31 January 2008

8+

"Lateralus" by Tool which clocks in at 9:24

Easter.

Eggs.

Easter eggs.

Intentional hidden messages.

They are everywhere, just look.

In nature, movies, TV shows, on this website...

Trust me, if you over-think (over-analyze) enough, you'll find meaning anywhere and everywhere.

Behold: many things in nature – and not solely human things – skillfully twist the obvious, revealing truth only to the "astute few".

Early Indian thinkers (Pingala and Virahanka) first noticed distinct patterns within their ritual cadences in the 4th century BC; these would shortly become known as mātrāmeru, later (and more famously) as the Fibonacci sequence.

Govinda was smiling down upon these math whizzes that day, for they discovered a new numerical way of looking at the world that would take the West another thousand years to figure out - a good solid twenty-five hundred years before any of us would get lost within the numbers, patterns, and Easter eggs on LOST.

In modern mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers "are a sequence of numbers named after Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci, whose Liber Abaci (published in 1202) introduced the rather simply defined sequence (after two starting values, each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers; for example, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and so on - note that each third number in the sequence is an even number) to Western European mathematics" - it is a pattern that is often injected into various forms of popular art, media, and culture.

Now, if you freak out over playing with math in a similar manner to the way that I freak out over playing with math, you're going to love the following facts (culled from this fantastically nerdy video) about Tool's song "Lateralus": band leader Maynard James Keenan revealed in an interview that this song, "Lateralus", intentionally references Fibonacci numbers; the time signature of the main riff happens to be 9/8, 8/8, 7/8 and 987 is the 16th step of the Fibonacci sequence; the numeric value of the syllables of the lyrics is also Fibonacci - listen as it goes from one syllable words up to eight syllables and back again; when the thirteen tracks of the album Lateralus are reordered in a Fibonacci sequence, they flow better and the end of each track exactly matches the beginning of the next one - it's true, all of it.

Somehow, through a series of increasingly massive run-on sentences and a smidge (or ten) of research and number crunching and listening to this song on repeat and feeding my cat and taking out the trash (and then putting a new trash bag in the trash can, only to find that I'd already done so (there was already one bag in there, I added another so that makes two bags now and, AND "one, one, two" is the start to a Fibonacci sequence!!); ergo my mind has turned to mush, completely thanks to Tool and their numerological mind-fuckery) and making phone calls and sending emails and commenting on other blogs and doodling spiraly sea-shells on the back of my bank statement (and then searching for Fibonacci numbers within this sneaky bank statement - there are a BUNCH) and then calling my bank just to see what they would say if I asked them why there are such obvious Fibonacci numbers on my statement (she asked me if I was joking, when very clearly I wasn’t – but my tone gave away my honest intentions and, seriously, I know she must’ve heard Tool in the background), somehow through all of that I've unexpectedly arrived at the only surefire conclusion one can come to in regards to this song and Maynard James Keenan's blatant desire to use prog-metal to convey his own OCD tendencies - "spiral out, keep going".

*above photo found HERE

Buy Lateralus on Amazon.

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+:
Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks - "Real Emotional Trash"
Iron Maiden - "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"
Mandy Reid - "Tornado"
Genesis - "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
Metallica - "Master of Puppets"
British Sea Power - “Lately”
The Decemberists - “The Mariner's Revenge Song”
Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird"

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

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NEW Goes Cube - "Goes Cube Song 57" on Stereogum

Stereogum just premiered a brand new, heavy-hitting and thoroughly amazing, Goes Cube song. It's called "Goes Cube Song 57" and you owe it to yourself to turn the volume WAY up on your whatever-you-call-it and listen. It rocks like none other, and may cause you to spontaneously Metal-out in ways you've never experienced before. So beware: by the end of the song you just might not know who (or where) you are anymore, and you'll like it.

Go HERE, now.

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SXSW: New Trends In Band Names!

Last we checked, the list of confirmed acts for SXSW hovered somewhere around 350. With all bands presumably being notified of their showcase status by tomorrow, that number has probably shot waaaaay up. But we're lazy, and further research sounds frightening, so with that in mind we might as well just use the latest nice big list Austinist has compiled for reference.

Scanning through, it seems some interesting new band-naming trends have emerged. Gone are the salad days of the lupus craze lupus craze, in which I'm referring both to the phenomenon of band names featuring "wolf" (Wolf Parade, AIDS Wolf, Wolf Eyes, We Are Wolves, etc) and that of using repeated words or phrases (Man Man, Proton Proton, Takka Takka, Tap Tap, etc etc). After the jump, check out the latest trends we've identified from the SXSW master list as well as the full list itself...

THE CAPS LOCK TREND - Whether inspired by the marquee-sized fonts of such forebearers as R.E.M. and X (both on the SXSW list below) or simply conniving to attract additional eyeballs in concert listings, MANY BANDS SEEM TO BE USING THE CAPS LOCK BUTTON WHEN CHOOSING THEIR BAND NAMES. BEHOLD:

KXP
The LK
MC/VL
MGMT
N.E.R.D.
OFFICE
PPT
TAB the Band
WHY?
YACHT

The Email Address Trend - The following reads more like a spam-mail list than a collection of bands. A product of Web 2.0? You decide:

detroit7
Dreamend
menwhopause
quartz-head 02
Unholy 2

Three Repeating Words Is The New Two Repeating Words Trend Trend Trend - I'll see your Man Man and raise you the following:

Beat Beat Beat
Die! Die! Die!
Run Run Run

The Kids Are Alright Psuedo-Trend - Not so much a trend when limited to the below SXSW list but definitely within the broader context of such acts as the Cold War Kids and Black Kids:

Cool Kids
No Kids
Kid Dakota (granted, in existence well before any of the other "Kids")

The Death Trend - From the Dead Kennedys to Dead Meadow, rock bands and the D-word have always made nice bedfellows:

Dead in Algiers
Dead Confederate
Deadstring Brothers
Dead To Me
Die! Die! Die!

Special recognition to Die! Die! Die! for being at the forefront of TWO different trends. Now, look at the updated SXSW list below, anything else screaming out "WOLF WOLF WOLF" to you?

