Friday, January 30, 2009

Kings of Leon & The Whigs @ MSG - 1/29/09

Last night I took the short walk up to Madison Square Garden to see Kings of Leon and The Whigs perform. The first time I actually saw Kings of Leon was about five years ago at MSG....... except it was at the much smaller theater in an opening slot for The Strokes. I remember not knowing a lot of their material at the time but I was really impressed with their show and made sure to pick up some of their stuff when I got home. Kind of amazing to think five years later they'd be headlining the sold out Garden.

I got to the show during The Whigs' set because I wanted to catch a few of their songs. I'd say the Garden was maybe a tenth full but those that were there were respectful and enthusiastic, applauding after each song and definitely giving the band some love. I thought they sounded really good and was pretty impressed that they could hold their own on the Garden stage. I'm sure their show at the Bowery Ballroom in a few weeks will be great.

As for the Kings, they were really, really good. I've seen them in a variety of venues over the last few years and I wasn't sure if they were going to pull off MSG, but they absolutely did. I was really impressed by the crowd too, they were into the show right from the first notes and you could tell people were familiar with a lot of the material (old & new). I loved "Aha Shake Heartbreak", "Slow Night, So Long", "Manhattan" and the "Cold Desert"/"Trani" combo to finish off the first set. Here's the complete setlist, a good mix of material.

Aha Shake Heartbreak
My Party
Molly's Chambers
Four Kicks
Wasted Time
Sex on Fire
Slow Night, So Long
The Bucket
On Call
Use Somebody
Cold Desert


Knocked Up
Black Thumbnail

Walking out, it seemed like the general sentiment was that people really enjoyed the show. I give Kings of Leon credit, they totally delivered and at the same time came across as a humble and appreciative group of guys. Extremely well done.

SOTD: "Say It Ain't So" - Weezer

Coachella 2009 Lineup

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Relentless 7 in LA TONIGHT

Ben Harper's new project, the Relentless 7 will be in LA tonight and tomorrow at The Mint. Tix are available HERE. Good luck!

SOTD: "Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse" - Minus The Bear

Modest Mouse Tour

Here are some dates for a small Modest Mouse tour, some great venues in there. More details HERE.

Sun Feb. 22 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
Mon Feb. 23 - Visalia, CA - The Fox Theatre
Tue Feb. 24 - Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Palladium
Wed Feb. 25 - Tempe, AZ - The Marquee
Thu Feb. 26 - Albuquerque, NM - Abuquerque Convention Center
Sat Feb. 28 - Boulder, CO - Balch Fieldhouse
Mon Mar. 2 - Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
Tue Mar. 3 - Oklahoma City, OK - Diamond Ballroom
Wed Mar. 4 - Austin, TX - Stubb's
Fri Mar. 6 - Oxford, MS - The Lyric Oxford
Sat Mar. 7 - Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle
Sun Mar. 8 - Miami, FL - Langerado Music Festival

Ray Lamontagne Spring Tour

Below are the dates for Ray's tour, more info can be found HERE.

04/02/09 Montclair, NJ Wellmont Theatre
04/03/09 Pittsburgh, PA Palace Theatre
04/04/09 Philadelphia, PA Tower Theatre
04/06/09 Albany, NY The Egg
04/07/09 Northampton, MA Calvin Theatre
04/08/09 New Haven, CT Schubert Theater
04/11/09 Portland, ME Merrill Auditorium
04/12/09 Burlington, VT Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
04/14/09 Montreal, QUE Metropolis
04/15/09 Toronto, ONT Massey Hall
04/17/09 Cleveland, OH State Theatre
04/18/09 Cincinnatii, OH Taft Theatre
04/19/09 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Theatre
04/21/09 Milwaukee, WI Riverside Theater
04/22/09 St. Louis, MO Pageant Theater
04/24/09 Asheville, NC Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
04/25/09 Louisville, KY Brown Theater
04/27/09 Birmingham, AL Alabama Theatre
04/28/09 Jacksonville, FL Florida Theatre
04/29/09 Tampa, FL Tampa Theatre
04/30/09 Miami, FL Fillmore at Jackie Gleason

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SOTD: "Hospital Beds" - Cold War Kids

Lady Gaga @ Terminal 5 - 3/31/09

Tickets for Lady Gaga's show at Terminal 5 go on sale on WEDNESDAY at NOON. The first show sold out quickly and this probably will too. You can find tickets HERE. Also note, this is a late night show, 11:30 PM start. Good luck!

