29 January 2009

good luck Peter / this week's Roundtable

as described on the Roundtable page:
Thursday sees Eamon from Brakes join Glen Tilbrook in discussing some new releases on Roundtable
(FYI the comedian Danny Robins got in on the act at the last minute.)

1. Pete Doherty - "Last of the English Roses" - I want to like this. and I want to stop comparing everything he's done post-Libertines to the Libertines's 2 albums. but you won't see me jumping on a sofa Tom Cruise-style for this track anytime soon.
2. Wintersleep - "Oblivion" - snooze. can those guitars stop strumming the same thing over and over again while the lead singer repeats the song title? Mssrs. Eamon and Glen agree with me on this.
3. Royksopp - "Happy Up Here" - good groove. as per usual for electronic music, the lyrics are only a second thought.
4. Bear Hands - "What a Drag" - I can't be the only one who reads this song title and thinks of George in "A Hard Day's Night." she's a drag, a well-known drag. we turn the sound down on her and say rude things. however, I rather like this tune. the "swirling dervish" nature of the song - also found in Oasis' "Wonderwall" - is ni-ice.
5. tied for first place - La Roux - "In for the Kill" - I love this chica. is it the ginger do? maybe a little. but this - along with the previous "Quicksand" - is infectious electropop. I heard this on Lammo's Monday show, it's even better on second listen. I hope she comes here soon.
6. tied for first place - Two Door Cinema Club - "Something Good Can Work" - these boys from Bangor have put out something rather interesting. looking forward to what else they can bounce our ears with. Lammo thinks they sound like Vampire Weekend.
7. Franz Ferdinand's new album "Tonight" (out this week in the U.S. and the UK) - I dunno. I am not impressed with any of the songs except the first single, "Ulysses," and that was already a grower and not a great song straight out of the gate. I listened to this earlier in the week on demand and "Lucid Dreams" was the only other song on the album that caught my attention, b/c it was v. trippy. and seems to last forever.

random tip of the day: Chris Martin of Coldplay on Lammo's show tomorrow doing an acoustic set.

28 January 2009

ice ice baby

this completely nonmusic post is being written during my lunch hour at home - as an ice storm moved in late last night, turning the neighbourhood roads into an ice rink. after unsuccessfully trying to win a pair of Fleetwood Mac tickets off local radio and listening to Lammo at the same time, I thought I'd snap a pic from my front door. the 2 small trails, 1 leading out from the garage and down the driveway to the street is my doing, after huffing and puffing with a shovel for 30 minutes this morning. by the time I reached the street, I put my foot on the clear part of the street - whatever snow had melted yesterday and refrozen - and decided indubitedly I would working from home today.

some v. delicious Patak's chutney. I feel like it's highway robbery at $5 a jar but whatcha gonna do in them States? (tho one wonders if I ever made the move to blighty, would a small bottle of Heinz's horseradish sauce cost me 3 quid?)

and at last, here is that picture from New Year's Day I promised in my blog's inaugural post. these 3 deer are having a grand old time munching on our back lawn. excuse the blurriness, it was taken through glass and a screen from the back dining room window.

27 January 2009

"best of" upcoming events (third list of January)

addendum to this post from 12 January

Radcliffe/Maconie (Radio2)
27.01 - Graham Nash interview (added later 'cos it was just announced on Rad/Mac)
11.02 - Morrissey live session and Q&A with Mark and Stu at the BBC Theatre, London (repeated in list here b/c I'm worried I'll forget!)

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
05.02 - Morrissey performance - sure to be mobbed by mozzolo regulars

Conan O'Brien (NBC)
28.01 - Cold War Kids performance
30.01 - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds performance

Leno (NBC)
07.01 - Hoobastank performance
29.01 - Franz Ferdinand performance

Letterman (CBS)
29.01 - Graham Nash performance
30.01 - Gaslight Anthem performance

crap, I just realised why I missed Delta Spirit on 16.01, I was watching the wrong show. instead I was watching Hugh Laurie and his charity Band on TV. oops! at least I got to hear them on Lammo's Monday night show recently.

random thought of the day: I have tickets to see both Airborne Toxic Event (12.03) and Morrissey (14.03) and I am very excited, for I did not have to go through a tout for either! see, the little things in life make me happy.

