Monday, January 22, 2007

ted leo + pharmacists tour

Here's another one not to miss!

01-26 Brooklyn, NY - Northsix (solo; Callum Robbins benefit) *
03-02 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall (Noise Pop)
03-28 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
03-29 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
03-30 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
03-31 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
04-01 Orlando, FL - Social
04-02 Miami, FL - Studio A
04-04 Baton Rouge, LA - Chelsea's Cafe
04-05 Houston, TX - Numbers
04-06 Dallas, TX - Gypsy Ballroom
04-07 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
04-09 Tempe, AZ - Clubhouse
04-10 San Diego, CA - Epicentre
04-13 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
04-16 Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theatre
04-17 Seattle, WA - Showbox Showroom
04-18 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
04-20 Boise, ID - Venue
04-21 Salt Lake City, UT - Club Sound at In the Venue
04-22 Englewood, CO - Gothic Theatre
04-23 Lawrence, KS - Bottleneck
04-25 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
04-26 Madison, WI - Club 770
04-27 Iowa City, IA - Picador
04-28 Chicago, IL - Metro
04-30 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
05-02 Toronto, Ontario - Mod Club
05-03 Montreal, Quebec - La Sala Rossa
05-04 Boston, MA - Avalon
05-05 New York, NY - Webster Hall

* with Medications, the Forms

And, Ted Leo + Pharmacists have a new album (Living With The Living) out on March 20th.

Friday, January 19, 2007

some happy news

Great news - The Decemberists have announced a whole shitload of spring tour dates! Icing on the cake - My Brightest Diamond opens... :)

The dates:

03-21 Jersey City, NJ - Loews Theater #
03-22 Jersey City, NJ - Loews Theater #
03-23 Boston, MA - Avalon #
03-24 Boston, MA - Avalon #
03-26 North Bethesda, MD - Strathmore Music Center #
03-27 Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theater #
03-29 Wellesley, MA - Wellesley College (students only) #
03-30 Buffalo, NY - Center for the Arts #
03-31 Grantham, PA - Messiah College #
04-01 Norfolk, VA - The Norva #
04-02 Raleigh, NC - Meymendi Concert Hall #
04-04 Knoxville, TN - Tennessee Theater
04-05 Nashville, TN - City Hall
04-06 Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
04-08 Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live #
04-09 Tallahassee, FL - The Moon #
04-10 Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theater #
04-11 Memphis, TN - New Daisy Theater #
04-13 Louisville, KY - Brown Theater #
04-14 St. Louis, MO - The Pageant #
04-15 Champaign, IL - Foellinger Auditorium #
04-16 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater #
04-18 Chicago, IL - Riviera Theater #
04-19 Chicago, IL - Riviera Theater #
04-20 Madison, WI - Orpheum Theater #
04-21 Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater #
04-22 Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium #
04-25 San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater #
04-26 San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater #
05-03 Eugene, OR - McDonald Theater #
05-04 Seattle, WA - Paramount Theater #
05-05 Bellingham, WA - Western Washington University #

* with Lavender Diamond
# with My Brightest Diamond

In the "highly anticipated album" realm, we have Wilco news! The new album will be entitled Sky Blue Sky and is scheduled to be released on May 15 (Nonesuch). According to my friend Rich, the new album will include the following tracks:
On And On And On
The Thanks I Get
Impossible Germany
What Light
Let's Fight
Either Way
Let's Not Get Carried Away
You Are My Face
Patient With Me
Sky Blue Sky
Shake It Off
Side With The Seeds

I'm pretty excited. It's been waaaay too long since the last Wilco album...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

some loud thunder, you rock my world

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have a new album, Some Loud Thunder, coming out later this month. Have I mentioned that a time or two? Um, yeah, I thought so.

We were teased with a few tracks - CYHSY made Love Song No. 7 & Underwater (You And Me) available for download on their website and you can stream Satan Said Dance at their MySpace page. And, if you are a subscriber (or were lucky enough to find an MP3 somewhere), Yankee Go Home was included on Uncut Magazine's February issue CD.

Somehow the album didn't leak until yesterday, just one day before the pre-order MP3s are available. As luck would have it for me though, about a week or so ago a kind soul from the message board where I hang out sometimes sent me a link to download the whole album. Mainly because I am likely the biggest CYHSY advocate (oh, ok.... fangirl) over there.

