Here are a couple of new videos for “The Runaway” and “Vanderlylle Cry Baby.” Also, check out the song, “Blood Buzz Ohio,” here.
Here’s Shatner’s legendary rendition of “Rocket Man,” performed at a 1978 science fiction awards show.
The Bowerbirds’ “Northern Lights” has been getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere. The song is from the Raleigh, North Carolina band’s upcoming album “Upper Air.” It’s a slow-building, guitar-drums-piano country ballad. The opening chords sound like a stripped down version of Wilco’s “Late Greats.”
It’s a good tune. Check it out for yourself. The video (below) is “In Our Talons,” a little gypsy number from the band’s first album “Hymns for a Dark Horse.”
Music at street fests in Chicago can be downright depressing. But a handful of these annual neighborhood parties bring in decent acts. Do-Division Street is curated by the Empty Bottle and this weekend’s lineup is a good one. Menomena is working on a follow-up to its excellent 2007 album “Friend and Foe,” while Handsome Furs and White Rabbits are touring recent releases.
One of the bands I’m most interested in seeing at this year’s Pitchfork fest is Japandroids, a two-man outfit from Vancouver. Guitar and drums — what else do you need? Drummer David Prowse and guitarist Brian King say they’re two guys trying to sound like a five-piece band. The sound on their debut album “Post-Nothing” is punky, fuzzy, lo-fi and should appeal to fans of No Age or Superchunk back in the day.
Japandroids was supposed to make its Chicago debut earlier this month but canceled shows due to King’s surgery. The tour is expected to resume June 13.
Even though it’s been floating around the Web, “Veckatimest” is one of the most anticipated indie releases of the year and will challenge Animal Collective’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion” as best album of 2009.
Grizzly Bear’s latest gets a whopping 9-point rating by Pitchfork.
His fallout with Jeff Tweedy that led to Bennett being kicked out of the band was well documented in the movie “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. The feud continued to the end. Bennett sued Tweedy this month seeking past royalties.
Of course “New Race” has nothing to do with Indy car racing: There’s gonna be a new race / Kids are gonna start it up / We’re all gonna mutate / Kids are saying yeah hup.
But, hey, the ad campaign gets an old band new exposure. “New Race” sounds a lot like a Ramones song but the Stooges were the band’s primary influence. The original Radio Birdman lineup only lasted from 1974 to 1978 but reunited for a round of tours in recent years. Sub Pop Records released a good Radio Birdman compilation in 2001. Yeah hup!
The Blackhawks kept their Stanley Cup dream alive by knocking off the dreaded Red Wings in OT last night. Patrick Sharp scored his second goal less than 2 minutes into the period. The Red Wings lead the series 2-1.
Of course, each time the Hawks score fans are subjected to that ubiquitous Fratellis’ song, “Chelsea Dagger.” Apparently, the band didn’t know the song — also used to hock Amstel Light — was the jock jam for the Hawks, according to the Chicago Tribune. The tune definitely has become the latest “Tubthumping.”
While the Fratellis may be dismissed as dumb frat rock, I think the band’s songs and overall flamboyance are more comparable to ’70s glam. I love the audacity of the band’s videos.
Another Wilco post? Please. “Wilco (The Album)” (leaked last week) included some songs the band has been playing live over the past year. In fact, the guys played the song “One Wing” at Lollapalooza last summer. I have a feeling we’re going to hear that song in concert, so you better get used to it.
Here’s the studio and live version (from Lolla). You can hear a number of live versions of tracks on the album at onethirtybpm.com. Enjoy.
The recently leaked “Wilco (The Album)” marks a first for Jeff Tweedy’s band: a female duet. Indie rock chanteuse Feist joins him on the soft-rock song “You and I.” The song sounds more like a Tweedy solo featuring Feist. But in the context of the album, it provides interesting contrast.
Four songs into the album, “Bull Black Nova” is a desperately intense, dire song clocking in at 5 minutes, 39 seconds that ends with a wail of guitar screech. That sets up the breezy “You and I,” which is followed by the ’70s bar-band sound of “You Never Know.”
It’s another surprise from Tweedy, who gives fans something different with each new album. Are there more duets in Wilco’s future? Hard to say. Feist provides percussion on the Woody Guthrie cover, “Jolly Banker,” which is not on the album but available on Wilco’s Web site.
The story of the Monks seems way too cute: Five American GIs in the ’60s, form a garage band, shave their heads like monks and play their crazy music to wildly enthusiastic Germans.
But I’m hooked and this video is freakin’ great. I love the primal heavy drumbeat, signature mid-60s organ and (ahead of its time) guitar feedback. It’s a real cave stomper. Look at those German kids move! The band is being rediscovered with the recent reissue of its only studio album, “Black Monk Time,” and a companion release of early demos.
Billboard projects Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown” (out today) will be the No. 1 selling album this week. Before Billy Joe Armstrong dreamed of being The Who, he had more modest ambitions: Maybe being Stiff Little Fingers?
In the movie version of Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity,” geeky record clerk (redundant?) Dick tries to impress a female customer by explaining that Stiff Little Fingers was a major influence on Green Day. When he plays the band’s song, “Suspect Device,” another customer walks up and asks “is this the new Green Day?” which elicits the obligatory eye roll from the clerk.
Alas, Billy Joe was never going to become a Grammy-winning multimillionaire sticking to the Stiff Little Fingers’ playbook. That aging band is still playing pubs and small fests across the pond. “Suspect Device” was left off High Fidelity’s CD soundtrack.
King Khan, aka Arish Khan, was a riot at last year’s Pitchfork fest. He’s making a return trip to Chicago Friday to play a gig at the Bottom Lounge. Khan headlines with his band, the Shrines. Mark Sultan, Khan’s partner in the band King Khan & BBQ show, opens.
Khan is an outrageously vulgar and fun act. He also makes great videos.
The Wilco faithful expect a masterpiece with each album release (think “Summerteeth,” “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot“). We don’t get one with “Wilco (The Album),” but it’s a decent offering. There’s a little bit of everything for longtime fans. The first two tracks, “Wilco the Song” and “Deeper Down,” wouldn’t sound out of place on the pop classic “Summerteeth.” Fans of the roots-rock “Being There” period probably will like “Sunny Feeling” and “You Never Know.”
Of course, “Wilco (The Album)” has much in common with the 2007 release, “Sky Blue Sky.” Jeff Tweedy brings back the entire band and co-producer Jim Scott. The songs “One Wing” and “Everlasting” sound like they’d fit on “Sky.” The band has been playing “One Wing” live in recent months, extending the song by a couple of minutes to jam. Check out onethirtybpm.com for a compilation of live versions of the new songs.
One of the most interesting songs on the new album is “Bull Black Nova,” which combines the experimental sound on “A Ghost is Born” with the instrumentation of “Sky.” Overall, the new album (set for official release June 30) has a very good batch of songs and I recommend multiple listenings before making up your mind on whether you like it. After a couple of casual listens, I was willing to dismiss it as Lite FM fare. I tend to like Wilco songs better after I’ve heard them a number of times. That’s good. It shows the complexity of the music — there’s no made-for-radio hit here. Tweedy has come a long way since “A.M.”