Information Leafblower: November 2006 Archives

November 2006 Archives

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Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey

Rant takes the form of a (fictional) oral history of Buster "Rant" Casey, in which an assortment of friends, enemies, admirers, detractors, and relations have their say on this evil character, who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.

Buster Casey was every small kid born in a small town, searching for real thrills in a world of video games and action/adventure movies. The high school rebel who always wins (and a childhood murderer?), Rant Casey escapes from his hometown of Middleton for the big city and becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing, where on designated nights, the participants recognize each other by dressing their cars with tin-can tails, "Just Married" toothpaste graffiti, and other refuse, then look for designated markings in order to stalk and crash into each other. It's in this violent, late-night hunting game that Casey meets three friends. And after his spectacular death, these friends gather the testimony needed to build an oral history of his short life. Their collected anecdotes explore the charges that his saliva infected hundreds and caused a silent, urban plague of rabies....

Expect hilarity and horror, and blazing insight into the desperate and surreal contemporary human condition as only Chuck Palahniuk can deliver it. He's the postmillennial Jonathan Swift, the visionary to watch to learn what's —uh-oh—coming next.


Completely unrelated: If you're in D.C. tonight, come by The 4 P's to see the screening of Lord Don't Slow Me Down.

Is this serious?
It can't be, right?
Is it April Fools in November?
They should rename that column "Misshapes 4eva!"

God, I don't miss New York. Good luck with that Grambo.

Anytime Ultrawrrrst opens her mouth, I am of the opinion she and Jen were seriously miscast back in January of 2005.

[via Natalya]



First of all let me say My Morning Jacket are a great live band. They are insanely tight, Jim James' voice is other-worldly, they're incredibly loud and absolutely pulverize their riffs when they feel like it. They've obviously worked many long hours on their live show. They're ready for amphitheaters right now. They wouldn't have to change their show at all, just get a few more lights and maybe a big backdrop. I'm not going to be able to say anything about their live performance that you haven't already read somewhere else. Oh wait, here is something you probably haven't read anywhere else. Those cool boots that Jim James wears? They're held together by clear plastic tape.


That said, they're really not for me. I like carefully crafted four minute, verse-chorus-verse pop songs. MMJ obviously don't play this game. I really enjoyed the few songs I recognized, "The Way That He Sings" - a complete surprise - was borderline incredible, but they really lost me when they would veer into improvised-instrumental jam land. And that's not really their fault, they just really reminded me of every one of the hundreds of truly shitty "jam bands" I was forced to endure while going to college in Eastern North Carolina. When I hear that type of music, I start grinding my teeth and looking for sharp objects to stick in my ears. Ms. Smith and I ended up leaving just before the end of the regular set.


The Slip were the perfect opener for this tour. They're like a lo-fi Secret Machines that wear funny hats. I enjoyed their set, especially the "Baba O'Reilly" cover at the end. If you're heading out to this show, go early and check them out.


I had a hard time really enjoying the show for other reasons. It was really effing hot in the venue and it was easily one of the most crowded shows I ever been to in the 9:30. It was shoulder to shoulder from the stage barrier to the sound board and from bar to bar. I did score a photo pass and after wading through the sea of people on my way up front, I was jump-up-and-down-happy when I found out there was a barrier in front of the stage. The lighting for The Slip was great. I got some good shots during their set. The lighting during MMJ was another story. They were almost entirely back-lit and when not running around the stage and head banging everywhere, JJ just stood at the mic and sang while his hair was falling down into his face. And when he did step away from the mic for a break, it was always in the corner of the stage where there was no light. For my purposes, the lighting for The Slip was much better. Oh well. I managed a few decent shots I think. Still, hooray for MMJ for the photo pit. I wish more bands would have them at the 9:30.



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The Nets loss to the Bobcats last night leaves the (not so) mighty Celtics alone in first place in the Atlantic Division. If the C's were in the Western Conference, they'd have the second worst record in the entire conference, ahead of only Memphis. Ouch.

The Nets and C's face off tonight for division supremacy.

More thoughts on the C's, this whole Doc Rivers thing and Bob Ryan v. Bill Simmons later this week.

I scored a pair of tickets for tonight's sold out My Morning Jacket show at the 9:30 Club. I'm not a huge MMJ fan, but it will be nice to see what all the fuss is about. I have a copy of Z and it's grown on me a bit, so we'll see. I have "Knot Comes Loose" and "It Beats 4 U" rated fairly highly in my iTunes so lets hope they play one of those tracks so I'm not completely in the dark all night. The Slip is opening. They sound a bit OK Go-ish from the two MP3's that I've heard.

[MP3] The Slip | Even Rats

[MP3] The Slip | Children Of December

Still working on a photo pass. I hear MMJ have a great light show. Fingers crossed.

And I'm Back

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A funny things happens when you don't post anything for over a week. All your content falls off the front page of the site.

I had a few technical difficulties over the holiday break that prevented me from posting anything and now I'm swamped at work, so sit back and enjoy the following and let's agree to try this again tomorrow.

As the last bit of Top 40 List madness for 2006, below I present the addendum to this year's list, the Local Leaders. I asked our esteemed panel to send in their favorite local band in addition to their Top 10 list. Not everyone did, and not all of them wrote blurbs, but the ones that did are credited below. So keep an eye on these bands, they may be playing in a venue near you and you can say you liked 'em way back when.

Age Rings
While I dove into Age Rings debut disc, Look...the Dusk is Growing, just a few weeks ago, it's quickly becoming my favorite Boston-area album of the year. They're on my "must-see-live" list, and if you're reading this from New York: Pianos, Ludlow Street, NYC, Friday, December 8th. - Bradley's Almanac
[MP3] Age Rings | Dead Mans Float


Dallas, TX
St. Vincent
St. Vincent (aka Dallas native Annie Clark) is currently opening for Sufjan on his European tour. We've probably posted about her 10 times in the past year. I saw her play 4 times this year, and each performance was mesmerizing. I think people are really going to fall in love with St. Vincent when her debut LP comes out in '07. - Gorilla vs. Bear

Indianapolis, IN
Arrah & The Ferns
[MP3] Arrah & The Ferns | Skylark

Los Angeles, CA
The Mezzanine Owls
They are what would happen if the Wrens met Jesus and the Mary Chain. Extremely polished with a booming ethereal sound, the LA quartet dropped the excellent Andy Lemaster produced LP, Slingshot Echoes. - Passion of the Weiss

