Thursday, December 29, 2005

Franz Ferdinand Saved British Rock?

This week, Franz Ferdinand lead singer Alex Kapranos quipped:
"It's not arrogant, but it is a fact that we changed the face of rock music in Britain.

"The second part of the 1990s and the beginning of the new century were very bad.

"It was one of the worst periods in British rock music. It was all bad and boring. Now we have a huge number of very good bands.

"Our intention was to change the course of history of British rock if we could not change the world and we feel we have done well in that respect."

WTF? That's all I have to say.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

2005 Music Trivia

How well did you pay attention to music news in 2005? Test your wits here, with a short 2005 music trivia quiz.

The Dr. is In

Recently, the site heard from a young band that calls themselves Dr. Mike. Hailing from the small midwestern city of Cedar Falls, Iowa (home to the University of Northern Iowa), this vibrant young group has been busy drawing attention to themselves. Less than a year and a half into their existence; the band has already this fall, released their debut LP, A Mighty Love. Combining garage rock with classic jazz undertones and traces of funk, Dr. Mike find themselves spanning the pop genre to play the type of warm, grassroots music that is well-suited to the college-rock community. Dr. Mike could easily appeal to Indie scenesters and arena jam band enthusiasts alike. Besides the traditional lineup, this sextet also features an electric mandolin player and a keytarist. Fans of G. Love & Special Sauce, Ben Harper, and even 311 could be potential converts to the upbeat sounds of Dr. Mike. The band emits an aura that suggests they simply enjoy playing to an audience - maintaining a laid-back approach to having fun and not taking anything too serious (e.g. their live cover of the Golden Girls themesong).

Below, I've posted the stream for their album's second track, 'Dolly'. You can check out more on the band, including live videos, by visiting their website and myspace

Digital Music Services Involved in Price-Fixing?

The New York Attorney's office has subpoenaed several online music vendors, attempting to determine whether or not they have been involved in illegal price-fixing:

Darren Dopp, a spokesman for state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, said the office was seeking information on wholesale prices the music labels charge for digital music files that can be downloaded. Dopp said Tuesday that it would take months for the office to launch a full investigation, if one is warranted.

Warner Music Corp acknowledged being subpoenaed, and attriubted it to an "industrywide investigation." No further information is available.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Strokes - 'Juicebox'

First Impressions of Earth will be available for purchase next week. For now, here's the first single 'Juicebox.' Although I haven't been the biggest Strokes fan in the past, I feel this new song is one of their best efforts:

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Earbuds of Hearing Death

Recent research has indicated that tiny earbud headphones common to modern MP3 players can cause hearing loss in young people. Research at Northwestern University determined that many earbud users tend to listen to music at 110-120 decibels. Such usage can lead to hearing loss within an hour.

What can be done to avoid such hearing damage? Audiologist Roger Hughes said to regularly get your hearing tested:

As the damage starts to accumulate to the hair cells in the inner ear, it becomes a permanent situation and it's not always readily apparent in the beginning. [Testing] give[s] us a base line, it'll tell us at this point what [the] hearing is like, and if … hearing [is] tested regularly, at least we can see if there's a pattern."

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Bono to Quit Music?

Growing bored with rock, U2 frontman Bono has admitted that he may leave the music scene to live on a fish farm.

He said:

"After doing this kind of thing for so long, it becomes a grudge match. against your opponent, which is of course your lazy self, or the other self, which fancies the fish farm in Wales or Kenya - go and live on the beach, you've earned it, and for us it becomes a fight against that temptation."

In other Bono related news, he was named one of Time's Persons of the Year.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Google To Add Music Search

In their neverending quest to index anything and everything known to man, search portal Google plans to introduce a music search feature that will "make it easier for music fans to find the kind of content they are looking for."

The way the feature works is simple. When an artist's name is queried on the search network, links to the artist, music stores selling their music and relevant album reviews will be displayed.

Google commented:

"Right now the music search feature mostly works for artists popular in the US and a more limited number of artists from other countries, but we plan to expand it to classical music, worldwide artists, and lesser-known performers. Our list of music stores will also grow over time."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

311 f/ Alien Ant Farm

Friday December 9th, 2005 @ Val Air Ballroom
in W. Des Moines, IA

Alient Ant Farm -- I won't lie. We completely missed these guys. We arrived just after 8:30 p.m. and they were already off of the stage! Some bouncer said they only played for like 20 or so minutes. So that sucks. Oh well -- our clan of past and present Cedar Falls-ites (plus a few others) just went to the bar while we waited!

311 -- Celebrating their 15th year of being a band, the 5-member 311 from Omaha, NE came to W. Des Moines to put on a good show. And a good show they did. Now I usually stand somewhere near the middle or even back of most shows just to listen, but for some reason I was feeling rowdy so I went up near the front. Well was I in for a wild time. It wasn't the most I've gotten thrown around at a concert (that honor is reserved to the Incubus concert I saw in Cedar Rapids, IA @ the 5-seasons center in 2002), but I did have to do a fair amount of making sure I didn't end up on the ground. I got thrown into a few mosh pits. Can't say I'm a huge fan of being in those, but I did get to throw a few elbows (and not have to feel bad about it!). There were a couple of times I almost fell into the chaos, but some nice fellow mosh-pitters picked me up before I fell. Who says you can't make friends there? I also got to witness some slender dark-haired girl on some guys shoulders who seemed to be allergic to her t-shirt (she was behind me, but there were plenty of times I got "inadvertantly" turned around, so I was "stuck" looking at her!) I did not, however, do any crowd-surfing. My crowd surfing days began and ended on the same day, at a Goo Goo Dolls/Tonic concert in Dubuque, IA @ the 5 Flags Center in December 1999. I gave my keys and wallet to a friend went up, and was promptly dropped directly on my back. It hurt bad, and I haven't done it since. One advantage of being up in front (getting my butt kicked) is that it was too violent for the "marijuana-crowd," so they were safely behind me. Enough of me. Now to the band.

