20 March 2010

Good Intentions

Of course, I planned on being on here a hell of a lot more often to keep folks up-to-date on proceedings here in Austin for SXSW.  At this point, I've probably forgotten more of what I would like to have posted about that I'd care to admit but that's how these things go.

One sure highlight was the AOL Spinner sponsored Rogue Wave show at Lance Armstrong's Mellow Johnny's bike shop.  Besides being a nice break from all the shit shows in dark and sticky bars, there were also plenty of free beer (Fat Tire), excellent screen printed posters and tees and of course the wonderful charming and poppy Rogue Wave.  The set list included: Stars and Stripes, Publish My Love, Sleepwalker, Solitary Gun, Good Morning, We Will Make a Song Destroy, Lake Michigan, and Permalight.

Chanced upon the excellent Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Convention Center.  We'd been trying to bring them in for Traditions in New London for the last several years and with hope we'll get them in yet.  Part raucous and uplifting jug band and party history lesson the roots of roots music, the Chocolate Drops are infectious and entertaining as all get out.  They've got a new slab out on Nonesuch which you shoud definitely grab if willing and able.

Had full intentions of seeing Superchunk post Chocolate drops (sort of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of great music from the Carolinas, donthca think?) but then on arrival quickly realized that I was definitely not the only one planning on Skipping Steps One and Three!  The line for this one wrapped a block and half around La Zone Rosa and was not gonna be in the cards for yr friendly blogger.

This did lead to a nice surprise: as I wandered away with no plan up a random side street, caught an strangely familiar voice floating our of a particularly cool looking outdoor venue/bar and I wandered in to catch Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles in full gear.  The band was ripping it up for the Paste Magazine, Sugar Hill Records, Vanguard Records showcase and the crowd was plenty pleased with what they were seeing.  A nice touch of home: shredding guitarist Lyle Brewer was sporting a Dutch Tavern tee shirt!  Sarah was followed by the cutesy girl group The Living Girls ("we like to live") and the Watson Twins.  I've got some video of the Living Girls I will post up on my return to the Northeast.

We're off to the madness again so out of time to type.  We did get to see Jacob Dylan (with Neko Case in tow), hung with Eddie Shea before one of his many many gigs supporting the Court Yard Hounds, ran into old pal Denis Mahoney just off his Black Pig gig with DJ Spooky, and much much more.  Plans to catch Dr. Dog, Demolished Thoughts (Thurston, J, and Andrew WK!!), Justin Townes Earle, Freelance Whales, Local Natives and many more today as well as hit the record convention and Flatstock for some take home goods.  Here's a shot from 6th Street for y'all!

18 March 2010

SXSWesting and Musket

We had a great first day at the annual music conference here in Austin.  The weather turned gorgeous after a few days of gray rainy ones, perfect timing for the mindless masses celebrating a Texas style St. Patty's day and the kick off to the biggest baddest music shindig of them all.  Highlights of my day including an excellent session on mastering led by the infamous Bob Ludwig and special one on one mentoring session with Maggie from Kill Rock Stars.

After the early day sessions we headed over to Third Man Records supremely fun pop up store at Frank's where they had "Texas sized" records for sale in 8" and 13" varietals.  The store was chock full of tasty goodness including requiste I Love Jack and I Love Meg buttons and extremely beautiful White Stripes poster that I will proudly hang in New London as a souvenir of our trip.  The also had a Third Man branding station though we weren't quite drunk enough to have ourselves marked for the team just yet!

After a banging meal at Frank's we headed south to Taco Maria's to see our good friends Avi and Celia perform a blistering set under the new moniker Hey Momma!  These two are as good as it gets playing their inspired blues - Avi ripping it on guitar and backing vox and Celia just blowing away the crowd with one of the best sets of pipes around.  They had the crowd from the get-go and never let them off the hook.  The margaritas were flowing pretty nicely at happy hour as well - just saying.  It was great to see Miss Tess and the bon Ton Parade in the crowd as welll.

The night wrapped up sweetly at Stubb's for NPR's excellent first night party/showcase featuring The Walkmen,   Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Broken Bells and Spoon.   The Walkmen were a revelatory surprise after listening to them for years but never seeing them live.  Great stuff indeed.  Sharon Jones was the win though for sure - blowing the doors of the place with the Dap Kings.  Broken Bells played a straight set of their new record and just nailed it.  And, well, Spoon was Spoon.  Such a great way to kick off the madness.  On the docket for today: a little Smokey Robinson, Rogue Wave and Broken Social Scene among many other surprises I'm sure.

