31 October 2007

EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show & Halloween Mix (part 4)!

TONIGHT: The Giraffes!!!! Goes Cube!!! Hopewell!! Mancino!

CASH prizes for the top three costumes - $100 for first place!

From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, EAR FARM, deliver us!
--
EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show @ Club Europa in Brooklyn
31 October @ Club Europa

Doors @ 8pm
9 - Mancino
10 - Hopewell
11 - Goes Cube
12 - The Giraffes

with DJ sets from DJ Colleen Crumbcake!

Buy tickets HERE.

Club Europa
98 Meserole Ave., (corner of Manhattan Ave.)
G Train to Nassau Ave. - walk 1 block North to Meserole & Manhattan
--
Last year EAR FARM held its first annual Halloween Show at Union Hall and it was a sold-out smash success. This year, the venue is bigger, the lineup has more bands, the costume contest prizes are even BETTER, and the fun level is going to be - like - ENORMOUS.

Check out this party on Going.com.
--
To celebrate EAR FARM's Halloween party, we've been unveiling a special EAR FARM Halloween mix here over the past few days leading up to the show. The final portion of the mix is posted below, with the full mix posted as a ZIP for a very limited time. Enjoy!

EAR FARM's Halloween Mix 2007 (part 4)*
16. "Halloween" by John Carpenter
17. "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo
18. "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell
19. "Frankenstein" by Edgar Winter
20. "A Nightmare On My Street" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
21. "Sally's Song" by Fiona Apple

*download part 1 of EF's Halloween mix HERE, part 2 HERE, part 3 HERE
**download the entire mix as a ZIP HERE

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Happy Halloween from Benji Cossa - "What's That Sound?"

Benji Cossa wrote a Halloween song and Serious Business Records is letting you listen and download and love it for FREE! It was produced by John Walsh and reminds me of a higher-voiced Jonathan Richman doing a take on those classic monster songs from the '50s and '60s. Except this isn't J Rich, it's Brooklyn's own Benji Cossa. And this isn't the early '60s, it's today. And today is Halloween!

"What's That Sound?" - what's not to love?

Listen:
"What's That Sound?"

Visit Benji Cossa on MySpace.

Benji's latest album is called Between the Blue and the Green and is available HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

30 October 2007

EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show & Halloween Mix (part 3)!

The Giraffes!!!! Goes Cube!!! Hopewell!! Mancino!

CASH prizes for best costume!

From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, EAR FARM, deliver us!
--
EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show @ Club Europa in Brooklyn
31 October @ Club Europa

Doors @ 8pm
9 - Mancino
10 - Hopewell
11 - Goes Cube
12 - The Giraffes

with DJ sets from DJ Colleen Crumbcake + a costume contest with CASH prizes for the top three costumes!!!

Buy tickets HERE.

Club Europa
98 Meserole Ave., (corner of Manhattan Ave.)
G Train to Nassau Ave. - walk 1 block North to Meserole & Manhattan
--
Last year EAR FARM held its first annual Halloween Show at Union Hall and it was a sold-out smash success. This year, the venue is bigger, the lineup has more bands, the costume contest prizes are even BETTER, and the fun level is going to be - like - ENORMOUS.

Check out this party on Going.com.
--
To celebrate EAR FARM's Halloween party, we're unveiling a special EAR FARM Halloween mix here over the next few days leading up to the show. FIVE songs each day, with the full mix posted on Halloween. Enjoy!

EAR FARM's Halloween Mix 2007 (part 3)*
11. "The Creature From The Black Leather Lagoon" by The Cramps
12. "Munster's Theme" by Man or Astro-man?
13. "Halloween" by Siouxsie & the Banshees
14. "Welcome to My Nightmare" by Alice Cooper
15. "Halloween" by Sonic Youth

*download part 1 of EF's Halloween mix HERE, part 2 HERE

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Three for Free - Stereo Total, Slumber Party, Macromantics

EAR FARM's Three for Free: three EF approved, free and legal MP3s posted each week. This week - three from Kill Rock Stars. Click on the artist name to go to their site, click on the song name to listen to the song.

Listen:
Stereo Total - "Ich Bin Der Stricherjunge"

Slumber Party - "10-9-8-7-6-5-4"

Macromantics - "Scorch"

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Hangar 18: Bloggers v. Rockers Fantasy Football - Week 8 Summary

Week eight of Hangar 18: the Bloggers v. Rockers Fantasy Football League. Halfway through the NFL season, and one thing is obvious. My team likes to WIN. Below are the results from this past week, the current standings, my team's roster, and a couple of theme songs.

Rockers vs. Bloggers Fantasy Football Current Standings:

    1. Arizona (7-1)
    2. My Old Kentucky Blog (6-2)
    3. Ear Farm (6-2)
    4. The Muggabears (4-3-1)
    5. Indie Interviews (4-4)
    6. ninebullets (4-4)
    7. Gorilla vs. Bear (4-4)
    8. Mancino (4-4)
    9. Margot & The Nuclear So & So's (4-4)
    10. I Guess I'm Floating (3-5)
    11. Tapes 'n Tapes (Josh) (1-7)
    12. Tapes 'n Tapes/Vicious Vicious (Erik) (0-7-1)
Rockers vs. Bloggers Fantasy Football Week Eight Results:
    Ear Farm (88) defeated Indie Interviews (85)
    Mancino (134) defeated Margot & The Nuclear So & So's (61)
    ninebullets (65) defeated My Old Kentucky Blog (52)
    Gorilla Vs. Bear (73) defeated Tapes N Tapes (Josh) (54)
    I Guess I'm Floating (63) defeated Tapes N Tapes/Vicious Vicious (44)
    Arizona (75) defeated The Muggabears (56)
Rockers vs. Bloggers Fantasy Football Week Nine Matchups:
    The Muggabears (vs) Ear Farm
    Indie Interviews (vs) Mancino
    Margot & The Nuclear So & So's (vs) My Old Kentucky Blog
    ninebullets (vs) Gorilla Vs. Bear
    Tapes N Tapes/Vicious Vicious (vs) Tapes N Tapes (Josh)
    Arizona (vs) I Guess I'm Floating
EAR FARM's (team name Mother Puncher) current roster:
QB: Derek Anderson (Cle)
RB: Joseph Addai (Ind)
RB: Adrian Peterson (Min)
WR: Torry Holt (Stl)
WR: Amani Toomer (NYG)
WR: Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ)
TE: Jeremy Shockey (NYG)
D: Houston
K: Jeff Reed (Pit)
BN: Deion Branch (WR - Sea)
BN: Eric Johnson (TE - NO)
BN: Dwayne Bowe (WR - KC)

Listen:
"Hangar 18" by Megadeth
"Mother Puncher" by Mastodon

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Today's NEW releases

This week, EF has our collective eye on these:

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

29 October 2007

EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show & Halloween Mix (part 2)!

