Line of the Day

From Rolling Stone’s review of the new Dashboard Confessional album:

Dusk and Summer can be as ponderous and precious as a Hallmark card, but it succeeds because Carrabba has found music as intense and bittersweet as his deep, deep feelings. [29 Jun 2006, p.68]

I love that everyone in the world makes fun of Chris Carraba and his tortured soul.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 29 June 2006 at 10:44 pm

El Toro, Here I Come

Sorry for the relative quiet the last couple of days. Things have gotten a little busier on the work front, and everyone’s rushing to get stuff done before the holiday weekend. Plus, the music scene’s been a little quiet this week, and I can’t really come up with anything to top those Japanese exercise / language-training videos anyway.

Luckily for me, I managed to get everything I needed to do taken care of today, meaning I can take tomorrow off to hit El Toro, Kingda Ka, and, of course, the kick-ass Nitro. I should say, though, that as good as these rides are, I’m still not a huge fan of Great Adventure — it’s too crowded, poorly designed, and on average has too many rides out of service. And their food options are terrible. That’s why I can wait to get home this summer to hit Kings Island.

Anyway, if you don’t hear from me sooner, expect a recap of Saturday night’s 3-concert extravaganza, as I run from The Little Ones at Bowery to Birdmonster at Knitting Factory to Le Firm at The Delancey. Should be fun.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 29 June 2006 at 9:36 pm

Bloc Party Not Playing Irving Plaza

Per Brooklyn Vegan, the rumored Bloc Party show at Irving Plaza on July 27th is OFF. Instead, the band will be playing at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park. Tickets are available via pre-sale for fan club members now. No word as to general on-sale, but be sure to check here if you’re interested.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 29 June 2006 at 2:49 pm

Finally, Some Sanity

In a 5-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that the President does not have the power to set up military tribunals to try “enemy combatants” without normal considerations of international law and due process.

Thank god.

I’m all for fighting terrorism, but what exactly do we gain if we defeat terror (something we’re unlikely to ever truly “defeat”) and in the process completely obliterate the Constitution?

The Bush Administration has, since 9/11, espoused an argument that the executive has nearly limitless powers, and that, when it deems someone or something to be “terrorist”, it is not bound even by fundamental rules of due process or international law. This is an unbelievably dangerous and short-sighted policy — it relies on a subjective determination of who or what is “terrorism”, and opens the door to unchecked abuse; it completely belies the long-held belief (in America, at least) that America is the world’s leader in protecting human rights and freedom; it opens the door to other countries using the same logic to indefinitely detain and try American citizens; and, as alluded to, it threatens the entire framework of our Constitution’s checks and balances and guarantees of individual rights.

We gain nothing if, in the process of fighting terrorism, we destroy the things that this country is supposed to stand for.

The article about the decision can be found here. Not surprisingly, Thomas, Scalia and Alito dissented. Can’t wait to read their reasoning.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 29 June 2006 at 8:41 am

Best Music News Hoax of the Year?

Yeah, this was a hoax which gained legs when Pitchfork said it was real. Why, oh why, would I ever trust Pitchfork “news”? If they’re not stealing headlines from Billboard, it’s just not gonna be right.

Everyone and their mother is reporting the incredible news — Neutral Milk Hotel appears to be back in business after a lengthy, mysterious absence. Jeff Mangum dropped the following post on the Elephant 6 message board:

hello again.

for the past few months ive been putting together the pieces of everything ive written in the past three years and its been a revelation. whenever i had the time ive been writing melodies and keeping them in my head for later, and songs just accumulate, im not waiting as some have said. i still dont know how we’re going to put it all together, the songs will have more noises and collages in them. because of that we dont know whether this will be korena pang or neutral milk hotel or michael bolton but that doesnt really matter. names are just a box we put things in to separate them, and we’re figuring out what box these songs go in.

we dont have a timetable for releasing the album yet, so dont get your hopes up for new songs now. if you want more “aeroplane” just ignore all of this, the songs are songs but they’re longer and more free. when jeremy came down after his tour we just spent days playing noise while screaming and it was incredibly liberating.

it has been so much fun that we will for sure be playing a show or two, probably more. freedom is a wonderful thing but at a certain point you need the routines of normal life. ive had that for a while but i realized last year at the show with the livys that the best sort of normal ive ever had was on the road with my friends. getting to gigs late with cars coughing and trombones smacking on doors, the giant egg leaks over the masses, the yolk sustains us, we eat whites for days. it can never be the same but i need to get as close as i can to that again.

so thats all. everything is happening soon, this is the year.

thanks for listening. jeff.

And, according to Pitchfork, there’s actual verification that these are, indeed, Jeff’s words.

In a word — spectacular.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 28 June 2006 at 8:47 am

Sleater-Kinney Call It A Day


After eleven years as a band, Sleater-Kinney have decided to go on indefinite hiatus. The upcoming summer shows will be our last. As of now, there are no plans for future tours or recordings.

We feel lucky to have had the support of many wonderful people over the years. We want to thank everyone who has worked with us, written kind words about us, performed with us, and inspired us.