So by the time I actually got to hear the damn thing, I was quite concerned that my hopes were up way too high and that I would be supremely let down by the new album. But oh, how it was worth the wait.

First off, for those of you who are hoping that Alec Ounsworth's vocals have "improved" somehow... well, you probably won't like this one much. I personally have no issues with his singing style, in fact I rather like his voice and think it fits well with the songs. The vocals are a large part of what makes CYHSY's sound so unique; I just can't imagine some slick-voiced singer belting out these tunes... It seems that a lot of their "punch" would be non-existent.

But enough of that. Some Loud Thunder is certainly not an accessible album. In fact, I'd say it's abundantly less accessible even than CYHSY's self-titled debut, which was poppier and catchier than SLT. In a word, I'd call it a noisy album. Or perhaps noise-y would be more appropriate. I don't mean that in a bad way at all... quite the contrary; there is so much going on that it begs for multiple listens just to get a handle on everything that is happening.

There really isn't a standout track on this album. Or more precisely, every track on this album is a standout... :)

  • Some Loud Thunder - They played this one when I saw them last October. I also have a few live recordings of it - which I play the hell out of because I love the song so much. I was surprised to discover that the album version is very similar to the Flashy Python & The Body Snatchers Graceful Retreat demo (Flashy Python is Alec's side project - incidentally, I would love to see them release an album soon...). It takes some getting used to, especially the vocals; the best description I can think of is as if they're coming across a bad radio signal. A grower for sure, but an amazing song.

  • Emily Jean Stock - I'd actually heard live recordings of this one - commonly listed as The Chinese New Year. This is one of the "busier" tunes, with quite a lot of instrumentation. It's catchy; very sweet lyrics too...

  • Mama, Won't You Keep Them Castles In The Air And Burning? - Whew. Quite a title. I learned something though - "castles in the air" is an idiom meaning "extravagant hopes and plans that will never be carried out". I did not know that. Beautiful track, by the way... it's virtually percussion-less and has great lyrics. I love Alec's lyrics, though admittedly I usually need the cd sleeve "cheat sheet" to catch them all (I really hope CYHSY includes the lyrics with this one too). This one is perhaps the most "CYHSY" song on the album. For whatever that's worth... lol.

  • Love Song No. 7 - I really didn't care for this one the first couple of times that I heard it after it was released. It's such a creepy sounding song I get a little shiver everytime it starts. I remember Pitchfork comparing it to Aerosmith's Dream On. I don't really get that... But creepy or no, this is yet another magnificent track.

  • Satan Said Dance - And I know it is not how you thought it would be; no whips, no chains, just dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing, dancing... If you've heard this one live, it's not too different from the album version; they "electronica-d" it up just a bit.

  • Upon Encountering The Crippled Elephant -
    Dear accordian: When did you get to be so cool? I love you.
    xo Bridget
    This is the lone instrumental track. Over headphones, this song really does conjure up the imagery of slowly walking up to and past a wounded elephant. Really.

  • Goodbye To Mother And The Cove - I didn't care for this song at all on my first listen. But, as is the theme of this album, several listens convinced me that it's a gorgeous song. I love the guitar picking...

  • Arm And Hammer - It's the new Clap Your Hands! This is probably the one that had the farthest to grow on me... I do like it, but I'm still working on it. Definitely an odd song without too much structure.

  • Yankee Go Home - I'd heard this one before - it surfaced just before I scored the entire album. When I first heard this track I was quite disappointed with it - then I remembered that the previous released tracks also took me quite some time to warm up to. I do so love this song these days. And I love Alec Ounsworth's voice... ;)

  • Underwater (You And Me) - This song is so romantic and sweet, it just makes me happy when I listen to it. And it's even not so much the yelping Alec Ounsworth...

