Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Flight of the Conchords Competition!!!

As everyone knows, HBO probably makes the best television in the world - The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire (need I go on?). So it's quite exciting when the announce a new show about some broke musicians who move from New Zealand to NYC's Lower East Side called Flight of the Conchords.

To celebrate the new show, and as it is kinda music relating, we're giving away a fantastic prize pack with:

1 Robot stress reliever
1 DVD of the first episode
1 Poster
1 Tshirt
1 Postcard

The Flight of the Conchords is a folk/pop/comedy duo composed of Bret McKenzie of The Black Seeds and Figwit fame and Jemaine Clement of The Humourbeasts. Billing themselves as "New Zealand's fourth most popular folk-parody duo", the group depends upon a combination of witty banter and acoustic guitars to work the audience.

To win, just leave a comment with your email address at the bottom,or if you don't want to do that email with your name and why you think you should win. Good luck, competition closes when it's done.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The National - Boxer

I haven't written about this record yet, partly because I'm still smarting at not getting a copy, but by all accounts, it's a good one.

If you liked Alligator, the previous release, a beautiful slow burner if ever there was one, then The Boxer is (allegedly) even better. As Dave can testify, if we were stuck for what to listen to, we could always guarantee a satisfying play of Mr November or Lit Up. I'll have to get a copy soon, if you have one, what do you think of it?

In the mean time, I'll content myself with samplers.

MP3: The National - "Fake Empire"

Stream: The National / The Boxer

Video: The National - "Mistaken For Strangers" (YouTube)

Video: A Skin, A Night preview

MySpace: The National

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

White Stripes Icky Thump video premiere

Here are a couple of stills from the new White Stripes video. It will premiere tomorrow (Thursday) at AOL.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Fine Frenzy tour

I posted about a hot new upcoming act, A Fine Frenzy a little while ago. Well, she sure is mixing with the cream of the today's top artist/songwriters - Rufus Wainwright, Magic Numbers, Neko Case and Sean Lennon - in advance of her major label debut. "One Cell In The Sea", set to hit the streets on July 17th has already peaked the interest and excitement of celebrities and writers everywhere.

Headlining Tour Dates

06/04 - Portland, OR - Berbatis Pan
06/05 - Seattle, WA - Chop Suey
06/07 - San Francisco, CA - Rx Gallery
06/08 - Los Angeles, CA - Viper Room
06/18 - New York, NY - Joe's Pub w/ Tina Dico

Opening for Rufus Wainwright

07/29 - Seattle, WA - Moore Theatre !
07/31 - Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom !
08/02 - Santa Ross, CA - Wells Fargo Center for the Arts !
08/03 - San Francisco, CA - Nob Hill Masonic Center !
08/04 - Saratoga, CA - Mountain Winery !
08/06 - Santa Fe, NM - Paolo Soleri Amphitheatre !
08/07 - Denver, CO - Filmore Auditorium !
08/09 - Kansas City, MO - Voodoo Lounge at Harrah's Casino &
08/10 - Grand Prairie, TX - Nokia Theatre &
08/11 - Austin, TX - Stubb's &
08/13 - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle &
08/14 - Nashville, TX - Ryman Auditorium &
08/15 - Charlottesville, VA - Charlottesville Pavilion &
08/17 - Philadelphia, PA - Mann Center for Performing Arts &
08/18 - Westhampton Beach, NY - Performing Arts Center #
08/19 - New York, NY - Central Park Summerstage #
08/21 - Boston, MA - Avalon Ballroom #
08/23 - Columbus, OH - Avalon Ballroom #
08/24 - Ann Arbor, MI - Michigan Theater #
08/25 - Highland Park, IL - Ravinia Festival #
08/27 - Milwaukee, WI - Pabst Theater #
08/29 - London, ON - Centennial Hall #

# w/ the Magic Numbers
! w/ Sean Lennon
& w/ Neko Case

Monday, May 21, 2007

Ryan Adams newsflash!

Ryan Adams is back!

Ryan Adams’ new album ‘Easy Tiger’ (Lost Highway), featuring the downloadable single ‘Two’, is released June 25. It has already begun receiving rave reviews in the USA. Adams and his band, The Cardinals will visit the UK in June to record BBC TV ‘Sessions’ at London’s LSO St Lukes and for concerts in London and Manchester.

