Thursday, November 30, 2006

Classic Clips: Johnny Cash...

A Song That Can't Go Wrong...

Think of this post as a tip to improve your "musical nutrition"...a one-a-day vitamin for you ears. NPR has never steered anyone wrong when it comes to offering suggestions for quality music in any genre. The NPR: Song of the Day is a always worth a visit. But it is a bit like eating chips...once you start, who knows when you're gonna stop. Pull up a chair and dig in.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

No Stoppin' Gomez...

Gomez is one of those bands I never really get tired of. You can always go back to any of their previous releases and be satisfied by their Brit-Pop, 60's Psychedelic, Rootsy, Blues-Rock. They have been touring fairly steadily in the U.S. since receiving the U.K. Mercury Prize in how did it happen that they will be the opening band for O.A.R. for an upcoming January tour. Just doesn't seem right for a band that has paid their dues and has so much to offer...3 lead singers and 5 songwriters in one band.

Gomez has also been responsible for some of my favorite album art...most of their releases have featured work by an artist named Reggie Pedro...fresh contemporary work.

Here is an entertaining video of "See the World" from their latest CD, How We Operate.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This Shall Be Released...

On January 30th, 429 Records will release a tribute album featuring the music of The Band. The album will be called "Endless Highway - The Music of The Band" and will feature a great mix of heavy hitters...Jack Johnson, Bruce Hornsby, Gomez, My Morning Jacket, The Allman Brothers and many more. New takes on some old classics. Check out the site to stream audio of each of the tracks. A pleasant surprise on the CD is the discovery of Steve Reynolds, a singer songwriter who conjures comparisons to Ryan Adams.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Classic Clips: Jimi Hendrix...

Mic Test #6: Foy Vance...

Foy Vance:
*Note: The music featured in the Mic Test is typically new to me, too. Just throwing out some info. about bands that seem to be offering something exciting. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanks, Mr. Bare...

At the very least, I have to say thanks to Bobby Bare, Jr. for coming to play in Maumee, Ohio a few weeks ago. You gotta love a band that doesn't take themselves too seriously, but also doesn't forget "to leave it all on the court." Everybody at the Village Idiot had a great time, and judging from this photo (courtesy John Rockwood: Blue Suit Records), Bobby had a little fun too. At one point during the performance, the band broke into an improv instrumental of Outkast's, "So Fresh, So Clean"...good stuff. I captured it on video (excuse the "Bigfoot Quality footage")...and speaking of Bigfoot, check out the funky headgear that the bassist was wearing during part of the show. Too cool...I hope these guys continue to make Maumee a regular stop.

'Tis the Season to Laugh & Sing...

Second City (Chicago) will once again be celebrating the true spirit of the holiday season by hosting The Second City That Never Sleeps: Letters to Santa, a 24 Hour Improv & Music Benefit. This year's line-up brings dips into Chicagoland's deep talent pool with performers like Jeff Tweedy, Robbie Fulks, Jon Langford, Sally Timms and The Blisters (feat. Spencer Tweedy on drums). More musical acts are expected to be added to the bill in upcoming days. All for a good cause...and if you have bags full of cash that you can spare, you might want to bid on the auction that brings Jeff Tweedy into your very own living room for a private concert. And after you bid the highest, call me so I know where to show up for the gig of a lifetime. This event begins at 7 p.m. on December 12th @ Second City, e.t.c.

And while we are on the subject of The Blisters, here is some footage of the these Rock 'n Roll Young Guns at Lollaplaooza last August. Keep in mind, these guys aren't even in high school yet...damn!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Name May Change...

Bands come and go, and some change form as musician's pursue side projects. Some bands just look to change up their routine and spread their creative wings. Two acts that have seen recent transformations are Jackie Greene and Thee Shams. Jackie is as critically acclaimed, soulful, bluesy, singer songwriter from west coast, who has now teamed up with a musician named Tim Bluhm to form Skinny Singers. They have lined up some winter dates (mostly in California), but don't be surprised if you see this duo out on the road.

The other band that seems to have taken a fresh approach is a Cincinnati band called, Thee Shams, a solid garage rock band that has a bit of a psychedelic throwback sound, complete with powerful guitar skills. This "makeover" now has these guys performing as Buffalo Killers. Buffalo Killers are out on the range, so keep your ears'll hear them coming.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mic Test #5: Pablo...

*Note: The music featured in the Mic Test is typically new to me, too. Just throwing out some info. about bands that seem to be offering something exciting. Enjoy.

Jay-Z & his Jet: So Fly...