311 opened with "Creatures (For a While)," which was a sweet tune to open with. Nick Hexum and Co. were really on their game. "Beautiful Disaster," came soon after, followed by the 50 First Dates remake, "Love Song." A yours truly 311 fave followed next, the trippy "All Mixed Up." It wasn't until this song (for some reason) that I realized SA Martinez had a huge cast on his right arm. I thought for a second, then it hit me. As it was reported last week on the Lonely Note, Martinez broke his hand in a fist fight with our Lord Jesus. I laughed to myself for a second. On another note, here is Jesus' rebuttal to the incident. (note: if you want to see pictures of SA's cast, as well as a great Scott Stapp shirt some guy was wearing @ the concert, visit and click on "311 Concert Pictures" -- Clear Channel Entertainment seems pretty strict about hyperlinking and posting photos, so go check them out there!) Getting back to the concert, another highlight was a great drum solo by the entire band on "Applied Science." They brought a whole bunch of drums to the front of the stage and played for a few minutes. Definitely photo-worthy.

I do have to apologize, I was so into going crazy, I didn't take time to remember most of the songs they played. I know I heard "Whisky and Wine," and "Mindspin" in there, as well as an extended version of "Nix Hex." "Speakeasy" was another good song. Then 311 did what most bands won't do (except for two of my faves, The Pimps and Local H), and that's play a crowd request. Throughout the concert, kids were chanting "Who's Got the Herb?" Finally, I think Hexum and Mahoney had heard enough and played the song! The place went nuts! They then finished off pre-encore set with 4 huge songs -- "Amber," "Come Original," "Don't Tread on Me," and "Down." It was definitely the wildest during "Down." 311 then went into encore. Afterwards, they finished the show with "Omaha Stylee," and a great version of "Feels So Good." It was during that last song I sustained my first and only injury of the night. I had been part of a few guys putting people up into crowd surfs the entire show. I had probably helped 15+ up to that point. Well, the last one, I just wasn't paying attention, and WHAM, I took a shoe to the face. I spent the entire time during "Feels So Good" making sure my nose wasn't broken.

Well, after their 24 song set, and being covered in sweat, I didn't care that much about it. 311 put on a great show and I would definitely see them again. After the concert, we hightailed across the street, and then a huge snow-covered area to reach my favorite Des Moines pub, Charlie's Filling Station. I also took a huge dive into the snow on the way over, which seemed like a good idea at the time for how hot I was, but was a horrible idea after I did it. At Charlie's, we celebrated the 311 concert, getting together with everybody, and of course the University of Northern Iowa Panthers' victory over Texas State in the Division 1-AA football semifinals! The NCAA championship is this friday night, December 16th at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN2 vs. Appalachian State. Make sure you tune in. Go Panthers! Have a great Xmas and New Year's!

Coming 2006: Nine Inch Nails concert, CD reviews of Staind and System of a Down, CD release updates, , 2005 year in review music(?) etc. I'm open for ideas, comments, criticism, hate-mail, etc. And of course, I'll be at concerts are in the area!

Monday, December 12, 2005

MPA Wants Lyric Site Owners to Go to Jail

The Music Publishers Association (MPA) represents US sheet music companies. Come 2006 they are to begin the shutdown of sites that illegally host lyrics, tablatures and song scores. MPA president Lauren Keiser said he'd like to see the owners of such sites jailed. This campaign comes in the wake of sucessful prosecution of internet users who acquire music without paying for it by the RIAA.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sony Makes Nellie McKay Cry

Distraught at Sony Columbia's refusal to release her new disc the way she intended it, Nellie McKay tearfully urged fans at West Hollywood's Troubadour to write the music company and protest. Columbia wants to issue a 16 track version of McKay's upcoming album Pretty Little Head, while Nellie wants to release a 23 song version.

Nellie said at the Troubadour:
"It’s not fair, it’s not fair to anyone what they’re doing,” she said. “The corporations are raping the world. I know that everyone is gonna grow up and, you know, get cynical and everything. I can’t, I still care too much. This is driving me insane.”

The 20-year-old caberet singer has made waves with her first disc Get Away From Me. That debut was released in 2004.

Thriller Is Best Music Video

According to music channel The Box, Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' has been named best music video by Britons:

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Blues Traveler f/ Carbon Leaf

Thursday, November 17th 2005 @ Val Air Ballroom -- W. Des Moines, IA

Carbon Leaf - I have to apologize, I didn't pay too much attention to these guys. Three of us grad school dudes walked into the show midway through their set. This 5-peice from Richmond, Virginia sounded more like an Irish drinking band than a rock band -- so we did what any good Irishman does, and DRANK. So that kept me occupied so I didn't remember too much about them when they were done. What I do know, however, is that Carbon Leaf plays good, medium-tempo Irish-rock, complete with penny-whistler and whatever you call those small-Irish guitars. They honestly sounded like they just flew in from a bar in Dublin to play. They played good, solid Irish rock that really made us want to party, so we did. Go check them out at their website.

Blues Traveler -- This is the second time I had seen Blues Traveler, but it had been nearly a decade, so my memory was a little shady. The Concert Guys 1st concert ever was 1996 Bridges to Babylon Tour, where I saw Blues Traveler open for the Rolling Stones at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. I was 14 years old. Talk about starting your concert career off on a high note!(note: my 2nd concert ever was Bob Dylan later that year, so two legends in my 1st two concerts!) It definitely does make me feel old knowing that I've seen a band 9 years apart! Well, one difference I knew would be obvious was John Popper's weight. In 1996, he was pre-gastric bypass. Now he would be skinnier. I will say, I saw him on tv after he had his surgery, and he looks as if he's put some weight back on since then (this seems odd since they usually say tv adds weight!). But he DEFINITELY looks much better than he did during their hey-day in the mid 90's. The death of original bassist Bobby Sheehan in 1999 was one key ingredient to his lifestyle-change. One thing I didn't realize was how long Blues Traveler has been around. When their radio hit "Runaround" hit the airways in 1995, not only was it off their 4th album (and 7th year together as a band), the album "Runaround" came off of Four, which had already been out for more than a year! So these guys have paid their dues and been around for a long while. Their show was evidence of their staying power.

