Gnarls Barkley‘s video for new single “Run” premiered today on MTV. Yeah, they still play videos, I didn’t know that either!
I sat through 4 hours of underground hip-hop artists and no one offered me weed. Garfield Artworks was near empty, but those in attendance sported their dreadlocks, rasta hats and beards proudly. I must say that I am totally and completely the wrong person to review this show. Hip-hop in any form is not my thing. But I walked in with open mind and ears. Although the dreadlocked girls crocheting in the corner wearing red Christmas lights were weirding me out a bit.
The show began with The Dreadnots, a trio of electronic musicians from here in the ‘Burgh. It’s difficult to appreciate someone tinkering over a piece of electronic equipment the way one would a musical instrument, but the turntable and rapping skills of this group were actually quite impressive. It’s at this time a man enters wearing white jeans and a black leather fanny pack, and for the first time in my life, I feel far too attractive for the crowd surrounding me.
Following The Dreadnots is Jack Wilson and his band. They have real instruments: a drum set and a dulcimer. Yes, a dulcimer. Apparently angry hippies just grow up to be beat poets, because that’s generally what this trio is–beat poetry over drums. The dulcimer adds an air of Beastie Boys at the Renaissance Festival. While their speed is impressive, the rapid delivery of the lyrics make their words impossible to understand. Near the end of their set, I’m pretty sure I smell pot, yet I’m still not stoned. Why is this? I have no idea.
The next act is Lord Grunge. Lord Grunge is a guy with all of this backing tracks on a laptop. So, technically, this is professional karaoke. While he is entertaining and has a commanding stage presence, not one of his songs is more than 2 minutes long. The first song is basically an angry, pro-anarchy rap anthem. After that, all of his songs are weak, pop-punk ditties. By the time he’s finished, I’m truly wishing these people were sharing the pot I know they have.
Telephone Jim Jesus is next. A bona fide DJ, he brings up beats and loops one by one, mixing them together right there and then. At a few points, he creates a vocal loop with his microphone and adds it to the composition. There are several moments where the song gets far too busy and reaches the point of total cacophony, most times right after he produces a solid mix. It feels, for the most part, like we should be dancing instead of standing and watching. The music is at a deafening volume, but I can’t help but think how cool it would sounds with live drums. Where’s Dave Grohl when you need him?
Finally, Sole and the Skyrider Band take the stage. I instantly notice that the drummer looks like a mix between Paul Rudd and PopWreck(oning)‘s own Joshua. I contemplate raping him later on, however the idea of a prison sentence deters me. From the moment Sole gets on the mic, you can tell that he, in addition to the rest of the band, loves being onstage. His speedy delivery rivals that of Jack Wilson, but Sole’s lyrics are much easier to understand. He also delivers emotion with his speed, something that Wilson lacked. The instrumentation is fantastic and the musicians have a great feel for one another. The are certain points when the music is just as cacophonous as Jim Jesus’s, however they manage to maintain rhythm in the midst of the chaos, proving that there is a method to their madness.
Aside from some tasteless 9/11 jokes, Sole and the Skyrider Band puts on a good show. That is, if “Hippie-Hop,” as I’ve dubbed it, is your thing.
Chris Thompson, drummer of the group, Vampire Weekend is recovering in the Royal London Hospital after acquiring a head injury from being struck by a car, while standing outside of the Hoxton Hotel. The accident occurred around 12:30 GMT, following the Shockwave Music Awards in West London.
Vampire Weekend, who recently appeared on the cover of SPIN magazine, was in London in support of their new album, which bears the same name. The group has canceled their next two shows in order to allow Thompson time to recover, before hitting the road again. The remaining dates can be seen here.
PopWreck(oning) offers Thompson well wishes in hopes of a quick recovery. You can send your well wishes to Thompson on the group’s MySpace.
The band was originally a one man acoustic act that consisted of Meric Long under the moniker Dodobird playing acoustic shows around San Francisco. He set out to create a band in which percussion could take the forefront of its compositions. Luckily enough, Meric was introduced to Logan Kroeber, who was familiar with drumming experimentation. The two joined together and eventually became The Dodos, releasing Beware of the Maniacs in 2006, and quitting their jobs to tour the country. While touring between the fall of 2006 and the summer of 2007, The Dodos managed to writer Visiter in its entirety, and much of the lyrical inspiration comes from being on the road.
Visiter was recorded in the same studio and with the same producer as Beware of the Maniacs, yet was approached completely differently. With their second full-length, The Dodos wanted to capture the energy of a live show. Meric and Kroeber laid down basic drum and guitar takes concurrently and did very little to the recordings in post-production, which shines through in the percussion’s raw nature in songs such as “Joe’s Waltz.” While the guitar and drums remain edgier, the vocals on Visiter have an ambient feel, which was captured by experimentation of microphone placement in the studio.
