Information Leafblower: December 2006 Archives

December 2006 Archives

Page of 3

*Sigh*

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Back from a restful, fun-filled and Xmas flavored week in Southern California. As far as I can remember, it was the second one I've spent in the Golden State (I lived about an hour away from San Francisco for about eight months in fifth grade) and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Basically all I did was eat, drink and be merry. There's no danger in me moving there any time soon, but I sure do like to visit.

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The only low point of the trip was the Celtics / Clippers game. That was painful. My heart sank earlier in the week when I got the news that Paul Pierce would be out 2 to 3 weeks due to a foot injury. I almost didn't believe it when I saw it scroll across the news ticker on ESPNews. Paul's so damn durable that he's only missed 19 games in 8 years. Perk,Wally and Kandi were back but none of them are in shape and (much like the entire team) generally played like poop. Funniest (and most irreverent) part of the night: During the pre-game moment of silence for former President Gerald Ford, someone in the crowd yelled "Kandi sucks!" at the top of his lungs that had the more respectful members of Clipper Nation nodding along in agreement.

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I didn't get any photos due to the Staples Center draconian camera policy, but I was really impressed with the venue overall. It's huge but still cozy. The sightlines from pretty much everywhere were great. The food selection isn't as good as I thought it would be, however. It's mostly nachos and dogs. If you want a burger or chicken, you have to go to Mickey D's. Ugh. Also, all the championship banners for the Lakers are grouped together on two or three flags and they are placed way up in the top corner of the rafters, almost as an afterthought. That was strange and definitely made the venue feel more like a multi-purpose arena than the home of the hated Lakers. I dunno, maybe they move them into a more prominent place for Lakers games. All I know is the one time I went to the Fleet Center a few years ago, I spent half the game staring at the overwhelming number of Celtics related things hanging from the rafters there. I took some photos of them and stored them on my old laptop. I'll have to dig around and see if I can find them. But I digress...

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The best part of coming home was getting to see the Mister for the first time in what seemed like ages. Here he is resting after we played fetch until he ripped my hands to shreds. Hey, love hurts.

Don't forget tonight is the last ever bluestate. Hope to see you there.

I logged into 1115.org today, just like I do pretty much every day, and was deeply saddened to read that The Godfather of Soul passed away yesterday at the age of 73. I just started immersing myself his vast back catalog over the summer, but as most everyone knows, if you've listened to any hip-hop in the last 15 years, you've heard plenty of his work. Matt 1115 gives The Hardest Working Man In Show Business a proper sendoff and also has a mixtape for those of you that want to pump some JB today in remembrance.

WTF?

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Jeebus. I leave D.C. for the first time in ages and as soon as I do, all hell breaks loose on the D.C. United front. First Coach Nowak leaves and now they trade Esky? I'm in agreeance with the Bog, I'm gutted. Trade Adu? Fine, I can live with that. But not Esky! United better be bringing in Ole Solskjær or someone like that in his place. For serious.

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I'm off to sunny Southern California for the Xmas break. Everyone stay safe and have a great holiday break. My sources tell me that there is a very good chance that Santa is bringing me tickets to see the Celtics and Clippers square off on the 27th. w00t!

Oh, look! New Toy! New Toy! So behold my holiday gift to you, more new photos of Mr. Pink, the fourth most popular bog pet in all the land.

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Ghostface Killah | Fishscale - He ain't been this hungry since Supreme Clientele. I might have given up on hip hop if not for this record. It's that good. If you you would have told me waaay back in 1993, when I was listening to Enter The Wu-Tang non-stop, that Ghost would have been the Wu's most prolific and consistent MC, I would have never believed you.

Goldfrapp | Supernature - I'm totally late to the Goldfrapp party, but now I'm trying to cut to the front of the line. This is the record I probably listened to the most this year. There's a wealth of different electro grooves on this record, enough that something new will grab you every time you listen to it.

