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December 29, 2005

{Rock N Roll Inferno #16}

102229123_m.gif End of the Year Show- 1 song per podcast ...except for the last 2 shows. Those you still should have fresh in your noodle. Download it here or listen to any of the past shows here.
1. The Murder City Devils- "Dead By Christmas"
from show: This Show!
2. The Ends- "Radio Radio"
from show: The First Show Ever - The Begining
3. The Lipstick Pickups- "Better Than You"
from show: No Hype Show 2
4. Geisha Girls- "Retaining Water"
from show: Show 3 Mutha Sucka
5. The Alleged Gunmen- "Don't Stop"
from show: Instrumental (Show 4)
6. Crystal Skulls- "Locked Down"
from show: Show 5
7. The Irish Brothers- "Deconstructive Dentistry"
from show: Cut The Crap, Show 6!
8. Scothgreens- "Professional"
from show: Your Summer Is Gonna Suck
9. The Soviettes- "Multiply and Divide"
from show: Show 8 -Give up
10. The Black Keys- "Thick Freakness"
from show: Back From The Dead Show 9
11. The Detroit Cobras- "I wanna Holler"
from show: Done Messing Around show 10
12. Alex White and Her Red Hot Orchestra- "Don't Turn Me Up"
from show: Dedication Show 11
13. The Manikins- "Kids Are No Fun"
from show: Too Many 7inches!! show 12
14. Scott H. Biram- "Whiskey"
from show: Halloween Special, show 13
15. This Is Revenge- "New Mutants"
from show: Can you Dig it? show 14
*Click on band names for direct links to bands sites or MySpace pages.

December 22, 2005

{Round the Interweb}

deathinthegarden_album.jpg Listen to the new track 'Death in the Garden Blood on the Flowers' from the new Irving album here (courtesy of Eenie Meenie Records)...the album hits stores April 4, 2006.

David Garza has an EP titled Sound of Music for download on his website, it features different versions of "Ghetto Revolution" and "Foul Jasmine"...Listen to the rest here.

Showtime to rescue Arressted Development?...Read the full story here.

Download Mp3’s from: Babyshambles, The Gaskets, Battle, Controller Controller, and Bright Eyes-"Blue Christmas" courtesy of The Listen.

Giant Drag confrim (on their website) that they will be playing Coachella 2006.

No Chappelle, but New Show Is Set to Run...read the full story here. Checkout some trailers for the third season here.

You Aint No Picasso posted some rare Destroyer tracks.

First SXSW confirmations announced...
From the 7500 bands that applied, the SXSW Music Festival is pleased to announce a partial list of acts scheduled to perform at the five night festival including: The Adored (Los Angeles CA), Annie (Bergen NORWAY),Arctic Monkeys, Belle and Sebastian (Glasgow UK), The BellRays (Los Angeles CA), Be Your Own PET (Nashville TN), Blockhead (New York NY), The Boy Least Likely To (Wendover UK), The Brokedown (Los Angeles CA), Calexico (Tucson AZ), Neko Case (Tacoma WA), Cat Power (Atlanta GA), clap your hands say yeah (Brooklyn NY), Clor (London UK), Jason Collett (Toronto ON), The Cribs (Wakefield UK), Cuff the Duke (Toronto ON), Jamie Cullum (London UK), Dashboard Confessional (Boca Raton, FL), Death In Vegas (London UK), Death Vessel (Brooklyn NY), Dengue Fever (Los Angeles CA), Destroyer (Vancouver BC), Die! Die! Die! (Auckland NEW ZEALAND), Dirty Pretty Things (London UK), Jorge Drexler (Madrid SPAIN), Dr. Spock (Reykjavik ICELAND), The Duke Spirit (London UK), The Earlies (Manchester UK), Echo & The Bunnymen (Liverpool UK), Editors (Birmingham UK), The Eighteenth Day Of May (London UK), Elbow (Manchester UK), Empire Dogs (Stockholm SWEDEN), Erase Errata (San Francisco CA), Faker (Sydney AUSTRALIA), Flogging Molly (Los Angeles CA), Forward Russia (Leeds UK), Giant Sand (Tucson AZ), Gogol Bordello (New York NY), Jose Gonzalez (Gothenburg SWEDEN), The Go! Team (Brighton UK), Headphones (Seattle WA), The Hellacopters (Stockholm SWEDEN), Clarence Frogman Henry (New Orleans LA), The Juan Maclean (Dover NH), Kaki King (New York NY), Kalas (Oakland CA), k-os (Whitby ON), Sharron Kraus & Christian Kiefer (London UK), Lady Sovereign, The Like (Los Angeles CA), Los De Abajo (Mexico City MEXICO), Luminous Orange (Yokohama JAPAN), Barbara Lynn (Beaumont TX), The Magic Numbers (London UK), Magnolia Electric Company (Chicago IL), Serena Maneesh (Oslo NORWAY), Mates of State (East Haven CT), The Morning After Girls (Sydney AUSTRALIA), The Most Serene Republic (Toronto ON), Mystery Jets (London UK), My Summer as a Salvation Soldier (Reykjavik ICELAND), Neon Blonde (Seattle WA), Nickel Creek (Carlsbad CA), n0 things (Brooklyn NY), Of Montreal (Athens GA), Beth Orton (London UK), Peaches (Berlin GERMANY), The Plimsouls (Los Angeles CA), Robert Pollard (Dayton OH), Ramblin' Jack Elliot (New York NY), Saves the Day (Princeton NJ), The Secret Machines (New York NY), Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives (Hendersonville TN), Tarantula A D (New York NY), Susan Tedeschi (Jacksonville FL), Towers of London (London UK), KT Tunstall (London UK), Two Gallants (San Francisco CA), Tom Verlaine (New York NY), Vetiver (San Francisco CA), The Whigs (Athens GA), Witch (Brattleboro VT), and Wolfmother (Sydney AUSTRALIA). Whew...I gotta start budgeting, if I hope to make it out there this year!

