Thursday, October 29, 2009

Off to New Orleans for the 2009 Voodoo Experience Festival!

Things will be quiet here at BL&L for the next couple of days as we're leaving today for New Orleans to cover the 2009 Voodoo Experience Festival. This will mark my first time going to NOLA so I'm over the moon excited. I'm also shooting the Fest-which will make me the only sober person there (heh). Given the vast amount of great acts performing (Flaming Lips, Silversun Pickups, Drive-By Truckers, Mates of State, The Pogues, The Meat Puppets, tons of local acts), plus the amazing scenery that is just NOLA itself, I may come back with a sprained right index finger from all the shutter-clicking, but it's so going to be worth it. If only for the photos of KISS on Halloween!

Some tickets are still available (here). And if you go, come help us break the Guinness World Record for "The Largest Gathering of Zombies!"

Lineup includes:
KISS / EMINEM / JANE'S ADDICTION/ WIDESPREAD PANIC / LENNY KRAVITZ/ THE FLAMING LIPS / JUSTICE (DJ SET) / GOGOL BORDELLO / WOLFMOTHER/ THE BLACK KEYS / THE POGUES / WEEN / SILVERSUN PICKUPS/ JANELLE MONAE / THE COOL KIDS / MEAT PUPPETS / MUTEMATH / Q-TIP / FISCHERSPOONER / BRAND NEW / D12 / AMERICAN BANG / GENERATIONALS / EARL GREYHOUND / SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS / BLACK LIPS / DOWN / MATES OF STATE / ALL TIME LOW / ROBERT RANDOLPH & THE FAMILY BAND / the knux / george clinton and parliament funkadelic / jj grey & mofro / Alejandro Escovedo / sarah quintana / shooter jennings / drive-by truckers / eric church / ledisi / irvin mayfield / New Orleans bingo! show / rebirth brass band / leroy jones / trombone shorty and orleans ave / Big Sam's Funky Nation / Benjy Davis Project / Papa Grows Funk / marchfourth marching band / dj soul sister / rotary downs / andrew duhon and the lonesome crows / amanda shaw / cyril neville's blues revue with tab benoit, big chief monk boudreaux and johnny sansone / beausoleil / leo jackson and the melody clouds / john mooney and bluesiana / quintron and missy pussycat / fleur de tease / suplecs / little freddie king / preservation hall-stars with special guests / the happy talk band / lil brian & the Zydeco Travelers / why are we building such a big ship? / ratty scurvics / mynameisjohnmichael / loose marbles / luke winslow-king / dan dyer / Sam & Ruby / walter "wolfman" washington and the roadmaster with dirty horns / new orleans klezmer all-stars / glasgow / mas mamones / zydepunks / the white bitch / Kristin diable / New orleans jazz vipers / the vettes / lucy's walk / erick baker / tbc brass band / bones / mc trachiotomy / from legends to nancy / brother taisuke mass choir / r. scully rough 7 / katey red & dj papa, big freddia, sissy nobby / davis rogan / and more

A little history on the Fest:

The Voodoo Music Festival was first held on 30 October 1999 at Tad Gormley Stadium in City Park. Planned and executed by Steve Rehage, CEO of Rehage Entertainment, the festival consisted of three stages and many local and national acts.

The Voodoo Festival started with very humble beginnings in 1999 as a one day music festival in Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans with an attendance of about 8,000 people, the headlining artist was Wyclef Jean and The Fugees. The following year expanded to 2 days and drew attention with a performance by Eminem, whose fame had exploded just before the festival, this brought Voodoo to the attention of music fans from around the world. In 2006, Voodoo separated the show into 3 distinct areas (Le Ritual, Le Flambeau and Le Carnival) on six stages. Each area was designed to showcase uniquely different sides of the personality of the festival and New Orleans. “Le Flambeau” features music and sounds consistent with the hometown style of The Big Easy. “Le Ritual” features more mainstream music we’re all familiar with, and finally “Le Carnival” features indie bands, burlesque, and circus acts. In 2007, The festival expanded to 3 days and broke all previous attendance records with an estimate 100,000+ fans.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

U2s Rose Bowl Show Available in Full on Youtube

U2 played the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA a few days ago to 96,000 people....and another 7 million computers across the globe. The Irish Times said that this was the first time a major international act had streamed an entire show on a site like Youtube.

The show is still being streamed on U2's Youtube channel (here). The quality is stunning and you should definitely check it out, if only to see their incredible stage setup. See if you can get a glimpse of the people doing lights who are lodged in the arms of that claw thing...

Six Degrees of Separation: Bono and...The Airborne Toxic Event?


Awhile back, I posted about how I'd been hearing The Airborne Toxic Event songs in the strangest places: Buick commercials, over the din in a loud Starbucks....

Today, I was doing some digging around for some recent footage to add to a quick post on U2's 25th anniversary release of The Unforgettable Fire and came across a snippet of an interview with Bono on French tv. And what did I hear in it? Yup, you got it.

Weird. But also pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cymbals Eat Guitars Playing Free Brooklyn Show Friday, Want to Share Halloween With You

Indie darlings Cymbals Eat Guitars announced today they're all about Brooklyn-love this Halloween weekend before jaunting off to Europe with The Flaming Lips and Wilco. The band will play a free instore show at Sound Fix Records on Friday in Williamsburg, and joining up with Mystery Roar and Teletexile on Saturday for Mystery Roar's Monster Mash 2009. Costumes and prizes and free beer, oh my!

10/29 - Sound Fix Free Instore performance (6 PM)
Sound Fix Records
44 Berry Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

10/31- Halloween Party With Myster Roar & Teletextile
1:00 AMish: Mystery Roar
12:00 AMish Cymbals Eat Guitars
11:00 PMish: Teletextile

$10 - Includes Free Beer
14 Steuben Street
Brooklyn, NY

Friday, October 23, 2009

Riverboat Gamblers' Guitarist Ian Mcdougall Hit by a Car, Sustains Major Injuries

Austin's awesome Riverboat Gamblers were an amazing find at last year's SXSW. Fueled with an incredible punk rock spirit, they're a band that would make even Johnny Rotten's trademark scowl turn upside down.