Bruce Springsteen 2009 Tour Dates

Here are the 2009 Springsteen tour dates (I'm sure more will be added):

Feb 1 Tampa, FL Super Bowl XLIII
Apr 1 San Jose, CA HP Pavilion at San Jose Feb 2
Apr 3 Glendale, AZ Arena Feb 2
Apr 5 Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center Feb 7
Apr 7 Tulsa, OK BOK Center Feb 7
Apr 8 Houston, TX Toyota Center Feb 7
Apr 10 Denver, CO Pepsi Center Feb 2
Apr 15 Los Angeles, CA LA Memorial Sports Arena Feb 2
Apr 21 Boston, MA TD Banknorth Garden Feb 2
Apr 22 Boston, MA TD Banknorth Garden Feb 2
Apr 24 Hartford, CT XL Center Feb 2
Apr 26 Atlanta, GA Philips Arena Feb 2
Apr 28 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Spectrum Feb 2
Apr 29 Philadelphia, PA Wachovia Spectrum Feb 2
May 2 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum Feb 6
May 4 Hempstead, NY Nassau Veterans Mem. Col. Feb 2
May 5 Charlottesville, VA John Paul Jones Arena Feb 2
May 7 Toronto, ONT Air Canada Centre Feb 6
May 8 University Park, PA Bryce Jordan Center Feb 2
May 11 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center Feb 2
May 12 Chicago, IL United Center Feb 2
May 14 Albany, NY Times Union Center Feb 2
May 15 Hershey, PA Hersheypark Stadium Feb 2
May 18 Washington, DC Verizon Center Feb 2
May 19 Pittsburgh, PA Mellon Arena Feb 2
May 21 E. Rutherford, NJ Izod Center Feb 2
May 23 E. Rutherford, NJ Izod Center Feb 2
May 30 Landgraaf, Holland Pink Pop Festival March 7
June 2 Tampere, Finland Ratinan Stadion ON SALE
June 4 Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm Stadium SOLD OUT
June 5 Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm Stadium SOLD OUT
June 7 Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm Stadium SOLD OUT
June 9 Bergen, Norway Koengen SOLD OUT
June 10 Bergen, Norway Koengen SOLD OUT
July 2 Munich, Germany Olympiastadion ON SALE NOW
July 3 Frankfurt, Germany Commerzbank Arena ON SALE NOW
July 5 Vienna, Austria Ernst Happel Stadion ON SALE NOW
July 8 Herning, Denmark Herning MCH ON SALE NOW
July 11 Dublin, Ireland RDS Jan 30
July 16 Carhaix, France Festival des Vielles Charrues Jan 30
July 19 Rome, Italy Stadio Olimpico ON SALE SOON
July 21 Turino, Italy Olimpico di Torino ON SALE SOON
July 23 Udine, Italy Stadio Friuli ON SALE SOON
July 26 Bilbao, Spain San Mames Stadium ON SALE SOON
July 28 Benidorm, Spain Estadio Municipal de Foietes ON SALE SOON
July 30 Sevilla, Spain La Cartuja Olympic Stadium ON SALE SOON
Aug 1 Valladolid, Spain Estadio Jose Zorrilla ON SALE SOON
Aug 2 Santiago, Spain Monte Del Gozo ON SALE SOON

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SOTD: "Mic Check" - Rage Against The Machine

Death Cab For Cutie 2009 Tour Dates

Death Cab has announced their 2009 tour dates. Some of these shows will be with the Cold War Kids and Ra Ra Riot.....those should be pretty good. You can get all the details HERE.

David Lynch Foundation Benefit Concert

On April 4th, 2009, Radio City Music Hall will host a benefit concert in support of the David Lynch Foundation. Performers will include Paul McCartney, Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, Moby and more. You can find out more information HERE.

