Friday, March 31, 2006

La Rocca: Contest!



Do you like La Rocca? If you have always wondered what a meeting between The Pogues and Franz Ferdinand would be like, then the answer is yes! The band has a great new EP out on Dangerbird Records, plus their debut album will be dropping on June 6th. Since it's Friday and the weather is nice, I've decided to give away a signed copy of their EP. The first person who can tell me what part Huey Lewis played in Back To The Future will be the winner. My e-mail is right here.

MySpace: La Rocca
Audio: "Home"

Sound Team: New Album



I just can't handle all of the great music I am getting this week! It began with a copy of the new Birdmonster album on Monday and then yesterday afternoon, the debut long-player from Sound Team fell into my lap. Now everything I heard live at SXSW makes sense to me, as the album exhibits an expertly layered sound where each instrument is as important as the next. The vocals don't even lead the attack, as they compliment the music rather than anchoring it. Each listen gives me a new guitar part to appreciate or a new bass line that jumps out or a new lyric that I wasn't aware of previously. Like the best records out there, this one is a grower, achieving the sound that the band has always had in their heads.

MySpace: Sound Team

Audio: "Your Eyes Are Liars"

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Division Day: Spring Tour!



LA indie rock all stars Division Day just dropped their top-notch debut album Beartrap Island and to top things off, they are headed out on the road with Birdmonster for a string of California/Pacific Northwest dates. While the entire album is solid, the band comes out on top with "Tigers," which is easily the song of the year so far. The band's April is packed, so go out and show them the attention that they deserve!

Apr 3 2006: Smith Campus Center Basement w/ We Are Scientists Claremont, CA
Apr 4 2006: The Prospector Long Beach, CA
Apr 16 2006: Ground Zero Coffeehouse @ USC Los Angeles, CA
Apr 19 2006: Club Moscow Hollywood, CA
Apr 21 2006: The Kazem (all ages) Brentwood, CA [w/Birdmonster]
Apr 22 2006: The Ike Box (all ages) Salem, OR [w/Birdmonster]
Apr 25 2006: The Boulevard Spokane, WA [w/Birdmonster]
Apr 25 2006: TBA Spokane, WA [w/Birdmonster]
Apr 26 2006: The Railway Club Vancouver [w/Birdmonster]
Apr 27 2006: The Towne Lounge Portland, OR [w/Birdmonster]
Apr 29 2006: TBA San Jose, CA [w/Birdmonster]

MySpace: Division Day
Audio: "Tigers"
Audio: "Beartrap Island"

Elle Milano

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On their MySpace profile, Elle Milano describe themselves as being from the "Middle of Nowhere, United Kingdom," and their music is a product of that -- pure indie rock madness coupled with biting wit that would make Art Brut proud. Their latest EP, Swearing's For Art Students, drops on April 3rd in the UK.

More later today as shit's insane at work...

MySpace: Elle Milano
Audio: "Swearing's For Art Students"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Flashback Tuesday: Air Miami



I was never into Unrest that much, but following their demise in 1994, Mark Robinson and Bridget Cross went on to form the much more appealing Air Mimai. The new band existed in the same oddball/quirky pop sphere that Unrest totally owned, but they had an edge with a handful of refined and highly addictive pop songs. Me. Me. Me., their only full-length release, went from wistful pop to noise-addled masterpieces, but after label troubles and Robinson's penchant to explore, the band dissolved in 1996. The EP World Cup Fever Remixes surfaced posthumously in 1998, but Robinson had already gone on to form Flin Flon.

Buy: Air Miami releases
Audio: "I Hate Milk"
Audio: "Definitely Beachy"

Monday, March 27, 2006

Birdmonster: Debut Album



I just got Birdmonster's debut album in the mail today and at first listen I can say that it has met all of my expectations. The band plays music that is slightly reminiscent of Modest Mouse, exploring a territory that is uniquely American with no hint of pretension -- just stories that evoke a band coming to terms with life in the information age. Lead singer Peter Arcuna comes off as Bruce Springsteen, but with his backdrop being the limitless expanse of California rather than the disorganized claustrophobia of of suburban New Jersey. These thirteen songs are an in-depth exploration on sun-baked 21st century ennui.

When I heard the initial EP, I was sold, but seeing them live was the icing on the cake. The band's intensity is unparalleled, as their sets have the power to grab the attention of the most casual fan -- all of the members put their all into every note of every song. Their shows always end with the band covered in sweat or in blood, as was the case at The Fader tent at SXSW. The true roots of the band show in this setting, as they work harder than almost any band out there, all with pumped fists, clenched teeth and an unsurmountable energy.


