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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Interview with Stephen Kijak director of Scott Walker: 30 Century Man

Interview with Stephen Kijak, director of Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, by Kevin Serra for

We met up with director Stephen Kijak after his New York film premier of Scott Walker: 30 Century Man at the IFC Center in the Village and chatted him up about the American release of the documentary film. The film plays this week till Dec 22nd. The movie will then hit Los Angeles in January, and San Francisco and Oakland in February. For more info please visit For NYC tickets visit

When did the idea of making a documentary on Scott Walker come into play?

I had been a fan since 1990, when Fontana first issued his classic albums on CD for the first time. I had fallen in love with his orch-pop ‘60s epics (those four numerically-titled late-60's albums "Scott" 1 through 4.) When "Tilt" came out in 1995 it was a very different Scott Walker—the evolution was fascinating. I started ruminating on a film then. And about ten years later, when I heard he was about to make yet another album, it just felt like a "now or never" moment.

Did you hear that other people had tried to make a Walker film (and failed) before starting the project?

Yes. I was surprised it hadn't been done, at least in the UK. There was a 20-minute piece done for "The Late Show" but it was very brief—not that in-depth—although he gives quite a good interview for it. I wanted to go for something a bit more expansive that covered as much of the career as I could fit on screen, from the glorious doom-pop of The Walker Brothers right into the making of his new album.

Who were some of the people you got on board that helped sell the making of the film?

Well, we attached Bowie as our Executive Producer and that was a huge help. He really does love Scott—he's a great advocate for lesser-known musicians. Then Grant Gee was signed up to shoot and edit with me. I was a fan of his Radiohead film and he was commissioned to do a short film about John Cale that was just excellent. Sadly, the record company shelved it. But it had the vibe I was looking for. And Scott likes Grant quite a bit as well. It was a good fit. Graphic designer Graham Wood (another favorite of Scott's) was asked to contribute motion graphic sequences. As for other "names" that helped push it more into the spotlight ... we have Radiohead, Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn - all the usual suspects!

Read the complete interview at

Obama - The New Groove Tees by Swell Drummer

Artist/Drummer Sean Kirkpatrick of San Francisco Alternative rock band Swell has designed some great Obama t-shirts. Check out his The NEW Groove design above. To order one please visit In addition to doing most of the Swell LP covers Sean does some amazing paintings. Check them out at

Come Tomorrow - Swell

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Arcade Fire Mirror Noir DVD & Download is Released

Limited Edition DVD Pre-Order + Digital Large (Shown Above) Mirror Noir Feature + Additional DVD with extra material (including Saturday Night Live and Arcade Fire at the BBC) + accordion folded panorama and artcover, linen bound package. Plus the immediate download of large digital file. The DVD will ship no later than 3/31/2009. There are few options on the DVD packaging and you can download one of three formats of the digital DVD now at

The Cure - Myspace show at Troubadour LA

Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images for MySpace
MySpace Music held a special Secret Show concert by The Cure on Saturday, December 13 at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. The performance took place exclusively for the MySpace users, in which the community was notified via MySpace of the free concert only 24 hours before the show occurred. Many of the band's most avid followers came out for the incredible event! In addition to the hundreds of fans that lined up to see The Cure, celebrities in attendance included Kirsten Dunst, Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Eliza Dushku, Lukas Haas, The Killers, All American Rejects, AFI, Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance), Hayley Williams (Paramore) and Trey Parker (South Park).

Full set list from the show:
Underneath the Stars
Pictures of You
The Perfect Boy
Alt End
The Reasons Why
The Walk
The End of the World
Love Song
The Real Snow White
The Hungry Ghost
The Only One
Wrong Number
Sleep When I'm Dead
Friday I'm in Love
In Between Days
Just like Heaven
The Scream
One Hundred Years
Its Over

Monday, December 15, 2008

Flaming Lips Film X-Mas on Mars Free Tonight

The Flaming LIps movie Christmas on Mars will be shown for free at 7pm in Park Slope tonight at The Brooklyn Independent Cinema Series at Barbés
376 9th St (at 6th Ave) Park Slope, Brooklyn. For more info visit

2008 - Christmas On Mars - Trailer from George Salisbury on Vimeo.