December 20, 2005

{Coming Soon To Theaters Near You}

{X-Men 3}
x3poster.jpg Here are some trailers for some very different films coming soon to a theaters near you. First off, for all you fanboys, there's a new X-Men 3 trailer floating around internet and it looks like we'll be seeing a whole lotta mutants, including: Kelsey Grammer as Beast, Vinnie Jones as Juggernaut and Lost star Maggie Grace as Kitty Pryde (aka Shadowcat). The movie looks like a fun, despite director Brian Singer jumping ship to do Superman. View the trailer here or checkout the official site
here.






{Match Point}
matchpointposter.jpg Woody Allen crosses the Atlantic for the first time in his career setting the film in London and using an almost exclusive British cast (with the exception of Scartlett Johansson). Plot summary: this drama is about a young man's (Jonathan Rhys-Myers) rise in society and the consequences of his ambition and his is torn between two women, and finding no way out, resorts to extreme action. The film also stars: Brian Cox and Emily Mortimer, it opens in select theaters Dec.25th, View the trailer here or chekout the official site here.






{Inside Man}
inside_man.jpg Spike Lee takes a stab at directing a heist flick with his latest project Inside Man. The Inside Man takes places during a hostage situation in which a tough cop matches wits a clever bank robber, who sets to pull the the perfect heist. The solid cast includes Clive Owens, Jodie Foster, and Denzel Washington. Here's a link to the Inside Man / Spike Lee Podcast. The film opens next spring, view the trailer here.




{Marie Antoinette}
038548948X.jpg
Marie Antoinette is Sofia Coppola's eagerly awaited follow-up to 'Lost in Translation'. The trailer for the 18th-century biopic (based on the novel by Antonia Fraser ) is set to none other than New Order's 'Age of Consent'? Dunst stars as the young Austrian who marries off to a Frenchman, loses her head over fancy clothes, and then really loses her head to the guillotine. While New Order is one of my favorite childhood bands I don't think their music fits into this period piece. The film also stars Jason Schwartzman as Louis XVI, Asia Argento, Rip Torn, and Molly Shannon (yes, Molly Shannon)...hmm...I remain skeptical to say the least. The film opens Oct. 13, 2006, View the trailer here.

December 19, 2005

{Rock N Roll Inferno #15}

102229123_m.gif Buckle in boys and girls...this weeks show features 5 killer bands and one suck ass one!!! Here's what was played on Rock N Roll Inferno #15: Rock N' Roll Soldiers-"Anthem", The Ettes-"Gimme", D-Strutters-"Prayer on the Road", Tsk Tsk-"Mouth to Mouth", Hetten Des Song-"Ace of Spades", and Graveyard Farmers-"Darlene". Listen here or link straight to the bands sites to check 'em out on your own...

