God Bless FiveThirtyEight.com

FiveThirtyEight.com has been spot on more times in this campaign season than I can possibly count. And their post today about the Georgia groundgame is just about the truest thing I’ve heard all week. It essentially puts into words the reason that I’m here, and why everyone else is too:

At the human level, there is almost a wistful, gravitational pull for many of these organizers in returning to a race. To work on the Obama campaign, these folks had to disconnect from their previous lives. Friendships, relationships, and other plans all took a backseat to the single-minded mission to elect Barack Obama. Plugging back into the world, especially when job plans for most of these twenty-somethings are uncertain, is a difficult task. While the pride is evident, conversations with many of these organizers reveals a strange sense of feeling lost, untethered from an all-consuming routine. So when organizers hear other organizers are coming to Georgia, it’s a form of therapeutic reunion for many, much like a reunion of military veterans. Unless you’ve been through it, it’s hard to explain.

True dat.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 30 November 2008 at 6:05 pm

Checking In From Georgia

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 27 November 2008 at 9:37 pm

Listen to Chinese Democracy!

HERE, now. Awesome.

Edited to add: Chuck Klosterman has a new, legit review of the album on the AV Club. God bless him.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 19 November 2008 at 10:12 pm

Another Short Campaign Break

So, umm, yeah. It looks like I’m driving down to the Atlanta area tomorrow (Decatur, to be exact) to help the Jim Martin Senate campaign for the next couple of weeks. No real idea what I’ll be doing, or where I’ll be staying, or what type of Internet access I’ll have. But all I’m really doing right now is sending out resumes, and I can do that down there too, so why not?

Posts here will likely be light as a result. But I am gonna try to see some shows down there if I can, including this Saturday’s Mary Weiss / Reigning Sound show. I’ve been wanting to catch RS for a while now, and I’m pretty excited about it.

Anyway, wish me luck. I haven’t driven that far in a long, long time, and I don’t know a soul in Atlanta anymore. So this could be pretty interesting. At least there’s plenty of Waffle Houses in Atlanta, though.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 19 November 2008 at 8:44 pm

A Sunday Song

I’ve been meaning to check out The Rural Alberta Advantage for a while and am just now getting around to listening to their album, Hometowns.

I’m about halfway through right now and am still trying to decide exactly what I think about it. One song has pretty much blown me away so far, though, and I figured I’d share a link.

The Rural Alberta Advantage, “Don’t Haunt This Place

And I’m actually listening to another song called “Drain the Blood” right now which is pretty spectacular as well.

RAA on MySpace

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 16 November 2008 at 4:50 pm

Friday Tunes

Friday’s come and gone already, but I wanted to post three songs that I’ve been really digging lately.

The first two tracks are from bands that one of my British friends on the Obama campaign turned me onto. The first track, by The Domino State, reminds me a LOT of Idlewild (who apparently are working on album #7 right now), which is a good thing. The second, from a band called Oceansize, kinda makes me feel like it’s 1993 all over again, which is also a good thing.

The third track is from The National’s recent Virginia EP, which I listened to once when it came out and then set aside. Then I somehow discovered this song a month or so ago, and it pretty much has come to define the last month of my campaign experience.

Oh, and by the way, I’m going skydiving for the first time ever tomorrow with some friends from the campaign, so if I die, it’s been a blast. If I don’t, well, you’re stuck with more crappy music blogging.

Edited to add: I added a couple Sad Day for Puppets songs too. Both are from their Just Like A Ghost EP. I’ll be posting a track from the new album in a few minutes too.

Edited again: OK, as promised, here’s the song “Little Light” off of Sad Day for Puppets’ new album, Unknown Colors.


SeeqPod – Playable Search

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 14 November 2008 at 4:19 pm

David Fricke Gives Chinese Democracy 4 Stars

Wow.

I’m psyched.

Read.

Edited to add: OK, so I’m three songs in, and I’ve heard all the songs before (not these versions, though). And… seriously… this album is kicking my ass.

Edited again: So what I have doesn’t appear to be the whole album, though it does sound like final versions of most of the songs. Either way, it’s awesome, and I’m ordering it here right now.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 12 November 2008 at 4:43 pm

DC Show Update

Wow, I haven’t done this in months. Wish there were better shows to post.

Updates are in italics.

9:30 Club
Fri., 1/16: The Fray (on sale 12/4)
Tue., 2/24: Jimmy Eat World, Reubens Accomplice
Fri., 4/10: Katy Perry (early enough for ya?)

Unless otherwise noted, all 9:30 Club shows go on sale on Thursday (11/13) at 10am via Tickets.com.

Black Cat
Wed., 12/10: Orphan, Vincent Black Shadow (backstage)
Fri., 12/12: Gene Ween Band (mainstage)
Thu., 1/8: Poor But Sexy, Franz Nicolay, Spoonboy (backstage)
Wed., 1/14: City and Colour, William Elliott Whitmore
Thu., 1/29: Nightmares on Wax

Unless otherwise noted, all Black Cat shows go on sale on Friday (11/14) at 5pm via Ticketmaster.

Comet Ping Pong
Sat., 12/13: The Jet Age, The Kyle Sowashes, Greenland

I think Comet Ping Pong tickets are only sold at the door, but I could be wrong.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 12 November 2008 at 11:29 am

Meet The Thirteen

This is my friend Sal C’s new band, The Thirteen.

I’ll be writing more about them once I get an opportunity to pick up and listen to their new CD, The Secret History of the Thirteen. I heard the early demos of most of the album, and liked it quite a bit, but still haven’t gotten a chance to get the final product given that it just came out in the last few weeks.

