Information Leafblower: September 2006 Archives

September 2006 Archives

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Interviewer: Has the live show changed much?
Liam Fookin' Gallagher: Not really. Five lads walk on stage AND FUCKING HAVE IT!
Brilliant.
Someone needs to get me a copy of this film ASAP.

[Via The Tripwire]

Concert Reviews

If you asked me to name the bands on the top of my "Still Haven't Seen In Concert But Am Absolutely Dying To" list, depending on the day, it would probably look like this:
1) Massive Attack
2) Mylo (obvs)
3) The La's (are they back together or not?)
4) Underworld (I saw them at Field Day but that didn't really count)
5) Kings of Leon

Well, last night I finally (FINALLY!) got to see Massive Attack. I got screwed on tickets last time they toured eight long years ago (long story) and just couldn't justify going out to Coachella to see them last summer. So being patient paid off as they played the first of two shows at the 9:30 Club last night.

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I'll be honest, my expectations were sky high going into this show. The group was touring with Horace Andy, Lis Fraser and Deborah Miller but, unbekownst to me until the band took the stage last night, without Daddy G who is home on paternity leave. Not having G on stage was a huge loss for the band (speaking as someone that has never seen him live) but I feel like he would have added alot to the vibe and his absence also limited the set list a bit. However, the other singers and 3D himself made up for it. Horace Andy and Deborah Miller in particular, really shined last night. Andy's voice was magnificent, better than any of his recorded output. And Miller brought down the house with her vocals on "Safe From Harm" and "Unfinished Sympathy."

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Fraser, above, didn't fare as well. She sounded horrible on "Teardrop," which was a real letdown, but made up for it during the set closer of "Group Four." The band itself, two drummers, a bassist and a few guitarists, was super tight and really breathed new life into the Mezzanine material. I've always considered myself a Blue Lines kinda guy but I may have to rethink that now. All in all, a great, but not mind-blowing, show.

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Dammit Moz, quit fucking with me!

I've been waiting for the official announcement before saying anything, but it looks like WOXY is back. But what does this mean for Barb?

Speaking of returns, Jay Will is (almost) back.

Are you ready for the Doug Christie reality show? I sure as fuck am.

Last, and certainly not least, lets all wish Ms. Smith a very happy birthday!

Take this online quiz, brought to you by the good folks at CNN.com (yes, that CNN) to find out.

Catherine, did you put this together?

Took in the Yo La Tengo show at the 9:30 Club last night. I couldn't stay long (Ms. Smith was moving apartments yesterday) but they were considerably better than they were at Pitchfork. Ian has a review over at DCist with accompanying photos by yours truly.

Stream the Black Keys track "You're The One."

Stream Outkast's track "Hollywood Divorce" in Windoze Media. I'm a huge Outkast fan but I have been in no hurry to go out and pick this thing up.

Stream Citizen Cope's "Back Together" in Quicktime. His show last week was meh, but some of his recorded material is pretty good.

Speaking of Ms. Smith, her favorite band Okkervil River is back with a new MP3:
[MP3] Okkervil River| The President's Dead
I have tried very hard to get into this band but it hasn't clicked yet. However, I do love this song, it's brilliant:
[MP3] Okkervil River | No Key, No Plan

The Blood Brothers are opening up for ...Trail of Dead on their upcoming tour. Check out their eCard to stream their record and other stuff.

As pointed out to me last night by a friend, has anyone taken a look at Idolator's visitor stats lately?

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I'll be the first to point out that this is a relatively small sample size, but does anyone notice any trends?
Tomorrow marks their end of their second full week online.

,

Teh other guy that's not Bee Thousand

Quite a few people were a bit derisive about the line-up for the first ever North American version of the Virgin Festvail Saturday at the Pimlico Raceway outside of Baltimore, myself included. I'm glad I thought better of it and went anyways because it was one hell of a day. I was on assigment for AOL Music. The mission: get some kick ass photos for their new music blog, obvs. Go here to see all of my best stuff.

Sir Richard Branson

Thanks to some fantastic directions from the Virgin crew I arrived at Pimlico around 11:45. I quickly got my passes and tickets sorted and hurried up the main stage just in time for Kasabian. I was bit bummed not to be able to see them play a local club show but I think I enjoyed seeing them in a festival setting even more. They have a huge sound and, well, it sounds great on a huge sound system. They opened with "Reason Is Treason" and just tore into their set. I was down in the photo pit and we were allowed to shoot each band for the first two songs. I'm still a bit new at shooting festivals so I was taken aback at the height of the main stage. It must have been at least seven feet tall. At this point in the day it wasn't crowded at all so there was plenty of time to move around. That wouldn't last very long.

Kasabian was on at noon and The Mountain Goats were on at ten after, so rather than rushing down to the second stage I walked around a bit and made eventually my way over to the dance tent where RJD2 was spinning. I'm so glad I did, because he was flat out tearing shit up. I am totally jaded when it comes to the DJ scene but RJD2 made a believer out of me. He was straight killing it. There were about 120 people in the dance tent at the time and they got to hear one of the best sets of the day. As I made my way back to the main stage for the next act I made a mental note to seek out as much RJD2 as possible.

Wolfmother

Wolfmother were next on the main stage and while their sound, a mix of The White Stripes and Black Sabbath, isn't exactly new, they were still alot of fun. Big afro guy is a good frontman and he had he is very good at delivering the rock, so hey, more power to him.

