Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Beat Machine" Available for Download!

The best song of 2006 seemingly not available anywhere except on a MySpace page is now available for download.

Gorbachov's "Beat Machine".

A tour by Gorbachov and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin seems to be in order, even if they misspelled the guy's name. I'll even form the band The Putins to make it a triple bill.

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June 2007 Concert Calendar Highlights

-The Dansettes say goodbye to Jaime at the Bowery Ballroom on Sat June 2nd.

-The Pipettes and Marit Bergman will charm the Highline on Tuesday the 5th.

-The eclectic Noisettes play a sold-out (figures) gig at the Knitting Factory on the 6th. Damn the Anglophile hipsters in New York who sell out every gig for a new British band in five seconds.

-Kings of Leon do their own sold-out thing at Roseland on the 7th. As a vast alternative, catch John Doe do an intimate show at the Living Room.

-Feist, sexy sexy Feist, will be at Town Hall on Monday the 11th and the next night as well.

-Two chances to see Apples in Stereo: The psychedelic goof balls play the Housing Works Used Books Cafe on Friday the 15th for 25 bucks but they play for free the next day, opening up for Television (!) at Central Park SummerStage.

-Saturday the 16th is a bit busy. In addition to Television with Apples in Stereo, the Woggles and Black Hollies play Maxwell's; Heartless Bastards play the Bowery; the Giraffes play Luna Lounge. And you can catch the Giraffes at Maxwell's on the 20th.

-Bad Brains on a boat! They do the Rocks Off cruise on Monday the 25th.

-Wilco, of course sold-out, will be at the Hammerstein on the 25th and at Warsaw the next night.

-Thursday June 28th: Joan Jett at Pier 54, Levon Helm in Central Park, or Ricki Lee Jones at Irving. Your pick.

-End the month with Morrissey at the Garden on Saturday the 30th or Langhorne Slim, the same night, at Luna.

-Check the calendar for more, including dates from local goodun's Palomar, the XYZ Affair, Dirty Excuse, the Anabolics, and the Bamboo Kids.

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New York's Best Venues

Per Paste magazine's 40 Best Venues, the Bowery Ballroom, the Living Room, and Hoboken's Maxwell's made the cut. According to this Soundcheck piece,

Southpaw and the (temporarily?) defunct NorthSix barely missed the list.

Speaking of N 6th St, Galapagos is moving to DUMBO.


On The Other Hand

Considering those new ways to think politically, then let everyone - fatty and crack whore alike -
eat what they want, how much they want, and treat their bodies however they want, and accept themselves however they want. The sooner they get heart attacks and die, the sooner we can thin out (no pun intended) the population. The loss of anyone who contributed to society would be a tragic happenstance.

In fact, in honor of this lifestyle, let's all meet up at Katz's. I've been meaning to try to their brisket but I can never bring myself to get anything other than the pastrami or corned beef.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

You're The One For Me, Fatty?

This writer is a rotund individual. A rather plump bit of meat (see my profile description for pete's sake). So it is with self-recognition that I declare I am sick of Beth Ditto. The drunken antics and the shameless change in the Gossip's music was enough but her "fat and proud" shtick has got to go. My superiors have this story covered (here and here) but let it be noted that the time has finally come to bring the hysteria over the Gossip back to Earth.

It's one thing to champion not being a drugged-out, chain-smoking, forced-starving louse. And no one needs to be a gym-nut macho jerk-off. But it's another thing to mask a defeatist attitude about being out of a shape behind a "pride" facade. The right way to do it lies well within these extremes.

It's great that England has discovered the Gossip. It's great that the British hipsters are not looking anymore to Kate Moss and Pete Doherty but to someone a lot more real and less decrepit. And while it is obvious that the Gossip changed their sound from a hard-rocking punk blues band to a dance-rock band purely to make it big, they're good at their new sound (in fact, Standing in the Way of Control makes for great work-out music in addition to a Saturday night party record). And while I've seen enough videos and pictures from shows to see how annoying Ditto can be, I am sure they put on one hell of a show. But what does she have to be proud about? Instead of "fat and proud", why not label it so that more of us pudgies can relate? How about "Out of breath from a flight of stairs and proud"? "Proud to be sweating from 75 degrees Fahrenheit"? "Dead from a heart attack before 65 and lovin' it?"

