Friday, November 30, 2007

Bjork's Declaration of Independence...

Here is a quick look at the Making of Bjork's new video for Declare Independence (which will see a wider release next week). This song was her powerhouse encore during her tour this past fall...and a strong way to end the show on a high note.

French Academy Award-winning director Michel Gondry continues his rich music video history with Björk, with the Icelandic singer's epic anthem, 'Declare Independence.' Inspired by Björk's electricifying live show, the video was filmed in Long Island City, NY, and features an unusual and elaborate set, not to mention a mid-air suspended bassist in Mark Bell. Björk, meanwhile, sings through a megaphone, transforming her voice into endless flowing colors. "Björk and I's work together is based on trust and friendship," Gondry, who's now directed seven of her videos, explains.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

U2's Heavenly Performance...

Last week Bono & The Edge surprised a group of Londoners at Union Chapel by playing an unannounced acoustic set as the opening band for Biffy Clyro (Mencap's Little Noise Sessions). Some decent video footage has surfaced from this once in a lifetime performance. Isn't it time for U2 to do the MTV Unplugged Series or VH1 Storytellers? I say this video is a strong indication. One of the songs they performed was Wave of Sorrow, a song that was started in the Joshua Tree era and finished last week. Bono still commands the stage...and their music really is made to be heard in a church.

Stay (Faraway, So Close)

Angel of Harlem

Desire/I Need You Tonight
Wave of Sorrow

The Strong Remain the Same...

We are closing in on some music history with the upcoming Led Zeppelin reunion on December 10th. In their latest issue, Rolling Stone Magazine has brought these rock 'n roll forefathers back into the limelight...which is sure to shine brightly. Theirs is a career that is fun to look back on with fondness. Check out an excerpt of the cover story. And for the more visual among the crowd, here is a photo gallery of Zep's glory days. December's like Christmas comes early...can't handle the anticipation.
Jimmy Page responds to LZ Reunion Tour rumors

Promo Video for Mothership CD Collection

Monday, November 26, 2007

Classic Clips: Paul McCartney & Wings...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Mic Test #37: Serena Ryder...

Serena Ryder:
*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.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Get The Led Out...

Led Zeppelin Live!!! that is. The band has just launched a brand new website in the weeks leading up to their upcoming reunion performance in London on December 10th. Spend some time on the site...especially the Photo section (esp. the photos from '68 & '69)...Zep fans will enjoy digging in to this...good stuff.

U2's Tree Grows for 20 Years...

At the risk of seeming too nostalgic or hopping on the "blogwagon", it feels right to acknowledge the 20th Anniversary & re-release of U2's Joshua Tree. This was an epic album in their earlier years and fuel for music fans everywhere. These songs were classic and the album was huge from beginning to end. There is a page on the official U2 Site that covers all you want to know about the album & it's creation. Getting goosebumps just thinking about it...let your mind go back.

Here are some videos to help capture the rush (one for each track on the album).

Where the Streets Have No Name

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

With or Without You

Bullet The Blue Sky

Running To Stand Still

Red Hill Mining Town

In God's Country

Trip Through Your Wires

One Tree Hill


Mothers of the Disappeared

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ryans Adam's Video Variety Show...

It seems as though Ryan Adams & The Cardinals have spending some time putting videos up on YouTube. Some concert footage, some B Style Movie shorts as well as a the return of Ryan's alter rap ego, DJ Reggie. Not exactly sure what to make of it...maybe it is just another YouTube trainwreck. It is what it is & it ain't what it ain't.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Oppenheimer Creates a Blast...

Irish musicians...a solid list of have Van Morrison, U2, Sinead, Damien Rice, David Gray...well, it's early, but you might want to consider adding Oppenheimer to the list. I was able to catch this Belfast duo as an opening act for They Might Be Giants last week. They have a fairly stripped down set up (drums/keyboards/guitars/computers), but they deliver quite the sonic boom. As their Myspace Page are listening to Indie Pop Electronica. They speed it up & slow it down, tweak vocals electronically with catchy hooks, but these guys have what it takes. I felt like they believed in what they were doing right from the start. They are great blend of fresh music, while not taking it all too seriously. They were having fun & so was the crowd. Rocky has an infectious energy as he hops around on stage like a kangaroo with A.D.D. (that's a good thing!). They played Allen Died, April Five, which they said was inspired by Twin Peaks and dedicated the song to Agent Dale Cooper. The band also acknowledged their sound man, Jerry, who they were planning on going to an Irish bar with later to "drink for God & Ireland". They closed out there set with a "love song" clap-along called Saturday Looks Bad to Me. Wish this band could have played longer...can't wait till they come back around and play a small club. With a historical name that recalls energy control in the Atomic Age, you don't need to cover your eyes when this band blows up. Keep your ear to the ground for their next album (due out in March '08 on Bar None Records) called Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It. Let the countdown begin.

