Monday, October 29, 2007

So Long, Porter

Porter Wagoner, the country music legend who made it from the Ozarks to the Opry to the opening slot at Madison Square Garden this summer on a bill that featured Nick Cave and the White Stripes, has passed away.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Artist of the Week (Speaking of Mexican...): Rodrigo Y Gabriela

OK so in the previous post I actually said "Texican" but who's paying attention? From Mexico by way of Ireland, here is the fantastic, dynamic duo of Rodrigo y Gabriela, the greatest Hispanic thing to happen to rock since the Gypsy Kings had a hit with "Bamboleo" (sorry Los Lonely Boys but it's true).


How much do I like them? Here's a second clip:

And they do a mean Stairway to Heaven too.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Morrissey at the Hammerstein

Morrissey; Girl in a Coma
@ Hammerstein Ballroom
New York, NY - October 26, 2007

Everyone's second favorite Manc (behind Karl Pilkington of course) was light on the Smiths, heavy on his own material, and as he put it, can take "poetic license" with all of it as he sees fit. And the crowd let him do as he pleased. As a Morrissey concert novice, this writer was a bit worried that the old Mancunian warhorse would be a bit icy and distant but on the contrary, Our Man Morrissey was warm, interactive, and insistently charming. He even had macho frat boys going "Dude, I wish I could hug Morrissey right now, bruh" (true story). The genius of the whole thing was the brevity. Most of the man's songs would suffer if they went on too long, but only 1 seemed to go past 4 minutes. A rock n' roll spirit to English pop never hurts. No "Everyday is like Sunday" but "First of the Gang to Die" sufficed. And he's a decent looking bloke too.
Piss-poor mini-clip of Moz
Girl in a Coma were a replacement for Kristeen Young (who was dismissed from the tour) and with all due respect, Morrissey would have been better off going it alone. The San Antonio trio of girls seem to think they are playing some kind of authentic punk rock - and god bless 'em for their spirit - but they sound like nothing more than the suburban pimple rock that has plagued rock n' roll for a decade now. They need a little bit of soul, or maybe even a dash of Texican spice, to make it work.

Gig Review Archive

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ryan Adams Will Put The NY Times On Notice...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Muischeads Rules This Week: Ween, Electric Six, Band of Horses

It's like they made a special episode just for Sonic Parthenon. Download here.
In the meantime, check out a bit of each of what they're talking about:

Ween does "Fiesta" live in Madison last week:

The new "Down at McDonnelz" video by Valentine and company:

"Is There A Ghost" by Band of Horses:

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Fillmore at Irving Follow-Up

It appears the Live Nation folks have put their booking energy into the Blender Theater at Gramercy (finally), and that may be why the Filmore brand at Irving Plaza appears to be so weak (add Twisted Sister to the calendar there).

But what was I thinking trashing the Pipettes? That made no sense. And they had to postpone that show anyway. It's been rescheduled at...the Blender theater.

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It's Hold Steady Television!

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Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

  • At Union Square, some hack artist was selling a painting of Ziggy-era Bowie with the Confederate flag behind him, "Rebel, Rebel" written on the bars. Somehow, I don't think that image is what Bowie had in mind.
  • After months and months of thinking and thinking and reacting, going through waves and waves of emotions and people, the specter of the predicament at hand seemed incredibly taxing. And in the opening minutes, it seemed very bad very fast. And then, just as quickly as it looked to be bad, there was immediate catharsis, and a great healing period. Just a snippet of the upcoming Gore Vidal novel, Bitch is Crazy.
  • Five straight nights of CMJ left me with a cold, a depleted wallet, and Norah Jones. Figure that one out.
  • How To Work Hard By Hardly Working: A how-to-guide I am working on.
  • You know what I realized? Sushi is a clean food. A very clean, very fresh, very emotionally satisfying experience of eating.'s all that until the very moment it isn't. And oh boy, then it isn't.

  • Labels:

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    Artist of the Week: Morrissey

    A week's worth of Moz at the Hammerstein this week. Bit of a mess with the price fluctuations but still...Morrissey.

