Thursday, May 31, 2007

Local News Brief

The Deadly Syndrome will be playing Spaceland every Monday for free this month, as part of their June residency. As you know we love these guys, so please go out to the shows and support.

As part of the ongoing Cemetary Screenings in Hollywood Forever, this Saturday's film will be Charles Vidor's 1946 classic Gilda. Unfortunately, the Content has yet to attend one of these gems, but this will all change on Saturday.

I Heart Comix has just launched their new blog, and we highly suggest you check it out. The duo will also be running the ExPlx every other Saturday with Check Yo Ponytail. Everything they touch turns to gold, so be there to witness the magic.

The Little Ones will release a digital only "Lover Who Uncover" EP on June 5th, which will include remixes from Crystal Castles, Stereolab, CSS and Radio Clit. Watch the video for "Lover Who Uncover" here.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Albert Hammond Jr @ The House of Blues

For all the lovers out there, Braedon visited the Albert Hammond Jr. show last week, and reported back with some words and pics.

Strokes fans were given a treat last year when, their adored guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr. embarked on a solo career. After seven years with The Strokes, Hammond Jr. had no intention of leaving the band; however, he was anxious to start bringing some of his own roots to the table. He has veered a bit from the typical, raspy, garage band sound of The Strokes, and adopted a cleaner, poppier sound made complete by his smooth vocals

Hammond came through LA earlier this month, packing the House of Blues, and will continue touring throughout the states and off Europe.


All Photos and words by: Braedon

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

All Smiles - Ten Readings of A Warning

I’ve never been someone who enjoys floating through space. I love gravity and all its cemented context. Consequently, my initial “blind taste test” listen to All Smiles left me slightly less interested than after my second, post-research experience. It’s the history and context of a creation that makes art tangible in my life. Time to contextualize!

All Smiles is Jim Fairchild. Jim was in a band called Grandaddy. Grandaddy lost its mojo, Jim split with Jason Lytle and became the CEO of his own music career. Ten Readings of A Warning is Jim’s first album, which was made for no money at his house. It sounds warm, honest and beautiful. While there is room for Grandaddy sound comparison, All Smiles carves its own identity through its organic composition. The metallic buzz that surrounds a Lytle piece is replaced here with Fairchild's intimate acoustics. All Smiles is one part warm hearted and one part ironic cynic, which feels like a pretty honest outlook on the world.

Come early to the Menomena shows and see All Smiles with your own two eyes.

6/01/07 - Neumo's Seattle
6/06/07 - WOW Hall Eugene
6/08/07 - The Independent San Francisco
6/09/07 - Harlow's Sacramento
6/10/07 - Cellar Door Visalia
6/11/07 - Sea Level Records In-Store Los Angeles
6/12/07 - Troubadour Los Angeles
6/13/07 - Glass House Pomona
6/14/07 - Casbah San Diego
6/15/07 - Solar Culture Tucson
6/16/07 - Clubhouse Phoenix
6/19/07 - The Parish Austin
6/20/07 - Walter's Houston
6/21/07 The Granada Dallas
6/22/07 The Bottleneck Lawrence
6/23/07 Waiting Room Omaha

[mp3] All Smiles - Moth in a Cloud of Smoke


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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Concert Pirates: My Brightest Diamond @ Troubadour

It’s no secret that I have an enormous crush on Shara Worden, the heart and soul behind the hauntingly beautiful songs of My Brightest Diamond. At first I thought that it was just an aural thing, a result of her gorgeous melodies and vocal power. But as she played through her set at her recent Troubadour show, the partially handicapped Shara, a result of a “rock jump” at the band’s previous Las Vegas gig, made it impossible to not fall in love with her. Her adorability (?) and comedic banter made me wish that she wasn’t actually happily married and that some angel of a woman actually existed for me. But besides the heart skipping from time to time, My Brightest Diamond introduced three new songs with a hand full of chosen covers that hinted at something of a progtastic new album of hard rock meets folk flavored goodness. We can’t wait.

