Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jimi Hendrix - The Guitar Hero DVD Review (Classic Artists)

Jimi Hendrix - The Guitar Hero DVD ReviewClassic Artists have just released the latest title in their rock music series, Jimi Hendrix - The Guitar Hero. Rather than focusing on events surrounding Hendrix's death, this DVD spends most of its time documenting and detailing Hendrix's early days and rise to fame in the UK and later the US. Hendrix's story is told by people who knew and worked with him, which include Dave Mason (Traffic), Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), Eric Burdon (The Animals), Stephen Stills (CSN), Ginger Baker (Cream), Jimi's brother Leon and one-time girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. Slash also makes a number of appearances amidst the historical reflections to talk about how Hendrix influenced his music and guitar playing style.

The disc starts its exploration of Jimi's life at early childhood with stories and anecdotes from his aunt and brother. Jimi seemed to have been forever haunted by the breakup of his parent's marriage as he idolized his mother and apparently didn't get along at all with his father. Leon tells the story of a young Jimi's early exploration into music as he learned to play different notes by hand-tuning a one-string ukelele. On the tragic side, Jimi's aunt Delores Hall tells the story of how Al Hendrix refused to give Jimi a ride to his mother's funeral. Given Jimi's rocky family situation and the climate of racial segregation/discrimination going on at that time in the US, it seems like a natural progression of events that Jimi was easily persuaded by Chas Chandler to move to UK.

The film spend a lot of time focusing on Jimi's arrival in London in 1966, the formation of the Experience and his first two years on the London/Europe scene. All of film's all-star talking heads spend a good bit of time talking about how the then unknown Hendrix made a significant impact when he arrived on the scene. Aside for a brief flashback to Jimi's time on the local and national "chitlin' circuit" (which included a tour with Little Richard), the film follows Jimi's life in detail from his arrival in the UK through his performance at Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The filmmakers attribute this later performance to his ultimately breaking out in America. The break-up of the Experience, the formation of Band of Gypsys, performance at Woodstock and Jimi's untimely death all pass through the remainder of the film fairly quickly without a lot of time spent on any of these events.

As I'm not a Hendrix aficionado, I came away from this filming feeling like I learned something about Jimi Hendrix, his life and his influences. Long-time fans may be disappointed that there is just the bare minimum of performance footage and interviews (with Hendrix and the Experience) included on this disc. Evidently, the Hendrix estate considers this disc to be unofficial (which more than likely led to licensing issues) so there are just snippets of Jimi along with a complete performance of "Hey Joe" from the Marquee in London.

Jimi Hendrix
Classic Artists

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rio Breaks: DVD Review (Factory 25)

If Rio Breaks was a fictional story, it would likely be a coming of age story about self-discovery and redemption. Instead, this documentary is the bittersweet story of two young boys from one the favelas (ghettos) of Rio who, despite big dreams, are unable to rise above their circumstances and the hand that fate dealt them.

Rio Breaks tells the story of two friends, 13-year-old Fabio and 12-year-old Naamã who live in Rio de Janeiro’s Favela do Pavão but seem to spend every waking hour surfing at Arpoador Beach. These just aren't surf-crazed teenagers but, as the pair lives in an area of town controlled by one of the city’s most dangerous drug gangs, they dream of becoming a professional surfers and escaping the world of the gangs. The water and the beaches also hold the attraction in that this is where the people from the Hills (the poor) and the Concrete (the rich) come together as equals.

Both boys have suffered the loss of immediate family members due to the drug trade and it is heartbreaking to hear Naamã talk about the death of his brother at the hands of the police and the general violence all around them in the same tone of voice that an American teenager may use to discuss lunch plans. It is obvious that this violence is simply accepted as a fact of life. Fabio, on the other hand, is taking the death of his father (who was killed by his own gang for wanting out) hard and he is in the midst of a downward spiral.

The film follows the boys over a number of months and lets them narrate the story of their inward and outward struggles. Fabio is in the midst of a downward spiral as his mother has abandoned him so he is being raised by illiterate grandparents. He cannot read or write, he has dropped out of school and he frequently does not have enough to eat. Given his increasing level of anger and acting out, Naamã worries that Fabio will join the local drug gang.

The positive influence in the Hills is the Favela Surf Club, who provide free surf lessons and loaner boards to residents of the Hills. Fabio and Naamã dream of winning a surf contest and the resultant sponsorships (as some past members of the Favela Surf Club have) to escape their immediate surroundings. One of the sub-plots of the film is the slow build-up to one of these surf contests.

Unfortunately, real life isn't a John Hughes film and the surf contest passes quickly with no redemption for either of the film's two "heroes". Fabio makes a significantly late start (apparently on purpose) in his competitive heat and doesn't place and the film narrator mentions that Naamã dropped out of a later competition and has returned to bodyboarding. The film ends with the narrator telling the listener that Fabio has stopped surfing and has been seen on the street with a strange group of youth (the implication is that he has joined the Red Command drug gang).

There is a positive afterstory though -- Earlier this year, Luciano Huck, host of one of Brazil's most popular TV shows, watched the film, fell in love with it and decided to put all of his clout, resources and plain hard production cash (his programme has institutional status and draws about 12 million viewers every week) to help the film's characters. In the program, which aired on March 6, Luciano meets Naama, who in the film says that his dream is to go surfing in Hawaii. Luciano surprises Naama when he stops by his house in the favela, TV cameras in tow. At the end of the visit, he says he'll not only take Naama to Hawaii, but also introduce him to Kelly Slater, the world's best surfer. In exchange, Naama has to promise he'll never join the drug gang, keep going to school and agree to learn English. (here is a link to the videos from the show)

Naama's meeting with Slater is likely to go down as one of the most tear-inducing moments on television. It could have looked exploitative but it didn't. Naama is sincere and fearless - a fearlessness hewn from the hardship of real life, from growing up without a fridge (as he says in the show) to seeing his brother killed by the police. So when he breaks down upon meeting Slater, you know that moment matters. You know it's real. On their return, Luciano buys the family an apartment in Copacabana, moving Naama and his family out of the favela.

Rio Breaks

The Stimulators - "Loud Fast Rules!" CD Review (ROIR)

<a href="">Cradle Robber by Stimulators</a>

The Stimulators - In 1977, after hearing The Damned, Motorhead and The Clash, guitarist Denise Mercedes returned from London and decided to start her own band. She recruited LES poet Patrick Mack on guitar and vocals, artist and fashionista Nick Marden on bass and, after trying out the likes of Jerry Nolan (Heartbreakers, NY Dolls) and Johnny Blitz (Dead Boys) on drums, settled on a then 11 year-old Harley Flanagan (Cro-Mags, Harley’s War). Soon the Stims gained a rabid fan club of the youngest rock ‘n’ rollers in the city and became regulars at legendary clubs like Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s and Danceteria, sharing bills with bands like Richard Hell & The Voidoids, Bad Brains, Suicide, B-52s and The Cramps.