December 14, 2005

{Colin Meloy-Solo Tour 2006}

sings-morrissey.gif Earlier this year The Decemberists front-man Colin Meloy embarked on a low-key solo tour and brought with him a tour-only EP (limited to 1,000 copies) of Morrissey covers, coveted by die-hard fans and purchased for ridiculous amounts of money on eBay. Well, Colin is heading out again for a handful of solo shows in early 2006 with Laura Veirs as the opening act and this time around he'll be carrying a cover EP of songs from traditional English folk-singer Shirley Collins. Here’s the dates...
1/18 - Seattle, WA @ Showbox
1/19 - Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
1/20 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
1/21 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater

Here’s a rarity from the Picaresque Vinyl LP...The Decemberists-“Constantinople”
and...Shirley Collins-“Barbara Allen”
Also checkout some of The Decemberists and Colin Meloy covers from Clever Titles Are So Last Summer

December 13, 2005

{On the Local Front}

70250539_m.jpg The Starvations play their last two shows ever!!! Have a punk rockin' good time this Thursday, December 15th at The Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana with The Stitches, Geisha Girls, Broken Bottles, and Schemers or Friday, December 16th at El Cid in Los Angeles with The Flash Express, Alleged Gunmen, and Dj's Jorge (Red Onions) and Ryan Leach (Razorcake).

344798017_m.jpg Also this Friday, December 16th
Grrl Fair Presents:
Obsolete Heart,
Slow, and
Mystery Hangup at the
at the Sol Art Gallery Cafe in Santa Ana for just $5.






198866050_m.jpg And last but certainly not least, The Coachella Festival 2006 is taking place on April 29th-30th, thus far Depeche Mode is the only confirmed act, the band will be headlining the Saturday (April 29th) show. Other bands heavily rumoured to appear on the bill include The Strokes, Roxy Music, Franz Ferdinand, Ladytron, The White Stripes, Sigur Ros, and Massive Attack, but as of yet there is no confirmation on any of these, so there is really no use speculating.

December 12, 2005

{Album Spotlight}

{Best Albums of 2005}

B0009C2UUC.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB00070Q8L8.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB0007QN8WE.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB0007ZATIQ.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB00061F8M8.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB0007Y0978.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB0007VXZJK.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB00076SJ5U.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB0009K7RL6.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB0008F111E.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB0009WFFRM.01.THUMBZZZ.jpgB0009Y336A.01.THUMBZZZ.jpg


Before I run off about my favorite albums of 2005, read this hilarious bit:
How To Make A Hip End of the Year 'Best Albums' List.

Now then...around this time of year when I begin to sort through all the albums that I've listened to it begins to become painfully clear just how obsessive-compulsive I am about music, but that's a whole other story. So, let’s get some obvious choices out of the way...here are 15 albums that are likely albums to pop up on plenty of year end lists...and for good reason.

Kings of Leon- Aha Shake Heartbreak
M.I.A.- Arular
The Decemberists- Picaresque
The Arcade Fire- Funeral
Sufjan Stevens- Illinios
Kanye West- Late Registration
Bloc Party- Silent Alarm
Antony & The Johnsons- I Am A Bird Now
Bright Eyes- I'm Wide Awake It's Morning
Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah- S/T
The Futureheads- S/T
Death Cab For Cutie- Plans
Sigur Ros- Takk
B.R.M.C.- Howl
Gorillaz- Demon Days

These would all likely make my list as well, but I'm going to assume you've heard of most of these artists and point you towards some albums that you may have missed (in no particular order)...I've inserted links to artists' sites and/or their MySpace pages and threw in a dozen or so Mp3's...so here goes...

