30 April 2008

Band of the Week: I'm From Barcelona (slideshow, interview w/Emanuel Lundgren)

Band: I'm From Barcelona
From: Jönköping, Sweden
Sound: Uplifting, joyous bedroom pop to the 29th power
Similar Artists: Polyphonic Spree, Beulah, Bodies of Water, Architecture in Helsinki
Listen Now: "Oversleeping"

You wouldn't think a song detailing the joys of stamp collecting could whip a room into such a commotion as to cause overhead stage lights to come crashing down, now would you? Well, neither would we...that is, until we saw the gleeful force of nature that is I'm From Barcelona blow the roof off Maxwell's last Friday evening.

Seeing is believing. Led by charismatic frontman Emanuel Lundgren, the 29-member ensemble have made considerable strides since "accidentally" forming a few years ago. As the now-famous origin story goes, Lundgren decided to record some songs in his apartment over a month-long vacation from work. To flesh out the tracks, he invited his friends to come over and record various vocals, hand claps, and whatever spare instruments happened to be lying around.

It just so happens that he has more friends than you or I, and the result is a blissful debut album - 2006's Let Me Introduce My Friends - that balances the earnest songwriting and subject matter of someone composing from their bedroom (as was the case) with the insta-party vibe of having your 29 best friends on hand (as was the case).

To truly experience the band though, you MUST see them live. It's as though a stadium-sized show somehow got crammed into a much smaller space, causing a technicolor explosion of goodwill, balloons, smiles, and frantic sing-alongs (and broken lights) in the process. Your last chance for the foreseeable future comes tomorrow at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple. EAR FARM joined Lundgren and a few of his fellow Barcelonians as the band (17 out of 29 of them for this particular tour) prepared for Friday evening's show. After the jump, check out our exclusive Q&A with Lundgren as well as a slideshow of the night's activities AND live video from their insane performance...


(ABOVE: I'm From Barcelona slideshow, created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR)

EF: It must be an absolute logistical nightmare to have to coordinate everyone’s schedules

IFB: Yeah, I like to torture myself, so we don’t have a tour manager.

EF: So who’s responsibility does that fall to?

IFB: (Emanuel points to himself and laughs) Me, I’m the booking agent and everything...I’m so eager to play now because it’s been such a long time planning, and it's been all about everything else except playing so far; I’m so glad we’re here right now and we can finally play some music!

EF: How many shows are you guys doing this tour?

IFB: It’s a small tour because we cant do a four piece band to go on a tour for 2 months. So we do 6 gigs, it’s a 10 day tour.

EF: And you’re heading out to Coachella after this?

IFB: Yeah tomorrow. But I’m kind of sad because I think we’ll probably miss the Prince concert. I love Prince and I’ve never seen him live. We’ll probably be sitting in the parking lot in the bus and hear Prince in the desert.

EF: You could probably still make it, commandeer a golf cart or something...

IFB: Yeah, like “Prince, wait for me!”

EF: (looking at IFB bandmates blowing up balloons) So these are the stage props for tonight? What have we got here, some balloons?

IFB: Yeah we try and entertain the crowd, it's good to have something to do so you don’t stand here like this (stands with arms folded and blank look on his face)

EF: Right, which of course is exactly what New York audiences are known for.

IFB: Yeah but not from my experience, not from last time; they didn’t stand like this (resumes arms folded), it was a wild bunch of people.

EF: Well I think I read somewhere that part of the beauty of your live shows is that there’s a thin line between audience and performer...

IFB: Yeah, yesterday in Philly was extreme, it was very much like a punk rock gig because there were so many people up on stage for half the gig. It was a bit too crazy but I like it like that. But it’s a good contrast with that and tonight and then with Coachella, it's like two different vibes, but I like it like this (small shows), it's easier to communicate with the crowd.

EF: Sure, and you guys have so many members in your band that it must be an advantage when you go and play these enormous festivals, I’m sure you all feed off of each other on the stage.

IFB: Right, when you see a three-piece band on stage, after having been in this band for awhile, it always feels like “doesn’t it feel lonely up there? It's so empty, so much space..." But we often play small stages, and it feels good to play bigger stages so we’re not hitting each other with instruments and everything.

EF: Explain how the band started, it was basically you and your friends, right?

IFB: Exactly, the first record was all about friends. I just invited all the people I hung out with, I didn’t care if they were the best musicians in Sweden, it wasn’t about that, it was just about having fun. And now this next record is all about strangers - I can release that news - I haven’t found the perfect title yet but it will be about strangers.

EF: Is “Britney” (new single released on MySpace) an example of that?

IFB: I guess so, because it’s about the strangers I read about and see on TV; I’m a biography junkie, I love to read biographies about people so I guess I’ve read a lot of them the last two years and the new album is influenced by that. It's more about walking in someone else’s shoes for a change.

EF: So how much of that material is written?

IFB: All the songs are ready and we’re mixing them right now. We’re planning the cover and the video so this fall it will be out, probably September.

EF: Awesome, and do you think there will be another stateside tour to support it?

IFB: I hope so I really hope so[...]And we’ll have to do the thing we’re worst at: we’re so bad at rehearsing, but we have to rehearse new songs. When you’re like 20 people, it always ends up as a party, it's hard to focus.

EF: Well that’s good too though, to always have a party...

IFB: It is good, but you don’t get anything done. We’re playing some of them tonight, we’ll see how it goes.

EF: And then you guys are playing the Brooklyn Masonic Temple next Thursday...

IFB: Yeah, I’m kind of excited about it. As I told you I like to read about stuff, brotherhood and societies, it's always fascinating, I’ll probably sneak around finding weird symbolic stuff and building my own conspiracy theories. We did the pool parties with the same promoter last year and it was amazing[...] Another thing I’m looking forward to is we’re doing a show Yo Gabba Gabba, it’s a children’s program on Nickelodeon, it's an amazing music program (ed note: see recent Shins performance on the program HERE). They want to pick good music for young people, they write their own music and we did a cover of it and are going to perform it there. I think it's going to be amazing because I’ve been thinking of doing a children’s record.

EF: And your music just has that playful vibe to it too...

IFB: Yeah, and I’ve noticed we have a lot of three-year-old fans actually. I think kids are honest, they don’t care, they just feel what’s good; for me, it’s a compliment that a kid would like it.

EF: So what do you have in store for the Brooklyn show?

IFB: I think the theme will be pink….

EF: Pink...so we should tell everyone to dress accordingly?

IFB: Yes, think pink! That’s the concept. So come to Brooklyn and we’ll have a good time together.

