Saturday, December 30, 2006

fuck you andrew bird

Not really.

OK, so I'm still listening to Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs... there are some damn amazing songs on this record. I tend to forget until everytime I pull it out. Then I listen to it incessantly for about a week. Then I forget about it until the next time Andrew decides to fuck me over.

I'm sorry. It's not Andrew's fault. But by god if I miss him the next time he's in the Denver area.... well, heads are gonna roll, that's what. Here are some more brilliant lyrics for you to ponder, then I think I'm done ranting for the evening...


well you sure didn't look like you were having any fun
with that heavy-metal gaze they'll have to measure in tons
and when you look up at the sky all you see are zeros
and all you see are zeros and ones

you took my hand and led me down to watch a kewpie doll parade
and we let the kittens lick our hair and drank our chalky lemonade
it's not that I just didn't care I must admit I was afraid
and I'm awfully glad my finger's resting gently on the masterfade

the masterfade
I coulda played along
the masterfade
I coulda played mah jongg
but it just takes too long
and I just can't remember
which way the east wind blows
does it matter?
if we're all matter
what's it matter
does it matter if we're matter when we're done?
when the sky's full of zeros and ones

I saw you standing all alone in the electrostatic rain
I thought at last I'd found a situation you can't explain
with GPS you know it's all just a matter of degrees
your happiness won't find you underneath that canopy of trees

and if the green grass is 6 and the soybeans are 7
the junebugs are 8 the weeds and thistles are 11
and if the 1's just hold the place, 0's make a smiley face
when they come floating down from the heavens

you took my hand and led me down to watch a papillon parade
and we let the kittens lick our hair and drank our chalky lemonade
you squeezed my hand and told me softly that I shouldn't be afraid
'cause all the while your finger's resting gently on the masterfade

the masterfade
I coulda played along
the masterfade
I coulda played mah jongg
but it just takes too long
and who the hell can remember
which way the east wind blows
when you're lying on the ground
staring up at that inverted compass
I mean christ, who knows?

that's it, i'm moving.

Yes I'm moving. To:
a) a warmer climate;
b) an urban area with a killer public transit system.

OK, really, Denver doesn't get that much snow. We don't. However, we just had our second blizzard in 10 days. Well, I believe that technically yesterday's storm didn't quite carry all the blizzard criteria, but I still had to shovel my fucking car out of a fucking snowdrift for the second time in just under a week. Last Sunday I had to dig out to get to my parents' house for Christmas, today I had to dig out to see Andrew Bird and DeVotchka at the Ogden.

I was wary about going out tonight at all - first of all, I drive a little, no-wheel drive Saturn sedan. It's not a snow car. I hate driving in the snow, I always have. But I'm not an SUV kinda girl, and I like the great gas mileage. Secondly, Denver is not exactly known for having an efficient snow removal system. Weird, huh? And going to a show at the Ogden means finding street parking. I was most certainly not looking forward to it. I was, however, looking forward to the show. Now, DeVotchka I can take or leave. I'm not overly familiar with them. I like what I've heard, but by no means are they a favorite band of mine. I adore Andrew Bird, on the other hand, and had already missed out on a show of his earlier this year.

The show was at 9:00, so I left home just before 8:00. I thought it would be plenty of time. I got downtown around 8:15 and started circling the Ogden. No parking. Anywhere. I saw plenty of people walking toward the theater, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out where they were coming from! I kept circling, expanding my diameter around the Ogden. Unfortunately, while Colfax Avenue was pretty clear, the further I got from Colfax the worse the streets were. I almost got stuck a few times and I was sliding all over the place.

It wasn't until I passed the Fillmore (a few blocks west of the Ogden) that I remembered that Yonder Mountain String Band was playing there tonight. Yippee, that's gotta help the parking situation. There was a $5 event parking lot near the Fillmore, so I checked my purse... no cash. If only I'd planned to drink at the show, I would have had cash. But noooooooo, I figured I'd be doing enough drinking tomorrow and didn't want to have to drive in the snow after drinking, so I didn't bother to get cash. That'll learn me.

So I kept driving. And sliding. It was frustrating enough, but then I realized that I had to pee. Yup, things were just getting better and better. Finally, after an hour of my fruitless parking search, I gave up and headed home. I couldn't remember if there were two openers or not, but as things were I was setting myself up to miss Andrew Bird anyway. Which would have really pissed me off. So I went home. I'm now soothing myself with some whiskey and some Mysterious Production Of Eggs. Now if I just crank my heat up to about 300 degrees and ask my neighbors to come over and get really drunk and obnoxious, it'll be just like attending the show!

So. Here are the lessons that I learned this evening:
1) Andrew Bird hates me.
2) Winter concerts suck. Even if there's no snow, it's still damn cold.
3) Always plan to drink at the show. Always.

MX Missiles

those that will judge
will say you're aloof
but you know the truth is a seed
you know what you need
is a conflagration

'cause when i see the blood
and the bits of your broken tooth
it gives me the proof that i need
it's the proof that you bleed
it's a revelation
yeah it's a revelation
it's a revelation

i thought you were a life-sized paper doll
propped up in the hardware store
propped up on the front lawn watching the parade
of those legionnaires with 2x4's
as they're marching off to war
yeah they're marching off to war

i didn't know what you were made of
color of your blood what you're afraid of
are you made of calcium or are you carbon based
and if you're made of calcium i'll have to take a taste
'cause listen, calcium is deadly, but tender to the tooth
and it's one sure-fire way to know if you're mx-missile proof
oh no
or if you're just aloof

you were in the ground in late november
when the leaves and earth were damp
did you, did you think they would remember
how you almost made state champ

'cause when you're running for the game against alfonsus
and you fell upon the ground and chipped your tooth
oh no listen, that might really have surprised us
to learn that you weren't really mx-missile proof

oh i thought you were a life-sized paper doll
and you're propped up in the hardware store
you were propped up in the front lawn watching the parade
of those legionnaires with 2x4's
as they're marching off to war
yeah they're marching off to war
oh they're marching...

Friday, December 22, 2006

more from the boy least likely to...

OK, so it may seem that I've been plugging this Little Donkey business quite a lot lately... but I just got another bulletin from TBLLT regarding their cover of George Michael's "Faith". They did the song when I saw them back in June and it was brilliant. Plus the boys least likely to are completely adorable. So I'm sharing the news with you:

hello myspace friends,

just a quick message to wish you a happy christmas and to let you know that we will be releasing our version of faith by george michael as a limited edition download on january 15th through rough trade digital. you can buy it from anywhere in the world with paypal or a credit card and it will only be available for two weeks while we are on tour and then it will disappear forever. all the tour dates are listed here.

monday 15th norwich arts Centre
01603 660352
tuesday 16th brighton komedia
01273 647100
wednesday 17th bristol bar academy 2
0871 2200260 or 0870 7712000
thursday 18th nottingham rescue Rooms
08713 100 000
friday 19th glasgow oran mor
0870 1690 100
saturday 20th aberdeen moshulu
08712 200 260
sunday 21st newcastle academy 2
0870 771 2000 or from
monday 22nd manchester academy 3
0161 832 1111
tuesday 23rd birmingham barfly
0870 907 0999
wednesday 24th portsmouth wedgewood rooms
023 9286 3911
thursday 25th london scala
0207 833 2022

support on all dates comes from the little ones and loney, dear.

also you can still buy the download of our special christmas song called little donkey. it was originally only available as a limited edition cd that we gave away to fans last christmas, but now it is available again. and wherever you are in the world you can buy the download version of the song exclusively from until new years eve. you can buy it with paypal or with a credit card and it only costs ninety nine pence.

just click on the little donkey to download it.

thank you all for everything this year. you've been really kind to us.

happy christmas. be careful what you wish for.

with love from

the boy least likely to


Rough Trade, by the way, are quite fabulous themselves. I just received some Brakes vinyl in the mail from them... cheers.

