Stranded In Stereo: March 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Morning Newsletter (3-30-09)

Wilco has confirmed rumors that Feist will appear on their next album. The untitled work is set for a late June release on Nonesuch. Wilco is presently in the missing process with producer Jim Scott at his Valencia, California studio.

Clutch also is preparing an as-yet-untitled album for a June release. Their CD will come out on their own Weathermaker Music label. They’ve already booked a set of East Coast and Midwest dates to promote the release. The tour will then close out the tour with an appearance as their other incarnation The Bakerton Group at a May 23rd show.

Friday a judge sentenced Rapper T.I. aka Clifford Harris to a year and a day in prison.
Magnum T.I. is up on federal weapons charges for an attempting to purchase machine gusn and silencers last year. The plea bargain for a year and a day allows Mr. TI to get early release. Had he received any less he’d have been forced to serve the full term. Potentially he could have served 10 years like anyone who cant' call MTV.

Rapper 50 Cent will be playing a set of 5 shows with Fall Out Boy. The dates are in Denver, Grand Prairie, Houston, Charlotte, and Columbia Maryland. The Kevlar-clad hip-hopper will be releasing not one but two record this year. Why that’s not a double disc I don’t’ know.

Fergie is auctioning her underwear for charity on eBay. If you've a deranged stalker or just have a very strange fetish today is your day. Other top-drawer donors include Emma Thompson, Helen Mirren and Sacha Baron Cohen. The proceeds benefit the New North London Synagogue.

Chin Up Chin Up have called it quits. They’ve planned a final show May 15 at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. On their Myspace page, vocalist Jeremy Bolen wrote: “Thank you to the hundreds of people who have helped us along the way, we have been truly lucky, and as cliché as it may sound, we could not have done any of this without you."

Metallica is being inducted into the Rock N’ Roll hall of fame this April 4th. The dysfunctional band has invited every bipedal mammal tangentially involved in the band for the last 2 decades. The Metallica guest list includes Megaforce and Elektra staff, publicists, music critics, and former bassists Ron McGovney and Jason Newsted, and Ray Burton, father of the late Cliff Burton. Dave Mustaine has decided to stay home and sulk.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Rushing: New Video, Win an iPod Touch!

Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins and Queens of the Stone Age are just a few of the rock gods counted as influences by British-based rockers The Rushing. A youthful State-side influenced rock drama with a bit of stiff upper lip British heritage turns its back on the stringy guitars and fraying vocals of the “scene” and attempts to re-fuel a few forgotten memories of legends past. The amps just got turned back up to 11!

The band recently debuted the video for the song "Step Inside" from their debut album on their MySpace page and want you to watch it and win an 8GB iPod Touch! To enter all you have to do is watch the clip and these questions:

1. What make of amp can be seen at the end of the corridor?
2. What motif does lead singer Jonny Ross have on his t-shirt?
3. What does the geek have to use when he gets too excited?
4. How many different girls appear in the video?
5. What is the name of The Rushing's debut album?

Act quickly - answers must be in by Wednesday, April 8th. We'll pick a winner at random who answered all the questions correctly. Send your answers here.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Common Market Video: "Escaping Arkham"

So despite their recent tour with Digable Planets being canceled due to that band's implosion, Common Market have released the video for "Escaping Arkham" from their new Winter's End EP which also dropped the week. While the song explores the intersection of life and lifelessness, the video sets said crossroads at the cemetery of the famed Trinity Church in New York. I like this video; then again, I like most music videos. Most.

Click the image above to watch the clip on the MTVU site; buy Winter's End on iTunes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Can't Stop Spinning: Living Thing by Peter Bjorn & John

I'll first go on record by saying I went in to this record turned off. We were in a van, driving along I-84 through Connecticut from NYC back to Boston one weekend. We were graced with one of those fancy watermarked copies of Living Thing, the brand spanking new album from everyone's three favorite Swedes Peter, Bjorn & John. Our van driver said "Issac said this one's different - there's next to no guitars on it." We put it in, a beeping tone goes off like someone opened the door to the van. John starts singing amidst breaks of hand claps and doo-doo's. Our jaws had dropped, with the collective look that could be summarized by one sentence:

What the fuck is this?

There were no guitars there. There were no guitars in the second song, "It Don't Move Me", either. Instead of some chords being strummed, it's all drum beats piano loops and exotic sounding moments of percussion, something I would soon realize was rather prevalent with every future listen. I remember the record starting to pick up by the time the first single, "Nothing To Worry About" came on. Guitars finally entered when Bjorn sang "I'm Losing My Mind", but by the time we got to the final quarter of the album we were all lost. We didn't know what we just heard. Was it a joke, was it an album made on a dare?

