Friday, June 19, 2009

The Builders and The Butchers - New Album, Tour Dates!

Earlier this week, release their second full length album called, "". As many readers of this blog know, this is one of my favorite bands. Hailing from Alaska via Portland, these guys play a southern-grime-rock that returns to classic rock and roll roots. Everyone feels they need to draw comparisons to what/who they sound like which is a testament to its familiarity and one of the reasons I believe this band to be accessible to all listeners. Those in the indie community draw comparisons to the Decemberists.. though I disagree. Personally, I have described this bands sound to Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes, and the Cold War Kids. Lead singer, Ryan Sollee is quoted in an interview with the , "The era of songs that drive and influence the majority of the Builders' material is early Depression-era blues, folk, and gospel, and weirder stuff like Tom Waits."

I've introduced many people to this band by taking them to their live performances and I've never had anybody leave saying, "Yeah, that was OK." Instead they blather superlatives for weeks on end. And I love it because It's true... you feel really really great while listening to The Builders And The Butchers... which is ironic because their songs are about death, poverty, betrayal, death, heartache, and more death. It's story telling at its best.

are currently on Tour and will be playing at the in San Francisco on July 15, 2009. Tickets are $10. Buy your tickets now.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Art Brut @ The Independent

"Ready Art Brut!" This was the battle cry heard before every song played before a near-sold-out crowd at the Independent. Since first being introduced to Art Brut in 2006, my passion for this band has steadily increased with every play of nearly every track this band has produced. The show exceeded my already high expectations from a musical standpoint. The band's stage presence was among the best I've ever seen... and the banter between songs was funny as hell.

Here's a clip of the band covering the Ramone's "KKK took my baby away"

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hotel Utah Documentary

The has a very storied history. The bar dates back to 1908 and though it has seen the city go through many changes, the bar itself has not changed much at all over the years except for the building of a small stage in 1977. That stage has been host to many rising stars thanks to their open mic night. The folks over at are creating a documentary about music, from the perspective of the Hotel Utah open mic. In the process, they are sharing the dailies from the open mics at the Utah. The dailies are filled with live music and interviews. It's worth . They're having a sneak preview at the Utah on June 27th.

In the meantime, go check out the . Here's one interview with Eric McFadden and Pandora founder, Tim Westergren.

Hotel Utah Dailies 3.11.09 from Bricks and Mortar Media on Vimeo.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Vampire Weekend + Ra Ra Riot = Discovery

Bacon Ice Cream... Two things that are great individually, but when you put them together they taste wholly different, yet still delicious. is the name of the new collaboration between and . Turns out that the two bands are pretty close and they have a bunch of ideas that don't fit into either band's repertoire. So, they created a new band. I'm 50/50 on side projects and collaborations, but I think Discovery has legs. I just don't want to see another like (Unicorns + ex-Arcade Fire members). And on that note... why is it that these seemingly genius musicians who come up with great names like Vampire Weekend, Unicorns, Arcade Fire, Ra Ra Riot, etc... suck at picking band names for their collaborative efforts? I mean.. Discovery? really?

Well anyway, for your enjoyment... Here is a of "" by Discovery.

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Metric @ BFD

Check out Jessica Jardine's interview with Emily Haines at the

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Submarines @ The Independent

photo courtesy of headshaker.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Clues disappoint @ The Rickshaw Stop

There are many blogs and music sites that take it upon themselves to write detailed reviews on albums and concerts, so you may notice that when I add my two cents, its usually to gush about a band who either achieved or exceeded my high expectations. I generally avoid writing a banal review of a band who doesn't dazzle and I rarely waste my time on negative reports. But for some reason, I am compelled to document on my humble blog that are crap.

When I first heard of the band and its members' roots in the Unicorns and Arcade Fire, I clearly had high expectations. I listened to the album the same week I heard new releases from Phoenix, Metric, and Passion Pit (all albums that brought me great joy). My first go-through with the album was lackluster, but since it had been muddled with several other stellar new releases, I thought I would give it another shot when the hype of the aforementioned albums wore off. After a few weeks, a friend of mine encouraged me to listen to it with headphones to accentuate the intricacies of the album, of which there are many. However, I couldn't help but wonder if the album was poorly produced or if the band just missed the mark with what it was shooting for. I would wait to see them live to make my final judgement. And last night it all became clear to me.

Clues headlined the with support from San Francisco local bands + . Though the show was not sold out, the floor filled quickly once the first opener Birds and Batteries began to play. Their unique style of rock-synth-pop was enough to get the crowd moving. Geographer then took the stage with an amazing display of talent and vibrant sound and filled the main floor with shifting bodies and bobbing heads.

The crowd was really energized as they waited for Clues to take the stage. However, a surprise duo called Jerusalem In My Heart (an extension of Clues) played a slow noisy interlude that killed the mood. The remaining band members shuffled on stage as the noisemakers exited and the anxious crowd waited in anticipation. What ensued was truly disappointing. Clues were neither entertaining, nor were they tight as a group. While there were moments of greatness and inspiration, they were few and far between. The majority of the performance was tedious and haughty, as if the members in the band were really only interested in playing for each other. Their self-involvement was probably the only thing keeping them from noticing that over half of the audience cleared out of the venue by the time they played their fourth song.

My judgement on the production of the album was clearly off target. This mess of talent was produced the best it could have been, and it is shame that they have to use the names of the Unicorns and Arcade Fire to sell themselves.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Phoenix - Lisztomania 80's Video Mash-up

Here's a gem I found from fellow blogger, who says:

I can't believe I never saw this until today. Oddly enough, whenever I've listened to "Lisztomania" I can't help but find myself pulling out some of the same moves. The homemade YouTube video features classic dance scenes from 80's brat-pack movies mashed together such as The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Footloose, and Mannequin. Phoenix has even admitted they prefer this version to their own official video, calling it "our best video".

The new Phoenix album is getting heavy rotation on my iPod these days and will surely make my top 10 list for 2009. If you live in San Francisco, you can catch them on June 27 at the Regency. Amazing Baby will be opening for them and it is a show that should not be missed... unless you are out of town that weekend, like I am. Boo. At least i have the video to enjoy.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Live Nation Announces Wednesday Specials

LOS ANGELES, June 1 (Reuters) - Concert promoter Live Nation said on Monday it will waive service fees for general admission at hundreds of concerts on sale for a 24-hour stretch this week.

Live Nation's no service fee offer will happen as a one-day-only event on Wednesday. The company said it plans other offers every Wednesday through the summer as a recession year break for customers, such as waving the fees on certain bands or offering regional discounts.

OK.. I suppose this is a step in the right direction... but I'm more concerned about small capacity venues that generally charge $20 or less for tickets with an additional $12 in fees.

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Treasure Island Music Festival 2009 Rumors

UPDATED 7/13 -

reports that the following bands are confirmed:

The Decemberists
The Flaming Lips
Girl Talk
Miike Snow
No Age

Others report rumors of Joanna Newsom, Grizzly Bear, St. Vincent, Bon Iver, Calexico, School of Seven Bells, Ghostland Observatory, Chromeo, MGMT, and Ben Harper as rumored participants in this year’s lineup.


See the complete guide to here.

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