Monday, February 26, 2007

Modest Mouse Dashboard Video Premiers Today on MTV2 and mtvU

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chavis Records Signs Canadian Rockers Sonic X

Sonic XChavis Records just announced that they have signed melodic hard-rockers Sonic X and will be releasing the band's new CD Thirteen in April. The band has some tracks from this release streaming on their MySpace page.

The band had finished this recording prior to signing with Chavis and had been selling it via their website. What makes the Chavis release pretty cool is the inclusion of a bonus second disc with six additional songs.

The band has a killer guitarist Lawrence Falcomer who is a graduate of GIT. Fans of guitar-oriented rock should give the band a listen and hopefully the band will tour outside of Canada once this CD is released.

More Dirty Laundry Aired on MySpace (Harley Flanagan vs John Joseph)

MySpace is getting interesting with the public slams between current and former band members. First, Axl slams Tracii Guns, yesterday Taime Downe went after Brent Muscat and now Bloodclot (John Joseph's new band) broadcast the following message yesterday.

Don't look for a Cro-Mags reunion anytime soon...

The Great Harley Flanagan who has not only Robbed other Bands, but wanted Half of OHC-MMA without putting one DIME into it is a sponge.

He wanted Half of a company for use of his picture and when asked to contribute he screamed, and yelled and threatened but never came through HE IS A USER OF PEOPLE and once he gets what he wants or doesn't he shits all over you, and does posts to harm you

Harley straight up you re-nigged on everything you gave nothing, and used me until it did'nt suit your needs YOU ARE NOT THE ORIGINAL HARDCORE MMA, and YOU ARE THE RIP OFF ARTIST.

You are no Purple Belt, and you can't pummel you fucked up the Cro-Mags , and USE everyone around you. THOSE ARE THE FACTS. If anyone wants to delete us please do so, but know that Harley Flanagan is NOT WHAT EVERYONE THINKS HE IS.
1. You Steal From Sony
2. You Steal From Your Friends
3. You Steal From The State
4. You Stole from Paris
5. You Stole from John
6. YOU ARE NO PURPLE BELT Lets ask Renzo.
7. You drove the Cro-Mags apart

You threaten to hurt people when you don't get your way.... Grow up and stop being bitter...Just move on with your Life.

Iggy and The Stooges Live in the Studio on the NY Times Website

There is a pretty cool five minute video interview with Iggy and the Asheton brothers about the making of the new CD on the NY Times website today. It doesn't look like I can post a direct link so the clip is in the Video section, which is halfway down the left side of the page.

Weirdness, the Stooges first new CD since 1973's Raw Power will be released by Virgin Records on March 20th. The Stooges' are playing NYC on April 9th with a show at The United Palace Theatre.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sydbarret @ Lit Lounge, NYC Feb. 19, 2007

I hadn't heard of these guys before I caught their set opening for Car Bomb last Monday at Lit Lounge. Their MySpace page isn't too descriptive but it appears that the band used to be called Arson. I really enjoyed their live set and the three-song demo that I got at the show. The demo tracks are streaming on the band's MySpace page.

Now There Are Now Two Bands Touring as Faster Pussycat

You can just feel the "love" in the post Taime Downe made on his MySpace page earlier today:

Faster Pussycat is NOT playing Europe in April & May. That is Brent Muscat doing his FP tribute band, playing my songs. We will be on tour in the US in May and Europe in the summer. Sorry it you already bought tickets.

See you soon fuckers! ;)


PS... message to Brent: I didn't want it to turn into this... but I started the band, not you.... I wrote the songs, not you. I did the work.... NOT YOU!!!.... but that's you, always taking credit that's not yours!!!

The dB's (Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple) - Legal Music Downloads

Everyone knows there is a lot of unauthorized music floating around on the internet. This is the first of a regular feature focusing on legal music downloads.

The dB's in New YorkThe dB's are back and played a great sold-out show last month at the Bowery Ballroom.

The band has one of the better website that I have seen and they have posted a number of mp3s to this site.

The earliest recordings posted are 6 songs from a December 1979 show in NYC at the Philospher's Club. This recording was made from the audience by a friend of the band and it sounds great. It is interesting to hear the band during this period as their sound is closer to Fear of Music-era Talking Heads than the Big Star-ish sound of their 1981 debut LP. What also keeps things interesting is that three of the songs from this show are embryonic versions of songs that ended up on Stands for deciBels.