Next up on the second stage were The New Pornographers, the source of so much music blog bandwidth. I have yet to download their records from eMusic, so I wasn't that familiar with them. I found them decidedly OK, but nothing really jumped out at me.

Jack White of the Raconteurs

After that I made my way back to the dance tent for 2MANYDJ's but they were running late (a rarity for the day) and after waiting around for 15 minutes I made my way back to the main stage for The Raconteurs. I have their CD and thought it was catchy but a bit unremarkable, but they really impressed me Saturday. They sound like CCR on amphetamines, perfect following Wolfmother's White Sabbath stylee retro-rock. I now have to take another listen to their CD.

After my quick dose of Brendan Benson I made my way back to the Second Stage for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I really, really hate this band but was perfectly willing to give them another chance, hoping they'd improved since last time I saw them in D.C. No such luck. They took the stage with pouty faces and acted like they didn't even want to be there. And everytime the lead singer opened his mouth to sing I wanted to stick sharp pencils as far down my ear canal as they would go. They are that bad. Truly a horrible band, they laid the first egg of the day. And to make matters even worse, four of their five members have a worse hairline than I do. The next time the blogosphere goes apeshit over them, I'm posting all of the unflattering photos of them I took during their set. You've been warned.

Gnarls Barkley

Hot shit hip-hop/soul outfit Gnarls Barkley and their kooky outfits were up next, and while they didn't blow me away, I have nothing bad to say about them. Sure, Dangermouse is a bit over-rated but Cee-Lo has been the best thing on the last few Outkast records and far be it from me to complain if the kids these days are listening to some Earth, Wind and Fire type shit. More please. I should note here I have no idea if The Raconteurs or anyone else on the bill covered "Crazy." Oh, Gnarls were dressed as Romans and Cee-Lo called the band "Chariots of Fire."

I'm starting to drag at this point but luckily The Brazlian Girls provided me with a quick energy boost. I was a bit freaked out by the lead singer's white face mask, but now I see why Coolfer has been telling me to drop whatever I'm doing and go see them. They are the complete opposite of Zero 7. They can pull off the trip-hoppy, world music vibe and not seem the least bit lame.

Brandon

Brandon Flowers and The Killers were next on the Main Stage and even though I think they're incredibly lame, I hoped they would put on a performance that would clue me in to why they are even remotely popular. Again, no such luck. Flowers' Bono complex must have been visible from the farthest reaches of the infield because it was being thrown in my face down in the photo pit. I just can't take this band seriously. Their new album is shaping up to be a giant turd and I, for one, can't wait for them to come crashing back down to Earth. But then again, what do I know, I like The Bravery.

Despite the unsettling in my stomach from watching The Killers, I decided to skip Thievery Corporation in order to get some food, recharge my camera battery and rest my weary feet. Sure taking photos all day is alot of fun, but it's also hard work. By this point the photo pit was becoming increasingly more crowded and good spots in the pit were getting hard to come by. Moving around was really hard by the main stage because the bouncers kept insisting we crowd into the stage as far as possible so they could pull kids over the barricade.

Bee Thousand

I'm a bit ashamed to say that up until Saturday, I never really "got" The Who. Sure I liked them, but I failed to see why Eddie Vedder spontaneously blows a load whenever anyone so much as mentions their name. Well, after seeing them live, I get it. I was really nervous about taking photos of them and don't really remember much about the first song they played, but "The Seeker" was second in the set and it made me step back and just take it all in. I was about 4 feet away from Bee Thousand while he was windmilling around everywhere. Wow. I stayed around for the next four or five songs and discovered a newfound admiration for a band that everyone already loves.

Jake, not Billy, Shears

I almost didn't want to walk all the way down to the other end of the infield to catch Scissor Sisters, but ultimately, I did, and by doing so I caught what might have been the best set of the day. Scissor Sisters had the advantage of being the first band on after dark and they really took advantage. They were incredible, infectious and flashy. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone better than Jake Shears and Ana Matronic to front this band. My jaw was on the ground the whole time. So much fun! And, as a bonus, they were the only band that let everyone shoot three songs instead of two. So I got a boatload of great pics from them. This one might be the single best photo I have ever taken. I walked away a new fan. Their new record comes out tomorrow.

I had half a mind not to fight the crowd in the photo pit and just skip the Red Hot Chili Peppers altogether. I last saw them on Lollapalooza in 1992 (was that really 14 years ago?) and feel like they've gone downhill ever since. In retrospect I should have because they went on 20 minutes late (the first band on the two main stages all day to do so) and then started with some wack instrumental "funk" jam before Anthony Keidis decided to grace us with his presence. I positioned myself on Flea's side of the stage, figuring he'd be a better subject to take pictures of than John Frusciante, who generally has his hair in his face like Cousin It. By then the pit was so crowded with photogs, other media types and random people trying to get shots on their camera phones that I got stuck right up on the front of the stage which made taking pictures almost impossible because the band was standing a bit back from the stage lip. The results were a bunch of head shots and me trying furiously to dodge Flea's sweat when he was twirling around.