Working On A Springsteen Dream

For our Canadian readers....HMV is running a pretty cool Bruce Springsteen contest with several prizes including a chance to meet "The Boss". You can read all about it HERE. Good luck!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama Staff Party Update

Late last week I found out that a friend of mine was actually able to attend the staff party for our new President. I asked him if he'd write some thoughts (a short description) for the blog and here's what he sent me. Special thanks to Emmett for sending this in.....

"Having worked on the Obama campaign for a year, I was privy to many surreal moments along the way. Maybe it was the two month break I had since Election Day, but I was taken by surprise at how quickly I returned to that lifestyle when I attended Wednesday night's Staff Ball at the DC Armory. After going through metal detectors and checking my coat, I was shocked to hear none other than Arcade Fire, my favorite band currently together (and making relevant albums), belting out Neighborhood #3 (Power Out).

Unfortunately, by the time I had explained to my date just how lucky we were to be seeing such an incredible band in such a unique setting and called my diehard Arcade Fire fan friends to tell them where I was, the band was finishing up Rebellion (Lies), which happened to be their final song of the night.

Afterward, we got to see Kal Penn dish out some dirt about campaigning for Barack (which he did a lot, by the way), and Vice President Biden tell us that this campaign will be studied in the history books for years to come. Campaign Manager David Plouffe, the "mastermind" of Obama for America, then introduced President Obama, who seemed to genuinely enjoy speaking to his former staff. Still, it wasn't until Jay-Z came on to sing "99 Problems" (with a special twist for the occassion) that I was reminded of the lyrics from a certain song I had heard earlier that night: "Is it a dream? / Is it a lie? / I guess I'll let you decide."

SOTD: "My Delirium" - Ladyhawke

Have you heard Ladyhawke yet? ...... LOVING this! Looks like she has some European dates coming up (for any readers across the pond). Take a look HERE.

Gogol Bordello Non-Stop

If you're planning to be in NYC this upcoming weekend, you might want to swing down to see "Gogol Bordello Non-Stop" at the 92Y Tribeca. This documentary details the group's rise from an underground local band to their current status as an internationally known act.

There are three showings, Friday at 8pm and 10:15pm and Saturday at 9pm. Tix are available HERE.

I've gotta say that Gogol Bordello was without a doubt one of the most fun bands I've seen in concert and if this documentary does them any justice, it'll probably be very entertaining.

NYC Area Concerts week of 1/26

1/26 Andrew Bird @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
1/27 Yo Majesty @ Highline Ballroom
1/28 Annuals @ Bowery Ballroom
1/28 Andrew Bird @ Carnegie Hall
1/28 Cold War Kids @ Mercury Lounge
1/29 Kings of Leon, The Whigs @ Madison Square Garden
1/30 Joseph Arthur @ The Bell House
1/30 The Sword @ Bowery Ballroom
1/31 Joseph Arthur @ The Bell House
1/31 They Might Be Giants @ le poisson rouge

Friday, January 23, 2009

SOTD: "When You Were Young" - The Killers

I'm not as big a fan of these guys as most people are, but I absolutely love this song.......and especially this version. They'll be at MSG this weekend.

Jess King @ National Underground - 1/22/09

Last night I took a trip downtown to the National Underground to see singer/songwriter Jess King. I've probably walked by this club about a hundred times over the years, so it was good to walk in for a night to see a great performance. Jess went to college with my buddy Scott, one of my best friends, so I was happy to make the trek to see her sing.

Jess has a great voice, it's pretty hard to compare to many contemporary acts. As I told her after the set, at times she reminded me of Natalie Merchant and at other times she reminded me of Ani Difranco. One thing with seeing musicians is that you either have it, or you don't.....and Jess definitely has it. She's got a really strong voice, plays keyboard and is complemented in her live act by an acoustic guitar and viola. Basically, it works, the talent is there and she's definitely worth seeing. I really enjoyed the show and will be sure to check her out next time she comes around. You can listen to some of her tracks here.

Here's a good taste for what you're in for:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Arcade Fire (& Jay Z) @ Obama Staff Party

Head over to Brooklynvegan (great site by the way) for some info on the Arcade Fire's performance for the Obama staff last night at the DC Armory. You'll find a setlist, a bunch of great pics and some other details.....including a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA". I guess Jay Z performed also but there's not as much information.

