We've really been digging Land Of Talk's latest record, not to mention their debut EP. As such, we couldn't be happier to see that they're finally making it out West! The band will be starting out in their Canadian homeland, and then gradually making their way down the coast before bouncing back up to Vancouver for the final show of the tour. For you locals, that means a January 24th show at Bottom Of The Hill.
We also happened to spy a myspace blog entry from the band dated October 8th this morning. Apparently original bass player Chris McCarron has left the band (on good terms) to play guitar for The Dears, and Joe Yarmush has taken his place. You can get your full up close and personal intro to Joe Yarmush as he intros the video above. Silly times, kids. Silly times.
Land Of Talk Tour Dates 2009:
Jan 14 2009 Ebar (Zeroes & Little Scream) Guelph, Ontario
Jan 15 2009 Horseshoe Tavern (Zeroes & Little Scream) Toronto, Ontario
Jan 16 2009 The grad club (Zeroes & Little Scream) Kingston, Ontario
Jan 21 2009 High Dive Seattle, Washington
Jan 22 2009 Doug Fir porland, Oregon
Jan 23 2009 San Bond’s Eugene, Oregon
Jan 24 2009 Bottom of the Hill San Fransisco, California
Jan 26 2009 Casbah San Diego, California
Jan 28 2009 Spaceland Los Angeles, California
Feb 7 2009 Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, British Columbia
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
We're perfectly willing to admit that we're obsessed with Frightened Rabbit. Guilt factor = 0. What's that, you say? So obsessed that we'd be more than willing to post and enjoy their cover of cheesey dance songs? Yes, that obsessed.
"Set You Free" is to be released on Engine Room's Guilt By Association 2, along with a bunch of other questionably ironic cover tunes. Video above, audio below. Take your pick!
mp3: Frightened Rabbit - Set You Free (N-Trance Cover, click through)
Stream: Guilt By Association 2 (Full Record)
We're going to assume, given that it's Thanksgiving week and all, that many of you will have a fair dose of free time on your hands over the coming days. Well, all things being equal, you may as well fill that time with some of the good tunage that's out there waiting for you. If you manage to tear yourself away from all the awesome new music out there, then we encourage you to take a step back and head over to Wolfgang's Vault. The always-awesome archive of Bill Graham's concerts is hosting an Elvis Costello & The Attractions show from 1978, and it's not to be missed. It's a recording from The Winterland right in the midst of Costello's pissed off young man phase, and the set is rife with the frustration and angst of his first two records. Highly recommended.
Stream - Elvis Costello Live At Winterland 06-07-1978
San Francisco local Mark Kozelek, he of Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters, has a new record (credited as a solo effort) largely of cover tunes coming out entitled The Finally LP. The record drops on December 9th from Caldo Verde Records. Last week's "Gum Drop" over at Stereogum featured a quick interview and managed to finagle a free mp3 out of the deal, a cover of Husker Du's "Celebrated Summer".
Kozelek has a pretty solid history of reworking covers (see "Silly Love Songs" and
All Mixed Up" for two), and this record looks promising. Apparently it's culled from 10 years of bonus tracks and unreleased material, with the intent of getting some of the rarer material out there legitimately. In addition to two original instrumentals, it features songs by Low, Will Oldham, and Stephen Sondheim, among others. If the mp3 below is any indication, it looks to be a choice piece of text book Kozelek, and we mean that in the best way possible.
mp3: Mark Kozelek - Celebrated Summer (Husker Du cover, click through)
Monday, November 24, 2008
If you're not in the mood for viewing some free Noise Pop 2008 footage, and you fancy that you could do with a little bit more noise in your night, then allow us to recommend you head over to the Great American and check out Times New Viking and Deerhunter. Both bands are getting a suitable amount of hype these days, and from all we can tell, it's well deserved. Sure, there're stories of Deerhunter shows falling apart at the seams, but what's rock and roll without some drama and risks? Hit it!
mp3: Deerhunter - Wash Off
Our continual, enraptured use of eMusic often leads us to discover many bands through the music site's recommendations engine. It does a pretty solid job at looking at what you're downloading, and finding some other bits you might enjoy. Both Frightened Rabbit and Army Navy fell into our laps this way, and we couldn't be more pleased.
So this morning, as we logged on to eMusic to download our monthly fix, we browsed our way over to the "New And Noteworthy" section, and stumbled upon the new record from French Miami. We listened for a bit, and the more we listened, the more we liked it. The band's sound combines sweet analog synth tones with crinkly guitars and driving beats to create a vibe that is at the same time messy and highly precise. Put differently, controlled chaos. It's good, and it makes us happy.
