Thursday, November 29, 2007

dance music. from france!

Every once in a while I get unsolicited e-mails from bands or labels telling me about their music. I like this, it means people look at my blog, and I love attention just as much as anyone.

Most recently I was contacted by one of the two French brothers who comprise Spitzer, a pure electronica outfit. I checked out their MySpace, and while the music is not my cup of tea, I did have a couple of chuckles at their "About Spitzer" section, especially the one about the christian rock:

Few words about us.
- We are brothers
- We live in Lyon, France
- We play electronic music
- We use computers and machines
- We know how to play drums and guitar
- We want you to dance to our music
- We are not Djs but producers
- We can do remixes
- We listen to any kind of music except christian rock
- We want you to be our friend
- We can play at your club: booking
- We can provide you some of our songs for your blog or your sets
- We give you a beautiful artwork if you click here
- We are currently working on our first 4 tracks EP named "Roller Coaster"
- We are Spitzer
Thx for your attention.

Damien & Matthieu

So anyway, if you like electronica/techno you should go check them out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a realization

I was born and raised in Colorado, but I'm pretty sure my soul is Canadian.

I've been working a lot lately on my "Top Albums Of 2007" list and it dawned on me that two Canadian bands, and their respective offshoots, have comprised much of my listening pleasure over the past couple of years.

Take Broken Social Scene, for one. Kevin Drew's album is almost certainly going to end up in the top 10 this year. Amy Millan figured high on the list last year. Emily Haines, Feist, Do Make Say Think, Apostle Of Hustle... all have released very solid albums in '06-'07, though this year's veritable avalanche of great music will unfortunately keep some of them off my best of list for this year.

Next up, Frog Eyes. I love Spencer Krug, no doubt about it. Sunset Rubdown featured high last year and will without a doubt do so again in 2007. I like the new Frog Eyes as well, though I don't think it has quite enouh muscle to make my top 50. Handsome Furs, though? Probably. And Johnny And The Moon and Swan Lake both released exceptional albums last year. Wolf Parade just fucking kills.

So, rambling? Probably. I like the New Pornographers and Kids In The Hall too.

Monday, November 26, 2007

pretty, pretty

We have a great new look at the web 'zine I write for The Line Of Best Fit. Check it out.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

indie vs. corporate: have we become too snobby for our own good?

In an attempt to get something constructive done today, I put some football on in the background and sat down at my laptop to finish up some writing. Before long my ear was caught by the familiar "take another picture with your click click click click camera" lyric from Bishop Allen's "Click, Click, Click, Click" off their excellent The Broken String. I was drawn into the commercial, but really only paid attention because I wanted to know who one of my favorite bands had jumped into bed with. Sony, it turns out.

It all got me thinking about how much "selling out" uproar there's been recently: Wilco + Volkswagon; Of Montreal + Outback Steakhouse a while back, now T-Mobile; and of course the now infamous Band Of Horses + Wal-Mart. I've always been for bands being able to quit their day jobs to make me happier with more music and more tours, but I will admit the Wal-Mart thing was a bit wrenching... probably because it's Wal-Mart, which is less like selling out and more like selling your soul. Ben Bridwell & co. did semi-fix it in the end, though, by opting out of the commercial deal they had with the mega-corporation. The website that featured their song was only active for a couple of weeks, so THAT mess is over now. I just wish people would get over calling them Band Of Whorses. Boy, did THAT get old fast.

Anyway, though this is now pretty old news, hearing Bishop Allen on the TV today caused me to recollect the brilliant Kevin Barnes brilliant essay on selling out:
Selling Out Isn't Possible
by Kevin Barnes

Are you a sell out? Yes. Don't let it bother you though, cause apparently I am also a sell out, and so are your parents and everyone you've ever known. The only way to avoid selling out is to live like a savage all alone in the wilderness. The moment you attempt to live within the confines of a social order, you become a sell out. Once you attempt to coexist you sell out. If that's true, then selling out is a good thing. It is an important thing. If we didn't do it, we'd be fucked, quite literally, by everyone bigger than us physically who found us fuckable.

