Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Tour you need to see


Page France, an indie favorite and Anathallo, a favorite of mine, are finishing up their tour in the next few weeks but will be in the northeast for that time. Perfect for people like me. So this is just my suggestion that you go check them out.

Tour Dates:
Thu 11/30/06 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
Fri 12/1/06 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Sat 12/2/06 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell's
Sun 12/3/06 Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar
Mon 12/4/06 Cambridge, MA Middle East Upstairs
Tue 12/5/06 Hartford, CT Webster Underground
Wed 12/6/06 Pittsburgh, PA Lawrenceville Moose
Thu 12/7/06 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place
Fri 12/8/06 Cleveland Heights, OH Grog Shop
Sat 12/9/06 Detroit, MI Magic Stick

Thursday, November 16, 2006

the redhead said you shred the... harp

Old Asian cat lady meets off key child in a Sunday School Christmas pageant? Mmm, maybe at first listen. But after the initial shock of her, needless to say, distinct voice, it’s impossible to shun the elf-like Miss Newsom: with story-book lyrics that border on absurd and reflective, it’s hard not to get hooked…or, in any case, extremely intrigued. Oh, and there’s also the fact that she’s basically the Hendrix of the harp. Yeah, the girl can seriously pluck you up.
On her sophomore album, Ys (actually pronounced "ees".... thank you, Nylon), the Newsom’s eclectic Renaissance style is back, this time with a full-on orchestra and mellower, haunting vocals. I have to admit that it took me a while to really get into Ys, as it has a completely different feel from her previous CD, the amazing The Milk-Eyed Mender. But, like Joanna herself, the album grows on you, and after seeing her in concert this past Monday, where she and her band played through the entirety of the new album to a hushed, awed crowd, I’ve basically been listening to it non-stop.
Unlike Mender, Ys only contains 5 songs, but with an average song length of 7 minutes (“Only Skin” takes the cake with a full 17), it’s like listening to a book on tape, minus the cheesy C-list celebrity narration, obviously. Though she still sings about mythical creatures and characters (“Monkey and Bear,” track 2) the lyrics seem so much more personal (basically the rest of the album, especially “Sawdust & Diamonds” and “Cosmia”). I could list some of my favorite lyrics, but then this post would be way too long, so I think you should check them out here:
Though Milk-Eyed Mender is more accessible (songs are 5 mins. long at the most), to me Ys is definitely the next best step for Joanna. Though there’s so much going on at one time (musical saw, anyone?) everything just works. In conclusion, dear reader, get thee to the nearest record store and immerse yourself in harp happiness.

Myspace (dunno if this is her official one, but I think so)


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ben Folds is ridiculous

ridiculous.... he is simply ridiculous. Thanks to Brownpower (Of Just Pretend) loving Ben Folds so much, we have this video to offer. Its for his song 'Learn to live with what you are". Enjoy.

Brand New has a Brand New album!

The Devil and the God...

And don't you tell me their not Indie, they are too. More Indie than that Death Cab you all love so much. Anyhoo... "The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me", from what I've heard so far, is awesome. And it is not those demos that were leaked earlier this summer, I think maybe some tracks are on both, not sure yet. Anyway, I heard some of these tracks earlier in the summer when I saw them in NYC and they were great live, and the album delivers the same energy. It's very much what Brand New does best, not to say it isn't anything of a step forward. I don't know how to describe it. What I do know is that it comes out November 21st and you should get it. One track from the album (Sowing Season) is on their myspace, thats all i got for now.



Tuesday, November 14, 2006

more sufjan love

i know this is kind of pointless now, but if you preorder songs for christmas, asthmatic kitty will send it out today (Nov. 14) and you (should) be getting it earlier than its stated release date. :)
for more info about songs for christmas/ daily updates on mr. stevens, go here if you don't do so already:
Christmas News

p.s. kevin devine is amazing. true story.

and watch Sufjan's video for "put the lights on the tree"

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kevin Devine

So when he was in town last I didn't get to see him, that is, while he was on the Hotel Cafe Tour (w/ Cary Brothers and about a million others) but he has just begun a new tour with Straylight Run, so nows your (and my) chance. He'll be all over the US till the beginning of December.
Oh.... right, who is he? Well he's a clever singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, NY. I don't know how else to describe him that wouldn't make him seem like every other singer-songwriter but I assure you, he's worth a listen. His new CD "Put Your Ghost to Rest" is my favorite of his four.



