Monday, June 29, 2009

Avett Brothers: New Album Info & More

The Avett Brothers recently rolled through St Louis, and from all accounts it was a joy to see. Long-time readers know I am a big fan. Would have been there myself, but I had a scheduling conflict with the So Many Dynamos in-store at Vintage Vinyl. The new release is produced by Rick Rubin and will be here on September 29. Here is the finalized track listing:

1. I and Love and You
2. January Wedding
3. Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise
4. And it Spread
5. The Perfect Space
6. Ten Thousand Words
7. Kick Drum Heart
8. Laundry Room
9. Ill with Want
10. Tin Man
11. Slight Figure of Speech
12. It Goes On and On
13. Incomplete and Insecure

The Avetts have also released the artwork for the album, an oil painting by Scott Avett called Julianne In Vain., which I have added to this post for your eyes to take a gander at. Not exactly a light-hearted painting, but very cool that these guys can even paint. As if music wasn't enough!

And I'm very happy to direct you to NPR, where you can see the Avett Brothers perform three songs as part of the Tiny Desk Concert Series. One new one from the album, one so new that it hasn't been recorded yet, and one older song. It's good stuff, and even the guys in the office seem to feed off the band's energy and charisma. Here's the set list: "Laundry Room", "Down With the Shine", and "Bella Donna".

And download the new single here, while you still can.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Spoon EP: Next Tuesday?

Old Skool detecting has found this much out: Amazon had a track from a new Spoon EP, called "Got Nuffin" and then it went away. The artist who designed the new Spoon artwork had the cover up on Flickr, and then his page went to private. Who knew Britt Daniel was such a control freak? I'm hoping Tuesday really does bring daddy some new Spoon, though.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dinosaur Jr: Coming To STL In The Fall

These guys are alterna-titans, and paved the way for a lot of bands. It's nice to see them in this video having so much fun together, especially after the bitterness they expressed after breaking up in 1989. I laughed out loud when some of their tricks went wrong, and the reactions to that. Here's the tour schedule. The St Louis date is October 14 at the Pageant.
Wellfleet, MA Wellfleet Beachcomber (August 14)
New York, NY Central Park SummerStage (16)
Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre (September 30)
Montreal, QUE Pop Montreal Festival (October 1)
Cambridge, MA Middle East (2, 3)
Clifton Park, NY Northern Lights (4)
New Haven, CT Toad's Place (7)
Washington, DC 9:30 Club (8)
Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts (9)
Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall (10)
Pontiac, MI The Crofoot (11)
Madison, WI The Majestic Theatre (13)
St. Louis, MO The Pageant (14)
Chicago, IL Vic Theatre (15)
Louisville, KY Headliner's Music Hall (16)
Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse (17)
Kansas City, MO The Beaumont Club (26)
Omaha, NE Slowdown (27)
Boulder, CO Boulder Theater (30)
Fort Collins, CO Aggie Theatre (31)
Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge (November 3)
Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre (4)
Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern (6)
San Francisco, CA The Fillmore (7)
Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom (11)
Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom (10)
Victoria, BC Sugar Nightclub (11)
Edmonton, AB The Starlite Room (13)
Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall Ballroom (14)
Saskatoon, SK Odeon Events Centre (16)
Winnipeg, Man. @Pyramid Cabaret (17)
Minneapolis, MN @First Avenue (18)
Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom (19)
Cleveland Heights, OH Grog Shop (20)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Melvins: The Talking Horse

Years ago, in another life, my band opened up for the Melvins. They were loud, and the sludgiest band I have heeard, to this day. Someone finally yelled out, about 40 minutes into their set, "SECOND GEAR!!!!!" For they played a brand of metal that sounded as if it was recorded through molasses.

They are coming to Pop's opening for Down on September 25. Tickets are $25-28. Why the two prices for a venue that has seemingly has no difference to any of the crowd area? Higher price for under-agers? Dunno. A mystery, like who left that rotting banana in your desk drawer. It wasn't me honest.