The pseudo-nihilistic punk rockers of the 70's created an impossible code in which no one can actually live by. It's such garbage. The idea that anyone who attempts to do anything commercial is a sell out is completely out of touch with reality. The punk rock manifesto is one of anarchy and intolerance. The punk rockers polluted our minds. They offered a solution that had no future. Of course, if the world would have ended before Sandinista! was released then everything would have been alright. It didn't. Now we have all of these half-conceived ideas and idiot philosophies floating around to confuse and alienate us. I think it is important to face reality. It is important to decide whether you are going to completely rail against the system or find a way to make it work for you. You cannot do both -- and if you attempt to do both you will only become even more bitter and confused.

When I was younger, and supported my parents, I chose to float between the two. A lot of people choose to do this. There are so many confused young people running around now polluted by this alloyed version of the tenets of the punk rock manifesto. Of course they're confused. It isn't possible to be in chorus with capitalism and anarchy. You must pick one or the other. Very few people are willing to do it, though. The worst kind of person is the one who sucks the dick of the man during the daytime and then draws pictures of themselves slitting his throat at night. Jesus Christ, make up your mind! The thing is, there is a lack of balance. When capitalism is working on a healthy level, everyone gets their dick sucked from time to time and no one gets their throat slit. It's impossible to be a sell out in a capitalist society. You're only a winner or a loser. Either you've found a way to crack the code or you are struggling to do so. To sell out in capitalism is basically to be too accommodating, to not get what you think you deserve. In capitalism, you don't get what you think you deserve though. You get what someone else thinks you deserve. So the trick is to make them think you are worth what you feel you deserve. You deserve a lot, but you'll only get it when you figure out how to manipulate the system.

Why commercialize yourself? In the art industry, it's extremely difficult to be successful without turning yourself into a cartoon. Even Hunter S. Thompson knew this. God knows Duchamp and Warhol knew it. Some artists are turned into cartoons and others do it themselves. I prefer to do it myself. at least then I can control how my cock is photographed. Why should it be considered such an onerous thing to view the production of art as a job? To me, the luckiest people are the ones who figure out a way to earn a living doing what they love and gain fulfillment from. Like all things in this life, you have to make certain sacrifices to get what you want. At least most of us do. If you're not some trust-fund kid or lotto winner, you've got to slave it out everyday. People who wanna be artists have the hardest time of it 'cause we are held up to these impossible standards. We're expected to die penniless and insane so that the people we have moved and entertained over the years can keep us to themselves. So that they can feel a personal and untarnished connection with our art. The second we try to earn a living wage or, god forbid, promote our art in the mainstream, we are placed under the knives of the sanctimonious indie fascists. Unfortunately, there isn't some grand umbrella grant that supports indie rockers financially and enables us to exist outside of the trappings of capitalism.

The thing is, I like capitalism. I think it's an interesting challenge. It's a system that rewards the imaginative and ambitious adults and punishes the lazy adults. Our generation is insanely lazy. We're just as smart as our parents but we are overwhelmed by contradicting ideas that confuse us into paralysis. Maybe the punk rock ethos made sense for the "no future" generation but it doesn't make sense for me. I like producing and purchasing things. I'd much rather go to IKEA than to stand in some bread line. That's because I don't have to stand in a bread line. Most people who throw around terms like "sellout" don't have to stand in one either. They don't have to stand in one because they are gainfully employed. The term "sellout" only exists in the lexicon of the over-privileged. Almost every non-homeless person in America is over-privileged, at least in a global sense.

Obviously, I've struggled with the concept. I've struggled because of the backlash following my songs placement in TV commercials. That is, until I realized that the negative energy that was being directed towards me really began to inspire my creativity. It has given me a sense of, "well, I'll show them who is a sellout, I'm going to make the freakiest, most interesting, record ever!!!" ... "I'm going to prove to them that my shit is wild and unpolluted by the reach of some absurd connection to mainstream corporate America."

