Tuesday, August 28, 2007

is there a ghost

Who wants to hear the opening track on the new Band Of Horses album? I thought so...


It rocks. Here's the artwork for Cease To Begin again because it's so glorious:

voxtrot postpones several dates...

... including my birthday show at the Bluebird. Boo. From Voxtrot's MySpace:

Oh, it's crazy times here at Voxtrot HQ! We were just getting ready for a couple of weeks back home, when the Arctic Monkeys rang up to see if we'd join them on their US tour. We said yes, of course. How could we pass that up? Unfortunately, as a result, it means that we're cancelling the rest of our European dates as well as the US west coast. Most of the cancelled dates will be rescheduled before the end of the year... we'll keep you in the loop.

The UK single for "Firecracker" just got pushed back a week and will now be released on September 3rd. The a-side is a slightly reworked version of the track, while the b-side is called "Honey Bee", and was pulled from the LP sessions. It will be available on CD and 7-inch formats. If you pick it up via iTunes, you recieve a third song as well, called "Loan Shark". Two of the three songs can now be streamed on our Myspace page.

We stopped by MTVu to film a Backstage Pass segment, which was pretty fun! You can see the results HERE.

We also played Siren Festival later that week, played skeeball with Lavender Diamond for Spinner.com, and sat down for a chat with Filter TV.

For those of you who don't know about the new record yet, we're happy to fill you in. Our first full-length record is finally in stores worldwide! We recorded it with the amazing Victor Van Vugt (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Luna) in Austin and NYC. The record is 11 tracks long, eponymously titled Voxtrot, and can be found via Playlouder/Beggars Group just about everywhere. We also want to point out that if you purchase the vinyl LP, you receive a coupon for a free digital/MP3 copy of the record. If you pick it up through iTunes, you get two bonus songs, "New Love" and "Loan Shark" as an iTunes Exclusive.

All eight Reaching For The Lasers "making of the record" mini-documentary episodes are now up! If you haven't seen them yet, you can find them at http://www.reaching4lasers.com/. There are also clips of the new record, and free desktop wallpaper and AIM icon downloads.

Wed 5 - New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage AA ¢ SOLD OUT
Thu 6 - Providence, RI @ Lupos Heartbreak Hotel AA ¢
Tue 11 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall AA ¢
Wed 12 - Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom AA ¢
Thu 13 - Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theatre AA ¢
Sun 16 - Dallas, TX @ Palladium Ballroom AA ¢
Mon 17 - Houston, TX @ Verizon Wireless Theatre AA ¢¥
Tue 18 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues 18+ ¢
Fri 21 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre AA ¢
Sat 22 - Tuscon, AZ @ Rialto Theatre AA ¢
Tue 25 - Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium AA ¢
Thu 27 - San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium AA ¢
Fri 28 - Eugene, OR @ Mcdonald Theatre AA ¢
Sat 29 - Seattle, WA @ Wamu Theatre AA ¢
Sun 30 - PNE Forum @ Vancouver, BC AA ¢

Wed 3 - Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club 18+ %
Thu 4 - Chicago, IL @ Metro 18+ %
Sat 6 - Washington, DC @ Black Cat AA %£
Sun 7 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church AA %*
Tue 9 - Toronto, ON @ Mod Club AA %*
Wed 10 - Ottawa, ON @ Zaphod Beeblebrox 19+ %*
Thu 11 - Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa AA %*
Fri 12 - Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street AA %*
Sat 13 - Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Downstairs 18+ %*
Sun 14 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 16+ %
Mon 15 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg 21+ *

AA = All Ages
¢ = w/ Arctic Monkeys
¥ = w/ Queens of the Stone Age
* = w/ 1990s
% = w/ The Little Ones
£ = w/ House & Parish


Monday, August 27, 2007

brilliant albums for brilliant people #4

Oh, sure I've talked up The Broken Family Band plenty (see here). Welcome Home, Loser is probably the album I've listened to the most in the past few months. I'm feeling a bit short on words today, so I'll say this: Buy it. Love it. Thank me.