22 January 2009

not impressed w/ new U2 single / this week's Roundtable

am I the only one who isn't impressed by the new U2 single, "Get On Your Boots"? (now being discussed as we speak by Tom Robinson on Lammo's Roundtable, btw. other guests are the great Frank Turner and Liela Moss of the Duke Spirit.)

maybe it is b/c I saw - for the umpteenth time - the promo video for "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" on VH1 Classic during brekky and heard "Mysterious Ways" on the way to work this morning.

dunno, maybe Bono's political leanings has affected the music? you'd think they would have helped lyric writing, not hinder it.


other entries:
2. Friendly Fires - "Skeleton Boy" - dunno why, but the lyrics sound very We Are Scientists. not the sound tho! I like "Paris" better. not running out to see them.
3. Skint and Demoralised - "It's Definitely Not About You" - I like it (and doesn't hurt that Matt is an exceedingly nice bloke!). much more sing-songy than "The Thrill of Thirty Seconds." has a '50s/'60s playful vibe about it.
4. I missed the title on this one - not really my scene, it was a hip-hoppy dancey thing. I think.
5. Eminem - "Crackbowl"- oh no. never was a fan, hip-hop just isn't my thing. "Slim Shady" drove me crazy. thank you Frank Turner and Tom Robinson!
6. School of Seven Bells - "I Am Under No Disguise" - interesting. a very whirling dervish, new-agey sound.
7. the winner - Fight Like Apes's new album, plus "I'm Beginning to Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210" - I'd see them if they come to D.C. their lyrics are unusual to say the least. points for somehow getting "Mary had a little lamb" and "Humpty Dumpty" in a pop song. it's a little squealy for my tastes but I think that's enthusiasm leaking through :)

off to listen to one of Lammo's other shows before Rad/Mac comes on at 3...

20 January 2009

Franz Ferdinand on special Hub session w/ interview on Lammo, tomorrow, 21.10.09

from Steve Lamacq's 6Music page:
The new Franz Ferdinand album is almost here, and to celebrate the band join Steve on Wednesday for a special Hub Session and interview.

here is the rest of the Hub schedule through the end of January. please note that the Hub almost always on George Lamb's morning show (10.00 to 13.00 GMT) on 6Music.

22nd Jan - Fight Like Apes
23rd Jan - Little Joy
27th Jan - Cage The Elephant
28th Jan - Delta Spirit
29th Jan - Eagles of Death Metal

hub badge

sorry to be a party pooper but unlike the hordes that have descended on our great city for the inauguration to end all inaugurations I am at home, keeping warm with a cuppa, and watching things unfold on tv. I did however send a note over to Nemone to suggest the Lilac Time's "American Eyes" for a "stars and stripes" tune of the day for her show, so you listen again to her show if you want to hear it.

random tip of the day: if you are a keen viewer of Anthony Bourdain's programme "No Reservations," you may be interested to know that last night's episode was filmed in Washington D.C. he had the requisite half-smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl, the soon-to-be Obama family hangout (b/c like Bill Cosby, they will never need to pay for their meals, ever).

I also want to note Busboys & Poets, where they have awesome cajun salmon. one day I will read my poetry there. I think :)

14 January 2009

3 acts confirmed for Benicassim

I read this first today on 6Music News but it was posted last month on Benicassim's Web site as well:

FIB Heineken 09 organisers have confirmed the first few acts for Benicassim Festival 2009 and they are some huge names. Kings of Leon are top of their game at the moment, last year they headlined V Festival and Glastonbury and next year you will be able to see the US rockers by the sea in spain in the sunshine. Kings of Leon Headliners for benicassim 2009...Other FIB Heineken 09 Line-up acts confirmed include Franz Ferdinand, and the modfather Paul Weller

The Benicassim Festival takes place between 13th and 21st July 2009, with music from Thu July 16th 2009. Franz Ferdinand, Kings of Leon and Paul Weller are the first names that begin to build the poster of the event’s musical FIB Heineken 09.

Franz Ferdinand and Kings of Leon are the first two heads of the festival poster. Scots turn to unload his powerful art-rock with ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’ (2009) as an excuse. Kings of Leon, for its part, the successful desgranarán ‘Only By the Night’ (2008). With them, Paul Weller, with new work,’22 Dreams’ (2008) - endorsed the appointment Castellón.