It is easy to see why Carbon Leaf opened for Blues Traveler. They are both blues-influenced rock bands, perfering to play long instrumental solos than just standard rock songs (see- Grateful Dead). John Popper must burn off about 4,000 calories per show on his harmonica. He doesn't just play it once in a while, instead he plays it ALL THE TIME! Blues Traveler is one of those band that you don't need to know the songs, you can just listen to their instrumental sets and be entertained. And since they played for almost two hours, and I only knew about 5 songs of theirs coming in, you can bet I didn't know most of their songs! Of course they played "Runaround," harmonica-happy "But Anyway," Busch beer commercial song "The Mountains Win Again," and Hank's personal favorite BT song, "Carolina Blues" off of their 1997 album, Straight on 'Till Morning. Curiously absent from their set list was "Hook," but then again, when you have a catalog as big as theirs, it's not surprising (another case of a band not playing songs that you want to hear, as I wrote about last week!).

Blues Traveler also played a lot of songs off of their new album, Bastardos. I didn't know any of the songs, but they sound pretty similar to anything else they have done. The highlight of the night was the last song they played. They brought every member of Carbon Leaf, bringing total # of musicians on stage to 9. They then busted into a extended version of one of your's truly's favorite songs, (as well as fellow correspondant Steves' favorite band), a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain," off of Zeppelin's 1979 swan song release, In Through the Out Door. It has always been one of my favorite songs, and never thought I would ever hear it live. They did a perfect version, really hammering those guitars and nailing the quick drums at the end after the long instrumental. They even got Page's great guitar sound at the end of the song. What a great way to go out. If you are interested in Blues Traveler, be sure to check them out at their website, and if you like old Blues Traveler, their new album shouldn't disappoint. 95.5 KGGO was the sponsoring radio station for this show, but I can't find any pictures of it. Sorry!

Next Week: 311 and Alien Ant Farm @ the Val Air Ballroom, W. Des Moines, IA.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Year Without Dimebag

On December 8, 2004, Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed during a Damageplan show in Columbus, Ohio. A tremendous contributor to metal, the Pantera/Damageplan guitarist has been sorely missed. Yet, despite his untimely death, his legacy lives on. Jason Newsted remembers:

"I come up and I'm in my casual clothes, and we played 'Whiplash' and 'Four Horsemen' or something -- two songs off Metallica's 'Kill Em All.' [Frontman] Phil [Anselmo] played guitar on one, and Darrell sang -- they swapped. I just remember getting in front of his amps and having my hair peeled back. F*** man, I've played with Metallica on stage for 15 years and it's loud. But in front of Darrell's amps, Darrell was loud as f***! That was a very special moment."

The one year anniversary of Dimebag's murder is this Thursday.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Christ Incarnate Vs. 311

In a Thanksgiving battle of bands, Scott Stapp allegedly sucker-punched Chad Sexton, drummer for 311, in a Baltimore hotel. The altercation developed shortly after Stapp made disparaging comments towards Sexton's wife. 311 said later:
"We did not intend to discuss this incident publicly, but since rumors are beginning to spread we'd like to set the record straight," the band says, before giving its version of the incident.

Former Creed vocalist, Stapp, has been rumored to have suffered from alcohol abuse for the past few years. Stapp has, so far, issued no statement addressing the 311 claim.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Audioslave, Seether, 30 Seconds to Mars

(Copyright The Rave)

Friday, November 11, 2005 @ The Rave/Eagles Club in Milwaukee, WI.

30 seconds to Mars - After a long drive across the plains of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, yours truly and two accomplices arrived at the Rave for the 3rd time in our illustrious careers (previously for The Darkness and Deftones) at 8 p.m. JUST in time for the 1st 30STM song (after paying $25 for parking! $25!!). Quite, honestly, I didn't know what to expect from Jared Leto and Co. But hell, knowing he's been with Cameron Diaz, one of the Olsen's, AND Lindsey Lohan, he gets the benefit of the doubt (and on another note-- who isn't jealous of his life- movie star AND rock star!). On the way up, us 3 Amigos committed concert faux paus and listened to both their 2002 self-titled debut and their new disk, A Beautiful Lie. I hadn't heard much of them, so I needed to hear them before seeing them in concert. In concert, even though they only played a short 6-song set, I was very impressed with the pipes on Jared Leto. Man can he wail! I could listen to him on "Capricorn" all day long! "Attack" was another great song they played. They were very good live, but I didn't get the full energy that I got from them on their EP's. One thing we all liked about Leto (with brother Shannon as the AMAZING drummer) was that they set up a table after their show to meet all fans and sign autographs. How many bands are that approachable? And I did get to see that Jared can't be any taller than 5'8". I really liked 30STM, so be sure to check out their EP's. I'll leave you with this quote from Mr. Leto about his new disk:
"On the first record I created a world, then hid behind it. With A
Beautiful Lie, it was time to take a more personal and less cerebral
approach.... A story of life, love, death, pain, joy, and passion. Of what
it is to be human."

Seether - I've had two concerts cancelled in my life. My first was Rage Against the Machine in August of 2000 at East Troy, WI when Mike D of the Beastie Boys broke his arm riding his bike through Central Park (they never rescheduled, then Rage broke up -- yes I still hate the Beastie Boys to this day -- GRRRR!). Since Rage is my favorite band, and I never got to see them. This was quite heartbreaking to an 18 year old kid. The second concert that got cancelled was Evanescence and Seether when they were supposed to play the UNI-Dome in scenic Cedar Falls, IA in November 2003. That one was cancelled because Amy Lee messed up another band (see: Evanescence, Cold, and Seether -- haha just kidding!). But that was when guitarist Ben Moody left the band in the middle of the tour. I didn't care too much about seeing Evanescence, but I was ticked to miss Seether. So redemption at last! Besides the fact that Shojn Morgan looks like a bum they pulled from the streets outside of the Rave, he has a great voice and stage presence(he looks much larger than their debut CD -- did Amy Lee make him quit drugs?!?! -- just kidding!). They did not play much longer than 30STM, only about 40 minutes. Of course, they played their two new singles off of their new disk Karma and Effect, "Remedy" and "Truth," the latter of which I really like. They played "Fine Again" in memory of the late "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. Of course, "Gasoline" also made the set list. They played a bunch of new material I didn't know, but sadly did not play my three favorite Seether songs, "F#*K It," "Needles," and "Driven Under." I never like when bands don't play your favorite song (see: Chevelle "Closure"), but my disappointment would be made up when the next band took the stage.......