Scott Walker Film Finally Reaches the US

The Scott Walker film entitled Scott Walker: 30 Century Man directed by Stephen Kijak will finally see the light of day in US theatres. I believe the film will run in NYC, LA and SF from December 17th for limited engagements so please visit for more details on show times.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bettie Page, RIP

Bettie Page, the brunet pinup queen of the 50's died of pneumonia at the age of 85 in a Los Angeles, California, hospital yesterday.

Dan Deacon & Dirty Projectors - Brooklyn Masonic Temple

Dirty Projectors performed after the So Percussion who we unfortunately missed at The Brooklyn Masonic Temple this Thursday evening.
After a while of testing and setting up Dan Deacon took the stage with enlisted help from an ensemble of musicians. The ensemble really brought his electronic music to a whole new level of life, especially the percussion players. He rotated from doing songs solo, immersed in the crowd to jumping on stage and joining the ensemble for a live jam. This show was a premiere of a whole new Deacon showing what he's capable of in a band environment. The crowd was more than please as he pushed the envelope of his style incorporating a band but ended the show getting the crowd in a frenzy all on his own. People just love Dan Deacon with or with out a band.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

AC Newman MP3, LP & Tour Details

AC Newman, head songwriter/ringmaster of The New Pronographers, drops his solo record out January 20th 2009 on Matador Records.
Check out a preview track: Submarines of Stockholm.Mp3

AC Newman 2009 TOUR DATES

20-Vancouver @ Biltmore Cabaret
21-Seattle @ Neumo’s
22-Portland @ Doug Fir
23-Sacramento @ Harlow’s
24-San Diego @ Casbah
26-LA @ Troubador
27-Santa Barbara @ SOhO Restaurant and Music Club
28-SF @ The Independent (Noisepop)

1-Eugene, OR @ John Henry’s

10-Ithaca, NY @ Castaways
11-Toronto @ Lee’s Palace
13-Providence @ Club Hell
14-Boston @ Paradise
15-NY @ Bowery Ballroom
17-Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s
18-Washington DC @ Black Cat
20-Atlanta @ The Earl
21-Nashville @ Mercy Lounge
24-Minneapolis @ 400 Bar
25-Chicago @ Logan Square Auditorium
26-Pontiac @ The Pike Room at The Crofoot
28-Pittsburgh @ Andy Warhol Museum
29-Brooklyn @ The Bell House

(Dent May are the support from 2/20 to 3/15)

Brooklyn Masonic Temple, Secret Society shows

Dan Deacon, Dirty Projectors and So Percussion are playing tomorrow 12/11 at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple for another Secret Society show. Also check out the upcoming show with The Walkmen and The Dodos on 12/16. Visit for more info.

Visit and send us an email with header that reads "Dan Deacon" for a chance to win a pair of tickets for tomorrows show.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Interview with Dean & Britta

Dean & Britta have been very busy last few years. Between working for the Obama campaign (Britta), writing a book (Dean), starting a record label (named Double Feature, both Dean and Britta), touring, and, oh yes, recording some music along the way, is there anything these two can’t do? Click here to read the Interview.

M. Ward Tour Dates

Singer-songwriter and modern-day troubadour M. Ward announces plans to hit the road this winter and bring audiences on both sides of the Atlantic tracks from his highly-anticipated release, Hold Time (February 17th). Amidst producing and arranging Zooey Deschanel’s indie pop gems and being the “Him” of She & Him’s critically-acclaimed Volume One this past year, M. wrote and recorded Hold Time, the fully realized follow up to the internationally praised Post-War. It features stunning guest performances by Lucinda Williams, Jason Lytle (ex Grandaddy) and Zooey Deschanel.

So as not to miss your chance to catch M. Ward live on his upcoming tour, fans will have the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance. Pre-sale for the US shows begins Tuesday, December 9 and ends Thursday, December 11. Tickets for all shows in the US, UK and EU will be made available to the public on Friday, December 12.