Thurs June 7 London Koko

Fri June 8 Manchester Academy 2

Friday, May 18, 2007

Ryan Adams - Keep Me In Your Thoughts

Keep me in your thoughts don't disappear - "So Alive"

An exciting CD came through the door the other day. It's a Ryan Adams retrospective in preparation for the forthcoming new album. The most exciting part of it was 2 tracks from Easy Tiger - "Two" and "Halloween Head". If you want to get into a Ryan Adams mood again, fire up iTunes and make the playlist, it looks like this:

1. Two (Easy Tiger)
2. Blue Sky Blues (29)
3. Nuclear (Demolition)
4. Halloween Head (Easy Tiger)
5. So Alive (Rock'n'Roll)
6. Wonderwall (Love Is Hell)
7. Let It Ride (Cold Roses)
8. Two (Easy Tiger)
9. The Hardest Part (Jacksonville City Nights)
10. New York New York (Gold)
11. Halloween Head (Easy Tiger)

It's interesting what songs he picked from each album. Obviously nothing from Heartbreaker as it's on a different label. What one song would you pick to make a mix tape from all 9 studio albums.

So you want to hear about the new tracks? Easy Tiger. Slow down.

The name, says Adams, comes from this girl he's been spending time with. "She wanted to go out to dinner at eight; I wanted to go right away. She said, 'Easy Tiger.' And that hit me. It stuck with me to the point where I called up Neal (that would be Neal Casal, guitarist of The Cardinals) and left a message on his answering machine with those two words. 'Don't forget this,' I said 'cause I want to use it.'"

Two and Halloween Head show different sides of Adams. 'Two' could easily sit on Jacksonville City Nights. It's acoustic guitar, female backing vocals, tinged with melancholy with the chorus 'It takes two, it takes two/ when it used to take only one'. It's kinda got the big acoustic sound of 'This House Is Not for Sale' but with the pedal steel so typical of the Cardinals. There's a strong drum beat and Ryan sings close to the top of his range akin to Sweet Illusions. It's a sweet song, a timeless country gem that Adams seems to be ever striving for.

Halloween Head on the other hand, is a different story. More Cold Roses than Jacksonville, but the all electric guitar line up makes me think pinkhearts era Demolition maybe? Anyway, it's a killer track. I was singing along to the chorus 'I got a bad idea again/ I got a Halloween Head' the first time I heard it.

It's full of all the old Grateful Dead/Black Flag 70s west-coast rock reference that Ryan digs so much. It's simple, features a clanging bell, shouts of "guitar solo!" and leaves you gasping for more.

So far so good, when do we get more?

Easy Tiger.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Last night, after beating a bare-foot Nick at squash, brother David came around and Nick cooked us a fantastic prawn and spinach spaghetti. After such culinary delights we settled down with a bottle of Reisling to introduce Nick to the joy of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

My good friend Paul got me hooked on this show chronicling the private, often banal world of a (relatively) public man, Larry David the wealthy writer of Seinfeld. The series blurs the lines between reality and fiction, as David (playing himself) and a cast of real and fictional characters are followed around Los Angeles by a ubiquitous camera.

To keep the narrative fresh and spontaneous, Curb Your Enthusiasm is shot without a script; the cast is given scene outlines and often improvise lines as they go. It's made on a shoestring budget but the plots are superb. If you haven't seen it before, do yourself a favour. You'll laugh harder than you knew possible.

Monday, May 14, 2007


A Fine Frenzy is the music of 22-year old Alison Sudol, a young woman whose musical skills, creative spirit, and beguiling good looks bring to mind a youthful Tori Amos. Harp Magazine described her as a mix of Radiohead, Sigur Ros, Aqualung and Keane." If you forget about the Keane reference those make for an interesting mix.

Think of hypnotic piano arrangements under classical American melody, but with a female singer/songwriter style. She's gaining a bit of early praise at the moment, let's file this under one to watch.

