Friday, January 29, 2010

Lights That Flash in the Evening: Locksley @ Iota, Arlington, VA (1-21-2010)

When I last saw those Brooklyn Brit-poppers Locksley around here, it was last year and they were the openers for one of the originators of Brit-pop, Ray Davies at the 930 Club. While Locksley's stage show wasn't sedate, it was totally nothing like what they put forth last week at Iota. They were good at the 930, make no mistake. But a year or so of playing out in support of their first release, Don't Make Me Wait has tightened up this band as a collective musically, as well as made them comfortable enough to let loose and show an audience visually how much they enjoy doing what they do.

Playing for about 90 minutes, Locksley's set included most of the tracks from their upcoming release, Be in Love (out 2/23), a lot of Don't Make Me Wait, and a William Bell cover called "There's a Love," they had the audience moving about as much as they were onstage. With all the moving and jumping about onstage and off, I was surprised the Iota's bar glasses weren't rattling.

I liked this show so much in fact, I was bummed to hear they're heading to Japan and not Austin for SXSW in March so I could see them again. With all that Austin has to offer in terms of new music during SX, that's saying a whole lot.

Locksley's music isn't complicated and layered, it's not political and statement-filled, but that doesn't mean there isn't a bunch going on musically. I think with all the technology that bands have access to and the ways one can tinker with music these days, the basics of rock music are forgotten sometimes. And there's real beauty in those three chords and the truth. So it's great to see a band like Locksley see that and do it well, while invigorating their audience to feel that way too.

(See the rest of the photos from the show here)

Give a Listen: The Whip-Locksley from Be In Love (buy)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Celebrate the New Year! The Free Music and Clothing Contest from the Happy Hollows!

"We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come," said President Obama last night in his SOTU speech. And what better way to start off this new shiny year than with free stuff!

One of our Silver Lake favorites, The Happy Hollows started off their new year by putting out their very first full-length record Spells this week. Stripped down and fuzzy guitared up, it's the roar of garagey-shoegaze coupled with the lithesome rock star voice of lead singer/guitarist Sarah Negahdari. And it's good. Real good. Like that first sip of cold beer on a hot day at the beach good. Even that God-on-high Pitchfork gave Spells a 7.2, and Pitchfork doesn't think there are any good indie upstart bands in Los Angeles. Who knew?!

We here knew, and in honor of the Spells release, we are giving away a package of Happy Hollows goodies to celebrate. The package contains your very own copy of Spells on CD and a copy on 7" vinyl, a sticker, and a band t-shirt. Drop us an email at betweenloveandlike at gmail dot com (or just click here) and tell us the latest thing that put you in a "spell." The winner will be announced next Friday.

Give a Listen: Faces-The Happy Hollows

"High Wire," another song from Spells, is also the song you hear on the latest Samsung commercial (!!!).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wilco Will Love You & Haiti, Baby: Wilco Giving Away Concert MP3s for Haiti Donation

Entertainment Weekly of all things reported yesterday that Wilco is giving away recordings of two shows from last year. One of the two includes last year's show in Coney Island, NYC, which had guest appearances Feist, Yo La Tengo, and Ed Droste from Grizzly Bear. The other is from last November in London.

The show downloads are free but the band is requesting that fans make a donation for Haitain relief efforts to Oxfam (here) or Doctors Without Borders (here). "In exchange for the free music, we ask that you make a minimum donation of $15 to one of the organizations listed if you are able." Considering how completely mind-blowing the Coney Island show was said to be, $15 is well worth it for that show alone. So please donate what you can.

Wilco Shows for Haiti Donations

Wilco: Keyspan Park, Brooklyn, NY (07-13-09)

-Donate to Oxfam here
-Donate to Doctors Without Borders here

Wilco: HMV Forum, London, UK (11-04-09)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Seen Your Video: "Hard Times Come Again No More" by Mary J. Blige on Hope for Haiti Benefit

I feel silly even writing what I'm about to write, but the beauty of a voice carrying a piece of music made me weep this weekend. Sure, music is a big part of my life and sure, I've been "moved" by music, like getting goosebumps or not breathing for a second when a song or a lyric has especially hit home. But never, ever, have I been moved to tears by the beauty of a voice. And oddly, it happened by way of an artist whose music I never follow-Mary J Blige.

Though I'm not a fan of her music, I have always thought that Blige had an amazing voice; how could you not? The power and emotion that she employs makes a listener feel like you and Mary are having a heart-to-heart, like she's really feeling everything she's singing. Blige also doesn't seem to employ vocal gymnastics and go all over a register to be impressive (I'm looking at you Beyonce).

