Saturday, March 31, 2007

Another Wilco record stream

As part of the pre-release build up of Sky Blue Sky Wilco are doing another 24 streaming of the new album.

It's happening at Sunday night at 12:01 a.m. Central time and continuing it non-stop for 24 straight hours. Also, they're releasing a "deluxe version" of SBS which will include a DVD feature film by Brendan Canty and Christoph Green (Sunken Treasure, Burn to Shine). Over the last year or so they've been filming rehearsals, interviews about the record, behind the scenes stuff, etc. and have put together a 48 minute film called "Shake it Off' . Preorder it here.

Friday, March 30, 2007

101 Fantastic Freebies

I'm constantly looking to make my computer better, so I love free utilities to do the job for me. I use tons of them, like Ad-Aware SE Personal to keep out all those nasties floating in the ether (I don't have a Mac you see). PC World magazine has listed 101 of these wonderful finds in one place. From Ajax 13 to Gmail (which you must use) to Zoho you'll find more than you need.

Read the 101 list here.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters

What's that you say? Ok, it's a movie. But what is it doing on About The Music? Good question. Basically it's here because you can get cool free stuff. Well you be the judge of the coolness, but it is free. So, a little info first:

Adult Swim's highly anticipated theatrical film AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE COLON MOVIE FILM FOR THEATERS is scheduled to hit movie theaters on April 13, 2007. Written, produced and directed by Matt Maiellaro and Dave Willis, the movie will be distributed by First Look Pictures and marks the studio's initial theatrical foray into animation, as well as Adult Swim's first feature under the Williams Street banner.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force COLON Movie Film for TheatERs is an action-adventure epic that reveals the mysterious origins of Meatwad, Frylock and Master Shake. When an immortal piece of exercise equipment threatens the balance of galactic peace, it is up to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force to run away from it. Peril escalates when the Plutonians team up with the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past to strive for ultimate control of the sinister deadly device.

It opens in the US on April 13, sure to be a good date and our little competition will run from April 2nd- April 16th and up for grabs is:

1 Grand prize, which includes an ATHF beach ball, koozie, sticker, poster, post card, socks, and a CD sampler

Wow! So check back on April 2 for your chance to win. Are you excited? Look at your hands, are they shaking? Are they?

DIRECTORS: Matt Maiellaro, Dave Willis

attack of the 50 ft Michael Jackson

I found this on Engadget of all places but it's an interesting story. 

Michael Jackson may erect 50-foot 'Jackobot' in Vegas desert

We almost wouldn't believe it were it not in an esteemed publication like the New York Daily News, but the hard-hitting investigative journalists of Page Six are reporting that the one and only King of Pop, Michael Jackson himself, may attempt to erect a 50-foot, robotic likeness of himself in the Las Vegas desert in full view of incoming planes. According to entertainment company consultant Mike Luckman, his business partner Andre Van Pier has already designed what we'll refer to as the massive Jackobot, complete with laser beams shooting up into the sky.

The plan will only go into motion if Jackson decides to launch a show in Sin City, for which Van Pier has also contributed sketches of a "stage set of a giant audience-interactive video game with human cyborgs controlled by the audience," whatever the hell that means. Perhaps aware that a Jackobot fiasco could be the straw that breaks the camel's back and forces Jackson to finally sell him that tasty share of the Beatles catalog, Sir Paul McCartney is said to be interested in investing in what we can only imagine will be a gaudy spectacle even for Vegas standards.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Paisley + Adams = Deal?

The word 'momentous' is cropping up with alarming frequency today, but perhaps it is the best word to describe a sight many thought they would never see.

Paisley and Adams, the arch enemies, have had a meeting. While they didn't quite sit next to each other, separated only by a right angle, they might as well have. Paisley has made his living mouthing off at those who talk to Sinn Fein, and after he engineered the downfall of the Ulster Unionist Party he was left in a position to put his money where his mouth is. Thankfully, he's chosen to step up to the plate and attempt to grasp a deal, the starting point for a solution to the deadlock in Northern Ireland.

From my experience outside the Province, no one really cares. The rest of the UK needs Northern Ireland like a fish needs a bicycle. But the people of Northern Ireland are unique amongst the British Isles in their hunger for politics. Apathy does not reign here and people recognise the need for movement and the power to change. Imagine Bin Laden sitting down with Bush to talk about peace; incomprehensible? After seeing Paisely sit down with Adams, perhaps it's not.

Do you know what it has taken to get this far?

Water metering.

