Not a whole lot of interest this week, with one very big exception — Dinosaur Jr.. The album is fantastic, and makes me feel like it’s 1990 (when I first heard them) all over again.
“Lay Me Down”
“Astral Weeks” (Van Morrison cover)
I haven’t really made a habit of “following” bands for a number of years now. Sure, I spent a good chunk of the years 1993 to 1996 following either Phish or the Grateful Dead around the Midwest, but my days of sleeping in the car, “showering” in the rest-stop bathroom sink, and selling bottled water for gas money pretty much ended around the time I graduated college and moved to New York for grad school.
That said, in the past 11 years, there have been exactly three bands who have regularly inspired me to travel long distances to see them live. One of those bands was Guided By Voices, who may be my favorite band of all time, and who I followed with my friend Matt on their last tour from New York to Philadelpia to D.C. and eventually to their final shows in Chicago. The second band is Wilco, certainly a top 5 all-time band of mine, who I’ve traveled to Texas, Rhode Island and Ohio to see, and who I’ll be seeing in Massachusetts in June.
The third band? The Frames. As I’ve said before, and as I’m sure I’ll say many more times, they are, quite simply, the best live band in the world today. I’d see them pretty much anywhere. So when I saw that they were playing in DC just a couple of days after NYC, I knew I had to go. Good decision on my part. Tonight’s show was among the best that I’ve seen from the band, and probably the best performance I’ve seen so far this year. And it reminded me how good a venue the 9:30 Club is. (I just wish they got better bands than, ahem, Third Eye Blind and Five For Fighting. That alone may veto any thought of my moving to DC.)
To hear for yourself how good the show was, direct your browser here. NPR recorded the show and should be adding it to their online archive any day now. For your sake, I hope they recorded the “Messy Room” (is that what Glen called it?) portion of the show, which included inspired covers of Will Oldham and The Osmonds. (Edited to add: It’s up at NPR, and they have the whole set!)
I’ve been pretty out of it musically for the last month or so, given that I was running around like crazy trying to tie things up at work before retiring to my current life of leisure. Today is actually the first day I’ve had since I quit last Friday to sit down and start catching up on the huge backlog of unread posts (more than 800) on my favorite blogs. It’s not even 9am yet here in New York, and I’ve already found a ton of great stuff. God I love retirement.
Jay Bennett, Daytrotter Session. Thanks to Six Eyes for pointing this one out — I always forget to keep up with Daytrotter. I never did get around to picking up Jay’s last album, The Magnificent Defeat [BUY], but if “Fifth Grade” is any indication of how good the album is, I’ll be getting it this afternoon.
Pela, “Lost To The Lonesome”. WOXY started playing these guys a year or two ago, but I never got into their earlier stuff. This tune is off of their new album, Anytown Graffiti [BUY], and I’m really liking it.
I don’t want to deep-link, but be sure to head over to Six Eyes to hear an excellent track from The Child Ballads, the current band of Stewart Lupton (former lead singer of Jonathan Fire*Eater).
Finally, if you’re looking for something to listen to for the rest of the day, go hit up My Old Kentucky Blog’s Blog Radio Sessions archive. For some reason I haven’t been keeping up with MOKB lately, so I had no idea they’d been doing this. I’ve clearly been missing out.
Way too tired to post much about tonight’s Frames show right now, other than to say it was, as usual, excellent. That said, I hope that this whole Town Hall thing was a one-time event. I just don’t like that room. It sucks the life out of even the best bands.
PS: Wow, has it really been a month since the last concert I went to? That sucks. No way do I let that happen again.
Good news — Once, the new movie starring Glen Hansard (of The Frames) and Marketa Irglova, is set for a limited U.S. release on May 18th. No word yet on what cities will get the movie, but I would assume New York and L.A. are safe bets.
In addition, Fox Searchlight has organized a three-week promotional tour where fans can catch a free screening of the movie followed by a discussion with the director and stars, capped off by a performance by Glen and Marketa. Unfortunately, no New York:
April 29th – Boston
May 2nd – Philadelphia
May 3rd – Washington D.C.
May 4th – Toronto
May 7th – Detroit
May 8th – Chicago
May 9th – St. Louis
May 10th – Memphis
May 11th – Dallas
May 12th – Austin
May 14th – Phoenix
May 16th – San Diego
May 17th – San Francisco
May 18th – Seattle
To RSVP, go here.
