New Stellastarr* Album and Tour

Great news — New York’s Stellastarr* is set to release Civilized, its third album (and first since 2005), on July 7th via their own Bloated Wife Records.

You can hear a track from the album – “Graffiti Eyes” – on the band’s MySpace page. On first listen, it’s pretty good, but maybe not quite as catchy as “Jenny” or “My Coco”. Rumor is that singer Shawn Christensen had to change the register he sings in due to throat problems, but I can’t say I really notice it too much.

The band has also lined up a 3-week tour this summer which will bring them to the Rock and Roll Hotel here in DC on July 17th. Sadly, I think I’m going to be in Chicago for the Pitchfork Festival then, but hopefully I’ll have another chance to catch them before long.

Stellastarr* Summer Tour Dates
July 15 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
July 16 – New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom
July 17 – Washington, DC @ Rock ‘N’ Roll Hotel
July 18 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
July 20 – Cincinnati, OH @ 20th Century Theatre
July 21 – Columbus, OH @ The Basement
July 23 – Chicago, IL @ Double Door
July 27 – Austin, TX @ The Parish
July 30 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
July 31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
August 1 – San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
August 3 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
August 4 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 30 April 2009 at 11:07 pm

The Twilight Sad @ Rock and Roll Hotel [4/30/09]

Wow, my pictures from tonight were just awful. Oh well. Show was pretty solid, and very, very loud.

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Thursday 30 April 2009 at 10:33 pm

The Rural Alberta Advantage Signs To Saddle Creek!

I already mentioned this on Twitter, but figured it deserved its own post on the blog:

After a couple of years of going it on their own, including almost exactly one year of DIY-work supporting their incredible debut album, Hometowns, The Rural Alberta Advantage has signed to Saddle Creek Records.

I can’t say how happy I am for these guys.  If you’ve read this blog over the last six months or so, you’re well aware of how much I adore this album.  What I haven’t really mentioned is that I’ve had to meet the band a couple of times, and, on top of being great musicians, they are just about the nicest people you will ever meet.  It really is a pleasure to see a deserving band get their due.

Anyway, if you somehow don’t have Hometowns yet, fear not – Saddle Creek will be re-releasing the album on July 7th.  And it also sounds like the band is working on some major post-rerelease tour plans, though only a few dates are confirmed so far.

Here are their current dates – see them if you can.

05/22 Buffalo, NY Mohawk Place
06/21 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
06/23 Winnipeg, MB Royal Albert Arms
06/25 Calgary, AB Sled Island Fest
06/26 Calgary, AB Sled Island Fest
07/09 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
07/25 Guelph, ONT Hillside Festival
07/26 Guelph, ONT Hillside Festival
08/08 Wolfe Island, ONT Wolfe Island Musicfest
08/24 Chicago, IL Downtown Sound / Pritzker Pavillion / Millenium Park

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 30 April 2009 at 5:19 pm

Cursive Adds West Coast Dates

Hopefully those of you in the D.C. area already have your tickets for this Sunday’s Cursive show at the Black Cat with Man Man. If not, you can still get tickets here.

The band is touring behind it’s latest album, Mama, I’m Swollen. And while opinions of the album across the web have been somewhat mixed, I’m a huge fan. In fact, it might be my personal favorite album since Domestica (though I’m sure many will disagree).

Regardless, I definitely recommend checking them out if you’re in the DC area, or if they come through wherever you happen to live. And speaking of which, if you’re on the West Coast, the band just added a bunch of June/July dates. Check it out:

Cursive West Coast Dates

Oh, and here’s the band’s video for “From The Hips”, which I’m fairly certain I never got around to posting when it came out.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 30 April 2009 at 12:00 pm

Sonic Youth Presale for 9:30 Club

If you’re keeping an eye on the ticket onsale page, you probably know by now that Sonic Youth is set to play the 9:30 Club here in DC on Monday, July 6th.

While the regular onsale for tickets is this Saturday (5/2) morning at 10am, there is also a presale going on on Friday (5/1) from 10am to 10pm. The presale will take place here, and the password is…


See you at the show!

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 29 April 2009 at 6:01 pm

New Dinosaur Jr., “I Want You To Know”

If you haven’t already seen and/or heard it at Pitchfork, here is the first track from Dinosaur Jr.’s new album, Farm, which comes out on June 23rd via Jagjaguwar Records.