AA Bondy
The Acorn
Alamo Race Track
Alex Skolnick Trio
Alina Simone
Aloe Blacc
Alpha Rev
The Anchor
Annuals
A Place to Bury Strangers
Arp
The A-Sides
Ash Grunwald
Astra Heights
Attack in Black
Autokinoton
Avengers in Sci Fi
Awkward Stage Band
Axel Krygier
Baby Shakes
Battlefields
Barara Mason
Bear Hands
Beat Beat Beat
Bella
Billy Bragg
Birdmonster
Birds and Batteries
Birthday Suits
Bjorn Torske
the Black Crowes
Black and White Years
The Black Hollies
Black Joe Lewis
The Black Keys
Black Moth Super Rainbow
Black Mountain
Black Tie Dynasty
The Bleedin Bleedins
Blitzen Trapper
The Blow
Blue Mountain
Bon Iver
Born Ruffians
Bosque Brown
The Botticellis
The Bowerbirds
Brain Police
Breeders
British Sea Power
Built for the Sea
Bun B of UGK
Cadence Weapon
The Cansecos
Carbon/Silicon
Carlis Star
Carolyn Mark
Car Stereo (Wars)
Cary Brothers
Cat Party
Cheveu
the Choir Practice
Chotto Ghetto
Chris Bendt
City and Color
Coathangers
Cold Hot Crash
Colour Revolt
Connie Price and the Keystones
Constantines
The Cool Kids
The Cops
The Crash That Took Me
The Cribs
Cut Copy
Dale Hawkins
Dan Wilson
Daniel Lanois
Darker My Love
Darondo
Daryl Hall
Dead in Algiers
Dead Confederate
Deadstring Brothers
Dead To Me
Debate
Deer Tick
Delta Spirit
Demon's Claws
Destroyer
detroit7
Devotchka
Die! Die! Die!
Dirty on Purpose
Division Day
Dixie Witch
Dizzee Rascal
The DoDos
Dolly Parton
The Donnas
Donny Hue and the Colors
Doug Walker Music
Dreamend
Dokkebi Q
Doug Walker
The Duke Spirit
Eastern Conference Champions
Ed Harcourt
Elephone
El Jesus de Magico
Elvis Perkins
Eugene Mirman
Eugene McGuinness
Evangelicals
Experimental Aircraft
Ezra Furman & the Harpoons
The Fairline Parkway
Fanfario
Fast Computers
The Femurs
The Feral Children
Film School
Firewater
Fishboy
Fleet Foxes
Frightened Rabbit
Future Clouds and Radar
Gallows
Gentleman Jesse
Ghost Buffalo
Giant
Git Some
Glen Reynolds
Goes Cube
Greg Laswell
The Gusto
Ha Ha Tonka
Hanne Hukkelberg
The Hard Lessons
Headlights
Health
Heavenly States
The Heavy
The Henry Clay People
Hey Willpower
The Hilltop Hoods
Holy Fuck
The Hot Rails
The Hourly Radio
Hungry Hill
Ingrid Michaelson
Jandek
Jarboe
JD Thompson
Jennifer Johns
Jens Lekman
Jessie Baylin
Jimi Bianco
Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong
John Ralston
Joseph Arthur
Joshua Radin
Justin Townes Earle
Kaki King
Karina Nistal
Kate Havnevik
Ketchup Mania
Kid Dakota
Killing California
The Kills
Kim Hiorthøy
Kimya Dawson
Kingdom Of Magic
Kitty, Daisy, and Lewis
KXP
Langhorne Slim
Laura Barrett
Laura Gibson
Lava Children
Le Switch
the Lemurs
Liam Finn
Lightspeed Champion
Lindstsrom
Lions
The LK
The Lonely H
Longwave
Loquat
Love Like Fire
The Lovely Sparrows
Low Red Land
Lykke Li
M. Ward & Zooey Deschanel
Made Out of Babies
Magic Bullets
Mala Rodriguez
Man Man
Mark Pickerel
Mason Proper
Maya Azucena
MC/VL
Meiko
Melissa Young
menwhopause
Meredith Bragg and the Terminals
Meriwether
Mezzanine Owls
MGMT
Mika Miko
Minmae
Mitra
Miz Metro
Monica Blaire
The Monocles
Moon Rats
My Brightest Diamond
The Morning Benders
Mud
Mustangs And Madras
My Morning Jacket
Nada Surf
Nadja
N'Dambi
Necropolis
Neimo
N.E.R.D.
Nicole Atkins
The Night Marchers
No Kids
Nortec
Nouvellas
Nyles Lannon
Ohmega Watts
Old Man River
OFFICE
Orgonne
Ouija Radio
the Pack A.D.
Panda
Panther
Party Garbage
Pato Banton
Paul Kelly
Peelander-Z
The Pendletons
The People's Revolutionary Choir
Petty Booka
Pinstripe
The Pity Party
Plants & Animals
Popup
Port O'brien
Portugal The Man!
PPT
Pretty and Nice
Priscilla Ahn
Prizzy Prizzy Please
Puny Human
Q-Tip
quartz-head 02
Radar Bros.
Ralph "Soul" Jackson
The Raveonettes
R.E.M.
Roadsaw
Robyn
Rocco DeLuca
The Rosewood Thieves
Run Run Run
Russell Taylor
Russian Circles
The Russian Futurists
RX Bandits
Sally Shapiro
Salvador Santana Band
Sam Champion
Sara Bareilles
Sasquatch
Sass Dragons
Saw Wheel
Scissors for Lefty
Scouts Honor
Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons
Sea Wolf
Sean Hayes
Secret Shine
Sex Advice
Shame Club
Shelby Lynne
Shinobu
Shout Out Louds
Shwayze
Sia
Simian Mobile Disco
Slab City
Social Studies
Sodopp
Sofakingdom
$olal
Something With Numbers
Sons & Daughters
The Soundtrack of Our Lives
Southeast Engine
The Spinto Band
The Stills
Streaming Wolf Penis
Sugar and Gold
TAB The Band
Tall Firs
Tapes N Tapes
Tech N9ne
Teenage Bottlerocket
The Terrordactyls
These New Puritans
These United States
Tigercity
Tim Williams
Times New Viking
Tiny Animals
Too Many Daves
Trainwreck Riders
Trevor Giuliani
Tub Ring
Tulsa
Tussle
Uffie
Unholy 2
The Valley Arena
Vampire Weekend
Vancougar
Vena Cava
The Von Bondies
Von Iva
The Voom Blooms
Waco Brothers
Wallpaper
Was (Not Was)
The Watershed
Wax Museums
We Are Standard
We Versus The Shark
WHY?
The Weird Weeds
White Shoes & the Couples Company
White Williams
William Fitzsimmons
Wussy
Wye Oak
X
YACHT
Yazarah
Ze Dos Frangos