The Stimulators' Loud Fast Rules! was one of the early ROIR cassette-only releases which has finally been reissued on CD. The band played shows around the world from '77 - '81 (along with a brief reunion at one of the "Save CBGB" shows) and this CD captures a live show recorded at The Pier in Raleigh in 1981.

Given the involvement of Harley Flanagan, I was expecting The Stimulators to be a hardcore band but, interestingly enough, the band plays melodic, semi-chaotic punk (which was later called 'post-hardcore' when this style of music took hold in the mid-80's). Points of comparison would be the art-punk sounds of early Gang of Four crossed with the pre-goth melodic punk sounds of The Damned. Adding to the mix, the band makes a few well-executed forays into reggae. While the post-harDCore Washington, DC crews popularized the mix of reggae and punk, The Stimulators pre-date bands like Scream and Dag Nasty by a number of year and may have served as a source of influence for these later groups.

Last Fast Rules! isn't a high-fidelity recording but it is a reasonable sounding live recording that does a great job of capturing the band's energy. The Stimulators blast through twelve originals (and Harley co-wrote a couple of these tracks) along with covers of Kiss' " Rock 'N' Roll All Night" and Iggy's "I've Got a Right". Prior to listening to this recording, I hadn't appreciated that Harley is a pretty solid drummer in his own right.

In addition to this live recording, The Simulators only other documented recording is an impossible-to-find 7" which contains studio recordings of "Loud Fast Rules!" and "Run Run Run".

For anyone interested in Harley's rapid evolution from punk to hardcore, last year's Harley's War - Hardcore All-Stars (MVD) set contains Harley's 1982 solo demos, some of which later ended up on Age of Quarrel.

Cro-Mags (Harley's site - with picture of The Stimulators at Max's)
The Stimulators

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Marnie Stern - Live Footage and Interview from CMJ, NYC. Oct. '10

The good folks at BAL have just released some killer live and interview footage with Marnie Stern that they recorded during CMJ.

"Among the absurd litany of bands playing CMJ, it’s often hard to find an act that balances the industrious, play-all-shows possible spirit with a track record and the talent to go along with it. Enter Marnie Stern, who with her killer band in tow has been dropping heat on wax for 3 solid years now. Marnie is not a typical CMJ act – she’s not a 21 year-old synth-pop artist trying to break, her name doesn’t suck, and her music exudes a confidence and comfort not easily found among the hundreds of disposable acts at CMJ." (from BAL's article about the video)

Read the full text of the article here.

Marnie Stern

Zina Brown Releases "The Hidden Sister" Video Set to Kai Altair's Song "Shine"

Director Zina Brown has just released a new video, "The Hidden Sister", which is set to Kai Altair's song "Shine".

Download 'Shine' here:

Written and performed by Kai Altair, produced by Dead Till Tuesday

Starring (in order of appearance):
Veronica Varlow
Anya Sapozhnikova
Ali Luminescent
Lady C
Sera Solstice

Director of Photography: Ben Cain
Editor: Stefan Pildes
Color: Bossi Baker
2nd Camera: Nicholas Whitaker/Burke Heffner
Costumes: Kae Burke
Assistant Costumes: Emmanuelle Chammah
Fire Costume by Flambeaux
Spirit Costume by Sefirah Fierce
Make-up/Hair: Jessah Amarante
Assistant Make-up: Betsy Kelly
Gaffer: Oliver Ogden
Shot at House of Yes - Brooklyn, NY

Intro written by Zina Brown, spoken by Veronica Varlow
(c)2010 Thousand Names Productions

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Slaine (of La Coka Nostra) Releases "The Devil Never Dies" as a Free Mixtape

DOWNLOAD - Slaine: "Science of the Trife" (Feat. Ill Bill & Q-Unique)

La Coka Nostra/Special Teamz rapper Slaine just posted a red-hot eighteen track mixtape, "The Devil Never Dies", as a free download. The set features rappers Jaysaun, Termanology, Ill Bill, Esoteric, Reks and production from Statik Selektah, MoSS, Falside and more.

Here is the track list and the download link:

1. The Religion (prod. Silvamore)
2. My Girl, My Wife, My Mother My Bitch (prod. LuBalz)
3. The Deadzone (prod. Stoupe, cuts by Reel Drama)
4. Black and Blue Flag f. Jaysaun (prod. Silvamore)
5. Thru The Rain f. Blacastan (prod. Silvamore)
6. Off The Sidewalk f. Cyrus Deshield (prod. Falside)
7. Going Down f. Jaysaun (prod. Silvamore)
8. The Worst (prod. Statik Selektah)
9. Old English II f. Esoteric (prod. Esoteric)
10. Burn f. Amadeus & Chilla Jones (prod. Sicknature)
11. Envy f. Termanology (prod. Moss)
12. It Ain’t Happenin f. Amadeus & Blacastan (prod. Falside)
13. It’s Too Late f. Amadeus (prod. Double Chamberz)
14. Science Of the Trife f. Ill Bill & Q-Unique (prod. C. Lance)
15. Settin’ It Off f. Reks, Jaysaun & Steven King (prod. Statik Selektah)
16. Trail Of Blood (prod. Statik Selektah)
17. Outro
18. Mind Of A Criminal (rmx) (prod. LuBalz)

Unfortunately, Slaine's new disc, A World With No Skies, has been pushed back to 2011 so this mixtape is going to have to temporarily take the place of the new album.

“I spent thousands of hours creating ‘A World With No Skies’. I want it to be a vivid picture of my dreams, nightmares, and psyche. I refuse to compromise my vision for a project that means so much to me,” commented Slaine. “I have recently had some success in a way that unexpectedly put a mainstream light on me. I could give a fuck less about that kind of attention. What I do give a fuck about is maintaining the integrity of my album, so I have had to deal with sample clearance issues which caused it to be delayed until early 2011. In the meantime while I rework the album, I am giving you my new mixtape ‘The Devil Never Dies’ for free. At the end of the day fans dont give a shit about red tape nor should they, and I wanted to put out new music now. I locked myself in my studio for two weeks and this is what I came out with.” – Slaine

Deerhunter: Live Video from Webster Hall, NYC 10/15/10

The folks at BAL continue to produce some impressive live videos. One of their latest is from Deerhunter's show at Webster Hall which took place earlier this month.

The video below captures the first three songs from their set: "Desire Lines", "Hazel Street" and "Never Stop". There is a second video on BAL's site (link above) which has the songs "Memory Boy", "Rainwater Cassette Exchange" and "Don't Cry".


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Instinct: Israeli Hardcore Band Posts Free EP // Announces Plans for European Tour

DOWNLOAD: Instinct - "No Sympathy"
DOWNLOAD: Instinct - "Straight Hate"

DOWNLOAD: Instinct - "Straight In Your Face" EP (Note: above tracks are from EP)

Instinct: Israeli Hardcore Band Posts Free EP // Announces Plans for European TourSome days, I get some wild stuff in the mail. Instinct is a hardcore band out of Israel who sounds like they have been shooting up on old school NYHC. Give a listen to the tracks above and try not to think of Biohazard.