With me being me, I was automatically excited. Like it reads in their new bio, most people probably don't know that is their fifth album, following up last year's vinyl/digital only
Seaside Rock instrumental opus. Most ignorant Americans probably figure this is their second album. They've been making songs since 1998, people!

I gave it a break, but came back week's later. "The Feeling" still irks me, but as a whole I guess it just is the right song to start it off with, to give the new feeling and vibe that you're about to go on a different journey. I feel like Peter doesn't sing so much, but if you do a breakdown of the songs he still sings lead on seven of the dozen.

The shining section, the suite that ties the room together is right in the middle, from American single ("Worry") to the even better European single ("Lay It Down"). In between there, the first prominent guitars show up on "Mind"; a trippy nod to 60s pop that might almost fit on
Writer's Block. After that comes the not-so-far from Graceland/could be on Made In The Dark title track, a song doused in every new element the band is embracing. The clanging empty bottles or whatever they are juxtaposed with Bjorn panning the statement 'It's a living thing,' with a near schizophrenic breakdown in the chorus. "I Want You!", like "Mind", is as close as it's gonna get to pre-Living Thing PB&J.

After "Lay It Down" the album almost becomes forgettable, just making it's way to the end, yet it still has its moments and worth listening to. "4 Out of 5" is full-on last song at the club at 3 AM with a fat bear and docile vocals from Bjorn. And the album comes down with the synth echos of "Last Night", a moment John says that sure could change the past, as random beats come swooping in from the darkest corners like "In The Air Tonight". Maybe Phil Collins is in the room?

If I could write one thing, and this post was only allowed to be one sentence long, it would be something about how I applaud them for making an album they want to. This isn't
Writer's Block II, no one is whistling in between verses traded off by a boy and a girl. This is a band who deserves to be awarded for their artistic merit, making this stark/dark 80s pop record. This is like when The Rosebuds took a step off the path and succeeded with Night of the Furies, going down that dark and ominous path to come out with something different yet accessible. Most people are going to pan this like their ill-fated SXSW gigs last week, but maybe people will go in with an open mind and a good set of headphones to take it all in.

Stream: Living Thing [MySpace]

Stranded Q&A: Mission Hill

Boston based alternative rock band Mission Hill formed in 2006, and have since gained a large east coast following. Their latest demos have caught the attention of many major labels and have spurred their signing to a new management team. Recent acclaim includes being awarded an LA Music Award for "Indie Male Vocalist of the Year," and being named to the number one spot on Alternative Addiction's list of "Top Ten Unsigned Bands in the Country."

By mixing provocative songwriting, catchy hooks, moody vocals, an energetic show and strong musicianship with an unerring commitment to their unique sound, Mission Hill has become a force to be reckoned with on the New England Music Scene. You can check them out for yourself at

1. Hailing from Boston makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because:
"There are a shitload of really good musicians here in Boston, which makes for a very competitive scene and a great environment to hone your skills. Plus we have wicked cool accents."

2. Name at least 3 bands that are still around and touring that you'd love to be on a bill with, and think fits well:
Third Eye Blind, The Fray, Snow Patrol.

3. Your favorite Boston venue to perform is:
Harpers Ferry. Great sound system, great staff, great room. Always a good time at Harpers."

4. Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can't hear from listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)
"As a musician and a songwriter I am coming from all different directions as far as influences. Lots of them you probably can't hear in the music but they are definitely there. But I am most influenced by experiences and things I encounter."

5. Your favorite local bar to hit up when not going the whole band deal is:
My favorite bar of the month is The Whitehorse Tavern... Cheap beer and great late-night bacon cheese burgers."

You can catch Mission Hill on April 3rd at Oliver's @ Cask n' Flagon as part of the Boston Music Spotlight Series.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Passion Pit Ready Manners, Reveal "The Reeling"

More than anyone, for reasons unannounced, have I spent a lot of time with Passion Pit. Not with the guys, but with their music. Chunk of Change, the Boston-based band's debut EP, is something that was on repeat for all of the fall. They were the one band I saw at CMJ more times than any other, frankly because they were everywhere.

And after running amok in the US and the UK and at SXSW, the band is currently taking a siesta before their debut full-length,
Manners, is before us on May 19th. The 11-song set features lots of hand bells, lots of grooves, trumpets, a sleepyhead and a children's choir to boot.

1. Make Light
2. Little Secrets
3. Moth's Wings
4. The Reeling
5. Eyes As Candles
6. Swimming in the Flood
7. Folds In Your Hands
8. To Kingdom Come
9. Sleepyhead
10. Let Your Love Grow Tall
11. Seaweed Song

To give you a taste - with those trumpets and the children's choir in tow - check out "The Reeling" on the band's MySpace.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Band of the Week: Title Tracks

When we started the Band of the Week column some time ago, the first band I wrote about was Georgie James. I loved them. Their debut album, Places, was in my Top 10 of 2007. And then, they broke up. Rusty=sad. But then John Davis, who also was the drummer for Q & Not U, wasted no time in getting a new project going. Named Title Tracks, Davis channels great pop moments of the 60s that aren't far off from his times in GJ. He's signed with the influential Dischord label who will issue the band's first single, "Every Little Bit Hurts", on April 6th.