Click here for tickets. Password for pre-sale: holdtime

Wednesday, February 18 Boston, MA @ Somerville Theater
Thursday, February 19 New York, NY @ The Apollo Theatre
Friday, February 20 Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero Theatre
Saturday, February 21 Washington, DC @ Sixth and I Synagogue
Wednesday February 25 London, UK @ Borderline
Thursday February 26 Paris, FR @ Café de la Danse
Friday, February 27 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
Wednesday March 4 Los Angeles, CA @ Music Box at Fonda
Thursday, March 5 San Francisco, CA @ Palace of Fine Arts
Friday, March 6 Seattle, WA @ Showbox At The Market
Saturday, March 7 Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater

Lily Allen new album art and tracklist & video

February 10th in 2009 Lily Allen will release It's Not Me, It's You the follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2007 debut, Alright, Still.

01. Everyone's At It
02. The Fear
03. It's Not Fair
04. 22
05. I Could Say
06. Go Back To the Start
07. Never Gonna Happen
08. Fuck You
09. Who'd've Known
10. Chinese
11. Him
12. He Wasn't There

Watch the video for "The Fear

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Free Xmas Music from Vice Records

Vice Records has a free holiday EP which you can download from Amazon here. Preview a track from The Raveonettes doing "Come On Santa".Mp3

Monday, December 01, 2008

Theresa Andersson the Loop Pedal Princess

Swedish born, New Orleans transplant, Theresa Andersson is like a happy St. Vincent or Juana Molina. She uses a loop pedal to build her songs with Violins, drums, guitar vocals much more. Watch the above video for "Na Na Na."

01/06: Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe
01/16: Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe
01/20: Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe
01/30: Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe

Lizzy Grant New Yawk Performances

Jazzy Jersey girl Lizzy Grant will be performing a few shows in New Yawk and New Joisey this December.

Dec 2 2008 |The National Underground | NY
Dec 5 2008 | Jersey City Kevin Spyker + Railroad Studio | NJ
Dec 16 2008 | The Living Room | NY
Dec 18 2008 | NY SIRENS | NY

Squirrel Nut Zippers Tour

Chapel Hill, North Carolina's The Squirrel Nut Zippers will be in Brooklyn this Friday at South Paw along with fellow North Carolina, chaps The Old Ceremony.

So polish up your dancing shoes and get ready to move to their Delta blues, gypsy jazz, 1930s-era swing music.

Their once band mate Andrew Bird will not be joining the band for this show but will be headlining Carnegie Hall early in 2009.

Dec 3 2008 8:30P | The Arts Center | Carrboro, NC
Dec 5 2008 9:00P | Southpaw w/ The Old Ceremony | Brooklyn, NY
Dec 6 2008 8:00P | The State Theatre | Ithaca, NY
Dec 7 2008 8:00P | Webster Theatre | Hartford, CT
Dec 8 2008 8:00P | Tupelo Music Hall | Londonderry, NH
Dec 9 2008 8:00P | Showcase Live | Foxboro, MA
Dec 17 2008 8:00P | Boulder Theatre | Boulder, CO
Dec 18 2008 10:00P | Belly Up Aspen | Aspen, CO
Dec 19 2008 8:00P | Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom | Denver, CO

Hell - Squirrel Nut Zippers

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free EP Download from Matt Pond PA

A new Matt Pond PA (9 track) EP is available for FREE DOWNLOAD, starting today. Go get a copy at

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

M83 Opens for The Killer in early 2009

M83 will be opening for Kings of Leon in December in the UK and The Killers in the US in 2009. The M83 live setup includes Gonzalez on vocals, guitars and keyboards, Loic Maurin on Drums, Pierre-Marie Maulini on bass and guitar and featured album vocalist Morgan Kibby (of LA-based band The Romanovs) on vocals and keyboards. M83 re-released Digital Shades Vol.1 on CD and LP on October 28th.