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    New Blanche, National Videos

    Well, relatively new:

    Blanche's "No Matter Where You Go":

    The National's "Apartment Story":

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    CMJ 2007, Night 5: Dirtbombs, Hard Lessons

    The Hard Lessons
    @ Magnetic Field
    Brooklyn, NY - October 20, 2007

    You know there was a brief time when this writer got so cynical, he kind of sassed the Hard Lessons for being so positive, so resilient, and so determined. Who the hell were they? Who the hell did they think were? Didn't they know they were supposed to be too-cool-for-school and mildly indifferent to the rock n' roll lifestyle? Jerks. Of course, everyone knows the deal by now: very few other bands have the fun and the joy this band has, and very few have so much productive value to show for it. The new "See and Be Scene" is the latest in a string of individual pop sensations that - and you knew this was coming - in a just world, would be a Top Ten smash across America. And better yet, they saved everyone in the crowd about 192 dollars with their so-good-it's-almost-knee-shaking ode to Neil with "Hey Hey My My".

    Another exclusive Hard Lessons clip for SPTV on Blip!

    The Dirtbombs
    @ Maxwell's
    Hoboken, NJ - October 20, 2007

    An epic 3 night run around the NYC metro area came to an end, along with the five nights of CMJ, at the iconic Maxwell's in Hoboken. Tonight's "Candy Ass" report: the original version returns, rejoining the stable of audio intensity that makes for the most satisfying, hip shaking, head banging time of one's life. What more is there left to say? Truly, what is there left to say?

    SPTV: CMJ Music Marathon 2007

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    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    CMJ 2007, Night 4: Dirtbombs, Intelligence, Sahara Hotnights, 1900's, Drug Rug

    Sahara Hotnights; 1900s; Drug Rug
    @ Bowery Ballroom
    New York, NY - October 19, 2007

    Sweden's Sahara Hotnights were once a punk band then popped it up in subsequent years and they sounded fine either way. The new songs continue the pop trend and while it is unclear if this band will ever have another hurrah, it's good to have these ladies around.


    The 1900s are really inspired by a host of 70's country-rock and pop bands, from America to the Eagles (ugh) to Marshall Tucker Band to John Denver and so on and so forth. It may not be the most exciting brand of rock to draw from, but they pull it off with finesse and legitimacy. And for a pretty serious band, they seem to be having fun. Just don't venture into Fleetwood Mac territory kids (ahem, Rilo Kiley, ahem) and you'll do just fine. For the money, nothing beats "Georgia".

    Drug Rug, as the name may suggest, is a hippie-ish jam band. As a general rule nowadays, this is kind of a bad thing. But unlike other jam band acts, Drug Rug doesn't squander good songs on boring long jams. The band takes mediocre to half-decent tunes and turns them into into solid, fun, foot stompin' jams. The jams are actually the best part, maybe because it's based in a general band-wide country freakout rather than a series of show-offy solos. And for the record, the girl in this band, may just be about the most cutest thing on the face of this planet. Seriously. So cute that it needed to be mentioned in serious consideration of this review. Cute shouldn't be this beautiful. It's almost scary.


    The Dirtbombs; The Intelligence
    @ Southpaw
    Brooklyn, NY - October 19, 2007

    Tonight's show is noteworthy in that Mick and the gang attracted both a legion (hehe) of new fans and found some old ones not seen in awhile. It was good times all around, up front, in the back, and all over. Tonight's version of "Candy Ass" wasn't as sexed up as the night before, but it was still the Dirtbombs at their best.

    A second helping of the Intelligence left a satiated but not entirely satisfactory feeling. There's got to be something untapped that needs to bust out to make this one work 100%.

    SPTV: CMJ Music Marathon 2007
    Great Dirtbombs photos here

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    Friday, October 19, 2007

    CMJ 2007, Night 3: Dirtbombs, Jay Reatard, Intelligence, Miss Alex White, Cheap Time, Turbo Fruits

    The Dirtbombs; Jay Reatard; The Intelligence; Miss Alex White and the Red Orchestra; Cheap Time; Turbo Fruits
    @ Mercury Lounge
    New York, NY - October 18, 2007

    Yadda yadda Dirtbombs yadda yadda nothing better live than this yadda yadda new material sounds great yadda yadda particularly "Wreck My Flow" yadda yadda special cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" yadda yadda "Candy Ass" was reworked into a gloriously sexed up, funkified version that made the band sound as fresh as ever yadda yadda gabba gabba hey yadda yadda Dirtbombs forever.