Even more exciting than discovering a new record, is dicovering that these guys are locals! That's right: San Franciscans, hometown heroes. Their record is even on local artists' collective Dinner Party Records. What this means for you is that they'll be wrapping up their current tour on December 19th at The Bottom Of The Hill. We're not saying you have to be there, but we are saying it'll be our last show in town before we head to see our fams for the holidaze. We don't take that sort of thing lightly.
mp3: French Miami - The Goddamn Best
mp3: French Miami - Science Fiction
Well, we're getting into the second half of the year, which means that the buzz about this year's Noise Pop will be starting right about....now.
The Noise Pop...Committee? Organization? Promoters? We don't know. Anyway: those kind folk who bring you Noise Pop each year have announced the initial bands in the 2009 lineup. The list includes AC Newman, No Age, Antony and The Johnsons, Clues (former Unicorns), Goblin Cock, and Dear And The Headlights. Obviously, as is the case with such a monster event, there are more names (100 bands!) still to come down the pike.
Additionally, the on-sale of Noise Pop badges (read: admission to all gigs, space permitting) has also been announced. The haloed admission passes will be going on sale December 10th at 10 AM via an exclusive site that has yet to actually exist. Indeed.
Obviously Noise Pop 2009 is still very much developing, so keep an eye out for more news. As a side note, tonight at Madrone there will be a showing of a Noise Pop 2008 video compilation. Free to all takers, so, you know - if you're looking for something cheap to do, probably a solid bet.
Jay Bennett has been busy. Holed up in his own Pieholden studios, he's apparently recorded two albums worth of material, and now is simply tasked with deciding how and when to release them. Not a bad spot to be in, we suppose.
Well as of today, Bennett has decided to release the first record, entitled Whatever Happened, I Apologize, through the online music site rockproper.com. As to why he released this record first? Apparently, much like a tootsie pop, the world may never know. On his myspace blog, Bennett simply stated:
Fair enough. As for the record, it is strikingly and surprisingly completely free. You simply go to the rockproper site and download a hefty zip file full of tasty new mp3s. We're thinking this may be a good strategy for Bennett, as there may be a world of Wilco fans out there who are interested enough to listen, but maybe on the fence enough not to drop $12 on a CD.
We just finished our download, but from what we can tell at first listen it's an earnest set of polished, acoustic rock songs. In other words, classic Jay Bennett. Check it out below.
mp3: Jay Bennett - Whatever Happened, I Apologize (full record download)
Friday, November 21, 2008
You may remember that yesterday we weren't really sure what to expect from Anya Marina's set at Cafe Du Nord, and that we were banking heavily on her Britt Daniel-related credentials. Well, suffice it to say, there was no need to worry: Marina, with only an acoustic guitar and a handful of beat machine backing tracks, delivered a show that was as solid as it was enjoyable, with a little comedy to boot.
The thing that struck us most immediately about the performance was Marina's highly competent guitar playing. It's far to often that you go to see an artist see a "solo set", and wind up hearing strummy strummy chord action that yields little or no original vibe. Marina's guitar playing was exactly the opposite: she had the technical chops to play intricate, syncopated parts, while at the same time giving each part it's own unique character.
On top of her guitar playing chops, Marina also had the songwriting skills to keep her tunes from just being typical folky ditties. The lyrics were sufficiently abstract, and the melodies unique enough, to yield songs that left the listener with some room for their own interpretation. Despite having a song featured on Grey's Anatomy, Marina's songs didn't feel canned, or like they were catering to some predetermined adult alternative target market.
Finally, it would be remiss to discuss the set without at least mentioning Marina's playful stage banter. She seemed completely at home on stage, and engaged the audience with a range of stories and reflections. Maybe this is sourced in her days as a DJ, or maybe it just comes naturally. Regardless, she roped in the crowd, and it was the biggest round of applause we've heard for an unfamiliar opening act in quite some time.
More pictures at the HAD Archive
Typically when we get Insound's "Free MP3 Of The Week" it tends to be a little underwhelming. It's either a band we've already heard, or a the latest buzz band that's already been hyped to high heaven, or something that doesn't catch our fancy in any particular way.
