Sunday, October 29, 2006

Tanakh Interview

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jesse Poe, the brain behind the aurally stunning band Tanakh, who currently reside in Florence Italy. For those of you who are not familiar with their catalogue, get going, it's truly shall I say it "Scrumtrelscent"! Not only is the music amazing, but he is one of the nicest individuals in the music biz to boot. Anyway below you can read through his answers to some questions I asked him regarding his roving collective of musicians (band), his upcoming album, and what it's like living in Italy.

IWAI - I feel obligated to ask the standard question, and get it out of the way. So how would you describe your sound to a new listener considering your aversion to genre definitions?

JP - That’s kind of tuff, we do a lot of scrambling of sounds and genres, and with each record it seems as if the music I write moves geographically and stylistically, but I guess at the end of the day it gets filed under pop music, but hopefully a pop that is passionate and wants to make the world more beautiful. The end sound is I guess a bit different for each listener, but I think it, regardless of which genre a certain song might adhere to, all has warmth and emotion and a lack of pretension or conformity to expectation… My main goal is just to make something beautiful and share it with other people, like photographs from a trip…you see something you think is incredible and you want to bring back a slice of it to share it with your family and friends.

IWAI - What made you decide to move from Richmond (Virginia) to Italy?

JP - I had always wanted to live outside the US for a stint to expand my life and experience, to really know the world a little better and hopefully myself too, and at the time in which I left, America, especially Richmond, wasn’t such a great place. Our lovely government was preying on the fears of everyone and playing with not only our minds, but in the end also our lively hood, by changing the terrorism levels everyday etc. I was working as a waiter at night and a schoolteacher by day. And people just wouldn’t go out to eat if the terror color wasn’t the “safe” color; I was sitting there in an empty 4 star Italian restaurant with no customers and therefore no tips, i.e. no money to pay the bills. Luckily I also taught school not that that pays well either, but then there was the sniper scare in the Richmond and D.C. areas, and if you remember he was leaving threats to strike at schools so no one was sending their kids to school (rightfully so) and the schools would be closed 4 days out of the week. Finally I just decided that if I was going to live off of air that I preferred to do it somewhere really beautiful and somewhere that even if I was doing nothing at least I would be learning and enjoying life with the people around me instead of staying home in fear….so I left.

IWAI - What is the best part of living in Italy?

JP - That’s a hard one, I guess, that everyday is a learning experience and a chance to grow, being that every little thing is so different from the US, I can’t imagine how different it must be to move to China or Somewhere completely different from the US. Plus all the little things like walking to work, good wine for cheap, great food everywhere, the passion that everyone puts into everything.

IWAI - How would you say the climate is for music in Italy right now?

JP - BAD! Especially in Florence, there is almost nowhere to play in Florence. There are in other parts of Italy like Rome and Milan, but not in Florence, and overall there is not the same culture for music that you find in the US, really apart from the UK there is no culture for music like what you find in the US anywhere, and it is the one thing I miss the most. You just don’t have bands in every garage and when you do find music it is usually classical or cover bands.

IWAI - Currently who makes up the core of the band?

JP - Right now there are 6 of us here in Italy that are the core, I can never forget the other guys back in the states who still record and tour with us, they are also a part of that core as well. The 6 of us here are Cosimo Santi (electric guitar), Fabio Mannelli (bass), Viola Mattioli (cello), Jacopo Salvatori (piano) and Nick Liceti (drums) the US family includes: Michele Poulos, Curtis Fye, Darius Jones, and then there are a faithful cast of many who are always there to join in like Phil Murphey and Paul Watson, etc.

IWAI - Aside from yourself and the current six-member core band, I know you collaborate with a myriad of musicians when you record, on average how many people are there on a Tanakh record?

JP - There are usually about 13 at the table.

IWAI - How do you record your albums? Do you tend to record the albums in a live setting or in pieces?