It's a struggle to get and stay healthy in this world. In the poor parts of this planet, people are starving everyday. In the richer parts, the less well-off are not starving, in fact they are the fattest subset of the species. It's too easy to eat bad and not exercise and so many of us give into it. Some of us can't help it - genetics and all that. But that does not mean we should accept a defeatist attitude. And even if we do, let's do it right - with sadness and cynicism. To hide it behind a veneer of pride is a bad message. Think of it right now, some little London gal is scarfing down a pint with fish & chips because if Beth Ditto can be lauded for her pride, it's ok to be like that.

And again, this is coming from one bona fide lardo. I know these things.

Oh, but say one thing for that NME cover: You have to love where they put Paul McCartney's face on it.

And to show no hard feelings, here is the original video for "Listen Up" (and yes, she looks cute in it):


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dansettes Reprieve

Jaime gets one more show with her friends, this Saturday at the Bowery Ballroom.

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Return of Art Brut, Chapter 1: The New Song

Eddie Argos singing it like it is. Listen here.

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Lou Reed & Bright Eyes; New Video for Old Strokes

Lou Reed helped out Connor and the gang at Town Hall on night 1:

A new video for the Strokes' "You Only Live Once".
Why did the band have the website revamped, let alone commission a new video for an old song, if they are on such a long hiatus?

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Artist of the Week: Sonny Rollins

Over the last year I have really gotten into Jazz. I started out with the basics, Miles' Kind of Blue, Coltrane's A Love Supreme, and a series of collections for Monk, Bird, Mingus, Dizzy, Duke, and Coleman Hawkins in addition to the collections of Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday that I had for years.

Kind of Blue is certainly my favorite singular Jazz record but I've finally settled on who is my favorite Jazz artist and it's Sonny Rollins. Like Miles, Sonny could flow between different sounds and make them his own but that's about the extent of the analysis I am going to try because I don't consider myself anything close to a Jazz expert and it would be a fraud to try to write as if I knew what I was talking about. I can (and do) do that with rock music but not yet - and maybe never - with Jazz. So all I can simply convey is that Sonny is my favorite Jazz artist and let his music speak for itself:

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Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

  • Walking from 84th and Amsterdam to Union Square at 4 in the morning is just one of those things.
  • Emily Haines can dance:
  • Everyone should see Renior's Rules of the Game once before they die.
  • The Simpsons' 400th episode was billed as its parody episode of 24 but it was really the Kent Brockman-focused episode after it and, despite its biting attack on Fox, it was bad. Like the show has been for years. But is it OK to admit that the movie looks sort of...good?
  • I finally appreciate the supremacy of 70's XXX cinema.
  • Speaking of that, nothing is finer than seeing a poster for the new Left Behind movie starring my good friend Kirk Cameron outside a porn video shop on 8th Ave.
  • Netflix offers the ability to watch Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense on their website, even though they don't have a single copy on DVD to send out.
  • It's official. The Yankees need to trade their entire team with the Milwaukee Brewers.
  • Labels:

    Battle of the Train Videos!

    Norah Jones - "Thinking About You":


    Bloc Party - "I Still Remember":

    Ok so Bloc Party should win for actually sticking with the train idea but Norah's vid is a train of thoughts, see, not just using a train. Plus, Norah's song is much better and she's better looking, so she wins.


    Friday, May 25, 2007


    Happy Towel Day

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    In select theaters now is an indie film called Once. Starring two musicians in nameless roles, Once is first and foremost a cliche-fighting story of the common sense of not giving into trouble-causing romantic desires. It is secondly a good insight into the process of making music and trying to make a life out of it. And it is thirdly a small window into a new kind of life in the early 21st century, the immigrant in Ireland.

