Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Killers Cover Joy Division

Here's the stream of The Killers' rendition of Joy Division's 'Shadowplay.' It will be featured on the album Sawdust.

You can stream it on our sidebar (experiencing technical difficulties with our individual post flash player).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Goulet Dies

In some unfortunate news, singer Robert Goulet has died awaiting a lung transplant. In recent years, Goulet made his mark on the MTV Generation with appearances in Super Bowl commercials, ESPN television promos, and perhaps most notably, through the parody of Will Ferrell in a famous skit that aired on Saturday Night Live.

In honor of Goulet's passing, I've embedded one of those very SNL sketches, as well as an ESPN commercial he starred in.

RIP Goulet:

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Top Ten Cowbell Songs


"Thanks to a seven-year-old Will Ferrell sketch, the whole concept of cowbell in music has been turned into one big joke. Well, we're sick of it. Cowbell deserves better.

Any bunch of teenagers in a garage can get rock out of electric guitars and drums. To kick ass with some clunking cattle chimes, though, takes genius. Here are the ones who did it best."

Read the list here.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bat For Lashes - The Next Big Thing On Wheels?

What do gigantic rabbits, car wrecks, lost balloons and bicycle stunts have in common? They're all featured in Bat for Lashes' breakout video "What's a Girl to Do" video.

A few short weeks ago, Steve and I were hanging out in the Lonely Note offices when we caught this video gem on the IMF channel (International Music Feed). At first glance, we didn't even notice the music because the visuals had us so transfixed. It immediately brought to mind the wildly bizarre film "Donnie Darko." It wasn't until later that I was reading the October issue of Blender and found that band singer Natasha Khan meant for that almost exact comparison:

"I tried to make the video a bit like Donnie Darko
meets E.T." she says. "The best children's stories for me involve terrifying encounters, kids leaving safe places and coming into contact with the invisible. I try to create the same space in my music"

Despite her enjoyment of endangering children, Natasha has created music that isn't half-bad. With a sound similiar to estabished artists like Bjork, Cat Power and Thom Yorke, it's a safe bet that Bat for Lashes will find their place in today's music scene.

Did I mention that Natasha Khan looks like an exotic, Tom Cruise-less version of Katie Holmes? Yeah.....Bat for Lashes is alright. Check out the video and enjoy!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Neil Young - 'Ordinary People'

Neil Young's 18-minute long single 'Ordinary People' has finally been released, although it has been complete for twenty years. If you're looking to kill a third of an hour, and want to hear a killer jam, you can listen to the tune here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jonathan Davis Embarks on Solo Tour

From Reuters:

"Korn frontman Jonathan Davis will embark on a 24-date U.S. solo outing, starting November 9 in Hartford, Conn., and wrapping December 11 in Las Vegas."

Read the rest of the article

Saturday, October 20, 2007

MCA celebrates 40 years with Sympathy for the Devil

Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art is turning 40 this year, and to celebrate has been offering 40 days of free entry.

The showcase exhibition, titled
Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, examines the relationship between rock music culture and contemporary art over the past 40 years.

According to MCA curator Dominic Molon, the title Sympathy for the Devil suggests:

...the risks involved when these cultural forms intersect. Contemporary art potentially sacrifices its seriousness and sophistication, and rock and roll risks pretentiousness and obscurity through its cultivation of avante-garde styles, approaches, and techniques. Regardless of these possible drawbacks, contemporary artists have drawn on rock music's intensity, ever-changing style, and youthful sense of confrontation and social provocation; rock and roll has looked to art for its openness to innovation and experimentation.

The rebellious and creative nature of rock n roll has often been reflected in the works of contemporary artists, just as the works of such artists as Andy Warhol have had equal influence on bands like The Velvet Underground. This art-inspiring-art credence has lead to an exhibition which focuses on original pieces of artwork instead of album covers and promotional materials. A walking audio tour includes a playlist of songs essential to the exhibit.

The weekend I attended, the museum was packed with art and music lovers from across the board. Outdoors, the crowd raved to the musical performance of DJ group
Flosstradamus whilst drinking locally-brewed Goose Island ales.

Although Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967 runs until January 6, 2008, you can save yourself the cost of admission by attending before November 14.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

The Envy Corps - 'Wire and Wool'

You may recall my previous post on Iowa band The Envy Corps. This time I present you the video to their newest single entitled 'Wire and Wool.' The song starts off really slow, but transforms into a funky jam later on.

On a side note, what is up with lead singer Luke Pettipoole sporting the
Mark David Chapman look?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Death Cab's Chris Walla rejoins Barsuk Records for solo album

From The Seattle Times:

"Death Cab for Cutie guitarist/producer Chris Walla will release "Field Manual," his first solo album, on Jan. 29, according to Barsuk Records. It's a return home for Walla, who with Death Cab helped launch Barsuk before going on to great heights with Atlantic Records. "

Read the rest of the article

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Concert Review: The Bravery - October 5th, 2007

The Bravery's performance at Des Moines' House of Bricks on Friday, October 5th, was an underrated show by an underrated band to say the least. Considering that their self-titled debut was one of my favorite albums of 2005-06, I was in disbelief that admission to their concert was only $15, and that I had to compete for elbow room with maybe only a hundred other people. (In stark contrast to other standing-room only shows I've attended, where a critical mass of 800 people have swelled back and forth against my modest 6 foot frame, it was a refreshing change of pace.)

