Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Thursday, June 24, 2010

MY TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2010, so far...

I know it's been a long time since i've gushed or ranted... so here is a nifty little list of what's been playing on handstamp's headphones over the last 6 months.

I have been highly criticized for having a very short memory when it comes to making these types of lists by putting newer releases higher than they should be ranked. As such, I present to you, The Five Ghosts which was 'officially' released not more than a week ago. The Five Ghosts is Stars' first full length since the 2007 album, 'In Our Bedroom After The War' which happens to be my one of my all time favorite albums. To say that this album has a lot to live up to is a major understatement. The first five times I listened to this album, my initial reaction was that it's NOT 'In Our Bedroom..' which is OK. This album might not be Stars' best work, but it's still an incredibly beautiful album that is angelic and haunting, sad and dancy. And for now, I can't stop listening to it. So the next six months will determine whether this album has the staying power that I'm claiming it does.

When it comes to music and Britt Daniels, there are few people that would challenge claims of his extraordinary talent. Spoon has steadily released very solid albums over the last decade-plus. I ranked their 2001 release 'Girls Can Tell' at #36 in my Top 50 albums of the decade, and this is my favorite Spoon album since. As much as the band pushes the envelope with their sound, it maintains its pop/rock accessibility.

If you are going to start the first measure of the first track of your first album with a cow bell you better have the chops to back it up... and free energy does. No doubt about it, 'Free Energy' is pure rock-pop... in fact, the 3rd track on the album is titled 'Bang Pop' which is a great description for the style of music.... complete with oohs, and ahhh's, and Na Na Na's..

This is what happens when you cross The Beatles with Nirvana. Pure Awesome.

I'm calling this the album of the Summer. The question is will this Brit-pop singer rise and fall from the spotlight like other recent female brit pop and rock stars? The album will certainly appeal to indie crowd, and it's got massive pop power (think Regina Spektor + Lady Gaga) that could catapult her into widespread radio play before you know it.






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Monday, May 24, 2010

Harvey’s Kitchen: Amelia’s Mechanics - Part 2

I have been watching this series distributed by my company, blip.tv. It consistently interviews great bands that I would never have heard of otherwise.

Harvey’s Kitchen: Amelia’s Mechanics - Part 2 - (see Part 1 here) - Molly McGinn and Molly Miller after completing their first album “North, South” with Kasey Horton and produced by Jim Avett, are now beginning the process of recording their second album with 3 time grammy award winner Steven Heller and Laurelyn Dossett at Echo Studios. This is a bit of departure from the usual Kitchen episode. The song was recorded live next to our dirty dishes but Carolyn and I also ventured out to a few venues to capture a little live footage to complement the performance. This particular song will be appearing on their as yet untitled new album. If their introduction is anything to go by, this band is definitely going places.
Harvey’s Kitchen brings you music, art, and all manner of things both in the kitchen and outside of it.
This is a really fantastic series. Some of the best sounding/looking live performances I’ve seen on the video web. If you’re a fan of Folk/ Bluegrass / Alt. Country music you need to check this out and browse the entire series of episodes here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Coachella Effect

The next two weeks are absolutely nutty with shows in San Francisco.

Click the image for a larger view.

Not in this image is The Dead Weather on 4/15 and 4/16 at the Fillmore, Thom Yorke @ the Fox, and Phoenix who is playing the Catalyst in Santa Cruz on 4/17

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PS22 Chorus "LISZTOMANIA" Phoenix

I want to adopt each and every one of these children.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

First Concert(s) of 2010 - Double Header!

I had the special privilege of catching my former co-worker's band, , yesterday at El Rio in San Francisco. Jaime was my office manager at The ONION and was there with us from the beginning! I love their sound. Look out for them in San Francisco!

I then zipped off to see who never ever disappoint! Check out the video here.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Top Albums of the Decade (2000-2009)

1. Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)
2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009)
3. Franz Ferdinand - S/T (2004)
4. The Killers - Hot Fuss (2004)
5. Daft Punk - Discovery (2001)
6. Stars - In Our Bedroom After The War (2007)
7. Portugal The Man - Church Mouth (2007)
8. White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2001)
9. The Strokes - Is this It? (2000)
10. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it Int the People (2002)
11. Hot Chip - The Warning (2006)
12. Blonde Redhead - 23 (2007)
13. Los Campesinos! - Hold On Now Youngster (2008)
14. Portishead - Third (2008)
15. Ratatat - Classics (2006)
16. Metric - Fantasies (2009)
17. Beirut - Gulag Orchestar (2006)
18. Beck - Guero (2005)
19. Postal Service - Give Up (2003)
20. Jamie Lidell - Jim (2008)
21. Vampire Weekend (2008)
22. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones (2006)
23. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (2005)
24. Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock & Roll (2005)
25. The Go! Team - Thunder Lightening Strike (2005)
26. Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins - Rabbit Fur Coat (2006)
27. The Helio Sequence - Keep your Eyes Ahead (2008)
28. LCD Soundstystem - Sound of Silver (2007)
29. Silversun Pickups - Carnavas (2006)
30. Kings of Leon - Aha Heartbreak Shake (2004)
31. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of this Country (2006)
32. Tegan & Sara - The Con (2007)
33. Modest Mouse - The Moon and Antarctica (2000)
34. The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're gone? (2003)
35. Black Mountain - In the Future (2008)
36. Spoon - Girls Can Tell (2001)
37. Eagles of Death Metal - Heart On (2008)
38. Heartless Bastards - The Mountian (2009)
39. Sleater-Kinney - The Woods(2005)
40. Rodrigo y Gabriela - ST (2006)
41. The Kills - Midnight Boom (2008)
42. Gogol Bordello - Gypsy Punk: Underdog World Strike (2005)
43. Architecture In Helsinki - In Case We Die (2005)
44. Tilly and the Wall - Bottoms of Barrels (2006)
45. Maps - We Can Create (2007)
46. King Khan & The Shrines - The Supreme Genius of..(2008)
47. Cold War Kids - Robbers & Cowards (2006)
48. Fugazi - The Argument (2001)
49. The Sounds - Dying to Say this To You (2006)
50. My Morning Jacket - Z (2005)

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Monday, December 21, 2009

My Year in Lists: Top 10 Albums of 2009

#10 - Girls

#9 - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros
Up From Below

Miike Snow
Miike Snow
Listen to their track

Heartless Bastards
Listen to their track

#6 - The xx

#5 - Raveonettes
In and Out of Control

Passion Pit
Listen to the track

#3 Portugal. The Man -
Satanic Satanist

Listen to their track

Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Listen to their track

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Friday, December 18, 2009

My Year in Lists - Top 10 Concerts 2009

I am officially declaring the end of the 2009 concert season. I'm done for this year. Now, although I've been documenting most of my concerts for the last 2 1/2 years now, it's only been this year that I started to actually keep a count of all the concerts i go to... you know, for tax reasons. And so here it is. The final count is 80. Here are some some numbers:

22 shows @
10 shows @ The Fillmore
7 @
6 @
6 @ Mezzanine
5 guys in a band crashed in my 1BR apartment.
3 shows in London, UK
2 in Los Angeles
1 game of pop-a-shot with Nate Mendel of the Foo Fighters.

Choosing the top 10 shows was much easier than I thought it would. I've also added links to videos or my reviews of the concerts where available. If you were at any of these shows I want to hear from you! Reply with comments.

So here are my top shows of the year:

#10 - @ Bottom of the Hill (10/07)
#9 - Portugal. The Man @ Independent (09/23)
#8 - Passion Pit @ Bimbo's (05/26)
#7 - @ Fillmore (02/05)
#6 - Wolfmother + Heartless Bastards @ Fox Theatre (11/23)
#5 - Los Campesinos! @ Slims (04/15)
#4 - + @ Bimbo's 365 Club (11/06)
#3 - @ The Warfied (09/17)
#2 - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros @ The Great American Music Hall (12/12)
#1 - @ Heaven nightclub in London UK (10/29)