However, this week is different: the track is from New Zealand's Cut Off Your Hands, and is called "Happy As Can Be". From the second we put it on, we were pretty much won over. Repeated listens have only increased our enthusiasm, so needless to say: it's good. The track is full of driving energy, and to our ears winds up being somewhere in the territory of Morrissey meets Phil Spector meets a Christmas Carol (that's probably just the tubular bells getting to us, though). Anyway, there's no need for you to sit around and listen to us blab about it: go get the track now!
mp3: Cut Off Your Hands - Happy As Can Be (courtesy of Insound's mp3 of the week)
Not So Silent Night Preparty Features Vampire Weekend, Cold War Kids, Audrey Sessions: Tickets On Sale Now
Tickets are on-sale now.
This morning we decided to check out 330 Ritch's December schedule (well, actually, Popscene's), and we were pleasantly suprised to see that the venue is hopping for the holiday season. Most notably, on December 11th Popscene will be hosting the Not So Silent Night afterparty, and Franz Ferdinand will be DJing. A week later, Popscene will be having their own "holiday ball", and NYC hot-item The Virgins will be in the house. Granted, the place is always a mob scene, but if you're feeling the holiday party vibe, maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
It drops on Sunday (we have no idea why), but if you just can't wait, then head to Guns N Roses myspace page and hear the long awaited, much maligned, finally-truly-coming-out, Chinese Democracy. Sure, it's crass, and grandiose, and ridiculous, but um, really? What else were you expecting? You have heard Guns N Roses before, right?
UPDATE: The New York Times has a feature...
Stream: Guns N Roses - Chinese Democracy
The track is a quick acoustic lament of love lost, and melodically reminds us a fair bit of "The Twist" from the band's last record. Although production wise, it's far simpler then the stuff on Midnight Organ Fight. All in all, we're not totally shocked that the track ended up as a giveaway, since it seems a little less compositionally complete then the band's album material. That being said, we're pretty much suckers for these guys at the moment, so anything they put out there, we're gonna gobble up.
mp3: Frightened Rabbit - Last Tango In Brooklyn (Link courtesy Pitchfork)
We have to say, after reading The Stranger Dance's post on Anya Marina, we're pretty sure we got the same press packet they did. Which is to say, Anya's people very cleverly scoped out which blogs were big Spoon fans (we happen to know that Stranger Dance <3 Spoon just like we do), and leveraged Britt Daniel's involvement with Marina's record to generate interest.
Which, to be frank, is not a particularly bad idea: The legacy of producers adding value to a record is long and storied. Transformer is essentially a Bowie album, with the added bonus of super tasty Lou Reed icing. In this case, apparently Daniel lent his production ear to an array of tracks on Ms. Marina's new record. So that being what it is, we're pretty interested to hear what she has going on. Apparently there was a bit of a writing slump, and Daniel decided to help her out by sending a disc of beats and bumps to get her on her way. How kind.
Anyway, we're sure you're wondering how this all applies to you. Well, read the title! Ms. Marina will be at the Cafe Du Nord tonight, and if the track below is any indication, she's putting out pretty tasty rock tunage. There's a taste of Macy Gray vocals in there, and when it kicks into some syncopated jamz, well, it sounds pretty fine. She's the opener, so get there early (9 PM) to get the goods.
mp3: Anya Marina - Move You (YouSendIt, click through)
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Word just came over the wire that there's a new EELS track on the soundtrack to the new Jim Carrey/Zoey Deschanel film Yes Man. The track is available as a myspace stream at the moment, and we just had a listen. Frankly, to our ears, it's pretty boiler-plate EELS. That is to say, probably a fair bit better than 90% of what's out there, but pretty forumlaic for Mark Oliver Everett. Mellow, semi-spoken verses with strummy guitar, followed by upbeat catch phrase ("It's time to man up!") chorus.
Don't get us wrong, we're always glad to hear some new EELS, but this track seems to be ideally suited for how it's been used: as soundtrack-quality filler. That being said, don't take our word for it: head over to myspace and check it out for yourself (it's song number two in the player)...
Sure, we're based in San Francisco, but we like to think that there're probably some folks out there reading who have managed to transcend our Bay Area focus, and just come aboard to enjoy the wit and banter.
For those people, well, here's a treat for your Thursday morning: Ryan Adams and the Cardinals have added three nights to their US tour, and the presale is tomorrow morning. Judging by the dispersal of these dates, we'd guess there's more to come. In the meantime, if you're in one of the lucky three cities, well - go forth and get some tickets! You're welcome.