Either way, sounds like an awesome night of music. If I was Obama, I think I would have forced them to collaborate and perform together, maybe something like, "Can I Get A......Intervention"?

SOTD: "Let The Flames Begin" - Paramore

Sticking with the theme below, this was one of the songs that stood out in my mind when I saw them this past summer. Hayley Williams really has a hell of a voice.

No Doubt & Paramore 2009 Tour

I read this article on Billboard last night that Paramore will be opening for No Doubt on their 2009 tour. A few thoughts on this:

- I'd like to see No Doubt sometime, used to really like their stuff in high school but haven't listened to them much in recent years. There's rumors that they may be at Coachella, guess we'll see.

- I saw Paramore a couple times this past summer when I was touring with John, I wrote about it a bit here. I'm not a diehard fan of the band but I do like some of their material and I was really impressed with their performances. After spending some time with the group and their crew on the tour, I have to say that I'm pretty psyched for them, hope this gig helps give them some more exposure.

- I'll be interested to see what types of venues they play. Is No Doubt big enough to play Arenas? I guess we'll see.......

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

SOTD: "My Girls" - Animal Collective

These guys play Bowery Ballroom tonight. The show is sold out but don't fret if you don't have tix, they'll be back soon to play Terminal 5.

Nick Drake Tribute Album

Some interesting notes on a Nick Drake tribute album that will be released by Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records:


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

SOTD: "Unreachable" - John Frusciante

Many of you are probably familiar with John Frusicante from his work as the lead guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. What you may not know is that he's had a pretty extensive solo career and releases his latest album today, "The Empyrean". Take a listen to this song (it's pretty different than most the RHCP material):

Pete Yorn, Fuel, and a Shotgun (Sans Fear)

Another great music blog that I often visit is called "I am Fuel, you are Friends", it's a really cool site run by a huge music fan named Heather Browne. Singer/songwriter Pete Yorn has chosen the site to host a couple new songs that he's written, "Shotgun" and 'Sans Fear".

You can find and listen to those tracks here, but I'd also recommend spending some time poking around the site, there's some really interesting entries on there. Very excited for some new material and a tour from Pete Yorn, been awhile.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New U2 single: "Get On Your Boots"

Here's a link for U2's first single off their new album:


SOTD: "Oh, The Boss Is Coming" - Arkells

Recently heard this band from Canada and digging this song....

NYC Area Concerts week of 1/19

1/19 Department of Eagles @ Bowery Ballroom
1/19 Cursive @ Mercury Lounge
1/20 Anya Marina @ Mercury Lounge
1/20 Animal Collective, Blues Control @ Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center
1/20 Steve Winwood @ The Wellmont Theatre
1/20 Fiction Family (ft. Jon Foreman of Switchfoot & Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek) @ Bowery Ballroom
1/20 Joshua Redman @ Highline Ballroom
1/21 Animal Collective @ Bowery Ballroom
1/21 Reel Big Fish, Streetlight Manifesto @ The Wellmont Theatre
1/21 Joshua Redman @ Highline Ballroom
1/22 Regina Spektor @ Bowery Ballroom
1/22 Matt & Kim @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
1/23 Ponytail @ The Bell House
1/24 The Honey Brothers @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
1/24 DeVotchKa @ Webster Hall
1/25 The Killers @ Madison Square Garden

Friday, January 16, 2009

DMB @ MSG Tix - Saturday 10am

Dave Matthews Band tickets for the 4/14/09 MSG show will go on sale Saturday morning at 10am. This will probably sell out in a couple of minutes.....good luck.


SOTD: "The '59 Sound" - The Gaslight Anthem

I mentioned these guys in the blog yesterday but it struck me that people might not have heard them yet. Their album is worth checking out, here's a pretty good song.

Fleet Foxes on SNL

Just a reminder that FLEET FOXES will be on Saturday Night Live tomorrow. Set your DVRs!

