Stranded In Stereo: April 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Stranded Local Q&A: Destruct-a-thon

This week's local band spotlight comes from Destruct-a-thon, straight from the depths of Boston's metal/punk scene. Fueled by political outrage and driven by a tumultuous wall of guitar, Destruct-a-thon has been making noise in their headquarters of Allston, Ma., since the summer of 2000. Led by Duncan Wilder Johnson's "mental patient on crack" stage presence, their gritty sound is made ten-fold with Michele Morgan's furious guitar riffs, Sean Linehan's low end attack on bass and Eric O'Brien's fast paced drumming insanity. Destruct-a-thon's latest EP, titled "Aloha Jihad" and out just yesterday has 2 songs, 1 cover and 2 bonus tracks. Tracked at New Alliance in Cambridge with His Majesty Ethan Dussault (God.Fires.Man., The Lot Six, Smoke or Fire, Everybody Out!) and mastered by Nick Zampiello (Dropkick Murphy's, Torche, Campaign For Real Time, Against Me!, Cave In, Converge) at New Alliance East. The EP features the standout track "Aloha Jihad" -- a blistering 2 minutes and 33 second tirade against the Bush Administration. Cruise on below to grab the track, and if you like what you hear, make sure you check them out this Friday at the Middle East Upstairs for the official "Aloha Jihad" EP release party with We're All Gonna Die and 26 Beers.

Now read on to see Destruct-a-thon frontman Duncan Wilder Johnson answer the same five questions Stranded In Stereo always asks local bands.

Hailing from Boston, makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because
Okay, going for honesty here: I don’t think that being from Boston makes us “better” but I would say it makes our skin a lot thicker. Boston is an intense place with a deep history in local music and punk rock. When we play other places, I notice that we’re the most energetic band on the bill, the most relentless band on the bill, and often the heaviest band on the bill. People in New England like their rock LOUD and people in Boston are a tough crowd. So, if you don’t “bring it”, you’re not going to last too long around here. That being said, Boston is where we cut our teeth, so when we play other towns people’s jaws drop because they see that we’re not fucking around.

Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you’d love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well
Clutch, The Sword, and Shat

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
This is like asking which of your kids do you like the best? We built our following playing O’Briens (so hats off to those guys), but I have to say I like playing The Middle East and Great Scott’s a lot too. We’re making our debut at Church this summer and I’m looking forward to that. Other than that, I’m dying to do an all ages punk show at The Papercut Zine Library or The Elks Lodge.

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can’t hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)
I’m not sure that I understand the question, but if you’re asking me what inspires me in regards to our music other than other music then I’d have to say Visual Art. I went to Art school. I have an insatiable love for
photography. I read. I see films (especially political documentaries). When I write the lyrics for a Destruct-a-thon song, I tend to write about what’s upsetting me in my life: people dying, general frustrations, relationships ending, and corrupt government shenanigans.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is

The Model or The Middle East. The Model is an evening place (often after shows) and I go to The Middle East earlier in the day on weekends to get food, drink a beer, and write crap.

[Mp3] Aloha Jihad

Catch them live: Friday May 2, at the Middle East Upstairs with We're All Gonna Die, 26 Beers and Official

Monday, April 28, 2008

Coldplay Announce Single, Reveal LP4 Art

Three summers ago, I was all over X&Y. When Coldplay dropped that record, it got plays non stop. Almost every song was good, dark, different, even the overplayed "Speed Of Sound," the album's lead off single, was bearable.

Since then, the band toured the world numerous times, I think Chris Martin and Gwenyth Paltrow had another baby, and they hunkered down with the legendary Brian Eno to record their fourth album, Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends. Will this be their Joshua Tree, that remains to be seen, but we will get our first chance to see what exactly went down in the studio when the band gives away their new single, "Violet Hill," for one week only beginning tomorrow at 6:15 AM EST. Will it be a landmark recording? Will it be the greatest thing ever? Will it just be another Coldplay song? We will all know this time tomorrow.

On the touring front, the band only has two shows on the horizon, and they are both free. The band will play the Brixton Academy in London on Monday June 16th, and Madison Square Garden in NYC on Monday June 23. Stay tuned to their site for info on how to get your free tickets.

Viva La Tracklisting
01 Life in Technicolor
02 Cemeteries of London
03 Lost!
04 42
05 Lovers in Japan/Reign of Love
06 Yes
07 Viva la Vida
08 Violet Hill
09 Strawberry Swing
10 Death and All His Friends

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Great Escape Preview (OK Tokyo)

OK Tokyo are three guys from the UK who’ve “traveled to the future, to pre-historic lands, and back again”, and it shows. Their combination of heavy, aggressive guitar riffs and supersonic vocals are taking electro-rock to a new, exciting realm of hard rocking and intergallactica. OK Tokyo make it clear that they don’t give a shit -- they just want you to throw your hands up and join in on their journey to the future. Their first single, “You Better Believe It” has been a staple in taking my nights out to another level. You’re tired, but sure you’ll have a beer or two. Listen to this song -- you’ll find yourself ready to fucking tear it up.

Check them out at The Great Escape on May 17th at The Brighton Coalition.