That's right. In NI we pay for water in our rates, the equivalent of council tax. Peter Hain, the Secretary of State for NI in his plan to make life as uncomfortable for the 1.5m inhabitants as possible decided that if we weren't going to behave and play nicely, we wouldn't get any more special treatment. We would pay for our water, by the drop.

Adams said that he wanted a meeting with Paisley so that together they could stop Westminster from imposing water metering. Forget Iraq or Trident or cash for honours, water metering is the hottest political potato in the Province. Instead of 'No Surrender', murals in Belfast now read 'No Water Rates'. Today both leaders pressed for an urgent meeting with the Treasury, and Gordon Brown has hinted, but not promised that the prize for power sharing will be free water.

It's funny, perhaps a tax on beards will force Al-Qaeda to the negotiating table?



Mecury Music Prize nominee Tom McRae has struggled to meet expectations since his eponymous debut. While 'King Of Cards' may be his most accessible album to date, it won't blow your socks off.

It promises much, opening with the melodic 'Set The Story Straight' and its great hook, then into the first single "Bright Lights" and the sing-along chorus but then descends into mediocrity. Undoubtedly a talented vocalist, McRae rests on his downbeat laurels using Sigur-Ros like guitar effects to fill out sparse songs. There isn't a track here to make you sit up and take notice. The album glides overhead like a cool breeze; pleasant but forgettable.

Download: Deliver Me, Set The Story Straight, Lord How Long
For fans of: Ed Harcourt, Elbow, Damien Rice
Rating: 3/5

Buy it from Amazon

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Good Shepherd

Nick and I went to see The Good Shepherd, the new film by Robert De Niro the other night.

The word on the street is that it's a very long and quite dull film. But then again, the word on the street goes to see Norbit. De Niro's painstakingly methodical manner is often described like that of a brick layer. He patiently builds his wall piece by piece, and you the finishing block can't be in place until the others are. As a director, The Good Shepherd typifies this.

Yes it is long, clocking in at 167 minutes (plus all the ads and trailers you have to watch) you need to set aside some an evening. But it doesn't drag. De Niro takes his time to develop the story, the plot makes no assumptions and ends when it should and no earlier.

The story charts the development of the America's first
integrated intelligence organisation, the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) on the eve of the country's entry into the Second World War and of its successor, the infinitely more powerful CIA, at the beginning of the Cold War in 1947.

Matt Damon brilliantly plays a grey and serious Edward Wilson, who while at Yale joins the exclusive Skull and Bones fraternity and is recruited to the OSS. A week before he is posted overseas Wilson is forced to marry a girl he's only just met (Angelina Jolie) in a shotgun union. He learns of the birth of his son and his subsequent five years over a crackling line in war-torn Europe.

The film unfolds in flashback from the CIA-engineered Bay of Pigs disaster in 1961. Wilson moves from Skull and Bones secret supremacy easily to into another in the service of his country during the Second World War. Deception and deceit become forms of truth in the espionage business, and suspicion eventually develops into paranoia as the war against the Nazis is replaced by the Cold War.

It's a great film. Trust, love and destiny are the central themes as Wilson tries to protect his son from making the same mistakes he did, as he too becomes a Bones man and is invited to join the CIA. "Trust no one" is the mantra of the spies, yet they find they can love no one and fear of ultimately dying alone in a strange city with no friends. There is far too much material in this deeply engrossing film to touch on here, but suffice to say, you are unlikely to see another film as well thought out meticulously assembled as this. I hope Bobby makes a few more.

Watch the trailer

Friday, March 16, 2007




Release: APRIL 3

I've got to admit to not being much of a fan of Kings Of Leon. Their first record seemed all hype- young boys with big beards and old style rock, and their second a hurried attempt to capitalise on their success. Yet their third studio album, Because Of The Times (BOTT) has changed my tune.

It's the sound of a band who have found their sound. They're comfortable together and because of that, together with producers Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams) and Angelo Patraglia, they've relaxed the rules and explored new areas. BOTT boldly opens with the band's first ever song to last over 5 minutes. It's a slow burner with harmonic guitar riffs over thumping drums. After the scuzzy, U2 influenced "Charmer" comes the first single "On Call". It builds from synth and bass to a chugging guitar line and a wonderfully catchy chorus. Next follows two staduim anthems, McFearless and "Black Thumbnail" with towering choruses and huge guitars. There's enough here to satisfy the fans, but the likes of the "Ragoo" with it's reggae beat and the deceptively simple "Fans" provide plenty of ammunition for the preacher's sons to win over new converts. No matter what you might think of Kings Of Leon, Because Of The Times will alter your perspective.

