Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Interrupt This Normally Scheduled Broadcast...

On a nasty little deadline today kids, tune in tomorrow for regularly our scheduled programming...


Monday, July 26, 2010

Kings of Leon Cancels Show Saturday Due to Pissed Off Pigeon

So the Kings of Leon played three songs at a St. Louis outdoor ampitheater on Saturday night, then walked off-stage because a pigeon pooped in the bass player's mouth. The show was cancelled and the band BLAMED THE VENUE. Did I mention the venue was an OUTDOOR AMPITHEATER??

Yeah, it's gross, I don't argue with that. But to blame the venue?? Cancel an entire show over it?? In the words of a friend, "What posers. There was a time rock stars welcomed poop in the mouth and would have killed that pigeon on stage! Sure it's gross, but act like a man...swish some Jack D in the mouth and move on."

The always-professional Postelles opened and also suffered some at the hands (butt?) of this upset pigeon, but they finished their set.

Maybe this pigeon is more of a classical music fan and this was a way of him saying, "Stop that loud racket??"

Grammy-winning U.S. rock band Kings of Leon cut short their concert last night in St. Louis after a pigeon dropping landed in bassist Jared Followill's mouth, the Riverfront Times reported today. The band walked off stage at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater after playing just three songs.

The house lights came on a few minutes later, and a venue employee announced that "due to concerns over the band's safety, we are canceling the show. Please file out in an orderly fashion."

Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill took to Twitter to respond to messages from fans upset at the cancellation. So sorry St. Louis. We had to bail,” he wrote, explaining that the show was stopped because a pigeon had defecated in Jared Followill’s mouth. “Too unsanitary to continue,” he added.

Later, he blamed the venue for the incident and apologized to fans who had traveled to see the band.

The bassist for opening band The Postelles was also hit with bird droppings during their performance, but they managed to finish their set. Concert promoters Livenation issued a statement shortly after the incident Friday night offering refunds on all tickets. (Source)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Wrens Covering "Free Bird"


The Wrens live show is one I never tire of seeing. I've been lucky too as they've been really generous and always let me photograph many of their shows over the past couple of years, including their 20th anniversary show, as well as the show where they played The Meadowlands (best record of the 00's, hands down) in full. A Wrens live show is fun, joyful, powerful, energetic, goosebump-inducing, and often quite the laugh-riot. The band seems to share the same hilarious dry wit.

The video below is from that full play of The Meadowlands show, where they wound up partially covering "Free Bird." It's always obvious that they take performing seriously in that they want to play well, but they don't take it all too seriously. It's rather heartwarming that after 20 years they still find playing together, and for an audience, as much fun as when they started.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Virgin FreeFest 2010 Lineup Announced

Some parts of living in DC in the summer aren't so great...the never-ending heat wave we're currently experiencing for example. Throngs of tourists. More subway cars that don't have air conditioning than do...But one pretty cool part of living in DC in the summer, at least the past few years, has been the Virgin Mobile FreeFest taking place.

The FreeFest will occur on Saturday, 9/25 this year and being held again at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD. “Our goal is simply to book the coolest bands we can. This year we’re breaking with the traditional format of monster headliner trickling down to baby bands, and instead we’re sprinkling fantastic acts all day long. It’s kind of like a festival on full-day shuffle,” said Seth Hurwitz, the Fest's producer and owner of the 930 Club here in DC. The 2010 lineup was announced today and includes the following acts:


In addition to two main stages, a dance forest filled with inspired music, and a special second line march from stage to stage with Trombone Shorty will be held. We love us a good second line around here, and Trombone Shorty is fantastic so if you go, definitely go see him!

Tickets to the 2010 Virgin Mobile FreeFest will be available to the public on TicketFly at 10 am EST on Saturday, 7/24. Virgin Mobile customers and previous Virgin Mobile Festival ticket holders from the past four years will be invited via text and email to a private “free-sale” (much like a pre-sale, except free) to be held Friday, 7/23.

Last year, $80,000 was raised and 30,000 hours of volunteerism were generated for youth homelessness. This year, The RE*Generation, Virgin Mobile’s charitable initiative to end youth homelessness, is encouraging fans to make a $5 donation and in return receive a 2010 Virgin Mobile FreeFest mix produced by Rusko. The download will mash up select bands in the lineup to create a unique 20-minute mix. The DJ mix will be available for pre-order on Friday during the pre-sale with every $5 donated to youth homelessness. In keeping with the “free” mantra, Ticketfly is waiving all service charges when fans pick up their FreeFest tickets at Merriweather or the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. or print their tickets at home.

