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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Portland Musicfest MFNW 2009

Portland, Oregon is hosting Willamette Week's Musicfest NW. The dates are September 16, 17, 18 & 19. The line up will include Sunny Day Real Estate, Explosions In The Sky, Beach House, Girl Talk, Bad Brains, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Mudhoney, Grouper, plus many more bands and more to be announced. Please visit for more details on performers and where to purchase passes.

Virgin Mobile Festival is Recession Priced = FREE!

A few changes with the Virgin Mobile Festival.

1) It will only run for one day this year.
2) The venue has moved from Pimlico Race Course to Baltimore's Merriweather Post Pavilion.
3) Price = FREE* (*=Ticket charges may apply and there asking for a $5 donation to help the homeless) Website reads "Because you deserve it!"

The lineup for this year's festival is:
Weezer, 311, Franz Ferdinand, Public Enemy, The National, Girl Talk, St. Vincent, The Hold Steady, , Mates of State, and Wale will all take part.

So what are you waiting for. Start watching some John Waters films, get your Pit Beef appetite ready and plan your trip to Baltimore, Maryland. More info can be found here.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

BIRDICO = Andrew Bird & Calexico

More to come . . . .

Thursday, June 18, 2009

French Cover band Nouvelle Vague rock NYC Hard. Spitting, Fights and Bossa Nova

France's premium cover band Nouvelle Vague opened their set with "100 Years by The Cure with the best opening line in Death Rock "It doesn't matter if we all die," then jumped into "Road To Nowhere" by Talking Heads and then a some "Master & Servant" by Depeche Mode. They do the song with a lounge and bossa nova flair and one of the singers looks like Brigitte Bardo.

During the song "Oublons l'Amérique" which translates to English "Forget America," a fight broke out and created a huge circle by the front of the stage. One guy fell to the ground after a big blow to the head. Security rushed In and ejected the winner and the loser.

The two band members Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux on keys and guitar were joined by a stand up bassist, a drummer and two amazing female singers.

During the Dead Kennedys song "Too Drunk to Fu#k" the singer threw her drink in the audience. Then climb off stage and on the balcony and started to scale the perimeter. A club bouncer quickly came and pulled her over balcony threw her over his shoulder and tried to throw her out of the club. She returned from downstairs and ran through the crowd and jumped back on stage and finished the song. She left the stage and the rest of the band performed a melancholy version of the Sex Pistol's "God Save the Queen."

The singer that got thrown off stage returned and sung with just the drummer and the keyboardist. Then the band played "I Just Can't Get Enough," and Echo and The Bunnymen's "Zimbo (All My Colours)" They played two versions of The Specials "I go out friday night and come home on saturday morning" one mellow and a quick ska version. The ended their set with Joy Division's "Love Will Tell Us Apart," which they got the whole crowd to sing along to. The band came out for an encore with Bauhaus's "Bela Legosis Dead,' where the Bardo look a like singer strangled her self with her mic cable enough to make Peter Murphy proud.

The stand up bassist played his bass like a viola then they busted into bossa nova version of Tuxedomoon's "In A Manner Of Speaking."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bonnarro Coverage 2009 by Michelle Koh

Greetings all! This was my first year attending the Bonnaroo festival, as well as my first attempt to cover a music festival. Therefore, this weekend was definitely a case of baptism by fire. First off, while driving from Massachusetts to Tennessee, the hard drive on my computer failed. And once I reached the festival, I discovered there were no free computers to be found with which to access the Internet, which is why this coverage is a couple days late. I apologize to the readers out there.

I have been trying to figure out what would be the most useful coverage of the Bonnaroo festival. It’s like another world—one where strangers become neighbors within minutes, beer flows like water and weed is encountered so frequently and openly it might as well grow on trees. If you are suddenly handed a media pass and told to park your car in camp Mr. Miagi next to complete strangers, like I was, you might want to know a couple things in advance:

1) Be open. People are extremely friendly and everyone will talk to you. It is awesome.