Stream: "Every Little Bit Hurts" [MySpace]

Monday Morning Newsletter (3-22-09)

Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction and Street Sweeper have released a 6-song EP for free download. It features previously unreleased music from all three artists. You can get it here.

Regina Spektor is putting the finishing touches on her fifth LP, Far. In recording She worked with four different notable producers: David Kahne, Jacknife Lee, Mike Elizondo even guitarist Jeff Lynne from the band ELO. The album is slated for the end of June.

The Barcelona natives Los Vera Cruz have posted their new record online for free download. Jose has read their instructions in espanol and their intention is that you download yes, but also buy their record on vinyl to properly appreciate it. An a limited edition of 500 copies are being pressed.

Thrice has been steadily blogging through the writing process of their new but untitled album. They have about 13 new songs in the works in various forms of completion. You can read about their shut-in exploits here.

Kid Rock has been at his own Allen Roadhouse studio for weeks now workin on a new album. Both the Twisted Brown Trucker Band and hack studio engineer Uncle Kracker, have been on and throughout.

Reprise record is reissuing the Green day catalog on vinyl this year starting with 39/Smooth and Kerplunk March 24th. Dookie is due April 18 and other releases following each month ending with the live record Bullet In A Bible on November 10th. In the middle of that streak, their box set of singles and rarities will come out as well.

Bob Dylan is not dead, but actually still recording. His new album Together through Life is complete and slated for an April 28th release. Most of the album was composed during the sessions for th soundtrack to the film, My Own Love Song.

Nelly Furtado has launched her own record label, Nelstar. The first release from Nelstar will be Fritz Helder & The Phantoms' debut record, due out July 7. The label is named for the trip hop duo she was in with Talis Newkirk in 1996. Jose is withholding his opinion of the record, but there is a reason that they call them “vanity” labels.

Bass guitar-wanker Billy Sheehan is putting out a new solo album, Holy Cow! due April 14 on Mascot Records. Guests on the album include Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and Doug Pinnick of King’s X. Sheehan is a long time studio bassist and part time tour hand for a number of other guitar-wankers. He's also a looney scientologist with a quite pricey OT III rating.

Friday, March 20, 2009

SIS At The Club: Bloc Party / Longwave

(Photo by G. Khaikin/iPhone)

It seems that ever since 2005, I see
Bloc Party on a semi-annual basis in March. The first was at SXSW on the evening of their stellar debut,
Silent Alarm. Two years later it was here at the Orpheum in Boston. Two other times occurred when they did a one-off opening for some Pixies band at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and the last time was in August along with 70,000 others or something before Radiohead at Lollapalooza.

So for the fifth time, in support of their latest album,
Intimacy, which is quite awesome and much better than A Weekend In The City, they started off some US dates at the recently opened House of Blues by that baseball field. Since seeing them at Lolla, "Mercury" has grown on me. During said song was highly entertaining: lead singer Kele Okereke was having a stage hand remove the mic stand for him, when suddenly he became tangled around him. He danced around the guy a bit, and finally with a barrel roll, successfully became untangled and at stage right reaching out to shake some fans hands. I have video. It's on my phone. Someday I will upload it to the internet and share with you.

And while they played all the fan favorites and classics ("This Modern Love", "Hunting For Witches", "The Prayer", so forth and so on) for me the second encore proved to be perfect. The two song finale of
Intimacy opener "Ares" in to Alarm opener "Like Eating Glass" was like a perfect portrait of where the band is now and where they've come from. The huge drum 'n bass Chemical Brothers freak out of "Ares" and the whole just perfect song in "Glass" it was simply the evening's highlight.

Longwave started up a leg of dates with the Party on this night. Focusing most on songs from last year's
Secrets Are Sinister (no "Devil & The Liar" though - tsk tsk), the band also were able to play a few tracks from both There's A Fire and The Strangest Things. Lead singer Steve Schiltz even got a chance to make a shout out to his friends in The Sheila Devine in the middle of one song; it was awkard yet refreshing to know that bands still give shout outs to bands when they are in their territory. I also found out that the band recently joined the ultimately hip as they now have a Twitter account and are giving away a download of Secrets import bonus track "Sideways Sideways Rain". Cool, huh?