    The story is of a Damien Rice-type who meets a Czech musician and they proceed to make beautiful music together without "making beautiful music together". As mentioned before, the story battles cliches fiercely. Though it is chock full of sentimental dialog (art imitates life imitates art imitates life...), the characters make decisions not usually made in romantic film.
    But more important than that, the insight into the world of the struggling musician is prime material. The costs to make it are staggering. Finding the right people to record with, raising the money to record in a studio, setting out to sell the demo, it is a staggering feat that is done over and over with only fractional success. To get a taste of it in a film that is also focused on love and modern Ireland is much appreciated.

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    Move In Tight!

    The Love Me Nots; David Ahlen
    @ Pianos
    New York, NY - May 25, 2007

    When you think about it, most sections of this country have at least one good garage rock band to represent them. The Bamboo Kids (among others) rule the Northeast. The Woggles represent the South. The Dirtbombs (among others) still hold dominion out of the Midwest. But what about the West? California and the West Coast in general is too loopy to have one, or even a handful, of signature garage bands to label as "THE" band. But now the Southwest has its band. THE band out of Phoenix, Arizona: the adorably feisty and punchy Love Me Nots.
    Garage sounds of any stripe, and retro-looks to boot - have mostly worn thin over the last couple years but if you really mean it, and you mean it by supplying your look and panache with an earnest, authentic, and quality sound, then it pays off. And with the Love Me Nots it pays off in a big way. "Move In Tight" leads an array of numbers that re-invigorate, refresh, and re-energize the garage rock sound. With a spot-on lead female singer who terrorizes a Farfisa with abandon and a guitarist who recalls Dick Dale and Horton Heat in a single chord, the Love Me Nots are one of the bands of 2007, hands down.
    And may I be so bold as to say I "discovered" this band before Little Steven did? May I? With no consequence or actual meaning? Thank you. Because I did.
    David Ahlen is a moving, touching Stockholm guitarist who taps into the most sentimental but serious vein of acoustic pop. Chilling in that Nordic, Odin sort of way.

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    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Red, White, and Boooo

    In a video that recalls Touch of Evil and From Dusk Till Dawn (but not really), the rambunctious White Stripes defend the Mexican immigrants in their new video for "Icky Thump":

    I don't know which of the following 3 matter most:

    1)The song has grown on me to the point where I love it completely
    2)The political message of the song (and video) open a tricky but promising moment in the White Stripes' story
    3)Jack is decked out in all red ala the early years of the band, signifying a healthy balance of nostalgia and new beginnings

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    Tuesday, May 22, 2007

    Neil-dom Continues

    Ok so I recently said, "See me in a year" about the Neil Young fad going on. Well forget that. Neil is forever. Why?

    Live at Massey Hall, 1971, is perhaps the greatest live show I have ever heard. Neil doesn't sound any better than when it is just him and a single instrument. Each song - even the ones that easily grow weary like "Ohio" and "Old Man" - are perfect in this setting. The poetry, the aura, the sparse totality that nevertheless supplies an immense weight and impact, this is the pinnacle, the summit, of a singer-songwriter at his craft.

    Live at Massey is a bootleg and is only now an official release. This is a trend that caught the eye of WNYC's Soundcheck. Listen here or here:


    Just Like Honey

    The Jesus and Mary Chain; Sam Roberts Band
    @ Webster Hall
    New York, NY - May 21, 2007

    One of the great unsung bands of the 80's, the Scottish clan known as the Jesus and Mary Chain reunited this year. Armed with a melodic, melancholy taste for ethereal pop-rock, the boys began their return at Coachella and next found their way to the eclectic confines of New York's Webster Hall. A wide-ranging crowd of artisans and yuppies welcomed the JAMC with open arms and the band did not disappoint. At Coachella, Scarlett Johansson sang "Just Like Honey" with the band and from a distance, last night, it seemed it was her again but alas it was a member of the Comas (who are opening for the JAMC on night 2).
    Openers the Sam Roberts Band, from Montreal (there was a "scene" that died off pretty quickly eh?), fit along the Oasis-Radiohead mold of driving, lumbering power-pop. That kind of sound can go either way in a big fashion but in this case, they hit the mark more often than they missed.