No strangers to experimentation and spontaneous inspiration, Meric and guest trumpeter Cory Gray started an impromptu horn session during inspiration gained from a thunderstorm passing through. Bits of this organic horns session can be heard on both the debut single “Fools” (mp3 below!) and on the lengthy and well-crafted “Joe’s Waltz.” Meric’s initial vision of drumming being the center of the songs shines through each track as the vocals, guitar and horns fight for attention, creating a gorgeous blend of sound. The hooky beats in The Dodo’s second single “Jodi,” pulls you in and dares you not to dance around. Precision-laden percussion creates crisp beats layered with poppy and melodic guitar riffs that is nothing but complimented by mellowed vocals. The Dodos have created an amazing CD from minute one all the way through to minute sixty.
Look for Visiter out March 18th on French Kiss Records. Until then, download single “Fools” below and check out The Dodos on tour (date below)!
Mar 7 - USC/Los Angeles, CA
Mar 8 - The Smell/Los Angeles, CA (all ages!)
Mar 9 - Bar Pink Elephant/San Diego, CA
Mar 11 - The Line Bar/Juarez, Mexico
Mar 12 - French Kiss Showcase @ The Mowhawk/Austin, TX @ 12 am
Mar 13 - American Songwriter Day Party @ Tap Room/Austin, TX @ 2:30 pm
Mar 13 - Solar Stage @ 6th and Lamar/Austin, TX @ 6:00 pm
Mar 14 - Hot Freaks Day Party @ The Mohawk/Austin, TX @ 1:00 pm
Mar 14 - Leafy Green Showcase @ Emos Jr./Austin, TX @ 9:00 pm
Mar 15 - SFXSXSW Day Party/Austin, TX @ Bourbon Rocks 6th St @ 4:00 pm
Mar 16 - Mohawk/Austin, TX
Mar 18 - Good Records/Denton, TX (in-store)
Mar 19 - Lola’s/Ft. Worth, TX
Mar 20 – The Conservatory/Oklahoma City, OK
Mar 22 - Ballroom/Marfa, TX Mar 23 Mink/Houston, TX
Mar 25 - The Bottletree/Birmingham, AL
Mar 26 - Lenny’s/Atlanta, GA
Mar 27 - Harvest Records/Asheville, NC
Mar 28 - Bull City Headquarters/Durham, NC
Mar 29 - Tea Bazaar/Charlottesville, VA
Mar 30 - DC 9/Washington D.C.
Mar 31 – Death By Audio/Brooklyn, NY
Apr 2 - Cafe 9/New Haven, CT
Apr 3 - Terrace Room @ Princeton/Princeton, NJ
Apr 4 - Black Cat/Washington D.C.
Apr 5 – Theater of Living Arts/Philadelphia, PA
Apr 6 - Mercury Lounge/New York , NY
Apr 8 - Divan Orange/Montreal, QC
Apr 9 - El Mocambo/Toronto, ON
Apr 10 – Bard College/Annandale on the Hudson, NY
Apr 11 – Mohawk/Buffalo, NY Buffalo
Apr 12 - Garfield Artworks/Pittsburgh, PA
Apr 13 - TBA /Cleveland, OH
Apr 15 - Cafe Bourbon St./Columbus, OH
Apr 16 - The Pike Room/Detroit, MI
Apr 17 - The Note/Chicago, IL
Apr 18 - Shoreland Ballroom/University of Chicago, IL
Apr 19 - Culture Shock Festival at Indiana University/Bloomington, IN
Apr 20 - Replay Lounge/Lawrence, KS
Apr 21 - Hi Dive/Denver, CO
Apr 26 – Coachella as part of Akron/Family’s band
Apr 27 – Great American Music Hall/San Francisco, CA
May 14 – Rickshaw Stop/San Francisco (All Ages!)
Jun 28 – Sled Island Festival/Calgary Calgary, AB
Jul 2 – Downtown Boise Summer Series Festival Boise, ID
After having secretly spending 10 weeks on the front lines in Afghanistan fighting Taliban forces, Prince Harry is leaving the country after news of his station was leaked. Few news sources around the world knew of Harry’s deployment, but were asked by the British Military to keep it under wraps so as not to put the prince and his fellow troops in anymore harm than necessary. Prince Harry was labeled as a “Bullet Magnet” and was specifically singled out by enemy forces for capture, ransom and assassination.
The British Prime Minister, earlier today, said that he was proud of Harry’s service, as well as the service of all of the 7,800 British troops in the war, but that at this time, it is in the British Military’s best interest to remove Harry from action since he is so high profile. Prince Harry is third in line for the British throne, following his father Prince Charles and his older brother Prince William.