    Hardcore garage punk is not really this blog's thing, but let's not mince words. Jay Reatard is f-ing great. He's the best at what he does. The raw power and energy behind the thrashy, trashy rock n' roll could give you an apoplectic fit if you weren't careful. And again, the best part: Beneath that gruff exterior lies a sucker for 3-chord rock n' roll melody. This Memphis boy could be just at home in an arena as a small club, but that's something a lot of people probably don't want to hear.

    The Intelligence certainly sounded different, at least at first, from every other band of the night. But what started as a potentially provocative experimental hybrid of a few types of rock n' roll sort of devolved into basic, pound-away attempts at punk. They were not bad though.


    Miss Alex White has enough charisma, presence, and authenticity to be Chicago's only prized export, but even though she has to share the burden, she's still got it all. In The Red is lucky to have her.

    Cheap Time was really hyped for this blog. So it's not their fault that it then became impossible for them to live up to the hype. But with hard work and good direction, they'll get there. But wasn't Jemma Pearl supposed to be in this band?


    Turbo Fruits did not sound quite as good as they did at the Bowery this past summer but these kids have such gumption and spirit, they can't be denied. The wellspring of Tennessee rock does have its cup flowing over. Or something like that.


    SPTV: CMJ Music Marathon 2007

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    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    CMJ 2007, Night 2: Black Tie Revue

    Black Tie Revue
    @ Southpaw
    Brooklyn, NY - October 17, 2007

    With frantic gig hopping last night, and the big all night In The Red showcase tomorrow night,
    tonight was the ripe opportunity for a one-and-done affair. Pittsburgh's Black Tie Revue is an excellent live band, delivering crafty power chords and melodies with every tune. They get better each time they play, and they sounded great in the relatively large confines of Southpaw. It can only go forward from here.

    SPTV Music Marathon 2007


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    CMJ 2007, Night 1: Looker, Wormburner, Vegabond, Teenage Prayers, Mixtapes and Cellmates, John White

    Unlike other multi-gig reviews, we're doing this one in chronological order, not the usual reverse.

    John White
    @ Cake Shop
    New York, NY - October 16, 2007

    Sonic Parthenon's CMJ Music Marathon coverage got underway with a stop-in at the free show going on at the Cake Shop. New Zealander John White offers delicate acoustic folk in the vein of Iron & Wine. Gentle, mellow, but also ethereal and a bit spooky.

    Teenage Prayers; Mixtapes and Cellmates
    @ Arlene's Grocery
    New York, NY - October 16, 2007

    The Teenage Prayers began their set with a bit of bar-band rock and it was looking good but they were foiled by sound problems. Another problem for the New York band, was that some of the better tunes were sidelined by the cluttered, noisy ones. The band sounds better when it is organized. Their 70's pop-rock inspirations work better than their Grateful Dead and Band inspirations.

    The Teenage Prayers
    Mixtapes and Cellmates, a young quartet from Stockholm opened the CMJ festivities at Arlene's with their own sound problems and they thought for sure they had played a trainwreck. But surprise, surprise, they sounded alright and maybe more importantly their overall sonic template is really good. A bit Britpop, this band sounded familiar but was hard to define. If anything, their synth backbeat leads to something on the order of Coldplay meets VHS or Beta. They make good, thinking music, but you can move to it, or just let it wash over you. This is music ripe for a good soundtrack. This may be one of the better discoveries at this year's marathon.

    Mixtapes and Cellmates

    Wormburner; Vegabond
    @ Midway
    New York, NY - October 16, 2007

    Last time (the first time) I saw Wormburner I was really drunk. Incredibly, and needlessly, drunk. And I liked what I heard. Wormburner had to pass the sobriety test and the band passed it with flying colors. Glorious power rock, at times pop, at times all out rock n roll, Wormburner blends the needless rock labeling system and spits out something incredibly catchy and fun. They are having a great time up there and they bring it out in the audience. Stay tuned, this is going to be one of New York's best.


