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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Flyin' high again.


Sometimes Of Montreal really hit the spot. Particularly on warm spring days when you're taking cold medicine!

Hey: I'm heading to the deep South early Thursday morning. If any of you weirdos have music news, get it to me STAT!

UPDATE: I did a couple of decent interviews this week. Paul de Jong of The Books was a super cool, articulate and inspiring guy. I got a whole new batch of ideas just talking to him.

Spencer from hype victims Wolf Parade was incredibly nice, if a little spacey. You can catch that article on Wednesday, April 12.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stuff I didn't get to.


Fly him to the moon... (pic courtesy

Burlington musical monarch Brett Hughes recently e-mailed me about an article published in Glide Magazine about Honky-Tonk Sessions/Ramble Dove.

When I wrote back to him to ask for the URL link to put on my blog, his response was:


But he did provide the link.

I'll be heading to the deep South next weekend, so I'm likely to miss a few interesting shows. One of them, news of which came to me too late to put in the next issue, is a rare Smittens performance at the Monkey House on Friday, March 31.

Keyboardist Max Andrucki is back in town for a spell to work on the band's third full-length.

Oh yeah, Brett will be there too, for a solo set.

Bring blogs.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Good day.

Greetings, humans.

I went to see the Editors and stellastarr* at Higher Ground last night.

Editors were better live than on record; way more energy and charisma. Nevertheless, I woke up with Interpol songs in my head.

I'm getting a little annoyed with the "washed-out, atmospheric delay" guitar sound, though. The Edge has no idea what he unleashed upon the world. Or maybe he does. I'm sure Eddie Van Halen has had moments where he wished he had never developed two-handed tapping. Sure, it was a revolution in sound and technique. But it also heralded the arrival of Blues Saraceno and Nuno Bettencourt. Yeah, that's right. Don't pretend you don't remember.

stellastarr* are a perfect example of artifice over ingenuity. Every single thing they played was pilfered from a handful of immediately identifiable sources. A pose from start to finish. They really only impress young kids who never heard Echo & the Bunnymen, Oingo Boingo, The Cure or any of the other of the New Romantic/Goth-pop/New Wave bands from the '80s.

But they too were better live than on record. Give 'em a cookie.

In case you haven't seen it. (Courtesy Neil Cleary's comment on Candleblog).

Who's opening for The Pants?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Here comes trouble.

Some excitable press agent just e-mailed me the 2006 Lollapalooza lineup. It looks like a slightly less jammy Bonnaroo.

Finally — The Disco Biscuits and Coheed & Cambria on the same stage! (I refuse to link to either of these artists).

One question I've always wanted answered: Why do these festivals have such goofy names? I'm gonna start one called "Crapafantasmo." It'll feature only actors-turned rockstars. Ricky Springfield, Jared Leto and Kevin Bacon are already confirmed. (No links there, either).

Remember when big package concerts had thematic unity? I was part of the "alternative generation," and dude, we like, totally did things differently back in the day.

Then again, I saw Ice-T and Body Count on the same bill with Nine Inch Nails, the Butthole Surfers, Living Colour and the real Jane's Addiction, so maybe I'm wrong. Lolly One, motherfuckers! I'm Old-School!

Anyway, this year's corporate branding extravaganza takes place on August 4-6 at Grant Park in Chicago.

The (un?)usual suspects:

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Kanye West
Manu Chao
Death Cab For Cutie
The Raconteurs
The Flaming Lips
Queens of the Stone Age
The Shins
Ryan Adams
Umphrey's McGee
Sonic Youth
Thievery Corporation
Nickel Creek
Blues Traveler
Broken Social Scene
The New Pornographers
Iron & Wine
Poi Dog Pondering
Coheed And Cambria
The Secret Machines
Panic! At the Disco
The Disco Biscuits
She Wants Revenge

The Dresden Dolls
Reverend Horton Heat
The Smoking Popes
Andrew Bird
Gnarls Barkley
Lyrics Born
Lady Sovereign
Nada Surf
The Frames
The Hold Steady
The Go! Team
Mates of State
The Redwalls
Mute Math
The Subways
Of Montreal
Blue October
Jeremy Enigk

Second stringers:

Living Things
Sound Team
The M's
Hot Chip
The Benevento-Russo Duo
Matt Costa
The New Amsterdams
deadboy & the Elephantmen
The Burden Brothers
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Husky Rescue
The Towers of London
Ohmega Watts
Boy Kill Boy
Jim Noir
The Standard
Be Your Own Pet
Elvis Perkins
Trevor Hall

Thursday, March 16, 2006

But wait — there's more!