Download: "TV Evangelist" [mp3

By Erin Kapor

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Say Hello To: Soft Reeds

So, I've given enough attention lately to The Republic Tigers that it's time to move on to the other spawn of The Golden Republic: Soft Reeds. Around the same time TRT were spotted in TGR's top friends on MySpace, so were Soft Reeds, the new project of singer Ben Grimes.

Activity on their MySpace page had been rather dormant for awhile, until over the weekend when a bulletin was sent out informing the world that new demos from the upcoming Soft Reeds album, which may or may not be called
Let's Get Old, were available to check out. It also appears that Mr. Grimes has packed up and found himself in a new town, relocating from his beloved Kansas City to his new home of Nashville, the musical capital of everywhere.

The three new songs show a different canvas in which Grimes is painting upon. "A Brave New World" finds Grimes entering said new world, which is true - new "band," new location - thinking why, why, why. "Thick Of Thin Things" somewhat reminds me of the Republic he once fronted, with its keyboards humming and distinct guitar playing, filled out in the chorus by ghostly backing vocals. And there's "Look Back In Anger," which could be a retort to the Oasis tune that has a similar title, that could be an outtake from the BJM's Thank God For Mental Illness.

All in all, what Grimes is cooking up sounds rather promising: if the songs sound this good as demos, who knows what he could come up with in final versions for a release. He informed me the other day he's hoping to wrap work on the album soon and finalizing a line-up to bring the show back on the road. And that's a good thing, because it just means I get to keep spreading the gospel even more on what ever happened to one of the best bands that broke up too soon.

Stream: "A Brave New World," "Thick Of Thin Things," "Look Back In Anger" [here]

*Also be certain to check out the MySpace page for the original demo of "Buildings And Mountains," that was a Golden Republic live staple long before it was Republic Tigers track, as well as "Hemel Dalingen," the last recorded jam released by TGR before they disbanded.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Stranded Local Q&A: Wild Zero

This week's local spotlight comes to us with a bit a grit, a dash of overdrive and everything you expect from unrelenting rock in roll. Wild Zero my friends, are not for the faint of heart. Lead vocalist Clay N. Ferno says, "We've been doing this for about three years, smashing piñatas over people's heads (see picture below), cranking our Marshalls to beyond the limit, and singing songs about dirty sex acts in tubs." Mhhmmm, everything there is to love about rock and roll. In addition to Clay, the band features Dennis, Iyad and Chris on alternating lead guitar. Chip is on bass and Damien (formerly of local BOMP! legends The Coffin Lids) rounds out the band on the trap kit.

Their latest EP, II, (available in its entirety below for download) perfectly sums up Wild Zero's sound -- the punk-tinged rock and roll started by the Stooges while supplemented by the member's modern influences ranging from the Riverboat Gamblers to the Bronx to Guitar Wolf (where they obviously got their name).
Give a listen to the EP -- I personally recommend the tracks "Hike For Beer" and "Love Eraser." If you like what you hear, then head on out to their next show, May 3rd at the Abbey Lounge in Somerville.

Read on below to see what Wild Zero frontman Clay says in response to the same five questions Stranded in Stereo always asks local bands.

Hailing from Boston, makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because

Boston is a Rock and Roll town, replete with the misery of winter (songwriting) and the glorious days of Summer (BBQs and drinking.) To be fair to the rest of the world, Iyad now lives in Williamsburg, so we can only really address SOX vs. YANKEES rivalries here. Chip also holds the unique distinction of being a METS fan. To each his own, Wild Zero says!

Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you’d love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well
Riverboat Gamblers, Iron Maiden and The Sword. Heck, we already played with Cheeseburger (Kemado, NYC) and that was a dream come true right there.

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
Middle East Upstairs. I guess Downstairs is OK too, we played our very first show there!

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can’t hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)

Tough one, but the answer, unequivocally, is equal parts Steely Dan, 311, Blind Melon, Testament, Tim and Eric, Cheap Trick and Black Sabbath. We’ve actually been waiting for someone to ask us that.
Also, does being inspired by the amount someone drinks count as an inspiration? Yes? OK, Lucero, The Men, Cocked N Loaded and Motherboar are our heros.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is

Have your local readers heard of The Model Café, in Allston? We’ve been there a few times…Get in before 1:30 AM is all I am saying!


Download: The full ep II [sendspace]

Catch Them Live: May 3rd at the Abbey Lounge in Somerville with The Konks, The Curses and The Acrobrats (featuring Chris of Wild Zero)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weezer Unveil Weezer...

I haven't decided yet if I am laughing because I am in shock, or because I actually think it is funny.

Anyway, "Pork And Beans" is available today on Amazon, even though it isn't supposed to be out until Thursday. You can just stream it from the the mighty =W= homepage.

Also, be on the look out later this week for one of the best My Formative Years posts, ever.

Until then, the running order:

01. Troublemaker
02. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)
03. Pork And Beans
04. Heart Songs
05. Everybody Get Dangerous
06. Dreamin'
07. Thought I Knew
08. Cold Dark World
09. Automatic
10. The Angel And The One

11. Miss Sweeney
12. Pig
13. The Spider
14. King

Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Morning Newsletter (04/21/08)

A happy Patriot's Day to you as we celebrate with another Monday Morning Newsletter from Mr. Fritz.

