MORE BLOGS: Blurt | Stuck in VT | Mistress Maeve

Seven Days Blogs: Solid State Music Blog

« January 2007 | Main | March 2007 »

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cool interview.

I know I just posted, but I couldn't resist sharing this link to a fantastic interview with Animal Collective's Panda Bear by my Dusted Magazine compatriot, Rob Hatch-Miller.

In it, PB talks about anti-depressants and where he pilfers his samples. A fine read.

"You're a Jedi Knight, Trey."

Just had to read the front-page article in today's Free Press about Ernest "Trey" Anastasio's arraignment for drug possession and shitty driving.

As I stated in an earlier post, I don't enjoy muckraking. Still, I was tickled by the following paragraph:

"You're a Jedi knight, Trey!" one fan yelled in "Star Wars"-style praise as Anastasio climbed into a black van with tinted windows after the hearing. The singer did not react before a driver closed the doors and sped away.

A black van with tinted windows? Maybe he's been extraordinarily rendited and whisked away to one of the CIA's off-the-grid detainment facilities.

But probably not.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Linkdump and stuff...

I heard there was some kind of local Oscars party last Sunday. Looks like folks had a dandy of a time. I didn't even watch the show at home, but it's nice that Martin Scorsese finally won something.

This is a very interesting article about how the major labels are slowly abandoning DRM as a means to prevent piracy. I, for one, say hurrah!

I think I might have posted before about how Lou Reed can be an unconscionable prick to journalists. Here's a fresh example.

Another crazy guitar, courtesy Music Thing.

I occasionally get burned out on music (the live variety, at least), but I'm still a fan of good writing. Not that I'm always capable of producing it. So Undead Molly's post about writerly clichés is right up my alley.

Highgate finds Jesus, promptly misplaces Him.

The Le Duo tipped the world off to a really great local band called Oak.

False 45th loved the Asobi Seksu show. I loved finishing Season II of "House, M.D."

OK, time to address a rumor:

Yes, it's true that I'll be leaving Burlington in the near future. My 15 or so years in the Queen City have been extremely interesting, but I've run out of feasible ways to reinvent myself. Also, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but it's friggin' cold in Vermont!

I love my job, especially the people that I work with. It's been the most rewarding professional experience of my life, and an opportunity for which I'll forever be grateful.

Did I mention that I dislike winter?

I'm guessing I'll continue to write about and compose music, but it's too early to know what my next gig will be. I hope to maybe assemble parts at home. And, if things get really desperate, I can always start a religion.

But let's not speculate, shall we?

Vermont's music and arts scene continues to grow, and I commend all involved for their passion and commitment. Glad to have been even a small part of it. 

Monday, February 26, 2007

Arthur Magazine R.I.P.?

Over the weekend, I heard via one of the music crit listserves I'm on that San Francisco's Arthur Magazine was calling it quits. The rumor was, that after four years of print excellence, they'd simply run out of funds.

I love Arthur, and not just for its coverage of freaky music. The rag seemed to recognize a gestalt in today's fringe culture, with cross-pollinated coverage of psychedelics, modern shamanism, magick, media and activism. Plus Thurston Moore did CD reviews.

This morning, PitchforkMedia corroborated the news of the paper's demise.

However, I now find out that the obituary may have been premature. The ever-knowledgeable blog Idolator reports on a rift between editor Jay Babcock and publisher Larry Kreslins over financing, which has put Arthur on "indefinite hiatus."

No word on whether or not Babcock will continue with the organization once they return. And in what form, I wonder?

In case you missed it, Here's Babcock taking the frontman for Godsmack to task over the band's ties to military recruitment efforts.

And an L.A. Times article about the shutdown kerfluffle.

Better rush down to Pure Pop and scoop up those last copies, if there are any...


Friday, February 23, 2007

Not all reunions are pretty.

Homeless man or Guitar God? Only his publicist/girlfriend knows for sure.

Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times reports:

For Van Halen, the stars seemed aligned for a triumphant 2007. Next month, the group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the plan was to follow that with a summer reunion tour that would feature David Lee Roth back at the mike for the first time since the Reagan years.

But, once again, the backstage soap opera of
Van Halen is the story of the day.

Van Halen tour has been "shut down," according to a top official at Live Nation, the huge concert promoter that finally surrendered in the face of the chaos surrounding guitar hero Eddie Van Halen. Roth, meanwhile, says he is unsure whether the mercurial guitarist will even travel to New York for the Hall of Fame induction on March 12.