    It's not often, if ever, an overtly hostile review of a band is put on this blog. I try to go out of my way to not overtly criticize a band beyond the flaws that I, as an average listener with no personal musical expertise, may see. But then there are times like Vegabond. I am sorry, guys, I really am. I don't mean to be a total insensitive ass about this but...this was awful. Utterly awful. It's not that Goth-metal can't be my thing at times - anything can be good at some point - but this was just trite, uninspired, shlock rock.

    @ Pianos
    New York, NY - October 16, 2007

    By a stroke of luck, I caught the last 2 and a half songs by Looker for the fourth and final gig of the night. The sound at Pianos was much kinder to the band than the set-up at the Lucky Cat's, showcasing the quartet's knack for pop hooks and rock n' roll. The sizable crowd was really into it. A great nightcap to end a packed first night of CMJ 2007.


    SPTV: CMJ Music Marathon 2007


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    Monday, October 15, 2007

    New Dirtbombs Music; Profiled on WNYC

    Three unmastered tracks from We Have You Surrounded are now uploaded on the MySpace page just in time for CMJ.

    Also, the band was profiled on New York's public radio station, WNYC, today in a CMJ preview:

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    CMJ 2007 Schedule

    Tue 10/16:

  • Voxtrot (later); Dean & Brita; Most Serene Republic @ Bowery Ballroom
  • Voxtrot (earlier) @ Other Music
  • Looker @ Pianos
  • Wormburner @Midway
  • Teenage Prayers @ Arlene's Grocery
  • Dean Deacon @ Silent Barn
  • NYC Smoke @ Fat Baby
  • Bella Noir @ The Delancey
  • Brad @ Highline Ballroom
  • Tigers & Monkeys @ Luna Lounge
  • St Vincent @ Other Music
  • Wed 10/17:
  • Vampire Weekend (early) @ Cake Shop
  • Mates of State @ Avalon
  • Xiu Xiu @ Blender Theater at Gramercy
  • Nikki Corvette; Black Tie Revue @ Southpaw
  • Eskimo Joe; Robbers on High Street; Eagle Seagull @ Mercury Lounge
  • Deerhunter; Dan Deacon @ Bowery Ballroom
  • The Giraffes @ Crash Mansion
  • Serj Tankian; The Nightwatchman @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza
  • Sam Champion @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • Imperial Teen @ Maxwell's
  • Excellent @ Europa
  • Teams Robespierre @ Knitting Factory Tap Bar
  • Division Day; Arizona @ Canal Room
  • Barcelona @ Arlene's Grocery
  • Via Audio @ Lion's Den
  • Dayna Kurts; Adam Levy @ Banjo Jim's
  • Thu 10/18:
  • The Dirbombs; Jay Reatard; The Intelligence; Miss Alex White; Cheap Time; Turbo Fruits @ Mercury Lounge
  • British Sea Power; Pela; 1990's; Tiny Masters of Today @ Bowery Ballroom
  • Spoon; 1990's (later) @ Blender Theater at Gramercy
  • And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead @ Highline Ballroom
  • Division Day; 1900's @ Union Hall
  • Action Painters @ Europa
  • Vampire Weekend (early) @ Other Music
  • Palomar @ Arlene's Grocery
  • Meat Puppets @ Maxwell's
  • M.I.A. @ Terminal 5
  • The Giraffes; Beat the Devil @ The Delancey
  • St. Vincent @ Knitting Factory
  • UKLE; Holy Fuck; Walter Meego @ Webster Hall
  • Catfish Haven; Eagle Seagull @ Puck Building Day Stage
  • Imperial Teen; Catfish Haven @ Southpaw
  • Mates of State @ The Annex
  • Pterodactyl @ Cake Shop
  • Fri 10/19:
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Roseland Ballroom
  • The Dirtbombs; The Intelligence; Turbo Fruits @ Southpaw
  • The Spinto Band; Sons & Daughters; The Maccabees; Sahara Hotnights; 1900's @ Bowery Ballroom
  • Coheed & Cambria @ Highline Ballroom
  • Jay Reatard; Miss Alex White @ Galapagos
  • M.I.A. @ Terminal 5
  • Spank Rock; Noisettes @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza
  • Mates of State @ Joe's Pub
  • The Insomniacs; The Nouvellas @ Magnetic Field
  • O'Death; The Black Hollies; Takka Takka @Union Pool
  • The Maccabees (later) @ Blender Theater at Gramercy
  • Catfish Haven @ Arlene's Grocery
  • Capital Years @ Pianos
  • Japanther @ Kntting Factory
  • Bowerbirds @ Puck Building Day Stage
  • Sat 10/20:
  • The Dirtbombs; Jay Reatard @ Maxwell's
  • Spoon; The Ponys @ Roseland Ballroom
  • Band of Horses; The Brunettes @ Bowery Ballroom
  • Justice @ Terminal 5
  • The Hard Lessons @ Magnetic Field
  • Great Northern @ Pianos
  • The Contrast @ Arlene's Grocery
  • Matt & Kim; Art Goblins (Brut) @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • Coheed & Cambria @ Blender Theater @ Gramercy
  • Eli Paperboy Reed @ Crash Mansion
  • Tigercity; Harlem Shakes; Georgie James @ Mercury Lounge
  • Arizona @ Galapagos
  • Via Audio @ Ace of Clubs
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    Sunday, October 14, 2007