Minneapolis, MN

[MP3] Stnnng | Hybrid Animal

Mike Gunther & His Restless Souls
2006 saw the release of Gunther's second album of Waits-esque howling & preaching, Burn It Down For The Nails, which deserves more notice. While Gunther is still very much a regional act (and yes, he went to my high school), I could easily see him & his band of midwestern troubadours touring in support of Gogol Bordello or or Man Man or Beirut. - The Big Ticket

Elvis Perkins

Professor Murder
[MP3] Professor Murder | Champion

O'Death - Part sonic gypsy death pirates/part Americana/part Pogues...if that doesn't pique your interest just catch them live. I promise. - Earfarm

Sam Champion
I write a lot about these guys, but I really can't say enough good things about them. They play the exact kind of music that I like best. They got this Tom Petty meets Pavement thing going on, but lately seem to have embraced an almost Motown-rock vibe. They deserve to be huge and I will promote them until they become gigantic…. - PSNYC

Oakley Hall
[MP3] Oakley Hall | Lazy Susan

Providence, RI
Hailing from Providence, RI is the band The Brother Kite, a really chill shoegaze-type indie rock. Very passive, very relaxing, entirely transcendental. - I Guess I'm Floating
[MP3] The Brother Kite | Get On Me (MP3 sample)
[MP3] The Brother Kite | Waiting For The Right Time

Washington D.C.

Middle Distance Runner
The band describes their music as rock with "bwoop sounds," but the record is catchy beyond belief--with a sound that's not just tres fresh for DC, but also fluid enough to offer the listener a wonderful range of songs on one record. What's common to each effort is rooted so deeply, that you can have the jaunty fun of "Naturally" and the tilting melodrama of "Out Of Here" in one place and never feel like they aren't part of the same idea. - DCeiver

I saw them for the first time back in January, opening for two other local bands and their brand of feedback drenched folk-rock (admittedly not something I would see myself liking this much) really blew me away. They've had quite the year, touring the nation twice and opening for bands like The Decemberists, The National and Josh Ritter. I've been going to see them play local gigs about once a month and I still can't get enough. - ilb
[MP3] Nethers | Hung Herself In A Birdcage

The Hard Tomorrows


Cavs at Wiz

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LeBron and the Cavs laid an egg at the MCI Center on Saturday night. Check out the write up over at DCist.


I'll be DJing with Bluestate at Saint Ex tonight. Come on down and say hi.

Saturday it's Michigan v. Ohio State, which should be off the charts since Bo Schembechler just died.

Later that night I'll be at the MCI Center taking in the Cavs and the Wiz.

And on Sunday? I'm resting.

PS - DCeiver just said Ghostface was on 30 Rock last night. So hott. I missed it but maybe I can catch it on Bravo.

Look at this Morrissey setlist from Mexico City:

Panic / First Of The Gang To Die / In The Future When All's Well / You Have Killed Me / Disappointed (!!!) / Ganglord / William, It Was Really Nothing / Everyday Is Like Sunday / Dear God, Please Help Me / Girlfriend In A Coma / Let Me Kiss You / I've Changed My Plea To Guilty / How Soon Is Now? / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / I Will See You In Far-off Places / Life Is A Pigsty / Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want / The National Front Disco (!!!) // Irish Blood, English Heart

O. M. G. If I got to see Moz play "Disappointed" AND "National Front Disco" that would be heaven. And if the Tripwire is correct, there's a good chance that will be happening in February. AT THE 9:30 CLUB on Feb 6th. I'll probably be that guy and head to Philly on 7th as well. Here are the rumored dates for the US:

01.29.07 - Boston, MA (Tweeter Center)
02.02.07 - New York, NY (Carnegie Hall)
02.03.07 - New York, NY (Radio City Music Hall)
02.06.07 - Washington, DC (930 Club)
02.07.07 - Philadelphia, PA (Tower Theatre)
02.09.07 - Cleveland, OH (House of Blues)
02.10.07 - Pittsburgh, PA (Wheeling Civic Center Arena)
02.11.07 - Cincinnati, OH (Music Hall)
02.14.07 - Clarkston, MI (Energy Music Theatre)
02.15.07 - Indianapolis, IN (Fountain Square Theatre)
02.16.07 - St Louis, MO (Fox Theatre)
02.19.07 - Nashville, TN (Ryman Auditorium)
02.21.07 - Little Rock, AZ (Alltel Arena)
02.24.07 - Oklahoma City, OK (Bricktown Events Center)
02.25.07 - Tulsa, OK (venue Tbc)
02.27.07 - Dallas, TX (Smirnoff Music Center)
02.28.07 - Dallas, TX (Smirnoff Music Center)
02.29.07 - Pasadena, CA (Convention Center)
02.30.07 - Dallas, TX (Gypsy Tea Room)

Fuck, maybe I'll check out opening night in Boston and go a day early to see the C's and Wiz the night before.

One notable thing about these dates. There's a Pittsburgh gig listed. It's well known that like Sienna Miller, Moz hates that town (sorry), so I wonder what's up with that.

TV On The Radio, The Hold Steady, Ratatat, White Stripes, The Racontuers, Matt & Kim, Band Of Horses, The New Year, Lil Wayne, Danielson, We Are Scientists, The Decemberists, Ghostface Killah, My Morning Jacket, Bob Dylan, Mountain Goats, Silversun Pickups, Cat Power, The Thermals, Grizzly Bear, My Chemical Romance, Joanna Newson, Wilco, Okkervil River, Sleater-Kinney, Beruit, Eric Bachmann, The National, Bishop Allen, Kanye West, The Whigs, William Elliott Whitmore, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Regina Spektor, Dresden Dolls, Stephen Malkmus, Silver Jews, Johnny Cash, The Rinse, Asobi Seksu, Long Winters, Diplo, Catfish Haven, The Wrens, Xiu Xiu, Snowden, Home, Clipse, Irving, Green Day, Will Oldham, Justin Timberlake, Built To Spill, Neko Case, Pela, Portastaic, Walkmen, Oakley Hall, Jenny Lewis, Peter & The Wolf, Lambchop, Au Revoir Simone, Iron & Wine, Errase Errata, Devotchka, Christina Aguilera, David Bazan, Blood Brothers, Beach House, Every Move A Picture, Comets On Fire, Tom Waits, Voxtrot, Sufjan Stevens, Aberdeen City, Fiery Furnaces, Ryan Adams, M. Ward, Midlake, Sonic Youth, Man Man, Lavender Diamond, Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, Yo La Tengo, Of Montreal, Annuals, Bob Pollard, DFA, Elvis Perkins, Girl Talk, LCD Soundsystem, Tapes N Tapes, Shearwater, New Radiant Storm King, Drive By Truckers, Bound Stems, Spoon, Matmos, Black Keys, Cold War Kids, Sparklehorse, Timbaland, Lucero, DangerMouse, Car Stereo (Wars), The Rapture, Ted Leo, Man Man, Oneida, The Gossip, Secret Machines, Sam Champion, Gerogie James, The Hard Tomorrows, Los Lobos, Brighhtback Morning Light, Dixie Chicks, Casey Bienel, The Psychic Ills, The Shins, Rub-n-Tug, Oxford Collapse, Nethers, Rainer Maria, Goes Cube, Stelastarr*, The Evangelicals, Gnarls Barkley,