Buy: No Midnight
MySpace: Birdmonster
New Tracks: Check out "Spaceman" at Gorilla vs. Bear & "Balcony" at Music For Robots

Boston: Shows [Week of 03.27.06]

Here is what the city of Boston has to offer this week -- it should be yet another fun and show filled time!

03.27: Magnolia Electric Co./Destroyer/Nedelle @ Middle East Down

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03.27: The Joggers/Georgie James/Night Rally @ Middle East Up
I've seen this band a ton, so one more time won't hurt, right? Their SXSW performance was marked by crazy guitar theatrics and other jams of that sort, plus they did a cover of "Long Distance Runaround"!
Audio: "Hot Autism"

03.29: Kelly Stoltz @ Great Scott

03.29: Scout Niblett @ Middle East Up

04.01: Frank Smith/Jake Brennan & the Confidence Men @ Great Scott

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04.02: Hard-Fi/ @ The Paradise
Hard-Fi are back in town and this time you have to pay [the last show was sponsered by WFNX], but it will be worth it, as they are one of the best live shows I've seen in the 2k6!
Audio: "Feltham Is Singing Out"

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04.02: The Stills/Sam Roberts @ T.T. The Bears
I kinda killed the first album from The Stills by listening to it way too much, but whatever, it's an awesome time. Despite tweaking their sound a bit, it looks as though their sophomore release will be another winner.
Audio: "In The Beginning"

04.02: They Shoot Horses, Don't They @ Great Scott

If there are any other shows this week, let me know and I'll get them up here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Rademacher



I first caught Rademacher two years ago during a brief stint in California. They seemed to be a band that had a ton of great ideas, yet very few people were listening -- even the locals that were at the show with me were unimpressed. I hope those guys are on board now, as the band has matured into a deftly tight outfit that draw on influences that range from Pavement to Earlimart and even flourishes of sun-baked alt country. Their recent Ice Age EP is an addicitve listen and it will not be the last you hear from the band, as they will be recording a full-length later this year.

Mar 27 2006: Fresno State Peace Garden/SAGA Women's Festival Fresno, CA
Mar 28 2006: Starline Fresno, CA
Apr 12 2006: Sacred Grounds Arcata, CA
Apr 13 2006: Towne Lounge Portland, OR
Apr 14 2006: Yes Yes Olympia, WA
Apr 15 2006: SS Marie Antoinette Seattle, WA
Apr 21 2006: Howie's Pizza Visalia, CA
Apr 22 2006: Earth Day (Courthouse Park) Fresno, CA
Apr 23 2006: Make Out Room San Francisco, CA

MySpace: Rademacher
Audio: "Never Hear From Me"
Audio: "Playing For Fun"

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Envelopes

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Swedish group Envelopes play a brand of tunage that has been described as "a trip on a twisted bicycle" and after years of scheming, they have finally made their way to our shores with the release of a single on Brille Records. "Free Jazz" is like a trainwreck of synth and mangled guitars, and it's something that will keep me company on those nights when I am missing Test Icicles. The band has toured with Clor [who are apparently huge fans] and We Are Scientists in their home country and are now hard at work on their first full-length, which should be out sometime later this year.

Buy: "Free Jazz"
MySpace: Envelopes
Audio: "Sister In Love"

Friday, March 24, 2006

Sure Juror

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When I first posted about this band back in June, my blog was a mere few weeks old and I was one of the few people championing Sure Juror, despite one of the members getting me temporarily kicked off of my college's radio station [it was all an accident though]. Now that the band is on fire, I thought I'd revisit their album that has been knocking around for about a year. Someone asked me what they sounded like yesterday and the best desciption I could come up with was "Neutral Milk Hotel on speed" and the more I think about it, all I can say is that I was spot on. Oh yeah, and guys, come to Boston. Please?

Mar 24 2006: Fennario West Chester, PA
Mar 27 2006: 1619 House Williamstown, NJ
Mar 31 2006: 11 East Cafe Glassboro, NJ
Apr 1 2006: Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA

MySpace: Sure Juror
Audio: "Gawd"
Audio: "The Drive Will Do You Good"

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Kunek

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On the band's MySpace page, Kunek describe themselves as "a collective of artists, coming together to share their individual visions as one, and to add beauty to this world. Poetry, art, and music aren't separate entities, staring at each other from across a crowded dance floor. Rather, they create a circle of friends, protectively holding each other close, feeding off of the positive energy their togetherness creates."

It may seem a little lofty, but the band pulls it off by evoking images of Coldplay [whatever, they're great], Damien Rice and the Guillemots -- it's perfect music for those rainy Sunday afternoons. The band won the hearts of attendees of SXSW this year, and you can hear why on their album Flight of the Flynns.