Here are a couple of videos:
Breakfast in NYC

Saturday Looks Bad To Me

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Classic Clips: Jimi Hendrix...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Get Your Annual Foo Shot...

Who's coming down with a bad case of the Foo? It's going around...or at least it will be soon. Foo Fighters pre-sale tickets go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, 11/15 for a show at Joe Louis Arena on February 24th ,2008. General public tickets go on sale Friday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mike Check...One, Two...

Last Friday, I drove up to Big Sky Studios in Ann Arbor where I had the opportunity to catch Mike Doughty record a session for Acoustic Cafe. The host, Rob Reinhart sits down with musicians to discuss their latest projects while they offer up "acoustic" versions of tunes. Sometimes the simplified songs help you appreciate their basic beauty. Mike Doughty was no exception. He and his bass player, Andrew "Scrap" Livingston offered up some new material that will be featured on Golden Delicious, Doughty's next album which is scheduled for release in February 2008. Doughty is on a promotional tour for a few weeks doing "Question Jar Shows". The deal is the audience gets to put questions in a jar and Mike answer's them between songs. No question too weird, no topic taboo. If you missed this mini-tour, not to worry...Doughty plans to do a proper tour when the album comes out next year. In the meantime, you can stream a few of the new songs on his Myspace page, which he mentioned he checks regularly. And he also has a blog that is worth checking out...including the recent entry of him getting anew tattoo.

According to Mike, the guiding principle on his new album "was something we called "dude theory," which meant that it should sound like a bunch of visualize-able dudes; a band, in other words. It was a way of keeping the music spacious."

If it picks up where Haughty Melodic, the last release, left off, everyone is in for a treat. Haughty was truly a great album. Mike and Scrap played 27 Jennifers, Girl in the Blue Dress, Fort Hood & Navigating. Fort Hood was especially interesting, as Mike described it as an anti-war song that recalls his days growing up in a military family with a father who was a Vietnam vet. He talked at length about how war damaged & continues to damage so many people and how they carry around their pain. Apparently, Fort Hood has had more casualties from the Iraq war than any other base. Heavy stuff. Don't miss the chance to see these guys live...always entertaining.

Here is a video someone posted from Mike's performance of Busting Up a Starbucks last week at Schuba's in Chicago.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Quick Hit of the Jay...

Just wanted to share a bit more of Jay-Z. Here is a portion of his recent interview on Charlie Rose (good call Joe).

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pick Your Battles...

Get your Battle plan together....Battles will be in Ann Arbor tonight, November 9th at the Blind Pig performing their unique flavor of instrumental acrobatics...rhythms and beats that shake your head loose from your shoulders.
Hard to fully describe what they let the band say their piece (watch the video). Let's ride.

The Black Keys Take Their Best Shot...

This clip has been around for a while...but take a look at this Black Key's video...provocative & disturbing & a visual stunner (the 2nd clip is the "Making Of" stuff). But remember...The Black Keys are alive and well and are scheduled to play in their hometown of Akron on December 22nd at the Akron Civic Theatre. Pull the trigger and go see these guys live...flat out high caliber rock show.

Your Touch

The Making of Your Touch

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ready, Aim, Fire...

Here's another helping of Austin City Limits goodness. Arcade Fire will be on the show this Saturday (11/10). Here is a preview of Keep The Car Running (thanks to Pitchfork).

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Ain't No Lay-Z in Jay-Z's Game...

Jay-Z, HOVA himself just dropped an album's worth of new material on American Gangster, which is out today. Retirement can't last long when you are on top of the game. And if the album isn't enough, he also recently taped an episode of VH1 Storytellers late last month in Brooklyn. The episode premieres on November 8th. He will be backed by a 12 piece band called the Roc Boys. Head over to the VH1 site to catch a sneak peek of the rhyme scheme. 99 problems, but a career ain't one.

American Dreamin' on VH1 Storytellers

Jay-Z's recent appearance on Letterman.

Video for Blue Magic

Mic Test #36: Scott Matthews...

Scott Matthews:
Folk Rock/Acoustic/Blues
*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.

New Funny Foo For You...

Brand new Foo Fighters video for Long Road to Ruin.

Monday, November 05, 2007

NPR: Naturally Purified Radio...

National Public Radio just keeps the steady flow of the best that music has to offer. Today they launched NPR Music. This is another reason to stay up until the wee hours digging into all the music of yesterday, today and tomorrow. How is a person supposed to find time to work with these kinda sites being launched. C'mon NPR...quit doin' that voodoo that you do so well! Here is what they had to say about the brand new site:

Today, NPR and twelve (12) public radio partners are launching NPR Music, a free, multi-genre Web site that presents the best of public radio music. We have also launched a new Flash-based media player across

NPR Music aims to be as diverse as our audience’s interests and curiosity. That’s why Jazz Profiles lives alongside World Café and Classics in Concert, and why we feature everyone from Aaron Copland and Aaron Neville, to Dan Zanes and Joe Zawinul. We want to surprise you with new artists, new music, and things you didn't know you would enjoy until you discovered them. The site is organized by genre and by type of musical content including live concerts, studio sessions, artist interviews, profiles, reviews, blogs and podcasts.