[mp3] My Brightest DiamondIntro/Banter/Knee Injury
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondGolden Star (Live)
My Brightest Diamond
The Robin’s Jar (Live)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondFeeling Good (Live Nina Simone Cover)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondWe Were Sparkling (Live)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondDisappear (Live)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondYoukali (Live Kurt Weill Cover)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondDragonfly (Live)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondSomething Of An End (Live)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondGone Away (Live)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondApples (Live) NEW SONG
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondFading Away (Live) NEW SONG
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondShooting Star (Live) NEW SONG
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondWorkhorse (Live)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondNo Quarter (Live Led Zeppelin Cover)
[mp3] My Brightest DiamondFreak Out (Live)

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Link Lovin'

Adult Swim is awesome, and just released a free downloadable album called "Warm & Scratchy," which features songs from Liars, The Rapture, TV on the Radio and more.

Stereogum continues its Premature Evalution series with Spoon's 6th full length Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Yeeeah. I think I might change the title when it finds its place in my itunes.

Bonde Do Rolê are set to release their debut album, With Lasers on June 4th, play the west coast with CSS and attack Euro festivals for the rest of the summer. Here's a taste from the new album:

[mp3] Bonde Do Role - James Bonde

Self Promotion: Rewriteable has itself a sweet new Virb page that you should all go visit. Virb is basically everything that could be great and interesting about Myspace, without the piles of SPAM, broken media players and Tom. If you look to our sidebar you'll see a section called Virbtunes, which is directly routed to my itunes and gives up to the minute stats on what RC is listening to.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Keywords : Bowerbirds...a kidnapping...a conversion

I had been captured. It was as soon as I felt the warmth of their touch that I knew I had been overcome. Their hands were made of fingers and bone, talons of soft and warm things too pretty for me to wrap my own limbs through. So in other words, I wasn’t allowed to…

But it didn’t really matter for when I awoke in that room of bent and burdened glass from a past that I never lived through I saw him tip his hat and curtsy, a polite gesture to his newly attained friend, fearful for life and eager for a listen. A sound from the underground, a friendly finger to follow, a tunnel to the basement below, the cave at the end of thousands and thousands of stairs. I slid down th
at slide of steps, tripping and tumbling toward that ever-friendly hum that rose from the center of the earth. Touching down, a roll and rumble (heels grounded, toes heavenward), a handsome man with a stringed strum from the ancients, a soft voice, dry and dim and comfortably…

Bowerbirds they called themselves. My pirates of the underground who had stolen me away, my new friends, my holy priests whose sound I now reverently…

But what could I have done differently? As soon as I was in their talons there was never any going back.

BowerbirdsIn Our Talons

Bowerbirds' new album Hymns For A Dark Horse is out now on Burly Time Records.


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Monday, May 21, 2007

Video Hippos Unbeast the Leash

Predicting where the next influx of unique art will emerge is nothing more than a game of pin the tail on the donkey – the donkey in this case being a map of Earth. Like Omaha before it, Baltimore now finds itself struck by the blinding glow of the indie spotlight. In the spirit of past great artists, the collective Wham City formed to cultivate a fertile environment for music and art, and through it they have sown seeds embracing all things synthetic, peculiar and fun. Notable members of this musical community are Dan Deacon (read RC post), Ponytail, Ecstatic Sunshine and for our purposes today – Video Hippos.

Kevin and Jim are all that comprise Video Hippos, but after several times through Unbeast the Leash I’m convinced there is a genius, robot monster sitting in as the band’s third member. Unlike Dan Deacon’s quirky play of computer blips and swirled loops, Video Hippos execute a full fledged ground assault of sound, which varies from dense, distorted bass to subtle, echoed keyboard loops. "Toothsub" starts the album with a haunting drone reminiscent of William Basinski's Disintegration Loops;
however, the fragile loop suddenly grows legs and sprints into a straight shot of percussion and buried vocals. Many of the album's tracks take off and never look back - at times stopping to rest or change pace, but never revisiting past themes. "Sick Dolphin" exemplifies this idea of immediacy and brings up thoughts of Lightning Bolt.

The duo will be releasing Unbeast the Leash on June 12th, and have a extensive and lovely tour coming up with Dan Deacon.