::rubs hands together:: festival fever 2009 has started!

live Morrissey interview/gig on 11 February, Radio2

Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie are travelling down from their comfy confines at the Oxford Road Studios to Broadcasting House, London, to bear witness to a long-time-coming session with the man Morrissey, supposedly beginning with a interview segment. to be broadcast live on Wednesday, 11 February, at their usual show time of 20.00 to 22.00.

info on the 100 pairs of tickets being given away at Radio2's Web site. yet another reason why I hate being on the wrong side of the Atlantic! ::fumes::

random tip of the day: 5 days left to listen to the 12 January Morrissey announcement at 40 min into the Radcliffe/Maconie show and what's more, a humourous bit at 1 hr 5 min into it about someone's mum and fried chicken. seriously tho, it is on topic. I am respectful and amused by Stuart Mac and I think the feeling is mutual :D

12 January 2009

"best of" upcoming events (second list of January)

addendum to this earlier post from last week

Ellen Degeneres (check U.S. local listings)
15.01 - Live performance (c'mon you remember them. and they're going to perform "Lightning Crashes".)

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
16.01 - Delta Spirit performance (need to remember to program this directly after Airborne Toxic Event on Letterman...yeah yeah, I'm a geezer. I can't stay awake for these late night shows b/c I get up at 6 in the morning for work.)

Radcliffe/Maconie (Radio2)
12.01 - Morrissey announcement (it's got to be either an in-session at the Oxford Road Studios open to fans, or a full-fledged broadcast recording like this Elbow thingamabob being recorded this Saturday and going out on Radio2 on 31.01 - either way, this fangirl is again mourning *not* living in blighty)
13.01 -Starsailor in session, and look, it's Onion Tuesday! (don't ask, just listen)

07 January 2009

upcoming possible gigs (in general D.C. area)

31.01 - Lykke Li, Sixth and I Synagogue
03.02 - Passion Pit, Black Cat Backstage
26.02 - Tokyo Police Club, Black Cat mainstage
12.03 - Airborne Toxic Event, Black Cat Backstage
14.03 - Morrissey, Warner Theatre (presuming that whenever those bloody tickets go on sale, the touts don't get there first)
26.03 - Glasvegas, Black Cat mainstage (frankly, I'm wondering what all the fuss is about)

all pending finding gigmates and it's not freezing cold or raining down like a mutha. b/c it's a longggggg walk from the Metro to the Black Cat on a dark night by yourself, esp if you're a girl.

...and yes, still kicking myself for not getting a ticket to the 03.10.08 Fleet Foxes gig at the Black Cat that sold out.

05 January 2009

"best of" upcoming events

fyi: ratings added 12.01

David Letterman (CBS)
05.01 - Glasvegas performance - meh.
07.01 - Okkervil River performance - meh.
16.01 - Airborne Toxic Event performance

Leno (NBC)
05.01 - Iron and Wine performance - oops, forgot about this.
09.01 - Eagles of Death Metal performance - groovy.

Radcliffe/Maconie (Radio2)
05.01 - Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds in session - they didn't grab me; nice enough tho.
07.01 - chat with Teitur ("Catherine the Waitress") - v. interesting interview from the Faroe Islands' inhabitant; wishing him every success.

random tip of the day: for the David Lee Roth fans out there, a page full of random Diamond Dave noises.

02 January 2009

VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs

So this week VH1, with the help of Poison frontman (and more recently, the groanworthy man with a harem on the channel's "Rock of Love") Bret Michaels, is debuting what they are calling as the fan's list for the 100 top hard rock songs of all time. the title is confusing enough - they've already had the 100 greatest ARTISTS of hard rock, and then the 100 greatest SONGS of rock 'n' roll. what next?

the last time they had a parade of these - I saw the 100 top '80s songs of all time in hospital 2 years ago, and it was a good way to pass the time immobile in hospital bed with an IV in my arm.

