Friday, December 22, 2006


Okay so first off, I want to say that I have a bunch of new demo albums I have to put up reviews of, including Clark, Kurt Adam, and hopefully Sanchez is Driven By Demons. I hope to get them up over the next week or so.

In the mean time one of my favorite bands, Doves, have just sent out a new blog of their own discussing the on-going recording of their new album (now due out in late 2007). You can read their message below:

Festive greetings from Doves band

Thought it was time to say hello & write another one of our regular blogs.

For anyone under the impression that we’ve been sitting back holidaying/taking it easy, they’d be mistaken, we’ve been grafting hard for the last few months, writing lots & lots of songs / music, last month we relocated temporarily to a cottage in the Peak District, Derbyshire (next to a llama farm - that’s the front cover of the album sorted) for a change from our regular M56 studio & it's done us a lot of good, creatively that is.

This record has required a little more writing & work to find a direction, something that feels new to us, that’s just the way it is sometimes, but thank f**k we’re getting there now.

We’re hoping to get in the studio proper Feb '07 to record these songs fast (that’s the plan anyway) & we’re aiming, all being well, for summer/autumn 2007 release.

Thanks as ever to you lot for sticking with us & have a great xmas & a splendid new year - we’ll see you soon.

Andy,Jez,Jimi x


Top 5 Concerts I attended

Okay another list, but a much shorter one I promise! Below is the list of my top 5 concerts I attended in 2006.

Top concerts :
10. -
Fruit Bats at the Mercury Lounge (4/28/06) - You can read my short review of the show here, but it was a great way to celebrate my birthday!

9. - Massive Attack at the Roseland Ballroom (10/5/06) - Crap crowd, but an insane performance! I never really reviewed this show, but I can definitely sum it up by saying that it was an honor to finally see the group perform, and I can say without hesitation that they put on an insanely good show!!

9. - Arab Strap at Southpaw (4/7/06) - I didn't write a review, stup
idly, and didn't post any pictures (none of them came out) but this show was amazing! Unfortunately I had to leave early, little did I know the band would break up some six months later! Figures!

8. - Badly Drawn Boy at Hiro Ballroom (10/12/06) - Great show, Damon's girlfriend Claire came on stage for a duet, and he truly seemed to enjoy himself. Again the venue albeit intimate was lackluster, due to its nightclub priority and kicking the band out at 11:00. You can read my rev
iew and see pictures here.

8. - Tapes 'n Tapes at the Bowery Ballroom (6/6/06) - An amazing show, that made me realize just how damn good this band really is! My wife became an instant lifetime fan after this one! You can read my review and see pictures here.

7. - Jason Lytle at Joes Pub (7/24/06) - One of the most intimate (non-instore performances) I have ever attended. We managed to secure a table at the front of the stage right in the center, which is about as good a spot as I've ever seen/gotten to a show in my life. Jason played a bunch of songs from the Grandaddy catalog and truly seemed to enjoy every minute of it! Great show, and I can only hope he comes back around again really soon, and hopefully plays at the same venue! You can see pictures and read my review here.

6. - The National & Baby Dayliner at Webster Hall (5/21/06) - This show cemented my love for the National (not that it was really in question) and actually caused me t
o come away with the wrong impression of Baby Dayliner. I have since become hooked on the one-man-band, and sincerely apologize for the comments I posted on him at the time. But to defend myself somewhat, he was not AT ALL what I had expected, and was quite comical. You can read my review and see pictures here.

5. - Kooks instore at the FixCafe (10/28/06) - A two person set of intimate acoustic tunes, by one of the most impressive newcomers to the British music scene! I was floored by how good they sounded, met the guys both before and after the show. Very down-to-earth, despite their status on both sides of the pond. My only complaint was that I never got into the show at Northsix afterwards, and this in-store got me completely jonesin' to see a full set! You can read my short review of the show and see pictures here.

4. - Mogwai at Webster Hall (5/13/06) - Another brilliant performance by a stunning band. The setlist for this show was so incredible it depresses me to think that I missed two of my favorite songs because my wife was not feeling well. You can read my review and see pictures here.

3. - Arctic Monkeys at Webster Hall (3/25/06) - Absolutely brilliant performance, that I was only able to attend because my wife's friend, who at the time worked for a m
agazine got us in through press passes. This is truly one of the most impressive live bands I have ever seen, and I can ensure you that if you have the chance to see them do not hesitate they will not disappoint! For some reason I never reviewed this show, which is a disappointment to me as well. Sorry guys but my pseudo-post does include links to other peoples reviews which you can see here.

2. - Band of Horses at the Bowery Ballroom - My wife and I got front and center for this one, and it was another stunner! I wrote a whole review on the show which you can read here and took some pictures too, but to sum it up in one word, Brilliant!

