Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Best Songs and Artists of 2009

I asked my kids who/what they thought were the best songs and artists of the year - to get an unbiased opinion from the youth - and their answers were:

Best Song of 2009: "Stink-butt"
Best Artist of 2009: "Poop-Head"

I might be slightly out of touch with the youth of today, but I'm pretty sure these are not actual songs or band names.

Happy New Year.

Oh yeah - please refer to the coming year as "twenty-ten," not "two-thousand-ten."


Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas (The Who)

Did you ever see the faces of the children
They get so excited.
Waking up on christmas morning
Hours before the winter suns ignited.
They believe in dreams and all they mean
Including heavens generosity.
Peeping round the door
to see what parcels are for free
In curiosity.

And Tommy doesn't know what day it is.
He doesn't know who Jesus was or what praying is.
How can he be saved?
From the eternal grave.

Surrounded by his friends he sits so silently,
And unaware of everything.
Playing poxy pin ball
picks his nose and smiles and
Pokes his tongue at everything.
I believe in love
but how can men who've never seen
Light be enlightened.
Only if he's cured
will his spirits future level ever heighten.

And Tommy doesn't know what day it is.
He doesn't know who Jesus was or what praying is.
How can he be saved?
From the eternal grave.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas (Blues Traveler)

Comes the time for Christmas
And I really have to ask
If this is feeling merry
How much longer must it last?

I wish a one horse open sleigh
Would come carry me away
But I've been waiting here all day
And one just hasn't come my way

Now excuse me if I'm not being reverent
But I was hoping for a miracle to hold me, wash me
Save me from my righteous doubt as I watch helpless
And everybody sings

If it's Hanukkah or Kwanzaa
Solstice, harvest or December twenty-fifth
Peace on earth to everyone
And abundance to everyone you're with

Comes the time for Christmas
And as you raise your Yuletide flask
There's like this feeling that you carry
As if from every Christmas past

It's as if each year it grows
It's like you feel it in your toes
And on and on your carol goes
Harvesting love among your woes

I want to buy into the benevolence
And I was hoping for a miracle to hold me, wash me
Make me know what it's about
As the longing in me makes me want to sing

Noel or Navidad
Season celebration or just the end of the year
Christmas can mean anything
And I mean to keep its hope forever near

As if a cold and frozen soul is warm to love
By loves own hand
So goes the prayer if for a day peace on earth
And good will to man

At twenty below the winter storm it billows
But the fire is so warm inside
And the children while nestled in their pillows
Dream of St. Nicholas's ride

And how the next day they'll get up and they will play
In the still falling Christmas snow
And together we'll celebrate forever
In defiance of the winds that blow

My god in heaven now I feel like I'm seven
And the spirit calls to me as well
As if Christmas had made the winter warmer
Made a paradise from what was hell

As if a cold and frozen soul is warm to love
By loves own hand
So goes the prayer if for a day peace on earth
And good will to man ...

I wish a one horse open sleigh would come carry me away
And I'll keep waiting through next May
Until Christmas comes my way

(Words by John Popper. Music by John Popper and Trey Anastasio.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Zakk Wylde Interview From Ultimate Guitar
There's a brief Velvet Revolver mention in the new Zakk Wylde interview that I thought I'd share.
It didn’t bother you that Ozzy was auditioning other guitar players and didn’t really say anything to you?

I mean with us there’s never any arguments; there’s no fights or nothing. It’s just, “What do you want to do, Steve?” It’s like, “Ahh, Zakk, I want to go jam with these guys now.”

It’s like with Slash and Scottie and all the guys and if they’re gonna stop doing Velvet Revolver for a while. And then Scott is going to do Stone Temple Pilots; Duff is gonna do Loaded; Slash is gonna do his solo thing; Matt’s gonna be jammin’ with the Cult again and then they’re gonna get back together. It’s just like no big deal.

It’s like Genesis – there’s Mike and the Mechanics and Phil is doing his solo thing and the keyboard player is doing movie soundtracks. And then it’s like, “Let’s get back together and do a fuckin’ album.”

I love Ozz and Sharon; Sharon is like my mother. Barbara Ann [Zakk’s wife] still hangs out with Sharon all the time. They go to Dancing With the Stars to see Kelly and all that shit. They hang out and have lunch and just chill and have a good time.

I always told everybody when the day would come when Ozz would say, “I don’t feel like doin’ this shit no more.” What are you supposed to do? But you better figure somethin’ out. You know what I mean?

I know that this is just Zakk running his mouth, and is by no means official, but it makes sense to me. I've been saying this all along that there will eventually be a Velvet Revolver reunion (say in 2014) with Scott Weiland.

We'll see.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Phish Festival 8 Stuff


Friday, October 30th, 2009

Set 1

Party Time
Chalk Dust Torture
The Moma Dance
Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan
I Didn't Know
Poor Heart
Beauty Of A Broken Heart
Time Turns Elastic

Set 2

Punch You in the Eye >
Down With Disease >
Prince Caspian >
Wolfman's Brother >
Piper >
David Bowie
Harry Hood
Golgi Apparatus
Character Zero

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

3:00PM – Set 1
7:30PM – The Halloween Set
10:00PM – Set 3

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

12:00PM – Acoustic Set
5:30PM – Set 2
8:30PM – Set 3

If you are interested in EVERYTHING related to Phish's Halloween weekend Festival 8 in Indio, California, you MUST visit Jamtopia's Festival 8 Cover Album Teaser page and Jamtopia's Festival 8 Recap page. Webmaster Todd Levy has outdone himself and everything you could want to know about the gig is there on those 2 pages. I could never do justice to this event here, so head over to Jamtopia and check out the exhaustive and "seemingly authoritative" updates from the man himself.

