Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Clipse: Kinda Like A Big Deal ft. Kanye West

Remember Kanye before he went all robotic on 808's & Heartbreak? Don't you like that guy much better? Me too... The Clipse are set to drop their 3rd album, Til The Casket Drops on September 8th. "Kinda Like A Big Deal" is the first single, and it's hot just in time for summer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Brendan Benson - Finally!!!

In 2002, while watching 120 Minutes on MTV, I stumbled upon Brendan Benson and his beautiful song, "Metarie". Not expecting much in return, I hesitantly bought his album Lapalco and I am thankful for that. Lapalco was his second album, I had missed the boat on his first, but the music, the hooks, the lyrics, it was all there. How was this guy under the radar? Based out of Michigan at the time, now hanging around in Nashville, Brendan knows how to make a song that will stick in your head for days.

He found slight success with The Alternative To Love, even getting a coveted iTunes ad for his song "What I'm Looking For" in 2005. But most people, if any, know him from The Raconteurs, his band with Jack White. Sharing songwriting and guitar duties, the band hit the ground running and have put out two phenomenal album. I was happy to see him get some well deserved recognition, but also hoping for another solo album.

Countless demos later, we hear news that he will release his 4th album, "My Old, Familiar Friend" through ATO Records on August 8th. Even better news is a tour will start around the same time, with a stop at Schuba's, an incredibly small venue for such a great talent. The local show is August 20th, tickets on sale now. The first single is "A Whole Lot Better" which I can't track down, but another tune has surfaced, "Feel Like Taking You Home" and will be up shortly. For now, check out the video that started it all...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Phoenix - Lisztomania "Unofficial" Video

Some of these last posts have gotten dreadfully long, and that's really wasn't my plan. So for reading and hanging in there, here is an awesome video created by avoidantconsumer for Phoenix's "Lisztomania". The band has seen it and support it wholeheartedly, even posting it on their myspace page. Like MGMT and Vampire Weekend last year, it seems more and more music is finding it's way to 80's pop, and who doesn't love that...

Pearl Jam - New Album, New Single, New Video Game & Target?!?

It has been a busy last couple of days for the men of Pearl Jam. Rumors began circulating last week that Pearl Jam were going to play a secret show at the Showbox in Seattle. Given the fact that they are currently recording a new album, heading out on a brief tour of Europe and playing a handful of North American dates, this seemed like a typical warm up gig to look under the hood and kick the tires. Then word spread that Director and long time friend, Cameron Crowe was going to film the show. Could this really be happening? Was it a new DVD? They aren't actually going to put out a video, or a single, are they? Just hours before debuting "Got Some" on Conan's new gig, Pearl Jam's manager shed some light on the show and future plans...

Pearl Jam is currently unsigned and have no intentions of signing to a label for the upcoming release, Backspacer. This really isn't a shock, since they managed to go without a label on their last record as well, with a label only handling the distribution deals. The shocking part is that Pearl Jam will in fact partner up with Target as an exclusive large retailer. The secret show last week, was actually a commercial filmed with actors. Needless to say, a few fans are pissed.

Since I have the podium, I'll tell you that I completely support what they are doing, and have absolutely no problem with them selling the record exclusively at Target. My reasoning with that is because the "exclusive" isn't really that exclusive. Confusing, I know. Pearl Jam will make the album available for purchase through their website, independent record stores and Target. That's it. You can't buy it at Best Buy, or Wal-Mart, your options are limited. While we are on the subject, I would encourage everyone to buy it directly from PJ's site. Their last album arrived at my door BEFORE the release date and with an extra live disc from '92.

Almost immediately people began to yell "Sell Out" and cry hypocrisy, but this is the nature of the business and without a label, they really are doing the best that they can. If you sign to a major label, you do not own your master recordings, you share a large percentage of the profit with the label and get distributed to anyone willing to buy. At least now, Pearl Jam can release anything they want, whenever they want and still get it out across the country. I will say that I am surprised by their actions of late, but if a major label is not going to get them on talk shows, booked for concerts, generating income and buzz, they got do it on their own, and boy have they been working.