Audioslave - When members of my 1st and 3rd favorite bands combined in 2001, needless to say, I WAS ECSTATIC! To me, Chris Cornell has the best, most soulful, and powerful voice I know in rock 'n roll, along with Paul Rodgers and Chris Robinson. And you just can't beat Morello and Co. hammering away powerful riffs. Maybe they haven't quite lived up to my incredibly lofty expectations I put on them as a band with their CD's (but how could they?), but they definitely made up for it in concert. I can't say this more bluntly: Audioslave was the best concert I have ever seen! AND IT'S NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE LOFTY STATUS THESE BANDS HOLD IN MY HEAD. Let me explain:

I had read concert reports that 'Slave was playing lots of covers, but I had no idea how many they were actually going to play! They opened very Rage-esque with Mrs. Morello proclaiming "Get ready for the best band in the world - Audioslave!", and then with songs off their new EP Out of Exile, playing "Your Time is Gonna Come," and "Out of Exile," along with a few others. Then they dropped the art-work for 1991's Badmotorfinger, with awesome renditions of "Rusty Cage" and "Spoonman," which I thought coundn't get much better. Boy was I wrong. Then Rage's Red Star dropped, and they busted into a killer version of "Bulls on Parade" (If you've ever seen the intro to my favorite DVD of all time "Rage- Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium," - it is exactly the same as their intro into "BOP" in the DVD, and JUST as awesome as it looked!). Wow- that place went nuts. I was going nuts. Morello's guitars were just as good, loud, and piercing as I could have ever dreamed of. They played half of the song, and then burst into a mean version of "Sleep Now in the Fire." Cornell, now in his 40's, sounded really good on that song! I almost didn't realize Mr. de la Rocha wasn't there. Almost. After a long ovation (and me thinking it couldn't get any better), they broke back into 'Slave, with songs like "Shadow on the Sun," "Doesn't Remind Me," and "Like a Stone," along with a few others.

Then the stage got dark. Rage left, and Cornell came out with his acoustic guitar. He played a perfect version of "Black Hole Sun," followed by an absolutely incredible version of "Fell on Black Days," with Shojn Morgan of Seether. It couldn't get any better...... but then he played a song I never thought they would play. Cornell played Track 13 of their debut, "Getaway Car." I always wanted to hear that song, but never thought I would. He finished off his acoustic set with "I am the Highway," with the band joining him halfway through the song. Then they played "Show me How to Live." I figured they had one song, maybe if we're lucky two songs left at this point. I knew "Cochise" had to be one of them. The other one I was not prepared for. If you've ever seen a concert hall go nuts before, you know what I'm talking about. When Morello started the familiar cords for "Killing in the Name," the entire place started bouncing. The scene was indescribable. It felt like the floor was moving. Even though I had said it already about five times that night, it was "the best song of the night." Morello was so loud and Cornell sounded so convincing, I didn't even notice it wasn't Zach on stage crooning. I thought they might cut out the "x-rated" ending to the song, but never fear, they played the whole song! After Mike D cost me my concert five years ago, I never thought I'd hear that song. I could now die happy. But the night was not over. After bringing the Rave down to it's knees with "KITN," the ended with a dyn-o-mite version of "Cochise." Talk about leaving on a high note.

I love guitarists. Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Jimmy Page, B.B. King, etc. But on that given night, and through his whole career, I swear no living guitarist can combine earth-shattering riffs and killer solos much like Tom Morello. Nobody. You really have to be their live to catch his energy. Even at age 41, he still moves on the stage like he's 21, leaping in the air, jamming to the songs. Even though Cornell is the vocalist, Morello owns the stage. I hope he stays around for a long, long time. And Cornell sounds just as good as he ever had. The thing I enjoyed most about the night that was unlike most bands I see, they played EVERYTHING I hoped they would! They didn't skip one song that I wanted to hear. For two hours of my life I was in near heaven. Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Brad Wilk and Timmy C played for two hours. I could have listened to them all night.

Next week: Blues Traveler @ the Val Air Ballroom

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Chris Cornell Sues Hostage Taking Ex-Wife

Former Soundgarden frontman/current Audioslave lead singer Chris Cornell is suing his ex-wife, claiming she "she conspired to divert money that belonged to Cornell to other Soundgarden band members. The lawsuit also claims that [Susan] Silver held his library of music, lyrics and two Grammys hostage."

The couple enjoyed twelve years of marriage before they split in 2002. Former wifey, Silver, used to manage Soundgarden while she was married to Cornell, and now seems to be causing such troubles in retaliation for interpersonal breakdowns with her former husband, according to Cornell himself.

Perhaps an impromptu oration of the Cornell penned 'Ty Cobb' would communicate the singer's frustrations to Silver? ---You know, the "hard headed" part?

For the legal pundits out there, here are the court documents.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Long time no blog...

Apologies for my lack of posts as of late. Where do I even start when there is so much to discuss? My recent absence from the site has in no way reflected a minimal level of auditory intake on my behalf. Au contraire. I've been quite busy catching up on a plethora of tuneage - both new and recycled. With this particular post, I've decided to share a couple personal highlights, and plan to do so with plenty of name-dropping and hyperlinking.

Men Women and Children - I recently heard of this group via Do it Old Maid and was a bit surprised that I had been out of the loop, beings that ex-Glassjaw guitarist Todd Weinstock is at the helm. MW&C finds Todd taking a very similar path as the Long Island hardcore band's vocalist, Daryl Palumbo, who currently fronts the eclectic Head Automatica. Like Palumbo, Weinstock's new work ditches hardcore in favor of Latin rhythms, hip-hop beats, and the excess of disco and funk. In my opinion, MW&C's new studio track 'Dance in My Blood' describes the band best: "You don't need a reason, to get out on the dancefloor" This band definitely finds me wanting to put on my boogie shoes to shake my groove thing on disco mountain.

