Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tonight: Fragile Porcelain Mice/NIL8

If you like reminiscing, this is the week to do it. Last night the Unconcious played at the Lucas Schoolhouse, rocking their funky college-rock from the early 90's, Pale Divine will be playing a nearly sold-out show on Monday at the Pageant, bringing the drama of their early 90's rock, and tonight. Well, tonight we'll be kicking it old-skool, but with 2 bands that have never really gone away.

NIL8 hail from Springfield, Illinois. Here's what All Music Guide has to say about them:

Powerful foursome from Springfield, IL, N.I.L.8 debuted in 1989 with their first vinyl record featuring "Last Flash of Paisley Pastel" and "Too Loud," followed by the self-produced Six Inch Extension in 1991. Led by brothers Jeff Williams and Bruce Williams, the band signed up to Fundamental Records before issuing Hallelujah I'm Gonna Kill Myself in 1993. N.I.L.8 started getting involved in the U.S. hardcore punk field, performing intense live shows with songs mainly based on social issues. 1995's Eunuch became their first Fuse Records release, followed by the reissue of Hallelujah I'm Gonna Kiss Myself in 1996 and Doug a year later.
~ Drago Bonacich, All Music Guide

Here's what Old Skool has to say about them:

They rock, they are fun, and sometimes they are a little sloppy while they are rocking your ass off. Here they are doing "Basement Show":

Fragile Porcelain Mice have a been a live force for over 15 years. While they no longer tour as extensively as they did in the 90's, they still play 4-5 shows a year, and always bring the rock show. Their shows this year have featured a few new songs, so my hope is that a new recording will be coming in 2009. The best way I can describe them is a cross between Jesus Lizard and Rage Against The Machine, with some Refused thrown in there for good measure. Of course bands hate being compared to other bands, but that's what I hear. Here's a video of the band during their peak of popularity at the late, lamented Mississippi Nights (now a casino parking lot. Ya bastards!). I place this at about 1997 using advanced carbon dating technology:

As I said, the band never went away, but Tim (guitar) left for a while, and the band's popularity waned as band members got married, had kids, and generally played out a whole heck of a lot less. Tim eventually came back into the fold, and FPM have been bringing the same electricity to each live show, but the crowds are more in the 200-300 range, versus the sold out Nights shows, which were around 1,200 people. The live show is great each. and. every. time. Here they are in a basement, summer of '06, no fancy PA, no light show, bringing the raw rock as they cover "Dirty Deeds":

Oh, and look for a rare Old Skool cameo toward the end, rocking with my eyes closed (hey, it was 1 AM! Did I tell you I was old?):

That was a great night, and there have been many seeing these boys. Of course, I should disclose that Tim is my brother, and that I used to help with most of their CD covers. But I would still try to see Fragile as many times as possible even without those facts. Add that to the fact that this is one of Lucas Schoolhouse's last shows before closing, and it's compelling evidence to be there. I hope they don't turn this club into a parking lot. See ya.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Neko Case: New Album Follow-Up, Making-Of Video

I mentioned before that Neko has a new album coming out, and that she will be returning to the Pageant on September 24, 2009. Here's a making-of video for the new one, where she talks about recording in an old barn with abandoned pianos: "And you konw what's extra cool? The frogs!" The meaning of the title Middle Cyclone: "What if a tornado fell in love with you?" And her love of creating, and sound collages: "I really love to Eiffel Tower, but I have popsicle sticks. So I have to make mine out of popsicle sticks rather than steel."

It's an engaging look at the artist:

Merry Christmas, I Hate You

I hope you all do have a Merry Christmas, and that it is filled with good things.

I get the feeling that Josh Weller and Paloma Faith don't really mean what they are saying, since they are smiling and having fun, but this is a good song, Christmas or no. Kinda like a stripped down Asylum Street Spankers. And I kept wishing that when Josh turned around there would be a bald spot behind that fierce windshield of hair:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

Going through some top 5 lists, came across this video of a guy lip-syncing this entire Belle & Sebastian song, walking through a party of revelers, some in on what is going on, some not so much. It feels happy and fun, and I thought I would watch it for 15 seconds and turn it off, but something about it is strangely compelling. I'm not sure if I could cast off enough inhibition to do what this guy does, maybe that's why I watched the whole thing:

Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - New Year's Lip Dub No. 2 from Josh Shayne on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Neko Case: New Album, St. Louis Visit

Here's the new cover of Neko Case's album Middle Cyclone that comes out March 3. Here's what her label Anti has to say about it:

Middle Cyclone was produced by Case with Darryl Neudorf and recorded in Tucson, Brooklyn, Toronto, and Vermont. It features Case backed by her core band - guitarist Paul Rigby, bassist Tom V. Ray, backing vocalist Kelly Hogan, multi-instrumentalist Jon Rauhouse, and drummer Barry Mirochnick - along with numerous guests including M. Ward, Garth Hudson, Sarah Harmer, and members of The New Pornographers, Los Lobos, Calexico, The Sadies, Visqueen, The Lilys, and Giant Sand, among others. In addition to twelve new songs written by Case, Middle Cyclone includes covers of 'Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth' by Sparks, and "Don't Forget Me" by Harry Nilsson.

Complete tour dates below. I'm excited to see that she is coming back to the Pageant for a St. Louis show on September 24, since I couldn't make it the last time.

Neko Case on tour:
Aug 25 - Tucson AZ - the Rialto (Benefit for GAL + Tuscon Dog Protection)
Aug 27 - Reno NV - Robert Hawkins Amphitheater
Aug 28 - Salt Lake City UT - Gallivan Center (Twilight Concert Series)
Aug 29 - Boise ID - Winery at Eagle Knoll
Aug 30 - Seattle WA - Bumbershoot Festival
Aug 31 - Vancouver BC - Stanley Park Singing Exhibition (Neko Case set)
Sept 1 - Vancouver BC - Stanley Park (New Pornographers set)
Sept 12 - Laytonville CA - Earthdance Festival @ Black Oak Ranch
Sept 14 - Morrison CO - Monolith Festival
Sept 15 - Omaha NE - Slow Bar
Sept 16 - Des Moines IA - Hoyt Sherman
Sept 18 - Minneapolis MN - First Avenue
Sept 19 - Madison WI - the Orpheum
Sept 20 - Chicago IL - Hideout Block Party
Sept 21 - Chicago IL - Hideout Block Party – with New Pornographers
Sept 23 - Cleveland OH - Beachland Ballroom
Sept 24 - St Louis MO - the Pageant
Sept 25 - Oxford MS - the Lyric
Sept 26 - Oklahoma City OK - Diamond Ballroom
Sept 27 - Dallas TX - Granada Theater
Sept 28 - Austin TX - Austin City Limits festival

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Here Come The Year End Lists

Here are some of the year-end lists from some of the music rags. If you are releasing your Magnum Opus between now and the end of the year, you are screwed. I've bolded (and italicized, since I could barely tell they were bold) the ones I have heard and think have some merit:

1. Fleet Foxes
2. The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age Of The Understatement
3. Paul Weller, 22 Dreams
4. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!
6. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive

7. Glasvegas
8. The Week That Was, The Week That Was
9. The Bug, London Zoo
10. Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark
11. Portishead, Third
12. Don Cavalli, Cryland
13. Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
14. British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music?
15. Eli “Paperboy” Reed & The True Loves, Roll With You
16. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
17. Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
18. Pete Molinari, A Virtual Landslide
19. Beck, Modern Guilt
20. TV on the Radio, Dear Science

Q Magazine
1. Kings of Leon, Only the Night
2. Fleet Foxes
3. Coldplay, Viva La Vida...
4. Vampire Weekend
5. Glasvegas
6. Duffy, Rockferry
7. TV On The Radio, Dear Science
8. Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid
9. The Raconteurs, Consolers of The Lonely
10. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!