So tonight there's that Keith Fullerton Whitman show at the Firehouse Gallery. Greg Davis will be reading some John Cage texts. I'm looking forward to it. We're lucky to even have a show like this in Burlington. I'm sure it'll make up for some of the horrible shit that's come my way lately. I seriously need to cleanse my aural palate.

I found a local metal band on My Space called Dentata Mare. They're pretty fun in that math-metal/sludgecore kinda way. I think they just played at Second Floor.

Speaking of metal, I marvel at the fact that Non Compos are releasing an album in '06. I gave up shortly after they dropped the "mentis" from their name.

Oh, I watched that new Fox show "The Loop" last night. Part of it anyway. Yep, they played James Kochalka's "Hockey Monkey." But it was downhill from there.

I used to think that if things got really bad, I'd just head to Hollywood and write shitty sitcoms. Well, I've changed my mind. I'd rather be a jaded small-town music nerd than one of the mental midgets that pens this stuff. Wow — they made Philip Baker Hall say "ass-clown!" Bet that line is gangbusters when you're snorting blow with your L.A. pals.

Twentysomethings selling trash to twentysomethings.

I'm gonna go home and read Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes to remove the taint. Ha! I said taint! Maybe I can have a career in television, after all!

What a crap day. Someone should buy me flowers, or maybe a unicorn.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Today's Wisdom.

I try my hardest to be an impartial "cheerleader," but I gotta tell ya: there are some really lame-ass acts out there.

I honestly have no idea why some folks even bother. It seriously pains me from time to time. Physical. Pain.

Just had to get that off my chest.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Been a long time.

I know, I know. I've been negligent.

Here's where I'm at these days:

The Contrarian Soft Rock 3" is currently being pressed for Icebox Records. I'll let you know when it's actually here. There has been some talk about a release party, but the material, although more straightforward than usual, would be difficult to perform live. We'll see.

The Swale full-length is coming along, slowly but surely. It's sounding pretty damn fine, though. Great batch of songs. Hope I survive the mixing process.

Carrigan are finally releasing their album. I hear they've got a release party near or on Cinco de Mayo. My buddy Jeb Interlandi (currently of The Cripples) will be joining them on bass.

I'm heading over to ye olde Muddy Waters this evening to chat with Greg Davis about his upcoming Firehouse Gallery shows. The first one will feature electro-drone maestro Keith Fullerton-Whitman. Supposedly there's a John Cage theme goin' down. Should be smashing. You can read the result of our conversation in Seven Days on Wednesday, March 22.

I'm psyched that The Sopranos is back on. We watched the first show of the season in Hi-Def last night. I could see each bead of grease in Silvio's hair.

Frank Black sums up my current feelings nicely:

"(I Wanna Live On An) Abstract Plain" Teenager of the Year, 1994

I’ve had it with this town
I never saw those shifting skies
I never saw the ground
Or the sunset rise
I want to live on an abstract plane

I’m building a frame
A place to put my ten-yard stare
Thinking of that paint
Painted in plein-air
I want to live on an abstract plane

I need a new address
I want some new terrain
Is it north or south?
I want to live on an abstract plain

I could sit on the roof
On top of that abstract house
See my abstract view
An abstract mouse
I want to live on an abstract plane

I need a new address
Tell me I’m not insane
Is it up or down?
I want to live on an abstract plane

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Better late than...

I found out about this show a little bit late, so it won't make the print edition. Figured I could plop it up here, though.

How's everyone doing, by the way? Hanging tough?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Rock show.

Nice capo, dude.

Hey cool kids!

Check out the next Seven Days Hot Ticket event: stellastarr* and Editors at Higher Ground on March 21.

A little background info:

stellastarr* have been around for a few years now. I'm familiar with their first record, which had an Anglo art-punk/'80s fashionista quality — somewhere between song-era Brian Eno and Flock of Seagulls. Their tune "My Coco" was stuck in my head for a year. The band has lately swapped quirkiness for dark atmospherics. Not entirely unexpected.

But any hipster worth his/her jagged bangs are really going for the openers. Largely do to rampant blogger enthusiasm, Editors currently have the hot hand on the underground.

These UK lads musically resemble NYC "it boys" Interpol. Expect downstrummed guitars, four-on-the-floor drum beats, space echo and artfully detached, Ian Curtis-esque vocals. Keep sharp objects and cords of rope at a healthy distance.

Anyway, the band has already created such a huge buzz that they're practically guaranteed to be The Next Big Thing — at least until the next batch of dramatically cheekboned British fashion plates emerge from university.

How's that for an endorsement? I'll be there, with arms folded across chest, studiously cataloging the band's every move. So should you.

Broke? You can win tickets here.

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