Monday, August 31, 2009

T. Rex (featuring one former member) is Playing the Rockstock Festival in South Carolina

T. Rex Is Playing the Rockstock Festival in Greenville, SC9/9 Update: The Greenville News announced yesterday that Rockstock 09 has been canceled. There isn't a lot of details online for the reason behind this but...the age-old reason behind most cancelations is always poor tickets sales.

Growing up in the Baltimore/Washington area, some pretty strange lineups of popular 60's/70's bands would come through the area every now and then.

This included:
- The Byrds: featuring (drummer) Michael Clarke
- Buffalo Springfield: featuring (drummer) Dewey Martin

It went without saying that, in some tiny little DC/Virginia club, none of the guitarists/singers that made these bands famous would be playing that night.

A couple years ago, I saw that 'Frankie Goes to Hollywood' was playing the Bottom Line. I didn't go to the show but read the reviews that, while the band featured NO former members of the MTV/80's lineup of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the band played some Frankie songs live. I remember thinking "how bizarre".

There is a band billed as "T. Rex" playing next weekend at the South Carolina Rockstock Festival. This got my curiosity up so I did a bit of digging - this band was formed by T. Rex percussionist Mickey Finn (who has since died) and now includes session drummer Paul Fenton as the only member with a direct connection to Marc Bolan/T. Rex.

I used to kid around with friends and say that I would find some one-time members of L.A. Guns and put together a third version of the band. I'm now beginning to realize that this isn't funny as it could become reality too easily.

Mickey Finn's T-Rex

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Big Star - 4-Disc Box Set "Keep an Eye on the Sky" Out Sept. 15th / Ltd. Edition Record Store Day Vinyl 7" Out Sept. 5th (Rhino)

STREAM: Selections from Big Star - "Keep an Eye on the Sky"

Big Star - 'Keep an Eye on the Sky' Coming Out Sept. 15th on Rhino On Sept. 15th, Rhino is issuing the definitive Big Star collection with a 98-track 4CD box set entitled Keep an Eye on the Sky. In advance of the box set, a limited edition vinyl single which will be available on Sept. 5th for Record Store Day.

The vinyl 7" is limited to 3,500 copies and contains the tracks "Feel" (Alternate Mix) and "Mod Lang" (Unissued Single Remix).

The box set spans 1968 - 1975 and includes the members' pre-Big Star studio recording, demos and outtakes from the three Big Star albums, selections from a 1973 live performance and both sides of Chris Bell's 1978 solo single.

Spotlighting the band's roots, the boxed set opens with several songs recorded before Big Star formed, including “Try Again,” one of the first songs Bell and Chilton wrote together. Those early cuts are followed by Big Star's 1972 debut #1 Record, reimagined here using a mix of album tracks and unreleased alternate mixes of favorites like “Thirteen,” “When My Baby's Beside Me,” and more. Among the disc's rarities are “Country Morn'” (issued as a flexi-disc single by a Big Star fanzine), the demo for “I Got Kinda Lost,” and an unreleased acoustic demo of Chilton singing Loudon Wainwright's “Motel Blues.”

The second disc of KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY opens with a trio of unreleased demos: “There Was A Light,” “What's Going Ahn,” and “Life Is White.” The original song sequence for Radio City follows, combining album versions with unreleased alternate mixes (“Way Out West” and “You Get What You Deserve.”) The disc features unissued versions of “She A Mover” and “Mod Lang,” several unreleased demos for Big Star's third album, plus Bell's acclaimed 1978 single “I Am The Cosmos” and its B-side “You And Your Sister.”

KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY's third disc opens with seven demos (most previously unreleased) for songs that appear on Third/Sister Lovers, including “Jesus Christ,” “Take Care,” and “Holocaust.” Among the album's 19 songs collected here is “For You,” “Kizza Me,” and “Kanga Roo.” Also featured is “Lovely Day,” an early, unreleased version of “Stroke It Noel” with different lyrics; Chilton vamping with photographer Bill Eggleston at the piano for Nat King Cole's “Nature Boy” and a raucous cover of The Kinks' “Till The End Of The Day.”

The collection's final disc contains unreleased highlights from three sets Big Star performed at Lafayette's Music Room in Memphis in January 1973. It is the best live recording ever of the band. The show captures Chilton, Hummel, and Stephens playing many of the songs on #1 Record, which had just recently been released. The set list includes a retooled version of “ST 100/6” lengthened by both guitar and drum solos (with a middle eight heisted from the Rock City song “The Preacher.”) Also in the repertoire are “There Was A Light” and “I Got Kinda Lost.” In addition, the concert includes fully formed versions of several songs recorded later for Radio City: “Back Of A Car,” “Way Out West,” “O My Soul,” and a particularly rocking “She's A Mover.” Those originals are mixed with a selection of covers: Todd Rundgren's “Slut,” T. Rex's “Baby Strange,” The Kinks' “Come On Now,” and The Flying Burrito Brothers' “Hot Burrito #2.”

Big Star's MySpace Profile

Cobalt and the Hired Guns: Live in Crown Heights (Acoustic) / Live at Union Hall (Electric), July 25, 2009

Last month, Chicago's Cobalt & the Hired Guns did a short run up the East Coast and finished their tour at Union Hall. The band was kind enough to stop by on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn to play a few songs acoustic.

To complement the acoustic set, here are a couple songs from the band's (electric) show at Union Hall:

Cobalt & the Hired Guns are a great live band and, for lack of a better word, their shows are simply fun. As I've seen too many mopey, lo-fi bands this summer, it is nice to a see a band that actually enjoys themselves on stage.

Cobalt & the Hired Guns are back home in Chicago and are playing a series of acoustic shows around town. Here are the current tour dates:

Sept. 1 2009, 8:00PM, Schubas, Chicago - acoustic showcase
Sept. 2 2009, 8:00PM, Uncommon Ground, Chicago - Acoustic Residency
Sept. 9 2009, 8:00PM, Uncommon Ground, Chicago - Acoustic Residency
Sept. 16 2009, 8:00PM, Uncommon Ground, Chicago - Acoustic Residency
Sept. 19 2009, 6:00PM, Cubby Bear, Chicago - Chicago Roots Collective Fest.
Sept. 23 2009, 8:00PM, Uncommon Ground, Chicago - Acoustic Residency
Sept. 30 2009, 8:00PM, Uncommon Ground, Chicago - Acoustic Residency

Cobalt & the Hired Guns' MySpace Profile

Friday, August 28, 2009

French Miami Play Death By Audio Tonight, Aug. 28th (Art-Punk)

DOWNLOAD: French Miami - "Science Fiction" (Live on
DOWNLOAD: French Miami - "Goddamn Best"

French Miami Play Death by Audio on August 28thSan Francisco art-punk trio French Miami are in town for a show at Death by Audio tonight. The band is touring behind their debut CD (which was recently re-released by Take Root Records). Rolling Stone described the disc as "skull-collapsing post-punk, wiry (and Wire-y) guitars twitching over steady chugging rhythms."

Tonight's show is with True Womanhood, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt and Santino Santino. Death by Audio is located at 49 S. 2nd Street in Williamsburg.

French Miami - Live at SxSW

French Miami

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3D (Movie Review)

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the DinosaursAs long as I'm off on a kids tangent tonight, I might as well keep going...

