Wednesday, August 29, 2007

CBGB Founder Passes Away

CBGB was more than a venue, it was more than the bands that played there and the fans who saw them. It was an institution and the birthplace of Punk Rock. The irony of the little club created to host various Country Bluegrass and Blues acts becoming a focal point for art rock and punkers adds to the legend and mystique of the home to Patti Smith, Television, The Ramones, Talking Heads, and NY Dolls. Later the likes of Bad Brains and Guns N' Roses would make their mark on the stage.

Today the founder passed away and I felt I'd pay tribute with these:

Warning Sign - Talking Heads

Judy Is A Punk - The Ramones

Crazy - Guns N' Roses

Bad Brains

Longview - Green Day

Friday, August 24, 2007

Great Indie Vid

Stole this from My Old Kentucky Blog.
Song is pretty weak but the video is pretty damn funny and the chics are hot, esp the Therapist.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

...and As the War Rages On, Only Time Will Tell

The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter - Josh Ritter

In Conquest there are many battles to be fought, much to be put to the line, much to be laid to waste. Wars are waged, a people or notion dominated and an empire defined. The landscape of modern music is vast and the armies are mighty and varied. The soundscape has many challengers that seek to rise with sword in hand and stake claim to the almighty right as victor of the war they have waged. Josh Ritter has waged a war and those they aim to have meet the sharp end of their blade are amongst the highest ranking in all the land.

Speculation has grown and the lore of Ritter runs deep. The scrimmages of Ritter and troops have been profound and noteworthy but it was in the year of our Lord 2006 that Ritter saw true prominence reach his namesake with The Animal Years, a brilliant and dazzling display of the mastery of the war craft. Rumblings spread as Ritter’s army readied for its inevitable next unleashing. How will he attack? What will he bring with him? Will anyone be able to stop him this time?

With the first swinging of the sword To the Dogs or Whoever it is more than evident that time taken off the battle field was time well spent and this army is as strong as ever, full of swagger and full of grit. As the battles unfold there is evidence that Ritter has taken note of the triumphs of his peers. Although he fights of the Ritter known he now brings with him the supporting cast of something much more in the lines of Spoon with a hint of Ryan Adams. Mind’s Eye, Open Doors and Real Long Distance are among Ritter’s finest displays to date and all show a powerful evolution in structure and execution. The crowning achievement of the new venture is Rumors, a stomping anthem of the rights of rock and the pleading for a woman to right a lost man’s way.

I put a whip to the kick drum but the music’s never loud enough.

Somber tells of soldiers lost and battles still raging are evident as well, for blood shed and loss make the heart grow weary and yearn for home. The Temptation of Adam speaks of the disgruntled solider who sees no future in the war at hand and fears for a time where he’ll be weak and tried in the midst of w w iii.

While the fighting is keen and the force unrelenting the endeavor runs long and some decisions remain in question for need. In all, Ritter’s army is ready to march and the likes of Wilco should keep keen eye; yet Brit Daniel and his men wear the crown still.

Rating – 8.2

Mind's Eye:

To the Dogs or Whoever:

Monday, August 20, 2007

These Freaks really do have no Fear

Last night I rented Fearless Freaks, an amazing documentary on the Flaming Lips, a little psychedelic band from Oklahoma City, OK...they're not half bad.

The film tracks the band over a span of 10yrs and include footage from home movies of the Coyne clan, early recording sessions, live footage, first hand accounts of the band members (current a past) and plenty of Wayne, which is always a delight. Following from the early Phsyc days into more punk then the creation of the sound that now defines the band, the journey is bold and incredibly unique.

It's without a doubt the most sincere and intimate documentary on a band I have ever seen. Where I am Trying to Break Your Heart alludes to issues surrounding Wilco, Freaks throws it in your face. Tales of death, the beauty of life and second chances and the ever present drug abuse that strangles the members of both the band and their families, its unlike anything I had watched on a band before. There is a small segment with Steven Drozd in a garage as he confides in long time friend and band filmologist Bradley Beesley about his battles with heroin and even captures him using the drug and detailing the feeling his gets. Later a confrontation in which Wayne punches Steven in the face several times and forces him to reevaluate himself is a powerful moment.