Instinct have posted their new EP for free as they are looking to build some word-of-mouth buzz in advance of their heading out for a UK/Continental Europe tour in April.

NYHC hardcore fans should download the EP and give it a listen as it contains some solid, hard-hitting tracks.


The Atom Age: Kill Surf City CD Review // Show at Lulu's in Greenpoint on Nov. 7th

The Atom Age: Kill Surf City CD ReviewAfter listening to The Atom Age’s newest disc Kill Surf City, I immediately thought of Operation Ivy so it was no surprise to find that The Atom Age is from Berkeley. The band is led by Ryan Perras (aka x-Queers drummer Ryan Kwon Doe) and the music is aggressive, high-energy garage punk. The Atom Age wears its ska influences proudly but the saxophone and drum/bass rhythms aren’t the centerpiece of the music as it was with many of the third-wave ska bands. There are a lot of different elements that are in play on this record which range from old-school 50/60’s Rock & Roll to surf rock and saxophonist Brendan Frye takes some avant-jazz breaks so it is tough to put a single musical label on this disc. Solidarity Records describes the band’s sound as “Rocket from the Crypt meets Less than Jake” and this is as good a descriptor as any.

Going back to the Operation Ivy comparison, one key difference is that, while Operation Ivy preached messages of unity, The Atom Age are angry and Ryan Perras’ gritty vocals have the same righteous fire that Joe Strummer had. All of the songs are delivered with a melodic one-two punch will have you singing along with the gang-vocal choruses.

The Atom Age gave a quote in a recent interview that sums up the spirit of this album. When asked about the monkey on the album cover, the band said “the Primate is a symbol of Rock ‘N’ Roll to us. It’s a loud, intense, semi intelligent creature, who is always trying to have a good time. It also reminds us of the primal element of humans and how the best Rock ‘N’ Roll is from the gut and appeals to the less evolved more ape-like part of our brains. Plus chimps look cool in space suits and are courageous explorers.” To this point, Kill Surf City is 'rock n’ roll from the gut'.

The Atom Age is currently out on a coast-to-coast tour that starts heading down the East Coast later this month. The local tour stop is at Lulu’s in Greenpoint on November 7th.

The Atom Age

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dirty Dishes: Boston Indie-Rock Band Plays Show at Knitting Factory on Oct. 27th

DOWNLOAD: Dirty Dishes - "Stolen Apples"
DOWNLOAD: Dirty Dishes - "Deer in Headlights"

Dirty Dishes: Boston Indie-Rock Band Plays Show at Knitting Factory on Oct. 27th with Easter VomitDirty Dishes formed in 2009 and have been described as striking "a delicate balance between all out psychedelic and easily accessible grungy indie-rock. The band weaves in and out of low-end saturated guitar and bass riffs and super tight, staccato rhythms. (Boston Band Crush)" Good points of comparison would be The Breeders or Kim Deal's songs with The Pixies.

Dirty Dishes began 2010 by playing a sold out show at House of Blues with Boston natives Passion Pit. They have since shared the stage with Autolux and Gobble Gobble, played several shows at SXSW including two packed nights at the Austin Museum of Art, traveled to Toronto as an official NXNE artist, and snagged the front page of the Arts & Entertainment section of The Weekly Dig in Boston.

The band is playing a show at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn this Wednesday with Quilty, Total Slacker and the dubiously named Easter Vomit (who have sort of a Velvet Underground thing going on - check out this free download). Tickets are $7.00 and the show starts at 8:30PM.

Dirty Dishes

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Luke Elliot - "Death of a Widow" CD EP Review

Luke Elliot - Luke Elliot is a young songwriter with an old soul. On his second disc, “Death of a Widow”, Elliot creates predominately dark-hued musical landscapes which serves as backdrop to his tales of love, heartbreak and obsession. There are elements of Americana (specifically Faulkner, Dylan and Cohen) in this disc’s five tracks but Elliot ‘modernizes’ the classic Americana sound into something that is both delicate but dangerous. Elliot’s clear vocals drive each song (in addition to driving home the lyrics) and the vocals are complemented by brooding piano and guitar arrangements. The end result has Elliot carving out his own niche where he sounds more like an alt-folk “cousin” to John Cale or a less-deranged Nick Cave than the aforementioned Americana artists.

"Death of a Widow" is available from iTunes for $3.99 (click-through on the CD cover above).

Luke Elliot’s next NYC show is at The Bitter End on November 13th.

Luke Elliot

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lissie: Live Photos & Set List from Hiro Ballroom, NYC 10-22-10

At last night's sold-out show at Hiro Ballroom, Lissie came off like a veteran performer. Lissie and her two-piece band delivered a high-energy show and there was no sign of the vocal problems that plagued her over the past week. The two things that I immediately noticed about Lissie's live performance is her big voice (which doesn't come across as such a focal point on her two discs) and her relaxed stage presence. Lissie was completely at ease with the standing-room-only crowd and her stories and narrative seemed to be things that everyone could relate to.

Lissie played the entirety of her "Why You Runnin'" EP and six tracks from Catching A Tiger. While Lissie has been getting a lot of publicity for her cover tunes (which include songs by Lady Ga Ga, Led Zeppelin, Metallica), Lissie included only two covers in her set. The first was a cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Waiting Around to Die" on which she duetted with opening act Dylan LeBlanc. (If you look closely at the photos above, you can see LeBlanc reading the lyrics off his iPod). The second was a cover of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness".

Set List:
- Wedding Bells
- Worried About
- Here Before
- When I'm Alone
- Waiting Around to Die (w/ Dylan LeBlanc)
- Bully
- Cuckoo
- Record Collector
- Everywhere I Go
- In Sleep
- Little Lovin'

- Oh Mississippi
- Pursuit of Happiness

Lissie kicks off a UK tour next week which will keep her in Europe until the end of the year. Here is a link to her complete set of tour dates.


Legends of the Canyon: The Music and Magic of 1960s Laurel Canyon DVD Review

Legends of the Canyon: The Music and Magic of 1960s Laurel Canyon DVD ReviewLegends of the Canyon: The Music and Magic of 1960s Laurel Canyon uses musician/photographer Henry Diltz's candid photos as backdrop to tell the story of the genesis of the Laurel Canyon/West Coast rock scene.

The filmmakers' premise is that the aftermath of JFK's assassination drove the youth culture to embrace The Beatles and that The Beatles energized the West Coast folk scene to go electric. Henry Diltz narrates the story which starts with the formation of The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield and ends with the Manson Family killings. Intermixed in narrative are photos and live footage of the Laurel Canyon bands and interview clips with the majority of musicians who sprung out of that scene. The film predominately focuses on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young - the bands that they were in prior to CSN(&Y) and the recording of the first two albums - and The Mamas & The Papas.