*Above photo found HERE

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OPP

Neil Diamond and Hot Chip are the first two acts confirmed for Glastonbury

Cracked: The 10 All-Time Worst Choices for Super Bowl Halftime Performer

Actor Sam Riley wins award for Ian Curtis portrayal

Pitchfork has some Jim O'Rourke news tidbits, including a new album due on Drag City

Listen to the new Islands song "The Arm" over at their MySpace page

Rolling Stone has, uh, Rolling Stones behind-the-scenes pics from their doomed 1969 tour

Donewaiting has Aussie bands that will be at SXSW

This summer's Celebrate Brooklyn concert series at the Prospect Park Bandshell will kick off on June 12th

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

30 January 2008

Band of the Week: Drink Up Buttercup

Much fuss has been made over the last few years about the exodus of musicians and artists from Manhattan and Brooklyn to the relatively greener pastures of Philadelphia. Hey, we get it. We pay rents here too and have watched neighborhoods seemingly gentrify themselves overnight. To that end, Philly has offered our displaced and huddled masses an attractive alternative, a (gasp) somewhat affordable and thriving arts scene without a lot of the bullshit.

But what happens when we move beyond Philly? Apparently, we arrive at a place where Mel Gibson once spied crop circles (if we're to believe M. Night Shyamalan) and where a band self-described as sounding like "throwing up after a nauseating carnival ride" formed while fishing on the Delaware River. Refreshing, yes? Welcome to Bucks County, home of Drink Up Buttercup.

"It's a microcosm," singer/guitarist James Harvey said of his home. "It's similar to Philly, but everyone on the scene is five years younger. Everybody is excited to be involved, and we feel lucky to be a part of something so pure."

Chatting via the internets with EAR FARM following the final show of their residency at the Khyber late last night, Harvey could well have been referring to the band itself (continue reading).... The group's elder statesmen at 26, Harvey is joined by younger brother Farzad Houshiarnejad (keys, guitar, melodica, bass - age 19), Ben Money (bass, keys, melodica, percussion - age 22) and Mike Cammarata (drums - age 17!). Having only been together since last March, the gents in Drink Up Buttercup approach their music with the same enthusiasm of the broader Bucks County scene, and even their rough demos crackle with a wonderful sense of vitality and unbridled energy.

But hell, we've only had their 4-song demo to go by so far. Joanne at Obsession Collection recently caught the band at Cake Shop and remarked, "Their insanely zany acrobatic stage antics mixed with a full-bodied sound of harmonic delight produced an atmosphere of sensory overdrive."

She hit the nail on the head. Their sound is a grab bag of delicate chamber harmonies nestled in between swaggering boogies and gruff, drunken sing-a-longs, a mashup of the Beatles, early Pink Floyd and Captain Beefheart. The band's name reflects it all, a reference that Harvey maintains is "the balance of what's pretty and disgusting. It's perverted."

Not that surprising then that Harvey lists Mothers of Invention, early Pink Floyd, David Bowie, his own training with classical singing, and even talk radio as personal influences that have shaped the band's sound. Check out the two demos below to hear these forces at play, as "Gods and Gentlemen" approximates "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" being simultaneously covered by a 60s garage band and a boys choir while "Seasickness Pills" is pure Syd Barrett and Captain Beefheart melodic weirdness.

So, with such promising goods in hand, what's next for Drink Up Buttercup? According to Harvey, the band will spend 2008 converting these demos into a finished album while continuing to play as many shows as possible. For those of us still living in the NYC area, this means being treated to a Pianos residency in February. Drink up!

Listen:
"Gods And Gentlemen" (Demo)
"Seasickness Pills" (Demo)

Visit Drink Up Buttercup on MySpace

See Drink Up Buttercup Live:
16 February - Philadelphia, PA @ The Fire (Northern Liberties Fest)
19 February - New York, NY @ Pianos (Residency)
26 February - New York, NY @ Pianos (Residency)
1 March - New Hope, PA @ John & Peter's
4 March - New York, NY @ Pianos (Residency)
7 March - Philadelphia, PA @ The Khyber
5 April - Brooklyn, NY @ Luna Lounge
--
In the recent past, the following bands have been featured as EAR FARM's Band of the Week:
The Big Sleep
Pete and the Pirates
Dead Confederate
Throw Me The Statue
Screaming Tea Party
Graveyard
Helvetia
Pale Young Gentlemen

See the entire list of bands featured as EAR FARM's Band of the Week HERE.

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EXCLUSIVE SxSW ANNOUNCEMENT: Dead Confederate @ Stubb's with R.E.M.

This just in: EAR FARM favorites Dead Confederate have been confirmed as one of the opening bands for R.E.M. (apparently hand-picked by R.E.M.) at Stubb's in Austin during this year's South by Southwest.

The show starts at 8:00pm on March 12th and Dead Confederate will be playing at 11:00pm directly prior to R.E.M.