Last night Phish played a six song soundcheck which you can download below.

Here's the setlist ...

1. Festival 8 Soundcheck Jam
2. Undermind >
3. Devil With A Blue Dress On Jam
4. Starship Trooper Jam
5. Gone (Phish debut, played by Classic TAB in Brooklyn)
6. Liquid Time (off Party Time, with MGMT's 'Kids' and 'Lengthwise' teases)

Download Festival 8 Soundcheck SBD

Also check out PhishTwit for real-time Twitter updates on Festival 8.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, there are 8 albums left. Phish will play one of these in their entirety tomorrow:

1. David Bowie | Hunky Dory
2. Genesis | The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
3. Jimi Hendrix | Electric Ladyland
4. King Crimson | Larks' Tongues In Aspic
5. MGMT | Oracular Spectacular
6. Prince | Purple Rain
7. Radiohead | Kid A
8. Rolling Stones | Exile on Main Street

Thanks again to Jamptopia.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Red Hot Chili Peppers Working on New Album

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are back in the studio as of October 12, 2009. Their next album should be released sometime in 2010, according to Chad Smith.

An excerpt from his interview with SPIN follows ...

What's the status of the new album? You guys have been off for a long time now.

We're going to get together and start writing songs in October.

Is anything already written?
No. We've jammed a few times. I've played with Flea a few times. But I've been gone since April doing the Chickenfoot thing. So in October, we'll start from scratch. The four of us will get in a room and just start playing. That's how it's always worked before. That method hasn't failed us yet.

Do you know who'll be producing the new album?
It's not at the point where we're thinking about that yet. But Rick Rubin's been our producer forever. We love him and he's great. I assume that we'll use him again. But picking a producer is still far off down the road.

Any ideas on when we can expect to hear new music from you guys?
Sometime in 2010 seems realistic. That's what we're shooting for, but it takes a while to get the machinery going with something as big as the Chili Peppers.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Twenty Years Ago Today

The Last East Coast Dead Show of the 1980s ...

10.26.89 Miami

Set I

Foolish Heart
Little Red Rooster
Stagger Lee
Me And My Uncle >
Big River
Brown Eyed Women
Victim Or The Crime >
Don't Ease

Set II

Estimated Prophet >
Blow Away
Dark Star >
Drums >
Space >
Wheel >
All Along The Watchtower >
Stella Blue >
Not Fade Away

And We Bid You Good Night

Is This the Best Song Ever?

Pushing thru the market square, so many mothers sighing
News had just come over, we had five years left to cry in
News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying
I heard telephones, opera house, favourite melodies
I saw boys, toys electric irons and t.v.s
My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there
And all the fat-skinny people, and all the tall-short people
And all the nobody people, and all the somebody people
I never thought Id need so many people

A girl my age went off her head, hit some tiny children
If the black hadnt a-pulled her off, I think she would have killed them
A soldier with a broken arm, fixed his stare to the wheels of a cadillac
A cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest, and a queer threw up at the sight of that

I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour, drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine, dont think
You knew you were in this song
And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor
And I thought of ma and I wanted to get back there
Your face, your race, the way that you talk
I kiss you, youre beautiful, I want you to walk

Weve got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
Weve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, thats all weve got
Weve got five years, what a surprise
Five years, stuck on my eyes
Weve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, thats all weve got
Weve got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
Weve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, thats all weve got
Weve got five years, what a surprise
Weve got five years, stuck on my eyes
Weve got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, thats all weve got

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weiland Not So Sure it Was Axl's Fault

"Of course Scott is trying to get back at Slash; however, I do find it soooo amusing the new outlook on Mr. Rose that Scott has nowadays ... here it is."

via Rolling Stone
Evan Serpick: Did that call from Dean come at a time when things were already falling apart with Velvet Revolver?

Scott Weiland: No, things at that time were working quite well with Velvet Revolver and I didn't want to mention it to them until there was a plan and a couple gigs that were actually booked. Slash and I were usually the ones who talked to each other first about things, then we'd go to the rest of the guys. And, unfortunately because of certain people's egos, I walked into a situation where there was a lot of baggage. I had a lot of baggage walking into my situation. I was in a band where at the end, it was pretty much three against one. And so I'm pretty sure that it felt that way to Axl as well. I have to say this, and I'm not just saying this now because of my situation I went through, but I heard a lot of great Guns N' Roses stories you guys in the press will never hear.

Everyone has made Axl out to be this horrendously crazy person, this bad guy, and I don't know him very well at all. He and I for whatever reason got almost tricked into this little media spat for a moment because one of our band members happened to run into him and said that he said something. So, my point being that having been in a band with Velvet Revolver now for five and a half years, I'm not quite so sure that it was all Axl's fault.

It's like, why does it always have to be the lead singer?

Matt Sorum in front of my face, he was the sweetest guy in the world. But there were some times, out of the blue, the guy just randomly hated me.