Jane's Addiction will be reuniting April 23rd to receive the NME Godlike Genius Award. Strangely that is a real award, previously won by the likes of Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream and Ian Brown [Editor's Note: This award is for the NME Awards' first US edition. Also, the Manics are from Wales and Ian Brown is from Manchester]. This would be the first time the award went to a band not from London. Original bassist Eric Avery announced he will return to the band for the first time since 1991 for the event.

Scars on Broadway is mixing their first release, tentatively scheduling their self-titled debut for July. The band is a collaborative effort between System of a Down's Daron Malakian and John Dolmaya. Malakian released a press
statement saying “It has to be better than Serart, right?”

Eyeball Records signed the Wilkes-Barre based band An Albatross. The group's debut for the Jersey-based label will be available this fall.

Panic At the Disco’s album Pretty. Odd. has performed so poorly that after a month they’re planning their next release. Ryan Ross was quoted as saying “we’re doing to go back to Vegas, hit some titty bars, gamble a little, drink a lot and rethink the whole thing.” Despite that their label, Fueled by Ramen intends to release the next single May 2.

Internationally famous media mogul and evil bastard Clive Davis has announced he is stepping down as from his position as CEO of the Sony Music Group. Davis is not leaving the label, instead taking on a different role as King of all media unseating Howard Stern. Barry Weiss, head of the labels Zomba Label Group, steps into Davis’s old shoes.

RZA of the Wu-tang Clan is off his maintenance medication. A source informs Jose Fritz that RZA’s long-subressed multiple personality has resurfaced and even recorded a record. Bobby Digital is back for the first time in almost a decade. RZA said of Bobby’s work “ODB used to just put the recorder on, get drunk and make noise… You’re in your car or you’re in your crib, and it’s that hour of the day when you smoke weed and shit.” Jose didn’t even make up that part.

Rapper Foxy Brown was released from prison this week. Family and fans greeted her Friday outside Rikers Island where she has been incarcerated for 8 months. She was quoted as saying "I did almost a year in prison, a year in prison, just because my name is Foxy Brown." State Attorney general Spitzer retorted :Actually it was for beating up a manicurist.”

The living children of famed pianist Ray Charles have accused Joe Adams, his longtime manager, of mismanaging his estate. Adams said in a formal statement, "just because he can't see doesn’t mean he didn’t know what was in the contract.”

Friday, April 18, 2008

North by Northeast 2k8

Everyone knows about South By Southwest, or SXSW for you shorthanders, as the Spring Break of the music industry. But what do we do in the summer, us industry folk? Head to the Great White North, of course, to attend North by Northeast, or cleverly known better yet as NXNE.

This year's fest will no doubt be fun, as we touch down in Toronto for some music and lord knows what else from June 12th through the 15th. And who is participating, you ask? Well to name just a few, there is These New Puritans, Ok City Ok, We Are Balboa, Birds of Wales, and Last Days of April. And that's only the beginning. Make sure to head over to their site for the entire festival line up and to grab some tickets.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Rogue Wave Hitting The Road with Death Cab, Jack Johnson

Last week was the third time I saw Rogue Wave, as they kicked off their Spring jaunt in front of a sold out crowd at The Paradise here in Boston. I remember seeing them at SXSW two years ago and being blown away by their performance then, and now the California-based band is even tighter then ever, bringing songs from last year's personally lauded Asleep At Heaven's Gate to the stage to give them a new life. "Harmonium" and first single "Lake Michigan" were well beyond the phrase tour de force, as the latter featured an extended intro with all members banging on the drums. Even older songs like "Love's Lost Guarantee" and, a personal favorite, "Postage-Stamp World" were well received.

Anyway, the moral of the story is pretty simple: go see them, especially since they won't be leaving the road anytime soon. As they continue across the country, they'll be hitting the road supporting Death Cab For Cutie and their label's head honcho, Jack Johnson, this summer. They'll also be making stops at Coachella, Sasquatch, and Lollapalooza to boot.

Check all the dates at Rogue Wave's MySpace.

Watch their performance of "Lake Michigan" from the Late Show with David Letterman here

The Stranded Local Q&A: Parker House & Theory

This week's local Q&A comes to you from Parker House & Theory on the day of their CD release for their new album, "Automatic Stranger." They're no strangers to the Boston scene, having formed the band at Emerson College, where they (Carlos on lead guitar, Eric-jon on vocals & guitar, Marcos on drums, Andy on harmonica & keys, and Colin on bass) found each other playing open mics and coffeehouses.

When asked about the highlights of their career, Carlos responded: "
ask me that in a few weeks when we come back from tour with OAR and release our first full length album. As of now, maybe a mixture of winning our first Boston Music Award, on our first try, or playing the Tweeter Center with Jurassic 5, The Dropkick Murphys, 311, State Radio, G-love.
Maybe selling out the Paradise main room a few times, maybe playing 150 shows a year all over. Maybe working with a 7x grammy award winning musical genius, maybe all of the above, and then some. Maybe getting to answer questions about music, that seems pretty simple but refreshing in this crazy world of ours."

And so, speaking of getting to answer questions about music, here are Carlos' answers to the same five questions Stranded In Stereo always asks:

Hailing from Boston makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because
"Hello everyone, We're Parker House and Theory, we're from Boston, MA" that is part of every show we have ever played for the last year and a half. It's something to be proud of, sometimes a bit too proud, (this tends to get a boo or 2 when in NYC or any other non-Red Sox Nation blip on the map). We actually have a band member from Staten Island, so we're careful not to rag on his beloved NY teams too much.

