Archive for February, 2008

Your Vegas, Vampire Weekend, Cage The Elephant

The traditional record store may be dead, but Newbury Comics refuses to go peacefully to the great beyond! I get their emails every week, and might go in for a limited edition beer glass once in a while, but today’s email speaks of Your Vegas, opening for The Bravery tonight and tomorrow at The Paradise (oh, if I was 15 or 20 years younger…..). Anyway, I’ve been listening to XFM London all day, blissfully hearing almost nothing familiar, so my perspective might be skewed (good or bad, I don’t know), but I know I like this….

Your Vegas TunePak (click it, music lover!)

Check out “It Makes My Heart Break” and let me know what you think

Your Vegas, baby!

Your Vegas, baby!

Vampire Weekend is seemingly inescapable, having been on all the blogs, and even in the Boston Globe over the last few weeks. Now, XFM London is calling their “A-Punk” the hottest song in the UK. Alright, I surrender already! Admittedly, it does seem perfect for an April compilation CD to bring to St. Martin, what with it’s peppy ska groove.

Vampire Weekend

Also high on XFM’s list is Cage The Elephant, from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Go HERE or to their MySpace page to hear their tunes (“In One Ear” is the hot single), and you can also get a free download for signing up. This is fresh and tasty the way we like it (well, it was a lot fresher this past summer when they were rocking Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza ) and I recommend it……highly.

Cage The Elephant

Cage The Elephant

El Perro del Mar, British Sea Power, Chris Walla and more…

Once again, the Tuesday Boston Globe Sidekick has value beyond the comics and TV listings. James Reed directs us to to check out El Perro del Mar’s “How Did We Forget”, but there’s so much more on the site’s embedded player that you’ll want leave that window open indefinitely. The Swedish label that also brings us The Concretes (now minus Victoria, presently Taken By Trees) and Frida Hyvonen has a virtual mixtape featuring the entire stable. A daytrip to Sweden, no packing required.

El Perro del Mar

El Perro del Mar

Frida Hyvonen

Frida Hyvonen


The Concretes, when Victoria (on left) was still with them.

Lindsay Talbot reviews the new British Sea Power release, “Do You Like Rock Music?” which is one of those rare CDs that I want all of.  Go to their MySpace page and see if you agree.

British Sea Power

British Sea Power

Judy Coleman pretty much savages the new solo release from Death Cab guitarist Chris Walla, “Field Manual”, but I like it. Using words like “sexless”, “uncertain”, “generic” and “forgetable”, it’s hard to believe she still had me curious enough to visit his MySpace page, but I’m glad I did.

Chris Walla

Chris Walla

I’m not exactly sure why, but my late friend Martin (see sidebar) has been on my mind the last couple of days. He died 19 months or so ago so there was no milestone that I know of, he’s just with me, and not in a happy way. Here’s a little “Easter Egg” with him in mind. RIP, buddy:

Amy Winehouse rocks the Grammys….and my world!

my girl Amy 

My faith in the music industry is officially restored! Amy wins nearly every award for which she was nominated, and, more importantly, rocks the house with a crisp yet nasty medley of “You Know I’m No Good” and “Rehab”. The only award she was denied, Album of The Year, went to Herbie Hancock for “River: The Joni Chronicles”, ironically one of the only CDs of the last year that I actually have in its entirety (and a darn good one, assuming you dig jazz). While it might have been an advantage for Amy to be performing from London, in what appears to be a comfortable nightclub setting, surrounded by supporters and loved ones (save husband Blake: incarcerated, as she refered to him), bear in mind that it was 3:45 a.m. there. The video, already on YouTube, captures her performance and her acceptance speech for Record Of The Year (arguably the most important Grammy of them all) sandwich around what must have been the longest two and a half minutes imaginable for her and her audience, as Tony Bennet and Natalie Cole honor the late Doris Day with a lifetime acheivement Grammy. Luckily, YouTube is “fast-forwardable”, ’cause you want to see her acceptance, which goes from deer-in-the-headlights shock to the tightest, best, rock-and-roll thank you in about 90 seconds (only the last 30 seconds of which she speaks).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Amy is what rock and roll is all about. This is not some precious retro “Snorah Jones” schmaltz; it’s more like Brian Setzter’s modernized yet authentic rockabilly, which, in 1981-2, was conspicuously unique on the  alt-rock charts, then dominated by Soft Cell, Missing Persons, and The Clash’s “Rock The Casbah”

In other news, Gnarls Barkley, inexplicable loser of the 2007 Record of The Year Grammy (to The Dixie Chicks) have a new single. I don’t know about you, but I can listen to Amy Winehouse for hours, and I can take about ten minutes of Gnarls (maybe about 10 seconds of this new single), which is too bad. Obviously, Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo intended their Gnarls colaboration to be a one-off, but the lure of fame/fortune/etc. in the wake of the “Crazy” juggernaut was not to be resisted. Unlike other side project colaborations (Gorillaz, for example), this one seems to me to lack legs.
Gnarls at Avalon 8/11/2006
Gnarls at Avalon 8/11/2006
click to play “Run” by Gnarls Barkley

Love in October…… February!

I fear this band may be aiming more at my 13 year old daughter’s demographic, but there’s a ‘manifest destiny’ vibe to how I stumbled upon them, and I liked what I heard.


While searching for stream of the soundtrack to Marie Antoinette, I instead found LiO’s song “I Dream of Marie Antoinette”, then learned it was just released a couple of weeks ago on January 22. They played in Boston last night and they’re currently working their way through NYC on the way to the midwest.

For all I know, they’re headed for KISS-108…..or indie darling underground status….time will tell. Their website has their EP streamed HERE.

Of course they’re Swedish; Love in October is:

Erik Widman – Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Moog

Kent Widman – Bass, Moog

Charlie Abbott – Guitar, Piano

Chresten Hyde – Drums

Lenny Kravitz?………pass. Here’s some new stuff.

Dear friend Alina says I missed a great show last night: Lenny Kravitz at the Orpheum. You can be sure I’ve got nothing but love for Lenny, but I don’t think I’ve got 90+ minutes to devote to his tunes. Here are a couple of bands that weren’t even born when Lenny released “Are You Gonna Go My Way” at age 29……FIFTEEN YEARS AGO!! I’m sure he’s got earrings older than these kids.

First, The Locarnos, who range from 14 to 15.

Admittedly, this wine will benefit from some time in the bottle, but I appreciate the energy. This is “Don’t Give Me A Hard Time” :

Next, Lo-Fi Culture Scene, who are more like 13-14 (8th and 9th graders!)

These kids have played alongside some faves of mine, including The Foals and Bloc Party. They have a gig coming up in London with the Arctic Monkeys that’s 18+, meaning they couldn’t get in if they weren’t onstage!

Go to their MySpace page HERE and check out “Take It Or Leave It”, which will be the flipside to this, their first single, “Abstract” (kudos to dany at exitfare for bringing them to my attention)