Sadly, one of their guitarists, Ian Mcdougall, had a pretty serious accident last Saturday, when a car hit him on his bike. He sustained some rather serious injuries and is now in recovery. As is the case with hospital stays these days, Mcdougall's bills are astronomical so the band set up a PayPal account for donations. Get well soon Ian!

Hello all,

It’s definitely been a trying few days. On the night of Saturday October 17th, while riding his bike home, a car hit Ian Mcdougall, guitarist of our band Riverboat Gamblers. He sustained some pretty heavy injuries including a broken hip, a broken wrist and hemmoraging under the skull along with many lacerations, torn ligaments, bruises and and scrapes.

He was rushed by ambulance to Brackenridge hospital in Austin and stayed in the ICU for 2 days before being moved into his own room where he is undergoing physical therapy while awaiting the results on X-rays and MRIs as well as a deluge of other various tests.

That being said, the prognosis is better than we had first thought. We are happy that he is going to be ok and that he is alive and with us. Unfortunately, not only is he in for a long recovery and is in a lot of pain, but he will be celebrating his birthday in bed with hospital food.

On another unfortunate note, there are a pile of bills currently gaining a Mt. Everest-like summit from all his hospital expenses. We set up a PayPal account for our band mate and friend to try and help him get on top of the debt and focus on his recovery. His PayPal account email is ian.gambler @ gmail.com. Anything you can afford to give will be greatly appreciated by Ian and his family. Thank you all for your support and we wish Ian the speediest of recoveries. (Source)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Smokey Robinson Confirmed at Keynote Speaker for SXSW Music 2010

Smokey Robinson has been confirmed as this year's keynote speaker for the Music portion of SXSW 2010.

The incomparable poet of soul music, Smokey Robinson has been confirmed as the keynote speaker for the 2010 South by Southwest Music Conference, taking
place at the Austin Convention Center Thursday, March 18. As Motown celebrates
its 50th anniversary, Robinson, one the label's primary songwriters and first
hit-makers with the Miracles, marks closer to six decades singing professionally. The former VP of Hitsville USA recently released his latest batch of smooth romanticism, Time Flies When You're Having Fun, on his own Robso label and couldn't believe how 50 years felt like "three weeks ago" when the Chronicle caught up with him backstage this summer in Fort Worth: "I grew up in the hood in Detroit, [and being a singer] was my impossible dream. I never thought it would ever come true. I never thought I'd be doing this for my livelihood. Actually, when I was [young], I thought I was going to be a cowboy. That didn't go well. There were no horses in the neighborhood where I could hone my skills [laughs]." (SXSW.com)

Hold Steady Frontman Co-Writing Screenplay Adaptation for Chuck Klosterman's Fargo Rock City

Given The Hold Steady's tour schedule, I gotta wonder, does lead singer Craig Finn ever sleep? The Hollywood Reporter blog reported today that Finn and Tom Ruprecht, writer for David Letterman, are teaming up to take Chuck Klosterman's memoir Fargo Rock City to the big screen. Finn and Ruprecht are currently at work on the screenplay and Klosterman will join them as producers once the film gets to that point.

The project is in the early writing stages currently, and upon completion, the team said they will begin shopping it around to obtain studio and third-party financing. Given the names associated with it though, it probably has a good shot. At the very least, the soundtrack should be pretty cool.

And $10 says they name the girl-character that Klosterman first dances with is named "Holly."

Sex, late-night and rock ’n’ roll?

Tom Ruprecht, a longtime writer on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman,” and Craig Finn, frontman of the popular rock band the Hold Steady, are teaming to write and produce the coming-of-age comedy “Fargo Rock City.” The duo has acquired rights to the 2001 memoir of the same name by music scribe Chuck Klosterman, who will join the pair in producing.

Klosterman’s book tells of growing up in North Dakota as one of the few fans of heavy metal, and his experiences using music to transcend high school nerddom. The 1980s-set screenplay will revolve around a group of high school seniors facing graduation as they try to find success with women and generally break out of their geeky cocoons.

“Seventeen or eighteen is the perfect age for characters in a movie like this, because it’s at that age that you have drivers licenses and a certain amount of independence, but you’re still young enough that you can totally make terrible decisions,” Finn told us. “And you’re still young enough that you can have a two-hour argument over whether Motley Crue would beat Guns ‘N Roses in a fight.”

The pic will concentrate on particular portions of the book, including a chapter in which a faulty ATM dispenses excessive amounts of money to Klosterman, which both Finn and Ruprecht say they see as metaphors of the gilded age and easy credit of both the 1980’s and the past few years.

While music is an important theme in the memoir, it won’t be featured quite as prominently as it is in Klosterman’s writing. “Heavy metal is kind of a common bond among a group of friends,” Ruprecht said. “It’s the language they speak. But this will also be a universal story of dorky kids trying to be cool.”

Ruprecht and Finn are working on the first draft of the script, with the group planning to seek financing from studio and third-party entities when they’re done.

Ruprecht, repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, has written for Letterman for more than a decade and is the author of a faux oral history of George W. Bush; he’s also contributed to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and McSweeney’s, though we’ll try not to hold that last one against him.

Finn sings and plays guitar for the Hold Steady, the Brooklyn rock band that has earned a devoted following thanks to its high-energy shows. He writes many of the act’s songs, which contain sharply etched characters and stories dealing with themes ranging from religion and the perils of being a teenager (the latter of which, like Klosterman, he draws from his childhood in the Midwest).

Klosterman is a music writer for publications such as the New York Times Magazine and Esquire. (Another book, “Killing Yourself to Live,” his nonfiction account of visiting the graves of dead rock stars, is being developed as a feature by indie banner Half Shell Entertainment.)