The Broken Family Band - Welcome Home, Loser
available: 2/14/2005
Track & Field

Sunday, August 26, 2007

shows of interest for 8/27-9/2/07

August 27th Monday
All Teeth And Knuckles @ Larimer Lounge
Andy McKee @ Walnut Room
Diana Krall @ Red Rocks
Girl In A Coma @ Bender’s Tavern
Subhumans @ Marquis Theater
Ukelele Loki’s Folderol Follies @ Fox Theatre

August 28th Tuesday
Dark Meat @ Hi-Dive
Combichrist @ Oriental Theater
Homestyle @ Fox Theatre
Honeytribe @ Soiled Dove
Magnolia Electric Co. @ Bluebird Theater
Shooting Azimuth @ Larimer Lounge
Voodoo Organist @ Lion’s Lair

August 29th Wednesday
Amos Lee @ Denver Botanic Gardens
The Nancy Drews @ Larimer Lounge
Shakedown Street @ Oriental Theater
Soullive @ Fox Theatre
The Wild Birds @ Walnut Room

August 30th Thursday
Alice Peacock @ Trilogy Lounge
American Head Charge @ Gothic Theatre
Blue Turtle Seduction @ Fox Theatre
Dualistics @ Hi-Dive
Hopesfall @ Marquis Theater
Ian Cooke @ Lion’s Lair
Kamelot @ Bluebird Theater
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum @ Ogden Theater
Unmerciful @ Oriental Theater
Von Skinny @ Larimer Lounge

August 31st Friday
Alice Peacock @ Soiled Dove
Apex Vibe @ Walnut Room
The Apples In Stereo @ Bluebird Theater
Ben Kweller @ Club 156
Blues Night @ Oriental Theater
Denver Fest @ Larimer Lounge
Dierks Bentley @ Red Rocks
Every Last Word @ Lion’s Lair
Fresh Flash @ Hi-Dive
Gina Go Faster @ Pasquini’s
Global Hour @ Gothic Theatre
The Gones @ Larimer Lounge
Jackie Greene @ Fox Theatre
Weird Al Yankovic @ Coors Amphitheatre

September 1st Saturday
5280 @ Gothic Theatre
Alvin Youngblood Hart @ Bluebird Theater
B.B. King @ Red Rocks
Ben Harper @ Mackey Auditorium
Mark Darling @ Lion’s Lair
Weather The Storm @ Larimer Lounge
Wilco @ Fillmore Auditorium
Under A Blood Red Sky (U2 Tribute) @ Oriental Theater
Yonder Mountain String Band @ Fox Theatre

September 2nd Sunday
Denver Fest @ Hi-Dive
P.O.S. @ Fox Theatre
Scorpion Child @ Larimer Lounge
Wilco @ Fillmore Auditorium
Yonder Mountain String Band @ Red Rocks

Friday, August 24, 2007

never mind the rpc tour...

I just heard from Chris Eaton that the previously reported tentative Rock Plaza Central Colorado date has fallen through. Bummer. If I get any other RPC tour news, you'll be the next to know... :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

brilliant albums for brilliant people #3

So we're going back a ways for this one, but who ever said these had to be recent albums, huh? Figurines may well be my favorite Danish indie pop band... umm... not that I know of many Danish indie pop bands, but still...

Figurines are yet another band that refuse to be pigeonholed. I've seen them compared to Modest Mouse, Built To Spill, The Shins, and even Band Of Horses: all of which I can acknowledge. But make no mistake, this young band harbors a sound all their own. Skeleton is a quirky album brimming with catchy hooks, melodies and lyrics.