Finally, Glen is also scheduled to play two badge-holder only solo shows at the Tribeca Film festival next week — Tuesday, May 1 and Wednesday, May 2 at 5pm at Canal Room. (Notably, Jon Auer is also doing shows on Thursday and Friday at 4:20pm.) I really freaking wish I had a badge. I may have to go try to beg my way into one or more of these sets.
Edited to add: Be sure to head over to the movie’s website to hear the movie’s soundtrack streaming in the background. If you’re a Glen/Frames fan, you’ll recognize a lot of it, but there’s a few really good new songs on there, including the incredible “Trying To Pull Myself Away” and “All The Way Down”.
Just a so-so selection over at AOL this week. They do have a number of high profile releases, but there’s not a whole lot to tickle my own fancy. That said, it does give me a chance to finally hear more from Patrick Wolf, who everyone seems to be talking about right now.
No Fishbone?? I’m not surprised, but I am really interested to see what this new album sounds like. Man I used to love that band.
One of the many things that I missed over the last month, as I was going crazy trying to wind down my affairs as a lawyer, was news of Robert Pollard’s new mini-LP, Silverfish Trivia. The 7-track, 22 minute disc comes out this Tuesday, April 24th, and is available for pre-order now. The lead track, “Circle Saw Boys Club”, is making the rounds, and it’s damn good if I say so myself. Very late-period “mature” GBV sounding (think Isolation Drills’ more subdued moments). Check it out:
Come Outside (instrumental)
Circle Saw Boys Club
Touched To Be Sure
Cats Love A Parade
Speak In Many Colors (instrumental)
Will we see Bob tour on this one? I know he made noises last year about being done with touring, but I’d really love to see him do some smaller, more intimate shows with just him and a guitarist. Tommy? Doug? Toby? I’d be happy with any of ‘em. If Bob wants the fans to drop expectations of an old-time GBV show, he should change things up on stage a bit. If I see Bob on stage with two guitarists, a bassist and a drummer, I expect the rock.
Thanks to Kingblind for the heads up on this one. If I remember correctly, I think Matt Dillon directed this, but I could be wrong.
I’m completely loving this album, by the way.
This may be the first Minus 5 video I’ve ever seen. Wouldn’t it make sense to make a video for “Cemetery Row” or something, to bring in all the Decemberists fans?
Still, I’ll take it.
DC-Based Copyright Royalty Board Rejects Plea from Webcasters
Washington, DC — The DC-based Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on Monday denied motions submitted by various webcasters, who had asked the board to reconsider new, higher royalty rates for streaming music online. The CRB said that the motions, from groups including DC-based National Public Radio and the DC-based Digital Media Association (DiMA) — which represents large webcasters like Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, RealNetworks and Live365 — contained no new evidence, and denied them on procedural grounds. The CRB also declined to postpone enactment of the new rates beyond May 15. Webcasters will now likely seek relief from an appellate court, Congress and through possible new negotiations with the record industry. “The CRB’s denial of a rehearing today is all but a nail in the coffin for Internet radio, and May 15 now looms as the day the music will die,” said Jonathan Potter, the executive director of DiMA. A group of webcasters, web radio listeners, labels and artists has now launched the SaveNetRadio Coalition, which bills itself as “a national grassroots campaign aimed at preserving the future of Internet radio.”
(Via Potomac Tech Wire)
Early bird tickets are on sale for this year’s Austin City Limits Festival in, err, Austin. The show runs from September 14th to September 16th, and you can assume that, as usual, there will be a number of “after-shows” around town (Stubb’s, La Zona Rosa) in the evenings. Tickets are $120 right now, and will jump to $145 either when the early-bird allotment sells out, or when the lineup is released next month.
I’ll probably be buying a ticket later in the day to cover my bases — i.e., in case the lineup meets or beats Lollapalooza. What scares me though is that tickets won’t be mailed until July, and I still have no idea where I’ll be living then. And I really don’t want to do to “print at home” option, because I know I’ll friggin’ lose that ticket.
I removed the video because the damn thing starts playing automatically when you come to the page. Bad widget design, fellas. Fix that. If you want to see the video – and I strongly suggest you do – go here.
Nearly a year after it was first announced, Golden Smog’s Blood On The Slacks EP is finally set for release next Tuesday, April 24th. The disc includes six new songs, plus covers of David Bowie’s “Starman” and Dinosaur Jr.’s “Tarpit”. Hopefully we’ll see some more live dates from the band this summer, though I’m pretty confident that, if they do tour, they will once again be sans Tweedy.
Blood On The Slacks Tracklist
Can’t Even Tie Her Own Shoes
Look At You Now
Scotch On Ice
Without A Struggle
You can pre-order the EP here.
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