That guy that was on 910210 that one time

And here's the kicker. Since the stupid Chili Peppers went on late, I missed the start of The Flaming Lips set. You know, the giant ball, all the balloons, etc. I fucking ran from one photo pit to the other but couldn't make it. I was seriously pissed by the time I got to the Second Stage and was even more so when they told us we wouldn't be getting an extra song to shoot even though the Chili Peppers went on late. So I snapped as many frames as I could for the last half of that song before the ushered us out. I did get one keeper though. All this unfortunately put a damper on my first ever Lips performance and I ended up leaving after watching the next few songs. I was dead tired and drunk teenagers kept coming up to me asking for cigarettes, so I decided to beat the traffic and head home.

All in all, a good day. I got to see some great sets and have another festival shoot under my belt. I met quite a few of my fellow photographers and got tips from alot of them. My new lens was up to the task and I took some of the best photos of my life. I was downright giddy going through them all yesterday. Good thing because it takes a very long time to edit down 1300 photos. Obviously a few are included here, and more are over at Flickr. As I said earlier, I was shooting on assignment for AOL Music, so check out their coverage for the best stuff.

I saw Citizen Cope last night. My review is over on Dcist.

Ex-RIAA agency "can't find" artists it owes money to, like Public Enemy. Remember this whenever the RIAA and their ilk play the "we're doing it for the artists" card. Wankers.

New Trail of Dead. Let's hope it's better than the last one.

Brett Ratner...still a giant douche.

In other news, I sincerely hope comment and trackback spammers burn for eternity in hell.

Tonight: A special appaearance and performance by Mew at the XM Studios here in D.C. Hott.

Tomorrow: V Fest (minus DJ Tiesto, who cancelled, which is OK because I'll be seeing my first ever Flaming Lips performance anyways and they were scheduled to play at the same time. Maybe I'll try and be part of the stage show, but probably not because there's no way it will top the time I got to dress up as a Green Gorilla and go onstage with the Super Furry Animals at the Leeds Festival.)

The Wonderwall covers project. I still say Ryan Adams owns this song.

Woxy (RIP) hearts Oasis.

Housemartins BBC sessions are on the way.

Go download The Wedding Present's cover of "Our Lips Are Sealed." It's good, but I'd be more impressed if they did "Lust To Love."

Watch the video for Jarvis Cocker's brilliant tune (Cunts Are Still) Running The World."

Chris Parnell wuz robbed. He's got more rap skillz than anyone in the Black Eyed Peas.

Brangelina hearts Banksy.

As if Kazahkstan wasn't already pissed. Now Borat's going to be on the cover of Vanity Fair!

Materazzi has the last laugh. I think calling it a laugh might be overstating things. More like "Materazzi gets lame commercial."

Ever wonder what NBA players do with their free time and excess coinage? Well if you're Zach Randolph, you get two girls to perform simulated sex with each other, feed them lots of tequila and then have sex with them.

The Chief has grey hair. Fack! He's turning 40 next year ya know. Hard to believe. BTW, check out that setlist(!!!!). That's three of my top eight favorite Oasis songs. I almost fell out of my seat when I saw that. Cannot. Wait. To. Hear. This.

Here's an MP3 by The Whigs, currently touring the South and Southeast:
[MP3] The Whigs | Technology

Here's an MP3 by Joseph Arthur. His new album, Nuclear Daydream, was released yesterday.
[MP3] Joseph Arthur | Black Lexus

Zero 7 were boring in concert, but here's a remix for you:
[MP3] Zero 7 | You're My Flame (Dabrye Remix)

More remix action:
[MP3] Asobi Seksu | Strawberries (Cassettes Won't Listen remix)

Two MP3's from Shiny Toy Guns:
[MP3] Shiny Toy Guns | Starts With One
[MP3] Shiny Toy Guns | Le Disko

Stream the new Beck single "Nausea."

I hated the record, but you can decide for yourself. Stream "America" by Razorlight.

Watch the new version of the Cold War Kids video for "We Used To Vacation."

Watch Kasabian (with The Chief on guitar for two tracks) play NME's 10th Bday party.

Daytrotter had Chicago's Bound Stems in for an in studio session. I've heard good things about them.

Metro Distortion has a V Fest preview full of MP3's. I'm hoping Noel comes down to see Kasabian, but they're on at noon, so methinks that's unlikely. Oh well, if you're going to V Fest, drop me a line.

I missed them last week at the Black Cat, but Earfarm has a live set by Band of Horses for your downloading pleasure.

Peter Gammons is back!

Sven Goran Eriksson for the US Men's Team? That makes sense, because he was so successful with England.

A good friend of mine is interviewing Noelly G. in person today. This good friend of mine is lucky he is indeed a good friend of mine because I am insanely jealous (and that's an understatement). We traded quite a few emails last night and I sent over roughly 25 questions for The Chief, some of which have a very good chance of being asked today. I am all a-flutter with anticipation. And yes, I am a little girl. Thanks for asking.

Apparently Noel is doing phoners with some bloggers, and somehow I AM NOT ONE OF THEM. But I'm not bitter or anything. grumblegrumblegrumble. The good news is that my friend's interview will soon be podacastafied so everyone can hear it. In the meantime, I will have to console myself with my just acquired photo pass for Virgin Fest this weekend.

Can we get a show of hands of people bored to tears by Idolator. I believe Jen put it best when she said, "it reads like an MLB.com writer and an EW writer are attempting to write about music...oh, wait." Bo-ring.