I attended Catholic high school so I know all about Dante's Inferno and the different circles of Hell. Somewhere around the eighth circle, I think there is a 24-hour marathon of "Everyone Loves Raymond". I can't think of a worse torture other than a "Everyone Love Raymond" episode turned into a 90 minute kids movie. While the movie's plot line isn't bad -- "The story has Sid being taken by a female Tyrannosaurus rex after stealing her eggs, leading the rest of the protagonists to rescue him in a tropical lost world inhabited by dinosaurs beneath the ice." (Wikipedia) -- Ice Age 3 is bland, slow and plodding.

Ray Romano, who provides the voice of of wooly mammoth father-to-be Manny, seems to be trying to recreate his whinny, vapid Ray Barone character. Denis Leary phones it in as the voice of Diego the Smilodon but John Leguizamo is modestly amusing as the voice of Sid the ground sloth. Unfortunately, one mildly amusing character can't cary a 90 minute movie and I found myself looking at my watch from about the 60 minute mark onward.

My other complaint is that the "3D" effects were pretty boring. After paying $30 for two tickets, I was expecting a "real" 3D experience where images jump out of the screen. Disappointingly, these types of effects were few and far between. A little more depth in picture doesn't justify a 50%+ premium in ticket prices.

The real question is what did Jake (my 5-year old) think. While he always enjoys the 'going to the movie theater' experience, there was no spark and no connection with the characters that there were with other movies. "Cars" was life-changing for him, "Horton Hears a Who" didn't rate as high but we still ended up getting it on video. Ice Age 3 was simply forgettable across the board.

Skip this one in the theaters -- caveat emptor if you add this to your Netflix queue.

Wizards of Waverly Place Soundtrack CD Review (Disney)

Wizards of Waverly Place Soundtrack CD ReviewWhen I was sent a review copy of the Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack, both my kids acted like this was the biggest thing in the world (sort of like the Indiana Jones and Star Wars movie were when I was their age). I think I've been in the room when the show has been on but I've never really paid attention to it. Obviously this show is huge with the younger set as it ranked as TV's #1 scripted program among the targeted kid demographics in second quarter 2009.

As this CD is targeted to a tween audience, I asked my tweener to take the first shot at a review:
The Wizards of Waverly Place sound track is an excellent arrangement of music and all the songs are excellent. Selena Gomez really shows off her voice with her three songs that she sings by herself. She really shows off her real side instead of the side you see in the TV show. The other featured artists/bands are Steve Rushton, Honor Society, KSM, Meaghan Martin, Drew Seeley, Raven-Symone and Aly & Aj. The songs flow perfectly together with the theme of the soundtrack - Magic.

The soundtrack has some bonus features if you put the disk in your computer. The special features include an exclusive making of the "Magic" music video. There is footage of Selena Gomez and more. You can visit and for more info and games.

Now from an adult's perspective...

The Wizards of Waverly Place soundtrack is a solid pop CD. The main attraction is obviously Selena Gomez and she has a good voice for this style of music. While some may dismiss this out of hand as being a "Disney CD", Gomez's style of music is no different than what bands/artists like The Graces, Natalie Imbruglia and Paula Abdul were doing twenty years ago. Gomez's three leadoff songs (which include a credible cover of Pilot's "Magic") set the tone for the rest of the disc.

The rest of the disc is a mix of covers (pop-rock interpretations of 70's and 80's tunes) and originals. Some of the covers work very well - Honor Society covers The Car's "Magic" and others are complete bombs - Steve Ruston's cover of ELO's "Strange Magic". I don't think a lot of songs from the 70's lend themselves to pop-rock reinterpretations but KSM do a bouncy, girl-group cover Stepenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride" that isn't half-bad.

One of the things that many movie, music and toy manufacturers seem to forget is that it is the parent who is doing the purchasing. I'm not going to buy anything that will annoy the living **** out of me when I have to see it/hear it for the 500th time. While this isn't my preferred style of music, I haven't lost my cool or my sanity after a dozen or so plays.

Wizards of Waverly Place

Monday, August 24, 2009

Not Blood, Paint Play Glasslands Gallery on Wednesday (Aug. 26th) as Part of the "Magically Delicious" Show

OK -- Brooklyn band Not Blood, Paint are definitely different from the majority of bands that are playing around town.

I watched a couple videos from the band and still don't know what to think -- Zappa acolytes, art-rock weirdos, The Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo performance art fans?? (All of the above...???)

Not Blood, Paint are playing a mini-fundraiser for the artists' collective Atypic Thoughts this Wednesday night. The show is described as "a night of Synesthetic Theatrics, magic dancing pants, and food revelry. With T-Time's Taste Tripping Booth and "Magic Fruit" that will enhance your Gastronomical Hallucinations and homemade Ice-Cream Samples from Ian and Mike. DJ Freddy Nightliker will bring the boogie while Kidrainbow's video environment adds to the sensory overload."

Here are the bands that are playing:
Jordan Parker
Your Boyfriend's Band Sux!
Not Blood, Paint
Tribal Town Center
Gato Loco

Suggested cover is $7.00 and the show starts at 9:30PM.

Getting back to Not Blood, Paint - check out some of the band's videos and see what you think.

Wolf and Cub - Science and Sorcery CD Review (Dot Dash)

Wolf & Cub - Live at Triple J Studios (includes T. Rex cover)

Wp;f & Cub = Science and Sorcery CD ReviewA solid slab of psychedelic dance rock that combines the blue-eyed soul of mid-70's T. Rex with the psychedelic rock sounds of Wolfmother and Primal Scream. It is an engaging and eclectic mix of sounds that is complemented by cut n' paste from production from Chris 'Bumblebeez' Colonna.

The disc opens strong with the extremely catchy single "Seven Sevens" which features the dual tribal drum sounds that I have always associated with early Adam Ant songs. Rather than go for the big pop hooks like Adam Ant, Wolf and Child add a pulsing bass and a wiry, angular guitar line to give this song a deep dance floor groove.

Guitarist/vocalist Joel Byrne drives most of the songs with his Marc Bolan styled vocals while the band's sounds shift between funk, high-energy indie-rock, psychedelic freakouts, dub and more. This isn't a hodgepodge of disconnected songs and sounds through as the band never drifts far from the driving beat of their dark-edged, psychedelic dance-rock core.

In addition to "Seven Sevens", some of the other standout tracks on this disc are "One to the Other" and "The Loosest of Gooses (Go on Your Own)".

"One to the Other" - Studio Video

"The Loosest of Gooses (Go On Your Own)" (Live)

Wolf & Cub

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Hail of Bullets - Warsaw Rising EP Review (Metal Blade)

Hail of Bullets - Warsaw Rising EP ReviewHail of Bullets new EP, "Warsaw Rising", came out last month as a digital EP and a limited edition, hand-numbered 10" (available from Nuclear Blast).

The sound of the new EP follows in the same vein as the band's '06 full-length debut, Of Frost and War, and contemporaries like Celtic Frost and Bolt Thrower. There are two new songs on the disc, a deconstruction of Twisted Sister's "Destroyer", and three live songs from the band's first CD (recorded live in '08 at Germany's Party.San OpenAir Festival).

The two new cuts continue with the WWII theme - "Liberators" is 'a rumbling ode to one of the most magnificent bombers ever built', and the title track, "Warsaw Rising", 'tells the tragic tale of the bloody 1944 Warsaw uprising'. These two tracks have a mid-tempo groove powered by a chugging bass and pounding drums with some very clean guitar lines rising above the din. "Destroyer" is slower and "sludgier" than the first two cuts and is a recognizable but complete reinterpretation/reconstruction of the Twisted Sister song. The three live cuts are played with an energy and intensity that can't be captured on a studio recording. It is a clean and well-mixed live recording where all of the instruments and Martin van Drune's raw vocals come through clearly. There is also some crowd interplay which adds to the live sound ambiance.