Apr 22 2006: The Opolis Norman, OK
Apr 28 2006: Mike's College Bar Stillwater, OK

MySpace: Kunek
Audio: "Bright Eyes"

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Magic Numbers: Contest!

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The Magic Numbers party bus is rolling into town Friday for a sold out show at The Paradise with The Elected. What's that I hear? You don't have tickets? Well I am here to help you out! The first person to e-mail me with their favorite Magic Numbers song and why gets two tickets to the show, so you can take a date!

MySpace: The Magic Numbers
Video: "Forever Lost" [Windows Media] | [QuickTime]

Monday, March 20, 2006

SXSW: The Recap

Today has been a day of transitioning back into the norm after a long week of drinking by noon, music all day, hanging out with friends new and old and all night parties. My week at SXSW was awesome on so many levels, but it's good to be back despite the just slightly above freezing temperatures in Boston. I am not going to spend a lot of time with the whole recap thing, but I am going to throw down my highlights. Big thanks to Chris at Gorilla vs. Bear and his girlfriend, Melissa, for the wonderful Cajun dinner on Wednesday, and to Ashley for the pictures below [and for being just great people]!

-I loved my hotel on 2nd & San Jacinto -- easy to get to and from most of everything
-the festivities began on Wednesday at Emo's with a performance from What Made Milwaukee Famous and ended early Sunday morning just after 2 am with a blistering performance from Sway at Caribbean Lights.

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-Austin's Sound Team are about to blow, and you could hear all of the early rumblings last week. I saw them three times -- their show Wednesday at 3 pm at Emo's, midnight on Thursday at Buffalo Billiards and the insane kegger at their Big Orange studio, which was fitted with a large yard to party in and a wall of TV's. Locals Voxtrot followed that night, another band that is definitely worthy of all of the recent buzz.
Audio: Sound Team "Your Eyes Are Liars" [off of the new album!]
Audio: Voxtrot "The Start of Something"

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-What can I say that I haven't already said about Birdmonster? Their songs are great, their live show is one of the best I've seen in awhile and they are the nicest guys ever. Dave from the band called me around 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon to let me know that they had been added to a show at the Red-eyed Fly at the last minute to replace Diamond Nights [I think?]. The venue quickly filled up, and by the time the boys launched into "Resurrection Song," all eyes were on them. Unfortunately, their set was cut short when a cymbal stand crashed down on a cord during the brand new "Ice Age." They got to play a full set the next day at the Fader/Levi's Trading Post and then on Friday at the Hell Ya! showcase, with the final set being sort of a blogger pow-wow.
Audio: "Resurrection Song"

-Also shockingly awesome that day: Cold War Kids. This band has a way of evoking a feeling and sucking the listener in at the drop of a hat. I need to see this band again!

-I caught the end of Oppenheimer's set on Friday at Friends, and it gave me even more reason to look forward to their debut this spring.

-The Others played their second ever U.S. show on Wednesday night, and despite Dominic seeming a little tired, it was not a disappointment. They mixed new songs with songs like "Lackey" and "Stan Bowles."

-¡Forward, Russia! had some equipment problems on Saturday, but after getting that squared away, they bounded about the stage with energy and played all of my favorite hits that I can't keep straight because their song titles are numbers. According to their webiste, it looks as though they are going forward with self-releasing their debut LP.

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-I spent a lot of time with Jonny and the rest of The Twenty Twos, from the botched party on Wednesday to an awesome Chinese dinner filled with wine and video cameras on Friday to their great set Saturday night at Buffalo Billiards. Some of my best times of the week were with this band and I am glad that I got to know them better. One thing I will reveal: lead singer Jenny Christmas is from the same county in Pennsylvania as me. But I am not telling where their name comes from.
Audio: "She Does"

-Saturday's Yep Roc showcase was impressive with American Princes, Cities and Billy Bragg.

-Dinner with Chris, Melissa, Dodge and MJ on Wednesday, hanging with Ashley and meeting Mark at Music For Robots, a blog which I really need to spend more time with. Friday morning's FMA-sponsered Blogger brunch was another highlight -- I got to meet a ton of great people [and drink free beer before noon], but it allowed me to catch LA's Silversun Pickups, whose album later this year will undoubtedly capitalize on last year's standout Pikul EP.

I know I am forgetting things, people and places, but so much went down, and if I forgot you, I am sorry. Good thing is that I am not going to run out of new music to post about for quite some time! I think tonight will be another early bed time for me...

Back from SXSW!

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Hey guys, I am back from SXSW and let me tell that it was insane in the best way possible -- I saw so many good bands and met so many awesome people, but more on that tonight! I really want to thank David for keeping things in order while I was gone, and who knows, maybe he'll drop some posts again!