The Giraffes!!!! Goes Cube!!! Hopewell!! Mancino!

CASH prizes for best costume!

From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, EAR FARM, deliver us!
--
EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show @ Club Europa in Brooklyn
31 October @ Club Europa

Doors @ 8pm
9 - Mancino
10 - Hopewell
11 - Goes Cube
12 - The Giraffes

with DJ sets from DJ Colleen Crumbcake + a costume contest with CASH prizes for the top three costumes!!!

Buy tickets HERE.

Club Europa
98 Meserole Ave., (corner of Manhattan Ave.)
G Train to Nassau Ave. - walk 1 block North to Meserole & Manhattan
--
Last year EAR FARM held its first annual Halloween Show at Union Hall and it was a sold-out smash success. This year, the venue is bigger, the lineup has more bands, the costume contest prizes are even BETTER, and the fun level is going to be - like - ENORMOUS.

Check out this party on Going.com.
--
To celebrate EAR FARM's Halloween party, we're unveiling a special EAR FARM Halloween mix here over the next few days leading up to the show. FIVE songs each day, with the full mix posted on Halloween. Enjoy!

EAR FARM's Halloween Mix 2007 (part 2)*
6. "Halloween" by Grant Lee Buffalo
7. "This Is Halloween" by The Citizens of Halloween
8. "Batman, Wolfman, Frankenstein or Dracula" by The Diamonds
9. "Trick or Treat" by Otis Redding
10. "Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives" by Mel Tormé

*download part 1 of EF's Halloween mix HERE

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Hit-or-miss

What: the EAR FARM music library is put on shuffle - the song that plays is then searched (using the song title) on Google images and a resulting photo (plus an MP3 of the song) is posted here.

Listen:
"Girlfriend" by Bobby Brown from The Definitive Collection

View:
Image search results (NSFW, if you have SafeSearch off) for Girlfriend - above image is from the first page of results (and was originally from HERE).
--
Previous EF Hit-or-miss posts:
"Slow Action Is The Best Action" by Run Chico Run
"Half A Person" by The Smiths
"The Bones Of An Idol" by The New Pornographers
"Stay" by David Bowie
"I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)" by Hank Williams
"Carry" by ISIS
"Mick's Broadcast / Attack" by Harold Faltermeyer

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Morrissey @ Hammerstein Ballroom - 28 October 2007

"Why is the last mile the hardest mile?"

There are a vast number of Morrissey lyrics which I could summon and apply to the final of his five recent shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, and that's always been a large part of the genius of the man. Like his hero Oscar Wilde, Morrissey has quite a knack for combining truth and humor in ways that resonate in the mind of the listener and remain eminently quotable for years. For years, for a lifetime, and perhaps even longer.

For the fifth night in a week I made my way to the dreaded "Frankenstein Ballroom" (as Morrissey has come to call it) for one final Morrissey concert. I was tired, exhausted even, from weeks of work and travel followed by CMJ and this series of concerts. The world's smallest violin playing just for me, I get it, but it's important to note my state of mind. And, in a word, I was tired. Yet so excited. I even got to the venue early enough to catch the entire set from the opening band for once.

Girl In A Coma took the stage around 8:00pm and had a mountain to climb before they played a single note. Even with the obviously Smiths-friendly name, I doubted this band. No, I hadn't even heard them play a song yet, but I already hated them. I was grumpy, distrustful of Morrissey's taste for openers, and ready to get on with seeing the headliner. It was fairly obvious that I wasn't the only one who felt this way either, which created just about the worst environment a band could possibly walk in to, but Nina, Jenn, and Phanie took the stage with confidence and wasted no time in laying it all on the line. Ultimately, Girl In A Coma isn't a band ready for a stage as large as Hammerstein, but they still blasted through their set (the song "Clumsy Sky" was a particular favorite) with equal parts energy, pop hooks, and guitar power. At times I felt some Siouxsie in the vocals, some Doug Martsch in the guitar work, and an overall Joan Jett/Yeah Yeah Yeahs kind of vibe from the band. By no means were they the "ideal" opener for Morrissey, but they also weren't nearly as bad as some might say.

After Girl In A Coma it was movie time again - same as the first four nights. As the clips of "Ou Ca, Ou Ca" and "Bubble Gum" and The Untouchables played, I considered the previous four concerts and some of my favorite moments from each. Hearing "The Loop" and "Death Of A Disco Dancer" the first night, "Disappointed" and the stage invaders the second, "Ganglord" (for me, the single greatest vocal performance I've heard from Morrissey) and "Life is a Pigsty" on the third, and pretty much everything about the fourth night. Not to mention that I found myself loving, and looking forward to, his newest compositions each and every show. I was even starting to get to know the words to these newest songs, but then again I was starting to get to know everything about this Morrissey @ Hammerstein routine. I even found myself happily singing along to the post-show cool down song "That's Life" each night. But, by the end of Saturday's show, my voice was fading fast from cheering and singing along. Bizarrely, Morrissey's voice seemed to be getting better and better as the shows went on. Until, that is, the show last night.

Once again the band opened with the rocking "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" / "Billy Budd" combo. By the end of the second song, it was apparent that Morrissey's voice was feeling the strain of the current tour (and 5 show NYC run), and the delayed enthusiasm when he launched into "Interesting Drug" (a song not yet played during the NY stint) reflected that the audience might've been feeling the same manner of fatigue. Perhaps this is just me thinking that everyone else was in the same "5th show in-a-row" boat, but it was apparent that Morrissey also sensed weariness from the crowd. Still, he remained true to the performance, often smiling and/or humorously wincing when his voice cracked under the pressure of a third show in as many days at the tail end of a rather extensive tour.

None of that is to say that Sunday night's concert was a bad show by any means. No, this was another stellar performance from Morrissey and crew. I'd give it an 8.5/10, placing it right alongside the other nights as one of my favorite concerts of the year, and making my personal "best show of the series" Saturday night's show. However, with the inclusion of "Interesting Drug" and "Good Looking Man About Town", as well as the return of all-denim suits for everyone in the band (my favorite of the week's Morrissey outfits) and more than a very good helping of stage invaders, the concert Sunday night rose above any level of exhaustion potentially lingering about the ballroom and perfectly capped off a week of Morrissey (including thirty four different songs played for NYC - see below) that will resonate in the hearts and minds of those lucky enough to attend for years to come.