This EP is a solid hold-over until the band releases a new full length.

Hail of Bullet's MySpace Profile

Ravage: Photos from Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ 8/21/09 (Metal Blade)

Ravage released an independent EP ("Freedom Fighter") last year which sounded like a cross between old-school thrash crossed with NWOBHM melodies. The band's music caught my ear right away and, when I saw that the band's only area show was at Dingbatz, I figured that a chance to see the band live was worth an hour drive to Clifton, NJ on a Friday night (and I hate driving through the Lincoln Tunnel at any hour).

Note: Ravage has just added a show at Club Europa with Cage on September 13th

Ravage - Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ 8/21/09 (Metal Blade)

Ravage played a great set which included material from the "Freedom Fighter" EP and the band's Metal Blade debut The End of Tomorrow, which came out last Tuesday. The band's set also included a spot-on cover of Judas Priest's "Nightcrawler" (which is included on The End of Tomorrow).

Ravage - Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ 8/21/09 (Metal Blade)

Ravage - Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ 8/21/09 (Metal Blade)

Ravage - Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ 8/21/09 (Metal Blade)

Ravage - Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ 8/21/09 (Metal Blade)

Ravage - Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ 8/21/09 (Metal Blade)

Ravage's MySpace Profile
Ravage's Page on Metal Blade

Friday, August 21, 2009

The States Play Crash Mansion Tonight / New EP out on Sept. 22nd

The States Play Crash Mansion on Aug. 21stBrooklyn's The States are playing a show tonight at Crash Mansion with Exit Clov (from DC), Hailey Wojcik (CD release party) and Black Taxi.

The States are releasing their new EP "We Are Erasers" on Sept. 22nd and the band describes their music as "Radiohead-like dreamscapes, Zeppelin-inspired bombast, and an Orwellian political sensibility...often in the same song".

The States go on at 11PM but get to the club early -- every Friday night, Crash Mansion starts the evening with an open bar.

You can RSVP to New York Underbelly for free admission to the show.

The States' MySpace Profile

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Moss - Tombs of the Blind Drugged CD Review (Metal Blade/Rise Above)

Moss - Tombs of the Blind Drugged CD Review (Metal Blade/Rise Above)The title of this disc says a lot about the music - this is slow, ponderous doom metal which borrows a page from musicians like Xasthur and many of the artists on the Southern Lord roster.

Similar to Xasthur, Moss builds slow, hypnotic songs where tortured vocals are layered beneath a wave of down-tuned guitars, pounding bass riffs, and occasional funeral keys. Three of the four songs on this "EP" are over 10 minutes in length so that gives plenty of time for Moss' mind-numbing music to take hold. The final cut is a doom metal cover of Discharge's "Maimed and Slaughtered" which Moss manages to extend to 3x its original length.

This disc seemed to scare off a few reviewers but, as a fan of the doom/drone genre, I thought Tombs of the Blind Drugged was a great introduction to a band that I wasn't previously familiar with. Fans of most Southern Lord and Hydra Head releases will love this disc. For anyone not familiar with this genre of music, Sunn O)))'s Monoliths and Dimensions is a bit more accessible and probably a better place to start.

Moss' MySpace Profile

Ross the Boss - Autograph Session and Meet n' Greet Tomorrow Night at Duff's (Manowar/The Dictators)

Ross The Boss Hosts a Meet and Greet at Duff's in Brooklyn Tomorrow NightGuitarist Ross The Boss will be at Duff's in Brooklyn tomorrow night for a special meet n' greet/autograph signing.

The long-time guitarist for The Dictators and Manowar released his first solo CD New Metal Leader (Candlelight Records) earlier this year. Ross' new band will be making their US debut with a show at Club Europa on August 28th.

The signing runs from 10PM - Midnight tomorrow night. Duff's is located at 168 Marcy Avenue in Williamsburg.

Ross The Boss' MySpace Profile

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The B-52s Were Rained Out Tonight at Governors Island

The B-52s St List from Governor's IslandThe B-52's only made it through approx. two-thirds of their set tonight on Governors Island as the show ended up being called off due to lightening and rain.

The band stopped at "Roam" and there seemed to be the hope that the rain would pass as a few hundred people huddled in the beer tent. After about a thirty minute wait and some lightening crashes that seemed awfully close, the promoters called off the remainder of the show.

More on this later -- after some sleep...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Steven Mark Plays Public Assembly Tomorrow Night, Aug. 18th (NY Singer/Songwriter Sessions)

Steven Mark Plays Public Assembly Tomorrow Night as Past of NY Singer/Songwriter SessionsSinger/songwriter Steven Mark is playing a show tomorrow night at Public Assembly as part of the club's monthly Singer/Songwriter series. Doors are at 7PM and cover is $5.00. Steven is playing a solo acoustic set which will start around 9:15PM.

Steven's music draws a lot of comparisons to both Elliott Smith and The Beatles and he released his fourth disc, One Small Room, earlier this year. One Small Room is available from CD Baby and iTunes.

Steven Mark's MySpace Profile

Red Collar Announce Ltd. Edition Vinyl Version of "Pilgrim" + "Used Guitars", Live @ Piano's, NYC 7/14/09

DOWNLOAD: Red Collar - "Pilgrim" (MP3)

Red Collar Announce Ltd. Edition Vinyl Version of 'Pilgrim'Durham, NC alt-rock band Red Collar announced that a limited edition red vinyl pressing of their debut release Pilgrim will be coming out soon on Loose Charm Records.

It looks like there will be 300-500 copies pressed on transparent red vinyl.

"All of them will be hand numbered and on nice, red vinyl. All of the sleeves will be screen-printed. The track order was re-worked to give the album more of a Side A/Side B flow and the first 100 copies will be printed with special metallic silver ink. Due to length we couldn’t fit all 11 songs on one record so every copy will also have a download card for all 11 album tracks plus one bonus cover song that we will post more about soon." -- from Red Collar's blog

Red Collar's Website

Thursday, August 13, 2009

HydroTilt XL (iPhone/iPod Game) is Now .99 Cents in the AppStore

I've downloaded a number of puzzle games over the last few months but HydroTilt XL is the only one that I'm still actively playing.

HydoTilt XL (puzzle game) is now .99 cents in the AppStoreThe premise of this game is that you have to guide a drop of water through various obstacles scattered across the game board to reach the goal point. You have crumbling blocks, grates, one way conveyer belts and air tunnels that can only be maneuvered by changing the drop of water into ice or steam. While this is an easy game to get started with, some of the puzzles require a bit of thought and planning to overcome. These puzzles add a unique twist and help HydroTitle XL stand out in the field of comparable tilt and balance game.

Since the game's original release, Publisher X has added a level editor and numerous additional levels. With the level editor, you can create your own levels which you can upload to iTunes for a chance to compete for cash prizes.

With the game now .99 cents, you aren't going to go wrong with this title.

HydroTitle XL (puzzle game from Publisher X) is now .99 cents in the iTunes AppStore

HydroTilt XL Game Site

Cleopatra Slot Machine Game Now Available for iPhone and iPod Touch

Cleopatra is one of the classic casino slot machines in Las Vegas and Atlantic City and was prominently positioned last time I was in Caesars Atlantic City. This iPhone/iTouch game is a straight-forward port of all of the slot machine's look, feel and sound. While there isn't a slot machine handle on the iPhone, you shake the device to spin the reels.