Bloc Party Set List
One Month Off / Trojan Horse / Hunting For Witches / Positive Tension / Biko / Waiting For The 7.18 / Song For Clay (Disappear Here) / Banquet / Better Than Heaven / Blue Light / Mercury / This Modern Love / The Prayer /// Halo / Price of Gasoline / Flux / Helicopter // Ares / Like Eating Glass

Download: "Sideways Sideways Rain" [mp3]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stranded in Stereo Volume 13 is Ready for Download!

If you didn't get to SXSW this year (fear not, I am once again sans BBQ and sun in the cold and cloudy Boston tundra), we have just the pick me up! It's Volume 13 of our Stranded in Stereo sampler, hooray! This time we have 22 great MP3s to download from the likes of Nickel Eye, The Oranges Band, This Town Needs Guns, Halloween Alaska and Superdrag along with 11 videos from the likes of Blackmarket, Nico Vega and The Whispertown 200 to name a few!

Here's the rundown:

1. Nickel Eye "Brandy Of The Damned"
2. Living Things "Oxygen"
3. The Kinetiks"Lightbulb"
4. The Oranges Band "ArtStar"
5. Kim Taylor "I Am You"
6. Superdrag "Slow To Anger"
7.Go Faster "NHS Dentist"
8. Bang Camaro "Revolution"
9. Adam Heldrig "OK Goodbye"
10. Moto Boy "Young Love"
11. Paper Chase "The Common Cold"
12. Damone "Roll The Dice"
13. 1090 Club "ITSON"
14. Halloween, Alaska "The Hollywood Sign"
15. The Town Needs Guns "Panda"
16. The Lights Out "Money Or Time"
17. Copy Haho "Cutting Out The Bad"
18. Violent Kin "Blue Eyes"
19. Ice Palace "Thoughts Facts"
20. Dark Room Notes "Shake Shake My Ceiling"
21. Ann Courtney & the Late Bloomers "Don't Be A Fading Bruise"
22. Gliss "Morning Light

1. Aaron Thomas "Any More"
2. Django James & the Midnight Squires "Hurricane"
3. Blackmarket "Night In Question"
4. Nico Vega "Burn Burn"
5. Olympus Mons "Let The First Time Be The Last"
6. Mad Staring Eyes "Walking in the Streets"
7. Bang Bang Eche "4 to the Floor"
8. Midnight Youth "The Letter"
9. Operahouse "Genius Child"
10. The Brothers Movement "Blind"
11. Whispertown 2000 "Old Times"

Download: SIS v13 Audio [here] // SIS v13 Video [here]

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Band of the Week: Favours For Sailors

Favours For Sailors may hail from London, but it's obvious that they were raised on American indie rock. Their tunes recall the likes of Pavement or Weezer, but with a penchant for big pop moments. It's music that's made for playing at top volume on the motorways at the height of summer. The band's debut EP, Furious Sons, was just released last week on Tough Love Records. Keep an eye out for the band on XFM later this month, as well as several dates with Dananananaykroyd.

Download: "I Dreamt That You Dreamt That I Loved You In My Dreams" [mp3]

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Morning Newsletter (3-16-09)

Frodus will have it’s first reunion in a decade next week. The host of this event will be the Radio Room in Austin, TX on March 21st. Filling in on bass will be Liam Wilson of The Dillinger Escape Plan.

Billy Corgan
testified last week to the the House Judiciary Committee on the Performance Rights Act. As expected, he’d like to get paid more. The Smashing Pumpkins’ vocalist appears on behalf of the musicFIRST Coalition. The act would require radio stations to pay additional royalties for the music they play. Jose finds it strange to agree with Billy Corgan on any topic.

Only days after their catfight with The Cure’s Robert Smith, Radiohead have begun hissing at Hannah Montana. Backstage at the Grammys, Miley requested to meet the band, and they declined. Miley publicly pouted. A spokesperson for Radiohead responded, "When Miley grows up, she'll learn not to have a sense of entitlement."

The Grand Duchy will be releasing it’s first full-legnth LP on April 14. The album is a side project of Frank Black working with his wife Violet Clark. The album will come out via Cooking Vinyl.

Hella have hit the studio are working on a new album. This follows a statement that the next Hella album will be a return to their roots as a duo. It will be their first album as a two-piece in 5 years. It’s tentatively scheduled for a late 2009 release.

The music video director Floria Sigismondi is producing a film on the seminal all-female punk rock band The Runaways. Dakota Fanning has been cast to play the part of the group’s lead singer, Cheri Currie, who was also 15 when she joined the band. Kristen Stewart, will play the part of singer Joan Jett. Filing starts this spring. the part of Lita Ford is as yet un-cast. Jose hopes for Lilo.

The Orb will be releasing their 17th LP this June. The album, Baghdad Batteries will be coming out on Malicious Damage. It is the third in their “orbsessions” series. I almost described the album but it all goes oonce oonce oonce like the last 16.