Fleet Foxes on SNL

In The Rearview Mirror: Counting Crows @ Toad's Place - 1/18/94

Fifteen years ago (feels like yesterday), I took my first trip to Toad's Place in New Haven, CT. Toad's is a really small club that has had just about anyone who's anyone play there over the years. I've since seen bands such as The Samples, Dave Matthews Band, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Kings of Leon, etc. It's set right in downtown New Haven, amongst Yale University and gets good crowds on a regular basis.

In 1994, I was a junior in high school and my buddy Chris passed on a cd by a new band called the Counting Crows. I'd say that I loved "August & Everything After" since the first time I sat down and played it, just a masterpiece of an album. Even today, it's still one of my favorite albums, I find myself listening to it pretty often. When we found out they were going to be playing locally, we were pretty excited.

My buddy Tom and I drove up for the show and I don't remember all that many specifics (probably because I was a bit overwhelmed) but I can recall how great the songs sounded live. One of the cool things about Toad's is that the stage is really low and there's no security barrier so it's basically like seeing a band in a bar, you can get as close as you want and we were just a few feet away. They didn't have much material at the time so the concert was relatively short, but they played almost the whole album and it was one of the first times that live music really made a big impact on me. I believe this was only my second concert ever so I didn't really know what to expect, but I left with a big smile on my face and a new t-shirt in hand.

As you can see below, the ticket has held up well over the years. As a high school student with almost no money, it was also nice to see a band for under $10. I've seen them several other times over the years but this is the show that sticks in my mind. The band and this show are definitely one of the big reasons I discovered my love for music, specifically in a live setting....and that's something that will stick with me forever.

"Pass me a bottle, Mr. Jones
Believe in me
Help me believe in anything
I want to be someone who believes"

- Adam Duritz, "Mr. Jones"

Counting Crows 1/18/94

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dark Was The Night Update

I had written a bit about this compilation in my 2009 preview and we got some updated information today. You can see the full album tracklist here:

Dark Was The Night

Also, starting today on their myspace page, they will be streaming a different song from the album every day. Today features "Knotty Pine" by Dirty Projectors & David Byrne. You can find that page here:

SOTD: "Once Upon A Time" - Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise

Sometimes in life, a song just hits you. You're not always ready when it happens, but certain songs just may come along when you least expect it. During the summer of 1997, I was home from college out with some friends when I got dropped off at home around midnight. I sat down on the couch with a drink and some chips and put on MTV (there was still music being played back at that time). I don't remember what show was on (maybe "120 minutes"), but suddenly this video/song appeared and I was completely mesmerized by what was on in front of me.

The video was for a song called "Once Upon A Time" by Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise. I thought it was one of the most amazing, beautiful songs that I had ever heard, it completely ripped through me. I immediately wanted to find out as much info about the band as I could, but our internet was still on dial-up so it took me forever to log on to AOL and find this band. When I finally did, there was little information on them but I was able to find an email for their management group....that was a good start.

I emailed their management and after some responses & phone calls, I was able to do some promotion for them. I still remember that package showing up in my mailbox at Villanova, I was like a kid on Christmas morning ripping it open. It had several copies of the band's debut album along with a bunch of posters. I plastered them around campus and was able to get the band to come play on March 12th, 1998. Maybe thirty people showed up, but I was just so excited to hear Robert's voice in person.

If you're unfamiliar with his story, Robert Bradley was a blind street singer in Detroit who was found In 1991 at the Eastern Market by two Detroit musicians and producers, brothers Michael and Andrew Nehra. The Nehras owned and operated a recording studio, White Room Records, in Detroit. During rehearsals at their studio, the brothers noticed Bradley's voice coming in from down the street and asked him to sit in a session with them. They eventually formed a band and the rest is history. They've had some opening slots with bands like the Dave Matthews Band and Robert has recorded with Kid Rock multiple times.

I've gotten to see the band a several times over the years, the last three at the Knitting Factory in New York City. It seems like the roster is always changing, losing and adding new band members and various instruments, but Robert's voice is still as good as ever. It's hard to find tour information on these guys but I think this is the main site that they use for updates (looks like they've only got one show coming up in Michigan):

It's kind of amazing, but you can't even find this song on Itunes. I guess they're not able to put their first album on the site for some reason so you can't download the song, even if you wanted to. There's also a live album that features a nine minute version from New Year's Eve's amazing (if you want information on it, drop me a line and I'll help you out, it may be out of print). I was able to find one version of the song on Itunes though, it's from the band "The Gaslight Anthem". Their new album is called "The '59 Sound" and if you buy the full album on Itunes, you get a bonus track......a cover of "Once Upon A Time".