Download: On Call, McFearless, Fans
For fans of: The Strokes, The White Strips, The Libertines

Rating: 4/5

Buy it from Amazon

Stream 'On Call'

Windows (low)
Windows (high)

Real (low)
Real (high)

miscellaneous film related thoughts

I've been reading some film reviews lately and rather as a way of reminding myself there are some movies that caught my eye.

Paolo Sorrentino, the Italian director of the wonderful Conseguenze dell'amore (The Consequences of Love)has just completed a new film. The Family Friend (L'Amico di Famiglia) seems to follow a similar slightly sinister theme of a middle aged man who makes money from loaning money to the parents of engaged couples to pay for weddings. This ageing loan shark, who lives with his mother, is undone by greed and his fatal attraction to a beautiful young woman. The Consequences Of Love was a visually rich, gripping film dealing with complex relationships is a subtle understated way. From what the critics say, The Family Friend is just as good.

I'm a big fan of indie cinema. Last year I really enjoyed The Squid and the Whale, Me You And Everyone we Know and so am interested by the release of Funny Ha Ha. The Guardian gave it 4 stars calling it smart, subtle and excruciatingly honest. It follows a Boston twentysomething out of college determined to boost herself out of slackers' limbo with apparently the most perfect ending since Before Sunset. Anybody seen that movie?

Watch the trailer to Funny Ha Ha.

But before that I want to get around to watching Babel.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wilco - What Light free mp3

Aren't they just the nicest band in the world? Free music for the people from Sky Blue Sky!

Kings Of Leon US tour announced

In support of their fantastic forthcoming new album, Because of The Times, Kings of Leon have announced the first leg of their US tour.

RCA Records is proud to announce that Kings of Leon have confirmed the first leg of a nationwide US tour. The tour is in support of the new record, "Because Of The Times," to be released on April 3rd. Bookended by appearances at the Coachella and Bonnaroo festivals, the tour will start at Coachella and heads to Seattle on May 2. After the June 14 date in Columbus, OH, the tour finishes at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. More touring is to follow during the summer and into the fall and winter of 2007. The complete list of dates for the first leg of the tour is below.

On March 26, one week before release date, Kings of Leon return to the "Late Show with David Letterman" to perform the single "On Call." One month later, on April 27, just before the Coachella performance, the band will return to the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

To make "Because Of The Times," the band turned once again to producers Ethan Johns and Angelo Petraglia. Coming off an immense amount of touring over the last two years both as headliners, world-wide festival staples and openers for the likes of U2, Bob Dylan and Pearl Jam, the ambitious and eclectic "Because Of The Times" (the title refers to an annual preachers' conference the boys attended growing up) is Kings of Leon's most diverse collection yet and represents a major evolution for the band. Brimming with ideas, it represents a huge leap forward both in songwriting and musical prowess. "We took the limitations off of ourselves," says frontman/rhythm guitarist Caleb. "We went into the studio with an open mind, thinking let's do whatever it takes to get these songs to the next level. Because we really have a lot of music inside of us and a lot of different places we can go."
28 Indio, CA Coachella Festival

2 Seattle, WA Moore Theater
3 Portland, OR Crystal Ballroom
5 Denver, CO Ogden
6 Kansas City, MO Voodoo Lounge @ Harrah's
7 Tulsa, OK Cains
9 Austin, TX Stubbs
11 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
12 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
13 Dallas, TX House of Blues
15 Indianapolis, IN Vogue
17 Milwaukee, WI Rave
18 Minneapolis, MN First Ave
19 Chicago, IL Riviera
21 Louisville, KY Headliners
22 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
24 Cincinnati, OH Bogarts
25 St. Louis, MO Pageant

1 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
2 Asheville, NC Orange Peel
5 New York, NY Roseland
6 Boston, MA Avalon
7 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
12 Toronto, ONT Kool Haus
15 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ben Kweller - Penny on the Train Tracks video

New video from BK

I've just finished a day of rather gruelling exams and have come home to find a new Ben Kweller video. If you've read this blog at all you will know that I LOVE Ben Kweller. The best pop songs ever. His songs have hooks big enough to catch Moby Dick and still leave room for Jaws.

I put his 2006 release in my top 10 albums of the year and a prime example of his catchy songwriting is Penny On The Train Track. The new video for that song was made on a bit of a shoestring budget and features Ben's Grandma, Bubbie, dancing to the song with a friend in her native Florida.

