Thursday, January 03, 2008
First 'Nac post of the new year. A few musical (and a couple non-musical) things occupying my ear and brain-space over the past week or so...
I've been resistant to putting the little one in front of the boob tube too much at such a young age (Mr. B just passed the six month mark), but thanks to M@, I've finally started saving up episodes of Yo Gabba Gabba on the ol' Tivo. It's as much for the little B as it is for the middle B, especially considering the episode that got me hooked featured a short lullaby by none other than Red House Painter / Sun Kil Moon main-man Mark Kozelek, and here it is...
Ain't that sweet? And speaking of Sun Kil Moon, they'll have a new album titled "April" out in, um, April. Billboard offers a written preview here. It's been far, far too long since we've seen a collection of all-original Kozelek songs, five years to be precise, and the wait was not made any shorter by the release of the disappointing Modest Mouse covers disc (not due to his interpretations, but instead the source). For me, Koz doing all covers is just a waste of talent, not unlike Andy Bell just playing bass in Oasis, or Sooyoung Park on 2nd guitar in Ee. Not to disparage those bands, but these are guys who should be playing their own songs all the time. Wait, did I almost just rant there? Sorry... moving on...
I'm still a bit stunned that I'll be seeing Mission of Burma on the tiny stage of Allston's Great Scott in a couple weeks. Roger Miller is going to need to put an even bigger set of noise-blocking headphones over his regular headphones considering how close to Peter Prescott's drum kit he's going to be. Unsurprisingly, the January 20th gig (which is a benefit for, appropriately enough, the U.S. Campaign for Burma) sold out quickly, but I bought a pair of extra tickets to give away to a Boston-area 'Nac reader. The contest should be up next week, so check back.
Speaking of Mission of Burma, the distinguished Fenway Recordings record label sent out a Christmas e-card link to their mailing list, and there are some excellent live videos to be found within. Six in total, including MoB performing "That's When I Reach For My Revolver", along with clips from Foreign Islands, the Cribs, Wild Light, MGMT, and Doves. View them all here, and if you have issues watching 'em, don't worry, they should be working again soon.
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks (who now include Sleater-Kinney / Quasi drummer Janet Weiss and ace bassist Joanna Bolme) will of course be touring in support of their upcoming "Real Emotional Trash" album (due out March 4th on Matador), and one of those dates is here in Boston. They'll be playing at the Paradise on Thursday night, April 3rd. Here's a label-provided Mp3 from the upcoming album, which features songs that Janet's former SK bandmate, Carrie Brownstein, sure does like...
Keep an eye on this page for an eventual link to buy your tickets. The rest of the March/April tourdates for Mr. Malkmus and his Jicks can be found here.
Another band returning to town in support of an upcoming album: The Mountain Goats. John Darnielle & co. are back in March in the wake of the February 19th release of "Heretic Pride". The so-far short tour includes not one, but two Boston-area shows, and at drastically different venues. The first night is Friday, March 14th at the Remis Auditorium in the Museum of Fine Arts (tix here), and the second is at the Middle East Downstairs (tix here, eventually), and both shows should feature openers The Moaners. Regular readers know which venue I'll be at.
Here's the lead-off track from the Mountain Goats' upcoming "Heretic Pride"...
After swinging by River Gods with Amie and little B for their New Year's Eve party early on Monday evening, we headed back to the ranch, watched a truly frightening flick, and welcomed in 2008 by checking out Radiohead's Scotch_Mist broadcast on CurrentTV. Totally dug it, and thought the live-in-studio versions of the stuff on "In Rainbows" were real nice. I do wish they'd have played "Nude" live instead of showing slo-mo footage backed by the album version, though, and I was a bit bummed that the live version of "Videotape" was sans-drums, just as the recorded version is. I'm still way too hooked on the 2006 live version, when Phil Selway actually took part, rather than taking a tea/pee break. Wonder if he'll play on the song at all when the band returns to stages this year?