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    Sunday, May 20, 2007

    Meg White Is The Hottest Woman On The Planet

    This is not in keeping with the mission of this blog but who cares. The world must know. Meg White is the hottest damn woman on the damn planet and I don't care what anyone thinks. It's my blog and I'll waste it as I see fit. She's hot dammit.

    As a side note, this new video is important in that it brings back something we haven't seen in a very long time: The humorous side of the White Stripes. The comedy is back. (And at the intimate Nashville show on Friday, it looks like there were some old reunions and whatnot...maybe nostalgia for old good times is back in).

    This concludes this drooling of the Sonic Parthenon Fanboy System.

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    Artist of the Week: The Jesus and Mary Chain

    It's the return of Artist of the Week! New and improved for the new and improved blog.

    This week, with 2 shows at Webster Hall, it's a no-brainer: The reunited Jesus and Mary Chain is where it's at. Their Scottish brand of Velvet Underground-ish psychadelic pop is the stuff bliss is made of and all that.

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    Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

    • You know you're an adult when you're driving up the West Side Highway at 3 in the morning with a bunch of 30-year old and 40-year old lawyers, coming from an engagement party, and blasting the Hold Steady.
    • You know you're still a kid when the engagement party is actually bar hopping and you are air guitar-ing badly to said blasting of the Hold Steady.
    • Everyone should try shark once before they die, preferably in a bisque at a seafood joint on North 6th off Bedford in Williamsburg.
    • Jarvis Cocker and Billy Childish 45's are the rage this week.
    • UK month is effectively over :( ... Costello, Bowie, and Gervais have all gone, as has the Queen but Jesus & Mary Chain will end it with a bang tomorrow night. Speaking of the Queen:
    • Don't meet people from the internet for anything other than friendly meet-ups at gigs. Ever.


    Villiage Voice Siren Festival 2007

    Interesting line-up. The New York Dolls are a fitting headliner and the Black Lips, Noisettes, and Elvis Perkins definitely should be there. But We Are Scientists? What is this, 2005? The Detroit Cobras? Rachel and co. are always fun but they are very marginalized and what is this, 2003?

    This is the last year of Astroland (probably a good thing) so this will be a special Siren fest. It will be time to reflect on years past. Some of the line-ups have been extraordinary (2002, 2003, and 2004 were practically legendary) but it's been slacking & lacking the last few years. Maybe the Dolls and the Lips will give it a much needed kick in the ass.

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    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    The First Ever Comedy Review! Ricky Gervais!

    Ricky Gervais; Robin Ince
    @ Tribeca Performing Arts Center
    New York, NY - May 17, 2007

    Ricky Gervais made his American stand-up debut as part of the High Line Festival (no Bowie cameos tonight), the first of two nights of prep for his big spectacular at the Theater at MSG on Saturday. Gervais hit the ground running with bits on AIDS and the obese. Then, for a softer touch, he switched to Anne Frank. You can't beat that. Gervais' stand-up is similar though not exact to his approach to television and radio. The generic Gervais persona, an observational comedian who achieves Larry David-like awkwardness sans Jewish neuroses, is enhanced by a more politically incorrect angle. Think early, pre-angry George Carlin, and you get the idea. Unlike the Gervais characters, the stand-up Ricky doesn't get awkward making fun of the Nazis for not being able to find Anne Frank or contemplating what the diagnosis moment was like for the first AIDS patient.
    The particular bit about Humpty Dumpty is very Seinfeld-esque but a lot more blue as Ricky is never one to shy away from colorful language. This is also arguably the best bit that he does.
    The childhood friend, David Beasley, seems awfully similar to Karl Pilkington. Afterall, wouldn't Karl ask if cannibals would try to get their victim sexually aroused as to ensure more...flesh?
    Opener Robin Ince was arguably as funny as Ricky but in a different observational vein. Ince is the English equivalent of a Woody Allen-type. Very self-concious, very neurotic but in a genuinely English way. He's essentially a literate chap who finds himself in precarious situations with, say, street hoodlums. He's also a bit spastic, which helps.