Cleopatra Slot Machine Game Now Available for the iPhone/iTouchLike the land-based slot, this game is a 5-reel, 20-line game. You start the game with 3,000 credits and you can bet on 1 to 20 lines. Each line has a minimum of a one credit bet and a maximum of a five credit bet.

The jackpot comes from landing five Cleopatra symbols on a pay line but you can also do very nicely with a series of Sphinx symbols. If two or more Sphinx symbols appears anywhere on the reels, you earn a scatter award. The more Sphinx symbols that appear - the higher the reward. With three or more Sphinx symbols, you earn the Cleopatra Bonus which is fifteen free spins and any award won during these free spins are at 3x the normal amount.

The game has both an instant play mode (solo) and a tournament mode where you can compete for a place on the global leader board.

For any casino slot machine fans, the only thing missing in this game is the payout.

Cleopatra is $1.99 from the iTunes AppStore.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mugison Partners with Amnesty International and Plays Free Shows in Each of the Five Boroughs on August 18th

DOWNLOAD: Mugison - "Mugiboogie" (MP3)

Mugison Teams Up with Amnesty International for Free Shows in All Five NYC BoroughsMugison came through town a few times last year with shows at Hiro Ballroom in the Spring and the Mercury Lounge in the Fall. I caught the show at Hiro Ballroom (here is a link to pictures from the show) and it was a wild dose of bourbon-soaked psychedelic blues and country.

Mugison has partnered with Amnesty International and he is playing free shows in each of the five boroughs on August 18th to create awareness and support for the pioneering worldwide human rights organization. While the shows are free, a limited edition event poster will be offered at the shows and proceeds will benefit Amnesty International.

Here is the schedule for the 18th:
Staten Isalnd, 12:00PM, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Queens, 2:00PM, The Silent Barn
Bronx, 5:00PM, Bronx River Art Center
Manhattan, 8:30PM, City Winery
Brooklyn, 11:00PM, Pete's Candy Store

Mugison's Website
Amnesty International

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Beatles Rare And Unseen: Unofficial Account Of The Biggest Band In The World DVD Review (MVD)

The Beatles Rare and Unseen - DVD ReviewThe Beatles Rare and Unseen is a new documentary that comes out on DVD tomorrow. This disc combines rare and previously unreleased film footage and photos of The Beatles with an insider's commentary that traces the history of The Beatles; from The Quarrymen through the breakup of the band.

The narrative is provided by a host of characters that include Allan Williams (former manager), Colin Hanton (their first drummer), Sam Leach (tour manager), Tony Barrow (press officer 1962-1968), Tony Bramwell (roadie) and musicians Phil Collins, Norman "Hurricane" Smith, Mickey Jones, Gerry Marsden and Sylvie Varten. There is sufficient focus on the band's pre-American tour embryonic days which shows the band evolution from from their pre-suit wearing days in Liverpool (with the earliest known concert footage from February 1962) to their tightly honed live act in 1964 (with footage from Paris' Olympia Theatre, January 1964 and Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland October 1964). All of the film footage is fully restored so you get the best possible visuals of the band as they evolved in both look and sound.

The interviews that overplay on top of the films and photos add a new dimension to the band's story as you hear both the thoughts and decisions of Beatles insiders who helped shape the band's career along with the impressions of musicians who played with and shared the stage with The Beatles. The Olympia Theatre footage was shot by drummer Mickey Jones (from Trini Lopez's band) who talks about The Beatles as 'unknowns' prior to seeing them play and as friends afterward. In addition to sharing his impressions as a fan watching The Beatles perform for the first time, he also tells stories of bonding over the drums with Ringo and driving John's car.

In addition to the "insider's" narrative, there is also footage from a mid-70's French TV interview with John Lennon (some of this same footage was used in "Anthology") insterspersed throughout the documentary that helps set the stage for some of the archival 60's footage. Complementing the concert footage, there are home movies of The Beatles on vacation in the Channel Islands and on-the-set footage from the filming of Help! (Bahamas, 1965) and Magical Mystery Tour (Newquay, 1967).

As the majority of the stories and anecdotes were new to me, I really enjoyed this film. Long-time Beatles' collectors may be familar with these stories but the newly uncovered concert footage make this disc a 'must-have' for Beatles collectors as well.

Cursive - Photos from Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ 8/6/09

I'm somewhat of a Cursive novice as I hadn't given the band a lot of attention prior to last Thursday's show at Maxwell's. I was expected a fairly mellow show after watching the band perform "From The Hips" on Letterman and was floored to see a Fugazi-like energy in the room.

A leaky ceiling panel over the stage seemed to slow down the set change-over so the room was completely packed prior to Cursive's set. When Cursive made their way through the crowd to take the stage, they were greeted and back-slapped like hometown heroes.

Cursive - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

The band started off with a bang as Tim Kasher eyeballed the crowd as the band started into "Butcher the Song". The minute Tim took the mic, the crowd went wild with singing and dancing along.

Cursive - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

Cursive - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

Cursive - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

When the band didn't slow down after the first 4 - 5 songs, the dancing turned into an on-again/off-again pit and crowd surfing.

Cursive - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

Cursive - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

This was one of those nights where 'anything goes' but it never got to the point of being out of control (like some matinees at CBGB). The band finally slowed down when Tim went off on a rant about how the devil is real which ultimately segued into the song "Big Bang".

Cursive - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

After a few more songs, which included a cover of David Bowie's "Modern Love" and "From the Hips", the band finished their set. It is nights like this that made the walk down Washington Street and the long train ride back to Brooklyn worth it. (How frequently does that bloody PATH train run? I swear I was on the platform for more than 30 minutes.)

Tomorrow night is the final show of the current tour:
Aug. 11 2009, 7:00PM, CD Central - FREE In-Store, Lexington, Kentucky
Aug. 11 2009, 8:00PM, The Dame, Lexington, Kentucky

Cursive's MySpace Profile

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm - Rhino Releases 6-CD Box Set from the Original Woodstock Festival

STREAM: Woodstock: 40 Years On - Selections from the Box Set (Rhino)

On Tuesday (August 11th), Rhino is releasing a six-CD box set of performances from the original Woodstock Festival. This celebration of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock includes 38 previously unreleased tracks and a detailed booklet within the box set that provides, for the first time, complete and accurate set lists for all performances.

This box set marks the first time that the performances have been sequenced to flow in chronological order. In addition to the music, this new box set includes stage announcements, Max Yasgur's complete address to the crowd, a cameo appearance from Abbie Hoffman, and general psychedelic babble which help capture the overall ambiance of the festival.