The tour dates in support of The Killers are below:

17 Denver, CO Magness Arena - Ritchie Center
19 Minneapolis, MN Northrop Auditorium
20 Chicago, IL UIC Pavilion
22 Detroit, MI EMU Convocation Center
23 Toronto, ONT Air Canada Centre
25 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
26 Boston, MA Agganis Arena
28 Washington, DC George Mason University Patriot Center
29 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues
30 Atlanta, GA Atlanta Civic Center
31 Nashville, TN Grand Ole Opry House
2 Houston, TX Verizon Wireless Theater
3 Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
4 Dallas, TX Nokia Theatre

NY Cares Benefit by Nick of Islands

Islands frontman Nick Diamonds hosts a New York Cares Benefit on Monday, December 8th at The Knitting Factory. The line up includes Nick Diamonds himself plus David Cross, Marnie Stern, Conrad of Trail of Dead, Leona Naess, Despot and many more. It costs $20 at the door. Free Pabst Blue Ribbon from 7-9pm.

ATP New York 2009 Partial Line Up Announced

FRIDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER - Don't Look Back/Comedy
DAVID CROSS - curating comedy
SUICIDE performing First LP
DIRTY THREE performing Ocean Songs



Monday, November 24, 2008

New Bruce Springsteen song

Bruce Springsteen's single "Working on a Dream" will become available in the iTunes Store and on today. Free downloads will be available through both sites today. The track will be a paid download in the iTunes Store from tomorrow exclusively through December 9.

Springsteen's new album 'Working on a Dream' has been set for January 27 release on Columbia Records. 'Working on a Dream' was recorded with the E Street Band and features twelve new Springsteen compositions plus two bonus tracks. It is the fourth collaboration between Springsteen and Brendan O'Brien, who produced and mixed the album.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Andrew Bird Tour Dates

Andrew Bird has confirmed dates for the first leg of a North American tour in support of his forthcoming new album Noble Beast. The tour will begin just after Noble Beast's release with Bird's first ever headline engagement at Carnegie Hall on January 28. This run of theater headlines will be opened by LONEY DEAR with the exception of Carnegie Hall, which will feature DOSH as support. Presales with low-fee surcharges for most shows are already underway at General on sales will be this weekend.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Budos Band NYC Shows

Funk/Afro-beat kings Budos Band will play three shows in NYC.

Nov 13 SOB’s New York, New York
Dec 06 BAMcafe Live Brooklyn, New York
Dec 19 Mercury Lounge New York, New York

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rock the Vote Today - David Byrne eMail

Please get out and vote today. Below is an email I received yesterday from David Byrne.

"Pardon the bulk mailing. I Can't Vote. I am an immigrant with a Green Card and, therefore, I am not eligible to vote in a federal election. FYI - I can get drafted (luckily, Daniel Berrigan burned my draft board's records) and I pay taxes, yet I cannot vote for President. On Election Day, I see my neighbors heading to the nearby elementary school to cast their ballots. The voting booth joint is a great leveler; the whole neighborhood - rich, poor, old, young, decrepit and spunky - they all turn out in one day.

But most of you can vote. What can I say? The Republicans have made us less safe than before 9/11, bankrupted this economy, started an illegal war they can't - and don't intend to - finish, removed what sympathy (after 9/11) and respect the world had for the US, and have robbed US citizens of many of their basic rights. Global warming? What's that? Science and education? Investment in our future? No, thanks - we'll stick with a good 'ole hockey mom. Ignorant, and fucking proud of it, as is always the case.

Although it looks like a shoo-in, it ain't over 'til Florida. And there are plenty of racists in this country who will vote against their own best interests. So please, get to your local elementary school, post office, town hall, or whatever, and cast your vote and make this a country we can all be proud of. We can get out of this mess, and life can be better than it is."

David Byrne

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Last Shadow Puppets NYC & LA Shows

Excuss the lateness of the post but The Last Shadow Puppets return to the states for two shows. The band announced that they will be supported by Stephen Fretwell for their already past sold out New York date at the Grand Ballroom on Thursday, October 30th and The Muslims for their LA upcoming date at the Mayan Theatre on Monday, November 3rd 2008. The band consists of Arctic Monkeys lead singer Alex Turner and lead singer of then newly formed The Rascals (ex The Little Flames), Miles Kane. Their debut album The Age Of The Understatement was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize but lost out to Elbow's, The Seldom Seen Kid. The band played their first ever show earlier this year in Brooklyn, New York at Sound Fix Records on 4 March 2008 and played their second gig at the Lower East Side's Cake Shop the following night.