    A Reason To Watch Sports

    From 1987:

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    Artist of the Week: Bands of CMJ; AKA The Attempted Sonic Parthenon CMJ Itinerary

    Killing two birds with one stone, this weeks' artists of note are the bands to be seen, or to try to be seen, for the CMJ Music Marathon. Some of these shows overlap so there won't be reviews of some of these bands but it is heartily recommended that if you don't see one, see the other.

    Tuesday, October 16

    Teenage Prayers @ Arlene's Grocery
    These New Yorkers got short shrift when they opened for the Hold Steady at Prospect Park now is the time to make it right.

    Wormburner @ Midway
    Fun local guys that know how to party. This time, we're seein' 'em sober!

    Sam Champion & Looker @ Pianos
    How much can a band capitalize on the name of a weatherman? Find out. And before that, see New York's best pop-punk band.

    Wednesday, October 17

    Nikki Corvette and the Stingrays & Black Tie Revue @ Southpaw
    A hot rockin' gal and Pittsburgh's best and brightest all on one bill. The latter have a pop-punk record but they are pure good time garage live.

    Thursday, October 18

    The Dirtbombs, Jay Reatard, The Intelligence, Miss Alex White, Cheap Time, & Turbo Fruits @ Mercury Lounge
    Two bands from Nashville, one from Memphis, one from Seattle, one from Chicago, and the headliners from...what's that city? I forget. But they're good. And half of this bill is practically guranteed good and the rest are looking good. Maybe the bill of the festival.

    Action Painters @ Europa
    A great New York band. Utterly great.

    Friday, October 19

    Sahara Hotnights & The 1900's @ Bowery Ballroom
    The Sahara Hotnights won't go away and they prove it by flying over from Sweden just to play this one set. We may have to check them out just because. The 1900's are a cute little pop band from Chicago. 2008 may be Chicago's year, and if it is, this band will play a big part in it.

    The Nouvellas @ Magnetic Field
    Dansettes 2.0 take off on Atlantic Ave.

    The Dirtbombs
    @ Southpaw
    The Dirtbombs for the nightcap.

    Saturday, October 20

    The Hard Lessons @ Magnetic Field
    Get the last night of CMJ off to a rockin' start with these kids. But don't wear yourself out just yet...

    The Dirtbombs @ Maxwell's
    The SP house band, and this year's CMJ house band it seems, end the fest with their traditional hour-plus party in Hoboken.

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    Saturday, October 13, 2007

    Metric Performed on Fearless Music


    Fearless Music is an inconsistent but nevertheless needed and relevant music program that airs here in New York late Saturday nights on the Fox channel. Be Your Own Pet plays tonight and the past has seen the Mooney Suzuki, the Raveonettes, and a host of others, perhaps most notably Murder By Death, which is how I found out about that band.

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    New Pilkington Podcast

    A 41 minute conversation between Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington that was placed on a special disc distributed during Ricky's recent stand-up run has been added to the podcast archives. Subscribe.