The Changes | Today Is Tonight - A late edition to the list. I just got this CD last month but it's been in heavy rotation since. Part Fountains of Wayne, part Tahiti 80, part Cars...If you like pretty pop records that hit you over the head with killer hooks, you need to buy this album.

Morrissey | Ringleader of the Tormentors - THIS is the record I wanted two years ago when The Mighty Mozzer made his "comeback." You Are The Quarry, to me, sounded like Moz trying to be all things to all people. This record showcases a more confident and focused Moz, all the while giving his band a bit more room to do their thing. This album will age really well and be looked back as one of his best when it's all said and done.

Camera Obscura | Lets Get Out of This Country - I hate twee but the appeal of this record is undeniable, from the Motown leanings of "If Looks Could Kill" to the pure pop genius that is "LLoyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken." Detractors say this sounds too much like Belle & Sebastian, but I don't really listen to them, so it sounds fresh to me.

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William Orbit | Hello Waveforms - Perhaps the most enjoyable album to listen to out of the entire bunch listed here, for no other reason than nothing else you hear this year can come close to the tunes floating around in Billy Bubbles' head. Just gorgeous. I can guarantee you that this record is much more enjoyable than any "chill" compilation that you have. In the interests of full disclosure, I used to help manage William, so I am a bit biased.

Maximo Park | Missing Songs - A collection of odds n' sods that I enjoy much more than the record they came from. Hey, I have to indulge my b-sides fetish somehow. "Fear of Falling" and "Stray Talk" are better than anything on A Certain Trigger.

Silversun Pickups | Carnavas - I think DCeiver put it best in this year's Top 40: "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." That pretty much says it all.

Art Brut | Bang Bang Rock n' Roll - I played "Good Weekend" for as many people as I could this year. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a song that is more fun to listen to. The same thing can be said for this album. And their live show.

Editors | The Back Room - A slow burner that definitely didn't grab me on the first few listens. But seeing them live made me listen to this album with a new outlook. It suffers a bit from a lack of dynamics, but the tunes are there if you give it a chance.

Billy King is an idiot. He got fleeced on this deal. To wit:

1) They get no young players from Denver. Not even a knucklehead like JR Smith. Yes they got Andre Miller, but it's not like he's going to resign there in 2 years when his deal is up.

2) The two picks they got, belonging to Dallas and Denver, will likely both be in the 20's. This draft is top heavy and they're not going to be able to package these picks together in order to move up.

3) The Sixers are over the cap but under the luxury tax limit, so getting Joe Smith's expiring deal is worthless. They'll still be over the cap when his contract expires, so they won't be able to sign anyone in his place. They'd have been better off getting a max salary that expires next year in return and then waiting for that contract and CWebb's deal to expire in 2008.

I'm in meetings all day, so instead of hastily throwing together some random linkage, I leave you instead with a Paul Weller primer, for no other reason than he's so hot right now and I am totally bummed I won't be attending his upcoming career spanning shows in NYC and LA.

I had the pleasure of seeing him during the US leg of the Days Of Speed tour, a show that was mind-blowingly awesome. I have never seen someone plays the guitar as effortlessly as Paul Weller. It was incredible, like the instrument was simply an extension of his body.

I was introduced to the Modfather through the one and only Noel Gallagher. He did a cover of The Jam's "To Be Someone" on an Oasis tour in the mid-90's and I went out and bought The Jam's Greatest Hits the very next day. After devouring their catalog, I moved onto Weller's solo work (I skipped the shaky Style Council period that made up the middle of his career). Weller's influence touches many of the British bands I love, Oasis in particular. He is credited as the father of Britpop (a term he detests) and after watching the above performance of "The Changingman," you can see the inspiration for Liam's hairstyles and Noel's fashion sense, right down to his love of scarves.

Here's a Later with Jools Holland Session from 1993:
[MP3] Paul Weller | Sunflower
[MP3] Paul Weller | Has My Fire Really Gone Out?
[MP3] Paul Weller | What's Going On (Marvin Gaye cover)

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Three concert reviews for you in 75 words or less.