Now back to sifting through my e-mail....

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Maritime






















Despite the recent exit of bassist Eric Axelson (ex-Dismemberment Plan), Maritime will forge on and release We, the Vehicles via Flameshovel Records on April 18th. The Davey von Bohlen-led trio's debut didn't fare so well with fans or the press--there were stand-out moments, of course, but much of Adios felt watered-down indie-pop--too easily consumed and predictable. Pre-release tracks from the new record show maturity and more confidence, which you can hear for yourself below. Even Pitchfork, who basically trashed Maritime's first record, seems stoked about We, the Vehicles, as writer Brian Howe so eloquently described "Tearing Up the Oxygen" in one of the webzine's track reviews.

MySpace: Maritime
Audio: "Calm"
Audio: "Parade of Punk Rock T-Shirts"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Voxtrot


























The Austin quintet Voxtrot will release the Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP on April 4, followed by a lengthy tour, including a stop at MacRock. The band has culled a good deal of positive feedback recently, and giving them a listen will show why. Even Spin had a write-up on the band. Toying with the new wave of British rock and injecting American pop elements, these guys are set to blow-up, if they haven't already.


MySpace: Voxtrot
Audio: "The Start of Something"

Friday, March 17, 2006

Exene Cervenka





















I saw X play a few months ago, and for a bunch of people my parents' age (or older), they put on a show to put all those Warped Tour bands to shame. John Doe moved around as much as those old bones could handle, while Billy Zoom played some impressive guitar solos with ease, smiling nonstop. And of course, Exene Cervenka sounded just as she did in the band's heydays. Her new record with her band The Original Sinners doesn't cover much new ground, as it sounds like X crossed with her alt-country band The Knitters, but I'm not complaining. The album's called Sev7en, out on Nitro Records, and is available now.

MySpace: Exene Cervenka
Audio: "It Ain't Supposed to Be"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Quasi













On Tuesday, Touch & Go will release When the Going Gets Dark, the new record from the Sam Coomes/Janet Weiss collab Quasi. The Dave Fridmann-mixed LP is the duo's sixth, and follows up 2003's Hot Shit nicely, though the two can be worlds apart at times. Oddly enough, the band isn't living it up at SXSW (from what I could find) like everyone else on the planet. But, they'll do a record release show (at Jackpot Records) in their hometown of Portland next week, and shortly thereafter will embark on a brief, scattered tour.

Monday April 10: Knitting Factory, NY, NY
Tuesday April 11: Northsix, Brooklyn, NY
Friday April 14: Wonder Ballroom, Portland, OR
Saturday April 15: Neumos, Seattle, WA
Monday April 24: Casbah, San Diego, CA
Tuesday April 25: Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa, CA
Wednesday April 26: Spaceland, LA, CA
Thursday April 27: Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA
Friday April 28: Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA

MySpace: Quasi
Audio: "The Rhino"

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Just a Fire













Fred Erskine (ex-Hoover) and Just a Fire will unleash Spanish Time to the masses via Sickroom Records on April 17th. The sophomore release is a step up from 2003's Light Up, released on Asian Man Records. On the debut, Just a Fire implemented bits and pieces of dub, but this time they've eschewed that style in favor of a more forceful guitar onslaught and Erskine's sneering, almost tone-deaf vocals, resulting in a batch of well-crafted Dischord-ian post-emoish type tunes.

No tour dates have been posted at this time, but some should arise as we close in on the record's release date.

Audio: "Spider Cop"

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

SXSW Preview: Starlight Mints













The quirky, mini-orchestral indie pop of the Starlight Mints will find itself released in full-length form for the third time, as Drowaton gets released on Barsuk on April 25th. Previous albums (2000's Dream That Stuff Was Made Of and 2003's Built On Squares) were solid releases, abounding in string arrangements and oft-nonsensical lyrics. The new record is more of the same, but with strings taking a backseat to the more emphasized melodies. The band is doing a mere one show at SXSW, at the Barsuk/Saddle Creek showcase.

Mar 16 2006: Parish @SXSW Austin, TX

Preorder: Drowaton
MySpace: Starlight Mints
Audio: "Inside of Me"

Monday, March 13, 2006

SXSW Preview: Grand National

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[Note: Tomorrow I am off to Austin as SXSW begins, so I will not be posting anything until next Monday, except for maybe an odd or end if I can find a computer to use. Exitfare will not be down, as my buddy David will be taking the reins to provide everyone with some good tunage as I am drinking Sparks and eating burritos! David keeps himself busy as a Music Director at WVRU, writing for the great site Silent Uproar and his own blog, Slow It Goes. Make sure you stop by to keep him company!]