One of the other interesting recordings is an outtake from The Sound of Music sessions from 1987 entitled Rains Around Here. This sounds like a fully produced recording and the song contains a great guitar solo by Gene Holder.

These mp3 are on the Multimedia page of the band's site.

The dB's are supposed to be working on a new CD so this should be something to watch for.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Car Bomb @ Lit Lounge, NYC Feb. 19, 2007

Car Bomb headlined at Lit Lounge last night and played an impressive thirty minute set. Car Bomb is touring behind their debut CD Centralia on Relapse Records which was released earlier this month. The band started the set with a smoking version of M^6 (check out the video for this song on YouTube) and left the crowd wanting more at the end of their set. This is one band that I will make a point of catching next time they are in town.

Car Bomb @ Lit Lounge, Feb. 29th, 2007

Car Bomb @ Lit Lounge, Feb. 19th, 2007
Car Bomb @ Lit Lounge, Feb. 19th, 2007
Car Bomb @ Lit Lounge, Feb. 19th, 2007

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Update on LA Guns (Tracii Guns led version)

The Tracii Guns/Paul Black led version of LA Guns continues to go strong. The band is coming back through the US for some West Coast dates in March and are then heading to Europe in May. LA Guns

The band has just release a great new song I Do which is available as a .99 cent download through MySongStore. It is a blues-based rock tune that shows the band in great form. I am looking forward to hearing more from this lineup.

Check out this live video of the band performing I Do live in Agentina last year that was posted to YouTube.

Tracii will be a guest on the internet radio show Maximum Threshold which airs tomorrow night (Monday, February 19th) at 8:00PM (EST).

Matisyahu - No Place To Be CD Review

Matisyahu - No Place to BeThis release is a seven song CD EP plus a live DVD (approx. 90 minutes) of Matisyahu performing live in Israel. This CD has an interesting mix of songs. There is a cover of The Police's Message in a Bottle, three songs from previous CDs re-recorded with Sly and Robbie and Bill Laswell and three remixes. I really enjoyed the four new songs. The production is strong and it showcases both Matisyahu's voice and the talents of the band. Matisyahu's voice reminds me of both Sting and Bradley Nowell and the band seems to be a spot-on cross between a jam band and the more jazzier side of The Police. I am not quite sure what to make of the remixes though. The are very dance club oriented and take away from the band's strengths (i.e. I think Matisyahu's voice is one of the strong points of the song Youth and it is buried under dance beats in this particular remix.)

The DVD is simply great! Matisyahu and band put on a strong live show in front of a very enthusiastic crowd. The concert is intermixed with interviews with band and these interviews show the human side of the band and make them a bit more interesting as people. There is also an acoustic performance of the band playing Late Night in Zion on the streets of the old city (as passerbys don't quite seem to know what to think).

For new fans, this disc is a great introduction Matisyahu's music. For long-time fans, the DVD alone makes this a worthwhile purchase.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Augustana @ Webster Hall, NYC Feb. 2, 2007

I moved about a week ago and I didn't get a chance to post these pictures prior to packing up my desktop. I now have the computer unpacked and online so...

Augustana @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007Augustana played a strong set at Webster Hall earlier this month and worked approx. six new songs into the set. The main floor of Webster Hall was full before the band took the stage and the band held the crowd's attention throughout their set. The band started the set off strong and I believe the opening song was Bullets (two weeks seems so long ago). Boston was played right before the band finished their set and the crowd went nuts. For the encore, Vega4 came out to join Augustana on an all-out version of All The Stars and Boulevards.

Augustana @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007
Augustana @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007 Augustana @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007

Augustana @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Incubus - Light Grenades CD Review

Incubus - Light GrenadesI don't know whether it is a good thing or bad that I am trying to write this CD review and I am almost completely unfamiliar with the band's back catalog. Based on the tracks that I previously heard, I had the impression that Incubus was somewhat of a Red Hot Chili Peppers clone. After listening to this CD, I was completely off the mark. I would categorize the songs on this disc as a radio-friendly "stadium rock" tunes.