The Boston music scene is so interesting, and as much as I would like to say that being from Boston makes us better, I think I would phrase it just a tad bit different, hopefully without sounding like a politician.

Boston is a tough tough scene to crack. I remember when we first got started, Eric-jon and myself taking the T to the Paradise and walking right in to the box office, and proudly saying "Hey, we're in a band, how do we get to play the main room?" The lady behind the window looked at us incredulously, muttered "LiveNation," and put the blinds down.

Welcome to Boston.

We are a historically rich town and music is part of the culture here, it all blends. That's not to say that there isn't a permeating apathetic attitude due to the abundance of music, the vast pool to choose from sometimes makes people wade in the shallow end. But when you take that proverbial leap into the deep end, you find amazing unparalleled talent. We have played some of our best shows with friends from Boston all over the country and we share that common Boston bond. Pride aside, every time I come home I am ecstatic to call Boston my town, wouldn't have it any other way. We have since packed the Paradise 3 times.

Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you’d love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well

Are the Police touring again?
I'd love to share the bill with Maroon 5, Robert Randolph, DMB, Mute Math, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald, Juanes, The Roots and Parliament Funkadelic to name a few.

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
Normally I would say the Paradise Rock Club, but check back with me after we play the Middle East Downstairs for the first time in 3 years. I'm stoked to come home.

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can’t hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)

For sure, we all (the 5 of us) come from very different musical backgrounds and it's in that small but juicy overlap that our music is created. I've never been one to listen to singer-songwriter type music, or anything that doesn't at one point or another have a thumping driving sound, but some of the guys enjoy that and have brought that into our mix, and the results have pleased me. Conceptually speaking, 2 of us are of Latin descent so it inevitably comes into play when rhythms are created. Jazz seeps into some of our chord changes, whether it's an homage or because we like the way it sounds, we always play with jazzy chords, inversions, voicings etc etc.. Harmony is something we are doing more and more of, and it's nice to listen to awesome harmonies, from all genres, and have that affect our choices. We won an award for best jam and funk band, yet we have never considered it part of our repertoire, just something that organically happened, like most of our sound.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is

The Sevens. 77 Charles St.(true inspiration for Cheers) No question. Been going there since college. Stop in and say hi to Lilly and Carlos during the days, they'll never forget your name.


Download: "Hey Hey" [mp3]

Catch them live: Tonight (April 17th) at the Middle East Downstairs with Kill the Alarm, Jukebox the Ghost.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

sOuth Coming West to America

UK outfit sOuth (no, that isn't a typo I don't think) are packing up to skip across the pond for a spring tour of the US of A, supporting their newest album, You Are Here. The album is a sonic gem that every time I hear a song come on here at the office, I stop and end up getting lost in the moment. Especially that hidden track at the end (spoiler alert!)

04.26 Brooklyn, NY @ Union Hall
04.27 Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell’s
04.29 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
05.01 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
05.02 Philadelphia, PA @ North Star Bar
05.03 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel
05.05 Chicago, IL @ Abbey Pub
05.06 Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club
05.08 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
05.11 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
05.12 Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge
05.14 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
05.15 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

Download: "Better Things" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Can't Stop Spinning: "Le Petit Coeur" by Peter Moren

Sometimes, I find myself listening to the same song and/or record over and over and over and over. And over again. This new feature will be used as a device to hopefully get you to hop on board of the same train as we enjoy hearing the same song on repeat and try not to lose our minds.

This time last year, it was all about
Writer's Block and that "Young Folks" song, and then I flipped my shit when "Up Against The Wall" was in that Levi's commercial where the guy pulls his pants up and the girl in the phone booth and everything else comes crashing through his floor. They also toured non stop, those three Swedes known by their first names, Peter, Bjorn & John. Since wrapping up leg 442 in support of one of last year's crowning achievements, Bjorn's been producing and remixing records, while Peter put the finishing touches on his solo record, The Last Tycoon, which dropped on Quarterstick Records last week.

Writer's Block
this album is not. Those looking for poppy, upbeat and catchy songs will find catchy but not so much upbeat. Maybe you will? Songs like "Up Against The Wall" and "I Start To Melt" could be found lingering in the mellow numbers that fill the Tycoon's room, such as "My Match" or my personal favorite, "Le Petit Coeur." French for my little heart, Peter uses a somewhat spoken baritone delivery over a light acoustic guitar, before his more recognizable pipes kick in over a nice string arrangement to sing the chorus in French.

Ma coeur fidèle, se malade, je t’embrasse, je t’embrasse
Le petit coeur, dormir bien, please awake, please awake
Le petit coeur awake

Now you can get this song caught in your head, too. Check it out at Peter's MySpace.

Buy: The Last Tycoon [Here]

The Great Escape Preview (Elle Milano)

When it comes to humor, Americans and Brits have a totally different idea of what funny is. Most American bands that deem themselves as funny or witty are just merely obnoxious, singing about poop or girls or whatever, but the Brits revel in subtlety and wit, coming at you with a crack when you least expect it.