London group Grand National drops their debut album, Kicking The National Habit, tomorrow and I could not be more excited! Well for that, and their shows at SXSW and you know, just being in Austin in general. Lead singer Ruper Lyddon evokes an austereness not heard since Elliott Smith supported by electronica that is not annoying or in your face, sort of like Basement Jaxx or Saint Etienne, but from the shady part of town.

Mar 15 2006: 2006 Red Bull House @ SXSW Austin, TX
Mar 16 2006: Spiro's Patio @ SXSW Austin, TX

Buy:
Kicking The National Habit
MySpace: Grand National
Audio: "Drink To Moving On"

Sunday, March 12, 2006

SXSW Preview: The Lovely Feathers

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On their website, Montreal's The Lovely Feathers describe themselves as "a band that which toots blossomy, extractive post-punk-infused eccentric pop," and they couldn't drive point home any better! The band is taking their quirky pop showcase on the road to this year's SXSW festival. Look for their debut album on April 18th via Equator.

Mar 18 2006: SXSW Club deVille Austin, TX

MySpace: The Lovely Feathers
Audio: "In The Valley"

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The 303s

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AHHHH another band with numbers in their name! Will it please stop!!!! Anyway, enough with the freakouts, that's what a few Sparks during the afternoon will do to you!! Check out The 303s and their debut album Lines of Parallel Minds on Cult Hero, which is a fun romp somewhere between poppy and understated. Much like The Killers knocking about with My Bloody Valentine, this Jersey City band take some of the best touchstones of British music of past twenty years and make something completely their own.

Their record release show is Saturday March 25th at Piano's in NYC.

MySpace: The 303s
Audio: "Beyond The Lines"

The Stills: New Album & Tour

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The first album from Montreal's The Stills was almost too good, and it's a record that I will always make time to listen to. That's why I am so excited to hear their new album, Without Feathers, which will see the light day on May 9th via Vice. The band edits their sound a bit with the addition of some keyboards, but it's a welcome change. Some notation here: you can subscribe for mobile updates on The Stills and other Vice bands at SXSW by texting VICESXSW to 50505. This works for all carriers.

3/7 – Guelph, Ontario @ Vinyl
3/9 – St. Catharines, Ontario @ L3 Nightclub
3/10 – Peterborough, Ontario @ Trasheteria
3/11 – Collingwood, Ontario @ Blue Mountain
3/17 – SXSW (Time to be confirmed) Austin, Texas @ Stubbs BBQ – Spin Party
3/17 – SXSW 10PM Austin, Texas @ La Zona Rosa
4/2 – Boston @ TT the Bear
4/3 – Philadelphia @ First Unitarian Church
4/4 – New York @ Mercury Lounge
4/5 – New York @ Mercury Lounge
4/8 – Baltimore @ Sonar
4/9 – Cleveland @ Grog Shop
4/10 – Detroit @ Saint Andrews Hall
4/11 - Columbus @ The Basement
4/13 - Chicago @ Double Door
4/14 - Minneapolis @ Varsity
4/15 - Omaha @ Sokol
4/17 – Salt Lake City @ Club Sound
4/19 - San Diego @ Casbah
4/20 - Los Angeles @ Troubadour
4/21 - San Francisco @ Popscene - tickets only available day of show
4/24 - Portland @ Doug Fir
4/25 – Seattle @ Crocodile
Information coming soon:
4/26 – Vancouver @ Richards on Richards (19+)
4/28 – Calgary @ Broken City (19+)
4/29 – Edmonton @ Power Plant, University of Alberta (All Ages)
4/30 – Saskatoon @ USSU (16+)
5/1 – Regina @ Distrikt (19+)
5/2 – Winnipeg @ West End Cultural Center (All Ages)
5/9 – Kingston @ Elixir (19+)
5/13 – Montreal @ Spectrum (All Ages)
5/17 – Hamilton, ON @ Underground (All Ages)
5/18 – London, ON @ Call the Office (All Ages)

My Space: The Stills
Audio: "In The Beginning"

Friday, March 10, 2006

Things to do in Dallas when you're awesome

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If you are anywhere in the state of Texas [which it is fairly big, from what I hear], than check out the pre-SXSW party that my boy Chris is throwing tonight! Here are the details:

Official Gorilla vs. Bear Showcase!
The Cavern Dallas, TX
Doors @ 9
*Bill Bird from Sound Team
*Seventeen Evergreen
*Birdmonster
*Tapes N' Tapes

If I were in town early, I'd be all over this, but alas, I won't be in the state until Tuesday night.