We all carried our own baggage in that band. In a sense, that's why people were intrigued, you know, especially for the first couple of years. Because they were kind of waiting on the trainwreck to happen. They just thought it would happen a lot sooner.

Serpick: To a certain degree, because there was all that baggage, for Velvet Revolver to pull together two really great albums was impressive.

Weiland: Yeah, yeah. Especially on the second one. I really feel proud of the second album we made. We put all of our problems aside, egos aside, and we became a band, and it wasn't about being Guns N' Roses and STP. It was about being a completely different band. Not many people are able to say that they had in their professional career the chance to perform in two bands that won Grammys and were multiplatinum bands. But with STP, you know, these were, you know, the best friends of my life. I grew up with these guys while we were teenagers. It's a whole other thing.

Thanks to: Ana

Friday, October 23, 2009

Brad Nowell’s Estate Threatens Legal Action Against Sublime Reunion

via Rolling Stone
In late February, the surviving members of Sublime (bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh) performed at a Mexican restaurant in Nevada with a new vocalist named Rome stepping in for late singer-guitarist Brad Nowell, who died of a heroin overdose over a decade ago. The trio recently announced they will perform their first concert as "Sublime" since May 24, 1996 — the day before Nowell passed away — tomorrow at Devore, California’s Smokeout Festival.

Wilson and Gaugh have said they’re reluctant to call the show a "reunion," preferring to call it a "celebration."

Bradley Nowell’s estate thinks the event be classified by another name: violation.

In a statement released today, Nowell’s family says Brad registered "Sublime" as a trademark under his own name prior to his death, and never intended for any band to use the moniker without him.

"Out of respect for Brad’s wishes, we have always refused to endorse any group performing as 'Sublime,' and now with great reluctance feel compelled to take the appropriate legal action to protect Brad’s legacy," the Nowell family writes.

Read their full statement after the jump.

"It was recently announced that Sublime bassist Eric Wilson and Sublime drummer Floyd ‘Bud’ Gaugh are 'reuniting' and teaming with singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez in a band they intend to call 'Sublime.' Prior to his untimely passing, both Bud and Eric acknowledged that Brad Nowell was the sole owner of the name Sublime. It was Brad’s expressed intention that no one use the name Sublime in any group that did not include him, and Brad even registered the trademark 'Sublime' under his own name.

As Brad’s heirs, and with the support of his entire family, we only want to respect his wishes and therefore have not consented to Bud and Eric calling their new project 'Sublime.' We have always supported Bud and Eric’s musical endeavors and their desire to continue to play Sublime’s music. We wholeheartedly supported Bud, Eric and the many talented members of the Sublime posse that formed the Long Beach Dub All-Stars, soon after Brad’s death, to honor him through their original recordings, live performances and Sublime music until they disbanded in 2001. But, out of respect for Brad’s wishes, we have always refused to endorse any group performing as 'Sublime,' and now with great reluctance feel compelled to take the appropriate legal action to protect Brad’s legacy.

Our hope is that Brad’s ex-bandmates will respect his wishes and find a new name to perform under, so as to enhance the 'Sublime' legacy without the confusion and disappointment that many fans have expressed upon seeing the announcement.

Peace and Love to all,

Troy, Jakob & Jim 'Papa' Nowell.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Flaming Lips to Cover Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

According to an LA Times report, the Flaming Lips are set to follow-up their life- (and death)-affirming LP Embryonic with a full-album redo of Pink Floyd's gazillion-selling 1973 psych-rock classic Dark Side of the Moon.

The Lips version of Dark Side is a collaboration with the band Stardeath and White Dwarfs (which includes Wayne Coyne's nephew Dennis Coyne as a member), and features guest spots from Henry Rollins and Peaches. It will most probably be an iTunes-only release.

The announcement was made last night during a Q&A session with fans at a MySpace show last night at LA's Nike/Ricardo Montalbán Theater.

Other tidbits revealed: While Embryonic was the final album of the Flaming Lips' current contract with Warner Bros., they plan on sticking with the label for future releases.

Also, the video for "Watching the Planets" features a nude Wayne Coyne (as well as a bunch of nude bikers). The internet's not ready.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Trent Reznor Opens His Heart on Cornell, the Indusrty & NIN

Mr. Self-Destruct

This weekend’s Virgin Festival gig could be Nine Inch Nails' last Canadian show ever. In an exclusive interview, Trent Reznor gives the pigs their marching orders.

By Liisa Ladouceur

You can’t say he didn’t warn you.

When Trent Reznor walks off the Molson Amphitheatre stage this Sunday night he won’t just be closing the Virgin Festival, but also powering down his entire Nine Inch Nails juggernaut for good. He’s been careful not to call it the end, a split or even a hiatus. But when he announced this past February, via a post on, that, after 20 years, “it’s time to make NIN disappear for a while,” you could hear the sucking chest-wound sound caused by all those plugs being simultaneously pulled from the black hearts of those who’ve faithfully followed him long before you could do it on Twitter. Lucky for them, (and by “them,” I truly mean “us”) there’s been plenty of chance to bust out the combat boots and give the band a proper farewell salute.