My first impression? It’s not the catchiest song in their catalog, but it’s got a pretty cool groove, and it does a good job of avoiding the “yep, that’s a J Mascis song” samey-ness trap of a lot of J’s songs (not that there’s anything wrong with “just” another J Mascis song). And, of course, it’s got a quality J guitar solo to tie everything together. Thumbs up.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 29 April 2009 at 12:06 pm

DC’s Hottest May Rock Show

My very first flyer! Yay me. More details soon.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 28 April 2009 at 10:57 pm

New POBPAH Video, “Young Adult Friction”

(Via Pitchfork)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 28 April 2009 at 1:19 pm

What I Was Doing In Fredericksburg Yesterday

Seeing this guy:

Paleo – Woman Like Me from Timothy Ryan Poe on Vimeo.

I was sitting in a chair just past the bottom left of the picture. That’s barbeque smoke wafting through the picture – not cigarettes.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 27 April 2009 at 10:06 pm

This Week In DC

Here’s another type of post that I haven’t done in a while. Bad blogger.

This week’s interesting shows in the DC area, with my picks in bold.

Monday 4/27
Galaxy Hut: Paleo, Mad Happy, Noon:30
Red and Black: The Inevitable Backlash, Pessimist Parade

Tuesday 4/278
RnR Hotel: Valient Thorr, Shokker, Hull House (Early Man canceled)
Velvet Lounge: Psychedelic Horseshit, Cutest Puppy In The World, Insect Factory

Wednesday 4/29
9:30 Club (early): Cage the Elephant, Bellman Barker
9:30 Club (late): King Kahn and the Shrines, Mark Sultan
Black Cat (main): Electric Six, Living Things
RnR Hotel: Hoots and Hellmouth, Kashgar

Thursday 4/30
9:30 Club: The Kills, The Horrors, Magic Wands
Black Cat (back): Tera Malos, Solar Powered Sun Destroyer
RnR Hotel: The Twilight Sad, Loose Lips

Friday 5/1
Black Cat (main): U.S. Royalty, Cut Off Your Hands, Cannot Be Stopped
Jammin’ Java: Marah
Iota: Tommy Keene, Timothy Bracken

Saturday 5/2
9:30 Club: Peter Bjorn and John, Chairlift
Black Cat (main): Noah and the Whale, Ferraby Lionheart, Anni Rossi
Iota: Vetiver, Papercuts

Sunday 5/3
Black Cat (main): Cursive, Man Man, Andrew Wright

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 27 April 2009 at 3:17 pm

Odds and Ends

Man, it sure has been a long time since I’ve done one of these “odds and ends” posts. I used to do these every few days, and use them to aggregate a bunch of short pieces of news and information that might not otherwise warrant their own blog posts. But then I met Twitter, and all my extraneous bits and pieces of knowledge (and lack of knowledge) starting going there instead.

And while I can’t say that that’s necessarily going to change, I want to start doing “odds and ends” posts again to make sure that news doesn’t get buried in a Twitter feed that (a) you might not follow, and/or (b) might move too fast for you to keep up.

So without further ado, here’s some news:

Local DC indie-pop band Bellman Barker has posted three brand new demos over at their MySpace page, and they’re really, really good. Especially “Last Name”, which might be the best thing I’ve heard from the band. Hopefully they fight the urge to change it much when they record the non-demo version, because it’s absolutely lovely as is.

In other local news, in case you missed it, Title Tracks released their debut 7″ last week for the songs “Every Little Bit Hurts” and “Found Out”. As a fan of John’s former bands (Q and Not U and Georgie James), as well as a devoted listener to his radio show, I may be a little biased, but I think it’s great. You can order it for $4 from Dischord. Oh, and be sure to head to the band’s MySpace page to listen to the demo for “Black Bubblegum”, which is gonna be a great song to play loud in my car someday.

Wye Oak has released a new song called “Take It In” from its forthcoming second album, The Knot. I admit to completely skipping over the band the first time around, but if this song is any indication of what the album is going to be like, consider me on board. Oh, and for those in DC, the band plays the Black Cat backstage on May 11th with Cincinnati’s Pomegranates. Looks like I’ll be there.

Sadly for me, 5-day passes for the Merge 20th Anniversary shows this summer have SOLD OUT. I completely forgot about getting a pass. They’ll be announcing single-day tickets soon, but I don’t think they’re going to be announcing daily lineups ahead of time. Bands announced to be playing include Superchunk, Spoon, Conor Oberst, M. Ward, Polvo, Spent (!!), The Broken West, and many more. There are also rumors and rumblings about The Arcade Fire and, ahem, Neutral Milk Hotel, but we’ll just have to wait and see about those… Personally, I’d love to see Butterglory reunion, but that’s just me.