But this weekend I was watching clips from Friday's Hope for Haiti Benefit broadcast and I randomly clicked on hers. The waterworks weren't immediate, but about half way through her version of "Hard Times Come Again No More," I felt myself getting choked up. The song, written in 1854 by Stephen Foster, is a song of endurance, of sympathy, and of strength of character. The song has been done wonderfully by a good many others, but the stunning magnificence and grace that is Blige's voice, coupled with a song about perseverance and appreciation of life itself, just put it over the edge. It seemed so silly at first, having tears fall over a singer's voice. But it gave me a great reminder that music can (and has) moved people to move proverbial mountains, as well as make one's heart sing if you just listen.

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh Hard times come again no more.

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh hard times come again no more.
While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh hard times come again no more.

There's a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh hard times come again no more.

Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh hard times come again no more.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seen Your Video: Justin Timberlake/Mark Morris Cover "Hallelujah" @ Hope for Haiti Benefit

It's easy to rag on Justin Timberlake: the denim tux he wore with Brittney, the hair, the boy-band heritage. One thing you can't rag on him for though is his voice: this man can sing. I knew The Hope for Haiti Benefit was happening but apparently, I'd missed the "when" (it was last night). Timberlake and Mark Morris covered Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah“ and while everyone and his mom seems to have covered this song, a select few (Cohen, Jeff Buckley) do it with the justice it deserves. This Timberlake/Morris version should now be added to that "few" column. It's mindblowingly beautiful.

The version can also be purchased on iTunes.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

From the Completely Forgot to Post Department...Happy Hollows Rock Samsung

Isn't it great when you discover great things happening for great people?

A little while back, I was on the phone with the tv on, the sound low. A Samsung commercial came on...and I happened to look up right when it showed a girl flop down on a couch and start texting. I thought, "Wow that girl looks a lot like Sarah Negahdari from The Happy Hollows," which is a great Silver Lake band I've long followed. I literally stopped my conversation to pay attention to check and saw that it was indeed, The Happy Hollows rocking a Samsung commercial!

Because rock they do. If you ever ever ever get the chance to see the Hollows live, you must. As the band's lead singer, Negahdari does a stellar job of beckoning you in to their energetic whirlwind of a live show. She also puts to rest the misconception that girls can't kick ass as a band's front person or bewitch you with into paying attention with something other than sexual innuendo. She's got pipes, she can play, and she often wears rockin kneesocks....plus she's incredibly nice. That, plus the awesome combo of sounds by bass guitarist Charley Mahoney and drummer Chris Hernandez, will make you walk gleefully into The Happy Hollows whirlwind and love every minute you're there.

Read our review of The Hollows Red & The Black show here in 2008.

Franz Nicolay Has Left The Hold Steady

"Le' sad" will be what Hold Steady fans are feeling all over the world today... Pitchfork announced today that Hold Steady keyboardist/accordian player/swank dresser Franz Nicolay has left the band.

Hold Steady keyboardist Franz Nicolay, who has been a member of the band ever since sophomore album Separation Sunday, has left the group. In a statement on his website, Nicolay writes, "You should know: I've left the Hold Steady. I told the band I'd be leaving in early September, played my last show with them in Minneapolis around Thanksgiving, and dotted the t's and crossed the i's this week. Five years seemed like a nice round number. Thanks to everyone who was a part of the experience, especially the Unified Scene, who are nice folks."

For Hold Steady fans, this is pretty rough news. Nicolay's old-school bash-it-out piano style has become a huge part of the band, filling out their sound and helping to transform it from an indie allusion at 70s arena rock into something that could compete with the real thing. Also hugely important: Nicolay's backing vocals, which have added plenty of soar to the choruses of songs like "Massive Nights" and "Stuck Between Stations". Nicolay's also the most instantly recognizable member of the band, thanks to his natty fashion sense and pointy mustache. And his constant joy onstage was a thing to behold. He will not easily be replaced.

But Nicolay's got plenty going on for himself, too. Last year, he released the solo album Major General, the 10" single "St. Sebastian of the Short Stage", and the short story collection Complicated Gardening Techniques is out in February. He's also a member of the New York gypsy punk band Guignol, and as he reports in his leaving-the-band statement, he's "producing a record from Brooklyn's The Debutante Hour." We haven't seen the last of that mustache.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whigs Releasing New Record, Playing Letterman in March

The Whigs announced that In the Dark, their follow up to the massive Mission Control, will be released on 3/16. Touring for the record will start as openers for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in late February, SXSW this year (yipppee!),
a co-headlining tour, (the other "co" of "co-headlining" hasn't been announced yet), in late March, as well as a stop by Late Night with David Letterman on 3/31. Seems like a lot but given how much they toured for Mission Control, you know this is them just getting started.