Musicians penning movies that aren’t about music is a fraught proposition. Most singers turn to acting, and even then, it’s with spotty results. (Yes, you, Dave Matthews). But Finn has the storytelling chops and, it seems, the dedication to make a go of it.

In Honor of Tonight's Gaslight Anthem Show @ the 930...

Gaslight Anthem is at the 930 tonight for the first time, I believe, and if what I hear is true, the live show that these NJ natives put on will blow DC's ears and minds with their rad rock sounds.

Lead singer Brian Fallon's voice and delivery have often been compared to NJ's more famous son. That sort of gravel-strewn bellow works for rock songs but not always on those that require a little softer touch; it definitely takes technique and style to let the tenderness come through in voices like those. Bruce does it beautifully and here, covering Leonard Cohen's epic "Hallelujah," Fallon proves he shares more with Bruce than hailing from the land of refinery towers.

(Gaslight Anthem's 930 Club show is sold out tonight. The rest of the dates for this leg of their '59 Sound tour can be seen here.)

Seen Your Video: Airborne Toxic Event Covers "People Who Died" (with Henry Clay People and Red Cortez)

I saw the awesomeness that was the "East LA Rock n Roll Revue" with The Airborne Toxic Event, The Henry Clay People, Red Cortez twice last week, once here in DC and back home in upstate NY (the latter show also included the beautiful and ethereal harmonies of The Parson Red Heads, the main reason I wanted to see the show). But the job-that-pays-the-bills exploded with deadlines upon my return so I am a bit behind with posting the reviews/photos. I did, however, want to share one of the shining moments of the DC show, which was when Airborne's lead singer, Mikel Jollett, brought both his opening bands back out during Airborne's set for a rousing rendition of Jim Carroll's "People Who Died." Carroll, who died back in September, was the male embodiment (to me anyway) of the poetry and grit that was New York's Lower East Side in the 70s, and I'm always thrilled when he's given recognition. "People Who Died" is a great song normally, and Jollett, obviously a Carroll fan, does it serious justice.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Show Review: Cymbals Eat Guitars @ BU Central, Boston, MA (10/17/09)

by Dave "Scout" Tafoya

If you had given me the Cymbals Eat Guitars record after their show last Saturday at Boston University Central, I probably would have laughed and said you'd made some sort of mistake. Don't take offense just yet, their record Why Are There Mountains is a heavily produced, oft serenely languorous, oft slackerish and crunchy rock record that strikes a near-perfect balance between its disparate elements. The show that I and a few dozen others saw on Saturday, however, was quite a bit different from that. Throwing their dynamics almost entirely to the wind, the Staten Island band came out screaming and left in a hale of distortion. It was all fury and dizzying guitar athletics, and I know I wasn't the only one who was blown out of the front row. Rock this intense requires a break.

Perhaps it was my proximity to the band but I simply wasn't prepared for the sheer volume and energy from a band whose debut was so calmly assured. Singer Joseph D'Agostino told me beforehand that this was effectively their 'melting faces' tour. They were making a short stint around the country to hook fans in little venues like BU Central (a pool hall and game room when not hosting bands) before embarking on a more serious headlining tour that will start with their impending trip to Europe; hittin' em hard and low, as it were. Their all-out aural attack was quite a surprise. D'Agostino roared like a lion for most of the show, turning songs like "...And the Hazy Sea" from psych-gaze into a song Dinosaur Jr. might have written in their heyday; blistering yet lackadaisical. D'Agostino's guitar playing, incidentally, is absolutely stunning; he has the chops of James Iha and the inventiveness of Jonny Greenwood or Will Sergeant. His shredding and screaming were the two definitive features of that night's show. And powerful though they were (he was like a one-man metal band), they did occasionally undercut the brilliance of his songwriting, drawing the audience away from the little things that make Why Are There Mountains such a powerhouse. Take for example "Wind Phoenix." On the record, it's a playful and slightly noisy Pavement-esque track with skipping guitar lines and an overall pleasing feel; live the song became their raucous, solo-laden closer, the one meant to keep the ringing in your ears long after you've gone home.

After getting used to the volume I started to focus on the rest of the band. The volume was, of course, helped by Matt Miller's assured drumming and together with new bassist Matt Whipple, they make quite an impressive rhythm section. Whipple's fingers were almost as taxed as D'Agostinos, constantly running Specials-style ska riffs, and Whipple and Miller did a most excellent job supplying the fast-and-furious changes in volume and speed to keep up with D'Agostino's ear-splitting charge. Each band member had his own personality on stage and it's both awe-inspiring and more than a little overwhelming. With everyone essentially playing lead even as they anchor the song, the group projects enough energy and ferocity to power an entire town (D'Agostino doesn't call himself Joseph Ferocious, for nothing, I guess). But it can be hard to keep up with them. I had to take myself away from the PA and hang back for a bit to avoid hearing loss and whiplash. Consider my face melted.

(CEGs is currently on tour and heading to Europe in November. Tour dates can be seen here)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mates of State is one of those bands that have been around awhile and you can't help but be thrilled they endure because they're just so damn good.

This past April, Mates of State released Re-Arranged: Remixes Volume 1 on limited-edition 12" vinyl. Featuring four interpretations of tracks from Mates of State's latest full-length, Re-arrange Us, it included contributions from noted remixologists DJ Sega, Flosstradamus, The Mae Shi and RAC. Packaged in a classic DJ white sleeve, the 12" EP was limited to 1000 copies worldwide.

But, for folks who prefer the digital to the analog, we're excited to announce that Mates of State’s Re-Arranged: Remixes Vol. 1 is now available digitally at fine digital retailers everywhere. This digital version features a bonus track remixed by Amp Live and not available on the 12" physical edition.