Sadly I discovered this gem too late to include on my best of 2006 list, but it is certainly worthy of the critical acclaim it did receive. Skeleton's follow-up When The Deer Wore Blue is to be released in the States on September 11 - fans of Zombies/Beach Boys 60's pop take note... :)

Figurines - Skeleton
available: March 7, 2006
The Control Group

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

cease to begin

I can't wait for the new Band Of Horses album. Set to be released on October 9, Cease To Begin now has artwork to go along with the tracklist. It's lovely:


1. Is There a Ghost
2. Ode to LRC
3. No One’s Gonna Love You
4. Detlef Schrempf
5. The General Specific
6. Lamb on the Lam (in the city)
7. Islands on the Coast
8. Marry Song
9. Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
10. Window Blues
Here's a sampling - an MP3 courtesy of my friends at The Line Of Best Fit: No One's Gonna Love You (live).

Monday, August 20, 2007

bright eyes tour

Last time Conor & co. came to Denver was the day that I left for vacation... this time he's competing with Okkervil River @ The Marquis. Sorry, Conor...
09.13 Denver, CO - Ogden Theatre
09.14 Boise, ID - Big Easy Concert House
09.15 Spokane, WA - Big Easy Concert House
09.16 Olympia, WA - Capitol Theatre
09.18 Fairbanks, AK - University of Alaska - Fairbanks
09.19 Anchorage, AK - University of Alaska - Anchorage
09.20 Anchorage, AK - University of Alaska - Anchorage
09.22 Seattle, WA - Quest Field - End Fest 2007
09.23 Eugene, OR - McDonald Theatre
09.24 Chico, CA - Senator Theatre
09.29 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl (w/ LA Philharmonic)

the hold steady and art brut to tour

Together. Whoa.

10-21 Providence, RI - Lupo's
10-22 Boston, MA - Roxy
10-23 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
10-24 Raleigh, NC - Disco Rodeo
10-25 Athens, GA - 40 Watt
10-26 Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre
10-27 Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
10-29 Pontiac, MI -Crofoot Ballroom
10-30 Chicago, IL - Metro
10-31 Chicago, IL - Metro
11-01 Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre
11-04 Seattle, WA - HUB Ballroom
11-05 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
11-06 San Francisco, CA - Warfield Theater
11-07 Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern
11-08 San Diego, CA - Cane's
11-09 Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre
11-11 Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre
11-12 Denver, CO - Ogden Theater

11-13 Lawrence, KS - Granada
11-14 Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom
11-15 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
11-17 Birmingham, AL - BottleTree Annex
11-18 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
11-19 Richmond, VA - Toad's Place Richmond
11-20 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
11-21 New York, NY - Terminal 5
I'm thinking the Boulder/Denver two-fer will be extremely difficult to pass up...

And don't forget - Art Brut will be at Monolith!

shows of interest for 8/20-26/2007

As I spent the weekend having my ass kicked by a head/chest cold (doubly irritating as I was supposed to spend the weekend at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival...), this week I am deferring to wonderful MusicRex.com for the live show listings.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

rock plaza central... <3

I just found out that Rock Plaza Central have tentative plans to come through Colorado in early November, very exciting news! If you've not heard them, you're seriously missing out. Go to their MySpace to hear some songs and see some tour dates. If you can catch them with O'Death, don't miss it.

Since they are a poor indie band, they're always looking for someone willing to put the 5 (or 6) of them up for the night. If you have the space to accommodate them (sadly I don't) you can contact Chris at chrisrulesbigtime at sympatico dot ca. Chris does rule big time... :) And watch out for that early November date... w00t!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ladybug transistor (i'm out of clever titles...)

The Ladybug Transistor/Papercuts/Widowers
Hi-Dive, Denver, CO

In my determination to NOT miss the Papercuts set last night, I arrived at the Hi-Dive promptly at 9:00. However, as is my luck these days, the show didn't start until 9:30. Ah well, I was there in plenty of time to catch the openers – local band Widowers, who list the likes of The Beach Boys, The Zombies, Wilco and The New Pornographers among their influences. They were quite good, showcasing their brand of reverb-y psych pop in a pleasant 6-song set.