JP - Well, a little bit of both, it usually happens something like this, I spend the year writing songs, pare them down to 15 or so, do some crazy gig to make money like medical studies, or selling one of my toes, etc. and then we get together and I teach the songs to everyone, we all play around with them and fill them out which is always fun for me because I am finally able to hear a sax line I had in mind or drum beat, etc. so I sing the parts I had in mind for the others to play and they take that and form it into their own pieces with there own personality and style and then we sort of pare that down and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Then we go in and record it live, and after listening to it I go back and add lines and melodies that I hear and try and get the others to do the same, it is always a blast and a very non-stop creative atmosphere, I always have the last say on stuff but I never shoot down an idea, we just record it and then we listen to it together and we all give our opinions on what we think works and what doesn’t. In the end I feel more like a sculptor than a musician/producer because there are so many wonderful ways that you could form a song and often it is just sculpting away all the excess until you find the true form….sometimes you might try on a 100 little black dresses but it is only one and the right color of scarf that finally leaves the house with you. (Not that I wear dresses, but just as a metaphor).

IWAI - Do you find it hard to keep the collective going considering the size?

JP - Yes and no, because of its size it is impossible to keep up with everyone like I would like to, and never have all of the members been free to play at the same time, that would be a dream! But do to the size it is a little easier to get together a handful of us to jam…if there was just five of us then if one was missing it would be a bit crippling, but with so many of us, any five of us can get together and make something beautiful, and to be honest I like this sort of chaos or random selection, it seems more like what you do has a sort of fate to it, in that those who come to play bring their own gifts and personalities and the chemistry between us all changes with each addition and subtraction, it is really exciting!

IWAI - Do you all share the same focus on the music stylings, being more important than defining yourself in a genre?

JP - Oh, yes 100% we all have our own gods and obsession and directions, but somehow everyone can sit down and listen to a record together and if one of us LOVES the record you can be sure all of the others dig it too, it is cool.

IWAI - Being that you haven’t gotten over to the US [apparently not true!] to give us a live show, can you describe what a typical Tanakh show is like?

JP - We actually did a 28-day tour of the US in April and May of this last spring (IWAI - I had no idea and I'm really pissed I missed it!). It was a great time, we totally did it D.I.Y. and I would love to do it again, but with the costs being so high, I would have to find a booking agency to book the shows for us, know any? But a typical show has songs from all the records and lots of improv within those songs and from one song to the next, it is a big sound full of energy and passion, and usually a cover or two that I pull out of my ass and surprise everyone with (which they are not always happy about, but I love the immediacy of music and collaboration especially within the structure of a song!)

IWAI - I know that you have a new album coming out this December, what can you tell us about it?

JP - (here is a picture of it) Well it was recorded the week before Ardent Fevers, in the same studio, with the same engineer (Bryan Hoffa), and with the same cast of musicians including Isobel Campbell (Belle & Sebastian) and Alex Neilson (Jandek, Will Oldham, etc.), It’s called, Saunders Hollow, and it’s not a collection of out-takes from those sessions, but a fully realized sister record to Ardent Fevers. Growing out of the song-writing explorations of Michele Poulos and myself. Saunders Hollow is a record focusing on the songs of Michele, who gave them to me in the form of thumb-strummed singer/songwriter demos. The results form a female Yin to the male Yang of recent Tanakh work. From the opening seconds of my tortured guitar squalling to the final seconds of fading footsteps, bowed bass and saw that seal the record, it’s a million sounds all gently gelling into the world of sonic beauty like previous Tanakh records, except for one thing… in our ever changing exploration of sound we placed the lead vocals and songwriting in the ladybird hands of bassist and erstwhile backing vocalist Michele Poulos, which left me in the musician/producer seat, dividing Michele's previous backing vocal duties between myself and Isobel Campbell. What results is warm bouquet of songs that range from poppy-jazz, through renaissance remembrances, sweet folk, to dark drones and dreamy electronics and even straight up raunchy blues. Saunders Hollow is a place full of inviting mystery and rich texture, with musical twists and turns of every type, leaving the listener in a state of remembrance of all things past, like a stroll amongst Proustian Gardens. Gentle bass, scorching electric guitars, lilting tablas, Asian-strummed ukuleles, swirling electronics, lamenting violins, pulsing vibes, regal harpsichords, gospel organs and juke-joint pianos, sex-driven saxophones, folky acoustic guitars, sound-scaped lap steels, pulsing drums, and honeyed vocals grow together in an immense garden of sound and color that populates the dream landscape of Saunders Hollow.

