Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Modern Society Play The Delancey on December 8th

Download: The Modern Society - Promise Land (mp3)

The Modern Society Play The Delancey on December 8thThe Modern Society are playing a number of East Coast dates this month, which includes a stop at The Delancey next Monday (Dec. 8th).

This should be a fun show as The Modern Society's sound is comparable to Tom Petty, Oasis and The Strokes. The band is finalizing their second album, The Beat Goes On, which will be released on Feb. 10th on Original Signal Recordings.

The first single from The Beat Goes On, "Paper Moon", is available on iTunes as has gotten consistent 5-star reviews.

The Modern Society's MySpace Profile

Saturday, November 29, 2008

War - Greatest Hits Live CD Review (Avenue Records)

Download War - Live Medley (MP3)
War - Greatest Hits Live CD ReviewWar's Greatest Hits Live is the band's first release in over a decade and it is a strong and welcome return. Since the band's last release (1994's Peace Sign), Harold Brown and Howard Scott have departed but the current lineup of War sounds in excellent form. This show was recorded in front of an enthusiastic audience at the end of 2007 at The Grove in Anaheim. The 2CD set runs for just over two hours and band leader Lonnie Jordan takes the band through some of their best loved hits.

Next year will mark the band’s 40th year and Lonnie Jordan acknowledges that the demand for a live album from War has fervently existed for many years. Jordan remarks, “The performance in this package shows that War is still going strong. We’ve never broken up,” he says. “We now have several generations of fans, and we’re very proud of that.

This set contains everything that you would expect from a War concert - the band seamlessly combines elements of rock, funk, jazz, latin, R&B and reggae. Additionally, War hasn't lost the loose free-form spirit that marked some of the band's releases in the 70's. There is some great funk-rock jamming in "Galaxy" and the instrumental "City Country City" is an audio pleasure.

The set starts with the gritty "The World Is A Ghetto" and the tracks on disc one range from the urban groove of "Slippin' Into Darkness" to Lonnie's take on "Spill The Wine" (which is preceeded by an amusing story about a destroyed studio console) to the mellower side of the the band ("Ballero" and "So").

Switching over to Disc 2, these are the songs that got the crowd on its feet when War played B.B. King's last month. The disc starts with "Gypsy Man" from 1973's Deliver the World LP and goes from there into "The Cisco Kid", "Me and Baby Brother" and "Why Can't We Be Friends". The band closes the set with a 30 minute "Lowrider" medley that includes segments of "Sunshine of Your Love" (Cream), "Iron Man" (Black Sabbath) and "I Wanna Take You Higher" (Sly and the Family Stone).

This is a great set from a band that has continued to stay relevant over the years.

It doesn't sound like it we will have to wait another 10 years for War's next release as I had the chance to talk with Lonnie Jordan ( see previous post for text of the interview) a few days after the B.B. King's show and he shared that the band will be going into the studio next Spring to start working on a new studio album.

War's Website

Red Hot + Rio 2: The Next Generation of Samba Soul Plays BAM on Dec. 4th and 5th

Red Hot + Rio 2 is at BAM on December 4th and 5thThis Thursday and Friday, Brooklyn Academy of Music is hosting an all-star benefit tribute to the music and culture of Brazil. Red Hot + Rio 2 salutes Samba Soul, the post-tropicália movement of the 70s that merged elements of North American soul music with Brazilian rhythms.

Mixing samba with R&B, soul with baião, pioneering artists like Jorge Ben Jor and Tim Maia signaled a cultural awakening that changed the direction of Brazilian music forever. The concerts at BAM bring together the newest generation of Brazilian and international artists who represent the legacy of this influential musical style.

Tickets range from $25 - $65 and the show runs 120 minutes. A portion of the proceeds will benefit BrazilFoundation's AIDS-related projects.

For more information and/or advance tickets, click on the poster to go to BAM's website.

Ceu's Website
Curumin's MySpace Profile
Bebel Gilberto's MySpace Profile
Jose Gonzalez's Website
Kassin +2 's MySpace Profile

AMBLU - Interview with BrooklynRocks, Brooklyn, NY 11-23-08

Last week, I caught up with :am and Blu from the newly formed hip-hop duo AMBLU. :am and Blu are long-time veterans of the hip-hop/rap scene and they have recently decided to join forces. :am is a singer in the style of Lauren Hill and Beyonce and Blu is a MC/rapper. Together, AMBLU plays dance club-style R&B.

The duo are starting to play out around the area and played a well received show at the Pyramid Club last week. :am and Blu are currently playing a few dates in the Northeast and will presumably be back in NYC sometime soon.

Check out the first two tracks from the duo's collaboration, "Rebel" and "Bright Lights", which are streaming on AMBLU's MySpace Profile.

AMBLU's YouTube Channel

Friday, November 28, 2008

Suicide - Live 1977- 1978 CD Box Set (Blast First)

Suicide Release Ltd. Edition Live Box SetThis set looks like a must have...for the uninitiated, Sisters of Mercy, New Order, Soft Cell and many other bands have cited Suicide as one of their influences.

This limited-edition box set (limited to 3,000 copies) captures Suicide at the height of their riot-inciting days. The box contains 13 shows recorded between 1977-78 at locations ranging from hometown NYC shows at CBGB and Max's to European dates opening for Elvis Costello and The Clash.