Saturday
Middle Distance Runner @ Black Cat

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Another great set from what is quickly becoming D.C.'s finest. MDR has a tendency to play it too cute in front of their hometown fans, it would be interesting to see how that part of the show works on the road. The played "Naturally" late in the set and it was a nice change of pace from the delicious drone-rock that preceded it. Probably the first of many shows at the Cat for them.
Click here for more photos of Middle Distance Runner at the Black Cat.

Sam Champion @ DC9

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Walked into this show having no idea what these guys sounded like, but whoever described Sam Champion as Tom Petty meets Pavement is spot on. Their live show is tight, but rough around the edges (that's a good thing) and makes you wonder why the NYC bloggeratti aren't burning up bandwidth talking about them. The lead singer's slow drawl puts you at ease, letting you listen and rock out with abandon.
Click here for more photos of Sam Champion at DC9.

Sunday
Aberdeen City @ 9:30 Club

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Every time I see Aberdeen City they are playing a better set in a bigger venue than the last time I saw them. Brad, the lead singer, was playing so hard he had to take a deep breath before "In Combat" to take it down a notch. By the end of the gig, Chris was playing the cymbals with his guitar, Combat Rock steez. Keep in mind they were playing to a seated audience.
Click here for more photos of Aberdeen City at the 9:30 Club.

By now, you've probably seen the fight between the Knicks and Nuggets last night. If not, peep the "remix" above. Apparently the Knicks took exception that four of the Nuggets starters were still in the game with 90 seconds left when they were up 19. Quoth Nate Robinson, the most hated man in the NBA:

"From what they did, keeping their guys on the court, I knew a foul was going to come. It was a good, clean, hard foul, and after that things went down from there," Robinson said. "I've never seen a team up 20 keep their starters in. They wanted to embarrass us, and it was a slap in the face to us as a team and a franchise."

Yes, this is the same Nat Robinson that earlier this month attempted a dunk during the game by passing it to himself by bouncing the ball off the court, a la his 347 unsuccessful attempts in last year's Slam Dunk Championship.

What did Robinson have to say about the attempt, where he was correctly called for travelling?

When asked what he was thinking, he replied, "I was trying to dunk it. What did it look like? It was a dunk," to New York reporters. He added he wouldn't try it again — unless maybe his team was up 20 points.

Emphasis mine, obvs. What a punk ass little bitch.

Last Dance

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Hope to see you there.

My plans for the weekend?
Middle Distance Runner early Saturday night at the Black Cat. Then on to see Sam Champion at DC9 shortly thereafter. I've heard a lot of good things about them so I'm excited to finally get to see them live.

Sunday night is Aberdeen City opening up for Rasputina at the 9:30 Club. Should be fun.

That's what good friend* Bob Ryan said to me last night when I bumped into him in the press room at the Verizon Center. The question? "Mr. Ryan, do you think the Celtics are going to land Allen Iverson?"

Officially we are out of the running and Denver is now the lead team, but I honestly think the longer this thing is drawn out, the greater the chance The Answer is playing in Beantown very soon. We should know tomorrow, that's the first day that players drafted or signed over the summer are eligible to be traded.

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The Wiz v. Nuggs game last night was a bit of a snoozer, but damn, 'Melo is pretty much unstoppable when his step back jumper is falling. And it was in the first half. He had 30 points midway through the 3rd quarter. And then, for some reason, they stopped passing it to him. I guess everyone wanted to go for theirs since they were down 18 by then. More photos here.

*I wish.

I had the chance to talk to a wide range of musical artists this year. Some highlights:

John Vanderslice
How do you feel about blogs compared with the mainstream music media?
"...It was very clear to me then that all that print media shit doesn't matter anymore. It totally does not matter. I mean, no offense to Spin or anyone like that, but people right now, hard core music people that pay attention, they're online. The big national glossies just don't have that kind of impact anymore."