It is being released on Camera Obscura a great indie-label from Australia
and you can check it out on their site and also on myspace at

IWAI - What five albums would you say you could not live without?

JP - Today? Or yesterday? (laughing!) I am a bit obsessed with music and listening to it, even while I am sleeping I usually have music on. If I had to pick one record it would probably be Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, then after that it gets really hard, off the top of my head, Happy Sad by Tim Buckley, Exuma Self-titled record, Ghost 2nd Time Around, and a mix of songs from M.Ward and Mojave 3.

IWAI - Who would you say is your largest influence musically?

JP - That is another one that changes daily, I love to take an artist I admire and learn 5 or 6 of their songs in one sitting and try to understand how they write and how they feel the music, and these change all the time. I was overly influenced by the big gods when I was younger like so many people were, I guess it is all part of growing up; those were Led Zeppelin, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, Tim Buckley. But as I grew they changed with the weather. Everyone from Alice Coltrane to Bruce Springsteen. I think there is something to learn from everyone, and I love to learn, not to study, but to absorb, if your grandmother knows a better way to get stains out, I am excited to learn it.

IWAI - In general who proves to be your muse for the beautiful music you write?

Who? Wow, it’s too personal to say who, what is my muse is easier to answer….cause it is really a mix of both. “What” would be those little things that you can so easily miss around you daily yet are there none the less, there are so many things that are beautiful everyday that go largely unnoticed, a grandfather’s proud approving nod as his grandson explains the workings of his toys, the person who holds a door for another, a seat surrendered to another on a train or bus, a refection of light on a building, those sort of things and the time of day, for me the clock never touches a time more beautiful than the early morning and the late evening, so I strive for that sort of feeling in what I do.

IWAI - What was the last book you read?

JP - I usually read two or three at the same time I just finished Hammer of the Gods last week, and a new book by Chris Leo which was great, 57 Octaves, and returned to Numbers in the Dark (Italo Calvino) that I was reading before I got sucked into Hammer of the Gods and Chris’ book.

IWAI - What is your favorite book you’ve ever read?

JP - Maybe Light in August by Faulkner or House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski or ohh I don’t know so many…the Tao te Ching.

IWAI - If you had the opportunity to sit down at dinner with three people (alive or dead) whom would you like to spend an evening with?

JP - Probably just my friends, but I would love to have a series of dinners with Joseph Campbell and just listen to all of his stories.

IWAI - Finally being that you are in Italy right now, Florence to be exact, what’s your favorite type of wine?

JP - Recently I have been into Sicilian wines like Nero D’Avola and also sangiovesi from here in Tuscany or Lachrime from Le Marche, all of which are full-bodied strong wines but not too expensive in general.

IWAI - My personal Italian favorites are Amarone and Barbaresco.

JP - Oh those are great, expensive but awesome! In Verona they make a risotto with Amarone that is to die for, in fact you want to die when they pour such a beautiful bottle of wine in a pan full of rice but the result is heavenly.

For Further Information Check Out:
Myspace Site
Tanakh Bio
New Album Info

Kooks - In-Store

Kooks put on an intimate in-store at Soundfix yesterday, a preview of what was most likely an amazing show at Northsix (I couldn't get tickets). The guys were really cool and joked around a lot, and stayed after the performance to meet and greet some fans and sign autographs. Soundfix had brought out a stack of the vinyl Acoustic at Abbey Roads albums, which were only $8.99! I essentially had to get one then! They played for about 25 minutes or so, and played through around six songs including their up-coming single "Ooh La", which was quite impressive live, "Sofa Song" (way underrated), and "She Moves In Her Own Way". Overall probably the best in-store I've been to, and proved to make me that much more envious of everyone who had gotten tickets to the Northsix show.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Required Viewing!

If you frequent this page and haven't seen this yet, head on over here and check out this amazing video...It's safe for work, it's just a spoof on the idea that made me create this website.

Bloc Party - A Weekend in the City

Filter just posted an article about the details of the upcoming Bloc Party album, "A Weekend in the City." In short, the album will have eleven tracks, and the first single released will be "The Prayer". You can read the article here.