SXSW Preview: Cold War Kids

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According to the band, they are called Cold War Kids because "We're all Cold War kids. My father is, and I am. Unless you were born after '91 of course, in which I'm sure some of our listeners are going to feel left out."

The band was just written up in Spin's profile of the burgeoning Silverlake, Los Angeles scene, and they just finished a residency at LA's uber-hip club The Echo. For all of those who have ever wondered what it would be like if Thom Yorke took the reins of the Velvet Underground, than this is your band. They are a playing a ton at SXSW, so there is absolutely no reason to miss these guys!

Mar 11 2006: DETROIT BAR RECORD RELEASE SHOW! Costa Mesa, CA
Mar 13 2006: The Casbah w/ The Joggers San Diego, CA
Mar 14 2006: Vaudeville Cabaret w/ The Joggers Tuscon, AZ
Mar 15 2006: Cavern Club Dallas, TX
Mar 16 2006: SXSW - Spaceland/Indie 103/Ticketweb Party @ Antones Austin, TX
Mar 16 2006: SXSW - Fader Magazine/Levis Party @ Trading Post Austin, TX
Mar 17 2006: SXSW - Hell Yeah Showcase @ The Drink Austin, TX
Mar 17 2006: SXSW - Fiasco Friday @ The Peacock Lounge Austin, TX
Mar 21 2006: EARLY SHOW @ KNITTING FACTORY w/ Tapes N Tapes Los Angeles, CA

Buy: Mulberry Street EP
MySpace: Cold War Kids
Audio: "Heavy Boots"

Thursday, March 09, 2006

SXSW Preview: The Heavenly States

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I've been rocking out to The Heavenly States a ton lately and to my surprise, they'll be throwing down at SXSW with everyone else! The San Francisco Weekly says that they “Offers a single-finger salute to the establishment -- whether the establishment at hand be the government … or the governing trends in pop. ” Just think The Clash getting a makeover from Coldplay, and you'll be spot on.

Mar 9 2006: The Club Las Cruces, NM
Mar 10 2006: Burt's Tiki Lounge Albuquerque, NM
Mar 11 2006: VZD's Oklahoma City, OK
Mar 12 2006: Duffy's Lincoln , NE
Mar 14 2006: Vortex Beaumont, TX
Mar 15 2006: Spanish Moon Baton Rouge, LA
Mar 17 2006: South By Southwest Music Festival / Antones Austin, TX
Mar 20 2006: Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA
Mar 24 2006: The Nightlight Bellingham, WA
May 28 2006: Sasquatch Music Festival / The Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA

MySpace: The Heavenly States
Audio: "Pretty Life"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

SXSW Preview: What Made Milwaukee Famous

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Based in Austin, What Made Milwaukee Famous is poised to blow up this year and there's every indication that SXSW will be their launching pad. Their debut, Trying To Never Catch Up, might be one of the best albums I've heard this year, with songs that combine quirky electronic indie, moody dark pop and whatever else the band may be into that minute. The band isn't that far from burrowing their way into every hipster's ipod, so check out their SXSW shows, which should have the feeling of being in the eye of the storm right before things blow up.

Mar 15 2006: Emo's (Outside) - SXSW DAY SHOW Austin, TX
Mar 16 2006: The Parish - SXSW DAY SHOW Austin, TX
Mar 17 2006: the Beauty Bar - SXSW DAY SHOW Austin, TX
Mar 18 2006: Stubb's BBQ (outside) - SXSW SHOWCASE Austin, TX
Mar 21 2006: Schuba's Chicago, IL
Mar 22 2006: Alchemize Bar Cincinnati, OH
Mar 23 2006: Beachland Ballroom Cleveland, OH
Mar 24 2006: Fletcher's Baltimore, MD
Mar 25 2006: Southpaw Brooklyn, NY
Mar 26 2006: The Middle East (upstairs) Cambridge, MA
Mar 28 2006: Pianos New York City, NY
Mar 29 2006: Mercury Lounge New York City, NY
Apr 9 2006: Wall of Sound Festival - Ridglea Theater Ft. Worth, TX
Apr 22 2006: Tambaleo Austin, TX

MySpace: What Made Milwaukee Famous
Audio: "Mercy Me"
Audio: "Curtains!"

Happy Birthday...!

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It's Ashley's [Rock Insider] birthday today, so make sure you send her lots of candy and cake!

Flashback Tuesday: Marion Delgado

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When Marin Delgado's first and only album came out in 2001, the band was at the top of very healthy pack of post-hardcore bands from Richmond, VA. At the time, emo was quickly becoming a joke, and that was even hinted at in a Splendid.