Aberdeen City
What was it like working with Steve Lillywhite?
"Looking at his discography, it's pretty intense. He's one of these producers that has a real big picture approach to songs. The producer we were working with we love, he's almost part of the band. So it was great to have someone come in and look at everything from a bit of a distance and making some subtle suggestions that had a big impact on the songs. It was a pleasure to work with someone that has been making records as long as he has. You know his stuff is proven over time. It's hard to say no to the guy but everything he had to say resonated with the band."

Hopewell
You don't hide the fact that you have ties to Mercury Rev. How do you walk the line between dropping their name and making your own?
"Generally we let the people who's job it is to sell us mention Mercury Rev. It gets fairly annoying when it is in every review, every interview etc. But, I have made some peace with it. It was a formative time for me and it was a pretty life changing thing so it's worth mentioning..."

The National
Does that help the whole recording process to go out and play some shows?
"Yeah. When you're in the studio and just kinda writing stuff for a while, sometime you don't get much perspective on what you're doing. So for us it's nice to be able to walk away for a couple of weeks and just listen to the stuff and enjoy it. Sometimes you can forget where the gut of the song is and just start piling stuff on. It gets us back so we can hear where it needs to go. That's the spot we're in right now."

Silversun Pickups (Scroll down)
What's it like being an up and coming indie band in L.A.? In New York the blogs are hyping new local bands every week, whereas L.A. doesn't have as big a blog community or online presence. Did it help to be left alone for so long and be given time to grow?
"I think so. We've noticed that alot of the blogs in New York, and not in a detrimental way, but it reminds me of the press in England, where they find a new band to champion pretty often. I don't want to call them fickle, they're not like the NME,they're just horrible. But there seems to be alot more of the championing of those kind of bands whereas in L.A. maybe since it has the reputation of being the place where shitty bands go to make it big, maybe people don't pay attention to bands from L.A. as much. And in a way, that's kind of nice, not having someone constantly looking over your shoulder."

We Are Scientists
The last time we spoke was in October of 2005 and I don't even think the record was out in the US. So obviously alot of things have happened since then. Looking back, how has the year been for you guys?
"It's been amazing. There's really no way to quantify it, it's been fantastic. Obviously we do way better in the UK than we do in the US. Unfortunately or otherwise, we spent a bulk of our time in the past 21 months in Europe, which is definitely fun and it would be ridiculous of us to complain about the fact that we do really well over there and therefor have to go over there frequently. There's something nice about playing in the States, both in familiarity and just the fact that I've been to D.C. so many times in the past as a visitor and then playing really tiny, crappy places, that it's nice to play a big show and have people come out and have a good time."

I had the pleasure of interview Keith Murray of We Are Scientists last week. The full interview is up over at DCist. It's nice to talk to a band that likes D.C.:

What made you guys decide to do this one last tour before the end of the year?

We had done a co-headlining tour with Art Brut over the summer and we had a UK tour booked before then that sort of cut into the Northeastern part of that tour. So Art Brut got to hit all the good towns, Boston, D.C., New York, etc. and we got to play Lawrence, KS. You know, nothing wrong with Lawrence, but it's no D.C. We've got to stop touring eventually and start working on our next album, and we thought this tour would be a delightful way to delay that. We wanted to hit the good towns that we were so cruelly robbed of last time.

That's funny because alot of bands don't make it a point to come through D.C.

Really? We love D.C.! D.C. is definitely one of the core towns for us. Nobody in our organization, our booking agents, managers, label and those people, nobody was that interested in us doing these last few shows. But we were mad that we missed them on that last tour, so we wanted one last round in all those towns before we had to sit at home for a while.

Like Woah

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I expected AI to be in a new uniform when I woke up, not Freddy Adu! D.C. United traded the precocious youngster to Real Salt Lake today along with backup goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

Speaking of AI, is Orlando the front runner?

**Update** - More than a few (unreliable) internet sources are saying Iverson and Kevin Ollie are headed to Sacramento for Mike Bibby, Scoreless Williamson, Francisco Garcia and a #1 pick.

Word on the interweb is that the Philadelphia 76ers will be trading Allen Iverson sometime within the next 48 hours, which is leading to all sorts of speculation as to who is going to land him. From what I've read, the Sixers want cap relief in the next two years and want all the offers in by early this afternoon.

