Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Looked Who Just Showed Up...

Keep your eyes open...you never know where a rock star will show up next!
When you least expect it.
I'm telling you...they're everywhere.

U2 & Green Day @ Abbey Road Crossing

R.E.M. (w/ Bill Berry) plays the 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA

Saturday, September 23, 2006

God Has a Sore Throat...

For anyone heading out to the Palace of Auburn Hills (near Detroit) tonight to see Eric Clapton...hold the phone! Apparently, even those who have been granted "deity status" can succumb to the rigors of rock on the road. According to his fan club's newsletter, Slowhand has cancelled tonight's show because of a sore throat. The tickets will be honored for a make up date, which will be announced later this week. Doesn't he remember...Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out. Not a big deal...it was supposed to be a stormy night anyway.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The More Rice The Better...

Damien Rice: Volcano

Tweedy Surfaces Again...

...with Sunken Treasure.
As mentioned in previous posts, Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) is releasing Sunken Treasure, a DVD featuring footage of his recent solo journey in the pacific northwest. As with most good road trips, this too, has a trailer in tow. Here is a small taste of the DVD, which hits stores October 24th.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Irish Eyes Are Smiling...

Damien Rice has announced that his latest album, '9', will be released later this year. That is good news for all those that enjoyed his last effort,'O'. Let's hope some tour dates follow close behind.

For those who can't wait that long for good irish-made folk rock, you might want to check out a free show coming to The Ark on October 24th. Guggenheim Grotto is a young irish trio who have been using a wide array of instruments to make some noise in the music world. Some of their songs might even remind you of Damien Rice. They have even been asked to do World Cafe Live, a hearty endorsement for any band.

In other irish music news, Glen Hansard of The Frames will be touring with a side project called The Swell Season. The north american tour is short, so catch it while you can this October.
(A good tip from S. Sachoff)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Deeper In The Mines...

There is an interesting band, Extra Golden, coming to Detroit's Bohemian House next Wednesday, September 27th. I know very little about this group, only what I have been reading and hearing on the internet...and I like it!!!

Here is what the New York Press (Robbie Mackey) says about these guys...

Ian Eagleson and Alex Minoff of the DC-area rock band Golden have never resorted to convention. With help from Trans Am bassist Philip Manley and Royal Truxster Jon Theodore, their wildly inventive albums slip back and forth between futuristic funk, unhinged blues and math-y nonsense. But as strange and rewardingly unfocused as their previous work has been, Eagleson and Minoff have never tackled the sort of exoticism and striking conscientiousness of their latest venture as Extra Golden.

Ok-Oyot System, Extra Golden’s debut on Thrill Jockey, couples American rock with benga music—a guitar-centric style of upbeat Afropop that gets by on cartwheeling melodies and springing syncopation. But, even Eagleson will admit, the style’s ostensible cheer seems a strange counterpoint to the squalor in which it’s created.

No Vacancy...

This Hotel is FULL! If fresh, indie singer-songwriters is your thing, then you might want to check out this packed line-up that is going to be traveling to a venue near you. The 2006 Hotel Cafe Tour captures the success of one LA coffeeshop, The Hotel Cafe and takes it to the masses. This will be the second go around for this exciting concept. The tour features a rotating lineup of at least 6 artists each night. Organizer, Cary Brothers will be performing at each stop along the way. Like the website says, this is not cookie cutter corporate America perfomers...these shows feature musicians who have paid their dues. You really can't go wrong...and you may exposed to yur new favorite along the way. Joshua Radin, Matt Costa, The Weepies & Charlotte Martin are all on the bill for a Detroit stop at St. Andrews on Wednesday, October 18th.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

One World Is Enough...

While I am still in the vibe of the Cibelle show from last night, I want to mention a few "world music" standouts that are more recent additions to my playlists. Reggae music is one of my favorite genres, and it is easy to just pull out some Marley, but Bedouin Soundclash delivers solid island rhythms and steady guitar with a fresh approach. At moments you will feel like the group is channeling Bob, without ripping him off. Every track on Sounding a Mosaic is solid, making it great for a nice, long drive in the car.