11. Sigur Ros, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
12. Keane, Perfect Symmetry
13. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
14. Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their Heads
15. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
16. Hot Chip, Made In The Dark
17. Adele, 19
18. British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music?
19. Goldfrapp, Seventh Tree
20. The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound

Stephen King, via Entertainment Weekly:
1. Buckcherry, Black Butterfly / The Pretenders, Break Up The Concrete
2. AC/DC, Black Ice
3. James McMurtry, Just Us Kids
4. Girl Talk, Feed The Animals
5. Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal
6. Coldplay, Viva La Vida
7. Al Green, Lay It Down
8. Lindsey Buckingham, Gift Of Screws
9. Randy Newman, Harps And Angels
10. James, Hey Ma

1. She & Him, Volume One
2. Sigur Rós, Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust
3. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
4. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
5. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
6. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
7. Girl Talk, Feed the Animals
8. Sun Kil Moon, April
9. Lucinda Williams, Little Honey
10. Deerhunter, Microcastle
11. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive
12. Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
13. Ida Maria, Fortress Round My Heart
14. Langhorne Slim, Langhorne Slim
15. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
16. My Morning Jacket
, Evil Urges
17. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Lie Down In The Light
18. Death Cab
 for Cutie, Narrow Stairs

19. Gentleman Jesse and His Men, Introducing Gentleman Jesse and His Men
20. Hot Chip, Made In The Dark

1. Lil' Wayne, Tha Carter III
2. Girl Talk, Feed The Animals
3. TV On The Radio, Dear Science
4. Metallica, Death Magnetic
5. Hot Chip, Made In The Dark
6. Robyn
7. Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
8. Randy Newman, Harps & Angels
9. Vampire Weekend
10. Fall Out Boy, Folie A Deux
11. Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs
12. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
13. Al Green, Lay It Down
14. Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue
15. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
16. Be Your Own Pet, Get Awkward
17. Conor Oberst
18. Ponytail, Ice Cream Spiritual
19. Katy Perry, One Of The Boys
20. Wale, Mixtape About Nothing

I have not heard everything on these lists. If you say you have I will think you are lying. Anything left out?

Image is Rankin/Bass's version of Baby New Year.

Old Skool Flashback- Osaben

Ah, the the days of my youth. Big thanks to John, my friend and former band-mate, for sending these pics from our college days in Savannah when we were going to the Savannah College Of Art And Design. I do not lie when I say those were good times in large part because of living with him and exploring music and art and life with him there as a part of it.

I'm the one in the striped shirt, John is showing off his sexy man-arms. Yes, the name of the band was "OSABEN", yes, that is my last name. As john told me, if I didn't name our band that, he was going to start another one with that name. I believe he felt it had the right ring, like Van Halen, or Dokken. The shots came from a shared practice space in the basement of a deserted department store. One of the other bands was Suicide Launch Pad, a punk band that got its name from the blowing up of the space shuttle. If I remember correctly, the were fronted by Psycho Jim, and did a great punk cover of "I'm A Little Teapot". A local photographer friend, a guy probably in his late 40's named Teeny would take our photos and we would have parties every so often on the weekends, each band playing a set from their practice area. That's Calvin on drums. He didn't have electricity, or heat or something, so he would heat his apartment in the winter with his stove. I don't recommend that one.

We played mostly originals, and some covers like "Whole Lotta Rosie" by AC/DC and "Lonely Is The Night" by Billy Squire. That last sentence probably best describes why we never got that far, but if you have never been in a band, I suggest you do it. Even if no one comes to see you, you are united with a common purpose. And it's a kick.

Thanks John.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Queen + Amanda Palmer

Think about it. The potential that pairing would have.

OK, I admit it. The whole Paul Rogers thing, how much I don't like it. It sticks in my craw. So much potential, ruined by the whole... pedestrian-ness of his lyrics and melodies. Can Amanda sing like, or as good as, Freddie? Don't think so, don't care. She'd bring the personality, the feeling that Queen has leaped into the unknown, that they are playing without a net, and with another very strong personality. Did I mention personality? I submit Amanda's new video as my closing argument:

The Jesus Lizard Return, Old Skool Feels Like Christmas Just Came Early

The Jesus lizard were one of the best/scariest bands I have had the privilege to see. A band that ran with military precision musically with David Yow screaming like a rabid cat over the top of it all. Yow without the solid underpinnings of Duane Denison, David Wm. Sims, and Mac McNeilly would have seemed unlistenable. The band without Yow would have run the risk of being pedestrian. This is truly an example of chemistry that worked extremely well.

The only details so far is that they will be appearing at All Tomorrow's Parties in May, and will end their brief reunion with a final show in Chicago, their home town, in November. Will they come to St. Louis? We will have to wait and see. Until then, here they are at the Side Door, performing "Gladiator":

That David Yow can't seem to stay on the stage. man, they were a great live band. I found this comment on Youtube to be right on, in the best possible way: Michael Azerrad writes that "on the Jesus Lizard albums Albini recorded, singer David Yow sounds like a kidnap victim trying to howl through the duct tape over his mouth; the effect is horrific."

Monitor your internet-viewing devices! Do not miss this opportunity to rock with the Jesus Lizard! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nada Surf: Weightless

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from the Old Skool Institute of Musicology. We hope that you have many things to be thankful for.

Here's a great winner of a video that some fans did to win a Youtube contest for Nada Surf's song "Weightless":

It's amazing what can be done now, the power that used to only be in the hands of the $$fortunate few$$, now spread upon the masses. This video has an interesting surreal quality that makes me wonder if it is all a dream. Well done.

Now go get that turkey in the oven. Peace.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Single Ladies"

Having a bad day? This parody should brighten things up considerably:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Queen's "The Cosmos Rocks": Yes It Does, But This CD Does Not.

I did not have high hopes for the new Queen/Paul Rogers release, but tried to go into it with an open mind.

I find it to be boring, for diehard fans only. There are glimpses of the greatness from time to time, especially when we hear Brian May's guitar roar to life, but that glimpse is immediately mitigated by Paul Rogers' inane lyrics. Gone is Freddie Mercury's genre-hopping that energized the band, in its place is a bluesy bar band approach. The whole affair is closer to Bad Company at its most pedestrian.