  • Five Easy Pieces - Oh man. The first time this song started... well, when the reverb-drenched vocals started anyway, here is what I thought to myself: "This piece of shit is the album closer? And it's almost seven minutes long??". I was disappointed. And pissed. Not that I have anything against reverb, of course: Band Of Horses was my personal album of the year in 2006. It just wasn't what I would have expected for an album closer; if it's possible for songs to have polar opposites, this is it for Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood. Luckily I had almost seven minutes to absorb the song, because by the time it was over I'd realized that what I needed to do was let the vocals drift to the background and focus on the beautiful, sweeping instrumentation. Between the gorgeous bass-centered melody and the echoey, ghostly vocals, Five Easy Pieces has become just about my favorite track on the album. Lovely.

So. Obviously my first spin of Some Loud Thunder was a bit disappointing and quite frustrating. But by about my sixth listen, I realized that this album is pretty much kicking my ass all over the place. Now I have to focus on not getting burned out... which is quite difficult as all I want to do when the album is over is play it again.

I don't envy CYHSY, faced with the Herculean task of following up their self-titled debut... Talk about pressure. Although I did read an article once where Alec Ounsworth stated that he doesn't "pay attention to attention". Smart man. Some Loud Thunder is an extraordinarily bold move by CYHSY and is sure to put off a lot of the fans they won with their debut. Unfortunately, internet buzz can be a double-edged sword... While said buzz was hugely responsible for the success of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, it's likely that bloggers and critics around the world are just lining up to shoot this album down. Hopefully people will give the new album several listens before writing it off, though, because it really is a masterpiece, proving that these "blog buzz band" poster boys are neither one-trick ponies nor one-hit wonders.

I believe you can still "pre-order" the album from Insound - you'll get a link to download the album in MP3 format, then receive the CD "on or about" the Jan. 30 release date. Or, according to the band's MySpace, you can stream the entire album there later today.

Monday, January 15, 2007

ho-ly shit

You want bigger and better news than the recent Thermals tour announcement?!? Here you go:

The Hold Steady will be touring with The Thermals!!!!! Fuck, yeah.
The Hold Steady dates:

01-18 Brooklyn, NY - Northsix *
01-19 Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony #
02-08 Hamburg, Germany - Molotov
02-10 Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Paradiso
02-11 Paris, France - Maroquinerie
02-13 Manchester, England - Night & Day (Club Fandango)
02-14 Glasgow, Scotland - Cathouse
02-15 London, England - Hoxton Bar and Grill
02-16 London, England - KOKO (Club NME) ^
02-17 London, England - Borderline
02-18 London, England - Borderline
03-09-11 Sunrise, FL - Markham Park (Langerado Music Festival)
03-12 Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder $
03-13 Birmingham, AL - Bottletree $
03-14 Memphis, TN - Hi-Tone $
03-16 Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue $
03-17 Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall $
03-19 Iowa City, IA - Picador $
03-22 Denver, CO - Hi-Dive $

* with Looker
# with the Churchills
^ with Cold War Kids
$ with the Thermals

While I haven't seen either The Hold Steady or The Thermals in concert before, they are without a doubt two of my favorite bands right now. And from what I've heard, The Hold Steady is the band to see. Yee-haw.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

here's what i learned this evening.

My Morning Jacket is just not for me. I have been trying to get into them for the past 3 years, to no avail. But even though their studio stuff didn't catch my interest, I kept hearing about how great they are live. So when I found out they were playing the Ogden I decided to give the live show a chance. I went with Leah, who like me has never gotten into the band, and the "other" Bridget, who knows some of the band members (she used to live in Louisville). And...


The first few songs were good, but then began the jamfest. I'm a 3 1/2-minute-pop-song kind of girl, not a jam kind of girl, and found myself very bored about an hour into the set. Fortunately for me, Leah was bored too, so we took off. Unfortunately it was about 5 below outside (no exaggeration) and we had no clear plan for getting back to Leah's place. So we decided to duck into the Irish Snug for a cocktail and to discuss our options.

We had taken the bus to the Ogden, but they ran less frequently later in the evening, and we didn't really know for sure what the schedule was. We decided to call a cab. An hour later, when the cab still hadn't shown up, Leah called Bridget and she so kindly came to pick us up. :) My legs are still numb from being outside. Cold sucks ass.

Oh, and I also missed a chance to meet in "real" life my friend Evonne from Via Chicago. She came to ass-cold Denver from lovely, balmy California for the shows. Between our arriving at the theatre at the tail end of the opening act and leaving early, we just didn't get a chance to meet up. Oh, and also, I missed Josh Ritter on Letterman because we waited for an hour for the stupid fucking cab that never showed up. Sad, sad.