The track listing for In the Dark is as follows:
1. Hundred / Million
2. Black Lotus
3. Kill Me Carolyne
4. Someone's Daughter
5. So Lonely
6. Dying
7. I Don't Even Care About The One I Love
8. Automatic
9. I Am For Real
10. In The Dark
11. Naked

Performance of the new record's title track here at the Black Cat last December. Their live show is so vibrant, it will make you forget that Atlanta Braves "tomahawk chop" intro...maybe.

Whigs Opening Dates Supporting Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
February 26th: Harlow's, Sacramento, CA
February 27th: Knitting Factory, Reno, NV
February 28th: Wasted Space @ The Hard Rock, Las Vegas, NV
March 2nd: Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO
March 4th: Knitting Factory, Boise, ID
March 5th: Showbox Market, Seattle WA
March 6th: Commodore, Vancouver
March 7th: Wonder, Portland, OR
March 9th: Slim's, San Francisco, CA
March 11th & 12th: Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA
March 13th: HOB, San Diego, CA

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Coachella Lineup Announced Today

A rather hefty lineup was announced today for this year's Coachella Festival. But so was last year (Leonard Cohen) headlined, cmon...), so how do you follow it up? Apparently you do it with the first United States show of the Pavement reunion tour, Public Image Ltd, Spoon, and Thom Yorke with question marks, among others. Wait, Thom Yorke and question marks, what's that about? Apparently it isn't meant to imply anything potentially possible, like a special guest, it's just sort of a band name.

(Yorke) intends to perform with the same backing band he assembled for a handful of Los Angeles dates last fall— Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, producer Nigel Godrich, and seasoned session hands Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco. Yorke never got around to naming the new band back then, resulting in some mysterious marquee displays around L.A., and now he’s decided to stick with the same question marks to indicate those guys’ presence. (Source)
Coachella will be held from 4/16-4/18 at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, CA. Tickets go onsale here this Friday (1/22) at 10 AM PST (or 1 PM for you east coasters).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Seen Your Video: The Ting Tings Do "That's Not My Name" on Saturday Night Live

Normally, bands go on Saturday Night Live when a new record is out or about to come out so I was really interested in catching The Ting Tings performance this past Saturday. The duo's last record, We Started Nothing was out in 2008, so they are about due.

No luck, they wound up doing two of their previous hits, "That's Not My Name" and "Shut Up and Let Me Go," instead, but they rocked the snot outta them so it was still great. It's so utterly bizarre to me to imagine dance tracks holding up but these really do. Maybe it was to celebrate their signing with Jay Z and his Roc Nation label, which is based out of NYC, which will put out The Tings' forthcoming second record, titled Kunst. Named for a massage parlour near their Berlin studio, the record is due out this summer.

Give a Read: The Ting Tings at 930 Club review

Sunday, January 17, 2010

NYC's Bell House Hosting Strength Through Unity Benefit for Haiti on Jan. 27

Wow, what a tremendous lineup! The Bell House in NYC just announced the "Strength Through Unity: A Benefit for the Victims of the Earthquake in Haiti." The benefit is set for Wednesday, 1/27 and 100% of the proceeds will be split between the Save the Children and Partners in Health charities.

Lineup is to include...
Jimmy Fallon, Cold War Kids, Ted Leo, Eugene Mirman, The Wrens, Sondre Lerche, Todd Barry, and Here We Go Magic. AC Newman (New Pornographers), Rhett Miller (Old 97s), and Nicole Atkins will perform as The Seekers.

Tickets are $50 and go on sale Monday, 1/18 @ noon here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

DMV Helps Haiti Benefit Concert Set for 930 Club This Monday

BL&L doesn't typically cover rap events but when one is for a cause this important, you have to do what you can. DC rapper Wale is gathering a bunch of friends and other DC artists for a benefit to raise funds for residents of Haiti this Monday, 1/18, at the 930 Club. Organized by DMV Helps Haiti, 100% of all ticket sales will be donated to the Partners in Health Organization and Yéle Haiti, which was founded by Wyclef Jean.

Coined "DMV Helps Haiti Benefit Concert", the lineup will include Wale w/ D.C. Don Juan, Tabi Bonney, Phil Ade, XO, Kingpen Slim, K-Beta, Que (formerly of Day26), and special surprise guest. Tickets are $20 and $100 (VIP), and went onsale today at 2 pm here.