Spiral Stairs on the Wowee Zowee reissue.

Zune = viral DRM.

The coming decline of YouTube

Pics from Bansky's LA exhibit. Yeah, the one with the elephant.

Even though I've spent most of my recent music listening time either prepping for the wedding (which, while it didn't exactly come off without a hitch, was still pretty great) or listening to old Pavement and Oasis records, here are a few recent releases that have made their way into (and in some cases out of) my iPod/CD player.

The Zutons - Tired Of Hanging Around
[buy it from Amazon]
I'm a bit late to this party but I'm liking The Zutons more and more. They had one of the best tracks on the recent War Child charity compilation, "Hello Conscience," also included on this album, which piqued my interest. While this album probably isn't the best album you'll hear this month, it's definitely the most solid. I had this on endless repeat last weekend while I was driving around. There's not really a standout track per se, but there's lots of good ones. If memory serves, they're pushing back the physical release of the CD until the band can come over and tour, but it should be available soon digitally if it's not already. Take a chance on this, you'll dig it.

Paul Weller - As Is Now
[Buy it from Amazon or download it from eMusic]
Without a doubt, the best thing about the new influx of tracks on eMusic is the abundance of newish Modfather releases. This album, released last October, is the best thing he's done in quite a while. More Stanley Road than Wild Wood, this album is chock full of memorable, chunky riffs and killer tunes. If you can't tell, I'm a fan. I can only hope I age as gracefully and Mr. Weller. Fat chance.

Asobi Seksu - Citrus
[Buy it from Amazon or download it from eMusic]
Vaguely reminscent of my dear departed Lush, Citrus is full of falsetto female vocals backed by dreamy, dense shoegazey soundscapes. A grower, but they have my attention.

Stars of Track and Field - Centuries Before Love and War
[Buy it from Amazon]
Athlete + Snow Patrol + indie rock = meh.

Razorlight - Razorlight
[buy it from Amazon]
I opened this CD with baited breath. Quite the buzz band across the pond, I couldn't wait for Johnny Borrell and company to wow me and show me what all the fuss was about, but all I got is a (very) tired Shed Seven record. Just horrible. One of the press quotes that came with the CD declared this album the "best British guitar record since Definitely Maybe," which is laughable on so many levels. I couldn't even make it through two listens of this cliched, bland shite.

Naturally

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Holy shit, last night was awesome. We had two great, up and coming bands play killer sets to a rabid crowd. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. The Vita Ruins played a gloriously messy, riff heavy, feedback filled show that had everyone paying attention. And then Middle Distance Runner tore the house down with their set. These guys have a ton of potential, it's easy to see why they're getting so much mainstream press. They've got tunes and charisma for days. Take a listen:

www.myspace.com/thevitaruins

www.myspace.com/middledistancerunner (Check out "That's A Lie", it's my fave)

I'm off to DJ a friends wedding. Have a great weekend.

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Doors at 9. Be there. I'm very excited to see both these bands and not just because of all the hard work I put into booking this thing or because USA Today thinks Middle Distance Runner is the next big thing. I'm excited because it's going to be an awesome show. So come on out and support the cause! I'll be DJing early.

The Wire has been picked up for season numero cinco! For the record, I give up, it is the best show on TV. Anytime I'd rather sit at home and On Demand three or four episodes a night instead of going out, it qualifies for the shortlist. I watched Season Three in like four days. It's like teh pandemic. Even the Sports Guy is on board.

Gawker media launched their music blog skewering Idolator today. They think "in the last year, the music-blog netherworld has become as homogenized and indistinguishable as the record labels themselves," which, as one of the only blogs not on the Tapes n Tapes / Sufjan Stevens / Wilco etc. train (just check my visitor stats, ha!) I have to say I agree with. Now pardon me while I go listen to some Art Brut and write something about Pavement.

Ahem...You can fuck right off if you don't think Wowee Zowee is the best Pavement record. OK, that may be a little harsh, but it's def. my fave. Here's the drool enducing double disc issue reissue tracklisting.

Reunited and it feels so...much better than it currently is. *sigh*

These guys get closer to this with every damn picture. Sad really. But inevitable.

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I stumbled into tickets for last nights Zero 7 show at the 930 Club, so I went not knowing what to expect. I semi-liked their first record (way overhyped, but decent enough) but haven't really paid attention to their last few albums. I was hoping for some sultry and seductive, slow grooving trip hop but got eight white guys and Sia onstage playing homogonized R&B to a crowd of people at one of the three concerts they will attend this year when they're not at dinner parties listening to Santana's "Supernatural" album and/or expounding on the latest Jack Johnson record. Which is to say most of the people in attendance weren't your average concert goer (indeed, the women were MUCH hotter than usual) and would go gaga at any little thing the band did onstage. "A Kazoo! How clever! Oh my!" I was bored out of my mind and left after the first few songs. The band are competent musicians, but like Dceiver said as I discussed the show with him, they play "retail background music." Indeed.

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Jose Gonzalez, on the other hand, was incredible. He had more stage presence than the whole of Zero 7 did, mostly because for him, it was about the music. He just sat on a stool with an acoustic guitar and played his songs. And they were amazing. He ended his set with two covers, Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart" and a jaw dropping version of Massive Attack's "Teardrop," which was brilliant. I usually don't go for the singer/songwriter acts, but I walked out of the venue a new fan. Unfortunately, I got to the venue too late to take pics of him. My new 85mm lens, by the way, is totally on point.