While the band is obviously talented, this CD really highlights singer Brandon Boyd. His voice carries most of the songs and it is strong enough to even keep the one ballad on this disc interesting. After listening to this disc a few times, the band's sound reminds me of late-period Soundgarden. This CD obviously resonated with listeners as it debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts.

I have never seen Incubus live but they strike me as a band that would be a lot of fun to see perform. I hunted around the 'net for any live videos and found a live performance from the band on the Walmart site (Who would have thought Walmart was that hip?) In this performance, the band plays 5 songs which includes Rouges, Anna Molly and Love Hurts from the new CD. These tracks, along with A Kiss to Send Us Off, are some of the stronger tracks from this disc.

Incubus just finished their US tour with Albert Hammond from The Strokes opening and the band is heading to Europe for a month-long tour in March.

Roky Erickson Is Playing Southpaw in Brooklyn

Roky EricksonThis has to be the show of the year for me. I know the year has just started but I can't imagine an artist that means more to me coming through town. Roky Erickson coming to town for his first East Coast show ever is the equivalent for me of seeing Captain Beefheart coming out of the desert and touring again or seeing Syd Barrett play live.

It kills me when I mentioned this show to some of the people I work with and they politely said "who's that". Everyone from Television to R.E.M. to the Jesus and Mary Chain cited Roky as an inspiration. For anyone unfamiliar with Roky, Wikipedia has a good overview of Roky and his career and Roky also has a new website.

Roky is playing Southpaw on Friday, April 13th. He has reunited with his 80's backing band The Explosives and Antietam and The Insomniacs are also on the bill. Tickets are $25 and I would expect them to go quickly.

Sunn O)))/Boris - Altar 3x LP On Sale Tomorrow or Friday

The triple record version of Sunn's latest release will be available for sale later this week. Sunn/Boris - Altar

As expected, there will be a mail order version which will likely be very limited (details on the number of copies has not been released). Given the current investment speculation in Sunn and Boris releases, I'd keep a close eye on the Southern Lord site as these LPs are going to go very quickly (and will turn up on eBay for double the retail price).

Here is what was posted to the Southern Lord blog:

This is just a quick heads up that the sunn 0)))/Boris-Altar 3xLP will be on sale via the Southern Lord site by the end of the week (feb. 15th or 16th). This very special vinyl edition features completely over the top packaging that alot of time, care, love and $ went into. We hope you will find it worth the wait! It also features a bonus (3rd) Lp featuring the 28+min. epic track: “Her Lips Were Wet With Venom/(Satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas) featuring sunn and boris with Dylan Carslon (EARTH). Mailorder customers will be receiving the baby blue version. More pressing, pricing, packaging etc.. details will be available soon. Please check the Lord site for more info!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Jamiroquai - High Times Singles 1992 - 2006 CD Review

I was a bit surprised how much I like this CD as I hadn't focused much on this band since the late 90's and Virtual Insanity.

The years have passed quickly as this is the band's seventh CD for Epic Records (with their final studio CD for Epic due sometime this year). This CD spans 19 tracks, covers the band's 14 year career and includes two new songs - Runaway and Radio.

Singer Jay Kay is frightenly good at channeling the disco/funk groove of the 70s and his Stevie Wonder-ish voice fits perfectly with the music. The tracks on this disc span the band's catalog and showcase how their sound has subtly evolved over the years without significantly changing the band's distinctive sound. The music is complemented by detailed liner notes by journalist Dan Gennoe.

The tunes on this disc are insanely catchy; is hard not to move or dance while listening to this.

The View Cancel US Tour

The View have canceled their US tour which included a March 3rd show at Luna Lounge and a March 20th show at Bowery Ballroom. The band apparently has visa problems but there aren't a lot of details online. The Bowery Ballroom show was postponed but the Luna Lounge show will go out without The View, who were scheduled to open for The Young Knives.

Hopefully this isn't the result of bad behavior with Pete Doherty and the like...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cartel - Chroma CD Review

Cartel - ChromaLet me start by setting expectations -- this is pop in the same genre as The Click Five, Sum 41, and Fall Out Boy. I am probably too old to appreciate this genre -- I still consider bands like Material Issue, Urge Overkill and Too Much Joy as power-pop (and call Cartel and similar sounding bands bubblegum) This isn't my usual or preferred style of music but I have tried to listen to this CD and write this review with an open mind.