Re-arranged: Remixes Volume 1 Track List
01 You Are Free (The Mae Shi remix)
02 The Re-Arranger (Flosstradamus remix)
03 Now (RAC remix)
04 Help Help (DJ Sega Philly Club remix)
05 The Re-Arranger (Amp Live remix)

The Mae Shi are this interesting and well, "different" young LA band that we saw last year. Their sound is decidedly less indie pop than Mates of State but they've made this remix into something super fun. At the very least, it will make you want to get up and dance around.

Give a Listen: You Are Free (The Mae Shi Remix)-Mates of State

(Mates of State are playing this year's Voodoo Experience Festival and should not be missed.)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Preview Notes on the Lucero Show @ 930 Club (10-15-09)

I'm catching a flight home in a few hours to catch a ultra rare appearance on the other coast by The Parson Red Heads. With Red Cortez, The Henry Clay People, and The Airborne Toxic at Northern Lights in Clifton Park, NY. Short of being at Spaceland in LA a few years ago, I'm pleasantly shocked that I'm getting to see a lineup like that.

But I wanted to just drop a note and say...the 500+ photos and review of the Red Cortez, The Henry Clay People, and The Airborne Toxic's DC stop should be up this weekend, as will the photos/review from last night's Lucero show at the 930. A few quick notes on the latter:

-Ben's Nichols voice is pretty ragged out. I thought it might have been due to a cold or something but I found out after that they'd been practicing like 6-8 hours a day for like a week prior to the tour to get the horns up to speed. And Nichols, "who doesn't take care of himself anyway" (says Brian Venable), shot his voice. Anyone seeing them this show, seeing them earlier than later might be better.

-Nichols was drinking water (I know, shocking) but there was whiskey shots being brought up around all sides of me that he was drinking.

-Stand in the back of whatever venue you go to see them in order to hear the horns the best. I commented to their steel pedal player Todd Beene after about how hard it was to hear the horns where I was up front and he said, 'Yeah, the horns were put through the mains so the sound carries. If you're up front, it's not as much." He said he had a hard time hearing them in his monitor, and he was right in front of them.

-FYI: horns were worked into their older tracks and boy, are they niiiiice. They aren't onstage for the entire show though.

Oh and speaking of Lucero, if you're in Baltimore, MD tonight, be sure to catch The Revival Tour 2009 at Sonar. Lucero's buddy Chuck Ragan and the awesome Jim Ward are among the large group of performers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Whigs Set Release for Third Record,"In the Dark," Announce Fall 2009 Tour Dates

I've had a special spot for anything out of Athens, GA for years now. It's got a soul and a kitch and heart that rocks with a unusual sense of style that I've long found fascinating. I'm sure you already know how cool its music scene is, and have heard more than a few of the various types of great music that various great bands have brought out from its 117 square miles over the years.

One of its more recent exports, The Whigs, blew the doors and the eardrums off of 2008 with their incredibly powerful and intense second release, Mission Control. They then spent the next 18 months blowing the eyes and eardrums off of everyone who saw them live. Drummer Julian Dorio is so amazing to watch, he's kind of like skydiving, you definitely have to experience it just once.

Well, drummers, lay down your sticks because Dorio is reentering the building. The Whigs are heading back out on the road next week in support of their third album, In the Dark, which is out in late February/early March 2010. The headlining tour covers 29 cities in seven weeks and The Features, The Dead Trees and Mean Creek will open.

Give a Listen: In the Dark-The Whigs

The Whigs Fall 2009 Tour
October 28th Middle East (Downstairs) Boston, Massachusetts
October 29th Funk & Waffles Syracuse, New York
October 30th Mohawk Buffalo, New York
October 31st Musica Akron, Ohio
November 2nd Mad Hatter Cincinnati, Ohio
November 3rd Newport Music Hall Columbus, Ohio
November 4th Birdy's Indianapolis, Indiana
November 5th Cannery Nashville, Tennessee
November 6th Bottom Lounge Chicago, Illinois
November 7th Triple Rock Minneapolis, Minnesota
November 10th Bluebird Theater Denver, Colorado
November 13th Media Club Vancouver, British Columbia
November 14th Tractor Tavern Seattle, Washington
November 15th Doug Fir Lounge Portland, Oregon
November 17th The Independent San Francisco, California
November 18th Detroit Bar Costa Mesa, California
November 19th The Troubadour Los Angeles, California
November 20th Beauty Bar Las Vegas, Nevada
November 21st Soma (sidestage) San Diego, California
December 1st Emo's Austin, Texas
December 2nd The Loft Dallas, Texas
December 4th The Variety Playhouse Atlanta, Georgia
December 5th Rhythm & Brews Chattanooga, Tennessee
December 8th Visulite Charlotte, North Carolina
December 10th Black Cat Washington, DC, Washington DC
December 11th The Fillmore @ Irving Plaza New York, New York
December 12th North Star Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
December 14th Local 506 Chapel Hill, North Carolina
December 15th Pour House Charleston, South Carolina

With The Features (from October 28th - December 15th)
With The Dead Trees (from October 28th - November 21st)
With Mean Creek (October 28th and December 5th - 15th)

Chris Taylor/Arthur Russell 7-inch Released, First in Terrible Records Series

Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear) and Ethan Silverman (Lust Boys)'s Terrible Records released the first of the label's 7-inch series yesterday with the Chris Taylor/Arthur Russell pairing of "CANT"/"Come to Life" that we mentioned awhile back.

CANT is the title of Taylor's first solo release, "Ghosts," and is coupled with a previously unreleased song recorded by Arthur Russell in the late '70's, called "Come To Life" (courtesy of Audika Records).

CANT is the first in a series of 7-inches recorded at Terrible Studios. The series will continue with songs produced by Taylor, recorded at his church-studio in Brooklyn where Taylor produced much of the latest Grizzly Bear record, Veckatimist. The CANT 7-inch release is limited to 1000 copies.

The next release for Terrible will be the Taylor-produced 5-song, 10" EP from NY group Acrylics on October 28th, entitled All of the Fire.

CANT can be purchased here.