A Weekend in the City Tracklisting:

1. Song for Clay (Disappear Here)
2. Hunting for Witches
3. Waiting for the 7:18
4. The Prayer
5. Uniform
6. On
7. Where Is Home?
8. Kreuzberg
9. I Still Remember
10. Sunday
11. SRX

Asobi Seksu Interview

You can read an interesting interview with Asobi Seksu here. I can definitely say that Citrus is one of the better albums to come out this year.

Monday, October 23, 2006

120 Days - US Tour

If you haven't already gotten tickets to see the sensation from Kristiansund, Norway 120 Days yet, you'd better do so quickly. The four-piece band's debut album, is amazing (from what I've heard so far!) and from what I've heard their live shows are transcedent. You can get it from the Vice Records website here for $15.99.

The band is playing an amazing seven shows in NYC over the next few weeks, and will also hit Chicago, LA, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Toronto, Ottawa, London & Hamilton Ontario.

23 New York, NY @ Fontana's FREE SHOW
24 New York, NY @ Union Pool TBA
25 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge tickets
26 London, Ont. @ Call The Office tickets
27 Hamilton, Ont. @ Casbah tickets
28 Montreal, QC @ Main Hall TBA
29 Toronto, Ont. @ Reverb TBA
30 Ottawa, Ont. @ Zaphods FREE SHOW
1 New York, NY @ Cake Shop (CMJ-VICE Late Night Show)
2 New York, NY @ The Fader House (CMJ)
2 New York, NY @ Sin-E VICE Records Show Case (CMJ)
3 New York, NY @ Pianos (Upstairs)
4 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle tickets
5 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry tickets
8 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey tickets
9 Portland, OR @ Holocene tickets
10 San Francisco, CA @ Mezzanine tickets
12 Los Angeles, CA @ Echo tickets tickets


So the fourth annual Brewtopia festival was held this past Friday and Saturday at the Javits Center in NYC. The venue was both a massive improvement and a slight disappointment.

First the slight disappointment was that the location of the venue changed from the Chelsea Piers with panoramic views of the River (compared to the basement setting at the Javits Center), and the food was much less impressive (if not pretty bad) than the previous years festival. The food stands consisted of hot dogs, brats, pretzels, nachos and cheese, and potato chips. Last years festival had legitimate sandwiches of the gourmet variety.

Now the location also attributed to the massive improvement, in that it allowed for a substantial increase in the open space afforded to festival participants. It was a much more comfortable setting, especially when compared to the Long Island festival from this past spring.

The beer selection was ample, and did contain a few nice surprises and a few disappointments. First again, I'll start with the disappointments. I was a bit upset when I noticed (right away because it was one of the first stands near the door) that Speakeasy Ales did not show up, unbeknownst to me prior to the festival. Speakeasy happened to be one of the breweries I was looking forward to the most.

Now with the surprises. I was more than impressed with the Cape Ann Brewing Company's selections. They managed to make one of the best beers at the festival (IMHO) that Pumpkin Stout, which they said would be coming out in 22 oz bottles in the near future. My other truly impressive find was the Blonde Hop Monster by Paper City Brewing Company, which had some of the most outstanding floral/citrus hop flavors, without being too overwhelming. Without a doubt the Southampton Publick House (Southampton Ales & Lagers) proved to once again be the class of craft brewing, and showed its true genius while pouring their Saison (outstanding) and their more-than-amazing Pumpkin Ale.

Overall, the festival provided a lot of enjoyment for everyone in our twelve-person party. I would again recommend the festival, and can say without hesitation that I am now prepped for the Extreme Beer Fest in Boston.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Patti Smith - Bowery?!

Yep, Patti Smith and her band are playing a three-night stand at the Bowery Ballroom. The tickets vary in price by day.

Friday Dec 29th - tickets $40
Saturday Dec 30th - tickets $40
Sunday Dec 31st - tickets$55

We just can't get enough!