List makers and list haters rejoice, we're back for round four!

Mr. Pink Will Be Your DJ For The Evening

If it's mid-November, then it's time to start thinking about those year-end lists, which means it's time for the fourth annual, often imitated, never duplicated Top 40 Bands In America list. Yes, some people think of this little exercise as The Top 40 Bands In America As Voted On By A Bunch Of Effing Music Bloggers That Only Listen To Cooler Than You Guitar Based Indie Rock And Not Much Else, but that's way too long of a title and not very catchy, don't ya think? I've addressed this all before. There may not be enough hip-hop or dance music on here for your liking, but there's not much I can do about it. Most bloggers follow and write about indie rock. I've emailed dance bloggers and hip-hop guys in years past and never get a response, so I didn't even bother this year. Get over it.

In case you're not familiar with the process, each year I email a bunch of bloggers and ask them for their Top 10 artists of the year. I changed up the criteria this year and asked the participants to simply give me the 10 artists they covered the most throughout 2006. I felt that in years past, people were voting for artists they felt like they had to vote for, not the artists they wanted to vote for, so hopefully that changed this year. The entries are then scored, sorted and double-checked and viola , the list is born. Anyone making music is eligible for the list, as long as they are American. NO FOREIGN BANDS. Please read that last sentence again before you go crying that Broken Social Scene or whatever band from Montreal is hot right now isn't listed below.

Just because you're favorite band isn't listed here, don't freak out. It's likely they were nominated but didn't get enough love to make the Final 40. A total of 129 bands were nominated, so most of them didn't make the cut. I'll post the names of all the nominated bands tomorrow. I will go ahead and tell you not one fucking person voted for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and I couldn't be happier about that.

In addition to the Top 40 and the list of all 129 bands, this year I'll also have a list of local bands worth keeping an eye on, as voted on by our esteemed panel. Look for this list Friday or Monday.

The Participants:

Coolfer, Jason and Rajeev from Onelouder, Product Shop NYC, Catherine's Pita, Chromewaves, Fifty Five Hundred, Bradley's Almanac, Central Village, The Big Ticket, Earfarm, Muzzle of Bees, Gorilla vs. Bear, My Old Kentucky Blog, largehearted boy, Aquarium Drunkard, DCeiver, Seeking Irony, Catbirdseat, marathonpacks, Passion of the Weiss, I Guess I'm Floating, Soviet Panda, Yeti Don't Dance and yours truly. That's 25 ballots from 24 blogs, our biggest turnout yet. Not everyone that sent in a Top 10 list handed in the accompanying blurbs to go with their selections, which is why not everyone is represented below.


And without further ado, here is this year's list. Numbers in parenthesis indicate a band's ranking on last year's list:

1) TV On The Radio
- TVOTR are something special in the realm of indie rock soundalikes because they're constantly pushing themselves, their sound, and their audience forward towards something new. Thank goodness for them. - Earfarm
- Brooklyn's TV on the Radio continues to wow in the studio and on the road, topping themselves yet again. While the delayed US release was annoying (a reaction to the really early leak?), I dug their online promo campaign vids. - The Big Ticket
- Like nobody else, TV On The Radio find a way to tap in to that which is elemental. During a time where too much of the world feels like it's on the brink of something apocalyptic, TVOTR shows the uncanny ability to take it all in and let you feel it at full measure. Yet, at the same time, the incendiary effect of their skyrocketing gospel-soul vibrations fill the heart with such courage. These guys know how deep the abyss is, but they've found a way out. - DCeiver

2) The Hold Steady (6)
- Boys and Girls in America made me fall in love with this band, and their previous records all over again. - Muzzle of Bees
- Buzz buzz buzz...the American album of the year? Well, it does have "America" in the title. - The Big Ticket
- There's a moment at every Hold Steady show when you look around to examine the crowd. And you see nothing but euphoric smiles and blurred bodies, moving in rhythm to the pulverizing crush of guitars and keyboards and hot soft lights exploding out from the stage, where a small inconspicuous balding man named Craig Finn carries the audience through the closest thing that many of them will ever come to the feeling of pure rapture. In 2006, Craig Finn and the gang dropped their third straight masterpiece, each one every bit as good as the live set. If The Hold Steady aren't the best band in the
world, they're close. - Passion of the Weiss
- This isn't rock "for" the scene, it's rock "on" the scene. And what's great about their new record, Boys and Girls in America, is that the band has found a way to acknowledge their newly energized fanbase by giving them a song cycle that contains as many valentines as the previous one had cautionary tale. Envy everybody growing up with this band: they're going to matter for a long time to a lot of people. - DCeiver
[MP3] - Stuck Between Stations (Live on The Current)

3) The Decemberists (9)
decemberists 002 - Frankly, I wasn't expecting good things after Picaresque, and learning that they'd signed to Capitol, but The Crane Wife proved that The Decemberists are easily one of the top bands in America today. - Earfarm
- The Crane Wife may be Colin Meloy's big, bold major label debut, but it's still pure Decemberists. Tragic storytelling abounds as per usual, and Meloy delivers yet again with his uncanny knack for visual lyricism & loving delivery. - The Big Ticket
- Showcasing a more varied and mature sound, Meloy took all that Capitol Money and turned in one of the best albums of 2006. The album sounds like what would happen if after Syd Barrett left Pink Floyd, they replaced him with Herman Melville. - Passion of the Weiss
- As a queer English major, I'm pretty much required to love the Decemberists. That they're now selling out 2500-person venues is either a historical accident or a testament to how good they've become. Possibly both. - Fifty Five Hundred