Here's the entire lineup in order:

Summerbirds in the Cellar
Johnathan Rice
Papercranes
Dead Confederate
R.E.M.
Listen:
"Tortured Artist Saint" by Dead Confederate

Previously - EF's Band of the Week: Dead Confederate

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OPP

LA Times: At international music conference, Peter Gabriel pleads to put the corpse of the recording industry to rest

A Place To Bury Strangers, Dirty on Purpose, and Death in Vegas members form a new band called Black Acid

The Onion A.V. Club interviews Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of the Mars Volta

Supergrass announce details of their 6th studio album, Diamond Hoo Ha, out April 15th

Oregon Live has a new Gang of Four demo

Grammy Awards will have the help of writers via an interim deal

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale expecting their second child


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29 January 2008

Three for Free - Darla Farmer, Eagle*Seagull, Peasant

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

Listen:
Darla Farmer - "Dirty Keys"

Eagle*Seagull - "Your Beauty Is A Knife I Turn On My Throat"

Peasant - "Exposure"

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The 5 Sides Of Paul Simon You Won't See At The BAM Retrospective


As The New York Times first reported last night and the Centre Daily Times (?) dutifully followed up on (ie reprinted from a press release) this morning, Paul Simon will be the subject of three unique programs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music this April.

The series is entitled "Love in Hard Times: The Music of Paul Simon", and each program will celebrate a specific theme within Simon's musical oeuvre. So far, we know the following programs include:

"Songs from the Capeman" (April 1-6) - A concert staging of the 1998 Broadway Show, this time presumably without the 11 million dollars in losses.

"Under African Skies" (April 9-13) - a reprisal of the Afro-pop and Brazilian-tinged era of Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints featuring Simon along with David Byrne, Hugh Masekela, and many of the original Graceland band members. What, no Vampire Weekend?

"American Tunes" (April 23-27) - Of particular interest, this portion of the series will feature Grizzly Bear performing alongside Simon. Wow.

Needless to say, we're very excited. However, even with an entire month of shows covering three broad themes, we couldn't help but think that the series curators must have had to make some tough omissions of Simon-related content along the way. The man's had a career for over 40 years after all. With that in mind, keep reading as EAR FARM investigates five representations of Paul Simon you probably won't be seeing at BAM...

5. Paul "The Coke-Dealing Hollywood Parasite" Simon - As immortalized in Woody Allen's Annie Hall and channeled through his character Tony Lacey. The anti-Paul Simon.


4. Paul "I Will License My Music In A Manner That Will Make You Loathe It" Simon - Several NBA spots used the once not-so-awful song "Father and Daughter" mercilessly throughout the 2006 season. No exaggeration, the same 30 seconds of the track ("I'm gonna watch you shine, gonna watch youuuu growwwww") ran during EVERY commercial break. The song became toxic. See also, Braff, Zach and Garden State.

Listen: "Father and Daughter"

3. Paul "The Original Lou Pearlman" Simon - It's true, the internet said so! Under the alias Jerry Landis, a young and enterprising Paul Simon took an unknown Kew Gardens-based boy band named Tico and the Triumphs under his wing back in 1961. Luckily for us, Simon would stick to talents other than that of prospective boy-band svengali for the duration of his career.


2. Paul "Not On My Watch, Garfunkel" Simon - At the height of his blind love for then wife Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Simon apparently wiped all of Art Garfunkel's vocal tracks from what was supposed to be a Simon & Garfunkel reunion album and released it in 1983 as a solo album, Hearts and Bones. The title track was an homage to Fisher.

Listen: "Hearts and Bones"

1. Paul "Yes, Chevy Chase Is My Friend" Simon - Of course this song rules. This video does too, but hasn't technology advanced to the point where we can use CGI to get rid of Chevy?



Chevy-bashing aside, April is going to be a special month at BAM, and all three of these programs look fantastic. Tickets for all engagements go on sale Feb 11 to the general public (and Feb 4 for Friends of BAM).

Ticket prices are as follows: "Songs from The Capeman" (Apr 1-6 at 8pm) are: $30, 50, 65 while both "Under African Skies" (Apr 9 at 7pm and Apr 10-13 at 8pm) and "American Tunes" (April 23-27 at 8pm) are $45, 60, 75, 95.

Visit Paul Simon on MySpace

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Spam Filter: "All Eyes on My Morning Jacket"

Get your DVRs, TiVos or even (gasp) VCRs ready, straight from our inbox....

Who: Tune in to Current TV to catch a glimpse of My Morning Jacket's special performance with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra at last year's Lollapalooza through the eyes of their fans during a one-of-a-kind "All Eyes On." Current's collaborative program enlisted the help of the band and their fans to shoot footage of My Morning Jacket's festival performance usng video cameras, digital cameras and cell phones.

When: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 premiering on "All Eyes On" at 10 p.m. PST / EST. Check www.current.com for additional viewing and times

What: "All Eyes On" is Current TV's creative collaboration with artists, bands and fans that utilizes raw footage from cell phones and digital cameras to capture a shared, musical moment in time. The series premiered last year with "All Eyes On The Shins," which used every video submitted by hundreds of fans to generate the first-ever audience-created concert film of its kind.

Listen:
"Lowdown"

Visit My Morning Jacket on MySpace.

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Today's NEW Releases

Who gives a fuck about an Oxford Comma? Lots of people it seems....

What else?

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OPP

Paul Simon takes over BAM in April with appearances by David Byrne, Grizzly Bear, and others

Downtown Records and Dim Mak Records join forces

SPIN interviews Bob Mould

Not to be outdone, Pitchfork interviews Rivers Cuomo

The National and Modest Mouse will support REM on tour, dates are HERE

Britney's manager acknowledges her mental issues, even as an economy grows around her

My Morning Jacket announce new album title

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

28 January 2008

Hit-or-miss: "I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder

Listen:
"I Just Called to Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder from Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection

View:
Image search results for I Just Called to Say I Love You - above image is from the first page of results (and was originally from HERE).
--
In the recent past these songs were featured in Hit-or-miss posts:
"Stay On Your Toes" by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
"The Queen Of Outer Space" by The Wedding Present
"Powder Blue" by Ween
"Good Morning, Captain" by Slint
"Septopus Theme" by Brendon Small
"Hilary" by The Fall
"The Weight Of A Rock" by Marnie Stern
"Where There's a Will There's a Whalebone" by Islands

To see a full list of every song featured in EAR FARM's Hit-or-miss (and to find out just what this Hit-or-miss is) click HERE.