Listen:
"Oversleeping"

Watch:
"Collection Of Stamps" (live from this show, YouTube)
unknown new song ("Paper Planes"?) (live from this show, YouTube)

See I'm From Barcelona Live:
01 May - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Masonic Temple
09 May - Brussels, Belgium @ Nuits Botanique
10 May - Diksmuide, Belgium @ Ten Vrede
03 July - Kristiansand, Norway @ Quartfestivalen
04 July - Oystese, Norway @ Bygdalarm
18 July - Poupet, France @ Les Arts a La Champagne

Visit I'm From Barcelona on MySpace.
--
In the recent past, the following bands have been featured as EAR FARM's Band of the Week:
Bombadil
Tapes 'n Tapes
White Hinterland
Man Man
We Barbarians
The Dodos
Hey Hey My My
Amy LaVere

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

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Coldplay Blows MTV's Mind

Pardon our lateness to the Coldplay listening party.

By now I'm sure you know the narrative: Coldplay dabbles in Radiohead/NIN online altruism by making the the first single from their upcoming Brian Eno-produced album Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends available for download (upon surrendering your email address) from their official site yesterday. And yet, by the time our morbid curiosity got the best of us, it took three different email submissions before we finally got the goods.

And that anecdote is about as exciting as it gets. Granted, we've never been huge Coldplay fans, but who could possibly mistake "Violet Hill" as a dynamic and interesting song? MTV!

And seeing as their gushing "review" of "Violet Hill" is far more engrossing than the actual song, let's train our curmudgeonly glare upon it instead. Thanks to this piece, historians will one day be able to pinpoint the exact time and date when music journalism died: April 28, 2008 at 4;47 pm EDT. It was at that moment that this review appeared online and actually pleaded with MTV readers to read a - gasp - written assessment of music instead of just listening to it...the horror!!!

And no, we haven't swung some sort of streaming deal with Capitol Records. Rather, this is a written preview of the track[...]And while we realize that reading about a song doesn't compare to actually hearing it, what else are you gonna do for the next 15-odd hours?

So very sad. And after apologizing to their readers for...making them read, our besotted MTV scribe then attempts to describe the revolutionary song structure of "Violet Hill"; and there doesn't seem to be enough words in the English language to talk about a song that starts quietly, gets loud, and then ends quietly. But at least MTV tries, detailing the "wall of gauzy, all-encompassing white noise" before the "breakneck shifts" or "sudden shifts from spacey to stomping" that cue "some of Queen's most garish moments" and a "curling solo", all of which "is strongly indicative of the breadth of song structures you'll hear on the Brian Eno-produced album".

I honestly couldn't pick this song out of a police lineup based on that description. Really, "Violet Hill" is about as dynamic as the Subway "Five Dollar Footlong" jingle. So much for the goodwill we thought MTV built based on yesterday's I Want My MTV.

But of course, don't take our word for it, and PLEASE don't take MTV's word; go HERE and judge for yourself.

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OPP

WIRED interviews Justin Oullette, the man behind Muxtape

Watch Morrissey perform on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Or, watch Scarlett Johansson's video for "Falling Down"

Roger Waters' giant pig found!

Radiohead takes on sweatshops, won't repeat In Rainbows-style release again

Robert Pollard to publish coffee table book

Nicole Kidman to play Dusty Springfield in upcoming biopic

Bloc Party announce small summer tour, New York shows

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29 April 2008

I Want My MTV - videos actually seen on...... MTV!?!

Or, on MTV2 actually. Same difference. What I'm saying is that last night, on Subterranean, I saw multiple videos I'd never seen before and I loved them. And I discovered a new band too (The Buddy System). It was amazing. Just like old times. Check out a few favorites from last night's show below...


"Clap Paws" by The Buddy System (above)


"Fireworks" by Animal Collective (above)


"The Air We Breathe" by Figurines (above)


"Polite Dance Song" by The Bird and the Bee (above)

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Three for Free - Boris, Wolves in the Throne Room, OM

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

Listen:
Boris - "Flower, Sun, Rain"

Wolves in the Throne Room - "I Will Lay Down My Bones Among the Rocks and Roots"

OM - "Unitive Knowledge Of The Godhead"

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Locally Grown: an April Mix Tape from Brooklyn Based and EAR FARM

It's a well established fact: I love making mixes. It's an art form, it's a game, it's like my Sunday crossword puzzle; or, it's like baking a cake for someone except the cake is made out of ingredients you can listen to. Mmm!

So, when Nicole Davis from Brooklyn Based (an essential newsletter focusing on Brooklyn's best food, art, services, shops and people - subscribe HERE) got in touch and asked me to curate a mix of Brooklyn-based artists I jumped out of my seat and screamed "fuggedaboutit"! Then I set my sights on putting together a choice selection of songs from bands in some way associated with Kings County. All of the songs are ones that have been offered for FREE by the corresponding bands - in other words, this mix is 100% legal and entirely free. Aw yeah. Look for another Brooklyn Based/EAR FARM mix in the near future. For now, click through to listen, download, and read a bit about each song...

1. “Opposite Sides” by The Epochs - Formed by two brothers, electro-rock hybrid band The Epochs could fall into the familiar trappings of trying to add too many layers to their Pro Tools projects (see TV on the Radio), but they don’t. And that’s precisely what makes this band successful: plenty of space for harmony, melody, and ever-shifting beats.

2. “Fuck and Run” by Cassettes Won’t Listen - Last year Cassettes Won’t Listen, aka Jason Drake, released a free EP of covers of songs from the ’90s that featured favorites from Pavement, Butter 08, Blind Melon, Sebadoh, and the Liz Phair classic, “Fuck and Run,” that’s posted here. All of the cover versions from that EP are worth checking out, as is Drake’s most recent effort Small-Time Machine, but none flowed better into the next song than “Fuck and Run.”

3. “The Mule” by Z-Ro, Devin The Dude & Juvenile, remixed by Ratatat - This song, originally a Z-Ro joint, has been masterfully Ratatat’d and is a shining example of two things. #1 - Ratatat Remixes Mixtape Volume 2 is worth seeking out (note: it’s free). #2 - Ratatat should do an album full of songs featuring guest vocalists and rappers. Shit, that would be the shit.

4. “Golden Prize” by Apes & Androids - I was told by a friend in early 2006 that Apes & Androids was a “must see” band, but I didn’t listen. Stupid me. What, I didn’t want a bit more Beck/Queen influence in my life?? Well, now I’m listening — you’re listening — and Androidery abounds as the band continues to build upon their reputation as having one of Brooklyn’s top live shows. See them in person to find out for yourself. Trust me.

