Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Avett Brothers- September 6, Carbondale, IL

More on the Avett Brothers later, but for now a quick note that they are scheduled to play in Carbondale, IL at the Copper Dragon Brewing Company on September 6. This is a band that is amazing live, and I am going to take the 1.5 hour drive to see them.

Here they are at the Sheldon on May 6 of this year, playing Murder In The City as their opening number:

QUICK EDIT: Is it just me, or does this video have a "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" feel to it?

Gentleman Auction House- Tonight at Off Broadway STL

Gentleman Auction House is coming on strong. It's great to hear so much quality STL music out there right now. Can we officially call it a scene?

If you get a chance, go see them tonight, they are playing with What Made Milwaukee Famous and Black Joe Lewis, both from Austin, TX. And be sure to pick up their latest full-length, Alphabet Graveyard. It is surprisingly muscular and has a nice indie-rock edge to it. Here's a video from it, for Book Of Matches:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Feist on Sesame Street

I used to love it when some famous person, actor or musician, would come visit Sesame Street. and I admit that my roommate and I would sometimes watch the show when we were in college, just to get that innocent vibe, I guess. It was a kick to stumble across Feist doing her song "1,2,3,4", counting monsters and penguins:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

forgotten old skool classic: Robyn Hitchcock's "I Often Dream Of Trains"

Consider Robyn Hitchcock, one of the uniques in the world of music, yet hardly known of. In the mid-eighties I bought "I Often Dream Of Trains" after reading about him in articles about REM, they were always citing him as a great influence. Indeed, they even took him out with them to open on their GREEN tour. I'm not sure why he only got to play for about 25 minutes, though. At least that's how long he played when I saw him at the arena at SIU on that tour.

So I buy the cassette (how quaint) in 1985 and put it in the car stereo, not really knowing what to think. What I discovered was a beautiful, spare piece of work, sounding like it was recorded in someone's bedroom. It has the feel of a 4-track recording, and I love it. Almost all the instruments were played by Robyn, except for some bass and sax. Piano and acoustic guitar dominate, usually one or the other, and drums are absent, but not missed.

"Nocturne" starts things off right, a quiet piano interlude. Then Robyn is singing "Sometimes I Wish I Was A Pretty Girl" playing his guitar with muted vigor before going back to the introspection of "Cathedral". "Uncorrected Personality Traits" is a cappella, a warped treat:

Uncorrected personality traits that seem whimsical in a child may prove to
be ugly in a fully grown adult.

Lack of involvement with the father, or over-involvement with the mother,
can result in lack of ability to relate to sexual fears, and in homosexual
leanings, narcissism, transexuality (girls from the waist up/men from the
waist down), attempts to be your own love object. Reconcile your parents to
you by becoming both at once!

Even Marilyn Monroe was a man, but this tends to get overlooked by our
mother-fixated, overweight, sexist media.

Uncorrected personality traits that seem whimsical in a child may prove to
be ugly in a fully grown adult.

If you give in to them
Every time they cry
They will become little tyrants
But they won't remember why

Then when they are thwarted
By people in later life
They will become psychotic
And they won't make an ideal husband or wife

The spoiled baby grows into
the escapist teenager who's
the adult alcoholic who's
the middle-aged suicide. (Oy.)

Uncorrected personality traits that seem whimsical in a child may prove to
be ugly in a fully grown adult

And on it goes from there. Here is a video of "Trains":

And here's another video, this one from just a while back of "It Sounds Great When You're Dead", on Jools Holland's BBC2 show, Later:

Rhino reissued the disc in 1995 with 5 bonus tracks, mostly demos. The release was already 19 songs long, so if I have one complaint, it's that the extra demos make the disc too damn long at a whopping 24 tracks.

Overall though, "Trains" is a minor jewel, one that I never grow tired of listening to (I just skip those last 5 add-ons). If you like traveling off the beaten path and discovering a work from a true original, I suggest you give it a try.

SIDE NOTE: When I was looking for some Youtube examples to share, the British singer Robyn's name also came up. To illustrate the fact the Robyn Hitchcock's not a household name, I give you these stats: "Sounds Great When You're Dead" has been viewed about 6,200 times. The female Robyn's "Handle Me" video has been viewed 3,467,309 times. I wonder about the world sometimes.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Giant Marionettes Are Creepy Cool

Well, here's something that is strange, but mesmerizing all at once. Not much more to say, but check this out.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Summer mix series

For all of you that love to check out new music, Yewknee has a great site to check out, one that pops up every year about this time: Summer Mix Series where folks can add a link to their mix and others can download each one. There are about 38 mixes to check out right now, but go back often, because there are always more being added.

It's an interesting way to check out what a large cross-section of people are listening to this summer. I'm telling you now, though, that I am already over the Dodo's and Notwist. They (along with an crapload of Dennis Wilson/ Beach Boys) seem to be on almost every other mix.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Eyes, AKA Pale Divine reunion news

No, I'm not talking about the Pale Divine that hails from Pennsylvania and practices the sacred art of Death Metal.

The Eyes played almost every weekend in the mid-to-late eighties in STL and surrounding college towns and were the best live band around. This was a time when bands were almost always cover bands, rarely playing their own music, and the Eyes played a mix of covers and originals, throwing in Jane's Addiction, the Cult, the Furs, and a host of other popular alternative songs. Their originals were just as popular with the crowds, and there always was one. I admit that on some weekends my friends and I went to see them on both Friday AND Saturday, including a three-night stand at Carbondale's Hangar 9.

They released a CD called "Freedom in a Cage" in 1989, playing a CD release show at the old 1227 nightclub, and then released "Straight To Goodbye on Atlantic records in 1991, and then imploded, playing their last gigs over the July 4th holiday in 1993 at one of their mainstay clubs, Kennedy's. Michael, the singer, emerged later and still plays around town in a  more stripped-down acoustic setting. Dan the bass player pretty much got out of the biz, not sure about Greg the drummer. And then there is Richard, who was always an amazing guitarist. He went on to play with Richard Butler in LoveSpitLove and the Furs, and is now a member of Guns-N-Roses.

Sources say that the original band is getting together for a year-end holiday reunion in STL, and I can not wait! Dan Angenend, you better start warming up those bass playing skills!

Here's a fan Myspace page. You can listen to some of the songs there, and also check out a dodgy video.

EDIT: The show is confirmed for the Pageant on December 29. I'll see you there.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Disappointments from Dolls and Crue

I know I should have known better, but the new Motley Crue was out, and there it was on emusic. Hey, if I don't use the downloads every month, they go away. So download I did.


Generic hard rock, with none of the fun that was there from "Shout at the Devil", "Too Fast For Love", etc. Not that any of you were actually considering it, but avoid this one, folks.

Also one that I really wish I could recommend is the new Dresden Dolls. It's a collection of b-sides and out-takes, and because of this doesn't really seem to hang together. It's a big mass of "Mehh." The one stand-out is the cover of "Pretty in Pink". Say "No Virginia" to this one and stick to the much better self-titled release and the very good "Yes Virginia". And by all means, if you get the chance, go see the Dolls in concert. Amanda is mesmerizing as a punk rock cabaret performer and Brian is a feast for the ears and eyes on drums.

I'm attaching a photo of the Dresden Dolls, but no photos for you, Crue! It seems you have to be a member of the fan club to see photos on their web site. And the album sucks too hard for me to waste any more of my energy on them.