The Beverly Hills Police Department has issued a warrant for Lindsay Lohan's arrest, stemming from her 2007 DUI conviction. She is reported to have violated the terms of her probation. She had pled no-contest to her DUI back in 2007. Jose wants to see her and Amy Winehouse catfight.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Video Round-Up

So over the last week there have been some music videos that have come to my attention and I just wanted you to see all of them. Rather than just write separate posts I just thought I'd round them all up in to one awesome, videotastic post. Maybe this will be yet another recurring feature on the blog, though My Formative Years has just about run its course since I think all the albums on the mental/word doc list have been talked about. Or have they . . . ?

First up, we have what I think is the first official video from The Rosebuds. I'm a huge fan, yes. Kelly Rosebud's Facebook profile picture is one I took of her at the Middle East in January. I about fainted when I saw that. I kid you not. Ok, I didn't really faint, but I felt like I was five. ANYWAY - I don't think Kelly & Ivan ever made a music video, but now they have for the haunting brooder "Life Like" - I think it's like equal parts Bambi and The Most Dangerous Game or something.

Secondly, another first. That Wild Light record Adult Nights hasn't bored me yet - every time I put in another, I'm finding another song to enjoy. Here's the simplistic black & white video for the catchy first single "California On My Mind". I guess that girl is supposed to be Marilyn Monroe. I see her, think it's Marilyn Monroe, but pronounce it Marelynn Munrow like Jermaine's Australian girlfriend on Flight of the Conchords.

And finally, a first sort of, as in first video in, oh, I'd say 13 years. It's the clip for "Aspartame" from the newly reformed Superdrag. Their new album, and first with the original line-up since the MFY staple Head Trip In Every Key is called Industry Giants and will be in stores this Tuesday. Gone from this video are lighting cigarettes with dollar bills and singing songs in diner booths. Inserted are things blowing up and the guys dressed all in white and playing the shadows at times. If you're going to SXSW next week, make sure to catch one of their upteen sets they'll be playing - find out all the details of said sets on their MySpace.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Rumble Hits NYC Next Week!

If March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, then apparently we have one pissed off lion this year. Forget about the wind, cold, and snow, and come out for this stellar gig Wednesday at 8 pm at Fontana’s on the Lower East Side. We’ll have drink specials and plenty of music to go around. Not only will we be treated to a special appearance from Ireland’s The Brothers Movement (this is what the Verve’s new album SHOULD have sounded like), but the night will be book-ended by some of the best indie dance NY has to offer. The weekend starts right here — it would be a night to remember if it weren’t for the nasty blackout that’s sure to hit you at some point.

Wednesday, March 18th
105 Eldridge Street, New York NY / (212) 334 - 6740
(B or D to Grand St; F, J, M, Z to Delancey)
Show 8pm / $7
Featuring Crooked Looks, Brothers Movement, Hank and Cupcakes, Last Year’s Model

Crooked Looks is anything but conventional. Their song styles can vary from a frenetic dance punk gem to a funky electro piece with undeniable “singability”, paired with fierce bass, beats and synths. Crooked Looks is leaving an indelible mark as a band with a fresh take on rock and a keen inclination to write great songs without abandoning the desire to keep their audiences moving.

The Brothers Movement play inspired psychedelia that is tender, passionate, and epic without being overblown. This five-piece from Ireland. They've played with Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Primal Scream, successfully pushing the envelope with their ready for the radio shoegaze nuggets.

Put on your dancing shoes for this hot couple who will get your feet moving and make your jaw drop with sexy, raw minimalist pop. One guy on bass, one girl on vocals and drums explore the limits with their new age sound and kickin' attitude to popular music. You must see this.

Abandoning the traditional idea of rhythm guitars, Last Years Model combines 8-bit rhythm synths, hook-filled lead guitar lines, moroder keyboard bass and a combination of live punk drums and synthetic blips and claps to achieve their spastic pop sound. With a live show that matches its futuristic aesthetic, Last Year’s Model performs with a manic energy constantly poised on the brink of explosion.

Future Sounds and Stranded in Stereo have a deep love and respect for the indie music community. Having produced successful events and promoted emerging indie artists, their collaboration promises to continue a tradition of supporting independent music, while at the same time providing locals with a place to party. Through the reach of an online music publication, indie rock internet radio station, indie retailers and online social networking sites, our connection to the music community is broad.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Stranded Q&A - Hollywood Lies

Hollywood Lies, has only been around for a little over a year, but has already been making a splash on the music scene, having played 100+ shows in their short time together. They've shared stages with the likes of The Ataris, The Cab (Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen) and There For Tomorrow (Hopeless). They have even spent a few days playing the Kevin Says Stage of the 2008 Vans Warped Tour.