If you don't plan to go, please still donate. Those poor people need all the help they can get. The video below, shot by a Christian NGO worker Troy Livesay who lives in Port-au-Prince, is in the Delmas 91 area, as Livesay makes his way to a makeshift survivor's camp.

Click here to make a donation to Yéle Haiti Foundation.

Click here to make a donation to Partners in Health Organization.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One More Way to Discover New Music Today, and by Radio No Less!

We lived those nights, like we were dying...On the long haul drives, for our Amaria...With the ragged sails high, and the radio on
-"Angry Johnny and the Radio," The Gaslight Anthem

How do destined-to-be-favorite songs find their audience in the download era? Has the digital music revolution of the past decade made it easier to find music while simultaneously making it harder for music to find us? While discussing these questions with a fellow music dork a while back, we admitted that even though we both listened to a bunch of stuff last year, we also know we missed a bunch more as well. Technology has opened up so many new ways for artists to release music, but managing our iTunes and checking the music blogs still takes time and chains us to our computers. And who has that kind of time when you’ve got a full time job, and a dog or kid, piles of laundry and 8 trillion other obligations? Aye, there's the rub.

Remember the way we used to discover new music, by browsing and lollygagging in your local record store (who here hasn't experienced this), or always tuning in to that one rad radio station? These weren't necessarily better or worse than surfing and downloading, just more physically interactive. Sadly, as many retailers close their physical stores, with them goes the chance to stumble upon a newest favorite discovery because the cute clerk with the great taste played it one Saturday as your browsed the bins. And that one rad radio station has become really un-rad because it's now most likely part of a conglomerate that makes its 4 billion carbon copy stations play the same 12 awful songs every hour.

The good news is that one station has been able to stay rad and still plays the great songs destined to become your favorites: WEQX, 102.7, out of Manchester, VT.

WEQX, 102.7 is a feisty and defiant 25-year old station armed with real DJs and a Blues Brothers-esque mission from God to play new indie rock with a smattering of vintage stuff (and no, it's not a pirate or college station either). A typical WEQX playlist includes everything from A Place to Bury Strangers and Mutemath and Phoenix, to The Smiths, Beck, and The Cult. And as they provide the soundtrack for "sticking it to the man," they're also building solid fan-bases in that pocket of the country for bands that might never get exposure otherwise. Case in point: I flew to my hometown of Albany to catch The Airborne Toxic Event and its calvalcade of Silver Lake bands (Red Cortez, Henry Clay People and for this show, The Parson Red Heads) this fall. When I saw ATE here in DC the week before, I recall bass player Noah Harmon wondering if there'd even be anyone there as they really didn't know if anyone knew them in that area. Thanks in large part to WEQX airplay, and sponsoring the show to begin with, the packed crowd who attended and sang along to many of the songs answered Harmon's wondering with a resounding "Yes." The station did the same thing the next night with ATE's Silver Lake brethren, Silversun Pickups.

It's hard to fathom in this day and age that any radio station has been able to keep itself afloat and apart from the huge station conglomerates like Clear Channel, let alone one that plays all new alternative music, but WEQX has managed to do just that. And its owner, Brooks Brown, seems vigilantly determined to keep it that way. Times Union writer Tom Keyser in an article (below) about WEQX's 25th anniversary and Brown's resilience in November said about Brown, "The right buyer hasn't come along -- one that meets Brown's criteria of caring about radio as much as he does, He enjoys frustrating greedy corporations by not letting them have what they want." Amen, Mr. Brown, Amen.

Give a Listen: WEQX-Listen Live

WEQX: Doing it 25 years, his way

MANCHESTER, Vt. -- It starts with a phone call or certified letter from an independent agent, or a station broker or a company executive. And it's directed to Brooks Brown.

He's the tall, lanky, slow-talking Texan in wrinkled khakis with tools hanging on his belt. He might be on the floor rewiring a console. He might be atop the 180-foot tower fixing the antenna.

But sooner or later, Brown takes the call or opens the letter, because that's what you do when you own one of the last remaining independent, rock radio stations in the country, and corporations want to gobble you up. Then Brown, who founded and owns WEQX, 102.7 FM, just says no.

Sometimes he says it this way: "I wouldn't sell to you if you were the last (expletive) station on Earth, because I don't like what you do with the stations you buy."

But most of the time, he says, grinning, "It's not very complicated: How deep are your pockets? Send me your first born as a non-refundable down payment, and we'll go from there."

It's been 25 years to the day since WEQX started broadcasting from a converted Victorian in Manchester, Vt., playing rock music for listeners in the Capital Region and other parts of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The station signed on at 10:27 a.m. Nov. 14, 1984.