The moral of the story is that I am glad that I gave MMJ a chance and no longer have to wonder what I'm missing. And also that I should always have a plan for getting back to my car when the temperature is below zero. The end.

Now playing:

It's been waaaaaay too long since I listened to this album. Conor's got a new record, Cassadaga, out on April 10, and an EP, Four Winds, due out on March 6. w00t!! So so so many songs to choose from this album to lyricize... but let's just go with the opener:

At The Bottom Of Everything

So there was this woman and
she was uh, on an airplane and
she's flying to meet her fiancé
sailing high above the largest ocean
on planet earth and she was seated
next to this man who you know
she had tried to start a conversation
but really the only thing
she heard him say was to order his bloody mary
and she's sitting there and she's reading
this really arduous magazine article about a
third world country that she couldn't
even pronounce the name of and
she's feeling very bored and very despondent
and then uh, suddenly there was this huge mechanical failure and one of the engines gave out
and they started just falling thirty thousand feet
and the uh, pilot's on the microphone and he's saying,
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Oh My God, I'm Sorry"
and apologizing and she looks at the man and she says,
"Where are we going" and uh, he looks at her and he says,
"We're going to a party, it's a birthday party.
It's your birthday party, happy birthday darling.
We love you very, very, very, very, very, very, very much."
and then uh, he starts humming this little tune and it kind of goes like this, it's kinda...

One, Two, One, Two, Three, Four
We must talk in every telephone, get eaten off the web
We must rip out all the epilogues from the books that we have read
And to the face of every criminal strapped firmly to a chair
We must stare, we must stare, we must stare

We must take all of the medicines too expensive now to sell
Set fire to the preacher who is promising us hell
And in the ear of every anarchist that sleeps but doesn't dream
We must sing, we must sing, we must sing

And it'll go like this, alright,
While my mother waters plants my father loads his gun
He says, "Death will give us back to God, just like the setting sun
Is returned to the lonesome ocean."

And then they splashed into the deep blue sea
It was a wonderful splash

We must blend into the choir, sing as static with the whole
We must memorize nine numbers and deny we have a soul
And to this endless race for property and privilege to be won
We must run, we must run, we must run

We must hang up in the belfry where the bats in moonlight laugh
We must stare into a crystal ball and only see the past
And in the caverns of tomorrow with just our flashlights and our love
We must plunge, we must plunge, we must plunge

And then we'll get down there,
Way down to the very bottom of everything
And then we'll see it, oh we'll see it, we'll see it, we'll see it

Oh my morning's coming back
The whole world's waking up
Oh the city bus is swimming past
I'm happy just because I found out I am really no one


Friday, January 12, 2007


From The Shins' MySpace:

Damn. There seems to be quite a lot of hype surrounding the release of Wincing The Night Away. Well-deserved hype (the album is great) but lots of hype nonetheless.

I wish the same could be said about the upcoming Clap Your Hands Say Yeah release. Sure, there are a few tracks floating around, there's lots of speculation and lots of fans hoping for a leak (which doesn't seem too bloody likely before the MP3's are available this coming Tuesday). Unfortunately, speculation is vastly different from hype. CYHSY, Where are you guys? No interviews, no TV appearances, barely any tour dates announced. C'mon!!

holy fucking hell the thermals are coming!!!!!

From The Thermals' MySpace page:

2/21/07 Chop Suey, Seattle, WA
2/22/07 Media Club, Vancouver, BC
2/23/07 WWU-Viking Union Multipurpose Room, WA
2/24/07 Center Stage, Spokane, WA
2/27 07 Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, MN
2/28/07 Subterranean, Chicago, IL
3/1/07 Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, OH
3/2/07 The Black Cat, Washington DC
3/3/07 TT The Bears, Cambridge, MA
3/4/07 Bowery Ballroom, NYC, NY
3/6/07 First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA
3/8/07 Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
3/9/07 Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, GA
3/10/07 The Social, Orlando, FL
3/11/07 Cafe Eleven, St. Augustine
3/12/07 Club Downunder, Tallahassee, FL
3/13/07 BottleTree, Birmingham, AL
3/14/07 Hi-Tone Cafe, Memphis, TN
3/16/07 Vogue, Indianapolis, IN
3/17/07 Newport Music Hall, Columbus, OH
3/19/07 Picador, Iowa City, IA
3/22/07 Hi-Dive, Denver, CO

Sweet jesus I am excited.