Jehro is the other musician I want to note. He draws some comparisons to Jack Johnson, with a heavier emphasis on the caribbean sound and devotion to his native french lyrics. This music is simple, but it makes you feel good...good background music. Jehro's music has bit of a soundtrack feel to it...but hey, it worked out for Seu Jorge in Life Aquatic.

The Sao Paulo Songstress...

Just got back from seeing Cibelle live at The Ark in Ann Arbor. It was a small crowd, but the perfect venue for her experimental, textured, brazilian bossanova sounds. It is more than just The Girl From Ipanema with Cibelle...she seems to have a love for sounds, soft or raw. She spent the evening layering vocal snippets over each other with an echoplex, while playing various percussion instruments. The repitition would build into a chorus, that in some strange way imitated the sounds of a Brazilian rain forest, with birds, monkeys and insects all singing their part. Cibelle is hard to define completely, but imagine if Bjork spent a year in the Amazon...this might be the result. Here is some video I shot of her opening song...it doesn't really capture the layered complexity she laid down, but it still sounds beautiful...Astrid Gilberto would have been proud. True easy listening.

Saturday, September 16, 2006


So, apparently KISS must be big in China.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Believe The Hype...

If you are inclined to search for MP3s out there on the world wide web, you need to know about a helpful site called The Hype Machine. This site is an audio blog aggregator...in layman's terms, just know that it means that they do all the work for you. Type an artist into the search feature and it will display most of the music blogs that discuss that artist, but more importantly, you will be able to see MP3s that are offered on those sites. Most set ups allow you to right click and save or drag and drop these tracks. No need to feel guilty...most of these songs have been floated out there by labels and artists (& they are not as obscure as you might think) to promote new material. It's that easy...now you should be able to get to bed at a decent hour.

This Just In...

I am constantly searching out new music. I hear many bands that make me think..."They were good, I have to keep them in the back of my mind." Then there are bands that make me think..."I need to tell anybody and everybody about this group as soon as possible." So, this happens to be one of those moments. Check out Page France and see what your ears think.
Just fresh...good harmonies, sing-songy & upbeat. Listen to the tracks they have up on Myspace and take some time to listen to the tracks on Pure Volume. Can't stop listening to the song called Chariot. Ironically, Page France is going to be touring with another new favorite band, Anathallo...a group I really enjoyed at Lollapalooza...concert posters never lie! A great double bill.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Please Release Me...

Here are some quick little notes about new material worth exploring:

Ray Lamontagne has just released Till The Sun Turns Black, his follow up to the critically acclaimed album Trouble.

Bobby Bare, Jr's Young Criminal Starvation League has two new projects, The Longest Meow, due out September 26th and Nick Nacks & Paddy Wacks, a live CD featuring performances from that last 4 years on the road, which is available now on BBJ's website. If you can, you gotta catch Bobby live...very fun.

Mute Math has a new CD that will be available on September 26th. The first 25,000 copies will include a live bonus EP that should prove to be as fun to listen to as the new stuff. They also have a north american tour beginning this month that will have them criss-crossing the country. I know I say it too much, but their live show is not to be missed. They have a sound and an energy that reminds me of early Police. This band is going straight to the top (another opinion).

Ben Kweller recently released a 5 song CD called the Sundress EP. I love the way this guy crafts a song and then sings it with all the honest, but unpolished effort of a freshman trying to get a prom date. Just good rock (& some banging piano)...no glitz. Lotsa tour dates up for him right now, too.

My Morning Jacket is going all out with the upcoming double live album called Okonokos. This album is set to be released on September 26th...and it can't get here soon enough. I have heard live tracks from bootlegs, but it will be nice to have their unique live sound captured professionally...the unmistakable echo that sounds like Jim James is calling to you from a remote canyon. Good stuff.

A Van Down By The River...