And for 25 years, Brooks has remained true to his vision of running an alternative radio station. He's rejected all offers from companies buying up independents and draining the life out of them. He's never changed formats, starting out playing modern rock, still playing modern rock and in recent years furnishing the bands for some of the Capital Region's best festivals.

"Brooks is like the old-time radio-station operator, where the same guy owned it for years and years. And he knew what it was all about," says Peter Rief, a radio aficionado from Malta who for years was WGY afternoon news anchor and now works on radio shows including the nationally syndicated Mike Gallagher Show. "He may be a little bit quirky. He may be a little bit odd. But you knew what he was about.

"Nowadays, radio stations change hands so fast that you don't know who's at the wheel. It's usually some banker somewhere in New York who doesn't really care. Brooks cares," Rief said.

WEQX is the only radio station serving the Capital Region that has not changed hands in the past 25 years, excluding college and religious stations, said Joe Reilly, president of the New York State Broadcasters Association.

"Brooks is unusual in that he has not succumbed to the temptation of the almighty dollar," Reilly says. "He's run the station his way, and he's made it work."

Brown, 62, scratches Fred, the station cat, who leaves trails of orange hair on a conference table. Moments ago, Fred was eating from his dish on the kitchen floor, and Brown's wife, Mimi, station general manager, was washing dishes in the sink.

In the second-floor studio, deejay Alexa Tobin is featuring music from 1995 as the station counts down the years, one each day, from the present back to 1984, as part of its "25 years in 25 days." Outside, paint peels from the old, three-story house, and the railing is broken leading to the porch where the sign hangs: 102.7 FM WEQX ROCKS.

Brown wears tools on his belt -- Leatherman multi-tool, Maglite flashlight, tape measure, Sharpies -- because he's always fixing something. The tools are so much a part of his personality that his wife has to remind him to take them off when they go to a formal affair. He's even tried to wear them through airport security, forgetting they're there.

"He literally built the facilities," says Willobee, operations manager and program director, who goes by only one name. "He was involved in actually physically erecting the tower atop Mount Equinox, building the transmitter room there and building the studio and offices here.

"I think he's a genius -- a mad scientist/genius. He's a true renaissance man. He still goes up the mountain and fixes the transmitter and climbs the tower to work on the antennae," Willobee said.

Why does Brown continue doing this? Those interviewed give these reasons:

WEQX is his baby. The station and employees are like family. Now and then Brown yells at "the kids" to clean the (expletive) bathrooms.

It's been his dream to run a radio station ever since elementary school in Houston, when his science teacher started an amateur-radio club in third grade. After moving to Manchester in the mid-1970s to work for a ski company, he tried to buy an ad on the local radio station for students to unload the moving van. There was no local station, and the ones nearby were "horrible." He declared: "I can do better than that."

He's a savvy businessman. He saw a need and a market niche.

The right buyer hasn't come along -- one that meets Brown's criteria of caring about radio as much as he does.

He enjoys frustrating greedy corporations by not letting them have what they want.

Or, it might be as simple as this:

"Maybe it's because I'm (expletive) nuts," says Brown, spelling the last two words, slowly, right to the "s" in "nuts," grinning the whole way through.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Matador Records Artist Jay Reatard Found Dead at 29

Jay Reatard was found dead in his Memphis home early this morning. "Memphis police have opened a death investigation," spokesman Jennifer Robinson said. "Lindsey was found around 3:30 a.m. in his bed," Robinson said (Source).

A short documentary on the artist,"Waiting for Something: A Short Documentary of Jay Reatard," was released this summer. Reatard was 29 years old.

Jay Reatard | MySpace Music Videos

Monday, January 11, 2010

Newly Identified Dinosaur Bird, Hollanda luceria Named for Lucero

First purveyors of truthiness now a cool rock band is dinosaurtastic! A newly discovered bird from the Late Cretaceous era has been partially named for Lucero. Closely resembling the modern Southern Screamer, Hollanda luceria may have also been ear-splitting with a "call that has been likened to a blaring trumpet and a stadium horn." Apparently too, it was a fast road-runner. Loud? With horns? Always on the road? Yup, that all sounds about right. Congrats guys!

During the Late Cretaceous, Mongolia's Gobi Desert was home to numerous dinosaurs, mammals and lizards. One of the most eye-catching, and possibly ear-splitting, residents was a newly identified bird.

The new species, which lived 71 to 75 million years ago, has been named Hollanda luceria, after the punk/country band Lucero and the Holland family, whose donations helped to support the research.