A side note - Loney, Dear was #10 on my friend Rich's best of 2006 list. Sometimes I really wish I lived in the UK. Not only for the great bands, but for the fact that they wish "Happy Christmas". I don't know if it's because I grew up hearing only "Merry Christmas" or what, but I really want to adopt "Happy Christmas" one year. I'm sure I'll get lots of looks. Anyhoo, I've not checked out the Loney, Dear album yet, but rest assured it is on "the list".

I likely won't be updating my blog until after Christmas, so everyone have a very happy (or merry) whatever-holiday-you-celebrate. And a safe, happy and music-filled new year.


I forgot to post these Sebadoh dates:

02/26 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
02/27 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
02/28 - San Francisco, CA - GAMH/Noisepop
03/02 - Portland, OR - Berbatis Pan
03/03 - Vancouver, BC - Richards
03/04 - Seattle, WA - Neumos
03/06 - Eugene, OR - WOW Hall
03/08 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Attic
03/09 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
03/10 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
03/15 - Phoenix, AZ - Clubhouse
03/16 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
03/17 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theater
03/19 - Minneapolis, MN - 400 Bar
03/20 - Milwaukee, WI - Shank Hall
03/21 - Chicago, IL - Metro
03/22 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
03/23 - Toronto - Lees Palace
03/24 - Montreal - La Sala Rossa
03/29 - Northampton, MA - Pearl St
03/30 - Boston, MA - Paradise
03/31 - New York, NY - Webster Hall
04/03 - Washington DC - 9:30 Club
04/04 - Carrboro, NC - Cats Cradle
04/06 - Louisville, KY - Headliners
04/07 - Nashville, TN - Exit In
04/08 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
04/09 - Tallahassee, FL - Beta Bar
04/10 - Orlando, FL - The Social
04/12 - New Orleans, LA - TBA
04/13 - Houston, TX - Walters On Washington
04/14 - Austin, TX - Emos
04/16 - Tucson, AZ - Club Congress

And might I say... March 2007 is shaping up quite nicely indeed:

03/02 Cold War Kids
03/06 Snow Patrol/OK Go/Silversun Pickups
03/10 Midlake
03/17 Sebadoh
03/18 Badly Drawn Boy
03/19 Viva Voce
03/20 TV On The Radio OR Dr. Dog***
03/30 Subtle
***I still need someone to explain that TVOTR album to me. Seriously. Maybe seeing them live will help, but I've heard great things about Dr. Dog too... decisions, decisions, what to do?

In other news... yes, I may be off The Decemberists for the time being... but on to Okkervil River. I have to say, my obsessive nature has been really taking hold this week. Very rarely do I get so caught up on one artist that I listen to them exclusively. Oh well, I made a decision long ago to always listen to what I feel like listening to at any given moment, burnout be damned.

A Stone

Hot breath, rough skin, warm laughs and smiling
The loveliest words whispered and meant
You like all these things

But though you like all these things
You love a stone
You love a stone
Because it’s smooth and it’s cold
And you’d love most to be told that it’s all your own

You love white veins, you love hard grey
The heaviest weight, the clumsiest shape
The earthiest smell, the hollowest tone
You love a stone

And I’m found too fast, called too fond of flames
And then I’m phoning my friends, and I’m shouldering the blame
While you’re picking pebbles out of the drain
Miles ago....

You’re out singing songs, and I’m down shouting names
At the flickerless screen, going fucking insane
Am I losing my cool, overstating my case?
Well, baby, what can I say?
You know I never claimed that I was a stone
And you love a stone

You love white veins, you love hard grey
The heaviest weight, the clumsiest shape
The earthiest smell, the hollowest tone
You love a stone

You love a stone
Because it’s dark, and it’s old
And if it could start being alive you’d stop living alone

And I think I believe that, if stones could dream
They’d dream of being laid side-by-side, piece-by-piece
And turned into a castle for some towering queen
They’re unable to know

And when that queen’s daughter came of age
I think she’d be lovely and stubborn and brave
And suitors would journey from kingdoms away
Just to make themselves known

And I think that I know the bitter dismay
Of a lover who brought fresh bouquets every day
When she turned him away to remember some knave
Who once gave just one rose
One day
Years ago...

update for the holidays

Well, despite being snowed in for two days, I haven't managed to update my blog for a while. So, here's what's been happening:

Yes, Colorado had a HUGE blizzard this week, wreaking havoc on anyone having to travel for the holidays. Unfortunately I don't have a digital camera (maybe for christmas!!) so here are a couple images that I stole from my sister:

I do have the ablility to work from home, so I've kept busy and the cabin fever didn't set in too bad. My poor little Saturn is still pretty buried, but I don't have to drive myself anywhere until Sunday, so I'm hoping for some major meltage.

Living in a condo complex can get pretty humourous when there's a blizzard. Nobody owns a snow shovel... we have people to move our snow for us, thank you very much. Which means that on the rare occasion that we do have to shovel our cars out from under a 4-foot drift, we are forced to use whatever may be at hand. Bowls are popular. I used a big one to dig my car out of the 2003 spring blizzard. I even saw someone using a cafeteria tray...

This week, though... someone appeared in the parking lot with a real, true, honest-to-goodness snow shovel. He dug his car out to an audience of about half a dozen other residents. I figure they were waiting to pounce on him the second he was finished. I watched all of this from my living room of course. Shovel snow? Ha! Good thing I waited too, because a bulldozer showed up at 10:30 last night and cleared out the parking lot, nearly freeing my little Saturn, even. Who plows at 10:30 at night, you may wonder? The city of Westminster, that's who.

In music news, Stephen Colbert won his shred-a-thon over The Decemberists' Chris Funk in the Rock n' Awe Countdown To Guitarmegeddon. Of course, he had to cheat to do so... by "cutting" his hand on Rick Nielsen's 5-necked guitar and having guitar legend Peter Frampton sit in for him. Oh, he also bribed the judges. For shame, Stephen, for shame. We all know that Chris totally outshredded your right-wing ass.

On a more personal front - with the exception of KOSI 101's Continuous Christmas Music for the few hours I was in the office today, I've listened to nothing but The Decemberists for the past 26 hours. Why? I don't really know. I feel like it doesn't have anything to do with Guitarmageddon (although look at Chris flashing the devil horns in front of that green screen, oh yeah), I've just been in that kind of mood. Albums, EPs, live shows... I'll quite possibly burn out soon. But probably not... I'm not sure that I could ever suffer from Colin Meloy burnout... :)

I should move on from The Decemberists, though, especially now that I've had all sorts of 2006 album suggestions from all the "best of" lists floating around out there. It's amazing how much music is released in a year... Here are some lists from friends, acquaintances, music sites, what have you:

The Line Of Best Fit
Cambridge Sucks In The Summer
More Cowbell
Pitchfork Media
Muzzle Of Bees

But first, I think, in an attempt to get into that holiday spirit... (yes, I managed to break away from those pesky Decemberists while I've been typing):


Tie up your boots! Jump off the ladder!
Pack up your clothes! Nothing's the matter!
Mistletoe hangs up in the bedroom!
Your sister's bangs, she cut them herself!
Santa is here! Sleighbells are ringing!
Twenty-one elves! They are all singing!
K-Mart is closed! So is the bakery!
Everyone's home watching TV!
Santa Claus is coming!
Hear the banjo strumming!
Santa Claus is coming!
Hear the banjo strumming!

Chestnuts and fire, holly and hay!
Jesus and Mary! What a great day!
Evergreen tree covered in snow!
Tower of Babel! Tower of gold!
There's Aunt Marie and Uncle Bob!
They give us good gifts,
Like mittens and socks!
Hijack a snow plow! Clear out the streets!
Tell all the neighbors there's cookies to eat!