Monday, January 08, 2007

more from the loop machine front

Recently I fell in love with David Ford's 2006 release entitled I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I've Caused. It's a beautiful album. David was actually in town last May, opening for Gomez. I missed the show because I waited too long to get a ticket and it sold out. Had I known then of David Ford, I would have attended that show, to be sure.

Check out this video - one take of David doing State Of The Union. Brilliant.

Here is some more music from 2006 that I've been enjoying:

Clearlake - Amber
Frank Black - Fast Man Raider Man
Giddy Motors - Do Easy
Guillemots - From The Cliffs
The Hazey Janes - Hotel Radio
Kelley Stoltz - Below The Branches
The Kooks - Inside In Inside Out
The Lovely Feathers - Hind Hind Legs
The M's - Future Women
P.O.S. - Audition
Takka Takka - We Feel Safer At Night
Viva Voce - Get Yr Blood Sucked Out

Still wading through, barely making a dent...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

current news that makes me happy

I just heard another track off the upcoming Clap Your Hands Say Yeah release, Some Loud Thunder. It's called Yankee Go Home and is one of the many wonderful songs featured on Uncut Magazine's February 2007 CD:

The Hold Steady – Chips Ahoy!
Saint Thomas – Into Your Deep
The View – Wasted Little DJ’s
The Decemberists – The Crane Wife 3
Ryan Adams – Come Pick Me Up
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Yankee Go Home
Ray LaMontagne – Be Here Now
David Vandervelde – Nothin’ No
Pentangle – The Snows
Gruff Rhys – Beacon In the Darkness
Jamie T – Livin’ With Betty
Alasdair Roberts – Where Twines The Path
Tinariwen – Cler Achel
The Shins – Black Wave
Andrew Douglas Rothbard – Emerald Tendrills
Damn fine selection, no? I just can't believe that Some Loud Thunder has not leaked yet... only 9 more days 'til the pre-order MP3 download is available... but I'm very impatient for this one. :)

After 21 months of touring, We Are Scientists have started working on their sophomore album. Singer Keith Murray states: "It is going to mix the actual music of Editors with the actual lyrics of Arctic Monkeys and the three-part harmonies of the Eagles". :) Now if they'd only release Crap Attack here in the U.S....

Arcade Fire has made available the first single from their upcoming album, Neon Bible. You can hear Black Mirror at by clicking on Win's Scrapbook. Great tune. I don't think there's an official release date yet, outside of March/April 2007.

Edit: Neon Bible will be released in Europe on March 5, and in the US & Canada on March 6. Also, here is the tracklisting:
01 Black Mirror
02 Keep The Car Running
03 Neon Bible
04 Intervention
05 Black Wave Bad Vibrations
06 Ocean of Noise
07 The Well & The Lighthouse
08 Antichrist Television Blues
09 Windowsill
10 No Cars Go
11 My Body Is A Cage

Finally, Josh Ritter is playing Letterman this Friday, January 12. w00t!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

sparkle autumn defense horse!!

Wow, there are a lot of tour announcements post holidays, eh?

NME reports these Sparklehorse dates:

Austin Antone's (February 2)
Dallas Gypsy Tea Room (3)
Santa Fe Brewing Company (5)
Tempe Arizona Clubhouse Music Venue (6)
Solana Beach California Belly Up Tavern (7)
Los Angeles Henry Fonda Theatre (9)
San Francisco Fillmore Theatre (10)
Portland Wonder Ballroom (13)
Seattle Showbox (14)
Vancouver Richard's on Richards Cabaret (15)
Denver Gothic Theatre (17)
Minneapolis First Avenue (19)
Madison Wisconsin High Noon Saloon (20)
Chicago Metro (21)
Detroit Saint Andrews Hall (22)
Toronto Mod Club Theatre (23)
Montreal Club Soda (24)
Boston Paradise (26)
New York Webster Hall (27)
Baltimore Ram's Head Live (March 1)
Carrobo North Carolina Cat's Cradle (2)
Charleston South Carolina The Music Farm (3)
Atlanta Variety Playhouse (4)
I don't really care for how NME reports tour dates....