Setlist:
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
Billy Budd
Interesting Drug
Shoplifters Of The World Unite
Irish Blood, English Heart
I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
Girlfriend In A Coma
The Last Of The Famous International Playboys
Human Being
I Like You
Jack The Ripper
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
Stretch Out And Wait
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Good Looking Man About Town
Sister, I'm A Poet
Death Of A Disco Dancer
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
You Have Killed Me
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
How Soon Is Now?
--
First Of The Gang To Die

Alphabetical 5 show NYC song list:
All You Need Is Me / Billy Budd / Dear God, Please Help Me / Death Of A Disco Dancer / Disappointed / First Of The Gang To Die / Ganglord / Girlfriend In A Coma / Good Looking Man About Town / How Soon Is Now? / Human Being / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / I Like You / I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris / Interesting Drug / Irish Blood, English Heart / Jack The Ripper / Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me / Life Is A Pigsty / One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell / Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want / Shoplifters Of The World Unite / Sister, I'm A Poet / Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before / Stretch Out And Wait / That's How People Grow Up / The Boy With The Thorn In His Side / The Last Of The Famous International Playboys / The Loop / The National Front Disco / The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores / Tomorrow / Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself? / You Have Killed Me

Listen:
"Ganglord" by Morrissey
"Clumsy Sky" by Girl in a Coma

Watch:
"Interesting Drug" (live from this show)
"Sister I'm A Poet" (live from this show)

Related:

*above photo from HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

snip·pets

Over-excited fans end Morrissey performance in New York

Massive Pink Floyd Box Due In December

If It’s Retail, Is It Still Rock?

Country star Porter Wagoner dies at 80

Arcade Fire cover The Smiths in Manchester

PJ Harvey emerges from the musical laboratory

Southern California Music Communities Reel From Fires

Lessons vary from Radiohead experiment

Tales of Music and the Brain

Music takedown strikes the wrong chord

The health power of music

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

28 October 2007

Morrissey @ Hammerstein Ballroom - 27 October 2007

"And if you have five seconds to spare…"

Just the facts. Night four of Morrissey at the Hammerstein Ballroom was the best show of the series so far - a 9.5/10. Morrissey wore a tuxedo, was in high spirits, went off on a rant about Canada in regards to their killing of baby seals, and delivered his strongest vocals of perhaps any show I've seen him perform to date.

The intro song remained the same ("Wayward Sisters" by Klaus Nomi) as did Morrissey's on stage time (9:05ish). Near me, once again, were some notable celebrities and another fight. I've come to expect both now at New York area Morrissey shows. There were two songs performed that hadn't yet been played during this current run of shows in NYC ("The Last Of The Famous International Playboys" and "The National Front Disco") and they were the highlights of the evening for me.

Final show is tonight.

Setlist:
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
The Last Of The Famous International Playboys
You Have Killed Me
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Irish Blood, English Heart
I Like You
Jack The Ripper
I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
The National Front Disco
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
All You Need Is Me
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Sister, I'm A Poet
The Loop
Death Of A Disco Dancer
Stretch Out And Wait
Dear God, Please Help Me
How Soon Is Now?
--
First Of The Gang To Die

Listen:
"Wayward Sisters" by Klaus Nomi

Watch:
"The Last Of The Famous International Playboys" (live from this show)
"Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?" (live from this show)

Remaining New York dates:
28 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom

Related:

*above photo from The Music Slut HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

27 October 2007

Morrissey @ Hammerstein Ballroom - 26 October 2007

"Oh, but I know what will make you smile tonight..."

Morrissey sure does know his audience. Not that this is some great feat, I'm sure that each of you know his audience, but it's worth keeping in mind when considering how such a little thing can sometimes make such a big difference. Fans obsess over his (and his band's) every move. From his choice of apparel (tonight, jeans and two different designer shirts before moving on to his standard encore shirt), to detailing each word he utters between songs, to knowing, researching, and noting his pre-show music. It goes even deeper than this, but it is Morrissey's intro song that shook my world (hyperbole) and set the tone for last night.

Night three of Morrissey's five-show run at the Hammerstein Ballroom brought with it an obvious change. Due to her churlish demeanor, Kristeen Young was asked to leave the tour and was replaced by Girl In A Coma. A minor change really - Morrissey has never been known for his impeccable taste in openers - but worth noting, if only for the fact that the song "That's How People Grow Up" includes clips of Kristeen's wailing vocals. Would they play it? Anticipation.

Everything after the opening band remained the same as the first two shows - pop icon imagery played out on a large screen concealing the stage. On cue, right at 9:00pm, the curtain dropped and I waited for that voice. "Adolf Hitler," she would say. I considered that I was nearly ready to mouth along with each word of "Imperfect List" by this point. And then... THIS IS DIFFERENT. I said that, outloud. "This is different, whoa this is different," I lumpishly noted (to myself, or whoever else might be listening). It wasn't the same old, same old, it was... synths and operatic singing... Klaus Nomi?? Was this the Kill Uncle tour intro song?! Wow. If deciding to replace* longtime intro "Imperfect List" with "Wayward Sisters" was a sign of anything, it would seem that Morrissey was washing himself clean of the whole matter with Kristeen Young. At the very least, here he was setting an entirely different tone for those of us in for all five nights. It made me smile - the band took the stage.

From the first strum of the guitar in the second song the audience erupted. It was chaotic, frenzied, and entirely expected. This was a Friday night audience, loosened up with a few more drinks than previous nights, and ready for their Morrissey. Actually, they welcomed the band to the stage with uproarious applause before, and after, "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before"; but it was right when "Billy Budd" crashed into the room that the night saw the first of many crowd surfers. The energy was amorous, dangerous, desperate, and perfect. However, it seemingly took the band a few minutes to fully understand this and then rise to the crowd's level of enthusiasm. For those interested in assigning rankings and random numerical ratings to art, the band's early-set lethargy, coupled with what I'd say was the weakest of the three setlists so far, leads me to call this show an 8.5/10. It was merely the second best show out of the three thus far, and yet still a far better concert than I'm likely to see delivered by any other artist not named Morrissey.

Highlights from the evening were the new additions to the set not yet heard on nights one or two - "Ganglord", "I Just Want To See The Boy Happy", and "Life is a Pigsty" - as well as the songs that have quickly become my live favorites this time around (namely, "The Loop", "Death of a Disco Dancer", "Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?", and every song written since 2003 (they all truly show off the man's voice impossibly well)). And if you're keeping score, they did indeed play "That's How People Grow Up", complete with banshee vocals and all. I felt a moment of weirdness about the whole thing but Morrissey just cruised right through the awkwardness, controlling the song and keeping Kristeen Young's vocals right where they belong, in the background. It's impossible at this point in Morrissey's career not to be reminded of two men he loved and idolized growing up, both of whom were identifiable by one name only. Elvis and Frank.

Frankly, Mr. Morrissey has grown quite nicely into his role as a pop icon. He's matured as a performer and as a singer. Gone are the fussy antics that led to thirty minute (if at all) long sets in the early nineties and in their place is a man well aware of just who he is, who his audience is, and of precisely how to mix things up over a five night series of concerts so that each and every person goes home with a smile thinking "this night has opened my eyes."