Interviews include extensive footage with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and original CSN(Y) drummer Dallas Taylor and it is fascinating to hear some of the different viewpoints and versions of what was beneath some of the legendary tensions within the group. The other key interviewee is Michelle Philips who tells the story behind The Mamas & the Papas, her relationship with Gene Clark and more. Both Philips and all of the interviewees discussed their love and admiration for Mama Cass Elliot who was influential in both the Laurel Canyon music scene and in getting Crosby, Stills and Nash together. The other non-appearing musician who got a lot of positive accolades was Joni Mitchell; Crosby, Stills and Nash all seemed to be in awe of her.

Other interviewees include record industry executives David Geffen, Ahmet Ertegun and Lenny Waronker and musician Van Dyke Parks (who, in the bonus footage, claims that he named Buffalo Springfield).

The bonus footage is a treat for CSN fans or fans of this era as it includes uncut interviews with David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash (footage from which was included in the main feature) along with Diltz's silent 8MM films of both The Byrds and CSN in concert and fan filmed footage of Stephen Stills on one of his early solo tours. Of lesser importance, there are interviews with Ron Stone (long-time CSN manager) and Van Dyke Parks and Gerry Beckley (from the band America). Lastly, the bonus footage includes the somewhat silly "Henry's Acid Trip" - the vignette's title gives all the explanation needed.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Corrosion of Conformity: Animosity Lineup Releases New 7" on Southern Lord

Corrosion of Conformity: Animosity Lineup Releases New 7The years go quickly as 2010 makes the 25th anniversary of Corrosion of Conformity's cross-over album Animosity. The Animosity lineup of Corrosion of Conformity recently reunited and released a two-track 7" on Southern Lord which will be followed by a full-length of new material sometime next year.

While not as raw as the Animosity tracks, "Your Tomorrow" is a return to the band's punk roots in that it combines punk-style guitar riffs with a galloping rhythm section. Mike Dean's voice has held up well over the years and he delivers his raw vocals in a melodic punk fashion which leaves the two tracks sounding like bit like Iron Maiden from the Paul Di'Anno era.

For anyone who thinks Dean's vocals are getting soft, check out this live performance from the band's recent show at Highline Ballroom.

The two tracks on "Your Tomorrow" are just two different takes on the same song but the band has been including a handful of new songs in their live set. In a recent interview with Maximum Threshold, guitarist Woody Weatherman said "Man, the new stuff we're writing is pretty crazy. I'm not gonna say that it floats all the way back to the super-, super-old-school stuff, but it's definitely heading in that direction."

The band is currently off the road but will be playing the Maryland Deathfest next May (exact date is still TBD).

Corrosion of Conformity

Nails - Unsilent Death CD Review (Southern Lord)

Nails - Unsilent Death CD Review (Southern Lord)Tim Lambesis ruined the ability of music reviewers to use the phrase ‘totally brutal’ with his Austrian Death Machine project but I’m going to go for it anyway and call the new CD from Nails “totally brutal”. Over the last few decades, I’ve seen some crazy mosh pits but Nails’ new disc sounds like an immediate flashpoint that will start the violence flowing.

I was only loosely familiar with Nails prior to Unsilent Death [the band’s second disc] and had made some assumptions based on guitarist/vocalist Todd James’ time in Terror. There is really no comparison between the two bands as Nails’ music sits right on the line between hardcore and grid. The disc’s ten tracks blast through in fourteen minutes and most tracks clock in at about a minute.

The disc contains two ‘longer’ songs ("Unsilent Death" and "Depths") which are given the opportunity to develop musically but even the shorter songs have a chance to spew their fury. These shorter songs don’t feel like the typical grindcore microsong as producer Kurt Ballou brings out the band’s chugging riffs, noisy leads and blast beats so that they are all individually distinguishable. Even more noticeable is that the vocals are (somewhat) understandable and the listener can hear James’ lyrical themes about railing against authority and the struggle of the human condition.

Nails just came through with Venomous Concept and here is some live footage from their stop in Albany.

Unsilent Death was originally released earlier this year on CD (Six Feet Under) and limited edition vinyl (now sold out). Southern Lord recently reissued the new disc on both CD and 180 gram black vinyl.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nick Zinner: Photos from "1001 Images" Opening Party, Levi's Photo Workshop, NYC 10-19-10

Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner kicked off the Levi’s Photo Workshop’s 10-day music celebration last night, hosting an opening to his exhibition in the space. Entitled “1,001 Images,” Zinner printed the 1,001 photographs he’s taken over the past decade on tour with the band on-site at the Workshop. Zinner is no stranger to the photography world – he studied as a photographer at Bard and currently has four photo books to his name, most recently Please Take Me Off the Guest List. Zinner’s exhibition will be up at the Levi’s Photo Workshop (18 Wooster Street) through Friday.

The evening closed with a set from Sydney, Australia's Circle Pit; who Sup Magazine described as "a band that simultaneously fuses the hedonism and aesthetic of Royal Trux with the classic 70’s golden song craft of T-Rex and the skagged out bone blues of Stones circa Exile on Main St."

Circle Pit - "Another Trick"

Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Levi's Photo Workshop

Modern Rivals Play "We Listen for You" CMJ Windown Party at Pianos on Sunday // New EP Available as Free Download

Modern Rivals Play I can't imagine going to an eleven hour show as a wind-down to CMJ Week but this does look like a good lineup of bands. NYC-based indie-rock band Modern Rivals, who could give Death Cab for Cutie a run for their money, are playing in the middle of the bill.

Modern Rivals released their debut EP earlier this year (as a free download - link above) and this is a disc that really needs to be heard. The EP's five tracks are tightly crafted pop gems that sparkle with energy and melodic hooks. This is the sort of music that rises above the noise and grabs you at first listen.

At Sunday's show, Modern Rivals play at 4PM and cover is $10.

Modern Rivals

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Pet Dragon Play CMJ Showcase at Trash Bar on Oct. 21st

DOWNLOAD: My Pet Dragon - "Flow"

My Pet Dragon Play CMJ Showcase at Trash Bar on Oct. 21stMy Pet Dragon plays well-crafted alt-rock and vocalist/songwriter Todd Michaelsen has a tenor voice that falls somewhere between Thom Yorke and Muse's Matthew Bellamy.

The band just released a new single "Flow" (which is backed by a cover of Pearl Jam's "Release") and the disc includes four remixes of “Flow” by Karsh Kale, Randolph Correia, Big Will and Mercury Rev’s Carlos Anthony Molina.

My Pet Dragon are playing a CMJ Showcase at Trash Bar in Brooklyn on Thursday, Oct. 21st. My Pet Dragon goes on at 8PM - stay for Murder Mystery who play at 11PM.

My Pet Dragon

Black Taxi Play CMJ Shows on Thursday,Oct. 21st and Saturday, Oct. 23rd

DOWNLOAD: Black Taxi - "Do What You Gotta Do"

Black Taxi Play CMJ Shows on Thursday,Oct. 21st and Saturday, Oct. 23rdBrooklyn new-wave/psych-rock band Black Taxi scheduled five CMJ Shows this week and they are playing the last two of these shows on Thursday and Saturday.