Friday, November 10, 2006

New Sufjan Stevens, just in time for Santa

So as many of you might (should) know, Sufjan is coming out with a new Christmas album this, well Christmas. Technically its comes out on November 21st, so mark your calenders. The special cd includes:
• Five individually packaged CD EPs! • Five Christmas stickers! • Extensive liner notes and short stories by Sufjan Stevens! • An original Christmas essay by Rick Moody! • An animated music video and comic strip by Tom Eaton! • A Christmas Songbook with lyric sheets and chord charts--so you can sing along too! • An original Christmas Family Portrait painting of Santa Sufjan (with wife and kids!) by Jacques Bredy!

I don't have much more to say about this subject, All I know is that this music reminds me of a Christmas more than any other Indie album could.



Thursday, November 09, 2006

Get out your knives.

The old adage proves itself time and time again... Whatever doesn't kill you is a hell of a lot of fun. This naturally adopts itself to concerts too, especially when you want to take a break out of the lovely paradox of the indie mainstream. A man can take only so much Sufjan. So what is he to do? Vary things up and see some hardcore punk, I say.
Unfortunately, the bands I really enjoy in that genre tend to be relatively limited, but the Blood Brothers definitely shine through as one of the most interesting. They lie somewhat in the vein of At the Drive-In and Pretty Girls Make Graves while creating their own niche. Lyrics, most importantly to me, are either wonderfully innovative in a neon-concrete sort of way or hilariously sarcastic (See the song title "You're the Dream Now, Unicorn!"). The music goes from screaming one second to melodic and emotional the next, but even if it's simply base screaming you can still understand the reason and emotion behind it. And I'm particular about my screaming. Speaking of vocals, Johnny Whitney has one of the most incredible voices I've ever heard. Insane.
Front row at a concert like this is quite the experience, and the three+ kicks to the head that mysteriously show up just make it all the more worthwhile.
...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead split the show with the Blood Brothers, but while I can enjoy a few of their sounds off Source Tags and Codes, they don't seem to stand out as much. I can't say that their show wasn't energetic, though, at the least.
The Blood Brothers have a new CD, Young Machetes, out, but I'm still trying to adjust to see if it compares to Crimes or Burn Piano Island, both of which are strongly recommended for a starter point. "Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck" is one of their biggest singles, and an excellent song to check out. Young Machetes is definitely harsher and somewhat less melodic and cohesive than the others, but it's got its own draws to it too. Screaming is healthy. Let it out.



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The best show of my life

The Format

People may throw that line around all the time, wasting it's impact, but I am no waster of things. The Format @Irving Plaza in NYC, over this past summer was the best show I have ever seen (And I know that was a while ago, but they are currently on a very large tour.) Their energy, their lyrics, their amazing ability to mix Indie Rock, Pop, and one hell of a horn section when they need it, makes them everything a small town boy could dream for. They have a new Live EP coming out soon (And Now I Hope Your Alright, Live in California) so look for it. They have not gotten enough attention in my opinion, so I'm doing what I can.



Gym Class Heroes (Spittin Mad Rhymes with some Indie Stylin)

I'm not going to lie, I love Indie music, but I have other loves, some people would even go as far to say I am the definition of a Renaissances Man. But without going into my interests too deeply, lets touch on the Hip Hop aspect of my life for this post. This group out of Geneva, NY has been around for a a little while but is currently hardcore touring the country. I wouldn't call them straight up hip hop, more of a mutation with a definite Indie feel. Anyway, their newest cd, As Cruel As School Children is worth a listen. Thats all i got.



A cool music video they did

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Decemberists Live

Saw The Decemberists live last night at the Orpheum and all I have to say is that any show with gypsies, dramatic monologues for lost loves, and live audience reenactments of the Boston Massacre is a-ok with me.

Live in Concert (thanks to NPR)