But mostly we want to extend our gratitude to our amazing fans. You have been a part of our story from the beginning. We could not have made our music without your enthusiasm, passion, and loyalty. It is you who have made the entire journey worthwhile

With love and thanks,

Guess I definitely need to catch them at Lollapalooza – i.e., their final show.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 27 June 2006 at 1:08 pm

June 27, 2006 – A Day That Shall Live in Infamy


Yacht Rock

June 26, 2005 – June 27, 2006

At least we have one final episode before we say goodbye forever. Ooooooh, goo goo zaa, mmmm.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 27 June 2006 at 11:22 am

Built to Spill in Boise, Part 2

Here’s Part Two of the Built to Spill show from Boise earlier this month. Sorry it took a couple of days — EZArchive’s been acting up again like the petulant child that it is.

“Conventional Wisdom”
“They Got Away”
“Mess With Time”
“Life’s A Dream”
“Broken Chairs”

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 27 June 2006 at 9:06 am

Axl, Mike Tyson, Mike Tyson, Axl

Axl Rose bites security guard.

Now you know the comeback’s for real.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 27 June 2006 at 5:57 am

Belated Notes From All Over

Had a series of links ready to go last Friday but forgot to post them. So, while I’m at it, I figured I’d add a few more I found today. Enjoy.

If you haven’t heard it yet, Muzzle of Bees has Bloc Party’s Black Sessions from France.

Torr has a couple interesting links. First, a link for a video for Mojave 3’s “Love Songs on the Radio”. Second, an acoustic version of the Delgados’ “Everybody Come Down”.

Bradley’s Almanac has a live set from David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion and Headphones) in Boston last week.

Jefitoblog has the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Elliot Smith.

You can go listen the last song Johnny Cash wrote, “On the 309”, at the MySpace page for his final album, American V, due out on July 4th. (Link via Stereogum.)

My Old Kentucky Home has Rogue Wave covering Nirvana’s “On a Plain”.

Apparently the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. I stopped caring (but not watching) after my Red Wings got bounced out by Edmonton. The Oakroom celebrates the Hurricanes’ win by rockin’ some Scorpions.

And, finally, for those of you who made it to the bottom, Pop Tart has another new M Ward song from the forthcoming Post-War album called “Chinese Translation”. I’d also like a Hebrew translation if possible.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 26 June 2006 at 11:04 am

Game of Pricks

Largehearted Boy points the way to a video of Bob Pollard and the boys performing “Game of Pricks” at Schuba’s in Chicago last week. Not great quality, but it’s as close as I’m coming to seeing Bob and the boys for a few months.

Oh, and there’s no way I’d be able to hold a camera during that song. “Game of Pricks” was designed for drunken jumping, flailing and screaming. Just like being a lawyer.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 26 June 2006 at 9:48 am

Screw Summer Re-runs..

.. and join me at Mercury Lounge on Thursday, July 27th to see Human Television and Pela. Tickets are $10, but the Merc’s website makes it look like there won’t be advanced tix. I’ll let you know if that changes.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 26 June 2006 at 9:32 am

AOL Roundup (Week of June 26)

Helluva week over at AOL:

Judy Garland, The Essential Judy Garland

Wayman Tisdale, Way Up! (ex-NBA player goes smooth jazz… that sound you hear is me simultaneously vomiting and jumping out my window)

Good Riddance, My Republic

Grant Lee Philips, Nineteeneighties

Hyde, Faith (Christian rock that’s apparently huge in Japan)

The one that I’ll definitely listen to:

Tim O’Reagan, Tim O’Reagan (former Jayhawks drummer)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 25 June 2006 at 9:18 pm

Built to Spill @ Big Easy Concert House, Boise [6/3/06]

If you’re like me, it almost feels like Built to Spill kinda disappeared all over again. The band went five years between albums, and then dropped the excellent, though a little ponderous, You In Reverse in April. The band announced a spring tour, and then had to postpone those dates until the fall due to Doug’s detached retina. (Ouch.) played the hell out of “Goin’ Against Your Mind” for a while, and then stopped. Thus, after all the build-up and excitement about the new album, it’s almost as if the band went back on hiatus again.

So when I saw that the band had started its Western tour, and that one of the shows was up at BT Etree, I figured it might help remind me that the band was still around, and hold me over until their re-scheduled Irving Plaza shows in, err, October.

What I’ve listened to so far is excellent, though the crowd noise can be a little distracting at times. Otherwise, though, it’s good to hear them live again. Check out part one:

“Goin’ Against Your Mind”
“Good Ol’ Boredom” (unreleased)
“The Weather”
“You Put It All Behind You” (new)

Edited to add: “Else” is fixed. Sorry about that!

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 24 June 2006 at 12:11 pm

Ryan Adams @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC [6/24/06]

Unbelievably tired, so I’ll keep this short. Ryan and band went on at 2am, off at 3:30am. One set (thankfully). Set was heavy on Cold Roses, a few from the Rock n’ Roll and Love is Hell era, a couple from Heartbreaker and a few other songs scattered throughout. Highlights for me were “Dear Chicago”, “Cherry Lane” and “To Be Young”.

All told, it was a good Ryan show, if not great. I thought they did a good job of putting together a pretty upbeat setlist without too many lulls like they had on the first Cold Roses tour where they were jamming everything out over two sets. At the same time, the only ones who really seemed like they were happy to be there were Ryan and Brad. The new guitarist, whose name I don’t know – note: former guitarist JP Bowersock was seated in the balcony – stuck out like a sore thumb. Didn’t seem to fit with the band, or be particularly happy to be there. I think he’s been in the band for the better part of a year, but it sure didn’t seem like it.

Oh, why exactly did it take until 1:30am for them to let us upstairs at Bowery?

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 24 June 2006 at 1:48 am

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