Thursday's show is at Rockwood Music Hall and Black Taxi plays at 10PM. Saturday's show is at The Studio at Webster Hall and Black Taxi is playing at 11PM. Get to the shows early to make sure you get in as Black Taxi recently sold out shows at Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn Bowl and Bowery Electric.

Here is a live video from the Brooklyn Bowl show:

Black Taxi

Monday, October 18, 2010

Michael Franti & Spearhead Release New CD "The Sound of Sunshine"

STREAM: Michael Franti & Spearhead - "The Sound of Silence"

Michael Franti & Spearhead Release New CD Bob Dylan wrote “The Times They Are A-Changin’” and, after listening to the new Michael Franti & Spearhead album, he is right. I saw Michael play a number of times in the early and mid-90’s – both with Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and a few dates on the first two Spearhead tours. Michael always seemed to have a heavy political/social message and the beats got heavier from the first Spearhead to the second.

It came as somewhat of a surprise to see Michael & Spearhead touring with John Meyer earlier this year as Meyer’s high-gloss rock didn’t seem compatible with Michael’s lyrical messages or his gritty hip-hop/trip-hop beats. After listening to Spearhead’s seventh disc, The Sound of Sunshine, I stand corrected. The new disc has a dancehall-oriented, ‘feel-good’ sound that probably played very well with John Meyer's fans.

The songs on the new disc were the outgrowth of Michael’s near-death brush due to a ruptured appendix. Michael said that “the songs I wrote were songs of bliss and gratitude and songs to get through difficult times. I really wanted to make a record that would be that for other people. Right now is a difficult time in our country and on the planet and I wanted to make a record for when people don’t think there’s any sun in their lives right now, they could put this record on and find it." The end result is that The Sound of Sunshine is eleven tracks of summertime/beach music.

Across the new disc, Michael predominately sticks with breezy reggae and dancehall rhythms but there are a few departures into 80’s style rock. The disc’s first single, “Shake It”, which features a guest appearance from Jamaican dancehall queen Lady Saw, sets the pace for the rest of the disc.

The only real departures from this formula are the 80’s rocker “The Thing That Helps Me Get Through” and the U2-sounding arena-rock of “I’ll Be Waiting”.

While I can’t blame Michael for changing over the years and wanting to put out a feel-good record, I miss the days of “Hole in the Bucket” and “Positive”.

Michael Franti & Spearhead

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Old Monk: Brooklyn Garage Rock Band Plays Pre-CMJ Show at Legion Bar in Brooklyn

Old Monk: Brooklyn Garage Rock Band Plays Pre-CMJ Show at Legion Bar in BrooklynOld Monk started out as an internet collaboration between guitarist/vocalist Joshua Carrafa and drummer Ian Burns. The band came together in Brooklyn, picked up PINE*am's Tsugumi Takashi on bass and recorded their debut EP. The band has been getting some strong press and they are currently working on their debut full-length.

- "Exceptional drumming and creative licks create this band playing out of Brooklyn, New York. Their sound is captivating and extremely catchy." -- The Daily Consciousness

- "The intro suggests something psychedelic, but slides into a choppy rock blast. The opening flourish catches your attention, but the body of the song is just a fine piece of guitar pop. This is definitely one for fans of certain ’90s Glaswegian guitar bands, right down to the vocals." -- Review of the track "Butter & Toast" on

Old Monk are playing a pre-CMJ show tomorrow night at Legion Bar in East Williamsburg (790 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211-2514).

Old Monk

Interpol Posts Two Free Downloads from New Self-Titled CD // Show at United Palace Theater on Nov. 5th

DOWNLOAD: Interpol - "Lights" & "Barricade" (requires email registration)

Interpol Posts Two Free Downloads from New Self-Titled CDThis following note was posted The Pixies' mailing list last night:


We're in Mexico City tonight, sharing a festival stage with Interpol. They've posted a couple of tracks for you to download.

La La Love You,

I haven't heard Interpol's new disc but, as it was released over a month ago, posting free downloads now would seem to indicate that it isn't selling too well. In looking on Wikipedia and Amazon, a number of reviewers have found the disc hit-or-miss with the biggest complaint being that the disc is atmospheric and ungrounded.

Interpol is out on tour through the end of the year and Brandon Curtis (from The Secret Machines) has signed on as part of the band's touring lineup. The local tour stop is at United Palace Theater on November 5th and tickets for this show are $40 (and TicketMaster fees add on an additional $10.45).


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Doro: Exclusive Interview with BrooklynRocks, Sept. '10 // 25th Anniversary Concert DVD Set Out in Europe Next Month

Doro: Exclusive Interview with BrooklynRocks, Sept. '10 // 25th Anniversary Concert Out in Europe Next MonthGerman metal queen Doro Pesch has completed work on her biggest project to date — the 2DVD/CD set, 25 Years In Rock, features the entire 25-year anniversary concert which was recorded in front of about 10,000 enthusiastic fans in Düsseldorf, Germany as well as footage from her 2008 shows in China, outtakes from Doro's 2500th concert and a whole lot more. The DVD will be released in Europe via Nuclear Blast on November 26, 2010 and in the rest of the world sometime in 2011.

Pesch celebrated her 25-year career as the reigning queen of German heavy metal by performing a three-hour set on December 13, 2008 at the ISS Dome in Düsseldorf, Germany. Holy Moses, Leaves' Eyes and Arch Enemy opened the show and were followed by full set by Doro herself, which included guest appearances by Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (Overkill), Jean Beauvoir, Grave Digger's Chris Boltendahl and guitarist Axel Rudi Pell, former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen, Scorpions' Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker, as well as a host of other female vocalists, such as Liv Kristine (Leaves' Eyes), Floor Jansen (After Forever), members of Girlschool, Liv of Sister Sin and Sabina Classen of Holy Moses.

I had the opportunity to speak with Doro just prior to her and her band heading out on a short three-date East Coast tour which kicked off in early October.

BrooklynRocks: Throughout your careers, you have collaborated with a “Who’s Who of Metal”. Could you talk about some of these collaborations?

Doro: It was an honor to work with Gene Simmon and Tommy Thayer on my second solo LP (1990). I was a huge Kiss fan and Gene was an incredible motivator who taught me so much about music. Tommy Thayer, who is now in Kiss, played most of the guitars on the record.

BrooklynRocks: Can you talk about your collaboration with Lemmy?

Doro: After my father had passed away, I was heartbroken. One day I picked up the phone and it was Lemmy and I told him what happened. He said “come to Los Angeles and we will do something“ but I told him that I was so heartbroken and really, really sad. He said “please come to LA and we will do something to get your mind off the heaviness of this”. I went to LA and we recorded two songs, one that I love is the Motorhead classic “Love Me Forever” and another song “Alone Again”. It was two weeks and awesome how we could talk and have great laughs. I picked up Lemmy every day to go to the studio and each day we would sit in LA traffic and Lemmy would play me his favorite singers, old Motorhead records and new music and he would sing along.