First there was a tour of Australia and New Zealand, followed by the summer NIN/JA tour opening for Jane’s Addiction, billed as the last go-round for North America. Then, an extensive tour of European and Asian festivals. And then, just five weeks after what was supposed to be his final Toronto appearance with NIN/JA (and after telling crowds at Bonnaroo they were witnessing the band’s “last show ever” in the United States) Trent revealed yet another tour, dubbed Wave Goodbye. So what gives? Is Trent the new Cher?

“What happened was that when we finished the NIN/JA tour, my own personal feelings were, ‘Well, that’s it.’ I was happy,” says Trent, calling from his L.A. home on one of his few days off the road. “But for winding up NIN, it kind of felt it would be nice to have a few shows that could be a little freer, and not so constricted with time.”

NIN’s headlining spot at Virgin Fest is the only goodbye gig you can still get tickets for, after all eight club/theatre shows in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles sold out in moments. Trent admits the V-Fest paycheque will help fund the other shows, which will lose money, but that it wasn’t the only reason to come back. “There is a bit of a mercenary aspect to it, but at the same time I do truly enjoy playing the Toronto area.”

Toronto seems to enjoy hosting him: from club shows, like opening for Peter Murphy at RPM (now the Guvernment) in 1994, through Lollapalooza at the CNE and big arena/stadiums tours with Bowie, Manson, A Perfect Circle, plus two sweaty sold-out gigs at the Kool Haus for his With Teeth comeback in 2005, and the technical spectacle that was last year’s Lights in the Sky tour.

Asked for his favourite Toronto-area show memory, Trent picks out NIN’s 1994 visit to Molson Park in Barrie, which also featured Pop Will Eat Itself, the local live debut of Marilyn Manson and reigning alt.rock gods Soundgarden, all of whom were upstaged by the sonic trauma, digital theatrics and Grand Guignol chaos that was NIN in its post-Woodstock ’94, drug-fuelled heyday.

“The one that sticks in my mind is that festival we played with Soundgarden,” he says. “We had a chip on our shoulder about Soundgarden because their record [Superunknown] came out the same day Downward Spiral came out, and they beat us to No. 1 on Billboard. That became a kind of professional showdown. And we did show them.”

Before agreeing to this interview, Trent’s management requested that I not ask about “the state of the industry.” But after I follow his Soundgarden story with a quip about his heavily publicized Twitter feud with Chris Cornell earlier this year, Reznor sounds off all on his own.

“I really have no personal issue with Chris at all,” he begins. “The thing I said on Twitter… it goes deeper than what have may appeared on the surface. We were on [Interscope]. And I have had Jimmy Iovine, the president of that label, come up to me on every record from With Teeth onwards saying I should do some sort of urban thing — it was Timbaland for a while, then it was Pharrell for a while — because ‘that’s how you sell records.’ The idea seemed so preposterous and insulting.

"I’m not talking about ‘let’s go make a record with Dr. Dre,’ because that would be kind of cool. What he’s talking about is making your record sound like what’s on the radio, whether it’s appropriate or not. And that’s what Chris did. I think that when somebody who is respected like he is goes that route, it sends the message that it’s OK to give up any kind of core values you had to be the fashion of the moment. I don’t think that’s OK. I think it’s harmful. If I have one major fight in the world of the music business, it’s trying to keep art first and commerce second.”

Viewed in this light, Reznor’s decision to retire his band as a touring entity can be seen as an act of rebellion against the wheels of industry. After celebrating his independence from recording contracts by giving away MP3 copies of his last two albums, Ghosts I-IV and The Slip, for free (Ghosts became the first Creative Commons album to be nominated for a Grammy and made over $1.6 million in paid downloads and physical copies), he’s turning away from the one thing that still makes money for the music business.

“I got into this because I felt that I had something to say; it wasn’t to get rich and it wasn’t to get famous,” he says. “But in the climate today, there are people nudging me towards, ‘OK, you’ve made some money, let’s make more money.’ And you make money touring. But I find that, as a 44-year-old man, that’s not really what I want to do all the time. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy playing shows, but I don’t need to do it for a year, living the same day over and over again. My time would be much better spent creatively, rather than sitting on a tour bus because it’s a money-making machine.”

He’s not saying exactly what’s next (“I know better than to be specific because then I’ll get harassed by my fans”) but reiterates his interest in software development and says the idea for a Year Zero TV series is “still alive.” He also admits two things he won’t do: write an autobiography or take time off.

First, though, there will be just a few more nights at the mic, spewing out angry rhyming couplets, torturing his gear, his techs and his guitarist, Robin Finck. And when they inevitably close their set with 1989’s underground smash “Head Like a Hole,” those watching for the last time might find comfort that 20 years on, Trent is still making good on his mantra: “I’d rather die, than give you control.”

“I don’t ever want Nine Inch Nails to be a responsibility,” he says firmly. “Well, it is, I guess. It’s my whole life. But I don’t want it to be something that feels like a job, or an obligation that punishes me. I don’t feel that Nine Inch Nails is out of ideas. But it is starting to feel comfortable. And I want to throw myself into something that feels uncomfortable and risky and see what happens.” (Eye Weekly)

Thanks to Ana Martins.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Axl Rose Bringing "Democracy" to China?

Guns N' Roses
2009 Asia Tour, Taipei

Date: Dec. 11, 2009

Time: 20:00

Venue: Taipei County Stadium

Axl Rose released Chinese Democracy last November after a 17-year wait and a reported $13 million budget.