"We have fragile politics in
Van Halen; please accept that as a partial answer," Roth said. "But I don't know if the Van Halens are going to go....I hope they do, but right now, I just don't know. Hope springs eternal."

Eddie Van Halen declined interviews through his publicist and girlfriend, Janie Liszewski.
[Casey's note: Guess we could say that "Janie's Cryin'!"] Conversations with the business team behind the tour paint a picture of a rock star who is somewhere between Axl Rose and Michael Jackson on the music industry scale of eccentric recluses. The result is that the Van Halen venture imploded before takeoff, even as The Police, The Eagles and Genesis have efficiently geared up for lucrative reunion tours.

"I cannot tell you how frustrating and completely nuts this has been," one key business figure in the tour said while asking not to be identified on the outside chance that the reunion might be salvaged. "Right now, I have to say, I don't see that happening."

I'm not much of a VH fan, but I find their inability to get their shit together incredibly amusing.  A supposed "insider report" in the form of a blog comment stated the real reason for the tour breakdown was that Eddie is fighting with the Live Nation promoters, his own brother and — here's the funny part — his ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli. She is, of course, mom to Wolfgang Van Halen, who has been appointed the new bassist for the group. The kid is only 15.

Perhaps Val doesn't want him falling prey to the "booze, coke and groupies" lifestyle that EVH has been known to indulge in.

Eddie struggled with cancer of the tongue not too long ago, which he claims to have beat with methods "illegal in the United States." Some have speculated that the *cure* involved the use of crystal meth.

Bet it helps him shred, too.


Friday Allsorts.

Please join me in welcoming the wonderful and talented Eva Sollberger to the Seven Days blog roundup. Queen Eva will be publishing a vlog (that's a video-based weblog, for all you Luddites) called Stuck in Vermont.

As a longtime fan of Eva's Deadbeat Club program on VCAM, I'm psyched she's on board.

Delancey Leathers and I have been e-mailing back and forth about prog metal today, so in that spirit, I present to you Italy's Ephel Duath.

MP3: Ephel Duath — "Imploding"

You can find it on eMusic, iTunes and backwater European distro services. Actually, the band is signed to Earache, so it shouldn't be difficult to order it from your fave record store.

What's going on this weekend? There's that Mardi Gras business, which I'm gonna skip. I never participate in First Night, either. Freezing cold and throngs of people = Operation Hell On Earth.

There's the distinct possibility I'll go to Higher Ground on Sunday to see Jello Biafra and/or Asobi Seksu, though.

I hung out in Strangeways Recording with Cccome? yesterday. Those guys are hilarious. They're playing tonight at Radio Bean alongside Swale. I don't know if I'm gonna make it; I have to get my beauty sleep in order to master the Cccome? album the following day.

The Strangeways cats — Daryl Rabidoux and Mike Poorman — are actually pulling up stakes and moving to Providence in April. There's a benefit show to raise money for their U-Haul taking place at Club Metronome on Friday March 2. Bands on the bill: Tell No One, Carrigan, Brixton Guns and Zac Clark.

You can read a little bit more about it in next week's column.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Music for exploded minds.

Brooke and I are going to get our marriage license today!

I'll admit that I check Pitchfork every morning. Occasionally, a review will remind me of a band I'm actually interested in! That happened today with their notice for Grindstone, by Norway's Shining.

There's nothing like a blast of totally fucked prog to put a spring in your step. For fans of '70s King Crimson, Bohren und Der Club of Gore and actual Krautrock.

Here are a couple of cuts:

Shining — "Stalemate Longan Runner"

Shining — "Psalm"

The album is no doubt in stock at Pure Pop. If you're all digital, you can also find it at iTunes.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Still feelin' the Youth.

Like kids scrambling to get their book reports finished in study hall, Vermont bloggers are in a mad dash to report on last Sunday's Sonic Youth show. Well, a few of 'em, anyway.

The Le Duo likey.

Spitting Out Teeth is still workin' on it. UPDATE: Here it is.

Highgate approves.

Eva Deadbeat got her noise on; she'll vlog about it later. Now!

Suspiciously MIA are False 45th and OutrageousChaos. I didn't see them at the show, but then again, I didn't look.

I'm feeling oddly social; maybe I should lay down 'til it passes.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Things we can agree on.