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Happy Holidays: Fun at Work Day & National Kazoo Day (Top Ten Songs That Feature A Kazoo)

Today, January 28th, is both Fun at Work Day and National Kazoo Day. What a perfect combo, right? Just bring your kazoo to work with you and it's guaranteed to be a fun day for the entire office! And what's more fun than playing the kazoo for (and with) your coworkers...? Why, making a list of top songs that feature a kazoo, of course. Below you can find EAR FARM's picks for best usage of a kazoo in popular music.

National Kazoo Day: Top Ten Eleven Songs That Feature A Kazoo

10. "Smells Like Nirvana" by Weird Al Yankovic - while there is indeed a distinct kazoo moment in this song, we expect a bit more in the way of kazoo blasting from Weird Al. This song barely made it into the Top 10 ahead of "Jugband Blues" by Pink Floyd.
9a. "Lovely Rita" by The Beatles - one of two songs to show up here from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, "Lovely Rita" hits us with a kazoo briefly, but pointedly right at 0:49. Apparently as a way to drive home just how much Rita does in fact look like a military man.
9b. "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!" by The Beatles - though this is a favorite, it rates low on the kazoo-meter because of how buried the kazoo is in the mix. Really, for a circus song, this could've used a lot more kazoo.
8. "Crosstown Traffic" by Jimi Hendrix - Jimi used a kazoo made of comb and paper to accentuate the blown-out speaker sound he was going for. Bravo.
7. "Skinned" by Blind Melon - you really have to give it up for Shannon Hoon's fine kazooery in this one.
6. "Steal My Body Home" by Beck - the kazoo solo at the end of this dirge'll put a smile on your face. It's some wickedy kick ass kazoo playing, my friend.
5. "Return to the Nursery" by Carter Burwell - this classic tune from Raising Arizona is full of all kinds of yodeling and kazoo. Glorious yodeling and kazoo.
4. "I Ain't Got Nobody" by Red McKenzie - the godfather of kazoo stretches it out in this live footage of a Dixieland classic.
3. "The Walk" by The Cure - there aren't kazoos in the regular version of this song, but as the band arranged and performed it for MTV Unplugged there are... kazoos GALORE. Get it? Galore?
2. "Seaside Rendezvous" by Queen - there's so much goofy kazoo variety in this song it's as if Queen summoned a kazoo orchestra to the studio. Kazoochestra. EDIT: Word that the "kazoo" in this song is in fact Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor imitating various instruments using only their voices does nothing to diminish the overall kazoo factor of "Seaside Rendezvous". In fact, it may even increase it.
1. "Corporal Clegg" by Pink Floyd - I don't march... EXCEPT when I hear the kazoo part come in during "Corporal Clegg" by Pink Floyd. It's autonomic. And ten times more march-inducing than anything Sousa ever penned. It's damn near perfect kazooing.

What great kazoo songs did we miss?

*image from HERE.

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Mastodon and Neurosis @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple - 25 January 2008 (pics, video)

Mastodon (above) and Neurosis played a second show in as many nights at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple this past Friday night. It was amazing. More pictures, as well as live video of three Mastodon songs, after the jump.

Mastodon







Neurosis




Watch:
"Hand of Stone" by Mastodon live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT
"Bladecatcher -> Colony Of Birchmen" by Mastodon live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT

See more EF pictures from this show: Mastodon | Neurosis

Night one coverage: BrooklynVegan | RollingStone

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OPP

Major labels allow P2P music sharing on QTrax

Fluxblog and Idolator react to an essay by Todd Burns about dance music

Grizzly Bear to perform with LA Philharmonic

Pop Tarts Suck Toasted's February Concert Calendar lists select NYC shows according to ticket price

Times Online: I was Morrissey's roadie

Pitchfork: How Yo La Tengo got their name

How Paula Abdul’s “Opposites Attract” explains why (many) women like assholes

Led Zeppelin tour on hold until September

Gang of Four working on new songs

Three major record labels have denied signing deals allowing their music to feature on QTrax

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25 January 2008

Runnin' With The Devil: EAR FARM hits the road again in March

Last year I took to the road for five weeks on an immense tour with the band Goes Cube to shoot footage for a documentary about the experiences of an indie-rock band on their first cross-country tour. The documentary is moving along, as is the band. In fact, Goes Cube is currently lining up dates for another big tour on their way down to Austin for South by Southwest and is looking for shows on the way to, and back from, Texas. Get in touch with them if you'd to help find them a show in your town.

One of our collective favorites for on-the-road listening humor was the Smash Mouth "Days Like These" vocal outtake originally posted on the Grizzly Bear blog. If you haven't heard it before, listen now. It's awfully funny. Awful AND funny.

The reason I bring up last year's tour is that EAR FARM is going to go on a tour of our own: we're headed down to Austin in March for SxSW. Two weeks of driving, concerts, writing, and barbecue. We'll be sure to stop in the four BBQ meccas (North Carolina, Texas, Memphis, and Kansas City) during our trip and will do our best to see as many live shows on the road as we can. To this end, if you're in a band that will be playing in/around/near one of the cities we're going to on our March '08 tour, please get in touch and let us know about your show. Also, feel free to get in touch with us if you have any suggestions for eats or live music or things to do/see in any of the cities listed below.

Tentatively, our live music/city-stop schedule looks like this:

7 March - Van Halen in Raleigh, NC
8 March - Man Man in Athens, GA
9 March - The Walkmen/Vampire Weekend in Atlanta, GA
10 March - TBD in Memphis, TN
11 March - Goes Cube in Dallas, TX
12-16 March - SXSW in Austin, TX
17 March - Built To Spill/Meat Puppets/Helvetia in Kansas City, MO
18 March - TBD in TBD
19 March - TBD in TBD
20 March - TBD in TBD
To say that we're excited about kicking off our tour by seeing Van Halen in Raleigh would be an understatement. March looks to be one hell of a month for EAR FARM and our readers.