NPR Music is a creative collaboration with KEXP and KPLU Seattle; KUT Austin; WBGO Newark; WDUQ Pittsburgh; WFUV and WNYC New York; WGBH Boston; WGUC Cincinnati; Folk (WKSU) Kent, Ohio; WXPN Philadelphia, and Minnesota Public Radio. With their deep connection into local arts communities, their incredible music libraries and archives, and their respected on-air hosts and DJs, these stations have invested real energy and resources into the communities they serve. NPR Music allows you to move beyond the geographic boundaries of radio signals and discover the authentic sense of place created by stations across the country. We expect additional NPR stations and public radio producers, as well as other contributors, to join this collaborative effort in the coming months and years.

This launch, like all launches, is just the beginning. As with all launches, this one will probably include some bugs (if you find any, please submit them to us). In time, new tools will allow you to share and connect with others using the site. We also hope to serve as a launch pad for new and original music content and to expand our already substantial free online music archive. For starters, we will be adding hundreds of music stories, interviews and performances every month.

We invite you to explore our new site as well as our partners’ local music programming, including their live music streams. A great way to stay informed about the content and about new site features is to subscribe to one of our music-related newsletters: ‘Music Notes’, “Song of the Day”, or “All Songs Considered”.

Tryin' Some Ryan...

The Ryan Montbleau Band will be stopping at Howard's Club H in Bowling Green, Ohio this Thursday, November 8th. Strong vocals and a steady acoustic guitar will keep your toe tappin' to this soulful folk. Might be worth the trip, y'all...just sayin'.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Classic Clips: The Band...

Ryan Adams Gets a Desk Job...

Ryan Adams appeared on Letterman this week and played a few songs. Check out the video below...especially the second song (begins @ the 3:35 mark). Don't think I have ever seen a musician perform from Dave's desk before.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Riffin' On Griffin...

Patty Griffin has legions of fans that appreciate her stark & honest vocals and her stripped down acoustic gems that allow her voice to soar. As a matter of fact, she was just awarded "Album of the Year" at the Americana Music Awards for Children Running Through. The awards honor what is described as American roots music, with influences including country, blues, rock, bluegrass and folk. She was also recently featured on The Craft, an interview/performance that seeks to understand how some of the finest songwriters and musicians create their work.

View her feature on The Craft.
*And while you are there, check out Paul Westerberg's interview too.

Patty just released her first Live DVD called, Live From the Artist's Den, which can be found at ATO Records. The performance celebrated her most recent release, Children Running Through:
"In celebration of this release, ATO Records and the Artists Den held a special, invite-only concert at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts, a converted synagogue on the Lower East Side. The magical night, captured in High Definition, featured Griffin being backed by a magnificent band including, on some songs, a 5-piece string arrangement in addition to legendary pianist Ian McLagan (Faces, Rolling Stones). After numerous inquiries from fans, the evening of music, in which Griffin performed several songs for the first time as well as long-time favorites"
The DVD Tracklist:
1. You Never Get What You Want
2. Stay on the Ride
3. Trapeze
4. Get Yourself Another Fool
5. Burgundy Shoes
6. Heavenly Day
7. Moon Song
8. No Bad News
9. When It Don't Come Easy
10. Love Throw a Line
11. Crying Over
12. Up to the Mountain (MLK Song)
13. Sweet Lorraine
14. Top of the World

And if that isn't enough good news about Patty Griffin.....she will also be coming to Ann Arbor for the 31st Ann Arbor Folk Festival. Here is the lineup:
Friday, January 25, 2008
Ben Folds
Toad The Wet Sprocket
Shemekia Copeland
Trina Hamlin
Natalia Zukerman
Down The Line
Brian Vander Ark
Jonathan Edwards, MC
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Emmylou Harris
Patty Griffin
Shawn Colvin
Otis Taylor
Kenny White
Jill Jack
Glen Phillips
Jonathan Edwards, MC

Impossible Dream...

Here is a quick preview of Wilco on Austin City Limits (11/3) playing Impossible Germany. Sounds so good. Could this band be any tighter?
Click here to watch.

Got this little bit of info for the die hard fans from an e-mail newsletter for Wilco HQ.
"The last live dates of '07 start next week in Belgium and continue through Spain, Ireland and then home for the hoiidays. There will also be a European tour edition of Sky Blue Sky available there November 12... it comes with a bonus disk featuring:

01: The Thanks I Get
02: Let´s Not Get Carried Away
03: One True Vine
04: Impossible Germany (live)
05: Hate It Here (live)

We'll have a limited supply available in the store shortly and the tracks will be available for download if you already own the original issue. Info on the procedure shortly."