Here is the complete track listing:

DISC 1: 1977, NYC [46:52]
1 SUICIDE CBGB Sept 29 1977 24:43
2 SUICIDE CBGB Dec 3 1977 set2 22:09

DISC 2: 1978, NYC [71:21]
1 SUICIDE Palladium NYC Jan 7 1978 21:45
2 SUICIDE Maxs Jan 13 1978 22:55
3 SUICIDE CBGB Feb 3 1978 26:41

DISC 3: 1978, BELGIUM/FRANCE [70:42]
1 SUICIDE Brussels June 16 1978 23:44
2 SUICIDE Paris Olympia+Backstage June 18 1978 46:58

DISC 4: 1978, GERMANY [68:29]
1 SUICIDE Hamburg Audiomax June 28 1978 21:26
2 SUICIDE Berlin Kant Kino/Neue Welt June 30 1978 22:42
3 SUICIDE Berlin Kant Kino/Neue Welt June 30 1978 set 2 24:21

DISC 5: 1978, UK [64:17]
1 SUICIDE London MusicMachine July 24 1978 25:37
2 SUICIDE Our Price Radio Ad 1:09
3 SUICIDE Erics Liverpool July 29 1978 31:12
4 SUICIDE Erics pt 2 Frankie Teardrop July 29 1978 6:19

DISC 6: 1978, NYC [AFTER EUROPE] [43:35]
1 SUICIDE Maxs August 25 1978 recorded by Eric Mache 43:35

MP3 and FLAC downloads are available through the Blast First Petite shop for 7.99 pounds. Physical copies of the box are available through Amazon (and I saw a copy at Kim's on St. Marks last time that I was in the store).

Suicide is playing Club Europa in Brooklyn on December 11th with A.R.E. Weapons.

James Brown In the 60's- I Got This Feelin' DVD Review

James Brown In the 60's - I Got The Feelin' DVD ReviewNew box sets (both CD and DVD) have recently hit the market to coincide with the Christmas shopping season so I wanted to take a look at some of the more recent releases.

James Brown In the 60's is a strong winner that is facinating from both a musical and a historical perspective.

The first disc in this three disc set is the director's cut of the film "The Night James Brown Saved Boston". The film premiered this year at SXSW and is a fascinating look at the role that Brown played in the civil rights movement and the aftermath of the assasination of Dr. Martin Luther King. The film combines performance footage with personal narrative from Dr. Andrew Young, former Boston mayor Kevin White, Rev. Al Sharpton and many others. The primary focus of the film is lead-up to and the concert that James gave in Boston the day after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.

The film goes on to cover James' fight "for the Black become American" and his adoption of MLK's message of non-violence. The film touches on some of the benefit shows that James played after Boston (he played Washington, D.C. at the the request of President Johnson) and his message was "learn, don't burn" and that violence "wasn't the way to go". On a personal level, I don't think that I realized that James Brown was such a voice for the previous generation. The film wraps up by touching on James' work in the 70's, which included co-hosting the Mike Douglas show and writing the Black Power anthem, "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud".

The second disc, "James Brown Live at The Boston Garden", is the actual concert, which was broadcasted live that night on Boston PBS station WGBH. The first disc in this set describes Mayor White's plan to broadcast the concert live in an attempt to keep people off the streets. This plan was evidently so successful that WGBH aired the concert a second time that night.

James plays a high energy set and, toward the end of the set, members of the audience start climbing on stage. It is somewhat amazing to watch James' control of a potentially high-tension situation. After the police toss one person off the stage, James waves the police off and says that he will handle it. He successfully negotiated (not by pleeding, but as a generation spokesman) with the crowd to climb back down and let him finish the show.

Some of the bonus content on this disc include audio from the radio simulcast of the concert and an interview with WGBH’s Director and Producer of the concert (who mentions that he had never been to a rock concert prior to the James Brown show).

The final disc is "James Brown Live at The Apollo '68". This show was filmed in color and was originally aired on TV as "James Brown: Man To Man". It compiled from a series of shows that James performed at the Apollo in March '68. The set starts a bit slower than the show at the Boston Garden as James performs the first two numbers, "If I Ruled The World" and "That's Life", seated. He then gets on his feet and the tempo of the set picks up with "Kansas City". The show ends strong with a lengthly medley of "Cold Sweat/Maybe The Last Time/I Got You (I Fell Good)/Please, Please, Please/I Can't Stand Myself."

The real gems on this disc are the bonus tracks which include "Out of Sight" (from The T.A.M.I Show), "I Got You (I Feel Good)" (from Paris, 1968) and "It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World" (from Paris, 1969).

Click on the DVD cover to go over to Amazon where this set is on sale for $34.99.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Heart of Palm U.K. (HOPUK) - "For Life" CD Review (Hypnote)

Download Heart of Palm U.K. - I Flow (MP3)
Download Heart of Palm U.K. - People and Logistics (MP3)

Heart of Palm U.K. - For Life CD ReviewHeart of Palm U.K. are a fairly new band out of Los Angeles (which makes the 'UK' part of the band's name rather curious) that plays melodic electro-pop. HOPUK combine synthesizers, keyboards and twitchy beats with rich vocal harmonies to create a sexy "urban cool" that is reminiscent of the first Luscious Jackson release.