Elle Milano are by no means a funny band, but they infuse their lyrics with a wit reminiscent of Art Brut, Bromhead's Jacket or The Indelicates. With lines that don't hit you until the 50th listen, they're a gift that keeps on giving, all the while being backed by excellent spiky, spastic post-punk. After a few years of holding us at bay, the band has just self-released their debut, Acres of Dead Space Cadets, a perfect collection of tunes for a jilted generation. This is an early contender for album of the year.

Catch them on May 17th, the closing night of this year's
Great Escape.

"Oh Society, Look What You've Done" [
mp3] // [Buy Here]

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Afternoon Newsletter (04/14/08)

He was busy filing his taxes this morning, so we now give you the rare Monday Afternoon Newsletter from our own Jose Fritz.

. is releasing a new album this June titled Seeing Sounds. Members Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo said the title was inspired by their synesthesia -like symptoms traced to a batch of tainted weed acquired in Pittsburgh. Sometime member Shay Haley said “You gotta learn to grow your own dog.” They embark on a tour with Kanye West this Spring.

Mariah Carey is rumored to be working on a work-out video due out this summer. She intends to follow that with a series of recorded lectures on her recommendations for liposuction, saline breast implants, collagen injection, botox and rhinoplasty.

R.E.M. vocalist Michael Stipe stated this week that he firmly believes public figures should be open about their sexuality. Stipe was listed in the Out magazine list of gay celebrities in 1995, and in a 2001 interview with time magazine described himself as a “queer artist.” I thought it was pretty obvious. How could you not fucking notice? Get your gaydar checked." Stipe said.

Vanilla Ice was arrested for domestic violence again this week vying with long-time record holder Bobby Brown for most wife-beating arrests. The one-hit wonder was released from Palm Beach County Jail Friday with a restraining order. Jose still thinks nothing is funnier than his appearance with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

My Morning Jacket’s new album Evil Urges is scheduled to hit June 10. They did a sneak preview live set for NPR back in March. And have followed that up with a bigger video teaser for Rolling This will be their fifth album and second with producer John Leckie.

The Documentary Young @ Heart begins screening next week. It follows the Young At Heart Chorus, a group of senior citizens covering punk and rock songs by artists like Sonic Youth, The Ramones, and the Sex Pistols. It started as a 2006 BBC documentary, but screened well at Sundance film festivals in 2007. There are literally members of this group performing with oxygen tanks.

This week Matchbox Twenty canceled a planned July 18th performance at the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo. Lead singer Rob Thomas explained "We ask that you please understand that it would be impossible for us to put ourselves in the position of making money from what we believe to be the mistreatment of tasty, tasty animals."

Les Claypool will be contributing videogame music for the upcoming "Mushroom Men" video game series due out later this Fall. The series will have compatible releases for the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS. His new DVD, the semi-satirical Electric Apricot will be out May 13th.

The Christian and Gospel music community will gather this week in Nashville for the GMA Music Week, the Gospel Music Associations’ annual gathering of the flat earth society. The show will be broadcast live from the Grand Ole Opry for the first time since 2002.

Volcom Records will be releasing a new record by Totimoshi this July 8th. The album, Milagrosa, was produced by former Helmet front man Page Hamilton. Page Hamilton found time to contribute guitar and vocals now that his solo project Gandhi is on hold. In other words Gandhi lasted as long as victory in Iraq and Page is looking for work.

Weezer eat Pork And Beans

On April Fools Day 2k8, it was announced that Weezer's sixth album would boar a familiar title: Weezer. In keeping tradition with Weezer albums of self-titled past, this one would be known to the world as the Red Album for the color scheme the album's art work would utilize. At first, I was thinking it was just a silly April Fools joke, especially when it was mentioned that the first single would be called "Pork And Beans," but then Karl Koch of Karl's Corner at Weezer's official site confirmed all this was indeed true. I was baffled, wanting to denounce my allegiance to Rivers Cuomo and his band that I've had for many years.

But then, this past weekend, a 30 second clip for "Pork And Beans" was made available to check out on Amazon as a precursor to the release of said single next week. And I hate to admit it, but, it's good. It sounds pretty good. Like old Weezer good. Maybe all that chatter Rivers had mention of everyone taking turns singing and hip-hop verses and swing music or whatever was all a lie. I guess that will all be answered in time.

Weezer drops June 17th. Get your first, uh, taste of "Pork And Beans" here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Great Escape Preview (The More Assured)

When a band comes along that shakes up a music scene, they are always followed by a ton of imitators, some bad and some that are good. The Libertines brought about a lot of copycats, but London's The More Assured fall into the latter group, also being part of a larger network of capital area (post) teenage bands that are starting to garner international notice. Among these are Kets, FortyFives, Lo-Fi Culture Scene and former band of the week, Pull in Emergency. The band has just a few singles out, all of which are out of print except for the latest one, "I Wanna Be a Sex Offender." Their next show will be a slot at this year's Great Escape in Brighton (England) on May 15th.

Download: "Zones" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

London Underground Shoe Giveaway

This week we're going to be a bit sexist, so we have to apologize in advance. Why is that, you ask? We've partnered up with London Underground, a new, punk-inspired shoe company out of LA. They have a unique and wearable line solely for women. We think this is a great line, so take a moment and browse the site and see if there's anything you like. We are giving away two pairs, and like always, just e-mail us and we'll choose the winners Monday afternoon.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Rosebuds Release Remix Album. Today. For Free.