Anyway, here's the embedded video of the Scotch_Mist broadcast (although if you're fan you've surely seen it elsewhere by now), along with Mp3s of each of the live-in-studio songs they played. I've listed them in they order they were played, but if you want to order them as they're sequenced on "In Rainbows", I've included the track number as well...
Radiohead - "Scotch_Mist"
Live for CurrentTV - Broadcast on 01/01/2008
01 (IR-04). Weird Fishes / Arpeggi (live in studio)
02 (IR-02). Bodysnatchers (live in studio)
03 (IR-09). Jigsaw Falling Into Place (live in studio)
04 (IR-06). Faust Arp (live in studio)
05 (IR-01). 15 Step (live in studio)
06 (IR-10) Videotape (live in studio)
07 (IR-07). Reckoner (live in studio)
08 (IR-08). House of Cards (live in studio)
09 (IR-05). All I Need (live in studio)
10 (IR-03). Nude (video was set to the album version)
11 (IR-NA). Outro
Kristin Hersh has just shared her second downloadable song under the CASHmusic banner, her new fan-supported method of releasing music, entitled "Torque". It's absolutely gorgeous, and sounds particularly University-era Throwing-Muses to these ears (and that is a very good thing). Kristin is is backed on the track by her 50 Foot Wave rhythm section, along with some beautiful cello work by Victor Lawrence (who, according to his MySpace page, has done string work on The Incredibles, Lost, and Alias. Nice!). Head here to grab it in mp3, flac, and even mixable protools stem format, and donate/subscribe/remix as you see fit. And check out this new interview with Kristin about CASHmusic and her new children's book, Toby Snax (which little B thoroughly enjoys), courtesy of KEXP.
Kristin fans who live anywhere in the vicinity of London, or have the means to be there in late March, would do well to check this out. Allow me to cut and paste...
Paradoxical Undressing by Kristin HershI truly hope we get to see a performance of this here in the States, and more specifically the Northeast corner of same, and if I had to put money on it, I'd say it's a very safe bet.
And speaking of Kristin's noisy trio, 50 Foot Wave, I should mention that they've contributed a song to an Expansion Team Records collection of covers entitled "Souvenirs"., which is already available in digital form, and arrives in physical form within the next week or so. The band provides their own rockin' take on Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love", and you can stream it at MySpace. It's an odd little compilation, whose only criteria for song inclusion is that the original be a "classic". And that's open to seriously broad interpretation. Tracklist here.
Merge Records putting out something I instantly take a shine to should be no surprise to me by now. They're doing it again with Baltimore duo Wye Oak (formerly Monarch), who will be releasing their debut full-length "If Children" on Merge in April. Here's the first taste, and a very satisfying taste it is...
Mp3: Wye Oak - "Warning"
Head to Wye Oak's MySpace page for more songs to stream, and check out this YouTube clip of the band performing the song "Family Glue" at Baltimore's Golden West Cafe back in June, pre-name-change. Once again, when it comes to upcoming tour dates, Boston gets the shaft. Let's hope that gets remedied when the album tour is planned.
How did I not know that the brilliant Slumberland Records had returned from it's land of slumber? The seminal indiepop label is back to releasing new music, and if any of it ranks up to its past roster (Black Tamborine, Velocity Girl, Swirlies, Small Factory, to name just a few), we're in for some true treats. My old Slumberland 7"s could sure use a few new neighbors on my shelves. Thanks to Surfing On Steam for the heads up.
Looks like a little more winter travel may be in order: Crooked Fingers / Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann is teaming up with Neko Case for a few dates in the Northeast in late January / early February but the mini-tour only flirts with Boston. They tease us with stops in Providence, Northampton, and my old hometown of Burlington, VT, but aren't hitting us here the Hub. Rats. But the Providence show is on a Friday night... hmmm...
John and his live-music-offering blog Houston Redux is on fire lately, sharing up sets he's recorded from the likes of Versus, Seam, Yo La Tengo, and today, two nights of live Mogwai. Hurry, go, download before the links expire, and thank the generous gentleman.
