Stranded In Stereo: May 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

My Formative Years: Adam & Eve by The Catherine Wheel, 1997

This is it: the moment none have been waiting for, though maybe some have questioned. What is Rusty's favorite album of all-time? The title of this post gives it all away, yes, but wouldn't you rather know the tale of how it came to be . . .
Today is my 24th birthday. Over the last 16 years, music has taken over my life: from the moment I remember sitting in my grandparent's house seeing the video for "100%"; that moment Bill Hanson played "Stars & Sons"; the night I met Bob Pollard; that time I went deaf seeing Yo La Tengo.

You would like to think that I would remember the first time I heard Adam & Eve, but I don't. Ok, I remember it vaguely but it's not the time. I'm listening to it right now and it doesn't take me back to that place because it's just .. not on my brain. The first time was not the moment when the world stopped to twirl on its axis. I wasn't really in to it. Hell, I don't even know how old I was but I know it was a Monday and it was March. The cousin was home on spring break, and we hopped in his beat to hell Chevrolet Corsica and headed down to the Owings Mills mall for some reason or another. He was all "Oh, Rusty - you need to hear this!" and he put it on and if it was 1998 and I was 13, it didn't do shit for me. The hidden opening was so-so, "Future Boy" did not appeal to me in the least. He also had a copy of Ultra by Depeche Mode in the car. I think I was more interested in listening to that at the time.

The moment when the world stopped spinning and it blew me away . . . I don't remember that either, but I do have a better memory of when it was. Summer, 2001 - I had just purchased my second car, my 1992 Acura Integra. There was this girl who was a few years my senior from work that I was totally in to but she was totally in love with someone else. I don't know why, but I borrowed Adam & Eve from my cousin. That and maybe another Catherine Wheel album. I was on the path of becoming Rob Gordon, the hero of High Fidelity, when it struck me. I was rather obsessed with that movie, wanting to become him, or John Cusack, or both. I owned the movie, I read the book. I compared the two every which way up and down. And then one night, I was casually paging through the liner notes to A&E when the first "mind=blown" moment of my life occurred. Page 2, left column, center, all alone, its own paragraph:

"Thanks to Nick Hornby for writing High Fidelity"

From every listen then on, I was pay real close attention to the music. "Broken Nose" became an early fave: when Rob Dickinson sang 'No one gives a crap for you' was he singing to Rob Gordon? Was the broken nose metaphor for a broken heart or a bruised ego? "Phantom Of The American Mother" spoke of 'Superman and Sonic Youth and fairy tales / it's time to face the truth". I loved (I still love) Sonic Youth. Was Dickinson again crying out to Gordon, telling him that maybe it was time to shape up, get a real job so your lawyer lady Laura would not leave you for I. Raymond.

One thing is for sure. Like the beginning, the end lays in hiding. That's one of my favorite things about this album. Looking at the back cover it just lists songs two through eleven - not the number one or twelve appear on the traycard. But, as "For Dreaming" explodes and fades away through the fog across the sea, a guitar starts to strum. Dickinson begins to sing, nearly word-for-word verbatim from the text-version of High Fidelity, page 158:

It's a song about a boy, who phones this girl
But she left town years before
And he's pissed off, that he didn't know
Cause he wanted to say goodbye
Tell her how he missed her
Wish her good luck
Put it to rest
All that unfinished business

I'm gonna phone, everyone that I've known
Through the downs and the ups
ANd who I suspect have written me off
As an insensitive fuck
And say good luck and goodbye

They'd feel good
I'd feel good
We'd all feel good
That would be so good . . .

I could've cried. Hornby's words didn't radiate that way off the pages, but when Dickinson put it in retrospect, in that state of mourning combined with false hopes, I could.

I listened more diligently, fall in love with each and every song on that album. I did some research. I think my cousin said it was their make or break album, or I found that out on my own. It sounded so different compared to their earlier records I would later acquire. The final section, from the building and building and its there and it's finally realized moments of "Here Comes The Fat Controller"; to the tape stopping on the "Controller" in to "Goodbye" where our hero excalims "Goodbye, I've finally arrived!"; to the end "For Dreaming" where we go in to the aforementioned outro. It all clicked it just hit me. I felt like Rob Dickinson was singing to me, singing for me. It came out in 1997, the most important year, My Formative Year, and it took me four years to discover it. I finally felt like I had arrived. Thank. God.

Download: "Broken Nose" [mp3] // "Here Comes The Fat Controller" [mp3] /// [Buy Here]

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Ed Harcourt Album!

I remember being in college when Strangers came out, and just being in love with that record. In a time when Coldplay and Snow Patrol were blowing up, I felt they were sucking away all the attention that Ed Harcourt deserved. Random fact: he's got a 2-disc best of out over there! He's huge! Why is he not big in America? Maybe he is and I just don't know it. He should be. "The Storm Is Coming" and "Born In The 70s" were epic; "Black Dress" made me get all introspective and sappy. "Something To Live For" is the best song to start a mix off with. If you can locate the MySpace for my radio show (like I'm gonna post that link for all to see in public view), you'll see that when that record was out I was playing it every single week on my show. Every week.

That being said, Harcourt is back next week with his new masterpiece entitled The Beautiful Lie. It's his fifth album, and Dovecote is unleashing it's sonic goodness in the states. In honor of this, he'll be making a stately appearance on The Tonight Show with Cona -- I mean -- Jay Leno on June 6. We're giving you the new track, "Revolution In The Heart," for free. Hooray!

Random fact #2: He's such a fantastic piano player, so fantastic that Nada Surf sent him a copy of the working version of "Are You Lightning?" and he sat down and played that beautiful piano part that .. makes me sappy, again, yes. Damn him.