Throughout the music and the art are important aspects, but its really the band members their struggles with family, drugs, art and life that make this a worthwhile watch.

There is also plenty of rare footage of the band with contemporaries, Butthole Surfers, live footage with The White Stripes and talk of former tours with everyone from Tool to RHCP.

Fearlessly Fascinating, I highly recommend it to any fan of the band or music and bands in general.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wes Anderson, Back on Track

Trailer for The Darjeeling Limited the new film by Wes Anderson. Little tired of Owen Wilson, but Schwartzman and Brody are high on my list.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Spoon, New Video?

Read about at

Watch here:

3 That Got Away...Well Almost

With the Fall fast approaching and some heavy hitters on the way I need to take a moment to comment on three albums I failed to mention earlier on (two of which were out before this kickass blog got underway).

The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse - The Besnard Lakes

A dark and haunting composition that at times calls upon the folk-rock storytelling of the late 60's - 70's while dabbling in the sounds of Pink Floyd and at other times lives in the current with expansive landscape of modern indie/jam acts. The album has rolling songs that revisit riffs and crescendos time and time again, making a unified sound. There are muffled layered vocals that appear throughout the album, giving an eerie feel that rest up to the high utopia of the walloping climaxes of the growing sounds.
Rating - 7.6

Plague Park - Handsome Furs

Pitched as a side project to Wolf Parade, this Dan Boeckner excursion excels in its own right and given a few listens its claws dig deep. The down tempo beats and quirky vocals are an odd sound that won't sit with most, but those that take to it will find this album to rank among the better releases of the year. More direct and focused than many of the Spencer Krug works of late. The has a 'sound' to it and the passive listener may hear it as dry and uninspired, but it's the dark and brooding elements that shed light on the high moments, bringing depth and intrigue to the album. I've found myself humming these tunes off and on over the past few weeks and only recently realized the power of the album. This has become one of my favorites of the year.

Rating - 8.2

Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem

I only got this album last week, not sure what my holdup was...well I guess I do, truth be told I'd never listened to LCD before, simply heard of them and stream a song or two, didn't think it would be my thing. I was wrong. This is album is great. A stark contrast from what I usually play, heavy on techno sounds, deadpan speaking vocals and lyrics about the scene in New York, I usually disregard this type of band/album before they even have a chance. But recently I heard one of the songs off the LP and I thought, hmmm, maybe I should give it a whirl? I am now a fan of all things LCD that includes Soundsystem in the title.

Rating - 8.0

Monday, August 13, 2007

Echo Fest, Echo Fest, Echo Fest, Echooo...


The Flaming Lips, The Killers, Phil & Friends, moe., Stephen Marley, The Roots, Cypress Hill, Les Claypool, The Bravery, The Polyphonic Spree, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Umphrey's McGee, Thievery Corporation, Secret Machines, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Rodrigo and Gabriela, The Disco Biscuits, Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues Band, Brazilian Girls, The Avett Brothers, Lyrics Born, MSTRKRFT, JJ Grey and Mofro, Son Volt, RJD2, Toubab Krewe, Spam Allstars, ALO, Greenskeepers, The Egg, The Album Leaf, Man Man, Tea Leaf Green, Benevento Duo Russo, Lazaro Cassanova, Telepath and Afromotive.

The festival will take place on a 350+ acre farm along the Chattahoochee River.

Sounds pretty awesome and you can count me in. My kids in the A, let's make some plans.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Marquee Moon Television

In the heyday of post-punk and pre art rock of New Wave there were a handful of bands making music that mattered, the rest were overdubbing synthesizers and buying hairspray by the truckload. These visionaries formed a cult of sorts and they held their chapter meetings the in sacred CBGB in NYC. Alongside Talking Heads, The Ramones and Blondie, Television was creating a sound that would surpass the next generation of music alluding its due respect and understanding until the 80’s had all but passed and grunge cast its sulky shadow. Marquee Moon is filled with epic songs that believe in the power of real chord progression, the coolness of punk and the smarts of underground New York. Although never reaching the commercial success of it contemporaries, Television masterminded the transition from punk to pop, without ever writing a pop song. Named among Rolling Stone’s Greatest albums ever made, Marquee Moon is mostly unheard by those outside ‘the know.’ Modern groups such as My Morning Jacket pay homage to the band, but it is a crime that these fellas aren’t heard more.