Give a Listen: Ghosts-Chris Taylor

Terrible Records will be hosting a CMJ showcase at Pianos in NYC next Friday (10/23). Taylor and Silverman will be djing between sets.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pavment to Kick Off Consecutive Reunion Tour Dates in Australia; Onsale This Friday

In true fashion up to this point, Pavement announced the first eight dates of their world reunion tour today, which will kick off next year in 2010. And the onsale for the Australian segment is oh, this Friday, 10/23 (9:00 AM Australia time), a mere five months in advance.

Does anyone else think they're just trying to drive everyone insane by dribbling the tour dates out like this?

Pavement will launch their highly anticipated reunion tour on March 1, 2010 in Auckland, New Zealand and then continue on to Australia. All shows except Golden Plains go on sale at 9:00 AM local time on Friday, October 23. This is the only time the tour will stop in the two countries.

AUCKLAND: Monday 1 March - Auckland Town Hall

-SYDNEY: Thursday 4 March - Enmore Theatre
-VICTORIA: Saturday 6 March - Golden Plains -Info
-ADELAIDE: Sunday 7 March - Thebarton Theatre
-PERTH: Monday 8 March - Metro City
-BRISBANE: Wednesday 10 March - The Tivoli
-MELBOURNE: Friday 12 March - The Palace

Earotica: The Life and Times of Rosa Lee-The Library Review

One of my absolutely favorite bands from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, NC, area during grad school was The Mayflies USA. Catchy songwriting and shiny guitar sounds of the Brit-pop variety with a smidgen of Big Star overflowed within this four-some, and it was a sad day for all of us when their operations ceased.

Mayflies guitarist/co-vocalist Matt Long moved to Brooklyn to help co-found Sound Foundation, a "music resource for advertising, an industry-guide for multi-level creative searches, and a sound studio for the moving picture," and started up a new band, The Library. The group, consisting of Jason Caperton (The Comas), Blake Courlang (Seamonsters), and lap pedal steel player Jeremy Burnworth, just released their debut EP, The Life & Times of Rosa Lee, on iTunes/Amazon.

While the Mayflies sound had the heavy drum/cymbal beat and fuzzy ringing Liverpudlian-guitars that spoke to their two-fold love of mid-60s Mersey Beat bands and Alex Chilton, The Library tangents off from the softer aspects of those two with keyboards and quiet guitars guiding the way. Long takes on lead singer duties with The Library, and his higher vocal range pairs nicely with the ethereal dream-state sound that runs throughout Rosa Lee's seven tracks; a deeper voice would have bruised their delicate skin. Along with the mournful melancholy of Burnworth's pedal steel and guest musician Carla Capretto's [Jesse Malin, Travis Pickle] piano and keyboards, these tracks are turned into what could almost be indie hymns for a Sunday morning.

Give a Listen: Nothing to Lose-The Library

(The Library is playing NYC's Bowery Electric on 10/20 and The Living Room on 11/19.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Weezer Releases Clash Cover & Additional Tracks as Part of "Weezer iTunes Pass," 10/13-11/24

It was announced today that everyone's favorite Snuggie wearer Rivers Cuomo and Weezer have established a new iTunes pass for fans. Purchasers will receive exclusive tracks, like their cover of "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash, and other assorted media content from Weezer's new record, Raditude. Tracks will be sent to the purchaser's iTunes library once a week from 10/13-11/24. Go to the iTunes Store for details.

The WEEZER iTunes Pass launches today on the iTunes Store. The iTunes Pass gives fans access to new and exclusive music, video, remixes, art and other content from their favorite artists over a set period of time, delivered to their iTunes library as soon as they're available.

Fans who purchase the WEEZER iTunes Pass ($19.99) will receive a variety of content beginning on October 13th with a cover of The Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" and continuing in weekly installments until November 24th. The WEEZER iTunes Pass includes a deluxe version of the band's new album Raditude plus exclusive additional tracks, live recordings, remixes, behind-the-scenes video footage and the music video for single "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To."

Monday, October 12, 2009


No post today kids...Having a small computer crisis here today at BL&L central headquarters, and an owner who's still learning how not to be a spaz when it comes to her touchphone.

But if you're in DC, be sure to go to the 930 club tonight for the fab La-La Land Trifecta of The Airborne Toxic Event, The Henry Clay People, and Red Cortez. Red Cortez hits the stage at 8 pm, HCP at 8:50 pm, Airborne at 10 pm. That's a whole bunch of awesome for only $20.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Seen Your Video: "Nobody Told Me"-John Lennon

In honor of what would have been John Lennon's 69th birthday today, we give you one of our long-time favorites, since childhood in fact, "Nobody Told Me," from Lennon's solo collection. Interesting fun fact: Lennon had originally written the song for Ringo Starr to include on a solo record Starr was doing, but Lennon was killed before it could be used.

John Lennon - Nobody Told Me

Give a Listen: Nobody Told Me-The Flaming Lips

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Free Admission to John Lennon Exhibit at RnR Hall of Fame Annex NYC Offered This Weekend

"Free entry" is always swell when in an expensive town like NYC and it's even better when the "free entry" is for something that is pretty cool. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex NYC is offering free admission to the John Lennon: The New York City Years exhibit tomorrow and Saturday to commemorate what would have been Lennon's 69th birthday.

Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, donated a variety of items for the exhibit, including private letters and photos, instruments and iconic clothing, as well as the glasses Lennon was shot in and the brown paper bag that the coroner's office gave her with John Lennon's effects after he was murdered. When asked why, Ono said, "This was a guy who like king of the world, you know...just turned into a brown paper bag."


News: Bad Karoke Singers, Stay Outta CT

This just in...female vigilantes are out in force to stop the spread of bad karoke singing in Stamford, CT.

STAMFORD, Conn. — Six young Connecticut women have been arraigned on assault charges accusing them of beating up another woman because they didn’t like the way she was singing karaoke.

Five of the women were arraigned Wednesday in Stamford Superior Court, and the other appeared in court Monday.

