Monday, April 30, 2007

Songs for living the high life...

I put this playlist/mix together for a friend, but feel free to poach as you see fit. YSI links will expire in a week, so act quickly...

01. Snow (Hey Oh) [Red Hot Chili Peppers]
02. Jacksonville [Sufjan Stevens]
03. Rock & Roll [The Velvet Underground]
04. Crazy [Ray Lamontagne]
05. Burning [The Whitest Boy Alive]
06. Sympathy For the Devil [The Rolling Stones]
07. You Only Live Once [The Strokes]
08. Acquiesce [Oasis]
09. The Seed 2.0 [The Roots]
10. Stuck Between Stations [The Hold Steady]
11. West Coast [Coconut Records]
12. Baby One More Time [Travis]
13. Riot Van [Arctic Monkeys]
14. Kick, Push [Lupe Fiasco]
15. 5-4 [Gorillaz]
16. Lucky Man [The Verve]
17. Holiday [Green Day]
18. Badfish/Boss DJ [Jack Johnson]

Monday, April 23, 2007

New Ben Harper studio album in August

Virgin Records' Upcoming Releases site has been updated to include a listing for a "new studio album" from Ben Harper, slated for an August 28 release.

According to's Gavin Connity, the new album is called Lifeline and will include 11 songs, including the title track (which has been performed live a handful of times over the last two years) and "In the Colors" which debuted April 5 during a live session on Triple J Radio.

More: [here]

UPDATE: A little digging (and I do mean a little) through the message boards turned up an mp3 of "In the Colors" from Triple J. As one of the board posters commented, it sounds like Ben's channeling his inner Van Morrison and the early results sound good. The last time I got to see Ben in concert, I remember taking away the impression that he's really starting to transform into a more soul, crooner mold which this track certainly backs up..

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Anxiously awaiting the return of Jack & Meg

The media got a first listen to the next White Stripes release, Icky Thump, at the XL Records offices a few days ago. After reading a couple of reviews, I'm not sure I could be more interested to hear this one. Some of the reports remind me of hearing that Get Behind Me Satan featured the marimba... marimba! ... and having absolutely no idea how that sound would work out. Of course it did (settle down 'Nurse' haters), and we're all the better for it.

So when I hear things like this:

The strangest two tracks are "Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn" and "St Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air)". The former begins like, yes I know, "Gallows Pole" before the bagpipes turn up and the Scottish imagery gets denser and wilder.

...I am definitely intrigued. Then to contrast the above with word that there are some songs that recapture the early sound of songs like 'Astro' means that this album promises to be yet another sonic pinball machine from the Stripes. The full run-down is here.

More: [NME]

Monday, April 16, 2007

Gomez Live from the Vic webcast April 18

Gomez's March 2 show from the Vic Theatre in Chicago is going to be webcast at MSN's "Control Room" on Wednesday, April 18 at 1 p.m. CT.

MSN currently has a teaser of the concert online, featuring clips from the concert mixed among portions of an interview with Ben Ottewell and Ian Ball followed by the night's full rendition of 'Get Myself Arrested.' He only grows for guuyyyys he knows, and me..

Hopefully this won't be the only medium that sees the concert's release, I'd be thrilled to have the show as a DVD some day (it looks like the show will see a lengthy online archival at MSN at least).

I'll be watching the 'cast with vested interest regardless; I'm dying to see how the encore break was edited. My friend and I jokingly started chanting 'ole, ole, ole' we could no longer sustain a more American encore-invoking tradition (i.e. clapping/yelling). To our surprise the whole room picked it up until the band came back to the stage. It was incredible to hear... hopefully it makes the cut.

Related: [full setlist]

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Take Away Shows: Vincent Moon

It has been difficult for me to write about the work of French filmmaker Vincent Moon without sounding like a overbearing first-year film student, but I do want to try to pass along some of his amazing work. Over the last few weeks, Moon's Take Away Shows have earned a lot of attention on my computer and iPod. The concept behind Take Away Shows is to present some of the world's most talented musicians performing spontaneous, single-shot takes of their songs in an urban environment.

Several weeks ago, Moon debuted Episode 40, featuring two songs from The National's forthcoming LP Boxer. (Those of you that are familiar with this blog might remember my second-ever post featured three Moon-shot videos of The National performing live. In my mind, Moon's take on "About Today" is still a perfect marriage of the music and moving image.) Moon's use of light and shadow is again a perfect foil for the acutely nuanced mood The National creates in its songs.

On the acoustic "Start A War," the band enlists its dinner guests to join in on percussion with whatever they have in front of them, a seemingly happenstance occurrence that succeeds in creating the kind of shared yet intimate moments evoked in the music.

Other Take Away Show highlights:
The Arcade Fire, "Neon Bible/Wake Up" - An amazing take on Neon Bible's title track performed by the band in a service elevator. Watching Jeremy replicate the song's understated percussion by ripping pages from a magazine is a moment of genius. [In English]

Tapes 'N Tapes, "Insistor" (2nd video) - The best moment comes at the end when the band punctuates the closing moments of the rhythm-heavy song by kicking the scaffolding that lined the street as they walk by. [In English]

Okkervil River, "Song Of Our S0-Called Friends" (2nd video) - Will Sheff and an acoustic guitar performing one of my favorite songs from Black Sheep Boy.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Love for the new collection at Full Bleed

I wanted to take a break from only surveying music and show some love for the collection to tees at The work of Rob Dobi, his Series 5 shirts have been on my wish list for the last few days. Well, I held out as long as I could, but caved this morning and ordered two. Thank you to my credit card companies for making it possible..

Aside from the amazing artwork on each shirt, I appreciate FullBleed's dedication to letting the shirts speak for themselves:
"I decided early on that FullBleed wouldn't be branded like the rest of the 'clothing companies' that exist nowadays. You pay enough money for a shirt, why have it act as a billboard?"
Judging from the work I've seen, such branding isn't necessary. I can already see random people coming up to me and asking where I got my shirts.

From what I can tell the Series 5 line was just launched April 1 and people far more in the know than I have jumped on it. I missed out on a couple of my favorite designs because my size was already out of stock. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the second runs.

FullBleed on myspace.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Live: Bloc Party at the Congress

Friday, March 23, 2007
Chicago, IL

Set: Song for Clay (Disappear Here), Positive Tension, Hunting for Witches, Waiting for the 7.18, Banquet, This Modern Love, Sunday, The Prayer, Uniform, Little Thoughts, So Here We Are, Like Eating Glass. Encore: I Still Remember, She's Hearing Voices, SRXT, Helicopter. Encore 2: Pioneers.