2) Bring these items:
Weed (although if you sneeze, someone will pass you grass)
Beer (in cans—no glass allowed)
Sleeping bag
Food (also bring a grill or a camping stove if you want to prepare any of it)
Water (there is actually water in Centeroo but sometimes it runs out)
Ice (you can refill it but it is price-y)
A cooler (that beer gets warm!)
Something to sit on, like a chair or a blanket
Something caffeinated (more on this in a second)
Baby wipes (showers are few and far between)
Hand sanitizer (those porta potties get dirty)
Toilet paper (those porta potties also run out of T.P. fast!)
Lighter (this is the best way to make friends quickly)
Camelbak backpack (not essential but it sure makes hydration easier)
Camera (you can get close to those artists you love)
Rain poncho and boots (it starts to look like Woodstock after awhile)
Full tank of gas (you will idle in line to get in)

3) Buy your food beforehand.Unlike Burning Man, you can buy many of the above essential items once at the festival, including delicious food. However, like most concert events, the price of everything is way more expensive than stopping at the local Walmart beforehand.

4) Be prepared to get exhausted. Bonnaroo has a grueling schedule. Each day is jam packed with thirty or so amazing musicians and comedians performing sets that last anywhere from one hour to three-and-a-half hours (Bruce Springsteen can really rock out when he wants to) at seven or so different tents. This does not include the Bonnaroo cinema (which plays gems like Teen Wolf and hosts Lebowski Fests), the Silent Disco, the Ferris wheel or the assorted eco-friendly stands and merchandise geared to becoming a hippy on the spot. This is why, if you want to do and see everything at Bonnaroo, you might have to do drugs. Or take caffeine pills. Or power nap. I tried to go the Red Bull route but unfortunately this made me sick right before the 2:15am act I was most looking forward to (MGMT) and I had to pass out in a sea of nausea in my tent instead. I'm not really sure what the best solution is to this insane schedule but it is definitely something to ponder strategically beforehand.

5) Be prepared for security checks. Luckily, the good people of Bonnaroo realize that the success of their festival largely depends upon the intake of substances, so the pat downs are more performative than functional, but you will have your backpack searched every time you enter Centeroo.

Okay, that's it for the practical advice. Now for the musical coverage (please be forgiving to a novice journalist). I thought I would divide the coverage up into days. This is what I managed to see in between Red Bull fiascoes, heat sickness, unfortunate boxed wine and frequent trips to the Johnny-on-the-spots:

I arrived late in the day. By the time I made my way into camp and set up my tent, I only had time for one act:
1) The Low Anthem. This guy is very mellow with a folk edge. And a good way to ease into the festival vibe.

1) St. Vincent. She is lovely. She's like a tiny Sigourney Weaver dishing out sweet melodies and complex arrangements. She also has amazing hair.
2) Comedy set with Janeane Garofalo and Arj Barker. Unfortunately, I don't think comedy works as well as music at Bonnaroo. This is because some of the comics come off as bitter in an environment that is trying to promote free love, man.
3) TV on the Radio. Amazing. These guys know how to rock it. Bonus points to the lead singer for some stylin’ white linen pants, serious dance moves and a blouse that got completely soaked in the sweat he poured during his mission to deliver mind blowing tunes.
4) David Byrne. Outstanding. For two solid hours it was like being in the Talking Heads "Stop Making Sense" video. There were dancers doing crazy choreography. David Byrne's voice is as good as it was in the eighties and he played tons of old hits. During the encore, he performed "Burning Down the House" in a white tutu! It was genius.
5) Phish. I never got into the Phish scene during my youth. I was surprised at how stripped down the sound was. However, "Possum" was great, the crowd was fully into it and my concert mate described it best when he said, "Now I can check off getting high at a Phish concert from my list of life goals."

1) Jimmy Buffet. I will never forget the experience of waking and baking with Tennessee locals to the sound of the man himself. A surprise guest, Buffet rocked out the hits at noon, including "Cheeseburger in Paradise," a cover of "Brown Eyed Girl," and "Margaritaville."
2) Robin Hitchcock. This Brit is hilarious. He is the epitome of dry, cracked out humor. During a press conference, his response to a line of questioning was "I'm here to eat babies." Dressed in a fluorescent pink shirt, Hitchcock told the crowd that he was glad we were still "young and unhappy" and delivered a set that can best be described as a sliver of the most hallucinogenic parts of the film "Velvet Goldmine."
3) Bon Iver. High pitched and poignant, Bon Iver captured the crowd with falsetto-driven songs that resonated with an emotional core.
4) Jenny Lewis. One of the best examples of indie girl sex appeal, Lewis oozed cool with her sunglasses and thick bangs, delivering relaxed songs with thoughtful lyrics.
5) Wilco. A truly awesome set. Wilco played at the headlining tent and the giant video monitors revealed that Jeff Tweedy has somehow become a man who smiles. It was shocking. The band's musicianship was in top shape as they churned out classics like "Jesus, etc.," “Misunderstood" and "I'm the Man Who Loves You."
6) Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. I am honestly not sure how Springsteen has the physical capacity to rock as hard as he does. The man knows how to put on a show and truly is the Boss. He also gave my favorite quote of the festival. After heading into the ecstatic crowd, he pulled all of the fans' signs onto the stage, and displayed the weirdest one, a human sized picture of Santa Claus. The Boss looked at the sign and opined, "It's too fucking hot for Santa." The band then began performing "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and the sweaty thousands of concertgoers happily sang along even though it was a June night in the middle of sweltering Tennessee.