Get up off the floor and give a shout!
There's a lot to shout about!
Santa Claus is coming to town!
He's got the greatest gifts around!
[Away in a manger]
Santa Claus is coming!
Hear the banjo strumming!
Santa Claus is coming!
Hear the banjo strumming!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

the president's dead

No, it's not what you think. It's the first track on the EP I've had on repeat since oh, about October, I'd guess. So why write about it now? Because I'm currently listening to it and I'm bored, that's why. Word is that Okkervil River got together in Austin earlier this year to record some songs. According to Will Sheff, the songs weren't initially intended for release - they were demos, writing exercises, covers and experiments. Lucky for us we got the Overboard & Down EP out of the session. So if these are, in essence, throwaway songs... makes you wonder what they've got in store for us... Please, Okkervil River, release your next full length soon, k?

I would urge you to check out this EP. Granted, Okkervil River is one of those "do no wrong" bands, in my opinion, but nonetheless it's an amazing record. The EP contains 5 tracks including a fabulous cover of Big Star's O Dana and a live version of Westfall. I absolutely love Will Sheff's voice, not to mention the stellar songwriting. He manages to sound like a good guy no matter what the subject matter. See Love To A Monster... Great stuff.

Love To A Monster

Lover, now that you've left me
I'm glad you're unlovely.
'Cause if you could take all the heat in your heart and just hang it from you
I wouldn't be able to bear the way you cannot love me.
It's much easier of me
to make a monster out of you.

So here I go substituting the glow from your temples.
All our sighs and our trembles
And each last letter sent you
From the cheap little pen of this weak little man
The one singing
Out his jangling, ringing and hopefully stinging attack upon you.

So here I go just exploding the hope we'll be speaking
Some day years from now seeking
Friendship and understanding.
Yeah I hope you get angry, and hurt, and have the hardest of landings.
And I hope your new man thinks
Of me when he sees what a number I did on you.

I grow tired of this song, turn my eyes to the blonde in the bleachers.
She's a lovely young creature.
I think she's seeking adventure.
I think she's ready to see that the world ain't so sweet nor so tender.
I won't break her, just bend her
And make her into my new ringer for you.

I stay in the same comfy town, write the same old songs down
Drive the same streets.
Seek the same sense of dull peace.
Same sweet words to the chippies.
The same walk by the road where the same muddy snow's finally leaving
But I'll fight off the spring, I don't want lovely things
I don't want the earth new.

Friday, December 15, 2006

why the man standing in front of me last night is my new hero

I have been a Guster fan since the first time I heard them - summer 1998. I introduced them to my sister Becky and she was hooked immediately as well. We saw our first live gig in spring 1999. Since then, we've seen Guster nearly every time they've been in the Denver area. Even after Becky joined the Peace Corps in 2003, she came home for a family wedding in September 2004 and as luck would have it Guster played Denver in the two week span that she was home. However, due to the remainder of her Peace Corps service and her current work/school schedule, that was the last time we've seen them. Yeah, until last night, I hadn't seen a Guster live show in over two years... a first for me since that very first gig. But last night's show was definitely worth the wait.

We got to the Ogden and it was packed. Not to mention about 2000 degrees. We decided to try the balcony first to see if we could get a good view. Nope. The balcony was insane. And even hotter than downstairs. We went back down and found spots just two rows back from the soundboard. Unfortunately, everyone right behind the soundboard was incredibly tall. But Becky had a decent view, and as long as the couple in front of me weren't making out (a rather frequent occurence I'm afraid), I could see right between their shoulders. Plus the bar was right behind us... :)

Rodrigo y Gabriela opened the show. I like them, they are extremely talented... but I tend to lose interest when there are no lyrics involved. I started to get antsy at about the 45 minute mark of their set, but figured they would be done at any minute. They did bring me back into the set with a rendition of Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here - they played and the entire theater sang the words. It was really amazing. And would have been a great way to end the evening, but they kept going.... and going... In all, they played an hour long set and then came out for a 15 minute encore. Completely ridiculous for an opener if you ask me. Even when we saw Guster "co-headlining" with John Mayer, Guster barely got an hour to play. And John Mayer... well he pretty much sucked.

The other irritating thing that happened was that right at the end of the opening set, a group of four very drunk, very annoying kids came down and pushed their way into our space. One of the guys was about 6 1/2 feet tall and settled right in front of us. Luckily Becky has been working on her confrontational skills and told him that he was blocking our view. He moved behind me, but it was still really crowded and they were still really annoying. There was a couple right behind the soundboard and just to our left who seemed to be HUGE Rodrigo y Gabriela fans, and we were hoping that they were going to leave after the opening set. They didn't though....

Here's Guster's set... I'm fairly certain I got all the songs, but as for the song order... ummmm... very fuzzy. I know they opened with The Captain, I'm relatively sure that next was What You Wish For, I know the third song was Satellite, I know they closed the regular set with Fa Fa, and I'm pretty certain on the encore. Other than that, there's no real rhyme or reason here:

The Captain
What You Wish For
Manifest Destiny
One Man Wrecking Machine
Ruby Falls
Hang On
Airport Song
Come Downstairs And Say Hello
Barrel Of A Gun
Either Way
Fa Fa
Jesus On The Radio

So... we kept watching the couple in front of us, because they really didn't seem to be too much into Guster. We speculated that they were "giving Guster a chance" and still hoping that they would leave, and were completely on our guard to take over the spot. But, once Satellite started the guy was actually singing along. Damn. In the meantime, drunk annoying people started to dance, and the tall guy was stepping on Becky's toes and hitting her repeatedly with his freakishly long arms. She finally asked them to stop, and they responded with "dance with us, it's Guster!". Becky informed them that she was trying to dance, but they were all up in her space. lol.

Then... it happened. The fourth song started, and we had totally called it on the couple in front of us. Just when Becky was about to completely lose it with the assholes next to her, the man in front of me tapped my arm and motioned for us to come and take their spaces. They were leaving! I don't know if he sensed that we were huge Guster fans, or that we were dealing with the idiots next to us, or what, but we were stoked that they gave us their spots. We had a perfect view of Guster, stage Adam, and no longer had to stand next to drunken long-armed asshats. The rest of the show was absolutely magnificent.

There are many reasons that I love Guster, and I was reminded last night of just how much I've missed seeing them live over the past couple of months. For example:

Ryan (after The Captain): "We've been onstage for less than 5 minutes, and already I'm enveloped in a cloud of pot smoke. You are definitely living up to your reputation, Colorado."

They played a lot of older songs last night, and Brian played hand percussion for all of those older songs + The Captain. I'd have to say that he spent the majority of the evening on hand percussions, easily. Awesome.

Adam plays the trumpet. And keyboards. Ryan plays the harmonica. And keyboards. Joe plays the banjo. Actually, Joe plays everything.

Before the last song of the regular set, Ryan introduced Rodrigo y Gabriela (they were a huge hit with the crowd). All band members looked offstage as if Rod & Gab were going to join them. Then Ryan admitted that it wasn't going to happen, but it would've been great. lol. Then he said he was being kind of a dick, so he wanted us all to boo and hiss as loud as we could after the last song and they would come out for an encore. I have never heard people boo so loudly for an encore in my life.

They played C'mon for the first encore, and at the part that goes "so let's rise, dye our hair, and change our names", Ryan added "fuckers". And then proceeded to laugh through the next few lines.

After Happier, (I think this was the next to last song), the guys were huddled onstage, apparently discussing what to do next. Well, everyone started booing again. Ryan stepped to the mic and said "Thanks for being assholes. I guess we'll play one more song."

The last number was an acoustic, unplugged Jesus On The Radio, which was beautiful. But here's something I don't understand... Ryan asked for NO audience participation while they were off-mic, and for us to just be quiet for a minute and a half. What I don't understand is why people can't fucking be quiet for 90 seconds. It's 90 seconds. The drunken group that we'd left behind needed no less than 7 dirty looks to finally shut the fuck up. Seriously. It's a minute and a half. Shut up.

