Broken West Lounge Act

I completely forgot to mention that The Broken West was doing a Lounge Act on today. Sorry about that. Luckily, the band’s performance is already available for download in podcast form.

The only problem? WOXY couldn’t get the rights to include an excellent cover by the band of Tegan and Sara’s “Back in Your Head”, so that song wasn’t included in the podcast. (I don’t like T&S, but the Broken West’s version of the song is excellent.) You still get two brand new songs from the band, though, so don’t miss it.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 31 October 2007 at 5:39 pm

New York 732 – D.C. 1

In the (over-before-it-began) battle for my soul, Washington D.C. has finally scored a point.

In 11+ years of living in New York, I never saw — nor have I ever seen pictures of — back-alley crack-pipe anal sex (sooooooo NSFW). And for those not familiar with DC, this took place in a pretty good neighborhood. Unbelievable.

I’m just surprised one of the participants wasn’t this guy.

(Thanks to DCist for the heads up.)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 30 October 2007 at 10:10 pm

Ryan Adams @ DAR Constitution Hall, DC [10/30/07]

I reserve the right to change my mind, but I think tonight’s Ryan Adams show may be the last time I see him for a while. Or ever, for that matter.

I’ll give Ryan and the band credit — they were incredibly tight and played beautifully. Moreover, Ryan’s voice is in as good a shape as I’ve ever heard.

But holy hell are they boring. Great musicianship alone is simply not enough — you still need an element of soul, of emotion, of excitement. Any feeling will do. But the only emotion we got tonight was Ryan’s childish anger when fans in the crowd called out song titles. In response, Ryan pulled out a megaphone and started yelling instructions to the crowd as to how to sit, and how to lean in our chairs. (A humorous idea, frankly, but it was clear Ryan wasn’t trying to be funny, and was essentially telling the 3,000+ person crowd to “fuck off”.)

Not to play amateur psychologist here or anything, but one gets the sense that Ryan really doesn’t want to be playing shows. He barely spoke to the crowd throughout the show, whereas in the past there have been shows where he’s talked too much. In addition, he has apparently installed a sound system that allows him to speak into a microphone at the back of the stage and have his voice transmitted directly into his bandmates’ earpieces — i.e., allowing him to talk with the band without being overheard, and without acknowledging the arena full of fans around him. He clearly doesn’t want to deal with anyone but his band. And his use of the megaphone shows that he clearly doesn’t want fans to make any noise other than to cheer.

He seems to love playing his music (although it’s hard to tell if it’s his music or Jerry Garcia’s that he’s playing these days), but hates the fact that he has to have an audience for it.

Well, Ryan, I’ll help you out, and next time you play in town, I’ll be one less person in the audience that you have to put up with.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 30 October 2007 at 9:26 pm

Comedy Night in D.C.

No pictures from tonight’s Comedians of Comedy show. I was too far from the stage and didn’t feel like being the only person to use a flash. Oh well.

Anyway, the show was excellent as always. I discovered that the touring lineup is only about 1/2 the size of the lineup that plays the NYC shows — it’s just Oswalt, Posehn, Mirman and Bamford, whereas NYC both last year and this year got David Cross, Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin. (NYC also got Aziz Ansari and John Mulaney this year, the latter of whom was supposedly excellent.)

Who knows, but if things fall into place, maybe I’ll be back in New York for next year’s edition (if there is one).

Since I don’t have pictures for you, I figured I needed to get some sort of media for you lest you starve of sensory input. Here’s a recent podcast that Daniel Kitson put up on his site. It’s a recording of part of his 2005 Stories for the Wobbly Hearted show. Be sure to check it out.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 29 October 2007 at 9:19 pm

I Deserve Fudge… and a D.C. Show

So let me get this straight — they’re playing Seattle (naturally), Chicago, New York/Brooklyn/Hoboken, and… Athens, GA?

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 28 October 2007 at 7:46 pm

New Antlers EP!

As if it wasn’t enough that he’s already released one of the best records of the year, Peter Silberman a/k/a The Antlers today released a free 3-song EP entitled Cold War. You can download it here. I’m downloading it as I type this.

In addition, as I mentioned a while ago, Fall Records is re-releasing the fantastic In the Attic of the Universe on November 20th. You can pre-order it here for $8 (and you’ll even get it a couple of weeks early). And you can catch Peter and his new bandmates do a release show at Pianos in New York on Saturday (11/3).

AND, if that weren’t enough, Peter’s begun work on a new LP entitled Hospice, which he hopes to have completed by the end of the year. Can’t wait.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 28 October 2007 at 5:55 pm

The Whigs Are Thieves!

Compare the photo in the upper-right hand corner of this tour poster (sorry, I couldn’t find it online so had to take a picture),

with this picture that I took at Mercury Lounge Maxwell’s last year:

Hmm… methinks I see a similarity (less original bassist Hank Sullivant).