Download: "Revolution In The Heart" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Stranded Local Q&A: Cassavettes

This week’s Q&A comes from Boston’s own urban cowboys, Cassavettes. Their rustic instrumentation and soulful Americana stand out in a scene typically ridden with hardcore and indie-rock. Cassavettes slip past the drudging melancholy of traditional country twang and artfully give it a new face. As the Boston Metro put it, these guys “provide an alternative to alternative-country (Alt-alt-country?).”

Strung together in 2003 by high-school friendships and tidied up by means of Craigslist, Glenn Yoder, Mike MuCullagh, Scott Jones, and Matt Snow of Cassavettes have come a long way since their first show at the All Asia. From being praised in the Boston Globe to being voted Best Local Band in the Boston Phoenix Reader’s Poll, their pop sensibilities and charming melodies have slowly seeped into the local music scene, bringing a little Texas into the Northeast.

Commemorating the band's birthday every year on July 5th, Cassavettes will be holding this year’s “quasi-narcissistic” birthday party as headliners at the Paradise Rock Club with friends/tour mates Girls, Guns & Glory, and NYC’s Teenage Prayers. Don’t let their “Texan country” labels scare you away... These guys manage to transcend the simplistic categorization of any one genre. Give them a listen.

Glenn took a few minutes to answer the five questions Stranded in Stereo always asks:

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

It's my personal belief that being a Boston band makes you a hell of a lot tougher than other cities. I wouldn't say it gives you any "tough" street cred -- we're not like hanging on the corner and what not -- but it certainly doesn't give you a whole lot of false hope. Boston is a tough, tough scene, but rewarding. There isn't much time for nurturing when there's so many college students, so many music schools, and so many hopeful musicians crammed into one city. So, it's very sink or swim, and bands have to learn how to do that for themselves. This isn't to say that Boston doesn't take care of their own -- quite to the contrary, it's been great to us -- it's just that you can't expect anyone to hold your hand through the process. And you have to let Boston know you love it in order to be loved back. How many other cities have that kind of relationship with the bands they produce?

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

It's funny you ask this specifically, because we just got the chance to play with one of them recently, and this very question came up in the van on the ride home. We opened for Superdrag in Philadelphia in April, one of my all-time favorite groups and with whom we're recording our next record in Knoxville, and this is the shortlist of active bands I'd like to share a bill with: Ryan Adams, Wilco, Old 97s, Neil Young, Centro-matic, Nada Surf, and Superdrag. One down. Almost 1 1/2 really, since Superdrag helped get us VIP treatment at a Nada Surf/Superdrag show in NYC the night before our Philly date to the point where it almost felt like we were on board. And take into account that three of those bands rarely use openers and one of those bands is on-and-off again, and we did pretty well in one night.

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
Probably the Paradise Rock Club, which we're headlining on July 5 (plug alert). No joke. For a long time, we considered the Middle East to be our home because Shred gave us our first shot when he was still booking there, and we still love it, but there's something about The Paradise. It can almost feel like a holy experience to stand on that stage sometimes.

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.)

When the band started in 2005, I had just come off making a string of solo EPs for fun, one of which was jazz-influenced. Not like real jazz, but more like Karate/Geoff Farina jazz. Mike and I worked some of the chords and structures into our early Cassavettes songs, and made the dubious error of listing ourselves on Myspace as country/rock/jazz, or something to that effect. I think the jazz label perhaps scared off some rock fans and worried some jazz fans when they actually heard what we sound like, which is far more rock than jazz. Nonetheless, I think there's still an element of jazz buried in the sound, even if we aren't promoting it anymore these days.

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

Wally's, without a doubt. Now, after my explanation of jazz in our music and telling you I love Wally's, you're probably thinking I'm some jazzbo, and honestly, I wouldn't mind the label. But if we're being truly honest, I'm by no means a jazz expert. I just used to live down the street from Wally's when I went to Northeastern, and not only was it a great place to stumble home from in the snow, but it's got the right atmosphere. It's not flashy -- just a tiny place with sparse seating, decent drinks, and awesome music. The music is their reputation, and it's why I go there, but it's also easy to have a conversation in there. Yeah, it's got it all. Plus, there's awesome pizza one door down. I still meet friends over there on Sundays, if you want to hang.


Stream The New Futureheads Album. Right. Now.

Their new album may be called This Is Not The World, but The Futureheads are entering the World of streaming their new record before it's release. Spinner has got the entire album up for you to check out right this very second.

Early favorites of mine? I've been a big fan of "Broke Up The Time" since it was unveiled late last year, along with singles "Radio Heart" and "The Beginning Of The Twist". The song that is Muxtape-worthy at the moment, though, is deep cut "Hard To Bear" - it's all about that xylophone or whatever it is in the background.

If you think you can hold out a few more days, This Is Not The World will be out June 3rd in the US on the band's Nul imprint which Megaforce is distributing in the states.

Stream: This Is Not The World [Here] // [Buy Here]

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday Morning Newsletter - Tuesday Addition (05/27/08)

In light of this week’s news, Jose would like to say a few things to his brothers and sisters of color. We can’t all count on Gov. Paterson to pardon us. In general, brown people sit in prison with kiddie diddlers. Be smart, wear rubbers, please don’t pee on people and if you do don’t videotape it.

R. Kelly's child pornography trial wages on this week. The defense wants to call Jim DeRogatis to ask how he acquired the sex tape in 2002 that's now the center of the trial. The judge says he'll make a ruling May 30th. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the charges. If you recall R. Kelly had sex with and then peed on a 16-year old girl and videotaped it.

UK punk icons Wire have announced their upcoming album, Object 47, will be released July 7th. It will be their 11th album and they claim also the 47th item in their discography. It’s somewhat sad then that in 30 years they have only played a total of 154 shows by their own count. This will be Wire’s first album since last year’s Send.