2/26 – Columbia, MO- Missouri Theater
Presale starts Thursday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Friday at Noon here
2/20 – New Haven, CT – Shubert Theater
Presale starts Thursday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here
2/21 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater
Presale starts Thursday at 10am here
Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday at 10am here
Okay, so first let us do our part by quickly admitting our mistakes: We had (apparently overzealously) reported that Scott Weiland would be playing the Regency Grand late this month to support his new record. Well, it turns out he will be playing the Regency Grand, just not until February 5th. In fact, he has a nationwide tour planned that will cover both coasts (and in between) over the next few months. Frankly, we think this is a good thing, as it gives us time to get nice and familiar with his new solo record Happy In Galoshes.
Now, about that record. Frankly, we're sorta fan boys for Scott Weiland. We even met him in a bar in LA once, and he was a most gracious and chill dude. What's more, the guy has a killer voice and real rock and roll attitude. Sure he's had his share of rough spots, but we basically loved everything STP put out, and (even if we were in the minority) we really, really, liked his first solo album. The Velvet Revolver stuff was a little too far into the "hard rock" arena for our liking, and so we're glad to see him coming a bit back to the middle on the new solo disc. That disc drops next week, but you can hear it in its entirety right now at Mr. Weiland's myspace page. Enjoy.
Scott Weiland Tour Dates 2008/09:
Nov 21 2008 The Jay Leno Show Los Angeles, California
Nov 23 2008 American Music Awards Los Angeles, California
Nov 24 2008 Virgin Megastore Appearance Hollywood, California
Nov 25 2008 CD Release Party! Las Vegas, Nevada
Nov 26 2008 Jimmy Kimmel Live Los Angeles, California
Dec 1 2008 WMMR For Hunger Drive Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dec 2 2008 Release Party @ Gramercy New York, New York
Dec 3 2008 WBCN Boston Appearance Boston, Massachusetts
Dec 6 2008 Borgata Atlantic City, New Jersey
Dec 7 2008 WRFF Acoustic Show Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Dec 16 2008 Voodoo Lounge Kansas City, Missouri
Dec 17 2008 KPNT Appearance St. Louis, Missouri
Dec 18 2008 Q101 Chicago Appearance Chicago, Illinois
Jan 16 2009 La Zona Rosa Austin, Texas
Jan 17 2009 Warehouse Live Houston, Texas
Jan 19 2009 Center Stage Atlanta, Georgia
Jan 21 2009 TBA Baltimore, Washington DC
Jan 23 2009 Theatre of Living Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jan 24 2009 TBA Sayreville, New Jersey
Jan 26 2009 TBA Boston, Massachusetts
Jan 28 2009 St. Andrew’s Hall Detroit, Michigan
Jan 30 2009 TBA Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jan 31 2009 TBA Minneapolis, Minnesota
Feb 2 2009 Gothic Theatre Denver, Colorado
Feb 5 2009 Grand Ballroom San Francisco, California
Feb 6 2009 The Pearl Las Vegas, Nevada
Feb 7 2009 TBA Los Angeles, California
The Walkmen are putting together a brief West Coast tour at the end of January, and the 21st will see them stopping off at The Fillmore. This is the biggest room they've played in SF in a while, so it'll be interesting to see how it affects their show. What's more, seeing them in San Francisco's most historic rock venue will be a treat unto itself. We've been really digging You & Me, and The Walkmen are one of our faves. Despite a little bit of disenchantment the last time we saw them, it certainly didn't sway us in the least. Add to that the bonus of Beach House opening, who we've heard great things about live. Suffice it to say, we're psyched.
Tickets go on-sale this Sunday through Ticketmaster, or through the Fillmore box office.
Walkmen Winter 2008/09 Tour Dates:
December 6th 2008 TLA Philadelphia, PA (with Beach House) December 16th 2008 Brooklyn Masonic Temple (with The Dodos) January 19th 2008 Belly Up San Diego (with Beach House)
January 20th 2008 Henry Fonda Theater Los Angeles (with Beach House)
January 21st 2008 Fillmore San Francisco (with Beach House)
January 22nd 2008 Wonder Ballroom Portland (with Beach House)
January 23rd 2008 Neumos Seattle (with Beach House)
Over the past 20 or so years, we here at HAD have grown progressively more skeptical of Rolling Stone. The once great music magazine has become a largely industry fed advertising machine, and it's seldom that they even focus very intently on music. That being said, we like the new magazine format that debuted earlier this year, and it seems like perhaps they've realized that they need to "get back to basics" and get some quality music driven content up in that piece.
All that leads us to this item: Rolling Stone's "Greatest 100 Singers Of All Time". Now, typically we would be skeptical of such a list. For one, lists like this are never definitive, and highly subjective. What's more, it becomes almost a bore to go over a list that will inevitably be so predictable (and indeed, it is). However, what caught our eye about this particular list is the fact that it was voted on and written by musicians themselves.