Heart of Palm U.K. is the vehicle for lead singer/songwriter Erika Elektra and the lyrical themes of her songs are about love, loss, hope and renewal. In a recent interview with the LA Times, Erika said that these songs "are the sorts of things that come with the end of a long-term relationship".

For You contains a number of standout tracks which include "People and Logistics", "Portugal", and "Trust". (All three of these tracks are streaming on the band's MySpace page) The band's cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This" is also particularly fun.

For Life is a strong debut release and the disc is now available through all of the traditional on and off-line retailers. The CD was released last month on Hypnote Recording Concern and it was mastered by Henrik Jonsson (Peter Bjorn and John, Robyn, Lykke Li).

Heart of Palm UK's Website

Frank Hoier Plays Union Pool in Brooklyn on December 7th

Download Frank Hoier - I've Made Up My Mind (MP3)
Download Frank Hoier - Jesus Don't Give Tax Breaks To The Rich (MP3)
Frank Hoier Plays Union Pool on December 7thBrooklyn's Frank Hoier just released his latest CD, Lovers & Dollars, which NPR called a "memorable collection of Americana songs." Hoier collaborated with the rockabilly duo the Weber Brothers on Lovers & Dollars and the brothers are joining him on the current East Coast tour.

The tour kicks off on December 7th with a show at Union Pool. Sharing the bill with Frank are the Weber Brothers, Creaky Boards and Soft Black. Tickets are are only $8.00.

A documentary of the making of the new CD (named “Making Lovers & Dollars”, naturally) was filmed by Justin Remer. Below is an except from the documentary of the making of "I've Made Up My Mind".

Frank Hoier's MySpace Profile

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Priestess and The Fool (Meredith Dimenna & Brian Grosz) Release Free Christmas EP

The Priestess and The Fool Return for an EP for Christmas CoversHere is another Christmas EP that dropped today...

Ride on, Santa is the second release by Brian Grosz (Dogs of Winter) and Meredith Dimenna (Saint Bernadette) who record together under the name The Priestess and The Fool.

Covering both a Pogues tune (where the lyrics are "You scumbag, you maggot/You cheap lousy f*ggot/Happy Christmas your arse/I pray God it's our last") along with a song from The Muppets, this is anything but a typical Christmas CD. Having Brian Grosz in the band might explain some of this but check out the video below and you'll see also see the drunken male choir and the use of a washtub as a de-facto drum.

Here is the track list for the disc:

1) "Ride on, Santa, Ride On"
(Stan Kenton Orchestra featuring June Christy)
An essentially unknown track by the Stan Kenton Orchestra - with June Christy on lead vocals - is re-imagined by TPTF with wailing trumpets, clattering cookware and a drunken, male chorus of all colors, shapes, sizes and sexual orientations. Further proof that a bedroom can sound like a speakeasy at dawn... if you know how to live well.

2) "There Ain't No Hole in the Washtub"
(Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas)
This lynchpin of the much-beloved (or totally unknown) Jim Henson project, "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas," gets a boogie-woogie makeover to remind every dancer that life is grand if you can still wash your drawers. If you were fortunate enough to catch this underground classic on Betamax, you'll be wondering why the Riverbottom Nightmare Band hasn't had a reunion tour and a multi-million dollar contract with Live Nation.

3) "Fairy Tale of New York"
(The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl)
A country/western version of The Pogues' 1988 Christmas classic. While it might be hard to envision a holiday song that uses the words "slut", "maggot" and "drunk tank" - one must remember that the Irish also gave us banshees, James Joyce and Jameson whiskey. Happy Christmas, arsehole.

4) "Baby, It's Cold Outside"
(Frank Loesser)
A sexy, down-tempo interpretation shifts the scene from an innocent Christmas party to the balcony of an international playboy's mansion on the Riviera.

5) "Mele Kalikimaka/Waters of Babylon"
(Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters/Traditional)
Complete with the sound of a creaky canoe, a fishing reel and the haunting moan of a seagull, this Hawaiian Christmas ditty sails off into the sunset as Psalm 137 pulls into port. Only in the alternate holiday universe of The Priestess & The Fool could a canoe carrying the harmonies of Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters be followed by the baby Moses in a floating basket.

This has to be one of the better Christmas CDs that has come out over the last few years. As it is free, how can you say no?

Click on the cover photo to download the new EP.

The Priestess and The Fool's Website
The Priestess and The Fool's MySpace Profile

Coheed and Cambria Announce Early '09 Tour with Slipknot

Slipknot Announces Early '09 Tour with Coheed and CambriaI just can't envision these bands on the same bill...or appealing to the same fan base. The show will probably sell out quickly though.

Coheed and Cambria, Slipknot and Trivum and teaming up for a 30+ date tour that stops at Madison Square Gardens on February 5th. Internet pre-sales through Ticketmaster will start on December 5th and the password is Noworld.

For more information, check out Slipknot's new website which was launched to coincide with the tour.

Coheed and Cambria

Austrian Death Machine - A Very Brutal Christmas EP Review (Christmas Music/Metal Blade)

Austrian Death Machine - A Very Brutal Christmas EP ReviewWith Thanksgiving coming up this week, I started breaking out some of the new Christmas CDs.