Last night's performance was not their best, but I'm anxiously awaiting the album and I'm sure they picked up a few viewers who weren't even expecting to see them. Next up a wave of commercials, although I have yet to see Target really advertise any release. Prince's latest was mentioned briefly, but not plastered across the country. Last, but certainly not least, two weeks ago Pearl Jam gave fans notice that they were receiving their own edition of Rock Band. Yup, they have a video game. In typical fashion and possibly because they want to give Sony/Epic a final "fuck you", the version will be comprised of only live versions. Those live versions are currently being voted on by fans, so it will definitely satisfy the hardcore fans. The band that hid for so many years is coming out to play...

Beatles - Rock Band Trailer

I find it unbelievable that some music lover could be so against games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero. On the other hand, I am incredibly pissed I didn't think of it first. Air drums and jumping off sofas with a broom were daily activities for me... Whether you are a fan or not, it seems that they are here to stay with the most exciting version so far being "The Beatles". I know some people have thoroughly enjoyed Metallica's recent version. I myself am heartbroken that the Van Halen edition with be for Guitar Hero as well, but c'mon, it's THE BEATLES!!! Coming out 9.9.09 (revolution #9, anyone), this is the first trailer with footage of 10 songs. God it's gorgeous... Enjoy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Phish Kick Off Summer Tour, Release 1st Single

A reunited and reinvigorated Phish played Boston's Fenway Park last night, opening night of their highly anticipated summer tour. The Vermont based group had a remarkable run during the 90's, leaving no room for debate as to who would lead the jam band genre and continue the legacy of the Grateful Dead. Signed to Elektra in '91, each album outsold its previous and the tours expanded to arena and festivals. Before Coachella and Bonnaroo, Phish took it upon themselves, throwing elaborate festivals which included on-site camping, general stores and of course multiple sets by the band.
But as time went on, little cracks started to appear. Band members spoke openly about the responsibility of running a business. A business that supported numerous families and fans that had made the decision to religiously follow them. In late 2000, the band officially announced a hiatus, citing exhaustion and most importantly, lack of creativity. In the summer/fall of '97, Phish played arenas mixing funk, bluegrass, folk, jazz & rock, sometimes within the same song. But only 3 years later, the music sounded tired and lifeless.
In 2002, the band felt as though the time off served them well and decided to regroup, tour and release the album, Undermind. However, it was immediately evident that the band needed more time off. The album, better yet the band, didn't seem to have the energy and most of the songs resembled abbreviated demos. Their first single, "The Connection" wasn't even 2 and half minutes?!? Rumors of arguments and tantrums started to build, with news of lead singer Trey Anastasio being heavily addicted to heroine. Consequently, touring was sporadic and sub par. In 2004, they officially broke up, leaving behind more than 20 years of music.
Earlier this year, a clean and sober Trey, along with the rest of the band announced a return. They played 3 shows in Hampton, VA and we're officially back. Although the shows did show some rust, what most people were excited about was new, exciting music. Introduced on March 6th, "Backwards Down The Number Line" hinted that Phish was intent on making quality music and could still play. In a gracious gesture to the fans, Phish also offered all three shows for free on their website for a limited time. Based on the number of downloads, it's safe to say the people still love Phish.
Before the tour, Phish hit the studio with producer Steve Lillywhite to record a new album, due this summer/fall. The 1st single, Time Turns Elastic is a 13 minute epic that I can't wait to hear live. The tour will run through late summer, with local shows played at Alpine Valley and Toyota Field. From what I've heard so far, last night's show was great (copies are already circulating on the web). Here's last night's set, I'll be at the June 20th show @ Alpine, and more than likely the Toyota show as well.
Set One:
Sample In A Jar
Moma Dance
Chalk Dust Torture
Bouncing Around The Room
Poor Heart
Limb By Limb
Wading In The Velvet Sea
Down With Disease
Destiny Unbound
Character Zero
Set Two:
Bathtub Gin
David Bowie
Time Turns Elastic
Curtis Loew
You Enjoy Myself
Good Times Bad Times
Tweezer Reprise