I offer these sample lyrics:

Call me if you need my love
Call me if you need my love
Call me if you need my love
Call me if you need my love

I met her in her neighborhood
I was just passing through
One look was all it took yeah
One look or two

Call me if you need my love
Call me if you need my love
Call me if you need my love
Call me if you need my love

here's one more:

Once I loved a butterfly
don't wonder how- don't ask me why
But I believed what I'd been told
"All things that glitter can't be gold"

OK, I can't help cite one more:

Surf's up
School's out
I got a criminal urge to

Oh, man. Blarg. I'd go see them live, though. If they promised to only play 3-4 new songs...

Post Secret

Many of you may already be aware of Frank Warren's Post Secret web site. I know I have gone to the site regularly for some time now. Frank posts new secrets that everyday folks send in to him every Sunday morning. It has become something of a ritual for me to go to his site sometime in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and peek behind the strangers curtain. The experience is sometimes funny and also sometimes surprisingly moving. He recently came to STL and Mizzou, and unfortunately I could not make either of those appearances. But I did go see him last year at the Mad Art Gallery, not really knowing what to expect. The video below gives you at least a small feel for what that was like.

I expected Frank to be boisterous, and to make fun of the posts. Turns out he is an amazingly sensitive person who takes what he does with a respect for each and every person's secret. Now that doesn't mean he can't have some fun with the posts, but I felt a great admiration for him after his talk. If you get a chance, go see him. You won't regret it.

BTW, I didn't post any of the cards from his site here, because I think that would cheapen what he does. So take a look.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Amy Winehouse: So Sad

Photos taken just this week. Man, she is looking messed up.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hayes Carll: She Left Me For Jesus

I was reading the Riverfront Times last night, I laughed out loud reading the refrain from this song:

She says I should find Him and I'll know peace at last
If I ever find Jesus, I'm kickin' his ass

OK, so I didn't get out to see Hayes Carll last night at the Duck Room in Blueberry Hill, the work week overtook me and sent me to bed. But I did find the video for the song, and it's a lot of fun, interspersing footage from a fake reality show "2-Timerz". Even has outtakes at the end. Looks like a good time was had by all. If only I could have gotten there myself. Anybody go, or anybody see him before?

From McSweeney's: 50 Years Of Popular Songs, In One Sentence

Happy Friday, everyone. This made me chuckle, from McSweeney's:



- - - -

The Beatles, "I Want to Hold Your Hand"

I want to do it with you.

- - - -

Marvin Gaye, "Let's Get It On"

I want to do it with you.

- - - -

Led Zeppelin, "Whole Lotta Love"

I want to do it with you.

- - - -

James Blunt, "You're Beautiful"

I want to do it with you.

- - - -

Sir Mix-a-Lot, "Baby Got Back"

I want to do it.

- - - -

Elvis Presley, "Hound Dog"

You're doing it with everyone.

- - - -

R. Kelly, "I Believe I Can Fly"

I believe I want to do it with you.

- - - -

Patsy Cline, "Crazy"

I want to do it with you so much I'm going fucking nuts.

- - - -

Frank Sinatra, "Strangers in the Night"

I'm drunk and I want to do it with you.

- - - -

The White Stripes, "My Doorbell"

Using metaphor, I want to do it with you.

- - - -

Little Richard, "Good Golly Miss Molly"

I'm doing it with Miss Molly, and she's totally into it.

- - - -

Duran Duran, "Rio"

I'd love to do that chick dancing on the sand.

- - - -

The Beatles, "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"

I'd like to do it with you right now.

- - - -

Carly Simon, "You're So Vain"

We used to do it, but then you did it with someone else, and now I'm not going to do it with you, although I wish we were still doing it.

- - - -

Pulp, "Common People"

I once met a stuck-up European who wanted to do it with me.

- - - -

Radiohead, "Creep"

I'm filled with self-loathing, and, though outwardly I hate everything you represent, I want to do it with you.

- - - -

Kate Bush, "Wuthering Heights"

I'm an 18th-century fictional character and I want to do it with another 18th-century fictional character.

- - - -

Bob Dylan, "Blowin' in the Wind"

The Man is currently doing it to you.

- - - -

Elvis Presley, "Jailhouse Rock"

Incarcerated men will on occasion do it with each other.

- - - -

Meat Loaf, "I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"

Hey! You won't believe what this one chick said while I was doing it with her!

- - - -

Kings of Leon, "Sex on Fire"

I did it with you, and now it hurts when I pee.

- - - -

Céline Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"

Even your death has not stopped me wanting to do it with you.

- - - -

AC/DC, "You Shook Me All Night Long"

We did it yesterday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today's The Day: Go Vote

It's your patriotic duty:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Blitzen Trapper: Live At Vintage Vinyl STL

So I couldn't make Blitzen Trapper's proper gig opening up for Stephen Malkmus at the Pageant on Saturday night due to a wedding, but was excited to see that they would be playing a short in-store set at Vintage Vinyl Sunday at 1 PM. I showed up right at 1 PM and was surprised that the band was ready to go. Note to self: If a band plays an in-store the afternoon of a gig, they will show up 45 minutes late and play about a half hour after that since the van broke down, or they got lost, or some other story. If it's the day AFTER a show, the band has someplace to get to, so they are going to start pretty close to on time.

So on to the set, and Blitzen Trapper. Seeing them live, even at a record store, cemented a couple of things for me:
1. The band is really good, and bring more keyboards to the mix than I expected. They also have a lot of nice twin guitar leads that are melodic and toothy all at the same time. They have real songs that stand up, sounding like a combo of Gram Parsons, CSN&Y, and Pavement, with dashes of prog and Dylan thrown in for spice.
2. Listening to the band live also confirmed something that I have been thinking for a while: I think the band's latest, "Furr" is my favorite release of the year. It resonates with me, both lyrically and musically with a feeling of classic stories in a contemporary setting.
3. It was fun watching the 2 or 3 year old rugrats rocking out and playing with their hot wheels just a foot away from the band. Blitzen Trapper didn't mind, and the kids were cool as long as they listened to their parents and didn't go past the cords.
4. I really need a better camera than the crappy point and shoot that I was using. The pic above was the only one worth posting from about 8.

Pick up "Furr" and tell me what you think. These guys are the real thing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Taste The Magic: America Now

Odd but catchy song/videos from Adult Swim and Brad Neely:

Like Schoolhouse Rock on "retarded".

Here's the first Schoolhouse Rock, which originally aired on ABC starting in 1973 on Saturday morning cartoons. It's "Three Is A Magic Number":

Cheap Trick Plans To Celebrate 30th Anniversary of "Live In Budokan"

In an effort to get the bad taste of that last post out, here's something from Cheap Trick, WHO HAVE ALL THEIR ORIGINAL MEMBERS:

1. The boys from Rockford have a new album in the can, and are looking for someone to partner with to release it. No release date, obviously, yet. More when we hear about it at the Old Skool Institute Of Rockology World Headquarters.

2. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of "At Budokan", the disc that launched them, at least for a while, into superstardom with "I Want You To Want Me", the band is planning some special goodness. The band has recorded a new Budokan set from their visit this past April, and plans on releasing a CD/DVD of the concert. That is interesting, but let's face it, they did it because they can sell some discs on nostalgia. I doubt the recording will be anticipated by anyone other than the faithful followers of Bun E. and gang.