Here is the complete track listing:

Disc 1
1. "Handsome Johnny" ‹ Richie Havens
2. "Freedom (Motherless Child)" ‹ Richie Havens
3. "Choppity Choppity"‹ John Morris
4. "Look Out" ‹ Sweetwater
5. "Two Worlds"‹Sweetwater *
6. "Jennifer" ‹ Bert Sommer *
7. "And When It's Over"‹ Bert Sommer *
8. "Smile" ‹ Bert Sommer *
9. "There Goes Marilyn!"‹ John Morris
10. "Hang On To A Dream" ‹ Tim Hardin *
11. "Simple Song Of Freedom" ‹ Tim Hardin *
12. "Flat Blue Acid"‹ John Morris
13. "Raga Puriya-Dhanashri/Gat In Sawarital" ‹ Ravi Shankar *
14. "Momma Momma" ‹ Melanie *
15. "Beautiful People" ‹ Melanie
16. "Birthday Of The Sun" ‹ Melanie
17. "Coming Into Los Angeles" ‹ Arlo Guthrie ***
18. "Wheel Of Fortune" ‹ Arlo Guthrie *
19. "Every Hand In The Land" ‹ Arlo Guthrie *
20. "All You Funny People"‹ John Morris

Disc 2
1. "Joe Hill"‹ Joan Baez
2. "Sweet Sir Galahad"‹ Joan Baez
3. "Hickory Wind" ‹ Joan Baez *
4. "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man" ‹ Joan Baez w/Jeffrey Shurtleff
5. "Bring Scully His Asthma Pills"‹ John Morris
6. "Insulin" & Quill Intro‹ John Morris
7. "They Live The Life" ‹ Quill *
8. "That's How I Eat"‹ Quill *
9. "I Understand Your Wife Is Having A Baby"‹ Chip Monck
10. "Donovan's Reef" ‹ Country Joe McDonald *
11. "The 'Fish' Cheer"/"I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag" ‹ Country Joe McDonald
12. "Persuasion" ‹ Santana
13. "Soul Sacrifice" ‹ Santana
14. "How Have You Been"‹ John B. Sebastian
15. "Rainbows All Over Your Blues" ‹ John B. Sebastian
16. "I Had A Dream" ‹ John B. Sebastian
17. "The Letter" ‹ Incredible String Band *
18. "When You Find Out Who You Are" ‹ Incredible String Band *
19. "She Is Lost"‹ Chip Monck

Disc 3
1. "We're In Pretty Good Shape"‹ Chip Monck
2. "Going Up The Country" ‹ Canned Heat
3. "Woodstock Boogie" ‹ Canned Heat **
4. "The Brown Acid Is Not Specifically Too Good"‹ Chip Monck
5. "Blood Of The Sun" ‹ Mountain ***
6. "Theme For An Imaginary Western" ‹ Mountain ***
7. "For Yasgur's Farm" ‹ Mountain *
8. "For Those Of You Who Have Partaken Of The Green Acid"‹ Chip Monck
9. "Green Acid Advice"‹ Jerry Garcia & Country Joe McDonald
10. "Dark Star" ‹ Grateful Dead *
11. "Green River"‹ Creedence Clearwater Revival
12. "Bad Moon Rising"‹ Creedence Clearwater Revival *
13. "I Put A Spell On You" ‹ Creedence Clearwater Revival

Disc 4
1. "Work Me, Lord" ‹ Janis Joplin
2. "Ball And Chain" ‹ Janis Joplin
3. Medley: "Dance To The Music"/"Music Lover"/"I Want To Take You Higher"‹Sly & The Family Stone
4. "The Politics Of The Situation"‹ Abbie Hoffman
5. "Amazing Journey" ‹ The Who *
6. "Pinball Wizard" ‹ The Who *
7. Abbie Hoffman vs. Pete Townshend
8. "We're Not Gonna Take It" ‹ The Who **
9. "The Other Side Of This Life" ‹ Jefferson Airplane *
10. "Somebody To Love"‹ Jefferson Airplane
11. "Won't You Try"/ "Saturday Afternoon"‹ Jefferson Airplane
12. "We Got A Whole Lot Of Orange"‹ Grace Slick
13. "Volunteers" ‹ Jefferson Airplane
14. "Breakfast In Bed For 400,000"‹Wavy Gravy
15. "It Just Keeps Goin'"‹ John Morris
16. Max Yasgur Speaks

Disc 5
1. "Feelin' Alright"‹ Joe Cocker *
2. "Let's Go Get Stoned"‹ Joe Cocker
3. "With A Little Help From My Friends" ‹ Joe Cocker
4. The Rainstorm
5. "Rock & Soul Music"‹ Country Joe & The Fish
6. "Love" ‹ Country Joe & The Fish *
7. "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine"‹ Country Joe & The Fish *
8. "Summer Dresses"‹ Country Joe & The Fish *
9. "Silver and Gold"‹ Country Joe & The Fish *
10. "Rock & Soul Music" (Reprise)‹ Country Joe & The Fish *
11. "Leland Mississippi Blues" ‹ Johnny Winter *
12. "Mean Town Blues" ‹ Johnny Winter
13. "You've Made Me So Very Happy"‹ Blood Sweat & Tears *

Disc 6
1. "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" ‹ Crosby Stills & Nash
2. "Guinnevere"‹ Crosby Stills & Nash
3. "Marrakesh Express" ‹ Crosby Stills & Nash
4. "4 + 20" ‹ Crosby Stills & Nash
5. "Sea Of Madness" ‹ Crosby Stills Nash & Young
6. "Wooden Ships" ‹ Crosby Stills Nash & Young
7. "No Amount Of Loving"‹The Butterfield Blues Band *
8. "Love March" ‹ The Butterfield Blues Band
9. "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" ‹ The Butterfield Blues Band
10. "Get A Job" ‹ Sha Na Na *
11. "At The Hop" ‹ Sha Na Na
12. "Get A Job" (Reprise) ‹ Sha Na Na *
13. "The Star Spangled Banner"‹ Jimi Hendrix
"Purple Haze"‹ Jimi Hendrix
"Woodstock Improvisation"‹ Jimi Hendrix
14. "Woodstock Farewell"‹ Chip Monck

*Previously Unissued = never before released
**Previously Unissued Full-Length Version = previously released on a Woodstock title in edited form.
***Previously Unissued Woodstock Recording = presenting the actual Woodstock performances here for the first time.

The Love Language - Photos from Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ 8/6/09

Chapel Hill, NC seven-piece band The Love Language opened for Cursive last Thursday night at Maxwell's. The band has been through the area a number of times over the past few months, touring behind their self-titled debut CD (on Bladen County Records) and they have been alternating between opening for Cursive and playing headlining shows this time around. While the sold-out crowd at Maxwell's was clearly there for Cursive, The Love Language played a solid 40 minute set and probably picked up more than a few fans.

The Love Language - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

As this was my first time seeing (or hearing) The Love Language, the band struck me like a cross between Jeff Buckley and The Arcade Fire. Guitarist/song writer/singer Stuart McLamb's vocals alternate between a Jeff Buckley-style quaver on some of the slower numbers and an R&B 'swing' on upbeat numbers like "Sparxx" and "Lalita". For anyone who hasn't seen the band perform live, here is a live version of "Lalita" that was recorded at the soundcheck at a recent show in Brooklyn.

The Love Language - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

The Love Language - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

The Love Language - Maxwell's, NJ 8/6/09

Here is The Love Language's upcoming tour dates:
Aug. 09. 2009, 8:00PM, 123 Pleasant Street w/ Cursive & Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Morgantown, West Virginia
Aug. 10, 2009, 8:00PM, Musica w/ Cursive, Akron, Ohio
Aug. 11, 2009, 8:00PM, The Dame w/Cursive, Lexington, Kentucky
Aug. 20 2009, 8:00PM, Locally Grown Festival, w/ Lost in the Trees, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Aug. 29 2009, 8:00PM, 40 Watt Club w/Modern Skirts, Athens, Georgia

The Love Language's MySpace Profile

Saturday, August 08, 2009 is running an "Ultimate Woodstock 40th Anniversary Sweepstakes" is hosting an 'Ultimate Woodstock 40th Anniversary Sweepstakes'The first day of the original Woodstock Festival was August 15, 1969 so next week will mark the 40th Anniversary of the festival. There were reports earlier this year that there was going to be a free festival this summer to celebrate this anniversary but formal announcements never followed.