I love Guster so much.

live shows, yay!

Oxford Collapse and Thunderbirds Are Now! are touring, w00t!

12-31 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge *
01-26 Portland, ME - Space
01-28 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace #
01-29 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick #
01-30 Columbus, OH - Little Brothers #
01-31 Chicago, IL - Subterranean #
02-01 Iowa City, IA - Picador #
02-02 Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground #
02-03 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge #
02-05 Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon #
02-06 Memphis, TN - Hi Tone Cafe #
02-07 Birmingham, AL - Bottletree Lounge #
02-08 Gainesville, FL - Common Grounds #
02-09 Orlando, FL - AKA Lounge #
02-10 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn #
02-11 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 #
02-12 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel #

* with Radio 4
# with Thunderbirds Are Now!
Of course, I'm going to be out of town on the 3rd, so I don't know what the hell I'm so excited about. Bugger. (I just love to sound British every now and then).

Also, Jeff Tweedy has announced a solo U.S. tour:
01-16 Memphis, TN - Germantown Performing Arts Center
01-17 Nashville, TN - James K. Polk Theater
01-19 Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
01-20 Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
01-21 Marfa, TX - Liberty Hall
01-23 Austin, TX - Hogg Auditorium at University of Texas
01-24 Austin, TX - Hogg Auditorium at University of Texas
01-26 New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
01-27 Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theatre
01-29 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
01-30 Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre
01-31 Charlottesville, VA - Paramount Theater
Dammit, Jeff, where are the Colorado dates?!?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

have you seen this?

Probably. Hasn't everyone? But still, its worth another look, don't ya think?

OK Go - Here It Goes Again

I don't watch a lot of videos, but I'm pretty sure this is the best one ever made. If you care to, you can see more of Pitchfork's Top 25 Music Videos Of 2006.

onion's top 25

I love year end lists. Check out another one from The Onion.

There are write-ups and staff individual picks if you click the link, but here's a recap:

1. The Hold Steady, Boys And Girls In America (Vagrant)
2. TV On The Radio, Return To Cookie Mountain (Interscope)
3. Midlake, The Trials Of Van Occupanther (World's Fair/Bella Union)
4. Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins, Rabbit Fur Coat (Team Love)
5. Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit (Rough Trade/Matador)
6. Ghostface Killah, Fishscale (Def Jam)
7. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (Capitol)
8. The Coup, Pick A Bigger Weapon (Epitaph)
9. Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings The Flood (Anti-)
10. Band Of Horses, Everything All The Time, (Sub Pop)
11. Rhymefest, Blue Collar (J Records)
12. The Thermals, The Body The Blood The Machine (Sub Pop)
13. Mew, And The Glass Handed Kites (Columbia)
14. Make Believe, Of Course (Flameshovel)
15. The Dears, Gang Of Losers (Arts & Crafts)
16. Lupe Fiasco, Food and Liquor (Atlantic)
17. Phoenix, It's Never Been Like That (Astralwerks)
18. Ricardo Villalobos, Fizheuer Zieheuer (Playhouse)
19. Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards (Downtown)
20. Scott Walker, The Drift (4AD)
21. LCD Soundsystem, 45:33: Nike+ Original Run (no label)
22. Califone, Roots & Crowns (Thrill Jockey)
23. Pernice Brothers, Live A Little (Ashmont)
24. The Black Keys, Magic Potion (Nonesuch)
25. Destroyer, Destroyer's Rubies (Merge)
Several in common with my list... But seriously, I think I need someone to explain the TV On The Radio album to me... because I clearly don't get it. Maybe I need to give it some more time, but the few times I did listen to it were downright painful!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

little donkey

From The Boy Least Likely To MySpace:

happy christmas myspace friends,

we have recorded a special christmas song called little donkey. it was originally only available as a limited edition cd that we gave away to fans last christmas, but now it is available again. and wherever you are in the world you can buy the download version of the song exclusively from until new years eve. you can buy it with paypal or with a credit card and it only costs ninety nine pence.

just click on the little donkey to download it.

unfortunately this means that our version of faith by george michael has had to come off our page, but we will be making it available again as a limited edition download in january. so please don’t moan at me.

also the online shop is finally open on the website and hopefully it works. you can buy t shirts and albums from it and maybe some other stuff too. just go to to find out more.

and finally here are the dates for our january tour of the uk. we’ve got the little ones and loney, dear supporting on all dates. which is really exciting because we think both of them are amazing.

monday 15th norwich arts Centre
01603 660352
tuesday 16th brighton komedia
01273 647100
wednesday 17th bristol bar academy 2
0871 2200260 or 0870 7712000
thursday 18th nottingham rescue Rooms
08713 100 000
friday 19th glasgow oran mor
0870 1690 100
saturday 20th aberdeen moshulu
08712 200 260
sunday 21st newcastle academy 2
0870 771 2000 or from
monday 22nd manchester academy 3
0161 832 1111
tuesday 23rd birmingham barfly
0870 907 0999
wednesday 24th portsmouth wedgewood rooms
023 9286 3911
thursday 25th london scala
0207 833 2022

happy christmas. be careful what you wish for.

with love from

the boy least likely to


my top 50 of 2006

Here it is, the best of 2006 (according to my ears)! I'm no good at putting into words why I like the music I like, so I just put a few blurbs on my Top Ten:

50 Gomez - How We Operate
49 Ed Harcourt - The Beautiful Lie
48 Tilly And The Wall - Bottoms Of Barrels
47 What Made Milwaukee Famous - Trying To Never Catch Up
46 Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs - Under The Covers Vol. 1
45 KT Tunstall - Eye To The Telescope
44 The Rapture - Pieces Of The People We Love
43 Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller
42 Fionn Regan - End Of History
41 Subtle - For Hero: For Fool

40 Albert Hammond, Jr. - Yours To Keep
39 Silversun Pickups - Carnavas
38 The Elected - Sun, Sun, Sun
37 Eels - Live At Town Hall
36 Alan Singley And Pants Machine - Lovingkindness
35 Calexico - Garden Ruin
34 Sound Team - Movie Monster
33 Danielson - Ships
32 Portastatic - Be Still Please
31 My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me The Workhorse

30 Tapes n' Tapes - The Loon
29 Dirty On Purpose - Hallelujah Sirens
28 Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
27 Augie March - Moo, You Bloody Choir
26 Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
25 Oxford Collapse - Remember The Night Parties
24 Islands - Return To The Sea
23 Chin Up Chin Up - This Harness Can't Ride Anything
22 The Pipettes - We Are The Pipettes
21 Centro-Matic - Fort Recovery

20 Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country
19 Josh Ritter - The Animal Years
18 I'm From Barcelona - Let Me Introduce My Friends
17 Okkervil River - Overboard And Down EP
16 Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther
15 The Brother Kite - Waiting For The Time To Be Right
14 Ox - American Lo-Fi (now, I know there's no US release date for this as of now, but I'm including it anyway. Thanks, T!)
13 Amy Millan - Honey From The Tombs
12 Sunset Rubdown - Shut Up I Am Dreaming
11 Dirty Pretty Things - Waterloo To Anywhere

10 The Starlight Mints - Drowaton
Ah, the poor man's Flaming Lips (or so I've read)... I'd take this one over the new FL anyday. It's quirky, poppy, lyrically clever and instrumentally dense - without feeling cluttered.

09 Some By Sea - On Fire! Igloo
This one kind of came out of nowhere and completely blindsided me. Even though the album was released in March, I only discovered it a few weeks ago. There is just nothing that I don't love about this record. I love the instrumentation, I love Chris DuBray's voice, I love the songs. Unfortunately, Some By Sea broke up earlier this year, but Chris is back with another band called Ghosts & Liars.