I realized then that, for me, selling out is not possible. Selling out, in an artistic sense, is to change one's creative output to fit in with the commercial world. To create phony and insincere art in the hopes of becoming commercially successful. I've never done this and I can't imagine I ever will. I spent seven years not even existing at all in the mainstream world. Now I am being supported and endorsed by it. I know this won't last forever. No one's going to want to use one of my songs in a commercial five years from now, so I've got to take the money while I can. It's the same with pro athletes. You only get it while you're hot and no one stays commercially viable for long. It's not like Michael Vick is going to be receiving any big endorsement deals anytime soon. As sad as it may seem, one of the few ways most indie bands can make any money whatsoever is by selling a song to a commercial. Very very few bands make enough money from album sales or tour revenue to enable themselves to quit their day job.

Next time you see a commercial with one of your favorite bands songs in it, just tell yourself, "cool, a band I really like made some money and now I can probably look forward to a few more records from them." It's as simple as that. We all have to do certain things, from time to time, that we might not be completely psyched about, in order to pay the bills. To me, the TV is the world's asshole boss and if anyone can earn some extra bucks from it and they're not Bill O'Reilly, it's a good thing.
The question now becomes, how do we go about getting that grand umbrella grant that supports indie rockers financially?

So that's about it for my feeling-guilty-for-not-posting-anything-but-upcoming-shows-Sunday-afternoon-stream-of-consciousness-post. Indie bands that I love, go forth and sellout, I don't care. Just try to stay away from Wal-Mart. And Starbucks.

shows of interest for 11/26 - 12/2/07

Sorry my blog sucks lately, guys...

Monday, November 26
Adam Pedersen @ Larimer Lounge
Die Mannequin @ Hi-Dive

Tuesday, November 27
Buck 65 @ Fox Theatre
The Elders @ Soiled Dove
Solemn Empire @ Larimer Lounge

Wednesday, November 28
Before Rome @ Larimer Lounge
Chicago Afrobeat Project @ Fox Theatre
Enslaved @ Bluebird Theater
Envy On The Coast @ Marquis Theater
Stephen Pearcy @ Soiled Dove

Thursday, November 29
Carbon Choir @ Larimer Lounge
CU West African Highlife Ensemble @ Bluebird Theater
Dan Walker @ Swallow Hill
Dirty Sweet @ Fox Theatre
Machine Gun Blues @ Walnut Room
Mustangs & Madras @ Lion's Lair
P-Nuckle @ Gothic Theatre
The Pirate Signal @ Hi-Dive
Verbal Terrorists @ Pasquini's

Friday, November 30
Blue Angels @ Lion's Lair
Boulder Acoustic Society @ Swallow Hill
Cat-A-Tac @ Hi-Dive
Dogs In The Yard @ Walnut Room
Frontside Five @ Bluebird Theater
Hellzyeah! @ Larimer Lounge
Killbox @ Gothic Theatre
Nina Storey @ Fox Theatre
Soul School @ Soiled Dove
The Tossers @ Marquis Theater

Saturday, December 1
Asphodel @ Larimer Lounge
Bad Weather California @ Hi-Dive
Deborah Harry @ Bluebird Theater
Groove Hawgs @ Soiled Dove
Jonathan Davis (Korn) @ Ogden Theatre
Lannie Garrett's Platforms & Polyester Disco Revue @ Fox Theatre
Lords Of Fuzz @ Lion's Lair
Skeleton Witch @ Marquis Theater
Winter Rockfest @ Gothic Theatre

Sunday, December 2
Goodbye Timebomb @ Larimer Lounge
Jackie Greene @ Bluebird Theater
Youssou N'Dour @ Boulder Theater

Sunday, November 18, 2007

shows of interest for 11/19 - 11/25/07

How is it Thanksgiving already?!?!?