Such a voting populace at least intrigued us enough to see how things panned out. Upon closer observation, the top 10 articles are written by noted members of the voting block, and you can even click through to view hand written ballots. Sure, most of the list pans out exactly as you'd expect it to, but it's still pretty cool to see Iggy Pop singing the praises of James Brown. Pretty solid.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
We here at HAD have been big fans of Insound for a while now (in fact, we just got our new Sea and Cake vinyl from them today!). They've really taken the concept of the online record store and done it right. They have great selection, great service and competitive prices. More importantly, they package their vinyl correctly so that it arrives in pristine condition. Yum.
Given all that, we were psyched to hear that Insound has collaborated with local silkscreen house The Small Stakes to create the "Insound 20". The set is a collection of clothing and posters designed by The Small Stakes exclusively for Insound in limited editions, and to be frank, most of them look pretty cool. On top of all that, the proceeds go to benefit the New York chapter of Dave Egger's 826 charity.
So, what does this all mean for you, you ask? Well, Insound and The Small Stakes have decided to have a launch party for the Insound 20 right here in San Francisco! The shindig is going to be at The Curiousity Shoppe this Friday night (the 21st) from 6-9PM and wine and snacks will be served to those lucky attendees. What can we say? Music? Art? Wine? Sounds like a good time! Get yerself on down to the Mission to see some product.
As an aside, The Small Stakes just released a poster for last week's Crooked Fingers gig. Neat.
Thanks to The Modern Age for the tip.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Last night at The Rickshaw Stop, Army Navy and The Shys loaded in to co-headline a night of thoroughly solid rock and roll. The bands have vastly different sounds, but the combination of the two served to balance well. Moreover, the camaraderie and love of music between all the musicians involved was very clearly evident. These are two bands that love touring, and more importantly, love touring together.
Army Navy played first, and delivered exactly what we had been hoping for. The first half of their set played it safe, and stayed pretty close to the record. As the night went on however, the band loosened up and really hit their stride. The vocals got more emotive, the guitars more aggressive, and the whole sonic palate got wider and more enjoyable.
In spite of having driven over their guitarist's foot last week, and coming to a less-than-packed Sunday night show in San Francisco, the band really delivered. Their live set is energetic, enthusiastic, and pushes the boundries of their recorded work. Frankly, we'd like to see them put a record out there that gets their live sound down on tape, but in the meantime, seeing them live will suffice.
The Shys followed Army Navy with a set of impeccably tight, blues driven rock and roll. Given frontman Kyle Krone's somewhat Brit-influenced look, we were surprised when the band dove into a set that was more Jane's Addiction then it was The Jam. Despite our initial skepticism, the band definitely won us over, and after a great set (and two multi-band on-stage singalongs) we were definitely on board with their performance and showmanship.
The bands are continuing their West Coast tour over the next couple of days, including a date in Santa Cruz tomorrow night. If you're feeling the urge for some solid tunage, we recommend checking it out - you won't be disappointed.
Many more pictures over at the HAD Archive
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Well, this is just cool. Apparently an unreleased, epic, 14 minute psychedelic experimental Beatles track called "Carnival Of Light" is in the vaults - and Paul McCartney wants to release it. The track has only been played once, at a music festival in 1967. From descriptions of those who have heard it, it's apparently a large mass of random noise and music, formed largely in an improvisational bent. A new album of lovely songs it is not.
In light of his new Fireman release, McCartney is apparently feeling a bit insecure about his experimental rock cred - and thinks this would solidify it. We have to admit, Sir Paul's rep certainly does roll more in the category of "Silly Love Songs", but to be frank, we're not sure one release from 1967 would change all that. The guy still wrote some of the most accessible, poppy, fantastic music ever created. The Guardian UK has the full story.
In the meantime, we're still waiting for 24 bit remasters of The Beatles catalogue. Please?
If you find yourself in the mood for a Sunday night show (and we know, that can be difficult at times), may we politely suggest tonight's bill at The Rickshaw Stop? The bill features Army Navy playing (we believe) their first San Francisco show. The band has gotten a fair amount of press from being heavily featured on the indieriffic soundtrack to Nick And Norah's Infinite Playlist, and their self-titled debut dropped last month to positive reviews.
We've listened to the record a fair amount, and let us say this: there can be no argument that it is well written, jangly, pop music. The tunes are killer, the production is solid, and everything about the record sounds the way rock-solid pop music should. If we had to drop a sonic comparison, The La's would most certainly be the thing that comes to mind. Justin Kennedy's vocals even share a pretty strong similarity to those of Lee Mavers.