Excited that one of Kurt Cobain's favorite bands was coming to town I went to their web site. You should go there. Beguiling, isn't it? Here are some of the images I got when I went there and clicked on the cute little elephant:

No info that I could find. At all. Try it. Go back to the main page, hit refresh, get a new pop-up. And another. Hot links that spew forth fuzzy sound bites, multiple clicks creating a glorious cacophony.

This video also is a dizzying anomaly and I like it. It's refreshing to not be force-fed the same watered down crap disguised as creative brilliance:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Video From Black Joe Lewis: I'm Broke

Indeed. His release is one of my favorites of '09.

New Green Day Video: 21 Guns

I'm still not overwhelmed by their new disc, but here's the new video, in anticipation of the band coming to the Scottrade Center on August 11. I AM excited about finally seeing them live.

Green Day - "21 Guns" - HD

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Brendan Benson: Metarie

I found Brendan Benson in 2002 because I was really digging Jason Falkner. When I heard that Jason had produced some newcomer's disc, I thought I'd check it out. The CD was (and is) called "Lapalco" and was pretty good. The two songs that I marked with a post-it were #2 and 5. That's how I could remember when I revisited a CD a year or two later-- "Ah, Yes! Those ARE good songs!" Anyway, I suspect many folks first encountered Brendan when the Raconteurs came out, what with Jack White being the indie renaissance man and all.

As I was going through some of my CDs to trade in, I came across this one, and it still holds up. Well, at least the two tracks in question. Here he is performing track #2 acoustically with accompaniment by Chris Plum. A little Old Skool history:

"Crowdsourcing Killed Indie Rock"- Christopher R. Weingarten

Christopher makes some excellent points. I suggest you watch this in its entirety.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Long-Time Alice Cooper Assistant Brian "Renfield" Nelson Passes Away

Don't have much more than that, but long-time readers know that I am a huge Alice fan. What I know of Nelson is this: He was the biggest Alice fan, and had been collecting memorabilia since the early 70's, and became Mr. Cooper's assistant in the early 80's (How cool a job that must have been!). Here are some things I have pieced together about Brian, from the UK site Sick Things:

The Alice Cooper Archives are basically the private collection of Brian 'Renfield' Nelson, Alice's personal assistant. Everything you may have heard about it is probably true. Ren has the Leopard skin boots from the 'Billion Dollar Babies' Tour, the gold jacket that he wore when they were the Spiders, his leather bondage outfit from the 'Madhouse Rock' tour, Alice's birth certificate, passports, and contracts amongst literally thousands of items. The Alice display that was at the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was mostly taken from Ren's collection.

In his own words:

The 'Special Forces' tour was my first tour. My first AC concert I went to was the 'Billion Dollar Babies' show, New Year's Eve in Buffalo-the last show the original band did in the US (chronicled in Bob Greene's book), I saw the 'Welcome To My Nightmare' show, I saw the '77 show about 4 times, 'Madhouse Rocks' about 4 times, 'Flush The Fashion' show about 5 times and then have seen every single show starting from 'Special Forces' to present-and I even get in for free!
(Brian Nelson, June 1995)

I was just a dumb kid in Buffalo, NY (now I'm a dumb guy in L.A.) who in 1972 became obsessed with Alice Cooper and insanely addicted to collecting Alice memorabilia - EVERYTHING. Any how, when I got a bit older, I started going to various cities whenever I could to see AC shows. Once I was in Chicago in '77 and by a stroke of luck and a lot of begging, I got my first backstage pass. Had a bunch of brief encounters with Alice at shows and tours afterward (after that first pass-it was pretty easy for me). After awhile he started recognising me and remembering what my deal was (I used to carry around business cards with my name claiming I was the "World's Biggest Alice Cooper Fan" - it was a good attention getter).