A short time later Papercuts took the stage, and so did the myriad technical problems. Over the course of the 40-minute set, Jason Quever and co. encountered a malfunctioning pedal, a malfunctioning microphone, and a drum that decided to fall over mid-song. Quever was visibly frustrated, though most of the problems seemed to be solved by the halfway point. Regardless of the technical difficulties, and the "long day" Quever claimed the band had had, Papercuts turned in a lovely performance. Unsurprisingly, most of the songs were chosen from this year's acclaimed release Can't Go Back; while Papercuts didn't play my personal favorite Take The 227 th Exit, they did put a smile on my face with Dear Employee and John Brown.

In sharp contrast to the almost weary tone of the Papercuts set, The Ladybug Transistor were bordering on giddy by the time they began their show. Gary Olson was definitely the focal point on stage as he juggled the trumpet, tambourine, shakers, claves, and what appeared to be a beat up old bass guitar with just two strings. Then there's his mellow baritone… studio recordings don't do this man justice; in the live setting his voice wraps itself around you like a nice warm hug.

Approximately half the songs were taken from the recent (and lovely) release Can't Wait Another Day, including Terry, For No Other, This Old Chase, So Blind, Always On The Telephone, and Three Days From Now (perhaps due to the passing reference to Denver?). It was a night for technical problems though as Gary's pedal was on the fritz off and on throughout the set. The band took it all in stride by bantering with the crowd a bit between songs - about Denver's altitude (a tired subject to us locals), Julia's greatest onstage fear (sneezing), and the Big (Abraham) Lincoln Head Monument in Wyoming. The hour long set was a blast; The Ladybug Transistor are an absolute joy to watch – you can't ask for more than outstanding musicians who undeniably have a great time playing together.

Monday, August 13, 2007

brilliant albums for brilliant people #2

I had no intention of talking up The Broken String this week, but everything changed when I saw Bishop Allen last week and became hopelessly obsessed with this album. A lot to be said about this band was mentioned in my review of the show, most notably that one of the reasons I love them so is that they simply cannot be categorized.

Somehow, some way, Bishop Allen completely flew under my radar last year... Band core members/founders Justin Rice & Christian Rudder hit a wall in recording the follow-up to their debut Charm School. After stumbling across a discarded piano (the Muse behind the track Corazon) and attempting to learn songs on the liberated instrument, Rice & Rudder entered into a double-dog-dare kinda situation and ended up goading each other into releasing one EP every month. Eleven EPs of four songs each (August's disc was a live show recording) is an impressive feat for even the most prolific of artists. The fact that nearly 100% of the material on those EPs is pure gold is just icing on the cake. Nine of The Broken String's twelve tracks were culled and re-worked from the EPs.

Though some are stronger than others, there is not a weak track on this album. Justin Rice's tenor resonates throughout, and although tenuous at times, it works for these songs; Christian Rice is brilliant as multi-instrumentalist/vocalist. Out of the whirlwind couple of weeks that has seen me "discovering" them, listening incessantly to The Broken String, Charm School and the EPs, and most spectacularly seeing them live, Bishop Allen have cemented a spot as one of my favorite bands at the moment.

Bishop Allen - The Broken String
available: July 24, 2007
Dead Oceans

Sunday, August 12, 2007

shows of interest for 8/13 - 8/19/2007

Sorry, no links this week...

Monday, August 13
Sleeper Horse @ Larimer Lounge
ZZ Top/The Pretenders/Stray Cats @ Red Rocks

Tuesday, August 14
Harry & The Potters @ Boulder Public Library
The Ladybug Transistor/Papercuts @ Hi-Dive
Sulla @ Larimer Lounge

Wednesday, August 15
311/Matisyahu @ Red Rocks
A Switchblade Affair @ Larimer Lounge
Bitter:Sweet/Paper Bird/Jim Bianco @ Walnut Room
Red Walls/Achille Lauro @ Hi-Dive
Reverend Horton Heat @ Fox Theatre
The Unloveables @ Pasquini's