*Aimee Mann- The Forgotten Arm
(For fans of Aimee Mann or Jon Brion, Listen from her MySpace here)

*British Sea Power- Open Season
(For fans of glam or Brit pop, Listen from their MySpace here)

*The Mountain Goats- The Sunset Tree
(For fans of Bright Eyes, Mp3: "This Year")

*Art Brut- Bang Bang Rock and Roll
(For fans of The Fall, Listen from their Myspace here)

*The Perishers- Let There Be Morning
(This is the kind of album Coldplay would kill to make, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Amadou & Mariam- Dimanche a Bamako
(For fans of world music or Manu Chao, Mp3: "La Realite")

*Final Fantasy- Has A Good Home
(For fans of pop and classical music, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Supergrass- Road To Rouen
(For fans of Brit pop, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Thao Nguyen- Like the Linen
(For fans of Beth Orton or Erin McKeown, Listen here)

*Stars- Set Yourself on Fire
(For fans of Pop music, Listen from their MySpace here)

*The Tears- S/T (For fans of Suede, Mp3: "Lovers")

*Architecture in Helsinki- In Case We Die (For fans of indie pop, Listen here)

*Echo & The Bunnymen- Siberia
(For fans of new wave, Listen here)

*Miss Alex White & The Red Orchestra
(For fans of garage rock, Mp3: "Don't Turn Me Up")

*Michael Penn- Mr. Hollywood Jr. 1947
(For fans of Aimmee mann or Jon Brion, Listen from his MySpacehere)

*Goldspot- Tally of the Yes Men (For fans of early Radiohead, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Jamie Lidell- Multiply
(For fans of soul and electro, Mp3: "Multiply")

*Sons & Daughters- The Repulsion Box (For fans of indie or alt. rock, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Maximo Park- A Certain Trigger
(For fans of post punk, Listen here)

*Eels- Blinking Lights and Other Revelations
(For fans of Beck's quieter moments, Mp3:"Blinking Lights For Me")

*Frog Eyes- The Golden River
(For fans of experimental rock, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Audio Bullys- Generation
(For fans of The Streets or Dizzee Rascal, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Herman Dune- Not on Top
(For fans of Joanna Newsom or Belle & Sebastian, Mp3: "Not on Top")

*Jackson & His Computer Band- Smash
(For fans of electro or Aphex Twin, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Tom Vek- We Have Sound
(For fans of post punk and electro, Listen from his MySpace here)

*Felix McTeigue- Radio Perfecto
(For fans of Ron Sexsmith or David Hopkins, Mp3: "El Paso")

*The Willowz- Talk in Circles
(For fans of garage rock, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Gogol Bordello- Underdog World Strike
(For fans of gypsy punk, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Someone Loves You Boris Yeltsin- Broom
(Mp3: "House Fire")

*Giant Drag- Hearts and Unicorns
(For fans of Alt. Rock, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings- Naturally
(For fans of sweet soul music, Mp3: "How Long Do I Have To Wait")

*Scott H. Biram- Dirty Old One Man Band
(For fans of punk or blues, Mp3: "Blood, Sweat, and Murder")

*The Robot Ate Me- Carousel Waltz
(For fans of Flaming Lips, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Benny Benassi & The Biz- Satisfaction (For fans of Electroclash, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Brazilian Girls- S/T
(For fans of Blondie or dance music, Mp3: "Pussy")

*Kelley Polar- Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens
(For fans of electro or dance, Mp3: "The Rooms in My House Have Many Parties")

*Josh Rouse- Nashville
(For fans of Wilco, Listen here)

*Idlewild- Warnings/Promises
(For fans of The Smiths or R.E.M., Listen from their MySpace here)

*The Boy Least Likely To- The Best Party Ever(For fans of Belle & Sebastian, Listen from their MySpace here)

*Cut Copy- Bright Like Neon Love
(For fans of New Order or Daft Punk, Listen from their MySpace here)

I'm positive I left out alot of good albums, but I had to cut this off somewhere...this was getting ridiculous. So, feel to post your lists in the comments box.

December 08, 2005

{X-Mas Mixtapes}

TP+COVER_front.jpg So, there's already tons of Christmas songs floating around the internet and some songs that I would've posted are already available elsewhere. So I will simply re-direct you towards them...this first one is The Test Pilot's Holiday Mix. Be sure to download...
Phantom Planet-"Winter Wonderland"
Death Cab For Cutie-"Christmas (Baby. Please Come Home)"
Sufjan Stevens-"That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!"




M3 Holiday Edition [Front].jpg Another nice Christmas collection floating around the internet is the M3 Holiday Edition. Be sure to grab...
Rilo Kiley-"Christmas Cake"
Ron Sexsmith-"Maybe This Christmas"
The Raveonettes-"The Christmas Song"

So, I guess I'll contribute a couple of sweet soul Christmas tunes...
Otis Redding-"Merry Christmas Baby"
Otis Redding & Carla Thomas-"New Years Resolution"

But it's still manditory you listen to A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, this is and always will be the best Christmas compilation of all time.