Setlist:
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
Billy Budd
All You Need Is Me
Irish Blood, English Heart
Shoplifters Of The World Unite
Ganglord
That's How People Grow Up
Tomorrow
I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
Death Of A Disco Dancer
The Loop
Jack The Ripper
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
Sister, I'm A Poet
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Stretch Out And Wait
Life is a Pigsty
How Soon Is Now?
--
First of the Gang to Die

Listen:
"Wayward Sisters" by Klaus Nomi

Watch:
"Shoplifters Of The World Unite " (live from this show)
"Sister I'm A Poet" (live from this show)

Remaining New York dates:
27 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom
28 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom

Related:

*it turns out that "Wayward Sisters" has already been used on this tour.
**above photo from HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

26 October 2007

EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show & Halloween Mix!

The Giraffes!!!! Goes Cube!!! Hopewell!! Mancino!

CASH prizes for best costume!

From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, EAR FARM, deliver us!
--
EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show @ Club Europa in Brooklyn
31 October @ Club Europa

Doors @ 8pm
9 - Mancino
10 - Hopewell
11 - Goes Cube
12 - The Giraffes

with DJ sets from DJ Colleen Crumbcake + a costume contest with CASH prizes for the top three costumes!!!

Buy tickets HERE.

Club Europa
98 Meserole Ave., (corner of Manhattan Ave.)
G Train to Nassau Ave. - walk 1 block North to Meserole & Manhattan
--
Last year EAR FARM held its first annual Halloween Show at Union Hall and it was a sold-out smash success. This year, the venue is bigger, the lineup has more bands, the costume contest prizes are even BETTER, and the fun level is going to be - like - ENORMOUS.

Check out this party on Going.com.
--
To celebrate EAR FARM's Halloween party, we're going to be unveiling a special EAR FARM Halloween mix here over the next few days (today, M, T, W of next week) leading up to the show. FIVE songs each day, with the full mix posted on Halloween. Enjoy!

EAR FARM's Halloween Mix 2007
1. "Halloween" by Dead Kennedys
2. "Boris the Spider" by The Who
3. "Halloween" by The Misfits
4. "Every Day Is Halloween" by Ministry
5. "Vampire Girl" by Jonathan Richman

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

25 October 2007

8+

“Moon River” by Morrissey which clocks in at 9:39

Dearest Steven,

Do you hear that sound Morrissey? The song I just linked to there. Yeah, that one. No silly, you have to go to that link and then press play within the link. Aw, having trouble? Well if you are, just let me know and I'll guide you through it. It's this site called YouTube, it's fun. It has moving pictures, most of the time with corresponding audio to boot. Just move the cursor to the little button that looks like an arrow and click that. Actually, it should've just started playing on its own. It's okay, take your time. Oh! And make sure the volume on your computer is turned up pookie. Got it? Okay good.

So, you know this song. I know you do. You covered it once, all dramatically and extra long and drawn out with minutes of meandering and floaty studio work. Don't be silly! I'm not saying I don't like the version, I love it. Especially the part around 6:25 when your vocals come back in, but sound as if you've floated hundreds of yards down the river from wherever you were when the song began. I used to imagine this in my head. You floating away farther and farther down "Moon River" as the song went on. And on and on. Perhaps your boat found its way into a tunnel at one point (it's awfully full of reverb, this section of the song), but the whole time (in this imaginary scenario, let's call it a mental music video) there you were, looking at me longingly and waving goodbye.

But this isn't goodbye! This is me trying to tell you that I'm still right here, where I always was. What? What post? Dear John letter?? I didn't write you any Dear John post. Don't be ridiculous!

Oh... THAT post.

Um, yeah, I don't know what happened with all of that. I mean, that was - I was just being emotional. Surely you understand getting overly emotional at times, yes? And after all, we've been having such a great time together this week. With the weekend still ahead of us!

So let's forget that nonsense I said before. You're right, one day goodbye WILL be farewell, but not just yet. Until then, what I'm trying to say here is that wherever you're going, I'm going your way.

Always,
Matt

*above image found HERE

Buy World of Morrissey on Amazon/on iTunes.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
Miles Davis - "So What”
Tori Amos - "Yes, Anastasia"
Boduf Songs - “Bell for Harness”
8 Bold Souls - "Odyssey"
Artanker Convoy - "Open Up"
Dan Deacon - "Wham City"
Clan of Xymox - "A Day (Remix)"
Built to Spill - "Broken Chairs"

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's 8+ click HERE.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

OPP

Idolator: The Real Secret About OiNK: It Was Kind Of Overrated!

An Idolator Real Talk Special Report: The Black Kids Hype Must Be Stopped

NYC Taper: Morrissey October 22, 2007 - Hammerstein - Lossless Download

Heart on a Stick: CMJ 2007 Day 4, 10/19

Fluxblog: It's Too Bad That Your Music Doesn't Matter

Stereogum: New To Rococo rot - "lvx 4"

Largehearted Boy: Try It Before You Buy It (October 23rd CD Releases)

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

24 October 2007

EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show - 31 October @ Club Europa in Brooklyn

The Giraffes!!!! Goes Cube!!! Hopewell!! Mancino!

CASH prizes for best costume!

From ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties and things that go bump in the night, EAR FARM, deliver us!
--
EAR FARM's Second Annual Halloween Show @ Club Europa in Brooklyn
31 October @ Club Europa

Doors @ 8pm
9 - Mancino
10 - Hopewell
11 - Goes Cube
12 - The Giraffes

with DJ sets from DJ Colleen Crumbcake + a costume contest with CASH prizes for the top three costumes!!!

Buy tickets HERE.

Club Europa
98 Meserole Ave., (corner of Manhattan Ave.)
G Train to Nassau Ave. - walk 1 block North to Meserole & Manhattan
--
Last year EAR FARM held its first annual Halloween Show at Union Hall and it was a sold-out smash success. This year, the venue is bigger, the lineup has more bands, the costume contest prizes are even BETTER, and the fun level is going to be - like - ENORMOUS.

Check out this party on Going.com.

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Morrissey @ Hammerstein Ballroom - 23 October 2007

"A rush and a push..."

Stage invaders. Those daring idiotic fans who throw caution (and sanity) to the wind and take to the air in an attempt to clear the concert moat and make it onto the stage for even a few partial moments of a moment with Morrissey. To be able to shake his hand, give him a hug, whisper "I love you" or "thank you" in his ear. It's the pinnacle of Morrissey/Smiths fanaticism, and, to many of us weirdos, a Morrissey show isn't complete without at least one or two of them. It's part of the culture. Don't try to understand it if you think it's really so strange, just take my word for it. It all makes sense in our world.

Last night the Hammerstein Ballroom again played host to a Morrissey concert, though you'd not know it if you were passing by outside the venue before the show and heard the security guys telling people "Morissette, Alanis Morissette is this line, The Tragically Hip is on the other side." Apparently The Tragically Hip played The Grand Ballroom last night. I wonder how that worked out for them... I wouldn't know, I was headed to the main ballroom for Alanis.