The Faint will be releasing their new album, Fasciinatiion, on August 5th. As was long rumored, that album will not be on Saddle Creek. The Faint has opted to release Fasciinatiion on their own label, Blank.wav. Joel Peterson has already publicized some more label releases including the already scheduled first release by Andrew Bowen of Omahype.

Earl Simmons, aka DMX, has escaped the clutches of paternal responsibility this week. A Maryland judge has voided the $1.5 million judg
ment against him. The rapper had been previously ordered to render the payment to the mother of his child. He had previously claimed that she raped him, and she had the chutzpas to sue him for defamation. Jose is doing the math on if that’s +/- child support.

Paul McCartney was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University Monday. Yale is internationally renowned for the unending stream of thieving, gutless, soulless cocksucker MBAs it sends out into the world. McCartney was quoted as saying “I feel dirty.”

Yep Roc is releasing a second box set from Robyn Hitchcock. Why anyone in the world needed a follow up to last year's I Wanna Go Backwards I don’t know. This box features mid-'80s sides, live material and the albums Fegmania! and Element Of Light,
as opposed to last year's Backwards which did not feature mid-'80s sides, live material and the albums Fegmania! and Element Of Light.

DFA Records will be releasing two 12-inch singles 80s style July 15th. It seems almost irrelevant that the artist is Free Blood, featuring former !!! member John Pugh and fashion designer Madeline Davy.

Ricky "Slick Rick" Walters got pardoned! The pioneering rapper has spent more than five years in prison before receiving a full pardon from New York Gov. David Paterson. He had been convicted of attempted murder in 1991. Gov. Paterson explained “That how I roll bro, my brotha is missing a fucking eye!”

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Explorers Club Play Tennis

I felt this video would be the best way to get your Memorial Day rolling. There's nothing better than playing some tennis this weekend. And though I'm not much of a doubles player or anything myself, The Explorers Club teaching me how to play definitely makes me want to pick up a racket and try again. It has been many years since I was on the court yelling "15-love!" or however it is they keep score.

The Explorers Club debut album, Freedom Wind, is out now. Do check it out!

Download: "Do You Love Me?" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

Thursday, May 22, 2008

SIS At The Club: The Republic Tigers

The music of The Republic Tigers can be warm, almost harps on to ambient at times, kind of like lead singer Kenn Jankowski. I've known Kenn for many a year: we first met in 2003 when The Golden Republic (then still The People) were opening for Nada Surf. A little over a year later, TGR had done an in-studio on my radio show, and would return to my alma mater before the school year was out to play a show I would book. Walking down the steps last night at the Middle East, Kenn Jankowski was walking up. With a quick mention of his name, he would turn to me, exclaim "What the hell are you doing here!?", and deliver me a huge hug. He bought me a drink, and we caught up since it had been just over three years since we were in the same room.

TRT is bound to blow up sooner or later. Their live set last night opening up for Subtle and Black Moth Rainbow showed why. Their may be a lot going on inside the songs that fill up the space on their debut,
Keep Color, and I was curious to see how they'd pull it off live - and they did. Jankowski's vocals shifted shape without issue - Ryan Pinkston's acoustic guitar was a bit quiet at times (but it might be because I was right up in the front), but the three electric guitar assault on "Golden Sand" and set closer "Fight Song" made up for that. What also helped that song succeed live was not only the guitar trifecta, but the drum circle Jankowski, Pinkston and drummer Justin Tricomi pull off in the songs instrumental passages from verse to chorus. They were loud and they were thunderous. Evacuate now we will.

The Republic Tigers Set List
Weatherbeaten / The Drums / Feelin' The Future / Made Concrete / The Nerve / Air Guitar / Golden Sand / Contortionists / Buildings & Mountains / Fight Song

The band make their national TV debut tonight on The Late Show with David Letterman. You know I'll be watching.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Stranded Local Q&A: Bang Camaro

This week's Q&A comes to you from Bang Camaro, a local band quickly picking up speed on the national radar. They've already been labeled "the premier party act in America" by MTV News, who describes the band as a "full-blown metal assault dedicated to transplanting the fun back into rock through a series of kegger-iffic live shows." Bryn Bennett and Alex Necochea started Bang Camaro in the summer of 2005, after years of playing the same clubs in their respective local rock bands (The Model Sons, Bleu, and The Good North). As Alex recounts, "when our bands fizzled it followed naturally that we'd work together. We set about writing songs under the idea that bigger is better. Obviously, this meant, for us, 3 guitarists and 19 lead singers. The rest is history."

History indeed. As the FAQ on their website states: "Q: Are you guys joking? A: No."

Bang Camaro has gone on to win just about every local music award there is to be won, before moving on to capture video-gamer hearts nation-wide through the inclusion of their songs in the best-selling games Guitar Hero II and ROCK BAND. Not only are their songs featured in the games, but guitarist and band co-founder Bryn served as the motion capture actor for ROCK BAND. The success of these collaborations with Harmonix has helped lead the band to features in magazines like Billboard, Rolling Stone, Spin and Blender, as well as the opportunity to kick off their most recent tour at Madison Square Garden.

Now they're preparing to head out on their next month-long, cross-country tour before joining the line-up at Lollapalooza in August.

Alex 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

In Boston, our rock bands have 19 singers.

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
Fortunately, we're not easily pigeonholed as a metal band. We have a wide array of tastes and influences that drive the band's vision and music. I can imagine us playing with acts like Death Cab for Cutie, The Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket as well as louder and harder rockers like Queens Of The Stone Age.

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is

The Paradise

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.)