In March, GN'R manager Irving Azoff told Rolling Stone that the band has big plans for this year. "Axl has been basically quiet, keeping out of the limelight for almost 15 years. People think they know him but they only really only know what has been said about him by questionable people, he is a good guy and often misunderstood — he is a professional who has worked very hard to build and maintain a high creative standard for Guns N' Roses, which I support. We have some exciting things in the works this year for GN'R, I’m looking forward to it."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lady Gaga Is Kurt Cobain, Axl Rose And David Bowie Rolled Into One

By Kyle Anderson

It's official: Lady Gaga will bring her fashion-forward stage show to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, as she is set to perform at the ceremony on September 13. Though I love Jay-Z, Green Day and the other acts already announced as performers, I'm most looking forward to Gaga. I echo James Montgomery's enthusiasm for The Fame — even without the juggernaut singles, it would still be one of the more impressive pop albums of the past decade. When you add in her phenomenal approach to fashion, her ultra-quotable interviews and her extraordinary visual sense (hence her nine VMA nominations), you get a tremendous package. (No pun intended.)

But the woman born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta didn't simply drop from the sky fully formed. Rather, she's a careful construction of a number of other stars. Think of her as the FrankenStar, made up of the parts below.

David Bowie: Bowie spent most of his early career pretending he came to this planet from outer space. Those shiny suits Gaga wears? Totally Bowie. And Ziggy Stardust was also obsessed with the concept of fame — in fact, it was the title of one of his biggest hits.

Grace Jones: A woman who plays a hybrid stew of pop styles and has a commitment to stage costumes? That sounds familiar.

Axl Rose: Axl was a great singer and frontman (and hell, an underrated dancer), but the thing he was great at was creating a sense of unpredictability and danger wherever he went. Gaga has yet to refuse to perform because her deli tray wasn't up to snuff, but every time she shows up to an interview in costume or performs live, there's always the possibility that something could get out of hand — and that's awesome.

Kelis: Gaga probably wishes every night that she was the one who wrote "Milkshake," as it's probably the best double-entendre tune of the past 20 years. But perhaps Gaga's greatest skill is making things sound dirty — after all, "Bluffin' with my muffin" sounds like it should be filthy, but maybe it isn't after all.

Kurt Cobain: It may seem like a stretch, but one of the genius things that Cobain did during his all-too-brief career was not take himself seriously. Whether it was in videos, on stage or during interviews, Cobain sometimes came across like a guy who didn't care about being famous or even being a musician. Gaga is the same way — sometimes, it seems like she's just going to stand up and say "Gotcha!" and laugh at our expense. Again, that sort of unpredictability is so rare that it becomes truly thrilling.

I'm putting my money down now: Lady Gaga will steal the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Run, Don't Walk

Girl Loves Distortion - You Better Run, Your Highness (2009, Etxe records)

DC's own Girl Loves Distortion has done it again.

On 2008's Earth Beings on Exhibit, GLD set a new high-water mark for artistic excellence. This time they've aimed even higher, and succeeded.

The new album is all killer and no filler.

On You Better Run, GLD fuses piano, organ, mellotron and synths with lo-fi guitars, drums & bass to create a mindbending musical stew that is smart, fun, and just downright musical. Imagine if The Byrds had drawn their influences from The Minutemen instead of Bob Dylan.

There are beautiful harmonies and soaring guitar leads to draw the listener in, and enough abstraction in the lyrics to hold up to repeated listening. The band's playful aggression keeps the mood light without being silly, and dark without being morose.

The opening cuts, "Weighing" and "UFOs" are reminiscent of everything that's good about bands like Sonic Youth and Pavement.

But it's with tracks 3 and 4 where the fun really begins. The title track is absolutely hypnotic. The trio works together, like a musical Voltron, slaying rock 'n' roll cliches with a guitar attack. Without a doubt, it's the finest instrumental cut of 2009. There's alot going on in these songs. Girl Loves Distortion puts so much care into making records that they're almost "retro." "Dick and/or Jane" has a nasty, X-rated groove and a face-melting organ solo. The closing track, "Ascend," does just that as Jenn, Steve and Chris prove that rock and roll can still save your life.


You can purchase the record here.

You can read my review of the GLD's first album, Earth Beings on Exhibit, here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Q&A: Girl Loves Distortion

Black Plastic Bag
Washington City Paper: It seems your first record—most of it was very visceral, and then there were a couple more electronic numbers. But this one is more coherent.

Christopher Goett:
I would totally agree with that. While I love our first record for what it is, in terms of documenting where we were at the time, I think it represents us figuring out how to play together. We got into the studio in Summer 2007 so we were just playing together for over a year. The last song on this new record is actually one of the first songs we ever played together, in ‘06.

Washington City Paper: I was going to ask about that song [“Ascend”]. I think you can read it as a bit of a band manifesto. Or at least that’s how I read it.

Christopher Goett:
Yeah, yeah. It was literally the first song we played together. I kind of came in with those rough chords … those lyrics, they’re a little bit nostalgic, a little bit about getting a sense of your time and place. And that’s kind of how we approach a lot of things. I work for a nonprofit. I met Jenn at a community nonprofit in Northeast D.C. [eSharp Music Center] I think we’ve been involved in community in a lot of ways. I know it sounds cliché but it’s important to us.