All the other collaborations were just as special; always different and always unique. It was an honor to do and be a part of a great project; when people came to our studio it was always a big honor and usually always the highlight of each record.

BrooklynRocks: Now that you have been in rock for over twenty five years, do you look back on the Snakebite days or Megadeth tour and reminisce?

Doro: The Megadeth tour was my first big American tour and it was awesome and unbelievable. I remember it so well and it doesn’t feel like it was in 1988 but no more than five years ago. This tour was the first time we played in the States.

BrooklynRocks: What does the set list look like for these upcoming shows?

Doro: We want to play the highlights of each of the records, from older songs like "I Rule the Ruins", "All We Are" and "Burning the Witches" to the new record's (2009's Fear No Evil) "Night of the Warlock", "Celebrate" and "Running from the Devil", which seems to be one that the fans really like. From the last record (2006's Warrior Soul), "You’re my Family" and "Above the Ashes". "Love Me in Black" is one of my favorite songs - the record never officially released in the States but it is one of the best records that we have ever done. The die-hard fans knew this record and request the song. In concert, we will play everything from old Warlock songs to the newer songs. We will play as long as the fans want, generally 1 ½ - 2 hours as long as the venue doesn’t have a curfew, and the fans can call out the songs they want to hear. For the encores, we will play whatever makes the fans happy.

I don’t have a steady set list every night so the sets are always somewhat unique. We have fans that travel around and go to all the gigs of each tour and they can be sure that they will never get the same set each night. There will always be some new adventure each night with new and different stuff in the set.

BrooklynRocks: After recording over a dozen albums and playing different songs each night, how can you still remember the lyrics to all of your songs?

Doro: I love the songs so usually it is no problem. When I love the lyrics and it is a meaningful thing, I will always remember. I have a hard time remembering lyrics when I didn’t write the song myself or it is a song that I don’t like so much but then I just have to work on it. I remember at least fifty songs but when someone calls out a b-side that isn’t a favorite, it is hard. Here and there when we rehearse, I’ll read the lyric sheets but after a couple of times, it becomes second nature. When you tour so much, you don’t have to think anymore about it, it just flows. When I start a new tour, I have to start from scratch sometime but it is in my blood.

BrooklynRocks: As a wrap-up, is there anything that you want people to know about you?

Doro: I want to thank all the fans for all their great support for all these years. I would love to see them coming out to the shows and I will absolutely give at least 180%. I will try to make the fans happy as they always gave me so much motivation and inspiration. I wish everyone all the best. Keep Metal Alive!

The tour finished up at the Crazy Donkey on Long Island and one of the songs Doro performed on this last night of the tour was "Egypt (Chains are On)" as a tribute to Ronnie James Dio (who Doro has cited as being one of her biggest influences).

Doro Pesch

Righteous Fool: Debut 7" out now on Southern Lord (w/ Mike & Reed from Corrosion of Conformity)

Righteous Fool is the new project of Animosity-era COC veterans Mike Dean (bass/vocals) and Reed Mullin (drums/vocals) which includes guitarist/vocalist Jason Browning (COC Blind / HR [Bad Brains]). The band just released their self-titled debut 7” on Southern Lord.

Given the pedigree of the members, it is no surprise that the band plays bluesy groove-oriented metal. Dean describes the band as "a heavy rock trio that can chug along like a locomotive at high velocity, a la early Bad Brains or C.O.C., or inch forth with the density of an advancing lava flow. All three members sing, and the vocals end to be a bit more melodic than early C.O.C." The disc’s two tracks “Edict of Worms”/”Forever Flames” run for just over nine minutes and clear production brings out the recording’s solid bottom end. Similar to COC’s lyrical view of life, “Edict of Worms" takes some direct shots against the "sideshow savior[s]" within organized religion.

There is an additional track, "Asteroid", posted to Righeous Fool’s MySpace page and the band has announced plans for a full-length disc.

Righteous Fool is currently playing some dates with like-minded brethren Clutch along with opening up dates on the current COC Animosity lineup reunion tour.

Righteous Fool

Note: I had never heard of COC Blind prior to looking for some background for this review. For anyone who is curious, COC Blind is Karl Agell and Reed Mullin’s band that plays material from COC’s Blind LP.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Viper Creek Club Plays CMJ Showcase at Le Poisson Rouge on Oct. 23rd

DOWNLOAD: Viper Creek Club - "Eliza"

Seattle electro-pop duo Viper Creek Club are playing the AM Only & Famous Friends CMJ Showcase at Le Poisson Rouge on Saturday, Oct. 23rd.

Viper Creek Club is the joint effort of Seattleites Mat Wisner and Brandon Jensen. The band released their debut full-length Letters in August and Redefine Magazine described the disc as an "array of synths and an endless cache of ideas...[that is] solid...from beginning to end".

Letters is an electronica laden-pop journey that will get the dance floor moving. The album splices a savy production knack with organic percussion and piano, making it both deliberate and natural at the same time. VCC’s beats are carefully constructed and synth-focused, building a fresh sound and energy in the music. The album consists of eleven original songs written by members Wisner and Jensen and is heavily influenced by euro pop music and other genres such as hip hop. Wisner provides vocals, keys, beats, and loops, while Jensen plays guitar. Song content is influenced by everything from murder mysteries to lust gone wrong.

Viper Creek Club

Dag Nasty: Dischord Releases 'New' Dag Nasty Disc with Shawn Brown

DOWNLOAD: Dag Nasty - "I Wouldn't Cry" (from the 10-31-85 Session) (posted on

Dag Nasty: Dischord Releases 'New' Dag Nasty Disc with Shawn Brown Dischord has just released Dag Nasty's first recording sessions on a new disc entitled Dag With Shawn. This disc captures the band at Inner Ear Studios on Halloween in 1985 and includes pristine versions of nine of the ten tracks that were circulating on tape in DC around 20+ years ago.

From Dischord's Website:
Dag With Shawn was recorded on Halloween Day 1985 and features the original line-up of the band with Shawn Brown on vocals. Initially songs from this session were to be released as a four-song 7" on Dischord, but shortly after the recording Shawn left Dag Nasty and the tape was shelved. In early 1986 the band re-recorded the entire album with new vocalist Dave Smalley and released it as Can I Say.

Dag Nasty's MySpace Page

Debutaunts Release Free Track from New LP // CMJ Show at Bar Matchless on Oct. 20th

Debutaunts-Everything's Perfect

Debutaunts Release Free Track from New LP // CMJ Show at Bar Matchless on Oct. 20thAtlanta alt-pop band Debutaunts have just posted the first single, "Everything's Perfect", from their debut full length Why Can't We Have Fun as a free download. The new disc came out in August and you can hear the band's cited influences - which range from the Beatles to the Smiths and Stone Roses, to Madonna and Prince to David Bowie and the Beach Boys - in the songs.

The Debutaunts are in town next week for CMJ (as is the rest of the world) and are playing the BMI Showcase on Wednesday, October 20th at Bar Matchless (557 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn). Get there early for the open bar, which runs from 6PM - 7PM.