Thursday, August 16
Beastie Boys @ Red Rocks
Gordon Lightfoot @ Denver Botanic Gardens
The Insomniaks @ Pasquini's
The Shift @ Larimer Lounge
Oakhurst @ Gothic Theatre
Reverend Horton Heat @ Ogden Theatre

Friday, August 17
(die) PILOT @ Hi-Dive
Ashley Raines @ Larimer Lounge
Beastie Boys @ Fillmore Auditorium
G. Love & Special Sauce @ Red Rocks
Gordon Lightfoot @ Chautauqua Auditorium
Rocky Mountain Folks Festival @ Planet Bluegrass
Old School @ Boulder Outdoor Cinema

Saturday, August 18
Only Thunder @ Larimer Lounge
Rocky Mountain Folks Festival @ Planet Bluegrass
Wendy Woo @ Boulder Theater
Elf @ Boulder Outdoor Cinema

Sunday, August 19
Pelican @ Marquis Theater
Rocky Mountain Folks Festival @ Planet Bluegrass
Whiskey Throttle @ Larimer Lounge

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

okkervil update

When I was trying to convince y'all to buy the new Okkervil River album, The Stage Names, I neglected to mention that if you buy the CD you get a bonus disc of demo versions of all the songs (= nothing more than Will Sheff + guitar). Of course, I hadn't heard the demo disc until today, so I couldn't have been too convincing about it at the time, could I? Well, now I'm emphatically urging you to buy it. The demo disc is precisely why I even got the CD... (I got the LP too, cuz I love records). At least it was worth it.

Trust me.

well, i did it again.

Bishop Allen/Page France
Hi-Dive, Denver, CO

Oh, Hi-Dive, why do you hate me so? I had been looking forward to seeing Page France for weeks. It's fairly standard for shows at the Hi-Dive to start around 9:00; it's also fairly standard that three bands, sometimes four on weekends, play at any given show. I arrived at the venue at 9:40, heard house music and sensed the flurry of action that indicates a set change. I thought I'd played it perfectly, showing up just in time for Page France's set. My stomach dropped when I moved into view of the stage as I realized that Michael Nau was packing up. I'd missed their set completely... so, after missing half of Dan Deacon's set a few weeks back, missing an entire Blitzen Trapper set last week, and now last night's debacle, the score stands: Hi-Dive: 3, Bridget: 0.

It was a 16+ show, so the fence was up. I debated whether to hang back by the bar or duck into the fenced-up crowd. Opting for the latter, I headed for the stage, dodging scene kids left and right. It was a good choice - Bishop Allen puts on a hell of a live show. Multi-instrumentalist Christian Rudder was apparently under the weather, but you couldn't tell - he played his guitar, ukulele & trumpet with much gusto.

I was surprised at how bold Justin Rice's voice was in the live setting; he sings rather tenuously on much of Bishop Allen's studio material, almost Conor Oberst-like in some instances. He's got a great voice, very expressive and the sort where you're reminded of another singer but can't quite place your finger on who it is.

A big part of Bishop Allen's charm is the mish-mash of different styles they adopt: the sweet lilting of Butterfly Nets, the mariachi-tinged Like Castanets, the manic bounciness of Middle Management, and the epic swell of Flight 180, to mention a few. At the end of the night, Bishop Allen had played a poppy and delicious sixty-minute set that seemed over in the blink of an eye. The band performed with infectious enthusiasm and by the last song the entire crowd was singing, dancing, and smiling. They're coming back in October supporting John Vanderslice. Oh, I am so there.


The Same Fire
Busted Heart
Click, Click, Click, Click
Like Castanets
The Monitor
Things Are What You Make Of Them
Middle Management
Choose Again
Butterfly Nets
Flight 180
-a rare Hi-Dive encore!-
Charm School
These Arms Of Mine (Otis Redding)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

i *heart* girls with guitars

Girls with guitars are fabulous. I got to the Hi-Dive last night just in time for local Le Boom's final song. It's impossible to form an opinion on them from that one song, but they did have a girl. And she played guitar. Just like both bands to follow...