Saw the Sonic Youth show at Higher Ground last night. It was fun. I wrote about it a wee bit in my Seven Days column for Wednesday, so I probably won't be getting into it here. If you're a blogger who attended the show then scribed about the experience, let me know, and I'll post a link. Jay, you better finish writing up your report!

Man, winter is kicking my ass! First the superstorm, and now the frigid temperatures. I'm cursing my ancestors (well, not really... I don't like inviting supernatural torment) for ever settling in the cruel Northeast.

Panda_bear_person_pitch Look again at the title of this post. Now listen to these new tracks from Panda Bear's upcoming album, Person Pitch.

Panda Bear — "Take Pills"

Panda Bear — "Good Girl/Carrots"

Aren't they great? I thought I was burned out on Animal Collective side jamz, but this record is delicious through and through.

You can buy that sucker on March 20. Make sure you do; Panda deserves yer monies.

If the label, Paw Tracks, has a problem with my posting these MP3s, they can send an ancient curse my way. What was it I said about inviting supernatural torment? Perhaps they should just tell me to take 'em down. Or not.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Catching Fire.

It was recently pointed out to me that I gave Arcade Fire's Funeral the lowest rating of any reviewer in the country. Well, at least according to Metacritic, a site that sorts through music notices and ranks them according to an arcane process I cannot fathom. Also, I have no idea how wide their reach is, so there might have been some writer in Juneau, Alaska that disliked it more.

Actually, I didn't hate the record, I just failed to see how it was the greatest rock release of the decade. I reviewed it well before the hype explosion, so my feelings about it were hardly reactionary. It was just my opinion of the work itself.

Since then, AF have become the darlings of journalists and superstar rockers alike, and they no doubt felt some pressure while recording the follow-up.

I had no expectations regarding their new effort Neon Bible, and I didn't go out of my way to hear it early. Through cursory blog-reading, however, I noticed that fans seem ever-so-slightly underwhelmed.

Today I heard the thing all the way through, and I must confess to really liking it. It captures the feeling of claustrophobia and end-of-days angst gorgeously, while retaining a somewhat scruffy sound.

It arrives on March 6. Here are two samples (industry heavies can feel free to let me know if I need to take 'em down):

Arcade Fire — "Windowstill"

Arcade Fire — "My Body is a Cage"

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday trifles.

Back from a lovely weekend.

Highgate and Spitting Out Teeth both have nice summaries of the Sun Circle/The Wind-Up Bird show at Green Door Studios last Saturday. I was thinking of going, but the temperature was prohibitive to leaving the house for anything other than an emergency. I heard a bunch of folks actually went sledding after the set. How do they do it?

Saw The Police on the Grammys last night. I thought they were much better than their 2003 appearance at the R&R Hall of Fame. Then, they were hobbled by Andy Summers' shockingly weak guitar playing. He frankly had me worried — was it arthritis or carpal tunnel? Maybe he was just boozed up and rusty. Anyway, Sunday's appearance bodes well for their full-fledged reunion tour, which will supposedly be announced today. I just wish they'd gotten to play more tunes than "Roxanne." Guess I'll have to actually catch them on their upcoming jaunt. Better start saving now; shit's bound to be pricey.

In other Grammy news, that show sucks.

Like vintage psych-folk? Than you might enjoy Mark Fry's 1972 offering, Dreaming With Alice, recently re-released on Sunbeam Records. See my full review here.

Give a listen:

Mark Fry — "The Witch"

UPDATE: The Police play Montreal's Bell Centre on July 25. Tickets on sale this Saturday:

Charge by phone : (514) 790-1245 or 1 800 361-4595
Order online at :  and
TICKETS. :  $59.50 - $95.00 - $225.00  (+ service charges)
4 ticket limit per person.

Also: the opening band for the North American leg of the tour is Fiction Plane (who once labored under the apallingly horrid name Santa's Boyfriend). The leader of this group is one Joe Sumner, who just so happens to be the son of Sting. Let's hear it for nepotism! Guess Arcade Fire don't get all the aging rock star endorsements...


Friday, February 09, 2007

A random musing.

And it's only nominally about music.

I actually feel kinda bad about Anna Nicole Smith's passing. There was something about her that I found endearing; maybe it was the craziness. It could also be because there were trace elements of original tragic starlets Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield in her trainwreck of a persona.