4) Ghostface Killah
- In terms of prolificacy, charisma, consistency of output, and “American-ness,” there’s no current musician that comes anywhere close to rivaling Ghost. His highly personalized, idiosyncratic and nuanced lyrics on Fishscale draw drug stories with as much care and attention to detail as the one about getting spanked by his mom when he was a child. - marathonpacks
- In 2006, Ghostface finally completed his claim to the title of the Wu's greatest solo artist. Fishscale's tracks are filled with complex wordplay, vivid story-telling and lean backbreaking beats. With Rocky samples, the Wally Champ definitely does sound as hungry as he's been since Supreme Clientele. - Passion of the Weiss
- It's now officially safe to stop giving a shit about crap like hyphy. Ghostface reaches back in time to save hiphop's future from all the laffy taffy ass clowns and the five-minute fads that illuminate too many inferior MC's. Among the Wu-Tangers, 'Face was already head of the class, but Fishscale leaves him untouchable. - DCeiver

5) My Morning Jacket (12)
- Best live show I saw all year (maybe ever?) at Bonnaroo. - Central Village
- Building on the success of last year's instant classic Z, My Morning Jacket greatly expanded their fanbase at festivals across the nation, including a Coachella performance that converted any and all non-believers in the audience. With the release of this year's Okonokos, they finally delivered a definitive live statement that perfectly captured this band's brilliance. - Passion of the Weiss

6) Bob Dylan
- My favorite American-made music from this year seems to be composed either by old guys (Mr. Dylan) or dead guys (Mr. Cash). Here, the old guy, the bard of Hibbing, still keeps me thinking and listening. Modern Times was an easier music pill to swallow than Love and Theft, but it still contained some lovable bitterness and endearing side effects. Namely, obsessive repeat listenings. - Jason Onelouder
- With Modern Times, Dylan again proved that he is not only a living legend, but one of the most vital artists currently recording music. The fact that a new album from him can hold its own to his back catalog is unreal. I doubt that 98 percent of the bands on this list will be making such excellent music more than forty-years into their career. - Product Shop NYC

7) The Mountain Goats (11)
- John Darnielle crafts a sad and beautiful break-up record that those who aren't able to connect with should count themselves as lucky. - Chromewaves
- Honestly, Get Lonely didn't do too much for me, but that troika of prior discs are some of my favorite albums of the double-aughts. - Catbirdseat

8) Silversun Pickups
- Great album, unrelenting live. Loved watching their rise to relevance between CMJs. - Central Village
- The rest of you music bloggers and your darling, pointyheaded folk princes and twee-pop bullshittery bore the fucking hell out of me. So: here's a rock band, bringing actual rock. Listen to them. - DCeiver

9) The Thermals
- Hutch Harris & Kathy Foster follow the sadly lackluster Fuckin' A with the ballsy/concept-y The Body, The Blood, The Machine and earn back my respect & adoration in a big way. - The Big Ticket
- The Body, The Blood, The Machine is one of the best records of the year. They were a highlight of the CMJ Marathon. - Product Shop NYC

10) Cat Power
- The Greatest. The title says it all. - Product Shop NYC
- Even if she hadn't released an amazing album like The Greatest, her battle (and triumph) over alcohol and her personal demons would have been worth talking about. But she did and that makes her year even more remarkable. - Chromewaves
[MP3] The Greatest

11) Grizzly Bear
- As good as Yellow House is, I was only fully sold on this band when I saw them in concert. While the melodies on the record are certainly beautiful, the electronic beeps and squiggles interesting, the tone tranquilizing, it can seem ice-cold and dispassionate. Live, the sounds burst with color, the band brims with energy, each song pregnant with emotion and subtle textures often unnoticeable on the album. I haven't stopped listening to it since. - Passion of the Weiss

12) My Chemical Romance
- Biggest band in the world, etc,etc. I also actually like them. A lot. - Central Village

13) Wilco (36)
- No new recorded material, but tons of tour dates this year where they did play new material. Their new record comes out next year, get ready. - Muzzle of Bees
- No new album but constant touring kept them on the radar. The current lineup sounds better and tighter with every passing day but for pity's sake, give us a new album already. - Chromewaves

14) Joanna Newson
- There are times I can't stand Joanna Newsom, but every time I put on Ys, I am immediately drawn into her songs by her wonderful musicianship and unique voice. - Product Shop NYC

15) Sleater-Kinney (5)
Carrie Brownstein, photo by Matthew Peck
- Going out they way a great band should--Sleater-Kinney hit Washington, DC and delivered a show that rocked with primal energy--as if they were band feeling the kind of force they can wield for the first time. Their farewell pass was the only "be there or die trying" rock event of 2006 for me. - DCeiver
[MP3] - Entertain

16) Okkervil River (24)
- Yes, their only releases this year were an Australia-only EP and a 12" single, but if the lead song on both - "The President's Dead" - is any sign of where Will Sheff's mind and pen are at, then they deserve mention if only as a warning that 2007 will be the year of Okkervil. - Chromewaves
[MP3] - No Key, No Plan

17) Eric Bachmann
- Putting Crooked Fingers on the shelf and striking out under his own name, Bachmann found inspiration through minimalism and living in a van. His set at SxSW was one of the absolute highlights of the festival. - Chromewaves
- Former Archers of Loaf and current Crooked Fingers frontman goes it alone and comes up with some of the most moving material of his career. Not only that, he pulled together a touring trio that moved me even more. - Bradley's Almanac

18) Beruit
- Blending pianos, accordians, mandolins, xylophones, melodicas and haunting, spectral trumpets, Gulag Orkestrar sounds like few albums ever made in America. Appropriating the gypsy sounds of Balkan Brass bands, Zach Condon created an album that makes you feel as though you should be listening to it while sipping tea in a Sarajevo cafe, overlooking a large body of water, watching accordian notes and cigarette smoke crash through the clean air. Oh and did I forget to mention that he's 19 years old? - Passion of the Weiss

19) The National (2)
- Last year's Alligator destroyed. Can't wait to see what comes out in 2007. - Aquarium Drunkard
- Living in D.C., I didn't get to see The National tour behind Alligator until this year. They were so good, it was almost worth the wait. Almost. - information leafblower