1) A.A. Bondy. After waking up from the aforementioned Red Bull induced loss of consciousness that caused me to miss MGMT, I stumbled over to what might have been my favorite set. Not quite as famous as the other performers, A.A. Bondy had a sort of greenness to him that made all of his songs more raw and personable. When the crowd cheered, you could see on this folk singer's face that he was genuinely shocked to be so well received. It was the most stripped down and human performance that I saw at Bonnaroo.

Well, that's it for Bonnaroo 2009. I had a truly amazing experience that I won't soon forget. I can't wait for next year. I might, however, leave the Red Bull behind.

-Michelle Koh


Friday, June 12, 2009

Sharon Van Etten Live at Union Pool 6/12/09

I walked in a tiny bit late as Sharon Van Etten captivated the Thursday night crowd at Union Pool with her song "Consolation Prize." She stood in the center of stage excited to play for a crowd and her heart felt, beautiful-sweet voice poured off stage into our ears and numbed our minds. She next played her folk classic "For You" both off here new album entitled Because I Was In Love. The new album shares some of the tunes off her self titled debut Home Recordings but is nicely produced by Greg Weeks and a major upgrade of an improvement to the recording quality. Tonight's show was a Northside Brooklyn Music & Art Festival show which was a listed as a showcase of Transatlantic Folk. She claimed her song "I Fold" is about moving back in with her parents and trying to be OK with it. It's hard to believe with voice like hers she's not being driven around in some pimp car but I guess she'd have to do a rap cross over for that kind of expense account. She ended the set with a new song she said hoped wouldn't put us to sleep and she has to raise the capo a fret up due to her heavy smoking earlier in the night. If you have a chance to she her please get out check her out.

Jun 13 2009 5:00P Hooves on the Turf NORTHSIDE MUSIC FEST @ Trophy Bar Brooklyn, New York
Jun 20 2009 11:00A Popped! Philadelphia Music Festival Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jun 21 2009 3:00P MMNY Brooklyn, New York
Jul 3 2009 8:00P Sycamore w/ Angel Ocana Brooklyn, New York
Jul 16 2009 8:00P Monkeytown w/ Speck Mountain Brooklyn, New York
Aug 14 2009 8:00P Union Hall w/ Alela Diane Brooklyn, New York

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brooklyn Music & Art Festival Northside

This year, The L Magazine will host the first annual Northside Music and Arts Festival, a four-day celebration of New York City’s independent music and art scene, taking place from June 11-14 at over fifty music venues and galleries throughout the Williamsburg and Greenpoint neighborhoods of Brooklyn. For the music portion of the festival, The L will present a number of shows at the area venues. But Northside is primarily a collaborative event, with dozens of the most influential NYC-based music businesses (from record labels to blogs to radio stations) having curatorial control over their own showcases. The L has also teamed up with the Williamsburg Gallery Association to incorporate Brooklyn’s most renowned galleries, planning exhibitions and various events over the course of the weekend.

Some of the music highlights include: Brightblack Morning Light, Mariee Sioux, The Hold Steady, Ólöf Arnalds, Sharon Van Etten, Drink Up Buttercup, John Vanderslice, Sunset Rubdown, Asobi Seksu, Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers and many many more.