Tim Lambesis and Austrian Death Machine released their first full length disc Total Brutal earlier this year. Total Brutal is a hilarious send-up of the genre that completely ruined my ability to sit through bad metal bands. While listening to these bands, all I could think about was the Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator on Total Brutal saying "Off course all the songs sound the same...they're brutal".

In an effort to make Christmas brutal, Austrian Death Machine are back with a holiday single. The band covers Judas Priest's "Hell Bent for Leather" and the holiday chestnut "Jingle Bells". Ahhnold says "Why write a new song when I can take whatever one I want". The three-song EP wraps up with "Get To the Choppa" (from Total Brutal).

A Very Brutal Christmas was released today and is available on iTunes, Amazon and directly from Metal Blade.

Austrian Death Machine's MySpace page

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bruce Springsteen Releases New Single, "Working on a Dream" as a Free Download (Today Only)

Bruce Springstten Releases 'Working on a Dream' as a Free DownloadBruce Springsteen has released the lead-off single, "Working on a Dream", from his forthcoming CD (of the same title), as a free download. The download is available until Midnight tonight (EST) and then will be available through iTunes.

Sprintsteen's new CD, Working on a Dream, will be released on January 27th next year. This new disc is Springsteen's 24th release and it was recorded with the E Street Band. It features twelve new songs and the disc is also the fourth collaboration between Springsteen and producer Brendan O'Brien.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hurray for the Riff Raff Play 5 NYC Shows in December (Ameriana/DIY Folk)

New Orleans' Hurray For the Riff Raff Play Five Shows in NYC in DecemberNew Orleans DIY/junkyard folk artist Hurray for the Riff Raff are playing five shows in NYC next month.

Hurray for the Riff Raff play somewhat melancholy, southern gothic alt-folk. The band utilizes traditional (accordion, banjo) and non-traditional (toy harp, musical saw) accompaniments to draw in and hold listeners with their tales of heartbreak and loss.

There are a number of tracks streaming on both the band's MySpace page and on their page on Aime Street.

Hurray for the Riff Raff's local tour dates are:
Dec 4 2008 8:00PM, 1087 LOFTNYC (above Goodbye Blue Mondays), Brooklyn
Dec 5 2008 8:00PM, Pete’s Candy Store, Brooklyn
Dec 6 2008 8:00PM, Silent Barn, Ridgewood
Dec 7 2008 8:00PM, TBD
Dec 8 2008 8:00PM, Pianos, NYC

Amie Street Teams Up With Food Bank For NYC for Thanksgiving Food Drive

Amie Street Teams Up with Food Bank For NYC for Thanksgiving Food DriveAs this is such a good cause, I'm a bit irritated with myself for taking so long to get this posted.

Through Tuesday, Aime Street is donating 50% of all proceeds from the Cheap Lullaby catalog — which includes the new release from Gramercy Arms (featuring members of Guided By Voices, Luna, Joan As Police Woman, and The Dambuilders) to the Food Bank For NYC.

I was reading that the unemployment rate is now at its highest in 16 years so there are a lot of people out there struggling. The reality is that the economic situation is unlikely to get better until after the holidays so...folks need help now! The campaign that Aime Street is running will make a difference in people's lives.

In addition to the new Gramercy Arms CD, the Cheap Lullaby catalog includes bands like Joan As Police Woman, Ane Brun and Sylvia Lewis. The Cheap Lullaby catalogue is all recorded at 320 kbps and you aren't going to find a legal download elsewhere for $5 - $6 for a full-length disc.

Cheap Lullaby Catalogue on Aime Street

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cinema, Cinema - Stranded In Stereo Party, Fontana's, NYC 11-19-08

Download Cinema, Cinema - I Don't Wanna Be Yr Boyfriend (MP3)

Cinema, Cinema played Stranded In Stereo's party at Fontana's last Wednesday.

I have been hearing about Cinema, Cinema for some time but the band live set is really something to see. The band plays with a brutal ferocity and energy that reminds me of some of the bands that used to record for Amphetamine Reptile Records in the late 80's/early 90's. Fans of bands like Vaz, Hammerhead, Helmet and The Melvins would do well to give Cinema, Cinema a listen.

Cinema, Cinema is now down to a two-piece (which leads to easy comparisons to Vaz) and the video below captures the first two songs from the band's set.

Cinema, Cinema's new disc, Exile Baby, is due out November 25th on Digitone Records. The band is playing The Vanishing Point (240 Meserole Street, Brooklyn) on December 5th and Public Assembly on December 19th.

Cinema, Cinema's Website

Monday, November 17, 2008

Junk Science Plays Southpaw on Thursday (NukFam, Hip-Hop)

Junk Science Play Southpaw in Brooklyn on November 20thJunk Science is playing Southpaw on Thursday night as part of a night of hip-hop. Also on the bill this night is Akrobatik (from Boston), Willie Evans Jr (from Jacksonville) and Dope Sandwich (from Savannah).

Junk Science released a great debut disc, Gran'dad's Nerve Tonic, last year. Since then, Baje One released a solo EP as a free download and Junk Science just appeared on one of the tracks, "Snaf Rinse 3ft." on the new EP from Iller Than Theirs.