The video made it to TRL so don't forget to vote

Check it out

Ben Kweller
Penny On The Train Track - Full Video Streams

lo: LOW
hi: HIGH

lo LOW
hi: HIGH

Real Player
lo: LOW
hi: HIGH

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wilco news

Sky Blue Sky news from Wilco HQ

More breaking news from Wilcoworld...

don't forget to push your clocks ahead Saturday night & embrace our
forward-thinking leadership's first foray into energy conservation --
early daylight savings. Once you have that done, make a note of the
times below as we're doing another live-on-demand stream of Wilco's
forthcoming record this Sunday. We've altered the plan a bit this time
to accommodate our international listeners.

enjoy the weekend.

The Wilco HQ staff

Wilco Sky Blue Sky streaming audio times

1 am - 1 pm AEDT - Monday
2 pm - 2 am GMT
10 am - 10 pm EASTERN
7 am - 7 pm PACIFIC

Saturday, March 10, 2007

U2: Running to Stand Still

U2: Running to Stand Still

Running to Stand Still is perhaps my favourite song from perhaps my favourite album: The Joshua Tree by U2. Hearing it live in Croke Park in Dublin was a spine-tingling experience.

The Joshua Tree is twenty years old this march. It's hard to believe, and harder to believe that the music sounds just as fresh as it did in 1987. Stylus magazine looks back at the success of the album and puts it down to the core of the album; the rock steady centrepiece, Running To Stand Still. With it's slow build, mesmerising lyrics and incredible cresendo it, like the Dude says about his rug, "Really holds the room together"

Take a moment to read the article and dust down that copy of The Joshua Tree, don the headphones and enjoy.

The Joshua Tree, twenty years old this March, is one of the most ambitious albums ever released by one of the most frankly ambitious bands ever to grace the cover of Time magazine; an album stuffed to rafters with anthems that nakedly aimed to change the world, to run, hide, and tear down the walls that hold us all inside. It is a fantastically good album, a success even judged by its own excessively bright lights.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Frames - The Coast (again)

A little while ago we reported that Stylus magazine gave the Coast a 'D' grade prompting outrage from fellow bloggers. Well now Pitchfork have reviewed the album and kind of agreed with Stylus giving it 5.2/10 (the .2 is really worth it isn't it?).

They surmise that The Frames are trying to put their huge live sound onto an album, the way U2 and Coldplay do, but failing, and ending up sounding formulaic,

"If that whole process seems underwhelmingly by-the-numbers, you'd be right...there's very little to The Cost that attempts to surprise. And while there's nothing wrong with a predictable approach when deployed with expertise, it's disappointing from a band like the Frames, whose brash energy is best depicted by the raw, immediate Set List...

too often, Colm Mac Con Iomaire's violin is the only element preventing the Frames from sinking to the status of just another post-Radiohead purveyor of mass-audience melancholic anthem ballads."

Still Pitchfork gave Burn The Maps 4.2/10

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

CD review: PG Six - Slightly sorry



Release: 12 February

PR: Goldstar PR

Buy from

Eclectic isn't the word for it. Pat Gubler, aka P.G. Six, spans several genres. It opens with noise moving into an instrumental track. At times there's 60s British folk, at times experimental Godspeed-type stuff, and sometimes straight up country rock. Chances are that not every track will appeal. He really reveals his talent in singer-songwriter mode with his beautiful hushed backed by one of the number of female NYC luminaries on a country number. 'Bless These Blues' could be Gram Parsons. Overall it lacks focus and a coherent theme, feeling less of an album than a collection of songs. At times his vocals can sound monotonous yet he represents a genuine talent with sporadic great moments.

Download: Bless These Blues, Strange Messages

For fans of: Crazy Horse, Shearwater,

Rating: 3/5

Kings of Leon - On Call video


This just in!

Kings Of Leon release their video for On Call. Watch it here.
I thought their first album was all right, and their second below par, but I'm really impressed with the forthcoming third record- Because Of The Times. Much more grown up, well produced and enjoyable. Really do check out On Call, it's a great song. Album review coming soon.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Shins tour dates

The Shins will release on April 9 "Australia" single on Transgressive Records.

The CD single includes the B-sides "Sleeping Lessons (Andre Allen Anjos Remix)", "Saint Simon (Live on BBC2's Mark Radcliffe show)", and "Girl on a Wing (Live on KCRW's 'Morning Becomes Eclectic')". It is only scheduled for release in the UK.