    A taste of Ricky:

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    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    No Man Should Be This Cool

    Elvis Costello & The Imposters
    @ Nokia Theater Times Square
    New York, NY - May 16, 2007

    The balls on this man. 30 years ago this runt decides to co-opt the name of the King of Rock N Roll (who died the same year) and at the same time co-opt the look of a long deceased Rock N Roll icon, more or less. Then he has the nerve to sing jingle-jangle power pop with a punk attitude and sing his own complicated world play making it nearly impossible to sing along to despite the fact that by all other constructs, those songs should be as sing-able as they come.
    Fast forward 30 years later, and the former Declan McManus is still tearing it up, breaking away from his many musical projects to reunite with his longtime working band to dish out a night of straight up Costello-brand Rock N Roll.
    A guesstimate says that he relied on his first four stellar albums only about 50% of the time (though Armed Forces was sadly underused almost entirely), filling the rest of the night up with competent later tracks that ranged from the rockin' to balladry. Highlights include:

    Welcome to the Working Week
    The Beat
    Watching The Detectives (a long jam with a "Let Him Dangle" middle)
    Riot Act
    No Action
    I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea
    High Fidelity
    Radio, Radio
    Hey Bulldog (a smashing cover of the greatest Beatles song of all time)
    Pump It Up
    What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding? (with a "Bring the Boys Home! Bring Them Home Alive!" improvisation)

    The crowd did their best to sing along as much as Elvis would let them but when he came out for the third set ("encore" doesn't really do the night justice) and did an acoustic solo of "Alison", the crowd fell starkly silent and you could hear a pin drop - and you could also hear one drunk yuppie girl nearby who took the silence as an indication that she could sing along and then fight with anyone who told her to be quiet (these yuppie girls are becoming the new frat moshers).
    Which brings me to the voice: Did Elvis' chords ever age in these last 30 years? I can't tell the difference between My Aim Is True and his live show tonight. I honestly can't.

    It was all over too fast. After the first set, I swore they were only on for 40 minutes but the clock said they had been on for an hour and 15 minutes. And there was still over 45 minutes of show left to go as it turned out.

    Side notes:
    -I never got a good look at Steve Nieve as he was blocked from my view by a big amp.

    -Little Steven was there, the first time I've seen him at a gig since CMJ 2004 (though he apparently was at the Racs' North American debut last year). Damn him. Just when I had grown tired of his show, and had also not really been all Elvis-crazy for a stretch, he goes ahead and plays "High Fidelity", getting me all into Get Happy!! and making me excited for this show all over again and making it nice to see him there and blah blah blah.

    -Don't ever eat pizza in Times Square. I've lived here pretty much all my life and I never had pizza in the heart of Times Square before. Four dollars, ninety five cents for a slice with topping. You read that right.

    No video from tonight (some pictures here), instead console yourself with this video of Elvis with Lou Reed:

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    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Get Happy!!

    Elvis Costello and the Impostors live at the Nokia tomorrow night:

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    The Greatest Song Ever?

    Quite possibly, "Life During Wartime" by Talking Heads


    "F The CC"? How About F Satellite Radio?

    Opie and Anthony suspended by XM

    I hate Opie and Anthony. They are terrible. I have never found them funny (although they did impress me as being more than ape-headed goons when they went on Letterman). And their antics on the public airwaves were worthy of derision (especially the interruptions of live news reports - that's disrupting public information, even if that information can be ultimately meaningless).

