Thursday, December 31, 2009

BrooklynRocks Top 10 List for 2009

Happy New Year Everyone!

Here is my top 10 list (in no particular order):

1) Kati O'Toole - On Ashland (Snow Ghost Music)
2) Sunn O))) - Monoliths & Dimensions (Southern Lord)
3) White Wizzard - High Speed GTO (Earache)
4) Red Collar - Pilgrim (Self-Released)
5) The Besties - Home Free (Hugpatch)
6) Oceano - Depths (Earache)
7) Evergreen Terrace - Almost Home (Metal Blade)
8) Mystery of Two - That's The World Over (Exit Stencil)
9) Absu - Self-Titled (Candlelight)
10) La Coka Nostra - A Brand You Can Trust (Suburban Noize Records)

Dios Release Free Single in Advance of New CD (Due Out 15/Feb. on Buddyhead)

DOWNLOAD: Dios - "4th Quarter Single"

Dios Release New CD 'We Are Dios' on Feb. 15th (Buddyhead)Cali rockers Dios (Malos) sound like the Beach Boys raised on cheap beer, kind bud and crushing cynicism. -Village Voice

Hailing from Hawthorne, CA - home of the Beach Boys - Dios' sound is a product of their environment. Hawthorne has slowly devolved into its current chaotic blend of race riot aftermath, shuttered malls,and used car lots. Smog, graffiti and strip malls have replaced the surf, orange groves, and beach bonfires of the Beach Boys' songs. Dios' points of reference are the high-school dropout, the homeless man, and the ragged car-wash attendant smoking in the sunset.

Dios has been working on this new disc for the past three years which has been described as a "schizophrenic combination of powerful melodies and compelling arrangements...songs melt together, creating a pocket-symphonic-folk-song-cycle in which leitmotifs drift in and out, aurally suggesting a Fellini score played over the Electric Kool-Aid acid test".

Dios do not sing about cars, surfing, and/or high school. Dios' themes of ridiculousness, illicit substances, and going crazy are more in keeping with the Beach Boys of Smile, not “Fun, Fun, Fun".

The band's third disc, We Are Dios, comes out February 15th on Buddyhead.

Dios' MySpace Profile

Lissie (Maurus) Opens for City and Colour on Friday, Jan. 8th at Webster Hall

DOWNLOAD: Lissie - "Everywhere I Go"
DOWNLOAD: Lissie - "Wedding Bells" (Hank Williams Cover) [HearYa Session]

Lissie Opens for City and Colour on Jan. 8th at Webster HallLissie made her NYC debut at the end of November with a well received show at Mercury Lounge. After touring late last year with Ray LaMontagne, Lissie is back on the road supporting Dallas Green's folk project City and Colour. The tour kicks off this Thursday at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC and stops at Webster Hall on Friday, January 8th.

Lissie is touring behind her debut EP, Why You Runin', which was released on Fat Possum in early November. This five-track disc combines the country-folk sounds of artists like Tift Merritt and Emmylou Harris with 60's girl group melancholy to come up with an engaging slice of Americana. Tracks include a reinterpretation of Hank Williams' "Wedding Bells", a sentimental piano-ballad that pays tribute to the Mississippi River ("Oh Mississippi") which bordered Lissie's hometown of Rock Island, IL and the haunting and emotional "Here Before". Bill Reynolds (from Band of Horses) produced this disc in addition to playing bass and his production fits the supporting instrumentation and backing vocals around Lissie's emotive, smokey voice.

Here are the upcoming tour dates for Lissie and City and Colour:

JAN. 13 - MINNEAPOLIS, MN @ TRIPLE ROCK SOCIAL CLUB (Solo headlining show)

Lissie's MySpace Profile

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Short Sharp Shock (SSS) Release Free Christmas Song (Earache Records)

DOWNLOAD: Short Sharp Shock - "Merry ChristmaSSS"

UK Thrash Band Short Sharp Shock Release Free Christmas SingleUK thrash band Short Sharp Shock have released a new Christmas song, "Merry ChristmaSSS", as a free download.

Earache Records did an interview with SSS frontman Foxy where he talks about the new song and what Christmas means to him. Here are some of the highlights:

Q: Why have you done a free Christmas song?

Foxy: "We are following in the footsteps of some of the greatest Christmas songs ever written from yesteryear - Slade, Wizzard, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Shakin Stevens, FEAR and Band Aid - that have all placed themselves firmly in our hearts and on cheap Christmas compilation CDs at this time of year. Now here's our meagre festive rattler that will be played for years to come at family discos and shake the false teeth from all our nans' heads."

Q: Did you enjoy Christmas as a kid?

Foxy: "What's not to like about Christmas when you are a kid? A time when there was actual snow at Christmas. Being the first in the yard and lining up snowballs to lob at your mates and teachers. Skidding in one strip on the ice until the caretaker dumps grit on it. Making cards, crackers (out of a toilet roll), cotton wool snowmen and calendars. Mucking around as a king in the nativity play and changing the words to the carols, "While shepherds wash their socks night...". Bringing toys in on the last day of term was always a doss. A big countdown to a day you thought wouldn't ever come, so you get to your pit early, try to sleep, then wake up with a stocking on the end of your bed full with all sorts of stuff, mosh into all your presents and play out the front of your house, get cold, then back for your dinner and watch Star Wars. Then play with everything properly on boxing day. Bingo.
The full text of the interview is posted on SSS's MySpace blog.

Earache Records
Short Sharp Shock

Nick Oliveri Brings 'Death Acoustic' Tour to Pianos on Jan. 23rd (QotSA, The Dwarves)

Nick Oliveri Brings His 'Death Acoustic' Tour to Piano's on Jan. 23rdBassist Nick Oliveri is playing a series of East Coast shows starting next month in support of his solo debut Death Acoustic.

Fans of Oliveri's over-the-top performances with QOTSA, The Dwarves and Kyuss shouldn't be scared off that Oliveri is playing an acoustic set. The material on this new EP includes covers of G.G. Allin ("Outlaw Scumfuc"), The Dwarves ("Dairy Queen") and QOTSA's "Autopilot". There are a number of live videos posted to YouTube from Oliveri's recent tour of Australia, New Zealand and Europe which show that, while he has reduced the volume, he hasn't lost any of his intensity.

Here are the upcoming tour dates:
Fri, January 22nd - Middle East , Cambridge MA
Sat, January 23rd - Pianos , New York NY
Sun, January 24th - Khyber , Philadelphia PA
Mon, January 25th - Velvet Lounge , Washington DC
Tue, January 26th - Volume 11 Tavern , Raleigh NC
Wed, January 27th - Casbah @ Tremont Music Hall , Charlotte NC
Thu, January 28th - Lenny's , Atlanta GA
Fri, January 29th - The End , Nashville TN
Sat, January 30th - Hi Tone , Memphis TN
Mon, February 1st - Double Door , Chicago IL
Tue, February 2nd - Frequency , Madison WI
Wed, February 3rd - Southgate House , Newport KY
Thu, February 4th - Grog Shop , Cleveland OH
Fri, February 5th - Small's , Hamtramck MI
Sat, February 6th - Garfield Artworks , Pittsburgh PA

Nick Oliveri

Hurricane Bells Release Free Download of "Christmas Don't Be Late" (Vagrant Records)

DOWNLOAD: Hurricane Bells - "Christmas Don't Be Late"

Hurricane Bells Release New Christmas Song as a Free Download (Vagrant Records)Hurricane Bells/Longwave main man Steve Schiltz has released a cover of "Christmas Don't Be Late" ( The Chipmunk Song) as a free download. This stripped-down acoustic version of the song, with Steve accompanied by Ashen Keilyn (Scout) on vocals, sounds nothing like the ghastly Chipmunks version.