20) Voxtrot
- In 2006 frontman Ramesh Srinastava seemed incapable of writing anything less than 3 minute shimmering pop gems. The live set still needs work but there is no denying this band's prodigious knack for melody and Srinastava's wistful poems. - Passion of the Weiss
[MP3] The Start Of Something
[MP3] Trouble

21) Bishop Allen
- Their unique EP-a-month gambit got my attention--the high-level of songwriting and graceful, simple melodies kept it. More than glib songwriters, Bishop Allen construct a world I'd love to live in--even at its most scarring. Through a year of writing and releasing music, these guys maintained such a constant and consistent level of excellence that it makes a lot of bands look like dilettantes. More to the point: it makes the way major labels farm bands for salable tracks look incredibly uninspired circa 2006. - DCeiver
[MP3] Click Click Click Click
[MP3] The Same Fire

22) Tom Waits
- Imagine Tom Waits headlining Coachella 2007. Tell me you wouldn't travel across the country to see that. - Product Shop NYC

23) Sufjan Stevens (1)
- You know a guy is prolific when, in what was supposed to be an off-year, he puts out a 21-track "extras" album and a 5-disc Christmas comp. I saw Sufjan and his Butterfly Brigade play 4 shows this year, and he was without question my "most posted about" artist. - Gorilla vs. Bear
[MP3] That Was The Worst Christmas Ever

24) Aberdeen City
Aberdeen City
- The fact that Steve Lillywhite sought them out to work with them, and not the other way around, speaks volumes. Few bands rock with such intelligence and intensity. - information leafblower
[MP3] God Is Going To Get Sick Of Me

25) Fiery Furnaces (8)
- There’s no American group with more unabashed artistic ambition. Gallowsbird’s Bark is one of the best debut records of this century, and the first five songs on EP are a stunning display of pop genre manipulation. Their live shows are divisive, but I’m on the side that wants even more manipulation. - marathonpacks
- Though their sheer volume of output is starting to get ridiculous, and though they've made missteps along the way (next time, keep Grandma out of the studio), the Fiery Furnaces remain the single most exciting, inventive, and interesting band making records today. - Catbirdseat

26) Ryan Adams (19)
- Crazy man can't stop! He kicked out jams with Willie Nelson, tours like a fiend and raps about Kevin Costner. He's the new Prince, only crazier. - Product Shop NYC

27) M. Ward
- Post-War is a record every human should have in their collection, it's that good. - Muzzle of Bees

28) Midlake
- I've posted on these guys probably 10 times, had them guest host my SIRIUS show, and I still don't feel like it's enough to articulate how much I love their new album, The Trials of Van Occupanther. Along with Joanna Newsom's Ys, my favorite release by an American artist in 2006. - Gorilla vs. Bear
- Taking all the good yet none of the bad aspects of 'easy listening', serving up smooth, seventies-era songs with style. Nostalgic, maybe, but played with a professionalism that's impossible to ignore. - Bradley's Almanac
[MP3] Roscoe

29) Sonic Youth
- Aside from NYC Ghosts and Flowers, they’ve never released a bum record, and Rather Ripped is a surprisingly calm and introspective punk-retirement home record. - marathonpacks

30) Man Man
- I've seen them so many times in the past year it's silly. A fantastic fun band gaining more fans by the minute and one of my votes for best lyrics of the year: "wanna sleep for weeks like a dog at her feet even though I know it won't work out in the long run" - Earfarm
[MP3] Van Helsing Boombox

31) Lavender Diamond
- Their first LP is due next spring and, from how the songs sound live, I suspect it'll be fantastic. I've now dragged five people to their shows and not once was a person was disappointed. Becky Stark's voice is almost enough on its own. I haven't been this excited about a new band in ages. - Rajeev Onelouder
[MP3] - You Broke My Heart

32) Timbaland
- If you can make room for Sufjan Stevens on this list, but not Timbaland, you are certifiably insane. He's been on top of his game for years, and it seems like 2006 might have been his best year yet with amazing singles from Nelly Furtado and an incredible record from Justin Timberlake. Definitely the best music coming out of the states, pop or hip-hop, is from Timbo. - Soviet Panda

33) Lucero
- Live shows so intense that you never want them to end. These boys tour and tour and continue to put out some of the most underrated records. Their latest record should be the one to make them indie-household names. - Muzzle of Bees

34) DangerMouse
- After a phenomenal 2005 producing Gorillaz & Danger Doom, he more than topped himself in 2006 with the unstoppable killing machine that is Gnarls Barkley. For crying out loud, St. Elsewhere was the pop album of the summer, with "Crazy" the most covered song in recent memory. However, what put the DJ over the top for me was hearing "Crazy" performed last month in person - by the Emerald City Band in Dallas TX. When a song hits the wedding band circuit, it's reached a whole other level. - The Big Ticket

35) Car Stereo (Wars)
- Their "Ghostface Observatory" mashup, which combines Ghostface with Ghostland Observatory, is easily the greatest mashup I've ever heard. It breathes new life into a genre that was steadily growing stale. - information leafblower
[MP3] Ghostface Observatory

36) Girl Talk
- Probably the hottest record of the year. Everyone who heard it was instantly in love and, oddly, singing along. - Central Village
- The excitement might not last beyond 2006 -- hard to say. Still, seeing Gregg Gillis play his computer made for one of my favorite nights out this year. - Fifty Five Hundred
[MP3] Hold Up
[MP3] Bounce That

37) LCD Soundsystem (4)
- 45'33: I may take up jogging just to hear this song in its intended context. But "Jams" Murphy's workout tape works just fine as a standing still piece of disco joy. Speaking of pieces, I'm contemplating cutting my favorite section of45'33, minutes 10:00 - 20:00 into a separate song just so I can enjoy Murphy's clicks and loops over and over and over. - Jason Onelouder
- My favorite band. The idea that 45'33 is just something to keep us busy while we wait for the next full-length is a bit ridiculous to think about, considering that it's better than pretty much any other band's records. - Soviet Panda
- Only LCD could make a list like this on the strength of a single song. 45'33 is just that good. - Rajeev Onelouder