This should be a great show and tickets are only $12. Doors are at 9PM and the show starts at 10PM.

Junk Science's MySpace Page
Definitive Jux Records

GRITS: Integrity CD Release Interview (Hip-Hop/Rap)

After spending more than a decade making music, Nashville hip-hop artists the GRITS have formed their own record label, Revolution Art, and have released their eighth studio CD, Integrity.

Integrity is one of the bands strongest releases to-date. The music is a diverse mix of styles, which ranges from crunk ("Get It Started") to high-energy dance ("Beautiful Dance") to NPG-style funk ("Livin' Dream").

I caught up with Bonafide and Coffee when they were in town last week and talked with them about the new disc, their new record company and their upcoming tour plans.

The GRITS are currently playing shows around the country and they have a full-scale ("Art Attack") tour planned for next Spring where they will be taking out on the road a number of Revolution Art bands. Check the GRITS MySpace page for updates.

The new CD, Integrity, is available through the band's online store, iTunes, and all the standard online outlets.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Walter Lure (Heartbreakers/Waldos) CD Released on Nicotine Records

Walter Lure (Waldos, Heartbreakers) Releases Live CD from 2007 PerformanceWaldos mainman and long-time foil/guitarist for Johnny Thunders, Walter Lure, has released his first new disc in years. (I think the last Waldos disc was 1995's Rent Party CD).

Walter has been a long-time figure on the NY punk scene, having played with the original Heartbreakers, added his classic guitar sound to a number of Ramones discs and he also sang the final song (along with CJ Ramone) at the last night of the original incarnation of The Continental.

The new disc, Live In Berlin, was recorded in April '07 and here is the track list:

01 One Track Mind
02 Sorry
03 Never Get Away
04 Cry Baby
05 Get Off The Phone
06 Busted
07 Let Go
08 London Boys
09 Take a Chance
10 I Wanna Be Loved
11 Born To Lose
12 Chinese Rocks
13 Too Much Junkie Business
14 Do You Love Me?

The new disc is 10 Euros and is available via mail order from Nicotine Records. There is also a vinyl version of this release that is available on Italy's Tornado Ride Records.

Here is a live video of The Waldos recorded at Ace of Clubs last Spring:

Josh Reichman Oracle Band - Life Is Legal CD EP Review (Paper Bag Records)

Josh Riechman Oracle Band - Life is Legal CD EP ReviewShape shifter Josh Riechman is back with a new band, Josh Riechman Oracle Band, and a new EP that was released last month on Paper Bag Records. The freak-folk sounds of Reichman's previous project, Jewish Legend, are mostly gone and the new EP, Life Is Legal, moves Reichman's sound into something comparable to late-period T.Rex (Bolan's Zip Gun era) or 70's-era Stevie Wonder. One of the standout tracks from the EP is "Plant Words", which is streaming on Reichman's MySpace page (link below).

This EP has a locked-on bass and drums funk groove which is complemented by garage-rock keyboard on some of the tracks. Reichman hasn't totally abandoned the freak-folk sounds as there are some odd twists and turns in the music along with the use of flute, sax and other woodwind instruments.

The Life Is Legal EP is a precursor to a full length disc that will be released in March '09. Josh is touring the US next month with Sebastien Grainger (former drummer/singer from Death From Above 1979). Sebastien is touring with a new band, Sebastien Granger and The Mountains, and the band released its debut disc last month on Saddle Creek Records.

Local tour stops are:
Dec 2 2008 8:00PM, Union Hall, Brooklyn, NYC
Dec 3 2008 8:00PM, Mercury Lounge, New York NY

Josh Reichman's MySpace Profile

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ford and Fitzroy Play The Studio at Webster Hall Tomorrow Night, Nov. 13th

Ford and Fitzroy Play Record Release Show at The Studio @ Webster Hall on November 13thNY Press said that Ford & Fitzroy are "destined to one day rule the NYC music scene alongside Sonic Youth.

Those are pretty big shoes to fill but I caught F&F's residency at Piano's last year (see previous post for interview with Jay and Glenn) and was really impressed.

The band is playing a CD release show tomorrow night at The Studio @ Webster Hall. The new disc is entitled Canyons and here is a link to one of the tracks, Buzzard County. Also on the bill with Ford & Fitzroy are Attack Release and Vulture Realty.

The show starts at 8PM and Ford & Fitzroy play at 9PM.

Ford & Fitzroy's Website

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ben Sollee Plays an Early Show at Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night

Ben Sollee Plays an Early Show at Mercury Lounge Tomorrow Night, November 12thHere is my pick of the week...Ben Sollee caught my attention last year when he was named one of NPR's "Top Ten Unknown Artists".

Ben is off on his first solo tour and he has a new EP out, Something Worth Keeping. This disc is knee-deep in poignant imagery and, in keeping with the buildup to the recent election, there are a few songs with a political bent.

Check out the video for "A Few Honest Words".

Here are Ben's comments on the political songs on the new disc:

"The beauty of people is anchored in imperfection; it is not that we are destructive but that we are ignorant to a better way. We dream big with even bigger costs. Furthermore, we learn the lesson daily that we don’t know what we have until it is gone. Combined, these two qualities are child-like but ever present.