    Private companies like XM have the right to censor their staff. But radio is radio. And those in communications have the right to say what they want and blah blah blah you get the idea. But what stymies me is that I don't see what is so horrible about this bit? Is it "fire in a crowded theater?" Is it Imus?

    I don't want Condi Rice to be raped but a person should be allowed to say they would do it. As long as they don't see "You out there listening, go find Condi Rice and rape her", take your censorship and shove it pal.


    Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

    -Someone tell Pat Robertson that God confused Hugo Chavez with Jerry Falwell.

    -It's official. First it was Wilco, then it was Bright Eyes. Next up...American Idol. Not really.

    -Everyone should see Frontline once before they die. And if you're smart you'll watch the Bob Newhart episode of American Masters on Thursday.

    -A snail was mugged by two tortoises. When cops asked the snail what happened, he said "I don't know, it all happened so fast."

    -I am only 37 pages in and it is a difficult read but I can say to you today, read Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Oprah had nothing to do with it.


    -No one listens to the radio at night but they should, so they can listen to Fair Game with Faith Sailie. It's second to none, except This American Life. But unlike Glass' menagerie, Faith is on every weeknight. Why is it so good? No other public radio has a cute sounding host who curses for comedy bits.


    Monday, May 14, 2007

    Indian Superman


    And Yet Another Realization

    I like Bright Eyes.

    Funny story: about 3 and a 1/2 years ago someone kept going on and on about Bright Eyes when I had not heard Conor Oberst's stuff. They kept saying he was "emo" but that it was a good thing. Well I heard it, and it wasn't exactly "emo" but it wasn't good - just like "emo". So it may as well have been. Oberst's voice rubs me the wrong way, it's so nervous and jittery, it feels like glass about to break. But alas, his voice is not an "emo" one (In hindsight, I think the person who labeled him "emo" was doing so because she thought she was being a rebel to the rock snob cliques, either that or she labeled everything "emo").
    Fast forward to a couple years ago and a performance on Austin City Limits. I am surprised by how much I like it (surprised because I didn't realize who it was until the end, so I couldn't instantly say "Oh, Bright Eyes" and flip the channel).
    Now comes Cassadaga and I am pretty much sold. The single "Four Winds" is a certified winner.Oberst's voice still causes me to instantly scoff for a second but that quickly fades as the music - rich and lush - overtakes it. Also, M Ward is helping out lately in the Bright Eyes collective, and that's always a good thing. If only Oberst could sound like Ward - a voice that is literally butter. Yes, that's right - butter.
    Oberst, Ward, and co. on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

    The video for "Four Winds":

    First Wilco, now Bright Eyes...I'm slippin'.


    Sunday, May 13, 2007

    Gig Review Archives

    Those of you who may read the blog via a reader may be wondering why are all these old reviews popping up as recent posts. I developed a nicer format for gig review headlines and so I went back through the archives. I keep an older archive on my hard drive with reviews pre-dating the original creation of this blog. So I have created Sonic Parthenon Gig Reviews as a public archive of all my gig reviews going back to 1999.

    It's been an interesting re-visit. Some of these bands reviewed have broken-up or given-up or are on hiatus. Some forgotten little nuggets of events surrounding gigs are interesting too (like Holly Golightly and Ko & The Knockouts being mugged before their show at Southpaw in 2003) It's also interesting to read some of my screw-ups (the worst of which I had to amend now). And I had to erase the stupid grading I did.

    If you read it, you are going to see a progression from a real shitty writer with mainstream music tastes to a semi-shitty writer with more wide-ranging music tastes. The early years find nothing but arena acts (and the very beginning is a showcase for my late teen years and my odd like of chick rock - though I stand by my love of early-mid Sarah Mclachlan records). After 2002, you see the beginning of the underground and indie rock reviews. The highlight has to be from May 2003, when I ignorantly write of the Greenhornes as if they are some kind of White Stripes rip-off, having no idea who they actually were.
    I made notes - with the hindsight of years - where I feel appropriate, including some personal anecdotes.