Police say the attack on the 25-year-old woman from Port Chester, N.Y., happened on the night of Sept. 23 when she was singing a Spanish song at Bobby Valentine’s Sports Gallery Cafe in Stamford.

Authorities say the six women, all under the legal drinking age of 21, knocked the singer to the floor, punched her and pulled her hair. The victim suffered bruises and a chipped tooth.

The defendants are charged with third-degree assault and other crimes. They’re due back in court later this month. (NY Post)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Earotica:1372 Overton Park-Lucero Review

With fall here, music writers are starting to ponder the choices for their lists of best new releases of the year. The more I think about mine, the more I can't see another record coming close to Lucero's latest, 1372 Overton Park which dropped yesterday.


Every other release I've listened to this year, after a few listens, I feel like I've heard all it has to say. While there may be a couple standout songs that stay with me, there’s not enough to keep me listening to it in full. However, 1372 is busting with 12 songs that will all most definitely stay with you, that will lure you in with their catchy sounds and keep you wanting to hear them over and over. And each time you hear it, you’ll discover something new that will make you fall in love just a little more. Be it one of lead guitarist Brian Venable’s great guitar hooks, the enthusiastic “Yeah, Yeah!” ad-lib in many of the songs by lead singer/guitarist Ben Nichols, or any of the horn arrangements from the legendary Memphis sax player Jim Spake, 1372 is a record that swirls and swings with wild abandon; so just try to resist the urge to dance.

"Wait, horns on a Lucero record," you ask? Yes, Virginia, there are horns and they provide the perfect complement to Lucero’s brand of country-fried punk. 1372 is like a celebration of love to all the ways Memphis has impacted Lucero’s music. From horns and bluesy keyboard riffs to the soul-tinged rock songs with gospel back up singers and the ghost of Elvis hovering nearby ("1372 Overton Park" in Memphis is actually the address of the band’s long-time practice space/residence that served as a karate dojo back in the day when Elvis Presley took lessons there), 1372 is so Memphis that it should have come packaged with a sample of Corky’s Smokin’ Hot.

As I listened through for the Nth time, something else struck me: Ben Nichols’s singing and songwriting have really gone up a level on this record. When I interviewed Nichols awhile back, we talked about his famous gravel –and-cigarettes timber and he said he’s noticed his voice has become stronger over the last 10 years with Lucero. It really shows on 1372, there’s a lot more clarity of Nichols' voice within the raspy growl. Maybe it was the result of writing songs around characters from a famous novel, but Nichols’ songwriting for this record has become much more emotional and alliterative, paying a name-check homage to loves (Replacements records) and likes (“The Devil And Maggie Chascarillo” is from Los Bros Hernandez’s Love And Rockets comics series). The songs are so visually described that you can’t help but picture the scenes he sets in your head, like mini-musical vignettes. And if you see the band live, keep an ear out for a great song that didn't make 1372, "Lonesome Dogtown Nights."

1372 is Lucero’s sixth release and their first since 2006’s Rebels, Rogues, and Sworn Brothers. During that time, members have had children, houses have been purchased, new members have been added, and big labels came a’calling. Is this a more mature Lucero? Probably not, I mean, this is Lucero after all. But maybe it is a Lucero who’s been able to find a happy medium between its road dog side and its hometown side, and celebrate the hell out of where they’re from and who they are now.

Give a Listen:
-The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo-Lucero
-Lonesome Dogtown Nights (live at Ottobar, Bmore, MD, 2-5-09)-Lucero

(Lucero's 'Memphis Revue & Ramblin Roadshow' tour kicks off tomorrow with a free show in Memphis, TN. See the rest of the dates here.)

Pavement to Curate May 2010 ATP in the UK

Pavement and their ADD-suffering tour promoter are at it again, announcing shows randomly and many months in advance. It was announced today that they are curating the All Tomorrow's Parties weekend next May in Somerset, UK. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

Pavement will headline and curate an All Tomorrow's Parties weekend from May 14 to 16 at Butlins Holiday Resort in Minehead, Somerset, UK. This is the band's first non-US appearance of the reunion tour to be revealed. More will follow soon!

Tickets for the weekend are priced at £160pp for room only and £170pp for self catering and go on sale this Friday at here. They will sell extremely quickly if last month's sales for New York City in September 2010 are to be any indication.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Earotica: The Hidden Cameras-Origin:Orphan

by Dave "Scout" Tafoya

Welcome to the cabaret of Joel Gibb. The Berlin-based frontman of the Toronto-based musical collective, The Hidden Cameras, has found what he likes best and made a highly efficient machine out of it. What does he like? Hooks. Hooks so theatrical they border on kitsch. Switching between showmanship mixed with operatic presentation of otherwise ordinary (if splendid) tunes, soft inward-looking balladeering, and Pleasure Principle-inspired new wave, Origin:Orphan, The Cameras' fifth album, finds them delivering non-stop niceties, whether you want them or not. The songs seem like they were calculated by a computer, as if Gibb plugged his melodies and choruses in, and out came the formula for his songs. That means that many lines are repeated many more times than they need to be, but luckily that's my only complaint. Otherwise the record is pop gold with enough depth to transcend its time, place, and peers, but not enough to prevent you being able to enjoy any song on the album whatever your mood.

We start with an unusual choice for a pop-record, a crescendo before the curtain is raised and Gibb and his band are revealed: two and a half minutes of build-up. They go from the wonderfully dramatic "Ratify The New," which sees Gibb exploring the full capacity of his voice and the awesome power of his mock-orchestral arrangements. It recalls Berlin-era Bowie in the best possible way (pitched between "A New Career In A New Town" and "Heroes"), and the repetition brings the best production work of Brian Eno to mind. Grounded by Lex Vaughn's brilliantly underplayed-yet-relentless drumming, the band is in fine form with "In The NA," its most catchy song to date. Gibb plays with the notion of pop music by making his lyrics nonsensical enough to get you to concentrate solely on his delivery and the production, while violin's screech and a male chorus deliver their ubiquitous volley of "Hey," around him, all of it essentially a novelty. Gibb is taking pop songs apart and giving you the barest elements without any of pop's shallow content; the frills of pop minus the vacuous personality of most purveyors of the form. It takes a few listens to figure out how brilliant the song really is but the best part is you don't need to understand it to have it stuck in your head. The whole album is full of these brilliant explorations-beneath-lovely-pop moments.