Washington City Paper: It seems you write a lot about neighborhoods.

Yeah, I think in neighborhoods [he laughs again]. I was a community organizer for several years.

Washington City Paper: The blog party line seems to be that you’re one of the last bands embodying a “D.C. sound.” Do you buy that?

I have mixed feelings about that. I think most people are saying that as a compliment, but when I think of the D.C. sound, I think of a wide swath of kinds of music. There’s so many different kinds of bands. If you take Teen Beat or DeSoto or Dischord, even within there there’s a large spectrum. I love the D.C. “sound,” I suppose, and I’m not ashamed to be part of it at any stretch. I am a part of this community, and I’m entrenched in it and I like it. It’s one of those things [where I say], “Oh yeah, that’s really nice, but I don’t really know what that means.”

Washington City Paper: Can you tell me how the band formed?

Steve and I were in a band called Eight Track Mind that kicked around for most of ‘05 and some of ‘04, and it was becoming a situation where band members were moving further apart … It was mostly Steve’s songs and I was kind of playing second guitar. And Jenn and I were working together … in a studio called eSharp. And so kids were learning midi and learning guitar, bass, drums … it was actually really cool. Some young Go-go bands started cropping up. And so Jenn and I worked at the same nonprofit right around when our other band was stopping, and I knew she was an awesome drummer. And I said, “Hey, are you interested in playing rock again?” [Jenn Thomas walks up] … that was probably March of ‘06. We played a house show, I think in May …

Thomas: It was pretty much “let’s do it right now. O.K.” Then it what was like, “O.K. it’s working. Now let’s keep going.” And that’s that.

We all bring a different thing to the table.

Washington City Paper: What are those things?

I mean our perspective in terms of our library. That’s just an audiophile term, sorry, but I mean our collection. I love My Bloody Valentine, Ride and shoegaze stuff as much as I love punk, like T.S.O.L. and The Germs and all that other stuff.

Washington City Paper: … like the horror-rock T.S.O.L.?

No, the earlier stuff, please. [Everyone laughs.] And then Jenn turned me on to the Big Boys and stuff I wish I’d heard about … We’re not one-note in terms of where we’re coming from. I don’t mean to sound nerdier than I need to be, but I think that it helps. Steve has a certain proclivity where he’s coming form, I have a certain proclivity, Jenn has a certain proclivity …

Thomas: Steve comes from a little bit more of a smoother background.

Goett: Actually, Steve was in a hip-hop band for 10 years.

Thomas: And he comes from a melodic classic-rock [background], like Pink Floyd, and he really loves the stories behind the music and he brings in a lot of that in lyrics. … And my background is more like protest punk, like early D.C. stuff. I came from Austin to here, and I was at University of Texas for a while and saw the Big Boys and Minor Threat. And I moved up here as a skate punk. At some of the shows I remember being the only girl in a bright yellow Zorlac shirt amid an entire sea of people dressed in black. I was wearing cowboy boots and people were like, “whoa …”

Black Plastic Bag


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Alice in Chains Song "A Looking in View"

A very dark song. The band sounds fucking incredible. Jerry Cantrell does most of the vocals on this track. The song is 7 minutes long.


Friday, June 26, 2009


Recently, I was lucky enough to attend a show at the newly-renovated Infinity Music Hall in out-of-the-way Norfolk, Connecticut.

I am here to rave about this music hall. It's gorgeous. The acoustics are superb. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, courteous, generous and attractive. Drinks were cheap and strong. The music was loud. The hall seats 300! It's simply the best place to see a show in New England, period.

It was like going to church. The music hall itself features stained-glass windows, a high ceiling, plenty of seats, and also plenty of room for dancing and milling about. There are several bars in the building and just about the nicest bathrooms I've ever seen in a public building ever!

They even have balcony seating which looked top me like it was a mere 3 rows!

Built in 1883 in picturesque Norfolk in northwest Connecticut, Infinity Hall is an intimate music, dining and entertainment destination beyond compare. Newly renovated, the historic building features its original proscenium stage and wood, as well as many other notable details. Whether it’s dinner and a show, high quality casual dining or simply drinks and music you’re seeking, Infinity Music Hall& Bistro — just 34 miles from Hartford, 20 miles from Great Barrington, MA and 50 miles from Poughkeepsie, NY — can provide it.

The music hall seats 300, ensuring each and every seat provides front row entertainment. Newly renovated, the hall hosts more than 200 music and entertainment shows by quality national and regional artists annually.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Alice in Chains "Black Gives Way To Blue"

Legendary '90s grunge band Alice In Chians has set Black Gives Way To Blue as the title of its first new studio album in more than 10 years, due on September 29 via EMI's Virgin Records.

The band and producer Nick Raskulinecz (Rush, Foo Fighters) began recording last October at Studio 606 in Northridge, California and recently finished mixing at Henson Studios in Hollywood.

There is not a single album I'm more curious to hear this year than this one. I'm really rooting for these guys to succeed, and I'll be buying this disc the day it comes out. I HOPE it lives up to my expectations.

Original vocalist Layne Staley died of a cocaine-heroin overdose in 2002. This will be their first album with new vocalist William DuVall.

Here they are doing "Again" with their new vocalist, William DuVall, at Rock am Ring in 2006. For the record, I think this guy has a great voice.