Remember my official song of the summer? Well, they've remixed it, this time with Annie on vocals.
[MP3] Teddybears - Your To Keep (Annie Mix)
Strangely, the original beats this one all to hell. *shrug*
Also, Teddybears have done yet another version of the song, this one with Neneh Cherry on vocals (I would have gone with Martina Topley-Bird, but that's just me). It's the free iTunes download of the week and my least favorite of the three versions.

Some band named The Diggs made an Underworld cover. I haven't listened to it yet, but you can.
[MP3] The Diggs - Two Months Off

Peep the video for the Cold War Kids track "Hang Me Up To Dry."

Handy music-blogger "Best of 2006" list cheat sheet. I've only heard like three of these records. [via Sleepytalk]

10 albums you must hear this Autumn.

The new Jay-Z album: A bad idea?

Crumpler, makers of the best photo and laptop bags around, is having a slient auction for charity at a new hot spot in Williamsburg, NYC. Here are the details:

Crumpler will be holding a silent auction of custom messenger bags, opening with a bang on Thursday September 21st at Williamsburg's newest gallery Like The Spice (224 Roebling Street). The artist-designed bags will then be on display at Crumpler's West Village Custom Store (49 8th Avenue, corner of Horatio) until Sunday evening at 8pm, at which point the bidding will end and bags will be presented to the smiling and expectant winners at a small party.

Normally I wouldn't plug events like this but I own three different Crumpler photo bags and they are definitely information leafblower approved and endorsed. Even more so if someone from Crumpler is reading this and wants to hook me up with one big enough for this lens I am seriously contemplating buying mortgaging my life savings to obtain.

Speaking of lenses and photo geekery, I bought one of these earlier in the week and it should be delivered in time for tonight's Zero 7 show at the 9:30 Club. I've heard great things so I'm very excited to try it out.

The best commentray I've read about the new iPods and iTV is from Mark Cuban.

All-time underachievers of the NBA.

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Last Saturday I had the pleasure, yet again, to take in a DC United match. The result, a 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake, was disappointing (for me at least, most everyone else seemed pleased with the result) but it's hard for me to complain about much when I have the best seat in the house. This was the first of the five games I've seen in person this season where I got an extended look at Freddy Adu and he impressed. Although he got called off-sides a few times, he played a great game. He moves at a different speed than everyone else on the field. He's three or four moves ahead of everyone else when he gets the ball. But Freddy's not my favoriter player on United. That would be scrappy Argentine fullback Facundo Erpen. He's one tough MF'er and although he anchors the United back line, he's very adept at attacking. He had one shot in the second half that hit the post that might have won the game for United had it been an inch or so farther to the left. Oh well, maybe next time. United is away for their next few games so you'll be spared from more soocer photos for the time being.

Olson complaining about the officiating.

Thanks for all the emails and whatnot yesterday. I was a bit down in the dumps yesterday but I felt better once I got home, watched some football and had a beer or two. I'm DJing a wedding on Friday so I went through my iTunes and picked out most of the stuff I'm going to play, which put me in a much better mood. I was a bit nervous about the whole thing (this is only the second wedding I've ever played) but after going through my iTunes library and picking out some stuff by Massive Attack, Paul Weller, Feist, The Super Furries, The Pixies, Spoon, Mylo, and Oasis (obvs.) I am really excited about the whole thing. Keep in mind all that stuff is in addition to the usual wedding music fare, although, as a whole, my plalist leans a tad indie (New Order, Phoenix, The Cure, Postal Service, Kylie...) and lots of Motown. Everyone likes Motown! Of course, it always helps when the bride and groom INSIST on me bringing and playing vinyl and have a bigger record collection than me that I get to pick from. Should be fun.

Banksy strikes again! [via Sneakmove]

Apple TV! Also, new iPods. Oh, and the iPhone is happening. Soon.

Rejoice! Screamin' A. Smith and Boo-Yah Scott are no more for ESPN's basketball coverage. They will be replaced by the inifinitely more watchable Mike Wilbon and Mark Jackson. All hail new programming guru John Skipper! Now if he can just dom something about Chris Berman... [via Truehoop]

Captain Rock might be a big dud right now, but at least the music world still has Jarvis Cocker.

Close, but no cigar. Why does Noel and the band insist on acting like Be Here Now never happened? "D'You Know What I Mean" deserved to be on this CD. Much more so than "Go Let It Out," that song is the worst Beta Band rip-off I've ever heard. And there were alot of them. But props for "Songbird."

Morrissey speaks!

Obvs.

9/11, birth of the blog.

Let's start celebrating Sept. 12th. I'm all for that.

Time Stops

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I imagine most everybody came around these parts today for another MP3 or something music related. I would also venture to guess the last thing you want to do is ready yet another piece on 9/11, but longtime readers will know this is a subject near and dear to my heart. And honestly, this isn't so much for you as it is for me.