The more interesting news here, although I admit it still probably only excites the Cheap Trick mega-fans, is that they will also release a box set CD/DVD of the ORIGINAL concert, which was filmed and broadcast on April 30, 1978 on Japanese TV. It's been in the can all that time, aging like a fine wine. Unless it had a bad cork, which in that case it will stink like a 30-year-old Members Only jacket. We'll see, but I think that will be interesting.

3. The band also hope to release a 1998 re-recording of the classic 1977 "In Color" album that was produced by Steve Albini.

That's a lot of nostalgia, but one thing is true: Cheap Trick is ALWAYS good in concert. And if these little trips down memory lane help fund them so they can go out on the road and rock some more state fairs and club dates, I say do it.

Oh, and one more thing about that last LZ post: IF this is real and that other guy sings for them, it means that Creed may re-form since Alter Bridge is all the non-singing members of that band. It goes from bad to worse, folks.

Old Skool Weeps: Led Zeppelin: Are They REALLY Thinking About Touring With A Singer Other Than Robert Plant? REALLY?

If this was April 1, I would feel better reporting this. Because then it would be a bad joke, not a "real" news story that I picked up from Billboard.

But here it is, from Billboard. I can't even bring myself to paraphrase. An excerpt:

Who needs Robert Plant? Apparently not the other surviving members of Led Zeppelin, who are ready to pull the trigger on a tour with a new singer if Plant refuses to join in. Sources tell Billboard the frontman first in line for the gig is Myles Kennedy, who has most recently led the rock outfit Alter Bridge.

Kennedy has rehearsed with Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones and drummer Jason Bonham on several occasions, according to sources in the know. In a recent BBC interview, Jones confirmed the band was planning to tour but didn't refer to Kennedy by name.

First Page and Plant tour and don't consider having Jones join them. And now this.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yo-Yo Ma/Andrew Bird Live Duet

This one made me smile. I agree with Stereogum that Yo Yo is a bit patronizing, but then again, he is YO YO and probably just met this other guy, the one they call Andrew. And you just know that Andrew is going to break out his bad-ass whistling. The brother just can't help himself:

The Flaming Lips Are Cool Even When They Are Doing The NBC "Chimes"

Link to the video here. Make sure you check out Wayne's cool guitar hero guitar. Sweet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Octopus Project, This Thursday At The Bluebird

I was pleased to see that the Octopus Project were going to be gracing our fair STL city this Thursday at the Bluebird. If you are not familiar with them , they are a mostly instrumental group hailing from Austin. I stumbled upon them at SXSW a few years ago, and was entranced to see a young lady playing the hell out of the Theremin along with a full-on band. That's right, I said Theremin. The band puts on a very good live show.

Here is a new video from them that has a great home-made feel. Man, I miss seeing videos on my MTV:

Here's one for the song "Truck". I love you both videos capture the aesthetic of the band in their own way:

There are more videos on their site, along with some MP3s that you can download. Go see them, I bet you'll like them. Enjoy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Music From The Future, Today

Thanks to Warren for this one:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Flaming Lips: March Of 1,000 Flaming Skeletons This Saturday

My good friends in the Flaming Lips e-mailed me to let me know that they are having their annual parade this Saturday, October 25 in Oklahoma City. Sounds like a lot of fun, but I've got to wash my hair and can't make it. Maybe next year, though. Here's the details:

This Oct 25, The LIPS will once again host their annual MARCH OF 1000 FLAMING SKELETONS parade in downtown Oklahoma City’s Bricktown district, just a stones throw away from FLAMING LIPS ALLEY.

Last year’s inaugural Ghouls Gone Wild event was a huge success that drew LIPS fans from around the globe. Naturally, this year’s Supernatural procession will be even more incendiary as festive floats, (in)appropriately adorned cars, walking groups and plenty of surprises along with 1000 strong undead snaking through the streets of Oklahoma City. Wayne Coyne will lead the evening’s proceedings as Master of Ceremonies and the parades Grand Marshall Extraordinaire.

For $35 you get a cool pack of a t-shirt, skeleton suit, and torch. And of course you get to march in the parade! Sounds awesome, and I am seriously thinking I need to do this next year when I can plan ahead. Go HERE to sign up, and let me know how it was!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Free Music Downloads From Insound

For a limited time you can download a free sampler at Insound to celebrate the upcoming CMJ Festival in NYC, October 21-25. The mix includes a bunch of bands like The Uglysuit, Crystal Stilt, and more bands that I frankly have not listened to UNTIL NOW. Any good? Don't know, but it's free. Go get 'em!

Apollo Sunshine: Singing To The Earth (To Thank Her For You)

Apollo Sunshine e-mailed me (OK, it was a bulk e-mail. Let me live in my cotton-candied fantasy world where all the cool musicians love me and correspond regularly with me. It gets lonely here on Old Skool Mountain's Fortress Of Musicology) to let me know that they have a new video, featured below.

Cool fact about this video: guitarist Sam Cohen and his girlfriend Sarah Graves created the stop-motion animation together. Fun video, thanks for sharing, good friends (in my mind) Apollo Sunshine!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Old Skool Proof Of The Eyes Concert Attendance

Why have I written so much about the Eyes/Pale Divine reunion? Maybe it's because I saw them back in the day almost EVERY WEEKEND. My friend John send me some shots from their web site that clearly shows evidence of an Old Skool siting, similar to seeing the mythical bigfoot in the wild. Often heard about, rarely documented. John is the fair-haired longer-haired blonde behind the stage, I'm the shorter darker haired guy in the front.

Wonder if ballerina girl will be there?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

In The Air Tonight

I can feel it in the air tonight. Can't you?

Monday, October 13, 2008

AC/DC Hear Old Skool Pleas, Agree To Come To STL. Forget To Tell O.S. Just How Damn Expensive It Will Be to See Them.

Old Skool may just buy the DVD and stay home.

The Eyes/Pale Divine Update

Well, the December 29 reunion show is a go, and tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster or through the Pageant box office. As a matter of fact, the reserved seating looks to be all sold out, dangnabbit. Darn other Old Skoolers, wantin' to be sittin' the whole time...

The Eyes always favored the dramatic and I am happy to say that this reunion is no exception. Most bands get back together and hope they sell enough tix to make a couple of bucks and share some memories of good times. I'm sure the boys are looking forward to that, but there is more: You can also get a limited edition retrospective booklet with a DVD and two CDs, a remastered version of the original "Freedom In A Cage" (which I have, of course. From the original CD release at 1227.) and 12 demos from the aborted follow-up to "Straight To Goodbye". For a little more $$ you can also have a limited edition t-shirt.

Looks like I'm gonna have to get a job at the gas station to pay for all this stuff.

Go here to see a part of the DVD, showing the band rocking out in all their glory at Kennedys, The Hangar, Mississippi Nights, etc. It's a hoot to watch. You can also check out the shirt and images of the book/cd/dvd/toenail clipper

Purple And Brown Silliness

Here's one that made me chuckle, from Aardman Animation:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Avett Brothers- Murder In The City

The Avett Brothers are bit of a conundrum for me. The first time I saw them open up for BR5-49 I could not tell if I loved them or hated them, these wild-eyed romantic hippies bashing and stomping, screaming their lungs out. And there also was some gorgeous harmonies, and lyrics that rang true, an unusual thing.