What did happen though is that Woodstock founders, Michael Lang and Joel Rosenman, launched as a live music social network. In addition to the music-related content, "[t]here will be platforms for environmental initiatives, social issues, and other current topics. Visitors to the site can meet on a virtual village green, a platform for developing initiatives about global warming, carbon emissions, and responsible energy use. A special interactive portion of the site will make clear to the world which issues are of the greatest importance to the Woodstock community. And of course, the site will be the ultimate source for all things Woodstock -- exclusive interviews, guest editors, audio-visual content, rare photographs and other memorabilia with an online store offering a wide variety of goods including fine art prints of never-before-seen photography, music, film, collectables, apparel and books."

To celebrate this 40th Anniversary, is running a sweepstakes. One Grand Prize winner will win:
· an Ang Lee Autographed Taking Woodstock Poster
· The Woodstock Experience (Limited Edition Complete CD Box Set)
· Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (40th Anniversary Ultimate DVD Collector's edition)
· an autographed copy of The Road To Woodstock
· Woodstock - 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm box set.


Robert Fripp Releases Studio Session for "Disengage" (with John Wetton and Phil Collins)

Robert Fripp Releases Studio Sessions for 'Disengage' (from 1979's Exposure LP)Robert Fripp opened the floodgates to the King Crimson/Fripp vaults a few years ago and steady stream of live material and studio outtakes has followed.

Fripp has just released the "Disengage Online EP" which consists of four studio takes of "Disengage" that were recorded in December 1977 with John Wetton and Phil Collins. The EP is available as an online download in MP3 format for $1 and in FLAC format for $2.

"Consisting of four different takes of the same track, we get to hear the anatomy of Disengage as it begins to breath and stretch. It's interesting to hear each musician trying out little experiments, pockets, retreats and chancing the occasional headlong thrust as the temperature rises or the inclination takes them."

"Disengage Online EP"

Beaten Awake Plays Coco 66 (in Greenpoint) Tomorrow Night

Beaten Awake Play Coco 66 In Greenpoint on August 9thLo-fi rockers Beaten Awake have been playing some shows in advance of the release of their second album and the band is in town for shows in Brooklyn tonight and tomorrow.

Tonight's show is at Public Assembly and the band is playing as part of the Hope North benefit. On the bill with Beaten Awake is A Big Yes and a small no, Bad Girlfriend, The Sundelles and The Wild Yaks. Tickets are $15 at the door.

Tomorrow night's show is at Coco 66 (66 Greenpoint Avenue). Beaten Awake takes the stage at 10PM tomorrow and are followed by jazz/torch singer (Kate) Mattison at 11PM.

Beaten Awake's sophomore release, Thunder$troke, is due out October 13, 2009 on Fat Possum. Thunder$troke was recorded with producer Patrick Carney (drummer for The Black Keys) and this disc is the follow-up to Beaten Awake's 2007 debut Let's Get Simplified.

Beaten Awake originally came together in 2005 in Kent, OH and the band has been honing their chops on the road, touring with bands that include The Black Keys, Heartless Bastards, and Dax Riggs. Beaten Awake has also backed Daniel Johnston and there are a number of videos from this collaboration on YouTube.

Here is a live video of Thunder$troke from a recent performance at Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland:

Beaten Awake's MySpace Profile

Friday, August 07, 2009

My Cousin, The Emperor - A Long Way Home CD Review (Country R&B)

My Cousin, The Emperor - A Long Way From Home CD ReviewMy Cousin, The Emperor is the latest project of North Carolina-to-Brooklyn transplant singer/songwriter Jason Reischel.

In My Cousin, The Emperor, Jason has joined forces with guitarist Terry Quire, bassist Chris Gogan and drummer Alex Wyatt and the band has their debut CD coming out on October 20th. This disc caught my ear right away as the band captures some musical styles that are atypical to indie alt-country. The disc starts with some 'Country R&B' tunes that are stylistically similar to work from Jools Holland and similar artists. From there, Jason Reischel takes the band into reverb-heavy melancholy that is very comparable to songs from artists like Chris Isaak and Roy Orbison. One of the real standout tracks on the disc is "Regalo La Flor" which is an old-school Sun Studio's style rockabilly rave-up. All-in-all, the stylistic changes across this disc keep it fresh after repeated listening.

The first three cuts from this forthcoming disc are streaming on the band's MySpace page (link below) and these tracks are good representation of the overall disc. "A Long Way From Home" and "Broken Bottle Blues No. 2" are different takes on the band's 'Country R&B' sound and "Montevideo" is a slice of Roy Orbison/Dion-style melancholia.

My Cousin, The Emperor's next live show is a CD release party at Joe's Pub on October 16th.

My Cousin, The Emperor's MySpace Profile

Hollands Plays Shows at Glasslands Gallery and Pete's Candy Store on Aug. 20th and 21st

Hollands is composed of multi-instrumentalist John-Paul Norpoth and violinist Jannina Barefield. The band released their debut EP "Faces" late last year with a release party show at Mercury Lounge.

Together, they combine fuzzy Flaming Lips guitars with Martin-esque orchestral arrangements and traditional folk nods to the Paul Simon's and the Grateful Dead's of years past. At times, Hollands sounds like a simple folk duo, plaintive and gentle, soft and free. At others, the band performs as a loud, brash, orchestral rock ensemble; employing cello, organs, synthesizers, electric and acoustic violins. In other words, they'll explore any means necessary to realize the most honest atmosphere and capture the diversity of each song.

Hollands is taping an appearance for Fearless Music on August 19th and they are also playing two shows later this month to wrap up the summer. The first show is August 20th at Glassland Gallery and Hollands is sharing the bill with In Cadeo (CD release show for Making Our Graves). The following night, Hollands is playing a free show at Pete's Candy Store.

Here is a live video from a show at Pete's Candy store earlier this summer.

Hollands have a new EP, "Mother", due out in September.

Hollands' MySpace Profile

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Loyal Divide Play Maxwell's on Friday, Aug. 7th and Arlene's Grocery on October 2nd (Ambient Industrial Dance)

DOWNLOAD: Loyal Divide - Vision Vision (MP3)

Chicago's Loyal Divide Play Maxwell's on Aug. 7th and Arlene's Grocery on Oct. 2ndChicago's Loyal Divide is in the area the Friday night for a show at Maxwell's and then the band is coming back through in October for a show at Arlene's Grocery on 2nd.

Loyal Divide play ambient industrial dance music and points of comparison would be Aphex Twin and Music for Airports-era Eno. The band released a 4-track EP "Labrador" last November (available on iTunes) and the latest single from this disc is "Vision Vision".

Loyal Divide is playing with Jupiter One and Square Wave Punch tomorrow night. Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 9PM.

Loyal Divide's MySpace Profile

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Dan Auerbach - "What's In My Bag": Shopping at Amoeba Records, San Francisco

While The Black Keys played APW this past weekend and have a couple more shows scheduled this year, Dan Auerbach is primarily spending the remainder of the year touring with his new project Dan Auerbach & the Fast Five.

Here is a video of Dan stopping in at Amoeba Records in San Francisco for some record shopping while he was in town for a show at Bimbo's this past March.