{Round the Interweb}

ryanadams29.jpg Ryan Adams new album...no, not that one... Ryan Adams new, new album titled "29" will be released December 20th. I haven't really got into this one yet, but here's one that I particularly like "Elizabeth, You Were Born to Play that Part", pre-order it here.

Checkout Richard Ashcroft's new video for the killer track "Break the Night with Colour" from his website here.

This week only...stream Hot Chip's album Coming On Strong (re-released by Astralwerks) from The Booth here.

Elefant's album The Black Magic Show hit stores April '06, download the track "The Clown" (Courtesy of Hollywood Records)

Did you know that the Elliott Smith Basement II Demos are back up on Elliott Smith B-Sides? Get 'em here while you still can.

Patrick Park has a new track from his forthcoming album called "Life is A Song" available on his website here.

Beth Orton's fourth album Comfort of Strangers drops February '06, the album was produced by Jim O'Rourke. Listen to the first single "Conceived" here.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death. In the English city of his birth, more than 1,000 tributes to the pop icon were attached to balloons and released...read the full story here.

Kinky have a new song called "Coqueta" up on their MySpace page, download it here.

December 07, 2005

{Off The Shelf}

B00004TJWD.01._PE8_SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg So, december is in full swing now and despite all the gifts I still have yet to purchase, this still remains my favorite time of the year. So, I thought I'd post a song that always reminds me of Christmas-time. This may or may not be due to the fact that it was used in some crappy Gap holiday commercial years ago, but I specifically recall (back in 2000) wearing the hell out of this cd...back when we had cd's, kids. This album (this song in particular) managed to capture the mood of the holidays for me, and has seemed to stick ever since. As a result I usually only drag this out around this time of year, along with all my other X-Mas mixes. I'll be posting some proper X-Mas tunes soon, but for now...
Badly Drawn Boy-"The Shining"
What songs remind you of Christmas?


Here's a couple of bonus gems from The Hour of the Bewilderbeast: "Once Around the Block"/ "Magic in the Air"

December 06, 2005

{The Rumble Strips}

293747494_m.jpg Here's a couple of bands generating quite a buzz overseas, and all without even having a full-length album under their belts. The Rumble Strips incorporate hints of soul and ska into their repetoire. The "No Soul"/ "Motorcycle" 7" single is due for release in January from Transgressive Records (who are establishing themselves as one of the hottest new labels around, launching talents like: Battle, The Young Knives, Regina Spektor, Ladyfuzz, Mystery Jets, and The Subways). Get their demos here (while you can). At a time when more bands begin to sound alike, this one sticks out like a sore thumb. I have no doubt that this band will gain an even larger following once they've put an albums worth of material toegether...just watch out for the singers right uppercut.




{The Long Blondes}


309911926_l.jpg Dance, dance, dance to the sounds of The Long Blondes. This group applies hints of Sheffield’s idiosyncratic musical heritage including: the suburban disco fantasies of the Human League, the opulent ridiculousness of ABC, the seedy glamour of Pulp. The "Separated By Motorways"/ "Big Infatuation" Limited edition 7" (vinyl only) can be purchased here. In the meantime, listen to a few tracks from their MySpace page here. So, they're cool, they're sexy, and they've got the catchy tunes and attitude to match...I don't see how this band could not have a breakthrough year in 2006.

December 04, 2005

{Essential Viewing}

{Hostel}

hostelnew5ar.jpg Just got this bit of news from Horror Fanatics... From Eli Roth, director of the horror/ comedy Cabin Fever, Hostel is a chilling tale inspired by true events and presented by Quentin Tarantino (who is also the executive producer).
The story involves two American friends backpacking through Europe, looking for some excitement. They're told that if they want to meet girls, they've got to go to Slovakia, they are told about a hostel where there are tons of beautiful girls who’ll have sex with anyone who’s a foreigner. So these two guys and their Icelandic friend go to this place, and it turns out to be true; but then the next day they find themselves in a whole lot of trouble and discover that there’s something really horrible going on there.
Lions Gate has just changed the release date for this gore-fest from January 6 to December 21st! Is this not the perfect holiday film for the whole family? View the tralier here then checkout the international trailer here.