Check out “Rangers”, the first track off One Cell In The Sea


The Cribs

Alternative Ulster, the magazine that prints these reviews gave the Cribs their "Album Of The Month" reward, together with a five star rating. Jonny was evervescent in his praise of their Warner Bros debut, MEN'S NEEDS, WOMEN'S NEEDS, WHATEVER, scheduled for domestic release July 17. The production by Alex Kapronos of Franz Ferdinand seems to have given the album the sprinkle of gold dust. Anyway, you can hear the Yorkshire rockers on their first single:


Thursday, May 10, 2007

CD Review - The Sea And Cake - Everybody




Everybody is Chicago's The Sea and Cakes's first full length in four years. Following on from their previous pillars of indie music, 'The Biz' and 'The Fawn', They pick up where they left off with perfect, dreamlike, hot-buttered pop. Sam Prekops hushed vocals glide over the groovy basslines and disco-style beats. Recording mostly live has given the album a retro sound similar to the band's heroes, The Kinks with dual guitars meditatively strumming and tolling like bells. Effortlessly cool like James Dean in sunglasses this is a record made for Everybody to kick back and enjoy in the summer sun.

Download: Exact To Me, Lightning
For fans of: The Kinks, Stereolab, Tortoise
Rating: 4/5

The Sea And Cake -- "Exact To Me" -- Everybody

The Sea and Cake
Mon May 14 Vancouver, BC - Richard's on Richards
Tue May 15 Seattle, WA - Neumo's
Wed May 16 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
Fri May 18 San Francisco, CA - Bimbo's
Sat May 19 Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour
Sun May 20 Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour
Mon May 21 Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up
Thu May 31 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle (Early Show)
Thu May 31 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle (Late Show)
Sat Jun 2 Toronto, ON - Mod Club
Sun Jun 3 Montreal, QC - La Sala Rossa
Tue Jun 5 Boston, MA - The Paradise
Thu Jun 7 New York, NY - Webster Hall
Fri Jun 8 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
Sat Jun 9 Washington, DC - Black Cat
Sat Jun 16 Hasselt, Belgium - KC Belgie
Sun Jun 17 Brighton, UK - The Pressure Point
Mon Jun 18 Bristol, UK - Thekla
Tue Jun 19 Nottingham, UK - Rescue Rooms
Wed Jun 20 London, UK - Cargo
Thu Jun 21 Koln, Germany - Gebaude 9
Fri Jun 22 Brussels, Belgium - Fete de la Musique
Sat Jun 23 Paris, France - Point Ephemere
Sun Jun 24 Basil, Switzerland - Das Schiff
Mon Jun 25 Schorndorf, Germany - Manufaktur
Tue Jun 26 Frankfurt, Germany - Brotfabrik
Wed Jun 27 Hamburg, Germany - Ubel & Gefahrlich
Thu Jun 28 Berlin, Germany - Lido
Sat Jun 30 Stockholm, Sweden - Accelerator Festival

Friday, May 04, 2007

Queens Of The Stone Age tour announcement

Queens of the Stone Age have confirmed a few radio show appearances and their first official US headline show of 2007!

May 19th - KROQ's Weenie Roast - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Irvine, CA
Tickets go on sale at Noon on Saturday, May 5th at and all Ticketmaster outlets
Visit for more details

June 7th - KFRR's Birthday Bash - Fresno Fair Grounds - Fresno, CA
Tickets go on sale at 10am on Saturday, May 5th and all Ticketmaster outlets.
Visit for more details.

June 8th - KJEE's Seaside Beach Ball - Ventura County Fairgrounds - Ventura, CA
Tickets on sale now and all Ticketmaster outlets
Visit for more details.

June 9th - Live 105's BFD - Shoreline Amphitheater - Mountain View, CA
Tickets go on sale at 10am on Sunday, May 6th and all Ticketmaster outlets
Visit for more details

August 4th (Headline Show) - Murat Egyptian Room - Indianapolis, IN

Exclusive presale starts Friday, May 4th at 10am HERE:
Password: SICK

Tickets go on sale to the public Saturday, May 5th at 10am HERE:

Visit the tour section of for other shows on sale now!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Arctic Monkeys giveaway

That's right. The band of the moment. You can WIN a 12" vinyl copy of Brianstorm, likely to become a huge collector's item. All you have to do is tell me why you think you deserve it.

Leave a comment with your email address at the bottom of this post. Winner will be notified via email. Good luck!