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2009 Concert Archive


01/23 - Raveonettes (Bimbo's)
01/25 - Jay Reatard (Independent)
01/30 - Devotchka (Fillmore)
01/31 - Social Studies (Hemlock)
02/05 - Eagles of Death Metal (Fillmore)
02/21 - Murder by Death + The Builders And the Butchers (Bottom Of The Hill)
02/24 - Deerhunter (Mezzanine)
02/25 - French Kicks (Independent)
02/27 - RA RA Riot (Independent)
02/28 - Portugal The Man..
03/01 - Les Savy Fav (Mezzanine)
03/05 - Fujiya & Miyagi + Pop Levi + Project Jenny, Project Jan (Independent)
03/13 - Asobi Seksu (Independent)
03/21 - Karl Denson's Tiny Universe + Robert Walter's 20th Congress (Independent)
03/24 - Bishop Allen (Rickshaw Stop)
03/27 - Marnie Stern (Bottom of the Hill)
04/01 - RATATAT (Fillmore)
04/15 - Los Campesinos! (Slims)
04/21 - Black Kids + Mates of State (Independent)
04/24 - Vivian Girls (Independent)
04/30 - Ladytron + The Faint (Fillmore
05/12 - Cloud Cult + Ice Palace (Independent)
05/15 - Kraak & Smaak (mezzanine)
05/16 - Michael Franti & Spearhead, Greyboy Allstars (Oyster Fest)
05/19 - The Kills (Fillmore)
05/21 - Pelle Carlberg, Oh No! Oh My!
05/22 - Ghostland Observatory (Mezzanine)
05/25 - Flight of the Conchords (Paramount)
05/26 - Passion Pit (Bimbo's)
05/28 - Black Moth Super Rainbow + School of Seven Bells(BOTH)
05/29 - Jenny Lewis (Fillmore)
05/30 - Pretty Lights (Independent)
06/04 - CLUES (former Arcade Fire + Unicorns) @ Rickshaw
06/05 - Submarines (Independent)
06/06 - Airborne Toxic Event, Designer Drugs (Popscene)
06/06 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Crystal Castles, Airborne Toxic Event, DJ AM, Mike Relm (Live 105 BFD, Shoreline)
06/08 - Camera Obscura (Fillmore)
06/10 - Rodrigo y Gabriela (Mountain Winery)
06/12 - DataRock (Independent)
06/13 - Bat For Lashes (Great American Music Hall)
06/15 - Art Brut (Independent)
06/18 - Miike Snow (Popscene)
06/20 - White Rabbits (Independent)
07/03 - Lovemakers + Amazing Baby (popscene)
07/09 - Rural Alberta Advantage (Bottom of the Hill)
07/14 - Blonde Redhead (Indepenedent)
07/15 - The Builders and The Butchers (Bottom of the Hill)
07/21 - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (Rickshaw Stop)
08/03 - Bowerbirds, Megafaun (Cafe du Nord)
08/18 - Scrabbel (Hemlock)
08/19 - Crocodiles (Rickshaw Stop)
08/28 - Outside Lands // Los Campesinos!, Silversun Pickups, Thievery Corporation, West Indian Girl, Pearl Jam
09/10 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Fox)
09/11 - The Lovemakers (Independent)
09/17 - Phoenix (Warfield)
09/18 - Frightened Rabbit + We Were Promised JetPacks
09/23 - Portugal. The Man (Independent)
09/25 - Portugal. The Man (Troubadour)
09/30 - LadyHawke + Ida Maria
10/02 - Asobi Seksu (Slims)
10/03 - Miike Snow (Bottom of the Hill)
10/04 - Jolie Holland (Independent)
10/06 - School of Seven Bells (Slims)
10/07 - Starfucker (Bottom of the Hill)
10/13 - Sunny Day Real Estate (Fillmore)
10/15 - Pretty Lights (Independent)
10/16 - MGMT (Independent)
10/24 - The Sounds + Foxy Shazam (Warfield)
10/28 - Los Campesinos (Garage, London)
10/29 - Does It Offend You, Yeah? (Heaven, London)
10/30 - Amanda Blank, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, We Have Band (Proud, London)
11/06 - Metric + Silversun Pickups (Bimbos)
11/09 - Raveonettes (Bimbo's)
11/13 - They Might Be Giants (Fillmore)
11/20 - The Juan Maclean (Mezzanine)
11/22 - The XX + Friendly Fires (Independent)
11/23 - Wolfmother + Heartless Bastards (Fox)
12/10 - Gossip, Passion Pit, Hey Champ (Mezzanine)
12/12 - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (GAMH)
12/14 - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Mayan Theatre, LA))

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Silversun Pickups & Metric rock Droid Launch Party @ Bimbos

The Motorola Droid Launch event came with special launch party events in several cities last Friday. Completely taken by surprise, I found out on Friday morning that two of my favorite bands, Metric and Silversun Pickups would be playing the event. I scrambled to get tickets but I discovered that the only way to get in was to be invited. And you could only be invited if you bought a the new phone or won a lottery from street teams handing out invites. It turned out that not everybody buying a Motorola Droid was interested in seeing Metric or Silversun Pickups, and I able to acquire a pair of tickets for the show.. The event drummed up a lot of hype in a very short amount of time, but, as events go, the venue was sparsely attended. This was fine by me, as it made the performances by both bands very intimate. Click on the images for video.

Silversun Pickups:


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Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 2009 archive