Hollywood Lies is planning to do a new record, and will be going back to the studio with Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount (Cartel, Mayday Parade). Consisting of Mathew David (Vocals/Guitar), Marc Verity (Guitar), Zach Bond (Bass), and Johnny Barbas (Drums), Hollywood Lies is looking for a new lead singer. You can check out more info on this at their MySpace page.

1. Hailing from Boston makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because:
"We've got wicked pissa accents, bro. Plus, we can out-drink you. And we've got bands like Boston, Aerosmith, and Godsmack. Wait... maybe we shouldn't brag about Godsmack. How about Four Year Strong? They have some of the gnarliest beards I've ever seen."

2. Name at least 3 bands that are still around and touring that you'd love to be on a bill with, and think that it fits well:
"Well, I'm going to say Fall Out Boy for one because I'm just head over heels for them. It's a little ridiculous and we could never really tour with them, but it'd be nice to open a local date of a show. We all love Blink 182 as well, and those guys put on a killer show, they definitely influence our poppier side and their jokes are miserable but hilarious at the same time. And lastly, Ludacris. We started covering "Low" by Flo-Rida, and I love rap, so I started including Ludacris flows during some of our songs and it's so much [fun]. I'd love to get up on stage and rap with him. I think that would be incredible."

3. Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is:
"Harper's Ferry. Hands down. Everybody at that place has been awesome to us. From the sound guys to the bouncers, it's always awesome there."

4. 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 would definitely say Metallica. Johnny (drums) has been a big Metallica fan for a while, and likes to reference things that they do when we're writing, and it works out really cool because they're concepts I was never exposed to because when he was listening to "Ride The Lightning," I was listening to "Dookie." Another influence that has been big for me has been Green Day's "Jesus of Suburbia." The idea that you don't have to have every song verse/chorus/verse, you know? That song has like 8 bridges in it, and each one of them are amazing."

5. Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is:
"Probably Harper's Ferry. We love to go hang out at Paper - it's this 18+ dance night that our good friends in Boston Party Management run, and their bands/DJs always kill it! They've had some killer groups there, and we love hanging out at Paper."

Hollywood Lies will be getting back in the studio this month, be on the look out for some new music.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New Release Tuesday: Propagandhi

I'll be the first person to admit that I've spent a majority of my life being pretty narrow minded about music. My name was pretty synonymous with the phrase "music snob" in social circles. Over the years though, my snobbiness has waned I suppose you could say. I've been more up for broadening my horizions, expanding my musical palette so to speak. Me going off with all that word vomit about Grizzly Bear last week was the norm. Me having praise for an album by Propagandhi is new. It's a wild streak. Most people would probably be surprised that I am even willing to give them the time of day.

So let's be honest. I didn't listen to Supporting Caste by choice at first; the album blared on repeat for days here at the SiS HQ and it was only time until it would pump through my blood stream. The songs would eventually become one with me - "Dear Coaches Corner" staying with me the most. There's this little bit of dialogue that opens up the song before sprawling in to this mess of guitars and drums. Apparently I'll be seeing them this weekend, first time I'll be amassed in any form of mosh pit since I don't even know when. I'm not an angry guy, but I guess I should find music that I can channel my, um, energy in to to vent my frustations by chance.

Stream: "Dear Coaches Corner" + Supporting Caste [MySpace] // [Buy Here]

Monday, March 9, 2009

Band of the Week: Airship

Manchester's Airship are young, talented, and buzzing with good press. With comparisons to Modest Mouse, the Pixies, and Coldplay, their ambition is getting them a lot of kudos. The band members of Airship aspire to make music that echoes in space, emotions that shiver down your spine, and dreamy vocals that linger in between chimeric guitar riffs and pummeling cymbals. Their music carries both the zeitgeist of a dream and the energy of a noisy rock band.

Stream: "Algebra" [MySpace]

Monday Morning Newsletter (3-9-09)

It's the ultimate irony, the original fake rock band, Spinal Tap, is doing a reunion tour. They’ve planned a 30-city tour starting this April. Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer. This time around they will be doing acoustic versions of the original This Is Spinal Tap material. A statement from the band reads, "You'll never hear Tap songs less loud."

On April 18th we will be celebrating Record Store Day. It’s not a holiday, but actually just a clever marketing gimmick. Independent record stores will debut exclusive releases and sport live performances. But it’s for a good cause, these stores are becoming an endangered species.

FREE RECORD FOR DOWNLOAD: My Two Robodads is giving away their first EP beat that!
Go here.

Coolio got busted this week. At the security check at Los Angeles International Airport, screeners found crack cocaine in his pockets. Coolio then got physically aggressive and was detained. He was later released on $10,000 bail. This is better than his appearance on Big Brother.