    For good measure:

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    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Pop The Champagne: The National Inaugurate Terminal 5

    The National; St. Vincent
    @ Terminal 5
    New York, NY - October 11th 2007

    This review was going to be prefaced with a lengthy analysis of the last seven years and how the great Indie revival of rock n' roll could be split in two between a more rockin', fast-paced, stripped down first half and a more mature, thematic, thoughtful second half...but why bother? In reality, it was just an excuse to explain how relevant music jumped from the Hives and Vines to the National. No matter. Let's get into this thing.

    First, welcome to Terminal 5. This blogger, by happenstance and without much effort, became the first patron to enter the venue on opening night (trying to escape from the pouring rain can lead to good things). I was able to take in the entire place in its near emptiness and appreciated what the Bowery Presents is attempting to do. A comfortable large venue, with cushioned seats to relax in back - on 2 upper levels - with great surround views of the MASSIVE platformed stage. Granted, the stage looks a bit like a High School prom, but no matter. Terminal 5, in just its opening minutes of existence, promised to be a landmark venue for New York.
    While this blogger became a most minor footnote in history, St. Vincent became a more significant one when she became the first artist to play the room. Initially, her deep, dark sound resonated well, and that mysterious three-prong tower of light behind her made for an impressive view, but it became apparent that the material felt hollow without a backing band. She is a gifted singer and songwriter (see/hear "Marry Me John"), but a one-person act for such constructed music just won't do.

    Then arrived the National. The National are truly a strong intake of musical oxygen, a deep inhalation of several sounds that, when exhaled, produce something unified and special. Americana roots rock, British 80's pop, and assortment of folk sounds seem to make their way - and who knows if the band would even agree to that - into the distinct, original pop of this most sturdy and yet relaxed of bands. The brothers Dessner and Devendorf recall a host of bands that are tiring to name but they do not sound like them at all. It's a paradigm of sorts. And if it isn't, let's call it one anyway. But more important than the meat-and-potatoes of the stew, it is the end product that defines the band: Inspiring, emotional, soaring, at times anthemic, and at times introspective, and always meaningful. Lead singer Matt Berninger shares the gravity with the rest of the band but at the same time, he commands a marked presence. That voice of his, one of the finest voices in music today, is so loud without even approaching upper octaves. When he does sing loud, it is so much more special than when other singers wail frequently, and it has all the more impact. And when he's in moment, in his trance, he brings everyone into it with him.
    There are too many highlights to mention, from the opening strains of "Start A War" to the thunderous finale of "Mr. November". As the encore got underway, Matt popped some champagne in honor of the new house, and poured a little on the floor in honor of it all. Cheers.

    An SPTV Special: The Debut of Terminal 5 Starring the National

    "Mistaken for Strangers":

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    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Why Most of the Big Boys Won't Be Reviewed

    Thought it was about being a cool Indie hipster eh? Thought anyone that gets played on Q104.3 is just too old for this blog's flagship reviews huh? Well you'd be wrong. Springsteen, Van, the Police, and Neil may not be all be able to fit under an umbrella of "important" or "exciting" (though in certain groupings they do), but unlike say any other acts commercially labeled as "classic rock" that tour, these young whippersnappers made such staggeringly important music, and continue to sound relevant and that's what counts. But there still won't be reviews of these upcoming gigs. Why?
    $$$$ that's why.

    (All pre-surcharges:)
    Springsteen - $99.50
    Van Morrison - $79-$254
    The Police - $54-$254.50
    Neil Young - $54.50-$186

    That being said the $65 Friday Morrissey show is set for a review. Why? Is Morrissey that much more special than the rest of these acts? Nope. Is it that the universal $65 had the best savings value? Yes in so much as these tickets presented themselves first and that sealed the deal.

    Of course, if some paying music publication wants to hire this blog and pay for admission to these all means, step up to the plate.

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    Raveonettes Return to Southpaw

    The Raveonettes; Nicole Atkins; Gliss
    @ Southpaw
    Brooklyn, NY - October 10, 2007

    Denmark's Raveonettes, relocated to the USA, have returned to the stripped down (B minor?) sound that they introduced themselves to the world with some four or five years ago. A hard working band, they do lo-fi distortion right but there was still something lamentable about the lack of a second guitarist and the whimsy of Chain Gang of Love and Pretty in Black.
    "Attack of the Ghost Riders":

    A new one
    Nicole Atkins is a singer-songwriter type who does some great ballads and some hit or miss peppy ones. The ballads work because she borrows a little bit of soul, a little bit of country, and a little bit of Spector - both of them.
    Gliss are a trio from California that merge the neo-Jesus and Mary Chain thing with the cluddered neo-Joy Division thing. It mostly works. They also make a habit of changing positions all show long.