That being said, the record just hasn't quite grabbed us full-force. It lacks something in the passion department that leaves us perfectly willing to acknowledge the quality of the record, but not picking it up for spin after spin. We're hoping that the live show will do something to change that. Records like this don't just appear out of thin air, so we're sincerely hoping that the talent that went into this one will manifest its soul a bit more in the live setting.
The Shys co-headline tonight's show at The Rickshaw Stop.
mp3: Army Navy - My Thin Sides (mp3 courtesy pitchfork)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Which is your favorite of The Strokes' side projects?
Of course we have opinions of our own, but we wouldn't want to spoil the fun by skewing the vote, now would we?
Well, you read our review, now you can watch the film and see for yourself! The ever over-achieving pitchfork.tv is hosting the film Silver Jew as part of their "One Week Only" series. As is implicit in the title, the film's only there for a week, so enjoy it while you can, and let us know what you think. Happy Friday!
Video: Pitchfork.tv - Silver Jew
While we're busy waiting around for Ryan Adams to arrive for his December date at Oracle Arena, we continue to bide our time by gobbling up the content the Cardinals keep pushing to the web. This clip is brand new and features a sweet, chilled-out acoustic version of "Fix It". Enjoy.
Who amongst you ever thought you could have Bill Graham's legendary concert recordings in your back pocket all day long? Not us. Well, now you can have exactly that! Wolfgang's Vault has released a free app for the iPhone that allows you to stream from the Vault's extensive archives.
As we've mentioned before, we're pretty huge fans of the Vault, so it's nice to see them continue to expand their offerings. It's also quite nice that they decided to do it for free. What can we say? We're impressed! Click here to download the app now.
This week Little Joy has been steadily increasing their presence on the HAD radar screen: They made their live debut in New York to positive reviews, and we've started to really hunker down and listen to their record. Let us start by saying this: it gets better with each listen. The tunes at first seem pretty simple, but their melodies are effortlessly timeless and really stick with you.
Despite this, the songs' accessibilty does nothing to impede the solidity of the writing. There is a more chilled out undertone that suggests a jazz or lounge vibe, and the whole feel in general is one of restraint and good vibes. The more gentle approach is actually quite refreshing in the face of the fuzzed out sonics that are becoming more de rigeur with each passing day.
One thing that surprised us as we perused the liner notes was that it seems like Fabrizio Moretti seems to be really driving the project: he's playing all sorts of instruments, and also manages to snag the bulk of the songwriting credits. Maybe it's a no-brainer to think that a band as solid as The Strokes would be overflowing with talent to this degree, but we're still super impressed that Fab's drumming is just the tip of the iceberg.
In terms of the live show, like we said, it's getting positive reviews. The Modern Age was at the debut show, and shot the video you see above. Sounds like the band is benefiting from a slightly more fleshed out live lineup, and it looks like they're having a damn good time to boot!
As we mentioned previously, Little Joy is currently on tour and will be at Slim's December 9th for the final show of the tour.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Look, don't get us wrong: we love us some good ol' classic Weezer. But it seems like these days the band is more focused on getting records out the door than getting good records out the door. This year's Red Album was a pretty MOR effort into the same radio-pop that made Make Believe a bit of a disappointment. What's more, Rivers' demo album Alone really didn't live up to the hype. Sure, it was fun to hear some of the demos and unreleased tracks, but let's just say into the heavy rotation track it did not go.
So it's with some trepidation and skepticism that we great the advent of Alone II, the apparent companion piece to the first record. Granted, it has an uber-awesome vintage photo of Rivers on the cover (see above), but we simply find it hard to believe that the content will be superior to the first volume. I mean, if they had better stuff, wouldn't they have put it on the first go-round? That being said, there are a few items on the tracklist that leave us curious enough to probably pick this one up. For one, there are some pre-Blue Album demos, and for another there are three tunes from the legendarily sidelined album Songs From The Black Hole. So, yes, Weezer marketing machine: you win this round. We're still tempted enough by the vintage tunes, that we'll come begging for that thing we're so skeptical of. But be warned: our patience with mediocrity wears thin.
It shouldn't really come as a surprise that Pete Doherty and Graham Coxon are working together. The moody exiles of two of Britain's most beloved rock bands have both engaged Stephen Street to produce their solo records, and they both have a penchant for some pretty freeform musical explorations. In other words, it just makes sense.