Cutting to the chase-at one point-after the 'Flush' tour [Nov. 1980] - I managed to get Alice on the phone. He needed a personal assistant type (he had just gotten rid of someone) and figured if I was going to go to all these shows anyway-I might as well go along with them. It is kind of incredulous cuz he didn't really know me. Anyway, He flew me out to LA - put me up at his house and the rest is history. I'm still a fan (obviously) and I have never stopped collecting.
(Renfield, June 1995)

Here's the official statement from Alice's web site:

It is with extreme sadness that we need to inform the community of Alice Cooper fans of the passing of Brian "Renfield" Nelson, Alice's long-time archivist and personal assistant. It was a sudden, completely unexpected, and untimely passing. We would appreciate it if you would keep him in your thoughts, appreciate his many contributions to Alice's life and career over the years, and respect Brian's privacy and the privacy of Alice and his extended family (at home and on tour) at this time.

Alice is currently on tour in Russia, because the show must go on, which is as Brian would have wanted it.

I think he's right.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lady GaGa Cover. That's Right, You Heard What I Said.

OK, full disclosure: I listen to a ton of music. And I TRY to keep up with what the "kids" are listening to, but frankly sometimes I don't care, and I also think that the "kids" are really 45 year old white dudes with no clue.

So, I don't know if I have heard the proper original version of this song. May have, maybe not. Doesn't matter, this is better. Guaranteed. It's the PS 22 Choir from NYC's Staten Island. Don't be hating on the children, ya hear?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Scoop On The Rancid/Rise Against Show

Well, the confusion is over. Here's what the official email from Pops says. Looks like there was mass hysteria and they had to quell the pitchfork-carrying townsfolk via magical electronic communication. See you there. Stop by and say "Hi." I'll be wearing a Jesus Lizard shirt.

The Riverboat Gamblers 7pm
Rancid 8pm
Rise Against 9:20pm

Tickets are $35

This show is outdoors. See map below for set up. This is a rain or
shine event. As I am writing this, the weather report on on has a forecast of low 80's and partly cloudy but no rain.
This is of course subject to change.

PARKING - Unfortunately, we have had to hire an outside service for
parking. There will be a $5 per car parking fee. Parking location is
located on the map below.

GATES - will open at 5pm and the event is scheduled to be over at

The OZ will be open during this event. Plenty of air conditioning and
a place for you to relax during the show. ATMs will be located inside
this building.

CAMERAS - Small digital and disposable are fine. NO pro cameras or
video recorders. No audio recorders.

FOOD & BEVERAGE - NO outside food or beverage is allowed. We will
have one beverage tent located by the back of The OZ. We will also
have a food vendor set up.

For any other questions, please email and I will
do my best to get them answered.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Twangfest Schedule: Starts Tonight!

OK, I screwed up, and I'll go back and fix it. I thought that the Spankers were playing Saturday, but no, dementia is setting in. They are playing Friday night. Everything I said is still true, but they will be here 24 hours sooner, like some kind of cool time machine/star trek transporter dealio. Good stuff.

Wednesday, June 10
The Pageant | Doors at 7, show at 8.

Alejandro Escovedo
Hot Club Of Cowtown
Amy Lavere

Thursday, June 11
Duck Room at Blueberry Hill | Doors at 7, show at 8.

Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys
Bruce Robison
Eilen Jewell
Brothers Lazaroff

Little Criminals from Jon Hardy & The Public on Vimeo.

FRIDAY, June 12
Duck Room at Blueberry Hill | Doors at 7, show at 8.

Asylum Street Spankers
Andre Williams
Sarah Borges & The Broken Singles
Jon Hardy & The Public- Check out that AWESOME video above! STL Pride!

Saturday, June 13
Duck Room at Blueberry Hill | Doors at 7, show at 8.

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
Daddy (with Tommy Womack and Will Kimbrough)
The Deep Vibration

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Break It Down

Flash Party meets MC Hammer:

Old Skool laughs.

Asylum Street Spankers: Twangfest This F.R.I.D.A.Y.