The Last Shadow Puppets - "My Mistakes Were Made For You"

The Rascals "Freakbeat Phantom"

Arctic Monkeys - "Put Your Dukes Up John" Cover of The Little Flames

The Little Flames - "Isobella"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Atlas Sound Free Halloween Dances Download

Bradford Cox, (Deerhunter and Lotus Plaza) released two new tunes as Atlas Sound. Ignite your Halloween spirit with the two ethereal Halloween dance gems, "Danse Infernale" and "Danse Macabre," which are available for the taking here. There is also an October Micromix and a track called "Coffin Trick," as free downloads on the blog too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CMJ Day 5 - Final Night

Well, everything that we set out to accomplish was accomplished. CMJ final night was certainly the encore.

It began with the oddness that is The Music Tapes. Banjos, musical saws, and singing television sets were the weirdest of the weird. But somehow the spectacle was enjoyable. The band had a live show that couldn't be denied as completely original. From a metronome that was taller than the singer to a song that was played with ball bounced on a snare drum (front man Julian Koster claimed it “was hard”)-there is no band quite like the Music Tapes.

The duo that is Wye Oak followed and poured passion into their set. There performance was certainly a highlight of the evening. Singer Jenn Wasner told heartfelt stories in which you can easily connect-from family struggles to anticipation of the end of one’s youth. The band plays their hooky folk songs that build to become rocking versions of themselves with drummer Andy Stack also playing a keyboard. This in itself was worth the show, but there was so much more. If you’re a guitar player, you wish guy could play half as good as the talented Wasner. Her vocals entranced. For many this performance may have earned Wye Oak a spot on the best of 2008. The band sounded even better than their recordings live and since it was a brief set, it left many wanting more.

After Wye Oak I made my to the Bowery ballroom where a band called All the Saints played as one of the tightest bands of the week. They were an undoubtedly talented trio, however, there was nothing to really draw you in the way that Wye Oak or other bands had throughout the week.

Many were excited to welcome, Marnie Stern-the modern day Lita Ford. But much cooler. Her finger tapping on the guitar, a la Eddie Van Halen was a style that amazed many. And the woman could sing. Her stage presence was immense. She earned some new fans at the conclusion of her set.

Next up was Vivian Girls and damn were they good. The distortion that the three-piece packed into their brief set was intense. All No Age comparisons were dropped…this was an original band that writes catchy but fuzzy and thunderous songs. They rocked through the brief ditties from an album that will be on many top ten lists at the end of the year and they set the stage for Crystal Antlers.

Now, just know I went to the Bowery for Vivian Girls but left a big Crystal Antlers fan. Mr. Kevchino compared the band to Mars Volta and yeah, I could see that. But they were better. The set was backed with energy that never seemed to dive. One track after the next had the audience moving almost uncontrollably. Crystal Antlers sort of felt like a jam band with a purpose. They were much funkier than Mars Volta and one of the best performances of the whole of CMJ.

Finally, A Place to Bury Strangers closed the evening with the loudest songs of the night. The stage was set with dimmed lights as the band played appropriately distorted and dark music. The loud, fuzzed out guitars drowned out the vocals but the band show was immediately powerful. The performance brought to mind a less dreamy My Bloody Valentine or a dreamier …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The band concluded by adding a little destruction to the stage as they distorted there sound even more as they heaved their guitars aside. Ears were buzzing as the crowd dispersed from an amazing night.

All in all the final night was the best night. Until next year CMJ. Thanks a lot!

~ Nick Greto

CMJ Day 5 - Ha Ha Tonka, Cordero

Indie rock quartet Ha Ha Tonka hail from the middle of the country - Springfield, Missouri to be precise.   But, before you start cracking jokes about cows and country bumpkins, you might want to take a second to check out the band's tunes.  Granted, Springfield may not have the music cache of other hot beds of rock like NYC or L.A. but what it does have is a cross-section of music genres that allow musically clever bands like Ha Ha Tonka to mix, match and ultimately, cherry pick the best of the batch.