Stereogum recently posted the mp3 of Elbow's 'Teardrop' cover. As one of my all-time favorite Massive Attack songs, I have been looping this track repeatedly.

Collisions, the fourth and most recent album from Calla has also been receiving recognition on my iTunes lately. Tracks like 'Swagger' and 'It Dawned on Me' are two of my favorites from a well-rounded album that should appeal to old and new fans alike.

Currently, my most-played track is one that I found while digging through the archives on Between Thought and Expression. Dating back to July - a stellar mash-up between The Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up' and Prince's 'When Doves Cry.' The end product? A well-blended remix; titled none other than 'Smack My Bitch Up When Doves Cry.' Not only does it invoke a need to break out a pair of glow sticks, but it also seems to provide an interesting association between violent relationships and questioning lost love - a lyrical connection that many mash-ups seem to ignore.

And lastly on tonight's list of mentionables... Pearl Jam's rare Mtv Unplugged album. Having recently acquired the full two-disc recording, I have been pleased to be able to hear the show in it's entirety (disc one is the band's soundcheck). Recorded in 1992, when their debut Ten was still new, the band is heard performing powerful acoustic versions of songs from that album, plus b-side 'State of Love and Trust' and a cover of Neil Young's 'Rockin in the Free World.' Eddie Vedder's signature vocals are on point and continue to grow in intensity throughout the performance - occasionally finding him spinning out of his emotional limits. On 'Porch', the band erupts into a full-out jam session, and in the process creates my favorite guitar solo of the album. With random tunings and banter thrown in between songs, Pearl Jam: Mtv Unplugged is an insider's look at a fifteen year-old rock juggernaut during their rise to fame.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Giant - 'I'll See You In My Dreams'

As promised, here's Giant's 'I'll See You In My Dreams.' This is really quite something else, and it makes me laugh almost everytime. Founded by former Christian rockers, Giant was an attempt at secular sucess. This song is the closest they ever came:

And So the Holiday Season Begins

Well, another Thanksgiving has passed, and Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/(insert culturally relevant holiday here) is upon us. Having this last week off from school was nice, although I've spent most of it conducting research for a final research paper, in addition to slaving away for the Man at work. Musically, however, I've spent time catching up on some CDs I hadn't had the chance to listen to, and as it turned out, much of this music seemed to be carbon copies of their more famous counterparts.

On Tuesday I acquired the Fort Minor album. Fort Minor is Mike Shinoda's band, and it basically sounds exactly like Linkin Park sans Chester--which makes sense since Linkin Park is Shinoda's band too. Their disc isn't all that bad---it just sounds like Linkin Park recycled.

Al Stewart was one of my new-old finds of the week. Hearing 'Year of the Cat' on XM, I decided to check out the man's Greatest Hits disc since that particular song struck me in quite a positive way. In addition to 'Year of the Cat,' 'Carol,' and 'Lord Grenville' were a couple of other songs I found I possessed quite an affinity for. Critics of this artist may brand him a David Bowie copycat, but at least All Music Guide gave this album a full four and one half stars.

Finally, Giant's 'I'll See You in My Dreams' proved to be my cheesy listen-to of the week. Nevermind any of their other songs; I was content to to play this power ballad in repeat mode on Windows Media Player for days at a time. So all of you can enjoy this Foreigner decoy, I'll post the stream in the next post.

That's my week in a musical nutshell, and I hope to catch up on more music here in the near (a reliable source tells me Five Bolt Main is a band worth checking out). I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pearl Jam - 'In Hiding'

With a new Pearl Jam disc on the horizon, I've decided to dig through the archives and find one of my older favorites by the band.

Off of 1998's Yield, here's 'In Hiding:'

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Unowned: Pearl Jam Redux

Pearl Jam is almost set to finalize their new album. Pondering a play on Soundgarden’s Superunknown, the band says one possible title for the new disc includes "Superun-owned:"

[Eddie Vedder] added he had been mulling an album title that was a play on Soundgarden's Superunknown: "I was thinking of the word 'un-owned' -- not owned by anybody," he said. "The sky is un-owned. The moon is un-owned. We're un-owned. We want to remain un-owned. The title was Superun-owned."

Said to be aggressive, the grunge band’s newest work is supposed to be the band’s hardest effort and is tentatively set to release in April 2006.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

2006 Coldplay Tour Dates

A must-see tour for myself, Fiona Apple and Richard Ashcroft will split opening duties for Coldplay's upcoming North American tour. Fiona will open for dates falling between January 25 and March 5, while the former Verve frontman will open the remaining dates.

The 2006 tour dates are below:

Jan. 25: Seattle (Key Arena)
Jan. 26: Vancouver (GM Place)
Jan. 30: Sacramento, Calif. (Arco Arena)
Jan. 31: Oakland, Calif. (Oakland Arena)
Feb. 1: San Jose, Calif. (HP Pavilion)
Feb. 3: Las Vegas (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Feb. 19: Denver (Pepsi Center)
Feb. 20: Omaha, Neb. (Qwest Center)
Feb. 22: Auburn Hills, Mich. (Palace of Auburn Hills)
Feb. 23: Louisville (Freedom Hall)
Feb. 25: Houston (Toyota Center)
Feb. 26: Dallas (American Airlines Center)
Feb. 27: Oklahoma City (Ford Center)
March 2: Washington, D.C. (MCI Center)
March 4: Orlando, Fla. (TD Waterhouse Center)
March 5: Tampa, Fla. (Ford Pavilion)
March 20: Cleveland (Quicken Loans Arena)
March 22: Toronto (Air Canada Centre)
March 25: East Rutherford, N.J. (Continental Airlines Arena)
March 26: Uniondale, N.Y. (Nassau Coliseum)
March 30: Chicago (United Center)
April 3: Manchester, N.H. (Verizon Wireless Arena)
April 4: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Arena)
April 6: Philadelphia (Wachovia Center)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Goodyear Pimps (w/ Nil8)

Saturday, November 5th 2005 @ The Reverb

Question: Where can you drink Michelob Golden Light and champagne for free, watch a girl in a "orange crush" shirt dance naked on stage, and watch a bunch of punk and metal fans have a Michael Jackson dance-off?