And here's "Angry Chair" from Adelaide Soundwave this past February.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fenway Live Stream

Fenway Live Stream

This kid will be streaming the show from his iphone tonight. Cheggit out ...

Horn > Ocelot

Spoiler Alert!

Phish was in rehearsals all week at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA (The Centrum).

Thanks to some fanatical Phanners we have audio and video of "Moma Dance," "Destiny Unbound," "Horn," "Rift," "Time Turns Elastic," "Backwards Down the Number Line," "You Enjoy Myself," "The Star Spangled Banner," and ... "Ocelot."

Moma Dance
Moma Dance

Destiny Unbound

Horn > Ocelot
Horn > Ocelot


Time Turns Elastic

Backwards Down the Numberline


Horn, Ocelot

Star Spangled Banner
Star Spangled Banner


Destiny Unbound


Friday, May 29, 2009

The Case Against Phish

... Why A Once-Great Band Should Have Stayed Dead


In 2005, at the height of Coldplay’s popularity, The New York Times published a scathing essay by Jon Pareles. “The Case Against Coldplay” argued that the self-pity of the Chris Martin-fronted band was calculated, and that its grandiose sound was built to prey on an unsuspecting populace. On the eve of Phish’s first summer tour in years, kicking off with a show at Fenway Park in Boston, Dylan Stableford offers a similar argument.

Four years after playing what they said would be their last show in a muddy field in northern Vermont, Phish made their triumphant return in March, playing three sold-out nights at the Hampton Coliseum, a spaceship-like arena in Hampton, Virginia.

By nearly all accounts, it was a joyous, cerebral, downright cathartic reunion for a band that had seemingly imploded under its own Dead-like weight—and for its rabid fans that spent four years musically destitute, with nothing to blindly follow. Everyone, it seemed, missed Phish—everyone except me.

I loved Phish. One could even say I had a borderline unhealthy obsession with the band throughout high school and college in the ’90s, attending somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 Phish concerts (including an entire tour in the summer of ‘96) and keeping my large collection of live recordings in heavy rotation when I wasn’t “on the road.”

The band was a gateway drug through which I became addicted to music. Their selection of covers and, more often, their selection of house music in between sets led me to the heavier stuff—Zeppelin, Hendrix, Miles Davis, James Brown, Talking Heads—as well as designer aural narcotics—Medeski Martin & Wood, Pavement, Primus, Sun Ra, Tom Waits, Ween.

In interviews, the band has said that its downward spiral began shortly after Big Cypress, their weekend-long, millennium-eve festival that took place at Big Cypress Indian Reservation in the Florida Everglades. That show ended with an eight-hour set that spanned New Year’s Eve 1999 and New Year’s Day 2000.

For me, though, Phish actually peaked much earlier: In the fall of 1997, on a tour in which set lists were shortened so seemingly every song they played could veer into long, spooky, funky, unchartered territory—a sound not far removed from Headhunters-era Herbie Hancock, or James Brown’s Live At The Apollo. This isn’t to say that other peak moments didn’t happen in the ensuing years: If Phish only played remote, abandoned Air Force bases for the rest of their career like they did during the 2003 It Festival–set at the Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine–the world would be a better place.

“We were lost for a couple years,” Anastasio said in a PBS documentary about that Maine show. Jon Fishman, the drummer, added: “Are we just gonna coast along, make a living and be this thing people follow around? If we’re gonna go forward, there has to be a renewal of purity of purpose.”

And you’d be hard-pressed to find a band with purer intentions. Anastasio told The New York Times recently, “For people in hard times, we can play long shows of pure physical pleasure… They come to dance and forget their troubles. It’s like a service commitment.” (Don’t expect Phish to truly stimulate the economy until the drug laws change, though; Hampton police arrested 194 people and seized narcotics with a total street value of $1.2 million over the course of Phish’s three shows there.)

But Anastasio’s addiction to heroin and painkillers accelerated the band’s decline. (The band’s “last” show, a 2004 concert in Coventry, Vt., was the Seinfeld finale of rock concerts: sloppy, forced egregiously unsatisfying.) And it led, ultimately, to his eventual arrest for DWI and drug possession in 2006. (Anastasio said he told the arresting officer “thank you.”)

Anastasio’s rehabilitation and subsequent return to playing music is inspiring—particularly when you consider what happened his spiritual forefather, Jerry Garcia. And in 2003, Anastasio told PBS: “If we are going to be able to kickstart this group, something’s gotta change.”

The problem is, not much has changed since 2003—except, perhaps, that Phish got a Twitter account. The March shows in Hampton were a hodgepodge of greatest hits, with only three new songs out of the 85 making up the set lists and very little pushing, or even leaning against, the envelope.

And you can hear those problems in the band’s newest studio release, which is now for sale on iTunes. “Time Turns Elastic” is a 13-minute mini-rock opera filled with every bad Phish cliché imaginable: odd time signatures and rhythm changes, whimsical lyrics cribbed from a Sierra Club calendar, progressive noodling. (It sounds as if Anastasio has been listening to a lot of Zappa in rehab. Or the Disco Biscuits.)