I always find myself coming back to it, just a special song for me. I think it's one of those songs that's meant to be shared with a lot of people though, so I hope you enjoy:

Band Of Horses Update

Some exciting news from Band Of Horses, especially those California dates for our west coast readers............(you know, the following weekend is Coachella, wonder if they'll hang around the state?).

Welco​me to 2009!​

This one'​s gonna​ be a busy and excit​ing one for Band of Horse​s.​ The year kicks​ off with the annou​nceme​nt of a pair of West Coast​ US Headl​ine shows​:​

April​ 15th - Santa​ Cruz,​ CA - Catal​yst

Presa​le start​s this Thurs​day,​ Janua​ry 15th at 10am PST

Passw​ord:​ GHOST​

Ticke​ts go on sale to the publi​c Frida​y,​ Janua​ry 16th at 10am PST

April​ 17th - Oakla​nd,​ CA - Fox Theat​er

Presa​le start​s this Thurs​day,​ Janua​ry 15th at 10am PST

Passw​ord:​ GHOST​

Ticke​ts go on sale to the publi​c Sunda​y,​ Janua​ry 18th at 10am PST

Befor​e headi​ng out to Calif​ornia​,​ the band plans​ to visit​ their​ old frien​ds at Echo Mount​ain Studi​os in Ashev​ille,​ NC to conti​nue work on the new recor​d.​ Those​ who atten​ded the New Years​ Eve run in Atlan​ta got a heapi​ng taste​ of some of the new mater​ial,​ and the band is looki​ng forwa​rd to getti​ng to work on those​ songs​ in the studi​o.​

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SOTD: "Dry" - William Elliot Whitmore

Usually, I'm not into show openers all that much, but this guy opened for City & Colour last night and was fantastic. He reminded me a bit of Tom Waits with a banjo. The crowd was really into his set, everyone got was gettin' down. He said that he's got an album coming out in February, going to keep my eye on that.

City & Colour @ Bowery Ballroom 1/13/09

Last night I was back down at the Bowery Ballroom to see City & Colour. I was lucky enough to score a last minute ticket to the sold out show yesterday, so I was pretty excited to see this performance. As I referenced in another post, I had only seen City & Colour ( specifically Dallas Green) once before, last year when he opened for Tegan & Sara at Terminal 5. At that time I wasn't familiar with his music so I've had some catching up to do over the last six months.

I had a pretty good idea what I'd be in store for, based on his solo-acoustic opening slot, but I was actually kind of surprised when he (they) came out on stage. This time Dallas brought three friends along to support him with guitar, bass and drums and Dallas even strapped on the electric guitar for the first four or five songs. This definitely gave many of the songs a different (stronger) sound than a lot of his recorded material, the bass and drums really drove the songs and layered with Dallas' voice, the songs had a great, heavy groove to them.

They ripped through this portion of the set pretty quickly except for pausing for a minute when some guy heckled Dallas from the crowd, I couldn't hear what he said exactly but I think it was something about high ticket prices, blah, blah, blah. Dallas replied with a, "Do you really want to talk about this now?....if you're upset, there are a couple brightly lit orange exit signs in the back of the room", which got a nice set of applause from the rest of the crowd.

The highlight of the show for me would be the middle of the set, which consisted of the "Crowd Participation" section where Dallas asked the crowd to jump in and help on backing vocals for three songs, "Sleeping Sickness", "Constant Knot", & "The Girl". "Sleeping Sickness" was the song I was most looking forward to hearing and it didn't disappoint at all. The acoustic version on the album is great but it's even better live with the full band, everything clicking together. They were also able to really accentuate that pause right before the chorus and it just sounded awesome. "Constant Knot" was very cool too, Dallas let the crowd take the chorus at the end and sing alone as the band played the backing music. "The Girl" has that great tempo change about half way through where the song really kicks in, very cool to hear live.