To celebrate - what? you thought I'd end this without an accompanying MP3 or two? pssh - we've located what is sure to be this tour's "Days Like These". Okay, it's not nearly as horrible/humorous, but is amusing no less. Found on Chunklet, it's a studio outtake of David Lee Roth singing "Runnin' With The Devil" - vocals only. Enjoy.

Listen:
"Runnin' With The Devil" (vocals only outtake) by David Lee Roth
"Runnin' With The Devil" by Van Halen

*above photo from HERE.

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Technical Difficulties: Assorted Issues

This is an announcement just to let you know that we're currently experiencing some technical difficulties. For yet to be determined reasons, EAR FARM isn't loading properly for people using Internet Explorer on PCs. We're aware of this, but sadly have little control over Blogger and the changes they make and how that impacts this site. Have no fear, we're in the process of moving away from Blogger for good.

Rest assured that we're working to remedy the situation as best we can. As far as we can tell, everything looks perfectly fine when viewed using Safari for Mac and is working nearly perfectly (some slight issues with embedded YouTube videos) when viewed using Firefox on Mac as well as PC.

You can help yourself out by using Firefox instead of Microsoft's fossil from the Mesozoic era, Internet Explorer. Yes, I mean that as a paleontological dig at your browsing habits so as to tell you to stop using Internet Explorer. Now*.

Instead, download Firefox HERE. It's free.

As always, please get in touch and let us know if something isn't working with EAR FARM for you. Since we use Firefox and Safari on Macs we're not always aware of every issue that comes up in regards to the site loading on PCs.

Thanks for your patience and thanks for reading.

Listen:
"Technical Difficulties" by Dr. Octagon

*yes, I'm aware that many of you guys have no choice because you're using work computers that force your to use IE, but still.

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Spam Filter: SPIN's Picks For '08

SPIN and EAR FARM hath - sort of - reached consensus! "Who's Next" is the name of the article that graces their February issue (on newsstands now), and among their picks of 8 acts poised to have breakout years in the Ocho is Duffy (sound familiar?). Elsewhere, Hangar 18: Rockers vs. Bloggers Fantasy Football alumni Margot & the Nuclear So & So's were also chosen among the "Next" in question so big congrats to them (we're sure Dodge is quite pleased at the moment).

After the jump, some scanny-pastes from the article so you can check out their other picks without getting paper cuts. And by all means, speak your minds! How did SPIN do with their latest roundup?....

"Who's Next?" Title Page and Some of Margot & the Nuclear So & So's



The Rest of Margot & the Nuclear So & So's



Santogold



Black Tide



The Wombats



More Wombats (text) and Jay Reatard



Duffy (Redux) and Chester French



Chester French



B.O.B.


Listen:
Duffy - "Rockferry"
Margot & the Nuclear So & So's - "Quiet as a Mouse"

Visit Duffy on MySpace
Visit Margot & the Nuclear So & So's on MySpace

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OPP

Tom Petty announces big ole' summer tour, hits MSG on June 17th

Idolator points us to an awkward Advertising Age attack on Pitchfork

Bumpershine hooks up the presale password for Cure tickets @ Radio City (presale starts TODAY at 10am)

Stream Vampire Weekend's album in its entirety over at MTV

Or if that ain't your cup of tea, stream the Jonny Greenwood Wordless Music show over at WNYC

The Onion A.V. Club interviews Jon Brion

Yahoo may start offering DRM-free MP3s

Brooklyn Vegan has some pics from night 1 of Neurosis and Mastodon at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple

REM announce tracklisting for Accelerate

SXSW.com has its first list of official parties (sans lineups for now)

Amy Winehouse heads to rehab and hopes to get clean for Grammys

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24 January 2008

8+

"Real Emotional Trash" by Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks which clocks in at 10:09

(In which we use Google Maps to get a better understanding of this song)

Making sense of Stephen Malkmus's lyrics is largely a hit-or-miss endeavor. Some are so straightforward they read like a picture book. See Jenny. See Jenny run to the Ess Dog. The Ess Dog drives a Volvo with ancient plates.

File "The Hook" under this category. Synopsis: A 19-year old is captured by Turkish pirates only to earn their respect by age 25 and eventually run the crew by the time he's 31. Simple enough, yes?

But of course, not everything can be so direct in the mind of Malkmus, and most songs surrender neat narrative arcs to clever wordplay, verbal gymnastics and Cuisinart-assembled word sequences that sound as cool as they are inscrutable. Sample lyric (from "Discretion Grove"): "Major Alfonso mind up the gold, the ceremonial dead trees told him all that he could do..."

Huh?

Coherence bookended with nonsense, logic sucker-punched by absurdity, such dichotomies define Malkmus's lyrics and have really done so ever since Slanted and Enchanted.

And sure enough, somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between "Oh I think I understand that!" and "what the Mr. Eff?" comes "Real Emotional Trash", the 10-minute scorcher of a title track from the forthcoming album of the same name...

Cursory listens reveal the song's protagonist mulling whether he should track down his long-lost father (sample lyric: "Daddy's on the run"). He's found his dad's trail, he knows he wants to follow it, yet an inability to actually do so pervades. Like Hansel and Gretel's trail of breadcrumbs, here poppa has left a similar trail of, um, his own personal psychological trash? As the protagonist puts it, "Easy said but less often done, point me in the direction of your real emotional trash."

Of course, this is only my understanding of the lyrics. As per usual, Malkmus leaves things cryptic enough for a potentially endless amount of interpretation to ensue. And while you marinate on whether my reading of the situation holds any water, dig the lengthy instrumental passage, yeyah!

(let's all pause and jam out now to this interlude starting around 3:13)

Okay, you back with me? Good. What have we missed? Well, the third act finds the protagonist being less Hamlet and more Jack Bauer. Like those awful IBM ads, he's stopped thinking and started doing, hitting the road to track down daddy dearest, which means - ROAD TRIP.

And since we're in the business of making Malkmus's lyrics painfully tangible and comprehensible, I've gone ahead and done up a Google Map of the route he presumably follows in search of his father:


View Larger Map

This is based on the only geographic scraps we're given throughout the song, which are the following:

"I traipsed over the Mexican border in a cheap caravan man..."
FOLLOWED BY
"Made it back to Frisco in a vanity chest to the painted ladies on house arrest..."
AND FINALLY
"Down in Sausalito we had clams for dessert..."