After the (frankly, Beatlesesque) video above dropped a month ago, folks started officially "wondering" about the potential for collaboration. Well now Babyshambles' drummer Adam Ficek has all but confirmed the fact. Given that we here at HAD have been pretty impressed by both Babyshambles and Coxon's recent output, we have to say we're pretty excited. Really excited, actually. Tasty.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Last night at the Great American, we caught what must be the definition of a co-headlining bill: two awesome bands, playing two awesome sets, to a room full of folks who were stoked to be there the entire time. Port O'Brien and Crooked Fingers put out about an hour of music each, and in both cases left the room at the Great American energized and ready for more.
Port O'Brien opened their set with the more acoustic, chilled out side of their repertoire. This was a solid move, as it allowed for an emphasis on the band's lyrics and quieter elements. Not only was there the standard acoustic guitar and banjo, but the band also brought in a cellist for the show, and swiped Crooked Fingers' violinist for a few numbers to boot.
The second half of the band's set layed on the electric guitars, and upped the rock and roll vibe significantly. It seems that this is the band's new direction, and to be frank we really, really like it. With their (admittedly well written) more folky vibe, the band was in dangerous territory of becoming another run of the mill folk-rock act. By contrast, their full-on rock sound is pushing a lot more boundries both compositionally and musically.
The band wrapped up their set (as they are apt to do) with a rousing, crowd-involved, full on hollering version of "I Woke Up Today". We have to admit, we're torn on this one: on the one hand, it's great to see a crowd get on stage hollering, playing pots and pans, and generally enjoying themselves. On the other hand, it's a little weird to have a seemingly spontaneous act happening at every single show. That being said, we'd guess this bit will fall into the background once the band has another record, so we just sat back and enjoyed it while it lasted.
Similar to Port O'Brien, Crooked Fingers also took the chill-out approach to the first half of their set. Eric Bachmann open the show completely solo on acoustic guitar, and even once the full band had come on stage, the first few numbers were definitely on the more downtempo side.
The band, which included a violinist in addition to the usual drums-guitar-bass combo, played a wide selection of Crooked Fingers catalog, ranging from material from the band's first record, to Eric Bachmann's solo jaunt, to the band's most recent effort Forfeit/Fortune. While most of the material sounded similar to its recorded cousins, the new record's material did take on a slightly different bent. The absence of keyboards, layered strings, and horns gave way to a notably pared down sounf more the new tunes.
For us, the biggest surprise of the night came when Bachmann spontaneously led the band through a number of Archers Of Loaf tunes towards the end of the set. Starting with "Web In Front", then to "White Trash Heroes", and winding up with "Harnessed In Slums". We have no idea if this has become a staple of Crooked Fingers' set, but it was great to hear these Archers classics, and from the looks of things, the crowd felt the same way.
Update: I Pick My Nose was also there.
Many more pictures at the HAD Archive
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
You may recall that we mentioned The Sea And Cake had a new record on the way. You may also recall that last year's Everything was #1 on our end-of-year-best-of-2008 list. You may even recall a new video from the record, and the fact that the band is playing Great American in December.
So with all that, you may be wondering why there hasn't been hide nor hair of the band's new record Car Alarm mentioned here in the last two weeks. Well, suffice it to say that we dropped the ball, and let the record's release date slide right past us. This has all been remedied as of today, with a hastily ordered copy of Car Alarm on a nice slab of vinyl, straight from insound. While we're waiting around for the record to arrive, you'll have to make do with knowing that you can see the band here in SF in just a few weeks!
The Sea And Cake are at Great American on December 2nd.
Frankly, we're tempted to make a pair of offshoot blogs: one that tracks Ryan Adams' online meanderings, and one that monitors pitchfork.tv for awesome new content. Put differently, if you're not checking out pitchfork's tv site on a daily basis, you're really missing out. The site continues to provide awesome, high quality video on a consistent basis. So, without further adieu, here's the latest coolness: the brand new, uber official, video for Broken Social Scene's "Churches Under The Stairs" - awesome. Yes, indeedy.
Just a reminder for all you music-lovin' kids out there that tonight marks a double bill at the Great American featuring two awesome bands: Crooked Fingers and Port O'Brien. Eric Bachmann's genre-hopping troupe is touring hot on the heels of their latest release, Forfeit/Fortune, while Port O'Brien is wrapping up their year of touring for their album All We Could Do Was Sing. Both of these records are pretty killer deliveries from bands that can really hold their own in the live setting. So, what can we say? Highly recommended, that's what. See you there.