If you haven't heard, today is the day that Jay-Z embarks on a one of a kind mini-tour to promote his latest album, Kingdom Come (due Nov. 21st). The ambitious plan has Jay-Z jetting to 7 cities in 17 hours to perform for radio contest winners in airport hangars. HOVA will touch down in Atlanta, Philly, DC, NYC, Chicago, LA and Vegas. His retirement lasted about as long as Jordan's...but it is nice to see such a talented lyricist return to the game and continue to take hip hop to new heights. MTV is planning to air highlights from the tour on Sun. Nov 19th at 4:00 pm EST. In addition, Jay-Z's recent tour had him participating in the Water For Life campaign in conjunction with the UN and MTV with the mission to raise awareness on the world's water crisis. His trip was documented by MTV News and the program, Diary of JAY-Z: Water for Life will air on Friday, November 24th on MTV.

Here is a little behind the scenes clip of his Radio City Music Hall peformance that commemorated the 10 year anniversary of Reasonable Doubt, his 1996 debut album.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Unlock the Rock of Ages...

Rock promoter, Bill Graham may be one of the most important figures in modern music. Since the mid-60s, Graham brought rock to a new level through venues, promotion, poster art, photography and apparel. For over 30 years his company meticulously collected keepsakes and material to archive the evolution of rock. This collection was purchased and presented to the public online at a site known as Wolfgang's Vault. So much to search, I can't begin to do explain the vast music history this site covers. Perhaps the most impressive of all the sites's offerings are the dozens of video and audio recordings of rock's legends. Cream, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, U2, Bob Marley, Neil Young and The Rolling will find them all in the Vault. A true treasure trove.

Go straight to the Concert Vault.

Let's Do This...

Big day for Buckeye Fans around the planet tomorrow....
Go Bucks!......(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ryan Adams Blowin' Minds...

This probably isn't the first time you will mutter the words..."What was he thinking?", when it comes to this alt-country songwriting genius...but here goes. Ryan Adams has posted eight new albums worth of audio on his website. All of his alter-egos are in full effect on this latest batch of "who knows what". Musical Table Scraps, that include rap, instrumentals, punk and just general improv (perhaps be the judge). The moral of this post is don't spend too much time trying to get into Ryan Adam's head...just enjoy the ride. Or, for those of you who are visual:
This is your brain...

This is your brain on Ryan Adams...

Any questions?

Goldenboy Giveaway...

The kind people at Filter Magazine have offered up a signed copy of Goldenboy's new release, Underneath the Radio. So, rather than have everybody wrestle for about a trivia contest? Send me an e-mail ( naming Goldenboy's first release and you will have a chance to win the signed CD. Subject in the e-mail should be "Goldenboy". Can a contest be any easier? Your chances may be increased by adding a suggestion about any music that The Lone Microphone should cover. (Contest for U.S. residents only please.)

Listen to Goldenboy: Summer of the Evening - MP3

Official Goldenboy Site
Goldenboy on Myspace

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The "P" in Podcast...

If Podcasts are your thing, there are several out there that really make it interesting (and easy) to learn about some new music. Most of the shows that I think are helpful are associated with radio stations from around the U.S.

Try these to get started:
NPR: All Songs Considered
KCRW: Morning Becomes Eclectic
KCRW's Music Exchange
WXPN: World Cafe Next
WXPN: World Cafe Word & Music
KEXP: Song of the Day/Music That Matters/Live Performances
WFUV's Take Five
iTunes New Music
iTunes Indie Feed

If you need to brush up on your knowledge of Podcasts, click here.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Icing on the Cake...

The music world continues to shows signs of using its powers for good. The Cake Sale is a band featuring a loose and expansive collective of musicians and writers who have combined to create a 9-song CD of the same name on Oxfam Records. All profits will go to support Oxfams Make Trade Fair campaign and their overseas programm work.

Songs on the album have been written by Dave Geraghty, Emm Gryner, Paul Noonan, Glen Hansard, Ollie Cole, Damien Rice, The Thrills and Matt Lunson. Lead vocalists for the project include Lisa Hannigan, Nina Persson, Gary Lightbody, Gemma Hayes, Glen Hansard, Josh Ritter, Conor Deasy and Neil Hannon. A host of other luminaries fill the roles of musicians. Check out the Oxfam Website.

Mic Test #4: Catfish Haven...

Catfish Haven:
*Note: The music featured in the Mic Test is typically new to me too. Just throwing out some info. about bands that seem to be offering something exciting. Without longevity to back it up, these suggestions are really just shots in the dark. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What's So Funny...