The Festival will kick off with an opening night party, featuring live performances, special guests, drink specials and much, much more. Stay tuned for more details, right here on

Monday, June 08, 2009

Nouvelle Vague US shows and new LP

Everyone's favorite French cover band Nouvelle Vague return to the states for a string of live dates for the first time in years! The inventive band that takes a song you adore and shows you how to fall in love with it allll over again!With their sophisticated combination of bossa nova, jazz and sixties pop as they continue to remaster post punk and new wave nuggets! Nouvelle Vague has just completed their third record entitled NV3- US label & release date to be announced soon! This time the band has been joined by by some singers including Depeche mode’s Martin Gore, Ian McCulloch of Echo And The Bunnymen, Terry Hall of the Specials and Funboy Three and Magazine’s “Parade” sung by Barry Adamson.

JUNE 17 @ The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza, NYC (Doors 8:00pm)
JUNE 18 @ La Maison Française, Embassy of France- Washington, DC (Doors 8:30pm)
JUNE 19 @ Grand Ballroom @ The Regency Center, San Fran (Doors-7:00pm/ Show-8:00pm)
JUNE 20 @ The Music Box Theatre @ Fonda, Los Angeles at (Doors 8:00pm/Show 9:00pm)

David Byrne for Free tonight in Prospect Park

Celebrate Brooklyn! presents a free concert with David Byrne. He will perform the music he worked on with Brian Eno: three Talking Heads albums, 1981’s groundbreaking My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and last year’s Everything that Happens will Happen Today. An ensemble cast including dancers, background vocalists, and a singular band will amplify the spectacle.

The concert will be preceded at 5:30 P.M. with Celebrate Brooklyn’s first Green Gala, which includes cocktails, dinner and reserved seats for Byrne’s performance. Gala tickets, for $325 and up, are available at 718.855.7882 x33. The 8:00PM concert will be followed, at 9:45 P.M., by a dance party open to gala guests and Friends of Celebrate Brooklyn.

Back in 2005 I saw David Byrne play an outsdoor show at Central Park's Summerstage. The show went on despite the rain but Bryne did slip on stage and fall. Let's hope if it rains tonight he stays on his feet.

The Doves Live at The Trocadero, Philadelphia

Maybe it was where I was standing, but it sounded like Doves played in a giant bucket instead of the Trocadero in Philadelphia the other night. Less-than-stellar sound quality hampered an otherwise great, if not uneven, set from the Manchester three-piece (four-piece for touring purposes). Playing a nice mix of songs from all of their albums, Doves got the first big cheers of the night four songs in for the back-to-back “Rise” and “Pounding.” It was here, too, that the gig picked up some momentum. From their latest album, “10:03” and “The Greatest Denier” led into “Kingdom of Rust,” which was a revelation before the crowd got restless during the hushed “Ambition.” Everything picked up the pace again, though, for “Black and White Town” and “The Outsiders” before audience sing-along “Caught By the River,” where the predominantly male crowd showed their sensitive sides.

The best part of the night was undoubtedly the encore, when the band seemed its tightest. Bassist Jimi Goodwin took over on drums to leave the harmonica and vocals to drummer Andy Williams on “Here It Comes,” a highlight of the set. And even though I had an overzealous fan in my ear asking for Sub Sub songs, the pairing of “The Last Broadcast” and “There Goes the Fear” to finish the night was fantastic. Songs from their first two albums, Lost Souls and The Last Broadcast, received the warmest reception, but most of the new songs sounded just as vital and will surely take their places in future Doves setlists.

Overall, I couldn’t hear Jimi Goodwin’s bass, but his distinctive vocals were consistently spot-on all night. Also, the band’s sequencing (controlled by the mysterious man crouching behind the drums?) was a little off, leaving some parts to come in at the incorrect time or not at all. (Or again, maybe I just couldn’t hear them?) Still, Doves soldiered through and seemed in good and gracious spirits. They’re a sadly refreshing act in this day and age—a band with consistently good songs, who don’t care about being cool. They’re often better live than on album, though on this night, this only occasionally shone through.


Winter Hill
Almost Forgot Myself
The Greatest Denier
Kingdom of Rust
Black and White Town
The Outsiders
Caught By the River

Here It Comes
The Last Broadcast
There Goes the Fear

~ Erin Cramer

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Museum Party with Moby & Friends

Moby is throwing down at the American Museum of Natural history this Friday with Holy Ghost! and other DJ's.
Also Holy Ghost! have just been announced as part of Green Label Sounds 2009 lineup along with Chromeo, Solid Gold and U-N-I.
Enter from now till Thursday, June 4th 3pm over at to win a pair of tickets to the event for this Friday night June 5th.

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