Answer: A Goodyear Pimps concert!

The Reverb celebrated it's 4th Birthday (which explains the free booze) by bringing in one of it's staple bands, The Pimps! If being able to watch my favorite live band at my favorite venue wasn't good enough, the free keg and champagne made it that much more divine! Yours truly was introduced to The Pimps in 2001 when a girl I was dating at the time made me watch the horrible movie "Crazy/Beautiful" featuring Kirsten Dunst. The song is featured in the scene where she is sitting in her jeep waiting for her man after a football game. I made a note that the song was pretty cool. Soon after, a man much wiser than myself told me I had to come with him to the Reverb to see this awesome band. Not only did I recognize the song from the movie, I was blown away by their sheer energy (and catchy humor). Well, I did what any good friend would do, and I spread the word! Now, there is a group of about 10 or 15 of us that make every Pimps show possible, which is for me now in the double digits! Saturday night was no exception, as those of us who are still left in scenic Cedar Falls and those who still travel back there (myself) were not about to miss this show! Not only are the Pimps one of the favorite performers of the owner's of The Reverb, The Pimps also consider this one of there favorite venues to play at-- obvious by the fact that they come here about 4 times a year and have a big, loyal following every time they come!

The 5-man Pimps formed in 1994 in Rockford, IL. The band is made up by lead singer Stu, usually clad in a John Deere trucker hat, or more recently his cashmere style. GT, who always appears coked out of his mind, is on bass, and eternally-in-dreads Hilly plays guitar. They have two percussionists-- a drummer who's face I have never seen and a bongo drum player with an incredible mohawk. This punk-metal band, with album titles such as "To A Cool Person, Stay that Way," "Just Give Us The Grammy Now," and "More Songs About Drugs With Curse Words," plays mostly harder tracks. But don't be discouraged if you are not a fan of hard rock, because The Pimps are not your ordinary punk-metal band. As my girlfriend (who is DEFINITELY not a fan of hard rock) found out, The Pimps play to the crowd, which is why they are so popular. They love to tell jokes about sex and drugs, and do great covers of the country-western tunes "Devil Went Down to Georgia" and "Family Tradition." I myself do not like country music, but they do such a good job on these songs that I can't help but sing along. Another staple of a typical Pimps show include a cover of Tenacious D's "F**k Her Gently," along with a hillarious rendition of J. Lo's "Jenny From the Block." The guitarist Hilly usually sings a song, and this time he sang the equally-hillarious "Honey, Will My Fingers Do?" (and yes, it's about exactly what you think it is). Stu also usually likes to call someone on stage and make up a song about them-- this time it was about some white guy in a G Unit sweatshirt, which of course they had a field day with. The mohawked-bongoist usually has a song where he spanks some guys naked rear end, but this time they skipped that.

So as you can see, their shows can be enjoyable to people who don't like that genre of music. As I like to say, they put on a show, not a concert-- which is why a large diverse crowd comes to see this show! Along with all they songs they play above, other good songs include "Sumpin'" (The Crazy/Beautiful song), "Rocket Science" (on the Mission Impossible II soundtrack), "Machine Shop," "Would it Have Killed You to Leave a Suicide Note?" and "Star Wars." I have never seen The Pimps open for a band before(it's a good thing, since they would show almost every other band up!), but last Saturday they did, for a very similar band called Nil8. Insiders tell me this is one band The Pimps have no problem opening for, citing their great respect(and the fact they could drink while watching them). Nil8 plays very similar music, and definitely impressed me with tracks such as "Dominatrix" and a cover of "Humpty Dance." But of course I am biased and as good as Nil8 was, I still love The Pimps!

But something incredible happened after Nil8 left the stage -- as the post-concert music came on (which happened to be Michael Jackson's "Beat It," "Black or White," and "Thriller,") concert revelers, obviously still wanting more, formed a circle and had a dance-off. Who would have expected this from a punk-metal crowd? I witnessed a bunch of shirtless and heavily-tatted guys showing moves you would not expect from them. With the whole crowd going nuts, it continued for several songs. The dancing included fellow Lonely Note writer Tae, who did his best impression of the gloved-one! For those of you who think the only people who go to hard rock shows are trouble-makers, this should hopefully show you that most of us are just coming together for the love of good music, even if it is Michael Jackson! The night ended with Hank's girlfriend driving his Sunfire home (one too many MGL's) with 9 people inside, including one in the trunk! What a good night!

So if you have never seen The Pimps before, please make it a priority, and do this for me: Instead of buying their CD's first and then going to see them in concert, do the opposite; Go see one of their high-powered shows, then buy their CD's (which are sold at the show). You will appreciate their CD's more once you have heard how awesome their songs are in concert. Their albums, while very good, don't do their live shows justice. Then - repeat this process over and over, going to as many shows and buying as many CD's as you can. Trust me- their shows do not get old, and people (including myself) like them more and more each time we see them! If you live in the midwest, they are easy to see, as they play more than 150 shows a year covering Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, Des Moines, and EVERYWHERE in between!

Next Week: Audioslave, Seether and 30 Seconds to Mars @ The Rave in Milwaukee

New Enya Track List

Here is the track list for the new Enya album:

'Less Than a Pearl'
'It's in the Rain'
'If I Could Be Where You Are'
'The River Sings'
'Long Long Journey'
'Somebody Said Goodbye'
'A Moment Lost'
'Amid the Falling Snow'
'Water Shows the Hidden Heart'

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Billy Idol

@ the Val Air Ballroom -- Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

Ok-- so this is REALLY late, and I apologize. Not only did my original write-up get erased, your concert reviewer also has been using a spare laptop for a while now. My original acquired a virus and then the motherboard crashed, so my original laptop is MIA. Plus, Grad school has owned me, so again I apologize for this being so late, and since it was so long ago and I don't remember it all that well, it will be short (hooray!)