Here is a live video from the show at Bimbo's:

Dan Auerbach & the Fast Five Tour Dates:
Aug 8, 2009 - 8:00PM, Schuba’s, Chicago, Illinois
Aug 9, 2009 - 8:00PM, Lollapalooza - Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois
Nov 5, 2009 - 8:00PM, Newport Music Hall, Columbus, Ohio
Nov 6, 2009 - 8:00PM, The Majestic Theatre, Detroit, Michigan
Nov 7, 2009 - 8:00PM, Phoenix Concert Theatre, Toronto
Nov 8, 2009 - 8:00PM, Le National, Montreal
Nov 9, 2009 - 8:00PM, The Paradise, Boston
Nov 11, 2009 - 8:00PM, Webster Hall, New York
Nov 12, 2009 - 8:00PM, Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Dan Auerbach's MySpace Profile

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

DOWNLOAD: Karen Rockower - "Dog" (MP3)

Karen Rockower Plays an Acoustic Set Tomorrow Night at Luca Lounge in Alphabet CityBugs in the Dark guitarist/vocalist Karen Rockower is playing a rare solo acoustic set tomorrow night at Luca Lounge in Alphabet City (Avenue B btwn. 13 - 14th Street). The show is free at starts at 8PM.

Karen will be playing a 30 minute set which will include tunes from her forthcoming solo album (due out later this year) which she is recording with producer (and occasional Bugs' bassist) Mark Turrigiano.

Karen Rockower's MySpace Profile
Bugs in the Dark's MySpace Profile

BrooklynRocks Interview with Brad Fischetti from LFO (Summer Girls)

DOWNLOAD: LFO - "Life Is Good" (MP3)

LFO Reunites for a Summer TourLFO (best known for their 1999 #1 chart hit ‘Summer Girls’) has reunited after a seven year hiatus and just finished up a cross-country tour with Rookie of the Year, Go Crash Audio and Kiernan McMullan.

I had the chance to catch up with Brad Fischetti while the band was traveling down the southern part of the East Coast.

BrooklynRocks: What’s been going on with LFO over the last few years? It seems like the last time I remember hearing about the band was 2001 – 02.

Brad: In 2002, we took a hiatus. At that point in time, we were several months into the promotion of our second record (Life Is Good). The second album was successful but not like the first – shortly after its release 9/11 happened, Napster came about and people were getting music for free. For a variety of reasons, the band just couldn’t stay working together. We worked together for so many years and it was time for a break.

I started making plans for a record label (111 Records) which I still own today. Devin spent five years holed up in his apartment reading, writing and recording music. Devin came out of this an extraordinary musician. I put out his solo disc, Devin Lima and the Cadbury Diesel, on my label. Rich was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after our break and was given a 50%/50% chance to live. He was given chemo and went into remission. The leukemia came back and Rich was given a stem cell transplant, after which he started the Rich Cronin Hope Foundation to help bring awareness to stem cell treatments. Shortly after that, he went into remission again. A further complication happened though - on a routine hospital visit, medication was administered incorrectly which caused Rich to have a stroke. He wasn’t expected to live and, if he did, he would be a vegetable. The hospital tried an experimental treatment and Rich woke up but he is still feeling the after-effects of the stroke. It takes every ounce of energy he has to get on stage but he is passionate and dedicated to making this reunion work.

Last year, I approached the guys about the concept of a reunion. The timing seemed right in both our lives and with the music. Our original plans were to put together a couple new songs and go out on the road. It has come together so well, God willing, we will continue this comeback with more touring.

BrooklynRocks: I saw that your new single “Summer of My Life” is streaming on your MySpace profile. Are there other new songs that you are putting in the set?

Brad: We have two new songs “Summer of My Life” and “Hey Radio” in the set. Devin also performs one of his solo songs called “Hanging with You” and Rich performs his solo song “Story of My Life”, which is a powerful song that recaps the last ten years of his life.

BrooklynRocks: When you look back into the 90’s/early 2000, do you ever shake your head and say “I can’t believe I wore that or did that?”

Brad: (Brad laughs) A lot – specifically in video footage that came from 1996 – 98. I can’t believe some of the things we wore but guess it was kind of cool at the time. We also didn’t have creative control at that time and were following the direction of the record company. If you look back at the career of just about anybody who has had some success, everybody has something wacky in their early days. Kid Rock’s first album was laughable and he is a mega-star now.

BrooklynRocks: I know that you have only played one date so far (The Masquerade in Atlanta) but what sort of crowd are you drawing?

Brad: Probably 15 – 35 years old with the majority of the crowd in their mid-20’s.

BrooklynRocks: Did I read correctly that you are doing meet-and-greets with everyone who buys a ticket?

Brad: We are trying to give people an experience. We are trying to play smaller places that give as many people who are interested the opportunity to come to the show. I think there is tremendous impact that you can have in meeting people personally. I know this is the case for me – I ran into a baseball player once in a chance meeting and I’ll never forget that. We are trying to make our shows ‘An Evening with LFO’ rather than ‘come see our show, drive an hour each way and then go home’. We have VIP passes where you essentially get to spend the whole day with us. At the Atlanta show, I had a couple fans tell me it was the best night they ever had. We’re not touring to make money and bring home a check but rather to rebuild the LFO ‘brand’, reconnect with the fans and have some fun.

BrooklynRocks: What was it likely in 1999/2000, headlining large auditoriums and playing with Britney?

Brad: One of the coolest tours we did was this tour of amphitheatres with Nickelodeon. We were playing to 5,000 – 25,000 a night. I have some extraordinary video footage from those days. Our fans continue have such passion.

BrooklynRocks: Thanks for the time today. As a wrap-up is there anything that you want people to know about you, the band, the shows?

Brad: Check us out on our social networking sites – we are very active and always try to respond to people. We are on MySpace, Twitter and we have been posting some YouTube “shout out” videos to try and respond to all of the tweets that we have been getting.

LFO’s MySpace Profile

Wizards of Waverly Place Soundtrack CD Released Today (Disney) / Live Webchat with Selena Gomez on Friday

Wizards of Waverly Place Soundtrack Released Today (Disney)It is hard to keep up the heavy metal image when you have kids - especially kids who think the world rises and falls on Disney Channel stars. I've tried taking the older one to punk and metal shows but, outside of Hazen Street and Madball, it just hasn't stuck.

As a marketer, you have to hand it to the Disney 'machine' as it seems like every one of these Disney stars is a household name and tween heart throb. There is something to be said for imprinting your brand on the kids - let's not kid ourselves that the adults are the real decision makers or that they have more than a glimmer of an idea as to what goes on in this world. My daughter thinks this CD is a real big deal so I've asked her write a CD review sometime over the next few days. She understands this genre more than I ever will.

To get back on topic - this disc is the soundtrack to "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie”, which premieres on Disney Channel on August 28. The tracks on the disc are a mix of 60's - 80's covers along with a few original numbers.

Here is the complete track listing:
1. Disappear, Selena Gomez
2. Magical, Selena Gomez
3. Magic, (Pilot) Selena Gomez
4. Strange Magic (ELO), Steve Rushton
5. Magic, (The Cars) Honor Society
6. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, (The Police) Mitchel Musso
7. Magic Carpet Ride, (Steppenwolf) KSM
8. Magic, (Olivia Newton-John) Meaghan Martin
9. You Can Do Magic, Drew Seeley
10. Some Call It Magic, Raven-Symoné
11. Do You Believe in Magic, (Lovin' Spoonful) Aly & AJ
12. Everything Is Not As It Seems, Selena Gomez

In support of this release, show star Selena Gomez will be taking part in a Facebook live webcast chat on Friday August 7th at 7PM EST.

There is also a contest running where fans are invited to submit their videos for the song "Magic". Check out this video for more detail.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Automatic Children Are Playing Tomorrow Night at Cameo Gallery in Williamsburg

I've been a big fan of Automatic Children for the last few years and this is the second year now that they have made the Deli Magazine’s list of top NYC bands. The band is playing tomorrow night at Cameo Gallery (which is inside the Lovin Cup Cafe on N. 6th Street) with Hunters, Run!.