[mp3] Video Hippos - The List
[mp3] Video Hippos - Kool Shades

Dates w/ Dan Deacon (click for full list of dates)

06/16/07 - ExPlx
06/18/07 - Pehrspace

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Friday, May 18, 2007

God Save The Clientele

It’s hard to tell whether I am falling in love or falling apart while listening to the Clientele’s fantastically new, blast from the past, Britpop masterpiece God Save the Clientele. The new songs come off as confident steps in the bands own humility, which makes my frustrations an ever more difficult task to deal with. In listening to the album in its entirety over my weeklong sabbatical into procrastination for finals, I have struggled with feelings that traverse the spectrum of romance but in a way that is far removed from the usual heartbreak and ache storytelling. Its showers and sunshine on this album but the stormy and summer days are interspersed in almost mathematical genius to relate the mood swings of romance, lust, love, and longing. But besides the lyrical depictions and emotional settings that the Clientele have effectively created on this album, it’s their musical potency that is their biggest win.

[mp3] The ClienteleIsn’t Life Strange

5/24/07 – Knitting Factory (w/ Beach House, Pipas) (tix)


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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bright Eyes @ The Walt Disney Concert Hall

There's nothing better than fine music performed within equally fine architecture. In a rare, none LAphil night at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, kids between the ages of 14-30 flocked, for what I can only imagine was their first time, into Frank Gehry's gorgeous car wreck of a structure, to see Bright Eyes debut his new work - Cassadaga. What's most amazing about the Hall, is the dichotomy between the cold metal exterior panels, and the soothing and gentle wood work within the building. The large concert hall is nothing short of a musical sanctuary

Perched high above the side of the stage, I was left to absorb every aspect of the architecture, music and crowd. White curtains were hung high in the corners of the room, and lit with deep blue lights to create a permanent twilight effect. The band, 10 strong, were dressed in pure white and surrounded by a stage full of flowers. And to top off the visual bliss, a projector featuring real time video, dowsed the band with a swirling array of lights.

Cassadaga seems to be the first enigmatic Bright Eyes release I've come across. Part of me just means it's slightly bland, but the other part wants to witness what Conor is on the cusp of creating. The set was predominantly taken from the new LP, but of course the only song missing happens to be my favorite - "I Must Belong Somewhere." Oh well, I've seen him perform it twice, so I guess I'm just getting greedy.

On the album, "If the Brakeman Turns My Way" and "Clairaudients" lacked traction in my brain, which has never been an issue with the other 139 Bright Eyes songs I have on my itunes; however, the live performance opened up more life in the songs. "Four Winds" is a classic Conor and Mike tune that stays trapped in my body for days - omniscient narrator, twanging country flair and quivering vocals give it the full package. Older songs like "False Advertising" and tracks off I'm Wide Awake ("Lua" and "First Day of My Life") kept the night well rounded.
The band was tighter than ever and the songs sounded beautiful throughout -leaving Natalie and I skipping all the way to the car.

From the Saddle Creek site:

[mp3] Bright Eyes - Four Winds

[mp3] Bright Eyes - No One Would Riot For Less

Photos @ Soma by: Braedon

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Suggested Viewing: Shawn Kim - Turnstyle Blues

[mov] Shawn Kim: Autolux - "Turnstyle Blues"

When I first saw it, I sent this video to my roommate Grant. He wrote back:

“That's sex in a bottle.”

Pretty well sums it up.

This video was my first introduction to Autolux; a noisy drony sort of My Bloody Valentine Los Angelean pop band. As you watch, your first comment will likely be how mean that beat is. Indeed. Carla Azar (who’s talents were recently mentioned of in our Pity Party interview) is one funky drummer you need not give back ta James.*

Predominantly a cinematographer, Shawn Kim also directs this video for "Turnstyle Blues." Friend and DP of director Patrick Daughters, Kim was behind camera on the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s - Maps, Kings Of Leon - King Of The Rodeo, Death Cab For Cutie’s - Title & Registration etc... There should be badges your mom sews on when stuff’s this good. We see his distinctive beautiful dark polish again here, with a few additions.

The multiple monitors are wonderful. Ea
ch screen its own canvas, allowing the camera to pan through angles and images without cutting away. Swaying past blown out lights aimed towards camera, everything given a cool green hue.

The use of black is great. How fading in and out of it keeps time, and creates edits; adding tone rather than merely holding place as "nothing."

Everyone should be checking out Autolux's first album (Future Perfect) now. A sophomore release is pending for the end of this summer. Also look for an Autolux collaboration on the upcoming UNKLE record.