{Late Night Sounds #22}

232364866_m.gif Here's what was played on Late Night Sounds #22: Mint Royale- "The Effect on Me", Voxtrot- "The Start of Something", The Pop Kids- "It's Alright", Black Mountain- "Druganaut", Stu Walker- "Theft, Arson, Vice, Murder, and Death", and outro music by Leif. Listen here or link straight to artsits' sites to discover on your own...

December 03, 2005

{The I-Pod Mixer}

numark_idj_ipod_mixer.jpg Just in time for the holidays........ The I-Pod mixer made it's debut last week. The new device is a virtual wet dream to all wanna be dj's as well as all urban outfitters customers (you can order the mixer through their online catalog. This is sure to make you popular with techie groupies everywhere. Do I hear a depeche Mode and Enya mash-up???? Whooooo!!!!!!! Purchase here.

{Essential Viewing}

{Sin City- Recut, Extended, Unrated}

B000BCKFWK.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg What's that? You want a two-disc edition of Sin City? Well, you got it. This is precisly the reason why I didn't buy a the DVD when it originally came out. This will be released on Dec. 13th and features: a long take with 17 uninterrupted minutes of Tarantino's segment, a Sin-Chroni-City interactive game, and all-new feature commentaries with Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, & Quentin Tarantino. I hope I'll be finding this under the tree, but if not I'll just buy it my damn self. Order your copy here.

{Link Wray R.I.P.}

B000003308.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_.jpg Rockabilly legend Link Wray passed away last month (Nov.5th) at 76, at his home in Copenhagen. Wray's music inspired many rock musicians including Pete Townsend of The Who, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen. All have been quoted as saying that Wray's song "Rumble" inspired them to become musicians. In 2002, Guitar World magazine elected Wray one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. His music has been featured in movies including Pulp Fiction, Independence Day, Blow, and Desperado. When recording "Rumble," he created the fuzz tone by punching holes in his amplifiers to produce a dark, grumbling sound. It took off instantly, but it was banned by some djs in big cities for seeming to suggest teen violence. "I was looking for something that Chet Atkins wasn't doing, that all the jazz kings wasn't doing, that all the country pickers wasn't doing. I was looking for my own sound," Wray told The Associated Press in 2002. Read more here. Purchase Link Wray cd's here. Here's a few of his best: "Rumble"/ "The Shadow Knows"/ "The Swag.

{Book Review}

{The Underminer by Mike Albo & Virginia Heffernan}

underminer postcard_1.jpg The ironic thing about reviewing this book is that it's difficult to make negative remarks without coming off as an "underminer" yourself. Having stated that, this book has it's ups-and-downs, but proves to be an entertaining read nonetheless. The book uses a "point-of-view" narrative style, which doesn't pose a problem for me, but might to some readers. I happen to think this works much better as a performance...I could easily envision him performing the scenarios, which I believe Mike Albo has done. I was drawn to The Underminer awhile back when I heard Albo read an exerpt from this book on This American Life episode: The Allure of The Mean Friend. I cut the exerpt to give you an idea of what the book is about...give it a listen here . This might appeal to those who are fans David Sedaris' satire. Purchase The Underminer here .

December 02, 2005

{Album Spotlight}

{The Ex- Singles. Period. The Vinyl Years 1980-1990}

ex.jpg After their start in 1979 in the heydays of punk’s first wave, The Ex developed over the years into a melting pot of divergent musical styles. Noise, jazz, improvisation, and ethnic music have been interweaved into The Ex's music . More than 25 years later the band is still around and so is the demand for their old vinyl singles, especially those made between 1980 and 1990. None of those singles were released in the States and all of them have been unavailable for too long. Stream the album in it's entirety here.