Once again I arrived right around 8:30 and caught the final few songs from the opener Kristeen Young as I found my concert spot. This time I decided to stay towards the back, just to vary it up a bit. Variety is important when you're going to 5 shows from the same artist in one week. Thankfully Morrissey understands this too - but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The timing for Tuesday night's show went something like this: curtain dropped at 9:00 on the dot, Morrissey took the stage right around 9:05. At which point he promptly proclaimed "Welcome to the Frankenstein Ballroom!" Indeed. Have you ever looked closely at the interior of Hammerstein? It appears to be held together with bubblegum and duct tape and thousands of loose screws. I can only imagine what the backstage area looks like. Still, it must offer enough comfort to not have fully frustrated Morrissey and his lads because everybody seemed to be in high spirits.

Again they started the show with "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before", but there was something different. An extra pep in their collective step. It was evident in the audience too. Right away I knew this was going to be an even better show than the first night and it most definitely was. If you'd like a rating on a ten point scale - for the sake of comparing (since I rated the first concert an 8 out of 10) - I'd give this show a 9 out of 10. I mean, even Morrissey's choice of outfit (denim, head to toe) was much better.

As the band blazed through the first four songs a crazy thought occurred to me. I nearly hated myself for even thinking it, but there I stood thinking "if The Smiths DID reform and tour, they honestly might have a hard time delivering the same kind of punch that Morrissey's current band does." Blasphemy! But I'm serious. This current lineup, and tour setlist, really flat-out rocks. There's barely any jingle jangle in the guitar work, even when they play songs by The Smiths. Not that that's necessarily good or bad, just worth noting.

Speaking of which, the fifth song ("The Boy With The Thorn In His Side") of Tuesday's set came as a pleasant surprise. It was followed by two more songs not played during the first show: a New York Dolls cover ("Human Being" - after which Morrissey quipped "If you don't know the original would you please leave the building NOW!") and another new Morrissey song ("I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris"). All three of these songs were delivered perfectly, with Morrissey's voice sounding better than ever.

In all, the band played six new songs not heard during the first night (with "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want", "Disappointed", and "Dear God, Please Help Me" making up the remaining replacement songs), a clear sign that Morrissey and crew are well aware of the fact that many in the audience were likely present both nights. In response, the crowd exuded appreciation and joy and wonder and love; and, unlike night number one, a few of them displayed these emotions by - you guessed it - invading the stage.

Rrrrrrrrrrush!

Setlist:
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
Billy Budd
All You Need Is Me
Irish Blood, English Heart
The Boy With The Thorn In His Side
Human Being
I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris
Tomorrow
That's How People Grow Up
Jack The Ripper
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
The Loop
Sister, I'm A Poet
Stretch Out And Wait
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
Death Of A Disco Dancer
Disappointed
Dear God, Please Help Me
How Soon Is Now?
--
First of the Gang to Die

To see a scan of the setlist from last night, click HERE.

Listen:
"Human Being" by The New York Dolls

Remaining New York dates:
26 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom
27 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom
28 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom

Related:

*above photo from HERE - I didn't bring my camera this time simply because I didn't feel like it. it's nice to just be able to enjoy the show and not worry about pics or video. down with cameras!

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CMJ Roundup - In Threes

A day (or three) late, a badge short, I know. CMJ is soooo last week, and yet what better way to achieve some sense of closure than a decidedly biased and brief three-sided roundup? I can’t think of one either... below are some bits (and a slew of links) from the two of us here at EAR FARM. We'll count you (the reader) as our third opinion; so, if you have some thoughts on CMJ - speak!

--Top three shows attended--
Matt
1. The Secret Life of Sofia @ The Delancey – 20 Oct (+)
2. A Place To Bury Strangers @ The Delancey – 20 Oct (+)
3. Islands @ R Bar – 19 Oct (+)
Mike
1. The Walkmen @ Avalon – 17 Oct (+)
2. Yeasayer @ R Bar – 19 Oct (+)
3. The Secret Life of Sofia @ The Delancey – 20 Oct (+)

--Top three CMJ disappointments--
Matt
1. the sound @ Bowery Ballroom for British Sea Power (+)
2. people talking, and talking and talking, loudly at nearly every show
3. R Bar
Mike
1. Free = crowded
2. The absence of worthwhile content within daytime panels (Joe Panelist: "Sales of compact discs are not what they used to be, but look at CD box sets, they're still going strong!")
3. A tie: the three-story walk-up and sweltering temperatures at the Indaba loft

--Top three shows I wish I could have cloned myself for, in order to see--
Matt
1. Torche, Jesu @ Blender Theater – 20 Oct – (instead I DJ'd the Stereoactive/Hot Rocks show at the Delancey) (+)
2. The Forms, Goes Cube @ Midway – 20 Oct – (instead I DJ'd the Stereoactive/Hot Rocks show at the Delancey) (+)
3. Islands, Trail of Dead @ Highline Ballroom – 18 Oct - (instead I saw British Sea Power) (+)
Mike
1. Islands, Trail of Dead @ Highline Ballroom – 18 Oct – (non-cloned me went to British Sea Power) (+)
2. Sam Champion, Yeasayer @ Music Hall of Williamsburg – 17 Oct – (non-cloned me saw the Walkmen) (+)
3. Band of Horses, Le Loup @ Bowery Ballroom – 20 Oct – (non-cloned me attended the Stereoactive/Hot Rocks show at the Delancey) (+)

--Three revelations from the past week--
Matt
1. You don't need a CMJ badge to have fun, unless having fun to you means standing in line for an hour and a half. In that case, get a badge for CMJ.
2. When CMJ is downtown, the best place to grab a bite to eat and chill (and blog - shhh) in between day shows is upstairs at Whole Foods on Houston - heyyyy.
3. Panels need a good moderator or else the stated topic of said panel most likely won't even come close to being addressed by the under-qualified members of the panel.
Mike
1. Stripper poles and blood-red padded walls do not a good live music venue make.
2. Just like in college, those who ask questions at CMJ panels really only want to answer those same questions themselves, loudly and in front of everyone.
3. Apparently nobody in New York City holds a day job.

EAR FARM videos of CMJ performances:

EAR FARM posts about CMJ 2007:Obviously, it’s impossible for two people to slay the CMJ beast on their own, and that's where you come in. What were your favorite shows, disappointments, revelations and regrets from the past week?

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Liars giving away FREE 4 track EP

This morning's top email was one from Mute announcing that Liars were giving away a free 4-song EP. Download it below.

Listen:
"Cycle Time" (Liars Session)
"House Clouds" (Liars Session)
"Pure Unevil" (Liars Session)
"Plaster Casts Of Everything" (Liars Session)

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23 October 2007

Three for Free - Castanets

EAR FARM's Three for Free: three EF approved, free and legal MP3s posted each week. This week - three from Castanets.

Listen:
"Sway"

"This is the Early Game"

"All That I Know"

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Morrissey @ Hammerstein Ballroom - 22 October 2007

"A sad fact widely known..."