I guess that’s it for now. More odds and ends soon.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 27 April 2009 at 1:04 pm

New Dears B-Side, “Halfmast”

The Dears are about to head out on a month-long tour with labelmates Eulogies, and they’re releasing brand new B-sides and alternate-takes of songs each week to celebrate. The first song is a B-side called “Halfmast”, which features an extended outro with 4 simultaneously-played guitar solos. And it works. Check it out:


And let me take this opportunity to formally admit that my initial reaction to The Dears’ last album, Missiles, was wrong. The album has really, really grown on me over time. I still don’t think I like it as much as Gang of Losers, but it’s an excellent album well worth a revisit or two.

Here’s the full set of Dears/Eulogies dates. If you’re in DC, be sure to join me at the Black Cat next Thursday, May 7th.

Dears Tour Dates (with Eulogies)
5/1/2009 – Bell House – Park Slope, NY
5/2/2009 – Valentines – Albany, NY
5/4/2009 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY
5/5/2009 – Johnny Brenda’s – Philadelphia, PA
5/7/2009 – Black Cat – Washington, DC
5/8/2009 – Diesel – Pittsburgh, PA
5/9/2009 – Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH
5/10/2009 – Skully’s – Columbus, OH
5/11/2009 – Magic Stick – Detroit, MI
5/13/2009 – Lakeshore Theatre – Chicago, IL
5/14/2009 – Mojo’s – Columbia, MO
5/16/2009 – Hailey’s – Denton, TX
5/17/2009 – Warehouse – Houston, TX
5/18/2009 – The Parish – Austin, TX
5/21/2009 – Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ
5/22/2009 – Casbah – San Diego, CA
5/23/2009 – Echoplex – Los Angeles, CA
5/24/2009 – Independent – San Francisco, CA
5/26/2009 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
5/27/2009 – Crocodile Cafe – Seattle, WA

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 27 April 2009 at 12:37 am

New Temper Trap Video, “Science of Fear”

One of the bands that I heard for the first time down at SXSW this year was Australia’s The Temper Trap. I even liked them enough to do a small spotlight post about them when I got back.

What I somehow missed at the time, though, was that the band released a video in mid-March for the song “Science of Fear.” Thanks to Torr, however, I now know it exists. And I suggest you check it out:

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 23 April 2009 at 9:31 pm

Meet Mittenfields (Again)

If you’ve ever looked over my weekly list of DC concert announcements, you may have noticed quite a few mentions of the band Mittenfields over the past few months. They’ve been playing all over the place since forming last year, and it seems like they’ve had a show around town every other week or so since January. Sadly, there have been about 5 or 6 times where I meant to see them but, for whatever reason, didn’t make it out.

Well, I finally saw them last night, and I’m glad I did – they’re fantastic.

There’s no real easy way to describe what they sound like, as their sound has been evolving pretty quickly, and the touchstone comparisons for one song are often completely different from the next. There’s definitely a healthy dose of Pavement in a couple of their songs, but there’s also Explosions In The Sky and even some post-90’s post-punk/emo (i.e. Hot Water Music, not Midtown). And I’m told the songs they’re currently working on have a strong Flaming Lips influence. All in all, a pretty stellar list of influences in my book.

Anyway, the band has just released a 3-song demo, and they’re making it available for free download. I’ve linked all three songs below, and strongly recommend all of them. My favorite right now may be “Cut To The Chase”, but they’re all really good.

“Cut To The Chase”
“Natural Disasters”

The band has 5 more shows on its schedule right now, and is then is taking a 3-month hiatus in the summer to work on a brand new EP and some other exciting stuff. Definitely try to catch one of their upcoming shows if you can.

Upcoming Mittenfields Shows
Fri., 4/24: DC – Georgetown University (Georgetown Day Festivale)
Sat., 5/23: Baltimore – Joe Squared (w/ Voyage North + The Names)
Fri., 6/05: DC – Art-o-Matic (w/ The Tides)
Sat., 6/13: Richmond – The Czar (w/ The Caribbean, Cinemasophia)
Tue., 6/23: DC – Black Cat (backstage) (w/ We Were Pirates, Vox Pop)

Mittenfields on MySpace
Mittenfields home page

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 22 April 2009 at 12:49 pm

Pics From Last Night

As I mentioned yesterday, there was a great rock show at DC9 last night featuring The Interiors, The Jet Age, Wax Standard and Mittenfields.

If you weren’t able to make it out, or even if you were, here’s some pics. I’ll be talking a bit more about the bands later…


The Jet Age

The Interiors

Wax Standard

(only 1 photo for Wax Standard b/c I had to head out after their first couple of songs… sorry!)

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Wednesday 22 April 2009 at 11:48 am

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