38) Tapes N Tapes
- You'll get no knee-jerk backlash from me. Tapes is still as vibrant and catchy as ever and, even though The Loon came out last year, let's be honest - they're one of the big indie successes of 2006. Regardless of what your hipster advisor cool meter says, it's okay to still like Tapes 'n Tapes. I mean, come on - you used to think The Strokes were the best band in America. - Earfarm
[MP3] 50's Parking
[MP3] Insistor

39) Shearwater
- Jonathan Meiburg takes over the creative reins and shakes the "Okkervil River side-project" tag once and for all with an epic and emotional folk-rock masterpiece. - Chromewaves
[MP3] White Waves

40) Margot & the Nuclear So and So's
- I hadn't heard a note of Margot & the Nuclear So and So's until the nine members squeezed onto a small stage in front of me earlier this year, and they pulled off that special rarity: impressing me more than a headliner I was already excited to see. There's a folk element to their smartly-constructed pop songs that in theory should scare me, but they do it just right. - Bradley's Almanac
[MP3] Holy Cow (demo)
[MP3] As Tall As Cliffs (demo)
[MP3] Skeleton Key

Two photos of Noel from the L.A. gig. And two photos of Gem.

Video from the Wadsworth gig:
Don't Look Back In Anger
More Don't Look Back In Anger
Strawberry Fields Forever
Talk Tonight (not so good)

Fuelfriends has the entire Toronto show in MP3 format for you to download.

And here is some video from Noel & Gem's performance at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto:
Listen Up (note the guy saying "What the fuck is this?" at the start of the song followed by the "Oh My God!" when he recognizes it. Well said. LOVE this slowed down version. Gem sounds wonderful.)
Married With Children
Talk Tonight
Fade Away
It's Good To Be Free
The Importance Of Being Idle

I really regret not spending the 2k it would have taken to see this show (I doubt Noel will ever do anything like this again, at least not before he enters his Paul Weller/wise-old-sage period after the band finally breaks up for good), but at the same time, if I would have gone, I think I would have peed myself in public in front of alot of people. I've only heard "Listen Up" once, at Jones Beach on the tour Oasis did with the Manic Street Preachers and Screaming Trees (Liam called them the "The Barking Branches") and when they played it, I started jumping up and down and screaming like I was at an 'Nysnc show and all my friends started inching away from me and acting like they didn't know who I was. *shrug*

Buddyhead has all sorts of clips from the forthcoming Lord Don't Slow Me Down, but this one of Liam dancing is my favorite:

Yay for the Oasis media onslaught! Thanks to everyone emailing me with all these links.


Life as an honest-to-goodness NBA reporter is alright with me. That was my view in the first half last night. Not too shabby, eh? I sat in the press section behind one of the baskets, the nearest one to the floor. I was about eight rows back. Free wi-fi. Food and drink before the game. And free ice cream at halftime (although I did not partake). During the second half I moved farther down the row, towards the outside of the section and had a great vantage point for the shot Vince Carter hit to send the game to OT. I hate Vince with a passion, but he has incredible body control when he's in the air.

The whole night was a bit surreal. That was the closest I'd sat to the court since high school. Chris Ford was sitting beside me, doing some scouting for the Sixers. I was geeking out pretty hard about that. It looked like he had his 1981 championship ring on but I couldn't confirm. Before the game I sat a table over from Marv Albert and Mark Jackson in the break room. They were in town to broadcast the game for the YES Network. It's weird to hear Marv Albert discuss football with the voice you're used to hearing him call NBA games with.

My game recap is online over at DCist. I'm going to hit the Cleveland game on Saturday and bring my camera. Some guy was sitting in our section and taking photos from there, so I'm going to give it a shot if they'll let me. Stay tuned.

Here's the setlist from Noel and Gem's gig in L.A.:

'(It's Good) To Be Free'
'Talk Tonight'
'Fade Away'
'Cast No Shadow'
'The Importance of Being Idle'
'Listen Up'
'Half the World Away'
'Slide Away'
'Strawberry Fields Forever'
'Don't Look Back in Anger'
'Married With Children'

Again. Wow. Opening shows with three of my favorite B-Sides ever is so best. Untold riches and treats for anyone that can get me a decent copy of this show.

Here's the definitive version of "Talk Tonight," performed by Noel with some bloke named Paul Weller on keys and backing vocals. I'll have more on Noel and Weller in the very near future.

Probably more exciting for me than you, but I don't care.

First of all, beginning on Sunday, yours truly will be following the Washington Wizards as an officially credentialed member of the media. Yep, I'll get to cover the team from press row like a real reporter, with access to the team before and after games. I think the over/under for me being able to work up the nerve to ask one of the players a question is roughly two weeks. Unfortunately I was unable to get a photo pass from the team, but far be it from me to complain about any of this. Hopefully that will come down the road.

Now I know what your saying to yourself(*cough*hack!*cough*), "Why aren't you covering the Wiz v. Bucks game on Friday? Why wait 'til the Nets game on Sunday? Mike Redd, dude!" Well, I can't cover the game tonight. I'll be making my return to Cue Bar to DJ! This will probably turn into a weekly thing once the new year rolls around, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. So if you're out and about this evening, come on over and say "hi."

Completely unrelated, here's the surprisingly awesome Spiderman 3 trailer.

And don't forget to vote for Mr. Pink!

one bank on Vimeo

I am at a loss for words. I hate u2 but even they don't deserve this. Good lord.
[link via the The Stranger Blog, thanks Ms. Smith!]

I'm off to see Borat tonight, but I'll be back tomorrow with a few announcements. In the meantime, check out this appearance by Jarvis Cocker on the UK version of Da Ali G Show and peep this smokin' version of "Help The Muthafuckin' Aged." Pure genius.

I'm the first person to admit that I can't listen to half the stuff that gets sent my way on a daily basis. Sometimes I miss things when they are originally sent to me and it takes something else (a random email, seeing a band name on another blog, etc.) for me to go back and dig up what was sent to me. Case in point. I got an email with some MP3's from a Chicago band called The Changes way back in the beginning of September but didn't get around to listening to their music until today. Big mistake. These guys are good. Listen to this:

[MP3] The Changes | When I Wake

[MP3] The Changes | Water of the Gods

[MP3] The Changes | Such A Scene

All three are great tracks. If you're a fan of Voxtrot, you should give The Changes a listen. You can always head over to their MySpace page if you'd rather stream their music.

Lastly, they're playing DC9 tomorrow night. I can't make it, but you should go. Send me a full report if you do. I'm giving away a pair of tickets over on DCist.

