytelling at their heart. As is their tradition, New Model Army has once again placed a legend behind the boards with Chris Kimsey (The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Cliff, Killing Joke) both producing and mixing the album.

The current line up of New Model Army is Justin Sullivan (vocal and guitar), Nelson (bass), Michael Dean (drums), Dean White (keys) and Marshall Gill (guitar).

New Model Army's MySpace page (seems to be the band's main website)
New Model Army's Website (hasn't been recently updated)
New Model Army's Wikipedia entry

Earache's With Passion Announces Break Up and Final Show

With Passion Announces Final ShowEarache artist With Passion has announced that they are playing their final show in Roseville, CA next month. The band released What We See When We Shut Our Eyes earlier this year but the band's tour (which included a show at Europa) fell completely apart. I think the band only played two dates on what was supossed to be a cross-country tour.

With Passion's lineup changed over between their first and second Earache CDs and the final original member, Mike Nordeen, left recently for The Human Abstract. The band has announced on their MySpace page that the remaining members are going back to their previous projects (Conducting From The Grave and Cyanide Era).

Here is the complete MySpace bulletin:
Yes, it's true. Sept. 22 is planned to be the last show we ever play as With Passion. Many of you seem very upset by this, but it is for the best and I will explain why...

We have been struggling to keep afloat in the business side of music for at least 2 years now. We had high hopes that our new album would pull us out of that struggle, but instead our album was released with less than expected promotion and distribution and we ended up unable to even get on the road to support it. It simply seems ridiculous for us to continue on under this name since, as many of you have noticed the last original member Mike Nordeen (bass) departed the line up about three months ago to go onto bigger and better things in The Human Abstract. Many of you are fans of our other/previous band Conducting From The Grave. John, Greg, and I have decided that we should continue again as CFTG and Steven, whom replaced Mike for the last two tours will be joining us on bass. Former vocalist of CFTG, Drew, will be completing the line-up for the band. Fidel will be returning to vocal duties in his previous band, Cyanide Era. We are now writing new material for Conducting From The Grave that should be posted online within the next couple months. We all believe that this decision is in our best interest as musicians and in our fans' best interest as well. We appreciate all of your support and we hope that all of you will continue to support us in these other musical projects.


If you have not heard of Conducting From The Grave or Cyanide Era, please check these links:

In summation, it seemed that two years ago when us CFTG dudes joined with Shaun and Mike that it was the best idea to solve both CFTG and With Passion's line up changes, but now since they have both quit and nothing is working out for us as far as tours and album promotion, it seems that this is the right time to let the name With Passion die. We will still continue to write metal together as Conducting From the Grave and play locally, but we don't plan on touring anytime soon. It's been good times and we appreciate all the support anyone has given to us and any previous line up of this band, and we hope to see as many of you at our last show as possible.


Kiss - Kissology Volume 2 Will Be Released Tomorrow, August 14th

The second box set of Kiss DVDs, Kissology Volume 2, will be released on Tuesday, August 14th. Like the first volume, there will be three different bonus discs released to different retailers.

Here is the list of bonus discs:

FYE/TARGET bonus disc: (advertised this week for $21.98)
Nippon Budokan - Tokyo, Japan (April 21, 1988)
Track listing: `Love Gun', `Cold Gin', `Crazy Crazy Nights', `Heaven's On Fire', `War Machine', `I Love It Loud', `Lick It Up', `I Was Made For Lovin' You', `Detroit Rock City'

WAL-MART bonus disc : (advertised this week for $24.88)
Capital Center - Largo, MD (July 8, 1979)
Track listing: `Radioactive', `Move On', `Calling Dr. Love', `Firehouse', `New York Groove', `I Was Made For Lovin' You', `Love Gun', `Tossin' And Turnin'', `God Of Thunder', `Shout It Out Loud', `Black Diamond', `Detroit Rock', City', `Rock And Roll All Nite'

BEST BUY bonus disc: (advertised this week for $24.99)
The Ritz - New York, NY (August 13, 1988)
Track listing: `Deuce', `Love Gun', `Fits Like A Glove', `Heavens on Fire', `Cold Gin', `Black Diamond', `Firehouse', `Crazy, Crazy Nights', `Calling Dr. Love', `War Machine', `Tears Are Falling'

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

LA Guns Plays L'Amour on August 18th

LA Guns Plays L'Amour on August 18thLA Guns is making their only area appearance with a stop at L'Amour on August 18th. You almost need a scorecard to keep up with LA Guns as there are still two bands touring under the LA Guns banner. The band playing L'Amour is the Phil Lewis fronted band. Recently bassist Adam Hamilton left the band and he has been replaced by Scott Griffin (x-Gene Loves Jezebel, Bulletboys and numerous other Hollywood bands). Before anyone dismisses the band as being "has-beens", the band's last release "Tales from the Strip" (2005) got some great reviews. (link, link)

LA Guns Website

Boris Releases Damaged (Ltd. Edition 10") and Plays Music Hall of Williamsburg

Boris Plays Music Hall of Williamsburg on Oct. 3rdJapanese doom-metalers Boris return to the US for an East Coast tour and release an ultra-limited edition 10" EP.

Boris is back in town for a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg (the old NorthSix) on October 3rd. The band is playing with Damon and Naomi and Michio Kurihara and tickets are only $15.

The band has also just released a limited edition (1500 copies according to Wikipedia) 10" EP entitled Damaged. This is a split EP with Stupid Babies Go Mad where the bands cover each others songs. This is a picture disc and it comes with a bonus DVD which features live footage of both bands. The EP was released on Diwphalanx Records and is available from Conspiracy Records for 22.75 Euro (currently $31.39 US dollars).