The last time Morrissey was in town was three years ago, 2004. That year I went and saw him perform seven different shows in New York City. Yes, seven. Five at the Apollo Theater, two at Radio City Music Hall (both of which are far superior venues to the Hammerstein Ballroom). Am I crazy? Was it worth it? Perhaps crazy, and most definitely worth it. Those five shows at the Apollo were some of the best live concert moments of my life. Over and over again, each night, for a week. I miss that feeling of seeing one of my most favorite performers one night and getting to do it all over again the very next night. Yes, I'm a fan of Morrissey. Fanatical.

I've called The Smiths my favorite band for about two decades or so now. I've lived the life of a devotee, styled my hair like Morrissey, taken the pilgrimage to Manchester, et cetera, and I'm not quite willing to completely let go of the man and the music that has so impacted my life. Therefore, when his current series of shows at Hammerstein was announced, I did what came naturally and bought tickets to all five shows. I'm just saying, consider this your warning, you'll be reading four more of these Morrissey @ Hammerstein reviews here on EAR FARM in the coming week.

Being a veteran of a Morrissey show or fifteen, I already knew the drill. Punctuality. Doors at 6:30, Kristeen Young at 8:00, Morrissey on stage right at 9:00. Therefore, I showed up around 8:30 and caught the very end of Kristeen's set while finding a perfect spot (up close, house left) to set up camp. Before the show a large screen descended upon the stage and images/scenes from a variety of old movies were shown. These were Morrissey's heroes. Morrissey's Morrisseys. Things such as a James Dean screen test, scenes with Brigitte Bardot singing, a clip of David Johansen backstage, and a particularly amusing clip from a film with two police officers talking about how they were about to "arrest Morrissey." Then, promptly at 8:58pm, the screen dropped and the house went dark. A familiar voice (to those of us who've seen Morrissey in concert in the past few years) came over the sound system. It was "Imperfect List" by Big Hard Excellent Fish. With baited anticipation I closed my eyes for a moment and smiled. Suddenly I was home again.

At 9:03pm Morrissey and his band took the stage. My first thought was "GAH! What is that ugly blue on blue "thing" he is wearing?!" Soon I let go of my issues with his wardrobe choice, but not until after he and his band plodded through "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" - not an ideal opener in my opinion. However, please keep things in perspective here. I would rather have been standing there hearing a stumbly version of an old Smiths song than nearly anywhere else on the planet. But yeah, I'd say the band didn't really get it together until midway through "London", if I'm being honest. It all seemed to be a bit of them just 'going through the motions' until the upright bass came out for "The Loop". That's the moment the show went from an average Morrissey show to a great Morrissey show.

There were a few more dips in the set ("Stretch Out And Wait" didn't exactly soar, however I adored hearing it so, so what?) but in general this was a top level Morrissey concert, perhaps an 8 out of 10 for me personally. He offered up his trademark between-song commentary and acknowledged not being able to make it to NYC previously "after a few coughs and a few sniffles" by jokingly saying "welcome to the Madison Square" and thanking the audience for being patient in waiting for him to come to town; at one point stating, "finally our little donkey made it to New York City."

Predictably, the band played "How Soon Is Now?" as their final song before the encore. A song that's reached near-"Stairway to Heaven" levels of mythos and one I'd be more than happy to not have to hear again during the remaining four shows (impossible). However, as I stood there taking in this most well-known of anthems by The Smiths it occurred to me that the band, and Morrissey, were delivering one of the finest renditions I'd heard yet (live that is) of "How Soon Is Now?" - and thinking back to last night, I'm totally fine with hearing this song for the one millionth time again in a mere eight hours. No, actually, I can't wait.

Setlist:
Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before
Tomorrow
Sister I'm A Poet
London
The Loop
That's How People Grow Up
Jack The Ripper
I Like You
Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself?
Stretch Out And Wait
The World Is Full Of Crashing Bores
Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
Billy Budd
All You Need Is Me
Death Of A Disco Dancer
Irish Blood, English Heart
Shoplifters Of The World Unite
One Day Goodbye Will Be Farewell
You Have Killed Me
How Soon Is Now?
--
First of the Gang to Die

Listen:
"Imperfect List" (Mix 2) by Big Hard Excellent Fish

Download a lossless version of last night's concert HERE.

Remaining New York dates:
23 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom
26 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom
27 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom
28 October @ Hammerstein Ballroom

Related:
EF's "Southpaw" 8+ post

*above photo from HERE - I didn't bring my camera last night because they were SO strict in 2004 about cameras. so much so that they made people with camera phones check their phones at the coat check and retrieve them later. this wasn't the case last night, so hopefully I'll grab some pictures tonight.

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Hangar 18: Bloggers v. Rockers Fantasy Football - Week 7 Summary

Week seven of Hangar 18: the Bloggers v. Rockers Fantasy Football League brought a loss for team EAR FARM, dropping me into sole possession of third place overall. Some people have asked "how you do so well, team stink so much?" and my answer is simple, "luck - the same way anyone ever succeeds at fantasy fotball." That's a sad fact every fantasy team owner will realize sooner or later, but hey - it's fun luck! Below are the results from this past week, the current standings, my team's roster, and a couple of theme songs.

Rockers vs. Bloggers Fantasy Football Current Standings:

    1. My Old Kentucky Blog (6-1)
    2. Arizona (6-1)
    3. Ear Farm (5-2)
    4. The Muggabears (4-2-1)
    5. Indie Interviews (4-3)
    6. Margot & The Nuclear So & So's (3-4)
    7. ninebullets (3-4)
    8. Gorilla vs. Bear (3-4)
    9. Mancino (3-4)
    10. I Guess I'm Floating (3-4)
    11. Tapes 'n Tapes (Josh) (1-6)
    12. Tapes 'n Tapes/Vicious Vicious (Erik) (0-6-1)
Rockers vs. Bloggers Fantasy Football Week Seven Results:
    Margot & The Nuclear So & So's (88) defeated Ear Farm (66)
    Mancino (89) defeated ninebullets (75)
    My Old Kentucky Blog (121) defeated Tapes N Tapes (Josh) (85)
    Gorilla Vs. Bear (106) defeated Tapes N Tapes/Vicious Vicious (29)
    Arizona (95) defeated Indie Interviews (79)
    The Muggabears (98) defeated I Guess I'm Floating (63)
Rockers vs. Bloggers Fantasy Football Week Eight Matchups:
    Indie Interviews (vs) Ear Farm
    Margot & The Nuclear So & So's (vs) Mancino
    ninebullets (vs) My Old Kentucky Blog
    Tapes N Tapes (Josh) (vs) Gorilla Vs. Bear
    Tapes N Tapes/Vicious Vicious (vs) I Guess I'm Floating
    Arizona (vs) The Muggabears
EAR FARM's (team name Mother Puncher) current roster:
QB: Derek Anderson (Cle)
RB: Joseph Addai (Ind)
RB: Adrian Peterson (Min)
WR: Torry Holt (Stl)
WR: Amani Toomer (NYG)
WR: Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ)
TE: Jeremy Shockey (NYG)
D: Houston
K: Jeff Reed (Pit)
BN: Deion Branch (WR - Sea)
BN: Matt Schaub (QB - Hou)
BN: Dwayne Bowe (WR - KC)

Listen:
"Hangar 18" by Megadeth
"Mother Puncher" by Mastodon

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Today's NEW releases

This week, EF has our collective eye on these:

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22 October 2007

Hit-or-miss

What: the EAR FARM music library is put on shuffle - the song that plays is then searched (using the song title) on Google images and a resulting photo (plus an MP3 of the song) is posted here.