Plus, Wilco's John Stirrat's side project, the Autumn Defense, is also venturing out:

02-08 St. Louis, MO - Duck Room
02-09 Columbia, MO - Mojo's
02-11 Dallas, TX - Gypsy Tea Room
02-12 Austin, TX - Parish
02-14 Tucson, AZ - Plush
02-15 Phoenix, AZ - Modified
02-16 Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
02-17 San Francisco, CA - Swedish American Hall
02-19 Eugene, OR - Sam Bond's
02-20 Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
02-21 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
02-23 Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
02-24 Denver, CO - Soiled Dove
02-26 Kansas City, MO - Record Bar
02-27 Champaign, IL - Canopy Club
02-28 Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater
03-01 Madison, WI - Cafe Monmartre
03-03 Chicago, IL - Park West
03-09 Nashville, TN - Slow Bar
03-10 Oxford, MS - Proud Larry's
03-11 Meridian, MS - Opera House
03-13 Atlanta, GA - Earl
03-14 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
03-15 Vienna, VA - Jammin' Java
03-16 Philadelphia, PA - Northstar
03-17 Baltimore, MD - Fletcher's
03-19 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
03-20 Cambridge, MA - Middle East
03-21 Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
03-22 Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
03-23 Montreal, Quebec - Main Hall
03-24 Toronto, Ontario - Horseshoe
More tours, you say? Well, Low, where's the Denver date, dammit?

02-15 London, England - The Spitz
02-16 Bruges, Belgium - Concertgebouw
04-06 New York, NY - Webster Hall
04-07 Somerville, MA - Somerville Theater
04-09 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church Sanctuary *
04-10 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
04-11 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop *
04-12 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick *
04-13 Chicago, IL - Metro
04-14 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
04-27 Somerset, England - Butlins Holiday Resort Minehead (All Tomorrow's Parties)
04-28 Somerset, England - Butlins Holiday Resort Minehead (All Tomorrow's Parties)
04-29 Somerset, England - Butlins Holiday Resort Minehead (All Tomorrow's Parties)
06-13 Seattle, WA - Triple Door
06-14 Seattle, WA - Triple Door
06-15 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
06-16 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
06-19 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
06-20 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
06-22 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour
06-23 Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour

iowa is almost denver, right?

So, there's this band that I recently checked out, mainly because their album garnered an 8.4 from Pitchfork... you know, Pitchfork, that website that we all love to hate. Or hate to love, I always forget which....

The band is called Rock Plaza Central, and their new album is entitled Are We Not Horses. It's a brilliant concept album about mechanical horses that think they are real horses. I'm not kidding, I swear! Rock Plaza Central are from Toronto, and they have announced some tour dates:
01-06 Toronto, Ontario - Tranzac Rock'n'Roll Wedding 4 *
01-13 Ottawa, Ontario - Zaphod's #
01-18 Guelph, Ontario - E-Bar ^
01-27 Montreal, Quebec - Main Hall %
01-28 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace %$
02-17 Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands %+
03-31 Iowa City, IA - Mission Creek Festival

* with Lullabye Arkestra, Mantler
# with As the Poets Affirm, My Dad Vs. Yours
^ with Constantines
% with Oxford Collapse
$ with Thunderbirds Are Now!
+ with Meneguar

I just want to say that Denver is only 780 miles from Iowa City. So RPC - come on over... you can sleep on my floor. I'll make some supa-sweet black bean and sweet potato burritos. They are fabulous, I promise. Oh, and since I'm absolutely certain that you (you, not Rock Plaza Central...) want to hear Rock Plaza Central cover Sexyback, just click here... you know you wanna...

I also want to say that looking at these tour dates reminds me that I am going to miss an Oxford Collapse/Thunderbirds Are Now! show next month because I will be out of town. Now I am fucking pissed off again. I can't believe I have to miss this show... :(

Oh - and another current obsession (due to Kyle's best of 2006 list) is The Figurines' album Skeleton. I love it, yes I do. It's quirkyness somehow reminds me of the Starlight Mints. Skeleton is not a new album ('twas released back in March) but it flew under my radar at the time, so it's new to me. It probably could've made my top 50 if I'd heard it soon enough...