Just a few months short of his 50th birthday (and not looking a day older when he was a regular on MTV in the early 80's), Billy Idol stormed the Val Air Ballroom, with amazing and chain-smoking Steve Stevens helping on guitars. And did you think he still donned his leather pants? Well, just check the picture above, and of course he did! In attendance with your truly were Hank's parents, the one's who originally turned me onto Billy Idol with 1987's Vital Idol. Well, Billy is finally back from his dreadlock days and drug addictions (evidenced by two of his albums in the early 90's "Heroin" and "Speed" (haha)), and is luckily not doing any more rock opera's like when he played Cousin Kevin, in the Who's rock opera Tommy. I'm a straight male, but for a guy who turns 50 November 30th, he looked pretty cut-- after revealing his washboard abs, much to the females delight. He loves pleasing the crowd, and the girls went nuts as he strip-tease like removed his shirt several times during the show.

Billy opened with music from his latest release "Devil's Playground." I did not know any of these songs, and will say his classic stuff was much better (as expected). He played all of his favorites, like Rebel Yell, Flesh for Fantasy, Dancing with Myself, and Hot in the City. His best song of the night, and my favorite song, was White Wedding. After all these years, his voice is still strong and his customary wail is still soul-lifting. I will say he did lose me in the middle of his show, which lasted an amazing 2 hours and 17 minutes (no wonder there was no opening band). Sometimes I felt like I was at a blues concert instead of a rock concert. There were times Billy would play acoustic songs (with him on guitar), or even leave the stage for periods of 10 minutes or more and let Mr. Stevens or one of his other band-mates perform solos. Stevens is a great soloist, but I'm pretty sure there was not one person in the Val Air who paid to see him over Billy! There is definitely a good 45 minutes of that show that I have no recollection of while they slugged through some stuff I didn't recognize.

I awoken from my slumber as Billy and Steve broke into a version of Led Zeppelin's "Over the Hills and Far Away," and then an awesome cover of The Doors "L.A. Woman." He played a couple of new songs, and then ended the concert with a 16 minute rendition of "Mony Mony," off his 1981 solo debut "Don't Stop." How did Billy make this song 16 minutes long you say? Well, EVERY member of the band, including himself, rotated instruments, and in a very photogenic moment, all 5 of them stood at the front of the stage, each donning a guitar to close out the song. If the Val Air had allowed cameras for this show, yours truly would have gotten that picture. It was near priceless. We left the Val Air very happy and very deaf. It is good to have Billy 'freakin Idol back, and make sure to check him out on tour! And be sure to check out the rest of the Billy Idol pictures from the show at Lazer 103.3. They do a great job of bringing in great shows and taking great pictures much closer to the stage than I care to get to!

Next Week: Local H (Nov. 4th) and The Pimps (Nov. 5th) at Hank's favorite locale for watching music, The Reverb. Hank's girlfriend (and maybe some Lonely Note writer's??) will be in attendance.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tae's Halloween Favorites, Vol. I

Inspired by the upcoming celebration of All Hallow's Eve, I have decided to post about one of my favorite ghastly ode's to the supernatural - a tune so frightful it will leave you trembling with fear. Yes, I am talking about none other than Bobby Brown's 'On Our Own', the theme to Ghostbusters II. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

By 1988, with the release of his hit album Don't Be Cruel, Bobby Brown was no longer a new edition to the music scene. Having departed his colleagues Bel, Biv, and even Devoe, Brown found himself reaching a new level of national stardom as a solo artist. With the making of 1989's Ghostbuster's II, Brown decided to expand his prerogative. Seeing a chance to secure his position as an artist and at the same time, help boost his street cred, Brown did the only thing natural and laid down the groove. No longer would he simply be busting moves on stage - now he would also be busting ghosts via his lyrical wit. I guess you could almost say he decided to take a risk and "cross the streams." His contribution to the soundtrack, 'On Our Own', became the main theme to the film, and contained such insightful rhymes as these:

Too hot to handle, too cold to hold
They're called the Ghostbusters and they're in control
Had 'em throwin' a party for a bunch of children
While all the while the slime was under the building
So they packed up their group, got a grip, came equipped
Grabbed the proton packs off their back and they split
Found about Vigo, the master of evil
Try to battle my boys? That's not legal

Vigo: Not a fan of Bobby Brown's music

Bobby Brown remained a national treasure well into the early nineties, but his music career slowly fell apart after he started 'humpin around' in 1992. He later regained his infamous persona through the media's attention to his numerous drug accusations and spousal conflicts with wife, Whitney Houston. But way back in 1989, a much simpler time, taking down ghosts and drinking Ecto Cooler was all that really mattered.

A Pin Drops at the Lonely Note---And You Can Hear It

OK. It's been silent at the Lonely Note lately. As a graduate student I’ve spent less time listening to bands like Socratic and more time studying Socrates’ opposition to the Sophists instead---more time examining Cicero’s Pro Milone and less time jamming out to Beck’s ‘E-Pro’---more time performing manual usability tests and less time absorbing The Used. You catch my drift…and unfortunately, my lame play on words.

In order to give our dedicated readers some sort of fodder to chew on until the rest of us have more free time, here are some tunes I’ve been listening to as of late. Enjoy:

Type O Negative – ‘Creepy Green Light’

Appropriate and festive Halloween themed song

All-American Rejects – ‘Move Along’

This song is delightfully catchy, despite the band's mall-punk preface

Franz Ferdinand – ‘You Could Have it So Much Better’
Title track is one of the rowdiest songs on the dance-rock band’s sophomore effort

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Killers Release Another Edition of Hot Fuss

I dig The Killers, but they are really starting to annoy me with their recent marketing ploys. Not only did they release an expanded version of their debut Hot Fuss, featuring more songs than the original pressing a few months ago, but now they are releasing a boxed set of the same album. Meant as a collector's album for "true" fans, the boxed version will be limited to only 5000 copies worldwide and will feature 7" vinyls for each song on the album. Each single is complimented with a cover, rarity or b-side.