It was the second band that I had come to see - The Comas. I recently fell in love with their current release Spells and somehow missed their last trip through Denver with The Veils back in June. The comparatively mild Spells belies The Comas live show as this band builds a magnificent wall of sound via dual lead vox/electric guitars, thumping bass, keyboards, and a drummer who pounds the hell out of his kit. Andy breaking his guitar strap rockin' out on the first song was the perfect indication of what we had to look forward to. Most, if not all, the songs were culled from Spells and Conductor. My only gripe with the set was that the vocals were mixed too low and were buried under the powerful music.

Headlining the whole affair was Los Angeles' Great Northern. As I watched them set up I couldn't help but wonder whether this young band's live show would be as impressive as their light display: drums and keyboards adorned with Christmas lights and red-lit lamps placed strategically about the Hi-Dive's small stage.

Great Northern took no time at all to charm the mid-sized crowd with their dreamy, not quite shoegazey, pop. I have a particular fondness for percussion, a fact that I don't exactly keep hidden. Great Northern, with their tambourines, jingle bells, shakers, and stand alone drum fit that bill to a T. The ease and comfort with which these ladies and gentlemen play together is astounding considering the band is just two years old. Co-lead vocalists Solon and Rachel were especially engaging with the perfect amount of crowd banter.

With only one album to draw from, the set was a bit on the short side (around 50 minutes); nearly all the songs on Trading Twilight For Daylight were played. The stunning show came to a head with three of The Comas joining in, banging on tambourines for the last number - a bring-the-house-down rendition of Into The Sun. Great Northern is headed for spectacular heights, keep an eye out.

All photos courtesy of Cause=Time.

Monday, August 06, 2007

brilliant albums for brilliant people #1

Hey, a new feature! This is where I will choose a brilliant album every week, and then tell you why you should buy it. :)

Okkervil River's The Stage Names is hardly a new subject for this blog, but it comes out tomorrow so I deemed it fit for the first installment of brilliant albums.

Will Sheff is a master not only of unfurling stories within his songs, but going the next step to unfurl stories within entire albums. As 2005's Black Sheep Boy was built conceptually around the cover of Tim Hardin's song of the same name, The Stage Names plays out as a (semi-)autobiographical journey through the life of a "Rock And Roll Man". Sheff's clever lyrics wend and weave through 9 tracks about movies vs. life, realities of the road, unfaithfulness and failed suicide.

Sheff's lyrics are no doubt the most notable feature on any Okkervil River album, but even so it would be difficult to overlook the many other layers that contribute to the success of the album: dense instrumentation (rollicking piano, big guitars, horns, strings), backing vocals, and Sheff's voice itself. It's no big secret among Okkervil River fans - Sheff's voice, while extraordinarly unique, is not the best in the world. But with The Stage Names he's taken his vocals to a new level and has never sounded better. Plus, he can still whip himself into a good ol' frenzy by the end of a song.

Though the subject matter of The Stage Names may seem a bit dismal, the overall feel of this record is vastly more upbeat than Black Sheep Boy. There is not a bad song on the album, and Okkervil even manages to get away with a could-have-been-disastrous Beach Boys tribute of sorts in album closer John Allyn Smith Sails. I'd never have thought it possible, but in time this album may very well prove itself stronger than Black Sheep Boy.

Okkervil River - The Stage Names
available: August 7, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

it's really impossible to have a bad time in colorado. and that's the damn truth.

So says Ryan Adams.

I’m not one to support faceless corporate America in such a way as attending a Starbucks-sponsored concert, but seeing Ryan Adams will beat out my conscience every time.