Another change this year is the premium ticket. This provides Pavilion seating, with a portion of the ticket price going to support homeless youth charities.

For more details on the ticketing, including options for donating money to youth homelessness, and to sign up the news alerts and updates, check out Virgin Mobile FreeFest.

Original Big Star Bassist Andy Hummel Dies at Age 59

SXSW 2010 Day 4: Big Star Tribute @ Antones (3-20-2010)-6807
(Andy Hummel and Ken Stringfellow at the the tribute to Big Star, SXSW 2010)

Just months after the untimely demise of Big Star frontman Alex Chilton comes another loss from this most influential band. Original Big Star bassist Andy Hummel died yesterday at age 59 after a two-year bout with cancer.

At SXSW this year, Big Star was being "feted" if you will, and Big Star was to perform the last night (Saturday). Of course, with Chilton's death on the first day of the conference, the performance became a tribute. Hummel both spoke about his experience in Big Star at the panel, "I Never Travel Far Without a Little Big Star"...

SXSW 2010 Day 4:  I Never Travel Far Without a Little Big Star Panel (3-20-2010)-6326
(See the rest of the photos from the panel here)

...and performed at the tribute later that day. The man still had some mad chops.

SXSW 2010 Day 4: Big Star Tribute @ Antones (3-20-2010)-6806
(See the rest of the photos from the tribute here)

In his years after Big Star, Hummel worked at Lockheed Martin and resided in Weatherford, TX. The Dallas Observer did a nice piece on him last year here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Some Thoughts on Live Aid, 25 Years Later...

As we mentioned earlier this week, Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of the Live Aid. If you are a music dork and you watched it that day, most likely you still have the grainy video tapes somewhere because you taped it, even if you no longer own a VHS player. Looking back, the event, which took place before any of the global connectivity we have today was in place, it's kind of amazing that it even happened. And somehow, organizer Bob Geldof put the thing together in just three weeks.

It's sad that the DVD that came out a few years back wasn't great quality. But I read somewhere that it was inadvertently Geldof's fault. Thank goodness the Brits ignored him!

As part of Geldof's insistence that it should be a one-off event, the TV companies responsible for the outside broadcasts in London and Philadelphia were under strict instructions to destroy all the recordings of the show. The BBC ignored this stipulation, kept its tapes and archived them but ABC dutifully destroyed its own material. This meant that when the Trust decided to release the concert on DVD, all the Wembley footage was available (including multi-tracked audio), but recordings of the Philadelphia sets had to be assembled from B-roll tapes, the BBC's own copies of the satellite-linked sections and material that had been archived by MTV. (Source)

I was 14 when it took place and discovered Geldof's band, the Boomtown Rats via early MTV previously (that video for Up All Night both freaked me out and made me kinda hot for Geldof ), so I really wanted to see them. I was also into The Jam by this point too, so I remember being pissed and unclear as to why MTV, which did the full broadcast in the States, couldn't have started things earlier so as to catch all of the UK set. As such, those of us in the States missed many of the early sets including the Status Quo, Style Council, the Boomtown Rats, Ultravox among others. Was that 988987987th showing of a Hall and Oates video from three years ago reaallly that necessary right then MTV??

(Status Quo)

(The Style Council)

(Boomtown Rats)


I was also really excited to see U2 (yes, obviously, I had (have) a thing for Irish male singers). I'd also discovered them about a year earlier and had been playing The Unforgettable Fire non-stop ever since. Theirs was one of the memorable aspects of the day, as Bono jumped down to get a girl out of the crowd whom he saw was getting crushed by the crowd, then slow-danced with her while the band played on. They were supposed to play three songs and only wound up playing two because of it, but no one really seemed to mind.

There were some other pretty amazing moments...Tina Turner's wardrobe malfunction thanks to Mick Jagger, (scandelous!); The Who reunion and that damn technical glitch during "My Generation;" Paul McCartney playing live for the first time in forever and having the sound go out on the mic..
Townshend and Bowie and Alison were all standing there waiting for the signal to go on. They didn't know Paul's power was down and couldn't understand why he kept playing verse and after and never got to the chorus. 'I didn't know it was this long,' muttered Townshend.(Source)

Two things I do distinctly recall are how much better the UK lineup seemed, and how much more the UK crowd seemed to be into it (to me anyway). Proof positive of this was when Queen did "Radio Gaga."