To be made available for purchase November 22, here is the track listing for the box (with the B-sides included):

'Jenny Was a Friend of Mine' / 'Somebody Told Me' (Josh Harris remix)
'Mr. Brightside' / 'Under the Gun'
'Smile Like You Mean It' / 'Show You How'
'Somebody Told Me' / 'The Ballad of Michael Valentine'
'All These Things That I've Done' / 'Why Don't You Find Out for Yourself'
'Andy, You're a Star' / 'Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town'
'On Top' / 'Mr. Brightside' (Thin White Duke remix)
'Change Your Mind' / 'Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll'
'Believe Me Natalie' / 'Smile Like You Mean It' (acoustic)
'Midnight Show' / 'Who Let You Go'
'Everything Will Be Alright' / 'Get Trashed'

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Radiohead's Recent Oxfordshire Sessions

In Oxfordshire Radiohead has been plugging away on new material. The band’s seventh album is currently in the works and is scheduled for release sometime next year. Songs that have been developed and considered for the new recording include ‘Pay Day,’ ‘Burn the Witch,’ ‘Videotape,’ ‘Solutions,’ ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Down Is the New Up,’ ‘Last Flowers,’ ‘Skirting on the Surface’ and ‘Morning Mi Lord.’

Sunday, October 16, 2005

New Madonna Here!

Listen to the leaked single here (Abba backbeat and all!):

Madonna - 'Hung Up'

All Songs Considered

For those who listen to National Public Radio on a regular basis, you are undoubtedly familiar with their flagship news program All Things Considered. A spin-off of this award winning show is All Songs Considered, an eclectic look into groundbreaking music---new and old.

You can now subscribe to the All Songs Considered podcast here, along with a vast collection of other programs. Or you can download the latest episode in MP3 format here.

Electric Six's Third Album

In February, Electric Six released Senor Smoke, a boisterous disc full of your typical garage-band-revival tunage. Now, only eight months later, there is talk of a new, third disc in the works.

Singer Tyler Spencer (aka Dick Valentine) says recording for the third album will begin in November:

“We’ve got most of it written but we haven’t rehearsed it as a band yet… The songs are really strong and I think they’re more complex and more mature and I think if we nail this thing the way it’s supposed to come off, it’ll be the best one yet.”

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Prince - 'I Wanna Be Your Lover'

While we're on the subject of Prince, here's one of his first hits. It's off the self-titled sophomore album.

Prince - 'I Wanna Be Your Lover'

Prince Needs New Hip

Who would-a thunk it? Minnesota’s Purple One is supposed to undergo hip replacement surgery. Decades of dancing and flailing around in platform shoes have battered the entertainer’s body to the point his joints are beginning to provide him with pain. Yet, because Prince is a Jehovah’s Witness, he is refusing to get the surgery. The religion does not allow for the necessary blood transfusion.

In the meantime, the Artist has been prescribed painkillers which, for now, allow him to maintain his energetic shows. Perhaps he should follow his own advice and purify himself in the “waters of Lake Minnetonka?”

Nickelback Earns First #1

Only since Bachman-Turner Overdrive did it in 1974 has a Canadian band debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Nickelback's All the Right Reasons moved 325,000 copies its first week, with first single 'Photograph' receiving significant airplay in the recent month.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Dandy Warhols - 'Down Like Disco'

The Dandy Warhols' newest album, Odditorium or Warlords from Mars, may have received a measly 1 out of 5 stars from Rolling Stone, but being a big fan of such hits as 1997's 'Not if You Were the Last Junkie on Earth (Heroin is So Passe)' and 2000's 'Bohemian Like You,' I felt I should at least give the band the benefit of the doubt. Although the album as a whole might not rank among the band's best work, I wouldn't go so far as to say that there is nothing of substance present.

The track 'Down Like Disco' features a sound reminiscent of Stone Temple Pilots' 'Sour Girl'. While one guitar plays rhythmically alongside the percussion, the other squeals away above the more subtle keyboard textures and vocal harmonies. The song may be fairly repetitive for as long as it is; it narrowly avoids overextending its 6 1/2 minute welcome by keeping the addictive, psychadelic guitar and chorus circulating throughout.

Maybe the few key tracks on Odditorium won't salvage the entire album, but at least a song like this one is able to cohabitate well with some of the band's stronger material from their decade-long career.

The Dandy Warhols - 'Down Like Disco'

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ambulance LTD - 'Sugar Pill'

Working a late shift tonight, I decided to listen to some “old” favorites on my iPod. Ambulance LTD’s April 2004 debut was one such choice album I decided to tune in to. In my opinion, I'd have to say LP is one of last year's greatest discs. In fact, AMG reviewer Tim Sendra seems to agree with its importance to the world of rock and roll when he describes it as a “guided tour through the last 20 years of guitar rock.”

While songs like ‘Ophelia’ and ‘Swim’ are enough to help Stella get her groove back, my favorite cut off this particular selection is ‘Sugar Pill.’ I am not sure if it’s the Smiths-esque opening guitar or the neo-psychadelic vocals of hobo look-alike Marcus Congleton. All I know, though, is that as soon as the first measure of the chorus hits my ears I become a very happy man.

Listen for yourself below:

Ambulance LTD - 'Sugar Pill'

Monday, October 10, 2005

Story of the Year - In the Wake of Determination

Story of the Year - In the Wake of Determination
3.5 out of 5 stars

Story of the Year may not conjure thoughts of rough and tough, but on their sophomore effort In the Wake of Determination the St. Louis based band sounds more like Papa Roach than they do Dashboard Confessional. All previous associations with the weak and cheesy mall-punk scene evident on their debut Page Avenue are no longer prevalent. Instead, the band seems to emulate The Used in order to create more of a methodic metal sound.

In the Wake is by far brasher than its predecessor. While Page Avenue may have provided the perfect emo soundscape for deep introspection, this new disc spawns a soundtrack more appropriate for a fast night out on the town. It is likely that this sophomore effort may alienate fans of the band’s original sound, but it is just as likely Story of the Year have gained just as many new ones with this new musical course.

Sample 'Pay Your Enemy' below:

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Audio Minute with Steve: The Oranges Band - 'Believe'

The Oranges Band seemed to have been on hiatus for a few years when The World and Everything in It surfaced. The band is relatively simple and lo-fi, and they remind me quite a bit of Elbow. Their Track One song off of The World has been played on several indie stations as of late, and is available for streaming below:

The Oranges Band - 'Believe'