When I look around I see a lot of things that are worth keeping: the mountain tops of Appalachia, family and community farms, art and music in schools, and, most of all, a government by the people and for the people. But how? The challenge that our leaders and us face is that we don’t know how to accomplish these goals. There are many eloquent ideas out there about renewable energy, educational systems, and governing, but realizing them means trying new things; which is daunting at least, and terrifying at most. As my generation takes the reins we should not sacrifice some qualities of this nation and the land in its boundaries to the wayfaring spirit of economy. They are important for Americans, our children, and the rest of the world.

These thoughts inspired these two new songs. But they are only songs…
" - Ben Sollee

I have high expectations for this show. Ben is playing solo with his cello and his stage set will be featuring the visual art of Phillip March Jones. Kim Taylor is opening the show and tickets are $12.

This is an early show -- Kim is playing at 7PM and Ben is playing at 8PM.

Ben Sollee's MySpace Profile

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Ariel Aparicio - All These Brilliant Things CD Review

Ariel Aparicio - All These Brilliant Things CD ReviewAll These Brilliant Things is the third disc from Brooklyn musician and restauranteur Ariel Aparicio. The disc successfully brings together the sounds of 70's glam rock, 80's pop, and current-day post-punk.

In many parts of the disc, Ariel's voice and delivery is similar to David Bowie. The disc starts out on a strong note with the Bowie/Spiders-ish "Life and Times" (video below). What adds to the Bowie comparison is that the guitars on this track have that Mick Ronson crunchy guitar sound. The Bowie comparison holds in a couple of other places as Ariel has a few mid-tempo rockers ("Mr. High and Mighty" and "Bones") that sound like 80's era Bowie.

There are one or two ballads on the disc which isn't my preferred style of music (though Ariel has a great voice so I didn't skip past the songs like I've done with different artists) so the real high points for me are the rockers. "Life and Times" is one of my favorite cuts, "The New World" has a great post-punk sound and "Jameson and Cocaine" has real teeth (video below).

The intro on the video above is used as the intro and outro on this disc and this tune really takes me back. The song is from the Free to be You and Me soundtrack which was a kids movie from the mid-70's that featured Michael Jackson and Roberta Flack. This is classic stuff that hasn't surfaced in years.

Ariel's next show is at the Javits Center on November 15th. It is a free show and Ariel & the Hired Guns are playing at 4:30PM.

Ariel Aparicio's Website
Ariel Aparicio's MySpace Profile

Adam Ant Announces Live CD from September '07 Show

Adam Ant Announces Live CD From 2007 Bloomsbury ShowAdam Ant's website is now taking reservations for a new live CD. In September 2007, Adam played a rare one-off show, with Dave Pash on guitar, at Bloomsbury Theatre in London. Adam delivered an eclectic mix of early songs and spoken word in front of a 500 capacity crowd.

The 65 minute show is now being pressed up as a real (silver, not CDR) CD.

Here is the set list:

1 A Girl Named Bill (spoken word)
2 Young Parisians
3 Never Trust A Man (with egg on his face)
4 Cleopatra
5 Boxing Clever (spoken word)
6 Catch a Falling Star
7 Cartrouble
8 Stand and Deliver
9 Early Mornings Gene Vincent (spoken word)
10 Goody Two Shoes
11 Never Trust A Man (with egg on his face) Encore

Click on the 7" cover to go to the order page.

Adam Ant's Website

Led Zeppelin Limited Edition Box Set Comes Out Tuesday (Rhino)

Led Zeppelin: Limited Edition Box Set of Mini-Lp CDs Comes Out on November 11thThe definitive Led Zeppelin box set is coming out on Tuesday.

Rhino Entertainment and Atlantic Records are releasing a limited edition box set that contains Japanese imports of all 10 of Zeppelin's discs (Led Zeppelin I through Coda). The discs are packaged in mini-LP sleeves and include all of the artwork from the original UK LPs. To keep true to the original LP artwork, Zeppelin's debut disc uses turquoise ink on the cover for the band’s name and the Atlantic Records logo and the set also includes all six covers released for In Through the Out Door.

Click on the picture above to go directly to the Rhino store.

Led Zeppelin's Website

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Longwave Plays an Acoustic Set Tomorrow at Sound Fix Records

Longwave Plays an Acoustic Set Tomorrow (November 9th) at Sound Fix RecordsAfter a three year break, Longwave is back. The band has a new disc, Secrets Are Sinister, coming out on November 11th. To celebrate the new release, the band is playing a special acoustic performance tomorrow night at Sound Fix in Williamsburg.

Check out this video for an in-the-studio performance of the lead-off track, "Sirens In The Deep Sea", from Longwave's new disc.

What is going to make tomorrow night's show somewhat crazy is that is a co-sponsor of the event and there is a double open Drambuie bar, at 7pm and again, at 9pm, that will wrap the band's performance.

The event poster says that you need to RSVP to but please note that it also says that RSVP'ing doesn't guarantee admission.

Longwave's MySpace Profile

War: Live Photos from BB Kings + an Exclusive Interview with Lonnie Jordan

War - BB King's, NYC 11-5-08War is now going into its fourth decade and the band played to a full house this past Wednesday at B.B. King's. The band's set was over two hours (with no breaks) and, even though B.B. King's packed the floor of the club with tables, War got the crowd on its feet for a set-closing "Lowrider" jam, which included portions of Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" and Sly Stone's "I Want To Take You Higher".