Former Monkee Peter Tork has been diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma a rare cancer. The 67-year-old guitarist discovered he had cancer after a biopsy of his tongue last week. Tork will have to undergo radiation but is expected to make a full recovery.

On March 25th Mindless Self Indulgence will release a 2-disc special edition of their most recent album "IF." The release is planned for Japan-only and comes out via Vinyl Junkie Records. The import will feature a variety of previously unreleased material. Bastards!

Inexplicably Miley Cyrus is releasing her first biography this month at the age of 16. The tome of fluff is titled Miles to Go and was launched at a New York Barnes & Noble. Jose is utterly nauseated. It's a must-have for pedophiles everywhere.

El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez, solo project of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, is finally releasing a set of long-rumored solo albums. The three albums were recorded in 2006 this first of which, Cryptomnesia, will see daylight this May. All three are planned to be released through his own label, Rodriguez-Lopez Productions.

Amy Winehouse has raised the bar. I never thought I’d care about Amy again but she’s now in trouble for slapping a photo-snapping fan. The incident occurred at a charity ball in London last year. Ms. Sheren Flash has stated that the infamous crackhead/soul singer hit her eye at the event on Sept. 26. A court date is scheduled for March 17.

Fatboy Slim is in rehab! Mr. Norman Cook has checked himself into a clinic in the UK to dry out. Apparently he's having trouble with the bottle again. For Jose this leaves the question: Can sober people DJ?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Can't Stop Spinning: Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear

Dearest Ed, Daniel, Chris' Taylor & Bear:

I feel guilty. I am so sorry. I, too, have fallen victim to the curse on this industry that is the leak. I’ve been a bad fan. It’s just been so hotly anticipated by not just me, but by everyone, the entire community that aligns themselves with the term “hipster” or “scene” or some other word. I just align myself with the idea that some bands just make good music. Grizzly Bear do make great music - they just instead have taken what they do great to the next level, a plateau far out of the reach of some of their contemporaries to make what Mr. Fleet Fox tweeted as “the best album of the ‘00s.”

It’s been on repeat since Tuesday afternoon. Most times from start to finish, other times in pieces. The other night at 1AM, it was the haunting piano and children’s choir filling up the empty spaces of album closer “Foreground” that I left on repeat while taking another dose of Tylenol PM to try and reduce the amount of sniffling and coughing I have done for the better part of the week. This morning, it’s the ’08 summer jam “Two Weeks”, with it’s exploding chorus. As Ed Droste extends the word ‘always’ in the chorus, his voice becomes more and more affected by reverb. At the same time, sparkles of keyboards and samples also flourish to accompany the harmonies of Beach House’s Victoria LeGrand.

I keep reading about “Ready, Able” and every word said about the song that starts off the second half of the album is true. Pockets of starbursts between every line Droste delivers in verse. The breakdown in the middle, where everything builds a trail to, is finally realized and might be the greatest moment in the entire 52 minutes that
Veckatimest lasts. Easily in the competition of best album moment is the grand finale of the epic “I Live With You”. Drums out of sync, organs swell and burst like the night is on fire. Or is it a hot afternoon? Before you have a chance to answer it ends abruptly, moving in to the “Foreground” mentioned above.

“Cheerleader” has been something I’ve had on repeat in live form since getting my hands on the MFA Bootleg. It sounds just as hollow on record than it does live. If weren’t bogged down by just 128 bits of sound, maybe we’d find things to be fuller, more enriched. There’s even more catchy bursts that are also in “About Face” and those harmonies on “Dory”. Every time you listen you can find 12 more reasons to like this record. I know I do every time. But for now "Ready, Able" is just the shiniest of shiny moments to me - the apex of the highlight of their career thus far. We all know they're bound to make more. And I just now realized I didn't even mention the awesomeness of "While You Wait For The Others". Sigh.

Records don’t come like they used to. Wrapped in plastic, different booklets emitting different scents and aromas. Now they come in the form of files, zipped and rar’d up for all to consume at the price of nothing. I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to albums and when they leak; it doesn’t help that I also have a rather large streak of impatience in my blood. But this album, and it leaking three months ahead of its release date, it makes me sad. It makes me want to be 12 again, getting Pinkerton off the shelf at Wal-Mart, or my Dad surprising me at age 11 with Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness, which I have had since its third day of release. I want that excitement back; I want the whole music community to be that way again, but I know it will never happen. I want people waiting in lines at midnight and I want listening parties, collectives of people taking the entire thing in together for the first time in the same bed, dorm or living room, not the same chat room or message board.