1. - Mogwai at the Avalon (3/6/06) - This is easily one of my all-time favorite shows I have ever attended. I was shocked at how loud and brilliant one band could be. This show even converted my wife, who had initially been disinterested in the band because "the songs don't have any lyrics so how good could they be". By the end of this show, she agreed with me how talented they were, and we subsequently went on to see them again at Webster Hall a few months later. You can read my review of the show here.

Honorable mention:
1. - Should've made the list, but it wasn't actually a concert, but Chuck Palahniuk's book signing at the (crappy) Strand Bookstore was insane. He read a new story "Mr. Elegant" which brought the house down (you can read part of it here) and proved just how impressive an author he really is. Since this reading I managed to write the author (as I posted here) and he replied with a box of goodies, including two cd's of him reading from his various book signings/readings over the years! Truly a great man, and definitely one of the greatest authors I've ever read! You can read my review and see pictures of the book signing/reading here.
2. - Snowden at Sin-e (8/25/06) - You can read my review and see pictures here.
3. - Asobi Seksu instore at the FixCafe - I didn't write much and only posted on picture (here), but it was an impressive showing and I would highly recommend seeing them if you get a chance.


Top Albums of 2006

Okay, its finally time for my first ever best of list. It's been a great year and I've truly enjoyed writing this page. So thanks to everyone who has read and commented on what I write!

I had initially planned to do this weeks ago, but have been so insanely busy it just hasn't happened. Anyway, I want to send out a sincere thank you to all of the bands that send me demo's and for Vice Recordings for sending out the demo's as well! So with that in mind here's my list...

Top Albums:
15. - Silversun Pickups - Carnavas
- Sickoakes - Seawards
13. - Snowden - Anti-Anti
12. - Keser - Esoteric Escape
11. - The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
10. - TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
9. - The Knife - Silent Shout
8. - The Thermals - The Body, The Blood, The Machine
7. - Thom Yorke - The Eraser
6. - Kooks - Inside In/Inside Out
5. - Asobi Seksu - Citrus
4. - Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say About Me...
3. - Band of Horses - Everything All the Time
2. - Mogwai - Mr. Beast
1. - Beirut - Gulag Orkestar

Honorable mentions go out to: Josh Ritter "The Animal Years", Jeremy Enigk "World Waits", Dirty Pretty Things "Waterloo to Anywhere", and Forward Russia! "Give me a wall"


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Crippled Black Phoenix

Holy crap! That's about the extent of what I can say! I had the opportunity to listen to the fully mastered version of the upcoming debut of Crippled Black Phoenix! This was actually more torture than you can imagine, because it's just going to make the wait for the US tour that much harder to bear! I'm not alone is my fervent adoration of this musical conglomerate, check out Micky's page (Boring Machines Disturb Sleep) for loads of references and reviews, as well as an impressive interview with Justin (who was so kind as to hook me up with an advanced copy of the album).

Overall the album touches on most if not all of the cornerstones of any good worthwhile art/post-rock album, and adds textures on top of textures that warrant repeated listens, which can be said for all of the twelve tracks on the album! The album is by far one of the most interesting pieces of music to come out in the last number of years, and while it shares a lot in common with the 'gwai soundscape, it also manages to touch on other styles of instrumental and subtle texture-driven genres! This is without a doubt one of the most impressive debuts I've ever heard! Below is a track review for some of th tracks on the album:

1. -
The Lament of the Nithered Mercenary - The album starts off with a 2:36 "sea chanty-esque" ditty that even includes the sounds of rolling ocean waves. This might explain the multiple water/ocean references in the artwork that has been featured on the bands myspace and official pages.

2. - Really, How'd it get this way? - Clocks in a nearly 5 minutes, and showcases the vocal stylings of the band and has an almost Stranglers' type feel, with a lullaby waltz timing. This is one of my favorite tracks of the year, and I've only really been able to listen to it a handful of times.

3. -
The Whistler - Is an instrumental track that will be somewhat familiar to those familiar with the bands myspace page, as you can listen (and for a short time you were able to d/l) the track there. This is a very complex tune, that illustrates the bands art-rock side, and is yet another standout from the album. As a listener it becomes clear that the song contains multiple movements and is definitely in the vein of early Mogwai and even has a slight Ride feel to it. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

6. - Long Gone Summer - Is a beautiful GYBE! style instrumental with some distorted sampled vocals over a solo guitar plucking, which ebbs & flows throughout the tracks whopping 10:34 length. The guitar parts for the song blend with the pseudo-vocals beautifully.