I'm too under the weather to link to everything out there so let me leave you with this. Although the Celtics can put together one of the best packages out there, I can't see Philly trading AI within their own division. Personally I wouldn't want to send Philly more than Theo Ratliff, Delonte West, Tony Allen and Sebastian Telfair. Perhaps we could throw in Wally if they send Sam Dalembert back as well. If we give up more than that, I'll be disappointed. AI's price was higher this summer, but it's significantly lower right now.

Dallas is supposedly offering Jerry Stackhouse, Austin Croshere and a pick. Golden State is ponying up Baron Davis and a pick. Sacramento is dangling Mike Bibby and a bunch of garbage. The Lakers, Denver and TWolves are also in hot pursuit. The Sixers already have 15 players under contract, so if they do a 3 or 4 for 1 deal, someone's going to have to be cut. That might gum up the works a bit or perhaps make this a three team deal.

As for me, I'm going to go back to sleep and hope I feel better when I wake up. And if AI is in another uni when I wake up, we'll talk about it then.

Also, the C's play the Sixers on Wednesday, so if something's going down between those two, I doubt a deal would go down before then. Philly's definitely going to want to put off the dreaded AI revenge game, where he's going to drop like 50 on them, as long as they possibly can.

G-g-g-g-G Unit!

Super Furry Animals have enough material for three new albums, frontman Gruff Rhys has told NME.COM.

"We've got about 20 hours worth of music recorded. The next record's a bit of a racket. By the end of the last tour we had dumped all the slow songs are were just doing rocky numbers. At that point we were rehearsing a batch of new songs and that influenced their direction - they're pretty energetic and extreme. It's very melodic, and there are a couple of mellow tunes too."

Pitchfork has the details of Gruff's upcoming solo record, Candylion along with a video. You can check out some tracks on Gruff's MySpace.

Lastly, and perhaps most exciting, is Daf's band The Peth! Check out these MP3's:
[MP3] The Peth | Let's Go Fucking Mental
[MP3] The Peth | Skin Up For Jesus
"Skin Up For Jesus" is an old, but never recorded SFA song that die hards like me have been waiting over 10 years to hear. Best.

Legendary

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Let me be the latest person to wish Larry Bird, aka Larry Legend, aka Basketball Jesus, a very happy 50th birthday. I remember sitting in my living room as a kid and going crazy as I watched this. NBA TV is running a Bird marathon today, I took some time before I left for work to erase every non-essential thing on my DVR so I can get as much of it as possible.

There's no better time than now to look back at the C's glory days, seeing as how the current Celtics are officially the worst team in the league. Perk is out three weeks with plantar fasciitis, so all three of the centers on our roster are hurt. Wally's ankle is banged up so he's been out the last two games. The only good thing about all of this is Doc has no choice but to give Al Jefferson and Gerald Green some burn. Green had 21 last night, so hopefully that will continue.

Lastly, I saw an amazing stat when I was at the bar watching the Wiz v. Knicks last night. New York is paying just over $61 million for five players that aren't even with the team any more: Allan Houston, Jalen Rose, Mo Taylor, Shandon Anderson and Jerome Williams. The Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Clippers, New Orleans Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and Charlotte Bobcats are all paying their entire roster less than what the Knicks are paying out to those five players. Incredible.

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Go vote for Mr. Pink in the Blog Pet Poll over at Gawker!

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PS - Thanks, Grambo.

What Grambo said. (Comment #5)

Best digicams of 2006. I want a 30D bad, real bad.

Hey, here's the one Top 40 copycat list that I can totally get behind. Nice work.

Torr has a new Moz B-side.

New Radiohead.

Apple iPhone?

Sox lock up JD Drew and Julio Lugo.

Go download Noel live on XFM.

From Chromewaves, The history of Pulp and the genius that is Bandwagonesque.