Steve released his first solo disc last month under the name Hurricane Bells (available digitally through Vagrant Records). The new disc, Tonight is the Ghost, has a mellow, echo-drenched, late-night listening vibe which this Christmas song is in keeping with.

Hurricane Bells got some significant exposure when one of the b-sides, "Monsters", from Tonight is the Ghost was included in the movie The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Below is some of Steve's footage from the "Twilight: New Moon" mall tour.

Hurricane Bells' MySpace Profile

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Agnostic Front - "Victim In Pain" (1984) Lineup Reunites for 25th Anniversary Show at The Bell House

Agnostic Front - 'Victim in Pain' Lineup Reunites for 25th Anniversary Show at The Bell HouseAgnostic Front's 1984 / Victim In Pain lineup is reuniting for one show at The Bell House on February 26th. This show is all ages; tickets are $15 and doors are at 8PM.

Roger Miret, Vinny Stigma, Rob Kabula and Dave Jones haven't played together since 1984. “This is the CLASSIC lineup together again doing vintage AF songs and some classics. We couldn’t be more excited to do this!” said vocalist Roger Miret.

To help Agnostic Front commemorate the 25th anniversary since the original release of Victim In Pain, Bridge Nine Records has put together a proper reissue. Victim In Pain has been given extra special treatment, with a gatefold LP cover, complete with a dirty gold metallic ink with an embossed logo & title. The gatefold opens up to the original handwritten layout of the first pressing, and later censored original cover is printed full size on the front and back of the dust sleeve.

Bridge Nine Records has also reissued Agnostic Front's 1983 debut EP "United Blood" which has a similar metallic ink & embossed logo front cover and also has the original cover design printed in black and white on the enclosed dust jacket.

Agnostic Front
Bridge Nine Records

Iron Age Announces Tour with Skeletonwitch / Headlining Show at The Charleston

DOWNLOAD: Iron Age - "Burden of Empire" (from The Sleeping Eye)

Iron Age Announces February Tour with SkeletonwitchHeading right back on the road after their recent tour with Baroness, Iron Age have announced a run up the East Coast in February with Skeletonwitch and Howl. Iron Age are kicking off the tour with a headlining date at The Charleston on February 16th.

Here is the full set of tour dates:
2/17 Boston, MA @ Great Scott w/ Doomriders
2/18 Albany, NY @ Valetine's
2/19 Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
2/20 Hartford CT @ Webster Under w/ Doomriders
2/21 Washington, DC @ The Red & The Black
2/22 Wilmington, NC @ Lucky's Pub
2/23 Asheville, NC @ The Rocket Club
2/24 Knoxville, TN @ The Cider House
2/25 Savannah, GA @ The Jin

Iron Age released their newest disc, The Sleeping Eye, on Tee Pee Records this past August and it has been earning consistently strong reviews.

This is music for fans of fucking furious, tight, beer-soaked, basement mosh-pit party metal like Trash Talk and Bison B.C., Metallica Ride The Lightning-era guitar riffs pushed to the fullest and real in every way with nary a speck of hipster retro throwback. The Sleeping Eye kicks as much ass as any thrash-influenced record released all year - MetalSucks
Iron Age's MySpace Profile

Bouncing Souls Release "Live at Lime" Digital EP (LimeWire)

DOWNLOAD: Bouncing Souls - "I Think That The World..." (Live at Lime)

Bouncing Souls Release Exclusive Live EP on LimeWireI have to give kudus to LimeWire as they have successfully transformed themselves from a P2P network (earlier this decade) to a online subscription-based music store.

LimeWire has been releasing a number of exclusive live sessions and the most recent is a digital live EP from Bouncing Souls that was recorded this past August. The five-song EP features Souls' classic numbers "Gasoline" and "True Believers" (featuring Sick of It All's Lou Koller), as well as "The Mental Bits" (featuring Fishbone's Angelo Moore), "I Think That the World..." and "Sing Along Forever".

The EP is $4.95 but you can sign up for a 7-day trial of LimeWire which allows you to download and keep 50 free songs.

Bouncing Souls

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We Are Wolves Release First Single "Holding Hands" from CD (Dare To Care)

DOWNLOAD: We Are Wolves - "Holding Hands" (from Invisible Violence)

We Are Wolves Release First Single from 'Invisible Violence' (Dare to Care)Montreal electro-rock trio We Are Wolves have released "Holding Hands" as the first single from the forthcoming US release of their third disc Invisible Violence.

Earlier this year, NME commented that We Are Wolves were “out to unbutton starched collars and cause stiff upper lips to wobble". The band hasn't slowed down or lost any of their manic energy on this new disc. Invisible Violence was recorded in Montreal this past summer with producers Radwan Moumneh (Thee Silver Mt. Zion, Pas Chic Chic) and Hadji Bakara (Wolf Parade, Megasoid).

Here is a live video for the lead-off song from the disc:

We Are Wolves' MySpace Profile

Julie Peel Plays Last Minute Show at Cameo Gallery Tonight (20th/Dec)

DOWNLOAD: Julie Peel - "Unfold" MP3

Julie Peel Plays Last Minute Show at Cameo Gallery Tonight (Dec. 20th)Canada-to-Brooklyn transplant Julie Peel has announced a last minute full-band show tonight at Cameo Gallery opening for Uninhabitable Mansions (which is a new band that features members of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Au Revoir Simone, Radical Dad, and Dirty On Purpose).

Julie takes the stage at 8PM tonight - cover TBD.

Julie released her well-received debut CD Near The Sun (American Laundromat Records) a few months ago which I thought sounded like a cross between Michelle Shocked and Lisa Germano. Below is a live solo performance of one of the songs from Near the Sun along with a Weezer cover.

Julie Peel's MySpace Profile

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Record Machine Release Free 10 Song "The More The Merrier Christmas" Compilation

The Record Machine is a pretty cool independent record label based in Kansas City, Missouri. The label has been around since 2003 and has worked with a wide range of artists that include State Bird, the Winston Jazz Routine, Max Justus, Sam Billen, Caleb Winn, Interstates, The Parade Schedule, Interstates, Capybara, Of Asaph, The Billen Brothers, Cheyenne, Every Gentle Air, Colonel Rhodes, and James Dean Trio.

Sam Billen, who just released his first solo album in five years, has curated a 10 track Christmas CD of Record Machine artists which the label has made available as a free download.

The Record Machine

Dead Leaf Echo Release New Vinyl 7" "Half-Truth"

DOWNLOAD: Dead Leaf Echo - "Half-Truth"

Dead Leaf Echo Release New Single 'Half-Truth'Brooklyn-based shoe-gazers Dead Leaf Echo have announced a pre-sale for their new single, "Half-Truth", which is from their forthcoming release Truth.

This is the band's first release on vinyl and the b-side is a new, unreleased song entitled "Babyeyes". The first 100 copies are hand-numbered with hand-screened covers that come in 3 different colors.

Click on the 7" cover to go over to Custom Made Music's pre-sale site.

Dead Lead Echo

Hurricane Bells - Tonight is the Ghost CD Review (Vagrant Records)

DOWNLOAD: Hurricane Bells - "This Year" (MP3)

Hurricane Bells - Tonight is the Ghost CD ReviewHurricane Bells is the new solo project by Longwave guitarist/front-man Steve Schiltz. This is a solo project in the truest sense of the word as Schiltz wrote, played, recorded and mixed every note himself. Some songs were written within the past 18 months while others are crafted from pieces written throughout his years as a songwriter.