Yesterday, oil spiked to its highest price ever in history, breaking $103.00 per barrel. Conversely, the value of the US dollar is continuing its decline against the Euro.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is threatening to sue the current administration in a civil lawsuit if her request for the Justice Department to pursue the dismissal of prosecutors in 2006. She’s asking for White House documents relating to the dismissals be handed over and investigated; President Bush is claiming executive privileges regarding the matter.
I’m of the opinion that the branches of governments and opposing parties need to work together in solving actual problems the country is facing rather than suing each other. Ms. Speaker, write that down.
Iraq’s Presidential Council endorsed the death sentence for Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as “Chemical Ali” for his role in the gassing of thousands of Iraqi Kurds during a 1988 campaign of genocide. His execution would be set to occur within the next 30 days.
DeVotchKa‘s new album, A Mad and Faithful Telling, drops March 18th on ANTI. Catch the presale going on now and check out the tour dates below:
North American Tour Dates:
March 13th – Austin, TX SXSW
March 14th – Austin, TX SXSW
March 15th – Austin, TX SXSW
March 18th – Denver, CO Twist and Shout (instore)
April 26th – Indio, CA Coachella
April 28th – San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
April 29th – Eugene, OR McDonald Theatre
April 30th – Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
May 2nd – Vancouver, BC Richard on Richards
May 3th – Seattle, WA Showbox Sodo
May 4th – Boise, ID The Big Easy
May 7th – Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
May 8th – Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall
May 9th – Chicago, IL Vic Theatre
May 10th – Indianapolis, IN The Vogue
May 11th – Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge
May 13th – Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse
May 14th – Ashville, NC Orange Peel
May 15th – Richmond, VA Toads Place
May 16th – Washington, DC 9:30 Club
May 17th – Philadelphia, PA [The Fillmore at] the TLA
May 18th – Boston, MA Paradise
May 20th – New York, NY Terminal 5
May 21st – Pittsburgh, PA Diesel Club Lounge
May 22nd – Newport, KY Southgate House
May 23th – St. Louis, MO The Pageant
May 24th – Omaha, NE Slowdown
European Tour Dates
4 April – Manchester, UK Academy 2
5 April – Dublin, IRE Crawdaddy
6 April – Glasgow, SCO King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
7 April – Newcastle Upon, UK Academy 2 Newcastle
8 April – Birmingham, UK Academy 2 Birmingham
9April – London, UK Scala
11 April – Rotterdam, HOL Rotown
12 April – Amsterdam, HOL Melkweg
13 April – Paris, FR Café de la Danse
14 April – Zurich, SWI Abart Music Club
15 April – Istanbul, TUR Garaj Istanbul
16 April – Copenhagen, DEN Vega
17 April – Berlin, GER Tacheles
18 April – Cologne, GER Underground
19 April – Brussels, BEL Ancienne Belgique
20 April – Nigmegen, HOL Doornroosje
In association with The Metro, anthemic pop rockers Ben’s Brother are giving fans the chance to upload a video of themselves performing “Stuttering (Kiss Me Again)” — the very same one featured in the Dentyne Ice commercial.
Ben’s Brother also has upcoming west coast tour dates supporting A Fine Frenzy:
March 4th – Cafe Du Nord – San Francisco, CA
March 6th – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
March 7th – High Dive – Seattle, WA
March 8th – Media Club – Vancouver, BC
Little Brother, the North Carolina hip-hop duo, have scheduled several dates in support of their third release, Getback. Starting on February 15th in Madrid, Spain, the month long tour will conclude on March 14th in Tatru, Estonia. Tour dates can be seen here.
Little Brother has been very well received across the pond. Getback, which was released in the UK in October, received 4 out of 5 stars and an end of the year #2 rating from the influential Hip-Hop Connection. The magazine was quoted as saying, “Little Brother is simply Phonye and Big Pooh forming like Voltron and accenting each other perfectly.”
But you don’t have to take Hip-Hop Connection‘s word for it, as you can check them out yourself through the group’s myspace.
Smashing Pumpkins‘ previously unrecorded, but played heavily on the road, “SuperChrist”had become a fan favorite. Check out the new video below:
The Smashing Pumpkins didn’t put the song to tape while working on their latest release, Zeitgeist, because they felt the need to experiment further with it on tour before they had a
complete understanding of where they wanted it to go. Having smoothed out the kinks via live performance, they went into the studio and recorded it for inclusion on a compilation CD featuring bands staffed by the employees of Guitar Center. The Smashing Pumpkins took part in choosing these bands based upon submissions from Guitar Center.
In contributing “SuperChrist” to the project, the Smashing Pumpkins hope to aid in gaining exposure for the up and coming bands they share space with on the disk. The compilation with the unreleased studio version of “SuperChrist” will be available in a limited quantity at
Guitar Center locations beginning March 1st, but you can get an early listen and a peek at the video for the song right now exclusively on MySpace.