On 13th November 2006 in the UK Oasis release a brand new collectors EP of classic songs. The EP is led by "Acquiesce," for many the finest Oasis song never to be a single, and book-ended by "The Masterplan," the masterful b side to "Wonderwall" released a decade ago. Also included on the EP are never before heard recordings of "Cigarettes and Alcohol" and "Some Might Say," that were unearthed during the mastering of the forthcoming Best Of album. The EP is available only as a one-off collectors edition CD and Double gatefold 7” including an exclusive sheet of stickers:

Cigarettes and Alcohol (demo version)
Some Might Say (live in 1995, venue unknown)
The Masterplan

Stickers! Ummmmm.....

Robbers On High Street will be releasing a new EP, The Fatalist And Friends, on November 14th. I heart EP's and I wish more artists would release them. Gimme 5 or 6 great songs instead of tacking on 4 more tracks of filler anyday. But I digress..

[MP3] Robbers On High Street | The Fatalist

Oh, and here's the ROHS MySpace page.

Tour dates:
11/29 Boston, MA - Middle East Upstairs

12/02 Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe

12/03 Cincinnati, OH - Alchemize

12/04 Chicago, IL - Subterranean

12/05 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom & Tavern

12/07 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel

12/08 Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall

12/09 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's

Daryl Strawberry: "Be fair to me,guys."

Salsa or seltzer?

...Trails of Dead's Conrad Keely is sick of touring.

Live Rob Dickinson record. See, he used to be in this awesome band called Catherine Wheel...nevermind.

Are they or aren't they?

Stream Damien Rice's "9 Crimes."

Watch the new Scissor Sisters video for "Land Of A Thousand Words."

Two MP3's from The Slip, who are touring with My Morning Jacket:
[MP3] The Slip | Even Rats
[MP3] The Slip | Children of December

Here's the new Graham Coxon track:
[MP3] Graham Coxon | Standing On My Own Again

Here's a track by Mute Math for your enjoyment:
[MP3] Mute Math | Typical

Listen to the new album by Faithless.

Watch Beck's video for the track "Nausea."

Firecodes will move the Cameron Crazies a few feet farther back from the court in Durham. Boo.

Some great video footage from the Raptors "war room" during this past summer's NBA Draft. Newly hired GM Brian Colangelo calls around and tries to find out what's going on with free-fallin' Marcus Williams. The best part? Before calling Danny Ainge, he says, "Get Danny up in Boston on the phone.He’ll tell me." Yeah right. Danny was busy trading for Rajon Rondo, chump.

Is David Beckham done? Maybe he'll be playing for MLS sooner than we thought.


Q & A with Noel Gallagher. [via Chromewaves]

New Graham Coxon.

u2 v R.E.M.

Some Shins MP3's for your downloading pleasure.

I'll let you decide. You can get with this or you can get with that.


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Much has been said of Redskin free agent acquisition Adam Archuleta, mostly about how he was a big waste of money and can't really play pass defense. I'm sure he gets his fair share of abuse from the fans. But at the end of the day, I doubt it worries him. He's dating Jennifer Walcott. Yes, that Jennifer Walcott. From Playboy. Links slightly NSFW. [via the always excellent DC Sports Bog]

Vote Pink!

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Mr. Pink Will Be Your DJ For The Evening

Mr. Pink Watching the Duke Game


In addition to your other voting responsibilities today, I implore you to go here and vote for Mr. Pink! I can win a trip to Seattle.

You can do it once a day.


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Internet Explorer users should finally be viewing this site as it was always intended, with three columns. For some reason the site has always loaded in two columns in IE, but it appears we finally have that fixed. Yesterday there were some problems with the "Comments" and "Permalink" links, but those all seem to be fixed as well. Also, the individual entry view has been updated to include the two sidebars. If anyone out there notices anything on the site acting funky, leave me a note here and we'll look into it. And by "we," I mean Tom from Manifest Density who was nice enough to help me out with all of this.

Damore, beware! Your least favorite band ever is back! New album The Sun and the Moon, produced by Brendan O'Brien, out next year. Lets hope it's better than this trainwreck. In the meantime they are doing some warm up shows.

With Special Guest: The IV Thieves

Mon Nov 13
TT the Bears - Cambridge, MA
$12 * 8pm Doors * 18+

Tue Nov 14
Century Lounge - Providence, RI
$10 * 8pm Doors * 18+

Wed Nov 15
Ottobar - Baltimore, MD
$10 * 8pm Doors * All Ages

With Special Guest: Radio 4
(Very Limited Tickets Available to the Public)

Wed Nov 29
Webster Hall - New York, NY
$15 * 8pm Doors * 18+

Thu Nov 30
The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA
$10 * 8pm Doors * 21+

Sat Dec 2 -
Lincoln Theater - Raleigh Durham, NC
$10 * 8pm Doors * 18+

Mon Dec 4
Music Farm - Charleston, SC
$10 * 8pm Doors * 18+

Tue Dec 5
Roxy - Atlanta, GA

Wed Dec 6
Firestone - Orlando, FL
(On Sale 11/9)

Thanks to Coolfer for the heads up.

Oh My

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Scarlett sex tape? And by tape, I mean audio. [via Goldenfiddle]


On the way to the game yesterday I told Matt I thought United would need to score two goals in order to beat the Revolution and advance to the MLS Cup final. So when the Revolution scored in the fourth minute, I wasn't worried. I figured the goal would focus United and make them play strong for the rest of the game, as opposed to them focusing and playing well for certain stretches of the game. And that's basically what happened, they just couldn't put the ball in the back of the net.


No one in the post game press conference seemed to upset at the result. Yes United lost, but they played a great game and lost to a team that has played very well for the last 6 or so weeks.


I, for one, am sad the season is over. I get such a thrill at shooting these games and I'm going to miss it. But at least now I don't have to look for airfare to Dallas. Covering United has been one of the best things to happen to me this year. I was able to cover one of the best (if not THE BEST) local sports teams up close and personal as well as having the opportunity to really improve my photography skills once every week or so. I can't wait for next season.


Peep the match photogallery for more photos.