Music Hall of Williamsburg
Boris' Website
Damon and Naomi's Website

Monday, August 06, 2007

Brian Grosz & Tiffany Randol Play Mo Pitkins Tomorrow Night (Aug. 6th)

If I were in town, I wouldn't miss this show. I caught Brian Grosz's CD release party at Luna Lounge a few weeks ago. Grosz is a compelling front-man and he and his band play Tom Waits influenced late night drinking music that sounds fabulous live.

Tiffany Randol is the lead singer for Valeze . I haven't heard Randol solo but Valeze has gotten quite a buzz around the 'net with their debut EP and live shows. You can find a number of mp3s and live pictures of the band if you do a Google search.

Tickets are only $7.

In addition to Grosz and Randol, Chris Lind and Luba Dvorak are also on the bill.

Check out picture and a review of Brian Grosz's CD release show at Luna Lounge in June.

This should be a fabulous show so...check it out (and pick up a copy of Brian Grosz's debut Bedlam Nights).

Junior Senior Play Highline Ballrom on Aug. 13th and Release New CD

Junior Senior Play Highline Ballroom on Aug. 13thDanish duo, Junior Senior are playing the Highline Ballroom next Monday, Aug 13th and their new CD Hey Hey My My Yo Yo will be released the next day. Hey Hey My My Yo Yo was released in Japan in 2005 but this new US edition contains a limited edition 7-song EP of new material entitled “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye". Jeppe (Senior) Laursen comments on the new recording, “We wanted to dance this summer, so we went into the studio. Four days. Wham-bam! I hope people will want to dance to it too.

Check out "Headphone Song" from the new EP!

In other Junior Senior news, the ‘80s rap-influenced song “Hip Hop A Lula” has been running in the trailers for the new “Rush Hour 3” movie due out this summer. The album’s first single, “Can I Get Get Get”, was recently featured in an episode of the ABC series, “Ugly Betty.” The song will also be featured in Logo’s Summer Supertease promo campaign and “Itch U Can’t Skratch” has already been used in a previous Logo campaign. Additionally, the track “Take My Time” has been used in the PSP game “Lumines 2.”

The video for the first single, “Can I Get Get Get,” features fan-submitted video footage and appearances by JD of Le Tigre and Peaches, amongst other surprise guests.

Hey Hey My My Yo Yo sees Junior (aka Jesper Mortensen) Senior (aka Jeppe Laursen) return in top, feel-good form, mashing-up their one of a kind Mamas & the Papas-meets-Sugarhill Gang sound with the manic, party energy that they’re known for. The sweet sounding ‘60s pop, ‘70s funk and ‘80s hip-hop inspired album features such notable guest artists as Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson of the B-52’s, Le Tigre, and legendary Motown girl group the Velvelettes, as well as Spooner Oldham, the Alabama born organist (and Neil Young keyboardist) behind classics like “When a Man Loves a Woman,” and “Mustang Sally.”

The album was produced by Junior, co-produced by Thomas Troelsen, and mixed by David Leonard in Nashville.

Junior Senior's Website
Junior Senior's MySpace Page

Free Live Music This Week (August 6th)

There are a number of great live acts playing free this week...

Yesterday, I posted about Marissa Nadler and Elk City's in-store performance at Sound Fix. Here is what else is happening this week:

Tues 8/7 -- The Dry Spells
Pete's Candy Store @ 11PM
The Dry Spells, known for intense and haunting vocal layering, draws inspiration from music ranging from Russian folk songs, rock, as well as songwriters like Linda Perhacs and Sibylle Baier.

Fri 8/10 -- Metronomy, Au Revoir Simone
South Street Seaport @ 7PM

Sat 8/11 -- Vampire Weekend, Meg Baird
East River Amphitheater @ 2:00 PM

Head Automatica Plays Free Show @ Highline BallroomSat 8/11 -- Head Automatica
Highline Ballroom @ 10:00 PM

You must RSVP for this show -- click on the poster to access the RSVP link

Sat 8/11 -- Pagoda
Pete's Candy Store @ 9PM

"[He] is an artist with living expression as his goal and music is where he thrives. And Pagoda as a live band kicks much ass. " - Thurston Moore

Sunday, August 05, 2007

New Music Releases and Live In-Store Performances this Week (August 6th)

The "big box" stores really haven't had a lot of interesting releases this summer. Unfortunately, this week is no exception.

The most interesting major label release is the new Fuel CD. I've been sort of hit and miss on Fuel's past work but I am curious what the new singer brings to the band. For those who haven't kept up with the band, singer Brett Scallions left the band in 2006, joined local rockers The X's and then became the new singer for The Doors/Riders on the Storm. The band tapped Toryn Green from Los Angeles' Something to Burn as the new singer and the CD that will be released on Tuesday will be the first with Green and new drummer Tommy Stewart (x-Godsmack). The band appears to have a serious promo budget behind them as they are on Rockline tomorrow night and Jay Leno on Friday.

Triple Crown recording artist The Receiving End of Sirens is playing in-store sessions at Looney Tunes in Long Island on Wednesday, Aug. 8th and Vintage Vinyl in Ford, NJ on Thursday, Aug. 9th. (Unfortunately, no dates in the city) The band's new CD The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi will be released Tuesday.

Marissa Nadler is playing an in-store tomorrow at Sound Fix in Williamsburg. She has a new CD "Song III: Birds on the Water" coming out on Kemado. SoundFix's website states that Nadler will be playing a full set starting at 10PM. I caught Nadler's show at ArthurFest and was completely knocked-out by her performance. She is back in town on September 14th to play a show with Michael Gira at the Highline Ballroom.

Lastly, Elk City is playing Sound Fix on Thursday, August 9th. The band released their debut CD New Believers in April of this year to good reviews. Elizabeth Harper is opening and the show starts at 8PM.