A bit later in the show we were treated to a solo-acoustic cover of the late 70s song, "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" by Rose Royce (although it's been covered by other artists like Madonna). The rest of the band rejoined Dallas to complete the set and close out the show.

During the performance, there were some great harmonies from the group but one thing kept sticking in my head. I'd say at least five or six times last night that Dallas hit (and held) a note that reminded me of Jeff Buckley. I can't put my finger on it, obviously not the same (who is?) but something about the pitch and strength of his voice. I don't know a lot about Dallas' background but I'd be surprised if he didn't listen to Jeff growing up. I'd love to see him take a shot at covering a song like "Everybody Here Wants You", that would be really cool.

Overall, I was really impressed with the show and the entire band. Bowery Ballroom is such a great place to see a show that I'm rarely disappointed, you combine that with a great band with strong musicians and a powerful voice and you've got a recipe for a great night of music. These guys are on tour in the US for a few more dates (heading to DC & Philly and then out west to California), really a good show if you can make it out........I'm glad I did.

A couple videos, courtesy of "pcimprezzive":



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

SOTD: "Love Again For the First Time" - Julian Velard

If you read the Ryan Montbleau review below, I reference an intimate show that I saw him play a few months back. The concert was actually a duel set with Ryan and Julian Velard. Never hearing Julian play before, I was really impressed by his material....and specifically his style.

This song really stuck out to me, I feel like it's tailor made to be in the closing scene of a tv show or movie, great stuff.

Ryan Montbleau Band @ Bowery Ballroom 12/27/08

A couple weeks ago, I attended the Ryan Montbleau Band's show at the Bowery Ballroom. I believe this was Ryan's first time headlining the venue, no small feat. I had caught Ryan during an intimate acoustic show a few months back, but hadn't seen him with a full band in a few years so I was pretty excited. That week between the holidays can be a tough one for getting people out to shows, but I was impressed by the enthusiastic crowd that showed up for this one.

I think I've noted this previously, but Ryan and I were classmates in college at Villanova University outside Philly. I didn't know him well during our years there but we had some mutual friends and I would see him around the area playing his guitar. What I didn't know until after I graduated, was that not only is he a gifted musician, but he has a really good voice. It's one of those voices that just has a real nice flow to it, doesn't seem forced at all....really smooth.

If you've read other reviews about the band, it seems like the group get lumped in with a lot of jam bands, which I don't completely disagree with, but at the same time I think they have their own unique style. I find that many of the bands that jam out a lot can sometimes actually take away from some of their songs, almost like there's no roadmap for where they're going. Even though the Ryan Montbleau Band does jam a fair amount, I feel like you know that they're on the same page, headed in one direction. Watching the show you come away with a polished feeling, like they're always in control.

Another thing that stands out is that Ryan seems to have a subtle confidence as the lead, you don't sense that he's ever trying to upstage the other band members and still tries to blend in as "one of the guys". It helps that the other band members are definitely a talented bunch and you can see that the guys enjoy playing together. Simply put, they're just a tight, cohesive group, you sense that they've been doing this together for quite awhile.

Over the last few years I've gotten to know Ryan a bit and I really think he's one of the "good guys" out there trying to make it. The guy (and his crew) work their tails off, constantly touring in and out of the country. I see a lot of shows and feel like he's got the right combination of a strong work ethic and a gratitude to the people that come out and see the band. In my opinion, he's definitely got "the stuff", just needs the right break. If you get a chance, go out and see his show when he comes to town, I think you'll walk away impressed.

Here's a video I took:


Here's a couple more pictures I took at the show:

Monday, January 12, 2009

SOTD: "Sleeping Sickness" - City & Colour

I first saw/heard City & Colour opening up for Tegan & Sara in 2008. The band name is actually a bit deceiving since City & Colour is actually only one guy, Dallas Green (at least for the show that I saw, although maybe this tour will be different). He's got a hell of a voice and is playing a couple shows at Bowery Ballroom this week so check him out if you get a chance.