I’ve bought tickets to two shows. I’ll be buying the album. Odds are I’ll buy a shirt, too, but I’ll still feel guilty. What can I do to make this guilt go away? Make a pact to never download another album illegally ever again? Go and buy everything that I've ever obtained in that matter? This album is so special, so perfect to me that it just saddens me that I've ruined a moment I use to cherish so many times every year for many years.

All I ask of you dear readers if you haven't yet, it to just wait. Wait to soak this all in for the first time in May, when the sun is shining and it's warm out, when you can support the band properly. Until then, just take in this performance of "Ready, Able" from their performance at BAM last weekend.

Your fan,

Pre-Order Veckatimest From Grizzly Bear]

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

THe Rumble Hits San Fran Tonight!

Here comes another Rumble event, presented by The Owl, Sonic Living, Future Sounds, and Stranded in Stereo! Rumble will be hosting the event on March 4th at the Harlot in San Francisco (46 Minna Street) in SF. Hot Challenge and Lilofee will show off their impressive talents starting at 8pm. If you don't want to miss these up-and-coming bands perform, then you better bring yourself and your friends to this event! You are bound to have a great time!


Hot Challenge is one of the few bands that successfully combine elements of rock, pop, rhythm and blues, and dance to create a catchy and distinctive sound. Hot Challenge, a San Francisco based band, has been compared to The Killers, Bloc Party, and even said to have a touch of the Cure and Muse. Hot Challenge will re-energize you with their quirky onstage jokes and their upbeat synth-infused pop rock. Make sure you don't miss them perform their riveting hit song
"Eyes Open" at the Harlot!

Lilofee is an enthralling group that will have you wanting to hear more and more. They are heavily influenced by '60s girl bands, '80s dark pop, '90s industrial, and the Beatles. Kim Recor's bold voice and Rob Easson's catchy guitar riffs breathe electric seduction. With lyrics that speak to all and with undeniably unique yet gripping melodies and beats, Lilofee will leave you begging for more. They are unquestionably infectious.

DJ Aaron of Popscene and Live 105 (spinning 10-11)

DJ BAGel Ted (spinning 8-10)

Sonic Living, The Owl, Future Sounds and Stranded in Stereo have a deep love and respect for the indie music community. Having produced successful events and promoted emerging indie artists, their collaboration promises to continue a tradition of supporting independent music, while at the same time providing locals with a place to party. Through the reach of an online music publication, indie rock internet radio station, indie retailers and online social networking
sites, our connection to the music community is broad.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Morning Newsletter (3/2/09)

While promoting his recent solo release Happy In Galoshes, Scott Weiland let slip that Stone Temple Pilots will be releasing a record sometime in 2010. The stars are aligned the DeLeo brothers have begun writing music and Scott’s back on heroin.

The Swiss hardcore band Solid Ground has recorded one final EP This World Keeps Spinning Without You before breaking it off as a group. Let it Burn Records is making it available as a free download here

Faith No More has announced a reunion tour. The reformed lineup will include Billy Gould, Mike Patton, Mike Bordin, and Roddy Bottum. They even invited guitarist Jon Hudson, who only played on Faith No More's 1997's release Album of the Year. There is no planned US tour.

Jewel has copped out on performing on “Dancing with the Stars.” She attributes the bow out to tendinitis in both knees . The program would have started March 9. Jose was really looking forward to her cleavage. Bummer.

Lil' Wayne is now facing criminal gun possession charges at a trial scheduled to begin April 20, a New York judge said on Tuesday. Prosecutors allege a gun was found in his tour bus in July 2007 and if Wayne is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison

The Melvins are 25 years old! This may seem strange since King Buzzo is 45. For the anniversary they are planning a string of shows where they will perform the "Houdini" record in its entirety. Additionally they will do a set of material dating to their "Mangled Demos" circa 1983. Jose will not miss this tour.

Jane’s Addiction
is putting out a box set this April. Despite a series of reunions much of their catalog remains rarities. Rhino Records will release A Cabinet of Curiosities. The box set includes one DVD and three CDs focused on the band's original lineup with Eric Avery.

Also dropping a box set this April is the Jesus Lizard. Their box set Inches contains exceedingly rare out-of-print material and will only be sold at independent record stores. Bob Weston remastered the material and Touch & Go Records does the honors.

Band of the Week: Tigers That Talked

Tigers That Talked is a Leeds group that has flown under our radar until very recently, but it seems as though all of the right people in England have been paying attention to them. Their recent single "23 Fears" has received nods of approval from Steve Lamacq, Zane Lowe, Radio 1, and Q Radio while the band is busy prepping their debut album. First time listeners will notice similarities to Elbow and the Arcade Fire, but the band puts their own mystical spin on the formula. The band has relocated to a chapel in Lincolnshire with Adam Noble (the Guillemots), and while they still in midst of recording, expect the finish product sometime later this year.

Download: "23 Fears" [mp3]