* Black Sheep Son


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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Spiderman of the Rings

Man Man in Candyland? Batshit bubblegum-pop? Children’s songs for the hyperactively overgrown? Dan Deacon’s Spiderman of the Rings is as loudly bizarre as all of the above-mentioned descriptions of what could be the most headache inducing music to come out this year for listeners over the age of 55. But inversely, Dan Deacon has also made a sporadic mind job of an album for any willing to let go of their preconceived notions of psyche pop and revert to the cartoon craziness and decadent debacles that we all went through between the years of 2 and 12. Somewhere within that timeframe Mr. Deacon slipped and knocked his head, probably under the influence of a Ritalin reduced dance-a-thon with Woody Woodpecker laughing away at his awful accident. That nightmare of an incident has probably allowed Dan Deacon to dream in colors and spell in numeric equations that would soon enable him to construct songs under the influence of rainbow.

Yet it is Deacon’s ability to build upon the innocent and meager melody or drum line that proves to be his specialty. Just as we all piled bright building blocks sky high when we were five, Deacon builds upon simple chords and melodic scales until it rattles and rolls in its own instability. But its just that instability of tune and rhythm that keeps us listening, hypnotized before the soon to be demolished Jenga tower.

Basically, this stuff kills in its overpowering goodness and its ability to throw smiles at our faces. It has proven to be enough to turn our frowns upside down.

[mp3] Dan DeaconTrippy Green Skull

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare

The Arctic Monkeys were in the trenches, fighting off the hype machine, before their debut album had even hit the shelves. How does one get the chance to ride such a wave of press? Simple: write an insanely contagious dance hit and let the DJs do the rest – it also helps to be around 19 or 20 and English.

To be honest, I never actually got past “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor.” The time between that song entering my ear canals, and the subsequent LP being released was a lifetime, and like a true digital age, musical ADD blogger, when the album finally arrived - I’d lost interest in the band. I had nothing against The Arctic Monkeys, and probably would have loved the album; yet, as fate would have it, our paths never crossed.

Speeding ahead to the release of Favourite Worst Nightmare, my interest is once again heightened by the Monkey’s mature and decisive sophomore effort. Rather than over think the all too terrifying second musical step, the four piece gives the jitters the middle finger and starts “Brainstorm” with an instantaneous blast of noise. This unchecked energy holds strong through “D is for Dangerous;” however, the middle of the album finds Alex Turner introspectively musing on love. The first verse of “Balaclava” has Alex doing his best Pete Doherty impression, and I mean that in the best way possible. By the time we reach “Only Ones Who Know,” the minimal arrangements leave Turner crooning over the death of “true romance.” While I love the diversity, I couldn’t help but throw up a little fist pump during the build of “This House is A Circus.”

The Arctic Monkeys have the gift of making people dance., and few bands achieve such a connection with their audience. Consequently, I think that the moments of house crushing bass riffs constitute the highlights off the LP. Then again I enjoyed just about every moment of the album - so croon away boys.

[mp3] Arctic Monkeys - Balaclava

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Friday, May 11, 2007


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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Chosen Treasures: The Four Freshmen

Love lost right in the very beginning. Love lost when it had such a good chance at winning.

It’s unfair what we do to the past. We forget about it, bury it away in graves of dust-ridden piles of memories to unearth at some future event when nostalgia kicks in and we need to get our dosage of what it used to be like back then, back when she, he, they knew us, loved us, hurt us.

My heart has ached to live in that period before my time, a time of jukeboxes and poodle skirts, soda shops and harmonies. I imagine that life would be simpler if I had been chosen to be hatched forty years prior my arrival when authenticity seemed to be the norm and not a mere luxury for the chance stricken garage sale scavenger seeking miracles. But as I unveil some of my chosen treasures I realize that back then hearts still lay in pieces, work for craftsman and carpenter to stitch and seal with care so that it could occupy the workload that it was created for. For this chosen treasure I have unearthed the heartache of the Four Freshmen’s album Love Lost, a collection of tunes that range in their regret and hurt as well as their hope of what the future will bring.

If I ever love again it will be you. There will be no other one, no one but you.

[mp3] The Four FreshmenLove Lost
[mp3] The Four FreshmenIf I Ever Love Again


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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Concert Pirates: Xiu Xiu @ The Troubadour

I can't say I've ever recommended a Xiu Xiu LP to any of my immediate friends. There's just no easy way to introduce Jamie Stewart's music to the world. (Partly) because of this, it's taken me several years to make it out to a Xiu Xiu concert. Sunset Rubdown on the other hand is almost universally likable, so it was easy to find company to their joint show at the Troubadour. If you haven't heard our recordings of Mr. Krug's set - check it out here.

