Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Electric Light Orchestra's Bassist: RIP

Kelly Groucutt was the bassist for ELO during their most creative/popular period, from '74 to '83. During that time the group released Eldorado, Face The Music, A New World Record, Out Of The Blue, and more. Kelly passed away on February 19, 2009.

I was introduced to ELO when I would sneak into my aunt Sharon's room when she was out and about and listen to A New World Record over and over. Sharon had a small record collection, but one that influenced me more than anything else in my early grade school days. A New World Record was the first record I bought with my own money. At the mall. For $7.33. (Seems silly, but I remember thinking to myself "You will remember this day for the rest of your life. You will remember even the detail of the cost of this album". Strange, isn't it?)

Time keeps marching on, doesn't it? These things, these passings, are a constant reminder to live life fully, with a sense of urgency. Goodbye Kelly, God bless. Here's Telephone Line, which I would sing along to with a naive romanticism, pining for that lost love way before I was old enough to know loss:


Best Song Title Ever?

"Late due to sweatpants boner" by Ebu Gogo

Faith No More: Reunited?

Faith No More disbanded in 1998. I guess they get lumped in with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and all of the rap-rock forebearers, but if you really listen to them they had an artistic skew that was all their own. Mike Patton has gone on to follow that artistic muse, really doing (from what I can tell) whatever the heck he wants, and really getting as far away from commercial music as possible.

The thought of a reunion is tasty indeed, as the band was a good live act. I still remember seeing them open up for Robert Plant at the Fox, Patton walking around like the Frankenstein monster, rumbling all over the stage, with all the boomers who were there to get their Zeppelin fix watched in shock/silent indifference. I thought they were great, but don't think most people knew what hit them. Of course, they also played Mississippi Nights, and even Furst Rock on the landing, before anybody heard of them. Ah, memories.

So supposedly the band will be playing some European dates this summer. In the meantime, Patton will be performing at Coachella on April 17.

Oh, and for my money, their best release by far was "Angel Dust", check it out if you get a chance.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Future Clouds And Radar: Peoria & Live

Two quick comments on FCAR:

1. The release "Peoria" is a tasty slice of indie-pop, heavily influenced by the Beatles with a George Harrison leaning. Besides the Beatles, I hear shades of Jason Falkner, Radiohead, and Jon Vanderslice. I recommend it, even though the band sometimes wanders into semi-noisy musical landscapes that to these ears get in the way of the songs. Best song: Feet on Grass.

2. Seeing the band at Off Broadway was a nice treat. All of the musicians seem to be seasoned veterans and bring it without overly dramatizing things. Tight, tight, tight. Interestingly, the meandering that threw things off for me on "Peoria" seemed to work much better live. This is a solid band and I'm glad that I missed some precious sleep time last night to check them out.

Side note: While the O's, who played right before them were fine, I felt that they lacked that magical x-factor that pushes a band into your cortex and won't let go. Mining similar territory as the Avett Brothers, they lacked that surprise and delight of the slightly unexpected, both lyrically and musically, that I get when seeing those Avetts. Here's hoping that the O's keep pushing, and find that thing that makes them stand out from the crowd, rather than blend in.

Remember, there is still time to catch Future Clouds And Radar before they leave the Lou, both at a house party on Saturday, and at Euclid Records Sunday at 3 PM.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Yeah Yeah Yeahs= Awesome Cover Art

While I have not heard the new one yet, the cover art is knocking me out. And the art for the first single, Zero? Knock out again, and creepy looking, too.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Future Clouds And Radar: Off Broadway, Euclid Records, and SXSW. Take Your Pick.

One may be closer than the other but this is a band that bears closer watch. The Austin-based Future Clouds and Radar will be in St Louis this Thursday, Feb. 19 at Off Broadway. Then they will be at Euclid Records This Sunday the 22nd at 3 PM and a couple of songs they perform are slated to appear as a limited edition (300 copies) 45 rpm single. Cool stuff. And then when I am in Austin for SXSW (Friday, March 20, 1 AM, Wave) I will hopefully catch them there, also. Here's what Euclid's blog has to say about them:

Those who have seen either of the band’s St. Louis performances at Off Broadway have spent the bulk of the last two years breathlessly telling their friends and family that Future Clouds and Radar are one of the most exciting and exhilarating rock bands to turn up in years. Their songs are unforgettable, melodic, densely arranged with exotic and delightful touches. Or, as Amplifier magazine put it, “In a perfect world the government's $700 billion bailout package would include buying a copy of Future Clouds and Radar's sophomore album Peoria for every man, woman and child in America...”

Here's a video to whet the appetite:

And a link to an MP3 of "Feet On Grass", my favorite so far, courtesy of the fine folks at SXSW. And thanks to Jeff for the heads-up.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Decemberists Come Back To St Louis!