Here is the lineup for the night:

7:00-7:30 PM - Debutaunts
7:45-8:15 PM - Lesands
8:30-9:00 PM - White Belt Yellow Tag
9:15-9:45 PM - Heypenny
10:00-10:30 PM - Whale Tooth
10:45-11:15 PM - Vanaprasta
11:30-Midnight - Deluka


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jimmy Eat World - "Invented" CD Review (Interscope)

Jimmy Eat World - Invented CD Review (Interscope)I lost track of Jimmy Eat World over the years so I’ve been listening to Invented with not much more than the somewhat distant memory of Bleed American as a foundation for the band’s sound. I always cite the Foo Fighters as a band that can write a near-perfect alt- pop song but Jimmy Eat World needs to be on this list as well. When the band is firing on all cylinders, their hooks are memorable.

Invented is the band’s seventh disc (Interscope) and marks the return of producer Mark Trombino. This seems to be a big deal in the music press but, as I never heard the band without Trombino, I don’t have a frame of reference to comment.

Keeping fans busy, there are a couple different editions of Invented. The "deluxe" version contains the tracks "You & I" (Wilco cover), "Coffee and Cigarettes (Acoustic)", "Precision Auto" (Superchunk cover) and "Anais (Demo)". There was also an acoustic version of "Mixtape" that was included as part of an iTunes pre-order.

Invented starts out strong with “This Heart is Hard to Find” which puts a lot of life and energy into song that is driven by acoustic guitars, Jim Adkins’ vocals, hand claps and violin. This track sets the stage for the disc’s first single “My Best Theory” which is one of a handful of very strong alt-pop gems on the disc. While tempos and song structures change, the disc stays at a high-energy level through the wistful coming-of-age song “Coffee and Cigarettes” (which is powered by a memorable driving bassline and Courtney Marie Andrews sharing the vocals). Unfortunately, the band gets weighed down by slower tempo emotive baggage in the middle of the disc. The energy that opened the disc doesn’t return until the tenth track – “Action Needs an Audience” (which features guitarist/original vocalist Tom Linton on vocals). While the band slows down on the last two songs on the disc, these songs are slightly longer than the others which gives the music an opportunity to rise and fall beneath Adkins’ vocals. The musical buildup keeps these tracks engaging and differentiates them from the slower tracks in the middle of this disc. Invented ends on a strong but somber note with the final track “Mixtape”, which is a breakup song that builds to a crescendo around the chorus “You don't get to walk away now. It's too late, you can't walk away now”.

Jimmy Eat World

Lissie Postpones Most Dates on Current East Coast Tour // Video Available from Last Call with Carson Daly

DOWNLOAD: Lissie - "In Sleep" (Live)

Lissie - Catching A Tiger CD Review (Fat Possum)Neo-folkie Lissie (Maurus) released her debut full length Catching A Tiger in August and she followed this with a series of headlining dates.

Unfortunately, Lissie is on medically prescribed vocal rest and this current run of East Coast dates, sans the NYC CMJ appearance on Oct. 22nd, have been postponed. Lissie said, "I'm incredibly disappointed that I had to postpone these dates. I saw a vocal doctor who said I needed to temporarily go on complete vocal rest, so of course I'm taking his advice. I sincerely apologize to those of you that had tickets and were excited. Believe me, I was excited too! I will be back as soon as possible, healthy and energized. Please know how much I appreciate your support and your patience with me in this time. Much love and peace, Lissie."

Earlier this month, Lissie made her network television debut with an appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly where she performed "In Sleep"


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Julie Peel Kicks Off Second Tour in Support of Debut Album // Show at Union Hall on Nov. 15th

DOWNLOAD: Julie Peel - "Unfold" MP3

Julie Peel Kicks Off Second Tour in Support of Debut Album // Show at Union Hall on Nov. 15th Julie Peel is a Canadian singer/songwriter who released her debut CD, Near The Sun, last year on American Laundromat Records. With lyrics that sound like semi-confessional stories and a layered, atmospheric production, some immediate points of comparison are artists like Beth Orton and Lisa Germano.

Julie kicked off her fall tour on Friday, October 1st in France and the tour will take Julie to Spain, Germany, Norway, and London before she heads to the USA for several key dates. This is Julie’s second tour in support of her critically-acclaimed debut album Near The Sun. During this current tour, Julie will be performing songs from Near The Sun, and introducing several new songs from her upcoming second album.

Near the Sun has earned rave reviews, an early invitation to showcase at SXSW, placements in television shows such as NBC’s Mercy and CBS’s Life Unexpected, and opening support invites from artists such as Joe Purdy, Tanya Donelly, and Dar Williams.

Julie Peel tour dates:
10/15 Samba Resille, Toulouse (FRANCE)
10/18 L'International, Paris (FRANCE)
10/25 Café Mono, Oslo (NORWAY)
11/11 The Barn at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY (USA)
11/13 Tin Angel, Philadelphia, PA (USA)
11/15 Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY (USA)
11/21 Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA (USA) *Opening for Dar Williams*
11/22 Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA (USA) *Opening for Dar Williams*
11/28 Club Passim, Cambridge, MA (USA)
12/02 The Velvet Lounge, Washington, DC (USA)
12/03 The Hexagone, Baltimore, MD (USA)
12/07 The Rhythm Factory, London (UNITED KINGDOM)

Julie Peel

Andy Shauf - "Waiting for the Sun to Leave" CD EP Review (P is for Panda)

Andy Shauf - In every Andy Shauf review, reviewers always seem to want to bring up Elliott Smith but I just don’t hear the comparison. I saw Elliott Smith perform just once – when he opened for DC hometown heroes Tsumani – and I thought it was just “sad old b*stard music”. After repeated listens, I still don’t come away from Andy’s music with the weighty sense of melancholia that I do after listening to Elliott Smith so I would suggest that better points of comparison are Jeff Buckley or Nick Drake.

When I originally reviewed Shauf’s Darker Days, I didn’t realize that the disc had been available in some form for the past four years. Andy’s latest EP, “Waiting for the Sun to Leave”, is an 8-track, 25 minute basement recording of songs that Andy has been playing live for the last few years. Each of the songs prominently features Andy’s soulful vocals and he accompanies himself on acoustic guitar. There are light backing vocals and additional instrumentation on some of tracks but the connection point for most listeners is likely to be Andy’s mini-vignettes/narrative lyrics.

Similar to Darker Days, the lyrics for “Waiting for the Sun to Leave” are reflective and introspective. The songs capture snapshots of people, moments in time and changing relationships. As the eight tracks are all stylistically similar, Andy’s latest video for the song “Open” should provide a good sense for the sound of this album.

Here is a live video that I filmed at Andy’s recent stop in Brooklyn, right before the new EP came out. Andy is one of the few artists that I’ve seen who can capture the same sense of “living room intimacy” in both the studio and a live setting.