The Rosebuds are one band I never tire of, who keep on getting better and better with every release that comes about. Today is no exception as Ivan and Kelly unleash Sweet Beats, Troubled Sleep, a remix of last year's #6 record, Night Of The Furies. The 10-track set features remixes from labelmates Portastatic, Roger O'Donnell, and Justin Vernon, better known to the world as Bon Iver.

The set is available, right now for download, from Merge's nifty digital store. Oh, and it's free!

The Stranded Local Q&A: The Cold Beat

This week's local Q&A comes from Boston's new(ish) and promising band The Cold Beat. The members are a close-knit group of friends consisting of Chris Amaral (vocals/guitar), Mike Vera (bass/vocals), Shep (guitar) and Dan Webb (drums, vocals) of which Amaral says, "We're a product of the inherently incestuous nature of any music scene/social group. It's filthy, really."

The Cold Beat
has current members of Where the Land Meets the Sea and former members of Boston groups such as Lock and Key, The Call Up, inblackandwhite, The Losing Kind and The Murder Mile.

Incestuous? I think that only begins to describe their relationship. But in this case (and probably this case only that I can think of) is incest a great thing. The Cold Beat's sound reminds me personally of all the reasons why The Replacements are great while incorporating punk sensibilities from modern bands like California's Samiam.

Amaral took the time to answer the same five questions SIS always asks local bands. (Also if you don't know who Complete is, don't ask me after you get done reading this Q&A because we're no longer friends...

Hailing from Boston, makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because

Everyone I know constantly talks about leaving, which implies that they're unsatisfied. I've never heard of a good song written about being satisfied.

Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you'd love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well
Complete, CMPT, Hoogie Boogie Land.

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
Great Scott.

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can't hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)
Interesting question. Listen to the screams at the end of Husker Du's cover of "Eight Miles High", and you might get the idea.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is
The Silhouette. Multiple generations of my family have been kicked out.


Download: "I Want To Be Free" [mp3]

Catch them live: May 31st at the Middle East Upstairs with The Gaslight Anthem.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Great Escape Preview

This May will be a big one for Stranded In Stereo, as we jump across the puddle and attend the Great Escape Festival in Brighton. Europe's leading music festival, Great Escape runs this year from May 15th through the 17th and Stranded In Stereo will have it covered for you!

The lineup is rather intense, featuring buzz bands like Vampire Weekend, Beach House, and Lightspeed Champion, alongside (what I would call, at least) heavyweights such as The Futureheads, The Fratellis, The Wombats, The Hold Steady, and a bunch more.

Stay tuned to Stranded In Stereo as we'll start previewing the festival in the coming days, and will begin feature bands playing the fest as our Band Of The Week. And, of course, we'll give you first hand reports from the field from our own Dany Sloan. Get ready.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Republic Tigers Touring With Tally Hall, Nada Surf

I really can't stop listening to this new record from The Republic Tigers. We're a month away from Keep Color being unleashed to the world, and the band hits the road tonight in Albany with Tally Hall. They also just announced a handful of dates with those Nada Surf boys I also enjoy rather immensely, which you can find on their MySpace

Republic/Tally Tour:
04/08 Albany NY - Jack Rabbit Slim's
04/09 Clinton NY - Kirkland Arts Center
04/10 Northampton MA - Iron Horse
04/11 Westport CT - Toquet Hall Teen Center
04/13 Boston MA - Great Scott
04/14 Brooklyn NY - Southpaw
New York NY - Bowery Ballroom
04/17 Washington DC - DC9
04/19 Plymouth MI - Salem High School

Also, be on the lookout for an interview I recently did with the band, which will hit the web next week.

Download: "Buildings & Mountains" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

Monday, April 7, 2008

Saul Williams Giveaway

Do you live in Boston? Do you have nothing going on tomorrow night? How would you like to go see Saul Williams live at the Paradise? E-mail me right now and I'll pick someone randomly here in a bit to get a pair of tickets to tomorrow night's gig.

Lollapalooza Lineup Revealed; Rusty's mind = blown

Last year was amazing, and this year will be even better. Click the above link to see the lineup (like you haven't seen it somewhere else already.)

Like last year, Stranded In Stereo will be covering the festival, hopefully with more coverage than last so stayed tuned for that in .. August, yes.

Monday Morning Newsletter (04/07/08)

Bassist Nikki Sixx has been named President of Eleven Seven Records, the label that put out his last Japanese Import. Label founder Allen Kovac had reportedly turned down the yet unnamed new Motley Crue album. Sixx, a man of discerning taste, may be releasing his own album again.

Britain’s Border Agency is appealing a lower courts court's decision to allow Snoop Dogg into the UK. Mr. Dogg was barred from Britain after an arrest for a “violent disruption” at Heathrow Airport back in 2006. Snoop appealed the ban and received entry clearance from an asylum and immigration tribunal in January. The Border Agency Stated “Mr. D-O Double G may also have been carrying marijuana.”

This week, NKTOB admitted a reunion album and tour was definitely in the works. Though disbanded in 1994, New Kids On The Block and have managed to achieve varied levels of success individually film, music, and TV. The last time all five members appeared together was in a commercial for the hair club for men.