Standout tracks: Marquee Moon (some of the most powerful, yet simplistic guitar work recorded), Venus and Friction

An Acoustic Evening David Byrne and Richard Thompson

I really cannot recall how I stumbled across this recording and I have yet to find it again, which frustrates me to the nth degree as I have lost many of the tracks. Post Talking Heads, David Byrne began to explore even deeper into his quest of integrating World music into pop music. He spent time in Africa and Asia learning the basic sounds of the cultures, something that would later inspire Paul Simon to record one of the greatest albums ever in Graceland. When he returned home he spent most of his time with friend and creative accomplice Brian Eno creating a myriad of recordings for the likes of Twyla Twarp and the New Wave culture. But here we find Byrne stripped down of the worldly percussions and complex song arrangements. We find him in a comfortable setting with one of the more underrated guitar players to ever pick up the instruments, a man with an engrossing voice and penmanship of Townes Van Zant, Richard Thompson. The album highlights recordings from both artisits, creating a unique blend of styles that taken out of the context of this recording would seem unfitting. Songs like Psycho Killer sound amazing taken down a time without any additional backup than a acoustic guitar and the voice of a legend. Despite my obsession with David Byrne and Heads (my favorite concert) I have to admit Richard Thompson steals the show and does so with a tune I had only previously heard from The Del McCoury Band in 1952 Vicent Black Lightning, aside from U2’s One, this is the only love song that actually plays out with sincerity and anguish.

Standout tracks: I Feel So Good, Road to Nowhere, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning

Sharpen Your Teeth Ugly Casanova

He was booed off stage more than once and most kids thought the band sucked, flooding the Modest Mouse fan club with requests to find a better opening band. The dark, mysterious folkster stayed the course and finished out the tour and even cut a record deal, which in retrospect shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering it was Issac Brock’s project band. How the lead singer for Modest Mouse could sneak on and off stage as the front man for Ugly Casanova and no one noticed is beyond me, but I love that he did it. Supported, as much on lore as actual quality of recording, Sharpen Teeth is not an amazing album, its really not even that great, but it is worth a listen. I don’t hold back when it comes to praising Modest Mouse, there is just something about their work that grabs me. Maybe it’s the quirky song structures, the mixing of acoustic and electric instrumentation playing side by side with two sets of blasting percussion. I guess I really do know what it is though, it’s Brock and the way he delivers his words in a cadence, talk-like manner and he does it with some of the finest lyrics ever written, something often overlooked with this band. Ugly is all that I love of the early Mouse material, yet completely different. Backed by another one of my favorite overlooked bands, Califone, Brock made this album completely on his terms. He played it on his terms and ultimately let it go on his on terms. Once the shroud was lifted and the identity of the band was revealed record labels went up in arms as Califone and Modest Mouse were on different labels and Ugly was on yet another label. The moniker was dropped and the project was let go, but lucky for us you can still find copies of the little gem.

Standout tracks: Parasites, Spilled Milk Factory and Ice on the Sheets

The Honest Hour Assembly of Dust

There was a time that I lived and breathed Jam Bands. The sounds were so new to me and the live presentation was irresistible. I have since grown away from the genre, but cannot deny its presence. In many ways it’s the growing separation from jam bands that makes this album so perfect to me. Known primarily among the ranks of alt-country, Assembly of Dust has an openness and free will to it that draws any listener in. Released as a full-fledged LP, Honest Hour is actually a live recording, giving it extra life and fervor. The songs grow on you over time and the stories told are relatable and comforting. “I took my car to a bar and I ordered myself whiskey; You know it’s my drink of choice and it fills me with charm. I know I’ve had too much when my head gets soft and dizzy. But if you ask my wife it does more good than harm.” Called 'country folk, tinged with jazz and philosophical lyrics,' AOD is just good listening music, and it suits a long day when you just need to unwind.