It is important to note that this wasn't a nostalgia show as the band's blend of jazz, funk and soul seems just as relevant today as it was thirty years ago. Throughout their set, the band blended a mix of their greatest hits with free-form improvisational jams. Both the audience members and the band really seemed to enjoy themselves.

BrooklynRocks Interview with War's Lonnie JordanYesterday I had the chance to talk with Lonnie Jordan, who is a founding member of War and the main vocalist/keyboardist in the current lineup of the band.

BrooklynRocks: Let me start by by saying that it was a great show on Wednesday night. The band really seemed to have the crowd going. I want to ask where you find the energy to play a 2+ hour set, especially after having done a live set and and autograph signing earlier that day? There seems to be a number of acts (like Bruce Springsteen) who broke out in the 70's who are now slowing down.

Lonnie Jordan: It is great to hear that about the crowd. It was hard to see the audience with all the lights [at B.B. King's] and I was also fighting a cold. We actually did three sets on Wednesday as, after the set at J&R Music World, we did a live interview for Latin America TV. It is all about keeping the energy consistent and playing for the fans. We are now playing shows where there are two and three generations of War fans in the audience. After the shows, I'll be talking to the grandkids of the older generation of fans and these kids know more about my past than I do.

BrooklynRocks: Will War be going back into the studio as it seems that new War releases come out about once every ten years?

Lonnie Jordan: We have a new disc, Greatest Hits Live, that just came out and we are going into the studio in the Spring of 2009 to record a new studio album. It took me this long to commit but, with this new line-up, we are really a family.

We are also going to be recording with Eric Burdon next year and reuniting the Eric Burdon and War Band. We played a warm-up show at Royal Albert Hall earlier this year to see if it could work and it came together like eggs on toast.

[Note: I asked Lonnie if the RAH show was officially recorded as I watched some of the terrible quality YouTube clips from this show and could really see the power and potential of the band. Lonnie said that the show wasn't recorded and the recordings next year will be all new material]

BrooklynRocks: What is your take on hip-hop and rap and are there any younger artists out there who you would like to work with?

Lonnie Jordan: I'm always listening to the other generations - I've been listening to rap since it all started in the 80's. Rap and hip-hop are like art; it is rough and raw music with raw feelings - sort of like blues was in the 50's and 60's.

There is no one in particular that I'm looking to work with but I'm always up to playing with anyone who wants to make music. I'm into jazz, reggae, calypso and I play drums, bass, keyboard and guitar.

BrooklynRocks: How long is War out on the road?

Lonnie Jordan: We will be out on the road until we drop

[Note: Upcoming tour dates are:

Sat 11/08/08 Washington, DC Blues Alley
Sun 11/09/08 Washington, DC Blues Alley
Tue 11/11/08 Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage
Tue 12/30/08 Las Vegas, NV Tropicana Resort & Casino
Sat 01/24/09 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre
Sat 02/14/09 Las Vegas, NM New Mexico Highlands University
Fri 02/27/09 San Bernardino, CA California Theatre Of Performing Arts
Sat 03/14/09 Denver, CO Sheraton Denver Hotel
Sat 03/21/09 La Mirada, CA La Mirada Theatre For Perf. Arts
Fri 04/03/09 Hammond, LA Columbia Theatre
Sat 04/04/09 Austin, TX Downtown Austin]

BrooklynRocks: Do you have any favorites in the War catalogue?

Lonnie Jordan: I really don't listen to any of War's records once the mixing is finished. We will often take some of the older songs and change the attitude onstage which lets us crank out some new jams for the future.

One of my favorite War songs though is "Baby Its Cold Outside" (from 1982's Outlaw) as it is a very emotional song and its one of the band's best efforts.

BrooklynRocks: As War was the last band to play with Jimi Hendrix before his death, do you ever think about how things would have been like if he hadn't passed on?

Lonnie Jordan: I think we would have had a long-term relationship with Jimi. We opened for him and would probably have been his opening band for a long time. Jimi was a good friend and supporter of Eric's [Burdon] and he liked to jam with War. I think we would have had a good long-term relationship and future together.

BrooklynRocks: What are your thoughts on the current state of the world? Do you still think 'the world is a ghetto'?

Lonnie Jordan: We have the new Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson [Barack Obama] who has the magic wand to make things right. When this happens, War won't have to sing about uncomfortable subjects. War though stays away from politics - it is about keeping it fun, happy, joyful and safe.

BrooklynRocks: Do you have any words of advice for young musicians?

Lonnie Jordan: Any young kids who want to be in the industry need to get an education so that they have a backup plan. If the music thing doesn't happen for them, they need to know when to say "next". If there are kids who are on a mission to be in the industry, they first need to understand the business of the music business and then they need to learn to play an instrument. Always remember to keep your focus and keep it safe for yourself and others around you.
That is it for the interview -- it was a real pleasure to talk with Lonnie. After 40 years in the music business, he is still down to earth and a real class act.

War's Website

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Electric Touch Play the Knitting Factory on Saturday, November 8th

Austin's Electric Touch play the Knitting Factory (NYC) on Saturday, November 8thAustin's Electric Touch seems to have lived on the road this year. The band played Lollapalooza, SXSW, and just finished a tour with The Fratellis.

