New-ish Trailer for “The Road”

So it looks like they’re finally going to be releasing the movie version of The Road on October 16th. The movie was filmed over a year ago and was originally supposed to be released last fall/winter, but got pushed so that the studio could focus its efforts on The Reader.

Anyway, here’s the new-ish trailer for the movie. I can’t tell how closely the movie hews to the original — it certainly seems to have the requisite darkness and despair, but it almost seems like they’re trying to make it an action movie.

If you haven’t read the book yet, I really recommend that you try to fit it in before the movie comes out. It’s not a cheery read, but it is one of the better books I’ve read over the last few years.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Sunday 31 May 2009 at 11:37 pm

Reminder: The Antlers w/ Au Revoir Simone Tomorrow!

Figured I’d post a short reminder post about tomorrow night’s show at the Rock and Roll Hotel with Au Revoir Simone, Jeff Lewis, and, of course, The Antlers. I’d actually forgotten about the show until a few minutes ago – bad blogger! – and want to make sure that that doesn’t happen to anyone else.

And in case you need any additional motivation to get to the show in time for The Antlers, here’s a live performance of “Shiva” that the band did this week for Time Out NY.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Friday 29 May 2009 at 11:12 am

Title Tracks & Cymbals Eat Guitars @ Black Cat [5/28/09]

Pics now, discussion tomorrow.

Title Tracks

Cymbals Eat Guitars

Sinta

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Thursday 28 May 2009 at 11:46 pm

Song of the Week: Dark Mean’s “Happy Banjo”

Wow, Canada sure seems to be on a bit of a winning streak right now.**

Although I’ve managed to avoid getting caught up in the music being made by the extended Broken Social Scene-family (BSS, Stars, Feist, Metric, Apostle of Hustle, etc.), four of my current favorite bands all call the Great White North home – The Dears, Hey Rosetta!, The Rest and The Rural Alberta Advantage.

And we may now have to add a fifth band to that list – Hamilton, Ontario’s Dark Mean (not to be confused with Athens, GA’s Dark Meat).

I don’t know much about the band yet. In fact, I just discovered them yesterday via an email informing me about their brand new frankencottage EP, which you can download for free here.
The EP is the first of three that the band plans to unveil over the next year and a half, and all three EPs will eventually be compiled into the band’s first full-length, entitled The Constant K Determines the Ultimate Fate of the Universe.  Oh, and the album will also serve as the soundtrack to a play of the same name.

The EP’s four tracks are all excellent, ranging from the infectious folk-pop of “Happy Banjo”, to the dark-yet-dance-y “frankencottage”, to the gospel-y singalong of “Lullaby”, to the sweeping, piano-driven “China”.  Honestly, while a lot of people will surely throw out the usual Canadian touchstones when describing the EP, the band I’d compare them to most is Seattle’s Grand Archives (who, admittedly, have their own BSS-like moments).  And considering how much I loved that first GA album, that comparison is a pretty high compliment.

Anyway, here’s my favorite song on the EP, and possibly the best new song I’ve heard this week:

Dark Mean, “Happy Banjo”

Oh, and the band has also made a video for the song “frankencottage”, so check that out as well.

And, as I mentioned, if you want to hear the whole EP, you can download it for FREE here.

I’ll be keeping my eye on these guys – hopefully we can get them and my other recent Canadian discovery, The Rest, to come visit us in the U.S. before too long.

** Musically, that is. They certainly can’t be happy about another all-U.S. Stanley Cup final.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Thursday 28 May 2009 at 5:34 pm

New Frightened Rabbit Song, “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”

Thanks to the wonders of Twitter, I just discovered a new-ish website/music project called Off The Beaten Tracks.

Based in Edinburgh, the website seems to be the Scottish version of Laundromatinee, offering high quality, intimate performance videos of Scottish musicians. Unlike Laundromatinee, though, the performances aren’t filmed in the studio, but instead in various public places across Edinburgh, from the street to the park to the shore.

Off The Beaten Tracks has hosted five sessions so far, including a brand new session with Scott from Frightened Rabbit. The session features three performances, including “Be Less Rude” from Sing The Grays, a cover of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Song Against Sex”, and a brand new FR song called “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”.

Here’s the video for the latter song. To see the others (which I strongly recommend), go here.

Episode #5.2: Frightened Rabbit – “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” from Off The Beaten Tracks on Vimeo.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 27 May 2009 at 11:44 am

Newly Remastered Antlers MP3, “Two”

As you have by no doubt heard by now, Brooklyn’s The Antlers recently signed with Frenchkiss Records, and are set to re-release their _____________ (insert: incredible/spectacular/beautiful/stunning/etc.) album, Hospice, in remastered form digitally on June 23rd and physically on August 18th.

The band has made the first remastered track from the album,
“Two”, available for download, and I figured I’d post it here:

The Antlers, “Two” (remastered)

The band has a ton of tour dates coming up over the next couple of months, including a show this weekend at Rock and Roll Hotel and a show next month at Iota. I plan to be at both.