10/01 - Datarock (Slims)
10/01 - Ian Fays + Hot Toddies (Bottom of the Hill)
10/02 - Asobi Seksu (Slims)
10/02 - Geographer (Rickshaw Stop)
10/03 - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (Golden Gate Park)
10/03 - Miike Snow (Bottom of the Hill)
10/04 - Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (Golden Gate Park)
10/04 - Jolie Holland (Independent)
10/06 - School of Seven Bells (Slims)
10/09 - MUTEMATH (Fillmore)
10/10 - Bob Dylan (Greek)
10/11 - Bob Dylan (Greek)
10/13 - Devotchka (Warfield)
10/13 - Junior Boys (Mezzanine)
10/14 - Devotchka + Pogues (Regency Ballroom)
10/14 - Great Lake Swimmers (Great American Music Hall)
10/15 - Gogol Bordello (Fox)
10/15 - Moby (Warfield)
10/15 - Pretty Lights (Independent)
10/16 - Snow Patrol (Fox)
10/17 - Treasure Island Music Festival // MGMT, Mstrkrft, Girl Talk, Brazilian Girls, Passion Pit
10/17 - Why? (GAMH)
10/18 - Treasure Island Music Festival // Flaming Lips, Decemberists, Beirut, Grizzly Bear, Yo la Tengo, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
10/19 - Jay Reatard (GAMH)
10/20 - Stone Temple Pilots (Fox)
10/21 - Blind Pilot (GAMH)
10/22 - Noah and the Whale (Swedish American Hall)
10/23 - Islands (Bottom of the Hill)
10/24 - The Sounds + Foxy Shazam (Warfield)
10/29 - The Dodos (Bimbos)
10/30 - Amanda Blank, Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, We Have Band (Proud, London)
10/30 - Art Brut (Cafe du Nord)
10/30 - Paul Oakenfold (Regency)
10/30 - Regina Spektor (Fox)
10/31 - Built to Spill (Fillmore)
10/31 - LMFAO (Regency)

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The Sounds + Foxy Shazam @ Warfield

Foxy Shazam - "Introducing Foxy" -= There's a lot of shit happening here. Pay particular attention to the keyboardist.

The Sounds - "Queen of Apology"

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunny Day Real Estate @ The Fillmore

Perhaps it was the opportunity to sit in the headliner's dressing room among the ghosts of the musicians that have graced the Fillmore Auditorium? Perhaps it was the great company?

Perhaps it was playing 'pop-a-shot' with Nate Mendel (Bassist for SDRE and Foo Fighters") at my favorite local dive bar?

Or perhaps it was just a rocking show? I don't know... but evening will go down as one I will never forget.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

MGMT @ The Independent

In anticipation of the Treasure Island Music Festival this weekend, MGMT announced a surprise show at the Independent which sold out in minutes. I was fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to get one of these tickets.

I'm not sure if I was just tired and cranky, but after seeing the combination of BLK JKS and MGMT, I was seriously questioning why on Earth these bands get the hype that they do. Specifically MGMT. It may not have been the worst concert I have ever seen... but it was certainly close.

Boo. MGMT. Boo.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Starfucker @ Bottom of the Hill

Strength and Deejay Ceejay opened for Starfucker. Here's a clip from Strength.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

School of Seven Bells @ Slims

SVIIB - 'Iamundernodisguise'

SVIIB - new song from their upcoming album

SVIIB - 'Connjur'

SVIIB - 'My Cabal'

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Anna Ternheim shines @ Slim's

Asobi Seksu and Loney Dear co-headlined Slim's last night. Unlike the last time Asobi Seksu came to town (march 13, 2009), I was quite indifferent about their return to SF. It's partly because I wasn't really dazzled by their newest studio album, and their last live show was just meh. Well, i had nothing better to do, so I went to Slims early, got myself a cheeseburger, a PBR, and some great conversation with the bartender.

The first opener was . She is a Swedish singer-songwriter who's apparently huge... in Sweden. Well, if she keeps doing what she's doing, she's going to turn some heads in the U.S. too. Every one of her songs was unique and original yet accessible and very catchy; she's cute, and she has a terrific voice. If it weren't for her dark-ish lyrics, she could follow The Submarines, Feist, and The Ting Tings in the long line of cute voices selling iPods.

Loney Dear, also a singer-songwriter from Sweden, didn't blow anybody's mind, but wasn't terrible either. Kinda sounds like Conor Oberst.

I was lucky to be able to get a glimpse of the setlist as Asobi Seksu took the stage. This way, i knew how to time the beer runs and cigarette breaks without missing the songs I was there to hear.

check out more videos from this show on my YouTube channel

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Music Graph - June through September 2009

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September 2009 Archive

09/09 - Vivian Girls (Rickshaw Stop)
09/09 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Fox)
09/10 - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Fox) ** THS Show**
09/11 - The Lovemakers (Independent)
09/17 - Phoenix (Warfield) **THS Show**
09/18 - Citizen Cope (Fillmore)
09/18 - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (Great American Music Hall)
09/18: Frightened Rabbit + We Were Promised Jetpacks (Independent) **THS Show**
09/19 - Citizen Cope (Fillmore)
09/23 - Portugal. The Man (Independent) **THS Show**
09/25 - Portugal. The Man (Troubadour) **THS Show**
09/23 - Rodrigo y Gabriela (Fox)
09/30 - LadyHawke + Ida Maria **THS Show8*