Monday, November 19
Annuals @ Hi-Dive
Spindrift @ Larimer Lounge
Spitalfield @ Marquis Theater

Tuesday, November 20
Juliette And The Licks @ Marquis Theater
Straylight Run @ Bluebird Theater
Thunder Malloy @ Larimer Lounge

Wednesday, November 21
Attack Of The Eddie B @ Hi-Dive
Everything Absent Or Distorted @ Bluebird Theater
Great American Taxi @ Fox Theatre
Opie Gone Bad @ Soiled Dove
Red Stinger @ Larimer Lounge
Suzanne Vega @ Boulder Theater

Thursday, November 22
Trans Am @ Larimer Lounge

Friday, November 23
Across Tundras @ Hi-Dive
As I Lay Dying @ Gothic Theatre
The Axe That Chopped The Cherry Tree @ Marquis Theater
Chris Voth @ Soiled Dove
Desol @ Fox Theatre
The Dropskots @ Bluebird Theater
Jett Black @ Larimer Lounge
John Butler Trio @ Ogden Theatre

Saturday, November 24
Bayside @ Gothic Theatre
Diecast @ Marquis Theater
Eplilogues @ Bluebird Theater
The Gold Medalists @ Hi-Dive
John Butler Trio @ Ogden Theatre
Silverchair @ Fox Theatre
Valio Mierda @ Larimer Lounge

Sunday, November 25
Cafe Tacuba @ Gothic Theatre
Greasehead @ Larimer Lounge

Sunday, November 11, 2007

shows of interest for 11/12 - 11/18/07

Monday, November 12
Alasdair Roberts @ Larimer Lounge
The Hold Steady/Art Brut @ Ogden Theater
Say Hi To Your Mom/The Velvet Teen @ Hi-Dive
Tifah & The Autumn Film @ Fox Theatre

Tuesday, November 13
Alter Bridge @ Fox Theatre
Boys Like Girls @ Boulder Theater
MV & EE @ Hi-Dive
Puddle Of Mudd @ Gothic Theatre
Sea Wolf @ Larimer Lounge
The Swell Season @ Ogden Theater

Wednesday, November 14
Feist @ Ogden Theater
Joseph Israel @ Fox Theatre
Old Crow Medicine Show @ Bluebird Theater
Three On A Match @ Larimer Lounge

Thursday, November 15
Bob Schneider @ Bluebird Theater
Cracker/Jason Isbell @ Fox Theatre
Nekromantix @ Gothic Theatre
Old Crow Medicine Show @ Boulder Theater
Robbers On High Street/Great Northern @ Larimer Lounge
Saturday Looks Good To Me @ Hi-Dive

Friday, November 16
Cracker @ Bluebird Theater
Firefall CD Release Party @ Soiled Dove
Helles Belles @ Fox Theatre
Hi-Dive 4th Anniversary @ Hi-Dive
The Hollyfelds @ Larimer Lounge
JJ Grey & Mofro @ Ogden Theater
Random Hero/Life In Electric @ Gothic Theatre

Saturday, November 17
Baby Loves Disco @ Boulder Theater (11:00 AM - for the kids!)
Born In The Flood @ Hi-Dive
Celebration @ Larimer Lounge
Circa Survive @ Bluebird Theater
The English Beat @ Gothic Theatre
Helles Belles @ Fox Theatre
Of Montreal @ Ogden Theater
Zach Galifianakis @ Boulder Theater

Sunday, November 18
Big Time Entertainment Show @ Hi-Dive
Colder Than Fargo @ Larimer Lounge
Opie Gone Bad @ Gothic Theatre

Friday, November 09, 2007

eels tour

So I got really excited this morning when I got a MySpace bulletin proclaiming an Eels tour in 2008, only to click over to the Eels home page and discover all confirmed dates are in Europe. Damn. But there is a promise that more dates are coming soon, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

It's been waaaaaay to long since I've had live Eels...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


To: Denver
Re: Last night's sold out Mountain Goats show at the Hi-Dive (but mostly re: the opening band)

1) I did NOT stand in the freezing cold outside for 45 minutes and inside the hot venue for 30 minutes to see you make out. Buy a CD and stay at home. It'll be cheaper.