Last night I took in my first concert in what seems like forever, as I dragged Mike Grass with me to the Rock N Roll Hotel to check out The Changes, whose album Today Is Tonight is one of the best things I've heard all year. I got it two weeks ago and haven't listened to anything else since. To say I was looking forward to this show is a huge understatement. Unfortunately the band's live show hasn't yet reached the heights of their recorded output. They started off strong, with two of their catchiest tunes, "When I Wake" and "Water Of The Gods" but things went downhill from there. They played "On A String," a slower, twee-leaning momentum stopper that took them forever to start because everyone had to switch instruments. Then they followed that up with another song in the same vein and never really got their momentum back. The worst part was the band's (lack of) stage presence. The drummer seemed to be the only person into the show. The other three had this nonchalant, uninterested air to them that I just couldn't get past. Their lack of charisma really sucked the energy out of the show.

Locals Middle Distance Runner have a similar sound and tunes, but they ooze energy, charisma and charm onstage and when you see them play, you can't help but be drawn in to the show and have a great time. I'm not sure how many shows The Changes have played, but they're not there yet. A little work (switch up the set, talk to the audience more, less time in between songs) would go a long way for them.

All that said, I'm still a fan. "Modern Love" and set closer "Her, You And I" were uniformly awesome. "The Machine" had some of the best drumming I've heard in quite some time. The songs are there, and hopefully the live show will catch up soon. I'm definitely going to check them out next time they come through D.C.

Here are some MP3's from The Changes that I posted a while back:

[MP3] The Changes | When I Wake

[MP3] The Changes | Water of the Gods

[MP3] The Changes | Such A Scene

Off the top of my head, and according to my quick perusal through the archives, there were the 12 best shows I saw this year.

Nethers
Bicycle Thieves w/ Cedars and Nethers @ 9:30 Club - January
"Nethers is a weird hybrid of folk and shoegazer/drone rock. And by weird, I mean incredible. At times they sounded like Luna, other times like Mazzy Star and others like Sonic Youth if they went folk. It's nice to go see a band that doesn't churn out your typical indie-rock and Nethers fit the bill nicely."

Billy Bragg @ The Birchmere - February
"Bragg was in top form (apparently his voice has been pretty ragged on this tour, but not last night) and any night that you can hear "The Milkman of Human Kindness" and "A New England" is a good one. And again, even moreso when he plays the entirity of Life's A Riot With Spy vs. Spy as the encore. Best."

Wedding Present @ Black Cat - March
"The setlist (yes, I got the setlist, I am a big dork OK) wasn't as hit heavy as the last time they came through town, but I did get to hear "Go Out And Get 'Em Boy", which was the second to last song I ever played in my college radio career as well as "Brassneck" which is probably one of my 10 favortist songs ever."

Elbow @ Webster Hall - April
"Elbow was/are fucking mega. Webster Hall wasn't so bad. Big space, great lighting, tall stage. No complaints at all."

Art Brut @ Black Cat
Art Brut @ Black Cat - April
"Holy shit. Art Brut were teh awesome last night. I honestly can't remember the last time I had so much fun at a rock show. Ever go to a gig and know that it's going to be incredible after the first 30 seconds? That was me last night."

Echo & The Bunnymen
Echo & the Bunnymen @ Black Cat - June
"The Bunnies ripped through a set that focused mostly on their vast catalog, so much so, that I was actually disappointed not to hear more from Siberia, but I will stop short of complaining. "The Cutter" was to die for. And the transition form "Scissors In the Sand" right into "All That Jazz" was just incredible."

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Editors & Cedars @ 9:30 Club - July
"Last night was the second time I had seen them [Editors] this year and they were just brilliant. No matter what you think of the record, you owe it to yourself to go see this band in the live arena. They sound huuuuge."

The Walkmen
Pitchfork Fest in Chicago, Day One and Day Two - July
"Overall I really enjoyed my experience at the Pitchfork Fest. Yes the writers on the site can be pretentious wankers at times (unlike the writer of this site), but they did a great job with this event. Everything there was super cheap, from the tickets ($30 for two days), food (most dishes under $5), beer ($4 for 12 oz.), and water ($1 for 20 oz.) The lines got a bit out of control at times, but most of them moved fast and everyone inside the gates was super friendly. I felt like I got a lot for my money."