I have seen the Spankers many times. They are unlike any band out there, a melding of 20's jazz, country, and odes to beer, sex, drugs, and more sex. It's hard to describe to folks; one of those "you have to see them" bands. With the magic of the internet I can share some videos so you at least get a flavor. They'll be playing Friday night as part of the Twangfest line-up. Can't be there, but I would if I could.

The Spankers are genre-jumpers like no other I know of (If you care to challenge, please do. Leave a comment). Here they are doing the B-52s:

Watching these videos makes me wish I was going. So I invite you to go, have fun. But shut the hell up when the band is playing. No one paid to hear you talk. Just some friendly advice. This last one features Stanley Smith (he's wearing the beret, looking like an old jazz hipster. He is), I wish he was still in the band.:

Riverboat Gamblers: A Choppy, Yet Sincere Apology

I'm excited, if not a little confused about the show this Saturday at Pop's. Doors open at 5 PM (!) and the Riverboat Gamblers are to go on around 6. The tickets say "Rise Against and Guests", but according to the venue, Rise Against are scheduled to go on next, with Rancid headlining. Who starts a show at 6 PM, unless you have 8 hardcore bands all playing 30 minute sets?!? And why is Rise Against, for all intents and purposes the headliner, but they aren't? It looks like it in the graphic above, with them on top and just slightly bigger. Hmmm. My source at Pop's better be right. Here's the Riverboat Gamblers. They're from Austin, like many good bands. But watch out, STL is breathing down your neck, bitches. Don't get me wrong, much love for Austin. Just sayin'.

Monday, June 8, 2009


• Rancid will be performing on Conan on Wednesday night. They will be performing for me on Saturday at Pop's.

• White Rabbits and Jon Hardy will be at the Bluebird this Wed.

• Alejandro Escovedo will be at the Pageant along with Amy Lavere and Hot Club of Cowtown, to kick off Twangfest, also this Wednesday.

• Aerosmith will also be performing this Wednesday at the UMB Verizon Bank Riverport. And before you snicker about that one, they'll be performing "Toys In The Attic" in it's entirety, which would be cool to see.

• Did you like Blind Pilot when they opened for the Decemberists? Well, they're coming back, this time to Off Broadway on August 11. I think the venue will be perfect for them. The Pageant was almost too big for their delicate sound. Good booking choice.

• The RFT Music Fest was fun. Gentleman Auction House put on a good show as always, the 75's were pop-punk fun, even playing the Buzzcock's "Orgasm Addict", but the drummer looked like the girls' dad so there was a weird visual disconnect.
The show at the Pageant, from the times I ducked in there, sucked ass.
Not to be confused with the show at the Halo Bar, where the Humanoids put on an energetic set, and the Tripdaddies never fail to satisfy.
Anybody know the story on the Alex Keaton dude that was rocking out in front during the Trips? Seen him at a couple of shows, and he gets into it.
Rats and People were uniquely beautiful, I am better for seeing them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Frankly, This Video Is Freakin' Amazing"- Jason

WOOD from mc bess on Vimeo.

Jason, you are correct. "Wood" by Simon and McBess. I kept thinking that when he starts singing, that was going to ruin it, but I was wrong. This video captivates from start to finish. Thanks, Jason. That is all for now. Stay tuned for further instructions, including what to do in case of more freakin' amazingness.

Rancid: Last One to Die

So I bought the new Green Day. I like Green Day. And I bought the new Rancid. I like Rancid. All good, correct?

The Green Day has everything a rock/punk/pop lover like myself should like: sonic diversity, shout-along choruses, a big over-arching theme. In short, more of the same from the boys. The Rancid release, "Let The Dominoes Fall", has much of the same, with even an over-arching theme: longevity.

I am seeing both bands in concert in the coming months. I've never seen Green Day, so that will be cool. Seen Rancid before, and that was one of the best concert experiences I have had in a long time. It's been a while since this old skooler was in the thick of things, but there seemed to be no better place to be for that show. My friend Jeff, who had recommended the show, remembered looking around to see if I was enjoying myself and seeing me disappear into the sea of bodies. Enjoy, indeed I did. That was one of the few shows that I drove home from and was still soaking wet from sweat when I got out of the car in my driveway. MOST excellent.