The Detroit River, that is! Believe it...Mr. Van Morrison himself will be bringing his incomparable, throaty soul to the Masonic Temple in Detroit on November 7th. Tickets go on sale this Saturday, September 16th at 10:00 am. Truly legendary and generous to the world of music.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What? I Can't Hear You...

Last night I witnessed one of the loudest shows I have ever been to. My ears are still buzzing from the blazing guitar, bass, synth and back beats from Ratatat (Check out Seventeen Years on their Myspace page). To understand their sound, take the guitar solo from Queen's, We Will Rock You, then add some serious beats with all the decibels of a helicopter landing on your head and then throw in some bass, just to drive home the point (not to mention the smoke machine effects...unless that was the guitarist catching on fire!). It is a good thing Ratatat's music features no vocals, I am sure I wouldn't have heard them anyway. Found this video, just to give you a sense of sound.

Upcoming Shows...

An updated list from the last time I posted show dates in the area:
Bold = Gold (in my opinion)

9/11 Magnolia Electric Co. @ Blind Pig
9/12 Massive Attack @ State Theatre (Detroit)
9/13 French Kicks & Sound Team @ Magic Stick
9/14 Snow Patrol @ Clutch Cargos
9/15 Birdmonster @ The Belmont (Detroit)
9/16 Tribe Called Quest @ Congress Theater (Chicago)
9/18 Cibelle @ The Ark
9/19 DJ Krush @ Shelter (Detroit)
9/20 Be Your Own Pet & Art Brut @ Magic Stick
9/20 Golden Smog @ The Vic (Chicago)
9/22 Rakim @ Fine Arts Theater (Detroit)
9/23 Eric Clapton @ The Palace
9/25 Method Man (from Wu Tang Clan) @ Howard's (Bowling Green)
9/25 Calexico @ Beachland Ballroom
9/25 Ari Hest @ Blind Pig
9/26 The Whigs @ Shelter
9/27 KT Tunstall @ Bogarts
9/28 Built To Spill @ St. Andrews
9/28 Van Hunt @ House of Blues (Cleveland)
9/29 Kasabian @ St. Andrews
9/30 The Roots @ Case Western Reserve (Cleveland)
10/1 String Cheese Incident @ Michigan Theater (Ann Arbor)
10/1 Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ House of Blues (Cleveland)
10/2 Joseph Arthur @ Magic Bag
10/2 HEM @ The Ark
10/3 KT Tunstall @ Newport (Columbus)
10/4 Mark Kozelek @ Blind Pig
10/4 Yo La Tengo @ Michigan Theater
10/5 Long Winters & What Made Milwaukee Famous @ Magic Stick
10/5 Mute Math @ Park West (Chicago)
10/6 Dan Bern @ The Ark
10/6 Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) @ The Ark
10/7 RJD2 in Kalamazoo
10/7 Wilco @ Tall Stacks (Cinci)
10/9 Okkervil River @ Blind Pig
10/10 Gomez @ Newport (Columbus)
10/10 TV on the Radio @ St. Andrews
10/11 Kelis @ Majestic Theater (Detroit)
10/11 Ben Kweller & Sam Roberts @ St. Andrews
10/11 DJ Shadow @ House of Blues (Cleveland)
10/12 Beirut @ Empty Bottle (Chicago)
10/13 We Are Scientists & Spinto Band @ Magic Stick
10/13 Gin Blossoms & Shawn Mullins @ The Ark
10/14 Matt Nathanson & Carbon Leaf @ St. Andrews
10/14 Jose Gonzalez @ Wexner Center (Columbus)
10/14 Mojave 3 & Tim O'Reagan @ Magic Stick
10/16 Madeleine Peyroux @ Michigan Theater
10/18 The Killers @ State Theatre (Detroit)
10/19 The Fray @ State Theatre
10/20 Widespread Panic @ State Theatre
10/20 Drive By Truckers @ Majestic Theatre
10/20 Stephen Kellogg & Tyler James @ Blind Pig
10/20 Indigo Girls @ Michigan Theater
10/21 Trey Anastasio @ Michigan Theater
10/21 Cowboy Junkies @ The Ark
10/22 The Futureheads@ 20th Century Theater (Cinci)
10/24 Guggenheim Grotto @ The Ark (free show)
10/24 Glen Hansard (of The Frames) @ Schubas
10/25 Delbert McClinton @ The Ark
10/27 Chris Thile (of Nickel Creek) @ The Ark
10/27 Anathallo @ Schubas
10/29 Bookeaters Event featuring Cowboy Junkies @ TBD
10/31 Mute Math @ 20th Century Theater (Cinci)
11/2 Johnny Lang @ Emerald Theatre (Detroit)
11/2 Bob Dylan & Foo Fighters (acoustic) @ The Palace
11/2 Will Hoge @ Blind Pig
11/3 Lady Sovereign @ St. Andrews
11/3 Citizen Cope @ Magic Stick
11/3 Red Hot Chili Peppers @ The Palace
11/4 The Blue Van @ St. Andrews
11/4 Do Make Say Think @ Magic Stick
11/5 Particle @ Majestic Theatre
11/5 Cut Chemist & Lyrics Born @ Magic Stick
11/6 Amos Lee @ The Ark
11/7 Hot Chip @ Grog Shop
11/7 The Decemberists @ Clutch Cargo's
11/8 Birdy Nam Nam @ Wexner Center
11/8 Shawn Colvin & Brandi Carlile @ Michigan Theater
11/9 Lez Zeppelin @ Majestic Theater
11/9 Amos Lee @ 20th Century Theater
11/10 Mute Math @ Basement (Columbus)
11/11 Old Crow Medicine Show @ Majestic Theatre
11/13 Jamie Lidell @ Grog Shop
11/16 Sia @ Magic Stick
11/17 The Avett Brothers @ Magic Stick
11/18 The Black Keys @ The Agora (Cleveland)
11/24 Wolfmother @ Majestic Theatre