It's been said that many artists were a bit miffed that Queen was playing Live Aid because they'd played Sun City in South Africa, a venue many artists refused to play in the 80s because of apartheid. "It's interesting, they [Queen] were the most nervous backstage. They'd been arguing, they'd been falling out...They thought Queen didn't matter anymore," said Bernard Doherty, Press Office for Live Aid. Queen then went out and promptly stole the entire show, which given the amount of talent playing that day, was not an easy feat. Even if you don't like the band at all, it's undenyable that Queen's performance was, without question, the most amazing one of the day. I know no matter how many times I see this performance, it still makes me break out in goosebumps seeing an entire 85,000+ population all in complete synchonicity over a song...."Every single person in the place was clapping along to 'Radio Gaga' and singing along," said Tony Hadley of Spandeau Ballet, "I was thinking 'Damn, I wish we had a song like that.'"

I did tape the whole thing and, given that the formal release of the DVD a few years back left out a bunch of good stuff because of copyright issues, am I ever glad I did. In talking to a few like-minded music dorks I know about Live Aid recently, it's amazing how many of us reported the same two memories: those of us who lived with parents were repeatedly asked by them, "Are you going to sit and watch that tv all damn day??," and we all recorded it. And, not surprisingly, every one of us have kept the tapes all these years later for reasons we can't really explain. Maybe it's because we know we were witness to something really special though; sometimes that's just reason enough.

...even though I recently acquired the shows on DVD, there is still a stack of VHS tapes in my attic somewhere that contain most of the broadcast in all its grainy glory. They've been packed and unpacked, moved and temporarily heaped in the junkpile more than a dozen times as I've moved around the country. But they've never been tossed. I won't lie: I've never watched them, but for some reason I just can't let go. Maybe I thought I'd want to show them to my kids, or pop them in some day to remind myself of a time when, despite all the other turmoil around the globe, the world was made aware of injustice and rose up together to try and make a difference. (Source)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Airborne Toxic Event Doing Acoustic Tour with Calder Quartet in September, Releasing Show Documentary Film

188-The Airborne Toxic Event @ Northern Lights, Clifton Park, NY (10-17-09)

The Airborne Toxic Event is currently at work on their second record, set for a release in early 2011, but they announced yesterday that they will be heading back out this fall to do a series of acoustic dates with The Calder Quartet. This includes a DC date at the Sixth and I Synagogue. Probably be a bit tight on that stage with all of them but if you've been there, you know it's a great place to see a show.

For many of the dates, there is a presale going on now with various packages, including VIP (here). The public onsale for most dates is this weekend (starting tomorrow).

Fall tour dates for The Airborne Toxic Event w/ the Calder Quartet
Sept. 7: Sixth and I Synagogue, Washington, DC
Onsale: Friday, 7/16, 10 AM (here)

Sept. 8: Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA
Public Onsale: Friday 7/16, 10 AM (here)

Sept. 10: Keswick Theatre, Philadelphia, PA
Public Onsale: Friday 7/16, noon, (here)

Sept. 11: Town Hall, New York, NY
Publilc Onsale: Friday 7/16, 11 AM, (here)
Presale Amex Card Members: Wed 7/14-Fri 7/16, 10 AM (here)

Sept. 13: Trinity St. Paul's Church, Toronto, ON
Public Onsale: Friday 7/16, 10 AM (here)
Presale: Thurs 7/15, 10AM-10PM (here)

Sept. 15: Park West, Chicago, IL
Public Onsale: Saturday, 7/17, 10 AM (here)

Sept. 18: Town Hall, Seattle, WA
Public Onsale: Unsure, not even on the Town Hall calendar yet.
Presale: Tickets can be purchased right now (here)

Sept. 19: Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
Public Onsale: Sunday 7/18, 10 AM (here)

Sept. 22: John Anson Ford Ampitheatre, Los Angeles, CA
Public Onsale: Unsure, not even on the venue calendar yet.
Presale: Tickets can be purchased right now (here)

Fun fact: This tour out will also be a family affair for them as Calder violinist Andrew Bulbrook is, in fact, the brother of ATE's violinist Anna Bulbrook. The Calder Quartet has played with ATE often over the past couple of years, including their sold-out show last December at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. That show was filmed and made into a documentary film being released on DVD.