So - as indicated in the above map - he starts his trek just across the Mexican border (I took liberties with the lyrics and picked Tijuana as the exact locale, it just felt right). After finding relief for an upset stomach there (I'm not making this up, listen to the lyrics), he heads all the way up to San Francisco hidden in a vanity chest to presumably rendezvous with women of loose morals. That right there is an 8 hour drive - and possibly over 10 with traffic - but the good news for him is that the final trip to Sausalito is a mere 20 minutes.

Okay, so we've charted his ideal course, made allowances for any possible traffic along the way, and now have a much better understanding of what the hell he's talking about, right?

Well, the thing is that after Sausalito the lyrics sort of give way to another Allman Brothers-esque guitar solo, and as a result the whole plot of tracking down a long-lost father is pretty much abandoned in the name of further shredding. So...what then? Maybe, umm, this could be indicative of a joyous reunion between father and son?

Sigh...

Look, I've got to be honest with you. I'm getting the feeling that "Daddy's on the run" was kind of a red herring. Charting a Google Map in response to it may have been as useful as trying to WebMD symptoms to the lyrics in "Baby C'Mon": "If you give it to me Timmy, I'm out here on a limb-y" (ie he's probably not talking about tennis elbow).

Malkmus 1, EAR FARM 0

Fine. You may have won this round Stephen, but just wait until we curl up with seasons 1-4 of The Wire and start explicating "Baltimore"; it's gonna blow your fucking mind.

*above photo found HERE

Buy Real Emotional Trash (available 3/4/08) on Amazon/on Insound

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+:
Iron Maiden - "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"
Mandy Reid - "Tornado"
Genesis - "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight"
Metallica - "Master of Puppets"
British Sea Power - “Lately”
The Decemberists - “The Mariner's Revenge Song”
Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Free Bird"
Ludwig van Beethoven - "Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 - Allegretto"

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

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You Name The Mix #1

Five songs, one central theme. Many possible central themes actually. You decide which one fits best and tell us in the comments.

EAR FARM's You Name The Mix #1
1. "Angels" by Black Mountain
2. "Boxers" by Morrissey
3. "Chains" by The Beatles
4. "Dreams" by Suicide
5. "Echoes" by Pink Floyd

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Spam Filter: New Frog Eyes Video - "Idle Songs"

Frog Eyes has a new video out for the song "Idle Songs" from last year's excellent album Tears of the Valedictorian. The video was directed by Carey Mercer, edited by Sikwaya Condon, and can be seen below.



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The Big Sleep on La Blogothèque

The Big Sleep, EAR FARM's Band of the Week this week, has two songs from their upcoming album Sleep Forever featured on La Blogothèque.

The songs are "Slow Race" and "Chorus of Guitars" and can be seen, listened to, and downloaded right HERE.

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OPP

Bauhaus member writes a musical based on the life of Edie Sedgwick

Use this widget to vote for what songs the Super Furry Animals should play when they come to your town

Following Coachella news, Portishead announce the release of THIRD, their uh, third album

Are Stone Temple Pilots reuniting?

Aquarium Drunkard has My Morning Jacket's Jim James' Top 15 Things About Louisville, KY

All major labels to stream free music on Last.fm

Brooklyn Vegan says Ambulance LTD are playing a Union Hall residency under the name Impervious?

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23 January 2008

Band of the Week: The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep are Danny, Sonya, and Gabe from Brooklyn, NY. You might already be familiar with them as a result of their well-received 2006 debut Son of the Tiger which won them many fans both at home as well as across the country and, likely, around the world. The Village Voice once called them "easily New York's best unknown" and a variety of musical taste makers hyped the band, with Playback:stl calling them "...a fully formed psych-rock beast, equally capable of soothing with gentle melodies as it is of slaughtering with a menacing attack."

Still, there was something missing from the record for me. Vocals were largely buried and/or mostly absent on Son of the Tiger, yes. But I can swing with instrumental post-rock jams. No doubt. No doubt. However, some kind of overall je ne sais quoi was missing from the record - a certain something that propels the band to rare heights in person, in concert. The touch of magic that reinterprets a band's live show and translates it into the language of what sounds great in the studio was simply absent. These are intangible notions, but most likely are the source of the average critical response to Son of the Tiger. On their second full-length effort, Sleep Forever, it appears as though The Big Sleep have found this whatchamacallit and wholly captured it on record. It's as simple as this: if you smiled at the potential shown by The Big Sleep previously, be prepared to shout.

"Bad Blood" begins as a perfect fusion of post-rock and post-punk, a bit of Mogwai mixed with an Interpol-esque drum beat. The beginning of "Coffee & TV" by Blur, if I'm being honest. At first it might seem as though this is the same, solid, Big Sleep you're accustomed to hearing. However, within a few short measures the band makes it clear they've developed beyond Son of the Tiger into a land that is entirely their own. Part Pretty Girls Make Graves slice and dice, part Sonic Youth blast off, "Bad Blood" finds Sonya's vocals cutting right through the mix with the coordinated attacks of Danny and Gabe accelerating consistently from the beginning of the track right through the song's finish line. Racing. Check your pulse if "Bad Blood" doesn't get you moving... etc etc. Gone is any hint of a band that meanders its way through moments of their songs; instead The Big Sleep has evolved ever-so-slightly by sharpening their edges and perfecting their unique snarl.

The second track they've made available from their upcoming sophomore effort Sleep Forever is the familiar "Pinkies". Familiar, that is, if you've seen The Big Sleep live before. This song takes the band into the lofty, skyscraping, shoegazer realm of Ride, as Danny mans the mic and lays down melodic guitar shreds that evolve from understated to jaw-dropping. The rhythm section stays right there with him throughout, rising to the top at just the right moment before letting the guitars rightfully, powerfully, close out the track. Put this one on repeat, and make it loud. "Pinkies" is frankly irresistible.