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    That Tingly Feeling

    The Changes; Takka Takka; The End of the World
    @ Union Hall
    Brooklyn, NY - May 12, 2007

    There is that tingly feeling you get sometimes, watching a band. It's that sensation, that feeling, that you know something is going on. It's that moment when you realize that the live performance and the record are equal parts in the same equation and that equation is that the band you are watching is now up there as one of your favorites. I recently labeled Camera Obscura as my new favorite band, but let's amend it. Right up there are the Changes. And the Chicago boys are up there in a big way. They are familiar without being an uninspired hack. They are an homage to power pop sensibilities of the past without being just another retro revival band. They can be corny and goofy and too sugary for a diabetic, but they play it off solid, substantive, and sublime.
    The last time I felt this good seeing a band live, and felt that sensation of "this band is going to be one of my bands for a long time to come" was in 2004 when the rock n roll soul fury of the Dirtbombs and the ethereal graininess of Blanche knocked me for a loop. So yes, I guess that means the Changes will be joining the pantheon of bands that will get heavy promotion on this page. Brace yourselves.
    Here is a sample of the band, from Feb 2007:

    One last bit on the band, kudos to them for providing negative criticisms in their press section on the website. That takes something. I don't know what that something is...and I don't know if they know they got it, but they got it. Got it?

    Takka Takka is in the tradition of Neil Young tried and true (there is definitely a Neil Young love affair going on right now, especially in the Northeast - it seems like every 10-15 years, someone's younger brother discovers Neil and a new revival is born). Though after a few songs, it felt like it could have been enough already. But as long as New York bands know the ways of Neil, what's to really complain about? (Don't ask me this again in a year or so, when I grow tired of Neil...again).

    The End of the World were an excellent opening band that seemed to merge the power pop of the Changes with the folky-ness of Takka Takka. Their recorded stuff doesn't do them justice, so listen to the live track on their MySpace (which itself doesn't do justice). Lots of promise, lots of talent...heck, they could be the next Changes.

    Gig Review Archives

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    Saturday, May 12, 2007

    I Finally Will Comply...Somewhat

    I was never a big fan of Wilco, except for a song here or there the Mermaid Avenue albums with Billy Bragg, and "Casino Queen" from A.M. (as well as for an incident or two), but their new album has one song that I am a big fan of, "Hate It Here" (you can hear it, along with the entire new record, Sky Blue Sky, on their website).
    And right now, the band is on A Prairie Home Companion.
    As I listen to them, I am growing impartial to "What Light" as well.

    Uh oh, I do not want to like Wilco...why? I've come this far dammit...I can't turn back now!


    The Fratellis: Am I Alone on This One?

    I just don't see the big deal about them. But judge for yourself:

    I saw this video on the Ford Edge Music Videocast, which I must say is a pretty darn good resource for new music videos from artists that are either good or worth checking out. In the same videocast as the Fratellis was this superb video for M. Ward's "Chinese Translation":


    Friday, May 11, 2007

    Dansettes to Go Through Changes :(

    From their MySpace bulletin:

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Our show this coming Wednesday would be an exciting one under any circumstances, as Country-fried surf legends Southern Culture On The Skids have invited us to open for them in one of the best sounding rooms in New York. Clearly, a recipe for a party!

    But this event will also have an element of history to it, as it will be the last time the Dansettes perform in their hometown as the classic "Jennie!Jaime!Leah!" lineup. After Wednesday, Jaime -- who has delivered such staples of the Dansettes catalog as "Oh My," "Forty Days," "Don't Tempt Me," and "Don’t You Ever" -- will be doing just two more sets with us, both of which are in Detroit.

    So come on out, New York City, and witness the end of an era! (You don’t even have to stay up too late on a work night.)

    Wednesday, May 16th
    The Mercury Lounge
    217 East Houston Street, NYC

    7:30 – Jule Brown
    8:30 – THE DANSETTES
    9:30 – Southern Culture on the Skids
    $17 at the door
    $15 advance at TicketWeb:

    (Thanks to everyone who has inquired about auditions! The response has been big, and we have gotten in touch with many very talented ladies so far. But it’s not too late to throw your hat in -- or the hat of someone you know. Write, and we’ll give you the lowdown.)