This song, from the Second Gleam EP, absolutely slays me. It should be a monster hit, one of those medical shows should have it roll over one of those emotional montages, and every man woman and child should own a copy. Look, it's got it all: Musing about growing up:

I wonder who my parents loved the most
I sure did get in lots of trouble
They seemed to let the other g
o (as the brothers share a smile)
A tear fell from my father's eyes
I wondered what my dad would say
He said I love you and I'm proud of you both
In so many different ways


If I get murdered in the city
don't go revenging in my name
One person dead from such is plenty
No need to get locked away
When I leave your arms
The things I think of
No need to get over alarmed
I'm coming home

Acoustic guitars, piano, harmony, family:

Make sure my sister know I loved her
Make sure my mother knows the same
Always remember there was nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name

Not many songs are good enough, real enough, that I feel the emotions and am moved by them. Buy The Second Gleam on itunes, emusic, at your favorite music store, or at least buy this song. These boys deserve it.

For more, here they are from an earlier post from when Jeff and I saw them at the Sheldon. There was no mistaking my feelings for them at that show. It was a rare magical night, starting with this very song:

Tractor Rock

Sorry I've been AWOL lately. I've been... thinking.

Here's Sweet Georgia Brown, with a tractor's engine keeping beat. Fun:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

AC/DC Hear Old Skool Pleas, Agree To Come To STL

Good news! Good news! AC/DC have extended their tour after many hours of meetings at Camp David with yours truly, and have agreed to come to STL! On January 13, Scottrade Center! Black Ice indeed!No need to thank me, it's all in my line of work. Now I still need all of you to focus on Amanda Palmer's eyebrows so she picks up our telepathic signals and schedules a date here. New dates below:

Dec. 20: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (Bank Atlantic Center)
Dec. 21: Tampa, Fla. (St. Pete Times Forum)
Jan. 5: Cleveland (Quicken Loans Arena)
Jan. 7: Pittsburgh (Mellon Arena)
Jan. 9: Toronto (Rogers Centre)
Jan. 11: Cincinnati (U.S. Bank Arena)
Jan. 13: St. Louis (Scottrade Center)
Jan. 15: Omaha, Neb. (Qwest Center)
Jan. 17: Fargo, N.D. (Fargodome)
Jan. 19: Minneapolis (Xcel Energy Center)
Jan. 21: Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center)
Jan. 23: Dallas (American Airlines Center)
Jan. 26: Tulsa, Okla. (BOK Center)
Jan. 28: Little Rock, Ark. (Alltel Arena)
Jan. 30: Memphis (FedEx Forum)
Jan. 31: Nashville (Sommet Center)

The Good Lord Giveth, Robert Plant Taketh Away

Doesn't anybody talk to the singers of bands? Here's Robert on his web site, squashing rumors of a Led Zep reunion tour:

Robert has no intention whatsoever of touring with anyone for at least the next two years. Contrary to a spate of recent reports, Robert Plant will not be touring or recording with Led Zeppelin. Anyone buying tickets online to any such event will be buying bogus tickets.

“It‘s both frustrating and ridiculous for this story to continue to
rear its head when all the musicians that surround the story are keen to get on with their individual projects and move forward,” Robert Plant said.

“I wish Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham nothing but success with any future projects,” he added.

Guess you better get those Celebration Day tickets for November 14 & 15.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Old Skool Saturday Round-up

Welcome, welcome! How are you? You are looking great, very relaxed, so good to see it. Is it because you have heard the news that:

1. Guns-n-Roses have signed an exclusive deal with Best Buy to release Chinese Democracy by the end of the year? Well, don't hold your breath on that one. One of the sticking points is when the release date will be (snicker).

2. I am sure that you will be excited to hear that Led Zeppelin are rumored by the British tabloid the Sun to be ready to start rehearsals for a tour that would begin next summer.

Maybe you should go see Celebration Day, the very nice Led Zep cover/tribute band that will be at the Pageant November 14 + 15. From what I saw last time, these guys really do it right. You'll be all salivating and stuff, thinking about the real thing.

3. Remember how I told you about Yes replacing Jon Anderson, because of illness? I would have assumed they would have checked in with him, told him what they were doing. You know, make sure he was cool with it. Eh, not really. And he's pissed.

4. One thing I know: you look great, happy, all that jazz. You must not have known that Paul Newman died at 83, losing his battle with cancer. Hate to bring you down, but he was a great. And seemed like a great man. Damn. Here he is singing Plastic Jesus in Cool Hand Luke. God rest.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Robert Plant + Alison Krauss= Transcendent

Thank you, oh Musical Muses.

Sometimes you overwhelm me with your gifts.

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One More For Tonight- Robert Plant And Alison Krauss At The Fox

Here's Robert Plant and Alison Krauss doing "Please Read The Letter".

The song I am looking forward to the most is "Fortune Teller". Here's a fan-made video that uses some images of Alison, Robert, and a slew of fortune tellers:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss- Tomorrow At The Fox!

Well, this one was a long time coming. This was supposed to happen in June, and got postponed. I bought the tickets on MARCH 3! Six long months later, I'll finally get to check out what should be a sweet concert.

I went looking for Sharon Little, to see what she is going to be like, since she is the opening act. Here's Sharon performing live:

And a little about her from her official bio:

At the start of 2008, Sharon Little was working as a waitress. Less than five months later, she is appearing in concert halls throughout the country as the opening act on the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss and T Bone Burnett “Raising Sand” tour. She’s winning ovations as Perfect Time For A Breakdown, her brilliant album of heartfelt personal songs, is released nationally. While this might seem that she’s an “overnight sensation,” Sharon is anything but a flash in the pan. She’s a singer of intense emotional honesty and the songs she’s written reveal an old soul that just happens to be within a person possessed of undeniable physical and spiritual beauty. The journey that has taken her so far in seemingly so short a time has actually been a life-long quest to find her voice, both in the literal and figurative sense.

We will see how she does. I can't wait for tomorrow night, cause I KNOW the main event is going to be good.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday News Round-up

Here's a bunch of stuff that's interesting, but don't (In my opinion) deserve a whole post. And if you don't deserve a whole post on some old guy's blog that nobody reads, you ain't doin' so hot.

** Notice the photo above? Jack White now officially looks like the fat girl in 3rd grade that I was afraid of. Good job, Jack. And I hear your James Bond theme song is worst than that haircut.

** Cheech and Chong are re-forming for a tour. Convenience stores and fast food restaurants rejoice.

** Yes are touring with a singer that they found on Youtube. How original, says Journey and Boston.
On a serious note, they did it because Jon Anderson is sick. Hope he gets better. But when your band replaces you for some tribute band dude, that can't be good.

** Foo Fighters are going to take a long hiatus before they do any more touring or recording. Boo.

** Alice In Chains are recording their first album in 13 years. The album will feature William DuVall, who sang with the band during reunion tour this year. He took over for Layne Staley, who died in 2002 from a drug overdose. Should have added them to my previous list.