Here is a little comedy news to share with you...Zach Galifianakis will be performing at St, Andrews Hall in Detroit on February 23rd. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, 11/10. I know, I know...this is a music blog...but I feel I can share this info. on a technicality. I am including Zach Galifianakis' 1st "Music Video." (Good Stuff!) This guy is one of the most talented comedians out there. If you don't know his style, check out some of his clips on YouTube...nobody is doing this stuff. His knack for the absurd rivals Andy Kaufman. It's gonna be tough to wait until February for this show.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The British are Coming Again...

Only this time, they cannot be considered the enemy. There is plenty of good music coming from "across the pond", so here are a few bands, of all styles that have recently caught my attention. You may be hearing more about these folks soon.
Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly: Acoustic/Electronica/Indie
The View: Indie/Punk/Alternative
Paolo Nutini: Acoustic/Soul
The Fratellis: Rock/Indie/Alternative
Lily Allen: Pop/Ska
Bat For Lashes: Alternative (think Bjork & Sinead)
Amy Winehouse: Soul a la Billie Holiday& Ella style

Biggie Size That Please...

*From the world of...What will they think of next?

So, you've started your holiday shopping...and you just don't know what to get for your favorite East Coast rap fan. Look no further! Mezco Toyz has taken action figures to the next level...9" plastic versions of Notorious B.I.G. and Public Enemy, too. So , wave your XMAS stockings in the air & wave 'em like you just don't care. Remember, while you make out your wish list for Santa, Biggie comes in 4 different styles. And yo, you need to know that your G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu grip is wack...straight trippin'.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Bare Essentials...

Just a gentle reminder that Bobby Bare, Jr., Centro-matic & David Vandervelde will be stopping by the Village Idiot in Maumee, Ohio this Saturday night. Be sure to add this show to your "To Do" List for the weekend. As a teaser, here is an interesting video released by BBJ's label, Bloodshot Records.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

People Get Ready...

Touring always seems to slow down in December & January, so take in some good shows while you still have the chance. Think of it like a squirrel stocking up for winter. Here are some recommendations.

11/7 Hot Chip @ Grog Shop
11/7 Van Morrison @ Masonic Temple (Detroit)
11/7 The Decemberists @ Clutch Cargo's
11/8 Hot Chip & Birdy Nam Nam @ Wexner Center
11/8 Lloyd Cole @ The Ark
11/8 Shawn Colvin & Brandi Carlile @ Michigan Theater
11/9 Lez Zeppelin @ Majestic Theater
11/9 Amos Lee @ 20th Century Theater
11/9 Thunderbirds Are Now@ Howard's (BG)
11/10 My Brightest Diamond @ U of M (East Quad)
11/10 Mute Math @ Basement (Columbus)
11/11 Bobby Bare, Jr & Centro-Matic @ Village Idiot (Maumee)
11/11 Old Crow Medicine Show @ Majestic Theatre
11/11 Robert Randolph & the Family Band @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
11/11 Broken Social Scene @ Michigan Theater
11/11 Album Leaf @ Blind Pg
11/13 Jamie Lidell @ Grog Shop
11/14 James Hunter @ Magic Bag
11/15 Matthew Ryan & Gary Jules @ Beachland
11/16 Sia @ Magic Stick
11/16 New York Dolls @ St. Andrews
11/17 The Avett Brothers @ Magic Stick
11/17 The Black Keys @ Lifestyles Pavilion
11/18 The Black Keys @ The Agora (Cleveland)
11/21 Panic at the Disco @ The Palace
11/24 Wolfmother @ Majestic Theatre
11/25 Tenacious D @ Masonic Temple (Detroit)
11/27 Lovely Feathers & The Wood Bros. @ Beachland
11/28 Sizzla @ Blind Pig
11/29 Brazilian Girls @ Blind Pig
12/1 Sonya Kitchell & Ben Taylor @ The Ark
12/1 Wax On Radio @ Shelter
12/2 Ray LaMontagne @ Scottish Rite Cathedral (Detroit)
12/3 Donavon Frankenreiter @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
12/4 My Morning Jacket @ House of Blues (Cleveland)
12/8 Jeremy Enigk @ Shelter
12/9 Page France & Anathallo @ Magic Stick
12/10 The Pretenders @ The Agora
12/10 The Lemonheads @ Magic Stick
12/14 89X Stole Christmas @ Cobo Arena
12/17 The Black Keys @ Majestic Theater
12/18 Damien Rice @ The Vic (Chicago)
12/18 Imogen Heap @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
12/20 Bob Seger @ The Palace (You know you wanna go!)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Minute Rice...

As mentioned before, Damien Rice is set to release his latest album, "9", on November 14th. He will be playing a brief theater tour to support his effort. He also has plans to launch a new website at any time...keep an eye out.