But here's my real question: Is Sir Elton John gonna rewrite "Candle in the Wind" for her?

Maybe you guys should do it. Post your new version in the comments field.

My Favorite Local Musician.

It's come to my attention that it kills baby angels when I don't post specifically about music, so allow me to TURN IT UP!

My favorite local musician is and will always be Johnny Azer. He's a wonderful fella, and one of the most honest artists I've ever encountered. Here's his brand-new music video:

Here he is on the Jimmy Kimmel show:

This is a recent press release he sent me:

Hey everyone, Johnny Azer has a new 19 track CD out called Delusions of Grandeur and here are five reasons why you should purchase the new CD.

5) You could be in downtown Baghdad, when all of the sudden an anti American crowd spots you and descends upon you with the intention to rip you to pieces. Thank god you happen to have a Johnny Azer CD on you in which you reflect the sun off the cover to an SOS to a Cobra Helicopter flying overhead. The Cobra disperses the crowd. God Bless America.

4) Nostradamus predicts that a nuclear holocaust will happen in two years. Luckily since you purchased the Johnny Azer CD, on the inside cover is a list of places where you will be safe from the blasts and fallout.

3) You have an incurable disease. Track number 86 which is a mystery track gives the name of a doctor you can call collect in Shanghai that will treat you for free.

2) Makes a great ice scraper, kitty litter scraper and also a coffee coaster.

1) In all seriousness if you like a great variety of heart felt hard rock and really pretty tear jerkers then Johnny Azer's new CD is for you, and hey, 19 tracks, and that is only 14 bucks which includes shipping and handling anywhere within the continental US. It would be more if out of the country. Please support Johnny, he has given enough free ones away with no gain. Thank you.

In other music news, I see that NPR's favorite crack-rap artists Clipse are coming to Higher Ground on Monday, April 2.

And here's what I thought about that Deerhunter record I mentioned in a previous, non-music related post.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

How to post about nothing.

Suddenly, I realize: I haven't posted since last Thursday. What the hell have I been doing?

Here are some highlights:

#1: Battling with some serious seasonal depression. I'm feeling much better, thank you.

#2: Listening to music in headphones and reading four books at once.

#3: Teaching myself mathematics. I hope to eventually get to calculus and beyond, but currently I'm on pre-algebra. Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

#4: Dicking around in the studio and then erasing everything. Contemplating selling my gear, then taking a nice hot shower and getting back to it.

#5. Pondering how the hell Vermonters find the will to go outside in February. Why do we celebrate Mardi Gras in the grim Northeast?  Have you seen that documentary about the Chinese factory where they make the plastic beads that we toss at each other then later throw away? Well, maybe you need to.   

#6. Preparing the one dish I know how to make — grapeleaves — then eating way too many.

#7. Watching that show House on DVD. The main character kind of reminds me of me. Who says you have to deal with patients to be a brilliant doctor? Extrapolate from my inference, win nothing.

#8. See #1.

#9. Wondering how the hell I'm going to fill my column this week.

#10. Enjoying music. The new Stars of the Lid is particularly nice.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Spirits in the Material World.

Lately, I've been flitting across the internets, going from transhumanist blogs to Buddhist journals like a metaphysical hummingbird. Today, I discovered This Is This, which is published by one Chris Jones. It's up for a "Blogisattva" award, which is a yearly honor bestowed upon English language, Buddhist-oriented blogs.

The first post I read was about The Police reunion, which I am unashamedly excited about.

Another favorite along these lines is Sentient Developments, which was nominated for the same award. If you bookmark one site this year, make it SD. I'm telling you, it's great.

Off to Higher Ground to judge this contest. UPDATE: Contest postponed or cancelled.

More Guitar Zero.

I'm sure you remember a few posts back, where I dismissed the Playstation game Guitar Hero II as an infernal tool of our corporate overlords. Mostly 'cause I sucked at playing it.

Well, Scott Ian of Anthrax isn't so hot, either. Here you can watch him tank repeatedly on his own tune, "Madhouse." Great stuff. My favorite part is when he asks his buddy if he thinks DragonForce play GHII. Given their fact that their music already sounds like a video game, the odds seem pretty good.

Recent Comments

Blurt (7D Staff)

Stuck in VT (VIDEOS)

Mistress Maeve (Sex)

All Rights Reserved © SEVEN DAYS 1995-2010 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802.864.5684