This isn't a bad CD -- the majority of the songs are catchy and strong production adds to the band's sound. The leadoff track on this disc, Say Anthing (Else), is the strongest track on the disc and many of the tracks that follow have a similar sound and feel. The problem that Cartel has is that their songs aren't significantly different than other bands in this genre. For instance, the track Honestly makes me immediately think of Fall Out Boy's Sugar We're Going Down. Some of the other tracks seem like unfinished thoughts. The last two tracks Q and A is really one song stretched across two tracks. This song seems to have promise after the first few minutes but, after dragging on twelve minutes, someone should have been filtering the band's output.

Cartel has promise as a solid pop/bubblegum band but they need to show that they can break out of the crowd.

Spread Eagle Vocalist Ray West Playing Solo Show at Don Hill's

Spread Eagle Reunion - Jaxx, Springfield, VA 2006Ray West is playing a small number of solo shows in March which include a March 8th show at Don Hill's. At the Spread Eagle reunion show last year at Don Hill's, Ray showed that he still has every bit of the powerful vocal range that he had in the early 90s and he can still give Axl Rose a run for his money. Ray plays very infrequently in the area so this should be a must-see show.

Spread Eagle's MySpace page says that "Ray will be performing solo material along with a few classic favorites. Joining Ray will be guitarist Steve Ladd and bassist Chigger of the New Jersey based Smoke Star along with Scotti Dropoutz on drums."

For more info, check out:
- Rockeyez coverage of last year's Spread Eagle shows
- Ray's MySpace page

Friday, February 09, 2007

Grails - Redlight CD Review

Grails - RedlightNeurot Recordings included a copy of the Grails' 2004 release Redlightwith my last order. I hadn't heard the Grails prior to receiving this CD but was impressed with their sound. I find that it takes a lot for an all-instrumental band to hold my attention but the Grails succeeded.

The CD starts off with a cover of Dargai, a traditional Northumbrian bagpipe song, and this sets the tone for the majority of the disc. The Grails' songs are all mid-tempo and I would compare their sound to Piper-era Pink Floyd or John Cale's solo releases. While tracks like Redlight and Fevers seem to push up to the darkness and intensity that can be found in some of the Velvet Underground or post-Piper Pink Floyd releases, the Grails never cross over the line. Looking at the CD as a whole, it is an enjoyable listen. While the band's sound is consistent across tracks, they aren't boring. The only minor issue is that the songs aren't different enough for any particular tracks to stand out. This isn't a bad thing though -- I simply listen to this disc start-to-finish everytime that I pull it.

Grails are in town with Mono and World's End Girlfriend for a show at the Bowery Ballroom on May 17th.

The Thermals Are Playing a Todd P Show in Brooklyn on March 5th

The ThermalsTodd P has just announced a Brooklyn show with The Thermals on March 5th at Studio B. This looks like a fun show as the band is playing with The Big Sleep (French Kiss Records) and Meneguar (Troubleman Unlimited). Advance tickets are $12.

Here is how Todd P describes the bands:

[ THE THERMALS ]The Thermals' Hutch Harris and Kathy Foster have been playing together for years. First, after meeting in Maine, they formed the acoustic duo Haelah - then, after moving to Portland, Oregon in the late 90's - they went rock with the Urban Legends - then - back to acoustic, simply, as Hutch and Kathy - and then, finally, in 2002, teaming with one-time drummer Jordan Hudson and (briefly) Ben Barnett (of Kind of Like Spitting) to create the Thermals. Ben left quick, and Jordan would later be replaced on the drum stool by Lorin Coleman, and then also, very recently, with new addition Joel Burrows on 2nd guitar. Through whatever incarnation, Hutch and Kathy churn out absolutely heartfelt, totally crunchy, slightly spazzy, rock and roll anthems. Joyful stuff that'll make you want to learn the words and scream along and jump up and down.
SITE -->

[ THE BIG SLEEP ]"The Big Sleep are a trio that plays driving psych-rock that sounds similar to the forever-underrated Turing Machine, or Trans Am back when they were good. This band is extremely tight on the rhythms, creating walls of stunning guitar sound backed by precise percussion. Their songs definitely get a groove going, and you can almost hear each member's pure delight at how well they can rock it with each other. But their jams never cross that common threshold into ostentatious grandstanding. The Big Sleep know less is more, and 4-5 minutes is all they need to completely hook us and reel us right in." - MYSPACE -->