5. “Sunrise” by Yeasayer - This is Yeasayer: cerebral tribal rock that rises above flavor of the week status by offering layer upon layer for listeners to peel back and enjoy with each repeated spin. Scrobble. Whatever. Yeasayer’s album All Hour Cymbals has gotten lots of critical attention lately but I still stand by my assertion that their recorded output has yet to fully capture what the band does live. Which is simply another way for me to say “don’t miss them live.”

6. “Plea Bargain” by Beat the Devil - Beat the Devil is easily one of NYC’s top “unknown” bands. By a long shot. They’re unique, visceral, and instantly memorable. If you long for sultry dark dirgey folk rock that climbs into your mind and never lets go (”wow wow, a WOW WOW”), then this is the band you’ve been waiting for. I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t fall in love with this song after hearing it once.

7. “Buy My Product” by Mancino - EAR FARM writer Mike Grimes plays guitar and sings in the band Mancino, so we’ll leave the dissecting of this track to you. But I can tell you this much: it’s included here for the most honest and transparent of reasons, I love the song and I’m willing to bet you will too.

8. “Monolith” by Hopewell - Hopewell literally reaches for the stars with their soaring, anthemic, psychedelic-infused rock. They blend the romantic ambition of Bowie with the spaced-out snarl of Spiritualized and what comes out is pop-rock that’s, in a word, immense. In some ways slightly out of time, Hopewell would’ve been a huge success in the ’70s. Like, sold-out arena huge.

9. “What Would Wolves Do?” by Les Savy Fav - People “know” vocalist Tim Harrington but the real superstar of this band is guitarist Seth Jabour, who alternates between understated rhythms lurking at the back of the mix to insanely catchy lead lines. On last year’s Let’s Stay Friends he helped bring Les Savy Fav out of postpunk-by-numbers and into the realm of truly great.

10. “No More” by Dirty Projectors - This song is taken from the most recent record by Bed-Stuy’s own Dirty Projectors. The record, Rise Above, was Dave Longstreth’s re-imagining of the entire Black Flag album Damaged, apparently from memory and without any revisiting of the original. Which, I suppose, explains the absence of T.V. Party and Life Of Pain. Regardless of what was forgotten, Rise Above is fantastic.

11. “On A Neck, On A Spit” by Grizzly Bear - Grizzly Bear has blown me away, literally, with every step they’ve taken, from Horn of Plenty to Yellow House to the Friend EP to their outstanding cover versions of Paul Simon songs at BAM. “On A Neck, On A Spit” is as fine of an example as any other song as to why myself, Radiohead, and everyone else who hears the band, are such big fans of Grizzly Bear. The sky’s the limit for these guys.

12. “Something of an End” by My Brightest Diamond - My Brightest Diamond is the project of singer-songwriter multi-instrumentalist Shara Worden who has been seen performing with Sufjan Stevens. If you like Antony and the Johnsons and/or Joanna Newsom, you’ll love the unique blend of cabaret, chamber music, rock, and opera that is My Brightest Diamond.

Listen to the Locally Grown muxtape.

Download the entire mix as a ZIP.

Print the front cover above; back cover below. Enjoy!

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Today's NEW Releases

Kicking off May, behold this week's new offerings:

Tis the week for self-titled albums? What else is out there?


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OPP

The Walkmen will release their new album on August 19th on Gigantic Records

Damon Albarn also has a new album in the works for a July release

Ting Tings soundtrack the latest iTunes commercial

Annie Leibovitz and Miley Cyrus spar over racy photo

Coldplay announces free single and 2 free shows (one at MSG) for release of their new album

$10,000 reward offered for the safe return of Roger Waters' prop pig

The New York Times wrote about it so it's okay for us to: Vivid Entertainment to release a Jimi Hendrix sex tape?

Wolf Parade announces revised title to their sophomore album - At Mount Zoomer

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28 April 2008

Hit-or-miss: "Jet City Woman" by Queensrÿche

Listen:
"Jet City Woman" by Queensrÿche from Empire

View:
Image search results for Jet City Woman - above image is from the tenth page of results (and was originally from HERE).
--
In the recent past these songs were featured in Hit-or-miss posts:
"II. In Taberna: Estuans Interius" by Carl Orff
"Dangerous" by Frente!
"Keep Their Heads Ringing" by Dr. Dre
"At It Again" by Sublime
"The Day I Tried To Live" by Soundgarden
"I'm Comin' Down" by Primal Scream
"I See Spiders When I Close My Eyes" by The Boy Least Likely To
"Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?" by Buzzcocks
--
EAR FARM's Hit-or-miss is a weekly feature (every Monday) wherein the EF 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. You can see all of EAR FARM's Hit-or-miss posts thus far right HERE.

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Insound: New Site, "Give More! Get More!" Campaign

Online indie superstore Insound has just upped its game considerably, unveiling a sparkling new website (Insound 4.0) along with some refreshingly altruistic news....behold the "Give More! Get More!" campaign:

Every time you buy an MP3 album from Insound (not EPs or singles), Insound will donate $.25 of our take to a touring band. We choose 6 lucky bands that we like, but you get to select the actual artist to earmark your quarter to. Furthermore, should you wish to "tip" additional funds to these great artists, you can add your own tip during checkout. 100% of these funds will do to the band you choose. If you do not choose a specific band, we will distribute the funds equally to all of the bands. We will add new bands 2-4 times each year. All funds are to be used by bands to support the next national tour. In short, their tours will be made possible by you – Insound customers!

Pretty awesome. And the six lucky bands stockpiling your quarters to buy a few ounces of gasoline on the road? Check out the roster (alongside MP3s from each band) after the jump...

- The Big Sleep - "Bad Blood"
- Russian Cirlces - "Death Rides A Horse"
- The Twilight Sad - "And She Would Darken The Memory"
- Headlights - "TV"
- Epsilons - "Snap Crackle Pop!"
- Videohippos - "Bear Fight"

Also worth noting, Insound is instituting a free mixtape program, whereby each digital album order (full albums only, no EPs or singles) gets you a free MP3 sampler of 10-15 hand-selected tracks updated each month. Which just leaves the following questions: a) what do you think about the "new Insound" and b) are such moves the answer to the death of the physical record store? It's certainly not a bad start...

*above image found HERE

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Wakey!Wakey! @ Maxwell's - 25 April 2008

Wakey!Wakey! played Maxwell's this past Friday night in an opening slot for the twenty nine member Swedish pop sensation I'm From Barcelona. EAR FARM was at the show to interview IFB's Emanuel Lundgren for our Band of the Week feature this week - expect to see tons of content related to I'm From Barcelona's incredible performance at Maxwell's (including an exclusive interview, live videos, and pics) on Wednesday - thankfully we got there early enough to see Wakey!Wakey! warm up the crowd with their happy-sad songs and supremely friendly demeanor.