The Bogmen have proven that there is an insatiable need for all things 'Bog! They have just added a 3rd night for the Kristy's Smile benefit. The first two have already sold out, the third date is Saturday 12/28, and the supporting act will be the Knockout Drops! Tickets are $50 and are available here.

Best Record Shop on the East Coast!

Wow, they never seem to amaze me! Soundfix has just announced that they will be inviting the Kooks to perform an in-store at the 'fix cafe on Saturday 10/28 at 3:00. If you're going I'll see you there, if you're not, you must be unconscious.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

CMJ Music Marathon Schedule

The schedule for the CMJ Music Marathon has finally been released, and it's somewhat searchable. You can check it out here!

My votes for top venue/performers are as follows:
Tuesday -
Fontanas (The Heights, Locksley) & Pianos (Birdmonster)

Wednesday -
Bowery Ballroom (Cold War Kids, Tapes 'n Tapes), Midway (Read Yellow), & Webster Hall (The Knife)

Thursday -
Bowery Ballroom (the Thermals, the Shins, the Album Leaf), Europa (Aloha), Mercury Lounge (Forward Russia!), NYU Skirball Center (the Walkmen), Pianos (Silversun Pickups), Sin-e (120 Days)

Friday -
Northsix (Snowden, Young Widows), Pianos (The Big Sleep enough said) & Bowery (Fields, Mew)

The Horror's Visit the US!

The Horrors will be in the US for the first time, in support of the debut eponymous EP. You can pre-order the EP here (plus you get a free autographed poster).

The tour itinerary is as follows:
Oct 28 NYC Misshapes @ Don Hill’s
Oct 29 Hartford, CT Shag Frenzy @ Sweet Jane
Nov 1 NYC Club NME @
Nov 2 NYC Stolen Transmission @ Annex
Nov 3 Brooklyn, NY Crashin' In @ Galapago’s
Nov 3 Brooklyn, NY Product Shop @ Studio B
Nov 4 Boston, MA The Plan @ Great Scott
Nov 5 DC Tease @ Rock n' Roll Hotel
Nov 7 LA, CA Check Yo Ponytail @ Safari Sam's

Monday, October 16, 2006

Great Interview with Chuck P! (not by me unfortunately)

There is an amazing interview with Chuck Palahniuk over at Strange Horizons that is well worth reading! The interview focuses on Chuck's most recently released book "Haunted", but the author does discuss his upcoming book "Rant." You can read the interview

The Shins release "Wincing the Night Away" track list

The Shins have finally announced the 11-song track list for their upcoming album, "Wincing the Night Away". You can read a short piece on the upcoming album on Pitchfork here. The album is due out January 23rd!

01 Sleeping Lessons
02 Australia
03 Pam Berry
04 Phantom Limb
05 Sea Legs
06 Red Rabbits
07 Turn on Me
08 Black Wave
09 Spilt Needles
10 Girl Sailor
11 A Comet Appears

In addition
, Pitchfork has just posted two reviews of interest, to me at least, today. They gave 120 days, a brilliant band out of Norway, a great review and a score of 7.6. I can't decide for myself about the score as I have yet to hear the whole album, but from what I have heard it's probably understated (! The second review I took note of was the review of Darkel's debut album, which they gave a scathing review of and a score of only 4.7! I couldn't disagree more with this one...I mean I don't think it's quite as good as "Walkie Talkie" or "Premier Symptomes" but it is by far better than the 4.7 Pitchfork gave them.

A Night of Rarities at Spuyten

This Wednesday, October 18th @ 6pm, Spuyten Duyvil will present yet another installment of Rare & Obscure Stuff. This is an incredible chance to try some amazing libations, in an intimate setting! I'd highly recommend checking out the Thumbsucker, Titan IPA, and Gumballhead! Here's the info:

On Tap
1. Brewer's Art Proletary Ale (Baltimore, MD) - a Belgian porter!
2. Brewer's Art Saison - fermented with Fantome yeast
3. Magic Hat Braggot (Burlington, VT) - a braggot is a blend of ale and
4. Magic Hat Thumbsucker - a Russian imperial stout
5. Great Divide Titan IPA (Denver, CO)
6. Allgauer Oktobier (Sonthofen, Germany)