** This one probably deserved its own post: Stephen Colbert will have his very own hour-long Christmas special, called A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All, on November 23. And yes, Colbert will be singing, along with the following:
"Please Be Patient" by Feist
"Little Dealer Boy" by Colbert/Willie Nelson
"There Are Much Worse Things To Believe In" by Colbert/Elvis Costello
"Hanukkah" by Colbert and Jon Stewart
"Nutmeg" by Colbert/John Legend
"(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" by everybody
"Have I Got a Present for You" by Toby Keith

Detroit Cobras Tonight At Off Broadway

If you go see them, I bet they will look and sound just like this, and I bet you will like it:

Here's their myspace and web site to learn more.

Who Watches The Peanuts?

I don't know if any of you are geeking out like I am over the new Watchmen movie, or if you even know what the Watchmen is about. But this illustration is funny, and I think they got all the characters right on, especially Snoopy as Rorchach. From

Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer Tours, Forgets STL Exists, Will Hopefully Remember For A Second Leg Of Tour (If There Is One)

Amanda's eyebrows are causing her brain to short-circuit and forget that STL loves her. If we all send good thoughts her way tonight at 10:52 PM CST, perhaps she will pick up on our telepathic signals and grace us with her presence. Perhaps. It's all up to you, don't let us down by falling asleep early this evening! Send your thought signals out, across the void! Do IT!

Nov 12 2008 / Mercy Lounge / Nashville, TN

Nov 14 2008 / The Orange Peel / Asheville, NC

Nov 15 2008 / Lincoln Theatre / Raleigh, NC

Nov 16 2008 / Variety Playhouse / Atlanta, GA

Nov 18 2008 / 9:30 Club / Washington, DC (EARLY SHOW)

Nov 19 2008 / New Haven, CT / Toad's Place

Nov 21 2008 / Webster Hall / New York, NY

Nov 22 2008 / Theatre Of Living Arts / Philadelphia, PA

Nov 24 2008 / Paradise Rock Club / Boston, MA (NIGHT 1 of 2)

Nov 25 2008 / Paradise Rock Club / Boston, MA (NIGHT 2 of 2)

Nov 29 2008 / Mr. Small's Theatre / Pittsburgh, PA

Nov 30 2008 / Mod Club Theatre / Toronto, ONT

Dec 2 2008 / Magic Bag / Detroit, MI

Dec 3 2008 / Cabaret Metro / Chicago, IL

Dec 5 2008 / First Ave Nightclub / Minneapolis, MN

Dec 6 2008 / Bluebird Theatre / Denver, CO

Dec 8 2008 / Murray Theatre / Salt Lake City, UT

Dec 10 2008 / VENUE TBA / Vancouver, BC

Dec 11 2008 / Showbox Theatre / Seattle, WA

Dec 12 2008 / Wonder Ballroom / Portland, OR

Dec 13 2008 / Harlow's / Sacramento, CA

Dec 15 2008 / Bimbo's 365 Club / San Francisco, CA

Dec 16 2008 / Henry Fonda Theatre / Los Angeles, CA

Thursday, September 18, 2008

PLAY:STL Fest Starts Tonight

I've said it before: STL is a great music town. The PLAY:STL Fest is yet another example. 99 bands performing over 3 nights in the Delmar loop is a good thing. Go to the web site to check out who is playing, and support this event!

I personally am going to check out The Incurables tonight, with Jimmy Griffin on guitar (ex- Broken Toyz, Kingofthehill, and many more. He also is the guitar player for Celebration Day, the Led Zep tribute that is coming to the Pageant in November), Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship on Friday, and Vicky on Saturday (Hey, they're from Iceland! Gotta try to check that out).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More Thoughts On The Death Of Richard Wright, And Of A Generation's Musicians

You can go to David Gilmour's site to read his thoughts on Richard's passing. I started to think about all the bands that no one can really see anymore, since they are either broken up because of a death, or tour without a key member. This is what I came up with, and it is blowing my mind. Who am I missing?

Pink Floyd
The Beatles
The Who
Led Zeppelin
AC/DC (Bon Scott, the original, and still the best)
The Cars
Joy Division
Grateful Dead
Sex Pistols
The Knack
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Allmann Brothers
Alice In Chains
Red Hot Chili Peppers

There are benefits to being Old Skool. One of the drawbacks is being reminded that you are getting older all the time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rick Wright, Pink Floyd Keyboardist, RIP

Wow, this one caught me off guard. Rick Wright, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, passed away after a short battle with cancer. From Reuters:

"The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness, that Richard died today after a short struggle with cancer," his spokesman said in a statement. "The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

Pink Floyd were one of the true greats. My condolences to his family.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

AC/DC, First Tour of States Since 2001- No STL

Bummer. Here are the dates and cities. Looks like Chicago or Indy are the two closest options.

Oct. 28: Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (Wachovia Arena)
Oct. 30: Chicago (Allstate Arena)
Nov. 3: Indianapolis (Conseco Fieldhouse)
Nov. 5: Auburn Hills, Mich. (Palace of Auburn Hills)
Nov. 7: Toronto (Rogers Centre)
Nov. 9: Boston (TD Banknorth Garden)
Nov. 12-13: New York (Madison Square Garden)
Nov. 15: Washington, D.C. (Verizon Center)
Nov. 17: Philadelphia (Wachovia Center)
Nov. 19: East Rutherford, N.J. (IZOD Center)
Nov. 21: Columbus, Ohio (Schottenstein Center)
Nov. 23: Minneapolis (Xcel Energy Center)
Nov. 25: Denver (Pepsi Center)
Nov. 28: Vancouver (General Motors Place)
Nov. 29: Seattle (KeyArena)
Nov. 30: Tacoma, Wash. (Tacoma Dome)
Dec. 2: Oakland, Calif. (Oracle Arena)
Dec. 6: Los Angeles (The Forum)
Dec. 10: Phoenix (US Airways Center)
Dec. 12: San Antonio (AT&T Center)
Dec. 14: Houston (Toyota Center)
Dec. 16: Atlanta (Philips Arena)
Dec. 18: Charlotte, N.C. (Time Warner Cable Arena)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

STL Music Venues- 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

As I've mentioned before, STL has a nice music scene going, and the amount of clubs that have live music on a regular basis is a reflection of that. Unfortunately, the word on the street is that 2 Cents Plain will be closing effective immediately due to a legal fight with the owners of the building. Co-owner Brandon Cullum hopes to find a new space for the venue. I don't want to be Debbie Downer here, but unfortunately when we hear these words, the next thing is usually... nothing. I wish 2 Cents luck, and hope I'm wrong.

But, like Hydra, if you slay one two shall rise in it's place! Not one but two new venues are opening and will regularly feature live music in this mini-gotham. First up is new restaurant/venue Deluxe, which will be opening in Maplewood across from the Maya Cafe at 2733 Sutton Blvd. Grand opening is this weekend, with Diesel Island playing Friday, and the Dock Ellis Band playing Saturday.