Yes! Colin and the gang are coming back to the Pageant! On May 31st! And other places:

May 19 - Hollywood Palladium - Los Angeles, CA
May 20 - Fox Theatre - Oakland, CA
May 21 - McDonald Theater - Eugene, OR
May 24 - Wilma Theatre - Missoula, MT
May 26 - Fillmore Auditorium - Denver, CO
May 27 - Uptown Theater - Kansas City, MO
May 29 - Riverside Theater - Milwaukee, WI
May 31 - The Pageant - St. Louis, MO
June 1 - Lifestyle Communities Pavilion - Columbus, OH
June 3 - Tabernacle - Atlanta, GA
June 4 - Memorial Auditorium - Raleigh, NC
June 5 - The National - Richmond, VA
June 6 - Tower Theatre - Upper Darby, PA
June 9 - Bank of America Pavillion - Boston, MA
June 10 - Radio City Music Hall - New York, NY
June 11-14 - Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival - Manchester, TN

That is all, please return to your regularly scheduled activities. Oh, and perhaps there is an internet pre-sale going on...

Radiohead Play Grammies with USC Marching Band, Admit Afterwards The Whole Thing Was Pre-Recorded

Naw, not really. I'm just bored with the lack of things to report on this ol' blog thing. Trying to stir up a fake controversy.

Can you imagine the thrill those college students got, playing with Radiohead on a nationally-broadcast show? THAT is cool. Does Radiohead do anything half-assed? Here's the video:

PLEASE NOTE: My Coldplay post below, while seeming like a hoax, was indeed all too real.

Coldplay Wins "Best Rock Album" Grammy

Soccer moms everywhere feel comforted, their choice of music safer than the neighborhoods they live in.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Of Montreal Touring, Don't Get The Memo, Decide to Skip STL. But Coming To Columbia!

Dear Of Montreal, your friends in Flight of the Conchords had the good sense to come to St Louis in '09. You, however, are doing the "select dates" tour. Thanks for at least getting close, coming to Columbia, Mo at the Blue Note, on April 24. Based on my limited intel about colleges, it looks like you are hitting a few college towns. Good for you, they like them... different there. And that you are. Oh, and you're coming to SXSW? Well, maybe I'll see you there.

Of Montreal Tour Dates
2/1 — Strasbourg, France — La Laiterie
2/19 — Pomona, CA — The Glasshouse
2/21 — Honolulu, HI — Loft Gallery & Lounge
2/25 — Auckland, NZ — King Arms
2/26 — Wellington, NZ — San Francisco Bath House
2/28 — Perth, AU — Perth International Arts Festiva
3/3 — Sydney, AU — Manning Bar
3/4 — Brisbane, AU — The Zoo
3/5 — Melbourne, AU — The Hi Fi
3/7 — Golden Plains, AU — Golden Plains Festival
3/10 - Osaka, JP — Club Quattro
3/12 — Tokyo, JP — Duo Music Exchange
3/15 — Singapore, SG — Mosaic Music Festival / Esplanade Theatre
4/13 — Carrboro, NC — Cat’s Cradle
4/14 — Baltimore, MD — Sonar
4/15 — New York, NY — Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/16 — New York, NY — Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/17 — New York, NY — Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/19 — New Haven, CT — Toad’s Place
4/20 — Boston, MA — Paradise
4/21 — Boston, MA — Paradise
4/22 — Philadelphia, PA — Trocadero
4/23 — Covington, KY — Madison Theater
4/24 — Columbia, MO — The Blue Note
4/25 — Norman, OK — Norman Music Festival

Flight Of The Conchords Touring, Coming To St Louis

Yes, you heard that right. A name like FOTC tours, I expect them to come to LA, Chicago, New York, and one other major market TBA, but they are indeed coming here, to the Fabulous Fox. Date? April 30. Sweet. That is all, except for the complete dates:

Flight Of The Conchords 2009 Tour Dates:
04/06 - Tampa Bay, FL @ Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
04/07 - Coral Gables, FL @ Bank United Center
04/08 - Orlando, FL @ New UCF Arena
04/10 - Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
04/11 - Atlanta, GA @ FabolousFox Theatre
04/13 - Washington, DC @ DAR Constitution Hall
04/14 - New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
04/17 - Boston, MA @ Agganis Arena
04/18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Tower Theatre (2 shows)
04/19 - Kent, OH @ Kent State MAC Center
04/21 - Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
04/22 - Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall
04/24 - Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre Detroit
04/25 - Bloomington, IN @ Indiana University Auditorium
04/28 - Chicago, IL @ Arie Crown Theater
04/30 - St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre
05/02 - Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre (2 shows)
05/03 - Minneapolis, MN @ Northrop Auditorium
05/05 - Grand Prairie, TX @ Nokia Theatre
05/06 - Houston, TX @ Jones Hall
05/07 - Austin, TX @ Bass Concert Hall [Buy Tickets]
05/10 - Vancouver, BC @ The Centre in Vancouver For Performing Arts
05/11 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
05/12 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre
05/14 - Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
05/16 - Denver, CO @ Red Rock Ampitheatre
05/17 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Abranavel Hall
05/19 - Phoenix, AZ @ Dodge Theatre
05/20 - San Diego, CA @ RIMAC Arena
05/22 - Santa Barbara, CA @ County Bowl
05/23 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
05/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
05/25 - Berkeley, CA @ Berkeley Community Theatre (2 shows)