08 Joanna Newsom - Ys
So, so pretty. I love listening to this album for all its complexities.

07 Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat
Yes, I'm a fangirl. Jenny can do no wrong.

06 Brakes - The Beatific Visions
Brakes have such an original sound. Pair that sound with intelligent lyrics and you get a superb continuation of last year's Give Blood.

05 The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls In America
I love everyting that The Hold Steady does. Everything.

04 The Thermals - The Body The Blood The Machine
Brilliant punk concept album.

03 M. Ward - Post-War
Since the first time I heard the first note of Poison Cup I have loved this album. Matt outdoes himself again.

02 The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
Lovely. Epic. Totally Decemberists.

01 Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
This is such a beautiful fucking album, though I didn't fully appreciate it until I saw BOH in concert. They blew me away and I haven't been able to stop listening to the album since.

Here are 50 more albums that I really enjoy, but they just didn't make the cut:

+/- - Let's Build A Fire
Annuals - Be He Me
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Be Your Own PET - Be Your Own PET
Beck - The Information
Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Bob Dylan - Modern Times
Built To Spill - You In Reverse
Califone - Roots & Crowns
Captain Black Heart - Captain Black Heart
Cat Power - The Greatest
Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
The Curtains - Calamity
Damien Jurado - And Now That I'm In Your Shadow
Damien Rice - 9
Drag The River - It's Crazy.
Dresden Dolls - Yes, Virginia
Fields - 7 From The Village
Ghostface Killah - Fishscale
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
Golden Smog - Another Fine Day
Grandaddy - Just Like The Fambly Cat
Grizzly Bear - Yellow House
Guster - Ganging Up On The Sun
Hot Chip - The Warning
Howling Bells - Howling Bells
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan - Ballad Of The Broken Seas
Johnny Cash - American V
The Lemonheads - The Lemonheads
Lucero - Rebels, Rogues & Sworn Brothers
Memphis - A Little Place In The Wilderness
The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
Peter Bjorn And John - Writer's Block
Peter Mulvey - The Knuckleball Suite
Pink Mountaintops - Axis Of Evol
Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
The Roots - Game Theory
The Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops
Shawn Mullins - 9th Ward Pickin' Parlor
Smoking Popes - At Metro
Sparklehorse - Dreamt For Light Years In The Belly Of A Mountain
The Strokes - First Impressions Of Earth
Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
Swan Lake - Beast Moans
Tokyo Police Club - A Lesson In Crime EP
Venice Is Sinking - Sorry About The Flowers
Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP
Wolfmother - Wolfmother
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And Will Beat Your Ass

Here are some albums that received great reviews (or had great expectations from yours truly), but somehow I just couldn't get into:

Akron/Family - Meek Warrior
Beach House - Beach House
Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
The Magic Numbers - Those The Brokes
Magnolia Electric Co. - Fading Trails
My Morning Jacket - Okonokos
Neko Case - Fox Confessor Brings The Flood
Pretty Girls Make Graves - Elan Vital
Rhett Miller - The Believer
Squarepusher - Hello Everything
TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
Twilight Singers - Powder Burns

These were my favorites concerts of 2006:

Guster @ Ogden Theater (last minute addition...)
Jeff Tweedy @ Boulder Theatre
Smoking Popes @ The Bluebird
Eels @ The Fox
The Boy Least Likely To @ The Fox
Band Of Horses @ The Fox
Bob Schneider @ The Fox
Chris Thile @ The Fox
Ben Kweller @ The Fox

I *heart* The Fox... lol.

Here are some bands that I'm looking forward to new albums from in 2007:

The Shins (ok, so I've heard this one. It's fabulous)
Rilo Kiley
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Andrew Bird
Decemberists (DVD)

Monday, December 11, 2006

do you like canada? i like canada...

My new obsession is Canadian, courtesy of my cyber-friend Tualla. Tualla despises The Decemberists. And reverb. But she's OK, honestly. She's Canadian.

Allow me to introduce you to a band called Ox. They fucking rule. I have been listening to their recent album American Lo-Fi quite a lot lately. It's addictive. It's... well, Ox's website describes it the best:

"Dope-soaked, derelict and wired, American Lo-Fi features 11 songs that give a nod to Velvet Underground and Bruce Springsteen, trading New Jersey urban fairground for Pacific interstate moonscape. Ox's long awaited follow-up to the seminal alt-country/indie hybrid classic Dust Bowl Revival, fuses weary with vicious, punk with hillbilly, the farmer-in-the-city with the electro-magnetic aura of tape hiss and amp crackle. American Lo Fi was recorded in the manic confines of Vancouver's Profile Studios (a.k.a. Upstairs Sound Laboratory) amid a plume of smoke, sweat and heavy Pacific-laced air."
Check it out if you can. Perhaps my favorite track is a killer cover of Cheap Trick's Surrender. Really I wanted to use "wicked bad" as an adjective right there, but I didn't want to sound like a doofus. Oops.

born in the usa
raised at the pineview mall, sacramento, california
it's so far away man.

she's got dirt underneath her nails
from scratching out the salt of the doritos bags,
on her knees and her hands every day.
she's a cocaine sucker.

the girl is down and out she's a 747 away from the usa
she's down and out and come down,
to going down.

she's on her own now
she's out in the cold now,
on crack cocaine,
ain't no big jet plane to carry her away,
she's gone to stay now.

the girl is down and out she's a 747 away from the usa
she's down and out and come down,
to going down.

she's down and out...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

the loop machine maestro... ette.

Tonight I saw Imogen Heap for the second time this year. She's not someone whose studio albums I necessarily listen to a lot, but I'm not sure that I'd ever pass up a chance to see her live. I can't understand half of what she says, but she's got a beautiful voice and puts on a great show.

She upgraded to the Paramount Theatre since the last time I saw her at the Fox. My opinion of the Paramount is somewhat divided... since NIPP stopped selling tickets for the venue, the only way to get them is through Ticketmaster. I fucking hate Ticketmaster. However.... if there is a venue in the Denver area with better acoustics than the Paramount I'd love to hear it. The sound tonight was amazing for all three acts. Additionally, Paramount shows tend to start at 8:00 and on time, so even with two openers tonight we were out of there at 11:00. Oh, did I mention that I'm old? Yeah, I thought so.

One of the things I love about Immy is that (in my experience anyway) she treats her openers quite well. She handpicks them, introduces them herself, and has them onstage to play with her during her set.

I arrived just after the first act, Levi Weaver, began. I'm glad I didn't miss too much, as he was quite entertaining. He has a fabulous voice, he plays the harmonica, he uses a loop machine, and he sometimes plays his guitar with a bow. And to top it all off he writes very heartfelt songs and has a great sense of humor. Loved his set.

Next up was Kid Beyond. Holy shit. This bald behemoth of a man can do more with his voice than I would have ever thought possible. Also employing a loop machine, he managed to create an atmosphere of an entire percussion section using nothing more than his vocal chords. He got the crowd totally into his act and seemed to be having as much fun as we were. Levi and Kid Beyond both joined Immy onstage during her set for several songs.

I normally cringe at the mention of two opening acts. I guess it's been a long time since I saw an opener who really moved me. But I couldn't help but think "Damn..." when both Levi and Kid Beyond announced their final songs this evening. I could have listened to both of them for a bit longer.

On to Immy's set - well, first I should mention the stage. It was just magnificent, resplendent in Imogen, all her gadgets, a christmas tree, christmas lights, and a translucent piano. Fantastic. She played all of her big "hits" - at least I think of them as her hits... I've never actually heard one of her songs on the radio. Come Here Boy; Goodnight And Go; Hide And Seek; Just For Now; The Moment I Said It. Yes there were definitely gadgets a-plenty, and Immy is the master of them all. She does so much with a loop machine, a keyboard and her voice.