{Album Spotlight}

{Thao Nguyen- Like The Linen}

thao1.jpg Since the age of twelve Thao Nguyen worked at the family laundromat; cleaning, making change, and most notably, folding the linens (hence the album title). Over the course of that time she also managed to learn to play guitar and write songs...and thank god she did. I try to imagine walking into that laundromat in suburban D.C. and hearing Thao's delicate voice and the gentle strumming of the guitar chords and I can't help but think how I would've undoubtedly became a stalker of sorts. With clever lyrics and catchy guitar melodies Nguyen crafts songs that range from the country tinged "What About" to the lounge flavored "City Sky"...but she's clearly at her best on straight-forward folk songs like "Hills", "Tallymarks", "Chivalry", or "We". Lucinda Williams, Beth Orton, Cowboy Junkies, and Erin Mckeown are amongst her influences and you can definitely detect hints of all of these artists in her music, but filtered through a voice that is all her own. Like The Linen is a compelling look at a genuine singer/songwriter who pours her heart into every phrase. Purchase the album from Never Trust Me Corporation so that she can get the funds to come out and tour L.A. Here's a couple of Mp3's courtesy of Thao Nguyen's official site: "Hills" / "We".

{Essential Viewing}

{Made in Sheffield}

sheffield.jpg This amateur documentary takes a look back at the 1980's New Wave scene in Sheffield and touches upon some of the great (and relatively unknown) bands that shaped the industrial city's musical history. This ain't no Live Forever, in fact this documentary is lacking quite a bit, but it does delve deeply enough into the music to make it worthwhile viewing. The creators located a few of the original musicians, who share brief stories, and move on, never providing a context for the disjointed snippets. Using Chris Watson as the sole face of Cabaret Voltaire might not have been the best route to take (founders/main members Stephen Mallinder and Richard Kirk kept the band going for more than a decade after Watson left). The most interesting bits come when some of the more obscure bands (Artery, 2.3) are mentioned, but we get no insight as to why these bands are so important. We see Jarvis Cocker here and there, but there's no Pulp history and where's Martin Fry (ABC) or Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17)? If you're a fan of any of these bands you may find this interesting despite it's flaws, view the trailer here. Mp3's: Human League- "Being Boiled"/ Artery- "Into the Garden".

{Chris Whitley R.I.P.}

chriswhitley4.jpgHouston-based singer/songwriter Chris Whitley died last month at 45 from lung cancer. Though never more than a critics' darling (like Steve Earle, though not as well known), he made many albums full of raw, real, and honest emotions, which have gone largely overlooked since his Columbia debut (Living With the Law) in 1991. There are 21 mp3's posted on his website from a live performance earlier this year, on July 24th at the Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco. Listen here. Here's one of my favorites (from the Perfect Day album) "Spanish Harlem Incident"

{Book Review}

{Lads by David Itzkoff}

lads.gif A hilarious, poignant, and pessimistic bio of one mans rise through New York's publishing industry (...Details, Maxim). Touching and tempermental Izkoff creates a perfect balance of raunch and redemption which makes for some perfect light reading. Lads is both hysterically funny and painfully honest while providing an insiders look at the supposedly glamorous New York publishing world. This memoir extends far beyond Itzkoff's forays into the publishing business and will touch anyone who has ever experienced frustration, self-doubt, and loneliness. David Itzkoff is currently an senior editor at Spin magazine. Purchase here.

{Breathless}

brethless.jpg If you have yet to discover the beauty of Jean-Luc Godard’s films than this is as good a place as any to start. Often reffered to as one of the most (if not thee most) influential of the French New Wave movement Godard’s films ooze with stylized imagery , bebop jazz, and wreckless editing. In this film, a nomadic thug Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) is on the run from police and finds solace in an aspiring journalist Patricia (played by one of the most beautiful women to grace the silver screen, Jean Seberg). The two evade capture as they steal cars in an attempt to drift off into the sunset. This is an absolute must view for film buffs. Purchase here.

{Album Spotlight}

{Talib Kweli- Right About Now}

322895769_m.jpg Listen to Talib Kweli's new album "Right About Now" in it's entirety from his MySpace page here. The album features cameos from: Mos Def, MF Doom and Jean Grae. Brief bio: Kweli collaborated with Doom and Hi-Tek (under the name Reflection Eternal) and released Fortified Live on Rawkus Records ('97), a classic single that immediately established the duo as an up-and-coming force in hip hop. Kweli then teamed up with Mos Def to record and release: Mos Def And Talib Kweli Are Black Star ('98). The Black Star collaboration was heralded by hip hop lovers as one of the best albums of the decade. At a time when popular hip hop was dominated by cries of money, money money, Mos Def and Kweli dealt with issues of social consciousness. Talib Kweli is currently co-headlining The Breed Love Odyssey Tour with Mos Def. Click here for tour dates.


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