Lead singer/pianist Mike Grubbs held court for the length of the band's set, moving from humorous between song banter to blowing the roof off the tiny venue with remarkable vocals in a single bound. There's a roaring strength that exists in the vulnerability of Wakey!Wakey! and behind that, much potential to appeal to larger audiences. We'll definitely be keeping our eyes on these guys, you can check out more pictures from the show, and a couple of MP3s, including a Wakey!Wakey! cover of a Weezer song, after the jump...




Listen:
"Get Away (Here We Go Again)"
"Say It Ain’t So" (Weezer cover)

See Wakey!Wakey! live:
17 May - New York, NY @ Rockwood Music Hall
21 May - New York, NY @ Parkside Lounge
23 May - Bryn Mawr, PA @ Milkboy Cafe
24 May - Wilmington, NC @ WE Festival
25 May - Wilmington, NC @ WE Festival Showcase at the Soapbox

Download the Wakey!Wakey! cover album for free HERE.

See more pictures of Wakey!Wakey! from this show HERE.

Visit Wakey!Wakey! on MySpace.

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OPP

Reuters recaps Coachella, and gives MVP honors to Prince

And The Los Angeles Times agrees, Prince reigned at Coachella

...but don't forget The New York Times' praise of Prince's set also

Rolling Stone gets in on the Prince love and also recaps the rest of day two as well as day one at Coachella

And at the tail end of the Prince-love comet, blogs really latched onto the video of Prince covering Radiohead

Spin catches up with Les Savy Fav at Coachella and coaxes acoustic song from them

Guitar Hero IV rumors are already swirling, and Activision CEO promises new instruments

Midlake's guitarist launches his own brand of coffee

NYC Taper has live audio of the April 26th Fiery Furnaces show at Southpaw

Eddie Van Halen: "I'm healthier than I've ever been"

Luna Lounge was shut down by the Department of Health?

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25 April 2008

EAR FARM's Muxtape #5: 2:42

Joshua Allen recently wrote a piece in The Morning News claiming that the perfect song length is precisely 2:42, and after going through the exercise of putting together the following mix, I'm inclined to agree. The quality of songs in my library at the 2:41, 2:42, and 2:43 marks is rather outstanding. So how was I able to whittle down this week's mux to a mere 12 songs? Because I rule. Also because I made rules.

Even though the length of songs gets a bit screwy sometimes upon import, I stuck to tracks that registered as exactly 2:42 in my library. This ruled out a lot of great songs I've noticed on other peoples' 242 lists. For example, "California Dreamin'" shows up on a ton of 242 lists but in my music library it's listed at 2:43. Sorry Charlies. Also, I decided to avoid picking any of the songs already posted on the following 242 muxes I stumbled upon: author Joshua Allen's 2m42s mux, contrabandwidth's 2:42 is the magic # mux, and Wired's listeningpost242 mux.

If it seems as though everyone has made a 242 mix, it's probably because they have. The way I see it, it's like Spike with all of his ruminating about how you can quickly judge a chef by the soup they make - one can tell a lot about the talent/resources of a given mix-maker by their ability to put together a proper 242 mix. I decree. So listen to mine, make your own, and let's fight over whose is better!

You can hear EF's 242 mux right HERE.

EAR FARM's Muxtape #5: 2:42
1. "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)?" by Buzzcocks
2. "If You Hate Your Friends, You're Not Alone" by Pretty Girls Make Graves
3. "School" by Nirvana
4. "Me-Jane" by PJ Harvey
5. "Sheila Take A Bow" by The Smiths
6. "Leah" by Roy Orbison
7. "Sway" by Dean Martin
8. "The Next Episode" by Dr. Dre
9. "Michelle" by The Beatles
10. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On" by Jerry Lee Lewis
11. "A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off" by The Magnetic Fields
12. "Center Of Gravity" by Yo La Tengo

*above Front 242 record photo from HERE.

See also:
EAR FARM's Muxtape #1: 12 Songs For A Cat Named Joe
EAR FARM's Muxtape #2: April Fools Edition!
EAR FARM's Muxtape #3: Fank Fod it's Friday and Finally Fpring!
EAR FARM's Muxtape #4: Rock Band Setlist
--
A Muxtape is a simple way to create and share mixtapes. That's all there is to it. Feel free to share your own mix in the comments.

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Paul Simon "American Tunes" @ BAM - 23 April 2008

Paul Simon renewed his month-long residency at BAM Wednesday night in a concert billed as "American Tunes", an obvious foil to the two previous series "Under African Skies" and "Songs from The Capeman". The three separate concert runs were designed to highlight different periods of Simon's songwriting career with "American Tunes" revisiting his years as a songwriter working with Art Garfunkel into his early years as a solo artist, "Under African Skies", quite obviously, highlighting those years in the '80s and '90s when Simon delved into the music of Africa and South America, and "Songs from The Capeman" giving New York one final listen to music from Simon's Broadway disaster The Capeman.

EAR FARM skipped out on "Songs from The Capeman". But! We were lucky enough to attend the other two Simonfests (check out the EF review of "Under African Skies") and I was, in particular, looking most forward to seeing Grizzly Bear and Gillian Welch and Paul Simon perform Simon's earlier work. You know, the stuff that came from his soul, rather than from the mind of someone else. The American songs! Songs to be proud of as an American, because they were written by an American, in America! (gratuitous Trey Parker nod alert) America! Fuck yeah!

What follows is a song by song recap (in order) of we what heard and saw on Wednesday during night one of "American Tunes".

"American Tune" performed by The Roches and Paul Simon
Appropriately, from a thematic standpoint, the show began with the song that gave the final run of Simon concerts its name. However, because of the mellow nature of the song and below average performance by The Roches, it was an altogether lackluster start to the concert. Par for the course, really, when you've decided to begin a show with a song about "trying to get some rest" and being "weary to the bones". Simon remained in the background for the entire performance feebly strumming along, perhaps exhausted before he even began...

"Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" performed by Paul Simon
Or not. As The Roches exited the stage Paul Simon launched into "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" and the cloud of doom that had permeated the building gave way to applause and dancing and joy. One of the great lessons learned during Simon's April residency is how automatically pleasing many of his songs are on the most basic of levels. Even when they're about drug deals and mothers witnessing illegal activity and all the whatever else this song is about. (side note: anyone else remember that video for this song featuring Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Spud Webb, Mickey Mantle, et al.? The one that came out like 15 years after the song?)

"Graceland" performed by Grizzly Bear
Simon exited the stage and the crowd waited for what seemed an eternity as the crew setup the stage for the next performance. It was a recurring theme throughout the night - the lull. Maybe they too were "weary to the bones"? Whatever the case, Grizzly Bear entered and launched into a mind-bending deconstruction of "Graceland" that split the crowd in two immediately. A surprise song choice, given that the song was also played at the "Under African Skies" concert, but easily one of the two major highlights of the night.