12 March 2010

Birds of a Feather

New London's Roadside Attractions will be playing a special gig at the Oasis tonight with Portland, Maine's Brown Bird. The latter is just returning from a highly successful European run with Providence's much acclaimed Low Anthem. The band is continuing its tour ad infinitum throughout the spring running scatter shot around the east coast. Roadside Attractions have, of course, just released their debut ep Whispers and are currently in the studio with Eddie Shea working on their first full length. Roadside's sweet singing chanteuse Daphne Glover is heading to Austin, TX next week for the annual SXSW music conference. If you can't get to Texas, drop by New London tonight! Should be a great evening of music indeed.

mp3: Roadside Attractions You Ain't Gonna

09 March 2010

Great Songs: The Smiths "The Headmaster Ritual"

Flash Drive

Head over to whoismgmt now for a free download of Flash Delirium the first track to sneak out from MGMT's highly anticipated sophomore effort Congratulations!  It's a poppy psychedelic frenzy that'll leave you wanting more more more!

08 March 2010

Where in the World...

The MGMT hijinx ensue!!! With their new record Congratulations on its way, the pr push begins with a game of cat and mouse that will see some lucky fans who find their way to some as yet undesignated locations first rewarded with an as yet unrevealed experience.  Clues can be found at their new site and through Twitter postings. 
The rules from the site:
We will give clues to the secret location and a password on this page.
Once you figure out where the location is - GO THERE - 
you have 1 hour, first come first serve.
You will see a person holding an MGMT flag - 
go up to them and tell them the password.
If you are one of the first people to arrive - your journey starts then. 
You will need to be free for the next 2 hours.

Here We Go Again

What do you do if you are a band who made its name on a viral video of the hugest proportions?  Well, you got back and top it with another must see vid!  Ok Go have done just that with the new Rube Goldberg inspired masterpiece for This Too Shall Pass. This is well worth the next four minutes of your life:

02 March 2010

Grooved Pavement

Pavement launched their comeback yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand with a set that will have something for everyone (except all those nay-sayers who never got it anyway!).  The band will wind their way to US shores sooner or later but in the meantime will be getting constant feeds of fan fed sing-a-longs and shaky video teasers from the 14th row to keep us frothing like the Pavlovian mutts we are. Matador has a bunch of cheap re-issues of the catalog as well as the career spanning best of Quarantine the Past to fill out your collection in the meantime (isn't it time you got Watery, Domestic on vinyl anyway?!).

Here's the full setlist from New Zealand:
In the Mouth a Desert 
Trigger Cut 
Elevate Me Later
Shady Lane
Father to a Sister of Thought
Rattled by the Rush
Summer Babe
Kennel District
Silence Kit
Range Life
Stop Breathin'
No Life Singed Her
Fight This Generation
Date With Ikea
Box Elder
Gold Soundz
Give It A Day
Cut Your Hair
Spit on a Stranger
Conduit for Sale!
And here's proof it all went down! Range Life in all it's hand held glory!

Focus Group

Mercer and Mouse tested and re-tested their new material methodically prior to the release of the new Broken Bells record as the following bears out:

01 March 2010

Slow Jamming

It's NPR stream day I guess! The fine people at our favorite nationwide radio service are also providing a full-stream of Broken Bell's debut (which we'll be taking a bit later post work-day, wink wink...).  Listen now, cuz you should....

I have heard the mermaids singing

 Gorillaz full on stream of Plastic Beach available now at NPR, just check it:

Plastic Beach tracklist :
1. Orchestral Intro (featuring Sinfonia ViVA)
2. Welcome To The World Of The Plastic Beach (feat. Snoop Dogg & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
3. White Flag (feat. Kano, Bashy & The National Orchestra For Arabic Music)
4. Rhinestone Eyes
5. Stylo (feat. Bobby Womack & Mos Def)
6. Superfast Jellyfish (feat. Gruff Rhys & De La Soul)
7. Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon)
8. Glitter Freeze (feat. Mark E Smith)
9. Some Kind Of Nature (feat. Lou Reed)
10. On Melancholy Hill
11. Broken
12. Sweepstakes (feat. Mos Def & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
13. Plastic Beach (feat. Mick Jones & Paul Simonon)
14. To Binge (feat. Little Dragon)
15. Cloud Of Unknowing (feat. Bobby Womack and Sinfonia ViVA)
16. Pirate Jet

Son of a Gun

I'm not sure when we last heard from Jakob Dylan but he's back with a lovely new work Women and Country produced by the always excellent T. Bone Burnett. The first teaser single "Nothing but the Whole Wide World" is a laid back country folk number that features backing vocals from the lovely Neko Case. It's available for download over at the Spinner blog.

Jakob Dylan, 'Nothing But the Whole Wide World' -- Song Premiere - Spinner