If Ryan Adams could calm down and stop with his media splurge, then maybe we could go a week without mentioning him. Things being what they are, however, he just keeps creating tidbits of awesomeness that we have to send your way. In this case, it was a radio performance of Foo Fighters' "Times Like These".
Adams' voice is sounding sweet as ever, and he manages to completely nail the tune. Still, we can't help missing Monsieur Grohl's voice just a little bit - it sort of makes the song, the way he strains a bit to hit those high notes. By contrast, Adams version is smooth, sweet, and frankly, also pretty awesome.
Thanks to Stereogum for the tip.
mp3: Ryan Adams - Times Like These (Foo Fighters Cover) (YouSendIt, click through)
Monday, November 10, 2008
Last Friday night (after attending the monumental No On 8 rally on Market), we headed over to Mezzanine to check out the showing of Silver Jew, a film about David Berman's first tour in, well, ever. More specifically, the film focuses in Berman's time in Israel, and his religious as well as musical revelations during the journey.
The Mezzanine was setup in full on movie-theatre mode, with rows of folding chairs, popcorn for sale, and a monstrous digitally projected screen. We have to say that we were impressed that the club was so willing and able to perform this conversion. They had already crossed the multi-use threshold of being a club/concert/event space, and to see them fully embrace yet another option is pretty cool.
The feature was prefaced by two short films created by XLR8R magazine, which were frankly quite entertaining. They focused on Black Moth Super Rainbow and the DJ Daedalus, and did so with a fair bit of creative flair. Given that Silver Jew is under an hour long, it was nice to have something cool to fill out the time gap, and make the trip a bit more interesting.
If you (like we did) have a picture of David Berman as a slightly neurotic, obviously intelligent, somewhat abstract and spacey individual, then you've hit the nail on the head. Throughout the film, it was remarkable to see Berman simultaneously drift to the edge of sense-making, but then drop a bomb of a revelation. His conversational manner is actually not dissimilar to his lyrics and poetry: abstract and obscure, but at the same time poignant and relevant.
At first glance, Silver Jew, is more about Berman's religion than it is about his music. The number of concert scenes is minimal, and the concert footage is shoddy at best. In contrast, the number of scenes at religious monuments and in Israeli daily life is actually quite high. Throughout the film, Berman talks about his new found religion, how it's changed his perspective on life, and how it contributed to the decision to decide and tour.
However, all of these religious scenes actually serve as a veneer to a more subtle point about Berman's music. In realizing his new found religion, Berman also seems to have realized that he had been making music all these years. In one scene, Berman talks to a fan and says that he thought he had "never made anyone happy", but that the tour has made him realize that he can do just that. It's as though Berman's Judaism opened a door for him, that then allowed him to realize his full potential as a musician.
Today, all of this is somewhat old hat: Berman's been highly prolific, sober, and touring for a few years now. Still, seeing this film one realizes that you are seeing the emergence of Berman as a musician at the very root of his development. There are very honest scenes of Berman having realizations that he's creating music that makes people happy, and that those people can make him happy too. Is Silver Jew a genius music film? Probably not. However, as a film about what it means to be human, it's spot-on.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
We'd love to pretend that in the week since we saw Frightened Rabbit, we somehow became more rational about the situation and put their record aside for a bit. We'd love to do that. Unfortunately, we can't. It's like drugs. Very, very, good drugs. So, instead we're going to hit you with a video that's nice and tasty. Little kids dancing to great rock music, who doesn't love that?
Friday, November 7, 2008
Word just game down last week that Talking House Records is releasing their second A Foggy Holiday compilation featuring holiday music from San Francisco bands. We're total suckers for holiday tunes, so we were psyched to see some of our fave bands on there.
We were even more psyched to see that the album's going to be getting a release party at Bottom Of The Hill on December 5th, and that The Heavenly States will be performing! We don't know who the other two bands on the bill are yet, but suffice it to say: a San Francisco holiday party with this kind of lineup can't be anything but good. Check it...
A Foggy Holiday 2 tracklist:
1. Cast Of Thousands - Blue Christmas
2. The Lovemakers - Melekalikimaka
3. Eoin Harrington - Oh Holy Night
4. Apside - Do They Know It's Christmas?
5. Loquat - 2000 Miles
6. The Federalists -Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
7. The Matches - Happy New Year
8. The May Fire - It's A Marshmalow World
9. Silver Griffin - What Child Is This
10. The Trophy Fire - Last Christmas
11. Overview - I Believe In Father Christmas
12. The Heavenly States - Little Drummer Boy
13. Scissors For Lefty - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
14. I The Mighty - The Christmas Song