"Mother And Child Reunion" performed by Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear continued their too-brief appearance with an elegiacally poignant twist on "Mother And Child Reunion". The arrangement and the band's performance were both outstanding. It is, after all, and contrary to its upbeat reggae vibe, a song about a "strange and mournful day". Regardless, the audience seemed largely perplexed and the band departed with little fanfare. Marty McFly chided them in my mind, "I guess you guys aren't ready for that, yet. But your kids are gonna love it."

"Peace Like A River" performed by Amos Lee
Another lengthy change-over later and Amos Lee took to the stage. His take on Simon was much shallower water for the majority of those in attendance and they cheered with appreciation. If there was a time to visit the restroom, this was it.

"Jonah" performed by Amos Lee
In fact, if I hadn't noted the set list as I was watching the show, I'd have completely forgotten that Amos Lee even performed. His two songs were far from bad, but also nowhere near memorable.

"Slip Slidin' Away" performed by Olu Dara
Olu Dara is the father of Nas? And... I learned something from Stereogum? Weeeeird. Anyway, Dara's presence was animated and magnetic. "Slip Slidin' Away" was the perfect song for him and his band.

"50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" performed by Olu Dara
However, he didn't hit full stride until he twisted and reworked the lyrics to "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover". Dara hit something like 1 out of every 5 lines correctly, but this was intentional. He was flippin' it. For our sake, and likely his own too. Who hasn't heard "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" 50,000 times? It was roborant, it woke me up a bit from my Amos Lee-induced daze, and was entirely entertaining.

"Still Crazy After all these Years" performed by Olu Dara
But wait, Olu Dara's a one-trick pony... I see. Well, why'd he have to butcher one of my favorite Paul Simon songs? Butthead.

"Another Galaxy" performed by The Roches
No! What freakin' song is this, and who let these women back on stage?! Yaaaaawn.

"Cecilia" performed by The Roches
"Cecilia" is one of Simon and Garfunkel's most rousing songs and a near can't-miss for an artist picking a Paul Simon song to cover. Unless, of course, you're The Roches. Not good.

"America" performed by Josh Groban
Josh Groban? Okay, I'm pre-disposed to dislike him, probably owing to the fact that he's like a black hole of indie-cred (hey, I can be honest with myself), but this was actually an excellent, if very straightforward, rendition of my favorite Simon and Garfunkel song "America". Groban's voice is good. Too good?

"Silent Eyes" performed by Josh Groban
It struck me during Groban's performance of this song that he sings rather like Superman would: perfectly, and utterly devoid of even a tiny hint of human emotion.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" performed by Josh Groban and Paul Simon
This was the one. The one I'd been wondering about heading into the show: "who's going to sing Garfunkel for 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'?" I queried. Obviously it was going to be Groban. He was born to sing songs like this... And to save our planet from evil masterminds like Lex Luthor and Brainiac!

"Gone At Last" performed by Gillian Welch
Boy oh boy was Gillian Welch a site for sore eyes. Here, finally, was a performer with the ability to liven up BAM just a little bit. And that's precisely what she and guitarist David Rawlings with their take on "Gone At Last". Their bluegrass barnburner performances were far and away the highlight of the evening, much the same way David Byrne was at "...African Skies". I was a casual fan of hers before this show, now I need MORE GILLIAN.

"Duncan" performed by Gillian Welch
Is David Rawlings in Megadeth? I know that they too were in town this night, can anyone confirm or deny that he and Dave Mustaine are/aren't in fact the same person? Both play guitar, same first name... I'm just saying, dude can shred.

"The Boxer" performed by Gillian Welch
A pure classic, this song, and an audience favorite. But again, the impotent booms (rather than hefty BOOMs) that followed the "lai la lai"s should've been much mightier. Solid, but a missed opportunity. Grizzly Bear should've done this one.

"The Sound Of Silence" performed by Gillian Welch and Paul Simon
Pictured above, this performance was elegant and very good, if a tad on the "weary" side. It is, however, important for younger listeners (note to self) to remember that downtrodden, tattered, torn, weary, embodying ennui yet somehow beautifully full of harmony, is precisely what Paul Simon first made a name for himself with before he discovered the music of Africa, Jamaica, and Central America.

"Mrs. Robinson" performed by Paul Simon
As Welch and Rawlings left to a well-earned round of applause, Paul Simon and his backing band turned a corner and finally energized themselves and the audience by launching into a bluesier than expected version of "Mrs. Robinson". Paul beamed and clearly enjoyed performing this one.

"Train In The Distance" performed by Paul Simon
Inconceivably, Simon seemed to rise up to another level during "Train In The Distance". As if he was merely annoyed before that all of these guests had stayed so long at his party, but now he finally had the house to himself. His backing band soared here, most notably the sax solos at the end.

"How Can You Live In The Northeast?" performed by Paul Simon
Thanks to Paul's infatuation with appearing on Saturday Night Live, I was already familiar with his 2006 song "How Can You Live In The Northeast?" - a refreshingly relevant song for an artist in the twilight of his career. Again, Simon obviously enjoyed this one and so did I. A surprise favorite.

"The Only Living Boy in New York" performed by Paul Simon and The Roches
Ah yes, an obvious inclusion. But perhaps poorly placed within the set as the first song in the encore and... there are those damn harpies again! Who invited them back onto the stage??

"Late In The Evening" performed by Paul Simon
Right, well it was late in the evening at this point - probably 10:15? - so definitely late if you're... a sixty-six year old hobbit, weary from hearing three harpies slaughter your songs, and eager to get back to your Shire in New Canaan. What? I kid the living legend Paul Simon... But really, I was expecting "Kodachrome" as a final song and was more than pleased with "Late In The Evening". The song soared, helping Simon and crew to end the evening on a series of high notes (nudge nudge); unsurprising, perhaps, since "Late In The Evening" serves as a creative bridge to the vibrant Graceland. Which, ultimately, left me wanting to revisit the far superior concert that was "Under African Skies".

*above photo courtesy of Kathryn Yu.

Listen:
"Graceland" by Grizzly Bear

Also at this show: NY Times, Pitchfork, Stereogum, Thepunkguy, and Guac & Roll.

See Paul Simon perform "American Tunes" from April 24-27 at BAM.

Visit Paul Simon on MySpace.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

OPP

Drowned in Sound has Islands guide them through a track-by-track preview of Arm's Way

The New York Times reviews Paul Simon's "American Tunes" at BAM

The Guardian blog: should bands who split stay split?