One of my favorite Phish concerts of the ’90s wasn’t a Phish concert at all—it was a one-off show by Anastasio at the Denny’s-turned-rock club Higher Ground under the name “8 Foot Florescent Tubes.” He threw down a set of ’80s-inspired dance-rock replete with synchronized dancers, keyboard loops, lo-fi props and costume changes—nearly a decade before American Apparel and Williamsburg made Day-Glo-mining cool.

Inspired, unexpected, awesome.

If only Phish had reinvented itself this time around. Maybe as a punk band, or a pop band, or techno or jazz or country or bluegrass or death metal (hey, Mike Gordon already wears the cutoff t-shirts). Maybe even—gasp—with a different name. Perhaps something else people are allergic to, like “Knuts.”

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Why Are You so Paranoid?

Edit: Well, I guess the-powers-that-be refuse to let this video be hosted on the internet. That's a damn shame. I could keep updating the link, but they're taking them down as fast as they go up!

I guess the fossils over at Universal Music Group do not want anyone to actually see these videos - go figure. I'll never be able to understand why it's OK for us to watch them on TV, but viewing them on the internet is some kind of massive crime? WTF?

Cool video anyway. Rihanna is smokin'!

If you have this video, please host it somewhere besides YouTube.

Here are the Top 31 free alternatives to YouTube.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Former Wilco Member Jay Bennett Dead at 45

Former Wilco member Jay Bennett died Sunday in Urbana, Illinois. This is a tragic end to a wonderful musician who often did not receive the credit he deserved for his contributions to Wilco and numerous other artists (Read the full article).

Time Turns Elastic


We're excited to announce the release of "Time Turns Elastic," a new track from Phish's forthcoming studio album, available now for download exclusively at iTunes.

Recorded in New York City, the as-yet-untitled record is Phish's first studio album in five years and its second with producer Steve Lillywhite, who produced the band's 1996 album, Billy Breathes.

The album is scheduled for release on July 28th.

You can listen to the track for free by heading over to the band's official MySpace page.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wilco Streaming Entire New Album On Website

...And it's great!

The band made the decision to stream it online in its entirety after a copy was reportedly leaked on the internet on Tuesday, May 12.

In a statement released yesterday by the band, they said, "Well, we made it nearly a month with copies of Wilco (The Album) floating around out there before it leaked. Pretty impressive restraint in this day and age. But the inevitable happened last night. Since we know you're curious and probably have better things to do than scour the internet for a download (though we do understand the attraction of the illicit), we've posted a stream of the full album...Feel free to refer to it as Wilco (The Stream) if you must."

Wilco (The Album), can be heard here now. It is due to be released in the US on June 30.

The band also suggested that those who illegally downloaded the album make a donation to Inspiration Corporation, one of the band's favorite charities that helps low-income and homeless individuals in Chicago, the band's hometown.

This is highly recommended listening!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Song Titles for New Phish LP


Party Time (working title) is Phish's fourteenth album, scheduled for release sometime in 2009. Phish collaborated with producer Steve Lillywhite on the album, having worked with Lillywhite previously on 1996's Billy Breathes.

The band already has 20 demos wrapped up and will hit the studio with Lillywhite in April to start work on the new album.

RUMOR: Steve Lillywhite to Produce New Phish Album!
March 2009 Rolling Stone interview with Trey Anastasio Page 1,2,3

One-Eyed, One-Horned, Flying Purple People Eater

This was one of my favorite songs as a kid.

I had a triple(?) album called Kooky Classics (I don't remember the correct spelling), which is, sadly, out-of-print.

It had "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron," "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop," "Monster Mash," "Short Shorts," "Beep Beep," "Cement Mixer," "Splish Splash," and tons of other novelty songs from the late-1950s and early '60s.

I'd kill for a copy of those records.

This is a great video that someone made utilizing MS Paint. My kids love it and so do I.

Pixies Albums Being Reissued for “Minotaur” Box Set

All of the Pixies' studio records are being reissued in Limited Edition and Deluxe Edition box sets titled Minotaur that will be released on June 15, 2009.

Rolling Stone has learned that the sets — which include the Come on Pilgrim EP (1987), Surfer Rosa (1988), Doolittle (1989), Bossanova (1990) and Trompe Le Monde (1991) — are being repackaged with the assistance of the two men responsible for art directing and shooting the photographs for the original albums, from Surfer Rosa’s iconic flamenco dancer to Trompe’s popping eyeballs: Vaughan Oliver and Simon Larbalestier.

Jeff Anderson, the founder of A+R (Artist in Residence), who is overseeing the project, says he didn’t want to touch the original master recordings of the Pixies' albums, so the reissues will feature the music as it was originally released.

The sets will not feature any live tracks, and decisions about bonus tracks haven’t been finalized. But the packages will definitely be stocked with bonus artwork — and they’re named after a mythic creature befitting the band’s powerful, warped rock & roll. Here’s how they break down:

For $175, the Deluxe Edition gives fans the five albums on a 24k layered CD and a Blu-ray for a total of five discs, plus a DVD of the band’s 1991 Brixton Academy gig (a year before their split) that also includes all their videos.

The Deluxe Edition features additional artwork by Oliver and a 54-page book.

The Limited Edition costs $450 and includes the entire Deluxe Edition plus all five albums on 180 gram vinyl, a Giclée print of Oliver’s artwork and a 72-page hardcover book. The Limited Edition comes with a slipcase, the Deluxe in a custom clamshell.

Pre-order information is available at the A+R Website.