Oh music, I love you. I love you so hard.

Ghost Towns

I dropped a line, took a nap
I fell asleep on my back
I dreamed of the tears in your eyes
Your features grew like the tide

I need someone and you need someone to love tonight

Who needs someone?
Who needs someone to pick a fight?

I parked a bike down the aisle
Had conversations for a while
I long for the ghost towns and July
Your heart still belongs to the new guy

I need someone and you need someone to love tonight

Who needs someone?
Who needs someone to pick a fight?

Is what I need way too much?
Too much to ask for but not enough
I know I appeared and we tied
Do you still think we wasted our lives?

I need someone and you need someone to love tonight

Who needs someone?
Who needs someone to pick a fight?

I need someone and you need someone to love tonight

Who needs someone?
Who needs someone to pick a fight?

wincing your night away

Sub Pop darlings The Shins have announced some tour dates! Sweeeeet.

02-08 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue
02-09 Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom
02-10 Chicago, IL - Congress Theater
02-11 St. Louis, MO - The Pagent
02-12 Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall
02-13 Lawrence, KS - Liberty Hall
02-15 Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
02-16 Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue
02-20 Seattle, WA - Paramount Theater
02-21 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
02-25 London, England - The Astoria

Also, they will be performing on Saturday Night Live on January 13. Too bad SNL sucks. Can someone TIVO this for me, please?

The new album, Wincing The Night Away, is to be released on January 23. Pre-order it from Sub Pop. Or Insound. The album is fan-fucking-tastic!

Are you wondering what I'm listening to right now? Well, I'm listening to this:

Yeah, that's right, bitch.

Safety In Speed (feat. Craig Finn - fuck yeah!!)

I've only walked out on one single movie
It was an action adventure
It was a blood-sucking summer

And the posters in the lobby of the theater called it Predator
I called it weak and unwatchable
Carl Weathers and two future governers
You know, that's really unacceptable

We gotta stop falling for these double speakers from the double features
We gotta keep 'em in the theaters

So put your head up to the speakers
This is what it's like to stop talking and finally hear me

It's not concern you're itchin' to burn
I know you're dying to know
Homie I'm dying to listen and learn

So put your head up to the headphones
This is what it's like to drown out the psychos

I'm concerned you're itchin' to burn
I know you're dying to do it
But homie you gotta see how it's done

So put your gun in the shoebox
Put the box in the back of your closet and close the door

Between the kegs and the Maiden CD
I think this party's got about as much heavy metal as it's gonna need

So put your head up to the speakers
This is what it's like to stop talking and finally hear me

See we ain't got time to bleed
We hit the highways and skating on thin ice Mercedes in the street

You ever feel like you're being tricked, tricked-out, dipped, dicked around with
Or flat-out lied to?
Welcome to Hollywood, D.C., where Reagan youth grew up cowboys off Ronnie's westerns
That shoot 'em up, and steal the bucks
Tell em what's love and giddy-up, yeah off into the sunset

Years later we watched The Running Man and 2 of em ran and 1
Too star-struck to stick with the plan, huh?
I shoulda switched to Marlboros
Them cowboy killers
'Cause cowboy's are killing Camel Lights

Some mustached punk that evil Jafar
But for a middle eastern guy
I think Aladdin looked kinda white

We open wide and catch a bite of villain image
We swallow it, and feed it to the kids if the song's alright
It’s just the way it be, eyes wide shut up
And sit down, put your hands up for your turn to speak

Put your head up to the speakers
This is what it's like to stop talking and finally hear me

It's not concern you're itchin' to burn
I know you're dying to know
Homie I'm dying to listen and learn

So put your head up to the headphones
This is what it's like when you drown out all the psychos

I'm concerned you're itchin' to burn
I know you're dying to do it
But homie you gotta see how it's done

So put the gun in the shoebox
Put the box in the back of your closet and close the door

Between the kegs and the Maiden CD
I think this party's got about as much heavy metal as it's gonna need

Put your head right up to the speakers
You know, this is what it feels like when you stop talking and hear me

We ain't got time to bleed
We hit the highways and skating on thin ice Mercedes in the street

I got my Nikon
Let’s get our knife on
And get a couple snapshots of a bad move

Can you turn the light on
'Cause I forgot the flash
Want these proofs to prove what not to do

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

how i spent my christmas vacation

Well, due to the large number of albums that I missed, overlooked, or just plain ignored, there is no shortage of stuff to listen to from 2006. So that's what I did on my Christmas vacation. I listened to a shitload of music. Here, in no particular order, are several albums that I enjoyed. And please note that this is just a dent... there are still nearly 70 albums from 2006 queued on the iPod... I just need more than 24 hours in a day. Please?