Roger Daltry @ Virgin Fest
Virgin Festival, Baltimore - September
"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."

Massive Attack @ 9:30 Club - September
"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."

The National w/ Nethers @ Black Cat - October
"Let me be the 3,476th blogger to go on record as saying The National are really fucking good. Transcendent at times. Last night I was struck by how U2-y their sound is. I mean Unforgettable Fire U2 (i.e.good U2), not "One, Two, Three, Fourteen" U2. I couldn't get over how beautiful "All The Wine" was. It's really understated on Alligator but live, it packs a wallop."

Beck @ Black Cat Backstage - October
"Beck and his band, all five of them, crowded onto the stage around 12:30 a.m. and worked their way through a spirited 19-song set, full of requests from the crowd, that spanned his whole career. Amazingly, out of all the requests being shouted, I don't recall hearing anyone ask for "Loser." The best part about the show? The band seemed to be having just as much fun as the crowd. At one point Beck joked, "The club owner said if we do good at this show, we can play the upstairs next time."

HONORABLE MENTION:
Tough Ticket
Scott Stapp @ 9:30 Club - March
"As for my thoughts...hmmmm....take every rock cliche you can think of for the live arena and multiply them to the nth degree and that is Scott Stapp. He'd done every move in Eddie Vedder's book in the first 45 seconds he was on stage."

Linkage

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Remixes by Phones usually do it for me, but not so this time. Check it out for yourself.
[MP3] Editors | All Sparks (Phones Remix)

Here's another remix for you:
[MP3] Architecture In Helsinki |Wishbone (Franc Tetaz Remix)

Stream the track "Smile" by Lilly Allen. I prefer the Lily Allen v. Stone Roses mashup that was floating around a while back.

Stream the new Ghostface track "You Know I'm No Good" featuring Amy Winehouse .

Check out MSN for audio links for Noel & Gem playing live in Paris.

Stream the entire new album by Gwen Stefani. But be warned, it's been pretty much panned across the board.

Stream "Kim's Chords" from the upcoming Sonic Youth album, The Destroyed Room: B-sides And Rarities.

Let me just go on record saying that if you're not watching 30 Rock, you're missing the best new show on TV. It is everything Studio 60 is not. Sharp, witty and LOL funny. Alec Baldwin, who has really taken his career to a new level now that he is focusing on smaller, and generally more comedic, roles, is awesome. Tracy Morgan, quite possibly the most unfunny (least funny?) SNL cast member ever, really shines. Not sure what the ratings are like, but the new slot on Thursday can't be hurting them.

I am finally ready to talk about the Celtics crushing loss to the Nets on Wednesday. I was so disgusted when the final buzzer sounded, I deleted it immediately from my DVR and tried to act like it didn't happen. Nothing like being up 15 due to some great bench play and then watching your two best players totally blow it in the end. Oy. Should we fire Doc Rivers? Here's the long and the short of it. I prefer the short version.

Say it with me now...Dirt Dog!

The Chief v. Britpop.

Speaking of Oasis, I caught Lord Don't Slow Me Down last night and it was pretty good even though watching it in a bar with half of the patrons talking over the whole thing wasn't exactly the ideal viewing environment. Unfortunately Noel has said there will be no commercial release for the new track featured in the film. As I said to Redboy a week or so ago, I think "Lord Don't Slow Me Down" (which is, quite frankly, one of the best songs Noel has written in years) will be their "Follow Me Around." And I really don't care if they release it commercially, because I have it on MP3!

iPod chargers outselling Zune on Amazon. I played around with a Zune in Circuit City earlier this week. Great display, but other than that, it's a typical Windoze product. It takes three clicks to start playing a song once you've selected it.

"I'm not sure if Hallmark makes a card for this situation....but they should."

I'm DJing at Cue Bar tonight if anyone wants to stop by.