I love her sense of humor as well - she mentioned that she's up for a Grammy in the "New Artist" category, even though she's been around for... she trailed off then. She also revealed that she wrote Come Here Boy when she was 16, about a teacher. After the song she admitted that she shouldn't (and doesn't normally) give out so much information about a song. Ha ha. She just makes me happy when I see her perform. I guess that's the point, isn't it?



hey citrus, hey liquor
i love it when you touch each other
hey whiskey, hey ginger
i come to you with rigid fingers
i see judas in the hard eyes
of the boys who worked in the corners
i feel jesus in the clumsiness of young and awkward lovers

hey bar roommate tavern
i find hope in all the souls you gather
hey citrus, hey liquor
i love it when we come together
i feel jesus in the clumsiness of young and awkward lovers
i feel judas in the long odds of the rackets on the corners
i feel jesus in the tenements of honest, nervous lovers
i feel judas in the pistols and the pagers that come with all the powders

lost in fog and love and faith was fear
and i've had kisses that make judas seem sincere
lost in fog and love and faith was fear
i've had kisses that make judas seem sincere

Friday, December 08, 2006

let's get out of this country

Camera Obscura is gettin' out of Scotland for a North American tour early next year. Yay. Let's Get Out Of This Country is one of my favorite albums of 2006.

12-15 Mallorca, Spain - Theatre de Lloseta
12-16 Barcelona, Spain - Laboratori Musical de Les Basses
01-17 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
01-18 Tallahassee, FL - The Club Downunder
01-19 Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
01-20 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle *
01-21 Charlottesville, NC - Satellite Ballroom *
01-22 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
01-24 New York, NY - Warsaw *
01-26 Northampton, MA - Pearl Street *
01-27 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club *
01-29 Montreal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa *
01-30 Ottawa, Ontario - Barrymore's Music Hall *
01-31 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace *
02-01 Ann Arbor, MI - Bling Pig *
02-02 Kalamazoo, MI - Kraftbrau Brewery *
02-03 Chicago, IL - Logan Square Auditorium *
02-05 Columbia, MO - Mojo's
02-06 Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar
02-08 Denver, CO - The Bluebird Theater
02-10 Mexico City, Mexico - City Hall
02-12 Seattle, WA - Neumos #
02-13 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards #
02-14 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom #
02-16 San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's #
02-17 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre #
02-24 Melbourne, Australia - Laneway Festival
03-03 Brisbane, Australia - Laneway Festival
03-04 Sydney, Australia - Laneway Festival

* with the Essex Green
# with Portastatic

I just wish we were getting Portastatic on the Denver date...

In other tour news, Grizzly Bear is going back out on the road in February, after cancelling several dates last month due to gear theft in Brussels.

02-01 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's *
02-02 Boston, MA - Museum of Fine Arts *
02-03 Northampton, MA - Iron Horse *
02-04 Montreal, Quebec - Main Hall *
02-05 Ottawa, Ontario - Barrymore's Music Hall *
02-06 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace *
02-08 Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig *#
02-09 Chicago, IL - Subterranean *
02-10 Minneapolis, MN - 7th St. Entry *
02-11 Iowa City, IA - The Picador *
02-13 Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
02-14 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
02-16 Seattle, WA - Neumos ^
02-17 Vancouver, British Columbia - Plaza Club ^
02-18 Portland, OR - Mission Theatre ^
02-20 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall ^
02-21 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour ^
02-23 Tucson, AZ - Plush ^
02-24 Marfa, TX - Ballroom Marfa ^
02-26 Norman, OK - Opolis ^
02-27 Dallas, TX - Club Dada ^
02-28 Austin, TX - Emo's Jr. ^
03-01 Baton Rouge, LA - Chelsea's ^
03-02 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn ^
03-03 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 ^
03-04 Washington, DC - Black Cat ^
03-06 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom ^

* with Dirty Projectors
# with Akron Family
^ with Papercuts

the colbert green screen counter-counter-challenge

If you're a fan of either Stephen Colbert or The Decemberists (or both, as I am), then you are quite aware of the, err..., "feud" over green screens and copyright infringement. Well, Colbert not only accepted The Decemberists counter-challenge, but proclaimed: "Decemberists, you walked right into my trap". Yes, it seems that the bespectacled right-wing pundit was once axe-man for Stephen & The Colberts. The man's talents know no bounds...

The Guitar Solo Challenge will come about on the Colbert Report on December 20. In a particularly amicable move, Colbert stated that he's even giving The Decemberists home field advantage by having the contest in December. What a great guy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

so you're jonesing for some new wilco, huh?

Wow, it's been a newsworthy couple of days for a few of my favorite bands.

It seems like forever since Wilco's last album, the beautiful A Ghost Is Born. As usual, the band has been touring hard since AGIB's release, and have debuted several new songs in the past months. Well, as Pitchfork reported today, one conscientious blogger has compiled, and made available for download, MP3's of many of the new songs.

Get 'em while they're hot (and still available...).

cyhsy new album update!

I just got a MySpace bulletin from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and it would seem that we'll be able to buy the new album (Some Loud Thunder) on January 16 via Insound. Download the MP3's on the 16th, and Insound will send you the album "soon after". For free. Bitching. You should shop at Insound all the time anyway, they rule.

Besides the two tracks available at Pitchfork (and also the CYHSY homepage), you can listen to Satan Said Dance on the CYHSY MySpace Page. It's killer, more "electronica" than I've heard CYHSY do in the past.

What I'm listening to right now:


Daylight can never really hide what’s alive
I know it's hard sometimes
For you to tell where you end
And where the world begins

You do your best to avoid assimilation
Guess that's the best you can do

And all the parts of it that matter change
All traces disintegrate

At night
My mind gets on this
Train of thought
And can't get back off
And when you know
How few things there are worth knowing
I suppose anyone who tries could forget

Responding now
To trains that crash before you
Never thought crashing could happen to you

And all the parts of it that matter change
All traces disintegrate

july, july! (the sequel)

Well, 2007 certainly is shaping up nicely. In the aftermath of The Decemberists' Stephen Colbert Counter-Challenge, their ex-label, Kill Rock Stars, will be releasing the band's first DVD on March 20.

The Decemberists: A Practical Handbook will contain an entire Decemberists show filmed at the Roseland Theater in Portland last November, as well as several extras (including the brilliant 16 Military Wives video). Pitchfork reports the setlist:

01 The Infanta
02 The Soldiering Life
03 Leslie Anne Levine
04 We Both Go Down Together
05 The Engine Driver
06 Eli the Barrow Boy
07 The Sporting Life
08 July, July!
09 16 Military Wives
10 The Mariner's Revenge Song
11 The Chimbley Sweep
12 I Was Meant for the Stage

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

clap your hands say yahoo!

Well, this pic of the album art sucks ass, but Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have finally announced the release date for their highly anticipated sophomore effort. The new self-released album is to be called Some Loud Thunder and will be released on January 30, 2007. The band has released two tracks for download, which you can find at the Pitchfork website. I'm listening to Love Song No. 7 right now... interesting (and definitely creepy). I guess I get Pitchfork's "Dream On" comparison... but just barely. Underwater (You And Me) sounds great as well.

Wikipedia reports the following tracklisting:

"Some Loud Thunder"
"Emily Jean Stock"
"Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles in the Air & Burning?"
"Love Song No. 7"
"Satan Said Dance"
"Upon Encountering the Crippled Elephant"
"Goodbye to Mother and the Cove"
"Arm and Hammer"
"Yankee Go Home"
"Underwater (You and Me)"
"Five Easy Pieces"
Besides the tracks available at Pitchfork, I've heard Some Lound Thunder and Satan Said Dance via various live show recordings; good good stuff. There are a few other unreleased songs that I've heard and would've loved to see on the new disc.... Of course, knowing Alec Ounsworth's penchant for changing up song titles as he sees fit, for all I know, they're on there... lol.