I’m actually pretty honored to have had one of my pictures used, so my use of the word “thieves” in entirely in jest. Plus, they actually managed to use what may be my favorite “action shot” picture that I’ve taken of the band, so at least we’re on the same wavelength. (Although I do I have a tendency to get pictures of the band in less-than-ideal hair conditions.)

Next time, though, I expect mega-bucks, fellas.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 28 October 2007 at 10:36 am

Whigs/Broken West @ Rock and Roll Hotel, DC [10/27/07]

If you were reading this blog at all in 2006, you’d know that there were four young bands that I really fell for last year – Birdmonster, The Broken West, The Little Ones and The Whigs.

Amazingly, three of those four bands have actually made it to D.C. for shows this month. The Little Ones opened for Voxtrot at the Black Cat earlier this month, and The Broken West and The Whigs hit the Rock and Roll Hotel for a double headlining bill last night.

It had been a while since I’d seen either band, but I gotta say… both bands pretty much blew the roof off the place.

The Whigs gave us the same high energy, exciting show that I’ve come to expect from them (they haven’t lost a beat with the new bassist). They tore through a bunch of songs off of their debut CD, Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip, as well as 4 or 5 songs from their forthcoming album on ATO Records (coming out on 1/22/08). Most of the new songs they played last night were songs they’d been playing live last year, with two exceptions, both of which were excellent as well. Can’t wait to hear the new record.

Whereas I expected a great show from The Whigs, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from The Broken West. It seems like every time I’ve seen them, they’ve been in venues that were either too big (Antone’s in Austin) or had some other sound-related problems. However, there were no problems at all last night, and their set was without question the best that I’ve seen them do. They’ve really rounded out into a fantastic live band and, even better, their songwriting seems to be getting even better. The band played a couple of great new songs last night, including the set opener (whose name I don’t know), which has the potential to be my favorite Broken West song yet.

The Whigs and The Broken West are touring together for a few more days. If you have a chance, be sure to catch one of these remaining shows:

10/30: Nashville (Exit/In)
10/31: Cincinnati (20th Century Theatre)
11/1: Indianapolis (Birdy’s)
11/2: Chicago (Schuba’s)
11/3: Minneapolis (7th Street Entry)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 28 October 2007 at 8:41 am

The Forms, "Knowledge in Hand"

The Forms, “Knowledge in Hand”

Every once in a while I’ll hear a song on WOXY or elsewhere that I really like, but completely forget to find out who the artist is. The most recent example of this is the new song from The Forms, “Knowledge in Hand”.

I’ve heard the song a bunch of times, but until I got an email from their promoter today, I had no idea that the song was theirs. In fact, all I really knew about the band was that they were from Brooklyn, and that they played at The National’s rainy South Street Seaport show that I skipped in August.

I still don’t know a whole lot about them, but after listening to a few more songs at their MySpace page, I do know that I’ll be picking up their new self-titled (and Steve Albini-produced) LP soon. (It’s available at Lala for $9.98.)

Unfortunately, they don’t have any DC dates scheduled as of now, but they do have a bunch of other shows scheduled around the country. If you get a chance, check ’em out and let me know how they are.

Forms Tour Dates

10/30: New York (Cake Shop) — Record Release Show w/ free CD and open bar
11/1: Pittsburgh (Lava Lounge)
11/2: Dayton, OH (Pearl Nightclub)
11/3: Chicago (Beat Kitchen)
11/4: Ypsilanti, MI (Elbow Room)
11/6: Minneapolis (First Avenue)
11/7: Kansas City, MO (Record Bar)
11/8: St. Louis (The Bluebird)
11/9: Champaign, IL (Cowboy Monkey)
11/10: Tulsa, OK (Mooch and Burn)
11/13: Long Beach, CA (Prospector)
11/14: Los Angeles (The Scene)
11/15: Hollywood (3 of Clubs)
11/16: Santa Cruz (Coasters)
11/17: Sacramento (Speakeasy)
11/19: Seattle (Fun House)
11/20: KEXP In-Studio
11/20: Portland, OR (Tonic Lounge)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 26 October 2007 at 3:27 pm

Your 9 Day DC Forecast

No, I’m not trying to be the next Ira Joe Fisher (or, as one of my junior high school teachers used to refer to him, Ira Joe Fatso). I’m just trying to alert all you fine folks in the greater Washington D.C. (and Baltimore) areas of an amazing week and a half of entertainment coming up in the area.

To wit:

Fri., 10/26: The only halfway interesting show tonight is Boris and Damon & Naomi at the Black Cat. I’m passing.

Sat., 10/27: On Saturday you’ve got a choice between The New Pornographers and Emma Pollock (late of the Delgados) at the 9:30 Club or The Whigs and The Broken West at Rock and Roll Hotel. The latter is gonna be the rock and roll show of the Fall, so that’s where I’ll be.