I remember 9/11 pretty clearly. Parts of the day are still crystal clear to me. At the time I lived on Gold Street, just a few block away from the World Trade Center complex. I got up the same time I always did, jumped in the shower and started my daily routine. After I got dressed I turned on the TV and tuned into New York 1 so I could get the score of the Giants v. Broncos game even though I don't have any rooting interest for either of those teams. When the TV powered on, NY1 was showing an aerial shot of the World Trade Center on fire with a caption running along the bottom of the screen that said something like "Plane flies into the World Trade Center." My immediate thought is some stupid, rookie pilot crashed his Cessna into the building. I sat down to watch the TV and after a minute or two, there was an huge explosion in the second tower and I felt my apartment building shake and heard glass break. The first thought I had when I saw that was, "Holy shit, this is history." And even though I didn't even have a blog back then, I did what any good blogger would do. I grabbed my digital camera and went outside.

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I made my way up Fulton Street and tried to take in the scene. There were people everywhere and they were all reacting to what was happening in a different way. Some people were hysterical, some were solemn, but most everybody had their eyes on the two towers. By the time I got up to Broadway I started hearing people talk about the Pentagon getting hit as well. I walked up the Church Street, which was about as close as they would let anyone that wasn't a first responder. I took a few photos of the Trade Centers as well as all the broken glass that was everywhere. After that I swung up to Ann Street and planted myself with the intention to stand there was long as I could and watch what would happen.

That didn't last long however. A cop came around the corner and started screaming to everyone that there was a bomb threat in the area and everyone should make their way uptown as soon as possible. For some reason this seemed improbable to me (although I can't say why), so I stayed but after another minute or two he came back and I heard an urgency in his voice, so at that point I decided not to push my luck and to head back to my apartment and call my parents to let them know that I was OK.

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I got back to my place and turned on the TV. I eventually settled on watching ESPN because they had the National ABC feed and if the world was going to end I wanted Peter Jennings to tell me, not the local news anchors. Around that time my phone, a land line, started ringing off the hook. The first call I got was from an old college buddy, Darren Sams. Darren and I went way back but had lost touch since I moved to NYC years earlier. I didn't even know he had my number. But he was the type of guy that would do something like disappear for a long time and then pop up again when you need him the most. We talked for just a minute or two but I immediately felt better after we spoke. Partly because it was nice to know that someone was thinking of me and partly because it was nice to hear a familiar voice. After I hung up with Darren my Aunt JoEllen called and I asked her to call around and let everyone know I was OK. After that, I finally got a chance to call my Dad and talk to him. He kept telling me to leave but I wasn't sure what to do.

It was around this time that the first tower fell. When it did, the sky got very, very dark. It looked like night instead of early morning. I had been pretty calm until then, but at that point I started freaking out. I went downstairs to the building lobby to check out the scene there and it was full of people covered in white soot. Most everyone was crying. I brought a pitcher of water and some towels downstairs and went back up to my apartment. The phone kept ringing off the hook and at this point, the details get hazy. I do remember being on the phone with someone when the second tower fell and I didn't even know it happened. Tony Kulzer, a friend and co-worker that was in Brooklyn watching everything from his rooftop called to tell me. That was one of the weird things about 9/11 that sticks out for me. Even though the towers fell and I was just a few blocks away, I had electricity, phone and internet (dial-up no less) the whole time up until 7 World Trade Center (a separate building) fell later in the afternoon.

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At some point after the second tower fell, I got fed up with discussing my evacuation plan with my then girlfriend (luckily, she was safely up on East 81st Street, about as far away as you could be from Lower Manhattan) and I found a bandana, tied it over my mouth and went outside to get a look at the destruction. More than one person told me not to go, but I couldn't help myself. I couldn't be that close and not see what happened.

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I was stunned at how quiet it was. There was no sound anywhere. The phrase "deathly quiet" took on new meaning to me. An occasional ambulance or fire truck would drive by but other than that, nothing. The dust and soot were omnipresent, in the air, on the ground, just covering everything. It was at least a foot or so deep in some places. But the most surprising thing was the paper. There were tons and tons of random sheets of paper blowing around in the wind or covering the ground. All the paper from the World Trade Center towers was now covering the streets in the surrounding neighborhood. Now, when I look back on that now, I wonder why I didn't take some of it as a keepsake but at the time, that was the furthest thing from my mind.

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I made my way up to Church Street surveying the debris I could see the Police and Fire Department setting up their perimeters. I tried to stay out of sight somewhat so they wouldn't make me go uptown without letting me go back to my apartment first. I walked down to the hospital down the block with the intention of volunteering in some capacity, but as everyone knows now, there weren't really an survivors, so after a while it just became the hospital staff and a bunch of us standing around waiting for something to happen. They finally told all of the non-employees to go home. So I did. I went back to my apartment yet again, called a few more people and tried to take in what had happened. It was pretty surreal. When you step out of the shower in the morning, you never think you're going to be on the front line of history.

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At some point that afternoon, 7 WTC fell and the power finally went out. If memory serves, that was around 3:30 or 4 that afternoon. I realized sometime around two o'clock that I hadn't eaten anything at all that day. All of a sudden I was starving. I went out again looking for some food. Understandably, most everything was closed. Luckily, the diner across the street was open. It was literally the only open business in that area. There were 10 or 15 people there trying to get some food. They were taking it as quick as the cook's could dish it up. I got a burger and fries and overpaid by a few dollars and told them to keep the change.