Automatic Children have a new 7" out - "Coming Over Me" and "Solitude" which is a limited edition pressing that comes with a digital download card (for those without a turntable). The band is finalizing their full-length debut which is due out next montth.

Automatic Children's Website

Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City CD Reissue (Ardent/Stax)

STREAM: Big Star - "In the Street"

"Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes 'round" - The Replacements: “Alex Chilton”

Big Star - #1 Record/Radio City CD ReviewIn the 30+ years since the release of Big Star’s first two albums, #1 Record and Radio City, these discs have grown to a legendary/cult status that its members (Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Jody Stephens and Andy Hummel) never seemed to recapture. These albums, which were originally issued in 1972 and 1974, provided the foundation for modern power-pop at a time when bands like Led Zeppelin were all the rage. While discs were critically acclaimed, they sold next to nothing due to poor record company promotion and distribution. After being out of print for a number of years, Ardent/Stax Records has reissued the first two Big Star albums on one disc with the non-LP single versions of “In the Street” and “O My Soul”.

These discs have grown in prominence over the years after bands like R.E.M., Dream Syndicate, Cheap Trick and the Replacements have all cited Big Star as an inspiration. According to Wikipedia, #1 Record was ranked number 438 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. One of Big Star’s most recognizable singles, “September Gurls” (from Radio City), has been covered from artists that range from The Bangles to Superdrag.

#1 Record is the only disc to feature original guitarist Chris Bell, who collaborated with Alex Chilton on the brunt of the songwriting. The singles from this release were “When My Baby's Beside Me" and "Don't Lie to Me". The b-side of this later track included a unique version of "In the Street" (which is now enshrined in pop-culture history as the theme from “That 70’s Show”) which has been included on this compilation.

Radio City was released two years later with the band now down to a three-piece with the departure of Chris Bell. The disc does though include some un-credited work by Chris Bell on the tracks "O My Soul" and "Back of a Car". In reviewing Radio City, Rolling Stone's Ken Barnes said "Sometimes they sound like the Byrds, sometimes like the early Who, but usually like their own indescribable selves".

Big Star's MySpace Profile

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Once (the band) - CD Release Interview + Acoustic Performance, NYC, July '09

Former NYC resident, and one-time booking agent for The Space at Chase, Sami Rahman is back in New York fronting his new rock band Once.

Sami is the singer/songwriter for the band and the other members are an all-star lineup of LA musicians (from Sami's time on the West Coast). Once includes Pelle Hilstrom (Abandoned Pools, Modwheelmoods) on lead guitar, Kelli Scott ( Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) on Drums, Fox Fagan on bass, and LA session player Anthony Dean on rhythm guitar. The band's debut CD, Drop Chocolate Not Bombs, is coming out on August 25th on iTunes on Sami's Royal Bengal Recordings label.

Once has released an advance video for the lead-off track from the disc "Day Like This".

I had the chance to talk with Sami about the new disc and the band and more. He was also kind enough to play an impromptu acoustic version of a b-side from the new disc entitled "New Years Day".

Once's MySpace Profile

The Duke and The King - CD Release Show at Mercury Lounge on August 4th

DOWNLOAD: The Duke and The King - "If You Ever Get Famous" (MP3)

The Duke and The King - CD Release Show at Mercury Lounge on August 4thThe debut disc from Simone Felice and Robert 'Chicken' Burke's new project, The Duke and The King, drops Tuesday and the band is playing a CD release show at Mercury Lounge that night.

Tracks on this new disc are somewhat bittersweet and Simone Felice talked about some of the inspiration behind this new project in an open letter that he posted to his MySpace page (below).

"Dear Friends and Family, this is just a little note to show my deepest gratitude for all the letters and concern I've received over my absence from The Felice Brothers stage over the past few months, and for the boundless love and belief you've shown for our music over the years.

This winter has been a time of tragedy, sadness, and regeneration in my life. I'd been working on a new book and recording some songs with my dear old friend Robert close to home in the Catskill Mountains and my long time love and I were expecting our first child. Then in late January out of the blue we lost our baby girl and it really broke my heart and turned my world inside out. In the process of mourning it helped a lot to turn some of the sorrow and revelation into songs and after a while I came back to Robert and I's cabin/studio to put them down and to finish the other recordings we started.

I've been writing a lot this past year, and seeing as my role in the band was always more of a supportive one (helping with lyrics, drumming, harmonies and the occasional lead vocal) I've been compelled to find a vehicle that would help me be able to share all these new songs and stories. So I hope you like The Duke & The King, the songs mean a lot to us, being as they are, after all, the soundtrack of a long fateful winter. We'll be playing a handful of debut shows come spring, and I'll be working on finishing the novel and spending more time close to home. The boys have a couple great drummers working with them now (chief among them our close friend Jeremy 'The Searcher' who's produced all our records and was one of my most important drum teachers in the long ago, and Dave, an awesome young hitter who I've had the privilege of working with this spring to pass on some of the stank codes of our tradition), and they all have a very strong and dynamite vision of how to carry the music and poetry we've all made together into the future. I'll be making special appearances at Felice shows from time to time to share the stage with my brothers as they support 'Yonder Is The Clock' (our proudest effort to date) and beyond, something I look forward to with an earnest and warm heart.

It's very nice that I can be candid in sharing these heavy life changes with you guys, though the comfort I feel in doing so is no surprise considering how loving and supportive you've been in helping us build this big old crazy family together, a family as sacred as it is rowdy! Please know that it really is you all who've made this never-ending story of ours possible, and that this knowledge has never and will never be lost on me.
-- An Open Letter from Simone Felice (from MySpace)

For the CD release show, The Duke & The King are playing with Maya Solovely, The Morning Pages and Tyburn Saints. Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 day of show.

The Duke & The King's MySpace Profile

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Win the Ultimate Man-Cave from 1800® Select Silver Tequila ($10,000 Prize)

Enter to Win $10,000 for an Ultimate Man Cave from Select Silver TequilaThis is one of those contests that you can't say no to...

1800® Select Silver Tequila is running a contest for the chance to win $10,000 towards putting together the ultimate ManCave! You can enter once a day and no purchase is necessary (though the 1800 Select Silver is mighty good).

"You can deck out your spot with the sickest new home entertainment system, a game console of your choice, plenty of seating arrangements to keep you comfy and a supply of 1800® Silver Select Tequila within an arm’s reach – the Man Cave is sure to secure poker night at YOUR house, indefinitely. So, stand up to the powers that be and enter daily to for a chance to be the envy of all your buddies."

Select Silver Tequila is Giving Away $10,000 for the Ultimate Man Cave
I've never been much of a tequila drinker outside of some house brand rot-gut in a margarita or an occasional shot of Patron but Select Silver tastes and drinks like a cut above any of the other tequilas that I've tried. Select Silver is aged in an oak cask so there is somewhat of a smoky taste that complements the agave sweetness. This is definitely a liquor that can be shot or sipped straight without the ritual of "lick-shoot-suck" (salt - tequila - lime - shudder at the aftertaste). You have to be a little careful with the Select Silver though as its smooth taste disguises that it is 100 proof.

1800 Select Silver Tequila
1800 Select Silver is priced at under $30 a bottle which makes it cheaper than Patron but not so far away from the price of a bottle of 'basic' tequila (Jose Cuervo or otherwise) that a trade-up couldn't be easily justified.