Oh, I'm excited.

Monday, December 04, 2006

yeah, ruin my cd jewel case, why don't you?

This is something that has been bothering me for a long time. I'm just pissed off now because I got some cds today and it got me all riled up. Does anyone know why, oh why, cd manufacturers put these damn things on the outer edge of the cd jewel case?

They're useless, annoying, and incredibly difficult to peel off the plastic. I decided to google "cd case barcode sticker" to see if I could figure out what the purpose of these little devil stickers are. Mostly what I found was websites where you can buy the little fuckers. Yeah.

I did find one blurb that seemed to indicate that the stickers are an anti-theft device, that they make it difficult for shoplifters to open the case. Well, guess what, brainiacs? If it's difficult for the shoplifters it's gonna be difficult for the paying customers too... I absolutely depise having sticky glue and random bits of plastic stuck to my jewel cases. Argh.

In what was otherwise a fruitless google search, I came across a clever article entitled Top 10 Things I Hate About CDs . Click the link and read it, it's hilarious and brilliant for several reasons:
  1. Though I'm not quite as anal as the author, I do agree with at least half of his Top 10.

  2. The author name drops several artists that I like: The Shins; Mountain Goats; Super Furry Animals; Broken Social Scene (You Forgot It In People); Arcade Fire; Sigur Ros.

  3. There are so many wonderfully British colloquialisms in the article that by the time I was finished, my inner voice was reading it with an accent.

  4. Someone out there is just as obbsessive-compulsive as my older brother. #6 - "inconsistent spine writing" has my brother written all over it. He keeps his CDs in their jewel cases so that when you open the case the CD is straight, like this:

    I assure you I am not joking... and actually my Hold Steady CD may be slightly too crooked for his tastes. Once, he had a party and I got bored. I sat and turned every 4th or 5th CD of his so that it was at an angle. I guarantee that when he discovered the first one, he checked them ALL.

  5. OK, I have to include the whole of "#5: Nipples"...

    "I really, really hate it when the jewel case cover has those sharp little nipples to keep the booklet in rather than either the round nipples or the vertical slats, because the sharp nipples crease and rip the booklet. Then you have to buy a new one and get a new case. And spend ages in the shop hunting through racks of seemingly identical (to the ignorant bystander) CDs just to find one with no nipple-damage. And then the assistant manager throws you out of the shop for fondling the CDs again because he thinks you’re a pervert. I’m not a pervert! The bastard who invented the slatty-nipple is a pervert! Getting perverse joy from MY suffering! Bastard!"

I figure as long as I'm using my new Hold Steady as an example, I may as well listen to it.

First Night

charlemagne shakes in the streets
gideon makes love to the suites
holly's not invincible
in fact she's in the hospital.
not far from the bar where we met
on that first night.

charlemagne pulls street corner scams
gideon's got a pipe made from a pringles can
holly's insatiable
she still looks incredible.
but she don't look like the same girl we met
on that first night.

she was golden with barlight and beer.
she slept like she'd never been scared.

and then last night
she said words alone never could save us.
and then last night
she cried when she told us about jesus.

holly's inconsolable
unhinged and uncontrollable.
because we can't get as high as we got
on that first night.

boys and girls in america.

don't bother talking to the guys
with the hot soft eyes.
they're already taken.
don't even speak
to all those sequencer and beats boys.

when they kiss they spit white noise.
white noise.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

holy fucking hell it's 2:30 in the morning

Tonight was Lemonheads at the Bluebird, bookended by lots of whiskey and ginger ale at the Goosetown Tavern. Yeah, that's right. It's been a loooooooong time since I closed down a bar!

Lemonheads... when I found out they were playing the Bluebird, I was all "I love them!". But then I tried to think of any song that I knew by them. All I could come up with was their Mrs. Robinson cover. Yikes. So I know I love them, but I don't really know any of their songs.

It was a great show though. The band was tight and they played a LOT of music. I can't even begin to come up with a setlist, but I guess when you play punk pop songs that last for about about two and a half minutes, you can cram a shitload of music into 80 minutes. They played a lot of older songs, and Evan did a few solo songs toward the end.

The energy of the room was pretty good, despite the couple making out right in front of us... we were pretty sure that she was pregnant by the end of the set. It's always nice to have an "older" crowd, where I don't feel like I'm surrounded by college kids.

Anyway, tonight was yet another show that I'm glad I ventured out for. I've been through a bit of a dry spell... no live shows since The Decemberists almost 3 weeks ago. When I'm out to shows all the time I don't even notice it, but once I start staying home a lot it's hard to find the energy to get out. At least it's Saturday night! Errrr... Sunday morning anyway.

What I'm listening to right now:

Shit, I love that Evan Dando.

And this is for Leah:

The Outdoor Type

Always had a roof above me
Always paid the rent
But I've never set foot inside a tent
Can't build a fire to save my life
I lied about being the outdoor type

I've never slept out underneath the stars,
The closest that I came to that was one time my car
Broke down for an hour in the suburbs at night
I lied about being the outdoor type

Too scared to let you know you knew what you were looking for
I lied until I fit the bill
God bless the great indoors
I lied about being the outdoor type
I've never owned a sleeping bag let alone a mountain bike

I can't go away with you on a rock climbing weekend
What if something's on tv and its never shown again
It's just as well I'm not invited I'm afraid of heights
I lied about being the outdoor type

Never learned to swim can't grow a beard or even fight
I lied about being the outdoor type

Friday, November 17, 2006

2007 plug awards

Nominees revealed: 2007 PLUG Independent Music Awards. I love these awards because we, the people who actually listen to the music, get to vote!

I'm especially excited that Band Of Horses is up for several awards, including Album Of The Year, New Artist Of The Year and Song Of The Year (Funeral). Their extraordinary debut album Everything All The Time may just very well be a perfect record. At this point in the year, it's the album of the year on my best of 2006 list.

Plenty more of my favorite artists received nods as well:

Amy Millan
The Hold Steady
Jenny Lewis
Joanna Newsom
M. Ward
Neko Case
Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond)
The Thermals

2006 has been a phenomenal year for Indie Music... go vote, and keep on rockin'!

Part One (Savannah)

to the bottom dear i had to fall
but you really caught me
you really caught me dear
at the bottom where i fall

and slowly dear ask would you dance with me
here's the shades down
the lights off
when i didn't know you and everything i do done badly

now i'll love you always
even when i say you distract me

and sit out tonight in some strange place
if we have no friends here
well i have few to begin with

to wake next to you in the morning
and good morning to you
how do you do?
a good morning to you
and more covers for you
sleep soundly dear cause i have to go

and i'll love you always
and when we leave this place
and drive back to carolina
and down to savannah and stay

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

islands, return to denver!

This is an album that I've been listening to a lot lately. It was actually released back in April and has been residing on the iPod for quite some time... but it's like a full time job to try to keep up with all the fabulous new 2006 music!! So I only heard it for the first time a week or so ago. Islands was formed last year by Nick Diamonds and J'aime Tambeur, both members of The Unicorns (J'aime is no longer with Islands).

This record is a treasure. It's as though Islands set out to incorporate as many different musical genres into one album as is humanly possible. You've got some calypso, some folk, some country and even some hip-hop.

I fell in love with the record on my first listen and immediately set out to see if Islands are touring. Turns out they are. Turns out they were playing Denver on November 14. Turns out I already had my Decemberists ticket for that night... poop.