In Ha Ha Tonka's rich musical palette, you'll find delta blues licks mixed in with Ozark folk melodies and the sass of Southern rock.   The band played a high energy set to a packed room at Union Pool in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon.  In case you missed it, just take a listen to their stand out song "Caney Mountain" from their 2007 disc Buckle in the Bible Belt (Bloodshot Records) and then be prepared to stand up and swear that the coasts have nothing on mid-western rock!

Cordero, the Tuscon, AZ band that now calls Brooklyn home, was formed as a bilingual outfit by singer Ani Cordero in 1999. The band began to gain some headway after a 2000 move to New York City where they released three albums and hit the road in support of bands like Los Lobos, The Indigo Girls and Calexico. In 2006, the band signed with Bloodshot Records which released their latest album De Donde Eres on August 26th of this year.  

The band stopped by Union Pool on Saturday afternoon to play their official CMJ gig. Playing a mix of haunting Latin ballads and bouncy numbers that had couples teaming up for some sultry partner dancing, the band instantly won over the room.

You can catch Cordero in the Brooklyn area again on November 7th @ Bam Cafe Live.  

~ Amy Wagner

Friday, October 24, 2008

CMJ Day 4 - No Singing DJ, Wye Oak

We hit Brooklyn's newest venue The Bell House (Conceived and created by the friends behind Union Hall and Floyd's) in hopes to see Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson and Jens Lekman DJ a set. We arrived at the beautiful venue which boasts twenty five foot wooden arched ceilings, a 450 square foot stage, with *unobstructed views from any part of the room. *Take note Terminal 5. Friendly staff & security! Grade A+

No Jens Lekman was to be found DJ-ing unless he was in another room we missed but Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson took the stage to a crowd of ten and played a small set. I had heard some hype about this band but was not to impressed. Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear, Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio appear as guests on their album but were not their to stimulate this live show.

Next up was a Baltimore duo (not Beach House) called Wye Oak as people filed in filling up the large venue. Wye Oak consists of singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner and drummer/keyboardist/background vocals Andy Stack. Jenn sang with a strong yet dreamy voice similar to Cat Power, Mazzy Star and picked her Reverend guitar with PJ Harvey-esque tones as Andy crashed in with a keyboard bass line, complimentary drums and nice backing vocals. The crowd was won over after their first song and was the highlight of our short but sweet night. They put out an album out on Merge Records entitled If Children earlier this year.

~ Kevchino

Warning - Wye Oak

CMJ Day 3 - Jay Reatard

Nick & I headed out to Hoboken, New Jersey to catch Jay Reatard's second show of the night at Maxwells. They played earlier in the evening at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The band stormed in the club set up and rocked out. There was not a second of dead air space were between each song. Not even twenty minutes in the set had gone by and they whipped through ten tunes. I think they covered all thirteen tracks of the Matador Singles '08 including gems like "See/Saw," "Screaming Hand," "Always Wanting More," and "You Mean Nothing To Me." The trio rocked with intensity and stormed back off stage almost as quick as they got on.

~ Kevchino

CMJ Day 3 - Zack and Miri Make a Porno

We caught director Kevin Smith's (Clerks, Mallrats) new film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Staring Seth Rogen (Superbad, Knocked Up) and Elizabeth Banks as Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri who try and solve their cash-flow problems by making an adult film together.

After the movie director Kevin Smith did a Q & A with the audience and spoke of how he got the film's R-Rating, getting around permissions for Star Wars with George Lucas and some horrendous poo stories including how he wipes his butt.

~ Kevchino

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CMJ Day 2 - Friendly Fires, Stones Throw

The first night of CMJ (for me) was filled with pleasant surprises and not so pleasant surprises.

First, if the idea of standing in line with 200 people for a show that you RSVP’d for, only to be turned away after 45 minutes, than the Stones Throw party at the Gallery Bar on Orchard St. was for you.

It wasn't for me, so Mr. Kevchino and I rambled quickly to the Annex that was just a few feet away.

When we arrived we were greeted with a band called Dirty Fuzz -a straight up rock band fronted by a Macy Gray look alike (Elida Zulu), with a soulful voice to match.

We caught about 4 tunes that all brought to mind classic rock of old. They ended with a track that packed the room. Whether it was filling for the song "Whore" or for the band that was to follow was uncertain.