Tonight is the Ghost is fascinating debut that is a significant depature from Longwave's guitar-driven indie rock. The majority of these songs have a mellow, echo-drenched, late-night listening vibe. My only complaint is that this record doesn't quite come across as a coherent body of work as Schiltz moves through a number of style across the disc. The disc starts with the melancholy opener "This Year" and moves on from there to the lo-fi pop of "This is a Test". The third track, "I Can't Remember", is a John Lennon sounding piece and the remainder of the disc takes bends around alt-country ("Freezing Rain") and Steely Dan style indie rock ("The Winters in New York". There are also two instrumentals on the disc - the too-brief "Crocodile" and "Tenterhooks"

Schiltz should get a lot of attention for this disc as one of the b-side, "Monsters" was included in the movie The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Schiltz describes "Monsters" as "a little more rocky, up-tempo than the stuff that’s on the Hurricane Bells MySpace page — it’s got some fuzzed-out guitar and a ripping guitar solo.

While the late-night vibe of this disc may not hold up well during the bustle of the day, the rawness of Schiltz's performance and the variance of the songs keeps this disc engaging after repeated listens.

Tonight is the Ghost is available digitally through Vagrant Records and physical release is schedule for February.

Hurricane Bells' MySpace Profile

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Canon Logic Release New Christmas Single as a Free Download / NYC Shows on 12/17 and 12/19

DOWNLOAD: The Canon Logic - "Kiss Me on Christmas"

The Canon Logic - Southpaw, Brooklyn, NY

Getting in the holiday spirit, The Canon Logic have released an original holiday song, "Kiss Me on Christmas", as a free download (link is above). The band also released the first single, "Avenue of Criminals", from their forthcoming full-length FM Arcade. The new single is available on a three song EP on iTunes which comes with a live and acoustic version of "Avenue of Criminals" along with Annie Lane (a non-LP b-side).

The Canon Logic are playing two shows this week:
Thursday, Dec. 17th @ Bar Matchless, Brooklyn
Saturday, Dec. 19th @ Piano's (w/ Pants Velor)

The Canon Logic

Inu - "Monster" CD EP Review (Count, Tim Hingston, Zoe Keating)

DOWNLOAD: Inu - "The Bailing" (Download requires registration)

Inu - Monster CD EP ReviewInu is an experimental/electro San Francisco based trio lead by Mikael (Count) Eldridge (who has produced/ remixed DJ Shadow, New Order, Radiohead, etc.) that features cellist Zoe Keating (Imogen Heap, Rasputina, Dresden Dolls) and bassist/guitarist Tim Hingston (The Nightland, Stripmall Architecture).

This five-song EP mixes traditional guitar/bass/drums instrumentation with Keating's cello, mellow dance beats and a range of electronic squiggles to come up with an enjoyable trip-hop influenced disc. The first song on the EP, "The Bailing", is available as a free download (the link is at the top of this post) and the song's dreamy, mellow vibe is indicative of the sound of this EP. The one exception is the song "Stephen Colbert" which heads down the track of fuzzed-out Dinosaur Jr. style pop.

Inu will be following up this EP with a full-length in March of next year.

Inu's MySpace Profile

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Adam Green Plays Surprise Full Band Show Tomorrow Night at Lit Lounge

Adam Green Plays Surprise Full Band Show at Lit Lounge on Dec. 14thDOWNLOAD: Adam Green - "What Makes Him Act So Bad"

Adam Green moved over to Fat Possum Records for his sixth album Minor Love which will be released in the US on Feb. 16th. Green is touring with The Cribs starting in January but will be playing a surprise full-band show tomorrow night at Lit Lounge. Cover is only $6.00 and Green is scheduled to go on around 11:30PM.

I am PLayingk a Surprise Full-BANd Showe at LiT LOUNGE (2nd Ave. and 5th st.)
ON MoNDAY The 14th
With THe SHinIng Twins
and Delilah
THE SHINING TWINS Go on at 9:56pm
DELILAH Goez on at 10:49pm
and I (ADAM GREEN) Go on at 11:27pm
This Seems like a good idea!
Green's forthcoming disc Minor Love was recorded in Los Angeles, CA, in late spring with producer and friend Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newson, Little Joy). Green plays the majority of the instruments on Minor Love himself and guest players include Rodrigo Amarante of Little Joy on guitar and Georgeson on bass.

Adam Green's MySpace Profile

Saturday, December 12, 2009

zerobridge - "There We Were, Now Here We Are" CD EP Review

STREAM: Zerobridge - "2mins5"

Zerobridge - There We Were, Now Here We Are CD EP ReviewNYC band zerobridge recently released the EP “There We Were, Now Here We Are” which is the band's third release. On this disc, the band wears its 80's alt-rock influences clearly on its sleeve and the band's sound fit well alongside a number of the Steve Lillywhite produced bands from this era (U2, Psychedelic Furs, The Chameleons, etc.). The leadoff song from the new EP, “Montreal Chic”, essentially name-checks Joy Division with the repeated line “dance, dance, dance to the radio” but vocalist Mubashir "Din" Mohi-ud-Din sings in an emotive style which falls closer to Mike Peters (The Alarm) or Bono than Ian Curtis.

Musically, "There We Were, Now Here We Are" features prominent pulsing bass lines, ringing U2/Church-style guitars and an an atmospheric production that has an underlying sense of melancholiness. While bands like U2, Joy Division/New Order, The Clash, The Replacements, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Beatles, the Stones and David Bowie are cited as major influences, Din also cites South Asian music like The Sabri Bros and Hindi film composers like RD Burman, A.R. Rahman, and Nadeem Sharavan as inspirations.

zerobridge has had a strong year thus far with a sold-out homecoming show at Brooklyn Academy of Music and an American Embassy sponsored tour of Morocco. One representative from the embassy said, “It was like the Beatles had just come to Morocco!” The band also had the song "Havre de Grace" (from the 2007 “Havre de Grace” EP) featured in the motion picture, "The Messenger," starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton and Jena Malone. Most recently, the band performed at the NYC restaurant/club At Vermillion for an MTV party. A live version of "Suffering Moses" from this performance is below.

zerobridge's MySpace Profile

Friday, December 11, 2009

Charred Walls of the Damned Release First Single from Forthcoming CD (Metal Blade)

Charred Walls of the Damned Release First Single from Forthcoming Debut CD (Metal Blade)Charred Walls of the Damned is a new “super group” formed by drummer Richard Christy (Death, Iced Earth, Howard Stern show) that features “Ripper” Owens on vocals, and Jason Sucof (guitar) and Steve DiGiorgio (bass). DiGiorgio was a member of Death, Control Denied and Iced Earth and Sucof has written and produced a number of metal band; most notably Black Dahlia Murder, All The Remains, etc.

Charred Walls of the Damned combines Death’s technical precision and intensity with Ripper's clean vocals and the melodicism of bands like Judas Priest, Iced Earth and Anthrax.

Christy explained on The Howard Stern Show that the band's name was derived from a series of radio prank calls he and Sal the Stockbroker made to a Christian radio station. In mentioning the pranks they had been receiving, the radio show host described how he prayed for the pranksters to be "saved by God's grace and not in the devil's hell where you'd be put in your nails in the charred walls of the damned".