Bell's Rye Stout
Ale Smith Wee Heavy
Three Floyds Gumball Head
Otter Creek Holy Otter Tripel

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Vic Spanner - Best New Composer

How do you begin to describe an album (or various albums) by a composer who describes himself as follows:

"Vic Spanner, the secret, illegitimate love child of DJ Shadow and Benny Hill, was found wandering the Kent countryside four years ago and was brought back to civilisation, or Tenterden, which is almost the same thing. He was a feral snarling beast of a creature, covered head to toe in hair (so much so that it had grown over his eyes, preventing him from ever knowing where he was going). Vic had survived all these years in the wilderness by feeding on insects, birds, otters, hikers and the occasional farmer who had wandered into his mouth by mistake.

Once introduced to the world as a clean-shaven "man", Vic began to eat properly and instead of consuming various woodland folk, he developed a voracious appetite for music and was forced to take up a career in music production to rid himself of all he devoured. He is still dealing with issues relating to heavy metal and disco, but is otherwise proud to love all music, despite his urge to destroy most of it and rearrange it in strange new shapes. He has never had any concept of traditional notions such as tunes, melody, song structure or logic, but still managed to learn his way around a computer and over the years has amassed a small arsenal of instruments (none of which he can play properly) and other objects that he hopes will someday sing for him. With these things and the help of passers by, he already has nine albums under his belt, with a further three in production. Current speculation in the scientific community suggests that Vic is actually living in dog years, which would account for his prolific output, though it has been said that he does this just to annoy his fellow musicians. A more likely story is that he simply has nothing else to do with his time and often has a very short attention span.

And so Vic Spanner dwells in his bedroom studio, concocting strange brews of hip hop, folk, jazz, electronica and some things that he doesn't have names for. It is his dream that one day people will pay him to do this, at which time he believes his inspiration will dry up and he can finally enter society a well-adjusted musical butcher.

Vic Spanner is 206."

When being serious, which is not too familiar for Vic Spanner (AKA Mark Beechill), he has a tendency to exhibit some truth and honesty but try as best as he can to hide it in irony and humour. He's more than an intriguing person to correspond with as you could probably figure out.

Now, to get on with the review of his music...Well I guess you can begin by saying that his compositions are stellar, and definitely of the otherworldly variation! This could be due to the fact that he refuses to learn how to play any of his instruments properly. I stumbled onto his myspace site a few months back, and with just 1 listen to a few of his tracks I was totally and completely hooked. It would be nearly impossible to compare him to just one artist, which I guess means he has succeeded in defying genre pigeonholing. A few of Vic Spanner's do tend to seem familiar to some Aphex Twin/Boards of Canada tunes I have heard, but a straight comparison wouldn't truly apply.

In the span of eight years, he's amassed 11 Vic Spanner albums. In 2006 alone, he is planning to release two full-length LP's and a handful of EP's. While his songs are conglomerations of sounds, they all manage to sound unique when the "noise" is mixed together. The best recommendation I can give you is to just give some of his music a listen...

Give a few of these tracks a listen...

Badly Drawn Boy - Hiro Ballroom Night 2

Wow, so I realize that it's been a few days since the show, sorry!

The Badly Drawn Boy show itself was amazing, my only complaint was that the show was in a posh night club that forced the band to cut their set shorter than they had planned. They still managed to play for nearly 2 hours but you can see that they had to skip quite a few songs they had intended to play! The highlights for me were "Nothings Gonna Change Your Mind", the first single off the upcoming album, which is a stunner in typical BDB fashion, and "Something to Talk About" which always brings the house down. The audience was also given the treat of a duet with Damon & "his Claire" singing the cover "One Last Dance". It was great to see Damon in such fine spirits and really enjoying the admiration of the crowd. He also did a rousing version of "All Possibilities" during which he interacted (sometimes physically) with the crowd and hammed it up a bit!

Some of the other highlights included hilarious covers of "Like a Virgin" and "Don't Stop Believin'" [by Journey]. Damon also proved his utter love and admiration for "the Boss" by covering Thunder Road again. I'm still hoping he'll do a cover of an Elliott Smith song, as I requested "Between the Bars" at the Town Hall show a few years ago. U
nfortunately his misinterpreted what I said and thought I was referring to a Scott Walker song. I spoke with him after that show and explained the request and he was upset his missed out on doing it. Hopefully at some point in the future he'll do it!