Myspace Transmissions

Myspace has been showing a new series called "Transmissions", which features live videos of various bands and performances. There's some good stuff on here from bands like Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend, City & Colour, etc. Take a look:

NYC Area Concerts week of 1/12

1/12 - City & Colour @ Bowery Ballroom
1/12 - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - BB Kings Blues Club
1/13 - City & Colour @ Bowery Ballroom
1/16 - Steve Winwood @ United Palace
1/17 - Frightened Rabbit @ Bowery Ballroom
1/17 - Shwayze @ Studio at Webster Hall
1/17 - Smithereens @ BB Kings Blues Club

Friday, January 9, 2009

SOTD: "Everlong" (Acoustic) - Dave Grohl

Such a good version of this song......

NY Music Memorabilia Show

If you've got nothing to do on Saturday, this might be a good option. Tons of memorabilia..... Vinyl, sheet music, books, etc. from various genres. Free entry from 10am - 2pm.,2;c,2;p,1&storyid=147121&id=23838

Additional info here:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

SOTD: "Boy From School" - Hot Chip

Phish Summer Tour 2009

Some exciting news for the Phish fans out there, looks like they'll be kicking off the tour with a couple nights at Jones Beach!

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals: AOL Sessions

Check out the link below to hear some live tracks from Ryan Adam & The Cardinals' AOL Session. You can choose from four selections:

"Fix It"
"Crossed Out Name"

Bon Iver: Blood Bank

Bon Iver's new 4-song EP, "Blood Bank", is streaming on You can listen here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

SOTD: "32 Flavors" - Ani Difranco

Recently dusted this one off, haven't listened to Ani in awhile but this is good stuff.....

10 in 2009

While we're still in the first week of the year, I thought I'd write a list of 10 things to look forward to in 2009.

- U2: No Line on the Horizon

I'm definitely excited to hear what U2 is working on and hopefully they'll also tour in the upcoming year. "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" and "Where The Streets Have No Name" are two of the best live songs I've ever heard in concert.

- Matthew Good: Vancouver

Not much info released so far but I'm excited for a new studio album. Matt updates his site daily with pics and info......hopefully that album arrives this year.

- The Arcade Fire: Mirror-Noir

Available for download now, this film follows Arcade Fire through the making and touring of their 2007 album Neon Bible. I absolutely LOVE this album and the tour was phenomenal. Hopefully they've included some footage from their 2007 show at Radio City Music Hall.

- Beirut: March of the Zapotec

One of the albums I'm most anticipating for 2009, this will be a double EP. The first EP will include work from the whole band, recorded in Mexico along with the Jiminez Band. The second EP will be more of a stripped down style from lead singer Zach Condon.

- Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique is turning 20!

The Beastie Boys will be re-issuing their classic album Paul's Boutique with an assortment of special features & additions. Signup on their site for future information regarding the re-release.

- Dan Auerbach: Keep It Hid

Dan is the singer-guitarrist from the Black Keys and will be releasing his first solo album. He'll be playing several shows and a couple here in New York (one at Bowery Ballroom, one at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg).

- Bruce Springsteen: "Working On A Dream"

Gotta give a nod to the Boss. He'll be playing the Superbowl halftime show and hopefully we'll see him on the road this summer.

- Various Artists: Dark Was The Night

This compilation will be released on February 17th and will benefit the Red Hot Organization - an international charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for HIV and AIDS. This will mark the 20th anniversary of Red Hot and feature 32 exclusive songs by artists such as:

Andrew Bird
Arcade Fire
Bon Iver
The Books featuring Jose Gonzalez
Buck 65 Remix (featuring Sufjan Stevens and Serengeti)
Cat Power and Dirty Delta Blues
The Decemberists
Dirty Projectors + David Byrne
Feist + Ben Gibbard
Grizzly Bear
Iron & Wine
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Kronos Quartet
My Morning Jacket
The National
The New Pornographers
Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch
Sufjan Stevens
Yo La Tengo

WOW, what a collection of bands. Really looking forward to this.

- Wilco: Ashes of American Flags

Wilco will be releasing their first concert film/DVD and follows the band's February '08 tour. They'll also be trying to get a studio album out for the spring.

- Morrissey: Years of Refusal

Morrissey returns with a new album and 2009 tour. I'm hoping to get to at least one of the NYC shows (Bowery, Webster Hall, Carnegie Hall, etc.)