Andy Shauf

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hopewell Play Union Pool on Oct. 22nd // Nov. Tour with The Dandy Warhols // Live Album Out Nov. 2nd

<a href="">Hopewell Live Volume 1 by Hopewell</a>

Hopewell Play Union Pool on Oct. 22nd // Nov. Tour with The Dandy Warhols // Live Album Out Nov. 2ndHopewell has been blending vintage fuzz pedal jams with their early space rock and shoegaze roots for over a decade. Their tumultuous canon is the perfect cinematic bridge between the psychedelia of ‘90s acts like Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev and the genre's new generation, including Dungen and Serena-Maneesh. 2010 finds Hopewell releasing their first live album to coincide with a North American tour alongside The Dandy Warhols. Using recordings culled from their epic three-night engagement at Truck Festival America in May 2010 and their 2009 performance at All Tomorrow's Parties NY, Hopewell Live Volume 1 is a snapshot of the present-day band: Atypically, Hopewell’s music becomes heavier and more abstract as the band gets older. The modern version has two drummers, often employs a choir and horns, and is infamous for bludgeoning audiences into stunned silence with its brilliantly strange and unpredictable psych-rock orchestration.

Live Volume 2, slated for early next year, is a retrospective gaze back to the joyful noise of yore. The long-time line-up of Jay Green, Tyson Lewis, Rich Meyer, Lyndon Roeller and Jason Russo revisits with apparent glee, its outsider pop songs perfected over years in dingy rehearsal spaces from Hopewell Junction, NY to Brooklyn. Hopewell Live Volume 1 celebrates a self-made career that exploded into collaboration with super-producer Dave Fridmann, a 2001 BBC Peel Session, touring the UK’s festival circuit, opening for My Bloody Valentine & being hand picked by the Flaming Lips for All Tomorrow’s Parties.

Hopewell Tour Dates
10/22 Union Pool - Brooklyn, NY (Tee Pee Records CMJ Showcase)

all following dates with The Dandy Warhols:
11/06 Webster Hall - New York, NY
11/07 Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA
11/09 Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD
11/10 The Orange Peel - Asheville, NC
11/11 Center Stage - Atlanta, GA
11/13 Granada Theatre - Dallas, TX
11/14 End Of An Ear Records - Austin, TX
11/14 La Zona Rosa - Austin, TX


Brian Grosz's "Damnation and Delusion Tour" Starts Tomorrow Night at Fat Baby

DOWNLOAD: Gene Priest and the Cardinal Sin - "Living to Die"
DOWNLOAD: Brian Grosz & the Bad Idea - "A Tap Tribute"

Brian Grosz's Save your liver tonight as there will be some serious drinking going on at Fat Baby tomorrow night when Brian Grosz and Gene Priest kick off their "Damnation and Delusion" tour.

Since the 2007 release of his debut solo album, "Bedlam Nights" (Exotic Records), Brian Grosz been presenting the world with his own skewed and gravel-voiced version of the American Blues and Spiritual traditions. Combining the ramshackle snarl of Tom Waits with the methadone nod of Mark Lanegan and the storm clouds that loom above P.J. Harvey, Grosz steeps his songs of masochistic sentiment in a tumbler of whiskey and then stirs it with the relic of a straight razor.

Melding the lo-fi sentimentality of Minor and Mark Linkous' Sparklehorse with the ethereal escapism of Radiohead, Priest and his ad-hoc backing band, The Cardinal Sin, explore the darkest corners of self-worth. The music crawls along through the dust, not because it hasn't learned to walk; rather, it simply doesn't see a need to stand. It's with underlying confidence and defiance, rather than apathy and malaise when Priest sings, "No, I don't care if I ever see the light."

Gene Priest
Brian Grosz

Monday, October 11, 2010

Powerglove Headlines Metalsucks + 1000 Knives CMJ Showcase on Oct. 23rd

Powerglove Headlines Metalsucks + 1000 Knives CMJ Showcase on Oct. 23rdMetalSucks has a great list of bands lined up for a CMJ Showcase at Fontana's on October 23rd. They describe this show as "devote[d] honoring the best and brightest of NYC’s metal bands, with a few special friends as well."

MetalSucks and NYC concert promoters 1000 Knives have announced details for the second of two shows they will be hosting at this year's CMJ Music Marathon in New York City. The show will be held the afternoon of Saturday, October 23rd at Fontana's in Manhattan (105 Eldridge St.). It will start at 4pm, admission will be $10, and it will be open to the general public, 21 and over. A limited number of CMJ badgeholders will be admitted.

Powerglove, who recently released their debut E1 album "Saturday Morning Apocalypse," will headline the event.

Other bands on the bill include:
- Pack of Wolves (ex-At All Cost) (Arclight Records)
- Wetnurse (7th Rule)
- The Binary Code
- Meek Is Murder (new project from Mike Keller, ex-The Red Chord)
- Batillus.

Complimentary cocktails will be served from 4-5pm courtesy of Sailor Jerry Rum, and mixed drinks will be available for $3 thereafter.

Ozzy Osbourne - Scream Tour Edition CD Review (Epic Records)

Ozzy Osbourne - Scream CD ReviewMany days, I shake my head at the inanity of the music industry. On positive side, you have King Crimson revitalizing the back catalogue by releasing 40th year anniversary edition CDs (which seems like a good approach). On the negative side, Epic has just released the ‘4 Month’ anniversary edition of Ozzy’s latest disc Scream. C’mon guys, do you really think fans are going to go out and buy a second copy of Scream just to get the seven bonus tracks (…or are they just going to download it)?

Here is what you have on the bonus disc:

Studio Tracks:
"Hand of the Enemy" – exclusive to this disc
"One More Time" – originally an iTunes pre-order exclusive
"Jump the Moon” – originally on the Japanese edition of Scream

Live Tracks (from the UK Scream tour):
- “Bark at the Moon”
- “Let Me Hear You Scream”
- “No More Tears”
- “Fairies Wear Boots”

The second disc also contains the video for “Let Me Hear You Scream” along with some behind the scenes footage.

Fans of Scream will likely enjoy “Hand of the Enemy” and “One More Time” as these tracks fit perfectly with the original studio disc. I’m not sure though what Ozzy is trying to do with “Jump the Moon” as it sounds like bad barroom alt-metal. The live material is competently executed and seems to have been chosen to show that new guitarist Gus G. can play Tony Iommi, Jake E. Lee and Zakk Wylde’s licks. Gus G. hits the mark but adds no personal flair of his own.

I continue in my belief that poor product is going to put the final nail in the music industry’s coffin quicker than any illegal downloading will. Why would anyone rush to buy Ozzy’s next album when you inevitably know there will be a ‘Nice Price’ 2CD edition that follows which contains the foreign b-sides, iTunes “exclusive” tracks and more.

If you haven’t picked up Scream, the Tour Edition provides a good bang for the buck as it is priced at $10.81 (about one dollar more than the standard edition) on Amazon. If you already have Scream, there are more interesting things to spend your money on.

Ozzy Osbourne