I really wanted to see the Old 97's, but we got in only in time to see their last three songs (Barrier Reef, Murder (or a heart attack), Timebomb). But as I discovered today, so did Rhett... thanks to a flight delay. Now I'm just wondering what they did before Rhett showed up? Maybe played a string of Murray songs? That would have been fun... was anyone there who would care to enlighten me?

This was my first experience seeing homegrown DeVotchka, and they didn't disappoint. With countless instruments in their arsenal (including sousaphone, accordion, violin, trumpet, various percussion, bouzouki, upright bass), they easily won over the Red Rocks crowd with their unique brand of greek-punk-mex-americana. I've never been able to really sink my teeth into their studio material, but I may have to give it another chance.

Up next was Lucinda Williams. Although it goes without saying that she is an Americana institution, I have never gone out of my way to listen to her music. Nevertheless, I was excited to see her; it felt like the first time I saw Bob Dylan - living legend and whatnot. What followed, I am almost ashamed to say, was ninety minutes of me alternately being bored out of my mind and having my ears blown out by the way-too-loud electric guitar. Blasphemous as it may seem, I didn't enjoy her at all. Lucinda seemed disinterested through most of the set - though this could just be her stage demeanor. It took her half an hour to break out Right In Time, the first upbeat - and likely my favorite - song of the set. The other standout, though not in a good way, was new song Honeybee. Honeybee is a bluesy-punk number with completely banal, embarrassing lyrics. Perhaps the cold truth is that I am just not a fan of Lucinda Williams.

Finally, The Cardinals took the stage at 11:00. Opener Magnolia Mountain kicked off a string of seven songs which found the Cardinals channeling Jerry Garcia & The Dead, with every number turning into a lengthy jam. Beautiful Sorta launched the more country-rock latter half of the show. This band is tight, tight, tight at the moment; they play extraordinarily well together and the harmonizing is just breathtaking. Dear Chicago was easily the highlight of the evening.

As a long time defender of Ryan Adams - through all his temper tantrums, hissy fits, fan ejections, profanity-laced voice mails, etc., etc., etc. - it's awfully gratifying to see that he has finally grown up. He's clean & sober, he's found himself a niche with the Cardinals, and by all accounts is playing and singing more professionally than ever. Ryan exhibited confidence and precision in his performance last night. And while he seems to be more comfortable than ever in his own skin within the confines of his songs, he revealed quite a bit of nervous energy in his bantering with the crowd. He did, however, prove an ability to poke a little fun at himself: "If this wind kicks up any more I'll really be able to storm offstage... if you know what I mean". I knew he had it in him.

Magnolia Mountain
Peaceful Valley
Easy Plateau
Goodnight Rose
Let It Ride
Cold Roses -> What Sin Replaces Love? -> Cold Roses
Beautiful Sorta
When The Stars Go Blue
I Taught Myself How To Grow Old
A Kiss Before I Go
Dear John
Please Do Not Let Me Go
Dear Chicago
Wild Flowers
I See Monsters

Friday, August 03, 2007

rogue wave tour

It certainly is a happy day for tour announcements! Some of the shows are available for fan presale, check out the band's MySpace for details.

09-09-07 Flynn Theatre, Burlington, VT*
09-11-07 Ram's Head Live!, Baltimore, MD*
09-12-07 Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA*
09-13-07 Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, PA*
09-14-07 Messiah College, Grantham, PA*
09-15-07 Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor, MI*
10-10-07 The Casbah, San Diego, CA
10-11-07 El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
10-12-07 Bimbo's 365 Club, San Francisco, CA
10-13-07 TBA
10-15-07 Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
10-16-07 Neumo's, Seattle, WA,
10-19-07 Bluebird Theater, Denver, CO
10-20-07 The Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS
10-21-07 The Waiting Room, Omaha, NE
10-23-07 400 Bar, Minneapolis, MN
10-24-07 The Double Door, Chicago, IL
10-29-07 Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA
10-30-07 Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
11-01-07 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
11-05-07 The Black Cat, Washington, DC
11-06-07 Satellite Ballroom, Charlottesville, VA
11-09-07 Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN
11-10-07 The Bottletree, Birmingham, AL