As the show was supposed to have been finishing, the band left the stage and the stage hands begain packing up the equipment, Damon came back out on stage to perform "Magic in the Air" which is just one of my all time favorites, so that was definitely a treat!

It was definitely a great night, I just wish I could've gone
to night 1 as well! The location of the venue though was lackluster as far as I'm concerned, it was way too posh and snobby for me! But I would definitely recommend the venue because the sound and intimacy offered are outstanding!

Official Description - from Chuck!

Wow, so the Cult website has just announced an official description of Chuck Palahniuk's upcoming book "Rant". According to Chuck himself the book will be in the form of an oral biography! The author was quoted as saying the following:

About Rant...

"For 'Rant' I borrowed the form of an oral biography, wherein dozens of people are interviewed about the same person, then those interviews are cut together. Like a 'talking head' type of documentary film. The only person not present is the subject: Rant Casey, an updated Huckleberry Finn in a messy, crowded near-future. Cars, traffic, and accidents all play parts, with chunks of the through-line action presented as radio traffic reports. Of course there's a romance. And of course it's confronting and occasionally violent. And sickening or sexy. The glory of the 'oral biography' form is how it allows the story to cut instantly from one plot thread to another, or from the 'camera' perspective of one character to another, while both describe the same event. This let me boil each statement down to the minimal plot point so that the action moves blam, blam, blam through the entire twisted life and death of Rant."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Instant Raconteurs Fix?!

Yep, the Raconteurs, or moreso XL recordings have teamed up with ConcertLive to release official bootlegs of their upcoming UK tour. The catch, for us on this side of the Atlantic, is that they are for UK sale only. The site states that customers must have a valid UK postal address to order the discs! This makes all the sense in the world!

[passionate rant upcoming]

I have yet to figure out why the US is so far behind the times when it comes to music distribution. Why is it that I have to order vinyl singles of some of my favorite bands through UK websites (and getting screwed over by the weak dollar [I'm a finance geek])? Why don't we have the availability to buy them (minus a HUGE mark-up) at our local record shops? So now we're adding insult to injury with this...whatever...

[end of rant]

Anyway the discs will be 15 (GBP) and can be ordered here. The website claims that only 1,000 copies will be made of each's what the site has to say about the discs:

Limited Edition Live audio bundle including:

- Deluxe double disc CD set of the concert
- Exclusive live version of the new single 'Broken Boy Soldier' only available here!
ONLY 1,000 of each gig are being produced!!!! All gigs on UK tour available.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Modest Mouse - Can You Say US tour?!

Yep...that's what I'm talkin' about! Word has it that Modest Mouse is planning a US tour, including multiple nights in NYC! You can check out the itinerary honest apology to everyone not from NY, CA, or FL! I'm sure they'll be adding dates as time goes on, and as I hear it I'll post it! You can also read more here.

5 - Los Angeles, CA – Avalon
6 - Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
7 - Anaheim, CA – The Grove of Anaheim
9 - Anaheim, CA – The Grove of Anaheim
11 - Miami, FL – Bicentennial Park
13 - New York, NY – Nokia Theatre
14 - New York, NY – Webster Hall
15 - New York, NY – Webster Hall
17 - New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
18 - New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
Tue Nov 21 London, UK Koko
Sat Dec 30 Lorne, Victoria, AU Falls Festival
Sun Dec 31 Marion Bay, TAS, AU Falls Festival
Sat Jan 6 Busselton, Western Australia Sir Stewart Bovell Park

Tickets for the Bowery Ballroom dates go on sale Saturday Oct 14th.

Sebadoh - Re-unites?!

Holy crap! I can't believe what I'm reading! Pitchfork just posted a story about the original line-up of Sebadoh re-uniting! Yes, Lou Barlow just posted on his site, that the line-up consisting of Lou, Jason Loewenstein, and Eric Gaffney will be touring and possibly recording in the Spring of 2007 (2/25/07-4/07)! This has to be some of the best news I've heard this year!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Port Royal - Flares

Wow, first and foremost I should send a "Thank You" to Micky at Boring Machines for turning me onto these guys! So thanks Micky!