So return to Denver, Islands! Just make sure that you don't come back the same night that The Decemberists will be here. Colin has promised us something extra special... :)

Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby

bones bones brittle little bones
it's not the milk you seek
it's the sun you need
and the sleek sleek skeleton i hold
where are the hidden folds
where's the meat that you eat

total boy
tells me stories
sometimes they make me sorry
i need another
i need another
sugar doughnut and muffin baby
this world is going crazy
i think i'm through listening to you

bones bones brittle little bones
it's not the milk you see
it's just the sun you need
and the sleek sleek skeleton i hold
where are the hidden folds
where is the meat that you eat

gonna make some plans
wait and see
turn it off
turn me on
open your eyes look around you
fuck what you heard
you were lied to

sick body part
sweet body part

bones bones brittle little bones
it's not the milk you seek
it's the sun you need
and the sleek sleek skeleton i hold
where are the hidden folds
where's the meat that you eat

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

july, july!

Caught The Decemberists in Denver tonight. It was my first live Decemberists experience; I was so excited for the show, it really couldn't come soon enough. I spent yesterday listening to the Decemberists catalogue in reverse chronological order. Obsessed? Yeah, just a bit... :)

The opener was a Scottish guy by the name of Alasdair Roberts. I only caught the last few songs, but he was good. The sound was too low, and it was difficult to hear him though... I can't remember the last time that was an issue! The crowd was pretty good for his set, people paid attention for the most part.

Leah and Laura were at the show, but our seats weren't together. Luckily, I sat next to a couple, Melissa and Michael, who said they'd be my friends for the evening... :) They drove down from Fort Collins for the show, and Melissa told me that the only reason Michael was there was because she made him go. Awesome. So we chatted during the break, which was surprisingly short.

The Decemberists came on stage at 9:00. Hey, I actually have a setlist! Ha ha, OK, so I used my phone to take some notes, but I have a setlist, dammit.

The Crane Wife 3
Colin - "I have a severe head cold, and the altitude isn't helping. But I'm going to do the best that I can." :(
July, July! w00t!!!!

We Both Go Down Together
The Engine Driver

Colin - "If this becomes too much of a travesty let me know..."
The Perfect Crime 2
Yankee Bayonet
The Crane Wife 1 & 2

Colin - "What it means when this happens is that we owe you. The next time we come to town we'll do something extra special... As soon as they build a venue a mile under the surface so we can play at sea level and our colds don't turn into the krakon being released." (ummm, am I going to be at the next Decemberists show in Denver? Fuck yeah I am!)
O Valencia!

Colin apologizes and thanks us for being understanding. One more song is all that he thinks he can "croak through". Awww...
Sons And Daughters

The crowd continued to applaud, even though I'm sure we all knew in our hearts that nobody was going to come back out on stage. The house lights came up after a minute or so, and everyone started filing out of the theater. Melissa told me that she thought the reason they didn't come back for one more was because Michael didn't clap. Funny, I thought it had something to do with Colin losing his voice, but I'd rather blame Michael... lol.

So. The show clocked in at just under an hour. It seems like I should be disappointed, but I'm really not. July, July! made my night, and despite Colin being sick it was a great show. His voice started giving out during the third song, but I see the cracking and croaking as part of the whole live show experience. By the time he apologized before the last song he could barely even speak. I'm amazed that he could still sing.

Now I'm listening to The Crane Wife. Again. This is such a great album. If you want an indescribable aural experience, go listen to The Crane Wife 3 through your headphones. No, not those damned iPod ear buds... the good headphones.

Get well soon, Colin.

And under the boughs unbowed
All clothed in the snowy shroud
She had no heart so hardened
All under the boughs unbowed

Each feather it fell from skin
'Til threadbare while she grew thin
How were my eyes so blinded?
Each feather it fell from skin

And I will hang my head, hang my head low
And I will hang my head, hang my head low

A grey sky, a bitter sting
A rain cloud, a crane on wing
All out beyond horizon
A grey sky, a bitter sting

And I will hang my head, hang my head low
And I will hang my head, hang my head low

Friday, November 10, 2006

the ben lee experience

Well. Before we delve into that, can I just say that "our love is the best love". Air hump. Kick.

OK, it's not that I like to start a concert review with an inside joke, but it seems appropriate. Ben Lee at the Fox tonight with two openers. There was a bit of confusion about this, as the Fox website advertised the show thusly: "Ben Lee & Rooney with John Ralston". Are there three bands? Is Rooney playing with Ben Lee? These are the questions that we didn't have answered before the show.

As it turned out, John Ralston played first, then Rooney, then Ben. I arrived shortly after the John Ralston set started. I admit, I didn't pay attention. I chatted with Leah and her friend whose name I think is Andy, but really I'm not that sure. I'll call him Andy and if that's not right, well, who will ever know? Yes we chatted through the first set, and discovered that none of us really were all that fond of Rooney. So when they took the stage we went out to the lobby and chatted some more. And had some drinks. It was great. We ventured back to the theatre with a couple Rooney songs left. We had some fun watching the Rooney fans. I still don't like Rooney all that much. Meh.

Then Ben Lee took the stage in a gold lamé suit. Really. Oh, wait... I mean a gold hemp lamé suit. Because he's in Boulder, you see. Now, firstly you must know that Ben Lee played Boulder on the very same night that Nickelodeon was in the midst of a 24-hour Spongebob Squarepants marathon. That's some severe competition. Secondly you must know that my entire knowledge of Ben Lee is this: he has a song on the Grey's Anatomy Soundtrack. Oh, and Leah told me that once he toured with Ben Folds and Ben Kweller. Awesome. Not that I have issues with going to shows where I'm not overly familiar with the artist... I do that all the time. It's just that Ben Lee was not really what I was expecting at all.

I had a good time, I did. But I can't help but feel that I would have had a better time if there had only been one opener and Ben had come on at 10:00 instead of after 11:00. We left before the encore. Yes, I'm old.

Anyway, I'm not familiar with Ben's music so I can't possibly come up with a setlist. Sometimes it's more fun to talk about fans. There was one guy who really seemed, at times, to think that he was at a hoedown. He was clapping his hands, stomping his foot, and really really into it. Then there was the group of women who we spotted partway through the set who were dressed in skin tight pants, boots, and bare midriffs a-plenty. I often wonder what people expect when they come to a show. Maybe that's how they dress in real life, what the fuck do I know?

So... I decided to forego the Spongebob marathon for the show. There are many times where I don't go to shows when I know that I should. This I do know about myself - very very rarely do I regret going to see an artist play live. And this night was no different. I really did have a good time, and I can always put my Spongebob DVDs on later... I can even say that I would see Ben Lee again. But not Rooney.

Wow. That was a clusterfuck of a review. At any rate, what I'm listening to right now:

If you don't already listen to The Hold Steady, you should. Trust me, they are fabulous.

"She said always remember never to trust me.
She said that the first night she met me.
She said there's gonna be a time when
I'm gonna have to go with whoever's gonna get me the highest.

She said I won't be much for conversation if we go and do the rest of this.
She said I've never been much for conservation.
I kinda dig these awkward silences.
She's got those bones brigade videos.
She knew them back and forth.
She's slept with so many skaters.

She had the place to herself.
She had a couple hundred bux.
And he had nothing but the number.
She said I like the guy who always answers the door.
He never asks you what you came to his house for.

She said I won't be much for all this humbert humbert stuff.
I've never done so much of this.
I have to try so hard not to fall in love.
I have to concentrate when we kiss.
She mouthed the words along to "running up that hill".
That song got scratched into her soul.
He's never heard the song before.
But still he gets the metaphor.
He knows some people that switched places before.

She said I really like the crowds at the really big shows.
People touching people that they don't even know, yo.
I guess the heavy stuff ain't quite at its heaviest
By the time it gets out to suburban minneapolis.
We were living up at nicollet and 66th.
With 3 skaters and some hoodrat chick.
Drove the wrong way down 169.
Almost died up by edina high."

Also, they're on Jimmy Kimmel Live tomorrow. Or tonight. November 10, whatever. Watch it, dammit.

Then I need to get some sleep. I do have to work tomorrow. But I'll probably watch a couple episodes of Spongebob first... :)