The band made a thrilling entrance by beginning the concert with the driving, yet danceable, 'Fearless.' The hallmark pipe organ effect that lingers during the beginning of that track provided a great audio backdrop for the band to quietly sneak in before exploding into an unadulterated synth-punk fury that never ceased throughout the hour long show.

For the majority of the show the band tended to hover around the indulgent disco-heavy tunes of their first disc ('Public Service Announcement,' 'Tyrant Mouth') while slowly splicing in tracks from their newest album; 'Believe' and 'Every Word is a Knife In My Ear' proved to be two songs from The Sun and the Moon that garnered the greatest response.

Overall, the band's performance was a solid one. And although their latest album pales in comparison to the melodic mastery of their debut, the band's unstoppably energetic stage performance provided great evidence that they have clear potential to put out an amazing third disc in the near future.

You can listen to 'Fearless,' 'Public Service Announcement' and 'Believe' below:

The Bravery - 'Fearless'

The Bravery - 'Public Service Announcement'

The Bravery - 'Believe'

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Concert Review: José González @ Park West, Chicago, IL - October 4th, 2007

José González played a captivatingly intimate show at Chicago's historic Park West theatre on October 4th in support of his new album, In Our Nature.

I was excited to hear from my sister last week, who informed me that she had won tickets to the show. Being a longtime José fan who had never seen him live, I quickly seized the opportunity so thoughtfully bestowed upon me.

The venue provided stadium-tiered seating at booths and tables. A mirrorball hung overhead in the domed center of the ceiling. Drinks were served from the full bar at the back of the room; servers weaved in and out of aisles throughout the night, taking orders.

Softspoken Brit James Blackshaw opened the night with a set of four vocalless medleys on his 12-string guitar. Blackshaw showed his acoustic chops with prog-lullabies like "River of Heaven," as eyes slowly drifted shut around the room.

Between acts, the predominantly young-adult audience grew substantially. When chairs ran few, the crowd began to seat themselves on the floor around the stage.

González took the stage by 8:30, setting the tone with "How Low" off his new album. The low notes echoed through the room in deep resonance as the melodies cut with precision. Delicate vocals accompanied his tight fingerpicking with ethereally haunting textures. Every touch rang out with clarity. Sparse words were spoken between songs, as González kept his guitar carefully tuned.

The first notes of his popular single "Heartbeats" were met with heavy applause. A microphone lay at one foot, catching the rhythms of his metronomic toe-tapping. On "All You Deliver," González' thwacked out beats with his thumb between chords, and a shuffling drag of the hand across the strings added an attacking groove to "Down the Line."

González ended the set with his enthralling Massive Attack cover, "Teardrop."

A three song encore was concluded by another cover - an uptempo rendition of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." With that, González took a quick bow, leaving his guitar onstage to soak up the applause as it sat glowing under the lights.

Set List:
How Low
Heartbeats (the Knife cover)
All You Deliver
Stay in the Shade
Down the Line
Killing for Love
Teardrop (Massive Attack cover)
Deadweight on Velveteen
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)
González was also featured recently on NPR Live, which aired his October 2nd show from the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
Click HERE to check out full audio of that performance.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Concert Review: Radio Moscow - October 5th, 2007

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when Ames, Iowa's Radio Moscow took the stage as the opener before the recent Bravery show in Des Moines last Friday. But as soon as their drummer Todd took to his drum set and started banging, I was hooked. Sporting a skull cap and flannell, thus bearing striking resemblance to N.W.A.'s Ice Cube, Todd's performance stole the show. The drum set-up was positioned front and center, providing Todd ample opportunity to spin his sticks in the air before striking the skins, as well as other similar visual antics. Certainly, it was his soulful drum playing that provided the driving energy behind each song.

This is not to say, however, that the performances of Radio Moscow's other two members were overshadowed. The guitarist/vocalist played some mean riffs (although his singing was just above mediocre), and the bassist kept great rythym. As a unit, they got the job done and were a great live band with lots of potential.

I would definitely recommend checking Radio Moscow out, and you can do so by visiting their Myspace page. (I recommend streaming 'Frustrating Sound'). In an age of music saturated by the emo kids, it's nice to know that bluesy trad rock still marches on.

(Stay tuned for a review of the October 5th Bravery show soon!)

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Puddle of Mudd - 'Famous'

I forgot how much I actually like these guys: double layered vocal tracking, driving guitars, and intense rythyms that make you want to shake your fist and bang your head.

Yes, the music of Puddle of Mudd is really just the same formula rehashed over and over again. But so is the James Bond series.

Listen to the title track from the forthcoming Famous below:

Puddle of Mudd - 'Famous'

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cryptic Message Posted on Arcade Fire's Website

(This was previously reported on NME)

Arcade Fire has something in the works planned for October 6th, but its unknown what it is. Upon visiting their website a message is displayed saying: "b oNline B October 6th."

"b oNline B," when rearranged, spells NEON BIBLE, but aside from that no further clues are given.

Check it out for yourself here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Foo Fighters - 'Statues'

The new Foo Fighters disc has been making its rounds on my brand new 160GB iPod Classic as of late. It's probably not the strongest album of their catalog, but it does have its bright spots.

Here's one of them. It's a gentle ballad called 'Statues' that has a subtle layer of piano driving the melody.

Stream it below:

Foo Fighters - 'Statues'

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