"Judging from the size of the hindlimb, Hollanda luceria most closely resembled the modern Southern Screamer," project leader Alyssa Bell, a researcher in the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, told Discovery News.

The modern Southern Screamer's call has been likened to a blaring trumpet and a stadium horn.

For the study, which will appear in the February issue of the journal Cretaceous Research, Bell and her team analyzed the bird's remains, which were originally found in the southern Gobi Desert in 1997.

Previous research on avian anatomy concluded that bones in the third toe reflect how much time the bird spent moving on the ground.

The scientists studied these bones and compared them with those of other birds. Bell said the data "shows that our new bird was most likely a ground-foraging bird like a roadrunner or a chucao, implying that it spent a great deal of its time foraging or hunting on the ground."

Other fossils excavated at the site reveal that the newly identified bird was part of an ecosystem consisting of dinosaurs, such as Protoceratops and Velociraptor, mammals, lizards and other birds, like waterfowl Teviornis and the large, clawed Gobipteryx.

Bell doesn't think H. luceria preyed upon dinosaur eggs, "as they would have been too large for the bird to swallow; however, it probably would have been an active hunter of the small lizards and mammals as well as insects that lived in the environment."

The presence of so much diverse wildlife in the Gobi region during the Late Cretaceous, along with geological studies, suggests that this area was once similar to the Channel Country of central Australia or to the Nebraska Sand Hills.

"Thus, Hollanda's environment would have consisted of sand dunes, which had been stabilized by a covering of vegetation, and a continuous water supply that formed shifting streams and ponds," she said. "This interpretation is very different from early research that saw the Late Cretaceous Gobi as a desert of shifting sand dunes and sand storms."

Gareth Dyke, a paleontologist at University College Dublin, told Discovery News that the new research "is interesting," in part because, "Hollanda has quite an unusual ecology and is also well-preserved."

"It has very long legs compared to other birds known from the time and, from this part of the world, shows that early in their evolutionary history birds had evolved a range of ecological adaptations like fast 'road running,'" he added.

Given the Mongolian bird's connection to a musical group, Bell said Lucero "now joins the ranks of artists such as Mick Jagger, Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkel and Mozart in having a species named after them." [Source]

And So It Begins...Cheap Trick, Spoon Announce Headline Shows at SXSW 2010

It's early January and right on schedule, some acts have announced headlining shows for SXSW in March.

-3/17: NPR is opening the conference with their showcase at Stubbs; Spoon is headling. The show kicks off Spoon's US tour for their 1/19 release, Transference. (Transference is available for pre-order here.) As is usual with NPR, they will be broadcast, webcast, and podcasting the entire show. Hopefully a Britt Daniel acoustic show announcement somewhere won't be far behind...

NPR also announced today that they are streaming Transference now through 1/18 for free here.

-3/19: Legendary rockers Cheap Trick are headlining the Auditorium Shores Stage on Ladybird Lake with special guest, The BoDeans. The show will be free and open to the public.

And rumor has it that BL&L favorites The Hold Steady will not be making the trip south this year but Lucero will be, playing out at Ladybird Lake at some point during the week; here's hoping additional locations will be added!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy 63rd Birthday David Bowie!

Set your phasers on funky, David Bowie turns 63 today. Let's hope we all look as good as he does when we're that age.

A tribute album of Bowie songs is set for release in May. Tribute records can often be hit or miss but this one could be worth the money, as all of its proceeds go to charity (War Child International, a network of independent organizations that help children affected by war). Artists on the record are a wonderfully random smattering, from the awesomely ear-splitting A Place to Bury Strangers doing "Suffragette City" (that alone will be worth the cost), to the First Lady of France, Carla Bruni, covering "Absolute Beginners."

'Space Oddity' (Exitmusic)
'John, I'm Only Dancing' (Vivian Girls)
'Sound + Vision' (Megapuss)
'Absolute Beginners' (Carla Bruni)
'World Falls Down' (Lights)
''Heroes'' (VOICEsVOICEs)
'Boys Keep Swinging' (Duran Duran)
'Always Crashing In The Same Car' (Charlift)
'African Night Flight' (Aska w/ Moon & Moon)
'Suffragette City' (A Place to Bury Strangers)
'Theme From Cat People' (The Polyamorous Affair)
'Life on Mars' (Keren Ann)
'Red Money' (Swahili Blonde feat. John Frusciante)
'Art Decade' (Marco Benevento)
'Be My Wife' (Corridor)
'The Superman' (Aquaserge)
'Ashes To Ashes' (Warpaint)
'Quicksand' (Rainbow Arabia)
'Afraid of Americans' (We Are The World)
'Within You' (Laco$te)
'Ziggy Stardust' (Ariana Delawari)
'Modern Love' (Pizza!)
'Secret Life Of Arabia' (St Clair Board)
'Starman' (Caroline Weeks)
'The Man Who Sold The World' (Amanda Jo Williams)
'Ashes To Ashes' (Mick Karn)
'TBA' (Soulwax)