The band signed with Metal Blade and their debut CD is due out in February of next year. The first single, “Ghost Town”, is now available on iTunes. The band recorded a cover of Powermad’s "Nice Dreams" which will be available on the Japanese CD and as a bonus track on iTunes. "I've been a huge fan of Powermad's classic 1989 album ‘Absolute Power' since it came out. I wanted to do a cover song that I loved and at the same time, one that a lot of people probably have not heard. ‘Absolute Power' has been out of print for some time now so I'm sure the song Nice Dreams will be new to a lot of people, but will also bring back some great memories for metalheads like me who love the song and who love Powermad" explains Christy.

Charred Walls of the Damned
Metal Blade

Shrinebuilder's Self-Titled Debut Now Available on Ltd Edition Vinyl (Neurot)

Shrinebuilder's Self-Titled Debut Now Available on Limited Edition VinylShrinebuilder's self-titled debut is now available as a 3-sided limited edition vinyl release through Neurot Recordings' web store (click on the picture). This 2LP set was mastered at 45 rpm to bring out the band's sound and one of the sides is etched (which you can sort of see in the picture).

Neurot has only have 400 copies available through its web store - 200 of the US color scheme and 200 of the European color scheme - so these are likely to go quick.

Shrinebuilder's MySpace Profile

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Gulu Widows Group of Uganda Cover "Home" by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

DOWNLOAD: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - "40 Day Dream" (Live on Daytrotter)
DOWNLOAD: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros - "Home" (from the Vagrant CD Up From Below)

Former Ima Robert vocalist Alex Ebert has been getting quite a buzz with his new freak-folk project Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. The band formed in 2007 and released their debut CD, Up From Below (Vagrant Records), earlier this summer.

At the album release party this past July, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros raised money for the Gulu Widows Group of Uganda. The women used the band's donation to start a farm to sustain their community. They recently had their first harvest; to celebrate and show the band their appreciation, they made this video in which they sing the band's song "Home."

Here is video of Edward Sharpe performing "Home" live on Late Night with David Letterman from this past September.

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Chalie Boy Releases "I Look Good Remix" (featuring Slim Thug, Juvenile and Bun B.)

STREAM: Chalie Boy - "I Look Good Remix"

Chalie Boy Releases 'I Look Good Remix'Calvert, TX rapper Chalie Boy has followed the chart success of his single "I Feel Good" with a new remix (streaming above) that features Slim Thug, Juvenile and Bun B.

Chalie has been hitting the radio circuit to promote his new single and below is a video interview of him on Houston hip-hop stations, KBXX 97.9. Chalie answered questions about his sudden success (which hasn't reduced his hustle and drive) and his excitement at being in the game. The video wraps up with Chalie doing some impromptu free-styling with DJ J-Mac.

Chalie Boy will have a new record out sometime early next year on Dirty 3rd Records.

Chalie Boy's MySpace Page

Adam Yauch (MCA) Launches Indie Film DVD Club (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Adam Yauch Launches Indie Film DVD Club - Oscilloscope LaboratoriesBeastie Boy Adam Yauch’s independent film distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories has just started offering a new subscription service called “The Circle of Trust” that allows fans to get top-line independent films on DVD a week ahead of the general public.

Adam Yauch, the Minister Of Information at Oscilloscope Laboratories commented "There's a real void in the marketplace since Columbia Record club is no longer active, so we're hoping to hire a staff of tens of thousands to call our valuable membership over and over again and harass them until they cry."

Getting serious, for an annual fee of $150, you get 10 newly released DVDs as well as half-off any DVDs from the back catalog. (Here is a link to Oscilloscope Laboratories' back catalog) This is a great opportunity to see the best of the independent film scene.

Frightenly enough, even Oprah recommends these DVDs as a great Xmas gift.

Oscilloscope Laboratories
Beastie Boys MySpace Profile

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Karen Rockower (Bugs in the Dark) is Playing a Solo Acoustic Show Tomorrow Night

DOWNLOAD: Karen Rockower - "Drawing Roses"

Karen Rockower (Bugs in the Dark) in Playing a Solo Show on Dec. 8th at Local 269 BarKaren Rockower, guitarist/vocalist from Bugs in the Dark, is playing a solo acoustic show tomorrow night at Local 269 Bar. Karen is currently recording a solo disc with producer Mark Turrigiano and she will be playing songs from this forthcoming release tomorrow.

Tomorrow night's show is free and Karen is playing at 10PM. Local 269 Bar is located at 269 E. Houston Street (@ Suffolk Street).

Karen Rockower's MySpace Profile
Bugs in the Dark

Monday, December 07, 2009

Jawbox Plays One-Off Reunion Tomorrow on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Jawbox Plays Reunion Show on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon on Dec. 8thMaking their first appearance since 1997, DC post-punk heros Jawbox are playing a one-night-only reunion on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tomorrow night.

The band has acquired the rights to their Atlantic/TAG Records LPs and re-released a remastered version of For Your Own Special Sweetheart (1994) last month. This new CD/LP reissue was remastered by Bob Weston (Mission of Burma, Shellac) and includes the limited edition Savory +3 EP as bonus tracks.

Unfortunately - J. Robbins has said that the Jimmy Fallon show will be the band's only appearance.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Capgun Coup Release 'Only the Times Are Changing' Video From Maudlin (Team Love)

Omaha, NB quintet Capgun Coup released their sophomore CD Maudlin last month on Team Love Records (see Maudlin CD review).

The band just released the first video from the new disc, "Only The Times Are Changing", which was directed by Jacob Thiele (of The Faint).

Capgun Coup are currently on tour with Cursive and here are the band's upcoming shows:
Dec. 07, 2009, 8:00PM, Lenny’s, Atlanta, Georgia
Dec. 08, 2009, 8:00PM, Proud Larry’s, Oxford, Mississippi
Dec. 09, 2009, 8:00PM, The Rev Room, Little Rock, Arkansas
Dec. 10, 2009, 8:00PM, George’s Majestic Lounge, Fayettville, Arkansas
Dec. 11, 2009, 8:00PM, Mojo’s, Columbia, Missouri
Dec. 12, 2009, 6:00PM, Vaudville Mews, Des Moines, Iowa
Dec. 13, 2009, 8:00PM, Waiting Room, Omaha, Nebraska
Dec. 27, 2009, 8:00PM, Bourbon Theatre, Lincoln, Nebraska

Capgun Coup's MySpace Profile

Foreigner - Can't Slow Down CD Review (Rhino/Atlantic)

Foreigner - Can't Slow Down CD ReviewWhen I was a teenager, 70's rock bands like Foreigner, Styx, Van Halen and Aerosmith were staples of FM radio. I haven't actively listened to Foreigner in almost twenty years but those first 3 - 4 albums were such a part of my youth that I still know the words to every song on each of these albums. I lost touch with what Foreigner was doing in the mid-80's as I couldn't get into the keyboard-heavy sound that the band started embracing with Agent Provocateur (1984) and I only heard a bit of Mr. Moonlight (1994) which didn't do much for me. As such, I didn't have high hopes for Foreigner's first new studio album in fifteen years - Can't Slow Down. I'm happy to say that my fears were unfounded - Can't Slow Down is a great AOR album fits right in with the first four Foreigner albums.

Vocalist Kelly Hansen has been fronting Foreigner for four years now and his voice sounds like an edgier, more emotive Lou Graham. Hansen paid his dues in the LA club scene fronting bands like Hurricane (which included Robert Sarzo and Tony Cavazo, younger brothers of Quiet Riot's Rudy Sarzo and Carlos Cavazo). The other musicians in Foreigner include Brian Tichy (who has toured/written with Velvet Revolver, Slash's Snakepit, Billy Idol, etc.), Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio), Thom Gimbel (Aerosmith, Jon Butcher) and Michael Bluestein (who comes from a jazz background).