The next act did, however, became the highlight of our brief evening.

Friendly Fires had a nice buzz surrounding them due to a Brooklyn Vegan endorsement. Within moments of taking the stage it was obvious why BV was a fan. The front man Ed Macfarlane was there to put on a show. That was the first thing that was noted. He slithered and jerked on and off the stage as electronic beats met organic ones and jangly guitars meshed with his quirky Devo like vocals.

Pleasant as the Devo comparison may be, the bands influence seemed to range from U2, Klaxons, Tom Vek, Oingo Boingo and The Cure.

The band won over the crowd quickly with its stage presence. They were undoubtedly on stage to perform. They ended with a percussion filled ditty called "Paris" that all but solidified them as the first CMJ break out. Everyone at this show will be talking about it tomorrow.

Check out Friendly Fires Jump In the Pool.mp3

~ Nick Greto

CMJ Day 2 - The Brothers Bloom

I've been to CMJ many years and always have tried to catch some of the film screenings of the event and I am either to tired to attend or there are scheduling conflicts with bands to check out. This year I saw the second film by one of my favorite directors Rian Johnson on the CMJ Guide and made some concrete plans to attend. Rian Johnson directed Brick back in 2005 which is a mashup of a modern day detective - teen drug drama and a thirties noir film.

In 2008 Johnson is back with The Brothers Bloom a modern day romantic con artist film which plays out is if Wes Anderson did an adaptation of Peter Bogdanovich's Paper Moon. Stephen Bloom played by Mark Ruffalo sets up poignant cons using more symbolism than Russian authors. While his brother played by Adrien Brody wants to live a more unscripted life. Rinko Kikuchi plays Bang Bang the duo's trusty third partner in crime and delivers constant laughs while Rachel Weisz plays the eccentric, millionaire epileptic photographer Penelope Stamp who joins the team on their last con.

This film a completely new direction for director Rian Johnson leaving behind the noir colors of Brick for a more vivid colorful adventure teaching us that all lives are scripted.

His cousin and film composer Nathan Johnson & Director of Photography (Steve Yedlin?) were both there for a brief Q & A.
They mentioned Rian is already writing his third movie a sc-fi film entitled Looper. The film is scheduled to hit theatres this December.

~ Kevchino

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

CMJ Day 1 - Magnetic Morning, Springhouse & Life And Times

I woke up this morning headed straight to the doctor and got my flu shot preparing myself for the musical orgy known as CMJ to began.

I picked up my CMJ badge and photo pass at Judson Memorial Church. Every year I get terribly sick from the event so I thought I'd play it safe and stay in to be in good shape for the days to come but . . . I noticed a show at Southpaw a few blocks from my casa which sounded intriguing enough to contradict myself.

I walked in and caught the tail end of the set by Kansas City, Missouri's Life And Times. The band was amazing complete with angelic guitar chimes and a powerful drums and bass rivoting the sounds into bliss. A band I will keep on my radar.

Next up was Jack Rabid of The BigTakeover's band Spring House. They had a fill in bass player for Larry Heinemann. Singer Mitch Friedland armed with his delay ladled nylon string guitar, spit out some college radio inspired jams with drummer Jack Rabid keeping it all in time.

Next up was Magnetic Morning formerly the The Setting Suns. The band fronted by Adam Franklin of Swervedriver and backed by and all star ensemble featuring Interpol's drummer Sam Fog, Jimmy LaValle of The Album Leaf on keys, Frederic Alexandre Blasco of Interpol &The Secret Machines and Josh Stoddard.

As Adam crooned with his lovely voice he and the other guitarist F A Blasco pulled out some amazing guitar sounds with their amassment of guitar pedals that covered the stage floor. If the band were to retire anytime soon they could pull up in thier van in front of any NYC guitar boutique and give them a run for thier money.

The band shimmered and sparkled with Jimmy LaValle's keyboard loops and knob twists and rock and jammed with the all star line up. Apparently yesterday they released a full length entitled Magnetic Morning A.M on Friend Or Faux Records.

I found a track called "At a Crossroads, Passive" off their new LP you can test drive below.