Antlers Tour Dates
05-29 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg *
05-30 Washington, DC – Rock N Roll Hotel *
05-31 Cincinnati, OH – Southgate House *
06-01 Nashville, TN – The End *
06-02 Memphis, TN – Hi Tone *
06-03 New Orleans, LA – Allways Lounge
06-04 Dallas, TX – The Cavern *
06-05 Houston, TX – Walter’s On Washington *
06-06 Austin, TX – Mohawk *
06-09 Tuscon, AZ – Plush *
06-11 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey *
06-12 Santa Barbara, CA – Velvet Jones *
06-13 San Francisco, CA – Bimbos *
06/14 Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn #
06/16 Chapel Hill, NC – Local 506 #
06-17 Charlottesville, VA – Outback Lodge #
06-18 Arlington, VA – Iota #
06-19 Philadelphia, PA – M Room #
06-21 Boston, MA – Middle East #
07-21 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick %
07-22 Toronto, CAN – Horseshoe Tavern %
07-23 Montreal, CAN – Petit Campus %
07-24 Providence, RI – Jerky’s %
07-25 Northampton, MA – Iron Horse %
* w/ Au Revoir Simone
# w/ Cotton Jones
% w/ Frightened Rabbit

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Wednesday 27 May 2009 at 11:30 am

Wilco Rocks The Canadian Ski Slopes

Don’t think I’ve ever seen these videos before (thanks to the folks at the Via Chicago board for pointing them out). Based on the YouTube tags, it looks like they were filmed for either MTV or CMT sometime in the winter of 96/97 – i.e., my favorite era of the band.

The only thing I can’t figure out – who’s the third guitarist who jumps in the snow during “I Got You”?

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 26 May 2009 at 11:44 pm

An Incredible Live Drones Video

I’m totally ripping this off from Aquarium Drunkard, but the video is so frigging good that I couldn’t pass it up.

If you’re wondering what it was that made me fall in love with The Drones at SXSW this year, this video should give you an idea. Holy crap do they rock. I just wish this song were about 5 minutes longer.

Oh, and be sure to Aquarium Drunkard to download an MP3 of the band covering “Cortez the Killer”.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Tuesday 26 May 2009 at 8:16 pm

Pics From Last Night

It may be time for me to get a new camera. Every time my flash goes off, it gives off a burning smell. I have to assume that ain’t good.

The Jet Age


Wax Standard

The Mobius Strip

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Tuesday 26 May 2009 at 11:12 am

Uncle Tupelo on Conan O’Brien

Wow, I had completely forgotten that Uncle Tupelo had been on Conan O’Brien. This was during my freshman year in college, and I had literally been listening to the band for only a matter of weeks when this performance took place. They wouldn’t last as a band too much longer.

Note: Be patient, the video improves after the first few seconds.

Uncle Tupelo – The Long Cut

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 25 May 2009 at 4:41 pm

Jay and Jeff, “Cars Can’t Escape”

One more quick Jay Bennett-related post. I was just watching I Am Trying to Break Your Heart and came across this performance from the movie’s bonus DVD. I had completely forgotten about it, and think it’s a great peek into the good side of Jay and Jeff’s collaboration.

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 25 May 2009 at 4:26 pm

R.I.P., Jay Walter Bennett (1963-2009)

There’s not much that I can add to the chorus of voices across the internet who have weighed in on this weekend’s tragic death of musician Jay Bennett.

Like many others, I was a fan of Jay’s music, both as a member of Wilco as well as his solo career.  Indeed, Jay’s most recent solo album, Whatever Happened I Apologize (download for free here), remains one of my favorite underappreciated albums of the last few years, and his first post-Wilco project with musician Edward Burch, The Palace at 4am (Part 1) (buy here), will almost certainly place somewhere on my “best of the decade” list when I sit down to make it at the end of the year.

I’ll always have one lasting memory of Jay, from one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen – Wilco’s show at Irving Plaza in New York in early 1997 (the so-called “deli tray show”). For my money, the lineup that played that night – including Jay and drummer Ken Coomer – will always be my favorite configuration of the band, as it represented the band at its down and dirty “rock and roll” peak. And as if to highlight the rock-ingness of the show, at one point during the set Jay brought out a double-necked guitar and proceeded to just completely bring the house down with an incredible solo.

The image of Jay, with dreadlocks flying, and a huge smile on his face as he shredded away, is one that will stay with me for a long time to come.  You’ll be missed, Jay.

Here are two of my favorite Jay songs:

Jay Bennett and Edward Burch, “Puzzle Heart”
Jay Bennett, “How Dull They Make The Razor”

And here is what is possibly my favorite song ever written by Jay, and one that sounded great both sung by Jay (on The Palace at 4am (Part 1)), as well as by Jeff. Here’s the Wilco version, so that we can all remember just how the great the pairing of Jay and Jeff was for a time.

