Meet Memphis

Memphis is a Canadian band featuring members of Stars (lead singer Torquil Campbell), Metric and the Sam Roberts Band. Apparently they’ve been together a couple of years already, however I didn’t hear about them until this morning. Better late than never, I guess. The band recently released its second album, A Little Place in the Wilderness, and what I’ve heard so far is fantastic.

Memphis, “I’ll Do Whatever You Want”

The band is also streaming two other songs at its website, including my favorite of their songs so far, “I Dreamed We Fell Apart”. Check it out.

The album is due for a release in the US in early 2007, hopefully with a US tour to follow. If you can’t wait that long, you can order the album from Amazon Canada here. Highly recommended.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 31 October 2006 at 11:54 am

Colin Meloy Playing Pianos on Friday

Can’t believe I hadn’t heard this: Colin Meloy of the Decemberists is playing a “secret” solo show at Pianos on Friday at noon. Thanks to Stereogum for the head’s up. The full band is also playing a sold-out show that night at Hammerstein Ballroom. I sold my ticket to the latter so I could hit the Merge Records showcase, and because I hate Hammerstein.

I guess this is just another reason for me to try to skip out of work on Friday. Seriously, this job bullshit is really a pain in the ass.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 31 October 2006 at 10:48 am

eMusic’s Subscription Plans Changing

If you haven’t signed up for eMusic yet (and seriously, why haven’t you?), now is the time to do it. On November 21st, their subscription plans are changing, and you won’t be getting as good a deal. If you join before November 21st, you get grandfathered in at the old rates. Check the comparison:

The current plans
$9.99 for 40 downloads/month
$14.99 for 65 downloads/month
$19.99 for 90 downloads/month

The new plans
$9.99 for 30 downloads/month
$14.99 for 50 downloads/month
$19.99 for 75 downloads/month

If you buy a lot of indie CDs, you should definitely consider joining. eMusic has a great back catalog, and continues to get new albums all the time. Even though I prefer having physical CDs, I gotta say that eMusic is making me more and more comfortable with the whole downloading thing. The amount of money I’m saving is amazing, and I’m legitimately purchasing the music and paying artists and songwriters their royalties. It’s a win-win.

Be assured, I’m not getting any kickbacks for pushing eMusic. I just really like the service, and enjoy saving some money so I can go to more concerts.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 31 October 2006 at 9:36 am

WOXY’s Lounge Act Archive Back in Business

WOXY.com is finally starting to post some MP3s of its recent (post-relaunch) Lounge Act performances in its archives. Good stuff:

Asobi Seksu
Ben Kweller
Headlights

The two I’m still waiting for are The Wrens and yesterday’s Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin set, both of which I somehow missed the first time around.

Oh, and don’t forget that Frank Black is performing a Lounge Act this afternoon at 3:30pm.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 31 October 2006 at 8:42 am

CMJ-1 Day

It’s two one day until the official start of the CMJ Music Marathon, and bands are already starting to arrive into town and play some shows. Tonight’s most interesting show, to me at least, was at Pianos, with La Rocca and Division Day. [The Drones actually headlined, but I left before they came on, and a girl named Jaymay, who has a great voice but kinda boring songs, opened.]

La Rocca, “This Life”

This was the second time I’ve seen La Rocca this year, and it’s clear that they’ve been doing a lot of touring in the interim. While I thought they put on a good show the last time they came through town, they were extremely tight tonight, and they sounded like a band destined to be playing much bigger rooms. They also played one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Cambodia”, which they didn’t play the last time around.

I definitely recommend catching La Rocca if you get the chance. They’re playing two more CMJ shows, first on Thursday as part of the Dangerbird Records showcase at Pianos with Silversun Pickups (I’ll be there), and on Saturday at Union Hall with Irving and Monsters Are Waiting.


Division Day, “Tap-Tap, Click-Click”
Division Day, “Tigers”

I was also excited to finally get a chance to see Los Angeles’ Division Day. I’d been hearing the name all over the place for the better part of a year, but for some reason I’d never gotten around to listening to any of their music. This was the band’s first ever show in New York, so I figured it was as good a time as any to introduce myself to their music.

I liked them, but didn’t love them. They’re clearly talented musicians, and put on a good show. However, most of the songs they played tonight were pretty heavy on rythym and texture and not a whole lot of melody. And while that works for Sonic Youth, it got a little boring at times. That said, their last couple songs were really good, and whatever the last song was that they played was incredible. A few more songs like that, and I’m a huge fan.


Haven’t decided if I’m hitting any shows tomorrow or not. If I do, it’ll probably be Birdmonster and Irving at Pianos.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 30 October 2006 at 10:40 pm

The Bush Administration Hates Us All

Which is good, because I hate it right back.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the only people who listen to indie rock are stoned-out poseurs. (Via Pitchfork.)

As a stoned-out non-poseur, I take unbelievable offense to this nonsense.