The other restaurant/venue set to open in early October is the Wedge. Here's what they have to say about themselves on their Myspace page:

The Wedge is a new rock n' roll bar/pizza joint opening up in October 2008 at the intersection of Virginia and Bates. The Wedge dishes up great food and music daily. Open for lunch and dinner every day.
The upstairs performance space- The Iggy Ziggy Room- will host live bands, DJs, comedy, burlesque and other special events.

The Wedge
442 Bates St.
St. Louis, MO 63111

Monday - Saturday- 11am - 1:30am
Sunday- 12 noon - 12 midnight

Your new home for rock, punk, honky-tonk, rock-a-billy, indie, metal and the best local bands.

Here's wishing them all the best. Go support the clubs that make live music possible. Tell 'em Old Skool sent you.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday Morning News Round-up

Here are some snippets from around the dial:

1. Amy Winehouse ordered 48 bottles of Jack Daniels for her performance over the weekend at the Bestival Festival. Organizers were worried that she wouldn't be able to play if she downs some bottles. They should have been more worried if she ordered a pound of crack. She played, and was wacked out of her mind.

2. Heart's Nancy Wilson feels "totally fucked over" by the Republicans use of the song "Barracuda":

"Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late 70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

3. AC/DC are selling their new physical disc exclusively at Wal-Mart. Seems that over 60% of their catalog sales are from the super-stores.

4. Disc-makers, the country's largest disc manufacturer/replicator, has bought CD Baby, an on-line retailer for independent music.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Amen To That

I was adding some music to my iTunes and was adding Refused "The Shape Of Punk To Come" (thanks David and Jeff for turning me on to that!) which is a mind-blowing work of punk rock art, and came across this quote in the lyrics:

To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or a guitar. The essential thing is that I want to sing. Then this is a song, I am singing.- H. Miller

I'm feeling it. Have a great weekend folks!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rage Against The Machine Music- Too Dangerous To Even Perform In The Same State As The Republicans


So we have RATM set to play in Minneapolis on Wednesday night, and they hear about a free show on the state capital's lawn. They decide to make a special appearance. Other performers are Dead Prez, Anti-flag, and Michael Franti. The show is scheduled to last until 7 PM. Here's what Minneapolis blogger Above The Fold reports:

But when it came time for the band to perform, the Minnesota State Police formed a barricade around the band and would not let them on stage. After 20 minutes of crowd chanting that included "Let Them Play," "Music is not a Crime," "We’ll be good, we promise," and a riveting rendition of the national anthem the band came into the crowd and performed an acapella performance of two songs.

Check out the video, and check out Rage done acapella.

Why couldn't RATM play? They weren't named on the permit, so the plug was pulled.

I wish I could have heard the crowd spontaneously perform the national anthem. Bet that would have got the goosebumps going. And chanting "We'll be good, we promise" is just funny.

The Avett Brothers- Talk On Indolence

Reminder: the Avett Brothers are going to be in Carbondale Saturday night. If you ever wondered what Nirvana's energy would be like crossed with bluegrass and lots of foot stomping, well this is the show for you. Here they are, tearing it up:

Each time I see them, my love grows a little more. The show at the Sheldon earlier this year (Here's the opening number, as posted before) was as good as it gets. I even had goosebumps when they left the stage after the main set. People kept clapping in beat, singing. And then clapping and hooting and hollering. And then they started clapping in beat to the last song again. And singing. Even though minutes had passed since the band had left the stage. And everyone kept singing and clapping in unison, until the band came back out and reprised the song, in beat with us, with our backing vocals. Amazing.

Aimee Mann Concert Thoughts

The one thing that struck me Tuesday night, as I stood against the edge of the barricade that separated us from the stage, was how Aimee's music was all about the little things. Nuance reigned supreme as keyboards effortlessly changed tones, and the drummer alternated between shaking a handful of bells, playing drums covered with towels (to deaden the sound, I figured. A bit unorthodox.) or ripping nice little fills when the music needed that extra kick. All held down by Aimee's voice and acoustic guitar. Seeing her and her band live really had me appreciate how much craft goes into her compositions. Seeing her live was a surprising treat. I kick myself for missing her up to now.

Squeeze was good, the crowd was into it for the most part, but I made the quick realization that I am not nearly as big a fan of them as I may have thought. Too many songs up front that were foreign to my ears for me to stick it out.

Side note: I was talking to one of the staff, asking if I could bring a drink down on the floor. He replied that it would be fine. The floor is usually saved for minors, but tonight there were only seven of them, so they had opened it up. Seven. Yes, I really am old skool.

No Heroics, AKA Another Reason Why British TV Is Great

Here's a great idea, well-produced. What if super-heroes were real, and pretty darn mundane and useless? The trailer below is great, and I can't wait to download me some episodes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

New Queen Out This Fall- What To Think?

I'm torn. On October 28, Queen will release a new disc with Paul Rogers filling in for the late Freddie Mercury. By all accounts, the tour with Paul singing was a success, but I just can't shake the feeling that Paul Rogers is such a different voice (and personality) than Freddie's that I can't see it working out. I hope I'm wrong, because that Brian May is a hell of a guitar player.

The name of the album/CD/digital download is "The Cosmos Rocks". Here's a listing of some of the tracks, via Billboard:

The group has already debuted several of the new songs at shows and on TV, including first single "C-lebrity," which features vocals from Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, and "Say It's Not True," written in honor of Nelson Mandela's 46664 AIDS initiative.

The 14-track "The Cosmos Rocks" will also feature "Cosmos Rockin'," "Time To Shine," "Still Burnin'," "Small," "Warboys," "We Believe," "Call Me," "Voodoo," "Some Things That Glitter," "Through the Night" and "Surf's Up ... School's Out!"

"I think it touches a lot of emotions," Rodgers told recently of the album. "Every song is different from every other song, but I do think there is a very powerful emotional content in every song. I'm a great believer in variety in music, and so are the other guys."

It's the first set of new material since 1995. At least nowhere in the article did it mention the dreaded "return to form". I mean, how could it be?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Squeeze- Tempted

So I was looking around for some video to put up of Squeeze, in honor of their upcoming show tomorrow night at the Pageant. What should it be? "Pulling Mussels From The Shell"? "Cool for Cats"? OOOOH, there's "Black Coffee In Bed"! Excellent! I'll post... wait a minute... embedding disabled? who would do that? Ahhhh, the user who posted this video, along with others that have the embedding disabled, is none other than our friend, Universal Music Group! Well, that explains it!

Look, I understand that a label may not want me to post an MP3 of some popular Squeeze songs, thus taking away from the all-important revenue stream that pretty much goes directly to them with a pittance going to the actual artists themselves, but denying people the right to EMBED A VIDEO FROM !(*@ 1982??!!

Jeebers, these people have gone bonkers. Here's a video for "Tempted", not uploaded by Universal:

BTW, the lineup for this series of shows is Glenn Tillbrook, Chris Difford, and John Bentley (bass), all originals. They are joined by members of Tillbrook's touring band, the Fluffers: Stephen Large (keyboards) and Simon Hanson (drums).

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Upcoming Squeeze Concert- Tuesday night- possible set list?

As previously blogged (look below this post. Go ahead, scroll down. It wasn't that long ago, just a few hours.), Squeeze and Aimee Mann will be playing the Pageant Tuesday night.