Unfortunately, the subtleties of Xiu Xiu's set are missed in these recordings unless you listen wearing headphones. I think the recordings capture the dark beauty of Jamie's music, but the sparser tracks were almost unlistenable. During the concert, I was blown away most by the precise and often explosive way Xiu Xiu delivers each note - something that does come across in these live tracks. I left thrilled to have been a part of the evening, but regretting all the missed opportunities to see them play in the past.

Partial Tracklist:

Xiu Xiu - Sad Pony Guerilla Girl
[mp3] Xiu Xiu - Bishop, CA

[mp3] Xiu Xiu - I Broke Up

[mp3] Xiu Xiu - Crank Heart

[mp3] Xiu Xiu - Boy Soprano

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Blitzen Trapper – Wild Mountain Nation

The opening track off of Blitzen Trapper’s new album is a whirlwind of genre traveling tunes. Starting in a cloud of metallic distortion, “Devil’s A-Go-Go” bursts into a 70s-style rock riff with a hiccup for a time signature. The song finds its roots in an avant-garde, country rock atmosphere where one feels comfortable rubbing shoulders with Deerhoof yet could still find it comfortable in the shelf space next to Lynard Skynard. It’s not long before the track travels eastward for a jaunt through an Asian scale followed by an immediate launch over the Pacific into a somber Mexican howl and strum before ending in the sonic laser beams of interplanetary warfare. It’s a bizarre ride but Blitzen Trapper has somehow stitched this track up with so many genre splices that it has become so jarringly endearing that you can’t help but enjoy being taken along for the ride.

It’s an interesting entrance piece for an album that meanders through soft, pure country tunes to Man Man-style pieces of communal jeering to Jimi Hendrix rip off rock attacks. For some reason I can’t help but imagine Blitzen Trapper out in their own Wild Mountain Nation where the trees, rivers, and animals have all been imported from the lands of their favorite artists of past and present. This in turn makes Wild Mountain Nation a kaleidoscopic adventure where the multiple angles of the album can appeal to a wide variety of listeners.

Wild Mountain Nation is set for an early June.

Be sure to check out Blitzen Trapper’s cover of Hearts’ “Crazy On You” off of the excellent Portland based charity compilation Bridging the Distance. Go ahead. Help the kids.

[mp3] Blitzen TrapperDevil’s A-Go-Go


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Monday, May 07, 2007

Contest: Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm 12"

Spring is in full bloom, which means it's time for more contests! The Arctic Monkeys had a long way to fall after being vaulted high by early success, but with the release of Favorite Worst Nightmare, their sophomore effort hasn't pulled them down an inch.

We'll have more to say on the album later this week. For now it's time to give away some vinyl! We have one "Brainstorm" 12" to give away this week. As per usual - all you need to do is leave your name/email and/or myspace in the comment box or in an email to, and we'll pick the lucky winner on Sunday night.

1. If you found this it's probably too late
2. Brianstorm
3. Temptation greets you like your naughty friend
4. What if you were right the first time?


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Friday, May 04, 2007

Arcade Fire @ Spreckles Theater in San Diego

Once again Braedon checks in with RC about the latest and greatest show he attended. I think these may be his best photos yet! Enjoy.

With a prominent tour for their second full length album, Neon Bible, the Arcade Fire have come out with guns blazing, and don’t seem to be stopping soon. The album is strong but it's their live performance that has kept them a few steps ahead of other indie bands. With a 10 piece band, the stage was well designed. a pipe organ in the back corner, with a keyboard in front, violinists, a brass section, a stand up bass, dobro….. Almost every band member switched instruments more than once. Win Butler stayed on vocals and varied between his electric, acoustic and mandolin. Régine Chassagne played almost every instrument on stage, ranging from drums, to vocals, to keyboard and organ, to accordion - while Richard Reed Parry, with his height and bright red hair was, as usual, the most animated on stage. He also shifted between instruments while screaming through megaphones and beating on drums.

The energy level built throughout the evening with a beautiful blend between songs from Funeral and Neon Bible. There was a bit more fire beneath songs from their former album, but that was expected when comparing the two. Like many other, I have a place in my heart for Neon Bible, but when comparing the first album to the second, you can see a similar vein but different direction. A little less energy, a bit more blues with ‘My Body is a Cage’, but still Arcade Fire.