The simple but wonderful "He Falls To Me" comes next, reveling a bit much in the verse for my taste (but wow, what a chorus). Then "Colour of a Man" which, with its swooning strings, "ooh ooh" refrain, and staccato piano mickey-mousing of Gibb's words, is like an Arcade Fire song without the apocalyptic gravity. Gibb communicates his Canadian songwriting via German musical history, everything from Wiemar-era musicals to Kraut rock, pretty much with every flourish. "Walk On" is a great example of this, with each instrument transporting you to a different era. Elsewhere, we get Gibb's appreciation of post-punk on "Do I Belong?," which wavers between a regimented Human League backbeat and impassioned XTC-style overlays. "Kingdom Come" sounds like Orange Juice playing The Chameleons.

I realize how obnoxiously reference-laden this has become, but look at it this way: nerds can enjoy Origin:Orphan because it's so rich in history and takes a deconstructionist approach to pop music. And everyone else can enjoy it because it's so epically catchy and Gibb's (authorial and physical) voice is so endearing. What have you got to lose?

News: Controversial New FTC guidelines to Include Bloggers/Twitters/FBers

Some interesting news today from the FTC and its new guidelines. Hmm...awhile back we posted about how rock bands can stay for free at Motel 6 if they give a shout out from the stage or via their website. In theory, I think that would be a problem for the FTC. Which sucks because it's a fair quid-pro-quo, I think; I mean, isn't it really just another type of promotion?

Prominent users of Twitter and Facebook won't be exempt from controversial new Federal Trade Commission guidelines that keep tabs on blogger freebies and giveaways, according to Richard Cleland, associate director for the FTC's advertising division. The agency absolutely plans to keep tabs on social networks as well as blogs in accordance with revised regulations that could see violators fined up to $11,000, he said.

Here's a sample scenario: a celebrity or other prominent figure with loads of friends on Facebook receives free hotel says from Hotel Chain X in exchange for running Hotel Chain X ads on his or her blog. If that person then signs up as a Facebook fan of Hotel Chain X--which, remember, could mean that the person's name can show up for his or her Facebook friends alongside Hotel Chain X display ads on the social network--he or she could be held liable by the FTC.

"It would be the same thing if you were going to pay the celebrity a thousand dollars to go register as a fan," Cleland said. "In that case, there wouldn't be any question about it."

Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt told CNET News that the social network doesn't have anything concrete to say in reaction to the new regulations just yet. "I don't think we have anything to say other than that we've had an ongoing dialogue with the FTC and we'd love to talk to them more about what this means," Schnitt said. "I think we're already consistent with the spirit of it."

Schnitt added that some of the practices that may be encompassed by the new FTC guidelines are already banned by Facebook. "We say in our statement of Rights and Responsibilities, and people actually applauded this when we added it in a few months ago, that you will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain such as selling your status to an advertiser." This is contained in section 4.2 of the document, he said.

As for Twitter, the FTC isn't letting you get a pass with the excuse that 140 characters--Twitter's famous text limit--is simply too short. "There are ways to abbreviate a disclosure that fit within 140 characters," Cleland said. "You may have to say a little bit of something else, but if you can't make the disclosure, you can't make the ad."

The question still remains as to exactly how the new guidelines will be enforced, given the sheer scope of online media--not to mention the millions upon millions of active Twitter and Facebook users.

"As a practical matter, we don't have the resources to look at 500,000 blogs," Cleland said. "We don't even have the resources to monitor a thousand blogs. And if somebody reports violations then we might look at individual cases, but in the bigger picture, we think that we have a reason to believe that if bloggers understand the circumstances under which a disclosure should be made, that they'll be able to make the disclosure. Right now we're trying to focus on education."

That's worth highlighting. Small-time bloggers freaking out over whether the FTC will really crack down on them may be pleased to know that the FTC at least claims its aim is to make everyone aware of what's right and wrong rather than to hunt down every Twitter user who may have been given a free toaster or something. Unless, that is, somebody rats them out--and at least one blogger is already raising concerns that angry readers may use the regulations to attempt to get back at blogs they don't like.

Industry blogger Peter Feld of Brandchannel thinks he can see another outcome. "A safe prediction for 2010: some big scandal when the first celebrity to run afoul of the new rules, by promoting a product on Twitter or a talk show, gets fined by the FTC." (Cnet.com)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Airborne Toxic Event's "Sometime Around Midnight" is Everywhere!

Wanna hear something cool?

When I first talked to The Airborne Toxic Event some 18 months ago, before they signed with a record label, before they played across multiple continents, before their record played in a Starbucks some 3,000 miles from their Los Angeles home, lead singer/guitarist Mikel Jolet told me this is how he defined success:

It's weird, you start getting ahead of yourself in your head and thinking like "Wow here's how much money I'm gonna make," and "I'm gonna be rich in 2years and do this and that," whatever...And then other times you think nobody gives a fuck, like nobody cares about my music or my band or anything. And I guess success is if you're a guy who needs 100 dollars and someone gives you 101, where as failure is a guy who needs 101, and someone only gives him 100. So we're always trying to be the band that only has 20 bucks to their name because we're all really broke. (laughs) And we love that fact that people even know who we are because, you know, we're just an unsigned band from Los Feliz.
Last week, I was absorbed in something but had the television on as background noise. Suddenly, I heard the opening chords of the Airborne song, "Wishing Well" on a Buick commercial. This morning, I'm in a Starbucks and it's a really loud mob scene (tourists). But somehow, I can hear the strains of a viola start to play over the soundsystem and I think to myself, "Weird, that kind of sounds like the beginning of Airborne's "Sometime Around Midnight." I wait for the vocals to kick in and, lo and behold, Jolet's voice begins to waft over the din.