Big thanks to my friend Jeff, who uncovered the set list from last Monday night's show in Torrington Connecticut. Here it is, we'll see if they mix it up next week, or if they have a fairly consistent set list night to night:

Squeeze's set list
1. Strong in Reason
2. If I Didn't Love You
3. Revue
4. Up the Junction
5. Take Me, I'm Yours
6. I Think I'm Go Go
7. Separate Beds
8. Black Coffee In Bed
9. Piccadilly
10. Annie Get Your Gun
11. Goodbye Girl
12. Melody Motel
13. Tempted
14. Slaughtered, Gutted & Heartbroken
15. Is That Love
16. Cool for Cats
17. Another Nail for My Heart
18. Hour Glass
19. Some Fantastic Place
20. Slap and Tickle
21. Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)

And here's the link to the review of that Torrington show.

Aimee Mann "Freeway"

Aimee Mann is coming to the Pageant on Tuesday, opening for Squeeze. Should be a good double bill. I'm not sure what to expect from Aimee live, so I started poking around to see what I could find on her. Her new disc is called "@#%&*! Smilers" and is a solid offering. If you don't like her, or her voice, I don't think it's going to change your opinion of her, but it's all good with me.

Seems she had a contest for her fans to make their own video for the first single, "Freeway". The song is by far my favorite from the new one so far, and the submissions were interesting. Lots of girls with their acoustic guitars, and some that were too far out for me. Here is my favorite:

and the winner, not my personal fave:

Here's the original Aimee version, I'm looking forward to hearing it live on Tuesday:

And Aimee played the song live at Sonic Boom Records in Toronto. One thing's for certain, she doesn't hide behind studio wizardry when she records. Hearing this live is pretty damn close to the disc. Bodes well for the show:

More on Aimee and Squeeze in the coming posts this weekend. Have a good holiday, everyone.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Jakob Dylan video by Joel Trussell

I admit that I've always LIKED Jakob Dylan's voice. "One Headlight" was a decent enough song, and this song is another one that I LIKE. Don't love it, but what I do love is some kickin' animation/art from Mr. Joel Trussell. Speaking of Mr. Trussell's art, this one just HAS to be the cover of the next mix CD that I make:

Jakob's voice is like a more modulated Bob. Smoother, yet very familial all the same. It's interesting that Bob's voice, while not a perfect instrument by any means, probably ends up having more character and is more interesting to listen to. Interesting, interesting, interesting. Too many of that word, but I assume that there ain't no English teachers readin' this here blog, so the heck with it. like how Jakob's eyes are cat-like in the video. That's how I always thought those puppies looked in real life.

Joel Trussell's art/animation style is very old skool. Can't find too much about him, except that he's animated some segments for the kids show Yo Gabba Gabba and he's a freelance director/animator.

A detail to notice in the video: on the dashboard it looks like there is a Rick Rubin bobblehead, probably there because Mr. Rubin produced the album this comes from, "Seeing Things". Is there an album out there that he doesn't produce? I'm waiting for the one where he helps the Pussycat Dolls "get back to their roots" by stripping it all down and leaving nothing but silence on the MP3s and discs. Kind of like John Cage, but with some great racks and legs. Speaking of interesting...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Happy Birthday To You

What a motley crew we have here, celebrating their birthdays today:
1949: Gene Simmons, born in Haifa, Israel. Real name: Chaim Witz
1951: RobHalford, born in Birmingham, England.
1955: Elvis Costello, born in London. Real name: Declan McManus

I'd sing "Happy Birthday" to you, but I'm afraid I'd be sued...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jazz Explained

By a sock with glasses:

From what I can find, this is from a show called "Sam and Friends", which was a local show in Washington, DC and a precursor to Sesame Street. Watch Kermit learn "visual speaking" from Harry the Hipster, circa 1959.

This Just In: Labels Still Don't Get It

See that video? Cute kid, huh? Not exactly hilarious, but still adorable when he dances along to about 28 seconds of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy". It's from his Super Bowl appearance, and boy was that a good one. He tore it up. Remember how it was raining, and he was playing "Purple Rain" right then, and how sweet that was? Yeah, so do I.

So here's the deal. The mom who posted the clip is being sued by Universal Music Group. Here's the scoop from Electronic Frontier Foundation's website:

Stephanie Lenz's 29-second recording shows her son bouncing along to the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy," which is heard playing in the background. Lenz uploaded the home video to YouTube in February to share it with her family and friends.

But last month, YouTube informed Lenz that it had removed the video from its website after Universal claimed that the recording infringed a copyright controlled by the music company. Under federal copyright law, a mere allegation of copyright infringement can result in the removal of content from the Internet.

"I was really surprised and angry when I learned my video was removed," said Lenz. "Universal should not be using legal threats to try to prevent people from sharing home videos of their kids with family and friends."

"Universal's takedown notice doesn't even pass the laugh test," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "Copyright holders should be held accountable when they undermine non-infringing, fair uses like this video."

Last May, UMPG's parent company, Universal Music Group, sent a baseless copyright takedown demand to YouTube for a video podcast by political blogger Michelle Malkin. That video was quickly reposted after Malkin fought back.

"Copyright abuse can shut down online artists, political analysts, or -- as in this case -- ordinary families who simply want to share snippets of their day-to-day lives," said EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. "Universal must stop making groundless infringement claims that trample on fair use and free speech."

Lenz is now cleared by a California judge to sue Universal, saying that the snippet should be considered "fair use". The only "fair use" that the big labels understand is the one where they get paid for everything possible. Be careful if you decide to sing a song, or play one for your baby to dance to. If They find you, They will go after you no matter what. You are merely a consumer that is regarded with disdain and disgust.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sweet Baby Jesus, Thank You: Decemberists Set To Release A Slew Of Stuff In Coming Months

I like the Decemberists. A lot. So the news that I am passing on makes me happy, and it should make you happy, also.

Starting October 14, Colin Meloy and his pirate crew will be releasing three 12 inch singles called "Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series". Not B-sides or cast-offs, but new, shiny compositions that will hopefully cause us all to cry tears of joy. And probably reach for the dictionary to suss out some of the more arcane lyrics from Mr. Meloy. Here's the list:

Volume I, October 14:
Side A: "Valerie Plame"- they'll be performing this live on Conan O'Brien November 3
Side B: "O New England"

Volume II, November 4:
Side A: "Days of Elaine"
Side B: "Days of Elaine (long)" / "I’m Sticking With You"

Volume III, December 2:
Side A: "Record Year"
Side B: "Raincoat Song"

Take that, Subpop. What's that, you say? No turntable? Well, first, you must be informed that all the coolest of cool kids are buying their music on vinyl, so I'm sorry to say that you are not in that rarified strata. But have no fear, hipster-challenged one, for these singles will also be released in digital format, also. AND if you order the singles directly through the band's website you will have the opportunity to save 10%, and order a t-shirt too!

Wow, Old Skool, they've thought of everything! What else could I purchase from this exemplary band? How about the new FULL-LENGTH release called "Tucker Martine", that they are wrapping up? They call it "...a tough bit of leather...a little mossy, a little evil."


Here they are with the video for "Sixteen Military Wives":