Edited to add: Reader Josh suggests that Pitchfork (who originally ran the piece) has been hoodwinked, and that this is merely an old PSA which someone dubbed the words “indie rock” into. God I hope so. Not because I care what the ONDCP thinks about indie rock, mind you, but because it’s fun to fuck with Pitchfork.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 30 October 2006 at 3:22 pm

Phil Lesh Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer

You may not be able to tell from the indie-rock orientation of this blog, but I was (and remain) a huge fan of the Grateful Dead. So it saddens me to hear that Phil Lesh, just a few years removed from serious liver problems (and a liver transplant), has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. From his site:

What do I have in common with Rudy Giuliani, John Kerry, Bob Dole, Joe Torre, Nelson Mandela, Sean Connery, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Emperor Akihito of Japan, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell, Quincy Jones, Roger Moore, Sydney Poitier, and Robert De Niro? Like them, and along with thousands of other men, I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Since my liver transplant, my health has been monitored by a crack team of doctors; in the course of this program, I have periodic blood tests and clinic visits. At my last clinic, my doctor noticed that my PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels had increased over the last period. He recommended that I see a urologist, and a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. I have decided to have it removed in early December with da Vinci robotic surgery. Since we’ve caught it very early, and it’s small and slow-growing, I fully expect to have a rapid and complete recovery.

I am feeling energetic as always, and all my scheduled appearances will occur as planned.

As you know, I urge everyone to become an organ donor to help save lives. Now, I am also urging all men: speak to your doctor about having periodic regular PSA screening for early detection of prostate cancer- you may save your own life.

-PHIL

Good luck with the fight, Phil. We’re behind ya.

(Thanks to Live Music Blog for the head’s up.)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 30 October 2006 at 2:47 pm

Video Roundup

Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus Three, “Adventure Rocket Ship”
(via You Ain’t No Picasso)

The Thermals, “Pillar of Salt”

The View, “Superstar Tradesman” (via Torr) [out-Strokes-ing the Strokes]

The Long Blondes, “Once and Never Again” (via Torr) [surprisingly not bad]

Division Day, “Hurricane”

Forward, Russia!, “Eighteen”

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 30 October 2006 at 2:07 pm

Spending CMJ With Brooklyn Vegan

You may have seen this already, but I wanted to re-post it because it’s so damn impressive. There’s a reason Brooklyn Vegan and Stereogum are the gold standard for music blogs.

I’ll likely just be at the Saturday show. If I can cut out of work, I’m gonna try to catch The Thermals on Friday too, but it ain’t likely.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 30 October 2006 at 11:56 am

Frank Black Playing WOXY Tomorrow!

This just in – Frank Black is playing a solo acoustic Lounge Act on WOXY.com tomorrow (Tues. 10/31) at 3:30pm EST. Awesome.

(Photo source)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 30 October 2006 at 9:53 am

AOL Roundup (Week of Oct. 31)

Slow week at AOL’s Listening Parties this week, but seriously, what more could you want than K-Fed?

Kevin Federline, Playing With Fire
The Who, Endless Wire (week #2 at AOL)
The Deftones, Saturday Night Wrist
Meatloaf, Bat Out Of Hell III
Willie Nelson, Songbird (features collaborations w/ Ryan Adams)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 30 October 2006 at 8:06 am

Don’t Forget About… Human Television

Been a while since anyone’s talked about Human Television… Maybe they decided to take a break from New York after playing 322 (give or take 310) gigs here in the first half of the year.

Well, they’re back for CMJ. Saturday night, Cake Shop, 9:45pm. Part of the Gigantic Records showcase. If I’m not seeing The Tyde at Mercury Lounge, I’ll be there.

“Look At Who You’re Talking To”

“Mars Red Rust”

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 29 October 2006 at 8:38 am

Ben Kweller’s "Sundress" Video

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 28 October 2006 at 9:37 pm

Frames Update

Billboard has a nice article up about The Frames and their new album, The Cost. There’s a bunch of new information that I hadn’t heard, including that:

(1) The album new was recorded entirely live, meaning that any time someone screwed up, they had to start over again. Considering how great the band is live, I’m surprised they’d never done this before. And, personally, I think the album sounds fantastic.

(2) The band will have a DVD set available early next year, which will include a live performance from Dublin last fall, as well as a special recording of the band performing The Cost in its entirety. They’re actually recording the latter part this weekend in their studio in Dublin.

(3) After the band’s European tour next month, Glen will be returning to the U.S. to play a number of solo shows opening for Damien Rice. That’s a show I’m gonna have to catch. Damien’s new website launches on November 3rd, so I’m guessing we’ll get those tour dates sometime soon. Hopefully Glen and Damien will play some of the songs they wrote together last year.

(4) The Frames will be playing SXSW. If I wasn’t already planning on going, I am now.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 28 October 2006 at 12:14 pm

A Taste of CMJ (and Storage Site Test #2)

One of the bands that I really want to catch during CMJ this year is Louisville’s De Novo Dahl. I first heard them a couple years ago on, what else, WOXY. Based on the strength of the band’s Lounge Act performance, I picked up a copy of their first album, Cats and Kittens. That album definitely had it’s moments, but was way too long, and included a second disc of dance-y remixes which I pretty much hated.

Soon thereafter, the band pretty much disappeared off my radar (they apparently went through a pretty big lineup change). Recently, however, I’ve been seeing their name more and more, and things seem to be picking up for the band again. They even have three new songs streaming on their website, which are quite good. My favorite of the new songs:

“Shout”

And here’s a couple of my favorite songs off of Cats and Kittens [BUY]. I’m trying yet another file storage site – this time, AOL’s XDrive. Their user interface may be the best I’ve seen, and they give you 5GB of free space. As a comparison, EZArchive charged about $60/year for 5GB. (And BOX.net only gives you 1GB for free.) So that’s a couple points in their favor. I’m not sure how the link setup will work, though, so give them a shot and let me know if you have any problems.

“All Over Town”
“Jeffrey”

Edited to add: Looks like XDrive only lets you download the songs, and not stream them. That’s too bad.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 28 October 2006 at 10:12 am

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