Rolling Stone has a Coachella 2008 preview

Knitting Factory venues expand to Idaho and Washington

Beck announces summer tour

Check out Radiohead playing "House of Cards" for Conan

Behold, the Tim McGraw Spicy Jalapeno Fritos

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

24 April 2008

8+

"You've Got to Want to Be a Star" by The Besnard Lakes which clocks in at 9:32

A real housewife of New York City lives in my neighborhood.

That one there in the picture, with the wind-blown hair and smug grin. She’s mugging like that because she thinks you might recognize her, and dammit she’s worked hard for that rewarding whiff of self-satisfaction. She may have failed in her attempts to become a serious actress (save for her role as “Lead Toothpick” in a music video) but real stars never say die. They keep hustling and persisting and persevering, because to be a star, you’ve got to want to be a star!

(How do I know that she played “Lead Toothpick”? Well, wanting to be a star means mastering the art of self-promotion, like running a web-page devoted to yourself , or even more exploitative, of your whole family. Icky)

And so it goes…she wanted to be a star so badly she opened up her neighborhood, her home, her entire LIFE – which includes two kids, a French au pair and a husband (whose own nefarious hunt for fame rivals hers) – to prying television cameras in order to gain a bit of recognition...

For those of you blessed with the purity of not knowing what I’m talking about, let me give some quick context. The show in which our star was born is The Real Housewives of New York City. It’s a reality show on Bravo that, as the title suggests, follows the lives of five housewives around the city as they spend money, boast about spending money, bitch and talk shit about one another, and make comical attempts at child-rearing, It’s actually a spin-off of yet another reality show – The Real Housewives of Orange County – which in itself bit off of the one-time mojo of The O.C. Blah.

So to recap, our neighborhood star has hustled her way onto a reality show that’s a spin-off of another reality show inspired by a teen soap opera. Bravo (pun intended?)! She wants recognition, she should have it! Forget for a moment how the show actually portrays these miserable women and in turn how mainstream media outlets have received them; the "Grey Lady" herself The New York Times offered up an analysis of the Prada posse, describing them as follows:

“The housewives are hungry for attention, and even a bit desperate, and their entwined vanity and vulnerability distinguishes these kinds of arriviste reality series from competitions like “Project Runway” or “Top Chef.” On those, viewers judge the contestants’ ability to make clothes or prepare a meal. On “Real Housewives” they measure the gap between the image the heroines hope to project and what they actually look like through the lens of a reality television camera.”

Still loving the camera's glare, neighbor? Conversely, on a grassroots level message boards have bleen ablaze with housewives-bashing, just one example:

These women actually make the Orange County housewives desireable (sic). Maybe this is a regional issue, but i cant stand these women...I cant find one single positive thing about the New York Housewives...So what do the rest of you think?

Yes, what do the rest of you think? For the unitiated, get a little taste of our star in action below:



God help us. Look, I know what I’m about to say has already been grist for the mill of every pop columnist out there, but it still begs addressing: what the hell happened to the concept of the “star”? The definition of the word – well okay the 8th definition once you get past all the scientific “celestial gaseous body” ones – is “ a person who is celebrated or distinguished in some art, profession, or other field.”

Let’s go back to the above video. Does she qualify for any of these star parameters? NO NO NO NO NO NO a million times no. But can you watch that and honestly tell me that she doesn’t believe she’s a star now from all the show's exposure, negative or positive (note: EF research has found positive exposure elusive thus far)?

You know the deal by now: reality television and viral videos have transformed everyone from our scarecrow housewife to sinister squirrels and a guy who spent two days trapped in an elevator into overnight celebrities, with Good Morning America appearances and book deals waiting in the wings.

But personally, perhaps the most distressing aspect of all of this is that I RECOGNIZE THIS HOUSEWIFE WHEN I SEE HER ON THE STREET. Which means the following: 1) I’ve seen an episode of The Real Housewives of New York City (but my girlfriend is entirely to blame for that), 2) when I do see the housewife on the street now I can’t help but have one of those kinds of double-takes people do upon seeing someone who looks familiar, which then results in 3) our star feeling validated that people are looking at her and recognizing her, meaning that 4) I’m feeding the machine!!!!

And perhaps I am to blame for all of this. I know who the housewives are, I know who Heidi Montag is, I know that she dates some manipulative elfin named Spencer, and I know that O.J’s attorney isn’t the only Kardashian in the headlines. Does this mean these people have succeeded in becoming stars? Well in a sense, maybe...

Look, at this point the Human Giant sketch where Rob Huebel mutilates his own genitals in order to become famous could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. At least whoever ends up doing that in reality will prove they realllllly want to be a star. And at the end of th...oh sorry, gotta go, Work Out is on!

Buy Volume 1 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+:
M83 - "Couleurs"
David Byrne - "Happy Suicide"
Fleetwood Mac - "Oh Well"
Phish - "You Enjoy Myself"
Green Day - "Homecoming"
Billy Bragg - "Joe Hill"
Van Halen - "Year to the Day"
Kraftwerk - "The Telephone Call"

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

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Frauke, Monster Eiffel Tower, and Holy Moly @ Cake Shop - 22 April 2008

Frauke had their album release show two nights ago at Cake Shop and attacked the room the way they always do, with wit, guile, and tightly imperfect pop-punk songs about boyfriends in prison, fake Canadian girlfriends, and hiding one's grade school erection with a Trapper Keeper. They had the room blushing, laughing, and singing along with them in what was the band's final show for an indefinite amount of time. Yes, it's true, Frauke is with Frauke and expecting the pitter-patter of little Frauke feet in the coming months. As a result, we expect the next Frauke show to include a brand new miniature Frauke and fresh lyrics about the pains of not having your diaper changed quickly enough and what it's like to be burped by a stranger.

Also on the bill were Monster Eiffel Tower and Man in Gray offshoot Holy Moly. Holy Moly's got a nice folk-country thing going with solid songwriting, excellent guitar work from Jeremy Joseph, and a pleasant male/female vocal balance. The hints of country music that showed through when Jared Friedman sang lead really resonated with me and I'm hoping the band expands on this facet of their music.

Both Frauke and Holy Moly were bands I was already familiar with heading into the show (and are both friends of mine, if you must know), but ultimately it was Monster Eiffel Tower who dominated the night for me. Sure, it probably has a lot to do with how prog-y my listening habits have been lately, but this band caught the attention of everyone else at the show too. And I'm certain that most of those other people weren't nerding out on them solely because of their chops, copious effects pedals, or resemblance to a certain Canadian band whose name rhymes with "hush". Not that they're overly Rush-esque or anything, but the comparison crossed my mind a few times watching their set. I mean, tell me that there's not a heavy dose or two of "La Villa Strangiato" in their song "Monolith" (posted below). Definitely a band to watch out for if you live in NYC. Check out more pictures from this show, and a few MP3s from Frauke and Monster Eiffel Tower, after the jump...