Wilco, “Venus Stop The Train” (from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sessions)

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 25 May 2009 at 2:56 pm

This Week in DC

Aside from three great shows tonight, there’s only a couple of standout shows to me this week. Which is kinda fine… being the first official week of summer and all, maybe we should all be outside drinking somewhere instead of stuck in a club.

My picks in bold.

Monday 5/25
9:30 Club: The National [sold out]
Black Cat (back): Mobius Strip, The Jet Age, The Wax Standard
Iota: The Beanstalk Library, In Technicolor, Typefighter

Tuesday 5/26
DC9: Bellflur, We Read Minds, The Orchid

Wednesday 5/27
DC9: Young Love, Your 33 Black Angels, 2 djs
RnR Hotel: Holy Fuck, Crocodiles

Thursday 5/28
9:30 Club: A Camp, Gentleman Reg, Zee Avi
Birchmere: Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Black Cat (back): Title Tracks, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Sinta

Friday 5/29
RnR Hotel: The Public Good (CD Release), Club Scout, Impossible Hair
Velvet Lounge: The Courtesans, Secret Pop Band, Gist

Saturday 5/30
9:30 Club: Cake
RnR Hotel: Au Revoir Simone, Jeff Lewis, The Antlers

Sunday 5/31
9:30 Club: Cake

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Monday 25 May 2009 at 11:12 am

The National @ 9:30 Club [5/24/09 – Early Show]

It seems like every time I post pictures after a show and promise to write something the next day, I never do it. So in an effort to make this blog something other than a mediocre-concert photo blog, here are some quick thoughts about tonight’s early National show at the 9:30 Club.

Thought #1: I hope that The National isn’t falling into the same trap that Wilco has fallen into the last few years – i.e., playing nearly identical sets night after night and tour after tour. Yeah, they did play three new songs (all of which sounded great), but beyond that it was pretty much the exact same setlist we’ve seen them play for a few years now, with only one song that I can recall pre-dating Alligator (“All The Wine”). I’m fine if they feel they need to play “Abel” and “Mr. November” every night, but I sure would love to hear “Cold Girl Fever”, “Theory of the Crows”, or “Slipping Husband” at some point.

Thought #2: Speaking of songs I’d love to hear, I was really disappointed that they didn’t play either “Santa Clara” from last year’s Virginia EP or “So Far Around The Bend” off of the recent Dark Was The Night compilation. Personally, I think those are two of the best songs the band has written, and I’ve been looking forward to seeing them live for a while. Guess I’ll have to wait a while longer.

Thought #3: The band is currently touring with a full-time 3-piece horn section, which includes opening act Colin Stetson on saxophone. While it’s an interesting idea, it was a little uneven in execution. There were songs where I thought the horns sounded great (e.g., “About Today”), but there were far more where I found that they overwhelmed the rest of the music (e.g., “Slow Show”). I’m sure this was more of an issue with the mix than anything, but I do hope they work it out before too long.

Thought #4: Who’s in charge of the air conditioning at the 9:30 Club, and why haven’t they been fired? It was unbearably hot in the club tonight.  It didn’t take a whole lot to figure out that a sold out club + 80 degree weather + 90% humidity would make things uncomfortable without A/C.  Yet the A/C was either turned off or barely functioning.  To be fair, I suppose I need to look at the 9:30 Club a long-term project – to their credit, I think they’ve improved the sound on the floor quite a bit in the last year, and they’ve also greatly increased sight-lines by moving the PAs.  I can only hope that the A/C is next on the list of things to fix.

Posted under Babystew Home,Concert Photos by Steve on Sunday 24 May 2009 at 11:37 pm

Another Fun Music Challenge

So you may remember that I kinda lost my mind a couple of months ago and accepted a friend’s challenge to see 100 bands in the month of March. And, thanks to four crazy days at South by Southwest, I did it. In fact, I ended up seeing 111 bands that month.

And while I’m still seeing quite a bit of live music these days (I’m sitting somewhere around 160 bands for the year so far), the odds of me taking on this type of challenge again in the near future is highly unlikely.

However, I recently came across another DC-area blogger – Eric at Big Yawn – who is in the middle of his own concert challenge. Apparently Eric turned 33 at the beginning of the year, and as penance for having not seen many shows the last couple of years, has challenged himself to see 333 bands this year.

As of today (5/23), he’s up to 82 bands, which is a bit behind the pace he’ll need to hit 333, however he has a huge number of shows on his upcoming shows list, so hopefully he’ll catch up quick.

I’ll certainly pulling for him.  We seem to have quite a bit in common – we’re both 33, we have similar taste in music, and there’s something deeply wrong with both of us.  So, in a way, by rooting for Eric, I’m rooting for myself, and everyone else trying to find that balance between work, family, and damn good music.

Good luck Eric!

Posted under Babystew Home by Steve on Saturday 23 May 2009 at 2:28 pm

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