    Indeed, here is the original blog post about auditions.

    So go see these gals in their original form next Wednesday. Unfortunately, I won't be there as I will be attending my first Elvis Costello & the Impostors show that night.

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    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    News of Blanche

    The latest on the best band to currently have the Millers and Feeny and Little Jack and Jaybird in it:
    • Little Amber Bottles leaked onto the internet in an un-mastered, not-ready-for-release form (despite the fact that the album was supposed to come out a few months ago before V2 imploded). I heard it. Even un-mastered, it guarantees years to come of me spreading the word about Blanche.
    • The video for "What This Town Needs" is almost ready to go and if that's not enough...
    • Production on the video for No Matter "Where You Go" has already begun.
    If you need something to hold you over:

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    The New and Improved Concert Calendar

    It has its own page!

    Highlighted shows mean expect gig reviews (though always subject to change).

    Blue Republic is Sonic Parthenon

    And so the change is finally made. A new name. But the same old address - for now (a long now, probably).
    I decided on Sonic Parthenon for a few reasons: 1)I couldn't find a blog or website already using it and I haven't seen the words used together anywhere on the web, 2)I liked the name Parthenon because, even though I am an atheist, one of the religions I find appealing in an aesthetic sense is the faith the ancient Greeks, and particularly the mythology of Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, Justice, and Righteous Defensive War. 3)I wanted to emphasize the evolved emphasis of music on this blog and Sonic is a cool word to use.

    I'm still a liberal and I still care. But things change. My passion is not what it once was in that department, and even though I am still combative in nature towards extremist Right Wing politics, I think it's time to move past the 2004 era where we seemed like two countries. The concept of a "Blue Republic" is a good spirit to have, if only to recognize where one stands, but it has to go beyond such a limiting (and already used) name. The worlds of politics, pop culture, the arts can all go hand in hand as much as they can thrive separately. And as I am based out of New York, I am privileged to be able to have a unique perspective on all those worlds. The duality of the blog has not, and probably will never, change.

    This is basically the fragmented gist of what would have been a mission statement:
    -Commentary on contemporary Rock n' Roll music, particularly on New York area concerts. But also periodic album reviews and analysis of news.
    -Commentary and observation on select political and societal happenings (major elections, policy changes, big events, religion vs. logic & rationality)
    -Observations on pop culture, and reflections on nuggets of the past and present - ranging from film reviews to television to media hype.

    Finally, a word on all the "42" business. This is the third cultural aspect to this blog: Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The easy, malleable fun one can have with Adams' work is seemingly limitless. Of all the phrases from the Adams' canon, I have picked "42" as a "marker", so to speak, on the blog to go somewhat hand-in-hand with the idea of the Parthenon. Athena was a Goddess. The Divine is what is culturally thought of as the root and source of creation and all answers. Adams humorously suggested that "42" is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything (which seems odd only because we don't know what the Ultimate Question actually is). It is this sublime conflation of logic and aesthetic spiritualism - let's call the conflation "Mild Absurdity" - that lies at the heart of Adams' work, and what I would want to lie at the heart of this blog. In other words, we'll try to probe the deep questions but with a sense of bemusement and a tad helping of silliness. If we can help it.

    Good god, did I just use the royal "We"?


    Tuesday, May 08, 2007

    It's Been 20 Years Since...

    ...I last heard the theme song to It's Garry Shandling's Show and I remember it exactly. That is scary.

    Stay tuned to the end of the clip to hear it and so YOU can keep it in your head for the next 20 years.


    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    A Retraction

    While I still enjoy the stupid fun of "Because I'm Awesome" by The Dollyrots, I listened to the complete album and it was so bloody awful, so horrible, that I apologize for even liking the one song, let alone admitting to liking it.