As a longtime fan of the writings (as well as musical offerings) of local scribe Michael Brodeur, I thought the Weekly Dig shot itself straight in the foot when they booted him from their Editor position back in September, but I'm very glad he's since ended up contributing to the Phoenix. Case in point: This info-packed write-up on what a ton of Boston-area-based bands are up to over the coming winter months. Good stuff, and I'm especially happy to see some talk of a new Black Helicopter album.
Somehow I totally lost track of Jen Robbins and her wonderful Cooking With Rockstars program for awhile there (and I'm truly sorry I missed her hubby's return to the stage last weekend with his reunited Orbit), but I'm glad I stopped by there to discover that she has revamped the site and added a bunch of new interviews within the past year or so. In addition to viewing the episodes at her place, you can now subscribe to it via iTunes, or watch them at Blip.tv My fave of the newer: Robyn Hitchcock on the perfect potatoes. Other recently interviewed foodies include Britt Daniel, Rufus Wainwright, and Ben Kweller, and their clips now sit alongside ones from John Vanderslice, Ben Gibbard, Sam Beam, Jenny Lewis, and almost 20 others. Really great stuff. Watch, and bring your appetite.
Another show that was originally planned to be web-only is producer/engineer Nigel Godrich's From the Basement series, which features live-in-studio performances (in HD, no less) from a fairly stellar lineup of artists. Nigel's involvement is what helps make it special, as it's pretty much guaranteed to sound freakin' fantastic. Since its debut in December 2006 (with an episode that featured Neil Hannon, the Shins, and the White Stripes), it has been funneled to a more traditional broadcast outlet: your television. More specifically, your UK-based television. Or "telly", I should say. For U.S. residents who want to see performances from the likes of Thom Yorke, Albert Hammond Jr., Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, Super Furry Animals, and Autolux, there's good news and bad news. The good: U.S. TV broadcasts will premiere in late February. The bad: They'll be on something called Rave HD on the Dish network. Too bad that sucker couldn't stay web-only, or at least have some kind of web-accessible way to view it for us non-satellite people (cough*youtube*cough).
Yes, From The Basement has meager 30-second clips from many of the shows on their site, and has also been sharing those same clips on YouTube. And you can also see the full-length clip of Thom Yorke performing Radiohead's "Videotape" in its entirety thanks to a fan who shared it there as well. Let's hope other fans keep that up with future performances, or that From The Basement incorporates some kind of web outlet into their plans.
As much as I love The Galifianakis and his unkempt beard, I'm not sure I feel like being the third oldest guy in the room next to a couple of the guys on stage (Zach's got me beat by a month, Ferrell by a much more). But keep an eye here for ticket info if you're down.
I tell ya, the upcoming film Snow Angels has all the right ingredients for me to absolutely love it: One of my favorite directors in David Gordon Green, the always-excellent Sam Rockwell (who I've been a fan of since he starred with a mini-Marissa in Lawn Dogs), the talented (and, um, easy on the eyes) Kate Beckinsale, the underrated Nicky Katt, hell, even Griffin Dunne. And in this just-released trailer, The National song "Slow Show". I haven't yet read the Stewart O'Nan book that it's based on, but never have I been so sure that my high hopes for a movie would be met. Snow Angels opens on March 7th in limited release.
And finally, here's the very first thing I've ever read that casts Stephen Colbert in a negative light, or at least puts a member of his staff in a very negative one: Sadly, he has quit The Venture Bros.. Yes, the voice of Professor Impossible, which he has provided for the first two seasons, will not be the same (or may now not be heard at all?) for the upcoming third season. And it's not just that he bailed out--he's a busy guy and all--it's the way he did it. With an email. From an underling. That simply said this...
"Stephen has neither the time nor the interest in participating in your project."Ouch! So, so cold. Shame to think that Mr. Colbert has someone working for him who is quite possibly clueless, and quite definitely downright rude.
Rightfully so, James Urbaniak, who voices Dr. Venture, has put Colbert on notice. On his own board.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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