Bozeman, Montana band, The Clintons are earning some national attention this week as a result of their comedic ballad, "A Love Song for Hillary Clinton.” The promo effort, complete with prerequisite Youtube video of course is an utter abomination. Jose Fritz will be voting for Obama; rumor has it, his vote actually matters this year.

Inexplicably rapper and clothing designer Big Boi will be performing in a ballet of his own making titled “Big”. The two-hour performance was choreographed by Lauri Stallings. Big is part ballet and part concert. Jose Fritz would like to know what Big Boi is smoking.

Norma Jean have entered the studio to begin recording their new album, The Anti Mother. They better hurry, they have a 3 month trans-America tour scheduled starting in June.

Fear Factory's Christian Olde Wolbers (guitars) and Raymond Herrera (drums) have formed a new band dubbed Arkaea with Jon Howard of Threat Signal. Somehow in congress they sound like old Pro-Pain. Jose Fritz has not decided if that is embarrassing or not.

Buckethead's album Enter The Chicken will be re-released through Serjical Strike on April 8th. This is not remastered or remixed but does feature a bonus track by the name of "Shen Chi".

The producer and rapper Lil Jon has started his own wine label, Little Jonathan. It offers selections including chardonnay, merlot and Sizzirp. The Little Jonathan Winery is not his first foray into the drink market: In 2003 he launched Crunk, an energy drink that tasted worse than diet Tab.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Music From Northern Ireland Giveaway

Typically, I'm not a huge fan of compilations. I'm a huge fan of mixes that I personally put together, but when someone gives me a compilation I kind of just put it at the way side. But then we were given a compilation of bands hailing from Northern Ireland, and I must say I was kind of impressed. Besides well known bands like Snow Patrol, Ash, Oppenheimer, and The Divine Comedy, there's also this song by a band called Clone Quartet that I can't seem to get out of my head.

So I was sitting around, and thought "Why shouldn't I share the wealth?" If you want to check out this compilation, entitled New Music From Northern Ireland, e-mail me the answer to the following question:

What is the capital of Northern Ireland?

I'll pick three people at random on Monday who have the correct answer to receive the compilation.
Best of luck!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The National: Documentary DVD, New "EP"

It was almost a year ago when The National graced us all with this little album called Boxer. By the year's end, it was included on many year end lists, and topped many (including Paste and some silly blog you are reading right now.) At the same time, the band announced a web site featuring clips from the documentary A Skin, A Night, filmed during the recording of Boxer by Takeaway Show and current R.E.M. do-gooder Vincent Moon. And here we are a year later, and the documentary is finally going to see the light of day, and with an extra goody as well for hardcore fans of the band.

A Skin, A Night + The Virginia EP
will be out from the lovely folks at Beggars on May 20th, about 52 weeks after Boxer was unleashed. While the DVD will be the documentary fans have waited to see over the last year, the "EP" will feature 12 tracks (hence why I keep writing "EP," it's like the Fiery Furnaces EP which had 10 songs) culling together b-sides, demos, radio sessions, and two brand new songs. To quote Borat, I very excite.

The Virginia EP:
1. You Done it Again, Virginia
2. Santa Clara
3. Blank Slate

4. Tall Saint

5. Without Permission

6. Forever After Days

7. Rest Of Years

8. Slow Show

9. Lucky You

10. Mansion On The Hill
11. Fake Empire
12. About Today

Until then, the band will play Coachella and a one-off at Messiah College (back near my home land! Yay Central PA!) before hitting the road with that R.E.M. band some people know and Modest Mouse.

05/23 Vancouver--Deer Lake Park
05/29 Los Angeles--Hollywood Bowl
05/31 Berkeley--The Greek Theatre
06/03 Denver--Red Rocks Amphitheatre
06/06 Chicago--United Center
06/08 Toronto--Molson Amphitheatre
06/10 Raleigh--Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
06/11 Washington, DC--Merriweather Post Pavilion
06/13 Boston--Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
06/14 Long Island--Jones Beach Theater
06/18 Philadelphia--Mann Center for the Performing Arts
06/19 New York City--Madison Square Garden
06/21 Atlanta--Lakewood Amphitheatre

The Stranded Local Q&A: Jaggery

This week the Stranded in Stereo Local Q&A focuses on a newly-local band, Jaggery, originally founded in Brooklyn and recently transplanted to Boston. Mali Sastri, vocalist and keyboardist (and native of Lexington), explains “we’ve always felt a special appreciation and support for what we do here, and it’s exciting and gratifying to be able to call Boston home now.”

Jaggery's genre-defying sound is as likely to bring to mind the Cocteau Twins as Diamanda Galas. Mali's ability to bridge the delicate with the fierce is both a signature of her voice and of Jaggery's repertoire - from haunting lullabies to furious, mixed-meter rants; tightly-woven, classically-tinged compositions in odd time signatures to catharsis-inducing, barn-burning mini-epics (often within the same song). She is flanked by a roating line-up of musicians and instrumentation, creating an ethereal, exotic "musical mobile".

Mali recently took a few minutes to answer the same five questions Stranded In Stereo always asks:

Hailing from Boston makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because
as a band, we're really too new to say we hail from Boston ~ we've been Boston-based for only a month. but i personally did grow up in lexington, ma, so i've always hailed from this area, & just come home. & i've got to say ~ & this was a major factor in my coming back ~ that there's something going on here. something creative & spectacular. something in the water. i had to come back to the source.