*opening for Feist

blitzen trapper - second chance

Blitzen Trapper, who's opening set I completely missed the other night, is returning to Denver next month! Even better, Two Gallants is opening... :)

08-03 Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe #
08-05 Portland, OR - PDX Pop Now! Festival
09-17 Portland, OR - Berbati's Pan *
09-18 Vancouver, British Columbia - Media Club *
09-19 Seattle, WA - The Crocodile *
09-20 Boise, ID - Neurolux *
09-21 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court *
09-22 Denver, CO - Hi-Dive *
09-23 Rapid City, SD - The Imperial Inn *
09-24 Fargo, ND - Aquarium *
09-26 Minneapolis, MN - Turf Club *
09-27 Iowa City, IA - The Picador *
09-29 Chicago, IL - Schubas *
09-30 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop *
10-02 New York, NY - Gramercy Theatre *
10-04 Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church *
10-05 Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs *
10-06 Baltimore, MD - Sonar *
10-07 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel *
10-08 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506 *
10-09 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn *
10-12 Beaumont, TX - Vortex *
10-13 Austin, TX - Mohawk *
10-15 Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture *
10-17 San Diego, CA - The Casbah *
10-18 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre *

# with Jennifer Gentle
* with Two Gallants

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

who wanna rock with aqueduct?

Well, me for one. Of course, I also wanted to rock with Blitzen Trapper and Smoosh, but seeing as how I can't seem to figure out door time vs. show time at the Hi-Dive, some things are just not to happen. Blitzen Trapper was to open this evening's festivities, and were really the band that I wanted to see the most. I checked before I left - doors at 8:00; in my experience this means the show is supposed to start at 9:00, but in actuality rarely starts before 9:30. Being me, I still managed to leave the house later than expected (I'm hopelessly tardy in every way, shape and form), but did get to the Hi-Dive by 9:30. As I arrived I heard music from inside the venue and my heart sank a little as I realized that I missed the beginning of the Blitzen Trapper set. Once I was inside, noticed the goddamn cage was up again, and saw that Smoosh was onstage... Well, the best I could hope for was a change of order, that Blitzen Trapper was going to play after Smoosh. Never my luck though...

I had to've caught most of the Smoosh set, as they played for half an hour after I arrived. The girls were definitely more confident and less like deer in headlights than when I saw them last summer. Of course, I imagine that opening for Aqueduct at the Hi-Dive must be at least slightly less intimidating than opening for the Eels at the Fox Theatre. For being teenage girls, this band certainly brings me lots of enjoyment. Besides the poppy songs, they are, from my experience, completely unpretentious kids who just love music. I'll never forget them coming out for the Eels encore of I Like Birds, where Krazy Al literally lifted them in turn up to the mike to sing lyrics. Tonight they appeared in the front row at the Hi-Dive just after Aqueduct began their set. Oh, the energy of teenagers... joining them both dancing in the front row and onstage for a couple of songs was their bass player, who I can only assume is their younger sister. For the past couple of years these girls have undeniably been catching the eye of some major players - Jason McGerr, Mates Of State, Pearl Jam, Sleater-Kinney, Cat Power, Sufjan Stevens, Eels, The Go! Team... keep an eye on these kids.

And Aqueduct. They were a lot of fun. I always love a band who truly seems to be having a blast onstage. And no doubt David Terry turned in a fun-loving performance almost worthy of Craig Finn. Aqueduct was in town a few months ago, with What Made Milwaukee Famous opening. I know I wanted to make the show, but I can't remember what prevented it. From what I'd heard, WMMF pretty much stole the show... But I really enjoyed Aqueduct tonight. They proclaimed tonight the "best show of the tour so far". Of course, we were, like the 4th show, but still. Yay Denver. No doubt I'll see these guys again - which will be this fall, unless we were lied to tonight.

But I'm still pissed that I missed Blitzen Trapper.