The thirteen songs on Can't Slow Down include rockers, power ballads and a remake of "Fool For You Anyway" (which was originally on Foreigner's debut CD). The disc starts out strong with the title track "Can't Slow Down", which was written as a salute to NASCAR in celebration of Foreigner’s appearance at the Samsung 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. Some of the other strong rockers include "Give Me A Sign" and "Too Late" (which appeared on last year's best-of compilation and it is the only cut to feature the now-departed Jason Bonham on drums).

The slower songs are predominately power ballads that (thankfully) don't fall into the schmaltz/syrupy trap that some of the 70's rock have fallen into in recent years. These songs have some "teeth" to them and should keep the lighters in the air during the band's live set. Two of the stronger power ballads are "When It Comes To Love" and "I'll Be Home Tonight".

What really impressed me with this package is that it is a 2CD/1DVD set that retails for $12 at Walmart. Disc 2 contains 10-tracks of Foreigner's greatest hits. This isn't a re-recording of these songs - Anthony Focx (Guitar Hero) and Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith) have remixed the original songs (with Lou Graham on vocals) to give them a bit more edge and punchiness. The last disc is a live DVD that shows the band performing new and classic Foreigner while on tour in Europe earlier this year. What stuck me right away is that Kelly Hansen shows he can seamlessly deliver both the old and new material. Long-time fans may end up saying "Lou who?" over time.

Foreigner are playing some California dates to wind out the year and then are back on the East Coast in January. There aren't any NYC dates scheduled right now but there are some holes in the tour schedule so a New York/New Jersey date would seem likely. Here are the current tour dates:

1/15/10 -- Tampa, FL, Ruth Eckerd Hall
1/16/10 -- Silver Springs, FL, Silver Springs Twin Mansions Theater
1/21/10 -- St. Charles, MO, Bottleneck Blues Bar @ Ameristar Casino St. Charles
1/22/10 -- Paducah, KY, Carson Four Rivers Center
1/23/10 -- French Lick, IN, French Lick Resort Casino
2/18/10 -- Troy, OH, Hobart Arena
2/19/10 -- Rama, Ontario, Casino Rama
2/20/10 -- Rama, Ontario, Casino Rama
2/21/10 -- Kingston, NY, Ulster Performing Arts Center
2/24/10 -- Lancaster, PA, American Music Theatre
2/26/10 -- Harris, MI, Island Resort & Casino
2/27/10 -- Harris, MI, Island Resort & Casino

Foreigner's Website

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar CD Review (Mute)

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar CD ReviewNick Cave and long-time The Bad Seeds/Grinderman/The Dirty Three collaborator Warren Ellis have released a hauntingly beautiful 2-CD set of predominately instrumental soundscapes. This set is compiles tracks from various soundtracks that Cave & Ellis have scored over the last five years along with four previously unreleased pieces from the Cave & Ellis archives.

Disc One contains selections from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The Proposition (2005), and the forthcoming The Road (which is based on Cormac McCarthy's novel of a father and son's trek across a vast wasteland in the aftermath of global catastrophe). While the song arrangements are fairly minimalist, Nick Cave winds piano melodies around Warren Ellis' violin to create a warm but desolate landscape. Cave sings on "The Rider Song" and provides whispered vocals on "The Rider No. 2" (both from The Proposition) and both of these songs could easily fit with later-day material from The Bad Seeds.

Disc Two is a bit more eclectic and perhaps schizophrenic; it contains material from two lesser known documentaries along with the four tracks from the vaults. The two documentaries are The English Surgeon (2007) which traces Dr. Henry Marsh's struggle to bring neurosurgery to post-Soviet Ukraine and The Girls of Phnom Penh (2009) which is an investigative documentary of sex workers in Cambodia's "virginity trade". The material on this disc is claustrophobic, urban and (at times) intense. The four vault tracks fit within this musical structure and all of the tracks are named after craters. While all of the tracks are solid compositions, "Daedalus" is one of the more interesting as it segues from a sunny flute and piano-driven piece into a jagged hidden-track instrumental.

While instrumentals never seem to get a lot of repeat play, this set may well replace Sunn O)))'s Monoliths & Dimensions in my late-night listening queue.

Nick Cave

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Cinderella: Live at the Mohegan Sun (Frontier Records)

Cinderella: Live at the Mohegan Sun (Frontier Records)This disc was recorded on the Rock Never Stops tour at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Connecticut on July 21, 2005. This isn't a (completely) new recording as a recording from this show first surfaced in 2006 as Cinderella: Extended Versions, which was a 'nice price' domestic CD.

The hook with this new rerelease is that is contains three bonus tracks ("Falling Apart At The Seams", "Push Push", and "Still Climbing" which were cut from the Extended Versions CD. The downside is that these three tracks are appended to the end of the disc so you never get to here the true running order of the concert.

If you are so motivated to rearrange the tracks to match the true running order, here is one of the set lists from the Rock Never Stops tour:

Night Songs (From 1986's Night Music)
The Last Mile (From 1988's Long Cold Winter)
Somebody Save Me (From 1986's Night Music)
Still Climbing (From 1994's Still Climbing)
Push Push (From 1986's Night Music)
Heartbreak Station (From 1990's Heartbreak Station)
Coming Home (From 1988's Long Cold Winter)
Fallin' Apart At The Seams >> Drum Solo (From 1988's Long Cold Winter)
Shelter Me (From 1990's Heartbreak Station)
Nobody's Fool (From 1986's Night Music)
Gypsy Road (From 1988's Long Cold Winter)

Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone) (From 1988's Long Cold Winter)
Shake Me (From 1986's Night Music)

It is hard to write a review of what essentially amounts to a greatest hits album - what it really boils down to is that you are either a fan of the band or you aren't. With most of the set list coming from the band's first two albums, this release seems to play directly to the band's core fan base. The band sounds in top-form and, while Tom Keifer voice has been shredded for years, he also delivers a solid performance with an "Alice Cooper style" rasp.

While this isn't essential listening, Cinderella's blues-based rock has held up well through the years and this disc is certain to get repeated plays.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lissie Plays an Early Show At Mercury Lounge on November 9th (Fat Possum)

DOWNLOAD: Lissie - Little Lovin' (MP3)

Lissie Plays an Early Show at Mercury Lounge on Nov. 9th (Fat Possum)Lissie Maurus is a singer/songwriter in the old-school tradition of Rosanne Cash and Nanci Griffth. Similar to these artists, Lissie's songs are fully developed narrative stories of love, loss and heartbreak.

Lissie's debut EP, "Why You Runnin'", is out Tuesday (on Fat Possum) and she is taking a break from the Ray LaMontagne tour to play an early show at the Mercury Lounge this Monday. Doors are at 7PM and supposedly the opening act, Aerial East, is going on at 7PM as well (which probably means 7:30PM). Lissie is listed on the Merc's website as taking the stage at 8PM. Tickets are $10.

Lissie's MySpace Profile

The Dig Headline Mercury Lounge on Nov. 19th; Pictures and Video Interview from Oct. Show at Maxwells

DOWNLOAD: The Dig - Three Song Demo

The Dig Headline Mercury Lounge on Nov. 19th; New CD Due Out Feb. '10The Dig have been gaining a lot of attention on the local rock scene and have been playing some high profile shows with both The Walkmen and White Rabbits. The Dig released an EP ("Good Luck and Games") in 2007 which one reviewer described as "short, sweet and eminently satisfying". The band just finished up their full-length debut which is due out early next year.