2) I did NOT stand in the freezing cold outside for 45 minutes and inside the hot venue for 30 minutes to have you push in front of me the instant the music began. And yes, I will keep my elbow in your back until you get the fuck out of my sightline to the stage.

3) I did NOT stand in the freezing cold outside for 45 minutes and inside the hot venue for 30 minutes to listen to you talk about how hot the accordian player is. Do a google image search, buy a CD, and stay at home. It'll be cheaper.

4) Many of you are way too tall.

To: Hi-Dive
Re: Last night's sold out Mountain Goats show

1) Why was I standing outside for 45 minutes? In November? It was cold!! If you are going to sell tickets online with the only pick-up option being will call, get a guy who can check an ID in less than a minute. Seriously.

2) Your website said the doors time for the Mountain Goats show was at 7:00. But the opening act didn't even come on until 9:45. I mean, I guess that's how long it took your guy to check people in, but this is not a new issue. Like the time you advertised doors at 9:00 and I arrived at 9:30 only to discover that I'd already missed the opening band who I was really there to see in the first place.

3) I still love you.

To: Mountain Goats
Re: Last night's sold out Denver show

1) You guys rock. John Darnielle, you are a lyrical genius.

2) Despite my ranting, it was still possible to hear a pin drop during your set. That was awesome.

3) I always knew that I loved you, but I didn't realize how much until tonight. Thank you for a three song encore in a venue where ANY encore is like an endangered species.

4) I'm pretty sure that I won't be listening to anything but Mountain Goats for several days. I blame you. Mountain Goats.

5) Come back soon. Please.

PS - in the "universe you suck" files, the Stars played last night at the Gothic. As much as I love the Stars... I made the right choice. Indeed.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

shows of interest for 11/5 - 11/11/2007

Man, it's quiet around here lately...

Monday, November 5
Alela Diane @ Hi-Dive
Back Door Slam @ Fox Theatre
Film School @ Larimer Lounge
New Pornographers @ Gothic Theatre
The Pipettes @ The Walnut Room

Tuesday, November 6
Coheed And Cambria @ Fillmore Auditorium
The Invisible Now @ Larimer Lounge
Mountain Goats @ Hi-Dive
Stars @ Gothic Theatre
State Radio @ Bluebird Theater
Will Hoge/The Broken West @ Fox Theatre

Wednesday, November 7
Aqueduct @ Hi-Dive
Danzig @ Ogden Theater
Prong @ Larimer Lounge
State Radio @ Fox Theatre
The Vincent Black Shadow @ Bluebird Theater

Thursday, November 8
Do Make Say Think @ Bluebird Theater
Ghostface Killah @ Ogden Theater
Ian Cooke @ Larimer Lounge
Maple Tigers @ Hi-Dive
Rob Drabkin @ Fox Theatre
Tickle Me Pink @ Gothic Theatre

Friday, November 9
All Capitals @ Larimer Lounge
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ Bluebird Theater
Homestyle @ Fox Theatre
The Motet @ Gothic Theatre
Neil Hamburger @ Larimer Lounge
New Found Glory @ Ogden Theater
Thank God For Astronauts @ Hi-Dive

Saturday, November 10
All Capitals @ Larimer Lounge
The Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ Fox Theatre
La Quinta Estacion @ Ogden Theater
Parts & Labor @ Hi-Dive
The Thermals @ Gothic Theatre
Thursday @ Bluebird Theater

Sunday, November 11
The Hold Steady/Art Brut @ Fox Theatre
Robin Thicke @ Gothic Theatre
Valient Thorr @ Larimer Lounge