Holy Moly


Monster Eiffel Tower




Frauke




Listen:
"Monolith" by Monster Eiffel Tower
"Dock War" by Monster Eiffel Tower
--
"Canadian Girlfriend" by Frauke
"Parasite Fungus" by Frauke

Visit the bands on MySpace:
Holy Moly
Monster Eiffel Tower
Frauke

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

OPP

Wire to play South Street Seaport on May 30th

The L Magazine does their annual 8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear

Barsuk Records signs Menomena drummer's side project

Islands' Nick Thorburn has yet another band, Human Highway, with former Islands alum Jim Guthrie

The Strokes are alive and well and ready to record album number four

Grateful Dead archives going to UC Santa Cruz

Microsoft will no longer provide customer support for their now-defunct music store

All Tomorrow's Parties New York set for Sept. 19-21, with My Bloody Valentine, Built to Spill, Thurston Moore and Mogwai among initial lineup

"Don't tase me bro!" inspires Mick Jones to write a song

Honda Robot will conduct Detroit Symphony

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

23 April 2008

Band of the Week: Bombadil

Band: Bombadil
From: Durham/Chapel Hill, NC
Sound: You got intricately arranged indie-pop in my playfully literate lyrics! You got playfully literate lyrics in my intricately arranged indie-pop!
Similar Artists: Danielson, Vampire Weekend, Ben Folds, Sufjan Stevens, Jonathan Richman
Listen Now: "Julian of Norwich"

"the record is a collection of stories
that spans our three years together as a band
i like to think of the record as a coloring book
some of the songs are color by numbers
some are black and white
some you probably dont have to color on
at all
" - from my inbox, April 7th, 2008

As if anticipating our mild obsession with synesthesia by an impressive 10 days, Bombadil piqued our curiosity with the above simple (yet cryptic) introduction last week. And insisting on sending said record via snail mail as opposed to a few straggling compressed MP3s, the Durham quartet were making a statement: coloring books, physical album copies, all tangible and tactile, all substantive and worth our time.

And with the arrival of their full-length debut A Buzz, A Buzz on Monday (and out 4/29 on Ramseur Records), I have to agree with them: this is worth your time.

A hand-written note accompanied the album, scrawled on the back of a comic strip and telling us that we had to supply our own crayons in coloring the album. Were this actually a possibility (and still trying to will myself a synesthetic perhaps?), it made me wonder what colors I might have chosen do so.

Probably every single crayon possible...

A splash of yellow to capture the group's upbeat and exquisite harmonies, scribbled over with a burnt sienna to show the depth and muscularity (read: the absence of fey or twee-ness) within these harmonies. A midnight blue to suggest the depth and emotive range behind such clever passages as "sing all alone, singing's just talking in tones, rhymestones, and get off your cellphones because they're tracking you home, skin and bones all alone" (from "Smile When You Kiss"); perhaps a brown and green combo for the earthy acoustic guitars and plaintive vocals that anchor the entire song cycle? True, the end result would certainly resemble the child-scribble fridge-art most likely found in this woman's home, but Bombadil make all these elements work with a fluid grace, in the process sculpting 11 pitch-perfect pop songs that sound even better as a cohesive whole.

Named after a character from The Lord of the Rings, Bombadil first came together three years ago in Bolivia, where Duke alums Daniel Michalak and Bryan Rahija first met and began collaborating on songs (John Michalak and Stuart Robinson would soon round out the band). According to their label's website:

The folk music indigenous to the region lit a creative spark and inspired the two to begin writing songs that incorporated international instruments and styles. That influence, paired with their collective backgrounds in Piedmont blues, psychedelic rock and Robinson’s background as a classical pianist, stands as the driving force behind the band’s unique sound.

Add to this description bouts of circus-like melodies fresh from the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade, spurting woodwinds, traditional American folk, vaudeville, inventively off-kilter percussion bursts, and tribal call-and-response vocals and you begin to get the idea. Like I said, this album takes on every color in the Crayola box.

Of course, a smattering of sounds so disparate could prove disastrous if not utilized in proper doses, and perhaps the band's biggest strength throughout A Buzz, A Buzz lies in their wonderful arrangements and instrumentation. Though it is a "big" sounding album, it never feels overburdened or crowded; instead, every piece works and services the broader song. Listen, for example, to "Julian of Norwich", a perfectly constructed pop song that manages to shake any initial likeness to Vampire Weekend's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" by multiplying the infectious central melody through layers of fife, Colonial Williamsburg marching drums, cascading banjo, nimble grand piano arpeggios, clattering sea shells (?) and at least a dozen other elements.

Currently touring in support of A Buzz, A Buzz's forthcoming release, Bombadil's immense talent and promise leaves me believing that they really couldn't have come up with a more appropriate and prescient title for their debut (well, except for maybe Synesthesia).

Listen:
"Julian of Norwich"
"Smile When You Kiss"

See Bombadil Live:
23 April - Nashville, TN @ Exit/In
24 April - Johnson City, TN @ The Acoustic Coffeehouse - CD Release
25 April - The Triangle, NC @ 91.5 WUNC's The State of Things
25 April - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle - CD Release
27 April - Decatur, GA @ Eddie's Attic
29 April - Raleigh, NC @ Schoolkids Records - In-store Performance
30 April - Charlotte, NC @ Fox News Rising WCCB TV 18
30 April - Charlotte, NC @ Manifest Disc - In-store Performance
01 May - Greenville, SC @ Horizon Records - In-store Performance
02 May - Knoxville, TN @ Disc Exchange - In-store Performance
07 May - Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Chop Shop
08 May - Charlottesville, VA @ Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar
09 May - Easton, MD @ Coffee East
10 May - Washington D.C. @ The Red & Black
11 May - Pittsburgh, PA @ Garfield Artworks
14 May - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Wealthy Theatre
15 May - Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe
16 May - Bristol, TN @ Border Bash
17 May - Knoxville, TN @ Time Warp Tea Room
24 May - York, SC @ Sylvia Theater
29 May - Kansas City, MO @ Knucklehead's
31 May - Denver, CO @ Dulcinea's 100th Monkey
04 Jun - Bend, OR @ Old St. Francis School
05 June - Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield
06 June - McMinnville, OR @ Hotel Oregon
07 June - Gearhart, OR @ McMenamins Sand Trap
10 June - Centralia, WA @ Olympic Club Hotel and Theater
12 June - Portland, OR @ Kennedy School
13 June - Forest Grove, OR @ Grand Lodge
15 June - Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
20 June - Charlotte, NC @ Snug Harbor
21 June - Winston-Salem, NC @ Summer On Trade
27 June - Boone, NC @ Private Party
28 June - Boone, NC @ Private Party
5 July - Chestertown, MD @ Andy's
10 July - New London, CT @ The Oasis Pub
11 July - Burlington, VT @ TBA
26 July - Floyd, VA @ FloydFest
28 July - Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Music Hall
01 Aug - Portland, OR @ Pickathon
02 Aug - Portland, OR @ Pickathon
07 Aug - Cottage Grove, OR @ Axe and Fiddle Pub and Music Club
29 Aug - Boone, NC @ Black Cat
12 Sep - Mount Pleasant, SC @ Fiery Ron's Hometown BBQ
19 Sep - Bristol, VA @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
20 Sep - Bristol, VA @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
17 Jan - Riverside, CA @ Private Party