Abundant praise and early comparisons to Sonic Youth and My Bloody Vanlentine did a bit of a disservice to The Big Sleep. Yet somehow they've remained focused, drawing on what makes them unique and amplifying their strengths with great success. Here's to hoping that the premature hype the first time around won't make you hesitate to check out the band when the timing is right, because the time to let this band (back) into your life is now. With a live show/record release here in New York scheduled for February and countless dates across the US sure to follow, 2008 is shaping up to be the year of The Big Sleep. No shit, there's proof below.

Listen:
"Bad Blood"
"Pinkies"

Visit The Big Sleep on MySpace.

See The Big Sleep live: 21 February @ Mercury Lounge (Sleep Forever record release party).
--
In the recent past, the following bands have been featured as EAR FARM's Band of the Week:
Pete and the Pirates
Dead Confederate
Throw Me The Statue
Screaming Tea Party
Graveyard
Helvetia
Pale Young Gentlemen
Department of Eagles

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EAR FARM's Band of The Week

Lately you may have noticed a more orderly approach to band features on EAR FARM. Namely, that we've been selecting one band each week to be featured as EAR FARM's Band of the Week. This post is to simply serve as official announcement that this is, indeed, going to be a regular weekly feature on EAR FARM - each Wednesday. You can see all of EAR FARM's Band of The Week posts thus far below, listed from most recent to oldest. To see a list of every band featured on EAR FARM prior to this feature becoming "official" and "regular", click HERE.

These United States
Kelley Polar
Plants and Animals
All the Saints

I'm From Barcelona
Bombadil
Tapes 'n Tapes
White Hinterland
Man Man
We Barbarians
The Dodos
Hey Hey My My
Amy LaVere
Beach House
Computer Perfection
Goes Cube
Magic Arm
Drink Up Buttercup
The Big Sleep
Pete and the Pirates
Dead Confederate
Throw Me The Statue
Screaming Tea Party
Graveyard
Helvetia
Pale Young Gentlemen
Department of Eagles

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Pazz + Jop and Idolator Pop Oh My

Did The Village Voice intentionally sit out the last month and a half of year-end list-making in order to drop their annual Pazz + Jop Critics Poll at the least relevant moment possible? Beats me, but unloading the 35th iteration of this esteemed roundup in late January seems either like a case of editorial ball-dropping or an intentional eff you to those eager beavers within the blogosphere that shot their list-load in the long long ago of Thanksgiving, doesn't it?

Now, I haven't done my proper homework with this latest of lists (blame year-end burnout?) but there seems to be a lot of similarities - at least with regards to the best album list (again all I've really looked at) - to the Idolator Pop list. Conspiracy theory? No, not at all, seeing as Idolator's poll previously went by the name Jackin' Pop before this year's makeover.

The top 5 of both is fairly identical, just some slight musical chairs with regards to positioning....

Pazz + Jop Critics Top 5
1 LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver - 1662 Points
2 Radiohead - In Rainbows - 1611 Points
3 M.I.A. - Kala - 1611 Points
4 Amy Winehouse - Back To Black - 1492 Points
5 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - 1212 Points

Idolator Pop Top 5
1 LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver - 1876 Points
2 M.I.A. - Kala - 1550 Points
3 Radiohead - In Rainbows - 1327 Points
4 Arcade Fire - Neon Bible - 847 Points
5 Amy Winehouse - Back To Black - 821 Points

And you can pretty much make the argument that M.I.A should actually also be number two on the Pazz + Jop based on the point total.

The similarities continue throughout the lists and perhaps only worth noting in attempting to answer the broader, Arnold Diaz-esque question: How many critics cast ballots in both polls?

577 critics voted in the Voice poll compared to 452 (Matt
and I included) in the Idolator poll. Based on the differences in ballot-list setup (the Voice list is straight-up alphabetical by last name while the Idolator one is oddly separated into mini-lists by first-name letter), a side-by-side comparison of names would take waaaaaaay too much time. If you find yourself wanting to tackle this mind-numbing hunk of EAR FARM busywork instead of attending to whatever it is you're actually being paid for, have at it:

Pazz + Jop Ballot List
Idolator Pop Ballot List

By the time someone comes up with an answer to this riddle, we'll most likely be prepping our year-end lists for 2008.

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The Rosebuds @ Music Hall Of Williamsburg - 18 January 2008

The Rosebuds played the Music Hall Of Williamsburg last Friday night in what was billed as a special "request show"; that is, they offered their fans the chance to request songs to be included in their setlist for both the show they played in Brooklyn AND their other show in the area at Maxwell's on Saturday. Sadly they didn't play their recently released version of "Push It" (posted below), but they did play just about every other song I could've hoped they would. Including personal favorites "Governor's Daughter" and "Hold On To This Coat". Live videos of both of these songs (plus two more live video clips and a few more pictures) can be found after the jump.




Attending a Rosebuds show is a bit of a unique experience in a live concert market such as New York City. As was the case at the last Rosebuds show I went to, The Rosebuds and the audience combined to create an intimate, loose, and fun show full of energy, dancing, and sing-a-longs. It felt more like a large private party for friends of the band than your average Brooklyn rock show. Most probably because there was nothing average about the evening at all. Like the Man Man show from last January, this was a perfect way to kick off the '08 concert season.

Listen:
"Push It" by The Rosebuds (originally by Salt-N-Pepa)

Watch:
"Boxcar" live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT
"Governor's Daughter" live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT
"Hold On To This Coat" live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT
"Silja Line" live (from this show) on YouTube | download QT

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

Visit The Rosebuds on MySpace.

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OPP

The Shortlist Music Prize nominees have been whittled down to 10 finalists

Rolling Stone's readers have chosen the top 25 crazy songs about.....going crazy

Josh from Tapes 'n Tapes spills the beans to Pitchfork about their new album

The Lemonheads' It's a Shame About Ray is gonna git the deluxe and expanded treatment courtesy of Rhino

Wolfgang's Vault, the online archives of Bill Graham Presents, is investing in Daytrotter

Stars pay tribute to Heath Ledger

Check out 5 things the Observer loves right now

Blind Melon set to release first album in 13 years

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