The DVD, titled "All I Ever Wanted: Live from the Walt Disney Concert Hall," is out 9/7. The show features selections from that album, as well as new songs and never-before-recorded cover versions of the Ramones' "Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?" (with the Belmont High School Marching Band), the Magnet Fields' "The Book of Love," and Q Lazzarus's "Goodbye Horses."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

25th Anniversary of Live Aid, Geldof Biopic to Air on BBC in Fall

Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of Live Aid, the 1985 trans-continent benefit concert held for Ethiopian famine relief. The first benefit of its kind on this scale,it had a tremendous roster of talent; to this day, it's rather mind-boggling how it was pulled off, but was it ever an incredible thing to watch. Bob Geldof, formerly of The Boomtown Rats, decided something had to be done after seeing a BBC documentary about the famine. If you can locate it, read Geldof's biography titled Is That It?. It was released in 1988, before the Paula Yates/Michael Hutchence triangle took place, but it gives you a great overview of Geldof, the Boomtown Rats, and how Live Aid was cobbled together into becoming one of the largest television broadcasts of all time to try to make a difference. Geldof has long been a smart Irish badass who saw a wrong and tried to right it-how can you not admire that?

Nearly seven hours into the concert in London, Bob Geldof enquired how much money had been raised; he was told £1.2 million. He is said to have been sorely disappointed by the amount and marched to the BBC commentary position. Pumped up further by a performance by Queen that he later called 'absolutely amazing', Geldof gave an infamous interview in which he used the word fuck. The BBC presenter David Hepworth, conducting the interview, had attempted to provide a list of addresses to which potential donations should be sent; Geldof interrupted him in mid-flow and shouted: "Fuck the address, let's get the numbers!". He also at one point got really angry and shouted "Give us your fucking money".[5] Private Eye made great capital out of these outbursts, emphasising Geldof's accent which meant the profanities were heard as "fock" and "focking". After the outburst, giving increased to £300 per second.

Later in the evening, following David Bowie's set, a video (Edited by Colin Dean) shot by CBC, was shown to the audiences in London and Philadelphia, as well as on televisions around the world (though notably neither USA feed, ABC or MTV chose to show the film), showing starving and diseased Ethiopian children set to the song "Drive" by The Cars. The rate of giving became faster in the immediate aftermath of the moving video. Ironically, Geldof had previously refused to allow the video to be shown, due to time constraints, and had only relented when Bowie offered to drop the song Five Years from his set as a trade-off.

As Geldof mentioned during the concert, the Republic of Ireland gave the most donations per capita, despite being in the throes of a serious economic depression at the time. The single largest donation came from the ruling family of Dubai. They donated £1m in a phone conversation with Geldof.

The next day, news reports stated that between £40 and £50 million had been raised. Now, it is estimated that around £150m has been raised for famine relief as a direct result of the concerts. Source

The Guardian UK announced today that the BBC is developing a movie called "When Bob Met Harvey," the story of Geldof's relationship with pop promoter Harvey Goldsmith. Goldsmith was a big help to Geldof in getting the list of headline acts for both locations in the face of resistance from managers, acts and record companies. The movie will air on BBC 2 and Ireland's RTE in the autumn; no word on an American release.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Hold Steady Announce September/October Tour Dates, Includes DC!

8869_The Hold Steady @ Virgin FreeFest 2009 (8-30-09)

Hey Craig Finn, we're just as excited as you 'cause The Hold Steady released tour dates today for September and October leg of the Heaven is Whenever tour, and finally, one of them is DC, woot! Fellow Vagrant label-mate Wintersleep will be opening on every date sans 10/20 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Tickets will be available for pre-sale tomorrow (7/14) here. General public sale is 7/16 (Friday).

20th - Richmond, VA - The National
21st - Nashville, TN - Exit / In
22nd - Oxford, MS - The Lyric Oxford
23rd - Little Rock, AR - Revolution Music Room
24th - New Orleans, LA - Republic New Orleans
25th - Birmingham, AL - WorkPlay Soundstage
27th - Charleston, SC - Music Farm
28th - Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel
29th - Lexington-Fayette, KY - Buster's Billiards & Backroom
30th - Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue

1st - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
2nd - Newport, KY - The Historic Southgate House
4th - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
5th - Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero Theatre
6th - Boston, MA - Royale Boston
7th - New York, NY - Beacon Theatre
* 20th - Hailfax, NS - Pop Explosion Fest (The Paragon Theatre)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Paul McCartney Joins Ringo Starr Onstage Last Night at Radio City Music Hall

It's probably safe to say that if it weren't for The Beatles, many indie pop bands would not even exist. Ringo Starr celebrated his 70th birthday last night at Radio City Music Hall, but it was the audience who received a tremendous present when Paul McCartney was brought out to play a rousing rendition of the Beatles' song "Birthday" off of their 1968 record, The White Album. McCartney sounds better than he has in a really long time, letting loose with that incredible rock-n-roll yell that was so prominent in Beatles' songs. Pretty goose-bumply stuff for sure. Obviously the crowd was losing its mind as is evident by the bouncing video towards the end.