[ MENEGUAR ]These angry boys jump around and yell and spit out catchy, intricate punk influenced rock songs - conjuring disassembled and disjointed memories of past bands along the lines of as Missions of Burma, Hüsker Dü. One of the best and most unique straight ahead rock bands in New York, for serious. Recent (re)release on Troubleman Unlimited. Shares a member with Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice. Killer riffs beneath intense, goosebump inspiring, on-the-edge of their vocal chords 3-part harmonies.
SITE -->
MYSPACE / MP3s -->

The Thermals will be on NBC's Last Call with Carson Daly next Friday (Feb. 16th) performing A Pillar of Salt.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

All That Remains - The Fall of Ideals CD Review

All That Remains - The Fall of IdealsI originally overlooked this CD when it was released year but it has quickly become one of my favorites. This is great melodic hardcore and singer Phil Labonte has a vocal range that can easily transition from death-metal growls to melodic singing. After touring throughout 2006 behind this CD, it looks as though this release may be the band's breakthrough as they are currently selling out many of the shows on their first headline tour.

There is a lot to recommend this CD and Adam D's (Killswitch Engage) production work highlights the strengths of the band. Phil has grown as a vocalist since This Darkened Heart and newcomer Shannon Lucas' drumming propels the explosive intensity of many of the songs. Guitarists Mike Martin and Oli Herbert have a style that is very reminicent of the duo-lead guitars used by many of the late-70s British bands like Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy. Jeanne Sagan is no slouch either and adds a steady backbeat.

The lyrical themes of the CD deals with the fall of ideals and many song lyrics could almost be considered straight-edge. The themes focus around staying true to one's beliefs and picking yourself up after a relationship horribly dies. It looks like Phil (or whomever wrote these lyrics) was going through some hard times. Musically, the band hasn't lost any of their intensity so the melodic sections of the songs shouldn't fool anyone into thinking the band has gone soft. As compared to This Darkened Heart, there is more melody on this disc but none of the tracks are ballads. On most tracks, the melody is fit within an overarching trash/death-metal blast. The last song on the disc, Indictment, is the hardest track and its themes of anger and betrayal just boil.

Standout tracks are: This Calling, Become the Catalyst and The Air I Breathe. There are videos for This Calling and The Air I Breathe on YouTube.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Phil about a week ago (See previous post for interview) and he wasn't expecting the band to have a new CD until 2008. This looks like one to watch out for.

You can check out All That Remains at:

Kory Clarke Restarts Warrior Soul

Warrior Soul Kory Clarke has restarted Warrior Soul (aka Warrior Soul 2007) and will be touring the UK in March. This isn't a reunion as Kory has assembled a new band but it should be worth checking out if they come through New York. Kory is still one of the best front-men around and it has been too long since he has played any Warrior Soul songs live.

Kory is still singing for Dirty Rig and they have a show tonight at Don Hill's with Vains of Jenna. Dirty Rig is scheduled to hit the stage @ 10:45PM and tickets are $10.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Vega4 @ Webster Hall, NYC Feb. 2, 2007

Vega4 @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007 Vega4 played a very strong 6 song set opening for Augustana on Friday night. The floor at Webster Hall was pretty full by the time the band took the stage and the band completely held the crowd's attention during their set. For this being the band's first tour, they already have a strong stage presence and their obvious enthusiasm was catchy. Vega4's CD hasn't yet been released in the US but the crowd seemed to know all of the songs. With this strong of a show, it seems likely that Vega4 will be headlining the tour on their next time through the area.

Vega4 @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007Vega4 @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007

Vega4 @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007
Vega4 @ Webster Hall, Feb. 2, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

Exclusive Interview with Phil Labonte from All That Remains

I had the pleasure of speaking to Phil Labonte on Wednesday as the band was on their way to a show at The Whisky in Los Angeles. Phil was nice enough to allow me to record the conversation so here is a link to both the podcast View RSS XML and a direct link to the mp3.

All That RemainsAll That Remains plays Irving Plaza on Wed, Feb 21, 2007. Tickets are only $14.50.

Many thanks to Shannon at Razor and Tie for setting up this interview.