Give a Listen: Heros cover (David Bowie)-TV on the Radio and Purchase

Thursday, January 7, 2010

David Byrne to Give Free Lecture in Brooklyn This Monday

David Byrne has long fascinated me because while he put out some amazing music both solo and with The Talking Heads, he's really much more than just a musicial one-trick pony. Much like a modern-day Renaissance Man, Byrne dabbles and shows proclivity in all aspects that fall under the umbrella of "art." He's written and published music and books, curated Academy Award-winning foreign language film scores, shoots photographs, paints, does art installations, brought musical styles and careers back to life, and collaborated with everyone from Brian Eno to more modern day artists like The Dirty Projectors and Fat Boy Slim (Byrne and Slim are creating a musical piece that invokes the life of Imelda Marcos...yes, that right, you did read "musical" and "Imelda Marcos" in the same sentence). Oh and on the side, he's a biking enthusiast who designed a series of artistic bike racks to be installed throughout New York City.

This Monday, Byrne will be at doing a video/audio lecture called "Creation in Reverse" on the ways that a venue and its context shape artistic creation at Brooklyn's Bell House...for FREE even, with a Q&A to follow. It's not many artists who can do all of this merging of art and function AND rock a fuzzy pink suit like it was a pair of jeans, but that's what long been so interesting about Byrne: you never know what to expect next with him, but you know that whatever it is, it's definitely going to be savvy and exceptional.

MON 1/11: 8pm / FREE : first come first served
there are no tickets to this event
The Bell House
David will present a short video/audio lecture called "Creation in Reverse," speaking to the ways that venue and context shape artistic creation, followed by a Q&A.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pre-Sales Galore Tomorrow! Wilco Announces "An Evening with Wilco" Global Tour Dates this Spring, Pre-Sale Tomorrow (1/6)

Wow, everyone's announcing tours with pre-sales tomorrow, and "full album" shows today! First Nada Surf, now Wilco just announced they'll be moving about the globe this March, April, and May. Like Nada Surf, pre-sales for these Wilco shows will be tomorrow (1/6) at 10 am (EST) via WilcoWorld. (editor grumble grumble "pre-sales this soon after Christmas, what's up with that?")

"An Evening with Wilco," as the shows are being called, will "feature extended, varied sets exploring material from each of the accomplished Chicago sextet's seven studio albums."

You think Bruce Springsteen knew he was going to start such a great trend?

Wilco - Spring 2010 Tour Dates (United States and Canada
Feb 7 - Adams Center, Missoula, MT *
Feb 9 - Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, OR *
Feb 10 - Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA *
Feb 13 - Live City @ David Lam Park, Vancouver, BC, Canada *
Feb 15 - Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Edmonton, AB, Canada (free part of the 2010 Winter Games) *
Feb 16 - Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Calgary, AB, Canada *
Feb 17 - TCU Place, Saskatoon, SK, Canada *
Feb 19 - DECC Auditorium, Duluth, MN *
Feb 20 - Overture Hall - Overture Center, Madison, WI *
Feb 21 - Cobb Great Hall - Wharton Center, East Lansing, MI *
Feb 23 - Hamilton Place Theatre, Hamilton, ON, Canada *
Feb 24 - Centennial Hall, London, ON, Canada *
Feb 26 - Imperial de Quebec, Quebec City, CA
Feb 27 - Olympia de Montreal, Montréal, QC, Canada
Mar 1 - National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Mar 2 - Forum Multipurpose Room, Halifax, NS, Canada
Mar 3 - Halifax Forum, Halifax, CA
Mar 22 - The Fillmore - Miami Beach, Miami Beach, FL
Mar 23 - Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, FL
Mar 25 -Johnny Mercer Theatre, Savannah, GA
Mar 26 - Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA
Mar 27 - Durham Performing Arts Center, Durham, NC
Mar-29 - The National, Richmond, VA
Mar-30 - The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda, MD
Mar-31 - Scranton Cultural Center, Scranton, PA
Apr-02 - The Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ
Apr-03 - The Wellmont Theatre, Montclair, NJ
Apr-04 - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, RI
Apr-06 - Orpheum Theatre, Boston, MA
Apr-07 - Capitol Center, Concord, NH
Apr-09 - Bushnell Memorial Hall: Mortenson Hall, Hartford, CT
Apr-10 - Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA
Apr-11 - Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, PA