Absolutely. As I mentioned earlier, we take our cues from several genres and sources - books, music, art, current events. For instance I'm currently listening to TV On The Radio, a few tracks by Lily Allen, Wagner, and George Lynch YouTube lessons... you know, to get in the mood.

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

Zuzu in Central Sq, Cambridge. The staff is real pretty.


Download: "Pleasure (Pleasure)" [mp3]

Ra Ra Riot Sign to Barsuk

There has to be a light at the of the tunnel that has tragedy.

Over the last few years, Ra Ra Riot having been causing a stir, a riot if you would like to say. They've played with Tokyo Police Club and The Cribs. I saw them open for Editors last year and they're music blew me away. They were had the catchy melodies and the youngster's charm necessary to be the next big thing. And then a year ago, it all changed when original drummer John Pike went missing, only to be found dead washed up along the shores of Massachusetts.

Determined, the band knew John wouldn't the band die with them, so they marched on and completed their full length debut, The Rhumb Line, recording it in Seattle late last year. Since they tracked the out in the northwest, it's only fitting that the band has signed to Barsuk, who will release Line on August 19th. You oversees folk will get the record via V2 later this year.

Those dates with The Cribs recently wrapped, so here's a few upcoming summer dates when you can catch them:

06/14 Denver, CO @ Westword Music Festival
07/06 Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest
07/26 Chicago, IL @ Wicker Park Festival

Stream: Various Tracks [here]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Release Tuesday, Part 2: Mason Jennings

We mentioned it the other week and gave away an MP3 of the track "Fighter Girl," and today's the day for In The Ever, Mason Jennings' Brushfire debut. He recently sat down with The Current to discuss the new album:

Buy: In The Ever [here]

New Release Tuesday: National(ly Endorsed) Edition

A year ago this week, the best album of 2007 was released. This week last year, The National dropped Boxer, a melancholy tour de force that captivated the many of the rest of the year. Not only was I one to sit on the Album of the Year bandwagon, but Paste did as well, having them on front of their year-end issue with the statement: "These men made the best album of 2007, but do you even know who they are?" or something close to resembling that.

To celebrate the anniversary of Boxer (or maybe it is just sheer coincidence,) the Brooklyn five-piece release the DVD/EP combo A Skin, A Night / The Virginia EP this week. Where Night is the long-awaited documentary from famed Takeaway Show maker Vincent Moon, Virginia is a 12 song EP filled with Boxer b-sides (the amazing "Blank Slate,") demos ("Slow Show,") a new song ("You've Done It Again, Virginia") and a near nine-minute live take on their typical set closer ("About Today"). Night is an hour long piece showing the band hard at work on Boxer and the tension that may or may not be there (?) set to some beautifully shot footage of train tracks and city lights.

View: A Skin, A Night clips [here] // Buy: A Skin, A Night / The Virginia EP [here]

Monday, May 19, 2008

...Earth To The Dandy Warhols...: Orbiting, Streaming, Landing

I swear, last post on ...Earth To The Dandy Warhols... I promise.

So, the album was made available at 3AM EST, midnight local Portland time for the masses. The album is available to stream, for free, from their website. If you want to put it on your iPod, it'll cost you a few pretty pennies but you do get some goodies with it:

For a mere $35, you get to download the album right away (320kbps/DRM-Free for you audiophiles like myself), a copy of the physical CD before it is in stores later this year, and that fancy poster as seen above. You'll also get the first crack at concert tickets, a coupon for 10% off at their webstore, and maybe best of all, a handful of b-sides and live tracks over the next "Earth year." Crazy kids.

First impressions? Quite good. I haven't had a chance to make it all the way through quite yet, but "Welcome To The Third World" sticks out as a gem - the audio equivalent to a contact high perhaps? Also super stoked with the appearance of "And Then I Dreamt Of Yes." For those not in the loop, the song was originally recorded as part of an aborted Dandy Warhols/Massive Attack record and was titled "House Of Yes." They didn't stray to far from the original, so big ups on that.

Stream. And Buy: ...Earth To The Dandy Warhols... [Here]

Monday Morning Newsletter (05/19/08)

Jose Fritz would like to report that Hell has officially frozen over. Not only is Neil Diamond not dead, his new album, Home Before Dark, topped the charts this week with 145,840 copies sold. Even Rick Rubin was surprised.

Howard Stern pissed off Dolly Parton this week big time. With a little patience and a few minutes with Cool Edit Pro, the radio host edited together enough Dolly samples to render her into a racist bigoted hick. Previous victims of the Stern audiobook treatment are Oprah and William Shatner. Parton is quoted as saying she has "never been so shocked, hurt and humiliated. I love Jews and Negros.” Parton is now rumored to be suing Stern.

Fans of 1940s pop are celebrating today because even though postage rates have gone up again, Frank Sinatra will appear on new postage. Of the 50,000 suggestions per year only 20 are selected by the U.S. post office to grace our postage. Jose expects that probably cost the Giancana family a few grand. Just kidding Frank.

80-year-old Larry Levine died this week. You probably have never heard his name, but Larry was the recording engineer who created Phil Spector’s patented Wall of Sound. Larry won a Grammy in 1965 for his work with Herb Alpert. His family lived in disgrace for the next 40 years.

Paramount Styles
has announced we will be hearing their debut album, Failure American Style, via Touch And Go records July 8th. The band features former GVSB vocalist Scott McCloud. I promise it’s better than Neil Diamond.

Noise rockers Health has released a remix album titled Health/Disco. A slew of names and no-names reinterpreted their abrasive anthems into oonce-oonce. Lovepump United will be releasing the abominable results this summer.