03-05 Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom *
03-06 Houston, TX - Verizon Wireless Theater *
03-07 Austin, TX - The Backyard *
03-09 Nashville, TN - Ryman Auditorium *
03-10 Winston-Salem, NC - The Millennium Center *
03-12 Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall *
03-13 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory *
03-14 New York, NY - Theater at Madison Square Garden *
03-15 Boston, MA - Orpheum Theater *
03-16 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis *
03-17 Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus *
03-25 Glasgow, Scotland - ABC *
03-26 Wolverhampton, England - Wulfrun Hall *
03-27 Manchester, England - Academy 2 *
03-28 London, England - Forum *
03-29 London, England - Forum *
03-31 Brussels, Belgium - Botanique *
04-01 Paris, France - Trabendo *
04-03 Cologne, Germany - Stollwerck *
04-04 Berlin, Germany - Postbahnhof *
04-05 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso *
04-11 Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theater
04-12 San Diego, CA - SOMA
04-14 Los Angeles, CA - Gibson Amphitheatre (KCRW's Sounds Eclectic Evening 6) #
04-16 San Francisco, CA - The Warfield
04-17 San Francisco, CA - The Warfield

* with Viva Voce
# with Lily Allen, Cold War Kids, Bitter: Sweet

Link-arrowVideo: The Shins: Phantom Limb

Monday, March 05, 2007

New Bjork album

I don't like Bjork. I never have. My music friends chastise me, but I can't get past her voice. A bit like Joanna Newsom, I can't stand her. I'd rather listen to a cat having its claws pulled out than play her record. But for everyone who enjoys female vocalists with funny voices,

Bjork is set to release her new album VOLTA May 7th and perform at Coachella the week before in California. She recently sat down with to discuss the new album. Visit this link
to read all about it.

Tune Glue

I found a fun website called Tune Glue. It calls itself a relationship explorer but instead of being a quiz from a weekly woman's magazine, this site explores the relationship between musical artists. So for example, you could see how many steps it takes to get from The Rolling Stones to Paris Hilton.

I tried searching for Ryan Adams and the immediate links it came out with were Sufjan Stevens, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, Elliot Smith, Whiskeytown, Wilco and Damien Rice. While I'm not sure they're the links I would immediately make, I'm fans of all these guys. So perhaps it's good for finding music you like, rather than a reference guide.

Check out TuneGlue

100 greatest bass lines of all times

As a bass player myself, I was heartened to discover this list on a blog called Strange, Wierd Thoughts. Top of the list is Queen - Another One Bites The Dust, a great bass line, but there was no mention of the incredible bass line from You Can Call Me Al, by Paul Simon. Still, check out the list:

  1. Queen - Another One Bites the Dust
  2. CHIC - Good Times
  3. Sly and the Family Stone - Thank You for Letting Me Be Myself
  4. Pink Floyd - Money
  5. The O'Jays - For the Love of Money
  6. War - Lowrider
  7. Rick James - Super Freak
  8. Metallica - Orion
  9. Yes - Roundabout
  10. Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls
And read the next 90 here

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sky Blue Sky news

If you had nothing to do last night you could have listened to Sky Blue Sky in it's entirety from the Wiclo website. Unfortunately I was out and missed this event. Not to be outdone, and as Wilco appears to leak like a sieve, here are some mp3s from the new album. Enjoy folks.

MP3 You Are My Face
MP3 Walken

Also, here’s a live version of “What Light”, which is currently my most anticipated song from Sky Blue Sky.

MP3 What Light (Live @ Pines Theater)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Sitting on a goldmine

dnScoop is an online tool that bunches many popular domain lookup tools into one. Type your domain name into the frontpage and within minutes it will have counted all the links to your site, your traffic, your page rank, and best of all, figured out the market value of your site.

About The Music is worth a cool $1,200,080. Problem is, how do you get that out of the ground?
$100 in FREE Links

Friday, March 02, 2007

Wilco World Tour!!!

In support of their new album, Sky Blue Sky, released May 15 via Nonesuch Wilco will be touring the world.


04-16 Brisbane, Australia - Tivoli
04-18 Melbourne, Australia - Palais Theatre
04-21 Sydney, Australia - Enmore Theatre
04-22 Perth, Australia - Metropolis Freemantle
05-19 Somerset, England - Butlins Minehead (ATP vs. the Fans)
05-20 London, England - Shepherds Bush Empire
05-23 Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
05-24 Berlin, Germany - Kesselhaus
05-25 Hamburg, Germany - Grosse Freiheit
05-26 Dresden, Germany - Alter Schlachthof
05-28 Frankfurt, Germany - Mousonturm
05-29 Paris, France - Bataclan
05-30 Ghent, Belgium - De Vooruit
05-31 Amsterdam, the Netherlands - Paradiso
06-02 Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound
06-14-17 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo

They've also released their fantastic, but rather Sigur Ros (?) looking cover:

Thursday, March 01, 2007


To ease navigation and allow simple access to About The Music archives you can now click on the tab below the logo that says "Recent Reviews" to access past reviews.