So why do I love the new Rancid, and hate the new Green Day? Hard to put my finger on it. Maybe it's the fact that GD have a different producer that has managed to make them sound like Dionne Warwick with banal lyrics. The music has a squishy center to it, and the anger seems to be manufactured.

Rancid, on the other hand, may be nothing more than gutter poets, but what they are saying feels heartfelt. Sure, there are a few duff songs on the new one, but overall I'll pick their new one hands-down. Maybe you should hear it, and let me know what you think. Or tell me I'm crazy, that the new Green Day is the best thing they've ever done. I can take it. But you're wrong.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

RFT Music Showcase: This Sunday

We are truly blessed to have such an abundance of great music to choose from here in St Louis. The Decemberists show on Sunday was great, and many of my friends are at the Yeah Yeah Yeahs show tonight. Have fun!

On the horizon is Twangfest, celebrating it's lucky 13th year on June 10-13. But first we have the annual RFT Music Showcase this Sunday. Here's the line-up. Anyone I should check out? I know I'll try to see Fred Friction or the Tripdaddys.

Main Outdoor Stage
1 p.m. The Beat Street Crew
2 p.m. Jon Hardy & the Public
3 p.m. One Lone Car
4 p.m. Gentleman Auction House- excellent live band
5 p.m. LOGOS
6 p.m. The Feed

The Cucina Outdoor Stage
1 p.m. Troubadour Dali
2 p.m. Funky Butt Brass Band
3 p.m. Kentucky Knife Fight
4 p.m. The Monads
5 p.m. The Educated Guess

6 p.m. Radical Sons
7 p.m. The 75s
8 p.m. The Blind Eyes
9 p.m. LucaBrasi
10 p.m. The Incurables

Blueberry Hill's Duck Room
7 p.m. Teresajenee
8 p.m. Earthworms
9 p.m.-midnight Tef Poe, Family Affair, Nato Caliph, Rockwell Knuckles, Vandalyzm, Black Spade, DJ Trackstar

Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room
6 p.m. Raglani
7 p.m. .e
8 p.m. Left Arm
9 p.m. Suburban Smash
10 p.m. Sine Nomine
11 p.m. Dude Nukem

Brandt's Market & Cafe
8 p.m. Tom Hall
9 p.m. Caleb Travers
10 p.m. Celia
11 p.m. Lamar Harris

7 p.m. Beth Bombara
8 p.m. Cassie Morgan
9 p.m. Magnolia Summer
10 p.m. Rough Shop
11 p.m. The Sham

Delmar Lounge
8 p.m. Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra- so reminiscent of the Decemberists on a smaller scale that we call them the Novemberists.
9 p.m. Wooden Kites Say Panther
10 p.m. Exercise
11 p.m. Target Market
12 a.m. Bunnygrunt

Pin-Up Bowl
7 p.m. DJ Thumpasaurus
8 p.m. Flex Boogie
9 p.m. DJ Needles
10 p.m. DJ Mahf

Halo Bar
7 p.m. Glass Teeth
8 p.m. God Fodder
9 p.m. Humanoids
10 p.m. Gold Tooth
11 p.m. Trip Daddys

Vintage Vinyl
6 p.m. Eric Hall
7 p.m. Jason and the Beast
8 p.m. Scripts 'N Screwz
9 p.m. The Mhurs

6 p.m. Grace Basement
7 p.m. Rum Drum Ramblers
8 p.m. The Northwoods

7 p.m. Tenement Ruth
8 p.m. Dogtown Allstars
9 p.m. Leadville
10 p.m. Theodore
11 p.m. Fred Friction

Let me know if there's anyone to check out, and I will try to do it. It's kinda exciting to just go, and hopefully be surprised by someone, but some guidance would be appreciated, also.