The Longcut - A Call And Response
Heartless Bastards - All This Time
Lily Allen - Alright, Still
Yusuf Islam - An Other Cup
Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites
Muse - Black Holes And Revelations
Mates Of State - Bring It Back
CSS - Cansei de Ser Sexy
Stars Of Track And Field - Centuries Before Love And War
Asobi Seksu - Citrus
Greg Graffin - Cold As The Clay
The Plastic Constellations - Crusades
The Velvet Teen - Cum Laude!
Gob Iron - Death Songs For The Living
Electric President - Electric President
Lilys - Everything Wrong Is Imaginary
Film School - Film School
The Low Lows - Fire On The Bright Sky
The Dears - Gang Of Losers
Loney, Dear Sologne
So Many Dynamos - Flashlights
Adem - Love And Other Planets
The Figurines - Skeleton

And to think that, overall, 2006 was thought to be a year lacking in great new music. Damn. Here are some bands releasing albums that we can look forward to in 2007 (this list just was plain stolen from the More Cowbell site):

Alkaline Trio
Ambulance Ltd.
Apples In Stereo
Arcade Fire
Architecture In Helsinki
Art Brut
Bad Brains
Andrew Bird
Bloc Party
Blonde Redhead
The Breeders
Bright Eyes
British Sea Power
Built To Spill
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The Cure
Dinosaur Jr.
Do Make Say Think
Explosions In The Sky
Field Music
Final Fantasy
Neil Finn
The Go! Team
Jose Gonzalez
PJ Harvey
Norah Jones
Talib Kweli
LCD Soundsystem
Les Savy Fav
Ted Leo
Sondre Lerche
Magnetic Fields
Massive Attack
Maximo Park
Modest Mouse
Bob Mould
New Pornographers
Of Montreal
Grant-Lee Phillips
Polyphonic Spree
The Ponys
The Postal Service
Prefuse 73
Queens Of The Stone Age
Gruff Rhys
Rilo Kiley
Roxy Music (w/Eno)
The Sea And Cake
The Shins
Son Volt
The Stooges
Tegan & Sara
Rufus Wainwright
Gillian Welch
Lucinda Williams
Wolf Parade
The Wrens

My own personal comments?

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - fuck, yeah. I have been playing the hell out of the tracks they've made available so far. Say what you want about the band, but I cannot fucking wait for this album. Two more weeks 'til the MP3 download is available... I can't believe this thing hasn't leaked yet. Perhaps a perk of the whole CYHSY DIY philosophy? Now, I can understand how someone could be turned off by Alec Ounsworth's voice, but I love it. I love the whole fucking band. In fact, they are currently my favorite band. I really really feel bad for anyone who doesn't "get" their music. You're missing out, my friends!

Rilo Kiley - dear god, they need to release an album. I loved Jenny and Blake's side project 2006 releases, but I'm so ready for some new RK tunes.

Neil Finn - I will always love you.

British Sea Power - will this be with or without Eamon Hamilton? OK, so I already know the answer to this question... I was introduced to BSP through Brakes. I love everything that Brakes have done so far, so I will have to check this out!!

Andrew Bird - fuck you. Just kidding... :)

Wilco - ye-yah.

These are the 2007 releases that I've heard thanks to the ever-present internet leak factor:

Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
Gruff Rhys - Candylion
Low - Drums And Guns
Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destoyer?
The Bees - Octopus
LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
The Shins - Wincing The Night Away

While I haven't had time to digest all the new music, I can say that I am impressed by the Explosions In The Sky, Gruff Rhys, LCD Soundsystem and Shins records.

Yay 2007.