Camper Van Beethoven is finally releasing a greatest hits album. It’s titled Popular Songs, scheduled for a June 24 drop through Cooking Vinyl. Virgin was unwilling to part with their portion of the catalog and certain cuts had to be re-recorded. The cuts in question are from the albums Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and Key Lime Pie. If you were counting you might have noticed this is all timed for their 25th anniversary. If this doesn’t work out, their Cracker reunion won’t be far behind.

Our New York readers should be reminded that this May 19th is the eighth-annual Joey Ramone Birthday Bash at Irving Plaza. Had Joey not died of Lymphoma he’d be 57 this year. Since his death, New York’s punk community has commemorated his passing with a big-ass rock concert.

Earache records will be re-releasing the Carcass album Heartwork on June 24th with a companion DVD. Back when death metal was cool for six months in 1988, this album was considered wildly progressive and influential. This coincides with the bands reunion tour which began earlier this year minus original drummer Ken Owen. Ken had a brain hemorrhage in 1999 and has been unwilling to wear face paint since.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Control, Joy Division Documentary Head to DVD

Last year there was a lot of buzz around the film Control, a chronicle of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis and his tortured soul, that was directed by acclaimed music video director (y'know, U2, Metallica - the good stuff) Anton Corbijn. Though I never got to see it when it was at the theatre, I heard the shot in black and white picture was quite the testament: it did win multiple awards upon its screening at Cannes last year. On a related note, I did really dig The Killers rendition of "Shadowplay" if I may mention that quickly.

Well, now us folks who didn't catch it on the big screen can check it out on our small screens when it comes to DVD on June 3. And for those who want an even more accurate depiction of the band who gave birth to the classic song "Love Will Tear Us Apart", there is the documentary simply called Joy Division which will be out on June 17. Put together by music video veteran Grant Gee, the doc compiles archival footage and chats with band members and other musicians about the band that once started out as Warsaw, but would always be remember as Joy Division.

Control Trailer:

Joy Division Trailer:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SIS Club Night #4

You know why May is my favorite month? Not just because it is my birthday (on the 30th - only 15 more shopping days left, people!) but because we have the best SIS Club Night in store for you yet! Here's what we got going on for you this month:

SIS Club Night – Wednesday May 28th – 9PM - $3
at Rehab (formerly Club Midway) - 25 Avenue B - NYC
F or V to 2nd; F, J, M, or Z to Delancey/Essex


T.H. White ( [9:30]
T.H. White is more than a musician, known not just for his new record The Private Spotlight. Outside of making music and producing others, he’s written music for The Sopranos, and commercials for BMW, Reebok, Destination Hotels, and the Fox network. MTV even gave him the thumbs when they caught on of his sets at last year’s CMJ, saying that he was “all the rage.”

Cinema, Cinema [10:15]
Broadening the scope of their musical movements with hook laden craftwork and infectious melodies, the Brooklyn based Cinema, Cinema stroke a new brush to indie rock. Riff mosaic monster play and crashing drums meet passion stained vocals and a drive for more, more, more. The duo consists of Ev Gold on vocals, scenery and guitar massacre and Paul Claro driving the drums and laying down the concrete. Call it Punk-Art, Indie-Outre', Space-Rock or just your favorite new thing.

Hello Tokyo [11:00]
Who is Hello Tokyo and why have I heard them before? Hello Tokyo is a blend of sugar & spice and ALL that is nice. From Pop to Rock to a sprinkle of body pumping dance beats you can’t go wrong getting lost in one of their songs. So why have you heard them before? It might be because you caught them at a recent performance on the 2006 Vans Warped tour or you might have heard their music on MTV’s The Real World and Road Rules OR maybe you heard their hit “Radio” on an Animal Planet show called “Horse Power” which was the theme song for the entire show. Sound familiar?

The Stranded Local Q&A: The Steamy Bohemians

Rather than attempt to write my own introduction for this week's Q&A with the Steamy Bohemians (aka Niki Luparelli and Lainey Schulbaum), I'm just going to let them take it away:

"We met rolling on the floor of the music department at URI where we both majored in Music. We studied under the same brutal voice instructor which accounts for both our vocal blend and our self-loathing. Niki was performing stand-up comedy in college, and after graduation moved to Boston to continue this stupid dream. Lainey never wanted to be a comedian, in fact being laughed at really makes her mad. After a year or so of obligatory post-collegiate foundering, we figured it was time to make the most of our extensive musical training by writing some ridiculous songs together and performing them under the guise of comedy, and the Steamy Bohemians were born. We are something like the Smothers Brothers meets Cheech and Chong meets a made up band i
nvolving Bette Midler and Madeline Kahn.

The highlights of our career so far would be working with Barry Crimmins (the godfather of the Boston Comedy scene, founder of the Ding Ho), and having our music video directed by Michael Pope (Ben Folds Five, Dresden Dolls), and the success of our long-running variety/burlesque/vaudeville show Jerkus Circus. Also doing the Las Vegas Comedy Festival, because we're really into bright lights and lies."

[Check out the aforementioned video here:]

And now for the same five questions Stranded In Stereo always asks:

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

We don't have to wait for stardom to become bitter.

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

Spinal Tap, Tenacious D, the re-formed New Kids on the Block (it's going to happen!)

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is

The former Pan 9 and the Lizard Lounge

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.)

Conceptually we're mainly concerned with hilarity - with flavors of feminism and and the life of the free-thinking libertine. Musically we've been influenced by all genres, from our classical training (WWBD. What Would Bach Do?) to the free-loving rock and roll of Led Zeppelin, The Who) to 80s hip hop (Heavy D?). Sometimes our conceptual development is influenced by existing songs that piss us off. The song "is that ok?" was written partly after we heard this hideous Celine Dion song called "I drove all night," a reality in which stalking = love. Our newest song "Sweet Sixteen" was inspired by the Benny Mardones song "Into the Night" and other songs of the genre dealing with creepy old rockers crooning to 16 year old girls. We sought to explore the gender inverse of that - a song about a 16-year-old boy. And also to offend people. Because that's fun.

Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is
We don't hang out anywhere we can't "hang out." You'll find us in the parking lot. If we were forced to go to a bar, though, it would probably be the Model in Allston or the Cellar in Cambridge.


Download: Ballad of the Bastard [mp3]

Catch them live
: at Jerkus Circus this Friday at Ralph's in Worcester ($8 / 9:30pm).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Longwave Single, Dates with Swervedriver

It seems like it has been quite awhile (only 2005? Really??) since There's A Fire came out and Longwave were poised to blow up. And then they dropped off the face of the Earth. Personally I thought they broke up, but really they were just taking their time crafting a new batch of songs that they're finally ready to share with the world.

The band recently wrapped work on their upcoming full length, helmed by Peter Katis (Interpol, The Golden Republic, and that National band that we should all know by now that I have a huge crush on). To let you in on what they created with Katis,
Longwave are also jumping on the free download boat, giving away the new single "Sirens In The Deep Sea," via the Dropcards website. All you have to do is sign up and the song is yours to keep. If that's not enough to tide you over until the album is released later this year, the band have several new songs posted on their MySpace for you to check out.

Just returning from a string of dates in Europe, the band hits the US roads in June opening up for the recently reformed Swervedriver.

06.07 Philadelphia, PA @ Fillmore at the TLA
06.08 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
06.10 Boston, MA @ Paradise
06.11 Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

photo by Guy Eppel

In Cineplexes Soon: War, Inc.

Josh comes in once more from the field ...

Starring the Cusack siblings (John and Joan, respectively) alongside Hilary Duff, Marisa Tomei, and Dan Aykroyd, War, Inc. appears to be seemingly hilarious satire on American foreign policy (namely war privatization). Likened to Dr. Strangelove and Wag The Dog, War, Inc. is the welcomed fresh air in a room full of arrogant flag-waving flatulence.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday Morning Newsletter (05/12/08)

Jose Fritz would like to state for the record that he is of no relation to Josef Fritzl. Josef Fritzl of course is the now internationally infamous Austrian basement/dungeon pedophile that sired several of his own grandchildren. Jose Fritz is the nihilistic, egomaniacal, music writer. I don’t even have a basement.

Trent Reznor has released an entire new Nine Inch Nails album as a free download. The Slip is available on his website in multiple digital file formats. Jose Fritz will have a review up shortly for said album. It kicks the tar out of the all-instrumental Ghosts I-IV album.

Tom Waits
is so fucking crazy it defies all description.

Gene Simmons invited his fans to appear on his reality TV program on May 9th. Whores of all ages appeared at 1:30 on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. I’m sure two or three of them will appear in some stock footage later.

is working on a new release with producer Danger Mouse. Rumor has members of Cat Power, Abba and Dirty Old Willy guesting on the record. Beck will be debuting some of the new material at a small number of summer tour dates.

The Offspring
has jumped on the free bandwagon this week. They are now giving away downloads of their new album, Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace. The album is available as high-quality MP3s. June 17th is the official release date for those tired old tangible formats. Singer Dexter Holland said “We spent over a year and a half on it, it would have been longer but we’re out of beer money."

The Melvins
will be releasing their 19th studio album July 8th. The effort, titled Nude With Boots, will be coming outDeb on Ipecac records. Uniquely the album has the same line up as their last album. Normally they at least lose the bassist.
Stoner-metal pioneers

have started their own record label. Weathermaker Music will be putting out a new Clutch album this summer. Neil Fallon was quoting as saying “And a Bob Marley bet of dude.”

The recently reunited Gang of Four has lost half their members. Bassist Dave Allen and drummer Hugo Burnham have quit unexpectedly leaving a gang of two. The British post punk act formed in 1977 and reuniting only 3 years ago for a tour. The remaining members plan to release an album of new material later this year.

Kirsten Dunst will be playing the lead in a new Debbie Harry biopic. Director Michel Gondry is currently deep in pre-production. Blondie fans everywhere are hoping for an appearance of the Doctor-X T-shirt. I guess if Lindsay Lohan can play Stevie Nicks, Debbie is fair game.

Friday, May 9, 2008

In Cineplexes Soon: The Wackness

Josh reports from the field ...

Wow, looks like a big shit sandwich…with no bread. Who knows though, the combined talent of Mary Kate Olsen and Method Man could be a force to reckon with. If you’re interested in seeing a pre-collegiate pot dealer (Josh Peck) frolic around the streets of mid 90’s Manhattan, then head to theaters on July 3rd.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Black Kids: Win Their Single, See Them Play

Last year, buzz was a blazing about Black Kids - a band of young friends from Jacksonville, Florida, was thrown in to the cycle of blog fame. Pitchfork gave a stellar review to their Wizard of Aaaah's demo EP, and they were the must see act at CMJ. Now the band has signed with Columbia Records, tracked their major label debut with Bernard Butler, and have hit the road with Australian act Cut Copy this week.

The band will be coming to Boston this Monday for a show at the Paradise. In honor of this, we here at Stranded in Stereo are giving you the chance to win a copy of their 3-song single, featuring that infectious hit "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You" and their take on Sophie B. Hawkins' "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover." To win, just send me an e-mail and will pick a winner in a day or so and we'll alert you that you are the lucky one!