The band is currently playing a string of dates at Hard Rock Cafes across the Nation in support of the Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help raise money for the cure.

The band is playing the Tap Bar @ the Knitting Factory on Saturday with San Francisco's Von Iva. Tickets are $10.

Electric Touch released their self-titled debut CD (on Justice Records) earlier this year and there are a number of tracks from this release streaming on the band's MySpace page. Check out this live video of the band covering Tom Petty's "American Girl".

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

War plays J&R Music World Tomorrow Afternoon and BB King's Tomorrow Night

Now going strong for over four decades, legendary California funk band War is in town tomorrow for two appearances. The band is touring behind their first new disc in 14 years, a live CD/DVD, that was recorded in front of a sold out crowd at The Grove in Anaheim, CA. (CD Review to follow)

The band is playing and doing an autograph session at J&R Music World ( 23 Park Row) at 12:30PM and then is headlining at B.B. King's later that night. The show at B.B. King's starts at 8PM and tickets are $35 (DOS).

War's Website

Monday, November 03, 2008

CMJ Japan Night: Interview with Ovum, Local Sound Style and Holidays of Seventeen, NYC 10-20-08

I caught up with the three bands playing the two-night CMJ Japan Night showcase on the afternoon before their first US show.

The three bands have an eclectic mix of styles as Ovum plays instrumental rock in the spirit of Pelican and Mono; Holidays of Seventeen play Weezer-inspired power-pop and Local Sound Style cites their influences as Oasis, Fountains of Wayne and The Get Up Kids.

The world gets more and more global by the day but, outside of English, I can speak remedial Spanish so the bands' tour manager ended up playing intermediary for a large portion of the interview.

All three bands released discs earlier this year:
- Ovum's latest disc, Microcosmos, is available from XTAL Records
- Holidays of Seventeen's new disc, Yeah, is available on Fabtone Records
- Local Sound Style's new disc, Doing It For The Kids, is also out on Fabtone Records

Ovum's MySpace Page
Local Sound Style's MySpace Page
Holidays of Seventeen's MySpace Page

Spread Eagle Announce December '08 Tour Dates

Spread Eagle Announces December '08 Tour DatesSpread Eagle have just announced a series of local-area shows which I think are the band's first since the 2006 "Back on the Bitch" tour.

Dec 5 2008 11:00PM, Cherrywood Rock Club, Clementon, New Jersey
Dec 10 2008 11:00PM, The Haunt, Yonkers, New York
Dec 11 2008 11:00PM, The Trash Bar, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Dec 13 2008 10:00PM, The Crazy Donkey w/ KIX, Farmingdale, Long Island, New York

Spread Eagle's debut CD was reissued by Lovember Records in 2006 and the disc is currently available through Amazon and other outlets.

Spread Eagle's MySpace page

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Bruce Springsteen Posts New Halloween Song as a Free Download

Bruce Springsteen has posted a new blues song, "A Night with the Jersey Devil", as a free download on his website. There is also a video posted for the song where Bruce takes on the role of the Jersey Devil.

Springsteen posted the following message to his site yesterday:

To our friends and neighbors:

So as not to inconvenience you this Halloween, due to "catastrophic success" (read: too many visitors for the neighborhood to handle) and concern for the safety of kids and parents! we won't be having our usual Halloween display this year in Rumson.

We wish everyone a safe and Happy Halloween!

Bruce and Patti
In older news, Bruce and the band are playing the Superbowl Halftime Show on February 1st.

Bruce Springsteen

TapTap Revenge Releases Nine Inch Nails Version of Game (iPhone/iPod Touch)

TapTap Revenge Releases Nine Inch Nails Version of GameTapTap Revenge, which is the iPhone/iPod Touch's equivalent of Guitar Hero, just released a Nine Inch Nails version of the game. The game soundtrack includes 13 tracks from NiN's last two releases The Slip and Ghosts I-IV.

Aside for being a highly addictive game, Tapulous is giving away floor tickets for every NIN show between 11/8 and 12/12. There is also a grand prize of a Les Paul guitar signed by Trent. To enter, you need to submit a score of over 150,000 points on any track in the game. (I haven't personally broken 100K yet).

The Nine Inch Nails version of TapTap Revenge is available through the iTunes App store for $4.99

Exit Stencil CMJ Showcase: Live Video from Mystery of Two, HotChaCha and The Dreadful Yawns

Cleveland-based record label Exit Stencil Recordings had a showcase at Spike Hill on the first night of CMJ. I missed Spanish Prisoners who opened the show but I was able to film some of Mystery of Two, HotChaCha and The Dreadful Yawns' live set.

Mystery of Two, HotChaCha, Dreadful Yawns - Live @ CMJ Festival, Brooklyn, NY 10-21-08 -

All of the bands were great but Mystery of Two's updated take on 70's punk (sort of a Television meets the Talking Heads sound) was the highlight of the evening.

Check out Exit Stencil's website for vinyl and CD releases from all of these bands.

Most of the Exit Stencil bands aren't playing outside of the Cleveland area for the remainder of the year but HotChaCha will be back in NYC this month for a show at Annex on November 21st.

Mystery of Two
The Dreadful Yawns