Standout tracks – Man With a Plan, Honest Hour and Bus Driver

Uberjam The John Scofield Band

Its so weird it’s awesome. It’s Medeski, Martin and Wood meets Lee 'Scratch' Perry and a whole heap of jazz funk tossed on top. This album is one I like to call a grower, as it took me a couple of years to really get what was going on, but its now among most every road trip I take. Amazing jazz instrumentation mixed with sick sampling and layering of the bizarre brings this album to a central location from all over the map. The songs take wild turns, pump in familiar riffs and dive into the thrill of improv jazz. There are better acid jazz recordings and even better John Scofield recordings, but this is truly an amazing album and denied its due respect. I’ve never seen Sco live, but I can only imagine what it would be like…funkin’ trippy man. Despite any preconceived connotations the style of music may bring, you owe it to yourself to give this album a try, it won’t disappoint.

Standout tracks – Acidhead, Jungle Fiction and Animal Farm

Enjoy the Heat...

Monday, August 6, 2007

La La Land

Here's a Little cross section of what went down in Cha-town.

...I hate I miss all of these things, anyone wanna give ACL or Vegoose a whirl?

Kings of Leon with Eddie Vedder - Slow Night, So Long

Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Phenomena

Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Weeping Pilgrim

Daft Punk - Highlights from the 'set of the wknd'

Interesting things to come this week...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

They Go to 12

The White Stripes - House of Blues, Myrtle Beach, SC 8/29/07

A bolt of lightning can travel at a speed of 45km/s, with temperatures upwards of 50,000 degrees F, carrying with it an electric current of 40 kA or about one billion volts for a bolt of lightning 300m long. Harnessing that kind of energy is dangerous, commanding and invigorating. Man’s passion to obtain and use power has twisted the world and defined its history. Franklin, Volta, Galvani, Faraday, Ampere and Ohm were obsessed observers and pioneers in the abilities of the electric current, its relation to the atmosphere around and its relation with man and with itself. Ultimately, these men would stop studying the potential of electricity and began to practice its applications - sharing their discoveries and in so doing changing everything previously known, currently done and soon to be obtained. The perception, innovativeness, acute sense and understanding of an unknown begin their definition; but it’s their willingness and dedication to ask questions and uncover the answers to those very questions that closes their definition. Even with such foresight, these men of genius surely never imagined what use Jack White would find for that little spark that set the world aglow and were they on hand as I was this past Sunday, well, let’s just say they would have been shocked.

The House of Blues SC finds it’s setting amid the never-ending sea of American capitalism and commercial conglomerates known as redneck Mecca, or if you prefer, the formal given title of Myrtle Beach. This cesspool is geographically located under a 100miles north of Charleston, SC along the eastern seaboard. When it comes to class and character however, its metaphorically located light-years away. I had spent the better part of my weekend in the sophisticatedly snobby city to the south, and of that time most was spent under the constant barrage of torrential downpour and the electro-clapping of the skies; with at least five beers in my system at all times. Rolling into the Johnny Rockets’ Burger adjacently located to the venue, drained from the weekend and spent from an afternoon attempt at an outing the Scottish term ‘Golf,’ I was in need of a jolt to zap me back to life. The crap burger, Euro wait staff and song and dance routine did little to aide my cause, but the two tallboys I downed during a less than electric set by Dan Sartain did manage to send a spark and by the time Jack and Meg’s first notes blasted from the amplifiers the buzz of the room set the hair aback my neck on end. In a flash, the electrical phenomena of the White Stripes broke loose and sought to test the boundaries of known electromagnetism and its application to a strung instrument.

Ohm’s law states that I = V / R; where I = current in amperes, V = potential difference in volts and R = a known constant.

But we’re in the house that Jack built and here laws don’t apply, as the only thing that stays constant is the amplitude of intensity. The Stripes surged into Icky Thump sending a massive unrestrained charge into the crowd. From there the energy stored within ‘the White light’ dispelled through You Don’t Know What Love Is You Just Do As You’re Told and Effect and Cause…a power trio from the new LP, one they set light upon many more times over the course of the night.

The color of lightning should be red at oxygen rich low troposphere…I’m no meteorologist, but I take it the contained atmosphere of the HOB is drenched to the core in oxygen, as for the low troposphere, that would seem natural as well.