Check out the Twelves Remix of "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You"

Dates with Cut Copy:
May 8 - Detroit, MI at Magic Stick
May 9 - Toronto, ON at Lee's Palace
May 12 - Boston, MA at Paradise
May 13 - Brooklyn, NY at Studio B
May 15 - Washington, DC at Black Cat
May 16 - Philadelphia, PA at Pure
May 17 - Baltimore, MD at Sonar
May 18 - New York, NY at Bowery Ballroom

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Stranded Local Q&A: Anarchy Club

This week's Q&A is brought to you by Keith Smith and Adam von Buhler of Boston's own Anarchy Club. This heavy-hitting duo was born of some remarkable musical lineage - Smith’s former band, C60 (a.k.a. Cobalt 60), had won six Boston Music Awards (five of which were in one year), and shared stages with bands such as Kiss, Run-DMC, Linkin Park, and Rage Against the Machine. On the other hand, von Buhler has toured the country with his former band, Splashdown, and has worked with legendary producer Glen Ballard, and had songs featured in the soundtracks to the films "Titan A.E." and "Clubland."

After joining forces back in 2004 to form Anarchy Club, they have gathered an impressive following from the popular video game series Guitar Hero and its recently released counterpart, Rock Band. Anarchy Club initially appeared in the first Guitar Hero with their song "Behind The Mask." "Collide" was then featured in Guitar Hero 2, and "Blood Doll" appears in Rock Band. The latter two songs are featured on the band’s new EP, A Single Drop of Red. This weekend they'll be participating in the All Harmonix Band Revue at Church, where they will be joined by three other bands also featured in the Harmonix games.

But first, Adam 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

It ain't where you're from, it's where your head's at that matters. Localism sucks.

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
Killing Joke

Rob Zombie

Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is
The TD Bank North Garden, Church, Hennessy's

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.)

Kung Fu movies, muscle cars, anime, B-movies and skateboarding. Musically we're into virtually EVERYTHING, but Cocteau Twins and Dr. Dre are two major influences that fly under the radar.

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

We're lab rats. If we're not playing a show, we're recording in the Anar-cave, and sipping on absinthe...


[mp3] Blood Doll

Catch them live: Saturday May 10th at Church, with That Handsome Devil, Death of the Cool, and Blanks (the All Harmonix Band Revue)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Ryan's Smashing Life & Stranded In Stereo Present

The weather has finally warmed up here in Boston and it's been rather nice out for a change, and I've grown tired of hibernating. To celebrate this, we'll be co-sponsoring a gig next Friday, May 16th, with the nifty Boston based blog Ryan's Smashing Life.

The show's going down at TT The Bear's and here is who will be playing:

9PM: Scuba
10PM: Miss Fairchild
11PM: Murder Mystery
12AM: Aloud

Doors are at 8PM and it's $8.

Best of all, I will be there with bag giveaways loaded with CD's and who knows what else, and some copies of Stranded In Stereo to give away as well. Supplies will be limited, though, so get there early before they'll be gone. After that, we can chat amongst ourselves over a cold drink. It will be a fun time for sure.

Be on the look out for more info in the coming days on this awesome event.

Monday, May 5, 2008

...Earth To The Dandy Warhols...

Several months ago, The Dandy Warhols made their first hints at what was to come with their sixth album, ....Earth To The Dandy Warhols.... We were given teaser pimps on YouTube, showing the band at the studio, their guitars floating in outerspace, the soundtrack being provided by new songs from their latest offering. Each teaser ended with the album's title and today's date, May 5th, aka Cinco de Mayo. At midnight EST last night I sat hoping their website would give me something since they had been mum ever since then, so I went to bed thinking that the July 22 release date Wikipedia mentions was the new release date.

And then I woke up this morning, and aside from downloading that new Nine Inch Nails record (did Trent give you The Slip? Get it!? I hope I was the first to use that line -- more on this album later,) the Warhols website was totally revamped with a statement from the ... cosmos, let's say.

Earth is available today, in over 10,000 AMI jukeboxes around the US of A (and the rest of the world question mark.) Can someone locate me one of those here in Boston? If you lead me to a venue that has one of these and you care to sit and listen to the new album with me, the first round of Cinco de Mayo beers are on me. E-mail me for direct contact, please. If you can't track one of those down, the album will be available for purchase and download on May 19th, as part of a new subscription service that will also offering up new B-sides and live material.

Until then, they left us with only one parting gift - a free download of Earth's opening track, "The World The People Together (Come On)." It's pretty fresh if you ask me - hand claps, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and Courtney Taylor-squared's trademark falsetto adorn the near five-minute jam. I encourage repeated listens on headphones.

One place you can hear the new record today is at the album listening party the band is holding at 111 Minna Gallery in San Francisco from 5 until 11 PM local time. Zia of topless bass playing fame will also be spinning records and the band will schmooze and drink with you. Have fun.

Download: "The World The People Together (Come On)" [here]

Monday Morning Newsletter, Cinco de Mayo Edition

Today is Cinco De Mayo. José normally would take a patriotic holiday but he blew last week’s newsletter so I owe the man. In 1862 my people kicked some French ass in Puebla, Mexico. My brethren celebrate this day by getting drunk, sexually assaulting women during parades and shooting rifles in the air. José will head on down to Tony Luke's for lunch celebrate National Hoagie Day instead.

Billboard Magazine celebrated Earth Day this year with a list of 10 acts that gone green in the past 12 months. I’ll resist the urge to make weed jokes about Willie.

Kali, Ac, Demo and M.E.G.A, all four members of the band Steed Lord, were all injured in a car wreck last month. They were on the way to the Reykjavik airport in Iceland. Two members had major internal injury and others had several broken bones. Recent statements indicate they are no more brain damaged now than before.

Bon and Douglas have been working with Jason Payne on the first new Nitzer Ebb record in over 10 years. Producer Flood has been tight-lipped about the album. Nitzer Ebb played a small number of shows and festivals during their 2007 reunion tour. Despite continual bootlegging very little of the new material has reached Limewire. Dammit.