Listen:
"Slow Action Is The Best Action" by Run Chico Run from Slow Action

View:
Image search results for Slow Action Is The Best Action - above image is from the first page of results (and was originally from HERE).
--
Previous EF Hit-or-miss posts:
"Half A Person" by The Smiths
"The Bones Of An Idol" by The New Pornographers
"Stay" by David Bowie
"I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)" by Hank Williams
"Carry" by ISIS
"Mick's Broadcast / Attack" by Harold Faltermeyer

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StereoactiveNYC/Hot Rocks Official CMJ Showcase - 20 October 2007 @ The Delancey

On Saturday night Stereoactive NYC and Hot Rocks took over The Delancey for their Official CMJ Music Marathon Showcase. It was an amazing night full of NINE awesome bands. I played the part of guest DJ during the first four hours of the evening, spinning some of my favorite songs from 1956-1964 and doing my best to keep people dancing - not exactly an easy task without some of my go-to songs from the '80s and '90s.

Sadly, I had to leave early and missed seeing Up the Empire, El Jezel, and The Vandelles - all of which are bands I enjoy very much. Still, the six bands I did get to see truly rocked that basement stage. Highlights from the evening for me were, without a doubt, The Secret Life of Sofia and A Place to Bury Strangers. Both of these two sets ended up being two of my favorites from all of CMJ.

You can find a few links, pictures, MP3s, and two LIVE videos I took of A Place to Bury Strangers below.

Chop Shop (above) kicked things off with a bang. They brought with them a nice sized crowd of fans and perfectly set the tone for the rest of the night with their charisma and energy.

Listen:
"Crickets"

Visit Chop Shop on MySpace.

The Secret Life of Sofia (above) delivered their best performance to date. At least, for the shows I've seen them play - this was it. The band is truly finding themselves within their new songs and I literally got chills at one point. Sounds silly? It's the truth. I love this band. When their new album comes out, watch out world.

Listen:
"Hospital Inside Me"

See more pictures of The Secret Life of Sofia (from this show and others) HERE.

Visit The Secret Life of Sofia on MySpace.

Gold Streets (above) hit the stage with their trademark groovy bass and split male/female vocals and got many people shaking and moving along with their Cocteau Twins meets Veruca Salt vibe. God how I love a Rickenbacker bass.

Listen:
"Funny Cry Happy”

Visit Gold Streets on MySpace.

Mancino (above) was playing a second show in a week without a drummer. That is, until Jeremiah from Man in Gray stepped in and kicked out beats for about four songs. Lots of fun, and even more people dancing and shaking and moving.

See Mancino live:
31 October - EAR FARM's Super Spooky Halloween Show @ Europa w/ Goes Cube, Hopewell and the Giraffes

Listen:
"Five Blades"

See more pictures of Mancino (from this show and many others) HERE.

Visit Mancino on MySpace.

Man in Gray (above) burst onto the stage with even more energy than usual. No really, and that's saying a lot. Not knocking on their set earlier in the week, but on Saturday night they killed it. Apologies for some of these bad pics, but I was stuck in the DJ booth most of the night.

Listen:
"Stranded"

See more pictures of Man In Gray (from another show) HERE.

Visit Man In Gray on MySpace.

A Place to Bury Strangers (above) simply dominated. There was a palpable sense of anticipation in the room before they went on. People were excited to see this band, and for good reason: they're one of New York's top live bands. Though this wasn't the loudest I've ever heard them, it was one of my most favorite sets of all of CMJ. I'd see them again and again and again and again, if only my ears would let me.

Listen:
"To Fix The Gash In Your Head"

Watch:
"To Fix The Gash In Your Head" live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT
"I Know I'll See You" live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT

See more pictures of A Place to Bury Strangers (from this show) HERE.

Visit A Place to Bury Strangers on MySpace.

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snip·pets

Star-studded crowd show up for M.I.A. in New York

The Ting Tings play intimate art-house gig

10 Legal Ways to Find Cheap Music

Jazz at Lincoln Center opens season

Johnny Marr: guitarist, now a professor

South African reggae legend Lucky Dube murdered, five men arrested

AT&T making Napster's entire catalog of 5 million plus songs available for wireless download

Radiohead Returning To The Road In 2008

Travis admit stealing music from Oasis

NY Times: Play Well, and May the Blog Buzz Be With You

NY Times: CMJ Music Marathon blogging

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21 October 2007

Bell @ Rockwood Music Hall - 19 October 2007

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Bell. Their sound is a unique blend of styles ranging from classical to jazz to pop to rock to lounge to experimental - pretty much everything I enjoy gets touched upon in one way or another. As a result, I generally try to catch any of Olga Bell's shows that I can. And sadly my schedule has been such that I've missed out on most of her recent concert appearances. Sigh.

Don't cry for me though. This post is me telling you that I just saw Bell on Friday night at the very intimate Rockwood Music Hall. The set was as entertaining, sprightly, interesting, and sing alongable as I had hoped it would be. Olga had the audience in the palm of her hand with her cheery lyrical impression of the L train, with many of my favorite Bell songs, and with an interesting Radiohead into Thom Yorke cover blend (listen below). The rest of the band was as solid as ever, with a couple of very fine guest vocalist appearances and a bit of extra percussive punch from Gunnar on drums.

Some day you're going to thank me for telling you about Olga Bell early enough in her career that you were able to catch one of her shows at one of NYC's smaller venues. If you're a fan of an artist that combines aspects of Bjork, Radiohead, Fiona Apple, hand claps, Chopin, blips, beeps, and popular songs of the '90s; look no further, you've just found what you're looking for in the music of Bell. I'll see you at the next show.

Listen:
"Brown Bear" (live from this show)

Watch:
"Brown Bear" live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT

See more pictures of Bell (from this show and many others) HERE.

Visit Bell on MySpace.

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Islands @ R Bar - 19 October 2007

There's this particular vegan from Brooklyn who threw a bazillion shows/parties during CMJ 2007 and made the city smile musical smiles for a week. Thank goodness for him and his slew of events, I say, since the show at R Bar included one of my favorite bands alive today that I was unable to see at any of their other CMJ shows due to schedule conflicts. The band: Islands.