Red and White color scheme with rhinestones to boot, the Stripes’ use of ‘image’ as a force of nature is electric in its own right. The sparking persona and fizzling dynamic of the duo is the stuff of legend and should someday be made to law in the annuals of rock history. Searing white beams thrust ominous shadows to dance upon red backdrop, truly making Meg and Jack larger than life. It took no time to see why Rolling Stone ranked this garage rock Detroit twosome atop the list of The 20 Best Live Bands Playing Right Now. The moments when jack was standing one leg atop amp, screaming into the mic at Meg’s station with the intense rapid flicker of the white strobe effect burned an image in my head.

A martyr for my love for you, now A martyr for my love for you

Nature may have orchestrated power ballads throughout the weekend via its ability to bring the gusts, the rainfall and the thunderous clouds, but it was Jack who brought the lightning. Ripping through material with no set list, Meg and Jack open the skies and let it rain with Fell In Love With A Girl, Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground, Take Take Take, My Doorbell, Hotel Yorba, I Just Don’t Know What to Do, Denial Twist, The Hardest Button to Button, You're Pretty Good Lookin' For A Girl, 7 Nation Army, Little Cream Soda, I’m Slowly Turning Into You, Bone Broke, A Martyr For My Love For You, I’m Bound to Pack it Up so on and so on…and I just stood there soaking it up.

And if you're testing God Lying to his face You're gonna catch hell

Highlights, high points and hot flashes were a plenty as the storm raged on. Jack White is the best guitarist I have ever seen live and to witness the pedal work, the use of his Digitech (which gives his playing the falsetto bass line), the timing, the transitional work from standard time, to 7/8, 12-bar, 12/8 all the way to 50,000/1 (that’s when his guitar is set ablaze) was a scientific experiment unfolding before the eyes of a captive audience. There was adlib (a bit mocking Jessica Simpson, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan, telling them to ‘wake up before they throw up’) but little in the way of banter as most of the talking came from the instruments. The nonverbal communication between the two is a show in itself as Meg watches intently through jet black strands of hair to key in on the timing, determining the song Jack is playing…a task not easily done as Jack constantly rotates out his guitars, teases songs (Hello Operator, Ball and a Biscuit, Why Can’t You Be Nicer to Me…). It’s so complicated that Jack even threw himself off, stumbling through the opening vocals of We Are Gonna Be Friends, having to take a moment to recompose and start again fresh. But even in his faults the crowd was in awe as the decibels of approve grew even louder in support of Jack trying again and getting it right…I took some comfort in knowing that he is only human after all.

And with every chance to set himself on fire, He just ends up doin' the same thing

The AC/DC of the blues, hard rock, folk ditty’s and Zappa-esque tunes were all thunderous in their on right, but it was the polar opposites of the night that truly lit the house. The sultry, moody and sexy In the Cold Cold Night with Meg on vocals and Jack perched on the stage hidden behind Meg’s drums with back to crowd was one of the more intimate moments of the night…a stark contrast to the surprise metallic explosion of Catch Hell Blues, which blew me and my friends away with its sheer exuberance and blitz of raw power. At times Jack was content standing face to face with his mic stage center, but when the current took hold he needed to find other ways to conduct the energy, leaping around the stage at the speed of light to various mics and instruments, creating a electromagnetic field of rock. With room at beyond full capacity we found ourselves pressed up near the bar stage left, which was good vantage until Jack would disappear around the corner, working hard on an instrument I never caught sight of…which was very disappointing, but the mystery made the study all the more engrossing.

The show came to a blasting finale at the end of a scorching encore with Let’s Build a Home, incorporating call and response from the crowd, improvised lyrics and a request for us to join Jack in the home he builds for us. When it was over the two stood middle of the stage allowing the electricity of the crowd to flow through them and as the barometric pressure rose and the static energy grew, searching for a spark, the yells of invigorated fans made their way through the air becoming polarized, building, growing and then crack…the sky lit up and the room went to black.

Sorry Zeus, your reign will come again, but for now Lord White sits upon your throne.

But I can't help but wonder if after I'm gone will I still have these three hundred mile per hour, finger breaking, no answers makin', battered dirty hands, bee stung and busted up, empty cup torrential outpour blues