At one point, you see a guy with a video camera come around Ringo so one can only hope there will be a DVD out in the near future. History was made there as this was the first time the two had played the song since it was recorded 42 years ago.

This is almost definitely the first time Starr and McCartney has played 'Birthday' together since it was recorded for the White Album in 1968, as the Beatles had stopped performing live at that point. Curiously, a third person onstage during the proceedings who was on the original recording could have joined the duo and conceivably made it an even bigger reunion: Yoko Ono supplied backing vocals on the White Album track. (Source)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

News: Wilco Splitting from Nonesuch, Possibly Forming Label

Doh! Rolling Stone reported today that Wilco has split from its current label, Nonesuch.

A new Wilco record is expected in early 2011. "It has not yet been determined who will release the next Wilco record, but forming their own label and releasing future albums through it is definitely a potential scenario," said a rep.

Wilco Split From Nonesuch, Consider Forming Label
Jeff Tweedy and Co. weigh self-releasing eighth disc, due in early 2011

By Daniel Kreps

Wilco have become the latest band to ditch a major label to explore their own independent options: A rep for Jeff Tweedy and Co. has confirmed to Rolling Stone that "Wilco's deal is indeed up with Nonesuch Records," a Warner Music Group subsidiary that was the band's label home for nearly a decade. News of Wilco's departure from Nonesuch was first revealed in an Express Night Out interview with guitarist Nils Cline. "Jeff [Tweedy] was basically not wanting to be on a record label for a while — he didn't renew his contract with Nonesuch — so we're striking out on our own, our own label," Cline said. While Cline added that Wilco might first release a "souvenir" 7" single through their nascent label to coincide with the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival, a rep tells RS, "It has not yet been determined who will release the next Wilco record, but forming their own label and releasing future albums through it is definitely a potential scenario."

Wilco will start work on the follow-up to 2009's Wilco (The Album) later this month before pausing for the Solid Sound Fest (August 13-15th in North Adams, Massachusetts) and other U.S. and European touring obligations. They'll hit the studio in the fall to finish work on their eighth album, which the band's rep says should be released in the first half of 2011. "The process of making the next Wilco record is going to be long in terms of the writing and arranging and demoing phase," Cline told Express Night Out. "I think we'd love to make a really uptempo alienating record — I think everyone agrees that would be enjoyable — but the natural course of music-making kind of precludes that."

Nonesuch Records had been Wilco's home since the release of 2002's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. As depicted in the behind-the-recording documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, Nonesuch swooped in to release Foxtrot after Wilco and their then-label Reprise Records (another Warner label) disagreed over the commercial viability of the now-landmark album; Reprise ultimately rejected Foxtrot and bought Wilco out of their contract. Nonesuch also released A Ghost Is Born, Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album).

Should Wilco opt to independently release their next album, they'll join an ever-growing list of marquee artists — including Jack White (Third Man Records), Pearl Jam (Monkeywrench), Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead — who have abandoned the struggling major-label system in the last few years.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Seen Your Video: "American Slang" by Gaslight Anthem

One of the greatest songs off of American Slang, the newest release from Gaslight Anthem, is its title track. Ringing guitar riffs, driving drums, and lines like "You told me fortunes in American slang," it's one of those great songs to drive to, one that's perfect for pounding the beat of the chorus on your steering wheel.

The band released the video for it today, a mix of concert footage and visuals of Brooklyn, where lead singer Brian Fallon recently moved. It even includes a cameo by Fallon's wife at about 2:44. Kevin Custer, who also did “The Making of American Slang,” “The ’59 Sound” and “Great Expectations" for them, directed.

Friday, July 2, 2010

She & Him, Delta Spirit Doing XPN Free at Noon Today (EST)

Now that's a nice way to ramp up to a long weekend! She & Him and Delta Spirit are doing an "XPN Free at Noon" show today, at, well, noon. It's noon Eastern time so we're talking 20 minutes from now. So go grab your lunch, get settled, and let the lovely harmonies give some love to your afternoon.

Link to listen is here.

Have a great 4th everyone!