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All day I had been debating on whether to leave or to stay put. If I left, my only real option would have been to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Brooklyn but I was worried that the bridges would be the next target, so I stayed put. After the power went out that afternoon, I decided I had to make my way uptown. My (then) girlfriend was at her cousin's place on 34th street and I told her I would meet her up there. The subways were running above Christopher Street so I packed up a bag for me and one for her and I started walking uptown. Because I was carrying so much stuff, I had to leave our kitty behind at the apartment, something that I regret doing to this day (even though Kitty was fine and we went back and got her the next day. Still, you never leave a man behind). It took a few hours to get uptown but I was very relieved when I finally was able to sit down and not worry about very tall buildings falling on top of me. Later that night there was a bomb scare at the Empire State Building, just a few blocks from where we were staying. It turned out to be a false alarm, but it did little to calm our nerves.

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We got a little sleep that night and got up first thing the next day to go back to our place and grab Kitty and some extra clothes. I actually went to work the next day because my boss was being a complete asshole about me coming to the office (our office phones didn't even have long distance capability at that point) but I only lasted a few hours. I rented a car online and headed up to my Massachussettes for the next few days.

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It's hard to believe all of this happened five years ago. Alot has happened since then. I was eventually laid off from work, moved to Brooklyn, got another job, lost it, tore my ACL playing soccer, broke up with my girlfriend, and eventually landed here in D.C. Before I make this too much of a sob story, I think all of this has worked out for the best for me. I can honestly say I am happier now than I have been at any point post-9/11. I guess that's a result of getting on with my life, getting a steady job (outside the music industry) and also getting out of New York. I enjoy going back to visit, but I'm much happier with my life here in D.C. I realize I am lucky to still be here today. I think about the towers falling alot. Mostly marvelling at the fact that they fell straight down. Imagine if they toppled over to one side. 9/11 was a horrible tragedy, but I try and look at it in more positive terms, like how many people were saved and how much worse it could have been. But I still catch myself looking up at planes when they are flying low overhead and I get a slight shudder everytime I see a plane come in for a landing at National airport here in D.C. It's right off of the major interstate into downtown D.C. and it's something I'm not sure I'll ever be entirely comfortable seeing.

All of my photos from 9/11 are over at Flickr.

10-24 Toronto, Ontario - Opera House
10-26 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
10-28 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10-29 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
10-30 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
11-01 Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom
11-03 Detroit, MI - St. Andrews Hall
11-04 Chicago, IL - Metro
11-05 Minneapolis, MN - The Varsity Theater
11-07 Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre & Cafe
11-10 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom
11-11 Seattle, WA - Neumos
11-12 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
11-14 San Francisco, CA - Club Mezzanine
11-15 Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre
11-18 Las Vegas, NV - Beauty Bar
11-19 San Diego, CA - House of Blues
11-22 Dallas, TX - Gypsy Tea Room & Ballroom
11-23 Austin, TX - The Parish
11-24 Houston, TX - Meridian Red Room
11-26 New Orleans, LA - The Parish
11-27 Tallahassee, FL - Beta Bar
11-28 Miami, FL - Studio A
11-30 St. Petersburg, FL - State Theatre
12-01 Atlanta - The Loft

This after DCeiver and I just had a long talk about her besteverness. Check out Lady Sov on AOL's The Interface. "Random" is getting heavy airplay on the leafpod.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current Names WOXY.com's Barb Abney as On-Air Host

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current announced today that Barb Abney will join the station as a weekday on-air host, 9 a.m.-noon, beginning Oct. 3.

Abney comes to The Current from Cincinnati's WOXY.com, one of the premiere alternative stations in the country. During the past 12 years, Abney has served as a daily on-air host, where she picked all her own music and interviewed countless bands, including We Are Scientists, Radio 4 and Concrete Blonde. WOXY.com announced last week that it will cease operations on Sept. 15. For more information, go to www.woxy.com.

"I've been following the progress of The Current since its inception," said Abney. "I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to join the station and grow along with them."

Abney's first shift will start at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3, on The Current, KCMP 89.3 FM in the Twin Cities, KMSE 88.7 FM in Rochester, and online at www.mpr.org/thecurrent.
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Couldn't have happened to a nicer person or a better DJ. Hopefully she will continue to plug one of the best one of the most above-average sites on the interweb at her new gig as well. Everyone here at infomation leafblower dot com (that'd be me and the chief) wishes her the best.

10-26 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10-27 Toronto, Ontario - Guvernment
10-28 Detroit, MI - Saint Andrew's Hall
10-30 New York, NY - Webster Hall
11-01 Boston, MA - Axis
11-02 Montreal, Quebec - Club Soda
11-03 Philadelphia, PA - Pure Nightclub
11-05 Chicago, IL - Metro
11-07 Austin, TX - Emo's
11-09 Phoenix, AZ - Old Brickhouse Theatre
11-10 Pomona, CA - Glass House
11-11 San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (Be the Riottt! Festival)
11-13 Seattle, WA - El Corazon
11-14 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
11-15 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
11-17 Las Vegas, NV - Celebrity Vegas
11-20 Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theatre

The Presets (who are playing DC on Friday - holler at ya Will Eastman) will be opening. Via Pitchfork.