Wilco - Spring 2010 Tour Dates (Asia, Australia, and Europe)
Apr-22 - Big Cat, Osaka, JP
Apr-23 - Zepp Tokyo, Tokyo, JP
Apr-27 - Civic Theatre, Auckland, NZ
Apr-28 - Wellington Town Hall, Wellington, NZ
Apr-30 - The Tivoli, Brisbane, AU
May 1 - State Theatre, Sydney, Sydney, Australia
May-02 - Factory Theatre, Marrickville, AU
May-05 - Forum, Melbourne, AU
May-06 - Forum, Melbourne, AU
May-28 - Primavera Sound - Parc Del Forum, Barcelona, ES
Sep-12 - End of the Road Festival, Dorset, UK
* w/ Califone

Nada Surf Releasing New Record of Cover Songs, Doing Spring Tour withThree "Album" Shows

Nada Surf is setting themselves up for quite the busy spring with a new record of cover songs and a big spring tour covering the States and Europe.

The record, if i had a hi-fi includes songs from Kate Bush, Dwight Twilley, Depeche Mode, and the Moody Blues, as well as songs off the normal radar like "Evolution" from the Spainish band Mecromina and "Electrocution" by Bill Fox. There must be something in the Brooklyn water these days because they're also covering an Arthur Russell track, "Janine." About the choices, singer-guitarist Matthew Caws said, "We really just wanted to do it organically, whatever we felt like covering in the moment, rather than trying to sum up our influences or something.... The material came together spontaneously. We'd get together and kick ideas around and soon we had an A list, a B list, a C list.... ."

if i had a hi-fi will only be for sale intially at the shows on their Spring 2010 tour. At the tour's conclusion in May, the record will then be made available in stores and via iTunes.

The spring tour starts 3/25 in NYC with three "Album Shows" where they'll perform their three most recent albums Let Go, The Weight Is A Gift, and Lucky in full, along with songs from if i had a hi-fi, fan favorites, and b-sides. Tickets for most of the US shows will be available via the Nada Surf Fan Community site tomorrow (1/6) at 10 am (EST). (Note: You have to pre-register on this site.)

Nada Surf Spring 2010 Tour Dates

25 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (full play of Let Go)
26 - Brooklyn, NY - Bell House (full play of The Weight is a Gift)
27 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (full play of Lucky)
29 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace
30 - Montreal, QC - Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour
31 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street

01 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
02 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
03 - Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
13 - London, UK - ICA
15 - France - Printemps de Bourges Festival
17 - France - Strasbourg Artefact Festival
18 - Utrecht, Holland - Tivoli De Helling
19 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
20 - Cologne, Germany - Gloria
21 - Lausanne, Switzerland - D! Club
23 - Zurich, Switzerland - Abart
24 - Vienna, Austria - WUK
25 - Prague, Czech Republic - Lucerna Music Bar
26 - Berlin, Germany - Lido
27 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust
28 - Paris, France - Trabendo
29 - Madrid, Spain - Joy Eslava
30 - Murcia, Spain - Estrella Levante SOS 4.8 Festival

01 - Galicia, Spain - Villagarcia de arosa
15 - Longirod, Switzerland - Long'l'rock Festival
24 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern
25 - West Hollywood, CA - Troubadour
27 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
29 - Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom

Broken Bells Debut Out 3/2010, Includes Dangermouse and James Mercer (The Shins)

Hope everyone had a great holiday. It took what felt like 899 hours driving up, and then back from upstate NY (I shake my fist at you Maryland traffic), but ensuring my rental car had an adapter for the iPod stocked with some favorite mixes helped immensely...as did the speaker option on my cell phone for those great catch-up phone calls you tend to make on long drives. We're looking forward to 2010 being a supremely rad year around here and hope you are as well!

On to some interesting news...NPR's "All Songs Considered" sent along a little preview of a band called Broken Bells today. The band's name may not ring any bells just yet, but as its members are Dangermouse and James Mercer, lead singer of The Shins, I'm sure you'll be hearing a bunch soon enough. On the first track, "The High Road," is more of a slow jam with Dangermouse's style and influence definitely permeating throughout. It will be interesting to see whether the whole record is like that or whether Mercer's Shins-style of music gets incorporated as well.

Broken Bells' self-titled debut is due out 3/9/2010 on Columbia Records. You can pre-order it here.

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