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    Tuesday, October 09, 2007

    Blanche Covers R.E.M.

    Stereogum has issued a 15th anniversary tribute album for R.E.M.'s Automatic for the People. Contributors include the Meat Puppets, the Forms, the Shout Out Louds, Dr. Dog, Catfish Haven, and Blanche. Miller and co. cover "Find the River".

    New tour dates have been added, all in Europe: Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Munich, and Cologne. Rumor has it that they will travel via the Orient Express, where murder is afoot. No fear, the Millers will solve the potential case.

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    Monday, October 08, 2007

    The Dansettes Are No More

    This happened about a month ago.

    Oh well, one less "ettes" to go around. Kind of sad when these things happen. But things move on and some of the members have reformed as the Nouvellas, and they will be joining the Insomniacs for CMJ at Magnetic Field on the 19th. (Funny enough, the next night at Magnetic, a band actually called The Ettes will be playing).

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    Sunday, October 07, 2007

    Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

  • It's Official: Anything with "Mars" in the title sounds cool, even if what the title represents is certainly not.
  • Until recently, I thought there was a difference between marinara sauce and tomato sauce.
  • Did anyone know that one of the members of the Clash is Jewish?
  • Saturday Night Live is hip and Indie again. Not quite sure how the Scissor Sisters snuck on there a few years ago, but the Arcade Fire last year (in an episode hosted by the funny guy with glasses from the American version of the Office) and Spoon this weekend (with host Seth Rogen)...and rumors of Ryan Adams making a return if only the show could be funny again.
  • Watch Jon Stewart and Chris Matthews duke it out over Matthews' new book. It's a bit surprising to see Stewart not appreciate the love of politics that Matthews has, but at the same time...yeah.
  • I predicted years ago, in my college dorm. While my roomate was going on about the continued glory of Pamela Anderson, I was saying that the era of the blond babe bombshell was going to come to an end. I predicted that "Cute" would soon takeover as the primary definition of attractiveness. Glasses and bobbed haircuts, retro vintage outfits, quirky personalities, bookish behaviors would ascend. Baywatch was dead. It died with the Pamela and Tommy Lee tape. And by now, if anyone says I'm wrong, they're living in a dream world. A very staid, boringly sexy dream world. Welcome to the world of Cute. Capital C.
  • The name X.J. Kennedy is tatoo'd on my brain for boring reasons.

  • Labels:

    Artist of the Week: The Raveonettes

    With all the hullabaloo of the National kicking off Terminal 5 and Jay Reatard setting up shop here this week, short shrift is sort of being given to the Raveonettes, one of the great bands of the decade. They may have peaked with their 2003 record Chain Gang of Love and their Christmas song, arguably the greatest new holiday jingle of the last 40 years (no hyperbole, honest) but they have a chance to prove us all wrong with three shows this week.

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    A Weekend of Old Friends: Mondo Topless and the Hard Lessons

    The Hard Lessons; VLA
    @ Union Hall
    Brooklyn, NY - October 6, 2007

    There aren't harder working kids touring the USA today than the 3 from Detroit affectionately known as the Hard Lessons. They just don't stop, they don't compromise, and most importantly, they are having fun making everyone have fun. You can't beat that. You just can't.
    Exclusive to SPTV on Blip, "Milk and Sugar".
    And here is "Carey Says (Alright)":

    VLA are a Los Angeles trio sounding very Cure-inspired, which is a broad definition, but you know it when you hear it. Better suited for a dance-rock night, they still satisfied. Mini-Clip.
    Photos of all the festivities.

    The Ugly Beats; Mondo Topless
    @ Magnetic Field
    Brooklyn, NY - October 5, 2007

    Austin-based Ugly Beats are a satisfactory if not immediately wowing 60's inspired garage band. Very much influenced by Roky Erickson and co., they know what they are doing, have great direction, and should go places. And their lefty guitarist looks just like the Japanese actor in Babel. No foolin'.
    Then there's Mondo. The boys from Philly have a very new drummer in tow and they are sounding great. Not a misstep in the proceedings, the Philly 4 proved once again why they are the best Northeast garage rock band going. They just never screw up. Ever. Seriously.
    "One, Two, Three, Me":

    Photos galore!