7. - Goodnight, Europe - Is probably my favorite track on the album and proves just how captivating the group can truly be. It starts off with a slow strum, and slowly builds to a hard-to-call-it upbeat section, where the duet vocals come in that only last for one minute. Then the song changes its course through a short guitar picking section, and the course changes again although the vocals come back. This movement last until around 4:40 and the song changes its tempo back to the beginning section which carries through to the end of the song! This is yet another of the songs the band has up on its myspace page. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

Overall, this is a stunner of an album, and are going to make the next few weeks waiting for the album to be released in late January 2007 brutal. The band has expressed plans to do a US tour, which will be a must-see for myself, and highly recommended for those of you that follow the art/post-rock scene!


A new band to Check Out

The Dandelion Council
The Dandelion Council is a group out of Altadena, California (the nice sunny southern part!), I was jealous from the first mention of them! Their myspace page says that they play Christian/Electro/Folk, which was more than enough to catch my attention. The description listed for the band is as follows:

strongly influenced by summer nights, fields of grass rippling in the wind, the smell of wet earth, lens flares, sun beams, cricketsongs, fireflies, and the like. an extensive portion of the dandelion council's master tapes were allegedly found buried underneath an ancient oak tree in the san gabriel mountains of southern california. the music was apparently produced at various points between 1976 and 1983. allegedly.

Their demo was quite captivating and hard not to try to listen to repeatedly to hear more deeply. The track Best Friend Forever is amazing, and highly recommended for the uninitiated. You can hear the aforementioned song, and other on their myspace page, and hopefully a full-length in the near future.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

NIN - Beside You In Time

Nine Inch Nails has finally announced the release date for their recent tour documentary for the album With Teeth during the bands summer and winter 2006 tour entitled "Beside You In Time". The DVD will be released in various formats: dvd, hd-dvd, and blu-ray formats. The latter two will feature true high definition video and audio. You can view the trailer here.

The track list is as follows:

North American Winter Tour 2006:

1. Love Is Not Enough
2. You Know What You Are?
3. Terrible Lie
4. The Line Begins To Blur
5. March Of The Pigs
6. Something I Can Never Have
7. Closer
8. Burn
9. Gave Up
10. Eraser*
11. Right Where It Belongs*
12. Beside You In Time*
13. With Teeth
14. Wish
15. Only
16. The Big Come Down
17. Hurt
18. The Hand That Feeds
19. Head Like A Hole

*includes alternate angle

Additional Content:

North American Summer Tour 2006:

1. Somewhat Damaged
2. Closer
3. Help Me I Am In Hell
4. Non-Entity
5. Only

- The Hand That Feeds music video
- Only music video
- Love Is Not Enough live @ rehearsals 2005
- Every Day Is Exactly The Same live @ rehearsals 2005
- The Collector live @ rehearsals 2005
- image gallery

You can get more info at the website they have created for this release Halo22.


Sloan US Tour

Sloan will launch a new 30 song album, "Never Hear The End Of It" and with it launch a mini-tour of the USA in January '07. The album will be released on Yep Roc Records on January 9th, 2007. You can pre-order the album now here. If you pre-order you get two bonus tracks. Nice!

A more extensive tour of the USA will follow in Spring '07. Also, Sloan will hit the SXSW Music Conference in Austin, TX in March.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Boston/Cambridge, MA
Middle East (Downstairs)
Tickets go on sale 12/9/06, 18+

Thursday, January 18, 2007
New York, NY
Bowery Ballroom
Tickets on sale now, 18+

Friday, January 19, 2007
Buffalo, NY
Town Ballroom
Tickets on sale 12/9/06, all ages

Saturday, January 20, 2007
Detroit, MI,
Saint Andrew's Hall
Tickets on sale now, all ages

Sunday, January 21, 2007
Cleveland, OH
Grog Shop
Tickets on sale now, all ages


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Clap Your Hands!

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, have finally announced some details regarding their sophomore album. The band released the info through a myspace blog and a fan e-mail. You can read the bands "letter" below:

Hidy ho.

We have a new record coming out on January 30th called Some Loud Thunder. It is our second album. We have posted two new songs from the album on our website for your listening pleasure. There's also another one over at our myspace page.

If you have ants in your pants, you can buy the album directly from us on January 16th in the mp3 tradition, thanks to the kind folks at Insound. We'll then send you a real-life copy for free. There's also an exclusive t-shirt available for those who buy the record directly from us.

Here's the track list of Some Loud Thunder:

1. Some Loud Thunder
2. Emily Jean Stock
3. Mama, Won’t You Keep Them Castles in the Air and Burning?
4. Love Song No. 7
5. Satan Said Dance
6. Upon Encountering the Crippled Elephant
7. Goodbye to Mother and the Cove
8. Arm and Hammer
9. Yankee Go Home
10. Underwater (You and Me)
11. Five Easy Pieces

Thanks! Enjoy.

See also these tracks from their debut album:
Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood
Over and Over Again (Lost & Found)