Friday, September 08, 2006

If I Had a Million Dollars...

I wouldn't have to spend any of it to see the Barenaked Ladies live at an in-store performance. They are doing a FREE show at Borders Books (Liberty Street) in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, October 4th @ 12:30 pm. Not everyone's cup of tea, I know...but free is free! They are expected to play a few new tracks& greet fans to promote a new CD & a tour of North America.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Annie Get Your Camera...

One snapshot at a time, photographer, Annie Leibovitz has captured many faces of pop culture, including those who have influenced rock n' roll. The Detroit Institute of Art is preparing an exhibit of her work called American Music, which features about 70 images of musicians. In this exhibition, Leibovitz focuses on the legends of roots music, as well as younger artists who have been influenced by them. Her subjects include B.B. King, the late Johnny Cash and June Carter, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Etta James and Dolly Parton; popular music legends including Beck and Bruce Springsteen; as well as Detroit celebrities Eminem, Aretha Franklin, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and The White Stripes. The image above happens to be Pete Seeger armed with his weapon of choice (love the inscription). The collection will be on view to the public beginning September 23rd through January 7th.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Wonderful World of Westerberg...

I feel like saying that Paul Westerberg is one of the most under-appreciated songwriters of his time. I will always enjoy the work he did as the lead singer and frontman for post-punk, pre-grunge icons, The Replacements. His voice seems custom made for his lonely, ironic, thought-provoking lyrics. Songs like Here Comes a Regular, Skyway and Meet Me Down The Alley are perfect examples of how a garage rocker can still get deep and kick out a ballad. And now that talent is being recognized by the fine folks at Disney. Westerberg was asked to offer up 8 songs for Open Season, an animated film that is due out in late September.The movie tells the tale of a domesticated grizzly bear who befriends a deer, helping him and other wild animals escape a hunter in the forest just as hunting season begins. If it takes an animated feature film to hear new songs from Paul Westerberg, I'm in everytime!