November 2006
13 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
16 - New York, NY - Hiro Ballroom
December 2006
6 - Oakland, CA - Paramount Theatre
8 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre
11 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre
12 - New York, NY - Beacon Theater
15 - Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre
16 - Washington, DC - Lincoln Theatre
18 - Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre
20 - Minneapolis, MN - Orpheum Theatre

Who Knew...

Since 1986, Neil Young and his wife, Pegi, have been organizing the Bridge School Benefit, a non-profit charity concert held every October in Mountain View, California. Proceeds go to benefit the Bridge School, which assists mentally and physically handicapped children. The amazing list of past performers is long & legendary. Most of those musicians choose to deliver their set with acoustic instruments. Here is a clip of The Who performing their classic, Who Are You in 1999.

The Bridge School is jumping on the MP3 bandwagon by releasing (Nov. 14th) some past performances on iTunes. While you're on the site, check out iTunes for some upcoming releases from other music festivals. like Austin City Limits Festival, CMJ Music Marathon and Lollapalooza.

Mic Test #3: Greg Laswell...

Greg Laswell: Alternative/Progressive/Indie
*Note: The music featured in the Mic Test is typically new to me too. Just throwing out some info. about bands that seem to be offering something exciting. Without longevity to back it up, these suggestions are really just shots in the dark. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Radio Days...

There are some interesting radio station compilations available out there that feature special in studio versions of some great music. Check them out. Everyone likes a good mix CD.

ONXRT: Live from the Archives, Volume 9
1. Ben Harper - Ground On Down
2. Gomez - Nothing Is Wrong
3. Shawn Mullins - Lullaby
4. Buddy Guy - Baby Please Don't Leave Me
5. KT Tunstall - Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
6. Finn Brothers - Weather With You
7. Ray LaMontagne - Trouble
8. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Ain't No Easy Way
9. My Morning Jacket - Off The Record
10. Koko Taylor - Hound Dog
11. Garbage - Special
12. Billy Corgan - A100

WXPN: Live @ the World Cafe, Vol. 20
1. Blue Merle - Burning In The Sun
2. Bruce Hornsby - Gonna Be Some Changes Made
3. Buddy Miller - Worry Too Much
4. Kathleen Edwards - Back To Me
5. Ray Lamontagne - Trouble
6. Billy Miles - A Friend Like You
7. Chuck Prophet - Just To See You Smile
8. Tegan and Sara - Walking With A Ghost
9. Carbon Leaf - Life Less Ordinary
10. Marc Broussard - Home
11. Bright Eyes - Landlocked Blues
12. Jim White - Static On The Radio
13. Umphrey's McGee - In The Kitchen
14. Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling
15. M. Ward - Hi Fi
16. Amos Lee - Arms Of A Woman
17. Tony Joe White - Polk Salad Annie

WFUV: City Folk Live 9
1. David Gray - The One I Love
2. James Hunter - No Smoke Without Fire
3. Wood Brothers - Luckiest Man" -
4. Rosanne Cash, "House on the Lake
5. Alejandro Escovedo - Arizona
6. Mason Jennings - Be Here Now" -
7. Gomez - Girlshapedlovedrug" -
8. Nicolai Dunger - My Time is Now" -
9. Ben Taylor - Nothing I Can Do" -
10. Brandi Carlile - Throw it All Away" -
11. World Party - Is it Like Today" -
12. Sonya Kitchell - Train" -
13. Dr John - Such a Night" -
14. Ben Harper - Morning Yearnimg" -
15. Lewis Taylor - Stoned" -
16. My Morning Jacket - Off the Record" -
17. T Bone Burnett - Baby Don't You Say You Love Me" -
18. Josh Ritter - Thin Blue Flame"

Live at KEXP, Volume 2
1. Lyrics Born - Callin’ Out
2. Gang of Four - What We All Want
3. Thievery Corporation - Warning Shots
4. Tapes N Tapes - Insistor
5. Sleater-Kinney - Jumpers
6. Ted Leo and the Pharmicists - Walking to Do
7. Death Cab for Cutie - Crooked Teeth
8. The Decemberists - We Both Go Down Together
9. Zero 7 - Home
10. Common Market - Connect Four
11. M.I.A. - Galang
12. Band of Horses - The Funeral
13. The Wedding Preset - Ringway to Sea-Tac
14. Editors - Mnich"
15. Skullbot - "Lookout
16. Bright Eyes - At the Bottom of Everything
17. Trashcan Sinatras - Weightlifting
18. Aqualung - Brighter than Sunshine
19. Drive By Truckers - World of Hurt
20. Patti Smith (with Lenny Kaye) - People Have the Power