I guess this particular list is for people like us who remember what amazing music sounds like, and what the music videos did for their popularity - and in most cases, why a song remains in our consciousness.

the problem with the moniker of "hard rock song" is WHAT makes a proper hard rock song? As evidenced by the first 4 hours (which started 10 PM ET on 29/12 and then each episode after painfully separated from the previous by 24 hours), anything goes. does Boston's "More Than a Feeling" really qualify as a hard rock song? not anymore than the Romantics' "What I Like About You" as a #66 on the top 500 songs on Big 100, a local radio station that *used* to play '50s and '60s oldies and now has expanded their format to include U2 *gasp* as oldies (?!?)

while VH1 should get beaten with the ugly stick for going the way of MTV and showing stupid reality shows instead of actual music videos, the list is good in that it serves to reminds us what has come before and how, as a whole, the current music scene has a lot to learn when it comes to longevity and coming up with a kiss-arse anthem for the ages.

case in point #1 - "Since You've Been Gone," Rainbow. I'd forgotten what a great song this was.

case in point #2 - "Cult of Personality," Living Colour. I heard this when I was very young, and it's still an earworm after all these years.

case in point #3 - Quiet Riot's version of "Cum On Feel the Noize" was correctly identified as a cover of the 1973 Slade original.

I was getting pretty impatient until Led Zeppelin showed up with "Kashmir" on #21. up to that point, they hadn't even been one entry of theirs. I figure they will be in the top ten, and I think I might cough up a guitar pick if a totally un-hard rock band takes the top honor.

bottom line: worth watching for the nostalgia, if nothing else.

show's main page - vh1.com - no list yet, but it will probably show up this weekend
VH1's '100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs': What's No. 1? - ew.com

random tip of the day: last week Radio2 had a Boxing Day special with Noel Gallagher answering fans and other radio presenters' questions. it was humourous when Terry Wogan asked where his mother's family was from in Ireland. but more so infinitely useful when he explained where the name for Paul Weller's band the Jam came from: apparently Paul was sat at his mum's breakfast table and was at a loss for a proper band name. she said, "well, there's a band called Bread, and there's a band called Marmalade. what about Jam?" (seeing that Noel is a good mate of Mister Weller's, this is probably fact.)

yet another reason why you should listen to your mother. because as Macca wrote, "your mother should know."

edit (03.01.09): several guitar picks came up and out past my epiglottis last night. the #1 pick was ok...but not worthy of the #1 slot, surely?

01 January 2009

bless this mess

a new year. so I'm trying my hand at another blog - one that's public and hopefully of interest to those who have a finger on the pulse of popular music today.

2008 was, on the whole, a pretty good year for me. I started a new job in an entirely new field, and with it, a whole new outlook on what's important in life. I gained a better appreciation for the one thing that had brought me joy throughout my life and had been there for me when people and luck weren't. and that would be...


thank you very much Radio2 and 6music for turning me on to music from blighty and saving me from the radio broadcasting wasteland that surrounds the D.C. area like a shroud. maybe I am being overly dramatic, but if you lived here and had to hear Santana and Rob Thomas's "Smooth" or any ancient song by Nickelback one more time, you would understand.

several of my stateside friends find it humourous (or more possibly, daft) that I'm probably more "famous" (if that's the right word) in Britain than I am here, as I'm a keen participant in several radio shows. this year I actually spoken to two of Britain's who's who of the radio presenting world - Stuart Maconie of the Radcliffe/Maconie show (Monday to Thursday evenings on Radio2) and the Freak Zone (on Sunday afternoons on 6Music) and Steve Lamacq, the famed indie rock oracle of 6Music (weekday afternoons on 6Music).

the thing is, I would imagine that to a music-loving Brit, it feels completely normal to interact with their radio presenters, b/c these DJs invite people to text in, write in via email, and even phone in and voice their opinions. while there are plenty of them to whom the Beeb is a nuisance, for whatever reason, for me, it's so nice to listen to radio stations that don't stop for commercial every 3 songs, want to you to contact them -and- have people behind the mixing boards that know their stuff (what a concept!)

the goal of this blog? whenever I feel compelled, I will write about my favourite music, what gigs I'm planning to attend and after I've gone, share my thoughts on them. I also plan to provide commentary on the state of music based on the new stuff I hear and highly recommend for their aural merits.

I also have been writing lyrics to songs for a while now and basically I am a Bernie Taupin looking for an Elton John. so if you know of anyone you'd recommend, let me know.

FYI I am most definitely not in England - and this evidenced by the 3 small deer chomping on the grass in the backyard. if the pics come out, I'll post them here later.

I'll end with this...a very happy new year to you all!