If you're like me, wondering if the art-rock genre had expanded its borders past Scotland, Japan, and the US, then I would highly recommend you take a look into Italy! The band in question, Port Royal, managed to turn shoe-gazer art-rock, into Air-esque mood music that would have fit perfectly on the soundtrack to "Lost in Translation"! It also helps that the five-piece from Genoa, Italy are some of the nicest guys on the planet, as are their label!

The bands debut album, Flares, had outsold it's original pressing and their label (Resonant) was forced to re-issue the album to meet the demands of fans. From start to finish the album ebbs and flows throughout its 10-tracks, some lasting in duration over 10 minutes ("spetsnaz|paul leni"), which somehow never seems to be long enough! It is no shocker to anyone who is familiar with the album that someone apparently already noted that they manage to pull off a blisteringly effective Sigur Ros effect (minus the Hopelandic!)!

Shortly put, this album is a must have, if you are a fan of shoe-gazer/post-rock/art-rock! Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll get to branch out of their native Italy for some shows in the US!

You can read a great interview with the band, by Micky,
here. You can also check them out on Myspace here.

Badly Drawn Boy

Only one more week until I get to see Damon Gough, aka Badly Drawn Boy, at the Hiro Ballroom! I can't believe that there are still tickets available (night 1, night 2) for some reason! Regardless, I'm so glad that he has chosen to continue to keep his shows intimate, in the best venues around the city! I'm also holding out hope that we'll be able to get the new album at the show! If you are interested you can pre-order the new album at with the Bonus DVD here.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A bit of news that might excite some of you West Coast people...The National are heading out to the West Coast for a short tour, as a break from recording. The message from the band is below, as is the tour itinerary.

Hello All! We are taking a break from recording to tour the West Coast
(USA/Canada) this week and next. The dates are listed below and links
to tickets can be found here.

Hope to see you out there!

05 Oct: RICHARDS ON RICHARDS, Vancouver BC Canada
06 Oct: NEUMOS, Seattle WA
09 Oct: TROUBADOUR, Los Angeles CA
10 Oct: CASBAH, San Diego CA
11 Oct: TROUBADOUR, Los Angeles CA
13 Oct: WOW HALL, Eugene OR
14 Oct: BERBATI'S PAN, Portland OR
26 Oct: BLACK CAT, Washington DC

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lo Slung

Can a band that considers the Fields' as friends not be good? I didn't think so! The band in question is a three-piece band out of London, called Lo Slung, whose sound is somewhat reminiscent of Americana 70's Rock, meets Johnny Cash. Only picture Johnny channeling the voice of Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead. Don't let that visual fool you, it's a down home good time, even though they are from the UK...don't believe me?

Check it out:
Girls Don't Like Guys
Do You Like It?
Money Making Machine

The band is currently preparing for a UK tour including London in November, and is also working on recording their debut album. You can keep up to date on their Myspace page here.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Knife

Okay, this is somewhat old news, but I just picked up the new album by the Knife, Silent Shout, and from what I heard at the Soundfix listening station, I would highly recommend checking them out at Webster Hall Wednesday November 1st. The are playing two shows, an early show at 6:00 PM and a late show at 10:15 PM. Tickets are $25 and are available here and here, respectively.

Snowden Coming Back Around

Snowden, who I posted about a while back, is coming back to the NYC area for a few shows.

First they are hitting Northsix in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Friday November 3rd. They will be playing with These Arms are Snakes, and Young Widows as part of the CMJ marathon. Tickets are only $15 and are available

Secondly they are opening for Forward Russia! at the Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday November 28th. Tickets are $14 and available here.


Bogmen Reunite for Benefit

The Bogmen are playing a one-off show at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday December 22nd. Tickets are $50 each, and are available here. Kinda pricey I think but it is for a good benefit, Kristy's Smile, so I guess it's worth the extra money. For anyone who hasn't seen them play a live show, it's definitely worth catching! They are a riot live!! Viva PJ!