1. If you found this it's probably too late
2. Brianstorm
3. Temptation greets you like your naughty friend
4. What if you were right the first time?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

CD Review - Wilco: Sky Blue Sky

A big album. I've been looking forward to the release of Sky Blue Sky for some years.

Release: May 14 2007

I think I've made up my mind. yes, i think i can now say with some certainty that...

the new Wilco album is great.

Yes, great. It was with some trepidation that I tore open the cellophane wrapper and hit the play button. After two truly wonderful albums in Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born, aren't they due a dud? Perhaps, but that's not what they've delivered.

More relaxed, less frantic and comfortable in its own skin, Sky Blue Sky showcases a band who can move from more familiar soaring guitar solos to Uncle Tupelo-era acoustic ballads, and back again without breaking a sweat. Frontman Jeff Tweedy called this "hands down the easiest Wilco album to make" and it's obvious. The songs feel happier, without the frustration and anger of a band falling apart (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) or a crippling drug addiction (A Ghost Is Born). Notably absent is the challenging fuzz and noise from the previous two albums. Sky Blue Sky is much more accessible yet on first listen doesn't sound like much. Like the best relationships this album makes you yearn to listen to it again, and rewards your time by revealing new facets you hadn't noticed before. At first "Impossible Germany" will seem like the greatest song ever written, then "Please Be Patient With Me" will captivate you with its gentle harmonies before you move onto the sticatto lead guitar of "Hate It Here". If you buy Sky Blue Sky, be prepared to listen to nothing else for weeks, this is Wilco at their effervescent peak.

Rating: 4.5/5

Watch Wilco perform live "Side With The Seeds" live

Stream the entire Sky Blue Sky here

Jeff Tweedy talks us through Sky Blue Sky and James Blunt

You Are My Face
It's more of a family tree, but not neccessarily biographical. This song is one of the more conceptual songs on the record. It's trying to reflect a present, past and future in a linear kind of way with the explosive section in the middle that's a lot more kinetic than the droning past and the ambiguous future.

Impossible Germany
This song reminds me of waking up at a certain point in your life, and you ask yourself, 'How did I get here?' Sometimes you're pretty grateful where you ended up. There are a lot of layers to that song since it's been around so long. There are
elements of political refection and historical perspective that I feel I've gotten more interested in as I've gotten older.

Sky Blue Sky
That is probably as direct as I've ever gotten in a song before. It's a very crystallized moment: watching a parade go by in my hometown, and getting blocked from getting across the main drag, preventing me from going home. And at some point, thinking it was a good idea to turn around and not go home.

Side with the Seeds
It's a pretty confusing song. There's such a polarization in all of our lives these days, and there's so much unhappiness. It's a song that's saying, 'If an electron can do it, why can't I?'

Shake it off
That's similar to 'Sky Blue Sky', in that it's about a specific moment in time, a feeling, a reminder. The chorus is pretty direct: this too shall pass.

Please Be Patient with Me
I don't know if there's anything I can add except to point out, again, the title of the song itself.

Hate It Hear
My wife calls this song 'The Liar Song', because I don't know how to use the washing machine.

Leave Me (Like You Found Me)
This one has been around for a long, long time. There's a simple sentiment in the chorus. Though it does become more expansive in the last verse when people are waking up, climbing the trees, and actively participating in their lives suddenly.

This song was on the set list once written out like the spelling of the actor Christopher Walken. It became too hard to shake that spelling.

What Light
Responding to the fact that this song is the only posted on the band's MySpace page, Tweedy says, "I don't know what a single is."

On And On
This song was actually one of the earlier songs that we demo-ed on this record, and over time - we played it once or twice live - I was doubtful about it making the record. At some point it became the closer. It became much more meaningful to me after my mom died last September. There was something that allowed me to finish that song. I really wanted to write a song that my dad could listen to, and find some comfort in, that wasn't a James Blunt song. I was very touched that my father was being soothed in any way by music. It did make me feel like this song was much more personal. I know how to write songs, so I though, maybe I should write one for dad and have him respond to it. My mom died pretty suddenly, playing cards with her friends, which is a pretty awesome way to go. She was 72. My dad and her met when they were 15, and they had not been apart that entire time. That's a pretty major adjustment for a 73-year-old man to make.