They just played a CD release party in Philadelphia with The Figgs, and they have a couple videos from that performance up on YouTube (below). Figgs bassist Pete Donnelly even plays with them on the first vid. Good stuff.

Be sure to check the band’s MySpace page, and you can order the new album here.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 12 November 2008 at 10:48 am

The Weirdest Band Ever

Yet another piece of news that I missed over the past couple months…

Apparently there is a new “supergroup” featuring Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony (Van Halen), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and, err, Joe Satriani.

They may be called Chickenfoot, but I sure hope not.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 12 November 2008 at 10:32 am

Catching Up With Internet Radio

So as you might have gleaned, I’ve been pretty well out of the loop for the past couple of months. Didn’t talk much to friends or family, didn’t read anything other than Five Thirty Eight, and didn’t listen to a whole lot of music (our core group couldn’t find much intersection between our music tastes). And I certainly didn’t listen to any Internet radio, as much as it pained me to be away from WOXY.com.

So I’m just now getting a chance to check out all of the Internet radio in-studio performances that I missed. And there’s a bunch of really good ones.

I’m looking forward to checking these out over the next couple days.

Alejandro Escovedo on The Current
Birdmonster on WOXY
Eef Barzelay on KEXP
The Magnetic Fields on The Current
Neil Halstead on KEXP
Okkervil River on KEXP
Ra Ra Riot on KEXP
Takka Takka on WOXY
Yeasayer on The Current

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 11 November 2008 at 7:52 pm

Road Trip, Anyone?

This fascinates me…

Tue., 12/2: The Swell Season at The Olympia Theatre, Dublin, IE
Wed., 12/3: Bon Iver at Dublin National Stadium, Dublin, IE

Oh, and $169 each way on Aer Lingus to fly from Washington to Dublin.

Hmm.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 11 November 2008 at 6:14 pm

Mark Kozelek @ Rock and Roll Hotel, DC [11/10/08]

Just when I thought I’d quit smoking after the election last week, I went to a Mark Kozelek show.

It’s not that his music makes me want to smoke, like Trace or Being There do.

No, it’s because I literally had to leave the room several times and go outside into the cold to avoid falling asleep.

I love Mark, I really do. I was a huge fan of Red House Painters, and Ghosts of the Great Highway is one of my favorite albums of the last few years.

But, man, is his live show boring. And it wasn’t helped by the fact that Rock and Roll Hotel was PACKED and way too hot. (Don’t get me wrong – I was pleasantly surprised to see the size of the crowd Mark pulled. It’s just that a sold-out, packed crowd is not the best environment to see Mark play.) And, besides, I still haven’t really caught up on my sleep after the past couple of months. So I’m not joking when I say I was close to falling asleep standing up.

My solution, for better or for worse, was to hit the cigarette machine by the door and have a few smokes outside. Lucky for me, I got to witness some dude puking his spleen out on the sidewalk. So it wasn’t a complete loss. Oh, and Mark did play Genesis’ Follow You, Follow Me, which was pretty awesome.

No pics, because there were signs everywhere saying no pics.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 11 November 2008 at 5:52 pm

The Frames on Irish Radio

So I have no idea when this is from, or even what station it was on, but I came upon it last night while looking for a good Frames song to send to a friend to introduce her to the band. I think it’s kinda old, because I think at one point they say that Joe Doyle is still in the band.

It’s 18 songs from a live radio appearance, and it’s fantastic. Sadly it’s not the original order of the songs, but it really doesn’t matter.

Whatever you do, be sure to check out the version of “Revelate” they do. It’s spectacular.

Edited to add: Feckin’ hell. Check this out.

Edited again: And the version of Red Chord is brilliant too.

Edited yet again: Seriously. Red Chord. Wow. Can’t stop listening to it.


SeeqPod – Playable Search

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 11 November 2008 at 4:03 pm

Gutter Twins @ Black Cat, DC [11/7/08]

If you’d asked me a few weeks ago if I’d planned to go to last night’s Gutter Twins show at the Black Cat, I’d have said no. I saw the band’s show at the 9:30 Club earlier this year and walked away relatively unimpressed (and extremely bored).

However, it was the last night that one of my friends from the Obama campaign was going to be in town before heading home to England, and he was interested in catching a real U.S. indie rock show. So, we went.

And I’m happy we did. First off, I was pleasantly surprised by the opener, Milan, Italy’s Afterhours. I’d seen them open for the Twilight Singers before, but they hadn’t made a huge impression. Their set last night was excellent, though. Their shorter songs weren’t anything special, but their longer, more grandiose songs were quite good. I’m gonna have to check out their latest album, I Milanesi Ammazzano Il Sabato.

Even better, the Gutter Twins’ set was also much, much better than the last time they came through town. As my friend remarked, Mark Lanegan has negative stage presence. At the 9:30 Club show, his negative presence outweighed Greg Dulli’s larger-than-life stage persona, and ended up causing the show to be pretty stunted and boring. Last night, though, Greg managed to have fun and avoid Lanegan’s black hole of negativity. And given that the best songs last night were all Dulli songs (including a version of the Afghan Whigs’ “When We Two Parted”, this led to a much more entertaining show this time around.

(BTW, this may be the first time I’ve seen Dulli play an Afghan Whigs tune since 1996, though I could be wrong. Either way, I was ecstatic.)

Now I’m just waiting for a new Twilight Singers album and tour. (I’ve long since given up on the idea of a Whigs reunion.)

Some pics…


Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 8 November 2008 at 2:57 pm

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