Sun., 10/28: Sunday is pretty ridiculous. The Weakerthans have an early show at 5pm at the 9:30 Club. The Shout Out Louds have a late show at 9pm at the 9:30 Club. Annuals and Manchester Orchestra are playing the Rock and Roll Hotel. Or, you can join me at the Ram’s Head in Baltimore to see Drive By Truckers, who put on one of my favorite shows of the year at Castle Clinton in New York this summer.

Mon., 10/29: Only one real option on Monday — the Comedians of Comedy (Patton Oswalt, Eugene Mirman, etc.) at the Black Cat. I saw this show last year and it was great. Can’t wait.

Tues., 10/30: Tuesday is another big night. Jimmy Eat World is playing an early show at the 9:30 Club. Go! Team is doing a late show at the 9:30 Club. Say Hi (To Your Mom), The Velvet Teen and The A-Sides are at the Black Cat. And I’ll be seeing Ryan Adams is at D.A.R. Constitution Hall.

Wed., 10/31: Wednesday is when the we separate the boys from the men. First, if you’ve managed to go to shows five nights in a row, that’s damn impressive. I’m not sure I’ll make it or not. Second, if you get sidetracked into seeing The Bravery at the 9:30 Club, well, you’re dead to me. Instead, you should be joining me to see Lucero at the Black Cat. No questions, just do it. (It would also be OK if you went to the Ram’s Head in Baltimore to see Morrissey.)

Thu., 11/1: Even I’m not thinking of going to 6 nights of shows in a row, but if I were, I’d consider hitting the Black Cat to see David Bazan, Lavender Diamond and All Smiles.

Fri., 11/2: Nickel Creek is playing an early show at the 9:30 Club. Band of Horses is playing a late show at the 9:30 Club. Morrissey is at D.A.R. Constitution Hall. Probably another off-night for me, unless Morrissey starts selling $20 tickets here like he is in New York.

Sat., 11/3: Maria Taylor and Julie Ocean are at the Rock and Roll Hotel. I’m gonna try to catch Julie Ocean and then run over to the Black Cat for The Thermals.

Not bad at all. I almost feel like I’m back in NYC with all of the choices.

I said almost.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 26 October 2007 at 10:18 am

Why Are Boyz II Men Singing During the World Series?

Seriously. Someone explain this to me.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 25 October 2007 at 8:20 pm

Mac Rules

No, not this guy. Or this guy.

This guy.

He testified before Congress yesterday about the current controversy about online Internet royalty rates at the Senate Commerce Committee’s “Future of Radio” hearing. And here’s what he said. Take a minute or two to read it. It’s good stuff.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 25 October 2007 at 8:15 pm

Mo’ Better Metal

I’ve seriously watched that Twister Sister video like five times this afternoon. It got me thinking about a lot of the other “metal” bands (whether Twisted Sister should be considered “metal” or not is another issue for another day) I used to listen to as a teen. And it got me clicking around YouTube looking for some of my old favorites.

I was always taught to share as a child, so I figured I’d share some of the best with you. Enjoy. I know you will.

Anthrax, “Antisocial”

Iron Maiden, “Can I Play With Madness”

Megadeth, “Holy Wars”

Metallica, “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” (fan-video)

Nuclear Assault, “Brainwashed”

Pantera, “Cemetery Gates”

Suicidal Tendencies, “You Can’t Bring Me Down”

Testament, “Souls of Black”

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 25 October 2007 at 3:25 pm

Get Twisted for Christmas

Just saw over at Brooklyn Vegan that Twisted Sister is playing shows in L.A. and New York for the holidays this year. I really need to see them at some point in my life, if only so I can say that I did. (Then again, how often do I go around telling people that my first concert was Poison and Tesla in 1987? Oh crap, guess I just did.)

Anyway, since I won’t be able to catch either of the shows this year, I figured I’d repost the best music video from 2006. Enjoy.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 25 October 2007 at 12:58 pm

Hot Water Music Reforms

This is a couple days old already, but I completely forgot to post about it… is reporting that legendary hardcore band Hot Water Music is reforming.

You may recall that the band broke up in May of 2006, with three of the members going on to form The Draft, and fourth member (and co-lead vocalist) Chuck Ragan going solo. I was a big fan of the Draft’s debut LP, In A Million Pieces (Epitaph), but still haven’t had a chance to hear any of Chuck’s solo material. And, since I’m missing Chuck’s show at the Black Cat on Friday, November 30th (same night as Ra Ra Riot), I may not have a chance to for a while. And I’m just fine with that, if it means we get to see HWM.

Can I be the first to suggest a Hot Water Music / Nothington tour? Who’s with me?

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 25 October 2007 at 12:48 pm

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