Name at least three bands that are still around and t
ouring that you’d love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well
i would just wet my britches if we got to open for any of the following: diamanda galas, faun fables, rasputina, oh there are tons of others ... would love to tour with the dresden dolls/amanda palmer, lisa germano, sigur ros, & would love to play live w/ the dance company, Momix, or w/ a circus.

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
lizard lounge & middle east.

Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can’t hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)
interesting question. the DIY aspect of the punk movement has definitely influenced me conceptually, though jaggery is hardly a punk band. i myself am not a jazz fan, but the importance of and reliance on improvisation in jazz, as well as many other aspects of it, have greatly influenced my bandmates, & therefore our sound. we're big fans of the odd time signature & mixed meter, & so have structural similarities w/ prog & math rock, but our sound tends to be way more ethereal.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is
i'm really too new to boston to answer this w/ any authority ~ i've only been to about 3 bars. been mainly drinking wine cozy at home. i'll have to get back to you on that one.


Download: o scorpio [mp3]

Catch them live:
Tomorrow (April 3rd) at Great Scott, 9pm / $9, with Cober, Audrey Ryan, and Copal.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Does It Offend You, Yeah? Drop Debut, Tour US

We're almost through the first quarter of the year already, and only one album has stuck with me and that's the debut from the electro outift Does It Offend You, Yeah? Taking their name from a quote in the original series of The Office, the band channels equal parts of Justice, The Rapture, and dare I say it .. I'm oft reminded of the sax solo of INXS' classic "What You Need" during the breakdown of "With A Heavy Heart (I Regret To Inform You)". And people really don't take me seriously, but "Let's Make Out" is a contender for my Single of the Year. No lie. The album, entitled You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into, is available now via iTunes, with a physical release due April 15th.

Here's the video for the single "We Are Rockstars"

The band will be hitting American audiences on a tour with Yo Majesty, so check them out when they hit up your city.


4/26 Indio, CA @ Coachella

4/30 San Diego, CA @ Casbah

5/1 Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theater

5/2 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
5/3 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
5/5 Portland, OR @ Hippodrome

5/6 Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s

5/7 Vancouver, BC @ Richard’s on Richards

5/9 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

5/10 Denver, CO @ Bluebird

5/12 Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave.

5/13 Chicago, IL @ Mansion
5/14 Cleveland, OH @ Grog Shop

5/15 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s

5/16 New York, NY @ Highline Theater

5/17 Brooklyn, NY @ Southpaw

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Futureheads Returning To The World

It seems like it has been forever since The Futureheads released 2006's News & Tributes, but the wait will come to an end when the English quartet release their new album, This Is Not The World, on May 27th.

World will be the band's first album on their own imprint, Nul Recordings, after spending time on both Sire and Vagrant. The band recently released the first single from the album, "The Beginning Of The Twist," in the UK. Here is the video for that catchy gem:

The band will tour Europe in May and June, and I would only assume a US tour would follow soon after. I, for one, cannot wait.

: "Broke Up The Time" [mp3]

SIS Club Night #3

They say that April showers bring May flowers. Well now you can come out rain or shine and say goodbye April, hello May with this month’s Stranded In Stereo Club Night at Rehab (formerly Club Midway) in NYC. Here’s the 411 on the where, the whom, and why you should show up:

SIS Club Night – Wednesday April 30th – 9PM - $3
at Rehab (formerly Club Midway) - 25 Avenue B - NYC
F or V to 2nd; F, J, M, or Z to Delancey/Essex


Breaking Laces [9:30]
Breaking Laces is a three-piece acoustic/electro indie rock band from Brooklyn that combines stellar songwriting, pure organic musicianship, and subtle electronic splashes to create a sound that is fresh, accessible and at times, mind-blowing. We dare you to peg them. Come on. Peg ’em. Others have tried - Weezer meets Elvis Costello, Squeeze meets Radiohead, even Martin Sexton meets James Blunt. Why so hard to peg: because they are original yet familiar. They’re real.

Holler, Wild Rose [10:15]
Is it better to brave rough waters or abandon the ship in fear of sinking? For Backlight Records’ New Jersey-based Holler, Wild Rose!, they assume the title of captain going down with the ship. But Holler survives the storm, as their debut album Our Little Hymnal, is a testament to reaching for the transcendent beyond the struggle of life. Known for drawing in their live audience with their obvious collaborative enthusiasm, Holler was named after Hymnal’s opening (which has become a landmark crowd favorite at their concerts).

The Teenage Prayers [11:00]

It's a risky business to meet your musical heroes. They can shatter your illusions in a word. Or they can turn out to be the people you dream them to be. So far, the Teenage Prayers are two-for-two on the winning side of that equation. In 2005, Grammy-winning soul legend Solomon Burke offered to produce a final track for their first album, Ten Songs, flew the New York group to LA and did just that. In 2006, Steve Wynn -- founder of the Dream Syndicate and 30-year hero of the DIY rock world -- watched the Teenage Prayers open a gig for him. He, too, offered to produce them. The result: Everyone Thinks You’re the Best. Best is filled with raucous melodies, a truly dislocated sense of time and place and lyrics that explore the dark corners of manhood and mankind.