Arcade Fire recorded Neon Bible throughout most of 2006 in an old church just outside of Montreal. The band claims to have worked harder for this album than any other time in their lives and are genuinely proud with the result. The album is hard to take off your iPod selection, and their concerts rank among the best of the year. Don’t miss them as they pass through your town.

[mp3] Arcade Fire - Keep The Car Running

Photos and Words By:


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Bridging The Distance

Yay! How about a litte yippie-kai-yai-yay? “For what,” you say? Only an album full of cover songs by our favorite Portland, OR bands could get the Content to get all Bruce Willis with excitement. We’ll leave it up to Arena Rock Records to explaining it to y’all:

“Bridging the Distance: Portland, OR is a city of bridges that span both the Willamette & Columbia Rivers. The Portland musicians on this compilation span time & place in bringing us updated takes on classic songs. Likewise, local non-profit, p:ear, connects with some of the city's transitional youth and helps them bridge difficult obstacles in their lives through a program of education, art & recreation. Proceeds from this compilation will benefit p:ear in their efforts.”

For all of you who need some solid power ballads to listen to while you are waiting in those god-awful lines for Spidey 3 should head over to eMusic right now and pick up the album. Since we all know you kids need your taste testers, here is a cover done by the Content beloved the Kingdom of the more than addictive Night Ranger tune “Sister Christian.” I want to see some fistpumping.

[mp3] The KingdomSister Christian (Night Ranger Cover)

Bridging The Distance tracklisting:

1) The Decemberists - Think about Me
 (Fleetwood Mac)
2) Pat MacDonald - The Harder They Come
 (Jimmy Cliff)
3) The Joggers - Long Distance Runaround
4) The Snuggle Ups - Dancing in the Dark
Originally (Bruce Springsteen)
5) The Thermals - Tangerine
 (Led Zeppelin)
6) Christopher Walla - Shattered Dreams (Johnny Hates Jazz)
7) Viva Voce - Eye in the Sky (The Alan Parsons Project)
8) The Minus 5 - That Smell
 (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
9) Talkdemonic - Sombre Reptiles (Eno)
10) The Minders - Don't Bring Me Down 
(Electric Light Orchestra)
11) The Kingdom - Sister Christian 
(Night Ranger)
12) Lackthereof - What a Fool Believes
 (The Doobie Brothers)
13) Whip - White Wedding (Billy Idol)
14) Wet Confetti - Invincible
 (Pat Benatar)
15) The Dandy Warhols - She Sells Sanctuary
 (The Cult)
16) Point Juncture, WA - Pearl of the Quarter
 (Steely Dan)
17) Blitzen Trapper - Crazy on You
18) Crosstide - (What's So Funny 'Bout)
Peace, Love and Understanding?
 (Elvis Costello)
19) Britt Daniel - Bring It on Home to Me
 (Sam Cooke)


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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dog Day : Night Group

Right now Dog Day is my raised fist, clenched and cocked, ready to slam down and splinter the tabletops of all that awaits my post graduate years. They are singing the swan song of my final (?) years of academia. I am Dustin Hoffman sinking ever so sweetly into the waters of my parent’s pool, raising my finger to the sun before a slip silently into the comforts of cubicle work and twenty something financial sufferings. Oh the joys of growing up, the dead end jobs and unsatisfying relationships.

Dog Day’s press release states how “it is always exciting when a great band comes out of nowhere.” Touché. Night Group has been consistently on repeat for the last few weeks and with each listen I have fallen more in love with the album packed with memorable hooks and melodies that come together as quick, minimalist pop gems. I hate saying how much I love an album but I really love Night Group. At a time in my life when I have been obsessed with the intricate production techniques of Wilson and Spector it is amazing to me that I have fallen so hard for a band that tends to not over-indulge or show off instead choosing to convey meaning, beauty, and honesty through great, simple pop songs.

Dog DayOh Dead Life

Check out the video for the first single off of Night Group, "Lydia."


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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Day In the Sun At Coachella

100 degree heat, more people than the eye can see, and no shade to be found anywhere (except humid tents) - sounds like the inner most circle of Hell. No, no it's just another weekend at Coachella. A place I find myself at every year - where the conditions are hellish, but the music is sent straight from God.