I couldn't help but smile. Five people came together and made a collective dream happen in an incredibly unstable business, against a multitude of odds. Don't ya just love it when good things happen for good people?

Friday, October 2, 2009

News: Ramones Biopic In The Works

Remember the episode of Entourage where Vince was trying to get the Ramones bio project off the ground but couldn't for a variety of reasons? It seems everything mentioned were the actual reasons as to why the Ramones bio project hasn't been made yet in real life either.

The memoir mentioned in the article will be released in December '09.

Fox Searchlight wants to be sedated.

The specialty division is in negotiations to board a project about the life of the Ramones, based on the upcoming memoir "I Slept With Joey Ramone," by the musician's brother, and featuring the band's tunes.

The project, which initially had been conceived independently under manager-producer Rory Rosegarten, would get a significant boost with the involvement of the 20th Century Fox unit.

Written by Joey Ramone's brother Mickey Leigh and longtime punk writer and Ramones chronicler Legs McNeil, it centers on the life of Joey Ramone, aka Jeffrey Hyman, the lead singer of the seminal punk act. The memoir is scheduled to be published by Simon & Schuster imprint Fireside in December.

Rosegarten is a former executive producer of "Everybody Loves Raymond" who negotiated several years ago to buy the rights to the book as it was being written and, most critical, the rights to the music. The studio negotiation process has been a complicated one because of the multiple rights involved. The deal with Fox Searchlight is not closed, caution people close to the situation.

The four unrelated musicians John Cummings, Jeffrey Hyman, Thomas Erdelyi and Douglas Colvin formed the Ramones in Forest Hills, New York, in 1974. Going by the names Johnny, Joey, Tommy and Dee Dee Ramone, they became cult symbols and fathers of punk music, attaining little commercial airplay but heavily influencing modern music with songs like "I Wanna Be Sedated," "Blitzkrieg Bop," "Rockaway Beach" and "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," and giving rise to the countercultural catchphrase "Gabba Gabba Hey." Other members -- including Marky, C.J. and Richie Ramone -- also played with the band at various points.

While the act's music was more freewheeling than political, the Ramones were both contemporaries of and influences for other 1970s and 1980s punk bands such as the Clash and the Sex Pistols, while acts including U2 have cited them as key influences on their music.

Many of the band members struggled with addiction and assorted health problems, and Joey Ramone overcame obsessive-compulsive disorder and other obstacles. (Of the four principal members, only Tommy Ramone is still living.) The band was torn apart by in-fighting, particularly between lead singer Joey and guitarist Johnny, who went years without speaking to each other because of personal and political differences.

The Ramones split up in 1996, though they did subsequently appear several times in public together.

The Ramones have been on the big screen before. In the 1979 teen-rebel comedy "Rock 'n Roll High School," the band starred as musical mavericks who help teens face off with a disciplinarian principal. Howard Stern last year signed on to produce a remake of the movie. A well-received documentary, "End of the Century," came out in 2004.

But there has never been a feature tale centering on the band's musical influence and backstage drama.

As with other influential bands, a Ramones biopic would face hurdles en route to the screen. A take on the life of Nirvana and frontman Kurt Cobain has been in the works for years.

The difficulties of getting a Ramones movie made were referred to during the third season of "Entourage," when a Ramones script was pounced on by the show's fictional movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), who subsequently lost the project. (Billboard)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Wrens Announce a 3rd Maxwells Show, Will Play The Meadowlands in Full

As we announced last week, The Wrens are playing an couple of "themed" dates at NJ's Maxwells in December. December 3rd will be an "all-request" show and December 4th will be an "all new songs" night. Today, they announced an additional early show for December 4th, where they'll play "The Meadowlands from start to finish."

Turns out December 3rd is also bassist/vocalist Kevin Whelan's 40th birthday as well. They proclaim that there may be cake because of this, and possibly sherry, and in addition to requests, stories from Wrens' days of yore. (It all sounds very "Masterpiece Theater" doesn't it? I wonder if their stage clothing will include smoking jackets and pipes and Alistair Cooke accents.)

One can only imagine the madness these nights will bring. But if you ever wanted to see if the stories about Hoboken were true, or catch The Wrens at their best, this series of shows will be the best excuse to go for both.

Just dropping to our own electronic ghost town to say that we’ve added a third show for our 20th anniversary / mirthday shindig – an early show for Friday, Dec. 4th at 7:30. In keeping with our theme of…um, having themes, this show will be the Meadowlands record, top-to-bottom. We’d tried setting this up last year to put that baby to bed, but it never really came together. This will be the one time you’ll probably ever hear ’13 months in 6 minutes’ or whatever it is and ‘ex-grille confection’, although I think we tried that one live once. Anyway, thanks to the folks that requested this - very flattering.

Tickets here. More info on the other two shows here (two posts down).

And if you come by, maybe we’ll pour some sherry and regale you with the story of the time we walked one end of Hoboken to the other, handing out demo tapes to every bar & club in town – including Maxwell’s – in the hopes of securing one of the many lucrative live concert bookings that seemed just a lucky break away in the big city (that’s Hoboken in this story). And how we were surprised to find most of the bars closed.

It turns out both that it was the evening of January 1st – you know, the day after the busiest tavern day of the year – and that we were jackasses.
(It was also New Year’s Day 1990 but that part of the story is more about how old we are, not how dumb we were.) And come to think of it, that pretty much is the story.
Gaston, my son, it’s not much of a story, true, but hey…

And forgot to mention that if you’ll be attending the Dec. 3rd show, that also happens to be Kev’s special birthday (starts with a ‘four’, rhymes with ‘sporty’). And hilariously or sadly, depending, he’s the baby of the band. Tempted to say BYOCake but if we get it together we’ll have some there. (Wrens.com)