I was in such a hurry to get to the Wiz / Celts game on Saturday that I forgot my camera, which is a shame because we had great seats on the 200 level. The game kinda sucked, the winless C's lost, obvs., but I had a great time yelling at Doc Rivers and Brenda Haywood. Gilbert Arenas is bananas. Before the game I put his over/under for points at 35 and took the over. He ended up with 44. PP played well and Wally lit up the third quarter and finished with 31. Gerald Green even made an appearance. Small steps.

prettyboy 010

I was just downstairs at the Mandalay Bay casino and "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather was making his way back to his room with his extremely large entourage. He's in town to fight Carlos "Tata" Baldomir tomorrow. I kinda wish I was sticking around to see it even though I'm not exactly a boxing fan. All the fight fans started arriving today and there's a certain electricity in the casino now. Instead I'm flying home tomorrow so I can catch the Celtics at the MCI Center when they take on Agent Zero and the Wiz. And of course Sunday is the DC United v. New England Revolution match at RFK.

prettyboy 007

The other big thing at the Mandalay this week is the National Bull Riders Championships. They're taking place at the Thomas and Mack Center but I guess the "convention" part of the event is taking place here. So there are huge belt buckles and cowboy hats everywhere. The guys look like total dorks, but the women are pretty much drop dead gorgeous. They all have small waists and big boobs. So if any of you younguns' are pondering a career in bull riding, I say go for it!

I'll be the first person to admit I can lay on the hyperbole with the best of them. That said, this is the. single. greatest. version. I've ever heard of "Slide Away," a song I repeatedly said as far back as 1996 that The Chief would never better. I'm not sure he ever has. I get goose bumps every time I listen to this version. Yes I am a dork. Thanks for asking. Seriously, do yourself a favor and give this thing a listen or twelve.

Gambling update from Vegas: Drunk by 6 p.m. local time. In bed by 10. However, I walked away $1 ahead from about 90 minutes at the roulette table last night (I don't do card games). I'll take it. Oh, and I'm up at 4 a.m. again.


Check out this setlist that Noel played for an acoustic charity gig:

'(It's Good) To Be Free'
'Talk Tonight'
'Fade Away'
'Cast No Shadow'
'The Importance Of Being Idle'
'Come On/Let's Go' (with Paul Weller)
'Thick As Thieves' (with Paul Weller)
'Half The World Away'
'Slide Away'
'Strawberry Fields Forever'
'Don't Look Back In Anger'
'Married With Children'
'Listen Up'

In addition to playing six of my favorite ten or so Oasis songs, The Chief just dropped five Oasis b-sides plus two Paul Weller songs. In. The. Same. Set. Holy fucking hell. I need the MP3's of this NOW. I have treats for anyone that can hook me up. Lots and lots of treats.

Last Saturday, because of the DAM!fest and some lucky scheduling I got to see five bands in three venues over a matter of a few hours. Lady Sovereign was playing the early show at the 9:30 Club so I started my night there. I arrived to see the last two songs of Young Love who were not that impressive. They're what Junior Senior would sound like if they spent all their time trying to write theme songs for all the teen dramas on the WB. Or is it the CW now? Let's move on.


I've heard not so good things about Lady Sov's live show, but I have to say I enjoyed myself. She definitely skews toward the TRL crowd and most of the people in attendance still watch MTV on a regular basis. On stage Sov is more silly than gangsta, but she can work the crowd. Her hits, "Random," "Love Me Or Hate Me" and "Public Warning" all came late in the set but they were on point.


I don't think Sov is going to radically change hip hop or anything like that. The "Feminem" tag she's been getting on this side of the pond is apropos if only because her fanbase is going to be mostly young and white. I can't see it appealing to serious hip-hop heads, but that's not a knock on her. She's tight on stage and really know how to work the crowd.


For more pics of Lady Sov at the 9:30 Club, head on over to Flickr. Be sure to check out Lady Sov on AOL's Interface if you haven't done so already.

After Sov was done, I headed over to DC9 and caught Pela (who were really amazing and totally rawked out) and Forget Cassettes (I already did). Since FC were boring me and the DC9 shows was running waaaaaay late (the second band of the five band bill went onstage at 11 p.m.) I drove out to Arlington to the Iota and caught Middle Distance Runner's set. They were tons of fun and continue to impress. They're playing The Black Cat in December with Forward Russia and Snowden, so if you haven't seen them yet, there's your chance.

Woke up 20 minutes late yesterday and barely made my flight at Dulles. That was stressful enough. But I made it and once we were airborne I strapped on my headphones and settled in for the long flight. Some guy in the row behind me was snoring loudly after about five minutes, but I just tried to ignore it.

About two hours later, right as Lady In The Water (truly the worst. movie. ever.) was reaching it's "climax" the snoring guy sitting behind me starts shaking violently in his seat. His eyes roll back in his head and blood starts spurting out from his mouth. He's obviously having a seizure, or worse a heart attack or stroke. At 25,000 feet. Everyone around him starts freaking out and calling for the stewardesses. They're useless and ask for any trained medical professionals on the plane to help out. Two people step forward, one of them repeating "This is not good," over and over. Snoring guy is still shaking and making choking sounds. At this point I truly believe he is going to die.

Luckily that was not the case. Long story short, it was only a seizure. They gave him some oxygen and eventually he regains consciousness but he has no recognition of what happened. He keeps asking "what's all over my shirt?" It was his blood. He was soaked in it. We had to make an emergency landing in Kansas City to get him medical help. The whole ordeal was one of the scariest things I've ever seen.

Eventually, we made it to Vegas where I promptly lost money betting on the Celtics and the Knicks. That's what I get for betting on Isiah. I also developed a splitting headache and went to bed at 7:30 p.m. local time. Am I party animal or what? Now it's just after 5 in the a.m. and I've been up for about an hour. Hello jetlag! Also, the guy in the suite next to me is blasting Nine Inch Nails. Lovely.

More from Vegas later.

I caught my first ever Decemberists show Monday night before I headed over to see Beck. The verdict? They're great performers but not my thing. Colin Meloy does this weird lips over his teeth thing when he sings. It kind of creeps me out.

decemberists 002

decemberists 001

decemberists 013

If this doesn't satisfy your craving for all things Decemberists, head on over to DCist where we're pitting audience members against each other in a battle of concert reviews for the ultimate Decemberist prize pack. There are some great anecdotes over there. Definitely worth reading if you're a fan. NPR recorded the show for your listening pleasure. Here is their NPR show from 2005. Compare and contrast.

Also, there are more Colin Meloy pictures over on Flickr.