This year, with the expanded concert and hiked up prices, I could only afford a one day ticket; however, Saturday's show had the perfect blend of artists to make my 90 dollars a great investment. On the list of must see acts I had a couple of shoe-ins, some exciting newcomers and a wild card. The reason I keep coming back to Coachella, is because of the genuine excitement of the crowd and the heightened quality of the musical performances. Every band I've seen (except for some of the reunion bores) takes it upon themselves to play a precise and exciting set.

Based around my own experience: the shoe-ins were Arcade Fire and The Rapture. The exciting newcomers were Justice, Peter Bjorn and John and LCD Soundsystem and the wild card was Hot Chip.

As expected, Arcade Fire played the best hour of music at the concert. Their set was comprised of a perfect split between old and new - Power's Out, Haiti, Tunnels, Rebellion and Wake Up (from Funeral); Black Mirror, My body is a Cage, Intervention, Ocean of Noise, Keep the Car Running and Antichrist Television Blues (from Neon Bible); No Cars Go (a staple live song). Somehow people were still complaining that they played too much of Neon Bible - go figure. I forgot that it's not cool to like a band's new material.

One sentence: The Rapture kicked the Sahara tent into gear for one final dance party of the night.

Coming into Coachella, I was most curious to experience a DJ set from the infamous Justice. The French DJ duo took excess to a new level by piling up 24 sets of Marshall stack amps around their laptop station, and playing the loudest set of the night (in my life?). It was all there - the lit up cross, the fist pumping, "Phantoms."

The standout artist that I've always admired from afar was LCD Soundsystem. I've known him as the genius behind great dance tracks and remixes, but I had no expectation of how his live performance would play out. Close your eyes and listen to "Daft Punk is Playing in My House" - picture all the electronic tools used to create that track. Now open your eyes and see a group of musicians onstage recreated every drumbeat and electronic swirl on live drums, guitars, and keys. It was a pleasant surprise and another example of why I love Coachella.

My only slight disappointment of the day was the so-so music of Peter Bjorn and John. Outside of a great last few songs, the music seemed void of any magic.

Ok this is dragging out to0 long...

My last observation is that Hot Chip kicked ass, and were the perfect opening act for my day in the sun.

[mp3] Arcade Fire - Rebellion

[mp3] Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
[mp3] LCD Soundsystem - North American Scum
[mp3] Hot Chip - Boys From School


Continue reading "A Day In the Sun At Coachella"

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Suggested Viewing: Roman Coppola - Funky Squaredance

Loving the music video as I do, I want to start a new music video segment here on R’Content. Not so much reviews or even neccessarily new videos, just great ones people may not have seen or should see again.

There’s no real safe forum for videos these days. Our music channels have betrayed them (VH1 Classics I’m not talking about you), and they often get lost or missed on the internet. I know so few are worth anyone's time, but when done well they are so beautiful. The least we at the RC can do spread those we’ve loved around a little more.

[mov] Roman Coppola: Phoenix - "Funky Squaredance"

Phoenix seems like an oft’ dismissed band to me. Air’s old back-up band, Sofia’s new squeeze... There’s an elegant understatement to their danceable sound I think people overlook. I remember Alphabetical feeling bland at first and then ending up having to listen to
If Its Not With You everyday for weeks.

Roman Coppola’s video for
this song (Funky Squaredance: featuring Pheonix bassist, Deck d'Arcy’s mother's choral society in addition to the rest of the band) is great, and as with the bands albums in the past at first I wasn’t sure.

Call it "post modern," a "meta video," whatever. I was an English major, do what you need. I just like that it’s something different. It’s personal, and interesting, and clocking in at nearly 10 minutes; needed to be something unorthodox. I’m impressed that Phoenix chose this song for a video in the first place.

The “two videos at once” idea is good. Go ahead and watch the video and you’ll know what I’m writing about. It's like watching Land of the Lost and Magnum P.I. at the same time, one on each eye. Roman’s sorta full of great ideas though isn’t he? He’s got one up at Roman Coppola Studios for a Movie Hotel that I think would go over brilliantly, and my homegirl Broek & I went to Musso and Franks twice on his recommendation. The flannel cakes (and decor) were indeed delicious.

Enjoy the conversation this one has with you. Its a good first post I think, as it sticks to your ribs a little even if you don't have the attention span. Peace out. The Cosmos.


Continue reading "Suggested Viewing: Roman Coppola - Funky Squaredance"