The band often gets compared to The Beatles crossed with one of many recent alt-rock bands (Jet and Radiohead are two of the more popular). I'm going to go in a different direction though as I was thinking more of later-day T. Rex (right around the period where Marc started embracing 'Class of '77' punk) after watching the band perform live. Whatever the comparison - The Dig's music certainly stands out from the crowd.

Here is an interview that I did with the band prior to their show with White Rabbits last month at Maxwell's.

The Dig are currently finishing some show with White Rabbits and then are back home for a headlining show at Mercury Lounge on Nov. 19th. Here is the upcoming tour dates:

Nov. 09 2009 -- 8:00PM, Cedar C.C. w/ White Rabbits, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nov. 10 2009 -- 8:00PM, Turner Hall w/ White Rabbits, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nov. 13 2009 -- 9:00PM, Lincoln Hall w/ The Walkmen, Chicago, Illinois
Nov. 14 2009 -- 8:00PM, University of Illinois w/ The Walkmen, Urbana, Illinois
Nov. 15 2009 -- 8:00PM, The Basement , Nashville, Tennessee
Nov. 16 2009 -- 8:00PM, Local 506 w/ The XX, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Nov. 17 2009 -- 8:00PM, DC9, Washington, DC
Nov. 19 2009 -- 10:00PM, Mercury Lounge, New York

Here are more of the pictures that I took at Maxwell's...

The Dig - Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ 10-11-09

The Dig - Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ 10-11-09

The Dig - Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ 10-11-09

The Dig - Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ 10-11-09

The Dig's MySpace Profile

Friday, November 06, 2009

Tournament Announce Nov/Dec Tour Dates; Show at The Charleston on Nov. 20th

DOWNLOAD: Tournament - "Washcloth", Live on WFMU 4/23/09

Tournament Announce Nov/Dec Tour Dates (Forcefield Records)Tournament's debut CD Years Old came out earlier this summer and the band kicks up a wall of noise that falls somewhere between Big Black and many of the old AmRep bands. (See previous review)

Tournament is off on a Nov/Dec tour that includes a stop at The Charleston on Nov. 20th.

Here are the upcoming tour dates:

11/07/2009 The Shop - Ithaca, NY w/ Sepsis, Hiroshima Vacation
11/08/2009 Mohawk Place - Buffalo, NY w/ Fucking Hot Lights, Co- Workers
11/09/2009 *NEED HELP!! PA / OH / MI
11/10/2009 Now That’s Class - Cleveland, OH
11/11/2009 The Bishop - Bloomington, IN w/ Racebannon
11/12/2009 Ronny’s - Chicago, IL w/ Raise The Red Lantern, Tongues, The Muzzler
11/13/2009 The Smiling Skull - Athens, OH w/ We March
11/14/2009 Jimmy’s Haus - Pittsburgh, PA w/ Virgin Birth, Secret Tombs, Red Foxx
11/15/2009 Crayola House - Harrisonburg, VA w/ Inter Arma, Kill Your Brain, Earthling
11/16/2009 The Ox - Philadelphia, PA w/ The G, Fight Amp
11/20/2009 The Charleston - Brooklyn, NY w/ Count Von Count / Ape!
12/03/2009 Pilam House - Philadelphia, PA w/ The Wayward, Regional Ditch, Fuck Attack!
12/04/2009 Strange Matter - Richmond, VA w/ The Waward, Inter Arma
12/05/2009 *TBA - Wilmington, NC w/ Pavlichenko, The Scowls
12/06/2009 *TBA - Savannah, GA w/ Dead Yet
12/07/2009 *TBA - Gainesville, FL
12/08/2009 *TBA - Miami, FL w/ Capsule
12/09/2009 Transitions Art Gallery - Tampa, FL
12/10/2009 The Go Bar - Athens, GA w/ Music Hates You
12/11/2009 The Milestone - Charlotte, NC w/ Caltrop, Sled, Decoration Ghost
12/12/2009 Casa Pizza - Virginia Beach, VA
12/13/2009 The Spot - Wilmington, DE W/ Ape!, Weed Jesus, Powerstance, Fuck Attack, Spiritbird

Tournament's MySpace Profile

Black Cobra - Chronomega CD Review (Southern Lord)

Black Cobra - Chronomega CD Review (Southern Lord)Sludge-metal band Black Cobra released their third full-length CD, Chronomega, at the end of September and this release marks the band's Southern Lord debut.

As a two-piece band, guitarist/vocalist Jason Landrian and drummer Rafael Martinez make a hell of a lot of noise and producer Billy Anderson (High on Fire, The Melvins, Sleep) gives the band a heavy, brutal sound. Black Cobra's sound fits well with some of the past and current California-based metal bands as they combine Kyuss' stoner groove with the heaviness of High on Fire. While the band is only a two-piece, Jason Landrian's bass-heavy guitar work (similar to Josh Homme's work with Kyuss) more than compensates for any assumed sonic short-comings.

Chronomega follows in the fuzzy, fast riffs that Black Cobra set down with Feather And Stone but this release shows the band continuing to diversify their sound as their songwriting continues to mature. There are less instrumental interludes and slower moments on this new release and length of the disc has increased by 50% over Feathers And Stone (which clocked in about 25 minutes). Producer Billy Anderson has helped the band sharpen their attack - Landrian's vocals are brought forward in the mix and the band changes up the tempos across the disc and plays with an aggression generally found in the speed metal/splatter genre.

Black Cobra are currently out on tour with Pelican and Disappearer which includes a local tour stop at Highline Ballroom on December 2nd. Here is the band's upcoming tour dates:

Nov. 07, 2009 -- 9:00PM, Rubber Gloves w/ Black Tusk, Denton, Texas
Nov. 08, 2009 -- 8:00PM, FUNFUNFUN Fest After Party w/ Black Tusk + Eagle Claw, Austin, Texas
Nov. 09, 2009 -- 8:00PM, Rock Bottom Tattoo Bar w/ Black Tusk, San Antonio, Texas
Nov. 10, 2009 -- 10:00PM, Hi Ho Lounge w/ Black Tusk, New Orleans, Louisiana
Nov. 11, 2009 -- 8:00PM, Newby’s Too w/ Black Tusk + Dreamer’s Disease, Panama City Beach, Florida
Nov. 12, 2009 -- 7:00PM, Will’s Pub w/ Black Tusk + Dark Castle + more... (Anti-Pop Music Fest), Orlando, Florida
Nov. 13, 2009 -- 8:00PM, Brass Mug w/ Black Tusk, Tampa, Florida
Nov. 14, 2009 -- 10:00PM, The Jinx w/ Black Tusk, Savannah, Georgia
Nov. 15, 2009 -- 8:00PM, The Milestone w/ Black Tusk, Charlotte, North Carolina
Nov. 16, 2009 -- 10:00PM, The Triple w/ Black Tusk, Richmond, Virginia
Nov. 17, 2009 -- 9:00PM, Blue Nile w/ Black Tusk, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Nov. 19, 2009 -- 8:00PM, Building 16, Providence, Rhode Island
Nov. 20, 2009 -- 8:00PM, The Shop w/ Black Tusk, Ithaca, New York
Nov. 21, 2009 -- 7:00PM, Monty’s Krown w/ Black Tusk, Rochester, New York
Nov. 22, 2009 -- 8:00PM, 31st St. Pub w/ Black Tusk, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Nov. 23, 2009 -- 7:00PM, The Grog Shop w/ Black Tusk, Cleveland, Ohio
Nov. 24, 2009 -- 8:00PM, Southgate House w/ Black Tusk, Newport, Kentucky
Nov. 27, 2009 -- 8:00PM, V Club w/ Black Tusk, Huntington, West Virginia
Nov. 28, 2009 -- 7:30PM, The Shelter w / Pelican + Gods & Queens, Detroit, Michigan
Nov. 29, 2009 -- 8:00PM, Soundlab w / Pelican + Gods & Queens, Buffalo, New York
Dec. 01, 2009 -- 7:30PM, First Unitarian Church w/ Pelican + Dissappearer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dec. 02, 2009 -- 7:00PM, Highline Ballroom w/ Pelican + Disappearer, New York, New York