"Many music fans have reached their emo limits, and are disinclined to buy another sub-par heart-on-sleeve record. Instead, Marion Delgado delivers a highly melodic, deeply (dare I say it) emotional, thoroughly engaging album that reminds the listener why he or she might have listened to this kind of music in the first place." [full review here]

I caught them at a friend's basement that summer and I was sold -- their set was insular, the lyrics actually meant something to the 22 year old me and the band were so completely humbled by how much I liked them. I kept in contact with the band and was even going to set up a show for them in West Chester, PA [where I went to college], but then they broke up.

When I am in the mood, I occasionally put on their only album, An Unfocused Lens Serves a Purpose After All, and remember how much fun basement shows used to be...and still are! Oh yeah, and sorry if this post is too emo for you.

Audio: "Three Kings and a Fighter Pilot"
Audio: "Your RBIs Are Astounding"

More SXSW stuff today...

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Working Title

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The Working Titile has been working overtime lately, especially with the release of their album About Face and tours with Mute Math and Athlete. If I heard more songs like this on the radio, I'd be inclined to listen in more often.

MySpace: The Working Title
Audio: "The Crash"

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Dogs

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Fuss over East London's Dogs came to a fever pitch last August when the group dropped their debut Turn Against This Land in the UK and dropped a ton of great singles. The only catch here is that I totally missed out on it and would have never noticed them if it I hadn't stumbled upon the absolutely brilliant "Tuned to a Different Station" on a blog. It's a rousing pub rocker that's instantly quotable and reminded me of why I love The Crocketts and [early] Stereophoniocs. The rest of their debut is filled with tunes just like it, and while putting together a list of all of the SXSW parties earlier [and pulling my hair out because there are so many!], I was hoping I'd see them listed, but no such luck -- they're on tour in the UK with no current plans to come to the States.

MySpace: Dogs
Audio: "Tuned to a Different Station"
Audio: "London Bridge"

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Islands

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Nick Diamonds and J'aime Tambeur, who have previously whipped the scene into a frenzy in The Unicorns, are back with Islands, a project that also boasts Subtitle and Busdriver among its members. As can be expected, Return To The Sea is all over the place, and at times it is downright annoying, but if there is one constant that runs throught all of the songs, that is pure pop perfection. "Rough Gem" is sweet and fragile, "Humans" layers horns into the hooky mix and "Where There's A Will There's A Whalebone" takes guitar pop and gives it a hip hop makeover.

The band is currently on tour with Metric and their debut
will be available March 21st on Equator Records.

Mar 4 2006: Surface/Ottawa, ON
Mar 7 2006: The Roxy/Boston, MA
Mar 9 2006: 9:30 Club/Washington, DC
Mar 10 2006: Webster Hall/New York City, NY
Mar 11 2006: Starlight Ballroom/Philadelphia, PA
Mar 12 2006: Cat's Cradel/Carrboro, NC
Mar 13 2006: 40 Watt Club/Athens, GA
Mar 15 2006: Gypsy Ballroom/Dallas, TX
Mar 17 2006: Carribean Nights (SXSW Showcase)/Austin, TX
Mar 21 2006: House of Blues San Diego, CA
Mar 23 2006: Henry Fonda Theatre/Los Angeles, CA
Mar 24 2006: The Fillmore/San Fransisco, CA
Mar 26 2006: Wonder Ballroom/Portland, OR
Mar 27 2006: The Showbox/Seattle, WA

Pre-order: Return To The Sea
MySpace: Islands
Audio: "Rough Gem"

Friday, March 03, 2006

SXSW Preview: End of Fashion

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Hailing from Australia, End of Fashion are already a hit back home, while NME has described their sound as "hand clapping beats that the Kaiser Chiefs would give their last 'Ahaaa' for." If you're into The Lashes or Nine Black Alps, then you'll be all over these guys! The band will be making it to the States for some dates at SXSW and a national tour with the absolutely brilliant Metric.

3/15: Dallas, TX/Gypsy Tea Room & Ballroom/Opening for Metric, Islands
3/16: Austin, TX/Exodus/SXSW Showcase w/ Eagles of Death Metal, Lovemakers, Mark Mallman
3/19:Denver, CO/Bluebird Theatre/Opening for Metric, Islands
3/21:San Diego, CA/House of Blues/Opening for Metric, Islands
3/23: Hollywood, CA/Henry Fonda Theatre/Opening for Metric, Islands
3/24: San Francisco, CA/The Fillmore/Opening for Metric, Islands
3/26: Portland, OR/Wonder Ballroom/Opening for Metric, Islands
3/27: Seattle, WA/The Showbox/Opening for Metric, Islands
3/30: Toronto, ONT/Opera House/Opening for Snow Patrol

MySpace: End of Fashion
Audio: "O Yeah"

SXSW Preview: Sound Team

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Austin's Sound Team have been rolling around in the buzz for quite awhile now, and with SXSW right around the corner, they seemed poised to rock both hometown and visiting fans. Their latest EP is available on Big Orange, and an album that will be dropping June 6th on Capitol Records.