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    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    New Blanche Video: "What This Town Needs"

    A full year after it was shot, the video for the "What This Town Needs" is finally completed and available:

    It is certainly their best video yet. And Little Jack Lawrence has never been more animated than when he was pushing those buttons. Sensational!

    Little Amber Bottles is finally going to be released officially in the U.S.A. on October 23rd. These are the only tour dates listed right now:

    The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco - 10/6
    The Crofoot Theatre in Pontiac, Michigan - 10/19
    BBC Electric Proms in London - 10/24

    Old Man Miller is also doing a solo show at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland on 10/11, opening up for Josh Ritter.

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    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    RRTV Highlights: Peachfuzz and Saint Motel; Love Me Nots

    Los Angeles-based Rock N Roll TV is a neat little podcast showcasing a lot of good going on in the underground garage. The last two episodes have been real winners - Peachfuzz and Saint Motel.

    Going back in the archives, here is the episode featuring the Love Me Nots.

    Pretty babe of a host too. You know, just for the record.

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    Metric Does Live-By-Request Webcast

    Airing right this second here and soon to be archived at the same spot. Best band to have done this thing so far, for sure.

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    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Punk Turns 30

    No, not Theresa K's awesome photo blog (though that is a great site to visit, especially right now), but a look back at the year in which the punk rock era hit its critical apex. WNYC's Soundcheck did two segments on punk yesterday, one with Spin Magazine, and another with Handsome Dick Manitoba:

    And just because they tease you with snippets of music:

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    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Greg Cartwright Kicked Off Gonerfest

    Last week in Memphis:

    and here is Donny Denim.


    Monday, October 01, 2007

    The Mystery Of The Cake

    What is the story with the Cake? Not Cake. Not The Sea and Cake. THE Cake. A 60's girl trio. Why, or what is the idea behind, the one of them being so sad looking and stiff? The Wikipedia entry, nor the tribute MySpace page, offer any clue, and AMG doesn't even have a proper bio.

    Thanks to a friend from old Kentucky way for the alert on this old New York nugget.


    October 2007 Concert Calendar Highlights

    -Mountain Goats is sold out tonight but he's playing Studio B tomorrow.

    -On Saturday, there is a great alternative to the Arcade Fire-led mega show at Randall's Island: The Hard Lessons at Union Hall.

    -The Pipettes cute it up at the Filmore on the 8th.

    -Jay Reatard is basically a resident in New York for a chunk of this month with 2 sets of 3 nights in a row, first the week of the 9th at Death by Audio, the Cake Shop, and Don Hill's and then later at CMJ.

    -Remember the Hives? They're playing Webster Hall on the 9th before they open up for...wait for it...Maroon 5 at Madison Square Garden. While my exterior patrician facade shows no change, know that inside I am laughing my ass off.

    -Remember the Donnas? You're better off seeing them than the Hives on the 10th. They'll be at the Highline Ballroom if you're feeling silly.

    -Some chick named P.J. Harvey is playing the Beacon on the 10th.

    -The Raveonettes are also doing a 3 night run around town starting on the 10th.

    -Terminal 5, the city's next mega venue, kicks off its impressive calendar with the National and St. Vincent on Thursday the 11th. The following two nights, the National will be playing at the smaller confines of the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

    -The CMJ Music Marathon kicks off on the 16th. Check back for all the details.

    -Starting Monday the 22nd, Morrissey begins a week-long at the Hammerstein. What a guy!

    -Khannie and the B, also known as the King Khan and BBQ Show will be at the Cake Shop on the 25th and in Williamsburg the next two nights.

    -The Go Team has already sold out their Bowery Ballroom show for the 28th. They'll be at Studio B the next night.

    -Halloween night is pretty major this year: The Police, The Black Crowes, Ryan Adams, Demons Claws, and Zap Mama. The best bet is with Ryan but it sold out in just a couple days back in August. Rats.

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