Black Cobra

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Jazz/Electronica Project J.Viewz Plays the Blue Note on Nov. 6th

J.Viewz Plays the Blue Note on Nov. 6thIsraeli producer Jonathan Dagan's award winning electronica project J.Viewz will perform a late set at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York City this Friday night. The live outfit of J.Viewz, featuring lead vocalist Noa Lembersky & MC Urijah, has a unique combination of vocals, electronic beats, live drums and turntables, flowing from Breakbeat to Jazz, Electro and Reggae. They take the stage at 12:30am on Friday, November 6, 2009.

Based in Brooklyn, J.Viewz is a multi-genre, multi-media music project with revolving band members. Electronic-music producer Jonathan Dagan first formed the group in 2002, and has since produced two albums under J.Viewz: Muse Breaks (2005) and The Besides EP (2008). The project’s first single “Your Country” off Muse Breaks entered several music charts abroad (including DJ Mag's hype chart, the Ministry of Sound's radio chart and the DMC UPDATE Chart) and hit several international radio stations, including Kiss 100 FM, Ministry of Sound radio, and Radio One.

The current J.Viewz single, from The Besides EP, is a jazz cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”.

The single was included on the playlists for U105 (Ireland) and KISS FM (UK) and was an A-List song on Jazz FM (UK). It also earned a coveted spot on the recent cover compilation by the Tru Thoughts label (Tru Thoughts Covers). Impose Magazine calls this J.Viewz cover “the show stopper of the bunch,” and says “this cathartic version is as original and memorable as the performer who left us far too soon.

J.Viewz Live (the “live” division of the project) currently includes the following five musicians:
Jonathan Dagan, production/computers/turntables
Noa Lembersky, vocals
Urijah, vocals & guitar
Eran Asias, drums
Daniel Koren, keys

J.Viewz' MySpace Profile

Gama Bomb: Download Tales from the Grave in Space for Free (Earache Records)

Gamma Bomb Make New CD Available as a Free DownloadAfter my recent "Marcy Playground fiasco", I love seeing bands who 'get' leveraging the internet to get their music out to the masses.

Irish thrashers, Gama Bomb have released their new album, Tales from the Grave in Space, as a free download that is 100% approved by Earache. Click on the album cover (above) to go directly to the download site. Earache notes - "No catches, no DRM. Just pure, adrenaline pumping thrash with wit to spare that will be yours forever."

"Produced by Scott Atkins (Behemoth, Cradle of Filth) and featuring artwork by Jeff Jordan (The Mars Volta), Tales From the Grave in Space is an album steeped in traditional thrash that also signifies the future of music to come. We encourage everyone, fans and non-fans to download the album and enjoy this historic gift of free metal presented by Earache Records, Rapidshare and Gama Bomb."

Gama Bomb
Earache Records

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Phantom Family Halo Release 'Monoliths & These Flowers Never Die'; Play Bowery Ballroom on Dec. 1st.

DOWNLOAD: Phantom Family Halo - "Blackouts and Runaways" (MP3)

Phantom Family Halo Release New Disc on Karate Body and Play Bowery Ballroom on Dec. 1stWhat caught my attention with Phantom Family Halo's last release was Julian Cope's review - "I’m also right blown away by the catchy and compelling all-purpose psychedelia of THE LEGEND OF BLACK SIX by power trio The Phantom Family Halo. I say ‘all purpose’ because this stuff is useful and should be available by the vat on prescription, because it’s good for the mental health. I say power trio, but this lot are greedy motherfuckers with a hefty set of auxiliary members. The sound is totally reminiscent of that 1970 period when no fucker could control the number of overdubs, and these guys pass through every stage from The Youngbloods and Kalackakra to a kind of Amon Duul PARADIESWARTS DUUL-informed take on David Voorhaus’ White Noise project via early (very early) Chrome on their way to the proto metal of ‘Electric God In Your Galaxy’."

The band's new 2LP release, Monoliths & These Flowers Never Die, is simply a brilliant, brain-melting slab of acid rock which should strike an immediate chord with fans of Hawkwind and Spacemen 3. The band is playing Bowery Ballroom on December 1st with Russian Circles and Young Widows.

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 DOS.

Phantom Family Halo

Capgun Coup - Maudlin CD Review (Team Love Records)

DOWNLOAD: Capgun Coup - "Sitting on the Sidewalk" (MP3)

Capgun Coup’s sophomore release Maudlin (Team Love) is a near perfect slice of lo-fi garage rock that owes an equal debt to both late 60’s era Bob Dylan and The Modern Lovers.

The band’s music is raw and energetic and, over the course of this new disc, skips across styles and genres seamlessly. Musical styles range from the languid, ‘Pavement-ish’ “Farnam Street” to the indie-pop melodic harmonies of “Pretty City” to the raw garage-punk of “Bad Bands”. Capgun Coup has built a strong reputation a high-energy live act and all of the songs on this new disc should translate well to the live stage.

Going back to the Jonathan Richman/Bob Dylan reference earlier, vocalist Sam Martin can certainly turn a lyrical phrase. He isn’t exactly the most politically correct with songs like “Wish I Was A Fag” and “Bad Bands” but these aren’t Fear-style lyrics here. The band is rather reflecting on reflecting on the current state of society. Songs like “Sitting On The Sidewalk” and “Now That I’m Home” are essentially updated takes on the Dead Boys “Ain’t Nothing To Do” and The Ramones “Now I Want To Sniff Some Glue”.

is compelling album that has been growing on me with each repeated listen.

Capgun Coup is out on tour with Cursive starting at the end of the month. Here is the upcoming tour dates:


Capgun Coup's MySpace Profile

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

801: Live Collectors Edition CD Review (Expression Records)

801 Live Collectors Edition CD Review (Expression Records)The Collectors Edition of 801 Live is the crown jewel of the recent set of 801 Live CDs.

The original 801 lineup came together in 1976 for three shows. This release includes the complete recording of the last of the these shows, recorded at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 9/3/76. Similar to the 1999 reissue, this release includes the bonus tracks "Golden Hours" and "The Fat Lady of Limbourg" but this is the first time that the proper ending to set-finale "Third Uncle" has been released.

The original lineup of 801 featured Eno on lead vocals and Phil Manzanera on guitar along with an all-star prog-rock cast (many of whom played on Manzanera's Quiet Sun project and/or Eno's Here Come The Warm Jets LP) that consisted of Bill MacCormick (Bass), Lloyd Watson (Slide Guitar), Francis Monkman (Fender Rhodes/Cavinet) and Simon Phillips (Drums). The set list features material from Eno's solo projects, Manzanera's Quiet Sun LP Mainstream and his solo disc Diamond Head along with covers of The Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" and The Kinks "You Really Got Me".