Islands have just finished recording their second album and have been using recent live shows to stretch out the new songs in front of fans who fell in love with the band's debut, Return to the Sea. Gently breaking the news of a slight change in direction by unveiling some of the new songs at smaller-venue live shows makes sense - the new songs don't sound a whole lot like any of the songs from the debut album. No longer are Nick and crew listening to Graceland on repeat. Instead, the band has likely been taking in a heavy diet of '70s rock.

Sure, there was always something slightly "prog" about the songs from Return to the Sea, but what Islands has been up to of late shows off an entirely different approach. Where they used to sound like laid back musicians hanging out on the beach in sandals drinking boat drinks, they now carry a sound that suggests steel toe boots and Budweiser. That's maybe a bit of a reach, but make no mistake about one thing: Islands have undergone a slight makeover and it's as unmistakable as can be. Gone are the band's trademark all-white threads and in their place, you guessed it - all black. They literally wear this new sound on their collective sleeve. No surprise though, Nicholas "Nick Diamonds" Thorburn has never been one for subtlety.

As for the performance on Friday - the show won't stand out as the best of the many shows I've seen Islands play, but I'd chalk up a large part of the blame for this to the crap sound/venue. Personally I adored all of the new songs, enjoyed hearing the old favorites, and can't wait to get a hold of the upcoming album and see them again. Check out a QT and MP3 of one of the new songs below.

Listen:
"We Swim" (live from this show)

Watch:
"We Swim" live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT

See more pictures of Islands (from this show) HERE.

Visit Islands on MySpace.

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Black Kids @ R Bar - 19 October 2007

I had my sights set on the Brooklyn Vegan October 19th CMJ day show since I first saw the lineup announced. Obviously, the real draw for me was Islands, but I wanted to get a chance to see a few of the bands on this bill to let them show me why they're getting so much hype lately. Tops on my list in this regard was Black Kids, who recently have been getting all kinds of attention in the indie music world. A band with no label, no real touring history, and a 4 song EP available for free on their MySpace page getting an 8.4 and much love for their demo on Pitchfork?? Sounds like good old Pitchfork bullcorn. Or, sounds like they have the right PR/management connections. Oh right, they do. Color me extremely skeptical.

So there I stood, barely inside the doorway to the back room at R Bar, already annoyed. The place was packed past its limits with people just as eager as myself to see what all of the fuss was about. In other words, it was hot, impossible to move or see (and I'm tall - but the stage was a mere three apples high) or hear, and crowded with a ton of New York's most gullible music lovers. A show already setup to fail from my point of view - a surefire recipe for CMJ success for most others. Right? Let's check... yep.

Pardon me as I skip the BS and cut right to the chase: Black Kids are an embryonic band unsure of how to deliver on the hype swirling about them. I don't know what manner of beer goggles Marc Hogan had on Thursday night at The Annex, but in person on Friday at R Bar Black Kids were one notch above awful. A 1.7 on the Pitchfork scale.

I don't blame them for this, it's not their fault. They've written a few good songs and have been put on the fast track at least a year too soon, something happening more and more often and something that is not a good thing for artistic development. There's no good reason this band should be on anyone's radar other than a few of the talent buyers at clubs in Jacksonville, Florida, yet here they are being touted by the NME, Village Voice, NY Times, Pitchfork, etc etc. What choice does the independent thinking indie-rock fan have but to call Black Kids "not all that"? They've got energy, charisma, four very good songs already in the can, and potential to expand their sound beyond the Cure/Go! Team comparisons (not that those are bad, or off the mark), but they need more time. So let's all give them a break until, say, next year's CMJ - yeah?

Listen:
“I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You”

See pictures of Black Kids (from this show, taken by someone else) HERE.

Visit Black Kids on MySpace.

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Yeasayer @ R Bar - 19 October 2007

Okay so I should probably begin by apologizing for the shitty picture. If you toiled through the endless throngs of free bloody-mary-and-redbull/vodka-fueled partygoers at R Bar yesterday then maybe you’d understand. How impossible it was to actually get into the annexed “stage” (correction: “champagne room,” the gaudy stripper poles squealed with delight) at the rear of R Bar. How, despite being crammed beyond capacity, people kept shoving themselves into the room like fat clowns in a circus car. How I was stupid enough to post up by the entrance and thus absorb the impact of every fat clown making his/her way into the room. How every attempt to take a picture ended up being a picture of someone else in front of me taking a picture. I could go on and on about this (yet maybe we should just patiently wait for Matt’s inevitable Black Kids post) - instead I’ll just get down to the facts at hand: Yeasayer rocks.

Wow. I’m not even sure how to describe their sound except to say that at one or many points throughout their 5-song set I heard the following elements: Men at Work, Annie Lennox, Genesis, Peter Gabriel, Joy Division, AND for some reason that only makes sense in my head and I know I will get crucified for this…wait for it…an inconceivably tasteful Nickelback in the hook for “Final Path.” And I LOVED it. Yeesh.

This band was simply fantastic live, a delightful surprise that made all the clawing and clamoring at R Bar seem strangely justified. Now, I’m not necessarily in the loop of “the next next big thing” so I’m guessing based on their busy CMJ schedule – and of course amazing live show – that Yeasayer has already been anointed as such? You tell me. Because maybe it’s about time that Ear Farm joins in the bloggo-echo chamber by saying that they damn well should be.

Finally, another job well done to Brooklyn Vegan for yet again hosting one of the most impressive CMJ lineups of the week.

See Yeasayer Live – US Dates:
23 October – Record Release Party at Glasslands
24 October – Washington, DC @ Rock ‘n Roll Hotel w/Celebration
28 October – New York – Crown Point Festival @ Abrons Art Center

Listen:
“Final Path”

See pictures of Yeasayer (from this show, taken by someone else) HERE.

Visit Yeasayer on MySpace

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Bowerbirds @ CMJ Day Stage - 19 October 2007

Bowerbirds brought their Airstream trailerhomespun North Carolina folk to the CMJ Day Stage on Friday and won over everyone in attendance with their delicate musical minimalism. I didn't interview everyone after the show to find out that they were won over, but I didn't need to. At least 3/4 of them went up to the band after the show to purchase Hymns for a Dark Horse.

Much the same as the last time I saw them, Bowerbirds impressed me all over again with their friendly harmonies and magnetic presence. Their songs have become old friends by now and the band's ability to be a conduit between their artistic intent and the audience (always a strength) has matured recently, likely thanks to all of the time they've spent on the road in support of John Vanderslice and Mountain Goats. If you enjoy folk, see Bowerbirds in person whenever you can.

Listen:
"Dark Horse"

See Bowerbirds live with Mountain Goats - tour dates HERE.

See more pictures (from this show and others) of Bowerbirds HERE.

Visit Bowerbirds on MySpace.

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