10-26 Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
10-27 Rochester, NY - Auditorium Broadway Theatre
10-28 Ottawa, Ontario - Ottawa Civic Centre
10-30 Toronto, Ontario - Massey Hall
11-01 Montreal, Quebec - Metropolis
11-02 Boston, MA - Opera House
11-04 Providence, RI - Providence Performing Arts Center
11-06 Washington, DC - Constitution Hall
11-08 New York, NY - Theatre at Madison Square Garden
11-10 Norfolk, VA - NorVA
11-11 Belle Vernon, PA - Ice Garden Arena
11-13 Columbus, OH - PromoWest Pavilion
11-14 Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theatre
11-15 Louisville, KY - Louisville Palace Theatre
11-16 Birmingham, AL - Alabama Theatre
11-17 Atlanta, GA - Fox Theatre
11-18 Clemson, SC - Littlejohn Coliseum at Clemson University
11-19 Orlando, FL - University of Central Florida
11-20 Coral Gables, FL - University of Miami
11-26 Milwaukee, WI - Eagles Ballroom
11-27 St. Louis, MO - Pageant
11-28 Memphis, TN - Orpheum Theatre
11-29 New Orleans, LA - Republic New Orleans
11-30 Houston, TX - Hobby Center (Sarofim Hall)
12-02 Mesa, AZ - Mesa Amphitheater
12-03 Las Vegas, NV - Joint
12-05 Irvine, CA - Bren Events Center
12-06 Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theatre
12-09 Seattle, WA - Key Arena

Ted Leo is opening the D.C. date! Mr. Leo, Jenny Lewis and OK Go are all splitting opening duties for the tour. Head over to Pitchfork for the details.

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Ahem.

If you liked my official song of the summer by Teddybears last week, I have some more MP3's for you:
[MP3] Teddybears - Cobrastyle ft. Mad Cobra
[MP3] Teddybears - Cobrastye (Diplo Remix)

[MP3] Teddybears - Punkrocker ft. Iggy Pop
[MP3] Teddybears - Punkrocker (Squeek E Clean Remix)

Listen to Gillian Welch's cover of Radiohead's (best. song. ever.) "Black Star." Its brilliant. [via Coolfer]

New Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos demos.

Peep the cover art [kinda NSFW] for that remixed Paris Hilton CD courtesy Banksy.

Talib Kweli video Ecard.

Stream the video for Kweli's "Listen" in Quicktime.

Watch the trailer for Sofia Coppola's (widely panned) new movie Marie Antoinette. (Windoze Media)

Download a Scissor Sisters Podcast.

No alarms, No surprises. My vote would have been for Editors.

Oasis to re-record "Acquiesce." Noel, what are you smoking? For serious.

Goldfrapp for NYC. Come to DC!

Speaking of coming to DC, enter to win a pair of tickets to the V Fest at Pimlico.

Apple Cell Phone Ready?

New 24 inch iMacs. Twenty...Four...inches. Wowee Zowee.

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*sigh* Back at work after my all the short time in Southern California. I wrote a big wrap up post about the trip during my flight back yesterday but I forgot to load it into MT last night. D'oh. So you'll have to make do with a short recap.

Newport Beach Pavilion

While I'm not sure I would want to live there, Southern Cali is a great place to visit. I couldn't believe how bright it was when we touched down. The weather, by the beach anyway, was really incredible, even to someone like me that doesn't really enjoy the sun that much.

I got to do all the touristy stuff I wanted to do. I saw Bukowski's grave, took in a Dodgers game, had an In-n-Out burger and saw the Capitol Records building.

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Buk's grave was thankfully pretty easy to find. He is on a hill, situated kind of by himself, with a tree nearby and a nice view. Visiting cemeteries isn't something I do regularly, but I always told myself I would do this if I had the chance and I'm glad I did. I didn't do anything like bring Hank a beer or prepare some big speech or anything, just took a few photos, soaked in the scene and left.

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The Dodger game was really cool even though stupid Grady Little sat both Nomar and Jeff Kent. They lost big, but I had a few Dodger Dogs, a relative bargain at $4.50, and even more $8 Budweiser's. The stadium itself was a treat. It has this 1960's drive-in burger joint vibe, they play Jane's Addiction whenever a runner has "Been Caught Stealing," and pipe in the Vin Scully feed over loud speakers in the stands. Best!

Newport Bay

Other than that we spent the weekend tooling around Newport Harbor, checking out Laguna and Huntington Beaches, eating alot and drinking even more. I can't wait to go back. California, where the weather is always bright and sunny, people park expensive cars right on the street, the cars have unironic personalized plates, the girls are all blonde and (totally, extremely) hott and all your yardwork is done by cheap immigrant labor.

Bukowski's Grave

like in a chair the color of the sun
as you listen to lazy piano music
and the aircraft overhead are not
at war.
where the last drink is as good as
the first
and you realized that the promises
you made yourself were
kept.
that's plenty.
that last: about the promises:
what's not so good is that the few
friends you had are
dead and they seem
irreplaceable.
as for women, you didn't know enough
early enough
and you knew enough
too late.
and if more self analysis is allowed: it's
nice that you turned out well-
honed,
that you arrived late
and remained generally
capable.
outside of that, not much to say
except you can leave without
regret.
until then, a bit more amusement,
a bit more endurance,
leaning back into it.

like the dog who got across
the busy street:
not all of it was good
luck.

-- written by Charles Bukowski, taken from the book what matters most is how well you walk through the fire.