Korn guitarist James ‘Munky’ Shaffer has announced he will release a solo album titled Fear and the Nervous System. It’s slated for release August 8th on his own label Emotional Syphon recordings. Despite the all-star line up, it is expected to suck as bad as Fieldy’s Dream.

Pearl Jam have begun working on demos for what will become their ninth studio album. This will be their first with producer Brendan O’Brien since 1998. This will be their first release since 2006. McCready said “We’re hoping to release the record later this year after my rectum stops bleeding.”

The missing helium-filled pig balloon has been found! During Roger Waters' headlining set Sunday at the Coachella Music Festival the balloon escaped it’s moorings. It was found Thursday in the Southern California desert in pieces. This is the second time that Mr. Waters pig has escaped and attempted suicide.

Avril Lavigne has had to cancel a few tour dates due to losing her voice. She is planning on laying off the whiskey and smokes for a few days hoping to bounce right back. Refunds were issued for dates scheduled in Anaheim and Los Angeles.

Robert Smith of The Cure has announced that they will be releasing a new single each month leading up to the release of their 13th studio album in September. Of course It’s already may so that means 4 singles. It’s really not all that impressive after Bishop Allen released an EP every month for all of 2006.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Calling Unsigned Artists

Are you in a band that is unsigned? Well, today may be your lucky day. SPIN and Music Nation are calling all unsigned artists and bands for The Hot Pursuit, an online competition looking for the next breakout artist! You can upload videos, mp3s and photos here to create a profile and enter the competition.

Start now because voting begins May 15th.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Oh, Muxtape!!!

...or, how your faithful blogger has become obsessed with this new way of spreading the love via the mix. Er, mux.

So a few weeks back, your faithful blogger was reading on another blog about Muxtape and how it was causing a stir and creating new phrases of jargon in to the lexicon of pop culture ("I gave you my heart, but all she gave me was a Muxtape," or something like that.) So, of course that Saturday morning while nursing a hangover I decided to make an account and starting making a mux. Now, for those who don't know me personally (I bet that might be a fair number of you, or maybe all of you are my closest friends,) this whole diatribe should be prefaced with one simple notion: I like to make mixes. Said statement is rather an understatement: I make mixes like it is my job. True story: if you look back at most of my relationships, aged 18-23, within the first month of said relationship I was giving these girls mix CD's. Were they all lovey dovey, you're the one I want to spend the rest of my life with CD's? God, no (ok, slight exaggeration.) Maybe some of the songs were more forward than others, but most mixes I make aren't for the purpose of expressing my feelings to someone, but better yet to try and introduce people to the music they are missing out on.

These CD's weren't just made for the ladies, but also for the best friends of my life, Gianni in particular (I feel like I can just put his name out there on this blog because I mention him enough in other posts from time to time that he deserves to be an example.) Upon first meeting each other in 2000 or 2001 at our former place of employment, we bonded over music. He didn't know that Nada Surf was still around. Outside of "Popular," he never knew that they had crafted the pop masterpiece known as The Proximity Effect. He ended up with a 20+ song collection of their songs, and today he is now a fan. He might not have really jumped on board until the release of Lucky, but I feel satisfied knowing I've turned him on to something.

And now with these muxes that I make, I turn him, and countless others I am sure, on to whatever I'm listening to. After years of just making mixes for myself in the form of playlists on iTunes, now I'm just uploading them for the world to hear. It has become a weekly, rather sick obsession of mine - it keeps me up late at night, not just the tediousness of uploading the songs one by one, but then arranging them in the correct order. As a master curator of a mix/mux, a correct order is everything. If there's no flow, there's no purpose in its existence if you ask me. I've made four different ones so far, and am overjoyed that I can display the titles for all of them up top (except for the first one, for that feature was yet to be implemented, yet it had the best title ever: "I'll Show Your Punk Rock Ass," a lyric taken from "My Face Your Ass," a Lambchop song that was included on said mux.) I write all these out, arrange them like a set list ("I'll Show Your Punk Rock Ass,") or two sides of an LP (Mux Number Dos,) or have a theme of three (last week's numb3r, and edited b3rv2, which was divided in to three parts, and for each part it would have one heavy song, surround by three quiet pieces. Seriously - I spend too much time and thought on these things.)

Even sequencing in a half ass fashion can make it interesting. Take my current mux, entitled "AWK." Short for awkward, the idea was to sequence them in a way that would jerk the listener around. From the six-minute opener of A Place To Bury Strangers' "Ocean," to the pop ambience of Cut Copy's "Feel The Love," we then go in to the seven-minute "Instrument Beetle" by that Bob Pollard guy we all know I love. It goes back in forth, from short and concise pop, to trip hop, to John Zorn. I'm just relieved that people can come along now, possibly stumble upon my mux, and find a song or three that might like, or claim me as a favorite. And I'm even spreading the love, as our own Dany Sloan has created an SiS mux with some songs on it.

People used to have to ask me what I've been listening to lately, or would refer to my Facebook or MySpace to see what bands are listed as my favorites. In place of those lists now is just a link to my mux, and people can just see what my pet hobby is all about. In all reality, I'm sure about two people are listening to these things, but a boy can hope he changes someone's life someday.

If you haven't clicked up above, here's my mux.

The Great Escape Preview (Operahouse)

Upstart North London quartet Operahouse create an excellent mix of sharp, punchy indie rock. They've caught the eyes and ears of Zane Lowe, Jonathan Ross and the NME, while their new single, "Diane," will be out on May 5th. Each time I look at the single's cover, I think the girl (Diane, I presume) is vomiting rainbows, but on second glance, it's apparent that the lights are coming from her eyes.

Look for them at The Hope on May 16th.

Download: "Telescopes" [mp3]