At A Crossroads, Passive - Magnetic Morning

~ Kevchino

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stones Throw CMJ Party

This is where we'll be on Wednesday make sure to RSVP to get in.

Department of Eagles Daytrotter Sessions

Check out the free Daytrotter Department of Eagles downloads here . Be sure to download new songs "1997" and "What is Your Deal?" + three tracks of their new LP In Ear Park. You can read our review of the LP here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Menahan Street Band CD Release show Review

Menahan Street Band

The Phenomenal Handclap Band

Tonight Southpaw played host to Daptone Records own Menahan Street band with The Phenominal Hanclap Band opening and playing their third show together. Dressing in white with 11 musicians on stage most of the time, The Phenominal Handclap Band also brought out a horn section for a few songs, looking more like a cult then a band. But when they started playing, I think most people in the audience were as blown away as I was. Blending disco, chanting, electro, droning, and Afrobeat just to name a few, the band had at least four different singers and their myspace page names off 28 musicians including Aurellio Valle of Calla and Jon Spencer as having some sort of involvement though it looks like Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand are the ringleaders here.

The brainchild of Dap Kings, Budos, and Menahan guitarist Tommy Brenneck, Menahan Street Band feature several key members of the Dap Kings. Daptone Records, a label made up of a collective of artists and bands (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, and Budos Band) who are known for working together and creating some of the most authentic 1960s raw soul and funk around, spared no expensive in creating one amazing show. A no-vocalist act, labelmate Charles Bradley came up on stage at one point to provide some vocals on two songs, with one being the amazing “The World (Is Going up in Flames).”

Dressed in a white suit, the man sung his heart out making the crowd whoop and holler. As a group, Menahan Street Band are like the James Brown soul review back in the 60s mixed with Ethiopian jazz musician Mulatu Astatke, playing very precise parts without the cheese. As a label, Daptone consistently puts out raw and gritty soul and funk making anything they touch sound top notch, and the Menahan Band, playing songs off their new album “Make the Road by Walking” got everyone moving, making their tour something to look forward to.

Words by DaVe Lipp
Pix by Kevchino

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Menahan Street Band CD Release at Brooklyn's Southpaw

Come check out this amazing band featuring members of Sharon Jones & The Dapkings, El Michels Affair, Antibalas and Budos Band live this Friday at Brooklyn's South Paw in Park Slope. Read's review of the Menahan Street Band's debut LP Make the Road by Walking here. Free Heineken beer from 8-9pm! Get tickets here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crystal Stilts, Violens and Viva at 92YTribeca

Saturday night we went out to check out what 92YTribeca was all about. This free event was their soft launch of the new space and they had 3 local NYC/Brooklyn bands on the bill Crystal Stilts, Violens and Chairlift. We arrived and check out artworks by Matthew Thurber, Lauren Weinstein and Tom Hart and then went inside the music room to check out the Crystal Stilts. The standing drummer girl was a nice touch in contrast to the rest of the bands more laxidasical presence. But either the new venue hadn't dialed in the mixing or the bands vocalist wasn't able to project on top of their music.

After the first band we found were the real fun was in the theatre room were they were projecting Anna Biller's 2007 film Viva. Which was a beautifully done tribute to sexploitation films from the 1960s and 1970s. The film showed naked men and women entangled in orgies with comic one liners that had the whole audience up in laughter.

We returned to check out Violens set. The dimly lit stage didn't showcase the band to well as they bounced between rocking licks and dreamy and atmospheric jams. But once again either the new venue hadn't dialed in the mixing or the bands vocalist wasn't able to project on top of their music. I really love their recordings i've heard on the bands Myspace page but in this live setting a little of the dreamy ambience was lost. Both bands oddly had kind of a Smith's/Morrissey thread going on. We went back and checked out some more of the film Viva and took off into the night missing Chairlifts set.

The people running 92YTribeca were great. No meathead security guards. The bartenders were very nice and the drinks affordable. Overall the bands were fun to check out but the Viva film was the highlight of the evening. Be on the look out for more shows to come including the screening of Lou Reed's Berlin Live at St Ann's Warehouse and of course the opening night with John Vanderslice Live in Concert, with Michael Showalter on October 18th.