Over 30+ years have passed since the original recording of 801 Live and both the band's songs and quality of the recording sound incredibly vibrant and relevant by today's standards. The was one of the best sounding live albums when in originally came out on LP in 1976 (according to Wikipedia, this was due to the use of the then new Direct Injection technology where all outputs from the vocal microphones, guitar amps and others instruments (except the drums) were fed directly to the mobile studio mixing desk). This is one of those live shows where anything seems possible as the band moves from swirling psychedelia to Eno-driven deconstructionism to a off-kilter reworking of "You Really Got Me". The band then ends the set with an aggressively punked-up version of "Third Uncle" and more than likely leaves the audience exhausted after having been on this almost hour-long mind-blowing roller coaster.

What makes this Collectors Edition really special is the inclusion of a bonus CD that captures a live rehearsal from two weeks prior to the 801 Live show. The sound quality of the rehearsal is great and it captures the band working out their set in a loose and raw atmosphere. A number of songs are longer in length, with the most noticeably being Eno's "The Fat Lady of Limbourg" which runs for just over nine minutes.

There aren't many CDs, much less live CDs, that hold the test of time for thirty+ years but 801 Live Collectors Edition is a strong winner.

Expression Records

The Mary Onettes: CD Released Today, Show at Union Hall Tomorrow (11/4)

DOWNLOAD: The Mary Onettes - "Puzzles" (MP3)

The Mary Onettes Release 'Islands' Today; Play Union Hall on Nov. 4thJesus and Mary Chain/Smiths inspired Swedish four-piece band The Mary Onettes release their sophomore album Islands today (Labrador Records) and the band is playing three local shows over the next week.

Here are the upcoming shows:
- Nov. 4th - Union Hall, Brooklyn (w/ Blacklist and Submarine Bells)
- Nov. 6th - Studio @ Webster Hall (w/Kordan)
- Nov. 8th - Mercury Lounge (w/The Art of Shooting, Coyote Eyes and Werewolves)

Tickets for each of the shows is $10 in advance. The Union Hall and Webster Hall shows are $12 DOS.

The Mary Onettes

Monday, November 02, 2009

801: latino CD Review (Expression Records)

801 latino CD Review (Expression Records)In 1999, Phil Manzanera reactivated the 801 name and concept for a show in Newark, Lincolnshire UK. "The original 1976 ‘801′ concept of bringing together different musicians from a wide musical spectrum,for a short time,recording them in a live concert, still seemed valid some 25 years later. This time I wanted to see if 801 would work with Latin players." (-Phil Manzanera)

There is no overlap with any of the material from the previous 801 releases as this 50+ minute disc features high-energy Latin music which Manzanera describes as "a snapshot of the music that has accompanied [his] musical journey" from the 40's to the 90’s. Unlike previous 801 releases where Phil Manzanera's guitar work was highlighted in the mix, there are no real guitar solos on 801: latino and Phil's guitar work fits beneath and complements the rest of the band. Other members of this one-off project include vocalist Yamile (who was main vocalist for the most relevant salsa band of the 90's called PG Poder de la Generaci├│n), Havana composer/jazz musician Aldo Lopez-Gavilan, critically acclaimed drummer Carlos "Mosca" Valde and bassist Chucho Merch├ín (who has played with Pete Townsend, David Gilmour and The Eurythmics).

Phil Manzanera/Expression Records

Sunday, November 01, 2009

801: Live @ Hull CD Review (Expression Records)

801 - Live @ Hull CD ReviewIn 1977, Phil Manzanera took a new version of 801 on the road to support the band's then current release Listen Now. While there are a number of songs that overlap with 801 Live, without Brian Eno's art rock eccentricities, the new members give the band almost a pub-rock feel.

Aside from Manzanera, the only hold-over from 801 Live is bassist/vocalist Bill MacCormick. This new lineup includes a number of Roxy Music sidemen - Eddie Jobson, Paul Thompson and Dave Skinner -- along with newcomer vocalist/guitarist Simon Ainley. The material is a mixture of songs from the two 801 albums, Manzanera's solo work, cover versions of The Beatles ("Tomorrow Never Knows") and Kinks ("You Really Got Me") songs and a 8 minute run-through of Roxy Music's "Out of the Blue".

This is a spirited ragged-but-right performance that has some great guitar work by Manzanera and Eddie Jobson's violin adds to the reinterpretations of these songs. There is no high-gloss production work here; the show is complete with bum notes and the band doesn't seem to take themselves too seriously. The downside of this release is that it seems to be sourced from an audience bootleg. The sound is ok as bootlegs go but it will likely leave audio purists holding their ears. Give a listen to the sound samples on Amazon so that you know what you are getting into with this.

Phil Manzanera's Website

Skip Matheny (vocalist for Roman Candle) Premiers 'Drinks With...' Column

Skip Matheny, vocalist for Roman Candle, preiers online column for American SongwriterSkip Matheny, vocalist for North Carolina indie-rock band Roman Candle's singer, just started doing a new online feature for American Songwriter. The new column, 'Drinks With...', is where "two or more songwriters have a drink and talk with each other (almost exclusively) about writing".

With this debut column, Skip interviews U.K. band Wild Beasts.

Roman Candle

Crescent Shield - The Stars of Never Seen (Cruz Del Sur)

Crescent Shield - The Stars of Never Seen CD ReviewDoes anyone remember the movie "Airheads" where the S.W.A.T. guy tries embarrassing Chazz (Brendan Fraser) by telling the crowd what a D&D dork he was in high-school? When hardcore came around in the early 80's, many of prog-rock geeks tried to quickly distance themselves from their recent past (my older sister will swear that she was born clad in black and listening to Joy Division). Crescent Shield takes a major slice of 70's style prog-rock (Yes and Rainbow are some of the bands that come to mind) and combines it with the metal influences of bands like Fates Warning and Dream Theater.

Los Angeles' Crescent Shield released their second disc, The Stars of Never Seen, early this summer on Cruz Del Sur and the first pressing comes with a bonus DVD of the band's performance at the Keep It True festival in 2008.

Crescent Shield's new release follows their well-received 2006 debut, The Last of My Kind, and shows the band's maturing song writing heading in an epic power-metal direction. Lyrically, most of the songs are Edgar Allan Poe-like stories of the macabre. These range from "The Bellman", which tells the tale of the ghost of a mate, a sailor on a ship that sank due to the arrogance of the crew who is now cursed and trapped in a port of call in the early 18th century to "Tides of Fire" (which is based on the novel “A Canticle for Leibowitz” by Walter M. Miller Jr.) which tells the story of what happens when a civilization experiences a worldly holocaust and then gets stuck in a primitive state. With a number of the songs clocking in at over five minutes, vocalist Michael Grant has the opportunity to build a virtual world for each of these stories. The band follow suit and the music ebbs and flows across this disc. There is the raw aggression of songs like "My Anger" and the twisting guitar solos on "Under Cover of Shadows" which are then offset by the melancholy and heartfelt guitar, bass and mandolin work in “Temple of The Empty”. The disc ends with the epic song "Lifespan" which made its live premiere at the Keep It True festival last year (which you can check out on the bonus live DVD).

Crescent Shield's latest disc should strike a positive chord with fans of traditional metal and epic/power metal. Long after the flavor of the month and one-hit-wonder bands have been forgotten, I expect Crescent Shield's music to stand the test of time.

Crescent Shield's MySpace Profile