MARCH 9 HOUSTON ENGINE ROOM
MARCH 10 DALLAS GOOD RECORDS IN-STORE 4 P.M.
MARCH 10 DALLAS GYPSY BALLROOM
MARCH 11 AUSTIN EMO'S
MARCH 15 AUSTIN EMO'S
MARCH 16 AUSTIN BUFFALO BILLIARDS
MARCH 17 AUSTIN LA ZONA ROSA
MARCH 17 AUSTIN BIG ORANGE

MySpace: Sound Team
Audio: "The Fastest Man Alive
Audio: "Don't Turn Away"

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: New Album

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Expect the new album from Brooklyn's the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on March 28th through Interscope, and it's anything but a sophomore slump with songs that range from folky to visceral. I haven't settled on any favorites yet, but I am way into that acoustic version of "Cheated Hearts" right now.

What's the deal with Karen O's hair?

I've got two tracks from the new album below, but I am going to take them down this weekend.

Preorder: Show Your Bones
Audio: "Way Out"
Audio: "Honeybear"

Ted Leo/Rx: New Songs & Tour

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It looks like Ted Leo/Rx is about to hit the road this March for a tour with Les Aus and The Duke Spirit. On top of that, Ted can now be found on Touch & Go and he has two new songs on his website, and all debate on his label issues aside, Touch & Go is the best place for him right now, as they have impeccable artists and a great history, something which he only adds to.

In your Ted Leo travels, don't forget to visit Timorous Me, a fan site which I had a hand in creating, but is now run by T.J., my old buddy from my WCUR days. The information there is stacked: tons of live shows, tabs, lyrics, pictures and a vibrant message board. If you haven't signed up yet, definitely stop by and do so now! Check Ted's dates below.

Bad news though is that The Duke Spirit are caught up with some visa issues, and will not be joining the tour until the Rochester show, which completely fucking sucks because I will not be able to see them in Boston, so hopefully things will be ok for their SXSW shows.

March 2006
2 - Brooklyn, NY - The Hook
3 - Providence, RI - The Living Room
4 - Boston, MA - Paradise
5 - New Haven, CT - Toads Place
6 - Rochester, NY - Bug Jar
7 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
8 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig
10 - Chicago, IL - Abbey Pub
11 - Newport, KY - Southgate House
12 - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
13 - Little Rock, AR - Vino's
14 - Dallas, TX - Gypsy Tea Room
15 - San Antonio, TX - Sanctuary
16 - Austin, TX - The Parish Room (SXSW)
17 - Austin, TX - Red 7 (SXSW)
18 - Austin, TX - Emo's (SXSW)
19 - Houston, TX - Walter's
20 - Baton Rouge, LA - Chelsea's Cafe
22 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
23 - Charlotte, NC - Casbah at Tremont Music Hall
24 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
26 - New York, NY - Knitting Factory

April 2006
30 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music Festival

EDIT: The Duke Spirit's first U.S. show will be the Boston date. I AM TOTALLY PUMPED! I'll get to see them three times this month.

MySpace: Ted Leo
MySpace: The Duke Spirit
Audio: Ted Leo/Rx "Army Bound"
Audio: Ted Leo/Rx "Some Beginner's Mind"
Audio: The Duke Spirit "Cuts Across The Land"
Audio: The Duke Spirit "Win Your Love"
Video: The Duke Spirit "Cuts Across The Land" [Windows Media]

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

SXSW Preview: Oppenheimer

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I apologize for the lame posts this week, but I've just been ridiculously busy at work. My plate is quite full and on top of that, SXSW is right around the corner. While I am lucky enough to be going down to Austin to see a ton of great bands, it's definitely going to be draining, so hopefully I can catch up on sleep beforehand!

Belfast [Ireland] two-piece Oppenheimer make me feel good, like the first time I heard The Rentals or when my friend slipped me a Stereolab cassette when I was in 11th grade. The band expertly strings together all of the lighter moments of life, wrapping them up in inviting keyboard-inspired voyages. Look for their debut album on Bar/None in June, as well as a rumored collaboration with Tim Wheeler of Ash. They're playing the Bar/None Showcase at SXSW on March 17th at 9PM at Friends [208 E. 6th St.].

MySpace: Oppenheimer
Audio: "Breakfast in NYC"