Visit Bombadil on MySpace
--
In the recent past, the following bands have been featured as EAR FARM's Band of the Week:
Tapes 'n Tapes
White Hinterland
Man Man
We Barbarians
The Dodos
Hey Hey My My
Amy LaVere
Beach House

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

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Dead Confederate 2008 tour dates, EXCLUSIVE video of their SXSW show with R.E.M.

Dead Confederate opened for R.E.M. at Stubb's Bar-B-Q on the first day of SXSW and EAR FARM was lucky enough to spend the entire day with the band. We got all kinds of exclusive video as a result, including hanging out backstage with Michael Stipe and their entire kick-ass set from that night. What follows is a snippet of documentary footage of the band being interviewed before the show as well as their final song from their set at Stubb's, "Tortured Artist Saint". In addition to this video footage, we're very excited to share with you some 2008 tour dates for the band - that's right, Dead Confederate is coming to your neck of the woods very soon and they're going to blow you away. So do yourself a favor and click through for the tour dates and this EXCLUSIVE video...



Dead Confederate have lined up a summer tour that begins on the 23rd of May with a KEXP session in Seattle. The rest of the dates are listed below, including seven West Coast stops with Drive by Truckers and performances at the Bonnaroo, Sasquatch!, and Rothbury festivals.

The band spent January and February in Austin, TX recording a full length follow-up to their acclaimed debut EP. The album was produced by Mike McCarthy (Spoon, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead), and includes many of the tracks they played at the amazing shows we saw them play in Austin. Frankly, we can't wait for the album.

Be on the lookout for more EXCLUSIVE video from our time with Dead Confederate at SXSW in the future. And if I might offer a viewing suggestion, watch the QuickTime that's posted below instead of that ugly YouTube stuff.

Watch:
"Tortured Artist Saint" live @ Stubb's - 12 March 2008 (QuickTime, higher quality than YouTube)

Listen:
"Tortured Artist Saint" (live @ Stubb's - 12 March 2008)
Dead Confederate live @ Stubb's - 12 March 2008 (entire show stream, via NPR)

Buy: Dead Confederate [EP]

See Dead Confederate live:
23 May - Seattle, WA @ KEXP
24 May - Quincy, WA @ Sasquatch! Festival
28 May - Washington D.C. @ DC9
29 May - New York, NY @ Piano's
30 May - Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint
31 May - Philadelphia, PA @ The Khyber
1 June - Boston, MA @ TT the Bears
4 June - Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
5 June - Asheville, NC @ The Rocket Club
6 June - Knoxville, TN @ Barley's
7 June - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
14 June - Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo
17 June - Santa Fe, NM @ Santa Fe Brewing Company*
18 June - Flagstaff, AZ @ Orpheum Theatre Flagstaff*
19 June - Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre*
20 June - Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern*
24 June - Sacramento, CA @ Empire Room*
25 June - Bend, OR @ Midtown Ballroom*
26 June - Spokane, WA @ Big Easy - Spokane*
5 July - Rothbury, MI @ Rothbury Festival

* with Drive by Truckers

See also:
- R.E.M. @ Stubb's BBQ - 12 March 2008 (SXSW Day 1, pics, live video/mp3)
- EF Band of the Week: Dead Confederate

Visit Dead Confederate on MySpace.

Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

Sam Champion To Record Live Album...TONIGHT

The gents of Sam Champion are not content to simply sew the oats of rock upon a long sold-out Mercury Lounge tonight and never look back. They're just far too classy for that. Instead, they're making like the carnies at the Coney Island Cyclone and taking a little snapshot of the occasion...though it should here be made explicit that instead of an embarrassing pic of them shrieking on a rollercoaster we're referring to the recording of a LIVE ALBUM to immortalize every second of tonight's rocking goodness!

So, if you find yourself unable to score a ticket tonight, fear not: Sam Champion's got you covered, and in more ways than one. They've also released another exclusive track - the freewheeling "Uncle Drums" - on RCRD LBL last month and are set to drop "Be Mine Everyone", the first single from their long-awaited sophomore album Heavenly Bender (out July on North Street Records), next Thursday, May 1st. Your party may have been yesterday but the real jam starts tonight...

Listen: "Your Party Was Yesterday?"

See also:

  • Sam Champion @ Texas Garage - 15 March 2008 (SXSW Day 4, pics)
  • EAR FARM's Top Ten Bands To Emerge in 2007 & Ten To Watch Out For in 2008

  • Visit Sam Champion on MySpace.


    Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

    OPP

    Indie Rock trivia night descends upon Highline Ballroom on May 21st with Zach Galifianakis and Les Savy Fav

    Musician reunited with $4 million violin he mistakenly left in a cab

    Prefix has photos from last night's She & Him show at Webster Hall

    NIN release surprise single yesterday...is another new album on the way in two weeks?

    2008 Rock The Bells lineup features A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, Nas and many others

    Jarvis Cocker is playing two NYC-based shows in July!

    Arcade Fire teams with Superchunk for two free live shows in North Carolina in support of Obama

    Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...

    22 April 2008

    I Want My MTV - Earth Day (feat. Duran Duran, DEVO, The Pretenders, and more!)

    In observance of Earth Day today, EAR FARM is joining with many of our fellow Earth dwellers in appreciating the beauty of our world and thinking about ways we can make our planet better. The best we've come up with so far in that regard is to offer a small collection of thematically relevant videos made by some musically gifted Earthlings...


    "Planet Earth" by Duran Duran (above)


    "Don't Cut Me Down" by Olivia Newton-John (above)


    "Earth Song" by Michael Jackson (above)


    "My City Was Gone" by The Pretenders (above)


    "Emergency On Planet Earth" by Jamiroquai (above)


    "Planet Earth" by DEVO (above)


    "This Land is Your Land" by Billy Bragg, Tom Morello, Serj Tankian, and Mason Jennings (above)


    "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong

    Click HERE to continue reading/view comments...